Scandium is generating interest as a potential breakthrough mineral, particularly in the aircraft industry where it can be alloyed with aluminium to increase strength and corrosion-resistance. Less than 20t of scandium is mined annually but is this set to change? Rod James reports.
The growth of Sweden’s heavy industrial base in the early part of the last century was founded on one of the most extensive and long established iron ore mining and metals smelting sectors in the world. Now, the government hopes that metals can play just as crucial a role in the development of a high tech ‘green’ economy. Nnamdi Anyadike examines the impetus being given to Sweden’s metals sector.
Simulation has become increasingly ubiquitous in mining, as operators look to capitalise on advances in modelling and training software. From product development to workflow management, to 3D visualisations of an entire complex operation, Abi Millar takes a look at some of today’s leading trends in mining simulation.
Stock prices in Stellar Diamonds, a UK diamond mining company, were on the rise after the announcement that mining licences for a new project called Tongo had been verbally approved this May. Despite shares falling consistently over the past year, the new Sierra Leone mine could be the boost the company needs, but will it last in a world that is seemingly losing its interest in diamonds?
In April Goldcorp suffered a major data breach. Hackers leaked a raft of sensitive internal documents and promised to reveal even more, including examples of “corporate racism, sexism and greed.” Rod James looks at the damage done and what mining companies have to do to keep their computer systems secure.
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Kenya hasn’t been a leader in African mining, with out-of-date laws and mining data meaning that the country missed out on mineral exploration. Things could be on the cusp of change with a new mining act bringing in more modern regulations, but can the country have the same mining success as its neighbours Tanzania and Uganda?
Rio Tinto has been forced to cut its iron ore production guidance after repeated software glitches delayed its AutoHaul driverless freight train programme in Western Australia. The company is facing possible problems with supplying all its clients, but could the delay inadvertently help the wider iron ore sector by balancing supply and demand and raising the price of iron ore?
Companies have been exploring Greenland for rare earth minerals for several years, and thanks to new legislation on uranium mining, they will soon be able to begin operations. Despite relying heavily on Denmark for many years, Greenland is set to be a big player in the rare earth industry, but is there any chance the country can break China’s domination in the sector?
Zambia has long been regarded as the safest place in sub-Saharan Africa in which to invest and operate. It seems set to remain so in the years ahead, despite the headwinds that currently beset mining in general, as well as problems specific to the country itself. Rod James reports.
The Queensland Government has approved mining leases for the highly controversial Carmichael coal mine project set to be constructed in the Galilee Basin, which has prompted huge protests about massive potential damage to the Great Barrier Reef and fragile surrounding habitats. Developers insist the huge economic potential outweighs the risks, but is the government doing enough to minimise the impact?