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South America News

Brazilian miner Vale agrees to sell manganese, iron ore assets to J&F

By: Reuters     6th April 2022 Brazil's Vale has agreed to sell its manganese and iron ore mines in central Brazil, with an enterprise value of about $1.2-billion, to holding company J&F Investimentos, it said in a securities filing on Wednesday. In addition to the manganese and iron-ore mines, the mining giant also agreed to... 

Hydrogen key to long-term use of platinum, says SFA Oxford’s Forrest   

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2022 Coordinated industry intervention is required to create sustainable platinum group metals (PGM) markets, with hydrogen the key to the long-term use of platinum, said outgoing SFA Oxford head Stephen Forrest in a swansong address. “Promote PGMs heavily as platinum’s structural surplus helps... 

Creamer Media screenshot
Platinum Group Metals Industry Day covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer Media

Brazil needs potash and Belarus is looking for ways to supply it

By: Bloomberg     6th April 2022 Agricultural powerhouse Brazil is desperate for fertilisers. Belarus, a sanctioned regime friendly to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, is looking for ways to ship more of the nutrients. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko gave his stamp of approval to small companies trying to export potash to... 

Atico halts operations after landslide

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th April 2022 Latin American-focused Atico Mining has halted mining at its El Robe mine, in Colombia, after a landslide in the vicinity of its operations on April 1. The landslide did not result in any injuries, but minor equipment damage has been reported. 

Rio taxes reached A$13.3bn in 2021

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th April 2022 Diversified miner Rio Tinto paid $13.3-billion in global taxes and royalties during 2021, up from $8.4-billion in 2020. Despite the ongoing challenges of Covid-19, Rio made a total direct economic contribution of $66.6-billion in the countries and communities where it operates in 2021, compared... 

Green finance taxonomy to help investors make green project decisions – law firm 

By: Martin Creamer     5th April 2022 South Africa’s first green finance taxonomy will help investors and financial institutions make more informed decisions on ‘green’ projects, say Webber Wentzel’s Patrick Heron and Joon Chong. Heron and Chong describe the taxonomy, launched by National Treasury last Friday, as an official... 

Pictures supplied
Patrick Heron (left) and Joon Chong.

Metals, new mine investment required now to support future energy transition 

By: Donna Slater     5th April 2022 Despite the significant energy intensity required to mine metals, the commodities are still “essential for the energy transition to succeed”, says BHP market analysis and economics VP Dr Huw McKay. He says that, although having a common goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C of... 

BHP's Spence mine

Zambia’s copper potential coming to fore again as Castillo survey shows upside 

By: Martin Creamer     5th April 2022 London- and Sydney-listed base metal explorer Castillo Copper has identified multiple copper-potential drill-testing targets at its Mkushi project in Zambia, Africa’s second-largest copper producer. Castillo stated in a release to Mining Weekly on Tuesday that the formulation of a drilling... 

Supplied picture.
Castillo Copper MD Dr Dennis Jensen.

Manganese mine achieves record ten-million fatality free shifts

By: Martin Creamer     4th April 2022 Assmang’s Black Rock mine, near Hotazel in the Northern Cape, has achieved ten-million fatality free shifts, a record that has taken 13 years to achieve. Assmang is a 50/50 partnership between Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Minerals and Desmond Sacco’s Assore. 

Picture supplied
Surrounding the trophy of St Barbara, the patron saint of miners, are, from left, Black Rock Senior GM Wilhemina Ngcobo, African Rainbow Minerals COO Phillip Tobias, and African Rainbow Minerals Ferrous Division CE Andre Joubert.

The battery metal really worrying China is lithium, not nickel

By: Bloomberg     4th April 2022 Nickel has captured much of the limelight among battery metals in recent weeks, and understandably so. Wild price swings, including an unprecedented 250% advance over two trading sessions amid a short squeeze, and concerns tied to Russia’s role as a key supplier have added to longstanding worries... 

With court's backing, Ecuador's indigenous block Amazon mining

By: Reuters     4th April 2022 Armed with spears, their faces painted, members of the A'i Cofan community's indigenous guard prepare to patrol the banks of the Aguarico River in Ecuador's Amazon, ready to confiscate equipment and call in the police if they find miners on their ancestral land. "We go down (the river) and... 

Peru targets copper price windfall in dialed-back tax reform, Minister says

By: Reuters     4th April 2022 Peru, the world's no. 2 copper producer, will target "excess profits" that mining firms have gained from soaring global metals prices for extra taxation, the country's economy minister told Reuters. While President Pedro Castillo came to power last July pledging to increase taxes on the powerful... 

Lithium Chile and Monumental partner on Laguna Blanca project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th April 2022 TSX-V-listed Lithium Chile has announced an arm’s length definitive option agreement with fellow-listed Monumental Minerals to earn up to 75% of the 5 200-ha Salar De Laguna Blanca project, near San Pedro de Atacama. The Laguna Blanca project is located in the lithium triangle, a zone within the... 

Minerals Council ending century-long relationship with Johannesburg CBD

By: Martin Creamer     4th April 2022 Minerals Council South Africa has begun a new era by moving into modern premises in Rosebank, Johannesburg, and closing a century-long chapter in Johannesburg’s central business district (CBD). The historic Minerals Council building, on Hollard Street– which was constructed in 1921 – will be sold. 

Creamer Media picture.
Photo by Creamer Media
Historic Minerals Council building, on Hollard Street.

Bond takes the reins at OceanaGold

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th April 2022 Gerhard Bond has taken the helm at dual listed gold miner OceanaGold. Bond was appointed in February as president and CEO of the gold producer, taking the reins from Scott Sullivan, who will now revert to his role as COO. 

Sibanye-Stillwater highlights battery grade nickel sulphate fetching price premium 

By: Martin Creamer     1st April 2022 Precious metals mining company Sibanye-Stillwater on Friday highlighted the quality elevation of its price-discounted nickel sulphate crystals to price-premium battery grade through the introduction of the Thakadu Battery Materials operation into the Base Metal Refinery in North West province.... 

Creamer Media screenshot
Sibanye-Stillwater operation highlighted during Bank of America conference virtual site visit.

Copper prices slip on China's gloomy factory activity data

By: Reuters     1st April 2022 Copper prices dropped on Friday as demand worries rose after data showed factory activity in top metals consumer China slumped last month at the fastest pace in two years, with a firm US dollar also weighing on sentiment. Other base metals also fell as investors were cautious ahead of a key US... 

US mining body calls for US-Chile tax treaty to be passed

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st April 2022 The National Mining Association (NMA) has called for the passing of the US-Chile tax treaty, which had been pending ratification for more than a decade. NMA president and CEO Rich Nolan said the prompt ratification of the treaty would protect US investment in Chile, which is a key mining... 

Equinox pours first gold at Santa Luz

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st April 2022 Canada-based Equinox Gold has poured first gold at its new Santa Luz mine, in Brazil, with the operation now set to ramp up commercial production over the next few months. When operating at capacity, the new mine will produce about 100 000 oz/y of gold. During 2022, with a partial year of... 

Hot Chili adds to Costa Fuego resource

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st April 2022 Copper developer Hot Chili has reported a 67% increase in the total indicated resource at its Costa Fuego copper-gold hub in Chile. The company this week reported that the indicated resource estimate now stood at 725-million tonnes, grading 0.47% copper equivalent, for 2.8-million tonnes of... 

Copper tightness 'is far beyond a price issue', Freeport CEO says

By: Bloomberg     1st April 2022 Freeport-McMoRan and Goldman Sachs share a bullish outlook for copper. They appear to diverge, however, on how much of an impact higher prices would have on supply growth. Goldman analyst Nicholas Snowdon told a copper conference Wednesday that current near-record prices need to go much higher... 

Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson
Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson

Canadian firm lobbies Brazil for Amazon potash mine permit

By: Reuters     1st April 2022 Toronto-based Brazil Potash has laid out for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro this week its plans to reduce his country's dependence on fertilizer imports disrupted by the Ukraine war by opening a potash mine in the Amazon. The company's owner, investment banker Stan Bharti, met with Bolsonaro... 

Platinum supply on downhill slope – Northam  

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2022 Platinum group metals (PGMs) mining company Northam Platinum displayed graphs during Thursday’s presentation of half year results, which indicate that PGMs supply is on a hiding to nothing on the way to 2040. “There’s a systematic global primary supply problem and the scarcity of both new PGM... 

Creamer Media screenshot
Northam Platinum half-year results presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

BHP prepares for fresh battle against $6.6bn Brazil dam lawsuit

By: Reuters     31st March 2022 Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP is preparing to battle a resurrected £5-billion ($6.6-billion) lawsuit in London's Court of Appeal next week, launched by around 200 000 Brazilians over a devastating dam failure in 2015. The claim, one of the largest in English legal history, seeks to hold BHP... 

Karoon confirms oil talks in Brazil

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st March 2022 ASX-listed Karoon Energy on Thursday confirmed it was in negotiations to potentially acquire a stake in the Atlanta oil field, in the Santos basin, offshore Brazil. Karoon told shareholders that it had submitted a confidential, conditional, non-binding and incomplete offer to Brazil’s Enauta... 

Chile's former Energy Minister appointed new Codelco chair

By: Reuters     31st March 2022 Chilean President Gabriel Boric on Wednesday named former Energy Minister Maximo Pacheco as the new board chairman for State-owned miner Codelco, the world's largest copper producing company. Pacheco held the role of energy minister from 2014 to 2016 during socialist ex-President Michelle... 

Growth outcomes inform approach to dividends ­as Northam digs in on RBPlat deal

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2022 Growth outcomes will inform Northam Platinum’s approach to dividends, the platinum group metals (PGMs) company stated in reporting 60%-higher half-year headline earnings a share. Northam highlighted that it still had an option to acquire a further 3.29% in Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), which... 

Creamer Media picture.
Photo by Creamer Media
Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne

Honduras orders Aura Minerals subsidiary to suspend gold mining at indigenous cemetery

By: Reuters     31st March 2022 Honduran authorities ordered a subsidiary of Canada's Aura Minerals to suspend open-pit gold mining on Wednesday at an indigenous cemetery site, drawing fierce opposition from residents, whose lawyer confirmed the suspension in a statement. The subsidiary, Minerales de Occidente Sociedad Anonima... 

Vale-BHP JV Samarco says it has not yet reached agreement with creditors

By: Reuters     30th March 2022 Brazilian miner Samarco Mineracao failed to reach an agreement with creditors on its restructuring plan after a new round of meetings, it said on Wednesday, ahead of an April 1 bondholders assembly. The company, a joint venture between Vale and BHP Group, said in a statement it presented... 

Vedanta investing R7bn in Gamsberg 'green' zinc expansion  

By: Martin Creamer     30th March 2022 The board of directors of Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has approved a R7-billion investment into Gamsberg Phase 2 expansion project in the Northern Cape, which will double the mine and plant capacity from four-million tons to eight-million tons a year. In metal terms, will increase output... 

Vedenta Zinc International executive director and CFO Pushpender Singla.
Vedanta Zinc International’s Pushpender Singla interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video editing: Darlene Creamer

BHP urges better investment climate in Chile to unleash $10bn spend

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th March 2022 Diversified miner BHP could potentially invest as much as $10-billion into its Chilean copper ambitions, if given the right incentive, president for operations minerals Americas, Rag Udd told the World Copper Conference. He told delegates that BHP was focused on growing its copper output in... 

BHP's Spence operations in Chile
BHP's Spence operations in Chile

China’s imports have shifted platinum into global deficit, says independent consultant 

By: Martin Creamer     29th March 2022 China’s importation of platinum has shifted platinum’s supply balance into deficit, says independent precious metal consultant Dr David Davis. Supply-and-demand forecasts presented to the market are not giving the complete picture, Davis contends in a 17-page analysis published by Singapore-based... 

Creamer Media picture.
Photo by Creamer Media
Independent precious metals consultant Dr David Davis.

Antofagasta expects high copper prices for next 12 months, CEO says

By: Reuters     29th March 2022 The copper market has solid fundamentals despite current market volatility and will maintain high prices for at least the next 12 months, Ivan Arriagada, CEO of Chile's Antofagasta, forecast. In an interview with Reuters during the CRU-CESCO World Copper Conference in Santiago, Arriagada also... 

An image of  Ivan Arriagada
Antofagasta CEO Ivan Arriagada

Codelco may partly privatise some assets

By: Reuters     29th March 2022 Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, is preparing to offer the market some "non-core" exploration assets, signaling a rare privatization for the state-owned mining firm, a senior executive said on Monday. Patricio Vergara, vice president of mining resources and development at... 

Miners gather in copper capital facing ‘another world’ of tumult

By: Bloomberg     29th March 2022 The last time the copper industry gathered in Santiago, prices were below $3/lb amid concerns over a slowdown in Chinese demand, and there was little talk of supply-chain woes or inflation. Now the executives, bankers and traders drifting in to the Chilean capital for the first in-person version... 

Anglo looks to the sea as water scarcity hits Chile copper mines

By: Bloomberg     29th March 2022 With no letup in Chile’s years-long drought, Anglo American is looking at developing a desalination project in partnership with State-owned Codelco, Japan’s Mitsui & Co. and a local water utility. The proposal is to build a plant on the coast of the Valparaiso region that would produce drinking... 

LBMA, WGC collaborate to develop blockchain-backed gold bar integrity programme 

By: Donna Slater     29th March 2022 Independent precious metals authority the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and gold authority the World Gold Council (WGC) plan to collaborate to develop and implement an international system of gold bar integrity, chain of custody and provenance – the Gold Bar Integrity Programme. Over... 

A photo of gold bars and nuggests

Lake Resources gets offtake interest from Japan

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th March 2022 Lithium developer Lake Resources has inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan’s Hanwa Co. for the supply of up to 25 000 t/y of lithium carbonate over a ten year period. The MoU would allow for a minimum 15 000 t/y offtake from Lake Resource’s Lake Kachi lithium project,... 

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