Kurt Zouma is expecting to remain at Chelsea after being given assurances over his future, but has not closed the door entirely on a move away from Stamford Bridge.The France international defender spent the 2018-19 campaign away from West London on loan at Everton.He impressed while at Goodison Park, with Toffees boss Marco Silva expressing a desire to take the 24-year-old back to Merseyside. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Zouma has, however, been informed by new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard that there is a role for him with his parent club.The Blues coach has said: “I want him here, simple as that. I want him to be happy. If he competes and plays well this season, he plays.”Zouma has welcomed that show of faith and believes he will be staying put in the current transfer window, but admits he cannot rule anything out.He told reporters: “I’m happy with what the manager said about me. That means he is seeing the work I’m doing and I’m very pleased with that.“We had a chat, and he was very good with me. He is a very good manager.“I enjoyed my time at Everton but I’m a Chelsea player and we’ll see what will happen now in the future. I think it will be here at Chelsea.“This is a chance for me. I went out on loan last season but I’m a Chelsea player and I want to do well to get my chance and be here.”On his spell at Everton, which delivered 36 appearances and two goals, Zouma added: “It was a very good season for me. It was very good for my development. After my injury I was ready to play week-in week-out.“Going there I did that and improved myself technically and tactically in every aspect with the manager there. I am a better player.“Everything has improved in my game. I still have a lot to learn and to work on but I feel I have done a lot.”Zouma is, however, aware that he faces fierce competition for places at Chelsea, with the likes of David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen also hoping to secure centre-half berths.“There is a lot of quality here,” said the Frenchman.“It depends on the manager. He can only play with two centre-backs. He has to make the choice but he is lucky because he has good players. It will be hard for him to make that choice but that is what we’re here for.”Zouma is determined to find regular football due to a desire on his part to add to the collection of five senior caps he has earned for his country.He added: “That is very important for me. It was one of my targets to get into the France team. I had been there before and wanted to come back.“I managed to do that. Now the target is to play at the Euros – but to be there you have to be playing at your club.“So I am working very hard – and let’s see what is going to happen.”
“The prevailing situation of human rights in Iran continues to warrant serious concern, and will require a wide range of solutions that are both respectful of cultural perspectives and mindful of the universality of fundamental human rights promulgated by the treaties to which Iran is a party,” said the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.Presenting his report to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, Mr. Shaheed said that Iran has made some “noteworthy advances” in the area of women’s rights, including advancements in health, literacy and in enrolment rates on both the primary and secondary levels.“However, reports about recent policies that prohibit women’s access to a number of fields of study, further restrict women’s freedom of movement, and current polices that continue to impede women’s ability to hold certain decision-making positions in Government remain problematic,” he noted.At the same time, a “preponderance of reports” communicated to him this past year indicate that that the situation for individuals in Iran who advocate for the advancement of human rights, or those that document, report, or protest against human rights violations, is “grave and continues to deteriorate.”People who defend the rights of women, religious and ethnic minorities, as well as those that work to advance protections for the environment, workers and children continue to be subjected to harassment, arrest, interrogation, and torture and are “frequently charged with vaguely-defined national security crimes, which is seemingly meant to erode the frontline of human rights defence in the country,” said the expert.“My current report also presents what appears to be unimpeachable forensic evidence that torture is occurring in Iran on a geographically widespread and systemic (across a number of Government branches) basis,” Mr. Shaheed stated. He also voiced alarm at the high rate of executions that take place in Iran, a majority of which continue to take place for drug-related offences, which do not meet international standards for ‘most serious crimes.’Last month Mr. Shaheed joined several of his human rights colleagues in calling on Iran to immediately halt the recent spate of arrests of journalists and to release those already detained, the majority of whom work for independent news outlets. “We underscored our fear that the arrests carried out were part of a broader campaign to crack down on independent journalists and media outlets, under the accusation that they have collaborated with ‘anti-revolutionary’ foreign media outlets and human rights organizations,” he said.It is also estimated, he added, that some 40 lawyers have been prosecuted since 2009, and that at least 10 are currently detained. In addition, it has been reported that 110 Baha’is are currently detained in Iran for exercising their faith; that at least 13 Protestant Christians are currently in detention centres across Iran; and that Dervishes, members of the Yarasen faith, and Sunni Muslims continue to be the subject of punitive activities, raising serious concern about the situation of religious minorities in the country. Special rapporteurs are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
The 2018 International Tin Conference in Budapest was successfully held last month, with over 200 delegates in attendance. The conference programme highlighted, in particular, the increasing focus on responsible tin sourcing, while assessing the outlook for tin supply and impact of new technologies.During the conference, various views on responsible sourcing were expressed by a range of stakeholders across the tin supply chain. Supply chain due diligence emerged as a key theme, with the London Metal Exchange, European Commission, the International Tin Association (ITA) all outlining progress in developing and implementing new supply-chain standards and requirements for tin. Tin consumers present raised concerns about overlapping or unharmonized standards. Tin producers hope that the ITA Code of Conduct can address this concern by becoming the universal standard for responsible tin supply in the tin industry.The growth of Electric Vehicles presents new opportunities for tin, with various potential uses in lithium-ion batteries and in the development of supporting infrastructure. However, innovation in the tin industry is also visible in mining and processing technology. Presentations outlined how optical ore sorting can successfully be applied to tin ore processing for hard-rock mines and that it has been adopted both by the San Rafael mine in Peru and Renison in Tasmania.A number of tin exploration and development companies provided progress updates for projects in Australia, Canada, DR Congo and Morocco. Some existing producers outlined how they are working on new sources of tin supply, with Minsur developing its B2 tailings project and carrying out advanced exploration at a number of deposits proximal to the San Rafael mine. PT Timah is trialling both onshore and offshore borehole mining with plans to invest in this extraction method in the coming years. However, the ITA continues to warn that global tin supply will likely be insufficient to meet rising demand in the years ahead without price increases.Its next event will be Asia Tin Week in Shenzhen, China, to be held provisionally September 16-18, 2018.
Weir Minerals clocked a solid performance in the first half of 2018 and was ably supported by strong demand for new equipment and aftermarket services from its Minerals division.The company’s orders from continuing operations (minus its Flow Control division) were up 20% year-on-year in the six month period at £1.17 billion, while operating profit jumped 38% to £160 million.Minerals orders increased 12% to £728 million, with original equipment orders up 9% (£222 million) and aftermarket orders up 14% (£728 million). Operating profit within the division rose 13% to £112 million.While its Minerals division performed well, its Oil & Gas division topped it with a 35% year-on-year order jump to £438 million as North American upstream oil and gas markets grew strongly.Weir said: “Activity in mining markets continued to grow strongly as customers ramped up production to maximise the benefits of supportive commodity prices. Demand was particularly good for brownfield solutions that help debottleneck, increase throughput and reduce downtime of existing mines.”The pipeline of new projects continued to increase driven by good long-term fundamentals for commodities such as copper, gold and lithium, the company said.“Customers remained disciplined about committing to new greenfield developments, although a small number of projects received final approval.”Weir said its early investment in deploying more engineers to customer sites to help miners improve productivity had continued to support strong order growth in the first six months of the year with sales from integrated solutions, which leverage the division’s portfolio of premium products, delivering around £50 million in additional orders. Weir noted engineers completed 374 site audits in the period.“The division also continued to grow market share through its successful trials programme that sees it go head to head with competitor products to demonstrate the superior performance of Weir equipment,” the company said.The first half also saw the opening of additional service centres in Zambia, Chile and Peru to further extend Weir’s service network.Weir’s technology programmes focused on continuous improvement in the division’s core products while also developing its Synertrex® IoT solution. Weir said full commercialisation of this technology in mining markets was planned for the second half of the year.Synertrex uses network connectivity to capture equipment data and relay it to service centres, service technicians, their customers and Weir’s design centres for trend monitoring, proactive components supply and product improvement.After the end of the quarter, Weir completed the acquisition of Esco Corp in a deal that came with an enterprise value of $1.29 billion.