Wednesday 7th December 2016

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘oil’

Infographic: Countries of origin for raw materials

November 16th, 2016

Graphic by BullionVault | text by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | November 16, 2016

Every “thing” comes from somewhere.

Whether we are talking about an iPhone or a battery, even the most complex technological device is made up of raw materials that originate in a mine, farm, well or forest somewhere in the world.

This infographic from BullionVault shows the top three producing countries of various commodities such as oil, gold, coffee and iron.

Infographic Countries of origin for raw materials

 

The many and the few

The origins of the world’s most important raw materials are interesting to examine because the production of certain commodities is much more concentrated than others.

Oil, for example, is extracted by many countries throughout the world because it forms in fairly universal circumstances. Oil is also a giant market and a strategic resource, so some countries are even willing to produce it at a loss. The largest three crude oil-producing countries are the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia—but that only makes up 38% of the total market.

Contrast this with the market for some base metals such as iron or lead and the difference is clear. China consumes mind-boggling amounts of raw materials to feed its factories, so it tries to get them domestically. That’s why China alone produces 45% of the world’s iron and 52% of all lead. Nearby Australia also finds a way to take advantage of this: It is the second-largest producer for each of those commodities and ships much of its output to Chinese trading partners. A total of two-thirds of the world’s iron and lead comes from these two countries, making production extremely concentrated.

But even that pales in comparison with the market for platinum, which is so heavily concentrated that only a few countries are significant producers. South Africa extracts 71% of all platinum, while Russia and Zimbabwe combine for another 19% of global production. That means only one in every 10 ounces of platinum comes from a country other than those three sources.

Graphic by BullionVault | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Ever deeper, ever higher

October 11th, 2016

China takes on three mining frontiers, but not without competition

by Greg Klein

This is the first of a two-part feature. See Part 2.

Nearly a century before laggard Europeans got around to their Age of Exploration, Chinese merchant vessels had been travelling at least as far as eastern Africa, returning with vast shiploads of treasure. The voyages ended abruptly in 1433, for reasons debated by historians, and rulers ordered a massive merchant fleet destroyed. That largely left the New World to Westerners, evidently not a policy China intends to repeat. Now the country plans the conquest of three new frontiers: “deep underground, deep sky and deep sea.”

Such are the goals of Three Deep, a five-year plan announced last month by the country’s Ministry of Land and Resources. China’s funding R&D that would take mineral exploration deeper than ever on land and at sea, while exploring from outer space as well. But formidable as they are, the three frontiers aren’t completely uncharted. The expansionist, resource-hungry regime will have competition.

China takes on three mining frontiers, but not without competition

By 2020 the country wants the ability to mine land-based deposits that begin two kilometres in depth, find minerals at three kilometres, and identify oil and gas at 6.5 to 10 kilometres, the South China Morning Post reported October 5. China intends to develop underground communities too, although those details were even more scarce.

China also plans technology for undersea mineral exploration and mining, working towards the ability to send a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to 11 kilometres’ depth by 2020, the paper added. That’s slightly beyond the deepest known point of any seabed. The country has already sent an ROV seven kilometres deep in the Pacific. In the Indian Ocean, Chinese have been studying seabed mining technology on a 10,000-square-kilometre area south of Madagascar, the SCMP stated.

Going from the depths to the heavens, China wants 27 satellites in orbit by 2020 to conduct surveys and research, partly on terrestrial mineral potential. The country also has expressed ambitions for moon and Mars landings, and for sending its citizens into space. A Chinese competitor to SpaceX, One Space Technology, plans its first commercial rocket launch in 2018.

SpaceX, of course, retains its Elon Musk confidence even after the Falcon 9 rocket blew up prior to take-off last month, destroying a $300-million communications satellite. Having received NASA contracts to ferry people and cargo to the International Space Station, Musk continues to talk about sending colonists to Mars. He’s already sent some lithium stocks to the moon.

Probably among the more credible companies talking about mining the heavens are Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries. Both develop technology for NAFTA and both have signed MOUs with Luxembourg that would help finance mineral exploration and mining of near-Earth asteroids. The Grand Duchy, a global leader in satellite communications, has announced its willingness to invest in extra-terrestrial mining to become a world leader in other worlds. The country also plans to create a legal framework for its outer space endeavours, after the U.S. passed legislation giving Americans the right to keep any extra-terrestrial commodities they extract.

Deep Space says it will launch its Prospector X experimental asteroid explorer “in the near future.” By the first half of the next decade, Planetary expects to begin small-scale extraction of asteroid water for its oxygen and hydrogen.

Already a nine-year veteran of the main asteroid belt, NASA’s Dawn craft now orbits the dwarf planet Ceres after having studied the proto-planet Vesta. Last month the space agency’s NASA OSIRIS-REx set off for the asteroid Bennu, with arrival expected in 2018 and return in 2023.

JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, has been to that neighbourhood and back after its Hayabusa craft delivered asteroid samples in 2010.

Last month the European Space Agency ended the 12-year, eight-billion-kilometre odyssey of its Rosetta craft, which spent the last two years studying a comet. In a joint project with Russia’s Roscosmos, the ESA expects to land a capsule on Mars on October 19 to search for signs of previous life.

Russia’s moon exploration program sees potential for minerals delivered by asteroid impact. “In the next few years, all scheduled moon flights will focus on its southern polar region, where low-temperature reservoirs of rare earths, as well as unknown volatile substances, have been detected,” Industrial Minerals quoted Vladislav Shevchenko of Moscow State University. Given higher commodity prices, mining could be viable, he added.

Boeing NYSE:BA recently matched Musk’s big talk as CEO Dennis Muilenburg spoke about sending holidayers to orbiting tourist traps prior to linking up with the Red Planet. “I’m convinced the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding a Boeing rocket,” Bloomberg quoted him last week. As a NASA contractor Boeing competes with SpaceX on its own and through the United Launch Alliance, a JV with Lockheed Martin NYSE:LMT.

This is the first of a two-part feature. See Part 2.

The non-profit group Resource Works points out green energy’s reliance on oil, gas and mining

July 18th, 2016

…Read more

Cardiff Energy turns green with Quebec lithium project

June 22nd, 2016

by Greg Klein | June 22, 2016

Believing there’s more lithium to be found in Quebec’s James Bay region, Cardiff Energy TSXV:CRS announced its Eastmain River acquisition on June 22. Vended by Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC, the 1,160-hectare property sits in the lower Eastmain Greenstone Belt, where “outcrop exposure is extraordinary in the area with pegmatites crosscutting at surface,” the company stated.

Cardiff Energy turns green with Quebec lithium project

“The Eastmain River area consists of a four-kilometre zone of irregular crosscutting dykes of spodumene pegmatites, up to 60 metres wide and over 100 metres long,” Cardiff added. Historic, non-43-101 documentation reports 277 samples averaging 1.7% Li2O. The property has yet to be drilled.

Eight kilometres south of Cardiff’s project, ASX-listed Galaxy Resources’ James Bay project has an indicated resource of 11.75 million tonnes averaging 1.3% and an inferred category of 10.47 million tonnes averaging 1.2% Li2O in a surface deposit with open pit potential.

The Eastmain River project sits 2.5 kilometres from a highway, with a gas station, accommodations and helicopter support eight kilometres southwest, as well as an airport 30 kilometres away.

Cardiff also announced suspension of work on its 70%-held Clayton #1H oil well in Texas pending additional funding or JV interest.

Read interviews with Chris Berry and Jon Hykawy discussing energy metals.

June 22nd, 2016

Tesla announces plan to acquire SolarCity to form an Elon Musk (not so) super group Equities.com
What Brexit is all about: Taxation (and regulation) without representation Stockhouse
Three bullish views on NexGen Energy Streetwise Reports
Let’s talk prices: Graphite, lithium, fluorspar and TiO2
Industrial Minerals
Analyse this: Central bank intervention GoldSeek
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Lithium penny stock soars on sample results SmallCapPower
Elon Musk: Our lithium-ion batteries should be called nickel-graphite Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500

June 21st, 2016

What Brexit is all about: Taxation (and regulation) without representation Stockhouse
Three bullish views on NexGen Energy Streetwise Reports
Let’s talk prices: Graphite, lithium, fluorspar and TiO2 Industrial Minerals
Analyse this: Central bank intervention GoldSeek
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Texas is waging a new battle—against the entire financial system Equities.com
Lithium penny stock soars on sample results SmallCapPower
Elon Musk: Our lithium-ion batteries should be called nickel-graphite Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500

June 20th, 2016

Three bullish views on NexGen Energy Streetwise Reports
Let’s talk prices: Graphite, lithium, fluorspar and TiO2 Industrial Minerals
Analyse this: Central bank intervention GoldSeek
Are we nearing the end of the EU experiment? Stockhouse
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Texas is waging a new battle—against the entire financial system Equities.com
Lithium penny stock soars on sample results SmallCapPower
Elon Musk: Our lithium-ion batteries should be called nickel-graphite Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500

June 17th, 2016

Let’s talk prices: Graphite, lithium, fluorspar and TiO2 Industrial Minerals
Analyse this: Central bank intervention GoldSeek
Are we nearing the end of the EU experiment? Stockhouse
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Texas is waging a new battle—against the entire financial system Equities.com
Lithium penny stock soars on sample results SmallCapPower
U.S. jobs report changes the landscape for gold Streetwise Reports
Elon Musk: Our lithium-ion batteries should be called nickel-graphite Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500

The real backbone of green technology

June 15th, 2016

Posted with permission of Resource Works

Renewable energy has an enviable position in the court of public opinion. All the while, natural resources that make renewables possible are regularly decried by self-proclaimed progressives pushing to leave everything in the ground.

It’s true—our planet’s climate is changing and humans are the central instigators. Though even as the reality of carbon emission strikes home, we must be careful that our understanding of the state of energy transition doesn’t become mired in conflicting agendas with contrasting narratives about the path to an effective shift into clean tech.

The real backbone of green technology

The simple reality is that we subsist on energy produced by carbon emission and goods built on mineral extraction. Think it ends with renewables? Not a chance.

To serve as a viable alternative to fossil fuels, already a major task for the brightest innovators we’ve got, green technologies depend on mineral development, as well as global production and supply chains that are almost entirely driven by petroleum products.

A Tesla car battery or a solar panel doesn’t just come into existence and begin creating limitless energy. Before ingenious technologies built to harness the sun’s power or that of the wind can come online and begin feeding into a power grid, the raw materials that make them must be sourced and transported. Mining is the first step. A solar panel is just one good example of the complexity of high-tech manufacturing.

Once minerals like neodymium (a rare earth metal used to make magnets in wind turbines) or quartz (the most common ingredient in the panel part of a solar panel) are sourced, they go to refining to render them suitable for industrial application.

An 80-foot-tall wind turbine typically carries 19,000 pounds of steel in the tower itself. Steelmaking, in case you didn’t know, requires coal both as an energy source and as a source of carbon, which when combined with iron is used to create steel. Based on the steel industry’s global annual figures, the total coal used in making steel is about half the weight of the total steel output.

Next these materials must be assembled, often in many places cumulatively. By the time a typical wind turbine starts moving, its parts will have traversed thousands of kilometres.

Here’s the point to take with you: “Fossil fuel-free” favourites like wind, solar or even hydro rely on extracted natural resources. With enough research and development, the methods of manufacturing them will continuously become more efficient and we may reach an entirely zero emissions lifestyle. Until that point comes, mining and fuel extraction remain essential activities not just to our daily lives, but also to our best hopes for a shift to renewable energy production.

Resource Works is a non-profit society that encourages “respectful, fact-based dialogue on responsible resource development in British Columbia.”

June 15th, 2016

Are we nearing the end of the EU experiment? Stockhouse
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Texas is waging a new battle—against the entire financial system Equities.com
Lithium penny stock soars on sample results SmallCapPower
Bank of Montreal warns against other banks in gold business GoldSeek
U.S. jobs report changes the landscape for gold Streetwise Reports
Elon Musk: Our lithium-ion batteries should be called nickel-graphite Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Dissecting lithium battery technology Industrial Minerals
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500