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With an iron fist: new issue of MINE Magazine out now

25 Mar 2021 (Last Updated March 25th, 2021 17:15)

In this issue: China looks further afield for iron ore, tracing mining's carbon emissions with blockchain, existential challenges for the mining industry, and more.

With an iron fist: new issue of MINE Magazine out now

In this issue, China has a seemingly endless hunger for iron ore but the country’s relationship with one of its primary providers, Australia, has been tenuous following the political fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. China is now investing in other nations to meet this hunger, a shift that could significantly shift the wider iron ore market. 

Also, despite mining’s historically high production and profitability, it faces a number of existential threats following the Covid-19 pandemic. From dwindling resources to spiralling expenses, we consider some of the big picture challenges for the mining industry.

Elsewhere, Woodhouse Colliery is set to be the UK’s first new deep coal mine in 30 years following a contentious approval process. The UK government decided not to block the mine’s approval despite the project seemingly contradicting the country’s climate commitments, with the UK business secretary admitting there is “tension” between the mine’s approval and the government’s pledges to decarbonise the British economy. Can a new coal mine fit into the nation’s decarbonisation plans?

Whether you are on a desktop, tablet or smartphone, you can read the magazine for free online, and join the conversation on Twitter.

In this issue 

Tracing mining’s carbon emissions with blockchain

The World Economic Forum’s Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative hopes to accelerate responsible sourcing in the industry by pooling resources and costs. Yoana Cholteeva takes a look at the project so far and finds out what’s next for the consortium.

Read more.

Toughness and technology: what can we learn from two decades of mine rescues?

The recent entrapment of 22 miners at China’s Hushan gold mine has shone a spotlight on mining disasters and rescues, of which there have been no shortage over the last 20 years. Scarlett Evans profiles some of the biggest innovations and changes to mining culture to come from such rescues.

Read more.

How China is moving beyond Australia for its iron ore hunger

China has a seemingly endless hunger for iron ore but the country’s relationship with one of its primary providers, Australia, has become tenuous following the political fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Matthew Hall takes a look at how China has been investing in other nations to meet this hunger and how it may affect the wider iron ore market.

Read more.

Mining, renewables, and gold high in the Andes with Aggreko

More than 4.5km above sea level, high in the Andes Mountains, Gold Fields operates the Salares Norte project. The gold mine lies 180km from the nearest town and airstrip, making site logistics challenging. Aggreko supplies the site’s power, using a hybrid of diesel generators and solar power. Matt Farmer speaks to Dagan Baroco, head of commercial at Aggreko Latin America, about bringing renewables to new heights.

Read more.

The tipping point: large-scale challenges for the mining industry

Despite mining’s historically high production and profitability, it faces a number of existential threats following the Covid-19 pandemic. From dwindling resources to spiralling expenses, JP Casey considers some of the big picture challenges for the mining industry.

Read more.

Vattenfall and Kaunis Iron team up for fossil-free mining

Swedish state-owned power company Vattenfall has announced a partnership with Kaunis Iron for the development of fossil-free and fully electrified iron ore mining operations at Kaunis’ Pajala site in northern Sweden. Scarlett Evans takes a closer look at the project, and Sweden’s overall energy landscape.

Read more.

Mapping rare earths projects outside China

China has long dominated the supply chain for rare earth elements that are vital for many 21st century technologies, from jet engines to electric vehicles and medical scanners. Yoana Cholteeva profiles the most prominent rare earth mining and processing projects outside the dominant market.

Read more.

Can a new deep coal mine be reconciled with the UK’s climate pledges?

Proposals for Woodhouse Colliery would see Cumbria, in the northwest of England, play host to the UK’s first new deep coal mine in 30 years. The planning process has been contentious and despite backing from the UK Government, the mine’s approval is being reviewed by the local authority in light of new advice from climate advisers. Matthew Hall takes a look at this project, and how it chimes with the UK’s decarbonisation pledges.

Read more.

Preview – MINE Magazine May 2021

Gold is one of those investments 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. We investigate whether gold is forever doomed to this cycle of boom and bust, and whether the future might see it supplanted as the safe haven of choice.

Also in this issue, we look at the dangers the mining supply chain faces and the process of getting product from the mine to the end user, as well as speaking to the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, 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.

Plus, we ask whether Tirupati’s Madagascan operations could help set a new precedent for responsible mining in the country, explore whether the UK’s flagging steel industry might have a green future, and dive into the first academic degree in space mining.