December Newsletter – 02.12.19


The Asia Mining Club Pre-Christmas Drinks will be held at MAK MAK in Hong Kong (Central) on Thursday 12th December. Behre Dolbear is a Sponsor of the Asia Mining Club.


  • Mines and Money: global award winners
  • RANKED: Top 10 copper mining projects in the world
  • Gold is the new obsession for East Europe’s nationalist leaders
  • The World’s Biggest Battery Recycler Is Helping Fuel The Future of Cars
  • EU to witness fastest growth in indirect demand for battery metals — report
  • South Australia government invites explorers to trawl Gawler Craton exploration data
  • Codelco to cut spending by $8bn through 2028 as profit halves
  • Greenfields Exploration seeks partners for ‘virtual’ exploration


Mines and Money: global award winners

The 17th Outstanding Achievement Awards and Gala Dinner attracted 500 industry leaders from all corners of the mining investment world.

Global heavyweights rubbed shoulders with the European mining investment community and enjoyed a glittering evening of entertainment.

The awards were judged by industry experts, including speakers from previous events plus the Mines and Money Advisory Board.

The evening celebrated 17 awards including CEO of the year; Mining Company of the year; Life time achievement and most inspirational woman in mining, full list of winners below.

Mines and Money Awards for Outstanding Achievement 2018 – Winners

Young Rising Star in Mining – Lucy Crane, Cornish Lithium

Exploration Discovery Award Mining – Adriatic Metals

Broker of the Year – Sprott

Charles Kernot Mining Analyst of the Year – Susan Bates, Morgan Stanley

Special Commendation: Richard Hatch, Berenberg

zaFund Manager of the Year – David Baker & Mark Burridge, Baker Steel Capital Managers

Alternative Finance Provider of the Year – Anglo Pacific and Orion Mining Finance

Unsung Hero – Natascha Viljoen, Anglo American and Dr Chris Broadbent, Wardell Armstrong International

Showcase Mine of the Year – Syama Mine, Resolute Mining

Special Commendation: Ying Mine, Silvercorp

Technology Innovator of the Year – Michelle Ash

Innovation in Sustainability – Hochschild

Special Commendation: Newmont

CEO of the Year – Emerging Mining Company Paul Cronin, Adriatic Metals

Best Small/Mid Cap Deal – Atlantic Gold buyout by St. Barbara Gold

Mining Company of the Year – Anglo American

Best Large-Cap Deal – Nevada Gold JV with Newmont Goldcorp

Mining CEO of the Year – Mark Cutifani, Anglo American

Most Inspirational Woman in mining – Elaine Dorward-King

Lifetime Achievement Award – Philip Pascall


RANKED: Top 10 copper mining projects in the world

Frik Els

According to the US Geological Survey to date, roughly 700 million tonnes tons of copper have been produced around the world.

This would fit into a cube measuring about 430 meters on a side and at today’s price would be worth more than $4 trillion. Around 21 million tonnes of copper is mined each year.

The USGS estimates identified deposits contain an estimated 2.1 billion tonnes of copper with porphyry deposits accounting for 1.8 billion tonnes. That brings the total amount of discovered copper to 2.8 billion tonnes. This would fit into a cube measuring 680 meters on a side.

Of the identified copper that has yet to be taken out of the ground, about 65% is found in just five countries: Chile, Australia, Peru, Mexico, and the United States.

MINING.COM and sister company MiningIntelligence compiled a list of the the top 10 largest copper deposits currently under development and ranked them according to Proven and Probable Reserves, a measure of economically mineable ore occurring in the mineral deposit.

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Gold is the new obsession for East Europe’s nationalist leaders

Gold is all that nationalist leaders in Europe’s east can talk about these days.

Just this week, Poland’s government touted its economic might after completing the repatriation of 100 t of the metal. Over in Hungary, anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been ramping up holdings of the safe-haven asset to boost the security of his reserves.

The gold rush mirrors steps by Russia and China to diversify reserves exceeding $3-trillion away from the dollar amid flaring geopolitical tensions with the US. Motivations in Europe’s ex-communist wing, however, can vary.

Take the latest example. Former Slovak Premier Robert Fico, who has a real shot at returning to power, urges parliament to compel the central bank into bringing home gold stocks stored in the UK.

The World’s Biggest Battery Recycler Is Helping Fuel The Future of Cars

Bloomberg News

  • China’s GEM supplies battery materials to auto giants like VW
  • The company’s ‘green dream’ has its roots in metals recycling

The former university professor leading one of the firms most crucial to the future of transport has a warning for anyone eyeing his patch.

“I want to tell everyone who wants to enter this market: don’t do it, you are wasting your money,” said Xu Kaihua, chairman of Chinese battery metals maker GEM Co. “Only the top five will survive.”

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The firm Xu founded in Shenzhen in 2001 has adopted an expansive business model that’s made it central to supply chains stretching from the cobalt and nickel mines of Africa and Southeast Asia to the motors of Volkswagen and BMW cars. GEM’s diverse footprint includes a plant in Indonesia that will allow it to avoid that nation’s export ban on nickel, a key raw material. And, the company is already the world’s biggest recycler of metals from used batteries.

The strategy has established GEM in a small band of Chinese firms including Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. and Jinchuan Group Co. whose relatively low profile belies their collective significance to the future of energy use. GEM makes the kind of high-purity chemicals derived from nickel, cobalt and lithium that will be required in massive quantities over the next decade as the world’s automakers electrify their fleets.

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EU to witness fastest growth in indirect demand for battery metals — report

In a new industry trend analysis, Fitch Solutions lays out the base, bullish and bear case demand trends for EV battery metals over the coming years in Europe, the US and China.

Leveraging its existing electric vehicle (EV) forecasts, Fitch created a new set of assumptions on EV sales, dividing geographic demand for battery metals into direct demand, which refers to demand from any country/region where battery manufacturing takes place domestically and indirect demand, which refers to demand from country/regions where EV sales may stoke demand for batteries containing key metals that are produced elsewhere.


Fitch maintains that China will remain the key driver of direct EV metals demand across base and bear scenarios on the back of ambitious EV production objectives and government support, but says growth in this regard will tail off from 2025 onwards as automakers’ production targets come to an end.

From the findings, Fitch analysts estimate indirect demand growth for cobalt, nickel and lithium will be the strongest across the EU under the bullish scenario, which is underpinned by favourable policy assumptions.


South Australia government invites explorers to trawl Gawler Craton exploration data

The South Australia Government is to host a A$250,000 ($169,397) crowd-sourced open data competition to fast-track the discovery of mineral deposits in the state.

Called ‘ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge’, it will see the government partner with open innovation platform, Unearthed, in a worldwide call for geologists and data scientists to uncover new exploration targets in the state’s Gawler Craton region.

Using the Geological Survey of South Australia’s historical records, primary data and research, the competition combines geological expertise with new mathematical, machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase the number of potential drill targets across central South Australia, Unearthed said.

South Australia Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said: “This state-of-the-art competition has the potential to unearth the next Olympic Dam or Carrapateena by encouraging global thinkers and innovators to interrogate our open-file data and generate new exploration models and ideas for targeting.

“Mining is one of the pillars of the South Australian economy and this competition should add to the pipeline of projects in the resources and minerals processing sector.”


Codelco to cut spending by $8bn through 2028 as profit halves

Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, will scale back its ambitious $40 billion, 10-year plan aimed at upgrading aging mines after reporting on Friday a 57% drop in pre-tax earnings to September due to a combination of factors including heavy rains, a long-dragged strike at its Chuquicamata mine and lower metal prices.

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The company, which may lose its crown as the No.1 copper producer due to citizen uprising threatening Chile’s economy, said it would cut spending through 2028 by $8 billion, or 20%.


Codelco, which turns over all its profits to the state, will also have to find a way to generate $1 billion more a year in gross earnings from 2021 onwards. The company is expected to provide the government with most of the funds needed to fulfill a long list of spending demands to quell ongoing protests.

“We are in a crucial moment in our history,” chief executive officer, Octavio Araneda, said in a statement. “Our obligation is to transform ourselves in order to continue contributing to the progress of Chile for at least 50 years more.”


Greenfields Exploration seeks partners for ‘virtual’ exploration

Unlisted Greenfields Exploration is planning a “virtual field campaign” after a successful field season in Greenland this year.

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Noting the easiest place to operate would always be “at home with our dogs at our feet”, the company has launched a “virtual field campaign” by acquiring nearly 60 tonnes of samples from the defunct Greenlandic national exploration company.

The company will reanalyse the samples using modern methods.

“The samples were collected since at least the early 1990s and are effectively irreplaceable in terms of time and money,” Greenfields managing director Dr Jon Bell said.

“Many of the samples were analysed using technology that is now outdated, and at a time when the term ‘battery metals’ would have been met with a blank stare.

“By obtaining the actual samples in addition to the original data, we’re able to reanalyse as part of a virtual field campaign where we can investigate areas of interest with no expenditure requirements or time limits.


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