In this issue

Issue 104 • May 2021

Welcome to the new edition of MINE Magazine. 

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.

For all this and more, read on.

Callum Tyndall, editor