Russians start $3bn mine in Zimbabwe

The good news for Zimbabwe is that Russian investors have started a new $3 billion (R33bn) platinum mine about 50km north-west of Harare. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe turned the first sod yesterday.

The bad news for Zimbabwe is that a South African mining firm, which believed it had a licence to extract platinum nearby, and invested millions prospecting and producing a feasibility study, and was then kicked off its claim, last week won an order to seize all Zimbabwe’s diamonds sold in Antwerp over the past 10 days.

Lavrov and Mugabe launched the joint venture to develop the Zimbabwean deposit of platinum group metals in the Darwendale district. The mine was targeting production of 250 000 ounces annually within three years, the Zimbabwean ministry of mines said. Continue reading

Preparing For A Reset Of The World’s Reserve Currency

The eventual death of the U.S. Dollar is a given and not up for debate. This will, however,  sound alien and come as a shock to most living in the west who continue to go on living while turning a blind eye to current events.

Willem Middelkoop and Terence van der Hout of the Netherlands-based Commodity Discovery Fund believe that when the world’s reserve currency is reset away from the U.S. dollar in the next decade, gold prices will rise and mining equities will follow. Van der Hout and Middelkoop tell The Gold Report that by focusing on producers, near-producers ,and turnaround stories, they plan to capitalize on the opportunities in North America, Africa and beyond.

The Gold Report: Willem, your first book predicted the collapse of the global financial system a year before the 2008 fall of Lehman Bros. In your new book “The Big Reset: War on Gold and the Financial Endgame,” you’re predicting the demise of the dollar as the reserve currency by 2020. You said it can occur as a carefully planned event or as the result of a crisis. What would these two scenarios look like?

Willem Middelkoop: Authorities always prefer to act within a well-planned scenario. The U.S. and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) understand that the U.S. dollar has to be replaced one day. It could be 2020. It could be 2018. It could be 2023. It has to be replaced by another anchor to support the worldwide monetary system. Continue reading

US and China: The Fight for Latin America

According to Robert Valencia, China is vying for greater economic influence in Latin America, to include possibly constructing and operating an alternative ‘Panama Canal’ through Nicaragua. One unanticipated consequence of this burgeoning US-China rivalry, Valencia observes, is that it might push Latin American countries closer together.

During the first weekend of June, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California to discuss cyber espionage and territorial claims in the Pacific Rim. While tension on these topics has hogged the headlines, the fight for influence in another area could be even more important—Latin America. Other emerging markets in Africa, where China has an overwhelming influence due to foreign direct investment in mining and oil, also offer economic opportunities, but Latin America has an abundance of natural resources, greater purchasing power, and geographic proximity to the United States, which has long considered Latin America as its “backyard.” Continue reading

A worldwide undersea gold rush is coming

An undersea gold rush could be coming soon with the rising cost of minerals and advancements in technology opening the seafloor to mining – environmental concerns not withstanding.

The United Nations International Seabed Authority (ISA) last week published a study on what frameworks would be necessary to ensure that mining is done responsibly. Commercial mining operations could begin as soon as 2016, but ISA acknowledged that there will be “inevitable environmental damage” and identified a “Catch-22″ where firms have not demonstrated appropriate competency and skills but must first start mining to gain them. Continue reading

China plants bitter seeds in South American farmland

China’s rise and push for resources will bring a whole host of other issues to come with it. Given previous actions in Africa, one can get a glimpse of what is to possibly happen in a takeover of Latin America as a result in regards to human rights. This can also have a profound effect on agricultural prices and commodities as demand rises from feeding the world’s most populous nation. Militarily, China has also for some time expanded it’s relations in America’s neglected backyard.

Few were surprised when Venezuela announced a deal with China last week to restore 1.4 million acres of unproductive farmland across the oil-rich but impoverished South American nation.

China increasingly is buying farmland and agricultural companies in South America to feed its ever-growing population, currently estimated to be 1.34 billion.

The most important aspect of China’s agricultural investment in Latin America is that “it is a part of the increasing physical footprint of the People’s Republic of China that is just beginning to occur,” said Evan Ellis, an assistant professor at National Defense University in Washington.

Mr. Ellis said that “with the Chinese becoming mine owners, petroleum-field operators, factory managers and dam builders in Latin America,” China’s farming operations there “will immerse the Chinese, with their very different culture, in one of the most politically charged phenomena in the region – the relationship between the Latin American people and their land.”

Central to China’s rising agricultural-industrial complex are soybeans from Brazil and Argentina, millions of tons of which the Chinese are importing to feed cows and pigs to meet a growing demand for meat.

Full article: China plants bitter seeds in South American farmland (Washington Times)