As the week winds down, here are some of the more way-out postings I have encountered this week on the subject of mining:
Gold Mining for Dummies, writes of an uncle who bought a California gold mine, failed to find gold, and sold the mine to another who found the gold and grew rich. A funny little story that is hard to believe is true. This is the thrust of the story:
The new mine owner walked through the mine to have a look at what he’d purchased. When he got to the area where the water was dripping steadily from above into the pools below, he shined his flash up on the ceiling to see where the water was coming from. What he saw changed his life and made him fabulously wealthy. He had found the ‘mother lode’ just by looking up!
Envisioning the future of the mining industry takes a surprisingly positive look at mining in an age of global warming, saying:
Mining is now a crucial part of our every day lives. Even when we most likely are not associated with the industry we use materials that are derived from mining everyday. A world without minerals would have been a world without cars, trains, airplanes etc. We would struggle to do what exactly we now have without those important minerals. We won’t manage to reside in secure buildings/structures as everything will likely then have to be made out of wood.
Avatar in India tells of the upcoming Oscar awards and the real-life simulacrum being played out in the jungles of India, where:
In India’s impoverished but mineral-rich state of Orissa, hundreds of indigenous tribespeople are battling to stop London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc from extracting bauxite from what they say is their sacred mountain. “The fundamental story of Avatar — if you take away the multi-colored lemurs, the long-trunked horses and warring androids — is being played out today in Niyamgiri mountain in India’s Orissa state,” said Stephen Corry, director of the British charity, Survival International. “Like the Na’vi of Avatar, the Dongria Kondh tribe are also at risk.” Vedanta says its mine would not violate the rights of indigenous tribespeople, saying that all its projects are conducted within the law and using international best practices.
Mining in the Winelands, meanwhile tells of a similar situation playing out in the South African wine farming area where mining threatens to affect the quality of the wines rich people drink. Now that would make a great movie–kind of like Blood Diamonds, for it is on the same wine farms that the nasty people of that movie lived. Talk about turning the tables!
In a statement issued yesterday, chairman of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild, Johan Malan from Simonsig, was strongly opposed to any such development at all. He pointed out that not only would the proposed mining activities destroy the UNESCO registered Bottelary Hills Renosterbos Conservancy and the vineyards that attract large numbers of tourists to South Africa every year; it would also result in the loss of employment and income for a great many families working on the wine farms in these areas.
Copper Slides as analysts conclude the Chile earthquake won’t affect the supply or the price of copper:
Benchmark copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange fell to $7 525/t from $7 580 at the close on Wednesday and compared with a session low at $7 445. “Perhaps the market has feared that the damage caused by the earthquake in Chile last weekend, was more severe than it turns out,” said Peter Fertig, a consultant at Quantitative Commodity Research. Copper prices hit five-week peaks on Monday after Chile temporarily shut down nearly a quarter of its mine capacity. Supply worries appear to be easing slightly, as Codelco, the world’s top copper miner, said it was exporting normally after Saturday’s quake, and Anglo American said affected copper mining operations were able to resume full production by Wednesday.
Canada’s new budget purportedly will benefit the mining industry:
In the budget document presented by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty Thursday, the Canadian Government declared, “Canada’s rich mineral resources represent significant economic opportunities. Promoting the exploration and development of these resources offers important benefits in terms of employment, investment and infrastructure, especially for rural and remote communities.” Budget 2010 proposed to extend the temporary 15% Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) to March 31, 2011. The credit is designed to assist junior mining companies in raising new equity through the issuance of flow-through tax shares. The program only applies to preliminary mineral exploration activities conducted from ground level or above ground level. Expenses for underground exploration or for the purpose of bringing a mine into production are also excluded. The estimated net cost of extension of the credit will be $65 million over the next two fiscal years.
Plus it has been sunny and warm in Vancouver all week, prompting the Provincial Premier to bewail the onset of global warming that gave us the warmest winter in 100 years at the same time as the Olympics were under way and we would have prefered snow.