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A global look at high-risk tailings dams

A third of the world’s tailings dams are at high…

Rising civil unrest adds to mining risks in 2020

Risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft foresees as many as 75 countries…

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China’s gold investment to top record

Gold investment demand in China is likely to top a record 200 metric tons this year, the World Gold Council said. The country’s investment demand surged 70 percent in 2010 to an all-time high of 187 tons, said Albert Cheng, the Far East managing director at the World Gold Council. China’s “investment demand has picked up exponentially,” Cheng said yesterday in an interview in Montreal. “The financial crisis has triggered people to be cautious of anything they don’t understand,” boosting demand for bullion as an alternative asset.

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.

Anvil Mining reins in $1 billion takeover rumours

Anvil Mining (TSE:AVM), a copper miner based in the central Africa, tamped down speculation that it may be acquired for $1 billion. Australian Finance Review reported that it was in serious discussion with a Chinese firm about some sort of business tie up. Last month, Anvil announced that it started a strategic review process and the company had formed a special transaction committee to ". . . review and consider the value maximizing alternatives available to the Corporation. BMO Capital Markets has been retained to assist in this regard," said the company in a statement.

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Indian firms eye $6 billion Afghan iron ore contract

As the United States and its allies look back on a weekend of memorials and tributes to the nearly 3,000 victims of 9/11, the country that was struck in retaliation for the 2001 attack on America could become a hotbed of mining. The National reports that Indian firms are bidding billions of dollars for a contract to mine iron ore in a central district of Afghanistan: "A consortium led by the state-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) could invest up to US$6 billion (Dh22bn) in the mine, railroads and a steel plant in a race with China to lock in raw materials for two of the world's fastest-growing economies."

Antimony tops metals and minerals risk list, China controls 50% of 52 critical chemicals

The British Geological Survey (BGS) on Wednesday published the latest list of the 52 elements, minerals and metals most at risk of supply disruption because global production is concentrated in a few countries, many with unstable governments. Surprisingly rare earths used in green technology and defence do not top the list but comes in at number five. Antimony, extracted mainly from stibnite (pictured), widely used for fireproofing is most at risk. The platinum group metals (auto catalysts) hold the second spot while niobium used in touch screens and scanners and tungsten for cutting tools are also at risk of supply disruption as a result of increased competition among the world's growing economies, political instability, resource nationalism, along with events such as strikes and accidents. China is the number one producer of 50% of the 52 chemicals on the list and produces 75% of the world's antimony.

China’s plan for fewer mines and bigger mines

China plans to dramatically consolidate the number of mines in its country, according to Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and a study by MCCM. And China also wants its mines to be a lot more productive. Caterpillar released the results of a study in August. In 2004 China had 25,000 operating mines. By the end of 2013 China wants to get that number down to 4,000 mines. A minimum production of 300,000 tonnes per annum will be required for mine approval.

Philippine 2011 mining investment may hit $2.8 bln

Mining investments could reach $2.8 billion in the Philippines this year if Chinese investors proceed with plans to jointly develop mining projects in the country, a senior mining official said Tuesday. There is a good chance that an initial target of $1.4 billion could be doubled if Chinese investors follow through in the last quarter on investments they have expressed interest in, Mines and Geosciences Bureau director Leo Jasareno said.