Tag Archives: Mining

With a $ 1 Billion Monthly Surplus, US Gold Trading Is Rocking Wild 2020 | Instant News


US gold exports outstripped imports by more than $ 1 billion in February, an increasingly rare occurrence, according to the latest available government data.

It seems that American precious metal traders who were rocked by Covid-19 in the spring of 2020 are increasingly confident about the US economy now.

But what a great 2020 trip it would be.

In 2020, the value of US gold imports tripled from their 2019 total and more than doubled the 2016 record. Overall US gold trade – exports and imports – reached a record $ 55.24 billion.

What impact will that $ 34.68 billion total import have on in 2020?

This led to the first trade deficit in the gold trade since 2003, the year gold imports exceeded exports by $ 227.15 million. That’s ridiculous compared to the 2020 deficit, which was $ 14.12 billion, about 60 times bigger.

All those deficits came in just five months, March to July, when the Covid-19 pandemic, confusion and polarization spread. That includes a peak in May, when the United States imported $ 8.77 billion worth of gold to keep up with demand from US buyers flocking to safe gold deals. The deficit that month alone was $ 7.35 billion.

The United States traditionally imports less gold, generally in raw form and is often mined in Mexico, Canada, Colombia or elsewhere in Latin America, than does it export, which is generally refined before being flown to Switzerland, Britain, or elsewhere.

But the difference in the value of exports and imports, especially in recent years, has rarely reached $ 1 billion a month. Prior to February, it had only happened twice in the last 30 months.

What makes 2020 unusual is that the gold imports are not raw gold mined in Latin America but refined gold originating from Switzerland. In five of the last seven years, the percentage of gold imports entering the United States from Switzerland has ranged between 2.23% and 3.15%. Two more years to reach 20%. In 2020, Switzerland accounted for 42.90% of all gold imported to the United States.

While Miami International Airport has traditionally been a major entry point for gold, given its position as a Latin American trading hub, its market share in 2020 shrank to 9%. New York’s JFK International Airport ballooned by 74%. Occasionally, during the month, it is the country’s main trading gateway, in front of the traditional No. Los Angeles Harbor. 1 and more than 450 airports, seaports and border crossings.

Fast forward to February 2020. With a surplus of $ 1 billion, MIA returned to the top, although barely, with imports of $ 276 million compared to $ 270 million for JFK. Switzerland, which accounted for 43% of the total in 2020, fell to 4.5% in February. Mexico, Canada and Colombia account for 53% of all imports.

The biggest buyer? India, now locked in a fierce battle with Covid-19, has increased from 2.7% of the value of US gold exports to 12% while the United Arab Emirates has risen from 0.45% to 9%. UK and Switzerland each contributed 31% in February, down 22% and up 2% respectively.

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The Shakhersk coal port broke records for a single shipment of coal | Instant News








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The Shakhtersk coal port, the logistics asset of the East Mining Company, has become the first port in the Sakhalin region to receive the largest 300 m vessel and the first in the history of the Russian Federation to make a record one-time shipment. coal in volume 188,119 t. *

At the Shakhtersk coal port, the loading of the largest capesize MINERAL YANG FAN bulk carrier with a dead weight of 206,000 DWT has been completed. MINERAL YANG FAN boarded ship 188,119 t of coal mined at Solntsevsky coal mine and headed to Indian port. The mass carrier MINERAL YANG FAN sails under the flag of the Marshall Islands. The ship is 300 m long and 50 m wide. Ships of this class are only capable of handling dedicated deep sea terminals.

“Congratulations to the entire port team for the double record. We took over the largest ship on Sakhalin and set a new Russian shipping record. This is a great experience for our team, who managed to tackle bulk carrier loading, and very good results at the start of the navigation season, “said Anatoly Balakin, Executive Director of the Shakhtersk coal port.

The port production capacity and roadstead coal transhipment method used at the Shakhtersk coal port allow handling of ships with dead weights of up to 300,000 t. Loading is carried out via the GENOVA floating loading terminal. Handling of ships on the roadstead minimizes the impact of coal in the port waters, and also reduces the environmental impact on the environment in the port area.

* Previously, in the Russian Federation, the largest coal shipment by volume of 166,800 t was carried out at the port of Vanino in 2019.

Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/29042021/coal-seaport-of-shakhersk-breaks-record-for-single-shipment-of-coal/



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Germany will take advantage of the ‘white gold’ of the Rhine when its carmakers switch to electric cars | Instant News


With regard to the rapidly increasing demand from Germany’s electric vehicle industry, electric and mining companies alike are seeking to bring lithium to the surface trapped in the underground’s boiling hot springs thousands of meters below the Rhine River.

Straddling an area 300 kilometers long and up to 40 kilometers wide, the Upper Rhine Valley in the Black Forest region of southwest Germany holds enough lithium for more than 400 million electric cars, geologists estimate, making it one of the largest deposits in the world.

This could reduce the dependence of the German auto industry – which is also located in the region – on imported lithium, and preliminary talks are underway with carmakers.

But skeptics question the economy and are also troubled by the possibility of local opposition, which could be more intense in densely populated Europe than in remote Australia or the deserts of South America that have been a source of lithium supplies to date.

Undeterred, German-Australian startup Vulcan Energy Resources said it could deliver carbon-neutral lithium, based on extraction using geothermal energy utilized by up to five power plants it plans to build.

German utility Energie Baden Wuerttemberg AG (EnBW) already has a geothermal power plant, and is exploring whether lithium could be a profitable byproduct.

“The lithium deposits we are talking about here are very large, and the properties are ideal for our goal of producing high quality lithium on a large industrial scale in Germany,” said co-founder of Vulcan Energy Resources, Horst Kreuter.

The company plans to invest € 1.7 billion (¥ 224 billion), which has raised around € 75 million so far, to build a geothermal power plant and facilities for extracting lithium.

He said he could extract 15,000 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year at two locations by 2024. And then, in the second phase from 2025 onwards, he is targeting production of 40,000 metric tonnes per year at up to three additional sites.

Kreuter said he was already in talks with cathode and battery manufacturers, as well as the auto industry.

A geothermal power plant run by German power supplier Energie Baden Wuerttemberg AG in the German city of Bruchsal. | REUTERS

He has strong support from Hancock Prospecting, led by Chief Executive Gina Rinehart – one of Australia’s leading investors.

In an emailed statement, Hancock Prospecting said it was focused on a lithium project with “the potential to produce high quality products at competitive costs” and supported Vulcan in the development of its pilot plant.

As a necessary battery material for a low-carbon economy, lithium is often referred to as white gold.

But the economy has a checkered history. Projects are often behind schedule and prices are unstable, depending on congestion and oversupply.

Prices are soaring this year as demand from the electric vehicle sector starts to exceed supply.

Kreuter expects lithium to maintain prices at least at current levels. “We are calculating internally at a market price of $ 13,000 per tonne of lithium hydroxide by 2025,” Kreuter said, adding that extraction costs in Germany would be “well below” that level, without being more specific.

The European Union relies on electric vehicles to help it meet its climate goals. Last year, the company added lithium to its list of critical raw materials, and laid out a plan to secure supplies to support a green recovery.

The European Commission, the EU executive, predicts Europe will need up to 18 times more lithium by 2030 than it does now, and 60 times as much by 2050.

So far, most of the lithium has been imported from the area of ​​South America known as the lithium triangle, where it is produced by evaporation from salars, or salt flats.

Australian hard rock lithium relies on energy-intensive processes to extract it, in addition to the cost of carbon to ship it around the world.

Katharina Gerber, product manager for Vulcan Energy Resources, works on geothermal water samples in the town of Eggenstein near Karlsruhe, Germany.  |  REUTERS
Katharina Gerber, product manager for Vulcan Energy Resources, works on geothermal water samples in the town of Eggenstein near Karlsruhe, Germany. | REUTERS

In Europe, Portugal is the largest producer of lithium, but its miners sell almost exclusively to the ceramics industry and are only preparing to produce the higher grade lithium required for batteries.

Because of the relationship in Germany between lithium production and geothermal energy, proponents say this is guaranteed to be an environmentally friendly solution – although geothermal energy has its detractors too.

Geothermal drilling in 2007 caused the underground gypsum layer to swell as far as houses were lifted and damaged in Staufen, a picturesque village in the Black Forest.

Thomas Koelbel, geothermal energy expert at utility EnBW – which plans to extract lithium at an existing plant in the city of Bruchsal, also in the Black Forest – said the company was doing all it could to prevent local opposition.

“We have shown with our factory in Bruchsal that there is no additional noise to burden the neighbors. There are no emissions at all, “he said.

EnBW estimates that 900 metric tons of lithium can be obtained annually at the Bruchsal site. They hope to produce lithium for testing purposes from prototypes around the end of this year, and make the final decision on the project’s viability by 2024.

Even so, some investors remain reluctant because of doubts about how quickly commercial scale lithium extraction from hot water can be developed in Europe.

“If you look at the Vulcan project development plan, it might be said to be a bit new. Even investing in conventional lithium projects over the last few years has not been easy, “said analyst Reg Spencer of Canaccord Genuity in Sydney.

But the prospect of offsetting the costs of producing lithium from geothermal energy sales could make “production of lithium very low cost,” he said.

The auto industry is also interested, but not relying on it.

A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz AG, part of Daimler AG, said the company is in preliminary talks and will reassess the situation as soon as Vulcan analyzes the first exploration material and can provide a reliable estimate of the volume of deliveries.

A BMW spokesman said the company was monitoring developments in the global lithium market and did not rule out buying German lithium if the quality, delivery volume, social and environmental standards were in line.

All parties acknowledge that substantial volume deliveries take time.

Michael Schmidt of the German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA) said that if expectations for production in three to four years are met, it would be a good time to help ease supply bottlenecks expected to be around the middle of this decade.

He predicts that in the years to 2024, domestic demand for lithium will increase to 9,000 metric tonnes per year in the slow-launch scenario of electronic mobility and to 32,000 metric tonnes per year in the fast scenario.

Germany imported around 5,300 metric tons last year.

“Every tonne of lithium that Germany doesn’t need to import from abroad is better for the industry,” Schmidt said.

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UPDATE 1-Cemig Brasil plans IPO of gas distribution, sale of Alianca shares | Instant News


(New throughout, adding information across company divestment plans, stock reactions)

SAO PAULO, April 28 (Reuters) – Brazilian power company Cemig is planning an initial public offering of a gas distribution unit and a wave of divestments, executives said on Wednesday, and the company’s shares rose more than 4% after the news.

During an online investor event, executives said they planned to sell about 9 billion reais ($ 1.66 billion) in assets by 2025, including company stakes in the large hydroelectric dams of Belo Monte and Santo Antonio.

As part of the divestment, the company, officially Cia Energetica de Minas Gerais SA, also plans to sell its stake in Alianca Energia, a joint power plant venture with Brazilian mining company Vale SA, executives said.

Cemig is the public electricity company of Minas Gerais, Brazil’s second most populous state.

The shares of the Sao Paulo-listed company rose 4.4% in midday trade, the second-biggest winner on Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa equity index.

Earlier in the event, Minas Gerais Governor Romeu Zema reiterated his intention to privatize the company, saying he wanted it finished by the end of his term in 2022.

“I want the company to be privatized during my tenure,” said Zema. “Maybe not to sell it outright, but to receive an injection of (private) capital and thereby weaken the state, which always intervenes inappropriately, thus losing controlling stake and stopping hurting Cemig.” (Reporting by Luciano Costa; Written by Gram Slattery; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Gregorio)

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Analysis: Can Rhine white gold support German green e-car racing? | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – In light of the rapidly increasing demand from the German electric vehicle industry, electric and mining companies are working to bring lithium to the surface trapped in the underground springs of boiling hot springs thousands of meters below the Rhine.

Geothermal water is seen through a sight mirror in the pipeline system of German electricity supplier EnBW Energie Baden Wuerttemberg AG, where a pilot facility for lithium extraction will be built, in Bruchsal, Germany, 23 April 2021. REUTERS / Ralph Orlowski

Straddling an area 300 kilometers (186.41 miles) long and up to 40 kilometers wide, the Upper Rhine Valley in the Black Forest region of southwest Germany holds enough lithium for more than 400 million electric cars, geologists estimate, making it one of the world’s largest deposits. .

This could reduce the dependence of the German auto industry, which is also in southwestern Germany, on imported lithium and preliminary talks are underway with carmakers.

But skeptics question the economy and are also troubled by the possibility of local opposition, which could be more intense in populated Europe than in remote Australia or the deserts of South America that have been a source of lithium supplies to date.

Undeterred, German-Australian startup Vulcan Energy Resources said it could deliver carbon-neutral lithium, based on extraction using geothermal energy utilized by up to five power plants it plans to build.

German utility EnBW already has a geothermal power plant and is exploring whether lithium could be a profitable byproduct.

“The lithium deposits we are talking about here are very large and the properties are ideal for our goal of producing high quality lithium on a large industrial scale in Germany,” Vulcan Energy Resources co-founder Horst Kreuter told Reuters.

The company plans to invest 1.7 billion euros ($ 2 billion), which has so far raised around 75 million euros, to build geothermal power plants and facilities to extract lithium.

He said he could extract 15,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year at two sites by 2024 and then, in the second phase from 2025 onwards, he was targeting production of 40,000 tonnes per year at up to three additional locations.

Kreuter said he was already in talks with cathode and battery manufacturers, as well as the auto industry.

He has strong support from Hancock Prospecting, led by Chief Executive Gina Rinehart, one of Australia’s leading investors.

In an emailed statement, Hancock Prospecting said it was focused on a lithium project with “the potential to produce high quality products at competitive costs” and supported Vulcan in the development of its pilot plant.

WHITE GOLD

As a necessary battery material for a low-carbon economy, lithium is often referred to as white gold.

But the economy has a checkered history. Projects are often behind schedule and prices are unstable, depending on congestion and oversupply.

Prices are soaring this year as demand from the electric vehicle sector starts to exceed supply.

Kreuter expects lithium to maintain prices at least at current levels.

“We are calculating internally at a market price of $ 13,000 per tonne of lithium hydroxide by 2025,” said Kreuter, adding that extraction costs in Germany would be “well below” that level, without being more specific.

The European Union relies on electric vehicles to help it meet its climate goals. Last year, the company added lithium to its list of critical raw materials and laid out a plan to secure supplies to support a green recovery.

The European Commission, the EU executive, predicts Europe will need up to 18 times more lithium by 2030 than it does now and 60 times as much by 2050.

So far, most of the lithium has been imported from an area of ​​South America known as the lithium triangle, which is produced by evaporation from salt, or salt flats.

Australian hard rock lithium relies on energy-intensive processes to extract it, in addition to the cost of carbon to ship it around the world.

In Europe, Portugal is the largest producer of lithium, but its miners sell almost exclusively to the ceramics industry and are only preparing to produce the higher grade lithium required for batteries.

GEOTHERMAL

Because of the relationship in Germany between lithium production and geothermal energy, proponents say this is guaranteed to be an environmentally friendly solution, even though geothermal energy has its detractors.

Geothermal drilling in 2007 caused the underground gypsum layer to swell as far as houses were lifted and damaged in Staufen, a picturesque village in the Black Forest.

Thomas Koelbel, geothermal energy expert at utility EnBW, which plans to extract lithium at an existing plant in the city of Bruchsal, also in the Black Forest area, said the company was doing all it could to prevent local opposition.

“We have shown with our factory in Bruchsal that there is no additional noise to burden the neighbors. There are no emissions at all, “he said.

EnBW estimates that 900 tonnes of lithium can be obtained per year at the Bruchsal site. They hope to produce lithium for testing purposes from prototypes around the end of the year and make the final decisions on project viability by 2024.

THE CAR INDUSTRY SHOWS EARLY INTEREST

Some investors are reluctant because of doubts about how quickly commercial scale lithium extraction from hot water can be developed in Europe.

“If you look at the Vulcan project development plan, it might be said to be a bit new. Even investing in conventional lithium projects over the last few years has not been easy, “said analyst Reg Spencer of Canaccord Genuity in Sydney.

But the prospect of offsetting the costs of producing lithium from geothermal energy sales could make “production of lithium very low cost,” he said.

The auto industry is also interested, but not relying on it.

A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz AG, part of Daimler AG, said the company is in preliminary talks and will reassess the situation as soon as Vulcan analyzes the first exploration material and can provide a reliable estimate of the volume of deliveries.

A BMW spokesman said the company was monitoring developments in the global lithium market and did not rule out buying German lithium if the quality, delivery volume, social and environmental standards were in line.

All parties understand that shipping substantial volumes takes time.

Michael Schmidt of the German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA) said that if expectations for production in three to four years are met, it would be a good time to help ease supply bottlenecks expected to be around the middle of this decade.

He predicts that by 2024, domestic demand for lithium will increase to 9,000 tonnes per year in the slow-launch scenario of electronic mobility and to 32,000 tonnes per year in the fast scenario.

Germany imported about 5,300 tonnes last year.

“Every tonne of lithium that Germany doesn’t need to import from abroad is better for the industry,” Schmidt said.

($ 1 = 0.8278 euros)

Reporting by Michael Nienaber in Berlin; Additional reporting by Jan Strupczewski in Brussels, Ilona Wissenbach in Frankfurt, Christina Amann in Munich, Annkathrin Weis in Karlsruhe and Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Edited by Barbara Lewis

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