United Kingdom says goodbye to coal mining
After 300 years of producing the black gold,Britains last standi...
After 300 years of producing the black gold, Britain’s last standing coal miners, UK Coal Holding, is shutting down its last two underground operations, the company said in a statement. The company announced it closed its Thoresby mine on Friday and will shut down its Kellingley coal mine in northern England around December 15.
“The U.K. coal industry has been in structural decline for 40 years,” Paolo Coghe, an energy analyst at Societe Generale, told Bloomberg. “It’s no longer positioned to withstand an extended period of low prices such as the one we are experiencing now.”
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Coal prices have fallen dramatically in the past few years as supply continues to outpace demand. According to Bloomberg, China reduced imports fell 10 percent in 2014 and are expected to fall as much as 42 percent in 2015.
In addition, shipments from the world’s five largest exports, including Russia, Australia and Colombia, have dropped by 5.5 percent to 218 million tons in the second quarter, while purchases by the eight largest importers dropped 6.5 percent to 150 million tons in the same period.
Imported coal covered 84 percent of total consumption in the UK last year, compared with 21 percent in 1995.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.