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North America News

Yellen can't halt Trump gold rally that funds bet against

By: Bloomberg     Updated 2 hours 29 minutes ago They should’ve had more faith. Hedge funds reduced their wagers on a bullion rally for the first time in three weeks, just before prices neared a two-month high and capped a third straight week of gains. Not even Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s outlook for higher US interest rates has been... 

Freeport Indonesia says could seek arbitration over mining contract violations

By: Reuters     Updated 6 hours ago Freeport-McMoRan Inc's Indonesian unit said on Monday it hoped to resolve a dispute with the government over its mining contract, but reserved the right to start arbitration against the government and seek damages. Freeport has submitted a notification to Indonesia's mining ministry describing... 

Higher costs, lower prices impact on First Quantum's Q4 net earnings

By: Henry Lazenby     18th February 2017 Base metals producer First Quantum Minerals' net earnings from continuing operations decreased to $12-million for the three months ended December 31, compared with $111-million posted for the fourth quarter of 2015, as higher costs and lower metals prices weighed on the bottom line. For the full... 

De Beers' Forevermark diamonds to add 10% more outlets in 2017, says CEO

By: Reuters     18th February 2017 Diamond jewellery retailer Forevermark, part of the Anglo American mining group, has expanded to 2 000 outlets globally and expects a further 10% rise this year, CEO Stephen Lussier said on Friday. The number of new Forevermark outlets, which sell selected De Beers diamonds, rose by 14% last... 

Freeport declares force majeure at Indonesia copper mine

By: Reuters     18th February 2017 Freeport-McMoRan said on Friday it cannot meet contractual obligations for copper concentrate shipments from its Grasberg mine in Indonesia following a five-week export ban, the second big producer in a week to declare force majeure. Production at Freeport's giant mine in Papua, Indonesia, came... 

Anglo to suspend copper mining at El Soldado in Chile

By: Reuters     18th February 2017 Anglo American will temporarily suspend operations at its El Soldado copper mine in Chile after failing to receive regulatory approval for a redesign that would have helped keep output flowing, the company said on Friday. Chilean mining regulator Sernageomin has rejected the permit request for... 

Sherritt to ramp up 2017 capex as it resumes oil & gas drilling, Ambatovy charges

By: Henry Lazenby     18th February 2017 Diversified miner Sherritt International says it expects to increase capital expenditure (capex) on new mining development and fleet upgrades this year. The Toronto-headquartered company said the majority of its $129-million capex budget for this year will be focused on completing the first Block... 

Equator buys Teck silver-cobalt project

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th February 2017 ASX-listed junior Equator Resources has acquired the Silverfields silver-cobalt mine, in Ontario, from Canadian miner Teck Corporation. Some 18-million ounces of silver was produced at the project between 1964 and 1983. 

New US President may benefit the resources sector

By: Henry Lazenby     17th February 2017 While Donald Trump is likely to lower US corporate taxes, bringing US dollars back into the country and rebuilding American infrastructure through a massive $1-trillion spending programme, the new President is coming in at the “US midnight”, Euro Pacific Capital founder and CEO Peter Schiff says.... 

New US President may benefit the resources sector

Yamana reports Q4 profit, foresees hiatus in capital spending

By: Henry Lazenby     17th February 2017 Canadian miner Yamana Gold on Thursday said it foresees a break in significant expansionary capital spending after completion of the Cerro Moro mine, in Argentina, and the Barnat extension at the Canadian Malartic mine, in Quebec, in 2018. The Toronto-headquartered company said it is targeting... 

BHP Billiton, Escondida workers far apart one week into strike

By: Reuters     17th February 2017 The positions of BHP Billiton and the striking union at its Escondida copper mine, in Chile, the world's largest, remain distant even as the two parties agreed this week to return to the table. Escondida's 2 500-member union officially walked off the job on February 9 after contract talks with... 

Arconic sells majority of its stake in Alcoa Corp

By: Henry Lazenby     17th February 2017 NYSE-listed specialty alloys manufacturer Arconic has sold about 60% of its 19.9% stake in its former downstream business segment Alcoa Corp for $890-million. Arconic, which makes lightweight, high-strength components for the aeronautics and automotive industries, sold 23.35-million of the... 

MAC laments Canada’s declining mining competitiveness

By: Henry Lazenby     17th February 2017 Canada's mining competitiveness is declining, while exploration and mining investment dollars are flowing offshore, a new report by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has found. “Very simply, Canada is not as attractive as it used to be for mineral investment and competition for those dollars... 

MAC laments Canada’s declining mining competitiveness
Photo by Agnico Eagle Mines
Agnico Eagle's Meadowbank mine, Nunavut

Bloom Lake FS demonstrates financially viable, competitive project

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2017 A feasibility study (FS) completed on ASX- and TSX-listed Champion Iron Ore’s Bloom Lake mine, in north-eastern Quebec, has demonstrated a financially viable and competitive project in current global markets. “This is a major result for the company. Based on conservative assumptions, the FS... 

Bloom Lake FS demonstrates financially viable, competitive project
Photo by Henry Lazenby
Existing equipment at Champion Iron Ore’s Bloom Lake mine, Quebec

New Gold misses Q4 earnings forecast as gold, silver sales sag

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2017 Precious metals miner New Gold has reported a headline loss of $2.3-million for the three months ended December 31, as lower gold and silver sales volumes more than offset the benefit of higher gold and silver prices and higher copper sales volumes. The Toronto-headquartered company announced... 

Major South African coal extension project on cards – South32

By: Martin Creamer     16th February 2017 A decision will be taken in the June quarter on go-ahead for the Klipspruit Life Extension coal project in Mpumalanga, which is said to have robust economics. The original BHP Billiton capital expenditure (capex) of $500-million-plus for the two-year development has been more than halved under... 

Major South African coal extension project on cards – South32
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Tsodilo starts drilling programme at BK16 in Botswana

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th February 2017 TSX-V-listed Tsodilo Resources has started a 3 000 m drilling programme at its wholly-owned BK16 kimberlite project, in the Orapa kimberlite field (OKF), in Botswana. The programme will entail the drilling of pilot holes on the sites that have been earmarked for a large diameter drilling (LDD)... 

Freeport Indonesia mine operations 'stopped completely' – union chief

By: Reuters     16th February 2017 All work has stopped at the giant Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia, operated by the local unit of Freeport McMoRan Inc, a worker union said on Thursday, just over one month after the country halted exports of copper concentrate. "Everything has stopped completely. It's just maintenance now,"... 

First Quantum says restores access to Ravensthorpe nickel mine

By: Reuters     16th February 2017 Access to the Ravensthorpe nickel mining complex in Australia has been re-established following heavy rains last weekend that flooded local roadways, owner First Quantum Minerals said on Thursday. There were concerns that supplies of nickel from Ravensthorpe would be cut off, exacerbating an... 

GBM to merge with Canada's WCB

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th February 2017 Gold developer GBM Resources has announced a merger with Canada’s WCB Resources, creating an Australasia-focused gold development and exploration group. Under the terms of the proposed merger, WCB shareholders would receive eight GBM shares for each WCB share held. The Canadian firm’s... 

Authier to cost C$66m to develop

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th February 2017 A prefeasibility study into the Authier lithium project, in Canada, has estimated that the project will require a capital investment of C$66-million to deliver some 99 000 t/y of spodumene. ASX-listed Sayona Mining said on Thursday that based on a maiden ore reserve of 10.2-million tonnes, at... 

Grant King joins BHP board

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th February 2017 Mining major BHP Billiton has appointed Grant King as independent nonexecutive director, effective March 1. Between 2000 and 2016, King served as the MD and CEO of Australian oil and gas major Origin Energy, and is currently the president of the Business Council of Australia. 

South32 swings to H1 profit on stronger commodity prices

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th February 2017 Diversified miner South32 has reported a massive surge in underlying earnings to $479-million for the six months to December 31, compared with $26-million in the previous corresponding period. “The disciplined application of our strategy and stronger commodity prices underpinned a significant... 

South32 swings to H1 profit on stronger commodity prices
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

CIL seeks to buy into operational foreign coal mines

By: Ajoy K Das     16th February 2017 Coal India Limited (CIL) plans to enter into strategic equity investment and production sharing agreements with the owners of operational coal mines outside of India, rather than the outright acquisition of greenfield coal blocks, as it had previously attempted. CIL had appointed a merchant... 

Agnico Eagle to invest $1.2bn in Arctic gold mines

By: Reuters     16th February 2017 Agnico Eagle Mines said on Wednesday it would invest more than $1.2-billion in building a gold mine in Canada's Arctic and expanding another, making it one of the few gold companies to be constructing mines at a time when industry output is shrinking. Toronto-based Agnico said its board had... 

Kinross narrows Q4 loss as margins rise

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2017 Canadian miner Kinross Gold has reported a smaller headline loss for the fourth quarter ended December 31, as margins expanded on the back of higher gold sales and prices. The Toronto-based company reported an adjusted net loss of $50.9-million, or $0.04 a share, for the three-month period,... 

Teck sells 70% interest in Namibia copper project

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2017 Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources has agreed to sell its 70% interest in Haib Minerals to TSX-V-listed Deep-South Resources, who holds the remaining 30% interest in Haib. Haib holds a 100% interest in the Haib copper project, in Namibia. 

Goldcorp’s Q4 earnings surprise as decentralised business reaps rewards

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2017 Miner Goldcorp has reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, as substantially lower costs at its gold mines in the Americas and a higher gold price offset lower output, the company said on Wednesday. The Vancouver-based company reported net earnings of $101-million, or $0.12 a share,... 

Barrick lifts dividend as earnings beat forecast

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2017 VCanada’s Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold producer by volume, announced on Wednesday that it has made significant progress on initiatives to repair its debt-laden balance sheet, declaring a higher dividend to shareholders and renewing its focus on exploration spending. The Toronto-based... 

Barrick lifts dividend as earnings beat forecast

San Dimas workers down tools as union negotiations fail

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2017 Mining and milling operations at precious metals producer Primero Mining's San Dimas mine have come to a halt as unionised workers downed tools following a breakdown in negotiations between union leaders and the company. Toronto-based Primero on Wednesday said it was looking to reduce the scale... 

African States wary of potential repeal of 'conflict minerals' rule

By: Reuters     15th February 2017 A possible plan by US President Donald Trump to suspend a rule on "conflict minerals" could help fund armed groups and contribute to a surge in unrest in central Africa, regional states said on Wednesday. Sources told Reuters last week that Trump planned to issue a directive targeting a... 

DRDGold spends R26m in six months on environmental restoration  

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2017 Johannesburg is probably one of the world’s best examples of unintended sustainable development, where almost accidentally the mining economy has been fully replaced by another larger economy. This is because mining took place for long enough to allow for the emergence of services industries such... 

DRDGold spends R26m in six months on environmental restoration
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer talks to DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius on the company’s R26-million expenditure on environmental restoration. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

OceanaGold appeals Didipio suspension order

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th February 2017 Dual-listed gold miner OceanaGold has received an order from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to suspend operations at the Didipio mine, in the Philippines. The company told shareholders that the order repeated allegations previously made by the government, citing petitions... 

Paladin swings to H1 loss on lower sales prices, volumes

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th February 2017 Uranium miner Paladin Energy has reported a 46% decrease in sales revenue for the six months ended December 31, compared with the previous corresponding period, on the back of a 36% fall in the sales price and a 15% decrease in volumes. During the interim period, sales volumes reached... 

Ferrum, BVI terminate Moonlight JV agreement

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th February 2017 Triple-listed Ferrum Crescent on Wednesday said the stalled farm-in and joint venture (JV) agreement between its Ferrum Iron Ore (FIO) subsidiary and Business Venture Investments (BVI) has been formally terminated. The parties had, under the JV agreement, sought to develop Ferrum’s Moonlight... 

DRDGold ups operating profit on lower output as enviro cleanup weighs

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2017 Gold-from-dumps producer DRDGold on Wednesday announced a 4% increase in operating profit to R172.6-million on 7% lower gold output for the six months to December 31. A rise in the rand gold price helped to offset the impact of lower production in the period, when the company focused on cleaning... 

DRDGold ups operating profit on lower output as enviro cleanup weighs
Photo by Duane Daws
DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius

KGHM to book $1.4bn impairment on international assets

By: Henry Lazenby     15th February 2017 Polish base metals producer KGHM expects to book a noncash writedown of $1.4-billion on its international assets for the 2016 financial year. This followed the completion of major impairment tests on its foreign assets. The total impairment in the consolidated financial statements, after taking... 

Canadian Zinc, NTPC to evaluate LNG power generation for Prairie Creek

By: Henry Lazenby     14th February 2017 Junior project developer Canadian Zinc has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) to assess electricity supply options for the Prairie Creek zinc/lead/silver mine. Under the terms of the MoU, NTPC has agreed to work with Canadian Zinc to... 

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