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South America News

Codelco to raise up to $390m via local bond issue

By: Reuters     Updated 2 hours 22 minutes ago Codelco, Chile's state-run copper producer, is looking to raise up to $390-million from a local bond market issue, it said on Tuesday, for refinancing and investment purposes. Codelco, the world's biggest copper miner, said it would issue the ten-year debt on Thursday. 

Venezuela ordered to pay $2.17bn to Russian junior for 2011 project expropriation

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 6 hours ago The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has been ordered to pay a Russian-owned junior mining company nearly $2.2-billion in compensation and interest for illegally expropriating the company’s assets without compensation in 2011. Following the news, Rusoro Mining’s TSX-V-listed... 

Venezuela ordered to pay $2.17bn to Russian junior for 2011 project expropriation

Brazil's Vale says iron-ore railway down for over 12 hours on Monday

By: Reuters     23rd August 2016 Brazilian mining company Vale said on Tuesday that its most important railway, used to transport iron ore from its Carajas mine in the Amazon, stopped operating for over 12 hours on Monday due to a land protest on the line. Operations were interrupted between 6:30 am and 6:50 pm local time, the... 

Executives believe they can survive lower metals outlook – KPMG

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd August 2016 Fewer than half of senior metals executives responding to KPMG International’s 2016 Global Metals & Mining Outlook survey voiced any level of confidence in the prospects for the global economy over the next two years. This was particularly concerning given the tight relationship between the... 

Entrepreneurs pursuing gold dump projects, ‘pennyweight’ opportunities at depth 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd August 2016 Fresh from developing seven superb gold projects in Africa, mining project company DRA is excited about new gold project opportunities opening up in South Africa, where its sees much potential in gold tailings retreatment and also in underground gold deposits that are still rated in the... 

Entrepreneurs pursuing gold dump projects, ‘pennyweight’ opportunities at depth
DRA global executive process Glenn Bezuidenhout outlines gold project potential to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd.

Old rings are treasure as gold rally revives scrap recycling

By: Bloomberg     23rd August 2016 The surprising rebound in gold prices this year has given new life to unwanted jewelry, coins and trinkets – in the melting pot. More than a third of the world’s bullion supply usually comes from recycled metal, but purchases at pawn shops and cash-for-gold companies had slowed during a... 

Eldorado diversifies exploration portfolio

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd August 2016 Canadian gold producer Eldorado Gold has added four new exploration properties located in Romania, Serbia and Brazil to its portfolio, the miner said on Monday. Eldorado VP of of exploration Peter Lewis said the company was excited by the addition of the projects, since they all included defined... 

Gold mining not spending enough to sustain industry into future – Holland

By: Martin Creamer     22nd August 2016 The gold mining industry is not spending enough to sustain the industry into the future. Slowed primary gold supply growth is making a case for the belief that the industry may be close to hitting a peak in production amid slower exploration spend and a virtual halt to new projects. 

Gold mining not spending enough to sustain industry into future – Holland
Photo by Duane Daws
Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland

Glencore ‘vindicated’ on zinc supply cuts, Morgan Stanley says

By: Bloomberg     22nd August 2016 Glencore’s decision to cut zinc output to fight a rout in prices last year has been vindicated as the metal has rallied in 2016, according to Morgan Stanley, which held out the possibility that the commodity trader may order restarts. “It turns out, cutting/waiting was a good plan,” Morgan... 

Glencore ‘vindicated’ on zinc supply cuts, Morgan Stanley says
Photo by Duane Daws
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

CIC said to pursue $9-billion Vale iron-ore streaming deal

By: Bloomberg     20th August 2016 China Investment Corp (CIC), the $814-billion sovereign fund, is leading a Chinese investor group in talks for a multibillion-dollar iron-ore streaming deal with Brazil’s Vale, people familiar with the matter said. The consortium is negotiating the potential purchase of a portion of Vale’s... 

CIC said to pursue $9-billion Vale iron-ore streaming deal

Moody’s restates Barrick’s Baa3 rating and revises outlook to stable

By: Henry Lazenby     19th August 2016 Credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has confirmed the Baa3 ratings of the world’s largest gold producer by volume Barrick Gold and revised the ratings outlook to stable from negative. "The outlook revision to stable reflects Barrick's reducing leverage and management's commitment to... 

Rally in mining’s super commodity strained by race to fuel Tesla

By: Bloomberg     19th August 2016 Even the mining industry’s super commodity of the future may be unable to avoid the Achilles heel of all mineral producers – a recurring habit of busting a boom with too much supply. As miners of everything from copper to iron ore wrestled with losses driven by global surpluses, prices soared for... 

Chile economy shrinks in second quarter from first as mining falls

By: Reuters     19th August 2016 Chile's gross domestic product shrunk by 0.4% in the second quarter of 2016 from the first quarter, as mining in the world's biggest copper exporter contracted, the central bank said on Thursday. The fall was the first contraction from one quarter to the next since early 2010, when Chile was hit... 

Caterpillar to cut nearly 200 jobs as it seeks alternatives for certain underground products

By: Henry Lazenby     19th August 2016 In dealing with the longest down cycle in its 90-year history, US mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is pursuing strategic alternatives for its room-and-pillar products and discontinuing the manufacture of track drills. The Peoria, Illinois-based company said Thursday it would forthwith... 

Rising uptake of vanadium-based batteries bodes well for market as price turns a corner 

By: Henry Lazenby     18th August 2016 A more than 40% increase in the price of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) since December lows is invigorating the industry, just as it is poised to see significant new demand for the steel-strengthening ingredient coming from the increasing adoption of vanadium-redox flow batteries (VRBs). The commodity... 

Rising uptake of vanadium-based batteries bodes well for market as price turns a corner
Photo by Largo Resources
Vanadium from Largo Resources' Maracas Menchen vanadium mine, in Brazil

Austral to start trading on TSX-V next week

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th August 2016 Australia-based Austral Gold has received final approval from the TSX-V to list its shares, announcing on Thursday that it would start trading on the Canadian exchange on August 22, under the symbol ‘AAM’. Trading on the TSX-V is expected to facilitate Austral’s access to a broader range of... 

Three-decade iron-ore veteran says 2017 to bring challenges

By: Bloomberg     18th August 2016 Iron-ore strayed well off-script in 2016 as a rally surprised the bears. Michael Zhu, former global sales director at Vale SA, says the commodity will probably face a tough year in 2017 as supply keeps on expanding while China’s steelmakers struggle to sustain output at current levels. “I’m not... 

Three-decade iron-ore veteran says 2017 to bring challenges

Poland's KGHM H1 net below forecasts on foreign asset losses

By: Reuters     17th August 2016 Poland's KGHM on Wednesday reported a bigger-than-expected fall in net profit in the first half of 2016 on the back of losses on its foreign assets, driven by rising costs and falling copper prices. The State-run miner, which is Europe's No 2 copper producer, reported a 75% fall in its... 

DRA enjoying rise in gold project share, eyeing more gold opportunities 

By: Martin Creamer     17th August 2016 Mining project house DRA, which has hit the gold project high spots in particularly West Africa, is now well poised to extend that gold triumph further into Central Africa, East Africa and also South Africa. DRA’s impressive penetration of the gold project market has been characterised by... 

DRA enjoying rise in gold project share, eyeing more gold opportunities
DRA MD Johann de Bruin talks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer on the company’s project successes in gold. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd.

PepinNini proceeds with lithium exploration in Argentina

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th August 2016 Field exploration activity at three of diversified exploration company PepinNini Minerals’ eight mining leases (mina) at its Salta lithium project, in the Salta province of Argentina, has started. The ASX-listed company reported on Wednesday that it had established an exploration team based in... 

Biggest miners’ project spending reboot signals rebound firming

By: Bloomberg     17th August 2016 The world’s two largest mining companies are planning to raise capital expenditure from decade lows as a firming rebound in commodity prices paves the way for at least $12-billion of growth projects. BHP Billiton Ltd., the No. 1 miner, expects to raise spending by 15% in fiscal 2018, while Rio... 

Maduro says Venezuela signs $4.5bn in deals that include Canadian and US miners

By: Reuters     17th August 2016 President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday that Venezuela had struck $4.5-billion in mining deals with foreign and domestic companies, part of plan to lift the OPEC nation's economy out of a deep recession causing food shortages and social unrest. Maduro said the deals were with Canadian, South... 

Antofagasta reports 3% drop in H1 profit; copper headwinds to persist until 2018

By: Henry Lazenby     16th August 2016 London-listed base metals miner Antofagasta has reported a 3% decline in profit for the six months ended June, despite a 24.7% reduction in operating costs offsetting the decline in the copper price and lower sales volumes, the miner said Tuesday. Antofagasta reported a net profit of... 

Zinc deficit looms, prices up, but output restarts unlikely

By: Reuters     16th August 2016 Zinc's sharp rally and looming market deficit has fed speculation that major producers such as Glencore may reverse output cuts, but analysts caution that is unlikely to happen soon. Only when stocks of concentrate and metal sink to levels where higher prices can be sustained will large producers... 

Chinese housing market to impact on minerals, metals prices

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th August 2016 Still-low metal prices will stabilise this year, edging gradually higher thereafter, as dollar strength and strong production growth begins to wane and provide a base to metal prices, analysis firm BMI Research said in its Commodities Outlook report on Tuesday. It added that it did not expect a... 

BHP plunges into the red with $6.4bn loss

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th August 2016 One of the world’s largest mining companies, BHP Billiton, has posted a $6.4-billion full-year loss on weaker commodity prices, offshore US asset impairments and the Samarco dam failure. Speaking to journalists during a global conference call on Tuesday, CEO Andrew Mackenzie said the  financial... 

BHP plunges into the red with $6.4bn loss
Photo by Bloomberg
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Citigroup sees no ‘significant wave’ of copper supply looming

By: Bloomberg     16th August 2016 The world is not about to be swamped by copper, according to Citigroup Inc. Growth in supply will fall significantly short of demand through 2020, tempering the bearish sentiment that’s made copper the worst-performing metal this year. Global copper mine supply will be one-million metric tons a... 

Citigroup sees no ‘significant wave’ of copper supply looming

Iron-ore seen back at $40 by Morgan Stanley as seasons shift

By: Bloomberg     16th August 2016 Iron-ore’s 2016 rally may be about to face a challenge from the changing of the seasons. Morgan Stanley has forecast that prices may tumble back to $40 a metric ton this half as the approach of winter in China typically blunts steel demand and output. “Our short-term forecast still features a... 

Protesters in Peru block key road to Las Bambas copper mine

By: Reuters     16th August 2016 Residents of Andean communities in Peru have blocked a key road to MMG's Las Bambas copper mine for the past week, forcing the Chinese-owned company to use an alternate route, the country's ombudsman's office said on Monday. The residents say the road passes through their lands and want the... 

Cash-strapped Nautilus to lay off workers, cancel contracts for delayed Solwara 1 

By: Henry Lazenby     16th August 2016 Despite having $51.3-million in its coffers as at the end of June, marine mining pioneer Nautilus Minerals on Monday announced that it would implement several measures aimed at preserving the company’s capital position while it seeks to secure further project financing. The TSX-listed company... 

Cash-strapped Nautilus to lay off workers, cancel contracts for delayed Solwara 1

Alrosa recovers 136.24 ct diamond in Russia

By: Henry Lazenby     15th August 2016 Russian mining major Alrosa has recovered a formidable 136.24 ct diamond from the Nyurbinskaya kimberlite pipe, in Yakutia, Russia, the company revealed on Monday. The gem-quality rough diamond, which is classified as a 3 Black Makeable 1 Сolour, measured 29.32 × 23.88 × 21.9 mm and wis one of... 

Illegal miner progress at Obuasi ‘frustratingly slow’ – AngloGold  

By: Martin Creamer     15th August 2016 The occupation by illegal miners of part of the Obuasi gold mine, in Ghana, is slowing the feasibility work AngloGold Ashanti is undertaking for the modernisation of the troubled operation. Obuasi’s first half of 2016 has been dominated by the incursion of illegal miners on to the operating area,... 

Illegal miner progress at Obuasi ‘frustratingly slow’ – AngloGold
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat) talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Revolutionary gold-mining machine making progress – AngloGold 

By: Martin Creamer     15th August 2016 The innovative Mark IV high-technology machine that AngloGold Ashanti is developing to improve the economics of gold mining in South Africa’s low-height, hard-rock reef is continuing to make progress, AngloGold COO South Africa Chris Sheppard said on Monday. Speaking at Monday’s presentation of... 

Revolutionary gold-mining machine making progress – AngloGold
AngloGold Ashanti COO South Africa Chris Sheppard talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Mining stocks rally postpones industry revamp

By: Reuters     15th August 2016 Investors in mining stocks could face years of weak returns as a rally in share and industrial metals prices eases pressure on companies to restructure and curb oversupply. The mining sector is known for over-investment in boom times and crashes when demand weakens as economies slow, but many... 

Glencore begins arbitration against Bolivia over mine nationalisation

By: Reuters     15th August 2016 Swiss-based mining and trading firm Glencore said it would begin arbitration proceedings against Bolivia over the nationalisation of some of its assets by the Evo Morales government. "Glencore's objective has always been to settle the dispute with the government of Bolivia amicably," the company... 

Stalled BHP-Vale mine said seeking waiver on bank repayments

By: Bloomberg     13th August 2016 Brazilian miner Samarco is seeking a standstill agreement on about $1.6-billion in bank loans as its owners BHP Billiton and Vale refuse to cover debt payments, people with knowledge of the matter said. The iron-ore venture, whose operations were halted last year after a dam spill, is asking... 

Stalled BHP-Vale mine said seeking waiver on bank repayments
Photo by Reuters
A view of the Samarco mine, owned by Vale and BHP Billiton, in Mariana, Brazil

B2Gold launches $100m at-the-market offering

By: Henry Lazenby     13th August 2016 Canadian midtier gold producer B2Gold announced on Friday that it would distribute an at-the-market offering of $100-million worth of common shares from time to time through designated broker-dealers at prevailing market prices. The news resulted in the fast-growing Vancouver-based miner’s... 

Mining machines maker Komatsu enters underground market with $3.7m Joy Global bid

By: Henry Lazenby     12th August 2016 The board of Japanese mining equipment manufacturer Komatsu has given the green light for the firm to make its biggest-ever acquisition by buying its rival, Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Joy Global, in a bid valued at $3.7-billion, the company announced Friday. Komatsu has signed a $2.89-billion... 

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