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South America News

Gold rebounds on Iran missile test, off two-week low

By: Reuters     9th July 2008 Gold regained ground on Wednesday as speculators resurfaced on news that Iran had test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles, lifting the metal's safe-haven appeal in times of uncertainty. State media said Iran had test fired missiles, including one which it had previously said could travel... 

Pacific Copper agrees to buy Chile copper prospects

By: Liezel Hill     8th July 2008 Tucson, Arizona-based explorer Pacific Copper has executed a letter of intent to buy 100% of two prospective copper properties in Chile for 4-million shares and a 2% net smelter royalty on each project, the firm said on Tuesday.  

EU launches in-depth probe into proposed BHP-Rio tie-up

4th July 2008 The European Commission has opened a detailed investigation into plans by the world's biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, to acquire rival Rio Tinto, after an initial assessment raised concerns over the deal, the executive arm of the European Union said on Friday. The commission's initial... 

Newcrest retains Cracow stake after Beadell cancelled acquisition

By: Matthew Hill     4th July 2008 Australian gold junior Beadell Resources has had to cancel its acquisition of the Cracow mine, in Queensland, from Newcrest Mining, because current tough market conditions prevented its equity raising. The company announced on Friday that Newcrest would now refund its A$2-million deposit plus... 

BHP starts China regulatory clearance process for Rio merger

By: Matthew Hill     4th July 2008 BHP Billiton has begun the filing process to get clearance for its proposed merger with rival Rio Tinto with China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom), it said on Friday. The resources multinational has already filed for clearance in the European Union, the US, Australia, Canada and South Africa,... 

BHP agrees up to 97% iron-ore price increase with China’s Baosteel

By: Matthew Hill     4th July 2008 Resources giant BHP Billiton on Friday said that it had agreed with China number-one steel producer Baosteel on iron-ore prices for 2008, which was an increase of up to 97% on the previous year’s prices. Yandi and Newman fine ores increased to $1,44/t and Newman lump ore went up to $2,01/t, the... 

Iron-ore benchmark pricing system 'doomed'?

By: Liezel Hill     3rd July 2008 Despite opposition from steelmakers, the iron-ore benchmark pricing system may be on its way out, according to a report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), together with the Raw Materials Group. "It appears likely that trade in iron ore will become more... 

Pacific Rim halts El Salvador drilling, fires staff on mine permit delay

By: Liezel Hill     3rd July 2008 Shares in Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining fell 34,18% on Thursday, after the company said that it had begun scaling back operations at its gold projects in El Salvador, and would halt drilling until it was awarded a long-awaited mining permit for its El Dorado project in the country. “The... 

Vale to sell shares in Brazil, global offerings

By: Liezel Hill     3rd July 2008 Brazilian mining firm Companhia Vale do Rio Doce plans to sell up to 256,9-million common shares and 164,4-million preference shares on or about July 4, the company said on Thursday. The offering will comprise a registered offering in Brazil and an international offering, which will include a... 

JSE coal stocks drop sharply as commodity’s prices decline

By: Matthew Hill     3rd July 2008 The JSE’s coal index shed over 10% on Thursday morning, after the fuel’s prices dropped. Coal prices had surged up to trade at around the $200/t mark this week, but a South African coal analyst said that these levels were "anomalous", and a correction would come. 

Gold Fields targeting $800m free cash flow by Dec 31, says new CEO Holland

By: Martin Creamer     2nd July 2008 The gold industry has moved away from saying cash costs are king, ounces of production are king, reserves are king, and is now focused on the fundamentals of creating free cash flow, says new Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland, who discloses that his company is targeting a free cash flow of... 

Fortuna Silver to list in Peru

By: Liezel Hill     25th June 2008 TSX Venture Exchange-listed Fortuna Silver will begin trading on the Lima Stock Exchange when the market opens on Thursday, the firm said in a statement. 

Diamond body urges members to boycott Venezuela gems

By: Matthew Hill     25th June 2008 Do not buy diamonds from Venezuela or face expulsion, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) warned its members on Wednesday. This came after the South American country earlier this month suspended itself from the Kimberley Process (KP), which industry and governments set up to combat... 

S hemisphere turnover to beat north for first time, says Sandvik Africa president

By: Martin Creamer     25th June 2008 Southern hemisphere sales turnover was poised to overtake northern hemisphere turnover for the first time ever, Sandvik Mining and Construction president region Africa Chris Brindley said on Wednesday.  

Gold Fields expects fourth-quarter output to rise 4,5%

By: Matthew Hill     25th June 2008 Africa's second-biggest gold producer, Gold Fields, on Wednesday said that its fourth quarter production would climb 4,5% on the previous three-month's figure, with its South African production showing a 6,6% increase. The JSE-listed miner said that the better-than-expected South African... 

Crystallex, Gold Reserve leap on Venezuela permitting hope

By: Liezel Hill     24th June 2008 Toronto-based Crystallex International, which has been trying for years to get permission to build its Las Cristinas gold mine, in Venezuela, has been told by the country's Ministry of the Environment that it could still receive the all-important environmental permit to affect natural resources,... 

China's Baosteel agrees to steep price hikes for Rio Tinto iron ore

By: Liezel Hill     23rd June 2008 Diversified-miner Rio Tinto has secured an overall 85% increase in the price for its iron-ore from China's biggest steelmaker, Baosteel, the group announced on Monday. The increases, which were higher than agreements reached earlier this year by the world's biggest iron-ore producer – Companhia... 

HudBay to buy Skye Resources for Guatemala nickel project

By: Liezel Hill     23rd June 2008 Canadian miner HudBay Minerals has agreed to buy TSX-listed Skye Resources to gain control of the smaller company's Fenix nickel project, in Guatemala, the two firms announced on Monday. Skye shareholders will receive 0,61 HudBay shares for every Skye share they own, and HudBay will also buy... 

Rusoro to buy Venezuelan assets from Hecla

By: Liezel Hill     20th June 2008 TSX-listed Rusoro Mining will pay $25-million in cash and shares for the Venezuelan operations of Coeur D'Alene-based Hecla Mining, the company announced late on Thursday. 

Anglo slides after Vale denies takeover talks

By: Liezel Hill     20th June 2008 Shares in diversified miner Anglo American fell 2,36% on Friday, a day after Brazilian mining group Companhia Vale do Rio Doce said that it was not in talks to buy another company. Anglo American leapt earlier in the week on speculation of a bid from Vale, and daily newspaper O Estado de Sao... 

Skye CFO to retire, names replacement

By: Liezel Hill     20th June 2008 TSX-listed Skye Resources has appointed finance VP and treasurer David Bryson as CFO, to replace Keith Service, who is retiring. Service will remain available to Skye “to assist on special assignments”, the firm said. 

Agnico-Eagle mulls growth at own projects, cautiously eyes potential targets 

By: Liezel Hill     20th June 2008 Notwithstanding CEO Sean Boyd's insistence that “it's not a race, we're not racing anywhere”, Canadian gold-miner Agnico-Eagle is unarguably making excellent time, with one new mine under its belt this year and another four to come over the next 18 months, not to mention an extension at its... 

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... 

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