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North America News

Turquoise Hill stops shipments from Mongolian mine to China

By: Reuters     2nd December 2016 Canadian copper miner Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd said on Friday it had suspended shipments from its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia across the Chinese border, a day after the imposition of new fees on commodity shipments between the two countries. The fee was imposed following a diplomatic row... 

Glencore sees nickel shortage as electric vehicle demand burgeons

By: Martin Creamer     2nd December 2016 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore sees a shortage in nickel arising as a result of burgeoning demand from electric vehicle (EV) production. Batteries used in EVs are consuming about 100 000 t of nickel demand and if 10% of the world’s vehicle fleet transitions to electric power,... 

Glencore sees nickel shortage as electric vehicle demand burgeons
Glencore's Koniambo nickel project in New Caledonia, a French territory.

BP sanctions Mad Dog Phase 2 in Gulf of Mexico

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     2nd December 2016 Oil major British Petroleum (BP) has sanctioned the $9-billion Mad Dog Phase 2 project, in the US, which will include a new floating production platform with a 140 000 bbl/d capacity. Oil production is expected to begin in late 2021. 

Kirkland Lake executive appointed CEO of Treasury Metals

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd December 2016 TSX-listed Treasury Metals has appointed former Kirkland Lake Gold executive Chris Stewart president and CEO, effective December 5, the company announced Thursday. Stewart, who has more than 24 years of diversified experience in the mining industry, will lead the company's transition through the... 

Nickel price forecast rises as market tightens into 2020

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd December 2016 The price of nickel is expected to continue its upward momentum over the next four years to 2020 as mine closures are expected to slow market growth, while ambitious US spending plans will potentially boost demand. Analysis by Fitch Group research arm BMI calls for a more bullish nickel price... 

Nickel price forecast rises as market tightens into 2020

Enbridge closes $1.08bn sale of Prairie-based pipeline assets

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd December 2016 Dual-listed oil and gas logistics company Enbridge on Thursday announced that it has closed the $1.08-billion sale of liquids pipelines and related facilities in south-east Saskatchewan and south-west Manitoba to Tundra Energy Marketing. The assets include the Saskatchewan and Weyburn gathering... 

Hudbay prices $1bn senior notes offering

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd December 2016 Canadian base metals producer HudBay Minerals has priced its offering of $1-billion of senior notes, which will be issued in two series, the company said on Thursday. These will comprise a series of 7.25% senior notes due in 2023 for $400-million and a series of 7.625% senior notes due in 2025... 

American Lithium discovers flaws in exploration results at Fish Lake, Nevada

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd December 2016 Explorer American Lithium has discovered, through its quality assurance and quality control processes, that recent assay results provided by a third party on samples from the Fish Lake property, in Nevada, were flawed and should not be relied upon. Florin Analytical Services of Reno, conducted... 

Perseus settles Amara mining contractor dispute

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd December 2016 West African gold producer Perseus Mining has inked a settlement agreement with mining contractor BCM International and its subsidiaries over a dispute between BCM and various members of the Amara Mining group, which Perseus acquired earlier this year. The dispute with BCM related to outstanding... 

Diligent Glencore delivers on debt promise, restarts dividend

By: Martin Creamer     1st December 2016 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore has delivered on last year’s commitment to cut debt and structurally increase the strength of its balance sheet – and it has done so in a way that has preserved the group’s long-term earnings capability.  JP Morgan Cazenove analysts described the... 

Diligent Glencore delivers on debt promise, restarts dividend
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg at last year's hand over by Glencore of a R75-million school in South Africa's coalfields to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

LNG gets US clearance to export

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     1st December 2016 The US Department of Energy will allow a subsidiary of ASX-listed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to export LNG products from its proposed facility in Louisiana to countries with which the US did not have a free trade agreement. The LNG subsidiary, Magnolia, was hoping to construct and operate up to... 

Crude pipeline approvals attract reaction straddling both sides of argument

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2016 Tuesday's approval by the federal Liberal government of Kinder Morgan’s C$6.8-billion Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project and Enbridge’s C$7.5-billion Line 3 Replacement project has drawn equally strong praise and criticism from Canadian business and civic organisations. Gathering almost... 

Crude pipeline approvals attract reaction straddling both sides of argument
Photo by Reuters
Protesters walk down Robson Street in opposition to Canada's decision to approve Kinder Morgan's pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast, in Vancouver

Anglo American to sell stake in Exxaro

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2016 Global diversified miner Anglo American announced Wednesday that it would sell its 9.7% stake in South African miner Exxaro, using the proceeds to reduce debt. Exxaro’s controlling black economic empowerment shareholder, Main Street 333, will also sell its Exxaro stake, Anglo American stated. 

Debt-laden Buffalo Coal treads water

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 South Africa-focused coal miner Buffalo Coal has reached an agreement with its lead shareholder, Resource Capital Fund V (RCF), to amend a convertible loan agreement and provide it with an interest payment holiday effective from July 2, 2016. RCF, which currently holds about 86.7% of Buffalo's... 

Namibia Rare Earths files mining licence application for Lofdal

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Heavy rare earth elements project developer Namibia Rare Earths has filed an application with the Namibian Mines and Energy Ministry for a mining licence for its Lofdal project, the company reported Wednesday. Since releasing its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in November 2014, the company... 

PTM’s Maseve ramp-up dogged by DMR safety blitzes

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 The ramp up of South Africa-focused miner Platinum Group Metals’ (PTM’s)  cornerstone Maseve mine has been hampered in recent weeks by safety blitzes in the North West province by the inspectorate branch of South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). The company noted on Tuesday that... 

Gensource to form JV with Essel Group ME to develop Saskatchewan potash project

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Potash project developer Gensource Potash has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Essel Group Middle East (EGME), a subsidiary of Essel Group India, to form a joint venture (JV) company that will focus on the development of one of Gensource’s potash projects in Saskatchewan, Canada.... 

Angkor buys back 2.5% Cambodian project NSR

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Cambodia-focused explorer Angkor Gold has agreed to an all-scrip buyback of a 2.5% net smelter return (NSR) royalty sold to investors in 2014, at 130% of its original $875 000 price. The TSX-V-listed company had in May 2014 sold 2.5% of the company’s 7.5% NSR to come from Mesco Gold (Cambodia) on... 

Critical Elements welcomes lithium bigwig as president

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Quebec-based lithium/tantalum project developer Critical Elements has appointed former Rockwood Lithium senior executive Dr Steffen Haber as its president effective January 1, 2017. Haber is a well-known figure in the lithium industry, having been CEO and president of Rockwood Lithium up until it... 

Court dismisses Rockwell subsidiary liquidation bid by contractor

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 TSX- and JSE-listed alluvial diamond miner Rockwell Diamonds announced Tuesday that a spoliation application by contractor C-Rock Mining Limited (CML) was dismissed with costs by the High Court in Kimberley, South Africa. This decision clears the way for the company to resume its mining... 

Trudeau govt approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Canada’s Liberal federal government under leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has approved two out of three contentious crude oil pipelines in the country, critical infrastructure needed to get Canada’s vast oil reserves to new markets. In a landmark decision, the Trudeau government has... 

Trudeau govt approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway

Ore rally, cost cuts giving Vale breathe to rethink asset sales

By: Reuters     29th November 2016 Vale, the world's No 1 iron-ore producer, is taking advantage of recent gains in mineral and metal prices and successful cost-cutting steps to rethink the pace of an asset sale plan to bring down debt, executives said on Tuesday. Higher ore recovery and price realisation may help Vale generate... 

Platinum supply under extreme pressure – Dunne 

By: Martin Creamer     29th November 2016 The platinum mining industry is not mining anywhere near the forecast demand of nine-million ounces by 2025, the nominal global demand quantum based on a modest compound annual growth rate of only 1.5%. Reiterating this to journalists on Tuesday, Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne pointed out that... 

Platinum supply under extreme pressure – Dunne
Photo by Duane Daws
Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne

Glencore pivots from disposals to dividends as stock rallies

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2016 What a difference a year makes. Glencore fended off questions in 2015 about its survival as commodity prices hit new lows, and now there’s talk that the company’s turnaround plan has gone so well that it could be months away from paying dividends again. Surging coal and zinc prices, a rebounding... 

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Despite a modestly more buoyant outlook for key metal prices, mining capital expenditures (capex) are expected to continue on a downward slide over the next three years as miners seek further cost cuts and to improve operational margins, according to analysis by Fitch Group research arm BMI.... 

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

Hudbay announces $1bn senior notes offering

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Canadian base metals producer Hudbay Minerals will offer $1-billion total principal amount in two series of senior notes offerings, including senior notes due in 2023 and a series of senior notes due in 2025. The total principal amount, interest rate and other terms of each series of the new... 

Meridian takes up TSX-V listing as it prepares for two-pronged BMC exploration approach

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Meridian Mining has completed its acquisition of Canadian junior Cancana Resources, the companies announced Monday – a deal that is expected to streamline the ownership structure of Cancana and Meridian's joint venture (JV) exploration and development project Brazil... 

Meridian takes up TSX-V listing as it prepares for two-pronged BMC exploration approach
Photo by Cancana Resources
Meridian Mining's BMC operation, Rondônia, Brazil

American Lithium to start Clayton Valley drill campaign in January

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Following receipt of regulatory approvals, junior explorer American Lithium will in January start drilling campaigns on two of its Nevada-based properties in the prospective and lithium-rich Clayton Valley district. The TSX-V-listed firm, which recently announced that it had consolidated a... 

Mexico certifies bidders for December deep water oil auctions

By: Reuters     28th November 2016 Mexico's oil regulator announced on Monday a final list of 16 oil companies representing a dozen countries that have pre-qualified to bid on the country's first-ever deep water oil auctions set for December 5. The highly anticipated tenders include an auction to pick a partner for Mexican... 

Production fast-tracked during Phase 1 of Ivanhoe’s Platreef development

By: Anine Kilian     28th November 2016 The main sinking phase of Africa-focused mining developer Ivanhoe Mines’ Limpopo-based Platreef development is expected to reach 980 m below surface in 2018, the company noted during a project update on Monday. Executive VP of operations Mark Farren added that underground access to the deposit... 

Eastplats appoints new CFO

By: Anine Kilian     28th November 2016 JSE-listed Eastern Platinum (Easplats) has appointed Rowland Wallenius CFO and corporate secretary. He succeeds David Li who served as interim CFO. “We are grateful to David Li for his efforts as our interim CFO in helping us through our transition over the last few months. We are very pleased to... 

Zinc explodes with lead in surge to highest level in nine years

By: Bloomberg     28th November 2016 Zinc headed for its highest close in more than nine years, while lead was set for its strongest finish since 2011 as bullish sentiment spurs a surge in metals. A momentum indicator eyed by traders signals that the markets are overbought. Industrial metals have climbed about 30% this year after... 

Copper’s scorching rally may hit roadblock as imports drop

By: Bloomberg     28th November 2016 Copper’s searing rally in November could hit a roadblock as China’s imports of the metal shrink. The world’s biggest consumer is making more copper domestically than ever before, using supplies of foreign ore concentrate, which is curbing demand for the refined metal. Overseas purchases of... 

Copper’s scorching rally may hit roadblock as imports drop

SNC-Lavalin wins Argentina nuclear consulting contract

By: Henry Lazenby     26th November 2016 TSX-listed engineering and construction group SNC-Lavalin has won a pre-project contract from Argentina's Nucleoeléctrica Argentina (NA-SA) for the CANDU nuclear new build project at the Atucha site in the district of Zàrate. The six-month contract will allow SNC-Lavalin to engage with suppliers... 

Codelco narrows Q3 profit as copper prices fall

By: Henry Lazenby     26th November 2016 Chile State-owned miner Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) has narrowed its third-quarter profit to $79-million for the three months ended September, as a 17% drop in copper prices and higher costs weighed on the bottom line. This compared with a profit of $342-million in the... 

Kirkland Lake shareholders vote in favour of C$1bn Newmarket deal

By: Henry Lazenby     25th November 2016 Shareholders of Canadian gold producers Kirkland Lake Gold and Newmarket Gold have approved the plan of arrangement to merge the two companies. The contentious all-scrip deal will create a new low-cost miner called Kirkland Lake Gold with a projected market capitalisation of about C$2.4-billion... 

Alberta to pay coal power producers C$1.1bn to transition away from coal generation by 2030 

By: Henry Lazenby     25th November 2016 As part of the province’s ‘Climate Leadership Plan’, the Alberta government has agreed to pay three coal power producers operating in the province more than C$1-billion over the next 14 years to compensate them for prematurely shuttering their coal-fired power plants by 2030. The agreements will... 

Alberta to pay coal power producers C$1.1bn to transition away from coal generation by 2030

Rockwell subsidiaries face potential liquidation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th November 2016 Dual-listed Rockwell Diamonds has suspended mine production activities and work to complete the Wouterspan wet plant as some of its subsidiaries face a liquidation bid by mining contractor C-Rock Mining Limited (CML). Rockwell on Friday reported that the implementation of a mining agreement with... 

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