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Base Metals News

Nornickel shareholder wants dividend change as investments loom - Ifx

By: Reuters     24th March 2021 Nornickel's largest shareholder, Interros, has proposed changing its dividend policy, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, in a move that would lower payouts to help fund planned investment. The miner has just paid $2-billion to Russia for environmental damage after a fuel spill at its... 

Mitsui Mining to exit from copper mining, selling stake in Collahuasi mine

By: Reuters     24th March 2021 Japan's Mitsui Mining and Smelting said on Wednesday it would exit from copper mining by selling its 0.97% stake in the Collahuasi copper mine in Chile to Japanese trading firm Mitsui & Co as a part of a reshuffle of its asset portfolio. The mining and smelting company did not disclose the... 

EV battery startup poaches oil veterans to build Arctic factory

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2021 A Norwegian battery maker is giving executives from the oil, gas and aluminum industries a new lease of life, tapping their experience to gain an edge in the race to electrify cars. Freyr plans to start a pilot plant near the Arctic Circle in Norway by next year after hiring a handful of... 

EV battery startup poaches oil veterans to build Arctic factory

Arizona appeals court finds in Taseko’s favour

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th March 2021 Metals miner Taseko on Tuesday secured a court win the Arizona Court of Appeals, which confirmed the Superior Court of Arizona's 2019 decision in favour of the Florence copper project and rejected arguments made by the Town of Florence. The appeals court upheld Florence Copper's right to mine... 

Alta raises cash for Italian exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th March 2021 Junior Alta Zinc will raise A$3.75-million to fund exploration drilling at its Gorno zinc project, in Italy. The ASX-listed company has received binding commitments from professional and sophisticated investors to subscribe for some 750-million shares, at a price of 5c each, under the company’s... 

Workers at Antofagasta's Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile accept contract offer

By: Reuters     24th March 2021 Workers at Antofagasta's Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile have accepted a contract offer and abandoned the threat of a strike, the union said on Tuesday. Members of the union voted 70.65% in favour and 29.35% against accepting the contract offer, union secretary Luis Silva said. "We are... 

Master Drilling advancing mechanisation for two top-tier local clients  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2021 Mine mechanisation is being advanced for two top-tier  local clients of Master Drilling, the CEO of the JSE-listed company, Danie Pretorius, said on Tuesday. Speaking to Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview after reporting 72.7%-higher 2020 net cash generation of $25.5-million, 18%-lower debt to... 

Master Drilling advancing mechanisation for two top-tier local clients
Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Remote-operation drilling footprint providing sizeable benefit – Master Drilling  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2021 An increased remote-operation drilling footprint is providing considerable benefit for Master Drilling, the JSE-listed drilling services company said on Tuesday, when it reported 72.7%-higher 2020 net cash generation of $25.5-million, 18%-lower debt to $42.1-million, and a halved gearing ratio to... 

Remote-operation drilling footprint providing sizeable benefit – Master Drilling
Master Drilling results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Orion confirms viability of openpit mining at Jacomynspan

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd March 2021 ASX- and JSE-listed Orion Minerals has announced that a shallow high-grade nickel/copper/cobalt/platinum group metal intercept confirms strong openpit mining potential at the Jacomynspan project, in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. The company reports that the intersection starts from... 

Trafigura sees green copper supercycle driving prices to $15 000

By: Bloomberg     23rd March 2021 The world’s biggest copper trader expects the metal to hit $15 000 a ton in the coming decade as demand from global decarbonisation produces a deep market deficit. Even in the early stages of the Covid-19 crisis, Trafigura Group was betting on the rebound that’s seen copper double over the past... 

Trafigura sees green copper supercycle driving prices to $15 000

Nornickel to cut emissions in Russia's border region with Norway, Finland

By: Reuters     23rd March 2021 Russian metals producer Nornickel said on Monday it has shut down a metallurgical processing facility in Russia's border region with Norway and Finland which had been the area's main source of sulphur dioxide emissions. The shutdown, along with the recent closure of a nearby Nornickel smelting... 

Indonesia eases requirements for mining export permits, nickel excluded

By: Reuters     23rd March 2021 Indonesia will now grant miners export permit for unrefined mineral ores, even if construction of their refining facilities is delayed, a move aimed at lessening the blow to the industry from the coronavirus, according to a document seen by Reuters. Indonesia announced last year it would ban... 

Master Drilling in muted but resilient 2020 performance 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2021 Drilling services company Master Drilling, which operates in 23 countries and which is continuing to grow its presence in new global markets, on Tuesday reported a “muted but resilient performance” for the full year ended December 31, thanks to what it described as a “flexible business model and... 

Master Drilling in muted but resilient 2020 performance
Photo by Creamer Media
Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius.

Glencore says Australian nickel plant running at reduced production after outage

By: Reuters     22nd March 2021 Repair work is underway at Glencore PLC's Murrin Murrin nickel and cobalt plant in Western Australia following a component failure at an acid plant that left the facility running at reduced capacity, the miner said on Monday. The facility is located about 880 km (550 miles) east of Perth in the... 

QPM raises A$15m for TECH

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd March 2021 ASX-listed Queensland Pacific Metals has completed a A$15-million capital raising through share placement to institutional and sophisticated investors. The company on Monday told shareholders that it has placed more than 187.5-million shares, at a price of 8c each, with the shares to be placed... 

Boliden launches low-carbon copper products

By: Reuters     19th March 2021 Sweden's Boliden said it has launched two "green" copper products this week, the first of its kind, hoping to appeal to consumers aiming to cut their carbon footprint. The two copper cathode products - one sourced from recycled electronic scrap, the other from reduced-emissions mining - will... 

Sibanye, Johnson Matthey partner to boost battery technology, low-carbon development 

By: Donna Slater     19th March 2021 LSE-listed sustainable technologies company Johnson Matthey and JSE- and NYSE-listed gold and platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Sibanye-Stillwater have formed a strategic partnership to secure critical metals and accelerate new battery technologies for a low-carbon future. The collaboration will... 

Sibanye, Johnson Matthey partner to boost battery technology, low-carbon development

Chile's lower chamber of deputies set to decide fate of mining royalty bill

By: Reuters     19th March 2021 Chile's lower chamber of lawmakers is set to decide the fate of a bill to hike royalties on mining companies operating in the world's top copper producer after legislative committees reported conflicting views on the initiative. The chamber's finance committee rejected the measure in a 7-5 vote... 

KGL completes Jervois fundraising

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th March 2021 ASX-listed KGL Resources has raised A$21.57-million of a A$23.77-million target to fund the development of its Jervois copper project, in the Northern Territory. KGL on Friday announced that its entitlement offer had raised A$9.57-million before costs, bringing its total funds raised to... 

Portland future secure until 2026

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th March 2021 The future of the Portland aluminum smelter, in Victoria, has been secured until 2026, following agreements with multiple power generators. US major Alcoa on Friday said it struck five-year agreements with AGL, Alinta Energy and Origin will each commence August 1, 2021, when an existing... 

Portland future secure until 2026

Ivanhoe raises $575m in covertible notes financing

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th March 2021 Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines has received “tremendous” interest from North American and European institutional investors in its convertible notes financing and has raised $575-million in the oversubscribed placement. The company, which is developing mines in South Africa and the Democratic... 

Chile's world-leading copper industry rejects lawmaker bid to hike taxes

By: Reuters     18th March 2021 Chile's sprawling copper industry has hit its limit in terms of tax burden, a senior industry executive told Reuters on Wednesday, warning lawmakers against a hike in royalties to take advantage of soaring global prices. Left-leaning opposition lawmakers in Chile, the world's top producer of... 

Chile's world-leading copper industry rejects lawmaker bid to hike taxes

Northern Cape ‘elephant country' needs exploration boost, says explorer  

By: Martin Creamer     17th March 2021 South Africa is still "elephant country" and needs to boost exploration in the Northern Cape's highly prospective Namaqua metamorphic geological province in particular, says PGM Management MD Gerhard Meintjes. Meintjes, a private explorer who spoke to Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview, focuses on... 

Northern Cape ‘elephant country' needs exploration boost, says explorer
PGM Management MD Gerhard Meintjes interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Power Metal Resources receives ‘encouraging results’ for South Ghanzi project

By: Simone Liedtke     17th March 2021 Aim-listed metals explorer and developer Power Metal Resources has received “encouraging results” from the airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys recently flown over the South Ghanzi project, in the Kalahari Copper Belt, in Botswana. The South Ghanzi project is part of a strategic joint venture... 

Aton inks loan facility with major shareholder, CEO retires

By: Simone Liedtke     17th March 2021 TSX-V-listed Aton Resources has entered into a bridge loan facility with Ou Moonrider, a significant shareholder. Pursuant to the facility, the corporation may borrow up to C$1-million from Ou Moonrider. 

Vast exec team on site to coordinate Baita Plai mine plan

By: Mariaan Webb     17th March 2021 The full executive team of London-listed Vast Resources, including COO Craig Harvey, is on site in Romania to coordinate the implementation of the revised mine plan for its Baita Plai polymetallic mine. The team also includes CEO Andrew Prelea, Vast Baita Plai GM Marcus Brewster, CFO Paul... 

Vast exec team on site to coordinate Baita Plai mine plan

Orion identifies four drill targets that may expand Okiep Flat Mines resources

By: Schalk Burger     17th March 2021 Diversified metal exploration and development multinational Orion Minerals has identified four shallow, high-priority drill targets close to existing mineral resources at the Okiep Copper Complex, in the Northern Cape. The targets have the potential to substantially expand the mineral resource at... 

Union at Antofagasta mine in Chile willing to extend talks, official says

By: Reuters     17th March 2021 A union representing workers at Antofagasta's Los Pelambres mine in Chile will agree to extend government-mediated talks into next week in a bid to avoid a strike at the sprawling copper deposit, a union leader said on Tuesday. Workers at the mine rejected the company's final contract offer last... 

Codelco gets regulatory nod to extend life of Radomiro Tomic mine

By: Reuters     17th March 2021 Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, said on Tuesday it had received approval from the regional environmental regulator to extend the life of its Radomiro Tomic mine until 2030, a key part of a larger plan to maintain output from its aging operations in the South American... 

South Africa has opportunity to win back lost share of global vanadium market – Bushveld   

By: Martin Creamer     16th March 2021 South Africa has an opportunity to win back its lost share of the global vanadium market, which at one stage stood at 25%-plus, says Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo. Mojapelo, who was speaking to Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview, contends that South Africa has the wherewithal to regain... 

South Africa has opportunity to win back lost share of global vanadium market – Bushveld
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo talks on vanadium to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Nornickel says production to fall short of 2021 guidance

By: Mariaan Webb     16th March 2021 Russian nickel and platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Nornickel has downgraded its 2021 production guidance, following the flooding of two mines in Siberia. Nickel production will be 35 000 t short of its 2021 guidance, while copper output will be 65 000 t and PGMs 22 t short. 

Antofagasta posts higher 2020 profit as copper prices surge

By: Reuters     16th March 2021 Chilean miner Antofagasta said full-year profit rose 12.3% in 2020, allowing it to increase its dividends, as copper and gold prices surged and its mines performed well despite some Covid-19-related disruption. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) rose to... 

Aluminium industry aims to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050

By: Schalk Burger     16th March 2021 Global industry organisation the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has published three main pathways that the industry can take to reduce its emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet internationally agreed climate goals, supply demand for primary aluminium that will increase by up to 40% and more... 

Aluminium industry aims to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050

Boliden warns profit to be hit by Covid outbreaks among staff

By: Reuters     15th March 2021 Miner Boliden warned on Monday that increased sick leave due to Covid-19 infections and production disruptions in its Aitik mine in Sweden and the Tara mine in Ireland would hit profits in the first quarter. The negative effect is expected to be nearly 200-million crowns ($23.4-million) and will... 

Circular economy to play ‘increasingly larger role’ in copper supply over coming years

By: Simone Liedtke     15th March 2021 The demand for copper – primarily driven by the transition to low-carbon energy and technologies, electrification and electric vehicles (EVs) – is expected to double to an average of 60-million tonnes a year by 2050, Glencore Recycling global commercial lead Kunal Sinha said during a conference... 

Local battery material champions planning first-mover advances into new geographies 

By: Martin Creamer     15th March 2021 South Africa’s team of local battery material champions are planning first-mover advances into new geographies. Mining Weekly can today report that Thakadu Battery Materials, which is producing high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate for export, has a pipeline of new projects in place that will... 

Local battery material champions planning first-mover advances into new geographies
Thakadu Battery Materials CEO Ruli Diseko

Altus gains more exploration ground in Morocco

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th March 2021 TSX-V- and Aim-listed Altus Strategies has been granted exploration licences for three copper and silver projects totalling 252 km2 in the western Anti-Atlas region of Morocco. Following a competitive tender process, Altus’ subsidiary Aterian Resources was awarded the projects. 

Vale, Anglo American underline ESG issues as copper demand soars

By: Reuters     15th March 2021 Global miners such as Brazil's Vale, Anglo American and Chile's Codelco said they expect demand for copper to strengthen in coming years on growing demand for environmentally friendly cars, while the mining industry reckons with questions about its own sustainability. Mining executives said... 

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