Gold leads the top tweeted terms in the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

 1. Gold – 1,712 mentions

Evolution Mining deploying software to improve efficiency at Mungari mine, drilling activities at Radius Gold’s gold projects, and Gold Fields’ H1 performance and 2021 guidance were some of the popular discussions around gold in Q3.

The ASIA Miner, a bimonthly magazine, shared an article on software company Aspen Technology’s Mtell software being installed at Australian gold miner Evolution Mining’s Mungari gold operations located in Kalgoorlie, Australia. The Mtell software can minimise downtime and enhance performance at the Mungari plant. The software was first tested offline on various equipment at the mine before being deployed online. It uses both historical and real-time operational and maintenance data to spot signs of failure. The software can also forecast future failures and provide solutions to address such failures.

In another tweet, a mining and exploration news website shared an article detailing the development updates related to gold projects of Radius Gold, a gold and silver exploration company. Radius Gold is currently carrying out drilling at the projects. Two projects, Holly and Banderas, are being developed in joint venture with Canadian mining company Volcanic Gold Mines in Guatemala. Radius is also developing the Amalia project in a joint venture with Canadian mining company Pan American Silver in Mexico. Amalia is a high-grade gold and silver epithermal system. Drilling is expected to start soon at the three prospects.

Gold was also discussed by Mining News, a news website focused on capital markets, in an article on gold miner Gold Fields’ 2021 guidance. Gold Fields made a profit of $387m despite the Covid-19 pandemic in six months to 30 June, which was more than double the $156m made during the same period last year. The company also produced 1.1 million ounces (Moz) of gold-equivalent during the first half (H1) of the year. The article highlighted that the company’s 2021 guidance of producing more than 2Moz a year over the next ten years remains intact despite disruptions caused by the pandemic.

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2. Silver – 1,265 mentions

Americas Gold and Silver’s plans to suspend operations at Relief Canyon, drilling results from Alianza Minerals’ project in Yukon, and scoping study commenced by Silver Mines at the Bowdens Silver project were some of the discussions around silver in the third quarter.

Engineering & Mining Journal, a trade journal for mining and mineral processing professionals, shared an article on mining company Americas Gold and Silver’s plans to suspend operations at the Relief Canyon mine located in Nevada, US. Americas Gold completed the commissioning works at the mine but continues to face metallurgical challenges. The company has undertaken various review operations including simplification of flowsheet but failed to boost metallurgical recovery rate. Americas Gold plans to instead focus on prioritising capital for the restart of the Cosalá operations located in Mexico.

The Gold Report, a website providing investment-related news on precious metals and minerals, shared an article about mineral exploration company Alianza Minerals announcing a 1.26m silver intersection at the Haldane project in Yukon, Canada. The company previously encountered a 1.78m high-grade intercept at the project in January this year. The high-grade intersections indicate the potential of the project, according to Rob Duncan, VP Exploration at Alianza. The company also has other projects apart from Haldane including Twin Canyon in Colorado, and Tim Silver in Yukon. It is looking for a joint venture partner for exploration at the two projects.

EIN Presswire, a press release distribution service, shared an article on a scoping study commissioned by mining company Silver Mines for the Bowdens Silver project situated in New South Wales, Australia. The study will assess the mineral resources at the project and examine the potential for underground development. Silver Mines’ successful drilling activities at the project encountered 4m at 890g/t silver from 311m and 2m at 1,825g/t from 313m.

3. Lithium – 217 mentions

The debate over permitting lithium mines in Nevada, US, Rosatom’s plans to invest in lithium mines in Siberia, and Native American tribes seeking to block Thacker Pass lithium mine were some of the discussions around lithium in Q3 2021.

Joe Lowry, president at Global Lithium, a lithium advisory services provider, shared an article about how the ongoing debate over whether to permit lithium mines in Nevada can have greater implications on climate change. Lithium is a critical metal used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles, which are key to reducing global carbon emissions. The production of lithium in the US is low with the Silver Peak mine being the only operating lithium mine in the country. The proposed Thacker Pass lithium mine is critical for the US as the country is expected to become one of the largest consumers of lithium in the next ten years. The mine can become a domestic source of lithium and also address the global climate change issues, the article highlighted.

In another tweet on lithium, Russian nuclear power company Rosatom announced plans to invest 50 billion Russian rubles ($800m) in various lithium mines located in Serbia, according to an article shared by Engineering & Mining Journal. Mines in Russia are expected to produce 50,000 tonnes of lithium a year, of which 10% will be delivered by Rosatom to the global market annually. Rosatom is expected to invest in lithium mines located in the Murmansk Oblast and Irkutsk Oblast. The company is also planning to acquire interest in foreign deposits in South America, particularly in Argentina and Chile.

Another discussion on lithium was shared by Ernest Scheyder, a journalist, on native American tribes filing an injunction with a US federal court to block the development of Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass lithium mine. The tribes claim that the site has bones of their ancestors, which should not be disturbed, and that federal regulators did not consult with them before approving the project. Thacker Pass is expected to become one of the largest producers of lithium, an essential metal used in electric vehicle batteries. The ruling on the injunction is expected early next year.

4. Coal – 147 mentions

Eskom signing a coal supply agreement with Arnot, First Nations’ plan to oppose coal mine rulings, and female professionals holding core mining positions at Canyon Coal were among the topics discussed on Twitter in Q3.

World Coal Magazine, a magazine focused on the coal industry, shared an article on power supply company Eskom signing a coal supply agreement with Arnot Opco, a coal mining company. Arnot will supply coal for the Arnot Power Station located in Mpumalanga, South Africa, for six years, under the agreement. The supply agreement enables Eskom to decrease the expenses related to the power station by procuring high-quality coal supply at low prices. It will also generate jobs for workers of the Arnot mine as well as the community of Middleburg.

In another tweet, a mining magazine shared an article on indigenous group First Nations’ plan to oppose coal-mine rulings that excluded consultations with them. The Vista thermal coal mine expansion was approved by federal environmental minister Jonathan Wilkinson in June 2020. The decision was opposed by the Ermineskin Cree Nation stating that the minister failed to consult the nation before making his decision. The approval of the Vista project went against the aboriginal and treaty rights of the community, according to Carol Wildcat, the director of the industrial relations department for the Ermineskin Cree Nation.

Vuslat Bayoglu, managing director at MENAR, an investment company, shared an article on women professionals holding key positions at Canyon Coal, a coal exploration and mining company. Canyon Coal has 79 female employees as of the end of May 2021, who account for 26.5% of the company’s workforce. Out of the 79 employees, 28 are working in core mining positions and 23 are working in support service positions. Females held various positions such as excavators, dozers, and graders, stated the article.

5. Nickel – 113 mentions

A strike at Vale’s Sudbury nickel and copper operations coming to an end, Sibanye-Stillwater’s plans to acquire Eramet’s Sandouville nickel processing facilities, and Nickel West complex being powered by solar power were some of the popular discussions surrounding nickel in Q3.

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum (CIM), a not-for-profit technical society of professionals in the Canadian mining and metals industry, shared an article on the end of a two-month strike at Vale’s Sudbury nickel and copper operations in Ontario, Canada. The strike ended following a five-year collective agreement with the United Steelworkers 6500 labour union. The agreement includes an increase in employee wages along with other benefits and health coverage.

Kitco NEWS, a mining news website, shared an article on gold mining company Sibanye-Stillwater’s plans to acquire France-based mining group Eramet’s Sandouville nickel hydrometallurgical processing facility for €65m ($75.5m). The Sandouville facility has an annual production capacity of 12,000t of nickel metal, 4,000t of nickel salts, and 600t of cobalt chloride. The facility has access to shipping, rail and road motorways, which will help Sibanye-Stillwater build a battery metals operation in Europe.

Nickel was also discussed in an article shared by The ASIA Miner on the construction of solar farms and a battery storage system to power the Nickel West complex operated by mining company BHP in Western Australia. The solar and battery storage system will be owned and operated by electricity power generator TransAlta and will help in decreasing electricity emissions. The project will include a 27.4MW solar installation at Mt. Keith and a 10.7MW battery at Leinster. It will reduce 540,000t of CO2-equivalent in the first decade of operation by reducing emissions from diesel and gas turbine generators at the complex. The project, however, is yet to be approved by the state of Western Australia.