November Newsletter – 29.11.2021


Mines and money logo Behre Dolbear Newsletter 29.11.2021

Behre Dolbear will be attending Mines and Money, London on 1st and 2nd December 2021,at the Business Design Centre, London, N1 0QH.
Call 01233 650405 or email to arrange a meeting.


  • RANKED: World’s top 10 biggest mines by tonnes of ore mined
  • Spain rejects Berkeley Energia’s uranium plant
  • Signs of thaw in China’s ban on Australian coal
  • China’s coal prices plunge after govt signals more price regulation
  • Russia Mine Tragedy Deaths Jump Past 50, Include 6 Rescuers: Report
  • Serbia: Protesters block roads over new mining laws
  • Mitsubishi Materials to sell aluminum business to US fund
  • What is Rio Tinto mining’s CEO discussing in Mongolia?

RANKED: World’s top 10 biggest mines by tonnes of ore mined

Ore is every miner’s paydirt, and the more ore – a natural aggregation of one or more minerals that can be mined, processed, and sold at a profit – the bigger the paycheque.

The number of tonnes extracted from the earth in a day can be vast at the world’s largest mines. It is no coincidence that number one on the list is the world’s biggest copper mine, owned by the world’s biggest mining company, BHP.

The majors are the ones with the means to move the most ore, and all ten companies on our top ten list, compiled with data from our sister company Miningintelligence, are majors or mid-tiers, and eight out of ten on our list are on’s list of the world’s top 50 mining companies.

pic1 Behre Dolbear newsletter 29.11.2021

Spain rejects Berkeley Energia’s uranium plant

pic2 Behre Dolbear newsletter 29.11.2021

Development of the Salamanca project in 2016

Berkeley Energia (ASX, LON: BKY), the Australian company that has been trying for years to build Europe’s only open-cast uranium mine, was notified that its request to build a uranium concentrate plant at Retortillo had been denied by Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition.

The news came as no surprise, as back in July the country’s nuclear regulator CSN had already issued a binding ruling opposing the project on safety concerns.

According to the regulator, there was a lack of reliability and a high level of uncertainty over how radioactive waste would be stored at the facility.

At the time, Berkeley said it was extremely disappointed by the decision and would consider options to defend its interests.

Berkeley’s Retortillo project in the western region of Salamanca received preliminary approval in early 2013. Project development started in 2016 but since then, the miner has struggled to obtain all the necessary permits to begin construction.

Signs of thaw in China’s ban on Australian coal

Tokyo, Melbourne | Australian miners are increasingly optimistic they may be able to resume selling coal to China, after official data confirmed small volumes of Australian coal cleared the Asian superpower’s borders in October.

China imported 2.78 million tonnes of Australian coal in October, according to government data quoted by analysts and industry sources, which is the first official confirmation that Beijing is open to relaxing its year-long ban on one of Australia’s most valuable exports.

China’s coal prices plunge after govt signals more price regulation

China’s thermal coal futures dropped 5.6% on Monday after the state economic planner signalled further regulations for prices of the dirty power-generation fuel.

The most-active Zhengzhou thermal coal futures contract, for January delivery, was 819.6 yuan ($128.31) a tonne as of 0147 GMT. It has lost more than 142% from a peak of 1,982 yuan a tonne in mid-October following a slew of government interventions to tame the red-hot prices.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Monday that it has summoned key coal miners for advices on improving coal prices mechanism.

“After recent abnormal rise in coal prices, it is time to improve the coal prices mechanism,” said the NDRC in a statement, adding that all market participants have reached a consensus on the reasonable range of coal prices.

But it did not disclose any details of the price level.

The NDRC has organised several meetings with coal miners and distributors, as well as power firms and legal experts since late October, aiming to set a coal prices target.

Russia Mine Tragedy Deaths Jump Past 50, Include 6 Rescuers: Report

Moscow: A gas leak in a Siberian coal mine killed at least 52 people on Thursday, Russian news agencies said, including six rescuers who were sent down to try to bring out dozens of men in what was one of Russia’s worst mining disasters since Soviet times.

pic3 Behre Dolbear newsletter 29.11.2021

The regional Investigative Committee said three people, including the director of the Listvyazhnaya mine and his deputy, had been arrested on suspicion of violating industrial safety rules.

It said miners had suffocated when a ventilation shaft became filled with gas. State television said prosecutors believed there had been a methane explosion.

The dead comprised 11 miners already confirmed killed, 35 who had been reported missing, and the six rescue workers.

Dozens of people were treated in hospital, at least some of them for smoke inhalation. Four were in critical condition.

The coal-producing region of Kemerovo, roughly 3,500 km (2,200 miles) east of Moscow, has suffered fatal mining accidents for years.

Serbia: Protesters block roads over new mining laws

Scuffles broke out between protesters and police in Belgrade and Novi Sad while organizers said several activists had been detained. Activists argue new laws are damaging to the environment.

Hundreds of protesters blocked major roads and bridges in Serbia on Saturday as they rallied against new laws that green activists argue will give free rein to foreign mining companies, causing irreparable damage to the environment.

The Balkan country’s government has offered mineral resources to firms such as China’s Zijin copper miner and the Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto, sparking outrage among environmentalists who say the projects would pollute land and water.

Mitsubishi Materials to sell aluminum business to US fund

Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corp said on Thursday it will sell its aluminium business, used for beverage cans and automotive parts, to U.S. investment fund Apollo Global Management for an undisclosed sum.

Although the aluminium market is expected to grow globally, Mitsubishi Materials has decided to divest its aluminium business as it is difficult to find synergies with its other businesses such as copper products for electric vehicles and cement, it said in a statement.

As a result of the deal, the company will book a 29 billion yen ($251 million) loss as a restructuring charge in the January-March quarter, but the loss has been discounted in its full-year earnings forecast announced earlier this month, it said.

Mitsubishi Materials also said its stake in Indonesia’s copper smelter PT Smelting, its joint venture with PT Freeport Indonesia, will fall to 35% from 60.5% after an expansion of the smelter’s processing capacity.

What is Rio Tinto mining’s CEO discussing in Mongolia?

The last thing an executive of a billion-dollar company wants to hear is that a project will experience a delay. Following setbacks, which will result in production delays at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, the Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto, Jakob Stausholm has taken a trip to the country to meet with its Prime Minister, Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene.

The copper and gold mine began construction back in 2010 and is said to be one of the safest and most sustainable mines in the world, leveraging new technologies and mechanical equipment to carry out more efficient mining operations.

The trip to Mongolia was provoked by delays in the construction of the mine, which is proving costly for the business. Stausholm believes these delays are the result of geotechnical difficulties and COVID-19. These delays have caused issues among the Mongolian government and Turquoise Hill, the two main shareholders in the project.


Link for more detailed information

comm1 Behre Dolbear newsletter 29.11.2021comm2 Behre Dolbear newsletter 29.11.2021comm3 Behre Dolbear newsletter 29.11.2021