EU agrees law to curb flow of conflict minerals – much ado about nothing

According to REUTERS (WORLD NEWS | Tue Nov 22, 2016 | 1:47pm EST), The European Union agreed a deal on Tuesday to stem the flow of gold and other metals used to fund armed conflicts or produced in conditions that breach human rights.

EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum, gold and their ores will from 2021 have to carry out checks on their suppliers in legislation that will also apply to smelters and refiners.

Human rights campaigners said the agreement was a half-hearted first step, with imports of finished products that may contain the minerals not included and an end result that exempted a large number of companies.

To read it in full: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-trade-conflict-id

Much ado about nothing, one of my favourite Shakespeare plays.

The Portuguese mineral industry – update

Portugal has a long tradition in the mining industry (in our European heartland and, during our long and rich History, in other territories in South America, Africa, Asia). Romans mined (gold and other metals, natural stone) in what is now the Portuguese territory and before them the Celts and Phoenicians.

The  Portuguese mining industry is now built around three main pillars:

  1. The natural stone sector (with hundreds of active marble, granite and limestone quarries and high quality manufacturing centers – we are the largest per capita natural stone exporter: market research here).
  2. The metals (especially Au and W – in the country’s north and center – and Cu-Zn in VMS Iberian Pyrite Belt – in the south).
  3. Industrial rocks and minerals (kaolinite, felspar, aggregates, etc.).

There are several active exploration – evaluation projects (base metals, gold, tungsten) in the country and high potential for lithium and other mineral commodities. To know more about our mineral industry, just read Mineral Resources of Portugal, the latest official statistical information or, better still, contact us at luischambel@sinese.pt.

Portuguese infrastructure is first-class and where else do you find warmer people and weather and better food and wine?

Going to PDAC – meet and talk

A last minute decision – I am traveling to Toronto to attend PDAC 2016.

It’s the perfect place to meet and talk: Angola, Mozambique, Brazil and Portugal, diamond and other gems, Nb-Ta and other pegmatite minerals, tungsten, gold, ferrous and base metal deposits, industrial minerals, natural stone. Challenges and opportunities.

Where and when can we meet? luischambel@sinese.pt

 

 

Responsible sourcing for mining & metals – ICMM

Companies have a shared responsibility for the materials that they produce. Demonstrating value focuses on the two complementary sides of the responsible sourcing debate – sustainable procurement and responsible supply.

A client (a small to medium sized operation) recently asked my help to certify the origin of its production in a neighbouring country of DRC. If it’s diamonds we talking about, there are already standard procedures in place (it’s relatively easy); if it’s one of the 3TG (tin,tantalum, tungsten or gold), then it’s a complex maze, especially if you are outside the Great Lakes countries but in their shadow (neighbouring countries).

In this situation, there is no one locally to whom you may ask for advice (no financing for institutions to have representations in the countries outside the main focus of attention; yet local producers have to “exercise supply chain due diligence“, whatever this is (don’t bother explaining the concept, I understand it in theory; how does a small to medium operation puts it into practice?).

I use ICMM (as well as CIM and PDAC’s) guidelines and publications in the projects I design; I did it in the past and am doing it now in an exploration project in Angola. I must confess that I only check for new ICMM updates on a need to use basis; this time I downloaded the new report on responsible sourcing from today’s e-mail. Perhaps I will get (and my client) some insight from this document.

You may obtain it here or directly from ICMM website.

Mineral deposits of Portugal

Mineral Resources of Portugal

Portugal has been a mining country for more than 2.000 years. Mines and deposits worked in Roman times (e.g. Aljustrel in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, Penedono in the north) are still being exploited, explored or being considered for exploitation. Yet, despite its long mining tradition, Portugal has a good potential for new deposits – Neves Corvo mine massive VMS Cu – Zn, Sn deposits discovered in 1977, Tabuaço skarn-type W (scheelite) deposit discovered recently and now being evaluated by Colt Resources – currently as an Experimental Mining Licence (EML).

The Portuguese Government published a summary report (by Luís Martins) on the country’s mineral potential. To obtain it, just click here.