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Base Metals News

Russia, betting on EU-Trump talks, keeps powder dry in Rusal row for now

By: Reuters     26th April 2018 Moscow is holding off on taking retaliatory measures against the United States for imposing sanctions on Rusal, hoping the EU can persuade Washington to ease restrictions against the world's second largest aluminium producer further, sources told Reuters. The United States on Monday gave... 

Southern Copper says legal dispute over Peru's Tia Maria resolved

By: Reuters     26th April 2018 Southern Copper's CEO said on Wednesday it had reached a settlement with a company in Peru that blocked development of its $1.4-billion Tia Maria project with a legal injunction. Southern Copper's Oscar Gonzalez told Reuters he hoped the new government of Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra would... 

Miner Grupo Mexico's profit jumps 24% in Q1

By: Reuters     26th April 2018 Grupo Mexico, one of the world's biggest copper producers, said on Wednesday that its net profit for the first quarter was $513-million, up 24.3%. The company, which also has units in infrastructure and railways, said its revenue totalled $2.67-billion during the quarter from January to March. 

Vale’s Q1 earnings slump despite record sales volumes, as price tumbles

By: Henry Lazenby     26th April 2018 Brazilian diversified miner Vale – the world’s largest producer iron-ore – has reported a bigger than 36% drop in profit attributable to shareholders for the three months ended March 31. The Rio de Janeiro-based multinational blamed a 12.4% slide in iron-ore prices to $66.41/t in the period for... 

Sherritt narrows Q1 loss as metals prices jump

By: Henry Lazenby     26th April 2018 Canadian diversified miner Sherritt International has reported a narrower first-quarter headline loss of C$14.7-million, or C$0.04 a share, compared with a loss of C$82.7-million, or C$0.28 a share, for the same period of 2017, mainly as higher metals prices made up for lower output. Sherritt... 

Online submission streamlines application procedure for water licences

By: Nadine James     26th April 2018 The process for water use licence applications (WULAs) is improving as a result of an online system being put in place by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), according to SRK Consulting principal environmental scientist Jacky Burke. Burke, the leader of SRK’s WULA Group, hosted a... 

N American oil & gas, mining sectors released a third of total 2013 pollution – report

By: Henry Lazenby     25th April 2018 A new report that fine-combed the national pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs) of Canada, the US and Mexico to explore pollutant data reported by industrial facilities, has pointed to the critical need to standardise the way information is collected across the three jurisdictions,... 

N American oil & gas, mining sectors released a third of total 2013 pollution – report

Antofagasta Q1 copper output down 10.5%

By: Reuters     25th April 2018 Chilean-focused Antofagasta said first quarter copper production fell by 10.5% to 153 800 t compared with the same quarter a year ago, mainly because of lower quality ore, but kept full-year output guidance unchanged. The issue of ore quality in mature copper regions, especially Chile, the... 

Aluminium maker Hydro to miss cost cutting target amid Brazil woes

By: Reuters     25th April 2018 Norwegian aluminium-maker Norsk Hydro will miss its 2018 cost-cutting target as its troubled Brazilian operation continues to work at reduced capacity following a spill in February from a major plant, it said on Wednesday. A regulatory order to cut output from Hydro's Alunorte, the world's... 

Raw material suppliers join Finland battery factory project

By: Mariaan Webb     25th April 2018 Five companies that can supply essential raw materials for an emerging battery industry in Finland have joined a cooperation network that aims to obtain international investment in the battery cluster. The cooperation network includes the cities of Vaasa and Kokkola, Freeport Cobalt, the... 

Raw material suppliers join Finland battery factory project

US aluminium trade group calls on Trump to avoid quotas

By: Reuters     25th April 2018 A US aluminium trade group said US manufacturers rely on foreign metal and called on the US government to avoid quotas on nations exempted from tariffs on aluminium imports. US President Donald Trump last month announced a 10% tariff on aluminium imports to counter what he has described as... 

Union at BHP's Escondida copper mine in Chile says no advance deal likely

By: Reuters     25th April 2018 The union of workers at BHP's Escondida copper mine, in Chile, the world's largest, told Reuters on Tuesday it had made little progress on an early contract deal with management, making it "highly likely" that no agreement would be struck before official talks begin in June. The union accepted... 

Freeport stock tanks on disappointing Q1 earnings, Indonesia fears

By: Henry Lazenby     25th April 2018 US diversified miner Freeport McMoRan’s (FCX’s) NYSE-listed stock lost as much as 17% on Tuesday following disappointing first-quarter financial results and a lowered copper production outlook. Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport’s president and CEO Richard Adkerson expressed shock and disappointment... 

Teck profit rises on strong copper, zinc price and volume gains

By: Henry Lazenby     24th April 2018 Higher copper and zinc prices and improved copper sales volumes that were driven by higher output, have contributed to lift Canada’s largest diversified miner’s first-quarter profit by 15%, the company announced on Tuesday. Adjusted profit attributable to shareholders, which typically excludes... 

Gécamines says was forced to seek dissolution of Katanga’s Kamoto

By: Anine Kilian     24th April 2018 State-owned La Générale des Carrières (Gécamines) says it was forced to take legal action to dissolve TSX-listed Katanga Mining’s Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) for failure to restore shareholders’ equity within the legal time period. The State-owned miner has initiated court proceedings to seek the... 

Moody's changes outlook on Glencore's ratings to positive from stable

By: Nadine James     24th April 2018 Moody's Investors Service has assigned Glencore a ‘Baa2’ long-term issuer rating with a positive outlook. Moody’s says Glencore's improved credit profile was driven by higher commodity prices and consistently low production costs.  

Century sells more zinc

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     24th April 2018 Base metals developer New Century Resources has reported another offtake contract over its Century zinc mine, in Queensland, this time with commodity trader Concord Resources. New Century told shareholders on Tuesday that the Concord offtake represented around 5% of the production from Century’s... 

Chile's Copec to buy stake in copper project in Peru

By: Reuters     24th April 2018 Chilean industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec said on Monday it had reached an agreement with Peru's Minsur to buy a 40% stake in a holding company that owns a Peruvian copper mine project for $168.5-million. Minsur will retain 60% ownership in Cumbres Andinas, the company that controls the... 

Barrick beats Q1 earnings call; halves debt in 3yrs

By: Henry Lazenby     24th April 2018 Canadian mining major Barrick Gold's Porgera Joint Venture mine, in Papua New Guinea, is still operating at only 25% of capacity following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the island on February 26, the company announced on Monday in its first-quarter earnings release. The earthquake... 

Barrick beats Q1 earnings call; halves debt in 3yrs
Photo by Reuters
Workers stand next to an open pit at Barrick Gold's Veladero gold mine, in Argentina's San Juan province

LME plans nickel closing price experiment

By: Reuters     23rd April 2018 The London Metal Exchange (LME) is planning to move end-of-day pricing of the benchmark three-month nickel contract from open outcry to its electronic trading platform for a trial period, LME chief Matt Chamberlain said on Monday. The temporary move is designed to test the practicality of... 

US extends deadline for Rusal sanctions, aluminium prices dive

By: Reuters     23rd April 2018 The US on Monday gave American customers of Russia's biggest aluminium producer more time to comply with sanctions, and said it would consider lifting them if United Company Rusal Plc's major shareholder, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, ceded control of the company. Aluminium prices on the London... 

Ivanhoe reaches Platreef Shaft 1 milestone 750 m below surface

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd April 2018 Blockbuster mine developer Ivanhoe Mines has reached a significant development milestone at its Platreef platinum/palladium/ gold/nickel/copper discovery on the northern limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, after Shaft 1 has reached a depth of 750 m. Lateral development will take place from... 

Ivanhoe reaches Platreef Shaft 1 milestone 750 m below surface

BHP, Vale given a further 66 days to resolve Samarco dam failure dispute

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd April 2018 A Brazilian federal court has given mining giants BHP and Vale an additional 66 days to resolve a multibillion-dollar settlement regarding their joint venture Samarco mine’s tailings dam failure in 2015, that killed 19 people and is billed as the country’s worst environmental disaster. BHP and... 

First Centenera drill hole hits strong Cu/Au mineralisation at Esperanza

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd April 2018 The maiden drill hole at junior explorer Centenera Mining's Esperanza project, in Argentina, has hit strong copper and gold mineralisation from surface to about 166 m. The Vancouver-based company reported the results of the first 166 m of the 387-m-deep drill hole 18-ESP-025, returning 166 m... 

Ferrum Crescent appoints Spanish consultancy at Toral

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd April 2018 European explorer Ferrum Crescent has engaged the services of Spanish consultancy Mining Sense to complement the existing operational team at the Toral lead/zinc/silver project. Led by Mining Sense technical director Jesús Montero, the consultancy team will assist with the preperation of... 

US grants reprieve to Rusal, says will weigh impact on allies

By: Reuters     23rd April 2018 The United States on Monday opened the door to sanctions relief for Russian aluminum producer United Company Rusal Plc, saying it was considering a company bid to avoid US sanctions and would weigh the impact on American allies and partners. 

Gécamines starts legal proceedings to dissolve Katanga’s Kamoto Copper Company

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd April 2018 State-owned La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines), TSX-listed Katanga Mining’s joint venture (JV) partner in the Kamoto Copper Company (KCC), in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has begun legal proceedings to dissolve KCC. This follows KCC’s failure to address its capital... 

Atalaya completes prefeasibility study on Spain copper project

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd April 2018 A prefeasibility study (PFS) has found that the Proyecto Touro copper project will be profitable, validating Aim- and TSX-listed Atalaya Mining’s initial interest in the brownfields development in north-west Spain. Based on a long-term copper price of $3/lb, the Touro project has an after-tax... 

Atalaya completes prefeasibility study on Spain copper project
Atalaya also owns the Proyecto Riotinto mine (pictured), where an expansion is under way.

Western Areas commissions plant to produce high-grade nickel sulphide

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd April 2018 Nickel miner Western Areas has commissioned its mill recovery enhancement project (MREP) and is now producing premium high-grade nickel sulphides at Forrestania, in Western Australia. The A$17.5-million MREP was completed on time and within budget, Western Areas MD Dan Lougher said on Monday. 

Western Areas commissions plant to produce high-grade nickel sulphide

Century inks another offtake at zinc mine

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd April 2018 Base metals developer New Century Resources has inked a long-term zinc offtake agreement at its Century zinc mine, in Queensland. The company on Monday said that the offtake agreement signed with commodity trader MRI Trading also included a $15-million unsecured debt facility, which will be used... 

Cochilco forecasts Chile's 2018 copper output up 4.3%

By: Reuters     21st April 2018 Chilean copper commission Cochilco forecast on Friday that Chile would produce 5.76-million tonnes of the red metal in 2018, up 4.3% from 2017, while estimating copper prices at $3.06 per pound this year. The projections follow a difficult year for the world's top copper producer in 2017, after... 

Sanctions-hit Russian firms ask government for $1.6bn in liquidity – Interfax

By: Reuters     20th April 2018 Russian companies hit by US sanctions, including aluminium giant Rusal, have asked for $1.6-billion in liquidity support from the government, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying on Friday. The US on April 6 imposed sanctions against several Russian... 

Lithium-ion industry to take centre stage in next five years

By: Simone Liedtke     20th April 2018 At least 12 lithium and six cobalt transactions have been closed between downstream manufacturers and mining companies since 2016, signalling a changing trend in procurement strategy. This, commodity research consultancy Roskill said in a statement on Friday, shows that the lithium-ion (Li-ion)... 

Norway's Hydro notifies Rusal of possible force majeure

By: Reuters     20th April 2018 Aluminium maker Norsk Hydro may declare a force majeure on contracts it has with Russia's United Company Rusal due to recently imposed US sanctions, the Norwegian company said on Friday. "Hydro has notified Rusal it may be necessary to declare force majeure on certain contracts, as the company... 

Kazakhstan seeks new alumina markets amid Rusal's troubles

By: Reuters     20th April 2018 Kazakhstan is looking to open up new markets for its alumina exports, concerned US sanctions on Russian aluminium giant Rusal could hit business and jobs. Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), a company part-owned by the Kazakh government, produces 1.5-million tonnes a year of alumina, which is used... 

SA to remain among top nickel producers

By: Victor Moolman     20th April 2018 Market research company BMI Research forecasts that South Africa will remain among the top ten nickel producers in the world, with an estimated 49 500 t expected to be produced this year. South Africa has several nickel-producing mines, with one of the largest being the Nkomati mine, in... 

SA to remain among  top nickel producers
Photo by Creamer Media
SOUTH AFRICAN GROWTH New nickel mining projects that are under way will boost South Africa’s nickel production

Positive growth for African copper industry expected

By: Victor Moolman     20th April 2018 Market research firm BMI Research (BMI), a member of the Fitch Group, predicts positive production growth for the copper mining industry and in copper mine project development across Africa in its copper market research report ‘Global Industry Overview’, released last month. BMI commodities... 

Positive growth for African copper industry expected
Photo by Creamer Media
COPPER POTENTIAL The Prieska zinc-copper project in South Africa shows continued growth

Chemical ore separation market now expanding

20th April 2018 While the company’s historic market for the supply of chemicals to separate orebodies comprises mainly the Central Africa Copperbelt of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the market is expanding in terms of geography and mineral range, says mining reagent specialist Axis House MD Trevor... 

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