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Base Metals News

Mopani transitions copper operations to care and maintenance 

By: Martin Creamer     7th April 2020 Copper mining company Mopani Copper Mines plc said on Tuesday that it had placed its mining operations on care and maintenance and a number of projects on hold. Mopani, owned 73.1% by Glencore, is an integrated copper producer located in the Copperbelt of central Zambia. 

Copperbelt miners turn to Tanzania as South African lockdown hobbles ports

By: Reuters     7th April 2020 South Africa's strict coronavirus lockdown has caused miners to divert copper from the country's ports to others in Africa, with Dar es Salaam the clear winner, sources told Reuters. Authorities in South Africa initially said ports would only process essential goods during a three-week nationwide... 

Zambia says Glencore declares 'force majeure' to shut copper mines, will block move

By: Reuters     7th April 2020 Zambia said on Tuesday that Glencore has declared "force majeure" and will shut its copper mines in the country, adding that the government would block the move which would result in 11 000 people losing their jobs. Mines Minister Richard Musukwa said Glencore plans to put its Mopani Copper... 

The state of Chinese commodities shows recovery taking hold

By: Bloomberg     7th April 2020 From oil to copper to coal, China’s gigantic commodities industry is signaling that the first economy to be flattened by the coronavirus is getting closer to a return to normality. Bloomberg Economics estimates that most of China was 90% to 95% back to work at the end of last week, noting... 

Covid-19 preventing shareholders from attending Anglo AGM

By: Martin Creamer     7th April 2020 Shareholders will not be permitted to attend this year’s annual general meeting (AGM) of Anglo American because of Covid-19 restrictions – but they have been invited to submit questions in advance for answering at the AGM. The London- and Johannesburg-listed diversified mining company said in a... 

Atalaya sets copper guidance for 2020

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th April 2020 A lower average copper price realised for the year ended December 31, 2019, resulted in TSX- and Aim-listed Atalaya Mining generating lower aftertax profit of €31-million, compared with €34-million in the year ended December 31, 2018. The average copper price realised in the year under review... 

Freeport-McMoRan workers at New Mexico mine test positive for coronavirus

By: Reuters     7th April 2020 Three employees at a New Mexico mine owned by Freeport-McMoRan, the world's largest publicly traded copper producer, have tested positive for Covid-19, the state's lieutenant governor said on Monday. It was not immediately clear if operations at the mine have been affected. A Freeport... 

Global GDP to contract 1.9% this year, spark commodity oversupply, says Fitch

By: Simone Liedtke     6th April 2020 Owing to unprecedented lockdown in much of Europe, the US and across the globe, the world is currently experiencing considerably lower economic activity, which in turn significantly reduces commodity consumption, says ratings agency Fitch Ratings. As a result, it expects global gross domestic... 

Global GDP to contract 1.9% this year, spark commodity oversupply, says Fitch

Anglo going to great lengths to support South Africa in its Covid-19 hour of need 

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2020 Diversified mining company Anglo American is going to remarkable lengths to support South Africa through the devastating Covid-19 crisis. The London- and Johannesburg-listed company, headed by Australian Mark Cutifani, is showing far-reaching corporate humanitarianism by taking firm steps to... 

Anglo going to great lengths to support South Africa in its Covid-19 hour of need
Photo by Bloomberg
Mark Cutifani

Nevada Copper suspends Pumpkin Hollow production

By: Mariaan Webb     6th April 2020 Copper production has been suspended at the Pumpkin Hollow mine, as a result of stringent travel and workplace restrictions that the US state of Nevada imposed to combat the spread of Covid-19. The suspension of production is expected to last for at least six weeks, owner Nevada Copper, which... 

Nevada Copper suspends Pumpkin Hollow production

Spain allows copper mine to resume as supplier to essential industries

By: Mariaan Webb     6th April 2020 Aim- and TSX-listed Atalaya Mining on Monday confirmed that operations had resumed at its Proyecto Riotinto copper mine, in Spain, after the mining department of Junta de Andalucía clarified that mining operations supplying other essential industries should continue to operate. Atalaya stopped... 

Spain allows copper mine to resume as supplier to essential industries
The Proyecto Riotinto mine has resumed operations.

Pembridge reduces economic interest in Minto

By: Simone Liedtke     6th April 2020 LSE-listed Pembridge Resources is set to restructure the share ownership of its Minto copper mine, in Canada. In light of the current financial market conditions owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 globally, and the potential for material cash calls on Pembridge, the company, with other Minto... 

Antofagasta suspends contractor agreements for 120 days

By: Mariaan Webb     6th April 2020 Chilean miner Antofagasta Minerals has suspended contracts with most companies building its Los Pelambres expansion project for up to 120 days, but has stressed that this does not imply that contracts will be terminated. The London-listed company last week confirmed that its Los Pelambres... 

Antofagasta suspends contractor agreements for 120 days

Eurasian Resources execs take 30% pay cut in support of Covid-19 measures

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th April 2020 Global diversified miner Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) CEO Benedikt Sobotka and first deputy CEO Aldiyar Kaztayev have offered to take a 30% cut in their salaries for 12 months, owing to the unprecedented challenges that the world is facing as a result of Covid-19. The company is confident... 

Zeta provides funding to Panoramic

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th April 2020 ASX-listed Zeta Resources has provided nickel miner Panoramic Resources with an A$8-million unsecured loan to fund activities at the Savannah project, in Western Australia, and for working capital purposes. The loan will have an interest rate of 6% a year, and is unsecured and subordinated to... 

Chilean copper miners 'considering production cuts' - industry association

By: Reuters     3rd April 2020 Copper miners in Chile are considering cutting production amid strict measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, an association of companies in the sector has told Reuters. A report by the National Mining Society (Sonami), which represents all miners of the red metal across Chile,... 

Alphamin expresses concern about a dwindling tin price  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 JSE- and TSX-V-listed Alphamin Resources produced 2 119 t of contained tin in the quarter ended March 31. This was at the mid-point of its guidance range and compares with the 2 235 t of contained tin produced in the quarter ended December 31, 2019.  

Rusal, Glencore agree aluminium deal worth up to $16.3bn

By: Reuters     3rd April 2020 Russia's Rusal has approved a new long-term aluminium supply contract with Glencore worth up to $16.3-billion, it said in a Hong-Kong regulatory statement on Friday. Swiss trader and metals producer Glencore has long been one of the main clients of Hong Kong-listed Rusal, the world's largest... 

Palladium One obtains another project in Finland

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd April 2020 Vancouver-headquartered Palladium One Mining has received approval from the Finnish Mining Authority for a 20 000-ha reservation, Kostonjarvi (KS), which is adjacent to its flagship Läntinen Koillismaa (LK) project in central Finland. The KS reservation covers a large buried gravity and magnetic... 

Palladium One obtains another project in Finland

Nevada Gold Mines assisting its local communities

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd April 2020 Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), in collaboration with the state of Nevada and its stakeholders, is working to identify immediate needs and provide financial and logistical support to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its local communities. NGM is a joint venture (JV) between Barrick Gold... 

Ivanhoe equips DRC mine with 10 ICU units as it speeds ahead with Kamoa-Kakula construction 

By: Mariaan Webb     2nd April 2020 Canada-headquartered Ivanhoe Mines has unveiled “extraordinary” measures to continue construction of its large-scale Kamoa-Kakula copper project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), amid the coronavirus crisis. The miner has locked down Kamoa-Kakula and all key personnel on site, with... 

Ivanhoe equips DRC mine with 10 ICU units as it speeds ahead with Kamoa-Kakula construction
Dr Delvareine Kabwayi Buyamba of the Kamoa-Kakula medical response team.

Golden Minerals reports promising economics for Mexico project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd April 2020 Colorado-based miner Golden Minerals has reported positive findings in a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and updated mineral resource estimate for the Velardeña Properties, which is the company’s silver and gold project located in Durango state, Mexico. Engineering company Tetra Tech was... 

Assore to host electronic general meeting

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd April 2020 Owing to the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, JSE-listed Assore will hold an electronic general meeting relating to a shares repurchase offer. The general meeting will proceed at 11:00 am on April 16, but will only be accessible through electronic communication, as permitted by... 

Indonesia nickel miners urge end to export ban to cushion coronavirus impact

By: Reuters     2nd April 2020 Indonesia should allow exports of nickel ore to help offset the impact of the fall in exports of processed nickel caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Indonesian nickel miners' association (APNI) said in a document seen by Reuters. Indonesia, once the world's biggest nickel ore exporter,... 

Antofagasta operating with half its workforce, unveils $6m fund to help fight virus

By: Mariaan Webb     2nd April 2020 London-listed Antofagasta on Thursday reported that its production had not been significantly impacted by measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, despite the company operating with only about 50% of its workforce. Antofagasta, which owns mines in Chile where coronavirus cases have risen to... 

Antofagasta operating with half its workforce, unveils $6m fund to help fight virus

Chilean State copper miner Codelco confirms fifth case of coronavirus among workers

By: Reuters     1st April 2020 Chile's State-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, said on Wednesday that a fifth worker has been confirmed as having contracted coronavirus, at its Ministro Hales mine. The diagnosis of the contract worker was confirmed in the central coastal city of La Serena on his final rest... 

All Antofagasta mines to be powered by renewables at lower cost

By: Martin Creamer     1st April 2020 All of the electricity of the mining division of the London-listed Chile-based Antofagasta plc will from 2022 be from renewable sources at lower cost. This follows the signing by Antofagasta’s Centinela copper mine of a new power purchase agreement with Engie Energía Chile, effective from 2022... 

All Antofagasta mines to be powered by renewables at lower cost
Antofagasta CEO Iván Arriagada

Central Asia Metals’ results demonstrate company’s ‘fundamental strength’

By: Simone Liedtke     1st April 2020 Copper, zinc and lead production and exploration company Central Asia Metals’ (CAML’s) results for the year ended December 31, demonstrate the “fundamental strength” of the business, which owns two low-cost base metals operations, one in Kazakhstan and the other in North Macedonia. CEO Nigel... 

Standard Bank meeting all capital and liquidity requirements 

By: Martin Creamer     1st April 2020 Capital and liquidity requirements across all the markets in which it operates are continuing to be met, Standard Bank Group FD Dr Arno Daehnke said during an investor call. Daehnke disclosed that the bank was benefitting from building up increased capital levels over the last few years in line... 

Standard Bank meeting all capital and liquidity requirements
Sim Tshabalala

GlobalData revises full-year copper output growth forecast lower

By: Simone Liedtke     1st April 2020 Global copper production is expected to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with data analytics and consulting company GlobalData now forecasting output growth of just 1.9% to 21-million tonnes for this year. This compares with its previous forecast of 3.4% year-on-year growth in global copper... 

Worker at Russia's Nornickel vessel tested positive for coronavirus

By: Reuters     1st April 2020 Russian nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday that a mechanic at one of its vessels tested positive for the coronavirus. Nornickel's Arctic port of Dudinka and Nornickel's production assets, located near the city of Norilsk of the Krasnoyarsk region, remain unaffected, the... 

Teck reduces coal output rate and suspends 2020 guidance

By: Mariaan Webb     1st April 2020 Notwithstanding the challenges related to the fast-spreading coronavirus, Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources president and CEO Don Lindsay on Wednesday reported that all the group’s operations remained in production, albeit on a reduced basis. The Vancouver-headquartered group announced... 

Teck reduces coal output rate and suspends 2020 guidance
Teck president and CEO Don Lindsay

Covid-19 prompts Glencore to defer cash distribution, reinforce liquidity 

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has prompted global diversified mining and marketing company Glencore to defer its proposed $2.6-billion distribution of cash and reinforce its $10.1- billion liquidity through the refinancing and extension of revolving credit facilities on the same commercial terms as... 

Covid-19 prompts Glencore to defer cash distribution, reinforce liquidity
Ivan Glasenberg

AfriTin suspends mining in Namibia, continues processing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 Aim-listed AfriTin has partly suspended activity at its Uis mine, in Namibia, following the country’s declaration of a partial lockdown from March 27 to April 16. In Namibia’s legislation, mining operations are categorised as critical economic services and are able to continue minimum... 

AfriTin suspends mining in Namibia, continues processing
AfriTin's Uis tin mine, in Namibia

Katanga postpones acid plant commissioning

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 TSX-listed Katanga Mining is closely monitoring the progress of the spread of Covid-19 and is taking measures to contain the impact thereof on the health of its employees and operations. Meanwhile, as previously announced, Katanga’s 75%-owned subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) entered into an... 

Zinc miners expected to restart operations on strong prices

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st March 2020 Strong zinc prices are increasingly prompting miners to bring idled capacity back online and invest in new projects. The latest ‘Global Zinc Mining Outlook’ report shows that the return of some stalled capacity and new projects in key countries will drive growth over the coming quarters, despite... 

Nevada Copper closes balance sheet strengthening transactions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st March 2020 TSX-listed copper producer Nevada Copper, which owns Pumpkin Hollow in Nevada, US, has closed several previously announced balance sheet strengthening transactions, including amendments to its senior credit facility with KfW IPEX-Bank and amendments to the metals purchase and sales agreement with... 

Rio halts potline at NZ smelter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st March 2020 Major Rio Tinto will close one of its four potlines at Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, in New Zealand, as part of measures to combat Covid-19. CEO and GM of the New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter, in which Rio holds a 79.36% interest, Stewart Hamilton said that the company had worked hard to... 

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