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Base Metals News

Rio is said to hold talks with Indonesia on Grasberg mine exit

By: Bloomberg     20th October 2017 Rio Tinto Group has held talks with Indonesian groups, including State-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, about a possible exit from its interest in the giant Grasberg copper and gold operation, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Executives at Rio held meetings in recent weeks,... 

Barclays sued by fund for $850m for copper market abuse

By: Bloomberg     20th October 2017 Red Kite Management, the world’s largest metals hedge fund, is suing Barclays Plc for alleged market abuse in the copper market that it claims cost the firm at least $850-million between 2010 and 2013. The case pits a $2-billion hedge fund against a bank that has been hit by a number of scandals... 

Nigeria seeks to boost mining reserves to lure investors

By: Bloomberg     20th October 2017 Nigeria plans to spend 15-billion naira ($42-million) over the next year to explore for minerals and attract investors into mining and reduce its dependence on oil, Solid Minerals Development Minister Kayode Fayemi said. “Because we are starting from a low base, we want to have a portfolio of... 

Alumina shortages to increase as Chinese crackdown bites

By: Reuters     20th October 2017 Shortages of alumina, the raw material for producing aluminium, may become more severe in the coming months as an environmental crackdown in China is due to shut capacity, forcing smelters to scramble for supplies and pushing up prices. Alumina prices have already shot up 73% since May and... 

Rise in DRC exploration activity expected

     20th October 2017 With the improvements in the copper price, mining interest will soon be returning to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says mining consultancy SRK Consulting country manager Susa Maleba.   “In fact, for explorers wanting to initiate drilling programmes, time is running out,” says Maleba.... 

Rise in DRC exploration activity expected
EXTENDING LIFE The sulphide resources underlying the oxide resources at Kinsevere have the potential to extend the mine life to 2033

South Africa spending less than its peers on mining research and development

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 While South Africa had increased its investment in mining research and development (R&D) since 2014, the country’s investment was still below that of its peers, delegates heard during a panel discussion on ‘Technological Innovation and Advancements in the Mining Industry’ at the Joburg Indaba... 

Gamsberg zinc project a thumbs up for South Africa amid investment slowdown

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 Amid low levels of capital project activities in South Africa, the $400-million Gamsberg zinc and lead project, in the Northern Cape, has become the largest mining project under execution in the country. “Commentators have noted that this significant investment in the South African mining... 

Gamsberg zinc project a thumbs up for South Africa amid investment slowdown

General uptick in West Africa mining as commodity prices improve

By: Ilan Solomons     20th October 2017 There have been a number of recent positive developments in West Africa’s mining industry, such as in Mali, where two new mines are scheduled to be commissioned by the end of this year. This is according to engineering and scientific consultancy SRK Consulting Ghana country manager John Kwofie,... 

General uptick in West Africa mining as commodity prices improve
Photo by SRK Consulting
JOHN KWOFIE SRK has been engaged in aspects of iron-ore projects in Cameroon, bauxite in Guinea and diamonds in Sierra Leone and Guinea in recent years

Remove exploration red tape or mining will die, geologist warns 

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2017 The excessive red tape around minerals exploration must be removed to prevent the demise of South Africa’s vital mining industry, consulting exploration geologist Allan Saad said on Thursday. Saad, who spent 18 years in geological roles with mining major Rio Tinto and who formerly represented the... 

Remove exploration red tape or mining will die, geologist warns
Consulting exploration geologist Allan Saad outlines current exploration constraints to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Christo Greyling. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

BHP's chairperson holds first annual meeting, plans to review board

By: Bloomberg     19th October 2017 In  Ken MacKenzie’s first annual shareholder meeting at BHP Billiton, he emphasised that while the company will listen to investors, it is the board that makes decisions. For most companies, that’s a pretty unremarkable statement, but it carries extra weight at BHP, which is under pressure by... 

BHP's chairperson holds first annual meeting, plans to review board
BHP chairperson Ken Mackenzie

China's Jiangxi Copper has plans for M&A in Africa – chairperson

By: Reuters     19th October 2017 State-owned China metals firm Jiangxi Copper plans to make an acquisition in mineral-rich Africa, president and chairperson Long Ziping said, as the country's top integrated copper producer aims to step up overseas expansion. Long, appointed chairperson last month, didn't identify potential... 

Horizonte Minerals files mine construction licence for Araguaia project

By: Anine Kilian     19th October 2017 Aim- and TSX-listed Horizonte Minerals has completed and filed a mine construction licence application for its Brazil-based Araguaia nickel project, marking a major milestone for the project as it moves towards a decision on construction, said CEO Jeremy Martin in a statement released Thursday.... 

Brazil miner Vale seals share conversion, elects new board members

By: Reuters     19th October 2017 The remaining preferred shareholders of Brazil's Vale SA on Wednesday voted to accept a plan obliging them to convert their shares into a single stock class, finalizing a process that is part of the miner's bid to improve corporate governance. The move was approved by the remaining preferential... 

Alcoa sees global aluminum market balancing on China's curbs

By: Bloomberg     19th October 2017 Alcoa Corp sees Chinese cuts in aluminum production returning the global market to “relative balance” as the Asian nation’s supply-side reforms begin to bite. The largest US aluminum producer reduced its global surplus forecast for the lightweight metal this year as China appears to be holding to... 

Chile's Cochilco boosts copper forecast to near $3/lb in 2018

By: Reuters     19th October 2017 Chile State copper commission Cochilco forecasted on Wednesday an average global copper price of $2.95/lb in 2018, a sharp upward revision from its mid-year estimate of $2.68, due to greater demand in China, a key market. For 2017, it predicted an average copper price of $2.77/lb, markedly higher... 

Chile's Cochilco boosts copper forecast to near $3/lb in 2018

Sandfire holds steady in September quarter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th October 2017 Copper/gold miner Sandfire Resources has reported a slight decline in copper production for the three months to September, compared with the June quarter, following planned maintenance shutdowns at its DeGrussa mill, in Western Australia. Copper production for the quarter under review reached 15... 

Sheffield to spin-out gold and base metal assets

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th October 2017 Mineral sands developer Sheffield Resources has announced plans to demerge its gold and base metals assets into an ASX-listed company. The assets, which are currently held by subsidiary Carawine Resources, include the Jamieson gold-copper-silver-zinc project, in Victoria, and the Oakover and... 

Dugald River zinc project likely to come in 8% under budget – MMG

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th October 2017 Metals miner MMG on Thursday reported that its Dugald River zinc project, in Queensland, was likely to come in under budget. The company told shareholders that total capital costs to completion was now expected to be between $550-million to $570-million, compared with a previous guidance of... 

South32 bolsters net cash to $1.7bn, reports solid Q1 results

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th October 2017 Diversified miner South32 on Thursday reported its financial and operational results for the first quarter of the 2018 financial year, telling shareholders that stronger commodity markets had delivered a $33-million increase in its net cash position. “Our key commodity markets continue to... 

South32 bolsters net cash to $1.7bn, reports solid Q1 results
Photo by Bloomberg
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

BHP told bending to activists poses risks for debt investors

By: Bloomberg     19th October 2017 BHP Billiton’s new chairman Ken MacKenzie is grappling with a simmering campaign by activist shareholders -- moving too far to appease them could risk unsettling debt investors who own the world’s biggest miner’s $24-billion of bonds. The campaign by funds including billionaire Paul Singer’s... 

BHP told bending to activists poses risks for debt investors
BHP new chairperson Ken Mackenzie

Glencore to swap Rusal stake for shares in Russia's En+

By: Reuters     19th October 2017 Glencore will swap its 8.75% stake in Russian aluminium giant Rusal for shares in En+ Group, an aluminium and hydropower group controlled by tycoon Oleg Deripaska, En+ said on Wednesday. En+ Group plans to raise $1.5-billion in an initial public share offering (IPO) in London and Moscow in... 

Altus secures new exploration licence in Ethiopia

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th October 2017 Aim-listed Altus Strategies has been granted an exploration licence for the Daro copper/gold project, in northern Ethiopia. The licence covers an area of about 412 km2 and is valid for three years. 

Trevali stock trades lower on production miss

By: Henry Lazenby     18th October 2017 The value of the recent acquisition of two African zinc assets from mining major Glencore is evident in zinc-focused miner Trevali Mining latest operating results, which it published on Monday, accounting for about 65% of output. However, the company’s TSX-listed equity on Tuesday fell as much as... 

BHP on track for 7% volume growth in FY18; guidance intact

By: Henry Lazenby     18th October 2017 The world’s largest mining house BHP Billiton said on Wednesday it remained on track for a 7% volume growth in the 2018 financial year, leaving its full-year 2018 guidance unaltered. The Melbourne, Australia-based miner reported its operating results for the three months ended September 30,... 

BHP on track for 7% volume growth in FY18; guidance intact

Rio Tinto declares force majeure on copper from US mine

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 Global miner Rio Tinto declared force majeure last Friday on shipments of refined copper from its Kennecott mine, in the US, following the death of a worker, a spokesperson said on Tuesday. There was no timeline for when the force majeure would be lifted, spokesperson Kyle Bennett said. A force... 

KGHM plays down recent breakdown impact

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 Polish copper producer KGHM Polska Miedz said on Tuesday it expects no big negative impact on sales or core earnings from the recent breakdown of a smelter in the city of Glogow. "We hope that we will be able to recoup some losses," CEO Radoslaw Domagalski-Labedzki told reporters. 

Explorer Ferrum Crescent adopts revised strategy

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th October 2017 Exploration firm Ferrum Crescent has announced a revised exploration strategy for the Toral base metals project, in Spain, including the appointment of expert geological advisers to better understand the project economics. The revised strategy will be led by newly appointed executive director... 

Metals X revisits Wingellina on higher cobalt price

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th October 2017 An increase in the cobalt price has prompted ASX-listed Metals X to revisit its Wingellina nickel/cobalt/scandium project, in Western Australia. A previous feasibility study into the Wingellina project estimated that the project could deliver about 40 000 t/y of nickel and 3 000 t/y of cobalt... 

WA govt to clear red tape for miners

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th October 2017 The Western Australian government has committed to a number of reforms to support the state’s nickel industry. Speaking at the Paydirt nickel conference, in Perth, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said that the government was committed to reducing red tape and regulatory duplications... 

BHP’s entry into nickel sulphate ‘well timed’, cobalt sulphate may be next

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th October 2017 Mining major BHP is reviewing the timing of its Stage 2 nickel sulphate plant at the Kwinana refinery, in Western Australia, on the back of high demand. BHP Nickel West asset president Eduard Haegel said on Tuesday that potential customer visits had confirmed that the company’s entry into the... 

Rio Tinto produces more iron-ore and coal, but cuts copper guidance

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th October 2017 Diversified major Rio Tinto has reported increased production across its iron-ore and coal assets, but has adjusted its copper output expectations for the full year on the back of delays at the Escondida operation. “The business performed very well in the September quarter, with a strong... 

Rio Tinto produces more iron-ore and coal, but cuts copper guidance
Photo by Bloomberg
Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques

Peru says over 20 companies interested in $2bn copper project

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 More than 20 companies have expressed an interest in bidding on the $2-billion Peruvian copper project Michiquillay in an auction due to take place on December 20, the Peruvian government said on Monday. The auction date had been pushed back from the originally scheduled November 15, state... 

Exploration, junior culture needed to save mining – Bristow 

By: Martin Creamer     16th October 2017 Unless South Africa starts exploring again and finds new ore deposits, the country will continue to turn out the lights of the mining sector. With poor policy added, disinvestment and lack of interest will ultimately stop South Africa’s mining industry in its tracks, which will deal a colossal... 

Exploration, junior culture needed to save mining – Bristow
Top resources consultant Dr John Bristow outlines the urgent need for exploration to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Vast Resources reports higher output

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th October 2017 UK-headquartered Vast Resources on Monday reported stronger operational results from its mines in Romania and Zimbabwe, with third-quarter tonnes mined, milled and copper and gold production outperforming the previous quarter. The Manaila polymetallic mine, in Romania, delivered an “exceptional... 

Italy grants Energia exploration licence for historic Salafossa mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th October 2017 ASX-listed Energia has been awarded an exploration licence covering the historic Salafossa mine area, in northern Italy near the border of Austria, the company reported on Monday. Salafossa, which was operational between 1964 and 1986, comprised a single sub-horizontal Mississippi Valley Style... 

Prominent Hill openpit closure brought forward

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th October 2017 Copper/gold miner Oz Minerals will bring forward the closure of its openpit operations at the Prominent Hill mine, in South Australia, from the mid-2018 to the first quarter of the year. About A$10-million will be saved through the accelerated plan, the company reported on Monday, as it released... 

Nzuri publishes feasibility study for DRC copper/cobalt project

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th October 2017 A feasibility study (FS) into the Stage 1 development of the Kalongwe oxide copper-cobalt project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has estimated that the project would require a capital investment of $53.12-million. The Stage 1 operation will comprise an openpit mine and a one-million tonne... 

US demands regional steel, aluminum in Nafta auto rules

By: Reuters     16th October 2017 The Trump administration is demanding the use of North American-made steel, aluminum, copper and plastic resins in cars and trucks sold under North American Free Trade Agreement rules, as it seeks to give US industry a boost. People briefed on the matter said US negotiators issued the proposal,... 

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