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Base Metals News

ERG mulls construction of battery metals plant

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th February 2020 Diversified natural resources group Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) is assessing options for the construction of a plant to produce nickel/cobalt/manganese (NCM) precursor materials for use in lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles (EVs). The group is planning to develop the proposed plant in... 

Vedanta’s Naidoo calls for increased female representation in mining

By: Simone Liedtke     19th February 2020 Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo has called on the South African mining industry to “change the gender narrative” and to engage in conversations about the lack of female representation in the industry. According to recently published statistics by the Minerals Council South Africa,... 

Vedanta’s Naidoo calls for increased female representation in mining
Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo

Freeport Indonesia aims for August kick-off of construction on new copper smelter

By: Reuters     19th February 2020 Freeport Indonesia, operator of Grasberg, the world's second-biggest copper mine, expects to start construction of a new smelter in August, its chief executive said on Wednesday. Front-end engineering and design for the $3-billion smelter has been concluded and ground preparation is expected to... 

Hudbay to start mining at Pampacancha in late 2020

By: Mariaan Webb     19th February 2020 The community of Chilloroya has formally approved a surface rights agreement with TSX- and NYSE-listed miner Hudbay for the Pampacancha satellite deposit, located near the Constancia mine, in Peru, paving the way for mining to commence from the deposit in late 2020. Announcing the agreement,... 

Hudbay to start mining at Pampacancha in late 2020
Hudbay president and CEO Peter Kukielski

Chile says copper price to recover soon from coronavirus impact - mining minister

By: Reuters     18th February 2020 Copper prices will rebound in the coming months from a downturn in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China, Chilean Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica said on Tuesday. China reported its fewest new coronavirus infections since January on Tuesday and its lowest daily death toll for a... 

Climate-friendly copper, cobalt, nickel steal limelight as Glencore depletes coal reserve 

By: Martin Creamer     18th February 2020 Climate-friendly energy transition metals, copper, cobalt and nickel, stole the limelight during Glencore’s presentation of 2019 results on Tuesday, when the company revealed that it would be depleting its coal reserves in line with the global move towards a low-carbon economy. Presenting... 

Climate-friendly copper, cobalt, nickel steal limelight as Glencore depletes coal reserve
Photo by Bloomberg
Ivan Glasenberg

The top miner’s vision of the future looks a lot like the past

By: Bloomberg     18th February 2020 BHP’s new top executive has a plan to prosper in a world that’s accelerating efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions – double down on the raw materials that’ve been key through its near 170-year history. The world’s top miner, with roots in a 19th Century tin mine, plans to add more copper and... 

The top miner’s vision of the future looks a lot like the past
BHP CEO Mike Henry

Glencore provides update on its transition to low-carbon economy

By: Martin Creamer     18th February 2020 JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore on Tuesday published an update on its performance in transitioning towards a low-carbon economy. This follows its climate change position statement of February 2019. 

Glencore provides update on its transition to low-carbon economy
Photo by Bloomberg
Ivan Glasenderg

Red River sets sights on Liontown

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th February 2020 Junior base and precious metals producer Red River Resources has announced plans to develop the Liontown deposit as its next mining operation at the Thalanga gold project, in Queensland. An updated mineral resource for the Liontown project is due in March this year, with the miner telling... 

Revenues and profits fall at Oz Minerals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th February 2020 Copper miner Oz Minerals has nearly halved its net profits after tax for the full year ending December, with the miner reporting that net profits fell to A$163.9-million from the A$222.4-million reported in the previous full year. Underlying net profits after tax declined from A$228.3-million to... 

Rio submits power plans for Oyu Tolgoi

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th February 2020 Major Rio Tinto has submitted a feasibility study for the Tavan Tolgoi power plant (TTPP) project, to the government of Mongolia, as part of its electricity solution for the Oyu Tolgoi copper project. The TTPP will involve the construction of a 300 MW coal power plant, with Rio on Tuesday... 

ARM's basic earnings expected to rise

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 Diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) expects its basic earnings for the first half of the 2020 financial year to increase by between 60% and 65% to between just over R2-billion and R2.1-billion. Basic earnings per share for the six months under review are expected to be between 1 081c... 

Minnesota Natural Resources Dept and PolyMet approach Supreme Court

By: Mariaan Webb     17th February 2020 The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Toronto-headquartered PolyMet Mining have approached the Supreme Court to review last month’s state Court of Appeals decision on permits for the NorthMet project. The DNR is seeking a review of a decision regarding three permits that it... 

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs  

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 While the energy transition is gaining a lot of traction, integrated primary vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo laments that the battery storage narrative is “still dominated by electric vehicles (EVs)”. He tells Engineering News & Mining Weekly that there is still a lack of... 

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo chats to Engineering News & Mining Weekly about the energy transition, how vanadium plays a role in this as well as how this fits into the company's growth plans. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

US-Canada critical metals focus could aid Nico

By: Tracy Hancock     17th February 2020 The Nico cobalt/gold/bismuth/copper project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is among several advanced critical minerals projects in the country that could be fast-tracked to production stage with some government assistance, says developer Fortune Minerals. 

US-Canada critical metals focus could aid Nico
PROJECT OVERVIEW Fortune Minerals is working on increasing grade and gold contribution from its Nico deposit and reducing the capital costs of production facilities

Coronavirus stalled First Quantum’s Zambian stake sale talks

By: Bloomberg     17th February 2020 The coronavirus has temporarily derailed talks to sell a minority stake in First Quantum Minerals’s Zambian operations, company executives said. The virus outbreak is preventing face-to-face meetings with potential Chinese buyers, postponing a sale that’s key to the Vancouver-based First... 

Coronavirus stalled First Quantum’s Zambian stake sale talks
First Quantum president Clive Newall

Katoro hopes to sell subsidiary soon, continues to explore Tanzanian deposit

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th February 2020 Aim-listed gold and nickel project developer Katoro Gold has been pursuing various project opportunities to benefit the company and advance what it says is a transformational phase for the company. Subject to funding being secured, the company’s tailings exploitation joint venture with South... 

Metal Tiger increases stake in Kalahari Metals

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th February 2020 Aim-listed Metal Tiger plans to invest a further $1.5-million in Botswana-based Kalahari Metals (KML), which will increase its stake in the company to 62.2%. Additionally, Metal Tiger has been conditionally granted a 2% net smelter royalty over all of KML’s wholly-owned licences, which... 

First Quantum posts surprise profit on higher copper sales, output

By: Reuters     14th February 2020 Canada's First Quantum Minerals posted a surprise profit on Thursday, helped by higher sales and production, driven by a ramp up of its Cobre Panama copper mine. First Quantum's total copper production rose 29% to 204 270 t, while sales jumped 31.8%. The company has been actively developing its... 

DeGrussa back at work after cyclone

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th February 2020 Copper/gold miner Sandfire Resources on Friday confirmed that underground mining at its DeGrussa operation, in Western Australia, was temporarily suspended earlier this week after rainwater ingress at the mine. The company told shareholders that rainwater associated with Tropical Cyclone Damien... 

Rio punts refinery technology

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th February 2020 Mining giant Rio Tinto and aluminium equipment supplier STAS have agreed to terms to commercialise Rio’s advanced compact filtration (AFC) technology for aluminium cast houses. The ACF technology developed by Rio will now be manufactured and sold under license by equipment manufacturer STAS... 

Trader Trafigura in talks with Congo over financing cobalt buyer

By: Bloomberg     14th February 2020 Trading house Trafigura Group is in talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo about financing a new state-controlled company that will buy all the African nation’s hand-mined cobalt. Entreprise Generale du Cobalt will need $80-million to $100-million to begin buying cobalt from so-called... 

Integrated approach can ease load-shedding risks

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th February 2020 As South Africa’s industry bears the brunt of devastating power cuts, Zest WEG, the South African subsidiary of Brazilian motor and controls manufacturer WEG, is encouraging mining companies to start adopting integrated, holistic solutions that will reduce energy consumption while diversifying... 

Low carbon future to dictate PDAC 2020 talks

By: Tracy Hancock     14th February 2020 Mineral exploration and mining’s role in the global shift towards a low carbon future could dominate discussions at this year’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention, PDAC executive director Lisa McDonald tells Mining Weekly. “To meet demand for electric vehicle... 

Low carbon future to dictate PDAC 2020 talks
CRITICAL GATHERING Popular topics that should continue to attract high attendance at the PDAC Convention are diversity and inclusion, sustainability, capital markets and Indigenous affairs

Angola seeks to make itself a more mining-friendly jurisdiction

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 Angola will this year initiate a new governance system for the country’s mining industry, the country’s Mineral Resources and Petroleum Minister, Diamantino Azevedo, confirmed at the recent Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town. The new system will include the new National Agency for... 

Call made for accelerated exploration to build critical-minerals pipeline

By: Tracy Hancock     14th February 2020 Amid growing demand for critical minerals globally on the back of increased production of the technologies needed to realise a low-carbon future, North America’s policies and regulations are said to be hindering exploration and depleting its project pipeline. This is the most minerals-intensive... 

Call made for accelerated exploration to build critical-minerals pipeline

Greek lawmakers clear rescue plan for nickel producer Larco

By: Reuters     13th February 2020 ATHENS – Greek lawmakers approved a restructuring plan for Larco late on Wednesday which Greece called a last attempt to save Europe's biggest nickel producer. The European Commission said in November it was taking Greece to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over its failure to recover... 

Barrick CEO sees no competition in his bid for Freeport's Grasberg mine

By: Reuters     12th February 2020 Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow on Wednesday said he sees no competition from rivals in his pursuit of Freeport-McMoRan's Grasberg copper/gold mine in Indonesia but cautioned any deal for the asset would take time to pull off. Bristow has fanned speculation that Barrick, the world's No. 2 gold... 

Barrick CEO sees no competition in his bid for Freeport's Grasberg mine
The Grasberg mine, in Indonesia.

Preliminary EIS shows Pebble mine can co-exist with Bristol Bay fisheries

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th February 2020 Canada’s Northern Dynasty on Wednesday reported that a preliminary version of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Pebble project, in Alaska, has indicated that the project could co-exist with the fisheries and water resources of Bristol Bay. The TSX- and NYSE American-listed... 

Preliminary EIS shows Pebble mine can co-exist with Bristol Bay fisheries

Rio Tinto says China virus slowing copper ore imports from Mongolia

By: Reuters     12th February 2020 Rio Tinto, operator of the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia, said its copper concentrate shipments to China had slowed due to efforts by the authorities to contain the spread of the coronavirus. "We have advised customers that we are engaging with authorities who are working on... 

Rio Tinto reviews future of unprofitable Iceland smelter

By: Mariaan Webb     12th February 2020 Diversified mining major Rio Tinto has announced a strategic review of the ISAL smelter in Iceland, to determine the operation's “ongoing viability and explore options to improve its competitive position”. The smelter, which the company unsuccessfully tried to sell a year-and-a-half ago, is... 

Rio Tinto reviews future of unprofitable Iceland smelter

Vedanta sets sights on zinc, silver, iron-ore output growth 

By: Kim Cloete     12th February 2020 CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – Natural resources company Vedanta Resources is aiming to become the world's biggest producer of zinc, as well as to double its production of silver and increase its iron-ore output from 10-million to 15-million tonnes a year.  Vedanta has a presence in steel,... 

Vedanta sets sights on zinc, silver, iron-ore output growth
Vedanta Resources executives tell Mining Weekly correspondent Kim Cloete about the group's growth plans and its corporate social investment initiatives. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Phoenix says studies found no critical enviro issues at Empire

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th February 2020 Two years of independent baseline environmental data collection and monitoring have confirmed that the Empire mine, in Idaho, US, will not threaten critical habitat for endangered plant or wildlife species, says Aim-listed Phoenix Copper. The company reports that the environmental baseline... 

South32 and Trilogy appoint Ambler Metals board

By: Mariaan Webb     12th February 2020 Canada’s Trilogy Metals and Australia’s South32 have completed the formation of their 50:50 joint venture (JV), named Ambler Metals, focusing on projects in the US state of Alaska. Ambler is an independently operated company controlled by Trilogy and South32 through a four-member board, the... 

South32 and Trilogy appoint Ambler Metals board

West Musgrave PFS proves positive

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th February 2020 A prefeasibility study (PFS) into the West Musgrave/ Nebo-Babel base metals project, in Western Australia, has demonstrated that the project could have a mine life of some 26 years, producing at an annual rate of 28 000 t of copper and some 22 000 t of nickel in concentrates. “The PFS is now... 

Centerra to publish new Mt Milligan technical study next month

By: Mariaan Webb     11th February 2020 Canadian gold miner Centerra said on Tuesday that it would publish its updated technical study for the Mount Milligan gold/copper mine, in British Columbia, by late next month. The company has flagged a "material" reduction in resources and reserves, with a resultant effect on the mine life”. 

Centerra to publish new Mt Milligan technical study next month

ScoZinc expects upcoming PFS to improve past Scotia assessments

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th February 2020 TSX-V-listed explorer and developer ScoZinc is hopeful that when it announces the results of a prefeasibility study (PFS) for the idled Scotia mine, near Halifax, it will be an improvement on past assessments. The company confidence levels are boosted by the recent doubling of the mineral... 

Silver Swan's reserves double

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th February 2020 The share price of junior Poseidon Nickel increased by more than 9% on Tuesday, after the company reported a doubling of the nickel reserve at its Silver Swan operation, in Western Australia. The Silver Swan project is now estimated to host 130 000 t of contained nickel metal, at 5.2% nickel for... 

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