Banro halts gold mine in Congo due to violence, shares collapse

By analyst By Cecilia Jamasmie Shares in Canadian gold miner Banro Corporation (TSX:BAA) (NYSE MKT:BAA) were getting hammered Monday after the company revealed it had to suspend operations and temporarily evacuate employees at its Namoya gold mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo due to violence. The Toronto-based miner said the measures were taken after learning that 23 trucks belonging to a contractor of the mine were caught in crossfire between soldiers and a local self-defence militia near the town of Lulimba. Twenty-three trucks belonging to a contractor of Namoya mine were caught in crossfire between soldiers and a local self-defence militia. While drivers of those vehicles are safe, militiamen have not yet cleared the release of the trucks, the company said. The company’s shares suffered with the news, falling more than 13% to 6.26 cents in New York at 10:50AM ET. The Toronto Exchange was closed Monday, in lieu … Continue reading

Gold near 7-week-low after having its first monthly decline this year in June

By analyst By Cecilia Jamasmie Gold began July on weak footing, falling Monday to the lowest level since mid-May as a rebound of the dollar and European stock markets weakened demand for safe havens. August gold on Comex dropped as much as 0.8% to $1,231.90 an ounce in early US trading. The contract settled Friday at $1,242.30, leaving it down around 2.6% for the month of June, the precious metal first monthly decline of the year. Speculation that global central banks may soon raise interest rates has also been weighing on bullion, which last month broke its best winning streak since 2010. “The safe-haven buying that had pushed gold to an eight-month high earlier [last] month has slowly petered out, with risk-appetite improving in recent days,” according to a note from Australia’s ANZ Bank. Silver was also down Monday, trading 1.3% down to $16.415 an ounce. The post Gold near … Continue reading

Clean coal could trump renewables bill in Australia

By analyst By Cecilia Jamasmie A high-efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal-fired station would cost less than the almost A$3 billion (roughly $2.3bn) of subsidies handed out for renewable projects each year, a study published Monday argues. According to the report released by the Minerals Council of Australia and COAL21 Fund — a nest egg owned by local coal producers —, the sum required to build a 1000MW ultra-supercritical (USC) coal-power plant is A$2.2bn. The figure, based on data compiled by power and energy sector specialists GHD and Solstice Development Services, not only is lower than the total subsidies for renewables, but it would generate the cheapest electricity on the market, the study says. Source: BAE Economics for Minerals Council of Australia. A HELE coal plant would produce electricity at $40-$78 per megawatt hour, compared with gas at $69-$115/MWh and solar at $90-$171. That means, according to the study, that clean-coal … Continue reading

MIT researchers produce copper without harmful byproducts

By analyst By Andrew Topf Removing the copper (and other metals like zinc, lead and molybdenum) typically found in sulphide ores involves a process of burning the minerals to remove the sulphur, which produces sulphur dioxide- a dangerous chemical that is converted to sulphuric acid. Now a team of MIT researchers in the United States has shown that they can separate pure copper and other trace elements from sulphur-based minerals using molten electrolysis. Under the process, an electric current is passed through a molten substance, which produces a chemical reaction that separates the materials without producing toxic byproducts such as sulphur dioxide. “It is a one-step process, directly just decompose the sulfide to copper and sulfur. Other previous methods are multiple steps”: post-doctoral researcher Sulata Sahu By forming liquid copper metal and sulphur gas from an electrolyte composed of barium sulphide, lanthanum sulphide and copper sulfide, they were able to … Continue reading

Top 3 coal countries produced 6% more coal from January to May

By analyst By Andrew Topf Just when you thought coal was out, the fossil fuel appears to be back on the burner. In a sharp reversal of 2016, the world’s biggest coal producers – China, the U.S and India – are mining more coal, despite efforts by the 2015 Paris climate accord to rein in carbon dioxide and other emissions believed to cause global warming. President Donald Trump recently announced he is pulling the U.S. out of the agreement. The Associated Press reports that coal production through May is up by at least 121 million tonnes for the top 3 coal producers – a 6% increase from the same period last year. The most dramatic rise is in the United States, where coal mining rose 19% in the first five months of the year. Says AP: The reasons for this year’s turnaround include policy shifts in China, changes in U.S. … Continue reading

Emmerson to open first new gold mine in Northern Territory in a decade

By analyst By Andrew Topf Australia’s Northern Territory will soon be producing gold again thanks to Emmerson Resources (ASX:ERM), which is advancing the Edna Beryl gold mine. On June 23 Emmerson announced that the NT government granted final approvals for mine production to begin – which is a milestone for the Northern Territory where no gold has been produced for 10 years. The Old Pirate mine in the Tanami Desert operated for just one year before closing in February 2016. “The commencement of production at Edna Beryl is a pivotal step since Emmerson began exploration in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field in 2008”: Emmerson’s managing director Rob Bills The mine is being developed in cooperation with the NT government, which is conducting a feasibility study into establishing a mill at Tennant Creek, which could lead to the mine’s expansion. The first 600 tonnes of development ore averaged grades of 40 … Continue reading

Monster material movers

By analyst By Andrew Topf When mining companies need to move a lot of material they turn to some of the biggest equipment in the business. Bucket wheel excavators, spreaders and large-belt conveyors are capable of moving up to 240,000 cubic metres of overburden a day in some of the biggest open-pit mines in the world. thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG is a leading manufacture of continuous mining systems – where material is cut from the mining face and loaded onto conveyor belts in a continuous operation rather than having to work several headings at once. The Essen, Germany-based company makes bucket wheel excavators, beltwagons, tripper cars, spreaders, and in-put crushing equipment (mobile ore semi-mobile crushers), all connected to conveyors that move overburden onto waste piles or crushed rock onto the next phase of processing. With a history spanning 200 years, thyssenkrupp is a deeply rooted European conglomerate, with fingers in … Continue reading