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Union for Chilean mine Caserones accepts revised contract, averting strike

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 The main union for Chilean mine Caserones has accepted a revised contractual offer from the copper company, which averted the threat of a strike, according to an internal memo sent to workers early on Friday. An agreement between the union and the mining company, controlled by JX Holding and... 

Battery boom spurs quest to resurrect World War II cobalt mines

By: Bloomberg     15th August 2018 The giant rocky outcrop known by locals as La Cobaltera offers a glimpse into northern Chile’s mining past, and a hint of its future. Slag from an ancient furnace is piled at the entrance of a mine shaft that hasn’t seen commercial activity since World War II. Inside, eucalyptus posts still... 

China's Ganfeng buys SQM's stake in lithium project for $87.5m

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 Chile's SQM, one of the world's largest lithium producers, said on Monday that it agreed to sell its 50% stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz project in Argentina to China's Ganfeng Lithium for $87.5-million. The deal also stipulates that Ganfeng will pay SQM an additional $50-million if the project's... 

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... 

SQM says to overtake Albemarle as world's top lithium producer by 2022

By: Reuters     9th August 2018 Chilean miner SQM said on Wednesday it would overtake competitor Albemarle as the world's top producer of lithium by 2022, boosting its production capacity that year to 28% of the world's total versus the US-based Albemarle's 16%. SQM Vice President Daniel Jimenez said in a presentation at a... 

Teck gets approval to expand Quebrada Blanca mine in Chile

By: Reuters     9th August 2018 Teck Resources said on Wednesday it had received regulatory approval for its $4.8-billion Phase 2 project at its Quebrada Blanca copper mine in northern Chile, a sprawling expansion that will boost production from the deposit to 300 000 t/y of copper. The environmental approvals will allow the... 

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... 

Chile lithium exports more than double in July from previous year

By: Reuters     7th August 2018 Chile's exports of lithium carbonate reached $85-million in July, more than double that of the same month the previous year, as demand and prices for the key component in electric vehicle batteries continues to rise, the central bank said on Tuesday. The value of exports of the metal from Chile,... 

BHP asks for government mediation in talks at Chile's Escondida

By: Reuters     7th August 2018 Miner BHP said on Monday that it had formally requested a period of government mediation with the union at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, prompting the union to postpone the start of a strike approved by workers. The two parties will meet, together with a government... 

Union at Chile's Escondida sets deadline for negotiations ahead of strike

By: Reuters     6th August 2018 The union at BHP 's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, has told the company it should prove its willingness to negotiate by Monday morning if seeks to strike a deal with workers ahead of a pending strike, according to an internal union communication obtained by Reuters.... 

Chilean workers vote to strike at world's biggest copper mine

By: Reuters     2nd August 2018 Workers at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, have voted to reject a company wage offer and go on strike, according to a communique sent to Reuters on Thursday. A total of 2 330 members voted on strike action, with 1 955 supporting it and 370 accepting the... 

Chile says lithium miner Albemarle slow to respond on contract details

By: Reuters     31st July 2018 Chile's government said on Monday that lithium miner Albemarle had been slow to respond to the government's requests for information about a contract the US-based miner signed with the South American country in 2016. The contract allows Albemarle to produce lithium on land owned by the Chilean... 

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... 

Escondida mine workers reject labour offer, to vote on strike

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Workers at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, have rejected the company's final contract offer and agreed to vote on whether to go on strike, according to an internal union document seen by Reuters on Friday. After several meetings in recent days, the workers at the mine owned... 

C-suite moves rock lithium as industry expands in battery boom

By: Bloomberg     29th July 2018 Unexpected leadership changes within a day at the world’s two largest lithium producers underscore concerns over a lack of executive experience in the industry amid a nascent boom for the battery metal. On Wednesday, Albemarle announced the replacement of its lithium president John Mitchell, who... 

Part-owner of Chile lithium producer SQM sells $275m bond

By: Reuters     29th July 2018 Chile's Pampa Calichera, one of the companies through which businessman Julio Ponce holds his ownership stake in lithium producer SQM, said it sold bonds in the local market on Friday for the equivalent of $275-million. The bond had an annual interest rate of 4.5% and a duration of 15 years,... 

Chile's SQM seeks approval for $450m lithium plant expansion

By: Reuters     18th July 2018 Chilean miner SQM on Wednesday began the process of seeking government approval for a $450-million expansion of its lithium carbonate plant, which could more than double its production as demand rises for the key element in the manufacturing of batteries. SQM said in an environmental impact... 

First Majestic production hits record, 2018 production guidance hiked

By: Simone Liedtke     17th July 2018 Total production from dual-listed First Majestic’s seven operating silver mines reached a new company record of 5.1-million ounces of silver equivalent in the second quarter, comprising 2.8-million ounces of silver, 25 449 oz of gold, 3.9-million pounds of lead and 1.4-million pounds of zinc. The... 

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... 

BHP makes contract offer to union at Escondida mine in Chile

By: Reuters     12th July 2018 BHP Billiton handed in a proposal for a new labor contract to the union at its Escondida copper mine in Chile that includes a salary readjustment linked to inflation and a $23 000 bonus per worker, the company said on Wednesday. The offer falls short of fulfilling some of the demands laid out... 

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... 

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... 

Codelco says unions at Salvador mine reject early wage deal

By: Reuters     25th June 2018 Chile's Codelco, the world's top copper miner, said late on Friday evening that workers' unions at its small Salvador copper division had rejected an early wage deal from the company, pushing off further negotiations until later this year when its contract expires. The State-run miner said... 

Chile's SQM decides not to hire ex-chair Ponce as adviser

By: Reuters     25th June 2018 Chile lithium miner SQM said on Friday it had decided against hiring former chairman Julio Ponce as an adviser, reversing a decision that had sparked criticism from politicians and Chile's business community. SQM announced plans to hire Ponce earlier in June, just months after the miner inked a... 

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... 

Chile anti-trust regulator to probe Tianqi purchase of SQM stake

By: Reuters     16th June 2018 Chile's anti-trust regulator FNE said on Friday it would open an investigation into the effects on the market of China's Tianqi purchase last month of a 24% stake in SQM, one of the world's top lithium producers. Chile's government under former President Michelle Bachelet in March filed a... 

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... 

Chile creates committee to oversee lithium contracts

By: Reuters     12th June 2018 Chile's government said on Monday it was creating a committee to supervise lithium contracts the state has with local miner SQM and US-based Albemarle Corp, deals that are key to positioning the country as a top producer of the white metal. The committee will aim to ensure concession agreements... 

BHP, union at Chile's Spence copper mine reach labour agreement

By: Reuters     12th June 2018 Unionised workers at BHP's Spence copper mine in northern Chile agreed on Monday to a new collective labor contract, the company and the union said. The deal comes as the Anglo-Australian miner begins talks with the nearly 2 500-member union at its Escondida copper mine in northern Chile, the... 

Workers at BHP's Spence copper mine in Chile approve labour contract

By: Reuters     11th June 2018 Unionised workers at BHP Billiton's Spence copper mine in northern Chile have approved a new labor contract, union president Ronald Salcedo said on Monday. Spence is one of the Anglo-Australian miner two mines in Chile. The other, Escondida, the world' largest copper mine, earlier this month... 

Escondida union to copper investors: bet on quick wage deal

By: Bloomberg     8th June 2018 The world’s largest copper mine probably will avoid a repeat of last year’s prolonged strike as the two sides reign in expectations, according to a union leader. The main union at Escondida in Chile presented its demands to owner BHP Billiton on Friday, and the company has until the weekend to... 

BHP Escondida mine workers in Chile start new wage talks

By: Reuters     2nd June 2018 The union of workers at BHP's Escondida copper mine in Chile said on Friday it had kicked off the latest round of labor negotiations with a contract proposal that includes a bonus of about $34,000 per worker at the world's largest copper mine. The closely-watched talks come little more than one... 

Southern has copper giants in the crosshairs with Peru expansion

By: Bloomberg     1st June 2018 Southern Copper is preparing to scale the ranking of global producers by spending more than $10-billion in Peru and Mexico, taking advantage of rising prices underpinned by years of industry belt-tightening. The fifth-largest copper producer hopes to start work on its Tia Maria project in Peru... 

Nutrien auctions remaining shares in lithium miner SQM for nearly $1bn

By: Reuters     1st June 2018 Canadian fertiliser company Nutrien auctioned its remaining stake in Chile lithium miner SQM on Friday for nearly $1-billion, the last step in meeting regulatory commitments after the company was formed in January by the merger of Agrium and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan. The nearly 20.17-million... 

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