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Tahoe Resources hits by the suspension of mining licence at its Escobal mine. 

The supreme court issued a temporary licence suspension after nongovernmental and anti-mining organisation Calas filed a claim in May against Guatemala’s Ministry of Energy and Mines. Calas alleged that Tahoe had violated the Xinca indigenous people’s right of consultation in advance of granting the Escobal mining licence to Tahoe’s Guatemalan subsidiary, Minera San Rafael. (source Mining Weekly;  HENRY LAZENBY : CREAMER MEDIA DEPUTY EDITOR: NORTH AMERICA)

Calas (Center for Environmental, Social and Legal Action) had already reported several communiy issues with Tahoe since 2013. CALAS is an organization that advocates for the collective rights of indigenous peoples in relation to environmental issues.

Tahoe is facing a serious problem as it could put the mine production on standby. In the meantime, the company will await a formal order suspending the licence for Escobal.

Tahoe intends to appeal the decision in the Constitutional Court and to ask for the Supreme Court to reconsider its provisional ruling. However the constitutional claim and appeal process could take between 12 and 18 months…


Ghana : au moins 17 disparus après l’effondrement d’une mine d’or illégale

More than 10 years ago I was in Ghana and the problem was the same. The Galamsey have still access to underground mines and we should question who is behind? Such a persistent issue tends to reflect how the mining law is applied and how it has evolved. More recently I could observed some disfunctionning with the permitting process for a junior explorer.



On last October, Rio Tinto annouced its partnership with Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute for recovery of critical minerals and metals.

If materials science has evolved considerably. Metallurgical processing and recovery of rare metals are in research phase. The initiative reflects the interest of Rio Tinto to add value to some of its as-sets (here Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine and Resolution Copper Mining) in the future and to be positioned in the critical raw material market.

Nigel Steward, managing director Rio Tinto Copper and Diamonds Operations, commented: “CMI’s focus on the materials required for the US to be a global leader in clean-tech manufacturing fits well with our operational expertise in mining and smelting. We know there is potential to recover more rare metals and minerals in our current smelting process; we just need to find ways to do it more efficiently and economically. We are excited to be working with CMI to find innovative solutions.” 

The partnership will focus on the efficient extraction of critical minerals from the copper smelting process across three core work streams:

1. Critical minerals: ‘Researching the improvement of potential recovery rates of critical minerals and metals (rhenium, selenium, tellurium, scandium, etc.) ‘

2. Tailings: ‘Exploring potential for increasing recovery rates of rare minerals and metals through tailings processing ‘

3. Recycling e-waste: ‘Examining process improvements that would facilitate the blending of pro-cessed electronic waste (‘e-waste’) with copper concentrates to materially increase the recovery of valuable metals such as gold, copper, silver, platinum, lithium and rare earths present in spent cellphones, computers and solar panels’

Rio Tinto has also signed a consortium agreement with Savannah Resources to develop their adjacent heavy mineral sand deposit (Jangamo) in Inhambane province in southern Mozambique.


The Philippines ordered the closure of 21 nickel mines and the suspension of five more for environmental violations.

The decision will impact about 50% of country's production. Nickel mining in Philippines have always been significant and have become worst in the last years due a revived interest of China.

Our geolgist on site has often reported damages to the environment and coastal areas. 

Environment and natural resources minister Regina Lopez accuses mining firm of operating on watersheds, polluting rivers and hampering local agriculture.

With Indonesia and Philippines governements decisions regarding the nickel mining, we observe that long term views prevail to preserve the biodiversity.


China has reached the limits of air pollution!

As reported by metal Pages: "The ministry of environmental protection has invoked emergency measures to control "heavy pollution" in Beijing and Tianjin municipalities, as well as Shandong and Hebei provinces over 3-6 November. The measures include restrictions on steel output in these key steel production areas."

Again the situation is critical and the heavy industry in China will be under pressure to be compliant with international standards. We also observe that emissions control efforts target smaller mills that do not have the resources to install complete pollution control equipment.

Following the COP21 agreement in Paris, China will notify stricter emissions levels for steel plants next year.

The pollution control efforts could increase steel prices, as it will restrict output at a time when construction and manufacturing steel demand remains robust.