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South America News

Dynasty workers resume activity at Zaruma

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd July 2016 Workers at TSX-listed Dynasty Metals & Mining subsidiary Elipe’s Zaruma mine will return to work and continue mining activities, following an agreement reached this week. In April, an unexpected walkout by workers at the gold mine in Ecuador resulted in the temporary suspension of all activities... 

AngloGold swings to H1 profit amid higher gold price, weaker currencies

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd July 2016 A higher gold price and weaker currencies have contributed to AngloGold Ashanti swinging back into profit for the six months ended June 30. The gold miner, led by CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, expects to report headline earnings of between $87-million and $99-million and headline earnings a... 

AngloGold swings to H1 profit amid higher gold price, weaker currencies
Photo by Duane Daws
AngloGold CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan

‘New class of gold investor’ may emerge amid global uncertainties

By: Dylan Slater     22nd July 2016 The World Gold Council (WGC) believes that an “entirely new class of gold investor” could emerge because of the significant global increase in the interest in gold stocks, following the Brexit vote – the British exit from the European Union (EU). “As a high-quality, liquid asset, we believe gold... 

‘New class of gold investor’ may emerge amid global uncertainties

Soaring DRDGold adds R14bn a year to economy as it turns waste to gold  

By: Martin Creamer     21st July 2016 By taking material that has been dumped as waste and turning it into gold, DRDGold is adding R14-billion worth of value a year to the South African economy and unlocking scarce real estate for gainful development, a visiting media contingent heard on Thursday. “[That is] R14-billion rands worth... 

Soaring DRDGold adds R14bn a year to economy as it turns waste to gold
DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius spells out Ergo’s multi-billion-rand economic contribution to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Darlene Creamer. 21.7.2016

South32 on track to meet FY2017 cost guidance; FY2016 production in line with forecasts

By: Mia Breytenbach     21st July 2016 Diversified major South32 says the completion of restructuring initiatives and the fact that production met or exceeded guidance for the 2016 financial year for the majority of its operations is positioning the company well to achieve its unit cost guidance in the new financial year. Despite a... 

South32 on track to meet FY2017 cost guidance; FY2016 production in line with forecasts
Photo by Bloomberg
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Brazil's Vale expects 2017 iron-ore output to be below forecast

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 Vale SA expects full-year iron-ore output to come in at the lower end of forecasts this year, and below expectations in 2017, a sign the world's No. 1 producer of the raw material is effectively reining in production at low-margin facilities. Iron-ore output was 86.823-million tonnes in the... 

Brazil's Vale expects 2017 iron-ore output to be below forecast

Fresnillo adjusts full year guidance following strong Q2

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st July 2016 Mexico-focused precious metals miner Fresnillo is raising its gold production guidance for the full year to 870 000 oz, following a 19.6% quarter-on-quarter increase in gold production to 218 000 oz for the three months ended June. The company on Wednesday reported a 23% year-on-year increase to... 

Lithium Power International to develop Chile-based project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st July 2016 Pure-play lithium explorer Lithium Power International has entered into a binding and exclusive agreement with Chile-based mineral exploration company Minera Salar Blanco (MSB) to undertake due diligence on the exploration and development of the high-grade Maricunga lithium brine project, in... 

Brazil state could ban dam design used at Samarco mine

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 A Brazilian state law to ban upstream tailings dams, the design used at a dam that collapsed at the Samarco iron ore mine in November, could be approved this year, an environmental official for the state of Minas Gerais told Reuters on Wednesday. Anderson Silva de Aguilar, the subsecretary for... 

Brazil state could ban dam design used at Samarco mine

Anglo ups South African export coal output as diamond, iron-ore volumes fall

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2016 Diversified mining company Anglo American upped South African export coal production in the three months to June 30, which saw local diamond and iron-ore output fall appreciably. While Eskom-related production remained broadly unchanged in the second quarter, export coal production rose 8% to... 

Anglo ups South African export coal output as diamond, iron-ore volumes fall
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo American CE Mark Cutifani

Gold is not all that glisters – diamonds act as hedge for the rich

By: Reuters     20th July 2016 In a packed Christie's auction room in Geneva, one could hear a pin drop as two anonymous bidders slugged it out in their quest to own the world's most exquisite blue diamond. The room in the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues was filled with multi-millionaire collectors and diamond dealers,... 

Vale output expected to tease record levels despite dam disaster

By: Bloomberg     20th July 2016 Vale SA’s relentless expansion is expected to keep the world’s biggest iron-ore miner near record output levels despite the hobbling effects of last year’s Samarco dam burst on its Brazilian operations. The Rio de Janeiro-based miner will report second-quarter output of 86-million metric tons,... 

BHP aims to grow copper, iron-ore, coal volumes in FY17

By: Mariaan Webb     20th July 2016 Diversified mining group BHP Billiton, which narrowly missed its iron-ore production guidance for the 2016 financial year, aims to grow its copper, iron-ore and metallurgical coal production in the next financial year by focusing on improving its productivity. Reporting on the group’s 2016... 

BHP aims to grow copper, iron-ore, coal volumes in FY17
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Gold miners set to relax death grip on spending as caution eases

By: Bloomberg     19th July 2016 With gold prices posting the best first half in almost four decades, the coming round of earnings reports may provide signs miners are preparing to ease their collective death grip on spending. Big producers had focused on deferring projects, curtailing operations and otherwise slashing costs and... 

Gold miners set to relax death grip on spending as caution eases

Colombian Mines soars on $4m Nevada gold property buy

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2016 The TSX-V-listed stock of prospect generator Colombian Mines jumped more than 57.14% on Tuesday, after it struck a purchase option accord with a private equity party for the high-grade Pamlico gold project in Mineral County, Nevada, for $4-million. Colombian Mines said visible gold dominated the... 

Judgment shows courts won’t easily endorse Mining Charter III's blunt arithmetical quotas – Leon

By: Martin Creamer     19th July 2016 Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane would do well to ponder last Friday’s landmark Constitutional Court judgment as he and his department mull public comments on the draft reviewed Mining Charter that he sprung on the South African mining industry in a surprise April gazetting. This is... 

Judgment shows courts won’t easily endorse Mining Charter III's blunt arithmetical quotas – Leon
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills’ Peter Leon,

Zinc climbs to highest in more than a year on shortage worries

By: Bloomberg     19th July 2016 Zinc extended its advance to the highest level in more than a year on concerns over a looming supply deficit. The metal used to galvanize steel rose as much as 1.3% to $2 246 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the highest since May last year, and traded at $2 241 by 3:03 p.m. Shanghai... 

Largo makes vanadium-redox flow battery mark with nonbinding offtake MoU

By: Henry Lazenby     18th July 2016 Canadian vanadium producer Largo Resources has entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for an offtake agreement with Massachusetts-based energy technology firm Vionx Energy. The announcement lifted Largo’s TSX-V-listed stock by more than 4% to C$0.47 apiece on Monday. 

Largo makes vanadium-redox flow battery mark with nonbinding offtake MoU
Photo by Largo Resources
Largo Resources' Maracás Menchen mine, Brazil

Tax Bill throws up royalty surprises as Davis Tax Committee mulls broader mining reforms 

By: Martin Creamer     18th July 2016 The Taxation Laws Amendment Bill released on July 8 contains two surprise amendments to mineral royalty taxation on the eve of the Davis Tax Committee’s next mining tax report, which is expected to provide the royalty regime with much needed certainty. The two amendments proposed in the Bill,... 

Tax Bill throws up royalty surprises as Davis Tax Committee mulls broader mining reforms
KPMG tax head Muhammad Saloojee talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Silver outshines gold with robust H1 performance

By: Simon Rees     15th July 2016 While silver is sometimes called “poor man’s gold”, it has nevertheless outshone the yellow metal’s performance in recent months. Silver reached $20.47/oz on the July 11 London Bullion Market Association fix, a level not seen in almost two years. This was compared with a year-start fix of $14/oz... 

Silver outshines gold with robust H1 performance

Nickel rally to lose strength by year-end; aluminium settles into lower-for-longer pattern

By: Henry Lazenby     15th July 2016 New forecasts by BMI predict nickel prices will rise in the short term, however, the rally will taper off by year-end, as heightened Chinese refined nickel imports and ore supply disruptions from the Philippines buoy prices. However, the Fitch group research firm says positive long-term... 

Nickel rally to lose strength by year-end; aluminium settles into lower-for-longer pattern

Strategic ‘levers’ need to be engaged to ensure miners can successfully emerge from current turmoil – EY

By: Dylan Slater     15th July 2016 Mining companies must move faster to generate cash and strengthen their balance sheets to ensure they can successfully navigate ongoing volatility, a report by EY has shown.  

Strategic ‘levers’ need to be engaged to ensure miners can successfully emerge from current turmoil – EY
PAUL MITCHELL Extracting greater value from existing assets can drive productivity and help mining and metals companies manage risk

Global nickel market deficit widens to over 11 000 t in May – INSG

By: Reuters     15th July 2016 The global nickel market deficit widened to 11 200 t in May, as low prices weighed on refined output from top producer China while demand slowly improved, data from the International Nickel Study Group showed on Friday. But strong yearly production from mines in Indonesia and a revival in output... 

Bet on gold mining companies fuels jackpot for Soros and Calpers

By: Bloomberg     15th July 2016 Owning shares of major gold producers wasn’t very rewarding over the past five years as the plunging price of the metal hurt  profit. But in 2016, the industry has delivered huge returns with relatively little prospect for losses. While mine operators including Barrick Gold Corp. and Yamana Gold... 

Stormy seas hit Chile copper exports, could buoy prices

By: Reuters     15th July 2016 Choppy seas off the coast of Chile caused widespread delays to copper shipments from the world's top producer in the second half of June, potentially supporting prices in a market grappling with oversupply. Cargoes were stranded at ports as stormy weather prevented ships from loading, said miners... 

Fruta del Norte gets government go-ahead for exploitation phase

By: Henry Lazenby     14th July 2016 Canadian project developer Lundin Gold, a member of the Lundin Group of Companies, has received a nod of approval from the Ecuador government to take its Fruta del Norte project into the exploitation phase. The TSX- and OMX-listed miner said the Ecuador government had approved a ‘phase change... 

Brazil prosecutors open criminal probe into Samarco CEO

By: Reuters     14th July 2016 Brazilian federal prosecutors said on Wednesday they opened an investigation into alleged environmental crimes by Roberto Carvalho, CE of iron-ore mining company Samarco Mineração SA, over a deadly damburst last year. According to a statement released by prosecutors, Samarco, a 50:50 joint... 

Samarco unlikely to reopen this year, job cuts planned – BHP Billiton

By: Mariaan Webb     14th July 2016 The Samarco iron-ore operation, in Brazil, was unlikely to reopen this calendar year and the workforce would be adjusted to reflect reduced production, 50%-owner BHP Billiton reported on Thursday. The company, which owned Samarco in a partnership with fellow iron-ore major Vale, reported that... 

Samarco unlikely to reopen this year, job cuts planned – BHP Billiton
A November 2015 photo of the Samarco slimes dam disaster, which killed 19 people.

Peru's Kuczynski wants to relax air standards to spur refining

By: Reuters     14th July 2016 Peru's President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski called Peru's air quality standards "unrealistic" on Wednesday and proposed lowering them to spur investments in smelters that would boost the country's key mineral exports. Kuczynski, a 77-year-old former investment banker who will take office on... 

US challenges China raw material export duties in trade enforcement push

By: Reuters     14th July 2016 The US challenged China's export duties on nine key metals and minerals on Wednesday, arguing that they violate Beijing's commitments to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and give an unfair advantage to Chinese manufacturers. The move came with the Obama administration eager to demonstrate that... 

Copper outlook dim as macroeconomic challenges loom

By: Henry Lazenby     14th July 2016 The copper price is set to dip during the second half of the year, as poor producer discipline, higher output and lower Chinese demand growth combine for a fifth consecutive year of price decline in 2016, according to a new report by market analysts at Thomson Reuters GFMS. Analysts expected... 

Copper outlook dim as macroeconomic challenges loom

Silver jumps 50%, but beware the devil's metal

By: Reuters     13th July 2016 Silver prices have leapt nearly 50% so far this year, reversing three years of losses, but history shows that investors hoping to hop aboard the bandwagon should be wary. A surge in gold and upbeat prices of industrial metals, along with prospects for yet more monetary stimulus from leading... 

Silver jumps 50%, but beware the devil's metal

Iron-ore’s rapid surge prompts Macquarie to sound the alarm

By: Bloomberg     13th July 2016 iron-ore’s rally to a two-month high just prompted Macquarie Group Ltd. to sound the alarm as the bank says gains may be well beyond fundamentals, with abundant supply from miners, inventories stacking up at China’s ports and steel production set to contract. While speculation about stimulus in... 

New SEC ruling eases transparency reporting burden on extractive sector

By: Henry Lazenby     12th July 2016 New rules adopted late in June by issuers reporting under the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) held the promise that oil, gas and mining companies operating in Canada, which file annual transparency reports, might now be able to use that same report to meet new US requirements.... 

Fossil fuel industry risks losing $33tn to climate change

By: Bloomberg     12th July 2016 The fossil fuel industry risks losing $33-trillion in revenue over the next 25 years as global warming may drive companies to leave oil, natural gas and coal in the ground, according to a Barclays Plc energy analyst. Government regulations and other efforts to cut carbon emissions will inevitably... 

Nickel leads metals higher as Goldman sees $12 000 in six months

By: Bloomberg     12th July 2016 Nickel led metals higher, climbing for a third day, as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicted an almost 20% jump in prices in the next six months because of supply cuts in the Philippines, the biggest ore producer. The metal added as much as 1.4% to $10 190 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange... 

Honda codevelops first hybrid car motor free of heavy rare earth metals

By: Reuters     12th July 2016 Honda Motor Co on Tuesday said it has codeveloped the world's first motor for hybrid cars that uses no heavy rare earth metals, a breakthrough that would reduce its dependence on the expensive materials, which are controlled mainly by China. Hybrid vehicles, which combine a gasoline engine and... 

Lithium bubble floats higher as investors ignore dangers

By: Simon Rees     11th July 2016 Lithium is in a bubble and many investors have taken positions in companies with little prospect of achieving a market presence, let alone creating value, Resource Maven newsletter writer Gwen Preston told Mining Weekly Online in a recent interview. “Lithium stocks are in a bubble and many of... 

Lithium bubble floats higher as investors ignore dangers
Photo by Reuters
Lithium stocks are in a bubble and many of them have outperformed the market
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