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South America News

Brazil's Vale agrees to new terms with Mitsui for Mozambique coal asset

By: Reuters     Updated 50 minutes ago Brazilian miner Vale said on Thursday it has agreed to new terms with Japan's Mitsui & Co for the sale of a stake in its Moatize coal mine and connected railway, in Mozambique. Under the new terms, Mitsui will contribute up to $450-million for a 15% stake in the mine and $348-million for a 50%... 

China auto boom is warning to world miners facing scrap age

By: Bloomberg     29th September 2016 China is on the cusp of a scrap wave that will return metal from ageing cars and expired fridges to the supply chain in a growing threat to mining companies, according to  Chiho-Tiande Group , a top recycler, which is taking over one of the biggest and oldest names in Europe’s scrap business. The... 

Protesters block access to Mexican mine owned by Goldcorp

By: Reuters     29th September 2016 Protesters in northern Mexico said they have blocked access to the Penasquito mining complex operated by Goldcorp, threatening to interrupt production at the country's biggest gold deposit. The protesters, which include landowners and truck drivers, began their blockade on Monday and are... 

New explorer Ocean Minerals to look offshore Cook Islands for REEs

By: Henry Lazenby     29th September 2016 Recently formed US-based exploration company Ocean Minerals is heading to the exclusive economic zone of the Cook Islands, in the Southern Pacific, to look for rare earth elements (REEs) and scandium on the deep ocean floor. The Houston, Texas-based company on Wednesday joined the likes of... 

Vale says expects current iron-ore price equilibrium to continue

By: Reuters     28th September 2016 Brazil's Vale, the world's largest iron-ore exporter, said on Wednesday it expects balanced supply and demand in the iron-ore market to continue with Brazil adding most of the world's new seaborne supply in 2017. Brazil will add 28-million tonnes of ore to the seaborne market in 2017, 58% of the... 

Argentina judge to rule on suspended Barrick mine soon – local govt

By: Reuters     28th September 2016 Barrick Gold's Veladero mine, in Argentina, could reopen in coming days if a report confirms repairs were made after a leak of processing solution containing cyanide earlier this month, a provincial government said. San Juan province Mining Minister Alberto Hensel said in a statement on Tuesday... 

Project house DRA appoints new CEO

By: Martin Creamer     28th September 2016 Project house DRA on Wednesday announced the appointment of Wray Carvelas as its new CEO. Carvelas, who has been CEO of DRA Americas for the past five years, has served the company in various key capacities since 2001. 

Project house DRA appoints new CEO
New DRA CEO Wray Carvelas

Karoon makes a play in Brazilian oilfield

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     28th September 2016 Melbourne-based oil and gas explorer Karoon Gas Australia will spend up to $20.5-million to gain a 35% equity interest in the Santos Basin exploration blocks, offshore Brazil. Karoon has entered an agreement with Pacific Exploration and Production Corporation to acquire an interest in the five... 

Chile regulator approves $19m environment plan at KGHM copper mine

By: Reuters     27th September 2016 Chile's environmental regulator said on Tuesday it has approved a $19.1-million mitigation plan presented by KGHM's Sierra Gorda copper mine, after it found nine infractions at the operation. In March, the SMA environmental regulator pressed charges against Sierra Gorda, saying the copper mine... 

Renewables not cost competitive until mid-century – Glencore 

By: Reuters     27th September 2016 Renewable energy will not be cost competitive with fossil fuels until 2050, Glencore said on Tuesday, much later than energy organisations forecast and supporting the mining and trading giant's case for continued investment in coal. Glencore has said coal is still an investment opportunity,... 

Gold discovery badly behind replenishment

By: Martin Creamer     27th September 2016 Gold is being discovered at a fraction of the rate needed to replenish reserves. In the last 16 years, the gold-mining industry has failed to replace more than half the ounces mined. 

Gold discovery badly behind replenishment
Photo by Randgold
Randgold graph showing discovery collapse

Crusader shakes tin to advance projects

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     27th September 2016 Gold developer Crusader Resources has raised A$8.5-million in an oversubscribed placement, allowing the company to accelerate the development of its Juruena gold project, in Brazil, and to complete the bankable feasibility study on the Borborema project. The placement, to institutional and... 

Yamana applies to annul second arbiter report in Auriemma proceedings

By: Henry Lazenby     27th September 2016 Yamana Gold has applied to annul a second arbiter report regarding the award to Dr Ricardo Auriemma in litigation dating back to 2003. In May 2013, the Argentinean Commercial Court of Appeals ruled in favour of Auriemma on the breach-of-agreement case against Northern Orion Resources (GNOR),... 

Teck submits regulatory application for $5bn Quebrada Blanca Phase 2

By: Henry Lazenby     27th September 2016 Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources is moving ahead with the $4.5-billion to $5-billion second-phase development of its Quebrada Blanca (QB) copper mine, in Northern Chile. The company has submitted the social- and environmental-impact assessment for the project to the Tarapacá... 

Brazil's Samarco misses bond payment, has 30-day remedy period

By: Reuters     26th September 2016 Samarco Mineração, the Brazilian iron-ore mining joint venture that suspended operations in November following a dam disaster, missed an interest payment on a $500-million bond that was due on Monday, trustee Bank of New York Mellon said. As a result, Samarco will have 30 days to make the... 

Brazil's CSN, CBSteel in talks over ore unit stake – sources

By: Reuters     26th September 2016 Cia Siderúrgica Nacional is considering selling part of its stake in Congonhas Minérios, Brazil's No 2 iron-ore producer, to China Brazil Xinnenghuan International Investment, two people familiar with the deal said on Monday. According to the people, the Chinese mill known as CBSteel is... 

Rio Tinto launches debt reduction programme

By: Reuters     26th September 2016 Major minor Rio Tinto on Monday announced a bond buyback plan for up to $3-billion, saying it was taking advantage of its healthy cash situation to further reduce debt. Under the plan Rio Tinto has issued a redemption notice for approximately $1.5-billion of its 2017 and 2018 US... 

Randgold CEO Bristow ‘super excited’ about Africa as ‘next China’ 

By: Martin Creamer     26th September 2016 Africa needs investments coupled with aggressive growth and if correctly managed, will be the world’s "next China", says Randgold Resources CEO Dr Mark Bristow, who has developed half a dozen highly successful gold mines on the continent besides traversing its length and breadth on his motor... 

Randgold CEO Bristow ‘super excited’ about Africa as ‘next China’
Randgold CEO Dr Mark Bristow (centre) with host country management at the Loulo gold mine

Ferrochrome price in sharp rise

By: Martin Creamer     26th September 2016 The European benchmark ferrochrome price for the fourth quarter of 2016 has been settled at 110c a pound, 12.2% up on the 98c-a-pound price of the third quarter. Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Merafe Resources said last month that it expected to benefit from renewed positive ferrochrome... 

Ferrochrome price in sharp rise
Photo by Duane Daws
Merafe CEO Zanele Matlala

Iron giants to add 200Mt of supplies through 2020

By: Bloomberg     26th September 2016 The world’s two largest iron-ore exporters Australia and Brazil will each add about 100-million metric tons of supply through the end of the decade, boosting a global glut and hurting prices in a slump that will then force marginal miners to cut output, according to Citigroup. Shipments from... 

Iron giants to add 200Mt of supplies through 2020

Uranium prices sink lower amid oversupply

By: Bloomberg     23rd September 2016 Uranium prices have gone from bad to worse, slumping to an 11-year low as brimming global inventories weigh on a market that hasn’t recovered from the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Spot uranium declined 1.4% to $24.40/lb on Thursday, the lowest since April 2005, according to data from Ux... 

Brazil's Vale has not decided on sale of fertiliser unit – filing

By: Reuters     23rd September 2016 The board of directors of Brazilian mining company Vale has not yet made a decision on selling a stake in its fertiliser unit, the company said in a securities filing on Thursday. The Rio de Janeiro-based company, the world's largest exporter of iron ore, is still looking for a strategic partner... 

End-to-end mechanisation edging South Deep forward – Gold Fields

By: Martin Creamer     22nd September 2016 South Deep, Gold Fields’ fully mechanised deep-level gold mine, has reached the point of honouring its full mining value chain with on-the-go ground support, simultaneous backfilling of the voids created, an extension of mechanising to hanging wall and side wall drilling, and mesh support... 

End-to-end mechanisation edging South Deep forward – Gold Fields
Photo by Duane Daws
Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland

Top Colombia gold miner faces production halt amid protests

By: Bloomberg     22nd September 2016 Gran Colombia Gold Corp. will have to halt production by Friday if protests at its operations don’t end by then, a further headache for the Colombian government as it struggles to enforce regulations governing the country’s gold industry. Miners operating without permits inside Gran Colombia... 

Chile's SQM will boost annual lithium hydroxide capacity by 7 500 t

By: Reuters     22nd September 2016 Chilean fertiliser and chemical producer SQM will invest around $30-million by the end of 2017 to increase its annual lithium hydroxide production capacity by 7 500 t, the company said in a press release on Wednesday. As part of the plan to boost capacity from 6 000 t to 13 500 t, the company... 

Trevali expands high-grade Santander deposits, makes new hanging wall discovery

By: Henry Lazenby     21st September 2016 The TSX-listed stock of base metals producer Trevali Mining has risen to a new 52-week high after the company reported positive exploration results from its Santander mine, in Peru. Vancouver-based Trevali reported results from twelve new drill holes of the ongoing 2016 underground exploration... 

Brazil’s looming wet season poses new Samarco risks, BHP warns

By: Bloomberg     21st September 2016 BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner, warns Brazil’s impending wet season may result in further environmental damage due to the failed Samarco dam, carrying the risk of new fines and legal claims. Work is underway to reinforce dam structures to help contain tailings as the November-to-April... 

Glencore sees nickel price rising on global supply shortage

By: Bloomberg     21st September 2016 Glencore, the commodities trader and miner, expects nickel prices to climb through 2018 as demand outstrips supply, assuming Indonesia continues its policy of curbing ore exports and encouraging local processing. “We believe we’ve seen the bottom, both in terms of the actual spot prices... 

BHP continues to fight Australia on A$1bn tax bill

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st September 2016 Mining giant BHP Billiton is continuing to dispute taxes levied by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on the company’s Singapore marketing hub activity, saying in its yearly taxation report on Wednesday that it will initiate court action if necessary. The ATO has struck BHP with a... 

BHP continues to fight Australia on A$1bn tax bill

Barrick sees ‘perfect storm’ brewing around cost-effective renewables

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th September 2016 Renewable-energy sources have reached the stage where they can reduce energy costs as well as emissions, Barrick Gold’s senior manager of energy and greenhouse gases (GHGs), Russell Blades, tells Energy and Mines. “We are seeing a ‘perfect storm’ brewing around renewables. Solar and energy... 

Barrick sees ‘perfect storm’ brewing around cost-effective renewables
Photo by Energy & Mines
Barrick's 20 MW Punta Colorada wind farm, Chile

South African ‘Mining Hall of Fame’ on way – Swanepoel

By: Martin Creamer     20th September 2016 A South African ‘Mining Hall of Fame’ is on the way. Revealing this at a pre-Joburg Indaba presentation on Tuesday, chairperson Bernard Swanepoel noted that South Africa was odd mining jurisdiction out in not having a mining hall of fame. 

South African ‘Mining Hall of Fame’ on way – Swanepoel
Photo by Duane Daws
Joburg Indaba chairperson Bernard Swanepoel

Cost-conscious major miners look to agility of junior explorers

By: Reuters     20th September 2016 Tight budgets and nervous investors have convinced major miners that a cheap, timely way to ensure a strong pipeline of quality assets is to team up with junior, more nimble exploration firms. Miners have slashed costs by delaying projects, sold assets and cut exploration budgets to free up cash... 

SA’s cost-of-doing-business ranking badly down – Chamber

By: Martin Creamer     20th September 2016 South Africa has plummeted to an abysmally low level in the World Bank’s 160-country cost-of-doing-business rankings. On the bank’s Doing Business scale, which measures the fitness of a country’s economy to grow and compete, South Africa has tumbled 15 notches since 2007, from position number 58,... 

SA’s cost-of-doing-business ranking badly down – Chamber
Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter

Iron’s 50m extra tons spell weaker price – Liberum

By: Bloomberg     20th September 2016 The world’s top iron-ore suppliers including Brazil’s Vale will add almost 50-million tons of supply in the 12 months to next June, undermining prices and feeding a global glut, according to Liberum Capital. Suppliers that also include Australia’s BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Gina Rinehart’s Roy... 

Vale says rail delay limits new iron-ore mine output to 75mt

By: Reuters     20th September 2016 Brazil's Vale said on Monday output from its new S11D iron-ore mine in the Amazon region will be limited to 83 percent of full capacity as efforts to preserve cash and limit transport disruptions crimp a needed railway expansion. The $14.3 billion project, Vale's biggest-ever investment, was... 

Barrick says Argentina mine may resume within two weeks

By: Reuters     19th September 2016 Barrick Gold's Veladero gold mine, in Argentina, one of its five core mines, could resume operations in the next two weeks, Barrick president Kelvin Dushnisky said in an interview on Monday. "I am hopeful that it could be up and going in that kind of two-week window depending on how the... 

Barrick says Argentina mine may resume within two weeks

Zinc demand set to outpace production

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th September 2016 Global zinc demand growth is set to marginally outpace production growth between now and 2020, averaging 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively, advisory firm BMI Research said on Monday. Refined zinc production is slowing as weak prices and an ore shortage force major producers to curb output. 

Zinc demand set to outpace production

Gold miners stick close to home in hunt for more metal

By: Reuters     19th September 2016 The world's biggest gold miners are taking a cautious approach in their hunt for bullion, spending more money to explore around existing mines rather than new territory in a strategy that may have short-term gains but risks future production growth. Top producers are relying more than ever on... 

Gold miners stick close to home in hunt for more metal
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