CHART: Mining rally continues into 2017

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Wales rescue workers find fourth miner dead

South Wales Chief Constable Peter Vaughan called the unfortunate outcome of the search-and-rescue operation on Friday “the one that none of us wanted,” because police had held out hope of finding some of the miners alive. It is Britain’s worst fatal mining accident in years. Officials do not know what caused the accident at the Gleision Colliery near Swansea, in south Wales, an area once synonymous with coal mining, but where the industry all but disappeared since Britain’s labor strife of the 1980s.

China number two coal producer closes mine after fatalities

Xinhua News reports the mining operations of China National Coal in Shaanxi Province, the country's coal heartland, were ordered suspended after eight miners were confirmed dead in a colliery flooding on Saturday. Officials said the flooding exposed "serious problems" in the implementation of safety measures and the company would only resume operations after an overhaul. State-owned ChinaCoal is the country's second largest coal producer at 154 million tonnes/year. Due to a paucity of gas and oil China relies on coal for 70% of its energy needs and government analysts expect annual coal demand to reach at least 4 billion metric tons by 2020 even after taking into account unprecedented levels of investment in nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro. Official statistics show the death rate per million metric tons of coal produced stood at 2.63 in 2010.

Big miners needn’t worry about higher royalties in Peru, juniors should

Speaking in Arequipa at Peru's premier mining conference industry executives said on Friday a drive by Peru's leftist president to raise mining royalties should not derail multibillion-dollar investments, but added that the viability of smaller, less efficient operations will be affected. Peru's Buenaventura and US-based Newmont said their $4.8 billion Conga mine, the most expensive mine in Peru's history, was on track to come on line in 2014 while others including Barrick Gold, Xstrata, Anglo American and Gold Fields reiterated their commitment to the country.

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Mbada overtakes Murowa as Zimbabwe’s biggest producer

Mbada Mines (Pvt) Ltd, which operates in Zimbabwe's Marange diamond area, is producing more than 150,000 carats a month, surpassing Rio Tinto's Murowa mine as the country's largest diamond producer, according to the firm's chairman, Robert Mhlanga. Rio Tinto's Murowa diamond mine produced 178,000 carats in 2010 and 125,000 in the first half of 2011.

High grade nickel concentrates and recoveries confirmed for Nachingwea Ni-Cu JV, Tanzania

IMX Resources Limited (ASX:IXR) is pleased to announce that initial metallurgical testwork has confirmed that high grade nickel concentrates with high recoveries can be produced from the multiple Ntaka Hill ore zones at the Nachingwea Ni-Cu joint venture in Tanzania. The Project is a joint venture between IMX Resources Limited (25%) and Continental Nickel Limited (75%).

Strong stomach needed as gold’s wild gyrations continue

Gold futures returned to above $1,800 an ounce Friday as investors sought the perceived safety of the precious metal ahead of the weekend and news emanating from Europe injected a dose of uncertainty back into markets. Gold for December delivery added $33, or just under 2%, to settle at $1,815 an ounce in afternoon trade. Reuters reports between gold’s highs and lows this year, there is a more than $600 gap, the largest since the 1960s, though its 32% range is below the 42% range seen in 1980.

First wave of coal plant closures due to EPA rules

Kentucky power companies Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities said on Friday new, stricter, federal environmental regulations will force them to retire three older, coal-fired power plants and recoup the $4 billion in EPA compliance costs through future price hikes for customers. A recent industry-sponsored study showed the US coal ash industry could suffer $110bn in lost economic activity and cut 300,000 jobs over the next 20 years under the new rules and between 50,000Mw and 70,000Mw of coal-fired power generation throughout US could be retired. The three Kentucky plants being shut down supplied less than 800Mw of power. One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes.

Still a Troublingly Low Number of Women in Engineering

The Montreal Gazette reports that there are still a stubbornly low number of women pursuing engineering as a course of study in university, and the question remains - why? The gender disparity has continued, they wrote, "despite the fact that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of new jobs in engineering and technology." Elizabeth Croft, a UBC mechanical engineering professor and, since 2010, regional chair for Women in Science and Engineering with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), agreed that engaging women in applied sciences is a serious concern. "I don't think we've done a particularly good job of communicating that the careers for engineers do not require you to be a man," she said in a recent interview.

Two bodies recovered from underground coal mine in Wales

Euroenews reports that two bodies were found by rescuers who are trying to reach trapped miners in an underground coal mine in south Wales. On Thursday morning, water flooded the hillside colliery near Cilybebyll where seven miners were working. Three miners managed to escape while four remained underground. Divers have been trying to reach the workers but debris in the water is making progress difficult.