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Widespread Drought in Mexico

Environment News Service - 1 hour 5 min ago

Nearly 85 percent of Mexico is experiencing drought, and water sources are dwindling.

Categories: H. Green News

Dust Storms and Valley Fever in the American West

Environment News Service - 1 hour 5 min ago

Dust in the air in Arizona and other southwestern states is not just a concern for air quality – it can also carry the fungus which causes Valley fever, an infectious and potentially severe disease.

Categories: H. Green News

April 2021 Was Fairly Dry and a Bit Warm for Much of the U.S.

Environment News Service - 1 hour 6 min ago

It was an unusually quiet month for tornado activity

Categories: H. Green News

The New U.S. Climate Normals Are Here. What Do They Tell Us About Climate Change?

Environment News Service - 1 hour 6 min ago

Every 10 years, NOAA releases an analysis of U.S. weather of the past three decades that calculates average values for temperature, rainfall and other conditions.

Categories: H. Green News

Simulated Geoengineering Evaluation: Cooler Planet, but With Side Effects

Environment News Service - 1 hour 11 min ago

A new modeling study led by two NOAA researchers highlights the vast challenges and potentially damaging consequences of solar geoengineering actions large enough to ward off extreme warming by the end of the 21st century.

Categories: H. Green News

Gold price en route to best week in 6 months

Mining.Com - 2 hours 10 min ago

Gold continued its steady advance on Friday — en route to its best week since November 2020 as US jobs figures for the month of April fell below expectations, spurring a retreat in both the dollar and US Treasury yields.

Spot gold advanced 0.9% to $1,832.03 per ounce by 1 p.m. ET, having hit a three-month high of 1,842.59 per ounce earlier in day. US gold futures also gained 0.9%, trading at $1,832.30 per ounce on the Comex.

[Click here for an interactive chart of gold prices]

“With the complete miss on the (jobs) number, yields are going to compress and the dollar also fell, allowing gold to shoot up,” Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago, told Reuters.

However, gold’s rally may be short lived since next month’s jobs data could show a “blow out” number, Streible cautioned.

April’s non-farm payrolls rose by only 266,000 jobs, with employers likely frustrated by labor shortages as the economy reopens.

“This report at least temporarily throws some cold water on notions the Federal Reserve may be forced to raise interest rates much sooner than many expected,” Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note.

The dollar extended declines on Friday, while US Treasury yields also retreated, lowering the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing bullion.

“Gold could push towards $1,857, followed by the $1,925 resistance level,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, wrote in a note.

(With files from Reuters)

The Vaccine Passport Dilemma Part 2: The Vaccine Passport and Technocratic Dominance

Organic Consumers Association - 2 hours 27 min ago

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at how vaccine passports create new inequalities in an already fractured society and raise moral dilemmas due to the inconvenient truth of vaccine injury. 

Still, an important question remains: why is there a pervasive lack of questioning of the dilemmas posed by vaccine passports and the COVID response?

Given the magnitude of changes associated with the COVID response and the potential for harm by those changes, one would think there would be greater questioning by the more educated classes and the progressive elements in society.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Cameco shares surge despite posting Q1 loss

Mining.Com - 2 hours 37 min ago

Despite the near-term costs of its business strategy and the unplanned disruptions due to the covid-19 pandemic, Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) ended the first quarter of 2021 with over a billion dollars in cash, and was successful in adding 9 million pounds U3O8 to its long-term contract portfolio.

On Friday, the world’s largest publicly traded uranium miner reported a net loss of $5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021, which the company attributed to the $33 million in additional costs resulting from the closure of its 50% owned Cigar Lake mine in Saskatchewan.

“Our first quarter results were as expected,” Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s president and CEO, said in a news release, adding that his company’s uranium operations are currently “not at the regular tier-one run rate.”

In mid-December, the company placed Cigar Lake on care and maintenance after concerns about covid-19, but resumed mining operations in April. The mine had previously been shut for six months during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding covid-19, the company said it would not be in a position to provide an outlook for 2021 until the rate at which it will be able to sustainably operate the Cigar Lake mine is known.

In February, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Canada Revenue Agency’s request to appeal a June 2020 decision on a tax dispute involving the company, which Cameco says would ‘fully and finally’ resolve the 2003, 2005 and 2006 tax years in its favor.

In light of the increased global focus on electrification while phasing out carbon intensive sources of energy, the company sees demand for both traditional and non-traditional uses of nuclear power growing in the future.

“We are excited about the future of nuclear power generation, about the fundamentals of uranium supply and demand and about the prospects for our company,” Cameco’s Gitzel said.

Shares of Cameco surged 8.6% by 12:40 p.m. in New York, having hit a six-year high of $19.80 earlier in Friday’s session. The Canadian uranium miner has a market capitalization of $7.8 billion.

However, in April, the company’s stock was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold”.

RELATED: Stars are aligning for a rally on uranium markets

Sunrise Statement on April Jobs Report: Biden Must Expand American Jobs Plan

Common Dreams - 2 hours 44 min ago
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Categories: F. Left News

Copper price hits record high as Chile gives bulls another reason to cheer

Mining.Com - 2 hours 49 min ago

The world’s top copper producer Chile is giving bulls another reason to cheer while prices soared to an all-time high on Friday as optimism about a global rebound from the pandemic spurs a surge across commodities markets.

Copper for delivery in July was up 2.73% by 11:34 am (EDT), with futures at $4.7280 per pound ($10,401 a tonne) on the Comex market in New York.

Chile’s lower house on Thursday approved a measure that would introduce progressive taxes on copper sales, potentially creating a total burden of more than 80% — or almost double that of other major copper-producing nations.

The measure, which would go into effect in 2024, still needs to be approved by the senate and could be blocked by the government in court. But if it succeeds, it could stall investments in a country where mature low-grade deposits need plenty of expenditure just to maintain output levels of about 5.7 million tonnes a year.

Related read: As China row deepens, 1 million tonnes of Australian copper concentrate needs new buyers

“This would at the very least delay any new capacity, extending the lengthy time-line to bring on a new mine,” said Grant Sporre, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

“Chile’s output could start to fade to 5 million tonnes.”

Chile’s copper export revenue jumped 69% in April. The world’s top copper producer said it had exported $4.541 billion worth of copper in April alone.

“The copper market as it currently stands is not prepared for this demand environment”

Goldman Sachs Group

Prices are up more than 30% this year and have more than doubled from lows in March of last year.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices

“Given high payments to the state, some assets would be un-investable and thus it limits the pool of mines that can make adequate returns, limiting supply,” said BTG Pactual analyst Cesar Perez-Novoa.

“No mining company is going to take risks without being rewarded.”

“It’s hard to foresee copper prices turning around amid the current bullish atmosphere,” Ji Xianfei, an analyst with Guotai Junan Futures told Bloomberg.

“Macro easing, ample liquidity and a weaker dollar continue to drive the rally, while the broader commodities surge is being fueled by bets on inflation.”

Trading house Trafigura Group, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America expect copper to extend gains.

Steel prices across Asia and North America are also booming, iron ore is at a record above $200 per tonne as miners struggle to keep up with the frenzied pace of consumption, and tin topped $30 000 for the first time in a decade.

“The copper market as it currently stands is not prepared for this demand environment,” said Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

There are a few major mines in development and none on the scale required to meet forecasts for future demand.

“We don’t have many shovel-ready projects,” said Ivan Glasenberg, billionaire CEO of Glencore Plc.

“You will need the so-called $15,000 copper price to encourage a lot of this more difficult investment.”

Risks

There’s signs emerging in China, the top consumer, that high copper prices are starting to bite and authorities have pledged to stabilize raw material prices.

China’s imports of copper ore and concentrate fell in April from the previous month, according to customs data released Friday.

Some manufacturers and end-users have been slowing production or pushing back delivery times after costs surged, Shanghai Metals Market said last week.

(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)

In the United States, Democratic Socialism Can Win

Common Dreams - 2 hours 53 min ago
Joshua Kluever"The DSA's legislative proposals—rent control, free college and reproductive rights—are classic socialist issues, updated for the 21st century."
Categories: F. Left News

How blockchain will help miners meet evolving ESG demands

Mining.Com - 3 hours 21 min ago

At the Association for Mineral Exploration’s Remote Roundup in January, mining entrepreneur – and master communicator – Robert Friedland laid out his predictions for the future of mining.

In addition to a more diverse industry, the founder and executive co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines sees a more sustainable future for the sector – and one in which the environmental impact of mining will be baked into commodity prices.

“There will be no more one price for copper. There will be no more one price for gold,” Friedland told delegates from Singapore. “Everything will be priced in relation to its ESG components and be priced in relation to how much global warming gas is created in making that commodity, because we’re going to head to a price on carbon,” Friedland said. “The minute you put a price on carbon, every mine in the world will have its end product priced according to how deleterious it is or how less deleterious it is on the global environment.”

Friedland is far from alone in believing that the implementation of circular economy principles – which aim to reduce waste and pollution – will affect commodity pricing.

The movement toward circularity is being driven by investors and consumers who want more information about the conditions under which goods are produced and the environmental and social impacts of that production. It’s also being driven by net zero commitments of governments and investors, and regulations around conflict minerals in the U.S. and EU (already in effect) and the Joint Due Diligence Standard for Copper, Lead, Nickel and Zinc (an industry association-led standard that will come into effect in 2023).

But how do we get there?

One of the enabling technologies of the circular economy is blockchain.

The movement toward circularity is being driven by investors and consumers who want more information about the conditions under which goods are produced and the environmental and social impacts of that production

While bitcoin may have been the first application of the technology, its applications go far beyond the cryptocurrency craze. The immutable distributed ledger technology creates a link between the physical and the digital worlds, and offers a secure digital record of transactions that can’t be tampered with. Essentially a decentralized database, it allows traceability of raw materials back to their origin using digital certificates. Current efforts are moving beyond mere traceability and seeking to attach ESG data to blockchain platforms, providing transparency on sustainability measures – and ultimately moving toward incentivizing and rewarding best practices.

Beyond cryptocurrencies

In the mining sector, blockchain is already being used to trace materials to ensure they are being produced ethically and without human rights concerns (cobalt, diamonds, tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold). It’s also being used to bring transparency to investing in precious metals, with the security offered by the immutable nature of the blockchain record a big feature in commodities where fraud is a concern.

A few examples include:

  • The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network, launched in late 2019, tracks battery minerals cobalt and nickel. The network was built on an IBM blockchain platform and assured by RCS Global Group. The network does not yet include carbon intensity and other ESG data, but there are plans to introduce those metrics in the future.
  • Startup Circulor has a Hyperledger (open source) blockchain platform that helps manufacturers trace materials and avoid conflict minerals and child labour in their supply chains.
  • Tradewind Markets Origins solution can trace the origin of gold and the standards under which it was produced for its client base of institutional investors.
  • U.K.-based Everledger, which bills itself as a digital transparency company, has a diamond blockchain solution used by jewelry retailers (including Chow Tai Fook) to demonstrate to consumers that their diamonds were responsibly mined. Everledger also has solutions to track battery minerals for recycling and reuse (and even offers blockchain for fine wine and art).
  • A pilot led by ISED (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) and Canadian startups Peer Ledger and Mavennet Systems around the traceability of steel through Canada as it’s imported and exported and manufactured.
Detailed ESG data

The number of intitiatives that are seeking to provide deeper data on carbon intensity and other ESG metrics is growing. One of them is the Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative’s (MMBI) emerging Carbon Tracing Platform (COT) – a proof-of-concept stage project that was released in December. The goal of COT is to allow mining companies to trace carbon emissions from the mine to the final product. The MMBI is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum and seven leading industry players, including Anglo American and Glencore, that was established in 2019.

The COT concept “not only tests the technological feasibility of the solution, but also explores the complexities of the supply chain dynamics and sets requirements for future data utilization. In doing so, the proof of concept responds to demands from stakeholders to create “mine-to-market” visibility and accountability.”

The solution also holds potential for more accurate ESG metrics. Most estimates of the carbon footprint of the mining industry’s value chain are currently based on industry benchmarks or non-standard unverifiable data, Jorgen Sandstrom, WEF’s head of mining and metals, told The Northern Miner in December.

It’s also being used to bring transparency to investing in precious metals, with the security offered by the immutable nature of the blockchain record a big feature in commodities where fraud is a concern

“This limits the (organization’s) control and ability to improve the footprint,” Sandstrom said. “Our vision is to enable verifiable visibility of the embedded emissions from the mine to the market, and the COT is a big step forward in delivering this vision.”

Rio Tinto’s START sustainability initiative for aluminum includes a variety of ESG metrics. Launched in February, the sustainability label – which the miner likens to a nutrition label on food packaging – provides key information about the site where the aluminum was produced, and is delivered to customers via blockchain. The label includes information covering 10 key criteria, including: an operation’s carbon footprint, water use, recycled content, energy sources, community investment, safety performance, diversity in leadership, business integrity, regulatory compliance and transparency.

“By launching START, Rio Tinto is helping to support increased transparency and traceability across the aluminium supply chain,” said Paramita Das, general manager, global marketing and development for Rio Tinto Aluminium in an emailed response to CMJ’s questions. “With the current geopolitical environment, increased scrutiny on origin of materials and focus on climate change, we believe this will help meet the needs of end customers while responding to consumer expectations. In addition, using blockchain technology allows us to bring data driven sustainability information to our customers faster and in a secure way.”

The company has also launched a sustainability advisory consultancy called START Enhance that includes support on documentation required for green financing arrangements, for example.

“START is an ecosystem solution and our hope is that the supply chain can come together to position aluminium as the material of choice against substitute materials,” Das noted.

In Australia, the trueGold Consortium is a new ESG-focused gold supply chain assurance solution that allows tracking of gold from the mine site to the end consumer. A 50-50 venture between ASX-listed Security Matters and the Perth Mint of Australia, trueGold launched last year, with a full commercial launch expected in next year’s second quarter.

Security Matters’ business is focused on the circular economy – from plastics to electronics and fashion to now gold – using technology it’s licenced from the Israeli government. Security Matters CEO Haggai Alon says the unique molecular marking technology and blockchain platform is capable of tracking a material from mine through production and then through recycling or reuse.

“We are the only technology that can go from raw material to production, from production to commercial and from commercial to reuse,” Alon says. “And the fourth dimension is having all of these three life cycle spans recorded on the blockchain with one technology and full transparency and visibility on the whole process. So what you really have is the ability to transform linear production to circular because you can interconnect the three lifecycles with one technology.”

Alon says the technology captures all the ESG criteria that are demanded by the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) and the World Gold Council.

Notably, the original idea for trueGold came from technology companies looking for ethical sources of gold.

“Gold is still one of the best connectors on high-end electronics – til this day there’s no alternate, synthetic, human-made material,” Alon says. “For the tech companies, addressing the challenge of tracing origin as it relates to ethics and provenance and quality was very important.”

Limitations of blockchain

As much excitement as there is around blockchain, there are some limitations to the technology with regard to ESG, says Ben Chalmers, Senior VP of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC).

Most importantly, blockchain can’t replace industry standards that include quality control mechanisms and procedures.

“While blockchain is a really important innovation that will allow the easier and more reliable transmission of ESG data up and down the supply chain to enable our customers to secure their supply chains with responsibly sourced material, what really matters is what information is being put into that blockchain and that’s where our focus is,” Chalmers says. “Blockchain is only as good as the information that is entered into it – it’s the old notion of garbage in, garbage out.”

Through its Toward Sustainable Mining (TSM) standard established in 2004, MAC ensures that the quality of ESG and origin data is trustworthy.

“As we set out in our TSM standard, trustworthy means independently audited or verified data with some sort of credible oversight of it,” Chalmers says.

Rio Tinto’s START for example, builds on existing ecosystems for assurance – its RenewAl low carbon aluminum program, the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative and ICMM standards.

“It’s not enough for a company to say ‘trust us, we’ve got good ESG systems in place to make sure our products are responsibly sourced,” Chalmers notes. “You need a standard like the Aluminium Stewardship initiative or TSM to attach to it.”

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Mining People: American Eagle, First Majestic, NorZinc, Treasury Metals, World Copper

Mining.Com - 3 hours 21 min ago

Management appointments announced this week:

Nevada mining veteran Mark Bradley is the new VP of exploration at American Eagle Gold.

Jeffrey Beck is the new CEO of Arianne Phosphate, developer of the Pac a Paul project in Quebec.

EnviroGold Global has named Dr. Mark Thorpe as CEO and to the board.

First Majestic Silver has appointed Colin Bower its new VP of operations in Mexico.

Derek Macpherson has joined Gold79 Mines as president and CEO.

The executive team is changing at Marimaca Copper. Current president Hayden Locke will assume the role of CEO and join the board. Petra Decher will become CFO and resign her seat on the board. The new role of COO will be filled by Luis Tondo. Laura Rich becomes general counsel and corporate secretary.

Rohan Hazelton is succeeding Don MacDonald as a director, president and CEO of NorZinc Ltd.

Ophir Gold has announced the resignation of president and director Jonathan Armes. Additionally, VP exploration Garry Clark has stepped down and will be replaced by Darren L. Smith, who is also a director.

Straightup Resources has named Daniel Cruz its new CFO and a director. Former CFO Mark Lotz is passing the torch.

Treasury Metals is pleased to appoint Clinton Swemmer to the newly created position of VP projects.

Krysztof Napierala is now the general manager in charge of overseeing the Chilean operations of World Copper.

Board moves include:

Glennen McDowall has been added to the board of Advance Gold.

Artemis Gold has appointed Elise Rees to its board of directors.

BMEX Gold has elected Jeremi Fournier as a director

Canstar Resources has named Neil Burns and James Clare to its board. Former director Patrick Reid has resigned.

Peter Tegart and Warner Gruenwald have resigned their directorships at Finlay Minerals. Gruenwald was also the company’s VP exploration.

Gatling Exploration’s Peter Dickie has resigned as a director of the company.

Warren Bell has been named to the board of IM Exploration. He is a corporate and securities lawyer with a focus on the mining and resource sector.

Imperial Mining Group has made changes to its board. Founder and chairman Donald Bubar is retiring. Peter J. Cashin, another founder, will become interim chairman.

Los Andes Copper has asked Warren Gilman, chairman and CEO of Queen’s Road Capital, to join Los Andes’ board at the AGM.

Douglas Cater has become a director of Mayfair Gold.

Marimica Copper has announced these changes to its board: Mike Haworth transitions from executive to non-executive chair and Colin Kinley becomes lead independent director.

Tom Obradovich has been named to the board of Santana Resources.

Dr. Craig Hart is the new chairman of the board at Snowline Gold.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

The Hub 5/7/2021: Clean Air Council’s Weekly Roundup of Transportation News.

Clean Air Ohio - 3 hours 35 min ago

“The Hub” is a weekly round-up of transportation related news in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Check back weekly to keep up-to-date on the issues Clean Air Council’s transportation staff finds important.

The Inquirer: Transit agencies across the country experienced low ridership due to the pandemic and are struggling to win back passengers. In response, the President is urging more federal spending on public transportation to provide a faster, safer, cleaner, and more reliable system for the country.

Next City: New York’s overnight subway service closed during the pandemic for the first time since 1904 when the subway was first opened. With lifting COVID restrictions and vaccination roll out, this 24 hour subway service will return May 19, 2021.

CityLab: The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices was published in 1935 and is up for its 11th revision. The Manual currently prioritizes cars over people and advocates require big changes to promote safety for vulnerable road users. 

Metro: SEPTA for the first time will be launching an app for free on-demand rides to help workers in the city access the growing distribution industry in Lower Bucks County. The service is launching on Monday 5/10 and will operate seven days a week between 10:30 pm and 6:00 am.

Streetsblog: The Clean Transit for America Plan was introduced on Tuesday, and it would provide $73 billion to accelerate the adoption of electric buses across the country. This plan will be a critical step in cleaning up the transportation sector and greatly assist the nation’s climate outlook.


Image Source: Metro

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Crucial Next Steps for a Successful People's Vaccine

Common Dreams - 3 hours 46 min ago
Jayati Ghosh"The Biden administration’s decision to stop opposing a proposed Covid-19 waiver of certain intellectual-property rights under World Trade Organization rules is a welcome move. But ending the pandemic also requires scaling up knowledge and technology transfer, as well as public production of vaccine supplies."
Categories: F. Left News

Switzerland’s offsetting deal with Peru excludes REDD. It will still not reduce emissions

REDD Monitor - 3 hours 58 min ago

In October 2020, Peru and Switzerland signed a carbon offsetting deal. It excludes REDD, but it will not reduce emissions globally.

The post Switzerland’s offsetting deal with Peru excludes REDD. It will still not reduce emissions first appeared on REDD-Monitor.
Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Four Ex-Minneapolis Cops Charged With Federal Civil Rights Crimes in George Floyd Case

Common Dreams - 4 hours 1 min ago
Brett Wilkins, staff writerA federal grand jury on Friday indicted four former Minneapolis police officers including Derek Chauvin of civil rights crimes in connection with the murder of George Floyd.
Categories: F. Left News

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