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South America News

Hochschild halts operations in Peru after virus outbreak

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 3 hours ago A number of workers at silver and gold mining company Hochschild Mining’s Inmaculada operation, in southern Peru, have tested positive for Covid-19, despite preventative measures being in place, including a comprehensive testing programme and quarantine for all employees. The UK-based company has... 

Covid-19 stops Caucharí-Olaroz construction

By: Creamer Media Reporter      Updated 3 hours ago Construction of the Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project, in Jujuy, Argentina, has been halted, after two workers tested positive for Covid-19. Both workers were asymptomatic and in good health, dual-listed Lithium Americas said on Monday. Construction activities had been temporarily suspended while... 

Air Products and thyssenkrupp sign green hydrogen agreement

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 4 hours ago NYSE-listed industrial gases multinational Air Products and industrial technology multinational thyssenkrupp on July 5 announced that they had signed an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement to develop world-scale electrolysis plants to generate green hydrogen. The two companies will... 

Fortuna suspends Caylloma operations for two weeks

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 4 hours ago NYSE- and TSX-listed Fortuna Silver Mines has voluntarily suspended operations for two weeks at its Caylloma mine, in Peru, following the sudden death of a 34-year old contractor employee on July 5. The cause of death has not yet been determined, but the individual had completed a health check,... 

Fortuna suspends Caylloma operations for two weeks

Endeavour permitted to mine extended area around Houndé mine

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 4 hours ago TSX-listed Endeavour Mining has been granted a mining permit extension by the Burkina Faso government, covering the full Kari Area at its Houndé gold mine. The Kari area hosts the Kari Gap, Kari South, Kari Pump, Kari Center and Kari West discoveries.  

Copper poised to maintain upward price trajectory, says ERG CEO

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 5 hours ago Diversified miner Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) says the unprecedented levels of stimulus across the world are set to sustain the recovery in copper demand in the longer term, with the supply impact of the Covid-19 pandemic expected to extend beyond this year. Growth drivers include the digital... 

Mitsui Mining resumes operation of Peru's zinc mines

By: Reuters     6th July 2020 Japan's Mitsui Mining and Smelting said on Monday its two zinc mines in Peru resumed operations on July 2 after a closure of more than three months to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The company's Huanzala and Palka mines had been suspended since March 16 after the local government... 

Lundin Gold provides 2020 outlook for Ecuador mine

By: Mariaan Webb     6th July 2020 TSX-listed Lundin Gold has issued a 2020 production guidance for its Fruta del Norte mine, in Ecuador, after confirming on Sunday that operations have resume. The mine is forecast to produce between 200 000 oz and 220 000 oz during the year, of which 150 000 oz to 170 000 oz will be produced in... 

Small tailings dam collapses in Ecuador, communities denounce pollution

By: Reuters     6th July 2020 A small tailings dam associated with a mine run by Ecuadorean firm Austro Gold has collapsed, Ecuador's government said on Friday, sending mining waste into a nearby river. A retaining wall collapsed at the Armijos tailings station, located in the Camilo Ponce Enriquez area in southern Ecuador,... 

More than 80 at Trevali mine positive for Covid

By: Mariaan Webb     6th July 2020 TSX-listed Trevali Mining now has more than 80 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at its Santander operation, which is nearly 30% of the total workforce of the mine in Peru. The company suspended operations at Santander in late June, after 19 workers tested positive for the virus during routine... 

More than 80 at Trevali mine positive for Covid
The Santander mine, in Peru.

Vale CFO says dividend payments may resume depending on coronavirus pandemic

By: Reuters     6th July 2020 Brazilian miner Vale is ready to resume dividend payments to investors and is just waiting for more certainty around the coronavirus pandemic before approving the move, CFO Luciano Siani told investors on Friday. Vale has suspended dividend payments since the Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, dam burst,... 

Epiroc aims to halve carbon dioxide emissions in operations as part of 2030 goals

By: Schalk Burger     3rd July 2020 Mining and infrastructure equipment multinational Epiroc this week released its 2030 sustainability goals, which include halving carbon dioxide emissions from operations, transport and major suppliers, as well as from customers’ use of Epiroc equipment. "These are challenging targets, but we will... 

Reliable connectivity essential for effective IoT

By: Schalk Burger     3rd July 2020 A global study conducted by satellite communications multinational Inmarsat found that only 15% of mining organisations consistently have access to reliable connectivity for their Internet of Things- (IoT-) enabled projects. Inmarsat’s research programme into IoT trends 'The Rise of IoT in... 

Moon metals discovery aids development of lunar formation theories

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 Scientists using data from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft have discovered evidence that the Moon might, underneath its surface, be richer in metals (such as iron and titanium) than had previously been believed. Nasa is... 

Moon metals discovery aids development of lunar formation theories

Reopening of economies boosting metals prices 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd July 2020 Since lockdown measures have started to ease around the world to contain Covid-19, ratings and research agency Standard & Poor’s Global (S&P Global) says the reopening of economies, combined with monetary stimulus by banks and governments, has allowed industrial metal prices to rise. However,... 

Reopening of economies boosting metals prices

Chile copper production at risk as coronavirus bites

By: Reuters     3rd July 2020 Chile's vaunted copper industry is nearing a tipping point as coronavirus explodes across the South American nation, mine workers and analysts say, laying bare the hidden costs of policies that have until now salvaged its output of the red metal. Since early April leading miners, including... 

Chile copper production at risk as coronavirus bites

Cost blow-outs and delays confirmed at Oyu Tolgoi

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd July 2020 Mining major Rio Tinto on Friday confirmed a cost blow-out of between $1.3-billion and $1.8-billion at the Oyu Tolgoi copper project, in Mongolia, compared with the original $5.3-billion capital estimates. Meanwhile, first sustainable production has been delayed by between 21 and 29 months... 

Cost blow-outs and delays confirmed at Oyu Tolgoi

Community relations vital for thriving mining operations

By: Theresa Bhowan     3rd July 2020 With South America being rich in natural minerals, and communities having a strong relation to the land, mining companies have to approach communities correctly if they want projects to be sustainable, Washington-based law firm Miller & Chevalier tells Mining Weekly. 

Community relations vital for thriving mining operations
MATTESON ELLIS There are significant economic implications if a sophisticated approach to handling community relationships is not taken

Multotec expands global reach into South America

By: Shannon de Ryhove     3rd July 2020 South African minerals processing company Multotec is expanding its global reach by investing in South America, where almost 30% of the world’s foreign direct investment is being funnelled. “South America is a very important mining jurisdiction. Multotec Chile’s official registration in 2014... 

Multotec expands global reach into South America
MANUFACTURING CAPABILITY Multotec’s production capability enables it to supply products to any mine in the world

World top copper producer Chile keeps output steady in May even as coronavirus explodes

By: Reuters     2nd July 2020 World top copper producer Chile held its production of copper steady in May versus the previous year even as the coronavirus outbreak exploded in the South American nation, according to data released on Thursday by State copper agency Cochilco. The fast-spreading pandemic in Chile has rattled... 

World top copper producer Chile keeps output steady in May even as coronavirus explodes
Spence is a copper mine located in the Atacama desert, in the north of Chile.

Codelco warns more restrictions on copper mines would be 'catastrophic' - report

By: Reuters     2nd July 2020 Chile's State-run Codelco, the world´s top copper producer, warned on Thursday any move to ramp up restrictions on its mines amid the coronavirus outbreak would be "catastrophic" for the country, the company´s chief executive said in an interview in a local daily newspaper. CEO Octavio Araneda... 

Covid kills 13 mineworkers, no foreigners back at work  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd July 2020 Thirteen mineworkers have now succumbed to the coronavirus, Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello Chabana said on Thursday. Of the 13 who have died, seven were employed in platinum mining in North West province, which has the most cases at 1 413... 

Covid kills 13 mineworkers, no foreigners back at work
Minerals Council South Africa Covid update covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Mining will need long-term strategies to survive new normal 

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd July 2020 For the mining industry to be successful post-Covid-19, the industry will require long-term strategies to deal with its challenges, which includes the pandemic. In a webinar hosted by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) on July 2, investment management firm Orion Resource Partners... 

Mining will need long-term strategies to survive new normal

Hydrogen-powered aviation preparing for takeoff – study 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd July 2020 Hydrogen as an energy source will play a key role in transforming aviation into a zero-carbon/climate-neutral system over the next few decades, an independent study states in estimating that the first short-range hydrogen-powered demonstrator could be developed by 2028 if sufficient investments... 

Hydrogen-powered aviation preparing for takeoff – study
Strong steps being taken to clean up the skies by using hydrogen to power aircraft.

Rio adds to board

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd July 2020 Diversified major Rio Tinto has added a strategy and development role to its executive committee, with Peter Toth appointed as a group executive. The new role will be focused on leading Rio’s transformation efforts around portfolio, climate change, and closure, working in partnership with the... 

Commodity freighters are shrugging off Covid-19. For now

By: Bloomberg     1st July 2020 The cost of moving commodities like coal and iron-ore across the world’s oceans is surging as China lifts cargo purchases. Whether the rally will withstand the economic aftershocks of the coronavirus is a thornier question. Rates for giant capesize ships climbed to almost $31 000 a day on... 

BHP scales back Cerro Colorado copper mine

By: Mariaan Webb     1st July 2020 Global miner BHP is scaling back its operations at Cerro Colorado, in Chile, with resizing measures to be implemented over the next four months. These measures will result in a reduced headcount and the company has started discussions with employees and contractors. The adjusted mine plan will... 

BHP scales back Cerro Colorado copper mine
Photo by Flicker/Gabri Solera
Cerro Colorado

Vale to relocate 50 people near dams, expanding 'safety zone'

By: Reuters     1st July 2020 Brazilian miner Vale said on Wednesday it will relocate about 50 people near a series of tailings dams in the state of Minas Gerais to reflect concern that a wider area could be hit by a potential dam burst. Vale said in a securities filing that the move to expand the "safety zone" around the... 

Vale to relocate 50 people near dams, expanding 'safety zone'

Bullion platinum investment at an all-time high, says WPIC

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2020 The World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) reports that sales of platinum bullion products – retail bars and coins – surged to record highs in the first quarter of the year, with purchases totalling 312 000 oz. Annualised, this represents a rate that is five times higher than that experienced... 

Metso Outotec can drive industries towards responsible use of natural resources

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2020 Metso Minerals, a subsidiary of global industrial company Metso, has officially merged with Finnish-listed technology company Outotec. The merger has formed a leading process technology, equipment and services company serving the minerals, metals and aggregates industries. The combined company... 

After taking out $1 800, gold investors focus on Fed’s next step

By: Bloomberg     1st July 2020 Fresh from cracking $1 800/pz, the global gold market wants to know what the Federal Reserve may do next to rescue the US economy, with minutes due later on Wednesday that may shed light on the central bank’s willingness to embrace yield curve control. Futures held near the highest in more than... 

After taking out $1 800, gold investors focus on Fed’s next step

R10m Covid testing lab unveiled at De Beers' Venetia diamond mine

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2020 De Beers Venetia Mine has unveiled a R10-million coronavirus testing laboratory that will be used to check the diamond mines’ employees and contractors for Covid-19. Discussion with the Department of Health is also under way on assisting with the government’s screening efforts in the mine’s... 

R10m Covid testing lab unveiled at De Beers' Venetia diamond mine
Limpopo MEC of Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba (left) and De Beers Group Managed Operations MD Mpumi Zikalala (right).

Platinum group metals in pole position to benefit from global decarbonisation thrust  

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2020 Platinum group metals are in pole position to benefit from the fast-growing global decarbonisation momentum, Mining Weekly can today report. A multiplicity of global announcements are emerging daily that inextricably link platinum-catalysed hydrogen fuel cells as well as platinum-catalysed... 

Platinum group metals in pole position to benefit from global decarbonisation thrust
AP Ventures founding partner Kevin Eggers interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Gold climbs above $1 800 for the first time since 2011

By: Bloomberg     30th June 2020 Gold futures rose above $1 800/oz for the first time in eight years as low interest rates and a resurgence in coronavirus cases drive demand for the metal as a haven. The metal is heading for its best quarter since early 2016, benefiting from economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve and other... 

Gold climbs above $1 800 for the first time since 2011

SolGold moves to buy Ecuador mine partner Cornerstone

By: Mariaan Webb     30th June 2020 Dual-listed SolGold on Tuesday announced that it had formally commenced an offer to acquire the issued and outstanding shares of Ecuadorian mine partner Cornerstone Capital, inviting that company’s shareholders to be “part of an exciting plan”. SolGold presented an all-stock transaction of 11 of... 

SolGold moves to buy Ecuador mine partner Cornerstone
SolGold CEO Nick Mather

Environmental groups propose tailings dam safety standards

By: Reuters     30th June 2020 Mining companies should be required to buy private insurance for tailings dams and their board of directors should be held legally responsible for any disasters, a coalition of 140 environmental groups said in a report published on Tuesday. The recommendations, which differ from standards to be... 

Sigma announces term sheet for $45m project facility

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th June 2020 TSX-V-listed Sigma Lithium has signed a term sheet for a $45-million senior secured project finance facility to be led by Societe Generale. The bank project finance facility will be used for the construction and development of the company’s Grota do Cirilo lithium project in Minas Gerais,... 

Copper heads for best quarter since 2010 as supply worries mount

By: Bloomberg     29th June 2020 Copper is poised for its best quarter since 2010, helped by optimism over a stronger-than-expected demand rebound in top consumer China and mounting supply concerns in South America. The metal used in everything from automobiles to electronics has surged 21% this quarter, and climbed above $6... 

Copper heads for best quarter since 2010 as supply worries mount
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