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South America News

Glencore to invest $21m in Brazil's copper producer Paranapanema

By: Reuters     21st July 2017 Glencore has signed an agreement to invest up to 66-million reais ($21-million) into Brazilian copper producer Paranapanema, the Brazilian firm said in a securities filing. Paranapanema said the cash injection will give Glencore the right to appoint one board member and that the agreement is... 

Global lead production set to stagnate after 2017 acceleration

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2017 Following a decline in overall lead production worldwide in 2016, a slight rise in prices will drive a short-lived acceleration in global lead mine production growth in 2017. Subdued prices and a weak project pipeline in several major lead-producing countries will bring this rapid rate of growth... 

Iron’s surge to $70 draws out sceptics as prices reverse

By: Bloomberg     21st July 2017 Iron-ore’s strong start to the second half and surge above $70 a metric ton will probably fade through the year-end as demand from top buyer China slows and global mine supplies remain robust, according to Sucden Financial and Bank Julius Baer & Co. “Any significant uptick in seaborne cargoes... 

Zaldivar copper mine workers extend wage talks with company

By: Reuters     21st July 2017 The union at Antofagasta's Zaldivar copper mine, in Chile, said on Thursday that workers and the company had failed to reach a wage deal and that they had agreed to extend government-mediated talks into next week. Last week, the union voted to strike, prompting the mediated talks and a new... 

Brazil's Vale eyes 2017 iron-ore output at low end of forecast

By: Reuters     21st July 2017 Brazil's Vale, the world's largest iron-ore producer, said on Thursday that iron-ore output would close the year near the bottom of its forecast of 360 million to 380 million tonnes, despite record second-quarter production. Vale, said iron-ore production reached 91.85-million tonnes in the... 

World copper market shows 80 000 t surplus in first four months of 2017

By: Henry Lazenby     21st July 2017 The world refined copper balance for the first four months of 2017 indicates a surplus of about 80 000 t, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) reported on Thursday. It ascribed the surplus mainly to a decline in Chinese apparent demand, a market that currently accounts for about 48% of the... 

Fast-growing Chinese aluminium sector attracts increased govt scrutiny

By: Henry Lazenby     21st July 2017 As the Chinese aluminium sector comes under greater pressure to moderate its capacity growth, the government is cracking down on so-called ‘illegal’ smelters, analysis by Wood Mackenzie global aluminium markets senior research analyst Ami Shivkar has found. Shivkar argues that unqualified... 

Fast-growing Chinese aluminium sector attracts increased govt scrutiny

Diamond output leap helps Anglo

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2017 A sharp rise in rough diamond production at a time of stable diamond trading conditions has boosted diversified mining company Anglo American in the three months to June 30, when overall production was 8% up on a copper-equivalent basis. Rough diamond production increased by 36% to 8.7 million... 

Diamond output leap helps Anglo
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani

Activist fund Elliott adds potash to list of BHP grievances

By: Reuters     20th July 2017 Activist shareholder Elliott Management said it has deep concerns over a proposal by BHP to enter the currently over-supplied fertiliser market, reiterating its call for change at the mining giant. BHP has signaled it may push ahead with its long-dormant Jansen potash mine in Canada in a... 

Chile approves expansion at BHP's Spence mine – paper

By: Reuters     20th July 2017 Chilean authorities have approved a $2.5-billion expansion of BHP Billiton's Spence copper mine, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday, though the company has not yet decided whether to go ahead with the project. Chile's Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA) has unanimously approved the... 

Peru miners start nationwide strike, govt sees little impact

By: Reuters     20th July 2017 Unionised workers at mines in Peru, the world's second biggest copper producer, started a nationwide strike on Wednesday to protest the government's proposed labour reforms, the head of a federation of mining unions said on Wednesday. Workers at 56 mining unions in the Andean country, including... 

BMI index shows policy determines market attractiveness in Latin America

By: Henry Lazenby     20th July 2017 With policy being of the utmost importance when determining market attractiveness, countries with reliably stable  business environments will continue to dominate the top mining risk/reward index scores in the Americas, reflecting miners' prioritisation of reducing risk, given a volatile mineral... 

A decade since global financial crisis, diamond industry yet to re-test 2011 summer highs

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 This year marks ten years since the start of the global financial crisis in 2007, an event that shook global markets to the core and precipitated a changed market landscape for many commodities, including diamonds. With this in mind, independent diamond industry analyst and consultant Paul... 

A decade since global financial crisis, diamond industry yet to re-test 2011 summer highs

BHP hits iron-ore target, forecasts higher output in 2018

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th July 2017 Diversified major BHP has increased its production expectations for iron-ore, copper and metallurgical coal in 2018, on the back of solid results for the year ended June. The miner on Wednesday reported that it had achieved production guidance at its petroleum and iron-ore divisions during the... 

BHP hits iron-ore target, forecasts higher output in 2018
BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

By: Reuters     19th July 2017 Zinc prices are running out of steam, with shortages in China appearing to be less severe than expected, inventories rebounding and producers selling the metal to take advantage of current market levels. Benchmark zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange surged 60% last year after the shutdown of... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

Brazilian judge suspends Samarco dam disaster civil claim indefinitely

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 A Brazilian federal judge of the Federal Court of Minas Gerais has, for an indefinite time, suspended a public civil lawsuit against Samarco Mineração over the miner’s tailings dam collapse in November 2015, the company said on Tuesday. Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, said in a press... 

Zinc, lead demand continue to outstrip output

By: Henry Lazenby     18th July 2017 New analysis by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) has found that demand for zinc grew by 1.14% during the first five months of 2017, with mine output rising 6.3% and refined metal output up 0.4%. In its latest report published on Monday, the ILZSG said that preliminary data it... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

By: Reuters     18th July 2017 Zinc prices are running out of steam, with shortages in China appearing to be less severe than expected, inventories rebounding and producers selling the metal to take advantage of current market levels. Benchmark zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange surged 60% last year after the shutdown... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

Demand growth for some metals may exceed 1 000% – World Bank

By: Martin Creamer     18th July 2017 A new World Bank report highlights the potential impacts that the expected continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will have on demand for many minerals and metals, including Southern Africa's platinum, manganese and chrome. Using wind and solar energy, and energy storage batteries, as... 

Sierra Metals’ flagship Peru mine shines in Q2

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th July 2017 Consolidated metal production from triple-listed Sierra Metals decreased 3% during the second quarter of the year, the base metals miner said Monday. Sierra, a Canada-based growing polymetallic mining company, attributed the decrease to lower throughput, lower head grades and lower recoveries of... 

Orvana achieves new quarterly gold production record

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th July 2017 Gold and copper miner Orvana, which owns mines in Spain and Bolivia, has achieved a new quarterly consolidated gold production record of 26 414 oz in the third quarter of fiscal 2017. Consolidated gold equivalent production reached 35 292 oz in the quarter, a 27% improvement on the 27 683 oz... 

Orvana achieves new quarterly gold production record
The El Valle mine in northern Spain.

Silver extreme pits big investors versus small as ETFs surge

By: Bloomberg     18th July 2017 Silver, known for being a market of extremes, is living up to its reputation this year. Prices rallied 17% in the first four months of the year, only to reverse and wipe out those gains. Despite the selloff, investors are pouring money into exchange-traded funds, and assets have reached a record... 

Rio Tinto cuts iron-ore and coal guidance

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     18th July 2017 Diversified major Rio Tinto has revised its full year production guidance for iron-ore and coal, as rail maintenance in the Pilbara and Cyclone Debbie in Queensland, took their toll. During the three months to June, Rio Tinto produced 79.8-million tonnes of iron-ore from its Pilbara operations... 

Rio Tinto cuts iron-ore and coal guidance

Top Peru gold miner to weigh copper growth if recovery extends

By: Bloomberg     18th July 2017 Peru’s biggest precious-metals producer will consider taking a deeper dive into copper if prices of the industrial metal keep rising. Cia. de Minas Buenaventura is tripling annual output at its Marcapunta copper mine to about 60,000 metric tons. Another expansion would take it to 100 000 tons,... 

Nine recommended improvements should charter renegotiation ensue

By: Martin Creamer     17th July 2017 The agreed suspension of the implementation of the controversial Mining Charter Three may present an opportunity for the parties to negotiate a revised version that reflects terms acceptable to all parties. If so, the renegotiated charter should contain at least nine improvements, say Herbert... 

Nine recommended improvements should charter renegotiation ensue
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills Africa partner and co-chair Peter Leon

Kingsgate finds silver in Chile

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th July 2017 The share price of ASX-listed Kingsgate Consolidated closed higher on Monday, after the company announced the discovery of silver at its Nueva Esperanza project, in Chile. The Nueva Esperanza project is at feasibility stage, and is estimated to host some 1.9-million ounces of gold equivalent. 

Having stemmed flow of conflict diamonds, new WDC acting president to stay course

By: Henry Lazenby     15th July 2017 The World Diamond Council (WDC) will stay its course, focused on its primary mission of curbing the trade in conflict diamonds, under new acting president Stephane Fischler, who took the helm on July 1 from Andrey Polyakov, who has resigned. “We have succeeded in almost totally eradicating... 

Having stemmed flow of conflict diamonds, new WDC acting president to stay course
Photo by Global Witness
A Central African Republic conflict diamond operation

Chamber wins round one in battle against mining charter

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2017 In what is a clear first round victory for the Chamber of Mines of South Africa against the errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has agreed to suspend the implementation of the controversial Mining Charter Three until after the High Court has... 

Chamber wins round one in battle against mining charter
Chamber CEO Roger Baxter – chamber wins first round in fight against devastating Mining Charter Three

Best-performing metals as hard to trade as they are to find

By: Bloomberg     14th July 2017 Even if you’d heard of this year’s best-performing metals, betting on them would probably have been a struggle. Ruthenium, iridium and the somewhat better known rhodium – used mostly in specialised products like hard disks, spark plugs and autocatalysts – have trounced almost all major... 

Best-performing metals as hard to trade as they are to find

Tahoe goes into damage control after flagship mine suspended

By: Bloomberg     14th July 2017 Tahoe Resources, whose flagship Guatemalan mine has been suspended, is taking steps to cut costs, including possibly slowing an expansion of a project in Peru and trimming exploration. The Reno, Nevada-based company may also discuss halting its dividend at an August board meeting and might slow... 

Tahoe goes into damage control after flagship mine suspended
Photo by Tahoe Resources
Escobal, Guatemala

May mining output falters on uncertain commodity prices

By: Martin Creamer     13th July 2017 Mining production data released by Statistics South Africa on Thursday revealed a second consecutive month of production contraction. The -0.2% contraction and the -1.4% contraction in April are viewed as concerning by Chamber of Mines of South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven, owing to... 

May mining output falters on uncertain commodity prices
Photo by Duane Daws
Chamber of Mines of South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven

Gold edges up after Yellen rate hike view

By: Reuters     13th July 2017 Gold edged higher on Thursday on a weaker dollar and lower US yields, with investors wagering that policy tightening in the United States would be glacial at best, though gains were capped by surging global stock markets. The dollar was steady against a currency basket, having fallen to its... 

One-billion tons of iron-ore are headed to China's mills in 2017

By: Bloomberg     13th July 2017 Iron-ore imports by China this year are on course to exceed one-billion metric tons by a comfortable margin, breaking 2016’s record, after figures for the first half showed another jump in cargoes and highlighted the ability of the largest steelmaker to absorb rising seaborne supplies. Shipments... 

Chile's Collahuasi copper mine cuts 115 jobs

By: Reuters     13th July 2017 Chilean copper mine Collahuasi, a joint venture of Anglo American and Glencore, said on Wednesday it will cut 115 jobs, including executives, as part of a plan to boost efficiency amid low prices for the metal. Collahuasi, one of the world's largest copper mines, said in a statement that its... 

Capstone improves Q2 output as mines bounce back

By: Henry Lazenby     13th July 2017 Shareholders rewarded Canadian copper producer Capstone Mining on Wednesday, pushing its TSX-listed stock up some 11% following the Vancouver-headquartered company reporting improved second-quarter production results. Copper output rose 15% quarter-over-quarter in the three months ended June,... 

Oil traders turn bespoke crude tailors in offshore megastore

By: Bloomberg     12th July 2017 The biggest oil traders feeling the squeeze in a world awash with crude are seeking an edge by offering tailor-made cargoes in an offshore megastore. By selling bespoke from a fleet of ships anchored off Singapore and Malaysia, the likes of Vitol Group, Trafigura Group, Glencore and Gunvor Group... 

Oil traders turn bespoke crude tailors in offshore megastore

Largo’s lenders cancel, defer funding provisos as vanadium price continues to rise

By: Henry Lazenby     12th July 2017 Canadian vanadium producer Largo Resources’s syndicate of lenders under existing debt facilities have agreed to terminate and defer capitalisation requirements totalling $10-millionon the back of rising vanadium prices. The TSX-listed firm, which built and operates the Maracas Menchen mine, in... 

Largo’s lenders cancel, defer funding provisos as vanadium price continues to rise
Photo by Largo Resources
Maracas Menchen vanadium mine, Brazil

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level  

By: Martin Creamer     12th July 2017 German car manufacturer Daimler has cut the platinum loading of its new fuel cell Mercedes to catalytic converter level. “We reduced the amount of platinum by 90%, which provides a significant cost reduction. Our fuel cell is not much above the platinum loading of a catalytic converter on a... 

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level
Photo by cH2ange
Daimler fuel cell director Prof Dr Christian Mohrdieck
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