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South America News

Workers at Chile's Escondida reject wage offer, strike looms

By: Reuters     Updated 2 hours 21 minutes ago Unionised workers at BHP Billiton-owned Escondida, the world's biggest copper mine, said on Tuesday that they rejected the company's latest wage offer and asked its workers to vote for a strike and prepare themselves for an extended conflict. The Escondida workers' union, which represents about... 

De Beers rakes in sparkling $720m in year’s first sales cycle

By: Martin Creamer     24th January 2017 Diversified mining company Anglo American on Tuesday announced $720-million as the value of rough diamond sales at De Beers’ first sales cycle of 2017, compared with $470-million and $494-million in the last two sales cycles of 2016, helped by a longer period between the final sight of 2016 and... 

De Beers rakes in sparkling $720m in year’s first sales cycle
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver

Iron to ‘correct down sharply’ as supply rises, Citigroup says

By: Bloomberg     24th January 2017 Iron-ore is headed for a sharp decline as higher-grade supplies from Brazil and Australia are set to increase, according to Citigroup, which combined its forecast for a second-half tumble with upgrades to the bank’s outlook in the opening quarters of the year. Recent gains have been supported by... 

Exploration by proxy to feed Goldcorp’s project pipeline

By: Henry Lazenby     24th January 2017 The reserves of the world’s top-producing gold miners have decreased by about one-third over the last five years, a situation that has to be reversed if the industry is to maintain its attractiveness to investors, Goldcorp president and CEO David Garofalo said Monday. Delivering a keynote address... 

Exploration by proxy to feed Goldcorp’s project pipeline
Photo by Bloomberg
Goldcorp president and CEO David Garofalo

Teck seeking infrastructure synergies with Anglo American in Chile

By: Henry Lazenby     24th January 2017 Canada’s largest diversified miner Teck Resources has entered into negotiations with fellow diversified miner Anglo American about the potential of building a shared port, in Chile, where both miners are considering expansions at neighbouring copper mines. Teck is currently mulling an expansion... 

Teck seeking infrastructure synergies with Anglo American in Chile
Photo by Reuters
Teck Resources CEO Don Lindsay

London Metal Exchange CEO resigns after a difficult year

By: Reuters     23rd January 2017 Lower trading volumes and a lack of strategy created a crisis that led to the resignation of London Metal Exchange (LME) CEO Garry Jones after three years at the helm of the world's largest and oldest metals market, metal industry sources say. Parent company Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing... 

Chile sees copper output rising 4.3% this year

By: Reuters     23rd January 2017 World top copper exporter Chile is seen producing 5.79-million tonnes in 2017, a 4.3% increase versus a year earlier, due to increased output at BHP Billiton's massive Escondida mine, state copper commission Cochilco said on Monday. Copper production in Chile is forecast to grow by an additional... 

‘Very tough’ mining year ahead as ‘lawfare’ breaks out – Nedbank

By: Martin Creamer     23rd January 2017 South African mining has a “very tough” year ahead, with "lawfare" breaking out. While existing large, powerful mining companies will persist, growth through new entrants and foreign investment is highly unlikely this year, resulting in escalating opportunity loss. 

‘Very tough’ mining year ahead as ‘lawfare’ breaks out – Nedbank
Nedbank mining finance principal Paul Miller

Gold rises to two-month high on Trump policy uncertainty, dollar drop

By: Reuters     23rd January 2017 Gold prices rose on Monday to the highest in two months as investors sought safer assets amid uncertainty around the economic policies of new US President Donald Trump and as the dollar declined against other major currencies. Spot gold rose 0.7%, to $1 217.81/oz by 03:03 GMT. It earlier touched... 

Platinum price upturn needed to sustain industry – Lonmin  

By: Martin Creamer     20th January 2017 An upturn in the platinum price is needed for the sustainability of the platinum industry as a whole, Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said on Friday. The head of the large London- and Johannesburg-listed platinum mining company said that although there had been a slight price recovery since November and... 

Platinum price upturn needed to sustain industry – Lonmin
Lonmin CEO Ben Magara points out the unsustainability of the current low platinum price at a media conference covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

New Vale pact seeks dispersed share ownership in six years – sources

By: Reuters     19th January 2017 Leading shareholders of Vale close to endorsing a plan to turn the world's No 1 iron-ore producer into a company with dispersed share ownership within six years, two people familiar with the talks said. Bradespar SA, Mitsui & Co and several Brazilian pension funds are negotiating a new... 

BHP and Vale set June deadline to settle Samarco claims

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th January 2017 Mining major BHP Billiton and its joint venture (JV) partner Vale have set a June 30 deadline to conclude negotiations with Brazilian prosecutors over the 2015 Samarco tailing dams failure, which killed 19 people. The parties have reached a preliminary agreement with Brazil, which outlines the... 

Sibanye’s Stillwater platinum deal edges forward

By: Martin Creamer     19th January 2017 Precious metals mining company Sibanye’s proposed acquisition, Stillwater Mining of the United States of America, edged forward on Thursday with the notification that both companies had received early termination of the waiting period under the US’s Hart-Scott-Rodino legislation, which means that... 

Sibanye’s Stillwater platinum deal edges forward
Photo by Duane Daws
Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman

South32 says FY targets within reach despite challenging Dec quarter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th January 2017 Despite a challenging December quarter, diversified mining company South32 remains on track to achieve its production guidance for the majority of its operations. The miner, which is the world’s biggest manganese ore producer, on Thursday reported higher manganese production, but said that its... 

South32 says FY targets within reach despite challenging Dec quarter
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Moody’s base metals optimism rises despite seeing price fall back this year

By: Henry Lazenby     19th January 2017 Market analyst and ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has adjusted upwards its pricing sensitivities for base metals in 2017, but says despite the recent run-up in base metal prices not being sustainable, some of the positive sentiment will remain. Moody’s said Wednesday it expected the... 

Moody’s base metals optimism rises despite seeing price fall back this year
Photo by Bloomberg
Zinc prices are expected to find support in strong fundamentals

Davos boosts platinum fuel cell outlook with hydrogen council launch

By: Martin Creamer     18th January 2017 Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) offer the most natural solution for emission-free vehicles, discharging only water and requiring negligible change to current driving and refuelling habits, which is why 13 leading energy, transport and industry companies this week chose Davos... 

Davos boosts platinum fuel cell outlook with hydrogen council launch
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani

Diamond lobby said to seek ten-fold jump in budget to spur demand

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2017 The diamond industry is looking to up the ante on its effort to win over younger consumers more interested in gadgets and gastronomy. The Diamond Producers Association lobby will ask its backers including top miners De Beers and Alrosa PJSC to raise its budget to as much as $60-million a year... 

Peru economy grew 3.22% y/y in Nov – govt

By: Reuters     18th January 2017 Peru's economy grew by 3.22% in November from the same month a year ago, beating expectations, with strength in sectors including mining and manufacturing outweighing a slide in construction, government data showed on Monday. The annualised economic growth rate was 4.14% in November, state... 

Strike ends at Yamana Gold's El Peñón mine, union says

By: Reuters     18th January 2017 Striking workers at Yamana Gold's El Peñón mine, in Chile, have reached a wage agreement with the Canadian miner, allowing for the mine to reopen on Wednesday, a union leader said on Tuesday. "We just ended the strike today after signing a contract for four years and we will start working again... 

Gold miner Goldcorp details growth plan, shares rise

By: Reuters     17th January 2017 The world's biggest gold miners should partner to share the financial and other risks of developing large gold deposits, the chief executive of Goldcorp, the world's third biggest gold miner by market value, said on Tuesday. The gold mining industry "risks irrelevance" if it is not able to find... 

Gold miner Goldcorp details growth plan, shares rise
Photo by Bloomberg
Goldcorp CEO David Garofalo

Cerrejon's Colombia coal exports, output fall in 2016

By: Reuters     17th January 2017 Output and exports of coal by Cerrejon, Colombia's biggest coal producer, fell in 2016 for the second straight year, the company said on Tuesday. Production reached 32-million tonnes, down 3.6% from the previous year when output was 33.2-million tonnes. Cerrejon did not provide a reason for the... 

Chile to invite bids on value-added lithium tech in April

By: Reuters     17th January 2017 Chile will hold a tender in April to encourage companies to use its vast lithium resources to move it up the value chain with cathode or battery production, the head of the country's development agency told Reuters on Tuesday. It is pressing ahead on deals with international firms as relations... 

Chile to invite bids on value-added lithium tech in April

Brexit plus Trump have sent gold on a January winning streak

By: Bloomberg     17th January 2017 If you think the new year is a time of optimism and hope for the future, then you haven’t been watching gold. Bullion has risen every day except one in 2017, evidence that investors are pricing in a rocky year ahead. UK Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Tuesday that she’ll leave the European... 

Rio Tinto hits 2016 production target, keeps 2017 guidance

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th January 2017 Mining giant Rio Tinto has delivered a strong production quarter in the three months to December, helping the group to achieve its targeted iron-ore shipments for 2016. Australia’s largest iron-ore miner produced 85.5-million tonnes in the fourth quarter, taking 2016’s production to 329.5-million... 

Rio Tinto hits 2016 production target, keeps 2017 guidance
Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques

Vale loads first iron-ore shipment from giant new S11D mine

By: Henry Lazenby     16th January 2017 The world’s biggest iron-ore miner, Vale, has loaded the first ore from its largest-ever mine, the S11D project, in Canaã dos Carajás, south-east of Pará, at the Ponta de Madeira docks. On Friday, Vale loaded its first 26 500 t of commercial ore produced at the $14.4-billion mine in Brazil,... 

Vale loads first iron-ore shipment from giant new S11D mine
Photo by Vale
Ponta da Madeira loads first ships including cargo produced in S11D mine

Iron-ore opens 2017 with a bang after flaying skeptics last year

By: Reuters     16th January 2017 Iron-ore has carried last year’s bullish momentum into the start of 2017, with prices rallying to a two-year high amid speculation that China’s demand for overseas ore will hold up even as the world’s largest miners bring on new capacity. Ore with 62% content in Qingdao in China climbed 3.9% to... 

Victory raises cash for Bolivian work

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th January 2017 ASX-listed Victory Mines will raise some A$2.4-million in a share placement to institutional investors, to fund the exploration and development work at its Bolivian projects. The junior on Monday said that it will place 208.83-million shares, at 1.1c each, to raise the funds. 

Gold rises on Trump uncertainty, Brexit concerns

By: Reuters     16th January 2017 Gold rose on Monday, buoyed by safe-haven demand due to uncertainty over US policy ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration and amid concerns over Britain's exit from the European Union. Spot gold had risen 0.5% to $1 203.15/oz by 0548 GMT. 

Lower costs, higher grades are key for U3O8 to attract attention in difficult market 

By: Henry Lazenby     14th January 2017 Uranium-focused resource companies paid attention to the changing uranium landscape this week after major producer Kazakhstan said it would curtail output by 10%, pushing spot prices higher. One of them was project developer U3O8 Corp, which is focused on uranium and by-product commodities at its... 

As Kazakh market discipline points to price trough, uranium developers focus on lower costs

By: Henry Lazenby     13th January 2017 News this week that Kazakhstan will curtail its uranium output by about 10% this year has sent spot prices to the highest levels since September, provoking cautious optimism among market observers that the trough has been traversed. “I think that this move signals a fundamental change in... 

As Kazakh market discipline points to price trough, uranium developers focus on lower costs
Photo by Fission Uranium
Fission Uranium chairperson and CEO Dev Randhawa

Geopolitical tensions, other factors to boost gold demand this year

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th January 2017 Heightened political and geopolitical risks, currency depreciation, expectations of rising inflation, inflated stock market valuations, long-term Asian growth and the opening of new markets are all expected to positively influence demand for gold and gold’s performance this year, says the World... 

Geopolitical tensions, other factors to boost gold demand this year

Thirty-two tons a second shows China’s record iron appetite

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2017 Iron-ore imports by China surged to a record above one-billion metric tons last year as unexpectedly strong steel production and lower local mine output combined to fire up demand in the world’s top buyer for cargoes from Australia and Brazil, supporting a rebound in prices. Asia’s top economy... 

Thirty-two tons a second shows China’s record iron appetite

In Peru, a smelter's future stirs fears of its toxic past

By: Reuters     13th January 2017 Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's efforts to revive a nearly 100-year-old smelting complex could overcome a crucial hurdle at a coming auction where five companies have shown interest in placing bids. But celebration is far from universal given the sprawling smelter's toxic legacy and... 

Financing solutions will be focus of diamond summit

By: Martin Creamer     12th January 2017 Finding real solutions to a wide range of financing problems will be the intense focus of the diamond industry's upcoming Presidents’ Meeting and Finance Seminar in Mumbai next month, where a financing task force is expected to be created. The biennial meeting of the World Federation of Diamond... 

Financing solutions will be focus of diamond summit
Photo by Duane Daws
World Federation of Diamond Bourses president Ernie Blom

Gold surges above $1 200 as details-shy Trump weighing on dollar

By: Bloomberg     12th January 2017 Spot gold rallied as investors flooded back into funds backed by the metal and the dollar fell in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s heated press conference that provided little detail of his economic stimulus plans. The metal is up more than 2% since the press conference started in New York on... 

BHP wage showdown has copper watchers weighing strike risk

By: Bloomberg     12th January 2017 A wage negotiation at the world’s top copper mine is showing the downside for producers of recovering prices: workers want their share. Talks began in earnest Tuesday at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine in Chile. In a preliminary phase of the collective-bargaining process, management rejected... 

Accident at port of Brazil miner Vale kills one, injures another

By: Reuters     12th January 2017 An accident on Tuesday at a port in northeastern Brazil run by miner Vale killed one worker and injured another, the company said in a note on Wednesday. Vale said the pair worked for an external company hired to erect scaffolding on pier 1 of the Ponta da Madeira terminal in the state of Maranhao. 

Brazil court extends deadline for Samarco to pay dam spill guarantee

By: Reuters     12th January 2017 A Brazilian judge has extended the deadline for Samarco and its shareholders Vale SA and BHP Billiton to make a 1.2-billion reais ($375.41-million) payment related to a dam spill to January 19, a statement from the court in the state of the Minas Gerais said on Wednesday. The payment was due on... 

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