Industry bodies call for resumption of mining in Goa
Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), a body representing the south India state’s mining industry, has appealed to central and state government to restart mining activities by the end of the month.
Mining came to a halt in March 2019 after the Indian Supreme Court quashed 88 leases and banned extraction of fresh iron ore.
This followed a ban by the Indian Supreme Court in 2012 following the unearthing of a £3.54 million scam by a judicial commission appointed by the central government. Operations resumed in 2015 with restrictions but were then stopped after the apex court found the lease irregularities.
“We strongly urge ... the Chief Minister of Goa to stick to his assurance of (finding a) solution for Goa mining crisis by end of December 2019," said GMPF president Puti Gaonkar Gaonkar.
"Recently we have heard announcements through statements attributed to various MLAs in the state regarding the intention of the state to form state-run Mining Corporation for resumption of Goa mining but it does not seem to be a feasible solution as the Mines Ministry in its IA (interlocutory application) stated that there is a likelihood of conflicting rights being created unless the challenge to Abolition Act is decided by the Supreme Court."
Gaonkar emphasises that state-run corporations do not have the necessary expertise to conduct mining activities in Goa.
"We are firm on our demand of legislative amendment or a judicial solution ... for resumption of Goa mining. If the government fails to meet the deadline of this month end for recommencement of mining activities, they must provide relief package to all mining dependents from next month onwards," he asserts.
Mining is one of two major sources of livelihood in Goa, alongside tourism - which itself has suffered from the pandemic - and the complete shutdown has adversely impacted the livelihoods of more than 300,000 people.
When the mining industry was at its peak, mining extraction, trade and export accounted for 30 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
Albemarle profit beats expectations on rising lithium prices
Albemarle, the world’s largest producer of lithium, has posted a quarterly profit that easily beat Wall Street’s expectations on rising demand from the electric vehicle industry.
The company reported first-quarter net income of $95.7mn, or 84 cents per share, compared with $107.2mn, or $1.01 per share, in the year-ago period, reports Reuters.
Excluding one-time items, Albemarle earned $1.10 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 80 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Shares of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company have nearly tripled in the past year, closing on Wednesday at $167.15, up 3.1% on the day. The stock was flat in after-hours trading.
Albemarle said the outlook for lithium sales has improved since 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to pause expansions and production in some regions. Prices for the white metal should improve for the rest of the year, the company forecast.
Albemarle is in the final stages of two projects to boost its lithium processing and expects to approve further expansion projects by June.
Weakness in Albemarle’s division that supplies crude oil refineries offset the surge in sales of lithium during the quarter. Albemarle is consulting with investors on the quarterly results.
In Janaury this year, Albermarle revealed it was expanding its lithium production facility at Silver Peak in Nevada. It will also begin a program to evaluate clays and other available Nevada resources for the commercial production of lithium, a critical mineral in green mobility, and comes as North American automotive manufacturers are looking to reorganise their supply chain for greater security and sustainability.