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Moon richer in metals than previously thought — NASA

Scientists found the lunar subsurface contains higher concentration of iron…

Pandemic helps Russia tighten its grip on palladium

Nornickel’s operations have barely missed a beat, while its main…

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Quebec rare earth explorers make big finds in north

A small Quebec company says it has uncovered one of the world's most significant deposits of neodymium reports the Montreal Gazette. GeoMegA Resources believes its Montviel property about 500 kilometres northwest of Quebec City, has a huge potential for quick development thanks to the size of the deposit and closeness to infrastructure. Two other companies are active in the region with Commerce Resources announcing significant discoveries on Thursday following its winter drill program at its Eldor rare earth project (pictured) at what it says is ranked as one of the largest REE deposits outside of China. On Friday Vancouver-based Canada Rare Earths announced it acquired a 69.55 km2 rare earth property 350 kilometers south of Montviel adding to its assets adjacent to that of GeoMegA.

Gold sky-rockets to all-time high in India on Saturday as traders gear up for spectacular jewellery festival

The price of gold zoomed to an all-time high of Rs24,770 per 10 grams by adding Rs420 in New Delhi, India on Saturday on frantic buying by stockists and investors. India is the world's number one consumer of gold and official figures released on Friday show the country's revenue from the importation of gold almost doubled in 2010-11 compared to the previous year. The news follows the announcement by the World Gold Council that it is teaming up with jewellers to sell discounted gold to price-conscious Indians during the all-important Shraavan Aavani month that culminates in a festival next Friday.

Copper seen above $4 a pound on China recovery says Codelco

Copper prices may remain above $4 a pound in coming months, driven by a recovery in demand from China, according to Codelco, the world's largest producer. Chinese inventories seem to have decreased and now the industry is catching up again," Diego Hernandez, chief executive officer of the Chilean state-owned company, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Output from Chile, the world's largest copper producer, may miss a target of 5.6 million metric tons in 2011 by 5 percent because of project delays, weather disruption and strikes at mine sites. Codelco plans to spend about $20 billion this decade to boost annual production to meet forecast rising global demand for copper.

Vedanta invests $90 million to control a billion tonnes of Liberia iron ore reserves

Sesa Goa, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, on Saturday said it will buy 51% stake in an iron ore making firm in Liberia for $90 million in an all-cash deal. Located in Western part of Liberia and spread over 270 sq km area, the company has an estimated reserve of over 1.05 billion tonnes iron ore. Vedanta's investment follows iron ore giant ArcelorMittal which after five years of ground work started operations at the country's Tokadeh mine earlier this year and is spending $800 million in the first phase of the project to rehabilitate the rail link and port. ArcelorMittal exported the first iron ore from Liberia after a 20 year hiatus on June 11 from the port of Buchanan.

Rio Tinto inks deal with Indian giant Jindal for new steel-making technology

Green Car Congress reports Rio Tinto has signed a deal with with the India's Jindal Steel and Power, part of the $15 billion Jindal group, to develop and commercialize the HIsmelt direct smelting technology. The existing plant in Australia, shuttered by Rio Tinto in 2009 because of depressed pig iron prices, will be relocated to India. HIsmelt, short for high-intensity smelting, is the first commercial direct smelting process for making iron straight from ore. The technology smelts iron ore fines directly using non-coking coals, and provides environmental benefits over traditional ironmaking as it removes the need for coke ovens and sinter plants.

Mining companies buying up prime farmland across Queensland, despite public opposition

Mining and energy firms have swooped to buy more than 390,000ha across Queensland Australia despite almost unanimous opposition to the sell-off of prime farming land. In the Surat Basin west of Brisbane, small farming communities have been decimated as the race for mining riches forces families off properties after decades of working the land. Fears over the impact of the mining squeeze on communities prompted angry locals to rally at Oakey, while an inquiry has been announced by the New South Wales Parliament into the environmental impacts of the coal seam gas industry.

One-two hit for oil sands producers

Canadian Natural Resources announced this week it is poised to restart its Horizon plant seven months after it went up in flames and aims to spend over $2 billion to more than double its capacity. The Horizon outage led to a shortage of syncrude – a light oil manufactured from bitumen – which helped Alberta's producers attract a premium of $18 above benchmark US oil prices. That nice little earner will now likely melt away and follows a Reuters poll that showed a majority of analysts and oil traders expect the spread between US and international crude prices to surpass $30 in the next year.

Hillary Clinton: Keystone XL safety will be above the law

The Hill's E2-Wire reports Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that the proposed pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, if approved, will operate under tougher safety standards than the law requires. Clinton addressed TransCanada’s planned $7 billion, 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline — which is under State Department review — after a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird in Washington, D.C.

Strike ends at world’s biggest copper mine

Miners voted Friday to end a two-week long strike at the world's largest copper mine, La Escondida in northern Chile, approving an agreement struck by their union and management. Escondida employees accepted a management offer of a special production bonus for 2010, a year in which the mine had record earnings, a spokesman for the mine's largest union said. Image of the Escodida mine, by BHP Billiton.