Frik Els

Frik has 20 years’ experience as a business journalist across a range of industries including automotive, technology and entertainment markets. Frik has an entry in Global Mining Observer’s Who’s Who of Mining 2018, and contributions to publications and conferences including Business Insider, Investing.com, Mines & Money London and New York, Vancouver Resources Investment, Progressive Mine Forum in Toronto and Canadian Mining Symposium in London, UK. He’s been interviewed on CBC Radio and Korea State TV and contributed to BBC World and National Geographic documentary research.

Posts by Frik Els:

Oil sands poised to become largest source of US crude imports

According to testimony before the US Congress concerning the construction of the $7bn Keystone XL pipeline extension from Alberta to Texas, crude produced by Canada’s oil sands, which represent just over half the country’s total production, has already surpassed the total volume of imports from the US number two supplier Mexico. Since 2000 Canada’s oil sands output has more than doubled: from 600,000 barrels to about 1.5m barrels per day in 2010. Canada supplies 2m barrels per day or 22% of US crude oil imports, up from 15% a decade earlier. The sands’ 175bn barrels of recoverable oil places Canadian oil reserves third in the world behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Klondike Silver to raise up to $1m in private placement

Klondike Silver Corp. announced on Tuesday it has arranged for a private placement of up to 4,000,000 units for total proceeds of up to $1,000,000. Proceeds from the private placement will be used for exploration expenditures on the Company’s Yukon, British Columbia and Ontario mineral properties as well as for general working capital. Klondike Silver is a member of the Hughes Exploration Group of Companies.

Chile to halt financing of military spending with copper exports

The Santiago Times reported that Sebastián Pinera, president of Chile, signed a bill which if approved by Congress, would eliminate a substantial source of revenue for Chile’s armed forces and at the same time relieve a massive burden on the country’s state mining company. Under current legislation dating back to the Second World War, 10% of revenues from Chile’s National Copper Corporation, Codelco, are directed to the nation’s armed forces. Codelco is the world’s largest copper mining company and accounts for some 11% of global copper production, but the tax has contributed to years of underinvestment and the prospect of falling output at the miner just as copper prices hit record highs.

Alto Group acquires historic Great Excelsior Mine in Washington

Alto Group Holdings, a mining and commodities trade company headquartered in New York, announced on Monday the acquisition of the Great Excelsior Mine in Washington State. The Great Excelsior Mine, located in Washington State, was a gold-silver producer which was forced to close in 1918 due to falling metal prices and a shortage of supplies. This mining property has been explored by numerous mining companies over the years.

BusinessDay: Producers warn on prices even as gold demand rockets

Gold demand surged in the first quarter of this year as purchases of the precious metal for investment climbed 11% to 981.3 tons in the first three months according to the latest World Gold Council report. Much of the increase was as a result of buying of the physical metal – purchases of gold bars and coins shot up 52% year on year to 366 tons, representing a virtual doubling in value to $16bn. The report from the association of gold producers comes as the biggest producers sound warnings on Monday that any major pullback in the metal’s price below $1,000 could jeopardize the primary supply of gold.

SaskatoonHomepage: Canpotex breaks ground on $55m potash railcar facility

Canpotex held a ground breaking ceremony at the railcar maintenance and staging facility located south of Potash Corp’s Lanigan mine on Friday. In business since 1972, Canpotex is the exclusive offshore marketing company for the three big provincial Saskatchewan potash players and maintains a fleet of 5,000 specialty railcars for its customers in about 30 countries around the world.

Trading Room: Fortis to raise $236m for Kazakh potash mines

Trading Room reports that Melbourne-based Fortis Mining Ltd has agreed to raise $236m by selling new shares and notes to investors in Hong Kong and China to buy and develop two potash mines in Kazakhstan. ASX-listed Fortis, previously a gold and base metal explorer, acquired the rights to purchase the Chelkarskaya and Zhilyanskoe salt deposits in March. The deposits have an exploration target range of 6.5 – 6.6bn tonnes of potassium making them amongst the largest potash salt deposits in the world.

Minera Andes puts back Los Azules spin-out, cites ongoing litigation

Toronto stock exchange listed Minera Andes announced on Friday the proposed spin-out of its copper assets, including the 100%-owned Los Azules project, has been deferred. The gold, silver and copper exploration company cited weaker financial markets, financing uncertainties, and a delayed legal decision regarding its dispute with TNR Gold over claims on the Argentinean property, as contributing to the board’s decision.

SMH: New South Wales freezes coal and gas exploration licences

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Friday that the state of New South Wales announced a 60-day freeze on new exploration licences for coal, coal seam gas and petroleum in a push to resolve the escalating conflict between farmers, miners and conservationists over land use. The need for a moratorium was questioned by the state's mining industry, which said billions of dollars in investment were at stake, but it said it broadly supported the development of a new approach to avoid conflict over valuable land.

Reports: Chinese steel giant says iron ore market is in a ‘bubble’

"Everyone who has money is rushing to invest in iron ore," Baosteel Group chairman, Xu Lejiang said on Friday, warning that supply may outstrip demand “sooner than expected” pushing prices down in the process. Brazil’s Vale, and Australian heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto have some $45bn slated for new mines. The cash price of 62%-iron ore shipped to China's Tianjin port has almost tripled from Nov. 21, 2008 when data became available, according to the Steel Index.
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Surge in battery nickel use is more bad news for cobalt price

Cobalt light electric vehicle battery deployment around the globe doubled in May.