R/€ = 17.00 Change: -0.04
R/$ = 16.56 Change: -0.04
Au 1767.94 $/oz Change: -37.27
Pt 864.98 $/oz Change: -11.92

South America News

Cash to burn, synfuels in sight?

By: Matthew Hill     20th June 2008 As the Chinese economy roars ever onward, resource companies are well poised to increasingly benefit, firstly because of growing demand for their products, but the immense Asian country is also embarking on what will likely turn out to be the world's biggest ever shopping spree. An expert on... 

Supply fears push aluminium to three-month high

By: Reuters     20th June 2008 Aluminium prices jumped to a three-month high on Friday as investors bought on news a US producer shut down about half its capacity, while copper hit a one-month high. Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange hit $3 158 a tonne, its highest level since March 14. It was trading up at $3... 

Metallica, New Gold, Peak combination gets shareholder thumbs-up

By: Liezel Hill     18th June 2008 The respective shareholders of Metallica Resources, New Gold and Peak Gold approved the three-way merger of the companies in shareholder meetings on Tuesday.  

Crystallex appeals to Minister over Las Cristinas permit refusal

By: Liezel Hill     17th June 2008 Toronto-based Crystallex International has filed a rebuttal with Venezuela's Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, after a previous appeal to the official who denied the company an exploration permit, was refused. The Minister has 90 business days in which to issue a decision... 

Miners cautioned to watch expenses as costs eroded 2007’s revenues 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th June 2008 While commodity prices were expected to remain strong in 2008, professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said on Tuesday that it was expecting prices to taper off slightly, and that some companies would come under pressure if they did not watch input and operational costs.... 

Global uranium supplies sufficient for nuclear needs with new generation technology – expert

By: Matthew Hill     17th June 2008 Current global uranium resources will provide for 200 years of nuclear power generation at 2005 consumption levels, but this figure could shrink rapidly if there was a big drive for this technology around the world, an expert said on Tuesday. International Nuclear Energy Academy chairperson... 

Zinc surplus widens – study group

By: Liezel Hill     16th June 2008 The global zinc market was in surplus by 78 000 t during the first four months of this year, compared with an oversupply of 43 000 t during the same period of 2007, according to estimates from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG). Mine output, which increased 9,2% year on year, to... 

Antofagasta may buy stake in Metallica's Chile project

By: Liezel Hill     16th June 2008 Toronto-based Metallica Resources has agreed to give copper miner Antofagasta an option to earn up to a 70% interest in Metallica's Rio Figueroa copper/gold project, in Chile, the company said in a statement on Monday. Antofagasta can earn an initial 30% stake in the project by paying $50... 

Brazilian miner Mundo names new chair

By: Matthew Hill     13th June 2008 Brazilian gold producer Mundo Minerals on Friday said that it had appointed Barry Eldridge to replace its retiring nonexecutive chairperson, George Jones. The move was effective immediately, ASX-listed Mundo said. 

Iamgold doesn't expect output knock after 21-hr Suriname strike

By: Liezel Hill     10th June 2008 Canadian gold-miner Iamgold does not anticipate that gold production or costs will be materially affected after a 21-hour work stoppage at the company's Rosebel gold mine, in Suriname, this week.  

Vale plans to sell $15bn of shares to fund projects, acquisitions 

By: Liezel Hill     10th June 2008 Brazilian resources and logistics group Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale) plans to sell common and preferred class A shares in the company worth as much as $15-billion, the company said on Tuesday.  

Gold drops below $890 as US dollar firms

By: Reuters     10th June 2008 Gold extended losses on Tuesday and dropped below $890 an ounce after the US dollar gained on expectations of a possible interest rate hike, reducing the metal's appeal as an alternative investment. Gold fell to $889,80/890,70 an ounce from $894,00/896,00 late in New York on Monday, when it... 

Gold above $900 on record oil, hits 2-week high

By: Reuters     9th June 2008 Gold rose to its highest level in almost two weeks on Monday, moving back above $900 as speculative buying picked up after oil hit a record high, lifting the metal's appeal as a hedge against inflation. Platinum also jumped to its highest in nearly two weeks on worries about supplies in... 

Crystallex chief Gordon Thompson quits

By: Liezel Hill     3rd June 2008 Toronto-based Crystallex International has appointed chairperson Robert Fung as interim CEO, after president and CEO Gordon Thompson resigned "to pursue personal interests", the company said on Tuesday afternoon. 

Industry needs $700/oz gold to stay afloat - Barrick's Sokalsky

By: Liezel Hill     3rd June 2008 On average, gold producers will need the price of gold to stay north of $700/oz if they are to turn a profit in the current environment of rising costs, Barrick Gold CFO Jamie Sokalsky said on Tuesday. Industry cash costs are currently around $450/oz to $500/oz and, taking into account the cost... 

Backfill system could double reserves at niobium mine – Iamgold

By: Liezel Hill     2nd June 2008 Canadian gold-miner Iamgold believes that it could double the reserves at its Niobec niobium mine, in Quebec, Canada, by introducing a paste backfill system at the operation, the company said on Monday. A study on the proposal had indicated that it would cost about C$8-million and could be... 

Crystallex to appeal to Venezuela minister over Las Cristinas permit denial

By: Liezel Hill     30th May 2008 Toronto-based Crystallex International has been advised that a legal rebuttal filed by the company, against a decision to refuse an exploration permit at the company's Las Cristinas project, has been denied. The company has the right to appeal to the Minister of the Environment and Natural... 

Kinross produces first metal at new Russian mine

By: Liezel Hill     30th May 2008 Canadian gold-miner Kinross Gold has produced the first gold and silver from its Kupol project in Russia, the company announced on Friday. Kupol is the first of three development projects that Kinross plans to bring on line this year. 

New KIO chief Griffith says keen to apply skills to new commodity

By: Matthew Hill     29th May 2008 The commodities basket is a “fantastic place to be”, but the skills shortage, cost pressures, keeping to project timelines, and community issues all present challenges to the mining industry, JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore’s (KIO’s) new CEO said on Wednesday. Chris Griffith,... 

Gold dehedging accelerates faster than expected – GFMS

By: Matthew Hill     29th May 2008 Global gold dehedging accelerated faster than what people expected in the first quarter of 2008, with producers lopping off 128 t, or 22,6-million ounces, of their forward contracts in the three-month period, a report said on Thursday. However, despite these "weighty cuts" the... 

Gold pulled higher by oil after pipeline blow-up

By: Reuters     27th May 2008 Gold opened higher on Tuesday as further supply disruptions in Nigeria, the world's eighth-largest oil producer, and a weaker dollar, made the precious metal increasingly attractive. Spot gold stood at $927,00/927,90 an ounce by 03:29 GMT, having earlier risen above $930, and up from... 

Laws of the jungle at work as junior, mid-tier mining consolidation continues

By: Liezel Hill     26th May 2008 Consolidation in the junior and mid-tier mining space looks set to continue, as companies find it increasingly difficult to access finance for development projects, making them vulnerable to predators, an Ernst & Young report indicated on Monday. At the same time, medium-sized companies... 

Iamgold grants junior earn-in option on Brazil proprty

By: Liezel Hill     23rd May 2008 Vancouver-based exploration fiVancouver-based exploration firm Amarillo Gold and mid-tier precious-metals miner Iamgold have signed a heads of agreement, giving the smaller company the right to buy up to 80% of a 7 000-ha exploration property in Brazil.  

Intrepid completes debt repayment ahead of schedule

By: Liezel Hill     22nd May 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Intrepid Mines has repayed its project finance loan to Australian bank Westpac six months ahead of schedule, the firm said on Thursday. Intrepid, which merged earlier this year with former DRDGold subsidiary Emperor Mines, produces gold from the Paulsens operation, in Western... 

Zimbabwe vote crisis may hurt '08 platinum output

By: Reuters     19th May 2008 Platinum supplies from Zimbabwe rose 2,3% to 171 000 oz last year, but a disputed election may damage output this year, metals refiner Johnson Matthey (JM) said on Monday. JM said the dispute over the outcome of an election in March, and further escalation of a power crisis in South Africa, the... 

Adriana appoints operations chief

By: Liezel Hill     16th May 2008 Vancouver-based Adriana Resources has appointed Michael Petrina as VP of operations, the company said on Friday. 

AngloGold, B2Gold wrap up Colombia transaction

By: Liezel Hill     16th May 2008 Gold major AngloGold Ashanti and Canadian junior B2Gold have completed a series of transactions announced in February, when AngloGold agreed to swap its interest in several exploration properties in Colombia for a 15,9% stake in the Vancouver-based company. 

Crystallex will do 'whatever necessary' to protect rights in Venezuela

By: Liezel Hill     16th May 2008 Toronto-based Crystallex International will “undertake whatever is necessary in order to protects its shareholders' rights", the company said on Friday, in response to comments by the Venezuelan Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources that the country would block all... 

Chariot Resources on track for Peru feasibility study, despite 'modest' delay

By: Liezel Hill     16th May 2008 Toronto-based Chariot Resources may need a little extra time to complete a feasibility study on its 70%-owned Mina Justa project, in Peru, after “modest” delays in completing an updated mine plan. However, all other key elements of the study, which CEO Ulli Rath said earlier this year... 

Venezuela blocks openpit mining – report

By: Liezel Hill     15th May 2008 Venezuela will not issue permits for any openpit mines in the country because of environmental concerns, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Environment Minister Yuviri Ortega. The country would also not grant exploration permits for companies wanting to look for gold in its Imataca Forest... 

Demand for Africa’s minerals to underpin AEL’s growth 

By: Matthew Hill     15th May 2008 Explosives manufacturer AEL,a subsidiary of JSE-listed AECI, forecast revenue of R1-billion from African countries excluding South Africa, it said on Thursday. The global commodities boom has sparked a new rush for the continent's minerals, pushing up demand for the firm's products. 

Tomsett named chairperson of Silver Standard

By: Liezel Hill     15th May 2008 Vancouver-based Silver Standard Resources has appointed former Placer Dome president and CEO Peter Tomsett as the chairperson of its board of directors, the company said on Thursday.  

Vale arranges $5bn financing in Japan

By: Liezel Hill     14th May 2008 Brazilian resources group Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale) has entered into agreements with two Japanese long-term financing agencies for up to $5-billion, the company said on Wednesday. 

Pan American Silver announces senior management changes

By: Liezel Hill     14th May 2008 Vancouver-based Pan American Silver has appointed project development VP Steven Busby to the position of COO, effective immediately, the company announced on Wednesday.  

Silver Standard hikes reserves 43% at Argentina project

By: Liezel Hill     14th May 2008 Vancouver-based Silver Standard Resources has increased the proven and probable silver reserves at its Pirquitas project, in northwestern Argentina, by 43%, to 195,1-million ounces, the firm said on Wednesday.  

Iamgold pushes alternative plans for Camp Caiman

By: Liezel Hill     13th May 2008 Canadian gold-miner Iamgold, which has experienced its share of what CEO Joe Conway terms “setbacks” this year , has submitted alternative plans to the French government for the development of its Camp Caiman project, in French Guiana, and is awaiting a response from President Nicolas... 

New Angloplat CEO hopes to fix miner's safety reputation  

By: Matthew Hill     13th May 2008 CEO designate of the world's biggest platinum producer, 48-year old mining engineer Neville Nicolau, said on the day of the announcement of his appointment that "safety is our moral licence to operate". This came after his predecessor quit his job because of pressures around... 

Goldcorp pours first gold at Penasquito project

By: Liezel Hill     13th May 2008 Vancouver-based Goldcorp has poured the first gold at its Penasquito project, in Mexico, the firm announced on Tuesday. Nearly two-million tons of ore had been stacked on the heap-leach pads at the $1,49-billion project, which president and CEO Kevin McArthur has described as the group's... 

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