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The robot is ready - so when will deep sea mining start?

By Stephen Eisenhammer and Silvia Antonioli NEWCASTLE, England/LONDON (Reuters) - The world's first deep sea mining robot sits idle on a British factory floor, waiting to claw up high grade copper and gold from the seabed off Papua New Guinea (PNG) - when a wrangle over terms is solved. Beyond PNG, in international waters, regulation and royalty terms for mining the planet's subsea wealth have also yet to be finalized. The world waits for the judgment of a United Nations agency based in Jamaica.

I.Coast aims to tap massive mining potential with new rules

Already the world's biggest producer of cocoa, Ivory Coast politicians hope to tap the country's "immense" mining potential after approving new rules aimed at cleaning up the industry's murky reputation. Lawmakers hope the new mining code, approved on Tuesday, will help modernise the industry and attract investors. Among the measures outlined in the bill are tax and customs breaks for explorers, along with greater transparency in the way permits are allocated.

Foreign investment in Colombian mining sector up 21 percent

Bogota, Feb 21 (EFE).- Foreign direct investment in Colombia's mining sector grew 21 percent in the first nine months of 2013 from the same period of 2012, President Juan Manuel Santos said. "We're talking about more than $2.3 billion" in investment between January and September of last year, according to the president, who said the flow of FDI to the sector remained strong despite a drop in global metal prices in recent years.

Quebec mining investment took deeper plunge than forecast last year

MONTREAL - Investments in Quebec's mining sector plunged deeper than expected last year, declining nearly 37 per cent from a record year in 2012 and marking the first annual drop in a decade, Quebec's statistics agency said Tuesday. Preliminary numbers suggest investments in the sector fell to $3.25 billion from $5.13 billion a year earlier, due largely to lower gold prices and softer demand in China and emerging markets. In October, the agency forecast a drop of at least 10 per cent in 2013 based on surveys of mining companies completed during the summer.

Greenland mining will not pay for independence

Greenland's mineral wealth will not be enough to pay for independence and the country will remain dependent on Danish subsidies for the forseeable future, a study argued on Friday. "Even though natural resource exploitation will become important for Greenland, it is not enough," Minik Rosing, a geology professor at the University of Copenhagen and the chairman of the University of Greenland, said in a statement.

Timeline: India's moves to curb iron ore mining, exports

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - India, in its crusade against illegal mining, has choked its iron ore output and exports so hard that many companies are giving up on the sector. The mining and export bans in the key states of Goa and Karnataka have brought miners and other businesses to their knees, forced steelmakers to buy iron ore abroad and seen hundreds of thousands laid off. Following is a timeline of key developments in India's iron ore sector since Karnataka introduced its shipments ban:

Rwanda vows to fulfil 400 mln USD target in mining revenues by 2017

Rwanda vows to fulfil 400 mln USD target in mining revenues by 2017 KIGALI, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has committed to achieve 400 million U. S. dollars from the mineral revenues by 2017, a senior government official said Wednesday. At a meeting to mark the International Mines Day, Evode Imena, Rwanda's minister of state for natural resources in charge of mining, said the country was on the right track to achieve the set target. "We have embarked on primary exploration of minerals which would attract competitive investors to invest in our mining industry," he said.

Caterpillar to close another mining equipment plant

By James B. Kelleher CHICAGO (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc <CAT.N> said on Friday that it will close another plant and lay off 240 additional workers as it continues to respond to a sharp drop in demand for its earth-moving products from customers in the mining industry. The planned shutdown of the Pulaski, Va. facility, which makes coal haulers and other equipment, is expected to be completed by mid-2014. It is the latest in a series of such closures announced by the Peoria, Ill-based heavy equipment maker.

Gold mining taking a toll on Peruvian jungles

Washington, Oct 29 (EFE).- The annual deforestation rate in Madre de Dios, a region in the Peruvian Amazon, has tripled since 2008 due to the rapid expansion of illegal gold mines started in response to the precious metal's high price, a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said. For the first time, researchers were able to create a map showing the spread of mining in the region, which is rich in biodiversity, the paper said. Gold mining soared about 400 percent in the region between 1999 and 2012, the researchers found.

Gold mining is ravaging Peruvian Amazon

Skyrocketing gold prices have fueled an illegal mining rush that has tripled the rate of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon since 2008, researchers said Monday. The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences were made with a combination of satellite data, laser technology to map vegetation and on-the-ground surveys. "The rate of forest destruction is huge," said Greg Asner, a tropical ecologist with the Carnegie Institution for Science.
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