Tag Archives: Mining

Demand for Platinum Expected to Rise

Demand for platinum is expected to rise in 2019, as investment in the material will offset weaker demand from the automotive and industrial segments.

According to a report by the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC), global demand is expected to increase by 5 percent, to 7.7 million ounces, this year. The WPIC is predicting an increase in demand to 530 thousand, driven by strong demand for bars, coins and exchange traded fund holdings. This should offset predicted decline in other industries.

Despite the increase in demand, the WPIC predicts that global supply of platinum will actually increase 5 percent in 2019. This is largely due to a 6 percent increase in growth.

Scientists Create Alloy Using Nanoscale Diamonds

British scientists were successful in introducing nanoscale diamonds into aluminum, which will likely lead to the creation of new materials for the maritime industry.

According to reports, scientists at London’s Brunel and Tomsk State Universities used ultrasonic treatment to incorporate nanoscale diamonds into an aluminum melt.  This is the first time nanodiamonds have been successfully used in the creation of a synthetic alloy.  The teams used a technique called shock-wave compaction to create an alloy they say is without pores or defects.  This alloy will not degrade when introduced to nanoparticles.

Those involved believe the new alloy will predominately be used in maritime applications.  They believe it may also find use in the aerospace, automotive and space industries.

Most Mining Companies Unprepared for Cyberattacks

A recent survey shows an overwhelming majority of mining companies believe they need to do more to combat cyberattacks.

According to the survey, conducted by communications firm Inmarsat Enterprises, showed 87% of respondents believe their process for combating cyber threats should be stronger, while 84% say more can be done to prevent the mishandling of data.  About 125 mining companies responded to the survey.  Despite recognizing the risk of a potential cyberattack, few of the respondents have taken steps to prevent one.  Just 22% of respondents say they have invested in new security measures, while only 31% have partnered with outside firms.

One of the biggest issues respondents say they face is a lack of relevant skills needed to prevent cyberattacks.  70 % of respondents said they did not have staff with the skills needed to improve their security.

Citing Transparency, Tiffany & Co. to List Origin of Diamonds

In what its CEO calls an effort to be more transparent, retailer Tiffany & Co. has announced it will begin identifying where its diamonds are sourced from.

As of Jan. 9, customers at the retailers’ stores will see origin information displayed alongside all diamond rings. According to sources, store employees will also be able to provide that information on request. Currently, the region or country of origin for each registered diamond is readily available. Insiders say Tiffany & Co. plan on making more information available to consumers by 2020, including each stone’s complete trip from through the supply chain.

Related: DeBeers to Begin Selling Man-Made Diamonds

According to sources, most of the retailer’s diamonds come from mines in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Russia and Canada. They are one of few jewelers that cut and polish their own stones. According to diamond giants DeBeers, the diamond industry has annual sales of around $80 billion.

Eight killed, five wounded after Terrorist Attack on Foraco Drill Site

Eight were killed and five wounded after a terrorist attack on a job site in the West African Nation of Niger operated by mineral driller Foraco International.

According to a release by the French company, terrorists entered the camp at 2 a.m. local time and attacked a building where team members were sleeping. Seven of those killed were employees while the eighth was a government employee. Five others were injured, with two in serious condition. The company is drilling two deep water wells for Niger’s Ministry of Water.

According to reports, local authorities are blaming terrorist group Boko Haram for the attack. The group, whose name translates to “western education is forbidden,” has been carrying out attacks in the area since 2009.

Mines in Mexico, Australia Set to Re-Open

Two well known mines are set to re-open after long periods of inactivity.

In Mexico, the San Martin Mine, located in the northern state of Zacatecas, will resume operation after an 11-year worker strike.  The mine is believed to hold as much as 17 million tons of zinc, silver, lead, copper and gold.  According to a statement by mine owners Grupo Mexico, the mine will require an investment of about $77 million to get up and running after the long layoff.

Related: Learn more about PetroChoice’s mining industry products and services

In Australia, the government has begun its search for a company to re-open the Ellendale Diamond Mine, which has been dormant since 2015.

The mine was previously operated by Kimberly Diamond Company before ending up in government control.  It was the main supplier of yellow diamonds to Tiffany & Co. and was responsible for about half of the world’s supply of the rare stones.

According to statements by government officials, a decision on a new operator is expected early in 2019.

Russian Scientists Discover New Mineral

Russian scientists have discovered a new mineral while studying an iron meteorite found in Eastern Siberia in 2016.

The mineral, called Uakitite, was discovered by researchers from the Geological Institute at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, as we all researchers from Ural Federal University and Novosibirsk State University. Because the crystals were so small, scientists used electron diffraction rather than X-ray analysis to study the new mineral.

`Researchers said the mineral is related to carlsbergite (CrN) and osbornite (TiN). Due to the small size of the crystals, its physical properties were difficult to assess.

Autonomous Mine Trains OK’d in Australia

Will autonomous material transportation become part of the mining industry?  One Australian mining company is already on the way to making it happen.

According to reports in “Smartrail World” and “Business Insider,” Australia’s National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has officially approved the AutoHaul technology that mining company Rio Tinto used to complete a 62 mile train trip in October.  The train was monitored by crews throughout the process.  The company plans to use the trains to haul iron ore from the company’s 16 work sites to ports.

Related:  Learn how PetroChoice helps serve the mining industry

The autonomous trains will operate on the company’s 1,056 miles of track.  They plan on having the technology completely rolled out by the end of 2018.

Mining Giant DeBeers to Begin Selling Man-Made Diamonds

International diamond retailer and miner DeBeers has announced it will begin selling man-made diamonds, according to several sources.

The lab created diamonds will be sold under the company’s Lightbox brand and will cost significantly less than natural ones.  These synthetic diamonds mark a major change of pace for the company, which had previously insisted it would never sell man-made stones and had been critical of competitors who did.

Related: Learn more about PetroChoice’s products and services for the mining industry

According to CNN, the man-made diamonds will cost around $800 for a one carat stone.  A similar natural diamond would retail for closer to $8,000  Each will contain a tiny logo that is invisible to the naked eye but serve as an indicator for experts that the stones were produced in a lab.  The man-made stones will be available by September.

DeBeers has been producing man-made diamonds for commercial use for some time.  These diamonds have been used for drilling in industrial applications, particularly in the oil and natural gas fields.  However, this will be the first time the company sells them as jewelry.

DeBeers has been mining diamonds since 1888.  By the early 20th century, it controlled nearly 90 percent of the world’s diamonds.  It maintained that stranglehold for much of that time, before industry fragmentation and more competition began cutting into its share.  It currently operates mines in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada.

Battery Industry Projected to Drive Lithium Growth

Global demand for lithium is projected to rise 8.9 percent per year through 2019, according to a research study.

Read More: Learn about PetroChoice’s mining products and services

The Freedonia Group study projects demand for the metal will reach more than 49 thousand metric tons by the end of next year.  The prediction is the result of expansions in the lithium-ion battery industry driven by increased demand for electric vehicles, energy storage systems and portable electronics.

The value of the global lithium market could rise to $1.7.  Some experts believe these estimates may be too conservative, as the market for the mineral continues to out-pace expectations and demand remains significantly higher than supply.