Category Archives: Mineral Processing

Raw ore ban rocks Indonesia – legal battles continue

After two years of discussion and deliberation, Indonesia’s controversial ban on raw ore exports finally came into effect in January – although in a slightly watered-down form. A long-standing fear in the ore industry was that the ban would immediately apply to any minerals that fall short of 100% purity. At the 11th hour, however, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono agreed to a “compromise” allowing certain concentrates to continue to be exported until 2017. The analysis from Norton Rose Fulbright is as follows.

Not satisfied, Indonesia’s Mineral Entrepreneurs Association immediately filed a challenge to the Constitutional Court. And some of Indonesia’s bigger ore miners, who have concession rights under contracts with the government, are now threatening to launch arbitration proceedings for breach of contract. They say the government is intervening in their ability to export raw ore, which is a basic contractual right.

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China’s Baosteel, Minmetals turn to Kyrgyzstan for coal – sources

SYDNEY, March 4 (Reuters) – China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel (Baosteel) and Minmetals Development are near deals to buy at least half a million tonnes of coal a year from an Australian firm operating in Kyrgyzstan, sources said.

The bid by the industrial conglomerates to get coal from China’s western neighbor comes amid efforts to curb the burning of the resource in and around the capital Beijing, where air quality has left the city shrouded in a noxious haze at times.

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Norilsk Nickel Seen Best-Placed as Ukraine Crisis Unfolds

OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company, may be the least affected among its peers by the Ukraine crisis because of its dominant position in global nickel and palladium supplies and financial strength.

Norilsk’s position is fortified by its 17 percent share of worldwide nickel output and 41 percent of palladium, Dmitry Kolomytsyn, a Moscow-based analyst at Morgan Stanley, said by phone. The metals are priced in dollars, which reached a record high against the ruble today.

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Indonesia trade in deficit on mineral export ban

Indonesia swung to a trade deficit in January as a controversial government ban on mineral ore shipments by Southeast Asia’s biggest economy crimped overall exports, data showed Monday.

The January deficit of $431 million compared to a $1.5 billion surplus in December, the official Statistics Agency said.

“The 5.75 percent drop in exports is due to the annual pattern and the coming into effect of the mineral law,” said Adi Lumaksono, a senior official at the agency.

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Nickel market bets the bank on Indonesian ore ban

Feb 28 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s January ban on the export of nickel ore is, according to French nickel producer Eramet, “good news and will eventually support nickel prices”.

Eramet Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Buffet’s view, expressed in the company’s annual results release, that the ban “is a positive step towards restoring market balance” pretty much sums up the consensus view of the market.

After all, the January halt to flows of nickel ore to China’s giant nickel pig iron (NPI) sector puts at risk an estimated 482,000 tonnes, or around 25 percent of global supply, according to estimates by analysts at Macquarie Bank. (“Indonesian Ore Ban – a Q&A”, Jan. 14, 2014)

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World’s largest wealth fund to review mining investments in 2014

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s $840 billion (502 billion pounds) oil fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, will this year review the sustainability of its investments in the mining sector after selling out of 27 gold and coal miners in 2013, its chief told Reuters on Friday.

The fund is a major shareholder in some of the world’s largest mining companies, including BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Glencore Xstrata.

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Zim mining conference addresses mineral processing issues

Zimbabwe mining companies, the government and industry experts are thrashing out their differences over local mineral processing at a two-day conference in Harare.

Zimbabwe is the world’s third largest platinum producer, and the fourth largest diamond producer.

But it’s losing millions of dollars every year when minerals leave its borders for processing in Europe and South Africa.

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Indonesia may ease taxes on concentrate exports

Freeport and Newmont have refused to pay the export tax as they say it is in breach of their work contracts with the government. Both are engaged in talks with officials to resolve the impasse, although Freeport is reportedly planning to build a smelter within three years, according to the Jakarta Post.

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Rare Earth Recycling Takes On New Luster

Rare earth mining companies aren’t exactly setting the investment world on fire, but for that same reason, prepare to hear about more electronics andautomotive manufacturers seeking ways to “mine” these and other precious metals out of end-of-life or discarded products—everything from mobile phones to wind turbines to spent batteries.

One notable example is Honda’s move last year with Japan Metals & Chemicals (JMC) to start reusing rare earth substances in used nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in new ones—after announcing its intention to do so in 2012. The automaker is using molten salt electrolysis to pull the materials out of an oxide extracted from the batteries: removing about 80 percent of what’s in the original. Those substances are being supplied to a battery maker, which is using them for negative electrode materials in hybrid vehicle batteries.

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Building Indonesia smelter doesn’t make sense – Newmont CEO

Newmont Mining Corp. said constructing a smelter in Indonesia, a measure being pushed by the country as it tries to eliminate the export of unrefined metal, doesn’t make economic sense.

“Because of the supply of smelting capacity in places like China, the economics of running a smelter just aren’t there,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg said yesterday.

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