News in Numbers


The China National Coal Association has announced that the country’s annual coal output will stand at no higher than 4.1 billion tonnes by the end of the 14th five-year plan period (2021-2025).


Rio Tinto is investing $2.9m into its Kennecott operation, in Utah, to construct a new plant for the recovery of tellurium. The mineral will be recovered from copper smelting waste streams.


BHP has signed its third agreement with a Chinese steelmaker for emissions reductions, this time with HBIS Group to evaluate solutions, including a hydrogen-based technology, to reducing greenhouse gas from ironmaking and steelmaking.


According to Goldman Sachs Equity Research, China was South Africa's largest coal market in February, having imported 1.25 million tonnes. 


The  Australian Government has extended its wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees for another year, investing in the region of A$1.2bn to create 70,000 new placements.

Project updates

Australian iron ore firm Fortescue Metals Group has signed an agreement with Williams Advanced Engineering to build a zero-emission battery electric haul truck for mining operations. The deal allows the partners to design, build, and test a battery system, which will have the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill.

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Australia-based gold mining company St Barbara has selected Macmahon Holdings as the underground mining contractor at the Gwalia underground gold mine in Western Australia.

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The Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility has approved a A$140m ($108.58m) loan to fund the development of Australian Potash’s A$208m ($158.5m) Lake Wells sulphate of potash project in Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. With a 17-year tenor, the loan facility will be subject to commercial and project conditions precedent.

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Australia’s Ioneer is planning capital raising of over A$60m ($46.8m) to fund the development of the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Esmeralda County, Nevada in the US.

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Resource nationalism surges in wake of Covid-19 pandemic

A new study has revealed that resource nationalism is on the rise in 34 countries, with the economic impact of Covid-19 aggravating a tendency for government intervention in the resources sector. Risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft said that more than half of these countries are dependent on the minerals and hydrocarbons they export – meaning the mining industry could face rough times ahead as governments try to recoup the financial losses they’ve faced during the pandemic.

Mining jurisdictions in Africa and Latin America, including some of the major producers of copper and iron ore, are said to face the highest risk of resource nationalism.

Source: Mining Technology