Goldman Sachs plans to sell its coal mines in Colombia amid environmental concerns
Goldman Sachs wants no more. The American multinational investment banking firm is reportedly planning to sell its coal mines in Columbia, and is even willing to take a loss to do so.
According to sources quoted in The Wall Street Journal, the banking firm has endured intense environmental problems from locals, previously prompting the government to order certain companies in the region to relocate three entire villages.
According to the WSJ, local women and children had formed a human blockade to protest labor issues, shutting down production.
"Certain operational issues have arisen," commodities executives reportedly said.
In addition, coal prices continue to tumble, falling more than 20 percent in three years. Another six precent decline could permanently impair the value of Goldman’s investment.
The firm’s first Columbian coal mine, La Francia, was purchased in 2010 from Canadian Coalcorp Mining; the second mine was purchased in 2012 from Vale. Goldman operated the two mines under its Colombia Natural Resources unit.
Any sale of the coal mines would mark the end of the firm’s rocky sideline as a producer of raw materials, the WSJ said.
In 2013, operations at the La Francia mine in Columbia were suspended after a subcontractor abruptly ended its agreement. According to records, the mine’s activities have been suspended and all machinery was abandoned onsite.
Goldman Sachs said it will not lose more than it invested into the coal mines in Columbia because liability is limited to the unit running the mine.
The investing firm would like to continue with the commodities business and to trade raw materials and associated financial instruments. In 2013, Goldman Sachs reported $1.5 billion revenues from its commodities operations.
Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.