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Philippines Ban on Mining: the Environment vs. the People

The past Environment and Natural Resources Minister of the Philippines, Regina Lopez, imposed various policies, which upset many mining groups, most notably the ban on open-pit mining. This ban, imposed in April, was part of an anti-pollution campaign and only affects upcoming projects, not any mines currently in operation. The new minister, Roy Cimatu, has been feeling pressures from pro-mining groups to lift this ban, and adjust others. There were major mining plans in the future for the country, which is one of the world’s largest nickel ore suppliers. The plans for two copper-gold projects were valued over $7bn alone, giving...

Cobalt Forecasts looking Hot

Cobalt, a key component of batteries in electric vehicles, has seen a price spike of 83 percent this year. Forecasts suggest that demand will double in the next decade, as many countries pledge to switch their drivers to greener vehicles. Cobalt is produced as a by-product of nickel or copper, and more than half of the global supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Production has fallen here because of the unstable political situation; many companies have reported wanting to diverge from having their cobalt supplied from the DRC, after reports of mines using child labour. This is causing...

21st Century Gold Rush – Why the Yukon may still be the Jackpot

Based on some recent miner investments, its looks as though there is a gold rush occurring in the Canadian territory of the Yukon. Large mining companies – Goldcorp Inc., Newmont Mining Corp., and Barrick Gold Corp. have all invested over 600 million USD in the Yukon since 2016. Miners are finding gold in rivers, and gravel beds; although the deposits are not large enough to make it to production, there are still original deposits that have potential to be discovered. Goldcorp has located a hydrothermal gold deposit, just south of Dawson City, and Agnico Eagle has invested in a similar...

Minor Metals are looking Hot on the Charts

With rechargeable-batteries gaining much attention, so are its ingredients. Cobalt has gained 83% on the market this year alone, while ruthenium – used in electronics, has gained 63%. Vanadium, which is used in energy-storage batteries, has jumped 67% since July of this year, 89% since last year, according to data from the Metal Bulletin. Supply and demand issues are what drive the boosts in these metal prices, suggesting an increased need to recover these metals from existing batteries and electronics - or find alternative sources....

Bismuth – The Non-Toxic Alternative for Next-Generation Solar Cells

Bismuth, currently dubbed the “green element” is gaining attention for its use in low-cost solar cells. It is thought that bismuth can replace lead in solar cells, replicating the exceptional properties, without the toxicity concerns. A collaboration of researchers from Cambridge, MIT, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Colorado School of Mines in the US have shown that bismuth-based devices can be just as tolerant to defects as their lead-based counterparts, and can be produced using common industrial techniques. This research is in preliminary stages, but suggests a bright future for bismuth in the world of metal mining and recovery....

No Mining in the Amazon – Brazil Court Suspends Government Decree

A Brazilian court has suspended a government decree to open commercial mining in a large natural reserve in the Amazon. This reserve is in the eastern Amazon, spanning 46 000 sq km. It is home to indigenous tribes, and thought to be rich in gold, manganese, and other minerals. There are other protected areas in the Amazon, the Biological Reserve of Maicuru and the Para State forest, which are also thought to be rich in gold, and desired for mining to boost the region’s economy. Environmentalists, activists, and celebrities all have created an outcry about the motion to mine this...

U.S. Government to Invest $17.4M in projects to Recover Rare Earth Elements from Coal

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is reportedly onto the second phase of four projects based on recovery of rare earth elements from coal and coal by-products. The DOE is going to invest $17.4 million in testing and development of rare earth element recovery systems. This commitment to environmentally benign and cost-effective approaches to metal recovery shows its significance in today’s world and shines a light on other metal recovery technologies, and their importance....

White Pine Copper Refinery Produces Copper from Stamp Sand for Environmental Clean-up

White Pine Copper Refinery (WPCR) has announced their plans to produce copper cathode from previously unused sources of copper. These sources include new raw material sources, and stamp sands in the Keweenaw, around Gay, MI. Their plans to use the existing EMEW facility of 720 cells, is estimated to produce upwards of 3,000,000 lbs. of copper cathode annually. Not only is this project is very important environmentally – utilizing the Keweenaw sands as a valuable resource for copper, it will also have a positive impact on the local economy by creating up to 15 new jobs in White Pine....

Metals Market Boom

Prices of copper, aluminum, and zinc are all at multi-year highs. With global industrial and technological growth, there is a clear demand for many raw materials, and it is reflected in the high stock prices of these metals. Copper and aluminum have both hit the highest they’ve been in nearly three years, just within the last week; and zinc is at the highest it’s been in a decade. This increasing trend in the stock market shows potential to drive the demand for not only mining, but recycling and recovery of these metals as well....

Anglo American is placing a contrarian bet on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Anglo American (AAL.L) is moving against the grain when it comes to predictions about precious metal demand for the future. While many major mining companies, like Glencore (GLEN.L) and Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) are focusing on the precious metals of lithium-ion batteries, Anglo American seems to stay headstrong in their production of platinum.There is a large push for low-emission transport vehicles in North America, Europe, and China, which suggests a decreased demand for platinum, largely used in diesel vehicles. Against this trend, CEO of Anglo American, Mark Cutifani, believes that both platinum and palladium will play major roles in hybrid...