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Base Metals News

Petaquilla 'optimistic' Panama copper project still viable, despite cost threat

By: Liezel Hill     11th February 2008 TSX-listed Petaquilla Copper remains hopeful that a final study on the front-end engineering and design (Feed) for its jointly owned Petaquilla copper project, in Panama, will show that the project remains economically viable, despite surging construction and operating costs, the company said on... 

Costs surge for Panama copper project

By: Liezel Hill     8th February 2008 An early report on the front-end engineering and design (Feed) study under way for the Petaquilla copper project, in Panama, indicates that the cost of building the project may be as much as $3,5-billion, the project's owners said on Friday. 

Katanga agrees to sell DRC deposits to govt for $825m

By: Liezel Hill     8th February 2008 TSX-listed Katanga Mining has agreed to sell two deposits, Mashamba West and Dikuluwe, that form part of its Kamoto property, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to State-owned mining company Gécamines for up to $825-million. 

Rio Tinto, partners plan $617m upgrade for Oz aluminium smelter

By: Liezel Hill     8th February 2008 Diversified miner Rio Tinto and its joint-venture partners will spend some $617-million to modernise and extend the life of the Boyne Island aluminium smelters, in Australia, the group said on Friday. 

Exxaro shares plunge after publishes outlook for FY earnings

By: Matthew Hill     8th February 2008 JSE-listed diversified-miner Exxaro took a beating in Friday morning trade, after it put up a trading statement after the market's close on Thursday.  

BHP Billiton reduces 10% power at its ALUMINIUM smelters

By: Dennis Ndaba     8th February 2008 The world's biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, says that the recent power outages in South Africa have affected its operations. 

Exxaro expects full-year earnings of between R1,35bn and R1,5bn

By: Liezel Hill     7th February 2008 Diversified resources group Exxaro Resources expects to report earnings and headline earnings of between R1,36-billion and R1,5-billion when it publishes full-year results later this month. 

Africo’s much-delayed copper project to start production by end ‘09

By: Jade Davenport     7th February 2008 TSX-listed junior miner Africo Resources said on Thursday that its Kalukundi copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would be in production by the end of 2009. 

Katanga moves to boost output

By: Matthew Hill     6th February 2008 Copper and cobalt miner Katanga Mining, which on January 11 completed a merger with former competitor Nikanor, plans to produce over 300 000 t of copper and 30 000 t of cobalt from its central African mines by 2011, an executive said on Wednesday. 

$900m DRC copper mine to come on stream in '09 

By: Jade Davenport     6th February 2008 It was announced on Wednesday that mine production at the $900-million Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would begin next year.  

BHP Billiton launches formal, all-share bid for Rio Tinto

By: Liezel Hill     6th February 2008 Diversified miner BHP Billiton has offered 3,4 of its own shares per Rio Tinto share, an increase on an earlier takeover proposal, it said in an ASX announcement. If the takeover was successful, BHP Billiton shareholders would own 56% of the merged entity and Rio Tinto investors would own 44%.... 

Anvil updates DRC feasibility study

By: Liezel Hill     5th February 2008 Montreal-based Anvil Mining has completed an updated feasibility study for the stage II solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) development at its Kinsevere copper project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the firm said this week. 

Private sector to be Zambia’s main minerals exporter with introduction of new mining laws

By: Jade Davenport     5th February 2008 The Zambian government reiterated its intention to revise mining regulations and taxes this year in order to further promote foreign investment in this sector. 

Copper prices may ease; supply seen rising this year

By: Jade Davenport     4th February 2008 The outlook for the copper-trading price over the next four years was predicted to be substantially lower than the current prices of more than $7 200/t. 

US recession would rout base metals prices - economist

By: Jade Davenport     4th February 2008 Canada-based Dundee Wealth Economics chief economist Dr Martin Murenbeeld said on Monday that a looming recession in the US was the most immediate factor challenging the sustainability of curently-high commodity prices. 

Nickel 'well supported' at $25 000/t going forward

By: Matthew Hill     4th February 2008 The market for nickel, mainly used in stainless steel production, would support a price of $25 000/t going forward, VM Group CEO Jessica Cross said on Monday.  

African Copper shares suspended after error

By: Liezel Hill     4th February 2008 Shares in TSX- and Aim-listed African Copper were suspended from trading in London on Monday, after 7,24-million new shares in the company were admitted to the exchange earlier than they should have been, due to an administrative error, the firm said. 

UC Rusal partners with China Power to build aluminium complex

4th February 2008 The world’s largest aluminium and alumina producer, United Company Rusal, has signed an agreement with China Power, one of China’s largest energy companies, to create a bauxite-alumina complex in Guinea, and an energy and metal complex in China.  

Palabora FY profit rises almost fourfold, shares surge

By: Christy van der Merwe     4th February 2008 Copper miner and beneficiator Palabora Mining, on Monday reported a 12,18% increase in headline earnings a share for the 2007 financial year, and an almost fourfold increase in net profit, from R467-million in 2006, to R1,86-billion in 2007. 

Chinalco, Alcoa buy Rio Tinto stake

By: Reuters     1st February 2008 A bullish view of the metals cycle was a driving factor behind Aluminum Corp of China's (Chinalco) move to team up with Alcoa to buy a stake in mining group Rio Tinto, the head of Chinalco said on Friday. 

Ascendant Copper seeks clarification on Ecuador concessions

By: Liezel Hill     1st February 2008 Copper exploration and development company Ascendant Copper plans to “vigorously defend its rights” after receiving notices from the government of Ecuador that claim to nullify two concessions on its Junin project in the country.  

Zambia’s Mkhusi economically viable to develop – African Eagle

1st February 2008 Africa-focused exploration company African Eagle Resources said its 49%-owned Mkushi Copper joint venture (JV) has completed a “very positive” prefeasibility study in Zambia, and that it would now proceed to a definite feasibility study.  

Project house offers solution to skills shortage

By: Shannon de Ryhove     1st February 2008 Engineering project house Bateman Engineering’s (Bateman’s) minerals and metals division has been awarded an engineering and procurement contract by Dynatec Madagascar S.A. to provide a 5 500 t/d sulphuric acid plant, for the utilities section of the Ambatovy Nickel project. The contract is worth... 

Canadian standards body to promote health, safety, enviro management in Africa

By: Dennis Ndaba     1st February 2008 Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Africa, which opened an operational office in South Africa last October, intends capitalising on Canada’s good mining safety reputation. The South Africa office will promote CSA’s global mining experience throughout subequatorial Africa. The organisation’s... 

Canadians expect to develop Botswana copper mines this year

By: Innocent Madawo     1st February 2008 Mention of mining investors going to Botswana almost always conjures up the prospect of more diamond mines. However, two Canadian companies joining the foray into the Southern African country’s rich mining hinterland are not looking for the girl’s best friend. Instead, they are searching for... 

Vale may build aluminium smelter in Colombia

By: Liezel Hill     31st January 2008 Brazilian mining, energy and logistics group Campanhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale) has studied power generation projects in Colombia to potentially supply energy to an aluminium smelter, but has not made any decisions regarding investment in the country. 

Teck Cominco cuts output forecast for BC copper mine

By: Liezel Hill     31st January 2008 Vancouver-based diversified-miner Teck Cominco expects its Highland Valley Copper mine, in Canada's British Columbia province, to produce about 113 000 t of copper this year, down from previous guidance of 122 000 t. 

Norilsk lifts output 20% on acquisitions

By: Liezel Hill     31st January 2008 The world's biggest nickel miner, Norilsk Nickel, increased production by alnost 21% during 2007, to 295 209 t, after it bought the nickel business of OM group in March, and, later in the year, beat Swiss miner Xstrata in a bidding war for Canada's LionOre Mining. 

More blackouts as Eskom reports 4 000 MW capacity shortfall

By: Christy van der Merwe     31st January 2008 The all-too familiar electricity load shedding throughout South Africa, which resumed on Wednesday evening, continued on Thursday, after Eskom reported the loss of a unit at its Kriel power station in Mpumalanga, as well as increasing generation losses at some other power stations, which it said... 

BHP starts cutting power demand at aluminium smelters

By: Christy van der Merwe     31st January 2008 The world's largest diversified miner, BHP Billiton, announced on Thursday that it would reduce power demand at the Bayside, Hillside, and Mozal aluminium smelters by 10%, under instruction from the South African government and electricity utility Eskom, in an effort to stabilise the power... 

Skye defers finance, construction for Guatemala nickel project

By: Liezel Hill     30th January 2008 Vancouver-based Skye Resources will defer the project financing for its Fenix nickel project in Guatamala “until credit market conditions improve”, the firm said on Wednesday. 

Rio Tinto to spend $90m on upgrades to Scottish aluminium smelter

By: Liezel Hill     30th January 2008 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has approved a $90-million investment to modernise its Lochaber aluminium plant, in Scotland, the group said on Wednesday. 

Vale gets first green light to bid for Xstrata

By: Keith Campbell     30th January 2008 Brazilian banking group Bradesco has given approval for mining, logistics and energy group Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale) to make a bid for Anglo-Swiss diversified mining group Xstrata. 

Chinese firms to complete acquisition of Canada's Northern Peru Copper

By: Liezel Hill     29th January 2008 Chinese companies Jiangxi Copper and China Minmetals will complete the acquisition of TSX-listed Northern Peru Copper, after shareholders holding about 95,92% of the company had agreed to sell their shares by the time the offer closed, on January 25. 

Katanga holds talks with Gécamines on 'consolidation'

By: Liezel Hill     29th January 2008 TSX-listed Katanga Mining is in talks with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) State mining company Gecamines on consolidating its two joint ventures in the country.  

ABB wins $15m DRC order

By: Christy van der Merwe     29th January 2008 Power and automation technology group ABB has won a $15-million contract for a new copper and cobalt refinery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

Teal wraps up drilling programme at DRC copper project

By: Christy van der Merwe     29th January 2008 TSX- and JSE-listed African focused explorer Teal Exploration & Mining's drill programme at the Lupoto copper project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has been completed, and a resource calculation is now under way. 

SA's power supply may influence timing of Sheba's Ridge project - Ridge Mining

29th January 2008 Platinum group-metals (PGMs) producer Ridge Mining said on Tuesday that it was considering "energy alternatives" to ensure uninterrupted power supply for its South African-based Sheba's Ridge nickel/PGMs project. 

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