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Base Metals News

Turquoise Hill stops shipments from Mongolian mine to China

By: Reuters     2nd December 2016 Canadian copper miner Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd said on Friday it had suspended shipments from its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia across the Chinese border, a day after the imposition of new fees on commodity shipments between the two countries. The fee was imposed following a diplomatic row... 

Glencore sees nickel shortage as electric vehicle demand burgeons

By: Martin Creamer     2nd December 2016 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore sees a shortage in nickel arising as a result of burgeoning demand from electric vehicle (EV) production. Batteries used in EVs are consuming about 100 000 t of nickel demand and if 10% of the world’s vehicle fleet transitions to electric power,... 

Glencore sees nickel shortage as electric vehicle demand burgeons
Glencore's Koniambo nickel project in New Caledonia, a French territory.

Red River finds financing for Thalanga restart

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     2nd December 2016 The restart of the Thalanga zinc project, in Queensland, is now fully funded after ASX-listed Red River announced a A$30-million capital raise. The company told shareholders on Friday that it had received commitments to raise A$30-million through a two tranche placement of 162.1-million shares,... 

Power outage shuts potline at Alcoa’s Portland smelter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     2nd December 2016 A power outage at the Portland aluminum smelter, in Victoria, has forced aluminium major Alcoa to halt production at one of two potlines. While the other potline is operating, Alcoa warned on Friday it could experience a significant instability in the short term. 

Power outage shuts potline at Alcoa’s Portland smelter

Nickel price forecast rises as market tightens into 2020

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd December 2016 The price of nickel is expected to continue its upward momentum over the next four years to 2020 as mine closures are expected to slow market growth, while ambitious US spending plans will potentially boost demand. Analysis by Fitch Group research arm BMI calls for a more bullish nickel price... 

Nickel price forecast rises as market tightens into 2020

Hudbay prices $1bn senior notes offering

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd December 2016 Canadian base metals producer HudBay Minerals has priced its offering of $1-billion of senior notes, which will be issued in two series, the company said on Thursday. These will comprise a series of 7.25% senior notes due in 2023 for $400-million and a series of 7.625% senior notes due in 2025... 

Aus company grows share in DRC project

     2nd December 2016 ASX-listed minerals company Regal Resources has entered into an unconditional agreement with joint venture partner, Democratic Republic of Congo- (DRC-) registered La Generale Industrielle et Commerciale au Congo (GICC), to acquire from it additional shares in Kalongwe copper project’s holding... 

Aus company grows share in DRC project
KALONGWE ORE Kalongwe hosts a near-surface resource of 302 000 t copper and 42 000 t cobalt as predominantly oxide ore

Copper mining offers growth opportunity to dust suppressant supplier

By: Nadine James     2nd December 2016 Johannesburg-based nanotechnology provider Cruze Holdings expects to secure more work from African copper mining operations as its products generate savings by ensuring companies spend less on their existing road dust suppression measures. The company may double its mining revenue within the next... 

Copper mining offers growth opportunity to  dust suppressant supplier
DOWN WITH DUST Cruze Holdings dust palliatives are extremely effective, simple to apply and cost-effective

Importance of artisanal mining increases in DRC

     2nd December 2016 The stagnation of the formalised mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led to an increase in artisanal mining activity, says the mining representative body DRC Chamber of Mines (CoM). “Artisanal mining in the DRC has become a widespread activity of significant economic... 

Importance of  artisanal mining increases in DRC
SUBSISTENCE MINING Artisanal mining in the DRC has become a widespread activity of significant economic importance

Institutional challenges overshadow mineralisation

By: Nadine James     2nd December 2016 Prevailing institutional challenges facing Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will continue to hinder copper mining in the region if not addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner, says mining and business consultancy Core Africa, a division of Core Consultants. Core Africa... 

Institutional challenges overshadow mineralisation
CASTING LONG SHADOWS Socioeconomic problems continue to adversely influence mining development in the Copperbelt region

Kamoa-Kakula PEA to be completed by year-end

     2nd December 2016 Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines subsidiary Kamoa Copper SA has retained Australian consultancy OreWin to prepare a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the development of the Kakula deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The PEA is expected to be completed before the end of the... 

Kamoa-Kakula PEA to be completed by year-end
GOOD TIDINGS Ivanhoe reported excellent metallurgical results from tests conducted on drill core samples from the Kakula discovery

Zambian copper industry must be prepared for future upswing

     2nd December 2016 While a low metal price environment necessitates that mining companies cut spending and reduce expansion, adopting an overly cautious approach will ensure that companies risk being unprepared when the upswing occurs, says global professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY). Being unprepared for... 

Zambian copper industry must be prepared for future upswing
Photo by Bloomberg
ON THE PRECIPICE Without new investment in improved productivity, Zambia’s mining industry will be unable to cash in on renewed global demand for copper

Zambian town must diversify to survive eventual mine closure

     2nd December 2016 Diversified miner China Non-Ferrous Metals Mining Company’s (CMNC’s) 2009 acquisition of the Luanshya copper mine and the mine’s subsequent success reinvigorated the mining town’s economy, says local small and medium-sized business association Luanshya District Business Association (LDBA).... 

Zambian town must diversify to survive eventual mine closure
DOWN BUT NOT OUT Although Baluba's underground operation has been put on care and maintenance, the openpit mine is doing very well

Chile to capitalise copper producer Codelco with $975m

By: Reuters     1st December 2016 Chile's government will give state-owned copper miner Codelco $975-million in capitalisation so the cash-strapped firm can finance its ambitious investment plans, Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes said on Thursday. World No1 copper producer Codelco returns all its profits to the state and is... 

Norilsk Nickel takes legal action against BCL over failed asset sale

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st December 2016 Norilsk Nickel Mauritius and Norilsk Nickel Africa have filed legal claims against Botswana's largest copper and nickel producer, BCL Mine, in the Botswana courts and in the London Court of International Arbitration to recover $271.3-million, plus damages and other costs, in relation to the... 

Diligent Glencore delivers on debt promise, restarts dividend

By: Martin Creamer     1st December 2016 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore has delivered on last year’s commitment to cut debt and structurally increase the strength of its balance sheet – and it has done so in a way that has preserved the group’s long-term earnings capability.  JP Morgan Cazenove analysts described the... 

Diligent Glencore delivers on debt promise, restarts dividend
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg at last year's hand over by Glencore of a R75-million school in South Africa's coalfields to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

China slaps new fees on Mongolian exporters amid Dalai Lama row

By: Reuters     1st December 2016 A major border crossing between China and Mongolia has imposed new fees on commodity shipments between the two countries, amid a diplomatic row sparked by the visit to Ulaanbaatar of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama last week. The Dalai Lama is cherished as a spiritual leader in... 

Eight miners dead after tremor hits Polish copper mine

By: Reuters     1st December 2016 The final death toll of an earth tremor causing rockfalls deep underground in Europe's largest copper mine in southwestern Poland rose to eight miners, the mine's operator KGHM said on Wednesday. The tremor hit the Rudna copper mine at 20:09 GMT on Tuesday, KGHM said, causing extensive damage,... 

Four miners dead, four missing after tremor hits Polish copper mine

By: Reuters     30th November 2016 Rescuers were searching for four missing miners in southwestern Poland on Wednesday after an earth tremor caused rockfalls deep underground in a copper mine, killing four, the mine's operator KGHM said. The tremor hit the Rudna copper mine at 2009 GMT on Tuesday, KGHM said, causing extensive damage. 

Britain, Mongolia pledge to do more mining together

By: Reuters     30th November 2016 Britain and Mongolia signed their first memorandum of understanding in the mining sector on Tuesday, pledging an exchange of technology and expertise, and deepening ties based on Rio Tinto's huge copper mine in the South Gobi desert. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of a mining conference... 

Glencore pivots from disposals to dividends as stock rallies

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2016 What a difference a year makes. Glencore fended off questions in 2015 about its survival as commodity prices hit new lows, and now there’s talk that the company’s turnaround plan has gone so well that it could be months away from paying dividends again. Surging coal and zinc prices, a rebounding... 

Terminal pay season opens at mothballed Botswana nickel miner

By: African News Agency      29th November 2016 The payment of terminal benefits to all former employees of liquidated Botswana nickel miner BCL Limited will start on November 30 amid expectations that it would be concluded by December 16, the provisional liquidator has announced. The government of Botswana, which was the majority shareholder,... 

Nickel West signs up for Western Areas product

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     29th November 2016 ASX-listed nickel miner Western Areas has negotiated a new offtake agreement with mining major BHP Billiton’s Nickel West division. The new contract will run for the earlier of three years from February 2017, or the completion of the aggregate quantity, with up to 10 000 t/y of... 

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Despite a modestly more buoyant outlook for key metal prices, mining capital expenditures (capex) are expected to continue on a downward slide over the next three years as miners seek further cost cuts and to improve operational margins, according to analysis by Fitch Group research arm BMI.... 

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

Hudbay announces $1bn senior notes offering

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Canadian base metals producer Hudbay Minerals will offer $1-billion total principal amount in two series of senior notes offerings, including senior notes due in 2023 and a series of senior notes due in 2025. The total principal amount, interest rate and other terms of each series of the new... 

Congo copper output up 0.6% in Q3, annual production down

By: Reuters     28th November 2016 Copper output in Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa's top producer, hit 268 393 t in the third quarter of 2016, a 0.6% increase over the same period last year, the central bank said on Monday. However, total output of 734 643 t for the first three quarters was still down nearly 10% compared to... 

Western Areas gets new offtake partner

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     28th November 2016 ASX-listed nickel miner Western Areas has signed an offtake agreement with Chinese steel maker, the Tsingshan Group, for some 10 000 t/y of nickel contained in concentrate, for a three-year period, starting in February 2017. Western Areas MD Dan Lougher said on Monday that the agreement was many... 

Zinc explodes with lead in surge to highest level in nine years

By: Bloomberg     28th November 2016 Zinc headed for its highest close in more than nine years, while lead was set for its strongest finish since 2011 as bullish sentiment spurs a surge in metals. A momentum indicator eyed by traders signals that the markets are overbought. Industrial metals have climbed about 30% this year after... 

Copper’s scorching rally may hit roadblock as imports drop

By: Bloomberg     28th November 2016 Copper’s searing rally in November could hit a roadblock as China’s imports of the metal shrink. The world’s biggest consumer is making more copper domestically than ever before, using supplies of foreign ore concentrate, which is curbing demand for the refined metal. Overseas purchases of... 

Copper’s scorching rally may hit roadblock as imports drop

Antofagasta sells Michilla legacy mine for $52m

By: Henry Lazenby     26th November 2016 London-listed copper miner Antofagasta announced Friday the sale of its mothballed Michilla copper mine, in Chile, for $52-million to Haldeman Mining. Antofagasta acquired Michilla in 1992, giving rise to what today is the company’s mining division. However, Antofagasta shuttered the mine on... 

Codelco narrows Q3 profit as copper prices fall

By: Henry Lazenby     26th November 2016 Chile State-owned miner Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) has narrowed its third-quarter profit to $79-million for the three months ended September, as a 17% drop in copper prices and higher costs weighed on the bottom line. This compared with a profit of $342-million in the... 

Discredited DMR making ill-considered demands on struggling industry

By: Martin Creamer     25th November 2016 The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is making ill-considered demands that have little hope of being met. Instead of following the continent’s African Mining Vision and Zambezi Protocol, the DMR is going out on a dictatorial limb. 

Discredited DMR making ill-considered demands on struggling industry
Photo by Duane Daws
Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter and Chamber of Mines Senior Executive Public Affairs and Transformation Tebello Chabana

Zambia copper concentrate duty to disrupt global copper supplies – sources

By: Reuters     25th November 2016 A plan by Zambia to put a duty on copper concentrates imports could put a kink in the global supply chain for the metal, industry sources said, by forcing neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to send surplus mine output elsewhere. The 7.5% duty announced earlier this month and due to... 

Orbite makes headway towards final calcination stage of high purity alumina production

By: Henry Lazenby     25th November 2016 Quebec clean-technology firm Orbite Technologies continues to make progress towards achieving the calcination stage of its high-purity alumina (HPA) plant, through which it will "soon" be producing ultra-pure alumina, the company said Thursday. The TSX-listed innovator said feedstock digestion... 

Despite cash crunch, Nautilus production support vessel construction continues apace

By: Henry Lazenby     25th November 2016 Despite significant delays to Nautilus Minerals’ production schedule, and a cash crunch having sent it into hibernation, construction of the Canadian marine-mining hopeful's production support vehicle (PSV) is progressing in China. Toronto-headquartered Nautilus on Thursday reported construction... 

BMI ‘moderately positive’ about mining’s near-term future

By: David Oliveira     25th November 2016 The overall view for the global mining industry in the coming years is “moderately positive”, owing to the ongoing fiscal spending on construction, mostly driven by China, BMI Research mining and metals commodities analyst Mitchell Hugers said during a teleconference earlier this month. “Chinese... 

R10-million laboratory commissioned in DRC

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2016 Turnkey laboratory solutions provider Tramecon has commissioned the R10-million Kinsenda laboratory, a project headed by midtier mining group Metorex, near the border town of Kasumbalesa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

R10-million laboratory commissioned in DRC
CONTAINERISED SOLUTION The Kinsenda laboratory project involved the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a containerised laboratory facility

Atalaya sees quarterly increase in recoveries, ramps up production at Proyecto RioTinto

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th November 2016 Copper production at dual-listed European mining and development company Atalaya’s operations increased 97% quarter-on-quarter, from 4 442 t in the second quarter to 8 752 t in the third quarter, owing to an 83.6% increase in recoveries. The miner also maintained copper concentrate grades of over... 

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