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Base Metals News

Newmont, Freeport and others shut Peru mines to comply with 15-day national quarantine

By: Mariaan Webb     17th March 2020 Major mining companies operating in Peru, including Newmont, Freeport-McMoRan and Anglo American, are ramping down operations to comply with the 15-days self-quarantine that President Martin Vizcarra announced on Sunday. The country, which at 13:00 local time on Monday had 89 confirmed cases of... 

Vale shuts Canada’s Voisey’s Bay mine, mulls Mozambique coal stoppage

By: Mariaan Webb     17th March 2020 Brazil’s Vale has announced that it will ramp down its Voisey’s Bay mining operation, in Canada, and place it on care and maintenance for four weeks in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although none of Vale’s employees has tested positive at any of its operations, the decision is aimed at... 

Vale shuts Canada’s Voisey’s Bay mine, mulls Mozambique coal stoppage
The Voisey's Bay operation, in Canada.

Menar progressing gold project in Kyrgyzstan  

By: Martin Creamer     17th March 2020 Private investment and management company Menar, which is planning to invest R7-billion in coal projects in South Africa, is also progressing a gold project in Kyrgyzstan. “We’re looking at a sizeable gold project,” said Menar MD Vuslat Bayoǧlu, who is hoping that the Kyrgyzstan project will... 

Menar progressing gold project in Kyrgyzstan
Menar MD Vuslat Bayoǧlu talks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer about gold project in Kyrgyzstan. Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Photograph: Donna Slater. Video: Kutlwano Matlala.

Slowing demand likely to push zinc price lower this year, says Fitch Solutions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th March 2020 Research agency Fitch Solutions has revised its forecast for the zinc price for this year to $2 250/t, down from $2 450/t previously, as an amalgam of market forces put in motion by the Covid-19 outbreak, which has led to factory shutdowns in China and other parts of the world. The average zinc... 

Slowing demand likely to push zinc price lower this year, says Fitch Solutions

HPA First to cost A$308m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th March 2020 The definitive feasibility study (DFS) into ASX-listed Alpha HPA’s high purity alumina (HPA) First project, in Queensland, has found that it could generate free annual cash flows of A$280-million a year from the production of 10 000 t/y HPA. The project is expected to require a capital... 

Covid-19 stalls work on Anglo’s $5.3bn Peru copper project

By: Mariaan Webb     17th March 2020 Diversified major Anglo American has withdrawn the majority of employees and contractors from its $5.3-billion Quellaveco copper project, in Peru, to comply with a 15-day national quarantine announced to curb the spread of the pandemic. The 10 000-strong construction workforce is being... 

Covid-19 stalls work on Anglo’s $5.3bn Peru copper project
Anglo American is withdrawing its 10 000-strong construction workforce at the Quellaveco project, in Peru.

Miners step up precautions as Covid-19 numbers rise

By: Mariaan Webb     16th March 2020 As the number of global cases of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, continues to increase, mining companies are implementing procedures to safeguard personnel and communities, with project delays and mining camp shutdowns having been announced. Several companies have also closed their head offices... 

Miners step up precautions as Covid-19 numbers rise

Coronavirus precautions slow work on Oyu Tolgoi – Rio Tinto

By: Mariaan Webb     16th March 2020 Work on the Oyu Tolgoi underground project, in Mongolia, has been slowed as a result of measures put in place by Mongolia to contain the spread of Covid-19, diversified mining major Rio Tinto said on Monday. Mongolia has restricted the movement of goods and people in the country, as well as... 

Coronavirus precautions slow work on Oyu Tolgoi – Rio Tinto
Shaft 2, which is completed, at Oyu Tolgoi.

Lundin suspends construction at Portugal zinc project, confirms Covid-19 case in Chile

By: Mariaan Webb     16th March 2020 Toronto-headquartered Lundin Mining has suspended construction and commissioning activities at the Zinc Expansion Project (ZEP) at the Neves-Corvo operation, in Portugal, to reduce the risk of its workforce and the local community contracting the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) disease. Announcing... 

Lundin suspends construction at Portugal zinc project, confirms Covid-19 case in Chile
The Neves-Corvo operation, in Portugal.

Alta halts drilling in Italy as Covid-19 rages

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th March 2020 Alta Zinc has suspended drilling activities at its Gorno project, in Italy, as the Coronavirus continues to spread. The company said on Friday that while the areas around the Gorno project had not been directly affected by the COVID-19 virus and had fallen outside of the restrictive zones mapped... 

Teck to cut carbon intensity by one third in the next decade

By: Mariaan Webb     12th March 2020 Canadian diversified major Teck Resources on Thursday announced a carbon intensity target for 2030, as part of its new sustainability strategy and goals. The miner, which already committed to be carbon-neutral across its operations and activities by 2050, said it would reduce carbon intensity by... 

Teck to cut carbon intensity by one third in the next decade

Ivanhoe promotes Marna Cloete to president

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th March 2020 Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines has promoted Marna Cloete to the position of president of the company, in addition to her existing role as CFO. Cloete will replace Tony Giardini, who would leave Ivanhoe mines after a “short transition period”, the company said on Wednesday. Giardini returned to... 

Ivanhoe promotes Marna Cloete to president
Ivanhoe president and CFO Marna Cloete

SolGold in $2.85bn funding talks for Ecuador project

By: Mariaan Webb     11th March 2020 While work is continuing for the prefeasibility study and the proposed definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Alpala project, in Ecuador, London-listed SolGold has also started discussions about a funding package of about $2.85-billion for the development of the deposit that forms part of its... 

FYI completes DFS and secures A$80m funding

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th March 2020 ASX-listed FYI Resources has secured an A$80-million project development financing facility for its Cadoux kaoln and Kwinana high purity alumina (HPA) project, in Western Australia, as a definitive feasibility study (DFS) proved the project parameters. The DFS has confirmed the 2018... 

Aurelia completes A$53m plant upgrade

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th March 2020 Diversified metals miner Aurelia Metals has completed the commissioning of a A$53-million upgrade to its Peak ore processing circuit, in New South Wales. The ASX-listed Aurelia said on Wednesday that the Peak process plant now had the flexibility to produce gold dore and separate copper, lead... 

Shipment delays out of China not affecting Vast’s Romania project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th March 2020 Aim-listed mining company Vast Resources on Tuesday confirmed that its initial shipment of equipment for the Baita Plai mine was not affected by shipment restrictions in China and that it would depart next week. The first shipment is currently being loaded and will depart for Romania on March... 

Shipment delays out of China not affecting Vast’s Romania project

China's CNMC to transfer Africa copper, cobalt assets to engineering arm for $1.1bn

By: Reuters     10th March 2020 China Nonferrous Mining Corp (CNMC) said late on Monday its parent had agreed to sell its 74.52% stake in the company to the group's engineering arm for 7.36-billion yuan ($1.06-billion) in a restructuring move. State-owned CNMC is selling its 2.6-billion shares to its 33.75%-owned subsidiary,... 

Copper Mountain changes plans as market tumbles

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th March 2020 Dual-listed Copper Mountain Mining has revised its mine plan and project schedule for its Copper Mountain mine, in British Columbia, deferring a $22-million capital spend in response to current market conditions and near-term copper uncertainty as a result of the Coronavirus. ASX- and... 

Metals X adds to Nifty resource, weighing sale

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th March 2020 ASX-listed Metals X has reported a 10% increase in the mineral resource estimate for the Nifty copper project, in Western Australia, as a the company flagged a possible sale of the asset. Metals X in December last year suspended mining operations at Nifty as the mine continued to perform below... 

Commodity refocus: BC exploration investment shifts to copper

By: Mariaan Webb     9th March 2020 Investment in gold and coal exploration in Canada’s British Columbia continued to decrease in 2019, as investors are shifting their focus to base metals, particularly copper. However, with C$127-million put towards gold exploration, the yellow precious metal continues to attract the largest... 

Commodity refocus: BC exploration investment shifts to copper
Photo by Galore Creek
The Galore Creek project, a venture between Teck Resources and Newmont Mining, is a large copper/gold deposit in British Columbia.

Copper demand, price will pick up later in the year, says Fitch

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th March 2020 Research Agency Fitch Solutions has revised its 2020 copper price forecast upwards from $5 700/t to $5 900/t. This is on the back of the agency’s expectation that increased stimulus from the Chinese government will lift prices higher over the second half of the year.  

Ivanhoe reports ‘excellent progress’ at Kamoa-Kakula

By: Simone Liedtke     9th March 2020 Development of TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines’ Kakula mine, the first of multiple planned mining areas at Kamoa-Kakula, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is said to be making “excellent progress”, with civil works advancing rapidly and initial copper concentrate production from the mine on... 

Ivanhoe reports ‘excellent progress’ at Kamoa-Kakula

Nevada Copper appoints new board member

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th March 2020 TSX-listed Nevada Copper has appointed investment professional Ricardo De Armas, from Castlelake, to its board of directors. Castlelake is a significant shareholder of the company. “Our recent emergence as a US copper producer, and our continued advancement of the Pumpkin Hollow project, means... 

Orion Minerals granted another enviro permit  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th March 2020 Copper developer Orion Minerals has been granted environmental authorisation (EA) for mining the Vardocube resource at its Prieska copper/zinc project, in the Northern Cape. The company told shareholders on Monday that the grant of the EA for the Vardocube resource, which covers the south-eastern... 

Orion Minerals granted another enviro permit
Orion MD and CEO Errol Smart

Meet zinc, the cheap metal gunning for lithium’s battery crown

By: , Bloomberg     6th March 2020 A metal best known for galvanising steel is making the jump into a developing $30-billion energy-storage market for electrical grids that’s increasingly seen as key to unleashing solar and wind power upon the world. Less than four months after Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to produce 100% of New... 

Meet zinc, the cheap metal gunning for lithium’s battery crown

China warns metals firms not to race back from virus

By: Reuters     6th March 2020 China's Industry Ministry said on Friday metals firms should not seek to ramp up production at all costs and should "avoid vicious competition" with one another as they return to work in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Industrial production in China, the world's biggest metals consumer,... 

Global nickel production to decline significantly in 2020 – Fitch Solutions

By: Simone Liedtke     6th March 2020 Research agency Fitch Solutions expects global nickel production to decrease significantly over the course of this year, as major producer Indonesia’s nickel ore export ban comes into effect. The ban in Indonesia was announced in September 2019, bringing it forward to go into effect from January... 

Nornickel part of Finnish battery recycling initiative

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th March 2020 Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) will team up with Finnish energy company Fortum and German chemical group BASF to establish a battery recycling cluster to service the electric vehicle market. The cluster, to be located in Harjavalta, Finland, will enable a “closed loop” cycle... 

Chile showcases 40 projects at PDAC

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th March 2020 Chile has presented 40 mining projects, mostly copper and gold, to potential investors at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in Toronto this week. Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica, who headed the Chilean delegation, launched a book with details of these mining... 

Carrapateena hits nameplate target

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th March 2020 The Carrapateena copper/gold mine in South Australia, has reached nameplate mill throughput rates, with stable operational periods at 500 t/h and in excess of 90% runtime achieved for a 24-hour period. ASX-listed Oz Minerals on Wednesday said that flotation recovery for several shifts have also... 

Bear Creek Mining engages lead arrangers for $400m facility

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd March 2020 Vancouver-headquartered Bear Creek Mining has engaged BNP Paribas and Société Générale as joint lead arrangers for a $400-million senior secured credit facility, which it plans to use for the fully permitted, Corani silver/lead/zinc project in Peru. “The BNP Paribas and Société Générale mining... 

Yukon and First Nation road agreement a ‘major step’ forward for Macmillan Pass

By: Mariaan Webb     3rd March 2020 TSX-V-listed Fireweed Zinc has hailed the agreement about road upgrades that the Yukon government and the Ross River Dena Council (RRDC) First Nation reached as a “major step” forward towards the eventual development of the Macmillan Pass zinc, lead and silver project. The agreement centres on... 

Yukon and First Nation road agreement a ‘major step’ forward for Macmillan Pass

Trevali CFO departs

By: Mariaan Webb     3rd March 2020 TSX-listed Trevali Mining will start a search for a new CFO, following the departure of Gerbrand van Heerden, who served as finance chief since June 2018. Matthew Quinlan has been appointed interim CFO, after having supported Trevali in a consulting capacity over the last five months. 

Swanepoel steps down as ARM director

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd March 2020 Bernard Swanepoel has stepped down as an independent nonexecutive director of diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals (ARM). Independent nonexecutive ARM director and investment committee member David Noko has been appointed ARM’s investment committee chairperson with immediate effect. 

NQ Minerals refinances Hellyer debt

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd March 2020 Australia-focused metals miner NQ Minerals has secured a $60-million debt facility with a European natural resources bank and financial solutions provider Traxys Group as part of its refinancing efforts for the original debt raised to fund the Hellyer base and precious metals project, in... 

Copper to rally to $3/lb once virus passes, Chile Minister says

By: , Bloomberg     3rd March 2020 The deadly coronavirus that’s rattled markets since January won’t stop copper prices from surging to $3/lb this year, according to Chilean Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica. The price of copper, often used as a barometer for the global economy, has dropped about 7% so far in 2020, signaling demand... 

World Copper Conference in Chile cancelled over coronavirus concerns - Cesco 

By: Reuters     2nd March 2020 The CRU-Cesco World Copper Conference in Santiago has been cancelled owing to concerns over travel risks associated with the coronavirus outbreak, forum organiser Cesco told Reuters on Monday. The coronavirus, which was identified in China late last year, has quickly spread to dozens of... 

Battery Minerals buys project next to Stavely

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd March 2020 ASX-listed Battery Minerals has signed a binding agreement to buy 67% of Gippsland Prospecting, which has the sole right to apply for an exploration licence immediately adjacent to fellow-listed Stavely Minerals’ Thursday’s Gossan copper/gold project, in Victoria. Known as Block 4, the tenement... 

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