There’s a shortage not just of miners, but of all kinds of workers who do the jobs that aren’t done behind a desk. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Coal supply shortages in Asia and Europe are pushing prices for the dirtiest fossil fuel to record highs and have become a challenge for US suppliers due to a shortage of miners, according to Bloomberg.
For the last three and a half decades, the number of coal mining jobs in the US has collapsed from 180,000 to 42,500 in August. The industry remains 9,500 miners short from pre-COVID times.
With coal prices worldwide screaming to all-time highs ahead of winter as China and Europe scramble for supplies, the US coal industry is failing to find new miners willing to do the dirty work as demand soars.
“That’s making it difficult for mining companies to boost production at a time when the global energy crisis is making utilities desperate for every lump of coal they can dig up. Even with coal prices surging around the world, the labor shortages are another sign that it’s going to be tough to shore up energy stockpiles,” Bloomberg said.
Erin Higginson of Custom Staffing Services, which recruits miners in the Illinois Basin, said miners used to walk into their office for jobs, but now they have to “hold job fairs all over just to find a few miners.”
Will Mexico walk down the same path as Venezuela? From Don Quijones at wolfstreet.com:
Mexico is #1 silver producer in the world, #2 gold producer in Latin America, and a major copper producer.
For a president who hasn’t taken office yet and whose government is still in waiting, Mexico’s Andres Manual Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has managed to ruffle a lot of very important feathers. First, he scrapped the country’s most lucrative infrastructure project, a partly built airport for the capital that was expected to generate billions of dollars for many of the country’s richest companies, banks and families. Then, two weeks ago, his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party proposed a bill that directly threatens one of the banks’ core businesses: fee gouging. Since then, billions of dollars have been wiped off the banks’ market value.
Now, the same party, which, together with its allies, holds majorities in both houses of Congress, has set its sights on the activities of the mining industry. On Tuesday Senator Angelica Garcia presented a bill that would make significant changes to Mexico’s mining laws, including a proposal that would allow the country’s Energy Secretary to declare certain parts of the country off-limits for mining companies due to their negative social or environmental impact.
Posted in Business, Crime, Cronyism, Economics, Economy, Financial markets, Government, Investing, Labor, Law
Tagged Andres Obrador, Mexico, Mining
From Rhiannon Hoyle at marketwatch.com:
The slump iron ore prices to a near decade low is turning the spotlight back onto the world’s biggest miners and their strategy of churning out ore at record rates.
While prices have been weak for a while, fears of a global glut have deepened in recent days following evidence of slowing steel output in China, the world’s biggest consumer of the steelmaking ingredient, by far.
The price tumble comes at a bad time for major producers such as Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton Ltd. and Brazil’s Vale SA., which are counting the cost of a deadly dam failure at their jointly-owned iron ore mine in Brazil earlier in November. The two firms are the world’s top shippers of iron ore, along with Rio Tinto PLC.
Iron ore fell to $43.40 metric ton Tuesday, down 12% this month and far below the 2011 high above $191, according to data provider The Steel Index.
The slump raises questions over whether the determination of big producers to keep pumping record volumes into a falling market is working.
To continue reading: Iron ore crash turns up heat on miners
This article is released in conjunction with “Crisis Progress Report (6): Prophets Without Honor,” SLL, 4/29/15. From Lindsay David, via wolfstreet.com:
Wolf here: After any bubble, it’s always: “Nobody predicted the crash….” Central bankers don’t see bubbles. They’re not allowed to. At least officially, they don’t see them. And thus they can’t see the implosions coming. They can’t officially see these things because they help create them with their monetary policies.
Industry insiders and their financiers don’t see bubbles either because they get rich off them. Politicians and bureaucrats don’t see them because bubbles make them look good and bring in a lot of moolah.
But people do see the bubbles – which are huge and easy to see – and they do predict their crashes though they might not always get the timing right. Yet, they’re pushed aside and made the most unpopular folks around, and they’re expelled from the herd, and their warnings are ignored. It happens every time. And it happened during the Australian iron-ore bubble, whose spectacular crash suddenly “nobody was predicting.” Ha! Here’s Lindsay David:
By Lindsay David, Australia, author of Print: The Central Bankers Bubble, founder of LF Economics:
Late last week Bloomberg’s James Paton released an article titled, Gina Rinehart says ‘nobody was predicting the ore price crash’
Rinehart, “Australia’s richest woman” and “chairman of Hancock Prospecting,” as the article put it, is not the only mining head, politician, treasury employee, mainstream economist, or Reserve Banker “not” to predict the ore price crash. In fact, unless I am seriously mistaken, none of them saw the price crash coming. But they have indeed ignored all the warnings by those who did predict the crash in the spot price of iron ore.
As a clear example:
It’s no secret that back in early 2014, I made the prediction that the spot price of iron ore would breach below $20 per metric ton before the end of 2017. At the time, it was trading above $120 per mt. It’s currently trading at below $58 per mt. And in my opinion, this prediction is on track to eventually becoming a reality.
To continue reading: Australia’s Bad Bet on China