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Base Metals News

Mitsui Mining ramps up zinc contract prices as shortages bite

By: Bloomberg     28th January 2022 Mitsui Mining & Smelting is increasing zinc prices this year in annual contracts by at least 35% for the Japanese company’s customers in Asia as supply tightens and freight rates soar. The constrained availability of cargo ships is a big contributor to the rise, Kenji Sugawara, general manager... 

Aluminium price expected to reach a 30-year high this year

By: Darren Parker     28th January 2022 Aluminium has strong potential to outperform other London Metals Exchange base metals this year, having again breached the important milestone of $3 000/t at the start of the year, diversified mining major Eurasian Resources Group CEO Benedikt Sobotka said in a statement on January 27. He said... 

A photo of Eurasian Resources Group CEO Benedikt Sobotka
Eurasian Resources Group CEO Benedikt Sobotka

Cobalt price surge to continue this year amid rising demand

By: Darren Parker     28th January 2022 The surge in the cobalt price, which increased by 119% in 2021, is expected to continue unabated this year, with cobalt supply increasingly unable to keep pace with demand, diversified mining major Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) CEO Benedikt Sobotka said in a statement on January 27. The global... 

A photo of ERG's cobalt
Cobalt is in short supply globally

Zenith and IGO partner on renewables at Nova

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th January 2022 Independent power producer Zenith Energy is partnering with ASX-listed IGO at its Nova nickel/copper/cobalt operation, in Western Australia, to trial running the mine site of 100% renewable energy continuously for up to nine hours a day. The mine site is currently powered by a hybrid solar and... 

Teck increases Covid-19 capital budget for QB2

By: Mariaan Webb     28th January 2022 Diversified mining group Teck Resources has increased Covid-19 capital guidance for the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project, in Chile, by up to $500-million, citing cost pressures as a result of absenteeism and labour inefficiencies related to the pandemic. The company now assumes that the... 

Chile's Cochilco maintains 2022 copper price forecast

By: Reuters     28th January 2022 The Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) on Thursday maintained its projection for 2022 copper prices at $3.95/lb as prices trend moderately down following a surge last year. Cochilco sees average prices of $3.80/lb for 2023. "For this and next year, the beginning of a moderate downward cycle... 

Anglo increases copper guidance for 2022 as Peru mine comes online

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th January 2022 Global miner Anglo American says its production for the fourth quarter of 2021 was flat compared with output in the fourth quarter of 2020. CEO Mark Cutifani noted on January 27 that operating levels across the group had been at about 95% of normal capacity throughout 2021 as a result of... 

Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani
Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani

Artemis raises cash for UK listing

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th January 2022 Junior Artemis Resources will raise A$9.5-million in a share placement to institutional and sophisticated investors to fund its dual listing on the Aim, in London. The company on Thursday said that it would place more than 133.33-million shares, at a price of 7.1c each. 

Politics are turning against copper miners, Freeport-McMoRan says

By: Bloomberg     27th January 2022 The task of ramping up copper supply to meet growing demand in the clean-energy transition is getting harder as societies and communities resist new mines and politicians seek a bigger share of the profit, said Freeport-McMoRan boss Richard Adkerson. While the outlook for copper is getting... 

An image of Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson
Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson

Rising copper prices boost Freeport-McMoRan profit

By: Reuters     27th January 2022 Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan on Wednesday reported a 56% jump in quarterly profit that matched expectations as supply concerns and the global economic recovery from the pandemic drove up prices of the red metal. Prices of copper, considered to be an economic bellwether, rose by a quarter last... 

Poseidon provides costing for Lake Johnston

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th January 2022 Nickel developer Poseidon Nickel on Thursday said that the refurbishment of its Lake Johnston processing circuit, in Western Australia, has been estimated at around A$31-million. A scoping study into the project has also estimated that the operating costs for the process facility is estimated... 

Biden administration kills Antofagasta's Minnesota copper project

By: Reuters     27th January 2022 The US Department of the Interior canceled two mineral leases for Antofagasta's proposed Twin Metals copper and nickel mine in Minnesota on Wednesday, effectively killing the project and handing a major win to environmentalists. The decision shows President Joe Biden's administration is... 

Biden administration kills Antofagasta's Minnesota copper project

Western Areas ups production in Dec quarter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th January 2022 Nickel miner Western Areas has reported an increase in production for the December quarter as the development of its Odysseus mine continued to ramp up, following first production in October. Nickel mined during the quarter increased from the 3 741 t mined in the September quarter, to 4 200 t,... 

Aurelia moving ahead with Great Cobar

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th January 2022 A prefeasibility study (PFS) into the Great Cobar base metal and gold deposit, in New South Wales, has estimated that the project could produce some 47 000 t of copper and 61 000 oz of gold over an initial five-year mine life. ASX-listed Aurelia Metals on Thursday reported that the PFS estimated... 

Oz Minerals ticks production boxes for 2021

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th January 2022 Copper/gold miner Oz Minerals has hit its production targets for the 2021 financial year, following a strong December quarter. The miner on Thursday revealed that 125 486 t of copper was produced in the full year, in line with the guidance of between 120 000 t and 145 000 t of copper, while gold... 

Metal prices expected to maintain their strong performance this year  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th January 2022 Metal prices, which have been on an uptrend since 2020, are expected to continue their strong performance this year and next Fitch Solutions, a unit of Fitch Group, noted during a webinar on January 26. Following a year of record profitability and revenue in 2021, the outlook for miners and... 

An image of Fitch Solutions senior commodities analyst Sabrin Chowdhury
Fitch Solutions senior commodities analyst Sabrin Chowdhury outlines how the green transition presents opportunities, risks and challenges for the metals and mining industries

Glencore, Managem partner to recover cobalt, lithium, nickel from recycled batteries 

By: Donna Slater     26th January 2022 Diversified miners Glencore and Managem have entered into a partnership to produce cobalt from recycled cobalt, nickel and lithium at Managem’s Compagnie de Tifnout Tiranimine (CTT) hydrometallurgical refinery in Morocco. Glencore and CTT intend to enter into a five-year tolling agreement for 1... 

An image of cobalt metal nuggets
Photo by Bloomberg
Cobalt metal nuggets

Resources Watch  

26th January 2022 This week: Early income bonanza for funded Witwatersrand gold mining reviver; Hillside Aluminium could get green lifeline by 2030; And, Early copper/zinc production investigations under way at Orion’s Prieska 

Resources Watch
Resources Watch

Diamond drill programme under way at Haneti nickel project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th January 2022 Aim-listed Katoro announces that a drill rig has been successfully deployed and that drilling has now started at the Haneti nickel project in Tanzania. Katoro holds a 65% interest in the project, with the balance held by Power Metal Resources. 

Newcrest withdraws from Cornerstone’s project in Ecuador

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th January 2022 Australian gold major Newcrest has notified Canadian junior Cornerstone Capital Resources of its intention to withdraw from the option and farm-in agreement over the Caña Brava and Tioloma properties in Ecuador. The properties target epithermal gold/silver and porphyry gold/copper deposits. 

B2Gold to buy out Forsys’ shareholding in Razorback

By: Darren Parker     26th January 2022 Gold miner B2Gold will increase its shareholding in gold mining subsidiary Razorback Gold Mining to 100% by exercising a call option. Under the call option, it will buy gold and uranium miner Forsys Metals’ 51% shareholding in Razorback, which holds the Ondundu exclusive prospecting licence (EPL)... 

Environmental groups sue to undo 2017 PolyMet mine deal in Minnesota

By: Reuters     26th January 2022 Environmentalists sued the US Forest Service on Tuesday in an attempt to reverse a 2017 land transfer that gave PolyMet Mining more than 2 670 ha needed to build an open pit copper and gold mine in northern Minnesota. The suit, led by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), claims the project... 

Teck joins rivals with stake in startup tapping copper from waste rock

By: Bloomberg     26th January 2022 Canadian miner Teck Resources bought a stake in a US startup that can extract copper out of waste rock, as concerns mount about shortages of one of the metals key to the energy transition. Teck joins BHP Group and Freeport-McMoRan as shareholders in Jetti Resources, which has developed... 

South African growth to slow to 2.1% in 2022 – Fitch Solutions 

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2022 Fitch Solutions expects growth in South Africa to slow to only 2.1% in 2022, having expanded by an estimated 4.8% last year, as the base effects of 2021 fade and longstanding constraints come to the fore once again. Lacklustre economic activity in South Africa would also weigh on the performance... 

Fitch Solutions expects commodity prices to moderate in 2022
Fitch Solutions expects commodity prices to moderate in 2022

Agreement inked to develop hydrogen recycling of end-of-life wind turbine magnets

By: Donna Slater     25th January 2022 Magnet metal and rare earths miner Pensana has signed a cooperation agreement with oil, gas and wind power company Equinor, forming a working group to share technical and commercial information to develop a low-energy method for recycling end-of-life magnets at Pensana’s rare earths hub in the... 

DMRE turns investment drive focus to North West  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2022 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), together with the provincial government of North West, are increasing efforts to garner investment into and effect transformation in the province’s mining sector. Speaking during a North West Mining and Energy Investment conference on... 

South African pure copper play to list in the first half of 2022 

By: Darren Parker     25th January 2022 Premium grade copper producer Big Tree Copper plans to list on the JSE and/or the Cape Town Stock Exchange (CTSE) in the first half of 2022 as it marches towards full production. The company’s business centres on recycling previously dumped mining waste through above ground processing at the... 

A photo of Big Tree Copper CEO Jan Nelson
Photo by Creamer Media
Big Tree Copper CEO Jan Nelson

Ero Copper to raise $400m for debt repayment, mine capex

By: Mariaan Webb     25th January 2022 Vancouver-headquartered Ero Copper on Monday announced an offering of $400-million of senior notes to restructure its debt and for capital expenditure (capex) related to a planned new mine in Brazil. The company would use the proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, to repay the... 

Minnesota court orders review of water permit for PolyMet mine

By: Reuters     25th January 2022 The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday ordered state regulators to reconsider a wastewater permit that was granted to PolyMet Mining to build an open-pit copper mine, though judges rejected six other challenges to the permit from environmentalists. The appeals court ordered the Minnesota... 

BHP starts Spence automation

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th January 2022 Major BHP has started autonomous drilling at its Spence copper operation, in Chile. The miner said on Tuesday that five autonomous drills will gradually be put into operation at Spence, with the company hoping that 100% of its drill pool would eventually becoming autonomous. 

Rio strikes deal to start Oyu Tolgoi underground

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th January 2022 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has announced the restart of underground operations at the Oyu Tolgoi project, in Mongolia, after reaching an agreement with the government of Mongolia. Rio said in a statement that the agreement will move the Oyu Tolgoi project forward, resetting the relationship... 

Image shows underground workings at Oyu Tolgoi

Kamoa-Kakula nears Phase 2 completion, Ivanhoe bids Farren farewell 

By: Donna Slater     24th January 2022 TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines reports that the 3.8-million-tonne-a-year Phase 2 concentrator plant at its 39.6%-owned Kamoa-Kakula project in the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to be 93% complete by January 31, with hot commissioning of the concentrator on track to start in April. Ivanhoe... 

An image of Kamoa Kakula's Phase 2 plant
Kamoa Kakula's Phase 2 concentrator plant

Vedanta appoints Black Mountain mine GM

By: Donna Slater     24th January 2022 Zinc producer Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has appointed Xolani Qamata Black Mountain mine (BMM) GM, effective January 3. In this role at the Aggeneys, Northern Cape-based operation, he will report to VZI business head Laxman Shekhawat.  

An image of Xolani Qamata
Vedanta Zinc International's new Mountain mine GM Xolani Qamata

Fortune plans to build new cobalt refinery in Alberta

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th January 2022 Critical minerals developer Fortune Minerals has selected a site for its proposed brownfields hydrometallurgical refinery for the Nico cobalt project in Northwest Territories.   The TSX-listed company on Monday announced that it had entered into an option agreement with JFSL Field Services, a... 

Teck reaches collective agreement at Highland Valley

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th January 2022 Diversified mining company Teck Resources and members of United Steelworkers Local 7619, representing 1 048 workers at the Highland Valley Copper operations in British Columbia, have reached a new collective agreement. The new five-year agreement replaces the one that expired on September 30.  

Sibanye backs out of Brazilian base metal mines acquisition 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th January 2022 JSE- and NYSE-listed Sibanye-Stillwater has decided to terminate its acquisition of the Santa Rita nickel and Serrote copper mines, both in Brazil, from Appian Capital for $1-billion and a 5% net smelter royalty over future production. Sibanye intended to acquire operating companies Atlantic... 

Santa Rita mine, in Brazil
Santa Rita mine, in Brazil

Peru groups agree to services deal with MMG mine after protests

By: Bloomberg     24th January 2022 Community groups in Peru agreed to provide trucking services to MMG’s Las Bambas copper mine in a deal hammered out after tensions led to protests and blockades near the site last month. Las Bambas will provide the Chumbivilcas communities with technical assistance, legal advice and business... 

Chilean union says Escondida mine was 'irresponsible' as Covid cases surged

By: Reuters     24th January 2022 A union representing workers at BHP's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's largest copper mine, said on Friday the firm had been erratic and irresponsible as Covid-19 infections have risen among the workforce. "We consider that the company has been erratic, dismissive and irresponsible in the... 

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