Sandvik, a developer and producer of advanced stainless steels, special alloys, titanium and other high-performance materials, has extensively increased its presence inoffshore Egypt in 2016, booking several large orders.

The total contract values from the ordersin 2016 across the scope of supply arein excess of 100 million Euros (107 million USD),which represents a milestone development for Sandvik in the region. This means that Sandvik will provide a comprehensive scope of oil and gas solutions for the ongoing giant gas field developments in the region.

Sandvik has seen double-digit growth in the region over the past three years, and recently established its EMEA Oil and Gas headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to service major projects happening in the region and to remain in close proximity to regional customers.

The East Mediterranean is brimming with opportunity. For example the recently discovered Zohr offshore field near Egypt, the largest natural gas discovery in the Mediterranean in the last decade, will greatly boost the country’s energy potential. The “super giant” field potentially boasts an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Phil Cherrie, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager, Oil & Gas, EMEA, Sandvik, said, “Operating in an offshore environment such as the Mediterranean Sea requires materials that are able to withstand the harsh conditions that these operations present. Having been chosen by the operators as well as equipment manufacturers and service providersto provide these solutions serves as testament to the quality of Sandvik’s products and solutions.”

As part of the contracts Sandvik will be providing: Super Duplex steel umbilical tubing; SANICRO 28, a high-alloy, high strength austenitic stainless steel for OCTG downhole production tubing together with alliance partner Tenaris; seamless alloy 625 control line and chemical injection lines encapsulated with tubing encased conductor (TEC lines).

Deliveries of these solutions have already begun in 2016 and will continue on throughout 2017.

Additionally, Sandvik will be exhibiting at the Egypt Petroleum Show 2017. At the Sandvik booth (stand 1E61, hall 1), the Swedish company will present its wide range of corrosion-resistant products including umbilical tubing, OCTG tubing, downhole control lines, hydraulic lines for drilling risers, tubing for sand screens, subsea piping material, welding products and slicklines. The booth will also display the complex components of powder metallurgy hot isostatic pressing (HIP) for subsea equipment.

Visitors will also learn more about the technical leadership and support that Sandvik can offer on material selection and solutions for corrosion challenges. Additionally major project highlights in the region will be showcased.

According to Phil Cherrie, Egypt and the region continues to be an important market for the company. The company has been active in the region for more than 30 years now and continues to invest actively in people and partnerships to support the wide customer base.

For further information on Sandvik, please visit the website:


Sandvik is a world-leading developer and manufacturer of products in advanced stainless steels and special alloys for the most demanding environments, as well as products and systems for industrial heating.

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The recently commissioned ferro-chrome plant of Tata Steel at Gopalpur Industrial Park in Ganjam district of Odisha, has achieved a major milestone with the first ever production of ferro-chrome on February 25, 2017, with compliance to all technical parameters.

Chromite briquettes used for making ferro-chrome have been produced by the Briquetting Plant at the ferro-chrome plant complex. The Briquetting Plant had earlier commenced production on January 23, 2017. For the plant, the steel major is sourcing chrome ore from its chromite mine at Sukinda in Jajpur district of Odisha.

Speaking on the occasion Mr D B Sundara Ramam, Executive-in-Charge, Ferro Alloys & Minerals Division of Tata Steel said, "This marks the completion of the commissioning of the ferro-chrome plant. It also goes a long way in consolidating our footprint in Odisha and the long standing partnership with the state towards industrial progress of the region.”

As part of the anchor investment in Tata Steel’s Gopalpur Industrial Park, the Rs 542 crore Ferro-chrome plant has an installed capacity of 55,000 tonne per annum (TPA). The plant was inaugurated on November 30, 2016 by the Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik. It is a unique environment-friendly plant with state-of-the-art pollution control equipment and technology such as the ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant) and STP (Sewage Treatment Plant). It has 100% water harvesting facility that caters to most of the water needs of the plant. It has an indigenously built semi-closed hybrid furnace, which is first of its kind in India and components procured from all over the world to maintain high standards of quality and safety. Also, it is the first plant in India to use briquetting method of Chrome ore fines agglomeration.

Besides the plant at Gopalpur, Tata Steel has two other Ferro-chrome plants in Odisha- a 65,000 TPA plant at Bamnipal in Keonjhar district and the other at Athagarh in Cuttack district of 55,000 TPA capacity under the management of its subsidiary T S Alloys.

About Tata Steel

Tata Steel Group stands among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 28 million tonnes per annum (MnTPA) and a turnover of US $17.69 billion in FY16. It is the world's second-most geographically-diversified steel producer, with operations in 26 countries and commercial presence in over 50 countries. Established in 1907, the Group’s vision is to be the world steel industry benchmark in “Value Creation” and “Corpo rate Citizenship” through the excellence of its people, approach and overall conduct. Underpinning this vision is a performance culture committed to aspiration targets, safety and social responsibility, continuous improvement, openness and transparency. Having bagged the Deming Application Prize and Deming Grand Prize for continuous improvement in 2008 and 2012 respectively, Tata Steel has now been recognised as the global ‘Industry Leader’ in ‘Steel category’ by Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Besides being one of ‘worldsteel’s’ Climate Action members, it has also been awarded the CII ITC Sustainability Prize, the ‘Best-in-class Manufacturing’ by TIME Award, the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best performing integrated steel plant, among several others.

Kulvin Suri

Chief, Corporate Communications, India & SEA
Tata Steel
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The Bureau of Land Management on Monday gave its final approval for a 2.4-mile-long open pit phosphate mine in Caribou County. However, an appeal filed on the same day is stopping the work from moving forward at least for now.

The Canadian company Agrium proposed the Rasmussen Valley Mine 18 miles northeast of Soda Springs to replace the existing North Rasmussen Ridge Mine, which will be mined out later this year.

Agrium turns phosphate ore into fertilizer used by farmers, and company officials say all of their production is generally sold in the U.S.

The new mine would be located primarily on federal land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and BLM, according to an Agrium news release, and both agencies have now given their OK.

“With approval of the Rasmussen Valley Mine, Agrium will continue to provide 500 well-paying jobs in SE Idaho, including $50 million in direct wages and benefits,” according to the news release. “Idaho will continue to benefit from $260 million in economic impact, including millions of dollars paid in State and local taxes.”

Company officials say the project has involved thorough environmental assessments, community engagement and years of research.

“The result is an innovative and collaborative mine plan that we are proud of, and that will provide the ore we need to supply local agriculture,” said Mike Dirham, Agrium’s vice president of potash and phosphate. “By the end of the project, the area will look much the same as it did before we began.”

But the Yellowstone to Uintas Connection (Y2U), which describes itself as a nonprofit organization working to protect the integrity and habitat quality of the wildlife corridor connecting the Great Yellowstone Ecosystem to the Uinta Mountains and Southern Rockies, questions the thoroughness and legality of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD).

“The agencies have taken a mine-centric approach and failed to analyze cumulative impacts from past, present and future activities including mining, roads, OHVs and human traffic and other factors fragmenting and degrading habitat, polluting soils and waters in the SE Idaho Phosphate Mining Region, which is part of the Regionally Significant Wildlife Corridor connecting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to the Uinta Mountains and Southern Rockies,” according to the organization’s appeal.

Y2U is seeking a stay in the matter and is requesting that the EIS and ROD be withdrawn. It’s also asking for the imposition of a remedy for interim management until BLM addresses the deficiencies it believes exists.

Jeff Cundick, minerals branch chief for the BLM’s Pocatello Field Office, said an EIS assessing potential impacts of the mine was released to the public in September, and they subsequently received comments from government and non-government agencies and organizations, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and various citizens.

Cundick said some comments involved concerns about environmental impacts, while others expressed support for jobs and economic benefits.

“These comments were carefully considered by BLM prior to making a decision to approve a mining plan that included measures to reduce environmental impacts and ensure compliance with established requirements from mining activities,” he said.

Cundick noted that BLM is reviewing Y2U’s appeal with the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Solicitor’s Office.

Avenira has released an upgraded indicated resource for its Baobab Phosphate Project in the Republic of Senegal, potentially increasing the longevity of the project.

The indicated resource tonnage increased by 150% to an estimate of 31.7 million tonnes at 20.6% phosphorus at Gadde Bissik East, part of the wider Baobab Phosphate Project.

The increase in tonnage will substantially raise the confidence with which Avenira can develop its operations and market products to offtake partners.

Incidentally, the first shipment of the Baobab product is expected from the port of Dakar this month.Avenira has also updated the total inferred resource at Baobab to 114 million tonnes at 19% phosphorus.The Baobab Project area covers a total of about 1,553 square kilometres.

Within the Baobab Project area, the Gadde Bissik prospect of about 90 square kilometres was identified during excavation of water wells in the 1950’s.

Avenira has managed the exploration of the Gadde Bissik area since early 2014, building up a comprehensive knowledge of the Baobab Project and its potential.
A maiden indicated resource estimate was announced by the company in December 2015 and mining activities commenced within the Small Mine Permit in March 2016.

Avenira’s exploration drilling aimed at testing the extensions east of Gadde Bissik towards Gad Escale is ongoing and further drilling is planned for Q2 2017.Earlier this year, the company secured a $8.8 million finance facility to assist with the final stages of commissioning and ramp-up of the Baobab Phosphate Project.
Avenira’s shares were last trading 6.4% higher intra-day, at $0.10.

Agrium has been authorized by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to begin mining operations at their Rasmussen Valley Mine, according to a news release from the company.

The phosphate mine is located predominantly on federal land managed by BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.

"This approval represents a significant benefit to our community, to Agrium and to Idaho," says Agrium's VP of Potash and Phosphate, Mike Dirham. "Thorough environmental assessments have gone into this, as well as community engagement and years of research. The result is an innovative and collaborative mine plan that we are proud of, and that will provide the ore we need to supply local agriculture. By the end of the project, the area will look much the same as it did before we began."

Agrium claims the mine will have a $260 million impact on the Idaho economy, including state and local taxes.
Copyright 2017 NPG of Idaho. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A persistent fear of diminishing phosphorus reserves has pushed mining companies to search far and wide for new sources. Companies identified phosphate deposits on the ocean floor and are fighting for mining rights around the world.

Countries in southern Africa have the potential to set an international precedent by allowing the first offshore mining operations. South Africa specifically is one of the first countries on the continent to begin legislating its marine economy to promote sustainable development, and questions surround mining’s place in this new economy.

While the fishing and coastal tourism industries account for slightly more than 1.4 billion dollars of GDP, the potential economic benefits from marine mining remain unclear.

From April 2007 to August 2008, the price of phosphate, a necessary ingredient in fertilizer, increased nearly 950 percent, in part due to the idea that phosphate production had peaked and would begin diminishing. Before prices came back down, prospectors had already begun looking for deep sea phosphate reserves around the world.

Since then, the fledgling seabed phosphate industry has found minimal success. While several operations are proposed in the Pacific islands, New Zealand and Mexico rejected attempts at offshore phosphate mining in their territory.

This means southern African reserves – created in part by currents carrying phosphate-rich water from Antarctica – are the new center of debate.

Namibia owns identified seabed phosphate deposits, and the country has recently flip-flopped about whether to allow mining. A moratorium was in place since 2013, but in September the environmental minister made the controversial decision to grant the necessary licenses. Since then, public outcry forced him to set those aside.

Most attempts at seabed phosphate mining have sputtered in the face of moratoriums and other roadblocks. Graphic courtesy of Centre for Environmental Rights.

The former general project manager of Namibian Marine Phosphate (Pty) Ltd, a company that applied to mine in Namibia, told IPS that environmental groups and fisheries proved to be a loud and organised opposition. He predicted the debate in South Africa would be just as difficult for mining companies to win with no precedent for such mining.

Adnan Awad, director of the non-profit International Ocean Institute’s African region, said, “There is generally this anticipation that South African processes for mining and for the policy around some of these activities are setting a bit of a precedent and a bit of a model for how it can be pursued in other areas.”

Three companies, Green Flash Trading 251 (Pty) Ltd, Green Flash 257 (Pty) Ltd and Diamond Fields International Ltd., hold prospecting rights covering about 150,000 square kilometers, roughly 10 percent, of the country’s marine exclusive economic zone.

Diamond Fields International’s prospecting right along 47,468 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean shares space with areas of oil exploration and production. Source: Diamond Fields International Ltd. background information document Diamond Fields International’s prospecting right along 47,468 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean shares space with areas of oil exploration and production. Source: Diamond Fields International Ltd. background information document. The law firm Steyn Kinnear Inc. represents both Green Flash 251 and Green Flash 257. “Currently it does not seem as if there is going to be any progress, and there is definitely not going to be any mining right application,” Wynand Venter, an attorney at the firm, said, calling the project “uneconomical.”

Venter said the Green Flash companies received drill samples, which showed current prices could not sustain seabed phosphate mining.

This leaves Diamond Fields as the only remaining player in South African waters. The company announced in a January 2014 press release that it received a 47,468 square kilometer prospecting right to search for phosphate.

According to information the company published summarising its environmental management plan, prospecting would use seismic testing to determine the benthic, or seafloor, geology. If mining commenced, it would take place on the seafloor between 180 and 500 meters below the surface.

“A vital and indisputable link exists between phosphate rock and world food supply,” the company stated, citing dwindling phosphate reserves.

Diamond Fields did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Environmentalists argue that not only would phosphate mining destroy marine ecosystems, but it would also lead to continued overuse of fertilizers and associated pollution. They call for increased research into phosphate recapture technology instead of mining.

“We could actually be solving the problem of too much phosphates in our water and recapturing it. Instead we’re going to destroy our ocean ecosystems,” John Duncan of WWF-SA said.

The act of offshore mining requires a vessel called a trailing suction hopper dredger, which takes up seafloor sediment and sends waste back into the water column.

A southern right whale swims off the coast of the Western Cape province near Hermanus, a town renowned for its whale watching. South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources granted three prospecting rights covering about 150,000 square kilometers, or 10 percent, of the country’s exclusive economic zone. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS. A southern right whale swims off the coast of the Western Cape province near Hermanus, a town renowned for its whale watching. South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources granted three prospecting rights covering about 150,000 square kilometers, or 10 percent, of the country’s exclusive economic zone. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS

“It amounts to a kind of bulldozer that operates on the seabed and excavates sediment down to a depth of two or three meters. Where it operates, it’s like opencast mining on land. It removes the entire substrate. That substrate become unavailable to fisheries for many years, if not forever,” Johann Augustyn, secretary of the South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association, said.

In addition to direct habitat destruction, environmentalists argue the plume of sediment released into the ocean could spread out to smother additional areas and harm wildlife.

Mining opponents also worry offshore mining would negatively impact food production and economic growth.

Several thousand subsistence farmers live along South Africa’s coast, and the country’s large-scale fishing industry produces around 600,000 metric tonnes of catch per year.


Two federal agencies have approved a 2.4-mile-long open pit phosphate mine proposed by a Canadian company in southeastern Idaho.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service late last week issued separate decisions approving the plan by Calgary-based Agrium Inc.

The BLM manages the area where the mining will occur, while the Forest Service manages land that will receive waste materials.

Agrium turns phosphate ore into fertilizer needed by farmers to grow food. Phosphate mining is a major business in southeastern Idaho, and BLM officials said the new mine will preserve 1,700 jobs and generate about $85 million per year for the local economy in Caribou County.

The expected life of the new Rasmussen Valley Mine is just under eight years, and the project follows a pattern where companies move to a new area once an old area is mined out. Mining has taken place in the area since the early 20th century.

The area contains one the nation’s most abundant deposits of phosphate, and agribusinesses Simplot and Monsanto also have mines in the area. But the area also contains 17 Environmental Protection Agency superfund sites because of pollution from past phosphate mining.

Federal officials said the latest mine has requirements to avoid those problems.
“The water quality issue is the No. 1 issue that we deal with when it comes to determining impacts with mines that are being permitted now,” said Bill Volt, environmental planning coordinator with the BLM.

Virginia Gillerman, an associate research geologist with the Idaho Geological Survey, said the area is rich in phosphate because it was once an 116,000-square-mile inland sea where organic material from fish, plants and small animals was deposited over a 5-million-year span about 265 million years ago.

Geologic activity caused faulting and folding in the sedimentary rock that once formed the seabed that’s now part of Idaho and three neighboring states. In Idaho, the activity pushed the phosphate closer to the surface, making it economical to mine, Gillerman said.

Volk said Agrium has struck a deal with Monsanto to take waste rock from the new mine and dispose of it in a pit at a nearby Monsanto mine now going through the reclamation process.

The material will be covered, Volk said, to prevent water from reaching it that could cause selenium to leach out into streams or be absorbed by plants. Selenium is needed for life but is toxic in large quantities.

Volk said the selenium problem first became apparent in the 1990s when hundreds of sheep and horses died after eating plants over mine waste material that had absorbed selenium from that material. The realization of what caused the deaths led to the superfund sites.

Additionally, water running through the waste rock has caused increased selenium in streams that can harm aquatic organisms.

Earthworks, an environmental group, earlier this month released information from tests it did on trout in streams below Simplot’s Smoky Canyon Mine. The group said the fish in Sage Creek and Crow Creek had selenium levels up to four times the levels the EPA says can cause defects and reproductive failure in fish.

“It’s been eight years since the (Smoky Canyon) mine expansion was approved, yet there’s still no proven cover system to prevent future water pollution,” Bonnie Gestring of Earthworks said in a statement.


Arianne Phosphate , a development-stage phosphate mining company, advancing the Lac à Paul project in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, is pleased to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) agreement with ABB Inc. to provide engineering, procurement and support services for integrated electrification and automated mining solutions.

“Over the last few months, Arianne has been working closely with potential suppliers for key aspects of the project to provide the necessary technical, engineering, procurement and construction services required in developing the Lac à Paul project,” said Jean-Sebastien David, Arianne’s COO. “By choosing to work directly with the various service providers on specific aspects of the project, it allows us to retain full control over the course and cost of development and, have our selected partners help us to continue to optimize the functionality and economics of our project. The agreement with ABB fits directly into this plan as they are a global leader in power and automation technologies for the mining industry.”

Aside from scope of work and scheduling, this agreement also looks to address the financial necessities of funding this major work package. As part of this agreement, ABB has committed to assist Arianne with possible financing strategies and has already introduced the Lac à Paul project to the Swiss Export Credit Agency (“ECA”) SERV. “The work involved in this contract represents a significant portion of our projected CapEx,” said Brian Ostroff, CEO of Arianne Phosphate. “We have said that our partners must have both the technical capabilities and financial network to assist in our development. In ABB we have found that partner. Already world-renowned as a global leader in electrical design and products, ABB has also been very helpful in looking for workable financial solutions.”

“After many months of hard work and collaboration, ABB is excited to have partnered with Arianne on the Lac à Paul project,” said Mr. Remy Lanoue, vice-president Industrial Automation North America at ABB. “We believe that Arianne’s choice of ABB is recognition of our strong capabilities in process control systems and production management software. As a leading supplier of electrification and automation systems to the global mining industry, we believe our involvement in this project is important and we are looking forward to using our considerable expertise to get Lac à Paul delivered on time and on budget.”

About ABB
ABB is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees.


About Arianne Phosphate
Arianne Phosphate (“Arianne Phosphate Inc.”) ( is developing the Lac à Paul phosphate deposits located approximately 200 km north of the Saguenay/Lac St. Jean area of Quebec, Canada. These deposits will produce a high quality igneous apatite concentrate grading 39% P2O5 with little or no contaminants. The Company has 97,648,080 million shares outstanding.

Source: Jean-Sébastien David, C.O.O.
Tel. : 418-549-7316
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Info: Brian Ostroff, C.E.O.
Tel. : 514-908-4202
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Medias: Joëlle Brodie
Tel. : 418-549-7316
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A definitive agreement with BHP and Samarco remains subject to a successful commercial negotiation Vale informs that it agreed with BHP Billiton Brasil Ltda. and Samarco Mineração a non-binding term sheet outlining the general terms and conditions for the use of Vale’s Timbopeba pit by Samarco to deposit its tailings, should Samarco restart.

Vale would transfer the Timbopeba pit to Samarco and, as compensation, Samarco would supply to Vale an amount of non-processed ore (Run-of-Mine – ROM) for a certain period.

A definitive agreement remains subject to a successful commercial negotiation, due diligence and relevant government approvals. These processes are likely to occur during 2017.

After obtaining the required environmental licenses, Samarco is expected to temporarily deposit its tailings in its own pit, Alegria Sul, for a period of 2 to 3 years of operations. The use of the Timbopeba pit may allow Samarco to operate for up several years without new tailings structure.

More information Mark as favoritePrint

Mônica Ferreira

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Rio de Janeiro
+55 (21) 3845-3636

Fatima Cristina

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Rio de Janeiro
+55 (21) 3485-3621

France's Eramet announced a preliminary agreement with Chinese steelmaker Tsingshan Group to revive a nickel mining project in Indonesia that Eramet had frozen during a downturn in nickel markets.

According to a memorandum of understanding signed by the two groups, Tsingshan would become the controlling partner by acquiring 57 percent of Strand Minerals Pte Ltd., the entity currently wholly owned by Eramet and which in turn owns 90 percent of the Weda Bay project.

The initial agreement also called for the project to target an annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes of nickel ferroalloy, refined from ore mined at Weda Bay.Eramet, which unveiled the partnership in its 2016 results statement on Thursday, did not give any details on the expected timetable or investments for the project.

The French group had put the Weda Bay development on hold three years ago, citing low prices for the stainless steel ingredient and uncertainty over tax and ownership rules in Indonesia.

The Indonesian government has since banned exports of unrefined nickel ore, which along with recent environmental restrictions on mines in the Philippines have helped curb supply to China and supported a recovery in nickel prices.

The downturn in nickel prices left most of the industry operating at a loss in the past two years, including Eramet's New Caledonian unit SLN which benefited from a rescue plan last year including a 200 million euro loan from the French government.

Eramet said cost savings and improving prices, particularly in manganese, which is chiefly used in carbon steel, helped it swing to an operating profit in 2016, although it posted another full-year net loss.

It raised its target for group savings over 2014-2017 to 400 million euros from 360 million previously, and said it would announce in July new cost reduction targets for SLN for 2018-2020, in addition to a current plan to cut nickel costs by 25 percent by end-2017 compared with the 2015 level.

Eramet also announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Buffet would step down in May after 10 years leading the firm.
The firm has nominated Christel Bories, a former CEO of aluminium products group Constellium (CSTM.N), to succeed Buffet and has named her deputy CEO with immediate effect.

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