Archive | International Media Resource Articles

Whoever wins election, Chile state copper giant may get boost – by Dave Sherwood and Fabian Cambero (Reuters U.K. – November 22, 2017)

https://uk.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – The world’s largest copper miner, Codelco, may see a boost in investment cash regardless of who wins next month’s presidential runoff in Chile, as both candidates have vowed to end the state-run firm’s funding of the military.

Conservative front-runner Sebastian Pinera and his center-left rival Alejandro Guillier, set to face off in the Dec. 17 vote, have both pledged to overturn the dictatorship-era law that transfers to the military 10 percent of Codelco’s export sales, worth $866 million last year.

There is no guarantee that Codelco [COBRE.UL], which delivers all its profits to the state, would keep the funds should the law be overturned. That decision would ultimately lie with Congress. Continue Reading →

Russia, China to set up $1billion fund for metal, mining projects – by Inga Denezh (Asia Times – November 18, 2017)

http://www.atimes.com/

Russia’s Far East Development Fund and China’s state-owned gold mining company, China National Gold Group, are to sign an accord by the end of this year on setting up a joint US$1 billion investment fund targeting new projects in the metals and mining sector.

“Ourselves and China Gold are creating a fund in which private investors too can take part and turn a profit. Our first goal is to invest in projects to mine gold, precious metals and copper,” Far East Development Fund head Aleksey Chekunov told media.

The fund is slated to begin dispensing funds for projects next year and will have an initial capital of US$500 million to put to work. That will increase with contributions from both sides, as well as private investors. Continue Reading →

War on mining is over: Zinke’s Alaska advisor delivers strong message from Interior Department – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – November 19, 2017)

http://www.petroleumnews.com/

When Steve Wackowski asked his superiors at the U.S. Department of Interior office in Washington D.C. for a message to deliver at the Alaska Miners Association’s annual convention in Anchorage, their response put an exclamation point on a clear shift in federal policy since President Donald Trump took office – “The war on mining is over.”

This does not mean the United States’ mining sector has a new federal ally, but it does indicate that the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and other agencies under the DOI banner are willing to grant mining due consideration on federal multi-use lands.

Wackowski, who was sworn in as Interior Ryan Zinke’s senior advisor for Alaska affairs in May, delivered this message during a Nov. 8 presentation at the AMA convention. Continue Reading →

Great Barrier Reef Pitted Against Coal Jobs in Australia Vote – by Jason Scott and Perry Williams (Bloomberg News – November 21, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The fate of Adani Group’s A$16.5 billion ($12.4 billion) Australian coal mine hinges on weekend elections in Queensland state, as voters weigh the promise of new jobs against a potential environmental threat to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Labor government has vowed to reject A$900 million in federal funding for a new rail link, which is needed to carry coal to the coast for export. The opposition Liberal National Party, vying to win office in Saturday’s ballot, says that threatens the viability of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s project, and with it the economic future of the resource-rich state.

As the world grapples with the fossil fuel’s role in the future energy mix, the proposed Carmichael mine has become a defining issue in the election. Opinion polls indicate the result is too close to call. Continue Reading →

Philippines’ Duterte threatens to close mines that support rebels (Reuters U.S. – November 21, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday threatened to shut down any mine that supports Maoist rebels waging a protracted guerrilla war to overthrow the government.

The Philippines has been in on-again, off-again peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the communist movement, since 1986 to end a rebellion that has killed more than 40,000 people and stunted growth in resource-rich rural areas.

In a speech honoring soldiers who fought pro-Islamic State militants for five months in the southern city of Marawi, Duterte said that attacks from the Maoist rebels had been on the rise, forcing him to end negotiations, and that he would declare the guerrilla group a terrorist organization. Continue Reading →

INTERVIEW: A Troubling Look at the Human Toll of Mountaintop Removal Mining – by Richard Schiffman (Yale Environment 360.com – November 21, 2017)

http://e360.yale.edu/

For years, the coal industry has dismissed the idea that mountaintop mining adversely affects people living nearby. But research by Indiana University’s Michael Hendryx provides stark evidence that this widespread mining practice is leading to increases in disease and deaths in Appalachia.

The devastating environmental impacts of mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia have long been well documented. But over the last decade, Indiana University researcher Michael Hendryx has been examining another consequence of this form of coal surface mining that had previously been overlooked: the health impacts on the people in the surrounding communities.

What he has found, Hendryx says, is a public health disaster, with more than a thousand extra deaths each year in areas of Appalachia where mountaintop removal (MTR) operations take place.

The air and water pollution caused by this mining practice, which involves deforesting and tearing off mountaintops to get at the coal, is leading to increases in cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, pulmonary disease, and birth defects, his research shows. Continue Reading →

Anglo’s Cutifani claims investors are wary of sector recovery – by David McKay (MiningMX.com – November 20, 2017)

https://www.miningmx.com/

VOLATILITY in the mining sector and the speed with which commodity prices have recovered since 2016 are deterring investors from buying mining shares, said Anglo American CEO, Mark Cutifani.

Responding to questions about the relative underperformance of mining shares this year during a conference held by Goldman Sachs, Cutifani said investors wanted more evidence of capital discipline from management. His comments were contained in a report issued by Goldman Sachs on November 16.

According to Goldman Sachs, mining companies have “… entered the harvest phase after a period of low capex, high prices and low costs translating into significant free cash flow, de-leveraging and the potential for significantly higher returns”. Since January 2016, shares Glencore and Anglo American are up 400% and 500% respectively. Continue Reading →

Tesla Truck Supercharges Hopes for Boom in Battery Metals Demand – by Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – November 17, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Tesla Inc.’s plans to roll out an all-electric big rig have given a fresh jolt to the outlook for battery metals that will go into powering the truck founder Elon Musk is calling “The Beast.”

Banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS Group AG and Bank of America Corp. are already forecasting a surge in demand for battery metals like nickel as sales of electric cars ramp up over the next decade. Usage could jump even higher if trucking firms start switching diesel fleets for battery-powered ones.

“This is a game changer,” said Anthony Milewski, chairman and chief executive officer of Cobalt 27 Capital Corp., an investment vehicle providing price exposure to a stockpile of cobalt, which has spiked in the past year in response to booming projections for usage in electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

China is winning electric cars ‘arms race’: The global scramble for lithium – by Daniel Shane (NBC Montana – November 20, 2017)

http://www.nbcmontana.com/

HONG KONG (CNNMoney) – China is outmaneuvering the U.S. and other countries in the global scramble for a vital element for electric cars.

As demand for the vehicles surges, Chinese companies have been doing deals around the world to secure supplies of lithium, a silvery-white metal mined from rocks in Australia and brine pools in South America.

China is the top market for electric and hybrid cars, accounting for roughly half of global sales, and the government is pushing the development of the industry within its borders. That calls for a lot of lithium, a key component of the vehicles’ batteries. Continue Reading →

BHP, Vale inch toward Samarco dam spill settlement – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – November 21, 2017)

http://www.afr.com/

BHP Billiton and Brazilian miner Vale have inched closer to a settlement over the multibillion-dollar lawsuits that continue to hang over their Samarco joint venture following 2015’s deadly dam disaster.

While a full settlement appears unlikely to be reached before the end of 2017, the miners have at least agreed with Brazilian prosecutors over the pathway toward a more substantial agreement.

It is now 20 months since federal prosecutors in Brazil lobbed a 155 billion real ($63 billion) claim against the Samarco partners over the damage caused by the collapse of a tailings dam at the iron ore business in November 2015. Continue Reading →

[Norilsk] Metals Billionaire to Win Whether Electric Cars Boom or Bust – by Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – November 21, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

There are two major reasons mining billionaire Vladimir Potanin is within a hair’s breadth of regaining his ranking as Russia’s richest tycoon this year.

One is higher prices for nickel used in batteries as metals traders bet electric vehicles are the future of transportation. The other is a jump in palladium on wagers that gasoline cars will be here for a long time yet.

They’ve boosted the value of Potanin’s 30 percent in MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the top miner of both metals, lifting his net worth 12 percent this year to $19 billion. They also show how Nornickel, as it’s known, will gain from auto-industry changes even if optimism on electric cars is overdone. Continue Reading →

Policy confusion hobbles Indonesian mining (Nikkei Asian Review – November 21, 2017)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

The long-running dispute between the Indonesian government and U.S. minerals company Freeport-McMoRan over Grasberg, the world’s largest gold mine and second-largest copper mine, shows little sign of ending any time soon — despite optimistic government claims to the contrary.

Indeed, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s confused and contradictory mining policies are damaging the country’s hopes of extracting maximum benefit from its natural resources.

If the government will not change course, and in particular reimpose a ban on the export of raw minerals, the courts or the voters must force his hand. Indonesia’s economic development hangs on getting things right in an industry crucial to the country’s future. Continue Reading →

Glencore Sees Nickel in Best Shape in Decade Before EVs Take Off – by Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – November 21, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Glencore Plc is seeing the best market conditions for nickel in at least a decade, and electric cars are barely playing a part yet.

The miner and trading giant expects nickel’s 2017 deficit at 170,000 metric tons — one of the biggest in years and more than most market estimates — driven by a 9 percent demand increase from the steel industry, the top user. The market is tightening amid falling stockpiles and rising premiums for physical deliveries, said Owen Gibbs, a senior nickel trader at Glencore.

Prices recently hit a two-year high amid forecasts from banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. that an electric-vehicle boom will boost demand for battery metals in the next decade.
Glencore also expects a strong lift in nickel consumption from electric cars, but not materially until 2020. Once that happens, miners will struggle to keep up with faster usage, Gibbs said. Continue Reading →

Afghanistan’s Beautiful Link to Da Vinci’s $450 Million ‘Salvator Mundi’ – by Suleiman Wali (Huffington Post – November 20, 2017)

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Itis difficult to imagine that the Renaissance-era painting by Leonardo da Vinci that was recently auctioned in New York for $450 million has any kind of relationship with Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world.

On the same day that the jaw-dropping Christie’s sale of Salvator Mundi (Italian for Savior of the World) shattered world records — and went for more than seven million times as much as it sold for in 1958 ($60!) — it was reported, coincidentally, that Afghanistan’s opium production also hit a new record high, rising 87 percent from last year.

However, it is not in the statistics, but in the aesthetics where an incredibly intimate connection can be made. The predominant color in the mesmerizing Salvator Mundi — the celestial, vivid blue that clothes Jesus Christ himself — hails from the rich and forbidding caves of the Sar-e-Sang valley in Afghanistan’s mountainous Badakhshan province. The source of this blue is the country’s lapis lazuli, a semiprecious gemstone that was once more expensive per ounce than gold. Continue Reading →

Platinum market deficit to expand sharply in 2018: WPIC – by Peter Hobson (Reuters U.S. – November 21, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The global platinum market deficit will rise sharply next year thanks to resurgent demand from the jewellery and industrial sectors and declining production, an industry report said on Tuesday.

The shortfall will jump to 275,000 ounces from an expected 15,000 ounces this year, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said in its latest Platinum Quarterly report.

That would put the industry in deficit for a sixth consecutive year and cut above-ground stocks to 1.605 million ounces by the end of next year, said the WPIC, which is funded by platinum mining companies. Continue Reading →