Saturday, August 24, 2019 – 10:59:17 AM

In a media statement, Desert said that each shareholder of Ashanti will receive 0.2857 Desert Gold shares for each Ashanti share held. In parallel, 21,097,657 Desert Gold shares were issued to Ashanti shareholders.

The buyout increases Desert’s land position along and near the Senegal-Mali Shear Zone and Main Transcurrent Fault Zone by 28% to 296.9 square kilometres. This is due to the addition of the Kossanto East project, located in western Mali, near the border with Senegal.

“Both of these regional structures are related to multi-million-ounce gold mines and deposits owned by B2Gold, Barrick, AngloGold Ashanti/IAMGOLD and Teranga,” the British Columbia-based miner said in the press release.

According to Dessert, the Ashanti concession hosts five gold zones with drill intercepts to 2.04 g/t Au over 75 metres. Gold mineralization in these zones is related to hydrothermal-type breccia zones and typical, structurally-controlled shear and fault zones hosted by both volcanics, sediments and felsic intrusions.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

The financing, part of long-term strategic cooperation between the two companies, brings CITIC’s investment in Ivanhoe to more than $1 billion.

Another Chinese firm, Zijin Mining Group — which became Ivanhoe’s partner four years ago — exercised its anti-dilution rights in May, generating additional proceeds for the Vancouver-based miner of C$67 million ($50m).

Ivanhoe now has the equity cushion required to fast-track Kamoa-Kakula’s 6 million copper tonnes per year Phase 1 mine to production
Robert Friedland, Ivanhoe Mines’ founder and executive chairman

“The investments completed today comfortably provide Ivanhoe with the equity cushion required to rapidly advance Kamoa-Kakula’s 6 Mtpa Phase 1 mine to production,” billionaire Robert Friedland, the company’s founder and executive chairman said in a statement.

CITIC now owns 29.4% of Ivanhoe Mines’ issued and outstanding common shares, with Zijin Mining holding 9.8%.

Friedland, who made his fortune from the Voisey’s Bay nickel project in Canada in the 1990s, has said the capacity of the project’s first phase could later be easily tripled.

The mining complex, which is expected to begin commercial production in late 2021, has the potential to become the world’s second-largest copper mine.

Analysts also believe the giant mine could restore the DRC’s historical position as one of the world’s top copper producing countries.

Ivanhoe Mines has been working on Kamoa-Kakula for ten years. In 2015, its now partner Zijin got on board by acquiring a stake in the company. CITIC Metal followed suit last year, becoming Ivanhoe’s top shareholder.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. wants to develop a lithium battery that uses platinum-group metals instead of cobalt and nickel. The aim is to create a new multi-billion dollar source of demand for the metals as electric vehicles reduce the need for traditional fuel autocatalysts.

Platinum miners have good reason to be worried. Electric-car sales are forecast to reach 56 million by 2040, making up about 57% of the overall car market versus 2% now, according to BloombergNEF. That could curb demand for autocatalysts, which use platinum and palladium to clean toxic emissions. Platinum is already under pressure — prices are near a decade-low as drivers turn away from diesel engines and supplies remain ample.

“Platinum could play a big role in batteries, but we need to thrift out the other metals to make it viable,” said Mike Jones, chief executive officer of miner Platinum Group Metals Ltd., which is working with Amplats to develop the new battery.

Amplats and Platinum Group Metals have agreed to invest up to $4 million in Lion Battery Technologies Inc. to find a way to use platinum metals to keep batteries cool and create a lighter product with a greater driving range. The venture is studying how much metal will be needed and aims to have a commercial prototype in three to five years.

The idea isn’t new. Academics have researched the technology since the 1990s, but developing it has so far been unfeasible.

“The battery industry is trying to reduce its reliance on expensive/resource scarce material, so I question how hungry the market would be for these batteries”
James Frith, energy storage analyst

There’s no proof yet that such a battery can be mass manufactured, and no technology right now can compete with nickel-cobalt batteries in terms of affordability and performance, said George Heppel, a battery metals analyst at CRU Group.

Part of the challenge is that platinum metals are much more expensive than cobalt and nickel. Early research also shows that 0.5 to 1 ounce of platinum or palladium could be used in the new technology, as much as six times the amount of metal currently used in traditional autocatalysts, said Jones of Platinum Group Metals.

While electric-car sales are already rising, platinum consumption in the auto sector remained fairly robust in recent years amid stricter emissions rules, and the industry has boosted palladium usage, helping push prices to a record. Total demand may rise about 18% for platinum through 2030 and 12% for palladium, according to Noah Capital Markets Ltd.

If platinum metals demand does slow, that would be especially bad news for South Africa, where 75% of all platinum and 40% of palladium are mined. The industry contributes about 96 billion rand ($6.3 billion) to exports from the nation, which is teetering on the brink of a second recession in successive years.

Miners’ support for new battery technology will likely grow, but more industry collaboration is needed to promote demand for metal, Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said. The company is also working with Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp. to look at ways to use platinum metals in more environmentally friendly ways.

Creating a new battery using platinum metals “would be massively positive for the industry,” said Rene Hochreiter, an analyst at Noah Capital. But “it’s still early stages,” he said.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Nickel West contributes just a fraction to BHP’s profit, accounting for just $42 million of underlying earnings in the December half-year, compared with $3.5 billion from its iron ore unit.

After years on the block, BHP declared its nickel business core in May on the back of promising demand expectations from the electric vehicle industry.

For higher Australian nickel volumes, BHP has been investing in exploration in new areas and around existing mines

BHP, like its peers, is ploughing more investment into large-scale growth. However, it is no small feat for the world’s biggest miner to create a top-tier, low-cost business that can make an impact on its bottom line, according to analysts and investors. “The electrification of transport is certainly shaping our long-run view of nickel as an attractive commodity,” Haegel told the Diggers and Dealers mining conference in Western Australia.

For higher Australian nickel volumes, BHP has been investing in exploration in new areas and around existing mines, as well as in debottlenecking for its Mt Keith concentrator, Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter, and Kwinana refinery.

“These pathways have the potential to create a BHP-scale business,” Haegel said, according to a copy of his speech. BHP has boosted its nickel reserves by 77% to 1.5 million tonnes this year, and has secured a 13,000 kilometre exploration area in Western Australia, roughly the size of Qatar, along the state’s southern coast.

BHP Group plans to start production of nickel sulphate in the second quarter of next year, as it ramps up sales of its nickel products to the battery industry, Haegel said on Friday.

As more EVs take to the road in coming years, each of them will carry higher nickel volumes, as makers transition to larger batteries and nickel-rich technology to allow for longer distances, taking market share from other battery types, Haegel said.

Demand for the raw materials for EVs is expected to boom, although lithium miners have faced a rocky time this year after a supply glut hammered prices.

A 60kilowatt hour nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC811) battery needs 9kg of cobalt, 11kg of lithium and 70kg of nickel, he said.

“Clearly, these changes will drive a significant increase in global nickel demand, but not just yet … We do not expect to see a meaningful impact on the nickel market from batteries until the mid – late 2020s,” he said.


Monday, August 5, 2019

Even though biomining is already a reality on Earth, with 15% of the planet’s copper and 5% of the gold extracted using this method, researchers Luis Zea and Jesse Colangelo want to investigate the performance of the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis for the extraction of iron from lunar, Martian and asteroid regolith simulant under simulated reduced-gravity conditions.

Biomining in space could make it possible to build space stations or deep space probes in space itself, without the need for expensive launches of completed, heavy payloads from Earth

In a media brief, Zea and Colangelo explained that biomining is a process where mined materials are placed in vats with water and specialized bacteria that extract the desired metals from the surrounding rock.

In Zea’s view, conducting this type of activity in space could benefit Earth both financially and environmentally.

“In space, there are virtually limitless amounts of some of the 44 endangered elements that could face supply limitations here in the future,” the scientist said and put as an example asteroid 16 Psyche, which is located between Mars and Jupiter and is estimated to contain $700 quintillion worth of nickel, iron and precious metals. NASA is planning to explore it in 2022.

The scholar also suggested biomining in space has the potential to allow for Earth to be reserved exclusively for living, while all heavy industry and mining could be conducted entirely outside the blue planet.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

According to Mining News Pro – The Pastos Grandes lithium project has a life of 40 years and targeted production of 24,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year. It carries an after tax net present value (8% discount) of $1.03 billion and an internal rate of return after taxes will be 24.2%. The estimated total capex is $448.2 million and the operating cost is $3,388 per tonne of lithium carbonate produced. The operation will rely on solar evaporation technology and conventional lithium brine processing.

A pilot plan is currently being assembled on site.


Saturday, July 27, 2019


Blending of the dirty concentrates, or material with high levels of impurities like hazardous arsenic, with cleaner concentrates, make it fit for shipment to China, the world’s biggest importer of copper concentrates. China’s legal import limit is arsenic under 0.5% in copper concentrates.

Glencore has set up this blending facility because of an increase in the amount of dirty concentrates available in the market.

The new blending facility is surprising as countries like Malaysia and Taiwan are creating new regulations to protect their environment

A Glencore spokesman declined to comment.

The dirty concentrates containing high amounts of arsenic and other impurties were coming from mines in Chile and Peru, said one of the sources.

The new blending facility is surprising as countries like Malaysia and Taiwan are creating new regulations to protect their environment, a second source said.

Complex concentrates, partially treated ore that contains 0.5% or more arsenic, cannot be processed by most smelters in the world for safety reasons and need to be blended first before they can be processed into refined metal.

Glencore has opened the new plant as treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) are at multi-year lows due to the tight availability of concentrates and an expansion of Chinese copper smelters competing for material.

“If you get higher levels of impurity it will tighten demand for better grades of concentrates. That would be a (downward) pressure on TC/RCs,” said Nick Snowdon, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in London. “If the pool of standard grade concentrate is shrinking that would be a pressure on TC/RCs. It reduces the pool of standard grade concentrate that smelters can access.”

Sellers pay TC/RCs to smelters to convert concentrate into refined metal and typically favour the clean, standard grade material.

The latest spot processing rates assessed by Asian Metal slumped this week to as low as $54 a tonne, or 5.4 cents per pound, the lowest since November 2012, amid rising competition for concentrates.

China’s copper smelters slashed third quarter TC/RC floor by 24.7% to $55 per tonne or 5.5 cents per pound.

For the first half of 2019 China’s copper concentrates imports rose 10.5% from a year earlier to 10.55 million tonnes, reflecting growing smelter capacity in China.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

According to Mining News Pro – Under the terms of the agreement between the state-owned companies, Alrosa will get a 70% controlling stake for the development of greenfield projects while ZCDC will get the remaining 30%.

Official information states that Russian specialists have been working in Zimbabwe for more than three months now

Starting in the fall of 2019, the JV will focus on geological exploration of greenfield deposits. Once there are some results from these initial activities, the miners will consider cooperating in diamond mining and independent sale of rough diamonds in external markets.

In a media statement, Alrosa and ZCDC said the joint venture will be able to work not only with the licenses ZCDC has today, particularly those in the Chimanimani region, but also in the entire country. “In case a new prospective area is discovered, the company will contact directly the Zimbabwe Ministry of Mines and Mining Development requesting a new license for this area,” the press release reads.

In December 2018, Alrosa established an affiliated company in the African country, Alrosa (Zimbabwe) Limited, for the implementation of projects in mineral prospecting, exploration and mining operations with a view to creating joint diamond-mining and other mining enterprises.



Monday, July 22, 2019

According to Mining News Pro – The Jaguar mine, around 250 km north of Kalgoorlie, was first brought into production in 2007, with, Round Oak, through CopperChem, purchasing the mine, including the existing power station, in 2018. The operations consist of underground mines and processing facilities producing copper and zinc concentrates for export.

Under the new contract, KPS will acquire the existing 12.9 MW power station (10.5 MW gas and 2.4 MW diesel) from Round Oak for a price of A$2.5 million ($1.7 million) and immediately assume responsibility for operation of the power station. Within five months of acquiring the power station, KPS intends to complete a range of optimisation and enhancement work to improve fuel efficiency to an agreed target range, optimise control systems and reach agreed KPI’s for station reliability, it said.

The contract is expected to commence following settlement in August and will run for an initial term of four years, with Round Oak having an option to extend for a further term.

James Cullen, Managing Director of the power generation specialist, said: “We are grateful for the confidence that Round Oak has placed in KPS to take over full responsibility for power supply to the Jaguar site. The key driver for Round Oak awarding the contract to KPS was to realise operating efficiencies and the KPS team looks forward to showcasing its knowhow in gas and diesel fuelled technology to deliver on this.”


Saturday, July 20, 2019

China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co. is among companies interested in the assets, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Deliberations are at an early stage, and ERG could decide against a sale, they said.

    Valuing the assets is difficult because of political risks in the region and volatile metal prices

Bidders could value the company’s assets at $3 billion to $4 billion while the seller may be seeking $7 billion to $8 billion, the people said. Valuing the assets is difficult because of political risks in the region and volatile metal prices, among other reasons, they said.

A representative for ERG declined to comment. China Nonferrous couldn’t be reached for comment.

ERG, which mines copper and cobalt in DRC, has been reviewing its investments and has already sold assets valued at about $1 billion, according to its website. The company is a major producer of cobalt, a material used in rechargeable batteries powering iPhones and Tesla cars, though it’s had to grapple with a supply glut and declining prices. Congo produced 72% of the world’s supply of cobalt last year.

The firm is also developing large-scale investment projects in Central Asia and Africa with the Chinese government as part of the New Silk Road initiative, according to its website.

China Nonferrous operates in more than 80 countries and regions globally. It produces so-called nonferrous metals, which contain little or no iron, such as copper, lead and gold. The company also invests in mining projects in Zambia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand and DRC, according to its website.