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Base Metals News

Electric vehicle revolution a rare investment opportunity as metals demand spikes

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2017 The rate at which global auto markets are adopting electrically powered vehicles (EVs) is accelerating at a much faster pace than even some of the keenest market observers have estimated at the start of 2017, and is opening up once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunities among the four key ‘energy... 

Orford to capitalise on ‘district-scale’ Qiqavik gold discovery, near-term catalysts in Carolina

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2017 Planning is under way for another summer drill campaign at recently-gone-public explorer Orford Mining’s Qiqavik project, in the remote emerging gold belt of Cape Smith, in Northern Quebec. “We’ve discovered a new gold district in Canada. This is like walking into the Timmins Belt for the first... 

Orford to capitalise on ‘district-scale’ Qiqavik gold discovery, near-term catalysts in Carolina
Photo by Orford Mining
Qiqavik prospecting, Northern Quebec

Osisko agrees to extend Falco loan; in talks to pick up Horne 5 stream

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2017 Royalties and streaming firm Osisko Gold Royalties has entered negotiations with Abitibi-focused explorer Falco Resources on a precious metal streaming agreement for its Horne 5 project, following Osisko agreeing to extend a loan. TSX-V-listed Falco reported that Osisko has agreed to extend a... 

Dassault Systèmes heralding in new autonomous mining era  

By: Martin Creamer     30th November 2017 The 'mine of tomorrow' is expected to be a factory-like entity equipped with a multiplicity of autonomous devices, which are controlled by technology savvy personnel working from remote centres, attendees of the natural resources forum heard in Sandton on Thursday. The ‘mine of tomorrow’ would... 

Dassault Systèmes heralding in new autonomous mining era
Dassault Systèmes Geovia CEO Raoul Jacquand interviewed by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer on mine modernisation. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Darlene Creamer.

Chile's Codelco plans environmental impact pricing for copper

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 Chile's Codelco will soon sell its first copper cathodes with pricing that takes into account the environmental footprint of production, its chairman said on Thursday. 

Cloncurry offtake deal key to accelerating mine development – Altona

By: Mariaan Webb     30th November 2017 Australia’s Altona Mining, which is being bought out by Canada’s Copper Mountain, reported on Thursday that it had executed an offtake agreement with Glencore for the sale of copper/gold concentrates to be produced at the Cloncurry project, in north-west Queensland. Glencore, operates the Mt Isa... 

Copper execs see balanced market, warn on rising costs, regulation

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 The global copper market will be balanced for the foreseeable future even as mine supplies tighten and demand from China, the world's top consumer, remains strong, executives from major copper companies said on Wednesday. The forecast came as executives warned that rising environmental regulation... 

Copper execs see balanced market, warn on rising costs, regulation

Freeport Indonesia targets 1.1Mt copper concentrate exports by end 2017

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 The Indonesian unit of U.S. miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc is aiming to export 1.1 million tonnes of copper concentrate this year, a company official said in a hearing with parliament on Wednesday. The company had exported 684,333 tonnes of copper concentrate by end-October, according to government... 

Zambia's State-controlled investment firm wants bigger stake in copper mines

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 Following the sharp rise in copper prices this year Zambia's state-controlled firm ZCCM Investments Holdings wants to increase its stakes in the country's mines and also expects higher dividend payments, its chief executive said on Wednesday. ZCCM-IH, which was formerly called Zambia Consolidated... 

Southern Copper workers in Peru on strike for ninth day

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 Workers at Southern Copper, in Peru, said they completed a ninth day of an indefinite strike on Wednesday, following a failed negotiation attempt with the company. The walkout, which involved 3 000 members of two out of the five Southern Copper unions in Peru, has been declared illegal by the... 

Southern Copper workers in Peru on strike for ninth day

Mkango granted Chimimbe prospecting licence

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th November 2017 Aim- and TSX-V-listed Mkango Resources has been granted an exclusive prospecting licence covering the 98.48 km Chimimbe Hill nickel/cobalt deposit in central Malawi. With magnetic anomalies in the licence area indicating exploration potential for additional nickel/cobalt mineralisation, Mkango... 

Prieska project to start production by 2020

By: Nadine James     29th November 2017 Dual-listed base metals miner Orion Minerals’ Prieska zinc/copper project could start production by 2020, says Orion MD and CEO Errol Smart. Addressing a media roundtable on Tuesday, he commented that the current project timeline envisages the completion of a Joint Ore Reserves... 

Prieska project to start production by 2020
Photo by Duane Daws
Orion MD and CEO Errol Smart

Metro Mining reaches commission stage at Bauxite Hills

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2017 ASX-listed Metro Mining on Wednesday reported that all major marine infrastructure at its Bauxite Hills mine had reached practical completion including the barge loading facility (BLF), marine offloading facility, cyclone moorings, navigational aids and tidal gauge. The project is within budget... 

Lupaka kicks off Invicta PEA

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2017 Peru-focused gold explorer and project developer Lupaka Gold has appointed consulting engineering firm SRK Consulting Canada the lead contractor to prepare a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its 100%-owned Invicta gold project. Invicta is an advanced-stage gold/copper polymetallic... 

Altiplano delivers first bulk-sample ore to toll mill

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2017 TSX-V-listed explorer Altiplano Minerals has shipped the first 100-t sample of ore taken as part of a bulk sample at the Farellon copper/gold mine, in Chile, for toll milling. The Edmonton, Alberta-based miner said on Tuesday that since the Comet Joint Venture (CJV), in which it has earned a 50%... 

Withdrawal of entire MPRDA only constitutionally acceptable solution – Leon

By: Martin Creamer     28th November 2017 The process of reconsidering the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill has generated a new range of procedural missteps and failed to address any of the substantive problems in the Bill, leaving the entire withdrawal of the Bill as the only constitutionally... 

Withdrawal of entire MPRDA only constitutionally acceptable solution – Leon
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills Africa co-chair and partner Peter Leon.

Century zinc mine could be back in production by July – study

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th November 2017 The Century zinc mine could be back in production by July next year, New Century said on Tuesday, announcing the outcomes of a feasibility study into the restart of operations at the mine near Mt Isa, which once was one of the world’s top producers of the metal. The study estimates that the... 

MOD Resources gets go-ahead for further exploration

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th November 2017 ASX-listed copper miner MOD Resources has received approval from the Botswana Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to start drilling on a farm north of its T3 copper project, doubling its approved exploration area to 100 km2, while opening up additional airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey... 

Volkswagen's talks with cobalt producers end without deal

By: Reuters     28th November 2017 Meetings last week between major cobalt producers including mining giant Glencore to supply the world's largest automaker Volkswagen with the material used to make batteries for electric vehicles ended without a deal, cobalt industry sources said. In September, Reuters reported exclusively that... 

BHP studying $2.1bn medium-term copper expansion project

By: Mariaan Webb     28th November 2017 Mining Major BHP is considering further expansion options its Olympic Dam operation, in South Australia, which will sharply increase copper production as the miner believes the copper market is heading for a structural deficit in the next six years. BHP has taken a three-stage option-based... 

BHP studying $2.1bn medium-term copper expansion project
The Olympic Dam operation.

Four NGOs file federal suit to overturn Hudbay’s Rosemont Forest Service RoD

By: Henry Lazenby     28th November 2017 Four nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) have filed a federal lawsuit in the US District Court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the US Forest Service for issuing Canadian miner Hudbay Minerals’ Rosemont copper project, in Arizona, a positive ‘record of decision’ (RoD) in June.... 

Four NGOs file federal suit to overturn Hudbay’s Rosemont Forest Service RoD

Noront hits encouraging VMS mineralisation at McFaulds No 8; requests proposals for plant

By: Henry Lazenby     27th November 2017 Ring of Fire (RoF) development champion Noront Resources has intersected encouraging results at the McFaulds No 8 volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit, hosted on the property where the first discoveries in the RoF were made and which spurred the initial staking rush in 2002 to 2003. The... 

Vedanta’s Zinc International, GE collaborate on digitalisation initiative at Gamsberg 

By: Mia Breytenbach     27th November 2017 Diversified miner Vedanta Resources' Zinc International (VZI) has announced a greenfield digitalisation initiative, which will see a ‘Smart Ore Movement’ system built into its flagship Gamsberg zinc project. The project, which is being undertaken in collaboration with digital industrial company... 

Vedanta’s Zinc International, GE collaborate on digitalisation initiative at Gamsberg
Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo discusses the benefits of the digitalisation initiative being implemented at the Gamsberg mine. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Dispute at Congo cobalt mine heads to court, halts metal supply

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2017 An attempt by Congo’s Gecamines to profit from the boom in battery metals has backfired, leaving the state-owned miner facing two international court actions and halting cobalt production at a key mine. Gecamines blocked its 16-year partner GTL’s access to the cobalt site in the southeastern... 

South32 okays R4.3bn project, eyes JSE for rejigged energy coal 

By: Martin Creamer     27th November 2017 Diversified mining and metals company South32 on Monday approved the R4.3-billion, 20-year Klipspruit life extension project at South Africa Energy Coal (SAEC), and at the same time set out to turn its South African energy coal business into a standalone entity, earmarked for further empowerment... 

South32 okays R4.3bn project, eyes JSE for rejigged energy coal
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

SolGold rises on sanguine Cascabel exploration results

By: Henry Lazenby     25th November 2017 Brisbane, Australia-based, dual LSE- and TSX‐listed explorer SolGold has announced positive exploration results at its flagship Cascabel copper/gold project, in Ecuador. Following the arrival of two track-mounted rigs, with a further two having arrived in country, the drill fleet has increased to... 

Nickel rally stalls, electric car boost some years away

By: Reuters     24th November 2017 A recognition that electric vehicles (EVs) are unlikely to move the nickel demand dial for some years, slowing demand from China's stainless steel mills and rising supplies have halted a frenzied price rally and are likely to keep weighing on prices. Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange... 

Alcoa Canada, union resume aluminum smelter contract talks

By: Reuters     24th November 2017 Alcoa Corp and the United Steelworkers have agreed to resume contract talks with a government-appointed conciliator, the union said on Thursday, averting a potential strike at the Becancour, Quebec aluminium smelter. The collective agreement for 1 030 unionised workers expired late Wednesday... 

Union for striking workers reaches tentative labour deal at Quebec zinc refinery

By: Reuters     24th November 2017 The United Steelworkers said on Thursday it reached a tentative agreement with Noranda Income Fund on a new labour deal for 371 striking workers at a zinc refinery in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec. Zinc output at the plant, operated by a subsidiary of global mining giant and trader Glencore,... 

Codelco reports strong Q3 profit as lower costs offset falling grades

By: Henry Lazenby     24th November 2017 The world’s largest copper producer, Chilean State-owned miner Codelco, has reported a strong third-quarter net profit of $1.6-billion, an improvement of more than three times on the loss posted for the same period a year earlier. Executive president Nelson Pizarro attributed the strong... 

Codelco reports strong Q3 profit as lower costs offset falling grades
Photo by Codelco
Codelco executive president Nelson Pizarro

Ventilation and cooling in mines often work against nature

By: Simone Liedtke     24th November 2017 Mining requires a robust constitution as mines often work against nature, descending deep underground, where temperatures can rise to between 60º and 70º at the rock face, explains heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company Johnson Controls GM Neil Cameron. 

Ventilation and cooling in mines often work against nature
YD CENTRIFUGAL CHILLER The chiller ranges in capacity from 5 300 kW to 21 100 kW

Agromining may provide new opportunities to extract remaining value from mined land

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 With a significant portion of the large mineral deposits having been discovered worldwide, and in many cases reaching the end of viable economic recovery, phytomining is one option that could be chosen to extract the remaining value from this mined ground, Florida International University... 

Agromining may provide new opportunities to extract remaining value from mined land

New tin player aiming to achieve steady-state production at Namibian project within 12 months 

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 Diversified mineral development company Bushveld Minerals’ tin platform AfriTin Mining, which has assets in Namibia and South Africa, will focus on becoming “The Africa tin champion” by bringing its flagship Uis tin project, in Namibia, to commercial production, says AfriTin Mining CEO Anthony... 

New tin player aiming to achieve steady-state production at Namibian project within 12 months
Afritin Mining CEO Anthony Viljoen discusses newly- Aim-listed Afriting Mining and its strategies.

Company offers mine to market solutions

     24th November 2017 Combining concept-to-completion expertise with design and major project delivery capabilities for the minerals and metals sector, from bulk commodities to rare earths, professional services provider WorleyParsons offers its customers complete mine-to-market solutions from inception to... 

Company offers mine  to market solutions
MULTIDISCIPLIANRY APPROACH WorleyParsons takes a multidisciplinary approach, with teams comprising experts to identify challenges early and produce tailored strategies that mitigate risks

Capabilities expanded to meet demand

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th November 2017 Over the last few years, mineral testwork provider Maelgwyn Mineral Services Africa’s laboratory capabilities have expanded in accordance with industry demand.  

South32 intent on resolving Appin, Cannington challenges

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd November 2017 Having acknowledged challenges at its Australia operations, particularly at the Appin metallurgical coal mine in Illawarra, New South Wales, diversified miner South32’s focus remains on resolving operational challenges and improving operational efficiency. “We had an unacceptable year as we... 

South32 bullish on aluminium, manganese, energy coal prospects

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd November 2017 With the price of various commodities having improved during the 2017 financial year, diversified miner South32 remains optimistic about the aluminium, manganese and energy coal sectors for the year ahead. “Manganese led the way [in terms of price increases], and metallurgical coal, energy coal,... 

South32 bullish on aluminium, manganese, energy coal prospects
Photo by Bloomberg
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Panoramic hopeful of return to producer status in near future

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd November 2017 The stronger nickel market and a weaker Australian dollar are working in Western Australian firm Panoramic Resources’ favour as it works towards a decision about restarting the Savannah nickel mine, in the East Kimberley. The Savannah mine has been on care and maintenance for a year-and-a-half,... 

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