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Asia News

Ten China gold miners confirmed dead after others rescued; one still missing

By: Reuters     25th January 2021 Eleven Chinese gold miners trapped underground after an explosion were rescued much earlier than expected thanks to steel pipes supporting blockages in the mine shaft, according to state-media, as the search continued for 10 others. An air ventilation shaft, which was the most feasible way to... 

Sumitomo to book additional 30bn yen impairment on Madagascar nickel project

By: Reuters     25th January 2021 Japan's Sumitomo Corp said on Monday it will book an additional impairment loss of about 30-billion yen on its Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar for the October to December quarter to reflect the revised output plan. The Japanese trading house, which owns a 54.17% stake in the project, posted... 

Diamond trade is roaring back thanks to stuck-at-home shoppers 

By: Bloomberg     25th January 2021 The global diamond trade spent years in the doldrums, only to be crippled by the pandemic just as things started looking up. Now, at last, business is booming again. Factories in the industry’s “engine room” -- the Indian city of Surat -- are so desperate to boost production that the... 

Diamond trade is roaring back thanks to stuck-at-home shoppers

Weekly Coal Index Report

25th January 2021 Chinese domestic and Pacific coal markets were substantially lower on the week, as supply and weather constraints eased. However, Europe is now dealing with severe cold weather as power and gas markets have tightened. Prices have soared as renewables fail to perform as hoped in the inclement... 

Weekly Coal Index Report

Nickel Mines hit record highs

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th January 2021 ASX-listed Nickel Mines has reported a 7.7% increase in quarterly production from its Indonesian rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) projects for the three months to December, with attributable production reaching a record high. RKEF production during the quarter reached a record 11 527 t during... 

China says 10 workers trapped in gold mine are searching for others

By: Reuters     22nd January 2021 The ten known survivors trapped since a deadly January 10 gold mine explosion in northern China have been using laser pointers and loudspeakers to try to find their missing colleagues, state media reported on Friday. The rescue operation, which has been able to get food and medicines to the... 

Local sourcing vital in UK, considering expected 70% jump in EV sales

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd January 2021 Research agency Fitch Solutions foresees a good year for electric vehicle (EV) development and a key component thereof, lithium. It says critical raw material (CRM) developments in the UK, the US and the European Union (EU) bode well for those regions’ battery supply chains and reducing their... 

Local sourcing vital in UK, considering expected 70% jump in EV sales

Responsible Mining Foundation seeks ‘more ambitious’ standards for TSFs 

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd January 2021 The vast majority of large-scale mining companies are still unable to demonstrate that they review and report on how effectively they manage risks related to tailings storage facilities (TSF), and take responsive actions as necessary, despite growing disclosure on TSFs, the Responsible Mining... 

Responsible Mining Foundation seeks ‘more ambitious’ standards for TSFs
The Corrego do Feijao tailings dam collapse, in Brumadinho, Brazil.

Blackstone advances metal talks with Trafigura

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd January 2021 Commodities trading group Trafigura has signed a letter of interest (LoI) with junior Blackstone Minerals to potentially supply quantities of nickel and cobalt products that would allow Blackstone to produce products for the lithium-ion battery industry at its Ta Khoa nickel project, in Vietnam.... 

Global copper smelting rises in December, driven by China

By: Reuters     21st January 2021 Global copper smelting activity climbed in December, led by top producer China, while North America extended its decline as coronavirus cases surged, data from satellite surveillance of copper plants showed. Europe dipped slightly, but its copper smelting activity remained strong, satellite... 

Chaarat records strong full-year performance, exceeds guidance at Kapan

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st January 2021 Aim-listed Chaarat Gold's Kapan gold mine, in Armenia, has exceeded its production guidance for 2020 and made good progress on the development of the business despite the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as earlier cross-border hostilities in Armenia and protests in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Kapan mine... 

Platinum group metals demand set to overwhelm supply balance – Davis 

By: Martin Creamer     21st January 2021 Long-serving precious metals consultant Dr David Davis has reached the conclusion, after a comprehensive study, that the demand for platinum group metals (PGMs) is poised to outstrip stagnant supply. Davis, who has spent several months carrying out a ‘deep dive’ into the future of PGMs for... 

Platinum group metals demand set to overwhelm supply balance – Davis
Precious metals consultant Dr David Davis, who believes that platinum will be next to board the price rocket.

Chrome market could change with new export tax regime, dissuading Chinese offtake 

By: Donna Slater     20th January 2021 A “delicate” balancing act between chrome ore mining and stainless steel production may be under threat as South Africa changes its export tax regime to boost the commodity’s “welfare benefits” and to favour local chrome buyers instead of foreign buyers, Simon le Roux, a student at Rhodes... 

China rescuers prepare escape route for trapped gold miners

By: Reuters     20th January 2021 Rescue teams on Wednesday drilled new holes down a gold mine in China's Shandong province, searching for more survivors after an explosion 10 days ago and preparing an escape passage for a group known to still be alive, state media reported. A total of 22 workers were trapped underground in the... 

China bought most iron-ore from Australia, Brazil in 2020, but imports from India up nearly 90%

By: Reuters     20th January 2021 Australia and Brazil, the world's two largest iron-ore producers, remained China's top suppliers in 2020, but imports from India soared 88% as Chinese mills diversified sources amid sky-high raw materials prices. Australian shipments rose 7% to 713-million tonnes, while Brazilian supplies were... 

China bought most iron-ore from Australia, Brazil in 2020, but imports from India up nearly 90%

China's imports of Australian copper ore crash to zero in December

By: Reuters     20th January 2021 China's imports of copper concentrate from Australia dried up completely in December, customs data showed on Wednesday, as smelters shunned Australian supply amid tense bilateral ties. Imports of copper ores and concentrates from Australia were zero tonnes last month, according to General... 

China's imports of Australian copper ore crash to zero in December

Platinum group metals playing role in Switzerland’s green hydrogen roll-out  

By: Martin Creamer     19th January 2021 Platinum group metals (PGMs), which South Africa hosts in greater abundance than any other country on earth, are playing important catalytic roles in Switzerland’s green hydrogen and green truck rollout, which is now under way. Mining Weekly can today report that proton exchange membrane (PEM)... 

Platinum group metals playing role in Switzerland’s green hydrogen roll-out
Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility CEO Mark Freymueller is interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Turquoise Hill takes issue with Rio Tinto’s undercut criteria

By: Mariaan Webb     19th January 2021 Canada-listed project developer Turquoise Hill said on Monday that it was engaging with major shareholder Rio Tinto over its criteria for caving operations at the Oyu Tolgoi underground project, in Mongolia, stating that it did not believe the nontechnical specifications were necessary. “The... 

Turquoise Hill takes issue with Rio Tinto’s undercut criteria

De Beers raises diamond prices most in years

By: Bloomberg     19th January 2021 De Beers implemented its biggest price increase for diamonds in years as the industry starts bouncing back from the pandemic-induced shutdown. The world’s biggest diamond producer raised prices by about 5% at its first sale of the year, according to people familiar with the situation who asked... 

Want a fuel cell, you need platinum – analysts 

By: Martin Creamer     18th January 2021 If you want a fuel cell, you need platinum, is one of the multiplicity of points Bernstein investment company makes in a major work just released, which shows growing and ongoing demand for platinum group metals (PGMs) and provides ample reason why metals and mining matter more than ever. In the... 

Want a fuel cell, you need platinum – analysts
Photo by Bernstein
Predicted future PGM tons heading high.

China 2020 aluminium output climbs to record high

By: Reuters     18th January 2021 China's aluminium production in 2020 rose 4.9% from the prior year to a record 37.08-million tonnes as smelters cashed in on soaring prices, with December output hitting a monthly all-time high even as the rally cooled. Primary aluminium production in December was 3.27-million tonnes, the... 

POSCO moving ahead with Mahenge investment

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th January 2021 Korean major POSCO has completed its final internal approval process for a $7.5-million investment in ASX-listed graphite developer Black Rock Mining. The two companies in December last year struck an agreement under which POSCO would acquire a 15% interest in the Tanzania-focused Black Rock... 

Weekly Coal Index Report

18th January 2021 Australian coal exporters have pivoted to target India, exporting almost 7 Mt to the country for 2020. With FOB Newcastle trading around $6/mt lower than RB1, this represents a clear threat to SA exporters. The other threat is of course Coal India’s ever-present plans to increase its own domestic... 

Weekly Coal Index Report

Coal price expected to average $100/t as China turns to South Africa for coal 

By: Martin Creamer     15th January 2021 China is buying South African coal at a time when analysts are forecasting a buoyant average coal price of $100/t for the first half (H1) of 2021. The purchase of South African coal by China follows Chinese relations with Australia deteriorating last year and imports of coal from Australia being... 

Coal price expected to average $100/t as China turns to South Africa for coal
Richards Bay Coal Terminal, from which South African coal is exported.

Law firm says ESG most prominent risk beyond pandemic resilience

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th January 2021 International law firm White & Case says 45% of decisionmakers believe environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues will be the biggest risk to the mining and metals sector this year. The firm reports in its 'Mining and Metals 2021' survey that the global mining and metals sector is facing... 

Law firm says ESG most prominent risk beyond pandemic resilience

Indonesia to revise royalty rates on coal, gold in bid to boost revenue

By: Reuters     15th January 2021 Indonesia plans to adjust its royalty payment policies on sales of gold and coal in an effort to boost state revenues as prices of the two commodities recover, an official said on Friday. The world's top exporter of thermal coal expects a recovery in prices and exports this year after scoring a... 

Predictive maintenance an investment priority for miners, says GlobalData

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th January 2021 The drive to improve productivity and reduce downtime will lead to further investment by mining companies, large and small, in predictive maintenance for both plant and mobile equipment in the next two years, says data and analytics company GlobalData. A mine-site survey conducted by the company... 

China may allow imports of some stranded Australian coal cargoes

By: Bloomberg     15th January 2021 China is considering accepting some stranded Australian coal cargoes, an effort that would help ease a logjam of vessels that have stacked up off its coast for months. The shipments that could be cleared are those that arrived before a ban on Australian coal went into effect, said a person... 

China may allow imports of some stranded Australian coal cargoes

Metals behind EV revolution to resume volatile rally - again

By: Bloomberg     15th January 2021 Battery metals are set to rebound this year as an electric-vehicle boom is bolstered by post-pandemic push for a green economic recovery. US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated the sector could get a boost, while China wants new energy vehicles to account for about 20% of total new car sales... 

Metals behind EV revolution to resume volatile rally - again

More sales of South African coal to China expected as prices rise

By: Martin Creamer     14th January 2021 About 600 000 t to 700 000 t of South African coal have already moved to China since the Asian giant ceased accepting coal from Australia and more South African coal sales to China are expected “for sure”, a top trader said in an interview with Mining Weekly. China’s power plants have been... 

More sales of South African coal to China expected as prices rise
Richards Bay Coal Terminal, South Africa's world-class coal export port.

China importing SA coal, PGMs in a greener world make headlines 

14th January 2021 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer unpacks South Africa supplying coal to China, the role of South Africa’s platinum group metals in a greener future and the new project in the North West that is cutting electricity use by 82% and putting platinum into focus.   

China importing SA coal, PGMs in a greener world make headlines
China importing SA coal, PGMs in a greener world make headlines

BMO, Linklaters among the world's top mining M&A advisers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th January 2021 BMO Capital Markets has been named the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) financial adviser in the global mining sector for 2020 by value, while Linklaters and Black Cassels & Graydon were the top M&A legal advisers by value and volume, respectively. BMO advised on 13 deals worth $4.8-billion. 

Greater govt involvement, sustainability in mining sector expected in 2021 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th January 2021 As mineral and metal prices, production and consumption improve this year amid a broader and deeper economic recovery from the pandemic, the outlook for miners and metal players is positive, says research agency Fitch Solutions. It notes that this year will see a mix of traditional trends... 

Greater govt involvement, sustainability in mining sector expected in 2021

Council expects gold investment, consumption to maintain strength in 2021 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2021 The Covid-19 pandemic raised uncertainty by compounding existing risk and creating new ones; however, the end of 2020 saw investors optimistic that the worst was over, the World Gold Council’s (WGC's) outlook for 2021 reveals. The organisation expects investors will perceive the low interest rate... 

Council expects gold investment, consumption to maintain strength in 2021

Two workers die at Medusa's mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th January 2021 Gold miner Medusa Mining has reported two fatalities at its Co-O mine, in the Philippines. The company on Thursday reported that two contract workers were fatally injured while undertaking maintenance work at an underground pumping station of the mine. 

Kazakh mining startup Battery Metals seeks Hong Kong listing

By: Reuters     14th January 2021 Battery Metals Technologies, a Kazakhstan-based nickel and cobalt mining company, plans to raise funds through an initial public offering and list in Hong Kong, the firm told Reuters. The company said on Thursday it plans to develop the Gornostayevskoye deposit located close to the... 

Rhodium roars above $20 000 in precious metals' biggest rally

By: Reuters     14th January 2021 Rhodium's rally to record highs shows no sign of stopping, with prices up 19% this month as auto makers that need the metal to meet tightening emissions regulations run into limited supply. Used in engine exhausts to neutralise harmful nitrous oxides, rhodium reached $20 190 an ounce on... 

Rhodium roars above $20 000 in precious metals' biggest rally

China 2020 iron-ore imports hit record on robust post-virus demand

By: Reuters     14th January 2021 China's iron-ore imports hit a record high in 2020, jumping 9.5% from a year earlier as the country beefed up spending on infrastructure to spur an economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic and manufacturing increased. China, the world's top steel producer, imported 1.17-billion tonnes of... 

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