Friday, 27 February 2009

Mining: 30% of exploration companies expected to close

Independent research organization the Fraser Institute has released its Survey of Mining Companies 2008/2009, based on the opinions of 658 mining executives and managers worldwide.

Economic slowdown led the vast majority of mining executives to expect a severe contraction in exploration activity, and at least 30 percent of exploration companies going out of business.

Udachnaya pipe open-pit diamond mine, Yakutia, Russia

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Feb 3, 1509: the Indian Ocean becomes a Portuguese Lake

Portuguese fort of Diu
We celebrate 500 years of the battle of Diu (Gujarat, India). On February 3rd 1509, a Portuguese fleet under Dom Francisco de Almeida routs a large armada of Ottoman, Gujarati, Mamluk, Kozhikodi, Venitian and Ragusan forces.

This was a game changing event, the Ottomans were contained. For the next 100 years the Indian Ocean would becomes a Portuguese Lake and for 350 longer an European pond. Diu was eventually lost to the Indians in 1961.

World trade was transformed for ever: the old land routes controlled by the Turks and continuing into the Mediterranean became irrelevant, intercontinental sea trade was born, a true revolution in transportation.
Flor de la Mar - Portuguese Carrack - flagship of D. Francisco de Almeida in the battle of Diu
Dom Francisco de Almeida - Viceroy of India