The mining industry briefing
The latest news, trends, and data from the mining industry
News in Numbers
According to a study by the Global Palladium Fund, 67% of investors believe that industrial activity will increase this year.
69% of the professional investors surveyed predict that increase will raise the price of metals such as silver, palladium, and platinum.
The study also found that the vast majority of respondents (90%) said that growing electric car sales in China will play an important role in pushing palladium’s valuation higher.
Environmental concerns are also predicted to play a notable role in palladium's fortunes. Roughly two thirds of investors (67%) believe that tightening emissions standards, such as China's 2019 vehicle emissions standards, will also push the price of palladium higher.
A significant portion of the investors surveyed were also bullish on platinum's prospects. 85% predict that the price of platinum will rise in 2021, thanks in no small part to the Biden presidency and the metal's importance to a growing hydrogen economy.
Salt Lake Potash has begun commissioning the Lake Way potash project in Western Australia, with the start of process plant operations.
The Lake Way potash project is a sulphate of potash project in the Northern Goldfields region.
Rare earths developer Vital Metals completed a $33.2m (A$43m) institutional placement to fund the development of the Nechalacho Rare Earths Project in Canada.
Multinational commodities company Glencore has temporarily reduced production at the Murrin Murrin nickel-cobalt operation in Western Australia following a malfunction at an acid plant at the site.
Perth-based mining services provider Mineral Resources has commenced production at the Wonmunna Iron Ore Mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Production at the mine is planned to be ramped up to reach a five million tonnes per annum run rate in the June quarter of this year.
Q&A: Emiral Resources founder Boris Ivanov on smart mining after Covid-19
2020 saw mines suspended on an unprecedented scale: more than 1,600 mines were recorded by data and analytics company GlobalData as being temporarily suspended at the height of the first wave of Covid-19 in late March and early April of last year.
And while many mines have since restarted, adopting new health and safety measures to minimise the risk of potential outbreaks, the industry has emerged from the pandemic with one eye cautiously looking towards the next crisis that could throw supply chains into disarray.
Smart technologies and digital equipment have been touted as one potential bulwark for the mining industry against future pandemics – an autonomous drill can’t get sick, while a human drill operator can. Boris Ivanov spoke about what technology trends the mining industry may chase, and how the pandemic has affected digital transformation in the sector.
Source: Mining Technology