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South America News

Now BHP will earn into Luminex projects in Ecuador

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd March 2019 Canadian junior Luminex Resources has brought in another major miner to earn into its projects in Ecuador, announcing a letter of intent to enter into a farm-in and joint venture (JV) agreement with BHP over the Tarqui 1 and 2 mining concessions. BHP will have the right to earn up to a 70%... 

Palladium rally is seen fading this year  

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2019 Palladium has been one of the hottest commodities for a while now, but analysts think this year may be the time to book profits. Prices have rallied to fresh records on tighter supplies of the material mainly used in gasoline vehicle autocatalysts. But analysts surveyed by Bloomberg see the metal... 

Strike halts operations at Sierra Metals' Peru mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd March 2019 TSX-listed miner Sierra Metals has suspended all mining and milling activity at its Yauricocha mine, in Peru, after unionised workers downed tools over contractor changes in a strike that is deemed illegal. The employees belong to the Union of the Mine and Metallurgical Workers of Minera Corona,... 

Lithium miner says market fears waning as funding hunt resumes

By: Bloomberg     21st March 2019 After hitting heavy resistance last year in its search to raise capital, junior miner Bacanora Lithium Plc believes the time is right to resume its hunt. In July, the London-based company pulled a $100-million share sale designed to finance construction of Mexico’s first lithium mine. Now... 

Miner Vale quashed dam safety audit efforts before Brazil disaster -prosecutor

By: Reuters     21st March 2019 Executives at Vale SA , the world's largest iron ore miner, quashed efforts by Brazilian authorities to audit one of the company's mining dams months before it collapsed and killed over 300 people, a state prosecutor was quoted as saying by news website G1 on Wednesday. William Garcia, a... 

Vale halts operations at another mine in Minas after test

By: Reuters     21st March 2019 Brazilian mining company Vale SA said on Wednesday it halted operations at its Alegria iron ore mine in Minas Gerais state after a "stress test" in the structures failed to guarantee stability. Vale said the results of the test were "inconclusive," so it decided to suspend operations while it... 

Centaurus has another look at Jambreiro

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st March 2019 Brazil-focused Centaurus Metals will re-assess the development options at its Jambreiro iron-ore project, which is fully permitted and licensed for a three-million tonne a year production. Centaurus on Thursday said that it would update the Jambreiro feasibility study on the back of a number of... 

Crusader sells Brazilian gold assets

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st March 2019 ASX-listed Crusader Resources has signed a binding term sheet with fellow-listed Meteoric Resources to divest of its Juruena and Novo Astro gold projects, in Brazil. Under the terms of the agreement, Meteoric would pay A$3-million in cash and milestone share payments. 

Continental reports resource estimate for BMZ1 at Buriticá

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th March 2019 Development-stage Continental Gold has received a positive and high-grade mineral resource estimate for a mineralised zone in the central-west portion of the Yaraguá system at its Buriticá project in Antioquia, Colombia. The estimate for broad mineralized zone 1 (BMZ1) showed a combined measured... 

Labour Court declares Sibanye wage extension valid  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2019 Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater on Wednesday advised that the Labour Court has declared legal the extension of Sibanye’s wage agreement with the National Union of mineworkers (NUM), UASA and Solidarity, to non-unionised members. Sibanye extended, in December, the wage agreement to... 

Labour Court declares Sibanye wage extension valid
Photo by Creamer Media
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman

Global Witness says more needs to be done to halt human rights abuses in diamond mining

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2019 International nonprofit organisation Global Witness (GW) has welcomed the World Diamond Council’s (WDC’s) response to the government-led Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme, but says more needs to be done. The organisation pointed out in a release that the WDC had, in recent weeks,... 

Global Witness says more needs to be done to halt human rights abuses in diamond mining

Galane donates Galaxy shares to Phakamani Foundation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2019 TSX-listed Galane Gold has completed the donation of 17% total issued share capital of Galaxy Gold Mining to the Phakamani Foundation, as part of its empowerment requirements in South Africa. Phakamani is a development micro-finance institution that provides loans to expose entrepreneurs to... 

Kinross acquires 9.7% of Wolfden Resources

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2019 TSX-V-listed Wolfden Resources’ share price shot up 5% to C$0.18 apiece, following its announcement that Kinross Gold would take a 9.7% stake in the junior miner. The subscription agreement entails a nonbrokered private placement of about 12.5-million common shares of Wolfden at a price of... 

Iamgold retrenches 32% of Westwood workforce

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2019 TSX-listed Iamgold announced on Tuesday that it would reduce its workforce at the Westwood gold mine, in Quebec, by 32%. The decision arose from both planned reductions, which are owing to the stage of mine development, and from realignment reductions, which are owing to previously disclosed... 

Indian consortium plans EV battery plant linked to overseas lithium acquisitions

By: Ajoy K Das     20th March 2019 The newly formed joint venture (JV) of Indian government mineral companies has entered into a lithium-ion battery manufacturing business, linked to its plans to acquire lithium and cobalt mineral assets overseas. The lithium-ion battery manufacturing venture will be led by State-run National... 

Norsk Hydro is restarting some systems as deliveries seen secure

By: Bloomberg     20th March 2019 Norsk Hydro is restarting some systems in its extrusion and rolled products areas to ensure deliveries to customers after the Norwegian aluminum maker was hit by a massive ransomware cyber attack. The company on Wednesday said it had detected the “root cause” of the attack and was making... 

Ecuador's mining push in doubt as ‘radical’ foes stall projects

By: Bloomberg     20th March 2019 Ecuador has tethered its economic fortunes to a burgeoning mining industry. Now it just needs to get bureaucrats and community leaders on board. Local opposition and red tape are hindering plans to become a mining superpower that can rival other South American nations. Less than two years ago... 

US sanctions Venezuela gold mining company for backing Maduro

By: Reuters     20th March 2019 The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday against Venezuela's State-run gold mining company Minerven and its president, Adrian Perdomo, accusing them of illicit operations and propping up the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The announcement comes days after Uganda said it was... 

KGHM extends negotiations with union at Chilean copper mine

By: Reuters     20th March 2019 Miner KGHM will extend negotiations with a union at its Chilean copper mine Sierra Gorda, averting a strike, a union representative said on Tuesday. The company had until the end of Tuesday to request government mediation to help reach a deal with the union of 520 workers. 

AMCU reaches in-principle settlement with CCMA in wage dispute with Sibanye

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2019 The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has accepted, in principle, a proposed settlement agreement advanced by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), in at attempt to resolve the wage dispute between the union and precious metals miner... 

Federal Reserve to remain on hold for the rest of 2019 – World Gold Council

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2019 The World Gold Council (WGC) on Tuesday released its latest ‘Investment Update: The impact of monetary policy on gold’ publication, in which it outlines expectations that the upcoming Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting on March 20 will confirm market expectations that the... 

US hits Venezuela State miner with new sanctions

By: Reuters     19th March 2019 U.S. hits Venezuela with new sanctions on state-run mining company 

Orosur chair dies after illness

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th March 2019 The chairperson of South American gold project developer Orosur Mining, John Walmsley, has died, following an illness, the TSX- and Aim-listed company reported this week Walmsley joined the board of directors as chairperson in 2013 and has served in that capacity since that time. 

Equinox hikes resource estimates for Aurizona, Mesquite

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2019 TSX-V-listed Equinox Gold has completed an updated mineral resource estimate for its Aurizona gold mine, in Brazil, and an updated mineral reserve and resource estimate, as well as a technical report, for its Mesquite gold mine, in the US. Aurizona’s measured and indicated resources increased... 

Palladium tops $1 600 as metal sets new highs on supply shortage  

By: Bloomberg     19th March 2019 Palladium topped $1 600/oz for the first time, and there’s little sign of the rally slowing as global supply tightens. The price of the metal – mainly used in autocatalysts in gasoline vehicles – has almost doubled from a recent low in August. Demand has remained robust as manufacturers scramble... 

Menar’s Canyon offers Eskom cheaper coal on open-book basis  

By: Martin Creamer     19th March 2019 Coal mining company Canyon Coal, a Menar group company, is prepared to offer coal to State-owned electricity utility Eskom at a cheaper price on an open-book basis from two new projects. The Menar group, which does not supply coal to Eskom at present, employs 3 500 people on a R7-billion asset... 

Menar’s Canyon offers Eskom cheaper coal on open-book basis
Menar MD and Canyon Coal executive chairperson Vuslat Bayoğlu talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photos: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Nicholas Boyd

Antofagasta dividend better than expected, profit in line

By: Reuters     19th March 2019 Chilean copper miner Antofagasta announced a higher-than-expected dividend payout on Tuesday and reported a drop in annual core earnings that was in line with analysts' projections. The company lowered its final dividend by about 9% to 37c a share from last year, but topped the expectations of... 

Workers could strike at Chile's Sierra Gorda copper mine – union

By: Reuters     19th March 2019 A union at Chile's Sierra Gorda copper mine, controlled by Polish mining company KGHM, could go on strike this week after rejecting the latest offer in contract negotiations, the union leader told Reuters on Monday. The company still has until the end of Tuesday to request government mediation... 

Vale dam fallout deepens with mine closure and blocked funds

By: Bloomberg     19th March 2019 Vale’s shares declined on Monday as the world’s biggest iron-ore producer faces continued backlash from Brazilian authorities after a deadly mining accident in January. Rio de Janeiro-based Vale was ordered on March 15 to shut its Timbopeba mine in Minas Gerais state, which produces 12.8-million... 

Labour Court dismisses AMCU interdict against Sibanye restructuring 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th March 2019 Sibanye-Stillwater on Monday said the South African Labour Court has dismissed the application made by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to interdict the Section 189A restructuring process at the miner’s gold operations in South Africa. Sibanye on February 14... 

Labour Court dismisses AMCU interdict against Sibanye restructuring
Photo by Creamer Media
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman

Chile enviro court ruling on Pascua-Lama closure overturned

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th March 2019 The Supreme Court of Chile has overturned an Environmental Court order to permanently close the stalled Pascua–Lama project, which straddles the Andes mountains with Argentina. The Supreme Court last week annulled the October 2018 administrative decision of the Antofagasta Environmental Court on... 

Chile enviro court ruling on Pascua-Lama closure overturned
Photo by Reuters
Barrick's Pascua-Lama project, in Chile

Opec+ affirms commitment to oil cuts, defers decision to extend

By: Bloomberg     18th March 2019 Saudi Arabia led fellow members of the Opec+ coalition to reaffirm their commitment to output cuts, but conceded they should defer until June the decision on whether to extend the curbs. A committee of the most influential members in the 24-nation alliance, which includes Russia, Iraq and the... 

Continental obtains $175m for Colombia gold mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th March 2019 TSX-listed project developer Continental Gold has obtained a $175-million funding package to complete the construction, commissioning and start-up of its Buriticá gold project, in Colombia. The package consists of $75-million of unsecured convertible debentures issued to certain investors,... 

Norsk Hydro says Alunorte problems, higher raw material costs led to earnings fall

By: Reuters     18th March 2019 Aluminium producer Norsk Hydro said its 2018 underlying earnings before interest and tax fell by 2.15-billion crowns, due to higher raw material costs and reduced operations at Brazil's Alunorte plant, it said on Friday. The world's largest alumina refinery has been running at half its capacity... 

Brazil court orders Vale to stop operations at another mine

By: Bloomberg     18th March 2019 A Brazilian court ordered Vale to halt production at another of its iron-ore mines, further reducing the company’s output capacity after a deadly dam burst increased government scrutiny over its operations. The Timbopeba mine in Minas Gerais state produces 12.8-million tons of iron-ore per year,... 

KGHM does not plan to sell Sierra Gorda mine - CEO

By: Reuters     15th March 2019 Polish mining company KGHM does not plan to sell its Sierra Gorda copper mining project in Chile, its CEO said on Friday. Marcin Chludzinski also said State-controlled KGHM, one of the world's biggest copper miners, does not currently see any further writedowns on foreign assets, after... 

Sibanye nonexec director Barry Davison retires in May

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th March 2019 Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater on Friday announced the retirement of independent nonexecutive director Barry Davison, effective May 28. The company stated that Davison has been an integral part of the board since the company’s inception in 2013 and has served as chairperson of... 

Metminco raises cash to progress Andes merger

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th March 2019 ASX-listed junior Metminco will raise up to A$1-million through the issue of unsecured convertible notes to progress a merger with Colombia-focused Andes Resources. Under the proposed merger, Metmico will acquire Andes through an off-market takeover offer, offering Andes shareholders 33.5 new... 

Metminco raises cash to progress Andes merger
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