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Base Metals News

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... 

Congo plans dollar purchases from miners to bolster reserves

By: Bloomberg     2nd March 2020 The Democratic Republic of Congo’s central bank plans to use the country’s updated mining law to buy dollars from mining companies in exchange for Congolese francs to shore up dwindling foreign currency reserves. The government’s demand for dollars is “to assure the resilience of the national... 

Panoramic completes Savannah underground handover to Barminco

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd March 2020 ASX-listed Panoramic Resources has successfully transitioned all underground mining activities at its Savannah nickel mine in Western Australia to the stewardship of underground contractor Barminco. Barminco has rapidly mobilised its key personnel and initial equipment to site, with the... 

Indonesia to issue rules on nickel ore price around late March

By: Reuters     28th February 2020 Indonesia aims to issue around late next month a regulation governing selling prices of nickel ore, a Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources official said on Friday, following complaints by miners. The rules are aimed at preventing local smelting companies from buying ore at price level that... 

Aurubis to intensify expansion in non-copper metals - CEO

By: Reuters     27th February 2020 Aurubis, Europe's biggest copper smelter, will boost its expansion into the production of metals other than copper, its new chief executive officer said on Thursday. "We will undertake over-proportional expansion metals which are not copper," new CEO Roland Harings said in an advance release of... 

Fjordland and CanAlaska to explore north of Vale’s Thompson mine

By: Mariaan Webb     26th February 2020 Exploration companies Fjordland and CanAlaska Uranium have announced a letter of intent (LoI) to explore the North Thompson nickel project – a 16 685 ha claim group located 25 km north of the Thompson mine operated by Vale Canada. TSX-V-listed Fjordland has an option to acquire up to 80% in... 

New pure-play nickel/cobalt company to start trading on TSX-V

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th February 2020 The TSX-V has approved the listing of Canada Nickel Company, which will begin trading on the exchange on Friday. Canada Nickel owns the Crawford nickel/cobalt sulphide project, which was spun out of TSX-V-listed Noble Mineral Exploration. Noble announced the transfer of Crawford, in Ontario, to... 

New Zealand on tenterhooks over Rio Tinto smelter closure risk

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 Meridian Energy, New Zealand's top power producer, on Wednesday played down market expectations that Rio Tinto would keep its New Zealand Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) open when it decides on the plant's fate in the next month. The global miner's smelter at Tiwai Point is New Zealand's largest power... 

New Zealand on tenterhooks over Rio Tinto smelter closure risk
Photo by Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto's aluminium smelter in New Zealand.

Red Rock excited about second-phase DRC exploration

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th February 2020 London-listed Red Rock Resources has contracted mineral exploration associates Minex Consulting to start a second phase of exploration on its licence in the copperbelt, in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The licence, which Red Rock calls the Luanshimba project, is... 

Indonesia expects delay to $11bn nickel projects due to coronavirus outbreak

By: Reuters     25th February 2020 Indonesia's coordinating minister overseeing maritime resources and investment affairs said on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak in China will likely delay development of nickel projects in the Southeast Asian country worth about $11-billion. Minister Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters that... 

Ivanhoe rapidly progressing Kakula mine development  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th February 2020 TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines has completed more than 8 km of underground development at the Kakula copper mine, in Democratic Republic of Congo. The company on Tuesday said this was 1.7 km ahead of schedule.  

‘Everybody is on edge’ with worry on virus – Freeport CEO

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2020 The coronavirus “took the legs out” of copper’s rally and is rattling everyone from miners to equipment suppliers, according to the head of the world’s largest publicly traded producer of the metal. “Everybody is on edge, and they’re taking it very seriously and the uncertainty around it,”... 

‘Everybody is on edge’ with worry on virus – Freeport CEO

Freeport's Adkerson pours cold water on Barrick Grasberg tie-up

By: Reuters     24th February 2020 Freeport McMoRan is not interested in pulling the trigger on a deal for its Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia, president and CEO Richard Adkerson said on Monday, tamping down speculation of a tie-up with Canadian miner Barrick Gold. “Now’s just not the time for Freeport to think about doing... 

Freeport's Adkerson pours cold water on Barrick Grasberg tie-up
Freeport McMoran CEO Richard Adkerson

Hudbay prepares for next phase of growth

By: Mariaan Webb     24th February 2020 Dual-listed Hudbay Minerals is preparing for the next phase of growth, focusing on mining the high-grade Pampacancha satellite deposit, in Peru, and completing the refurbishment of the New Britannia gold mill, in Canada. Both projects, CEO Peter Kukielski says, require low capital intensity, but... 

Ecuadorean court denies public vote on halting mining projects

By: Reuters     24th February 2020 Ecuador's Constitutional Court late on Friday denied for a second time a request by activists to hold a public vote on whether to ban mining in the Andean country's mineral-rich Azuay province, where several mining projects are in development. Azuay's prefect, Yaku Perez, who submitted the... 

Even without a case, Africa may be a big victim of coronavirus

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2020 Even without a single confirmed case, sub-Saharan Africa may be the region hardest hit outside of Asia by the spread of the coronavirus. The outbreak has shut down entire swathes of the Chinese economy, threatening world economic growth and curbing appetite for oil and metals that are the... 

Rio Tinto turns to arbitration to settle Mongolia tax dispute

By: Mariaan Webb     21st February 2020 Diversified major Rio Tinto said on Friday that its Mongolian unit, Oyu Tolgoi, had initiated a formal international arbitration process to seek a definitive resolution with regard to a dispute with that country’s tax authority. The Mongolia Tax Authority issued Rio Tinto with a tax assessment... 

Teck profit slumps on lower coal prices; flags virus hit

By: Reuters     21st February 2020 Canadian miner Teck Resources reported a 76% slump in fourth-quarter adjusted profit on Friday, hurt by lower prices for steelmaking coal and warned that the coronavirus epidemic would impact its earnings. Copper and other base metal prices have suffered from a long-drawn tariff war between the... 

Teck profit slumps on lower coal prices; flags virus hit
Teck Resources CEO Don Lindsay

Teck to update QB2 schedule, cost estimates

By: Mariaan Webb     21st February 2020 Diversified mining company Teck Resources is continuing to target first production at the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) copper project, in Chile, by late next year, but the miner warned on Friday that there had been delays in the schedule, primarily owing to permitting and social unrest. The... 

Teck to update QB2 schedule, cost estimates
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