Showing posts with label USGS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USGS. Show all posts

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Global platinum mining capacity to increase 38,000 kg by 2015—U.S. Geological Survey

While the United States will continue to be highly dependent on foreign PGM exports through 2020, the nation could ease its dependence through recycling, the U.S. Geological Survey suggests.

Author: Dorothy Kosich

A U.S. Geological Survey scientific investigations report forecasts that South Africa, Russia, Canada, and Zimbabwe will continue to be the principal sources of PGM for at least the next decade.

Global platinum mining capacity is expected to increase by 24,000 kg in South Africa, 9,000 kg in Russia, 3,000 kg in Russia and 2,000 kg in Zimbabwe from 2011 to 2015, according to the report authored by David R. Wilburn.

Palladium capacity worldwide is expected to increase an additional 16,000 kg in Russia, 14,000 kg in South Africa, 4,000 kg in Zimbabwe, and 1,000 kg in Canada “if new or expanded mine and associated processing capacity comes into production as planned,” said Wilburn.

“It is likely that the magnitude of these changes in PGM capacity has been influenced by such factors as the global economy, electrical capacity shortages and mine safety concerns in South Africa and geopolitical conditions in the major PGM producing countries,” he observed.

Of the 52 sites or regional operations reviewed for the USGS analysis, 16 sites were producing PGMs before 1995, 28 sites commenced production from 1995 through 2010, and eight sites were expected to begin production from 2011 to 2015 if development plans come to fruition.

In his analysis, Wilburn noted feed sources of PGM are changing in South Africa and Russia which combined accounted for 89% of platinum production and 82% of palladium output in 2009.

The Geological Survey estimates that global production capacity for platinum is expected to increase by 16% to 310,000 kg/yr. between 2010 and 2016. Global production capacity for palladium is expected to increase by about 14% to 277,000 kg/yr. during the same period.

“A greater amount of South African PGM capacity is likely to come from deeper, higher cost Upper Group Reef seam 2 deposits and deposits in the Eastern Bushveld capacity,” said the USGS. “Future Russian PGM capacity is likely to come from ore zones with generally lower PGM content and different platinum-to-palladium ratios than the nickel-rich ore that dominated PGM supply in the 1990s.”

The USGS estimated that about 13% of the global platinum production and 42% of global palladium production came from Russian in 2010.

“Although deposits containing PGMs are widespread, those mined for PGMs because the PGMs are economically recoverable at 2010 prices are limited,” the U.S. Geological Survey suggested.

Meanwhile, recycled PGMs from catalytic converters, electrical components, and jewelry has increased so that recycled PGMs accounted for about 30% of worldwide platinum supply and about 29% of global palladium supply in 2010, according to the report.

In 2010, the United States imported about 94% of the platinum and 58% of the palladium consumed. Virtually all the PGM in the United States comes from the Stillwater Complex in Montana.

However, PGMs are also present in the Duluth ultramafic complex in Minnesota, said the report. The most advanced project is the PolyMet Mining’s NorthMet copper-nickel project.

“In 2020, the United States will continue to be highly dependent on PGMs from South Africa, Russia, Canada and Zimbabwe,” the USGS predicted. “The United States, however, may reduce its dependence of foreign primary PGMs if the recycling rate for PGMs increases.”

In his analysis, Wilburn suggested the growth of the fuel cell industry is expected to increase demand for PGMs during the next decade.

“The amounts of mineral exploration and PGM recycling are also likely to increase during the next decade because PGM demand is expected to remain strong and existing sources of primary supply to become more expensive,” he advised.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

USGS - Minerals Yearbook - Latin America

Listed below are chapters from the Minerals Yearbook (Volume III. -- Area Reports: International). These annual reviews are designed to provide timely statistical data on mineral commodities in various countries. Each report includes sections on government policies and programs, environmental issues, trade and production data, industry structure and ownership, commodity sector developments, infrastructure, and a summary outlook.

Read Reports:

The Mineral Industries of Latin America and Canada – 2010




Central America




French Guiana








Source: U.S. Geological Survey - USGS


Each chapter of the 2012 edition of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries (MCS) includes information on events, trends, and issues for each mineral commodity as well as discussions and tabular presentations on domestic industry structure, Government programs, tariffs, 5-year salient statistics, and world production and resources. The MCS is the earliest comprehensive source of 2011 mineral production data for the
world. More than 90 individual minerals and materials are covered by 2-page synopses.

For mineral commodities for which there is a Government stockpile, detailed information concerning the stockpile status is included in the two-page synopsis.

Abbreviations and units of measure, and definitions of selected terms used in the report, are in Appendix A and Appendix B, respectively. “Appendix C—Reserves and Resources” includes “Part A—Resource/Reserve Classification for Minerals” and “Part B—Sources of Reserves Data.” A directory of USGS minerals information country specialists and their responsibilities is Appendix D. The USGS continually strives to improve the value of its publications to users. Constructive comments and suggestions by readers of the MCS 2012 are welcomed.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

Download Report

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gold production, exploration and ‘peak gold' - an analysis

Global gold production is at an all-time high, according to a new report from the USGS. Micheal George*, the USGS gold specialist comments on ‘peak gold', output and exploration trends. Gold Report Interview.

The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS') Mineral Commodity Summaries (MCS) 2012 describes world mine production and reserves by country. What are the biggest changes from last year?

Micheal George: There weren't a lot of big changes other than replacing reserves that were mined during the previous year. The largest changes were Australia increasing reserves by 100 tons (t) and Canada decreasing reserves by 70 t. The reason behind Canada's decrease was the closure of mines due to exhausting mineable reserves. Australia's increase was due to adding new mines to its potentially active mine list.

Annual world mine production increased approximately 5% in 2011. It was the third year in a row of an increase in production and marked an all-time high for gold produced since recorded history. Compared to the recent low in 2008, production is up about 19% or 440 t. So it's recovered quite a bit.

TGR: What are the reasons for higher gold production? Is it simply because the gold price was higher?

MG: The gold price was higher, so more mines are processing, and they're pushing out more gold. A lot of it is coming from China right now. Quite a bit of gold is coming from other countries as well.

TGR: Are mining companies replacing reserves through exploration or acquisition?

MG: Both. Nowadays, a lot of the additional reserves have been coming from exploration, mainly around the deposits that are currently being mined.

TGR: How does the USGS estimate reserves for this report?

MG: Reserve estimates are calculated by the government in each country in the report. For example, the Australian government or Canadian government does research and revises reserve numbers and that is what we use in the report. The USGS also researches public company reserve reporting. Sometimes we use company published reserves if we know all of the companies in a country. For example in Papua New Guinea, all the mining companies are publicly traded, so they all have to report their reserves.