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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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Canada’s Silvercorp buying Chinese assets

Canadian company Silvercorp Metals Inc. said Monday it is buying a controlling share in two Chinese mining companies for about $10.4 million, including debt. Silvercorp will hold a 90 percent stake in Zhongxing Mining Co. Ltd. and Chuanxin Mining Co. Ltd. It will pay $4.3 million cash for the two companies and assume $6.1 million in debt. Silvercorp is making the purchase through its majority-controlled Henan Found Mining Co. unit.

Battle royal for Macarthur Coal shaping up

The battle for Macarthur Coal is poised to intensify after news that Anglo American is considering a challenge to Peabody and ArcelorMittal's $4.7 billion hostile bid. Anglos, the world's fifth most valuable miner, is studying Macarthur's finances, media reported at the weekend. Anglos has been restructuring aggressively under chief executive Cynthia Carroll (pictured) and with second quarter 2011 profits of $4 billion has the necessary cash. But a rumoured joint bid with China's Citic could turn out to be the decisive factor to beat Peabody and ArcelorMittal's offer as Citic has already built up a 24% stake in Macarthur. Miners are scrambling for coal assets and coal for power-generation has averaged about $130/tonne this year from less than $100 in 2010. Coal now accounts for 30% of global energy use, the highest since 1970.

Iron ore price rise eclipses gold as China construction continues unabated

Australia's Fortescue Metals, barely four year after starting commercial mining, said on Friday its year-on-year net profit surged 76% to just over $1 billion driven by resilient demand from China. Shipments by the world's number four exporter rose only slightly to 40 million tonnes, but the price it achieved jumped 68%. BHP Billiton, the world most valuable miner, is set to report a record $22 billion in annual profit on Wednesday thanks in large part to its iron business. The stellar numbers come as global blast furnace growth over the next five years is predicted to rise by a staggering 300 million tonnes as China's construction boom continues unabated. On top of that India's iron ore exports could halve over the same period further bolstering prices that in percentage terms have outclassed even that of gold as the world economy recovered post the 2008 collapse.

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China wants to break grip of iron ore big three with West Africa projects

China, the world's largest consumer of iron ore, aims to develop and control resources, especially in west Africa, to gain a foothold on supply and tackle the hegemony of three iron ore suppliers – Rio Tinto , BHP Billiton and Vale. Chinese firms have signed a number of iron ore deals in Africa, which at their peak could contribute nearly 250 million tonnes of iron ore when they come on stream in the medium to long term.

Asian axis of India and China continues to advance gold demand

Gold’s strong start to the year was reinforced during the second quarter of 2011 where total global gold demand measured 919.8 tonnes (t), worth a near-record US$44.5bn, with broad-based support across all sectors and geographies. Standout markets were India and China, as these two markets accounted for 52% of total bar and coin investment and 55% of global jewellery demand, the World Gold Council announced today. Despite a higher gold price, Indian and Chinese demand grew 38% and 25% respectively during Q2 2011 compared to the same period of 2010. This growth is likely to continue, due to increasing levels of economic prosperity, high levels of inflation and forthcoming key gold purchasing festivals.

China’s nuclear ambition powers on

In the wake of the Fukushima meltdowns, some nations are looking to move away from nuclear power. But not China, which is proceeding with plans to build 36 reactors over the next decade. As a result of such climate change concerns, as well as the need for more power in developing nations, more than 60 reactors are under construction around the world today in countries like India, Russia and South Korea. Even the US is currently building one new reactor — the second unit at Watts Bar in Tennessee.

10 die in China coal mine blast

A blast in a coal mine in China killed 10 people, officials said Monday. The blast, due to accumulation of gas inside the mine, took place Sunday night in southwest Guizhou province, Xinhua reported.