We are currently in an era of extreme volatility in terms of
commodities, where we can experience the swiftest growth in value, and
one of the sharp drops, all within a few weeks of one another
(Australian Mining August 2016).
The sharp fall in global commodity prices is starting to have an impact
on North Korea, a state that relies heavily on exports of minerals to
keep its economy afloat — and its gargantuan military funded. It’s
becoming more and more difficult to earn foreign currency, as last year
minerals trade decreased by about 10 per cent by volume and about 15 per
cent by price.
At about 8:30 on a chilly winter morning, a factory outside the desert
city Ulin in China is already getting busy. Its five-story office
building is almost fully occupied. Trucks drive in with coal and drive
out with construction waste. And if you look closely, you can see
workers wearing helmets, climbing up and down on giant pipes. In front
of the office building, a row of colorful flags reads, “Fighting for
success in 2015”.
Oversupply continues to weigh on the performance of thermal and
metallurgical coal exports into China, according to Wood Mackenzie
senior analyst Jonathan Sultoon. The causes of oversupply stemmed from
an earlier market enthusiasm for coal that peaked in 2010 and 2011.
A new 167-year-life coal mine has opened in Russia. The Arshanovsky open
cut mine, in south eastern Siberia, has set a goal of two billion
tonnes of coal extracted over its mine life, at a rate of around 10
million tonnes per annum.
Top pioneering mining technology innovators and developers will be
honoured by inclusion in the inaugural global Mining Technology Hall of
Fame next year, to shine the light on the people – past and present –
behind the “leaps of progress” that had changed the industry for the