Gold is an asset traditionally viewed as a good long-term investment and in times of economic turmoil, such as that caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, investors tend to rush to the “safe haven” asset. However, when the turmoil passes, the interest in gold tends to wane as riskier assets once more regain their appeal. In this issue, we ask: is gold forever doomed to this cycle of boom and bust, and could the future see it supplanted as the safe haven of choice?
Also, South Africa’s state-owned ports and rail operator, TransNet, experienced disruptions at the start of 2021 owing to the impact of Cyclone Eloise on its lines. With Transnet also responsible for transporting mining commodities out of the country, its troubles could be a case study in future threats to the mining supply chain.
Elsewhere, Illegal gold mining in the Amazon is a well-known practice, but a recent image shared by NASA shows the vast destruction of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon, and has highlighted the impacts of unregulated mining. With social media enabling such images to be shared far and wide, could powerful imagery play a key role in protecting the world’s most vulnerable environments? We speak to the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), which has meticulously tracked and mapped illegal mining in the Amazon, to see if this could be the time for imagery to make a difference.
In this issue
Boom and bust: is gold trapped in a cycle?
Despite its reputation as the ideal safe haven asset, gold has an unstable streak, often rising and falling in value in direct contrast to broader economic performance. JP Casey asks: what causes this unique relationship, and what does it mean for gold in the long-term?
Covid-19 majorly disrupted mining supply chains – was it a taste of things to come?
South Africa’s state-owned ports and rail operator, Transnet, experienced disruptions at the start of 2021 owing to the impact of Cyclone Eloise on its lines. With Transnet also responsible for transporting mining commodities out of the country, Matthew Hall looks at the increasingly common threats to the mining supply chain.
A view from above: could satellite imagery help in the fight against illegal gold mining?
Illegal gold mining in the Amazon is a well-known practice, but a recent image shared by NASA shows the vast destruction of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon and the highlighted impacts of unregulated mining. Yoana Cholteeva explores the work of the Monitoring of the Amazon Project and its meticulous mapping of illegal mining in the Amazon to see if this could be the time for satellite imagery to make a difference.
A new dawn: could a start-up mentality change Madagascan mining?
As the mining industry shifts, new minerals and jurisdictions come to the fore, and graphite mining in Madagascar is one such area receiving new attention. JP Casey asks: with a chequered past of foreign investment in its mining sector, could a start-up mentality help usher in a new dawn for Madagascan mining?
Can a green revolution reinvigorate the UK steel industry?
UK think tank Common Wealth has put out proposals to make the UK a leader in green steel, warning that the UK cannot deliver on net-zero ambitions without greening the steel sector. Matthew Hall looks at the proposals and explores whether the UK’s flagging steel industry might have a green future.
School of (space) rock: first academic degree in space mining launches
The Colorado School of Mines, currently the only academic institution in the US to offer an advanced degree in space resources, has unveiled a new space-focused undergraduate minors degree. Yoana Cholteeva explores the details around this venture and how the mineworkers of the future will be trained for a career among the stars.
Preview – MINE Magazine June 2021
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris is investing in the country’s gold ambitions, following changes to mining regulations passed last year. Altus Strategies’ subsidiary Akh Gold, majority owned by Sawiris, has signed four contracts to explore nine blocks located in the country’s eastern desert. We take a look at Egypt’s gold sector and what the regulatory changes may mean for it.
Also in the next issue, with attention increasingly being paid to space-based resources, we explore the geopolitical dimension of space mining. In addition, we ask whether the UN European division’s “online toolkit” to better educate miners and mine operators about the dangers of tailings mismanagement may be well-meaning, but ultimately ineffective.
Plus, we investigate BHP and Vale’s SAMARCO reopening, dive into the links between unregulated mining operations and terrorist groups, and examine the efficacy of satellite monitoring in curtailing illegal mining.