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Mine magazine November 2015

Interest in mining of sea beds is growing, but regulation of the world's oceans can be murky, and with massive marine ecosystems at risk of damage from mining operations, it is important that regulation and environmental strategies are established before exploration begins. We speak to the researchers studying the potential impacts of deep sea mining to help the industry get it right.

We also ask analysts whether tin, one of the poorest performing commodities of 2015, is likely to recover in the near future, take a look at the economics of extracting rare earth elements from waste coal ash, and explore the creative investment strategies of mining companies looking to diversify to beat the commodities downturn.

Plus, we speak to Johannesburg's Wits School of Mining Engineering about training future generations of mining engineers, and look back on the history of deep-pit mining in the UK, which is coming to an end with the closure of Kellingley Colliery in December.

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In this issue

The Slow Road to Recovery
Excess supply and slowing demand have conspired to make tin one of the poorest performing commodities of 2015, but is its future quite so bleak? Elly Earls finds out from IHS senior economist Frank Hoffman.
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From the Ashes: Unlocking Rare Earths
Interest in the potential of extracting rare earth elements from waste coal ash is growing, especially in the US. Rod James asks, can the process ever become economically viable, and would a new source help to re-balance the market?
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Getting it Right
As interest in deep sea mining grows it is important to assess the environmental impacts before any damage is done to marine habitats. Lindsay Dodgson speaks to the scientist working to help the industry develop a strategy.
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Milk and Marijuana: Beating the Downturn
With commodity prices showing little sign of recovery, many mining companies are investing in growth markets outside of their comfort zone. Chris Lo takes a look at their creative strategies for spreading risk.
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Training the Next Generation
Johannesburg's prestigious Wits School of Mining Engineering has been training engineers for decades. Lindsay Dodgson speaks to head of school Cuthbert Musingwini to discover how the university is evolving to best train the modern mining workforce.
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The End of an Era
The closure of the UK's Kellingley Colliery in December marks the end of deep-pit mining in the UK. Lindsay Dodgson charts the rise and demise of this once flourishing trade in the country.
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Next issue preview

Ontario-based innovation hub the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology has partnered with four companies to introduce new mining technologies to the facility's operating mine, which serves as a test-bed for new products. We take a look at the new technologies being trialled at the site.

As Anglo American continues with its strategy to offload loss-making platinum assets in South Africa, we review the latest deals and developments and ask how they could affect the country's mining industry. We also take a look at less environmentally damaging alternatives to cyanide processing, find out how Russian miner Mikhailovsky GOK's iron ore operations made the switch to digital with the help of Dassault Systèmes' platform, and ask how the US will tackle the problem of New Mexico's many abandoned mines posing a threat to the environment.

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