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Anglo Asian Mining invests again in Libero Copper

Mining.Com - Mon, 01/09/2023 - 06:03

Gold, copper and silver producer Anglo Asian Mining (LON: AAZ), has made a third investment in Canada’s Libero Copper & Gold (TSX-V: LBC), which focuses on finding copper assets in the Americas.

The Azerbaijan-focussed miner acquired on Monday 2.6 million new Libero shares at 15 Canadian cents each, for a total consideration of C$390,000 (about $291,000).

The investment maintains the company’s share holding at 19.8% of Libero, and forms part of a recently launched private placement by Libero, with gross proceeds of about C$2 million ($1.5m) to be used for exploration at the Mocoa and Esperanza copper porphyry projects in Colombia and Argentina, respectively.

Libero provides Anglo Asian with exposure to significant copper resources, in addition to the company’s fully-owned projects, including the world-class Garadagh resource. 

“With an exciting range of significant copper assets across the Americas, and an experienced management team, we have the utmost confidence in Libero to develop these assets in a swift and responsible manner,” chief executive officer Reza Vaziri said in a statement.

Anglo Asian’s investment in Libero is the first and so far only one the company has made outside of Azerbaijan, where it is the top gold producer.

Anglo Asian is currently at the final stages of developing its medium-term growth strategy, culminating in its transition to becoming a copper focused, mid-tier miner.

Central bank gold buying continues in November as China joins the foray — report

Mining.Com - Mon, 01/09/2023 - 06:00

Central banks bought a further 50 tonnes on a net basis during November 2022, representing a 47% increase from October’s (revised) 34 tonnes, the latest World Gold Council data shows.

Of this net total, three central banks accounted for gross buying of 55 tonnes, while two largely contributed to gross sales of 5 tonnes, showing the strength of demand, says WGC.

Source: IMF IFS, Respective Central Banks, World Gold Council

The biggest announcement of the month came from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), which reported an increase of 32 tonnes, the largest reported purchase in November and the first announced increase in its gold reserves since September 2019.

This announcement is significant – according to the WGC – given China’s historic position as a large gold buyer, having accumulated 1,448 tonnes between 2002 and 2019. It remains to be seen whether this is followed up with reports of continued buying in December. At the end of November, PBoC gold reserves stood at 1,980 tonnes (3.4% of total reserves).

The Central Bank of Türkiye continued to buy gold in November, adding a further 19 tonnes to its official reserves (central bank plus Treasury). This lifts its year-to-date net purchases of gold to 123 tonnes – the largest reported by any country – and its official gold reserves to 517 tonnes (27% of total reserves).

The Central Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic added to its gold reserves for the first time this year, buying 3 tonnes in November to increase its total gold reserves to 16 tonnes (+61% YTD).

On the sales side, the National Bank of Kazakhstan and the Central Bank of Uzbekistan were the largest sellers. Kazakhstan reduced its gold reserves by around 4 tonnes to 380 tonnes (-5% YTD), while Uzbekistan’s gold reserves fell by almost 2 tonnes to 397 tonnes, 10% higher YTD.

Source: IMF IFS, Respective Central Banks, World Gold Council

“We have noted previously that it is not uncommon for central banks who purchase gold from domestic sources – as both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan do – to also be frequent sellers of gold,” notes Krishan Gopaul, senior analyst EMEA at WGC.

“The central bank sector has been one of the highlights of the gold market in 2022, having bought a net 673 tonnes between Q1 and Q3. Looking ahead to the full year picture, it’s likely that central banks accumulated a multi-decade high level of gold in 2022,” Gopaul adds.

Tianqi, IGO to buy Australian lithium junior Essential Metals

Mining.Com - Mon, 01/09/2023 - 05:23

Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia (TLEA), a joint venture between Tianqi Lithium (HKG: 9696) and IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO), has made a A$136 million ($94m) bid to acquire lithium explorer Essential Metals (ASX: ESS) as part of the partners’ plan to expand their footprint into Western Australia.

TLEA, which is 51% owned by China’s Tianqi Lithium and 49% by Australian miner IGO Ltd, set the bid at 50 Australian cents per share.

The sum represents a 36.3% premium to Essential’s 30-day volume weighted average share price, the bidders said.

The joint venture already has a 51% stake in Greenbushes, the world’s largest hard rock lithium mine, and 100% of the Kwinana lithium refinery.

The acquisition of Essential Metals, which has been backed by the junior’s board, will add early-stage project Pioneer Dome to venture’s asset portfolio.

Pioneer, which is years from development, includes the Dome North mineral resource of 11.2 million tonnes at 1.16% lithium oxide. 

Essential Metals also holds the Juglah Dome and the Golden Ridge gold projects, both within Western Australia, as well as a JV interest in a number of gold and nickel projects in the region.

The transaction requires the approval of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), with Treasurer Jim Chalmers having the ultimate say. 

A major supplier of minerals key to the energy transition such as rare earths and lithium, Australian authorities recently said they planned to become “more assertive” in deciding who is allowed to invest in the country’s growing critical minerals industry.

Activists fighting coal mine expansion in Germany in standoff with police

Mining.Com - Sun, 01/08/2023 - 12:15

Activists in Germany were in a standoff with the police on Sunday, as they protested against the expansion of RWE Group’s Garzweiler open-pit coal mine on the western side of the country.

The expansion demands the demolition of Lützerath, an abandoned village 40 kilometres west of Cologne. Since there are no permanent residents there, it has been declared an exclusion zone and police are allowed to do what it takes to remove people or materials hindering its clearance, which is scheduled to start on January 10, 2023.

According to DW, some activists began occupying the town two years ago but as the deadline to demolish it approaches, more protesters have joined the action and are now estimated at 1,500 people. They live in tents, treehouses, huts and other precarious accommodations. 

On the other side of the skirmish, about 100 police keep dismantling the blockades the protesters set up and delaying buses taking supporters to Lützerath.

For the activists, the tiny village has become an emblem of the fight against doing business as usual, seriously comitting to the Paris Agreement and, thus, keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

Back in December, RWE, the German government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia ratified a deal that pushes the country to phase out coal by 2030 instead of the previously set 2038 deadline. The agreement saved several villages from destruction but Lützerath wasn’t among them. 

RWE has said that coal from Lützerath and nearby areas will be needed to supply power stations from 2024 onwards, as other mines in the region continue to shut down and Germany reduces its dependence on Russian energy imports. 

Mining investments on the rise in Peru

Mining.Com - Sun, 01/08/2023 - 08:02

The Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem) issued its latest Mining Statistical Bulletin which shows that accumulated mining investments rose by 3.2% through November 2022 to $4.6 billion compared to the $4.4 billion accrued the year before.

November was, in fact, the best-performing month last year, adding up to $467 million, a 7.8% increase from the $434 million reported in the previous month.

According to the Bulletin, Anglo American (LON: AAL) was the top investor in 2022 with $964 million. The London-based company’s share in all mining investments was 20.9%.

Next to Anglo was Minera Antamina, which is co-owned by Glencore, BHP Group, Teck Resources and Mitsubishi Corp. The joint venture invested $394 million last year and was is followed by Newmont’s (NYSE: NEM) Minera Yanacocha whose investments reached $332 million and Southern Peru, which invested $238 million.

Altogether, the four companies were responsible for 42.7% of the mining investments in Peru in 2022. 

The breakdown

The official report puts the spotlight on exploration activities, which received $383 million in investments between January and November 2022, a 33.9% increase compared to the same period the year before.

Accumulated mine development investments, on the other hand, added up to $778 million by November 2022, a 49.5% hike from the previous year.

Peru is the world’s second-largest copper producer after Chile.

Scientists one step closer to turning coal into graphite

Mining.Com - Sun, 01/08/2023 - 07:49

A team at Ohio University carried out a series of simulations showing how coal can be converted to valuable—and carbon-neutral—materials like graphite and carbon nanotubes.

Using the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s Bridges-2 system, the researchers simulated coal and graphite in computer software and recreated the coal-to-graphite conversion virtually. Generations of scientists know that, at least in theory, it is possible to convert coal to graphite if the fossil fuel is put under enough pressure at a high enough temperature.

Pure graphite is a series of sheets made up of six-carbon rings. A special type of chemical bond called ‘aromatic bond’ holds these carbons together.

In aromatic bonds, pi electrons float above and below the rings. These “slippery” electron clouds cause the sheets to slide easily past each other. Pencil “lead”—a low-grade form of graphite—leaves a mark on paper because the sheets slip off of each other and stick to the paper.

Aromatic bonds have another virtue, important in electronic technology. The pi electrons move easily from ring to ring and sheet to sheet. This makes graphite conduct electricity, even though it is not a metal. 

Coal, by comparison, is messy chemically. Unlike the strictly two-dimensional nature of a graphite sheet, it has connections in three dimensions. It also contains hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, and other atoms that might disrupt graphite formation.

Simplified coal

To begin their studies, David Drabold and his team created a simplified “coal” that consisted of only carbon atoms in random positions. By exposing this simplified coal to pressure and high temperature—about 3,000 Kelvin, or nearly 5,000 Fahrenheit—they could take a first step in studying its conversion to graphite.

“To push out the amorphous-graphite paper we needed to do a lot of serious analysis,” said Chinonso Ugwumadu, a doctoral student in Drabold’s group. “Compared to other systems which we have, Bridges is the fastest and most accurate. Our home systems … take about two weeks to simulate 160 atoms. With Bridges, we can run 400 atoms over six to seven days using density functional theory.”

At first, the Ohio scientists carried out their simulations using basic physical and chemical principles via density functional theory. This accurate but calculation-heavy approach required many parallel computations. Later, they shifted their calculations to a new software tool, GAP (Gaussian approximation potential), which uses machine learning to carry out essentially the same computations much more quickly. 

Their results were more complicated than the team had expected. The sheets did form. But the carbon atoms didn’t entirely develop simple, six-carbon rings. A fraction of the rings had five carbons; others had seven.

The non-six-carbon rings posed an interesting wrinkle, in more ways than one. While six-carbon rings are flat, five- and seven-membered carbon rings pucker, but in opposite senses of “positive and negative curvature.”

The scientists might have expected these puckers to ruin the formation of the graphite sheets. But sheets formed anyway, possibly because pentagons and heptagons balanced each other in the simulations. The sheets were technically amorphous graphite because they weren’t purely six-ringed. But again, they formed layers.

Carbon nanotubes

In another series of simulations, Ugwumadu followed up on his work with Rajendra Thapa to study molecules rather than solids. The conditions in these sims caused the sheets to curve in on themselves. Instead of sheets, they formed nested amorphous carbon nanotubes (CNTs)—a series of single-atomic-layer tubes, one inside another. 

CNTs have been hot in materials science lately, as they are in effect tiny wires that can be used to conduct electricity at incredibly small scales. Other promising applications of CNTs include fuel cell catalysis, the production of supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries, electromagnetic interference shielding, biomedical sciences, and nano-neuroscience.

One important facet of the CNT work was that Ugwumadu studied how amorphous wrinkles in the tube walls affect the movement of electricity through the structure. In materials science, every “bug” is also a “feature”—engineers may be able to use such irregularities to tune the behaviour of a given CNT to match the exact requirements needed in a new electronic device.

The group continues to study the conversion of carbon atoms to graphite and related materials. 

Oil giant Shell to pay tax in UK for first time in six years amid huge profits

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Sat, 01/07/2023 - 14:59

Daily Record

Oil giant Shell to pay tax in UK for first time in six years amid huge profits

The firm made 9.5 billion dollars in profit in just three months last year.

By Rory Cassidy: Daily Record Reporter: 22:18, 6 JAN 2023

Oil giant Shell is set to pay tax in the Uk for the first time in six years.

The firm, which last paid money to HMRC in 2017, will fork out after making huge global profits last year. The energy firm said it expected to “take a hit” of around $2bn (£1.7bn) on profits in the UK and the European Union in the final three months of the year.

A windfall tax has been imposed on energy companies by governments to try and capture some of the massive profits they have made through high oil and gas prices. The BBC reports that Shell has not disclosed how much UK tax it will finally pay, but that it’s understood the figure could be lower than forecast.

The amount of tax shelled out by oil and gas companies in the UK can fluctuate. Investment in areas such as renewable energy, decommissioning of North Sea oil platforms, and losses can reduce the overall bill. Shell’s profits hit $9.5bn across its global business between July and September last year.

At the time, the company said it was exempt from paying tax because of large investments in the UK meaning it had not made a profit on British shores. But earlier today, the firm said it expects to pay some tax here for the first time since 2017. The announcement comes after the UK Government increased tax on the profits made from extracting UK oil and gas.

The policy, which is called the Energy Profits Levy and is more commonly referred to as the windfall tax, raised tax to 35% from 25% in November. Shell did not break down how the $2bn hit to its earnings in the final months of 2022 would be split between the UK and the EU.

Oil and gas prices began to rise after the end of Covid lockdowns but surged after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, resulting in bumper profits for energy companies including the likes of Shell and BP in 2022. Amidst soaring energy bills, the government introduced the windfall tax to help fund a scheme to restrict gas and electricity bills.

Firms have been able to reduce the amount of tax they pay by factoring in losses or spending on things like decommissioning North Sea oil platforms., resulting in companies such as BP and Shell paying little or no tax in the UK in recent years. The Energy Profits Levy also allows energy companies to apply for tax savings worth 91p of every £1 invested in UK fossil fuel extraction.

There are also fears that tougher taxes could discourage oil and gas companies from investing in UK renewable energy. Offshore Energies UK previously said higher taxes would “undermine” an industry which generates 200,000 jobs. Despite the higher taxes, Shell reported $30bn profit in the first nine months of last year and is on track for bumper annual profits for 2022.

The company said it expects to have paid between $4.3bn and $4.7bn in global taxes over the final three months of 2022. Rival BP said it would pay $800m in windfall tax for 2022. It is due to publish its full results for the 2022 financial year on 2 February. Like the UK, the EU has imposed a windfall tax – 33% on fossil fuel firms’ profits and one from rising electricity costs.

FULL ARTICLE

Oil giant Shell to pay tax in UK for first time in six years amid huge profits was first posted on January 7, 2023 at 11:59 pm.
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It’s a new year and Shell has a new boss, but the same old greed just won’t cut it

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Sat, 01/07/2023 - 14:49

It’s a new year and Shell has a new boss, but the same old greed just won’t cut it

The company has to start paying for its share of the climate damage oil and gas have caused around the world. It certainly has the funds

inews.co.uk: January 6, 2023 11:41 am(Updated 1:07 pm) OPINION By Areeba Hamid As we welcome in a new year, Shell welcomes its new CEO, Wael Sawan. Coming from Shell’s alternative energy division, Sawan’s appointment has already sparked speculation that this could mark a departure from the era of predecessor Ben van Beurden who presided over – among other things – Shell’s ignominious departure from the Alaskan Arctic, its first dividend cut since the Second World War and a loss in a landmark climate court case in the Netherlands. The company was also recently the focus of an documentary exposé and stinging spoof from comedian Joe Lycett. Sawan steps up at an interesting time for the fossil fuel industry.

While households up and down the UK freeze, and struggle to put food on the table, Shell has made the most of tax breaks to avoid paying any windfall tax whatsoever. It’s even milked £100m from taxpayers. And instead of investing profits back into clean, cheap renewable power which could alleviate bills and shore up UK energy security, Shell has funnelled billions of that extra cash back into shareholder pockets in the form of buybacks.

This doesn’t go unnoticed. Fossil fuel companies are fast becoming the tobacco-style pariahs of our day.

Sawan could make a choice to turn Shell around, to future-proof the company and pivot to delivering cheap, clean renewables in a fair way. Ultimately, Shell needs to stop drilling, and to start paying for its share of the climate damage oil and gas have caused around the world. With the oil and gas industry having made £2.3bn per day in profits over the last 50 years, they can surely find the funds.

New year, new boss – but the same old Shell just isn’t going to cut it.

Areeba Hamid is Greenpeace UK’s co-executive director

FULL ARTICLE

It’s a new year and Shell has a new boss, but the same old greed just won’t cut it was first posted on January 7, 2023 at 11:49 pm.
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Gov't OKs nearly $190M in bids from offshore oil lease sale

Fuel Fix - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 21:26

 Companies bid on about 2% of the tracts offered for sale in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sun Summit working toward first resource at Buck gold-silver-zinc project in BC

Mining.Com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 14:31

Sun Summit Minerals (TSXV: SMN; US-OTC: SMREF) says 2023 could be a decisive year for the company’s Buck gold-silver-zinc project in north-central British Columbia. A set of 3,000 metres of outstanding drill results will shed light on how large the emerging epithermal system is, and company president Sharyn Alexander says an initial resource could be ready before the year is out.

“With the results of the recent batch of drilling coming out very shortly, 2023 will be a time where we’ll start considering whether or not this is something that we’d like to put a resource on or continue drilling,” Alexander says.

The Buck property has a rich background as a former placer gold camp in the early 20th century, and Alexander says there is evidence of early mining through adits dating to the 1910s and 20s.

The company optioned the project from Hunter Dickinson International (HDI) in 2019, during a low gold price period.

Part of the Late Cretaceous Kasalka Group, the Buck deposit is potentially similar to significant bulk-tonnage gold deposits in B.C., such as Artemis Gold’s (TSXV: ARTG) Blackwater gold project, which is slated to pour first gold in 2026.

So far, Sun Summit’s (formerly San Marco Resources) work near the town of Houston has confirmed the presence of an extensive hydrothermal system featuring intensely altered breccia bodies, with mineralization still open in all directions.

Drilling campaigns since 2020 have consistently intersected broad new zones of mineralization, with step-out drilling preferred as the team tries to establish the lateral footprint of the Buck Main mineralized structure.

“We have confirmed that Buck Main hosts these large intercepts of near-surface mineralization. We have intercepts of up to 300 metres from surface of 0.5 gram gold per tonne, up to 1 gram. And when you work in a gold-equivalent calculation, which includes gold, silver, and zinc, were have more than a gram per tonne over 300 meters right from surface,” says Alexander.

Rude and unapologetic staff at Shell Energy Broadband

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 12:32

“Takes hours and hours to get through to rude and unapologetic staff. Promises to solve the problem are false. Staff have no idea what’s going on.”

Shell Energy Broadband Reviews recently posted on broadband.co.uk

Reviewer John: Location Leicester: Date 2022-12-12

Comments

No problems when with the Post Office but now continual problems with Shell broadband speed and its continuity. I’m supposed to receive a speed between 35 Mbs and 45 Mbs. I get as low as 11 Mbs. I complain for which one has to wait around 30 mins for someone to answer the phone. I’m told that I must give 3 possible days when an engineer needs to visit but be prepared to be charged if I’m not at home but for which there is no reciprocal arrangement if the engineer doesn’t turn up, which has happened to me. In fact the problem can be solved without an engineer’s visit and this can be undertaken remotely. Then my speed is restored to around 36 Mbs (min for me should be 35) after which it is slowly decreased until I have to complain again. It seems like I’m being robbed of the service I pay for. As it can be quickly reset I believe that it is my ISP who is throttling my speed. Broken contract – new provider here I come.

Reviewer Isaac: Location Manchester: Date 2022-12-11

Comments

I’m using homephone only. DON’T TOUCH! Features start and stop at random. Takes hours and hours to get through to rude and unapologetic staff. Promises to solve the problem are false. Staff have no idea what’s going on. No response to formal complaints. Only good at raising prices!

Reviewer Catharine Bohm: Location Hordle: Date 2022-12-10

Comments

The customer service is non existent. Nobody answers the phone or responds to emails. Our Internet went wrong and our landlines died. The only way to rectify the matter was to find a different provider. Use this lot at your own risk.

Reviewer Tim: Location Preston: Date 2022-12-13

Comments

My sister in law is struggling to make ends meet and is trying to reduce outgoings. Although not eligible for best shell offer as she is already a customer, she rang them, explaining her problems and they came back with a really good deal. Well done Shell broadband. You have helped save her Xmas.

Reviewer David: Location Nr. Swansea: Date 2022-12-12

Comments

Although there’s been some awful reviews posted about Shell broadband I can only speak as I find, was originally with Post office broadband till Shell took them over, haven’t noticed any difference in broadband speed or reliability issues, still satisfied with the service I’m getting, the only gripe I’ve got is if you need to contact them by telephone be prepared for a very long wait before an agent your call

Rude and unapologetic staff at Shell Energy Broadband was first posted on January 6, 2023 at 9:32 pm.
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Shell to pay £1.7bn in UK and EU windfall taxes

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 12:01

SkyNews

Shell to pay £1.7bn in UK and EU windfall taxes

It comes after bosses at the London-listed oil giant said in October they had not paid any UK windfall taxes due to heavy investment in the North Sea.

By Sarah Taaffe-Maguire, business reporter Friday 6 January 2023 10:17, UK

Windfall tax payments are to cost Shell around $2bn (£1.7bn), the oil and gas company has revealed.

The cost of the UK’s energy profits levy and the EU’s recently announced solidarity contribution will reach $2bn (£1.7bn) in the final three months of its financial year, the firm said in a fourth quarter 2022 update.

It did not specify how much was owed to the UK and EU, separately.

It told investors on Friday it will not face a hit to earnings for the final quarter of 2022 due to the increased UK energy profits levy and additional EU taxes.

The UK windfall tax, announced under Rishi Sunakas chancellor, means oil and gas firms will pay a 25% levy on profits, which will be phased out when energy prices return to normal – but companies will get tax breaks worth 91p for every £1 invested.

Windfall taxes are one-off taxes imposed by government, targeting firms that have benefited from sky-high global energy costs.

Energy costs soared particularly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as countries rushed to wean themselves off Russian gas.

Most recent figures for Shell show the company reported operating profits of $9.5bn (£8.19bn) in the third quarter of this year. The October numbers were lower than that of the three previous months, but still more than double the figures for the same period in 2021.

Bosses at the London-listed oil giant said at the time that they had not paid any UK windfall taxes due to heavy investment in the North Sea.

The chief executive of Shell had previously called on the government to tax oil and gas companies in order to protect the poorest people in society from soaring energy costs.

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London last year, Ben van Beurden said: “One way or another there needs to be government intervention that somehow results in protecting the poorest.

“That probably may then mean that governments need to tax people in this room to pay for it.”

His comment was in reference to companies rather than individuals, a Shell spokesperson later said.

The UK’s windfall tax payment is being paid in the final quarter of 2022 as the tax impact is deferred, Shell added.

The company also warned that prolonged outages at two liquefied natural gas plants in Australia had hit production.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell to pay £1.7bn in UK and EU windfall taxes was first posted on January 6, 2023 at 9:01 pm.
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Shell to take $2 billion fourth-quarter tax hit after new EU, UK levies

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 11:48

cnbc

Shell to take $2 billion fourth-quarter tax hit after new EU, UK levies

PUBLISHED FRI, JAN 6 2023 2:43 AM EST UPDATED FRI, JAN 6 20238:01 AM EST Ruxandra Iordache KEY POINTS
  • Shell expects a fourth-quarter tax hit of $2 billion, following additional levies in the U.K. and European Union.
  • The company expects “significantly higher” results from its liquefied natural gas trading performance in the fourth quarter, compared with July-September.
  • Shell will release its final fourth-quarter results on Feb. 2.

Oil and gas major Shell said Friday it expects to take a $2 billion hit for the fourth quarter as a result of new taxes in the European Union and U.K.

“The Q4′22 earnings impact of recently announced additional taxes in the EU (the solidarity contribution) and the deferred tax impact from the increased UK Energy Profits Levy is expected to be around $2 billion,” the company said in a trading update.

The EU agreed in September that oil and gas companies will pay a levy on surplus profits made in 2022 or 2023. The “solidarity contribution” will see firms pay 33% of profits above their average taxable profits.

Meanwhile, U.K. Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said in his November Autumn Statement that the energy industry will be subject to an expanded windfall tax of 35%. The levy, which ends on 31 March 2028, is expected to raise in excess of $40 billion over the next six years, the government said at the time.

Energy companies’ revenues have soared following Western sanctions blocking access to Russian supplies. In June, U.S. President Joe Biden remarked that Shell’s fellow oil major ExxonMobil had made “more money than God.”

In November, Shell’s U.K. Country Chair David Bunch signaled that the company would evaluate each of its projects in the country on a case-by-case basis, following the windfall tax announcement.

“To deliver the very significant investment needed, which for Shell UK will be up to £25 billion in the next 10 years providing projects remain economically viable under the revised tax regime, the energy sector needs to have confidence that there will now be a stable investment climate following a period of considerable uncertainty,” the company said in a statement emailed to CNBC Friday.

Shell, which will release its full fourth-quarter results on Feb. 2, said it expects between $550 million and $750 million of losses in adjusted earnings over the period. The EU and U.K. levies will not affect the adjusted earnings figures, the company said.

Shell’s adjusted earnings more than doubled on the year to $9.45 billion in the third quarter, after logging a record profit of $11.5 billion in the three-month April-June period. In October, it revealed plans to raise its dividend per share by roughly 15% for the fourth quarter.

In its Friday trading statement, Shell said it expects its liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes to have dropped to between 6.6 million-7 million metric tons in the fourth quarter, owing to longer-than-expected outages at two Australian facilities. Despite this, the energy major said it anticipates its LNG trading results to be “significantly higher” than in the third quarter.

In contrast, Shell expects its fourth-quarter oil products trading results to be “significantly lower” than in the previous quarter.

Correction: The headline and text of this story have been updated to reflect that Shell expects to take a fourth-quarter tax hit of $2 billion.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell to take $2 billion fourth-quarter tax hit after new EU, UK levies was first posted on January 6, 2023 at 8:48 pm.
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Startup’s satellite technology could change weather forecasting for mining  

Mining.Com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 11:18

Tomorrow.io, a Boston-based climate and weather intelligence company has been making news headlines with its technology and is partnering with miners to schedule blasting operations, monitor routes and highways and put protocols in place to protect workers from extreme weather, based on its forecasts.  

For the past 40-50 years companies that once comprised the private weather industry would repackage data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its predecessor agencies to sell it. NOAA is a public data model which was not built for regional forecasts or mass alerts and does not cover remote locations well.

Its data, by the time it reaches people, is already three days old.  

Tomorrow.io said its technology can refresh data every three hours and plans to launch 30 satellites equipped with meteorological radar that can monitor ocean activity many weather stations aren’t able to decipher until it hits the coast.

Last month, the six-year-old company was named a leader among climate risk analytics providers. It has raised $260 million and has a team of over 40 data scientists. Its three founders met in the Israeli air force.

Rei Goffer, co-founder and its chief strategy officer, recalls piloting an F-16 with a “super generic” one-page report listing winds and cloud patterns, without any specifics for his route or aircraft.

“It’s a little more technical than what you’d see on TV,” he told Bloomberg. “That’s the state of the art in weather.” The veterans formed their company to tailor forecasts for specific industries that depend on predictable weather, such as airlines and sports leagues. Tomorrow.io aggregates existing data—from weather stations and sensors slapped on buoys and balloons—and mixes in other signals it collects from cell towers and car windshield wipers, an approach the company calls the “weather of things.”

It has built its own proprietary network of weather forecasting technology, satellites equipped with radar, for a fraction of the cost of a regular satellite and about the size of a mini-fridge.

This year, it will deploy two more satellites adding to the one already in space. It is collaborating with NOAA and the satellites were funded in part by a $19 million grant from the US Air Force.

“It’s a changing of the tides – it’s the next generation of climate impact,” Dan Slagen, Tomorrow.io’s chief marketing officer told MINING.com. “Climate security is the new cyber security.“


Sample dashboard with insights on when to not blast, increase in dust. Image from Tomorrow.io.

“We’ll be the only company in the world with that, and additionally the only company that is able to really look in depth at remote parts of the world such as South America, Australia and Africa. Right now we basically don’t have access to real time weather forecasting over the oceans.”

“We’ve been able to basically translate weather data into weather insights,” Slagen said.  

“We work with mining companies to identify specific job use cases that are impacted by weather and how to get around them so they are not impacted anymore,” Slagen said. “It’s a changing of tides – the next generation of climate impact.”

Monica Leal, director of mining sales said the technology signals a new generation of sustainable mining.

“Weather costs this industry millions – we need to have better systems in place,” she said.

“Companies are trying to reach sustainability goals by 2030 or 2050, but what can we do in the short term – what can we do now to decrease risk and to increase operational efficiency? This is where we come in.”

(With files from Bloomberg)

Copper price rises on China-led demand hopes

Mining.Com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 09:59

The copper price rose on Friday as investors hoped that China’s efforts to bolster its economy will improve demand for metals.

Copper for delivery in March rose 2.3% on the Comex market in New York, touching $3.91 per pound, or $8,602 per tonne.

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 1.5% to 65,060 yuan ($9,460.25) a tonne.

Economists and analysts believe policymakers in China will roll out more support measures to stimulate demand this year, as part of Beijing’s overall goal to bolster the $17 trillion economy after a sharp covid-induced downturn.

The probable modest demand recovery in the property sector will propel the demand for industrial metals.

The sentiment was also buoyed by news that China will reopen on Sunday, welcoming international travelers and returning residents without the need to quarantine for the first time since 2020.

China’s southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou plans 1,722 projects in 2023 worth more than 6.5 trillion yuan ($945 billion), state media CCTV reported on Thursday.

On the output front, Chile’s total copper production fell 6.9% in November to 449,000 tonnes, government body Cochilco said on Thursday.

(With files from Reuters)

Gold price on track for third straight weekly gain following US jobs report

Mining.Com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 09:06

Gold rebounded on Friday as US Treasury yields and the dollar fell after new economic data cemented expectations of a less hawkish Federal Reserve, setting the metal up for a third consecutive weekly gain.

Spot gold rose 1.5% to $1,861.24 per ounce by 11:45 a.m. ET, after falling by nearly the same percentage point last session. US gold futures were up 1.4% to trade at $1,866.40 per ounce in New York.

[Click here for an interactive chart of gold prices]

Gold’s recovery comes on the back of the latest US Labour Department data, which showed that non-farm payrolls rose by 223,000 jobs for the month of December 2022.

Additionally, US services industry activity contracted for the first time in nearly three years in December, offering evidence that inflation was abating.

“We did see kind of a Goldilocks number for the jobs report this morning … that is we saw a headline jobs number slightly higher than expectations, but we did see a slowdown in wage growth,” David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures, told Reuters.

“I don’t really think we saw a lot of information here to change the direction of the Fed, and clearly the market is more focused today on the idea that we are getting closer to the end of those fed rate hikes.”

Boosting bullion’s performance, the dollar index was down 0.7%, while benchmark Treasury yields were close to their lowest in nearly two weeks.

Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, said gold could continue to trade sideways to higher in the first quarter, having seen new interest on the long side from hedge funds at the start of the New Year.

(With files from Reuters)

Copper Mountain reopens mine after ransomware attack

Mining.Com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 07:19

Copper Mountain Mining (TSX: CMMC) said it reopened its mine in southern British Columbia this week following a December 27 ransomware attack that left deliveries unaffected.

The Vancouver-based company restarted the primary crusher at its mine near Princeton about 300 km east of Vancouver on Jan. 1 and resumed operations at the mill “shortly thereafter,” Copper Mountain said in a news release on Friday.

“On Jan. 4, the mill was at full production and the operation is currently being stabilized as the remaining business systems are fully restored,” the company said.

“Throughout this downtime, which resulted from the attack on its IT systems, the company has been shipping copper concentrate to the port of Vancouver from mine inventory and has maintained its planned shipping schedule.”

The shutdown was a preventative measure as Copper Mountain assessed the extent of the attack on its systems at the mine and its corporate offices, the company said.

Copper Mountain Mining’s update on Friday didn’t mention any damage, the identity of the attackers, dollar amounts they may have sought or any amounts paid to the hackers. A spokesperson for the company didn’t immediately reply to emailed questions.

All the mine’s environmental management systems operated during the outage and there were no incidents or injuries to personnel, the company said. Its information technology teams and cybersecurity consultants are establishing safeguards against further risks, it said.

The company said at the time of the attack it isolated operations, switched to manual processes where possible and contacted authorities.

Copper Mountain owns three-quarters of the open-pit mine, which produces an average of about 100 million lbs. of copper equivalent a year. Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials owns the remaining quarter.

There are plans to expand the mill to 65,000 tonnes per day from 45,000 tonnes and increase average annual production to 138 million lbs. of copper equivalent.

The mine has proven and probable reserves of 650 million tonnes grading 0.25% copper, 0.11 gram gold per tonne, 0.73 gram silver for 3.6 million lbs. contained copper, 2.2 million oz. gold and 15.2 million oz. silver, according to a company filing.

Shares in Copper Mountain gained 2.9% Friday morning in Toronto, valuing the company at C$379 million ($282m).

The View from England: When copper production was dominated by the Welsh

Mining.Com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 06:16

The U.K. no longer springs to mind as a mining giant, but we used to have a dominant role in the global industry. The extraction of non-ferrous metals on these islands, particularly copper and tin, dates back to before 2000 BC, and surface workings for coal and iron ore were widespread after the beginning of the Iron Age around 750 BC. This mineral wealth was one of the things that attracted the attention of Rome.  

The nation’s mining history comes to mind with the recent news (courtesy of the ‘North Wales Live’ website) that after 37 years of clearance work, volunteers are nearing their goal of breaking through to an unexplored section of Llandudno’s Ty Gwyn copper mine. Although worked for just 18 years in the mid-19th century, this mine was briefly thought to be the most profitable copper operation in the world.  

Dating from only 1835, Ty Gwyn (meaning ‘white house’ in Welsh) started much later than the other two mines on the Gt Orme peninsula (the ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Great Orme operations) and was geographically separate.  

Great Orme (Norse for sea serpent) is a carboniferous limestone hill immediately to the west of the seaside town of Llandudno. Mining of Great Orme’s dolomite-hosted malachite was extensive 3,500 years ago (circa 1700-1400 BC) and the main site was worked again from 1690 to 1860. The original Bronze Age tunnels (over 8 km of them) were only discovered in 1987, and the prehistoric site was opened to the public in 1991.  

The Great Orme mines were part of a group of operations in Caernarfonshire (the others being in Snowdonia) but the estimated total output of 3,000 tonnes of copper metal was dwarfed by production at Parys Mountain on the nearby Welsh island of Anglesey.  

Evidence of copper mining on this hill (it has an elevation of only 150 metres) dates back nearly 4,000 years. Originally called Mynydd Trysglwyn (a tree-topped hill) the ‘mountain’ was renamed in 1406 after Robert Parys, who had received the land from Henry IV (1367-1413) as a reward for collecting taxes and fines from inhabitants who had supported the Welsh rebellion of Owain Glyndwr.  

Evidence of the earlier Bronze Age workings was found in 1761, but the site didn’t become economic until a rich copper seam was discovered in 1768. At its peak, Parys Mountain employed 1,500 people and was the largest copper mine in the world. The operation slowly became uneconomic, however, and closed in 1904.  

Parys Mountain was controlled in the 18th century by a local lawyer, Thomas Williams (1737-1802) of Llanidan, who also owned mines in Cornwall and operated copper smelters. Known as the Copper King, Williams was the richest man in Wales when he died, and at a Parliamentary monopoly investigation in 1800 admitted that half of the U.K.’s copper industry was in his hands.  

Williams was instrumental in promoting the technique of covering ships hulls with copper sheets to protect them against molluscs and weeds. Williams sold to the navies of both England and her enemies, and the term ‘copper bottomed’ came to signify a sound investment.  

The shareholders of Anglesey Mining Plc., which is the current owner of Parys Mountain, will be hoping the site is a copper-bottomed investment.  

At the end of November, the company described Parys Mountain’s Northern Copper zone (NCZ) as “an exciting opportunity.”

This deposit was discovered in 1962, and an estimate in 2012 gave the zone an inferred resource of 9.4 million tonnes at 1.27% copper, 0.38% zinc, 0.24% lead, as well as 5 grams silver per tonne and 0.1gram gold (net smelter return cut-off of $48 per tonne). A preliminary economic assessment in January 2021 boosted 5.2 million tonnes of ore into the indicated category, with a further 11.7 inferred million tonnes at a grade of over 2% copper equivalent. Work in 2023 will include drilling into the NCZ to confirm historic grades and continuity and to seek further zones of high-grade mineralization.  

In November 2022, Anglesey Mining’s CEO, Jo Battershill, spoke at the Mines and Money conference in London. He described Parys Mountain as having “world-class infrastructure, a supportive local community and, in terms of its geology, a lot of unfinished business.”  

A geologist with over 25 years of experience in the industry, Battershill was appointed in August 2021 to lead Anglesey Mining’s investigation of the Parys Mountain deposit. There have been a number of failed attempts to restart the iconic mine over the past century; if Anglesey Mining succeeds, Battershill will join a long list of celebrated copper miners in North Wales.  

— Dr. Chris Hinde is a mining engineer and the director of Pick and Pen Ltd., a U.K.-based consulting firm. He previously worked for S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Metals and Mining division.

Caledonia adds one of Zimbabwe’s largest gold projects to portfolio

Mining.Com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 06:11

Caledonia Mining (LON: CMCL) has added to its portfolio one of Zimbabwe’s biggest gold mining projects after completing the acquisition of Bilboes Gold, owner of the namesake asset.

The shares plus royalty transaction, announced last year, will help the company achieve its goal of more than doubling annual output, potentially making it Zimbabwe’s top gold miner. 

The Bilboes gold project, a large, high-grade gold deposit located about 75 km (47 miles) north of Bulawayo, also makes of Caledonia Mining a multi-asset, mid-tier producer.

According to the latest feasibility study, the asset has the potential for an open-pit gold mine producing an average of 168,000 ounces per year over a 10-year life of mine.

Caledonia said it plans to conduct its own feasibility study to determine the “most judicious way” to commercialize the deposit. One approach that will be considered is a phased development, which would minimize the initial capital investment and reduce the need for third party funding, the company said.

Ore production from the Bilboes oxides will start in early February, chief executive officer, Mark Learmonth, said in the statement.

Caledonia anticipates beginning to recover gold from the heap leach in March. Once full production rate is achieved, the net smelter royalty would generate around $2.6 million a year for the company at current gold prices, the miner said.

The total consideration payable for the Bilboes acquisition is, subject to adjustment, 5,123,044 shares representing approximately 28.5% of Caledonia’s fully diluted share capital and a 1% net smelter royalty (NSR) on the project’s revenues.

Based on the last trading day’s closing price for Caledonia shares on the NYSE of $12.82 per share, the value of the maximum number of new shares that could be issued as consideration if there is no adjustment is currently $65.7 million.

Finnish technology improves lithium’s production efficiency

Mining.Com - Fri, 01/06/2023 - 06:06

Finnish company Sensment announced the launching of a new technology that improves the production efficiency of lithium. 

In a press release, the Oulu-based firm explained that, traditionally, battery metal manufacturers had to rely on batch sampling and laboratory analyses to control their processes but this is costly, labour intensive, and typically involves a delay of 4–10 hours.  

In contrast, Sensmet’s technology, dubbed Micro-Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy (µDOES), is able to measure multiple metals, such as any battery metal and their impurities, in real time.

The solution is based on atomic emission spectroscopy. A micro-discharge or electric spark is created directly inside the aqueous sample, causing a microscopic volume of the fluid surrounding the spark to be flash-heated to 10,000 °C.

Molecular species in the micro-discharge are dissociated into atoms, which are excited to their respective higher electronic states. Upon returning to their ground state, these atoms release their excess energy by emitting light at their characteristic wavelengths. The µDOES, then, measures this atomic emission spectrum to derive a quantitative analysis of the metals contained in the sample.

According to Sensment, data from the system’s analyzer are displayed locally showing the concentrations and trends for each metal, and peak levels can be set for each element. Results are transferred digitally to users’ databases and/or the cloud.

“In hydrometallurgical processes that cannot be controlled by monitoring pH, direct measurements of dissolved metal concentrations are essential,” the brief states. “There are alternative methods of monitoring, but all of these have major limitations. For example, online XRF is unable to measure light elements such as lithium and sodium, and it is almost impossible to calibrate XRF for low concentration impurity measurements.”

In the view of the team at Sensmet, given the large sums of money involved in lithium production, the accurate dosing of precipitation chemicals is extremely important. 

“For example, when sodium carbonate is added to a slurry containing beta spodumene under high temperature and pressure, lithium carbonate and analcime solids are formed. If insufficient sodium carbonate is dosed, some of the lithium will not react to form lithium carbonate, and unreacted lithium will be lost in the side product analcime sand,” the statement reads. “This is extremely undesirable because it represents a loss of revenue. Overdosing is also undesirable because it would result in a waste of process chemicals.”

In addition to lithium manufacturing, the technology is also suited for the ‘black mass’ recycling of battery metals. Strict online monitoring and control are implemented to reduce impurity levels and thereby prevent the cost and delay incurred by retreatment.

At Keliber’s site

Keliber, a subsidiary of Sibanye-Stillwater in Finland, ran a pilot-scale test program in 2022 to evaluate the µDOES analyzer in the continuous optimization of precipitation chemical dosing during lithium production. 

Battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate was produced from spodumene concentrate treated by high-temperature conversion in a rotary kiln. A hydrometallurgical technology was developed to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate by soda pressure leaching. The pilot ran continuously at the demonstration plant for 400 hours and achieved a total lithium recovery rate of more than 88%.

Keliber tested the analytical performance of the µDOES analyzer for the continuous optimization of precipitation chemical dosing. Nearly 80 samples were drawn from the process and the sodium and lithium concentrations were analyzed in parallel using both the µDOES continuous analyzer and a laboratory ICP-OES. The results showed a correlation between the methods. 

“Chemical dosing based on reliable real-time data brings stability to the process, which is very important because it avoids drift and optimizes both yield and quality while minimizing cost,” Sami Heikkinen, site manager at the Keliber lithium chemical plant, said in the release.

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