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Copper trains ransacked by 'moles' in full-moon desert heists

By: Bloomberg     13th July 2018 On nights lit by a full moon, thieves leap from trucks onto trains as they roll through Chile’s Atacama desert, before throwing 80-kg slabs of copper to the ground and disappearing into the dark. It’s a tactic known as “the cat” and the robbers are “moles” because no one knows where they come... 

Ecuador attracting mining interest, political risks weigh on Latin America outlook

By: Mariaan Webb     12th July 2018 The South American country of Ecuador is attracting interest among foreign mining companies, as a low-risk, high-reward market, where government remains supportive of mining, despite the February referendum restricting mining in protected areas. Market intelligence firm BMI, which publishes a... 

Foreign-backed miner drops lawsuit against Chile for control of lithium deposit

By: Reuters     10th July 2018 Foreign-backed miner Salar Blanco, which is 50%-owned by Lithium Power International, has dropped its lawsuit against Chile to block state-run Codelco from exploiting a lithium deposit where both have claims, the Australian-listed smallcap announced. Lithium Power International said that... 

Company expands South American service offering

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     6th July 2018 As part of its coordinated international strategy, minerals processing specialist Multotec is establishing a joint venture (JV) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, which will enhance its presence in the South American region, says Multotec screening media VP Roy Roche. He tells Mining Weekly that the... 

Cumbre will drive investment, collaboration in Latin America

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     6th July 2018 The focus of this year’s Investing in LatAm Mining Cumbre, one of the world’s largest mining investment conferences run by the same team behind the Investing in African Mining Indaba, is to drive increased investment and collaboration in Latin American mining, says content developer and... 

First-quarter global copper production up 7.1%

By: Nadine James     6th July 2018 Global mined copper production is estimated to have increased by 7.1% in the first quarter of 2018, with concentrate production rising by 7% and solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) by 7.3%, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) reported in its Copper Bulletin, last month. The ICSG... 

Glacier-protection Bill dropped in Chile and miners applaud

By: Bloomberg     3rd July 2018 Chile’s mining industry is cheering a decision to drop a glacier-protection bill, saying the proposed rules were conceived to thwart mineral extraction. One academic says the move imperils glacial networks. Environmental Minister Marcela Cubillos requested the withdrawal of the bill from the... 

More boardroom diversity means less in C-suite, Lucara CEO says

By: Bloomberg     21st June 2018 The push by mining companies to attract more women to their boardrooms may be short-sighted as top female candidates are diverted from senior executive jobs, according to the head of Lucara Diamond Corp. “There’s such a push for diversity on boards, and young women are really being encouraged to... 

Copper veteran has unfinished business at biggest openpit

By: Bloomberg     13th June 2018 Nelson Pizarro wants to remain at the helm of the world’s biggest copper company until he can cut the ribbon on a project to convert its flagship pit into a giant underground mine. He’s been in mining for most of his 77 years, with the last four spent guiding state-owned Codelco through a... 

Copper giant's cost crusade imperiled by wage largess of peers

By: Bloomberg     13th June 2018 Generous wage concessions made by private-sector copper producers to avoid strikes in Chile are emboldening unions at Codelco, undermining efforts by the state-owned behemoth to contain costs. That’s the view of CEO Nelson Pizarro, whose focus on costs in a five-decade mining career earned him... 

Codelco retains CEO Nelson Pizarro at helm of world's top copper producer

By: Reuters     1st June 2018 Chile's Codelco, the world's top copper producer, said on Thursday its board of directors asked CEO Nelson Pizarro to stay at the helm and move forward with an ambitious, ten-year overhaul of its sprawling but aging mines. The board made the decision to retain Pizarro in its first meeting since... 

Copper king pushes gender diversity – with an all-male board

By: Bloomberg     28th May 2018 As it battles to remain the world’s biggest copper producer, Codelco just achieved a new, less enviable mantle – the only major mining company with an all-male board and senior management team. On Friday, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera tapped executive Juan Benavides to be chairman of the... 

Chile's Pinera taps businessman Benavides as Codelco chair

By: Reuters     25th May 2018 Chilean President Sebastian Pinera named Juan Benavides, a former CEO of Chile retail leader Falabella, as chairperson of the board of directors at Codelco, the world's top copper producer, the government said on Friday. Benavides was currently serving as chairman at Chilean private pension fund... 

Chile's Codelco posts first quarter pre-tax profit of $537m

By: Reuters     25th May 2018 Chilean state copper company Codelco reported on Friday first quarter pre-tax profits of $537-million, a slight increase over the previous year, even as ore grades continued to decline at the miner's aging deposits. The world´s top copper miner produced 446 300 t of copper in the first quarter,... 

Chile high court declines to weigh in on lithium spat at Maricunga

By: Reuters     24th May 2018 Chile's constitutional court said it would not get involved in a dispute between a foreign-backed miner and state-run copper miner Codelco over adjoining lithium deposits in the Maricunga salt flat, according to a court document seen by Reuters on Wednesday. Salar Blanco, 50%-owned by... 

Private firm takes on Codelco for control of Chile lithium deposit

By: Reuters     15th May 2018 A foreign-backed miner has sued Chile to block state-run Codelco from exploiting a lithium deposit where both have claims, according to a lawsuit filed in March that will be carefully watched by potential investors being courted by the country's new government. The little-known and remote... 

Chile copper output up 18.9% in first quarter 2018 – Cochilco

By: Reuters     9th May 2018 Chile's copper production increased 18.9% in the first quarter of 2018 from the same period a year earlier, Chilean copper commission Cochilco said on Tuesday. Production this year was boosted by a low basis for comparison following an historic strike last year at BHP's Escondida copper mine, the... 

Private firm takes on Codelco for control of Chile lithium deposit

By: Reuters     9th May 2018 A foreign-backed miner has sued Chile to block State-run Codelco from exploiting a lithium deposit where both have claims, according to a lawsuit filed in March that will be carefully watched by potential investors being courted by the country's new government. The little-known and remote... 

Relations sour at giant copper pit with automation looming

By: Bloomberg     19th April 2018 Just as labour tensions ease at BHP Billiton’s giant Escondida mine, the copper industry has another iconic mine to worry about. Relations between the world’s largest copper producer, Codelco, and unions in its Chuquicamata division have reached the lowest point in years as the mine transitions... 

Miners urge new Chile government to give exploration a boost

By: Reuters     12th April 2018 Copper mining industry leaders meeting in Santiago this week called on Chile's month-old government to open up exploration or risk losing investment as companies hunt elsewhere for new projects. Chile produces around a third of the world's copper, making it by far the biggest exporter of the... 

Revitalised demand growth to buttress molybdenum prices

By: Reuters     4th April 2018 Healthy demand for molybdenum rich stainless steel, especially from the oil and gas industry, plus sluggish supply growth are expected to keep the price of this minor metal riding high. Molybdenum prices at nearly $13/lb are at their highest since 2014, having more than doubled since December 2015. 

Chilean miner Codelco says copper output, profit jumped in 2017

By: Reuters     30th March 2018 Chile's state copper company Codelco said on Thursday it produced 1.73-million tonnes of copper in 2017, its second highest output ever, despite persistently low ore grades at its aging mines. The world's top copper miner posted a 2017 pre-tax profit of $2.88-billion, a six-fold increase over... 

Codelco reaches agreement with professionals at Ministro Hales mine

By: Reuters     23rd March 2018 Chile's state copper miner Codelco said on Thursday it had reached an agreement with the professionals' union at its Ministro Hales mine, in northern Chile, following early talks on a new collective labour contract. The 36-month contract, which includes a signing bonus of 7.1-million pesos ($11... 

Global copper deficit widens 21% in 2017 as refined supplies stagnate

By: Henry Lazenby     21st March 2018 The latest data from the Lisbon, Portugal-based International Copper Study Group (ICSG) points to a 21% year-on-year widening in the global deficit of refined copper, as refined supplies remain stagnant. During 2017, the global refined copper balance slid to a deficit of 163 000 t of red metal,... 

Relaxed export, production quotas an 'inflection point' for Chile's lithium industry

By: Henry Lazenby     16th March 2018 In the days following conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera being sworn in as president of Chile for a second term on Sunday, the new government is signalling a more relaxed approach to the hot-button issue of lithium production and exports. This week's announcement that the Chilean Nuclear... 

As copper booms, miners take hunt to Mongolian dunes

By: Reuters     13th March 2018 When temperatures rise and winds drop in the coming weeks, a band of explorers will hunt for copper riches in Mongolia's Gobi Desert. For years Rio Tinto has been the sole international copper mine operator in Mongolia, bound closely to a country where it has bet billions of dollars on the giant... 

Chile's Codelco inks deal on Ecuador copper project

By: Reuters     11th March 2018 Chile's State-run mining company Codelco, the world's largest copper miner, signed a deal with Ecuador on Saturday for joint development of the Llurimagua copper project near Quito. The project could become the first mine Codelco operates abroad following years of efforts to expand... 

Chile says companies to invest $754m in lithium industry

By: Reuters     10th March 2018 Chile's development agency Corfo said on Friday that companies from China and South Korea, as well as Chile, had been approved to make investments of around $754-million in the red-hot lithium industry. The companies selected in a bidding process to develop technology focused on the lithium... 

Aurubis still on lookout for acquisitions – CEO

By: Reuters     1st March 2018 Aurubis, Europe's biggest copper smelter, is still on the lookout for acquisitions, its CE said on Thursday. "We want to, in addition to internal growth, also strengthen by reasonable acquisitions," Juergen Schachler said in an advanced release of a speech to the company’s meeting of shareholders. 

World refined copper deficit widens to 195 000 t – ICSG

By: Henry Lazenby     21st February 2018 The global refined copper balance for the first eleven months of 2017 indicates a deficit of about 195 000 t, some 27% wider than at the same time a year earlier, the latest data from the Lisbon-based International Copper Study Group (ICSG) shows. The think tank attributed the widening deficit to... 

Komatsu celebrates 10th anniversary of commercial deployment of Autonomous Haulage System (AHS):100-AHS-trucks-in-operation milestone inspires plans to accelerate pace of mining automation

1st February 2018 Komatsu Ltd (President and CEO: Tetsuji Ohashi) (hereafter “Komatsu”) today announced the company is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the commercial deployment of its Autonomous Haulage System (hereafter “AHS”). Today, more than 100 AHS trucks operate in Australia, North and South America.... 

Codelco gets approval for revised El Teniente buildout

By: Henry Lazenby     26th January 2018 Chilean State-owned copper miner Codelco has received environmental approval to implement a revised expansion plan at its El Teniente mine, which contributes the most copper to the miner's production profile. Codelco advised on Thursday that, despite the expansion project currently being executed... 

Copper production declined in first ten months of 2017 – ICSG

By: Schalk Burger     23rd January 2018 Worldwide copper mine production declined 2.6% in the ten months to October 2017, while concentrate production declined by 2.2% and production through solvent extraction-electrowinning declined by 4.3% in the same period, according to the intergovernmental copper body The International Copper... 

Chile's Corfo, SQM strike deal in lithium dispute

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 Chilean development agency Corfo said on Wednesday that it had struck a deal with lithium company SQM, ending a long dispute over royalties in Chile's Salar de Atacama, home to one of the world's richest lithium deposits. The deal frees the miner to apply for an increase in its production quota... 

Codelco to amend Andina mine plan to avoid glaciers

By: Henry Lazenby     10th January 2018 The world’s largest copper producer, Chile’s State-run Codelco, has submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) to local authorities proposing a $250-million buildout designed to reduce the impact of glaciers at the large openpit operation. Located about 80 km northeast of Santiago in... 

Global copper deficit grows to 181 000 t during first three quarters of 2017

By: Henry Lazenby     21st December 2017 The global copper supply deficit has grown to 181 000 t during the first three quarters of 2017. According to the latest assessment conducted by the Lisbon, Portugal-based International Copper Study Group (ICSG), stagnant refined copper supplies, in combination with strong Chinese apparent usage... 

Codelco reports strong Q3 profit as lower costs offset falling grades

By: Henry Lazenby     24th November 2017 The world’s largest copper producer, Chilean State-owned miner Codelco, has reported a strong third-quarter net profit of $1.6-billion, an improvement of more than three times on the loss posted for the same period a year earlier. Executive president Nelson Pizarro attributed the strong... 

Copper's big meh shows Chile's commodity crown is slipping

By: Bloomberg     21st November 2017 There was a time when a sneeze in Santiago would cause the global copper market to catch a cold. Not any more. The first round of Chilean presidential elections Sunday delivered a surprisingly weak result to frontrunner Sebastian Pinera, a conservative billionaire running on a fiscal... 

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