November Newsletter – 06.11.18


Behre Dolbear is sponsoring 121 Mining Investment Conference, please come to meet our team at etc.venues County Hall, London Belvedere Road London SE1 7PB.

Behre Dolbear is sponsoring Mines and Money Conference, please come to meet our team at stand C7, 26-29th November at Business Design Centre Ltd,, 52 Upper St, London N1 0QH .


Vale and Emirates Steel sign major deal

Brazil’s mining giant Vale (NYSE:VALE), the world’s No.1 iron ore and nickel producer, signed a four-year contract with Emirates Steel, the largest steel producer in the United Arab Emirates, to supply iron ore pellets for the Arabian company’s steel production in Abu Dhabi.

Such production requires inputs of around 6 million tonnes of iron ore pellets per year, which Vale can easily supply thanks to the plants the company owns both in its home country and in Oman.

“The agreement with Vale comes in line with Emirates Steel strategy, which aims to secure flexible source of iron ore at competitive, stable and long-term prices,” said Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel, in a media statement. “This new partnership plays a vital role to further strengthening the growth of our steel production in Abu Dhabi, as well as realizing our vision of being a world class steel manufacturer,” he added.

Emirates Steel, which belongs to the state-owned, umbrella firm Senaat, started a relationship with Vale back in 2007, given that it was carrying out $3 billion expansion. The goal of that expansion was to be able to start producing at a capacity of 3.5 million MTPA, something that would require a massive input that Vale, who generates 366 million tonnes of iron ore per year, was certainly able to provide.

Japan’s Mitsui may sell stake in Australia thermal coal mine

TOKYO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Japanese trading firm Mitsui & Co Ltd may sell its stake in an Australia thermal coal mine in the face of growing pressure to divest coal assets amid mounting concerns over climate change, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

“We’ve made it clear that we won’t invest in new thermal coal mining projects,” Mitsui President and Chief Executive Officer Tatsuo Yasunaga told analysts.

For Mitsui, Bengalla in Australia is the only coal mine it owns a stake in which produces only thermal coal, a company spokesman said. Mitsui owns 10 percent in the mine.

The trading company has said it would trim its thermal coal assets in the long term amid growing pressure worldwide for companies to cut reliance on the fossil fuel, but would continue to invest in coking coal – a key raw material for steel-making.

Yasunaga said its thermal coal output from its shareholding may not fall immediately as its Mozambique’s Moatize coking coal project is ramping up and producing thermal coal as a byproduct.

Its annual coal output, including coking coal, from its shareholding is expected to rise to 14 million tonnes in the year to March 2019, up from 12.8 million tonnes a year earlier, but the figure is projected to fall to 11 million tonnes the following year, according to its document for investors.

Rival Marubeni Corp said in September that it would halve its net coal-fired power generating capacity by 2030 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.


Australian Mines shares soar after partnering with Indian firm to produce key battery metal

Shares in Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) closed 25 percent higher on Friday in Sydney after the company announced it had partnered with an Indian firm to evaluate the use of scandium in next-generation battery storage technology.

The Perth-based miner said its planned collaboration with India’s Amrita Centre for Research and Development’s Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Green Technologies acknowledges the company as a “leader in scandium research”.

This is the second major R&D collaboration this year to examine the use of scandium in next-generation battery storage technology from the company’s flagship Sconi project in Queensland.

It is the second major research and development alliance to examine the use of scandium from the company’s Sconi cobalt-nickel project in Queensland, which also contains the soft, silvery metallic element that is the target of the joint study.

In May, the metal explorer announced its association with UK-based Metalysis. They are currently studying a process to more efficiently produce aluminium-scandium alloys for use in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Australian Mines says scandium-magnesium alloys are being considered as a high-performance alternative for the next generation of nickel metal hydride batteries.


Electric car demand fuelling rise in child labour in DR Congo – campaigners

DAKAR, Nov 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Demand for electric vehicles is fuelling a rise in child labour in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, experts said this week, urging companies to take action as the industry expands.

Cobalt is a key component in batteries for electric cars, phones and laptops, and Congo provides more than half of global supply.

Tens of thousands of children as young as six dig for the toxic substance in artisanal mines in the country’s southeast, without protective clothing, rights groups say.

As companies move to secure their supply of cobalt, they should also make a push to improve transparency and labour rights, said U.S.-based advocacy group Enough Project.


BHP to Return $10.4 Billion to Shareholders

Mining giant, feeling pressure from hedge fund Elliott, completes oil-field selloff

SYDNEY—BHP Billiton Ltd. said it would hand $10.4 billion to shareholders via a stock buyback and special dividend, as the miner continues to face a campaign against its strategy and structure by activist investor Elliott Management Corp.

The capital return was outlined by BHP, the world’s biggest mining company by market value, within hours of completing the sale of most of its U.S. onshore shale division to BP PLC. The sale of the oil and gas fields was among the demands of Elliott, a U.S. hedge fund founded by Paul Singer, and ends a costly saga that left the company roughly $20 billion worse off.

BHP’s Australia-listed shares surged on news of the buyback and dividend, rising around 5% after touching a near six-month low in late October as the mining sector felt the heat from the global equities selloff. Analysts said the stock gains reflected an earlier payout to shareholders than many in the market had expected.

Kazakhstan Drops 20-Year Dollar Addiction With First Euro Bond

  • Week-long roadshow began Monday for sale of 10-year notes
  • Euro issuance from emerging markets has picked up this year

Kazakhstan is joining a raft of emerging-market borrowers rushing to sell bonds in euros as the gap widens between interest rates in Europe and the U.S.

After favoring dollar debt sales over the past two decades, Central Asia’s biggest energy producer is switching currencies as the European Central Bank vows not to tighten borrowing costs until at least next summer. The Finance Ministry began a week-long roadshow on Monday for a benchmark-sized 10-year note, according to a person familiar who asked not to be identified because the information is private.


How to find mineral deposits at the edges of ancient continents

Researchers from The University of Western Australia, Université Laval and McGill University applied a first-of-its-kind technique that measures the long-term life cycle of sulphur, which helps explain the preferential location of high-value mineral deposits at the edges of ancient continents.

In a paper published in Nature Communications, the scientists explain how they charted the life cycle of sulphur over hundreds of millions of years, from its origins as a volcanic gas emitted into the primordial atmosphere and oceans, and all the way throughout its journey across the earth’s deep crust.

Sulphur is the primary molecule necessary to transport and concentrate precious metals such as gold and platinum. Most of the largest and richest deposits of precious metals are generally associated with large concentrations of sulphur-rich minerals.

“By understanding how and where sulphur is stored researchers can make predictions about the location of mineral deposits,” said Marco Fiorentini, from UWA’s School of Earth Sciences. “Just as a medical dye may be used to unveil the intricate pathways of the inner human body, we have developed a technique to illuminate the cryptic pathway of sulphur through the crust of our planet more than two billion years ago.”

In order to prove their experiment in the field, the research team built a strategic alliance to engage with several industry partners.


Western Uranium & Vanadium to re-open the Sunday Mine Complex

As a way of raising awareness and interest in the mining industry among junior high and high school students in Nova Scotia, Canada, a provincial industry group is offering over C$8,000 in cash prizes to kids with some basic video skills.

The Mining ROCKS! contest, now in its fifth year, hopes to inspire children to learn about the industry, get creative and win big, Sean Kirby, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS) said in an emailed statement.

The popular competition is offering C$1,000 to each winner in five different categories, with C$500 going to the runner-up.