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South America News

Gold Fields confirms enviro compliance work under way at Salares Norte following fox deaths

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th May 2022 JSE- and NYSE-listed Gold Fields has confirmed that the death of three foxes occurred at its Salares Norte gold/copper project, in Chile. The country’s environmental regulator has since issued some compliance orders to be adhered to.  

Gold Fields subsidiary plans to buy stock in Peru-focused mining company

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th May 2022 TSX-V-listed Chakana Copper Corporation has announced a private placement of up to 63-milllion units of the company at a price of C$0.11 apiece, for gross proceeds of up to C$7-million. Each unit will comprise one common share in the capital of the company and one-half of one common share... 

BHP unveils distribution plans and Woodside changes names

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th May 2022 Diversified miner BHP on Friday announced it would pay shareholders an in specie dividend in the form of Woodside Petroleum shares in connection with the merger of BHP’s oil and gas portfolio with Woodside. The shareholders of Woodside on Thursday approved the merger, which would create the... 

BHP still sees room to negotiate with Samarco's creditors

By: Bloomberg     20th May 2022 BHP Group is willing to protect its joint venture in Samarco Mineracao, saying it sees room to negotiate with financial creditors in the Brazil miner’s debt restructuring. “We’re absolutely committed to making sure that Samarco is reset to be the sustainable operation it always has been and... 

The River Doce in January 2022. The collapse of a tailings dam in 2015 destroyed indigenous lands along the banks of the river.
The River Doce in January 2022. The collapse of a tailings dam in 2015 destroyed indigenous lands along the banks of the river.

Critical mineral demand of order of magnitude never seen – Sheila Khama  

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2022 "My genuine sense is that we are going to see a growth in the mining sector of an order of magnitude we haven't seen. I also think that we're going to find that the need for minerals is going to force the world to think that if we can't get minerals on our shore, where else do we get them from? 

Picture supplied
Mining stalwart Sheila Khama spoke to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer on critical metals. Video: Darlene Creamer.

In Chile's Atacama, lithium mining stirs fight over flamingos

By: Reuters     19th May 2022 On the white plains of Chile's lithium-rich Atacama desert, bright pink flamingos enliven the sprawling salt flats where sporadic blue pools provide much needed hydration. But flamingo numbers are falling, with a new study linking this to the water extracted by mining firms to pump up brine... 

Europe gives another lofty boost to green hydrogen, electrolyser targets

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2022 The European Commission this week took firm steps to again boost green hydrogen production and electrolyser manufacture amid sharply rising consumption targets. The commission’s latest RePowerEU proposals include the raising of its 2030 renewable hydrogen consumption targets for industry to 75%,... 

Picture from archive.
Renewable hydrogen consumption targets elevated.

Colombia's mining income to hit record in 2022 - industry group

By: Reuters     19th May 2022 Colombia's mining industry is on track to bring in a record 8.8-trillion pesos ($2.2-billion) in taxes and royalties during 2022, the Colombian Mining Association (ACM) said on Wednesday, adding mining is an essential sector for the transition to renewable energies. If the forecast proves... 

Chile's top court puts Dominga mining project decision on Boric admin

By: Reuters     19th May 2022 Chile's top court on Wednesday turned down appeals filed by communities and environmentalists against the controversial Dominga mining project, saying a final decision needs input from President Gabriel Boric's administration. Last year, environmentalists and surrounding communities appealed a... 

Chile's SQM profit soars on high lithium prices

By: Reuters     19th May 2022 Chilean miner SQM, a major producer of lithium, on Wednesday reported a near twelve-fold rise in quarterly profit as it benefited from higher prices of the metal used in electric-vehicle batteries. Net profit rose to $796-million in the first quarter ended March 31, while revenue nearly... 

Woodside shareholders back BHP merger

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th May 2022 The shareholders of ASX-listed oil and gas major Woodside have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the merger with mining major BHP’s petroleum assets. More than 97% of the votes cast at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday were done so in favour of the merger, which would give BHP... 

Image shows Woodside office building

Manganese mine rail-loading boost being assessed by South32 

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2022 Diversified mining company South32 is assessing the potential expansion and modernisation of rail loading infrastructure at its Wessels manganese mine in South Africa’s Northern Cape, says South32 CEO Graham Kerr. Kerr, who presented at the Bank of America Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference... 

Slide screenshot.
Accelerated operational decarbonisation.

Rio agrees to Turquoise Hill funding amendments

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th May 2022 Major Rio Tinto has agreed to amend a funding plan with Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ) in order to provide liquidity of up to $400-million in short-term early advances, while TRQ evaluates a takeover offer from the mining giant. A Special Committee of TRQ is currently evaluating Rio’s C$34 per... 

Rio agrees to Turquoise Hill funding amendments

Vale-BHP JV Samarco's financial creditors plan to take over the company

By: Reuters     18th May 2022 An alternate restructuring plan for Samarco Mineracao SA, a joint venture between Vale and BHP Group, proposes that financial creditors take control of the company. The plan filed by a group of bondholders is expected to replace Samarco's debt restructuring proposal, which was rejected last... 

Collaboration needed to make South African mining globally competitive again – CSIR 

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2022 Concern about mineral resource scarcity is widespread and, at the same time, many countries, such as Australia, Canada and China, are investing significantly in strengthening their mining-related research, development and innovation (RDI) capabilities. “This makes cost and differentiation... 

Picture supplied.
CSIR CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini

Copper prices slip on lingering global slowdown worries

By: Reuters     18th May 2022 Copper prices fell on Wednesday, as bets of big US rate hikes following hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials, and a recent batch of weak economic readings from China put focus back on global economic growth concerns. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was... 

Caterpillar eyes energy transition as growth driver for mining business

By: Reuters     18th May 2022 Construction equipment maker Caterpillar believes demand for critical minerals as the clean energy transition gathers pace will translate to solid returns for its mining business, CEO Jim Umpleby said in an interview on Tuesday. The company is aiming at a global market worth about $5-trillion for... 

South32 targets 20% output growth by 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th May 2022 Diversified miner South32 is expecting production volumes to grow by nearly 20% in the next financial year, compared with its 2021 production levels. CEO Graham Kerr told delegates at the Bank of America Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference that the growth in output targeted for 2023 would... 

An image of South32 CEO Graham Kerr
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

PGI’s latest jewellery review shows continued demand for premium platinum products

By: Darren Parker     17th May 2022 Market development organisation Platinum Guild International (PGI) has released its latest Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR), in which it highlighted platinum’s prestigious image among jewellery retailers across the globe and their customers. “Platinum’s unique qualities continue to... 

a platinum ring

Law firm drawing on giga-scale hydrogen project experience to derisk new ventures  

By: Martin Creamer     17th May 2022 Lack of expertise about getting giga-scale hydrogen projects off the ground is a big problem in the industry, say Allen & Overy South Africa’s Alessandra Pardini and Alexandra Cluver, who believe they know how best it should be done from experience gained through project managing three of the... 

Pictures supplied
International law firm speaks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer on giga-scale hydrogen projects. Video: Nicholas Boyd.

Trafigura wants to build lithium business to tap battery boom

By: Bloomberg     17th May 2022 Trafigura Group said its plan to invest in a new UK lithium refinery will mark the start of the trading giant’s foray into buying and selling the crucial battery metal. Last week’s agreement to back the plant being developed by startup Green Lithium brings the world’s top independent commodities... 

Trafigura wants to build lithium business to tap battery boom

Excellon scouting for Mexico acquisitions as Platosa winds down

By: Mariaan Webb     17th May 2022 Precious metals producer Excellon is actively pursuing acquisition opportunities in Mexico, as it heads towards the wind-down of its Platosa operations. On the Toronto- and New York-listed company’s wish list is acquisition opportunities for producing and development-stage assets, CEO Brendan... 

Sibanye-Stillwater hoists first tons from R4bn 4 000-job K4 platinum project 

By: Martin Creamer     16th May 2022 The first tons have been hoisted at Marikana K4, Sibanye-Stillwater’s high-return resumed platinum group metals  (PGM) project, which was largely predeveloped and equipped when acquired from the now defunct Lonmin in 2019. “The K4 project is an unrivalled, top-tier project in the PGM industry,... 

Picture supplied.
The K4 headgear of the new platinum group metals shaft.

South Africa’s high-flying Jubilee creating 800 mostly long-term jobs in Zambia 

By: Martin Creamer     16th May 2022 Diversified metal recovery business Jubilee, which is rolling out an investment of R786-million in South Africa and Zambia, has offered employment and contractor opportunities to more than 800 people in Zambia, the most of which are long term, the company stated in a release on Monday. In Zambia,... 

Screenshot of website image and enhancement
Copper and cobalt in Zambia and platinum group metals and chrome in South Africa.

BHP unveils new concentrator at Spence

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th May 2022 Major BHP has cut the ribbon at the new $2.46-billion copper concentrator at its Spence operations, in Chile, which will allow the operation life to extend by some 50 years. BHP told shareholders that the project supported the company’s intention to continue growing in Chile while strengthening... 

An image of the Spence project in Chile

Chile copper mines dodge radical changes as convention vote ends

By: Bloomberg     16th May 2022 Major copper producers from BHP Group to Freeport-McMoRan will likely avoid drastic changes in the way they do business in Chile as writers of a new constitution wrapped up deliberations on mining proposals. In a vote on the Constitutional Convention floor on Saturday, a plan to replace the... 

Chile copper mines dodge radical changes as convention vote ends

Copper wavers near $9 000 after fear-filled week for metals

By: Bloomberg     13th May 2022 Copper steadied and aluminum rose after a turbulent week for metals dominated by growing concerns over the state of the global economy. While metals markets were calmer Friday, prices have endured a dismal few days on fears about monetary tightening as well as demand from top consumer China.... 

Trident’s lithium-powered locomotives engendering benefits for mining operations  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th May 2022 Original-equipment manufacturer Trident SA has diversified its offering and is now providing lithium-powered batteries for locomotives used by global mining operations. During a visit to the company’s site in Germiston, Gauteng, where the locomotives and battery packs are assembled, Trident... 

An image showing a Trident SA lithium battery pack for a mining locomotive
Photo by Creamer Media's Tasneem Bulbulia
Trident SA lithium battery pack for locomotive

Peru community wants its land back, threatening Chinese copper mine

By: Reuters     13th May 2022 The community of Fuerabamba in the Andean region of Peru was resettled eight years ago to make way for a giant Chinese-owned copper mine, in a $1.2-billion scheme billed as a model solution to protests dogging the South American nation's mining sector. Now the community wants the land back. In... 

LBMA, WGC advance pilot of Gold Bar Integrity initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th May 2022 The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and the World Gold Council (WGC) have selected two vendors, blockchain technology start-up companies Axedras and Peer Ledger, to participate in a pilot phase of the organisations’ Gold Bar Integrity initiative. The initiative is aimed at digitally... 

BHP targets Chile expansion under 'right conditions' - CEO

By: Reuters     13th May 2022 Global mining giant BHP Group is keen to expand operations in Chile, the world's top copper producer, under "appropriate conditions," CEO Mike Henry said on Thursday. The mining sector in the Andean nation faces uncertainty as the country drafts a new constitution, which could lead to tighter... 

BHP CEO Mike Henry
BHP CEO Mike Henry

Global diamond trade fractures under the weight of Russia sanctions

By: Bloomberg     13th May 2022 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is fracturing a billion-dollar trade that spans the permafrost-laden diamond mines of Siberia, secretive trade houses in Antwerp, dusty polishing powerhouses in India and New York’s glittering designer jewellery stores. Russian mining giant Alrosa supplies about a... 

Now you can own a fraction of a fancy coloured diamond

By: Bloomberg     13th May 2022 A new fractional ownership business centered on fancy colored diamonds will launch on May 18. Luxus, founded by hedge fund expert Dana Auslander and fashion journalist Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton, will debut with a first offering of a .54 carat fancy pink diamond. 

Metal demand seen surging for decades on strength of energy transition, World Bank says

By: Bloomberg     13th May 2022 Demand for metals used in everything from wind-turbine blades to batteries will surge for decades to come, driven by efforts to decarbonize the global economy and shift away from fossil fuels, according to the World Bank. Even as consumption growth for other commodities like grain probably will... 

Copper tumbles to 7-month low as slowdown fears rock markets

By: Reuters     12th May 2022 Copper prices tumbled on Thursday to their lowest in seven months and other industrial metals fell as traders worried that a slowing global economy would require less metal. With inflation surging and interest rates rising, growth fears also pushed down oil prices and stock markets hit a... 

Hochschild to invest $200m in Brazilian gold mine construction

By: Reuters     12th May 2022 Hochschild Mining plans to invest about $200-million in the construction of a gold mine in Brazil, a project it will launch in the second quarter of the year, CEO Ignacio Bustamante told Reuters on Wednesday. The construction of the Mara Rosa mine, a project it acquired last year for... 

Miners turn to bacteria and other new ways to leach copper from waste rock

By: Reuters     12th May 2022 Rio Tinto, Freeport-McMoRan and other global miners, spurred by rising prices and demand, are deploying a raft of new leaching technologies that can extract low concentrations of copper from waste rock and help avoid lengthy mine permitting delays. Copper prices have nearly doubled in the past... 

Eight submissions to progress in global innovation challenge

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th May 2022 Mining majors BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale have selected eight technology innovators’ submissions to progress beyond the Charge On Innovation Challenge. The global challenge is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of effective solutions for charging large electric haul trucks while... 

Image shows a mining dump truck and worker
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