Happy New Year from the Prospector team! In this week's Nugget we're digging into the latest mining news, social trends, and tech reports.
Learning From 2023 Mining Industry Trends
The mining industry faced unique challenges in 2023, and in 2024 we're looking to see how we can continue to adapt.
- 🗨 Embracing Financing In The Mining Industry
- 🎧 On the Rocks
- 📰 In The News
- ⚒️ Mining Data Digest Snapshot
- 📱 Trending On Social
- ❓ Prospector Poll
🗨 Embracing Financing In The Mining Industry
The mining industry faced significant challenges in 2023 – fluctuating commodity prices, permitting delays, geopolitical uncertainties. As 2024 begins, inflationary pressures and market volatility persist even as demand rises for minerals essential to the global energy transition.
Listen to the our 2023 Mining Roundup to get the full picture.
🎧 On The Rocks
📰 In The News
Norway Poised To Open Vast Ocean Area To Controversial Deep-Sea Mining
Norway is set to approve commercial deep-sea mining, allowing companies to extract minerals like cobalt and copper from the seafloor, despite warnings from scientists and environmentalists about permanent damage to unexplored deep-sea ecosystems. Supporters argue supply of minerals for clean energy tech warrants mining, but critics counter that more research is needed to understand the environmental tradeoffs at stake, with over 800 marine experts calling for a pause before allowing large-scale loss of biodiversity.
AI Predicts Gold Price For The End Of 2024
Gold prices have rebounded over 25% from 2022 lows to reach a new record high of $2,146.79/oz in December 2023, validating gold's status as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty. Advanced AI models forecast the gold price to remain elevated in a likely range of $2,100-$2,200/oz in 2024, but it could reach $2,250-$2,350/oz under bullish conditions or drop to $1,900-$2,000/oz if bearish. Google's Bard AI similarly predicts $2,075/oz for 2024. However, AI predictions should not be considered absolute, so investors must weigh other factors when making decisions.
World’s Biggest Mining Project To Start After 27 Years Of Setbacks And Scandals
After 27 years of delays involving ownership changes, legal disputes, and political upheaval in Guinea, Rio Tinto is finally poised to begin the world's biggest mining project in 2024 - a $20 billion iron ore development in a remote corner of West Africa. The project will involve complex partnerships between Rio Tinto, the Guinean government, and Chinese companies to build mines, a railway, and a port. Once completed, it is expected to produce 60 million tonnes of high-grade iron ore annually by 2028, providing 5% of global supply and aiding efforts to decarbonize the steel industry in China. Despite past setbacks and Guinea's recent coup, Rio Tinto remains confident in the project's institutions and commitments.
Top 10 Business Risks & Opportunities For Mining & Metals In 2024
The mining industry faces a complex risk landscape in 2024 with growing pressure to address ESG issues like emissions reduction and community impact. Additional challenges include securing capital for energy transition investments, improving productivity amid high costs, managing geopolitical risks, and boosting cybersecurity as digital transformation accelerates. However, miners are also pursuing opportunities like adopting new technologies, exploring green minerals, and developing the workforce. Companies that increase transparency, engage stakeholders, and take an integrated view can thrive despite volatility.
The World’s Largest Mines In 2024
Nearly 100 new mines will begin operations worldwide in 2024, led by major iron ore, gold, and copper projects, but startups face risks like cost overruns and delays. Products like Seal Saver wraps that protect heavy machinery can help avoid issues. Among the largest expected mines are the Onslow iron ore mine in Australia, the Mesabi Metallics iron mine in the US, the Greenstone and Côté gold mines in Canada, the Toromocho copper mine in Peru, and the delayed Jimblebar iron ore mine in Australia. Careful planning and preventative measures will be key for successful startups.
Gold CEO Firing Deals Fresh Blow To Mining’s Battered Reputation
The mining industry has faced a series of setbacks in recent months that have shaken investor confidence, from the permanent closure of First Quantum's giant copper mine in Panama to massive valuation drops for companies like Teck Resources, Anglo American, Sibanye Stillwater, and Impala Platinum after accidents, cost overruns, and production cuts. The latest blow came when Endeavour Mining fired its CEO over an alleged $5.9 million "irregular payment." While miners aim to position themselves as vital for the green transition, these incidents highlight the sector's ongoing struggles with rising costs, social license, and country risk, undermining their investment case despite high commodity demand. Restoring faith will require demonstrating operational excellence, financial discipline, and strong community relations.
⚒️ Mining Data Digest Snapshot
Company: Pan American Energy Corp.
The Horizon Lithium property located in Nevada consists of 839 unpatented lode claims covering 7,015 hectares prospective for lithium hosted in lacustrine claystones. A maiden mineral resource estimate effective November 2023 defines an indicated resource of 249,000 tonnes lithium (1.33 million tonnes LCE) at an average grade of 669 ppm lithium and an inferred resource of 1.67 million tonnes lithium (8.88 million tonnes LCE) at an average grade of 680 ppm lithium. The deposit remains open and further exploration is warranted to expand resources. Metallurgical testing is recommended to develop an extraction process, followed by a preliminary economic assessment to evaluate potential project viability. The property is considered an early stage lithium exploration project but initial results are encouraging to justify additional work.
📱 Trending On Social
📰 Simandou Build Expected to Start in 2024@RioTinto plans to start work this year on the massive Simandou #iron ore project in Guinea, set to be the world's largest new mine. It is a complex partnership to develop mines & infrastructure.— Prospector (@ProspectorAI) January 9, 2024
More 👉 https://t.co/QpHPLvWSrH pic.twitter.com/Aq04RdDKs0
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