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Freeport earns into project near Codelco's Chuquicamata

By: Mariaan Webb     18th October 2018 Base metals junior Solaris Copper, which was recently spun out of Equinox Gold, reported on Thursday that US miner Freeport McMoRan would earn up to 80% in its early stage Ricardo property, in Chile. Freeport would be required to incur gross expenditures of $130-million or $30-million plus the... 

Freeport CEO may be ready to sell, but does anyone want to buy?

By: Bloomberg     17th October 2018 Freeport-McMoRan’s annual LME Week party is usually an opportunity for CEO Richard Adkerson to hobnob with the traders and consumers who buy copper from his mining company. At this year’s event, he was surrounded by investment bankers. With its biggest stock overhang – a deal around its... 

Chile's State copper firm outlines lifeline plan for Salvador mine

By: Reuters     17th October 2018 Chile's State copper miner, Codelco, has submitted an environmental impact assessment of its plans to overhaul its aging Salvador deposit that would sharply increase its production and extend its life by 40 years. The Rajo Inca project would convert the existing mine, which has been in operation... 

Codelco faces smelter disruptions in struggle to meet standards

By: Bloomberg     15th October 2018 Codelco plans to suspend operations at two of its four smelters for several weeks as the world’s largest copper producer falls behind schedule in complying with tougher emission rules in Chile by mid-December. Smelters at the Chuquicamata and Salvador mines will be halted for 75 days and 45... 

Chile studying possible lithium trade on LME

By: Reuters     11th October 2018 Chile has called for lithium to be traded on the London Metals Exchange to provide greater "clarity" about its value, Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica said on Wednesday. At present, lithium producers negotiate contracts with buyers but the terms of the deals are not made public. Critics say this... 

Codelco plans to raise $1bn in 2019

By: Reuters     10th October 2018 Chile's State-owned miner Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, plans to raise up to $1-billion next year to help finance the overhaul of its existing mines, chairperson Juan Benavides said on Tuesday. Benavides also said the company was looking at exploration projects in Brazil, Ecuador... 

Foreign-backed miner hopes to begin Chilean lithium project in 2020

By: Reuters     28th September 2018 Foreign-backed Salar Blanco expects to begin construction on its lithium mining project at the beginning of 2020 in Chile's north, once its environmental permit is approved by the government. The approval process for the necessary environmental permit for the initiative, which includes an... 

Chilean copper miner Codelco halts Ventanas furnaces over gas levels

By: Reuters     4th September 2018 Chilean State miner Codelco halted the operations of three out of four furnaces at its Ventanas copper foundry on Monday morning after high levels of sulphur dioxide were detected, it said in a statement. Codelco said levels of the gas went 20% over the accepted limit for five minutes, prompting... 

Orosur in ‘difficult’ financial position, shuts Uruguay mine

By: Mariaan Webb     30th August 2018 Dual-listed Orosur Mining has swung to a pretax loss of $27.18-million in the 2018 financial year, as the closing down of its operations in Uruguay, following lower-than-expected grades at its San Gregorio (SG) underground mine, put the company in a “difficult” financial position. The loss... 

Global copper mine production up 5.7% in first five months of 2018 – ICSG

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st August 2018 The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) says global mine production of copper in the first five months of this year increased by 5.7% year-on-year to about 450 000 t, while concentrate production increased by 5.5% year-on-year and solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) increased by 6%... 

Most unions at Chile's El Teniente copper mine accept contract

By: Reuters     10th August 2018 Four of the five labor unions representing workers at the El Teniente copper mine in Chile have accepted the latest contract offer from state mining company Codelco, union leaders told Reuters. "The contract was approved by an ample margin after the company improved its offer," said Guillermo... 

Humiliated for years, women are fighting back in mines of Chile

By: Bloomberg     8th August 2018 he first time Karen Requena entered the cafeteria at BHP Billiton’s massive Escondida mining operation in northern Chile, she couldn’t help feeling countless eyes fixed on her body as she walked across the vast hall. “It can’t get worse than that,” she thought. Then as Requena looked for a place... 

Union official at Chile's Escondida mine predicts 'overwhelming' vote against BHP offer

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 The union at BHP's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's largest copper mine, is expected to overwhelmingly reject the final contract offer from the Anglo-Australian miner, increasing the likelihood of a strike, a union leader told Reuters on Monday. Union members have until Wednesday to finish... 

Workers at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile walk off job

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Workers at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile, the state miner's second largest by output, walked off the job on Monday morning in protest at the "unjustified layoff" of two workers, union leaders told Reuters. Chuquicamata Union No. 1, 2, and 3, as well as Antofagasta Union No. 1... 

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,... 

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