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Gold price rally halted on signs of likely Fed rate cut delay

Mining.Com - Wed, 04/10/2024 - 08:22

Gold’s blistering run came to a halt on Wednesday after a key US inflation report signalled a likely delay in Federal Reserve interest rate cuts until later in the year.

Spot gold slid 0.6% to $2,354.80 per ounce by 1:50 p.m. EDT, retreating below the key $2,350 level. US gold futures were also down 0.3% at $2,354.80 per ounce.

The pullback comes on the back of a 0.4% rise in the core consumer price index, according to government data Wednesday. This measure, which economists view as a better indicator of underlying inflation than the CPI, has now advanced 3.8% from a year ago.

The hot print in price pressures means that interest rates may remain high for a longer period of time, which hurts the appeal of non-yielding assets like gold. Both the US Treasury yields and the dollar advanced after the print, sending bullion down by as much as 1.4% to $2,320.12 an ounce.

Still, gold is holding at elevated levels, having registered all-time peaks for eight straight sessions including $2,365.35 an ounce on Tuesday. Since mid-February, the metal has gone up by nearly 17%.

The rally has left some onlookers puzzled because of the lack of any obvious triggers — especially as convictions on three quarter-point rate cuts faded fast. Heightened geopolitical risks in the Middle East and Ukraine, plus buying by central banks led by China, have added some bullish momentum for the precious metal.

Gold is partly helped by buying as some investors shifted focus “from the number of rate cuts to sticky and rising inflation,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank AS. 

Hansen sees a short-term correction in bullion “given how far gold has traveled in a short period of time,” with a dip below $2,230 likely to trigger a round of long liquidation.

(With files from Bloomberg)

Revival adds second gold project with takeover deal for Ensign Minerals

Mining.Com - Wed, 04/10/2024 - 07:23

Revival Gold (TSXV: RVG) said on Wednesday it has signed an agreement to buy privately held exploration company Ensign Minerals in an all-stock deal worth approximately C$21.9 million. This acquisition gives US-focused Revival a second gold exploration asset to complement its Beartrack-Arnett project in Idaho.

Ensign’s flagship Mercur project in Utah is located 57 km southwest of Salt Lake City in the Oquirrh Mountains region, which is known to host sediment-hosted gold deposits. Bingham Canyon, one of the world’s largest copper-gold mines, is also situated there.

Historically, approximately 2.6 million oz. of gold were mined from the Mercur district, including 1.5 million oz. by Getty Oil Company and later Barrick Gold between 1983-1998, after which it closed due to low gold prices. Since then, Barrick completed reclamation of the Mercur site.

From 2020 to 2022, Ensign entered various agreements to consolidate the Mercur project area, which now covers 62.55 square kilometres divided between private land, federal claims, and state leases. Amongst the deals was an option to acquire Barrick’s interest in the area for $20 million.

Work by past owners has resulted in the delineation of an inferred resource estimate that totals 89.6 million tonnes grading 0.57 gram per tonne gold for 1.64 million oz. of contained metal. This estimate has an effective date of Feb. 1, 2024, and is based primarily on exploration of the private land.

By adding the Mercur project, Revival’s gold resource base would now grow to 3.8 million oz. in the inferred category, on top of the 2.4 million oz. measured and indicated category already at Beartrack-Arnett, for which permitting preparations are underway.

CEO Hugh Agro says the combined mineral resource will vault Revival Gold ahead to become one of the largest pure gold development companies in the US. With Mercur, he believes the company is obtaining a “high-quality complementary project” at an attractive acquisition price of about $10 per ounce in situ.

Revival Gold considers the large regional package at Mercur to “hold attractive potential for additional discoveries” based on the project’s track record of past production and the results of recent fieldwork undertaken by Ensign.

In the short term, its primary objective with Mercur over the next 6-12 months will be to advance metallurgy, optimize the project’s geological model and pursue a potential preliminary economic assessment (PEA), the company said.

While advancing towards a PEA, Revival Gold expects to continue the compilation of historical data, property-wide prospecting, geological mapping and planning for potential future exploration drilling.

Agro said the addition of Mercur will shorten the estimated timeline to heap leach gold production while increasing the potential production scale of the company’s heap leach gold business to approximately 150,000 oz. per year.

To complete the deal, nearly 61.4 million Revival Gold shares, more than half of those outstanding, will be used to acquire Ensign’s 52.6 million outstanding stock. This share exchange ratio (1.1667:1) gives Ensign an implied value of C$0.4164 per share, a 17% premium over its 20-day volume weighted average of C$0.3569.

Upon completion, current Revival Gold shareholders would own 65% of the new company, with former Ensign holders owning 35%.

Ensign had previously agreed to a takeover by Vancouver-based Taura Gold (TSXV: TORA) in October 2023 for an implied value of C$24 million. However, the deal fell through earlier this year due to disagreements over how the Mercur project resource was calculated.

Revival Gold’s shares were up 1.1% at C$0.38 by 10:30 a.m. ET on the news, giving the Toronto-based gold developer a market capitalization of C$42.4 million ($31m).

Byzantine bullion fueled Europe’s adoption of silver coins… until Charlemagne intervened

Mining.Com - Wed, 04/10/2024 - 06:06

Researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam discovered that Byzantine bullion fueled Europe’s revolutionary adoption of silver coins in the mid-7th century, only to be overtaken by silver from a mine in Charlemagne’s Francia a century later.

In a paper published in the journal Antiquity, the experts note that these findings could transform our understanding of Europe’s economic and political development.

According to the article, between 660 and 750 AD, Anglo-Saxon England witnessed a profound revival in trade involving a dramatic surge in the use of silver coins, breaking from a reliance on gold. Around 7,000 of these silver ‘pennies’ have been recorded, about as many as we have for the rest of the entire Anglo-Saxon period (5th century–1066).

By analyzing the make-up of coins held by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the study’s authors solved the mystery of where the silver in these coins came from.

“There has been speculation that the silver came from Melle in France or an unknown mine, or that it could have been melted down church silver. But there wasn’t any hard evidence to tell us one way or the other, so we set out to find it,” Rory Naismith, co-author of the paper, said in a media statement.

Teflon helps figure things out

Previous research tested coins and artifacts from the silver mine at Melle but Naismith and his colleagues turned their attention to less-studied coins which were minted in England, the Netherlands, Belgium and northern France.

To begin, 49 of the Fitzwilliam’s coins (dating from 660 to 820 AD) were taken to the laboratory of Jason Day in Cambridge’s Dept. of Earth Sciences for trace element analysis. Next, the coins were analyzed by ‘portable laser ablation’ in which microscopic samples were collected onto Teflon filters for lead isotope analysis.

While the coins mostly contained silver, the proportion of gold, bismuth and other elements in them guided the researchers to the silver’s previously unknown origins. Different ratios of lead isotopes in the silver coins provided further clues.

Byzantine silver

In the 29 coins tested from the earlier period (660–750 AD)—which were minted in England, Frisia and Francia—the researchers found a very clear chemical and isotopic signature matching 3rd to early 7th-century silver from the Byzantine Empire in the eastern Mediterranean.

The silver was homogenous across the coins and characterized by high gold values (0.6–2%) and a consistent isotopic range, with no distinguishable regional variations among them. No known European ore source matches the elemental and isotopic characteristics of these early silver coins. Nor is there any meaningful overlap with late Western Roman silver coins or other objects. These coins did not recycle late Roman silver.

“This was such an exciting discovery. I proposed Byzantine origins a decade ago but couldn’t prove it. Now we have the first archaeometric confirmation that Byzantine silver was the dominant source behind the great seventh-century surge in minting and trade around the North Sea,” Naismith said.

These coins are, thus, among the first signs of a resurgence in the northern European economy since the end of the Roman Empire. They show deep international trade connections between what is now France, the Netherlands and England.

Cash-strapped king

The researchers emphasize that this Byzantine silver must have entered Western Europe decades before it was melted down because the late 7th century was a low point in trade and diplomatic contacts.

“Elites in England and Francia were almost certainly sitting on this silver already,” Naismith said. “We have very famous examples of this, the silver bowls discovered at Sutton Hoo and the ornate silver objects in the Staffordshire Hoard.”

Together, Sutton Hoo’s Byzantine silver objects weigh just over 10 kilograms. Had they been melted down they would have produced around 10,000 early pennies.

“These beautiful prestige objects would only have been melted down when a king or lord urgently needed lots of cash. Something big would have been happening, a big social change,” the study’s lead author Jane Kershaw said. “This was quantitative easing, elites were liquidating resources and pouring more and more money into circulation. It would have had a big impact on people’s lives. There would have been more thinking about money and more activity with money involving a far larger portion of society than before.”

The researchers now hope to establish how and why so much silver moved from the Byzantine Empire into Western Europe. They suspect a mixture of trade, diplomatic payments and Anglo-Saxon mercenaries serving in the Byzantine army. The new findings also raise tantalizing questions about how and where silver was stored and why its owners suddenly decided to turn it into coins.

Melle was an important mine

The study’s second major finding revealed a later shift away from Byzantine silver to a new source.

When the team analyzed 20 coins from the second half of the period (750–820 AD), they discovered that the silver was very different. It now contained low levels of gold which is most characteristic of silver mined at Melle in western France. Previously obtained radiocarbon data has shown that mining at Melle was particularly intense in the 8th and 9th centuries.

A selection of the Fitzwilliam Museum coins which were studied, including coins of Charlemagne and Offa. (Image by The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge).

The study proposes that Melle silver permeated regional silver stocks after c.750 and was mixed with older, higher-gold stocks, including Byzantine silver. In the coins minted closest to Melle, the proportion of gold was lowest (under 0.01%) while furthest away, in northern and eastern Francia, this climbed to 1.5%.

“We already knew that Melle was an important mine but it wasn’t clear how quickly the site became a major player in silver production,” Naismith said. “We now know that after the Carolingian dynasty came into power in 751, Melle became a major force across Francia and increasingly in England too.”

The study argues that Charlemagne drove this very sudden and widespread surge in Melle silver as he took increasing control over how and where his kingdom’s coins were made. A detailed record from the 860s talks about Charlemagne’s grandson, King Charles the Bald, reforming his coins and giving every mint a few pounds of silver as a float to get the process going. “I strongly suspect that Charlemagne did something similar with Melle silver,” Naismith said.

Management of silver supply went hand-in-hand with other changes introduced by Charlemagne, his son and grandson including changing the size and thickness of coins and marking their name or image on the coins.

“We can now say more about the circumstances under which those coins were made and how the silver was being distributed within Charlemagne’s Empire and beyond,” Naismith said.

Pioneer Lithium gets financial backing from Ontario government

Mining.Com - Wed, 04/10/2024 - 05:40

Pioneer Lithium (ASX: PLN) has received a fresh shot in the arm from the Ontario government, which recently handed the company C$180,916 for its flagship Root Lake project in Canada.

The Australian explorer and developer said the funds were granted through the Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP). The amount received represents a rebate of up to 50% of eligible exploration costs, capped at C$200,000, incurred by the company at Root Lake between April 1, 2023 to February 15, 2024, it said in the statement. 

“The OJEP program is a vital part of financing and fostering early exploration projects and allows us to further advance our exploration activities,” chairman Robert Martin said in a statement.

The company has been expanding its footprint in Canada, where it now holds five exploration projects across the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Its most recent acquisition, the Benham Project in northwest Ontario, became an instant hit for Pioneer. Bought in November, the company’s exploration team had by mid-January discovered numerous pegmatite outcrops, including a 40-metre long mineralized prominence.

Lithium market struggles to recover after epic boom and bust

Pioneer is also advancing the early exploration Root Lake lithium project in north-west Ontario.

Lithium prices hit rock bottom last year and are struggling to make a significant recovery. This is partly because miners, refiners, and auto makers are still dealing with an excess stockpile that is causing the current oversupply of the battery metal. 

Despite some projects and mines being affected by the lithium price collapse, several major producers are determined to continue expanding, adding to the uncertainty about when prices will eventually recover.

Silvercorp sells stake in Orecorp to Perseus Mining

Mining.Com - Wed, 04/10/2024 - 03:29

Canada’s Silvercorp Metals (TSX, NYSE: SVM) has officially stepped aside from the race to control Africa-focused gold explorer OreCorp (ASX: ORR), agreeing to sell its 15% stake in the company to rival Perseus Mining (ASX, TSX: PRU).

The Vancouver-based miner, which has been a rival bidder for OreCorp for months, has agreed to sell its 15.6% shareholding in the Australian junior to Perseus. This takes Perseus’ interest in OreCorp to just under 75%.

Silvercorp and Perseus vied for months to acquire the OreCorp, which saw Perseus raise its cash offer in March to A$0.575 a share. The figure, representing 4.5% increase over its previous bid of A$0.55, had been originally turned down by OreCorp earlier this year.

OreCorp gave Silvercorp five days to increase its bid, but the period expired on March 26, resulting in the company encouraging shareholders to accept Perseus’ proposal. This offer remains unconditional and open until April 19, unless it is extended.

OreCorp noted on Wednesday that it’s already actively working with Perseus to transition its board and management team in respect of the takeover.

Central to the battle for OreCorp was the company’s Nyanzaga gold project in northwest Tanzania, which is located near Barrick Gold’s (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) Bulyanhulu mine and AngloGold Ashanti’s (JSE: ANG) (NYSE:AU) Geita mine.

A 2022 definitive feasibility study gave Nyanzaga an after-tax net present value of $618 million at a 5% discount rate and an internal rate of return of 25%.

Perseus had been looking for additional gold assets in Africa to grow its portfolio. This prompted it to throw its hat in the ring, approaching OreCorp with an off-market offer.

Currently, Perseus operates three gold mines in Africa: Edikan in Ghana, and Sissingu and Yaour in Côte d’Ivoire.

Media Advisory: Pikachu Protest Against Japanese LNG Expansion to Take Place During Prime Minister Kishida’s White House Visit

Oil Change International - Tue, 04/09/2024 - 12:50

Shayna Samuels,
Shaye Skiff,

Pikachu Protest Against Japanese LNG Expansion to Take Place During Prime Minister Kishida’s White House Visit, Wednesday, April 10


On April 10-11, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, DC, address Congress, and join a trilateral meeting with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.. This visit comes on the heels of the Biden Administration’s decision to pause pending LNG export approvals to non-free trade countries after intense pressure from frontline communities. Many don’t realize that Japan is one of the largest financiers of U.S. LNG export projects and is working to derail clean energy transitions across Asia and globally. 

Japanese financing of LNG projects has a legacy of environmental and human harm, especially along the US Gulf Coast. Japanese private banks (MUFG, Mizuho, SMBC) are the top three financiers for LNG export terminals in the US, and the US is the largest exporter of LNG in the world. Though Biden’s LNG pause was a positive step, the continued exploitation of vulnerable communities for LNG projects is alarming. Japan is also one of the largest public financiers of gas projects in the Gulf and throughout the world, most recently approving billions in public finance for gas projects in Australia, Vietnam and Mexico. Protesters will call attention to Japan’s role in promoting dirty energy in the US and abroad, and urge Kishida and Biden to say #SayonaraFossilFuels 

WHAT: Pikachu Protest of Japan’s LNG projects during Japanese Prime Minister

Kishida’s visit to the White House. People will be in large inflatable Pikachu suits holding  a large cut out of Kishida’s face, and banners and signs that say “Japan Stop Poisoning US Communities” and “Sayonara Fossil Fuels.”

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 10th – 9:30 AM
WHERE: Lafayette Square, White House
WHO: The event is organized by Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth US, and Texas Campaign for the Environment

PHOTOS will be available HERE immediately following the event.

The post Media Advisory: Pikachu Protest Against Japanese LNG Expansion to Take Place During Prime Minister Kishida’s White House Visit appeared first on Oil Change International.

Brazil Potash gets state license for Autazes project

Mining.Com - Tue, 04/09/2024 - 12:25

The state of Amazonas in Brazil has issued a license to Brazil Potash to built the Autazes project, pegged to be the largest fertilizer mine in Latin America within the Amazon rainforest.

Governor Wilson Lima declared on Monday that the installation license was granted by the state’s environmental protection agency, IPAAM. The company intends to invest 13 billion reais ($2.6 billion) to establish the mine, located 120 km southeast of the state capital Manaus.

The project, which could reduce Brazilian agriculture’s 90% dependence on imported potash, has been held up for years due to opposition from Indigenous Mura people, who say they have not been consulted about the use of their ancestral lands.

Federal prosecutors said on Tuesday that the license should come from Brazil’s environmental protection agency, IBAMA, and not from the local agency in the state.

“The license violates constitutional rights, international standards and also the rights of Indigenous peoples,” the federal prosecutors office in Manaus said in a statement.

The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of the Amazon (APIAM), an institution that advocates for the rights of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon, told MINING.COM that the Mura people’s communities were not consulted, nor was the Indigenous Component Study conducted in the environmental licensing process.

Indigenous leaders told news website Amazonia Real that they will not accept the state decision and warned about the possibility of conflicts if the issue is not reconsidered by the courts.

In October, Federal Judge Marcos Augusto de Souza suspended a lower court decision that ruled if the land would be demarcated Indigenous in the future, then only Brazil’s Congress and federal agency IBAMA could authorize mining in the area.

The IPAAM further reinforced its understanding of being the correct authority and argues that United Nations International Labour Organization protocols do not require 100% indigenous support for approval of the project.

Brazil Potash has also received a letter from the Conselho Indígena Mura (Mura Indigenous Council) declaring that more than 90% of the Indigenous people voted in support of the Autazes project.

The proposed mine and processing facilities would require about three years to build.

It would be built on low-density cattle farm land deforested several decades ago by prior owners, according to Brazil Potash, who says the ore body is not located under Indigenous land, but is within 10 km of two reserves resulting in the need for consultations with locals.

Production is expected to start in 2026 with an initial output sufficient to cover about 20% of Brazil’s potash needs. Project capacity is pegged at 2.2 million tonnes of potassium chloride per year, the company estimates.

Sixty North outlines plans for Mon gold project following last year’s NWT wildfires

Mining.Com - Tue, 04/09/2024 - 10:45

Sixty North Gold Mining (CSE: SXTY) is planning to install a temporary camp at its Mon gold project near Yellowknife, NWT, to replace the camp trailers destroyed by a wildfire last year. Plans include restarting mining of the A zone at the historic mine.

The company previously widened the North ramp to 3 by 4 metres to accommodate its larger mining equipment and advanced the ramp by 132 metres to within 60 metres of the planned first stopes, about 20 metres below the historic stopes.

Crews are expected to take four weeks to reach the initial mining level before crosscuts will be driven into the vein and bulk sampling can begin, the Canadian gold junior said.

The former Mon mine produced 15,000 tonnes of ore grading 30 g/t from a folded quartz vein. Recent and historic drilling shows the vein continues to the planned depth and beyond with widths and grades similar to what was mined before.

Sixty North believes the A zone is similar to the Discovery mine, located 45 km to the north, where a million tonnes of ore yielded the same number of gold in ounces from a marginally smaller vein.

CEO Dave Webb said: “We are well positioned to take advantage of the recent record high gold prices, with our potential for early gold production.

“Our next two milestones to production are within reach – the completion of the underground development with bulk sampling of the vein, and once grade and tonnage are confirmed, installation and commissioning of the mill circuit.”

The company holds permits for both mining and milling at Mon.

Guinea’s Simandou iron ore project secures $15 billion financing

Mining.Com - Tue, 04/09/2024 - 09:52

The Guinea government announced on Tuesday that shareholders involved in Simandou have signed $15 billion in financing agreements for the iron ore project.

The accords provide funds for rail and port infrastructure that Compagnie du Trans-Guinéen — a joint venture 15% owned by the Guinean government and 42.5% equally by a Rio Tinto group with Chinese investors and China-backed Winning Consortium Simandou — will build.

The signing occurred on April 2 after approvals came from the country’s transitional parliament and Chinese regulators, Guinea’s presidential office said in a statement on X.

“Simandou is no longer a dream but a reality,” Djiba Diakite, head of the strategic committee who led the talks, said in the statement. “There is no doubt that the project will be delivered on schedule by the end of December 2025.”

In February, Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm said that the company’s board had given the green light to the project in West Africa.

Set to be the world’s largest and highest-grade new iron ore mine, the project will add around 5% to the global seaborne supply when it comes online.

The project has long been the subject of prolonged negotiations due to its complex ownership structure, delays caused by legal disputes, Guinea’s political changes and construction challenges.

Rio Tinto plans to invest $6.2 billion in Simandou.

(With files from Bloomberg)

Ex-Shell Bigwig Fuels Fears of London Exodus

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Tue, 04/09/2024 - 06:59

Posted by John Donovan 9 April 2024

In a move with the City of London quaking in its well-polished brogues, former Shell honcho Ben van Beurden has sounded the alarm bells, warning that the company’s valuation in London compared to the Big Apple is a “major issue.”

Speaking from the Financial Times Global Commodity Summit in Switzerland, van Beurden lamented that Shell, the heavyweight champ of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with a market cap of £118 billion, is being shamelessly undervalued. Cue the tiny violins!

With Shell’s share price soaring to an all-time high of £2,832 per share, you’d think they’d be popping champagne corks in the boardroom. But no, van Beurden insists they’re “massively undervalued” and eyeing up the land of opportunity across the pond.

Why, you ask? Well, according to van Beurden, the US is the promised land where oil giants frolic in higher stock valuations, bask in the warm embrace of friendly investors and have a golden ticket to unlimited capital. Meanwhile, poor old Europe is left sucking on the exhaust fumes of its disdain for conventional energy.

But wait, there’s more! Current Shell CEO Wael Sawan, ever the trendsetter, chimed in to echo van Beurden’s sentiments. In an interview with Bloomberg Opinion, Sawan declared the London exchange as “undervalued,” painting a picture of despair akin to a Shakespearean tragedy.

“I have a location that seems to be undervalued,” Sawan bemoaned, sounding more like a woeful protagonist than a high-flying CEO.

And if you thought this tale couldn’t get any more dramatic, think again! Van Beurden dropped the bombshell that discussions about moving Shell’s listing to New York were already in the pipeline during his tenure. It’s like a soap opera with oil execs and shareholder drama instead of love triangles.

So, there you have it, folks. While Shell’s bigwigs wring their hands over their paltry valuation in London, spare a thought for the poor investors left scratching their heads. Because when it comes to the high-stakes game of corporate finance, it’s Shell’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

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Handful of governments block clean energy transition with billions in international finance for fossil fuels

Oil Change International - Tue, 04/09/2024 - 03:00



Nicole Rodel,  

Shaye Skiff,


Handful of governments block clean energy transition with billions in international finance for fossil fuels 

New research shows Japan, Korea, and US among worst fossil fuel financiers

  • New report shows that between 2020 and 2022, G20 governments and the multilateral development banks (MDBs) provided $142 billion in international public finance for fossil fuels, almost 1.4 times their support for clean energy in the same period ($104 billion).  
  • The top fossil fuel financiers were Canada ($10.9 billion per year), Korea ($10 billion per year), and Japan ($6.9 billion per year). 
  • 71% ($101 billion) of the $142 billion in fossil fuel spending will end in the next few years if governments fully uphold recent commitments including through the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) and G7. Most signatories are already implementing these pledges, but the United States and Japan in particular are backsliding. 
  • Just 8% of all G20 and MDB international finance for energy went to low-income countries. Of that, almost three-quarters were for fossil fuels. While the finance delivered virtually no energy access for communities in need, this argument is frequently used to justify continued fossil fuel finance.

9 April 2024 – Despite the biggest increase in G20 and Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) international finance for clean energy in 2022, a report published today reveals a handful of bad actors are blocking a just transition to renewable energy with outsized financial support for fossil fuels. 

The new report, Public Enemies: Assessing MDB and G20 international finance institutions’ energy finance by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth United States, and endorsed by 23 other civil society organizations [1], highlights an alarming trend in international energy finance. G20 and MDB international public finance for energy between 2020 and 2022 poured fuel on the fire by contributing a staggering $142 billion towards fossil fuels, while only $104 billion supported clean energy projects. The report has been released alongside updated energy finance data on

To limit warming to 1.5°C in line with international climate agreements, 60% of already-developed fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. In light of these limits, the IEA has sent a clear message that there should not be any new oil and gas field or LNG investments – public or private – beyond what was already committed as of 2021. 

The findings reveal that between 2020 and 2022 the wealthiest G20 nations are the primary culprits behind continued investments in fossil fuels, with Canada, Korea, and Japan as the worst offenders. 

  • Canada: As of the end of 2022, Canada fulfilled their commitment to the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) to end international finance for fossil fuels, and is under pressure to meet a separate pledge to end their much larger domestic ECA fossil fuel finance in 2024. 
  • Japan: Despite being a signatory to the near identical G7 commitment to phase out international public finance for fossil fuels, Japan has yet to take steps to put commitments into action. Loopholes in Japan’s policy continue to enable fossil fuel financing, further exacerbating the climate crisis. 
  • Korea: Korea is the only major fossil financier that has yet to put in place any policies to end its oil and gas support. 

The report also highlights where there is momentum to shift public finance out of fossil fuels. It shows that coal exclusion policies have worked to nearly eliminate all international public finance for coal. Seven G20 countries are also signatories to the CETP, and pledged to end their international public finance for fossil fuels by the end of 2022 and prioritise support fully towards the clean energy transition. While many signatories have followed through on their commitment, a few CETP signatories are undermining this progress, including the United States, Italy, and Germany, by continuing to provide billions of dollars to fossil fuel projects well past the end of 2022 deadline. If countries honor their existing commitments to end not only coal finance but also oil and gas finance, including their CETP commitment to negotiate an oil and gas ban at the OECD, it will shift $33.5 billion annually out of fossil fuels. 

Claire O’Manique, Public Finance Analyst at Oil Change International, said: 

“While rich countries continue to drag their feet and claim they can’t afford to fund a globally just energy transition, countries like Canada, Korea, Japan, and the US appear to have no shortage of public funds for climate-wrecking fossil fuels. We must continue to hold wealthy countries accountable for their role in funding the climate crisis, and demand they move first and fastest on a fossil fuel phaseout, to stop funding fossil fuels, and that they pay their fair share of a globally just transition, loss and damage and adaptation finance.” 

Kate DeAngelis, Senior International Finance Program Manager at Friend of the Earth United States, said

“While international public finance could be a catalyst for the just energy transition, government leaders are failing to use it to deliver clean energy solutions where they are most needed. As this report highlights less than 10% of the G20 and major multilateral development bank financing is even reaching low-income countries where energy access needs are greatest. Even worse, a shocking three quarters of that finance is being channeled to climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects that deliver virtually no energy access to communities, and instead, lock in more pollution, climate-wrecking emissions, and devastation.”

Peter Bosip, executive director of the Centre for Environmental Law & Community Rights (CELCOR) said: 

“International public finance streamed into Papua New Guinea over a decade ago to fund a disastrous liquefied natural gas project. Despite the human rights abuses and environmental destruction, these same institutions are set to support a related gas project that is likely to have similarly deleterious effects. This report demonstrates that Papua New Guinea is not alone – international public finance is still providing billions every year for fossil fuels. It is time for public finance institutions to learn some lessons from past mistakes and refuse to support Papua LNG and other fossil fuel projects.”

Makiko Arima, Senior Finance Campaigner at Oil Change International said: 

“Japan is derailing the transition to renewable energy across Asia and globally. Despite its G7 commitment to end fossil fuel financing, its public financial institutions like the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) continue to support new fossil fuel projects, including the Scarborough gas field in Australia and gas power plants in Mexico. JBIC is currently investigating a claim that it failed to follow its social and environmental safeguards in developing the Philippines’ first LNG import terminal in Batangas. Japan needs to put people and planet over profit, and shift its finances from fossil fuels to renewables.”


Regional press releases on this report are available for the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and Italy.


[1] You can download the report here

This report is an update to the November 2022 Report, At A Crossroads: Assessing G20 and MDB International Energy Finance Ahead of Stop Funding Fossils Pledge Deadline, which looked at G20 country and MDB traceable international public finance for fossil fuels from 2019-2021 and found they are still backing at least USD 55 billion per year in oil, gas, and coal projects.

  • The Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) was launched at the 2021 UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. The 41 signatories (full list here) aim to “end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022” and instead “prioritise our support fully towards the clean energy transition.” 
  • This implementation tracker outlines country-level progress on the CETP, and is  updated on a regular basis.
  • This fossil fuel finance violations tracker outlines the laggard countries who have broken their commitment to the CETP, namely the U.S., Italy, and Germany, and continued to finance fossil fuel projects with public money in 2023
  • The IPCC’s AR6 report highlights public finance for fossil fuels as ‘severely misaligned’ with reaching the Paris goals, but that if shifted, it could play a critical role in closing the mitigation finance gap, enabling emission reductions and a just transition. More background on the role international public finance plays in shaping energy systems is available in this Oil Change International briefing.
  • A legal opinion by Professor Jorge E Viñuales from the University of Cambridge and Barrister Kate Cook of Matrix Chambers argues that governments and public finance institutions that continue to finance fossil fuel infrastructure are potentially at risk of climate litigation.

The post Handful of governments block clean energy transition with billions in international finance for fossil fuels appeared first on Oil Change International.

Public Enemies: Assessing MDB and G20 international finance institutions’ energy finance

Oil Change International - Mon, 04/08/2024 - 23:00

Published by Oil Change International & Friends of the Earth U.S.

April 2024

Download the report. 

Read the press release.

This new report, “Public Enemies: Assessing MDB and G20 international finance institutions’ energy finance” looks at G20 country and MDB traceable international public finance for fossil fuels from 2020-2022 and finds they are still backing at least USD 47 billion per year in oil, gas, and coal projects.

The findings reveal that the wealthiest G20 nations are the primary culprits behind continued investments in fossil fuels, with Canada, Korea, and Japan emerging as the worst offenders. The report also highlights where there has been momentum to end international public finance for fossil fuels, finding that if countries keep their existing commitments to end not only coal finance but also oil and gas finance, it would shift $26 billion annually out of fossil fuels by the end of 2024.

The report analyzes finance from OCI’s open-access database, Public Finance for Energy Database (, which has been updated alongside the release of this report. It tracks financial flows to fossil fuels and clean energy from G20 bilateral development finance institutions (DFIs), export credit agencies (ECAs), and the multilateral development banks (MDBs). 

Download the report.


Our analysis shows that:

Significant continued fossil fuel support by a handful of countries is blocking a globally just and equitable transition to clean energy.

  • Fossil fuels received at least $47 billion annually between 2020 and 2022. 
  • The vast majority of fossil fuel finance is flowing to gas – 54% of known international public finance for fossil fuels flowed to fossil gas, and a further 32% to mixed oil and gas projects between 2020 and 2022. This matches our analysis of these institutions’ fossil fuel exclusion policies, where they exist, which have loopholes that allow for ongoing fossil gas support. 
  • The largest share (46%) of G20 and MDB fossil finance between 2020 and 2022 supported midstream transportation and processing projects. This includes finance for projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada, Mozambique LNG, and Korean built LNG carriers. These are some of the most expensive types of projects in the oil and gas supply chain. 
  • ECAs were the worst international public finance actors, accounting for 65% of all known fossil fuel activity between 2020 and 2022. 
  • The World Bank Group (WBG) provided the most direct finance for fossil fuels of any MDB at $1.2 billion a year on average. At least 68% of this was for fossil gas. 

A small group of worst actors hold an outsized responsibility, while others are working together to shift finance from fossil fuels to clean energy.

  • The top three fossil fuel financiers between 2020 and 2022 were: Canada ($10.9 Billion), Korea ($10 Billion), Japan ($6.9 Billion).
    • At the end of 2022 Canada followed through on their commitment to end their international public finance, and is under pressure to meet a separate pledge to end their much larger domestic ECA fossil fuel finance in 2024. 
    • Korea has yet to make any commitments to end their international public finance for fossil fuels.
    • While Japan is part of a G7 Commitment to end their international public finance for fossil fuels, their current policy includes three circumstances where they can continue financing fossil fuel projects. These have served as loopholes for Japan to continue its fossil fuel financing.
  • Coal exclusion policies have worked to nearly eliminate international public finance for coal. Support for coal dropped from an annual average of $10 billion from 2017 to 2019 to $2 billion a year from 2020 to 2022. This decrease can be attributed to coal exclusion policies that came into effect in 2021, including China’s coal power policy and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ECA Coal Agreement. Now these institutions must do the same and follow through on commitments to end their oil and gas finance.
  • There is momentum to shift international direct finance out of fossil fuels. If countries and institutions honor existing commitments, 55% of this fossil fuel support will end by the end of 2024. 
    • Eight out of the sixteen signatories to the Clean Energy Transition Partnership with significant amounts of international energy finance have put in place policies that end their international fossil fuel support. 
  • However, a few laggards are undermining this progress. 
    • The U.S. is the single biggest violator of the CETP pledge, approving the most fossil fuel projects of any signatory for a total of almost $2.3 billion.
    • Italy and Germany have released policies that fall short of the commitment and have big loopholes that are allowing ongoing fossil gas support.
  • The international public finance institutions of Global North countries invested 58 times more in climate wrecking fossil fuel projects each year 2020-2022 than in the loss and damage fund created at COP28.

Clean energy finance is still too low, and not flowing to the countries that need it most. 

  • Clean energy received almost $34 billion annually between 2020 and 2022. This is the highest annual average for clean finance since our dataset began in 2013, but is far below the estimates of the quantity and quality of public clean energy finance required to limit warming to 1.5°C.
  • The top clean energy financiers between 2020 and 2022 were: France ($2.7 billion), Japan ($2.3 billion), and Germany ($2.3 billion).
  • The majority of clean energy finance is also not going where it is most needed, flowing overwhelmingly to wealthy countries. Just 3% of all clean energy finance between 2020 and 2022 went to low-income countries. Only 18% flowed to lower-middle-income countries.

We urgently need public finance institutions’ policies, priorities, and governance to push towards a globally just energy transition. As part of doing their fair share to limit warming to 1.5°C and ensure a livable future, G20 governments and the MDBs they control must:

  • Implement whole-of-government policies (or whole-of-institution policies in the case of MDBs) to immediately end new public direct and indirect finance for oil, gas, and coal projects. These policies must not include loopholes for technologies including carbon capture and storage (CCS), fossil-based hydrogen, ammonia co-firing, fossil gas, and other dangerous distractions.
  • Dramatically scale up clean energy finance on fair terms, especially for transformative energy democracy and environmental justice priorities where need is greatest. This finance must be delivered on debt sustainable terms, and implemented with safeguards and standards to ensure all projects (a) uphold and protect human rights, including free, prior and informed consent; (b) are implemented with democratic and participatory processes; and (c) ensure the sustainable use of land, water and ecosystems.
  • Reform their public reporting to ensure it is transparent and timely.
  • Provide their fair share of debt cancellation, climate finance and loss and damage support to countries in the Global South.
  • Work towards fair multilateral monetary, trade, tax, debt, and financial regulation rules that are aligned with a safe 1.5°C climate pathway.

Read the full report. 

The post Public Enemies: Assessing MDB and G20 international finance institutions’ energy finance appeared first on Oil Change International.

Shell’s Boss Bags £8m: “Let Them Eat Carbon Intensity Reductions”

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com - Mon, 04/08/2024 - 12:39

Posted by John Donovan 8 April 2024

In a move that has charity workers choking on their avocado toast, Shell’s new top dog, Wael Sawan, has snagged a staggering £8 million in his first year at the helm, leaving many wondering if he’s moonlighting as a magician pulling money out of thin air.

While most folks are counting pennies at the pump, Sawan is raking in the cash like it’s going out of style, leaving pressure groups frothing at the mouth faster than you can say “climate crisis.”

Jonathan Noronha-Gant of Global Witness didn’t hold back, declaring the payday a “bitter pill to swallow for the millions of workers living with the high costs of energy.” You tell ’em, Jonathan!

But wait, there’s more! Shell, never one to shy away from a bit of controversy, decided to toss its climate pledges into the recycling bin faster than you can say “greenwashing.”

They’ve dialed down their “net carbon intensity” reduction goals from a modest 45% to a paltry 15-20% by 2030. Why the change of heart, you ask? Well, according to Shell, it’s all about that good ol’ uncertainty in the energy transition. Because who needs ambitious climate targets when you can focus on “value over volume,” right?

And in case you thought BP was going to let Shell hog the limelight, think again. BP’s big cheese, Murray Auchincloss, waltzed away with a cheeky £8 million last year, proving once again that the top brass in the energy world are swimming in cash faster than you can say “fossil fuel frenzy.”

Andrew Speke of the High Pay Centre didn’t mince his words, accusing Shell of prioritizing “the enrichment of their executives and shareholders” over, you know, saving the planet. But fear not, Andrew, for surely reforming company law will be as easy as convincing a polar bear to swap its fur coat for a Speedo.

So there you have it, folks. While the world burns and wallets whimper, Shell’s bosses are laughing all the way to the bank. Because when it comes to prioritising profits over the planet, they’ve mastered the art of the shell game.

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Natural Gas Forwards Entering Shoulder Season in Search of Recovery

NGI Shale Daily - Thu, 04/04/2024 - 13:52

Regional natural gas forward prices advanced during the March 28-April 3 trading period as the start of the spring injection season found market bulls searching for signs of green shoots after a bitter winter.

May fixed prices at Henry Hub rallied 12.1 cents to $1.845/MMBtu, setting the pace for similar front-month gains across much of the Lower 48, NGI’s Forward Look data show.

Working Down The Storage Glut

With the winter that wasn’t officially in the books, the market can shift its attention to the injection season. 

Pricing dynamics across the curve reflect a market caught between an exceptionally mild winter and rosier expectations for demand heading into 2025. At $1.60-plus, the May/December spread at the start of April was as high as it’s been in at least a decade, recent Forward Look data show.

Fixed prices for December 2024 delivery at Henry Hub rallied 8.6 cents during the March 28-April 3 trading period to average $3.479.

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As of March 29, Lower 48 storage stood at 2,259 Bcf, still 633 Bcf above the five-year average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The last time storage was this high exiting the withdrawal season was in 2016, EIA data show. 

Analysts at Mobius Risk Group recently pegged end-of-withdrawal storage at around 2.26 Tcf, which would leave the market “just under 1.8 Tcf of spare capacity to manage” between now and the end of October.

It’s still “far too early” to have any certainty around where inventories may sit at the end of injections, the analysts noted.

Estimates for the end-October exit level have begun to “show a wider variance, as well as a trend lower as production levels have sharply declined,” the Mobius analysts said. “Just a few short months ago, the majority of estimates would have ranged from 4-4.3 Tcf, and we now see a significant number” of estimates below 4 Tcf.

The Mobius analysts pointed to the cumulative storage build for the month of April as “the key number to focus on” as the injection season gets underway.

“How the market comes out of the gates in the injection season will be critical” given the current excess inventories, they said. If the storage surplus doesn’t trend lower at a sufficient rate, it could mean “an elongated production-curtailing price environment.”

EBW Analytics Group analyst Eli Rubin similarly pointed to bringing down the inventory surplus as the prime focus for the market in the coming months.

“The overriding market narrative this spring will be the pace of reductions” in excess storage, both in the United States and Canada, Rubin said. “Near-term progress may falter into late April and May, however – raising risks of a relapse lower for natural gas.

“Further, if prices rise, the market will adjust by reducing demand via gas-to-coal switching and quickly returning withheld supply – quelling upside potential.”

Weather-driven demand may not offer much help in keeping April inventory injections lean.

Recent long-range forecasting pointed to light demand nationally amid “exceptionally comfortable” conditions for the Lower 48 heading into the back half of April, according to NatGasWeather.

Weather patterns starting in the upcoming week and continuing through April 20 appeared likely to see storage surpluses “stall or increase slightly” absent colder trends, the firm said.

“However, as soon as more bullish weather patterns work in concert with tighter production, surpluses will decrease in time,” NatGasWeather said. “The primary question remains when. Our modeling suggests gradual surplus reductions over the next two months, then with the opportunity to accelerate at a faster pace June through September as a hotter-than-normal summer impacts much of the U.S.”

West Texas Discounts

Meanwhile, for Permian Basin hubs, forward prices at the front of the curve did not see the same uplift during the March 28-April 3 period compared to the rest of the Lower 48.

Amid a combination of weak demand and pipeline constraints, negative spot prices have become routine for locations like Waha, El Paso Permian and Transwestern recently.

Front month fixed prices at the two hubs managed to stay in positive territory but came under downward pressure in recent trading, Forward Look data show.

Waha gave up 2.0 cents week/week to end at 21.7 cents, with May basis at the hub widening to minus-$1.624.

Permian natural gas markets could see more of the same “throughout the spring,” RBN Energy LLC analyst Lindsay Schneider said in a recent blog post.

“As we head into the shoulder months and gas demand…continues to sag, the pressure on Waha prices will continue,” Schneider said. “And that means that maintenance events – even small disruptions – could send Waha prices well below zero.”

The post Natural Gas Forwards Entering Shoulder Season in Search of Recovery appeared first on Natural Gas Intelligence

The Power of Misinformation in Blocking Clean Energy Reform

FracTracker - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 12:58

In this article, FracTracker’s Communications Intern Sarah Liez discusses the role of misinformation as an obstacle to clean energy reform and how it stalls initiatives aimed at transitioning to renewable sources of power.

The post The Power of Misinformation in Blocking Clean Energy Reform appeared first on FracTracker Alliance.

Electra commissions clean iron pilot plant

Mining.Com - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 06:06

Electra, a startup backed by BHP, Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy and Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, among others, announced the commissioning of a pilot plant to produce metallic iron from already mined, high-impurity, commercially-stranded ores supplied by BHP.

According to the company, the technology used at the plant is aimed at accelerating the decarbonization, sustainability, and circularity of the ore-to-steel value chain.

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the plant processes a wide range of ores and the principal iron ore impurities like alumina and silica are selectively refined as co-products.

The facility is designed to produce clean iron in approximately 1-metre square plates, but capacity is being increased in a phased approach to validate modularity and high-volume commercial-scale production.

“With greater than 99% purity, Electra’s clean iron, combined with recycled scrap steel, offers the highest value-in-use for electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers, while reducing the capital intensity, cost, and waste across the value chain,” Electra’s CEO and co-founder, Sandeep Nijhawan, said in a media statement. “Clean iron produced from a wide variety of ore types is the key constraint to decarbonizing the steel industry sustainably. With support from our partners across the value chain, the pilot brings us closer to our goal of producing millions of tonnes of clean iron by the end of the decade.”

U.S. Coast Guard works to contain 420-gallon oil spill in Texas waters

Fuel Fix - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 06:03

Tabbs Bay is east of Houston near Baytown and La Porte. 

ERCOT names Ohio energy exec Pablo Vegas as new CEO of Texas power grid

Fuel Fix - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 06:03

State regulators came under intense scrutiny in 2021 when it was discovered that one-third of its leadership lived out of state.

Next US energy boom could be wind power in the Gulf of Mexico

Fuel Fix - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 06:03

More than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coast, so offshore wind sites are close to electricity demand centers.

Who benefits from renewable energy subsidies? In Texas, it's often fossil fuel companies that are fighting clean energy elsewhere

Fuel Fix - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 06:03

We are able to track who actually builds and owns a large portion of the nation’s renewable energy.


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