Anglo forecasts copper, diamonds and platinum to lift output – by Noor Zainab Hussain and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – December 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

BENGALURU/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Anglo American said on Tuesday its overall production will rise by more than previously expected between 2018 and 2021, while this year’s costs are forecast to be lower.

Anglo said in an update to investors and analysts that 2018 production will be 2 percent higher than its previous forecast, driven by increases in copper, diamonds and platinum group metals, while costs will be 5 percent below earlier guidance.

The company, whose products also include coal, nickel and iron ore said it expected a 3 percent rise in production in 2019 and a further 5 percent boost in both 2020 and 2021, lifting its share price, which was one of the biggest gainers on London’s blue chip index. Continue Reading →

Congo Miner Renegotiates ERG Joint Venture to Boost Revenue – by William Clowes (Bloomberg News – December 11, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Democratic Republic of Congo state mining company Gecamines said it renegotiated a joint venture with Eurasian Resources Group Sarl to boost its share of revenue from the project.

It’s the second time this year the company has remodeled agreements with other firms, after ending a dispute with Glencore Plc in June over one of Congo’s biggest copper and cobalt mines. Gecamines Chairman Albert Yuma has repeatedly criticized existing partnerships as too generous to foreign investors.

Gecamines boosted its stake in ERG subsidiary Boss Mining SPRL, a copper and cobalt producer, to 49 percent from 30 percent under the rearranged accord, the Lubumbashi-based company said in a statement on Monday. ERG also converted into equity more than $1.5 billion of intra-group loans granted to Boss Mining, it said. Continue Reading →

‘My hands are trembling’: Andrew Bell holds Royal Nickel’s US$16,000 rock of gold (Business Network News – December 11, 2018)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

A massive gold discovery at its Australian mine has transformed base metal player Royal Nickel into a gold exploration company. BNN Bloomberg’s Andrew Bell takes a look at the high-grade gold rocks recovered from the company’s Beta Hunt operation with Royal Nickel CEO Mark Selby.

For a great article on the discovery of those gold samples by Financial Post’s mining reporter Gabriel Friedman: https://bit.ly/2C789gh

RNC Minerals CEO Mark Selby, holding gold samples from Australia, with his wife, son, parents and sisters at the Toronto Royal Ontario Museum reception on December 11, 2018.

Continue Reading →

Harmony to secure Wafi-Golpu mining permit by mid-2019 – by Allan Seccombe (Business Day – December 11, 2018)

https://www.businesslive.co.za/

Harmony Gold and its partner signed an agreement with the Papua New Guinea government to clear the way to secure a mining permit by the middle of 2019 to start the Wafi-Golpu copper and gold mine.

Harmony and its partner, Australia’s Newcrest Mining, released an updated feasibility study in March 2018 showing the cost to bring the mine into commercial production would be about $2.8bn. The mine would produce an average 202,000oz of gold and 130,000 tons of copper a year.

Securing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the companies and the Papua New Guinea government gives a solid timeframe for the work that needs to happen to complete the permitting process and result in the issuance of a special mining lease by the end of June 2019. Continue Reading →

Franco-Nevada grows but still tied to Nevada – by Adella Harding (Elko Daily Free Press – December 11, 2018)

https://elkodaily.com/

Franco-Nevada Corp. is worldwide, but the company still has royalties on gold produced at major mines in Nevada. “Nevada is our middle name,” said Franco-Nevada CEO David Harquail, who described Nevada’s mining industry as “rock solid. It’s been the bedrock of the gold industry. You can make mines in Nevada you can’t anywhere else.”

He predicts Nevada will continue to be a preferred jurisdiction for the industry. Harquail pointed to Barrick Gold Corp.’s Goldrush and Fourmile projects and Newmont Mining Corp.’s operations as examples of why Nevada will still be a mining stronghold.

Franco-Nevada doesn’t have royalties or assets tied with Barrick’s latest projects, but the company does have a royalty on the South Arturo Mine Barrick operates near the Goldstrike Mine north of Carlin. Barrick is 60 percent owner of South Arturo, and Premier Gold Mines Ltd. owns 40 percent. Continue Reading →

Shrinking Stockpiles Put Copper On Track For A Price Rise Despite Trade War Uncertainty – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – December 11, 2018)

https://www.forbes.com/

Slowing global growth and uncertainty about the chance of a permanent settlement in the China v U.S. trade war might not prevent the development of a copper shortage and a higher price for the worlds most important industrial metal.

Hints of copper entering a period of short supply can be seen in the collapse of stockpiles of the metal held in the warehouses of commodity exchanges. At the London Metal Exchange the copper stockpile has dropped to a five-year low of 124,450 tons, less than half the 380,000 tons held in February.

The copper decline was a feature of a briefing delivered to investors last week by Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of the big commodity trading and mining company, Glencore. He said inventories of metals such as copper and zinc had dropped to near record lows. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel to invest $12bn in production over next five years – by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya (Financial Times – December 10, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

Russia’s metals and mining major Norilsk Nickel plans to invest more than $12bn in production development over the next five years in order to boost production volumes, the company’s chief executive officer Vladimir Potanin said Monday.

The world’s largest producer of palladium, and one of the leading producers of nickel, platinum and copper, thus signalled a change of strategy from flat output to growth amid stronger global demand for its products.

“We are implementing a rather unprecedented investment programme: we are investing more than $12 billion in production development in the next five years,” Mr Potanin told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a meeting, according to the Kremlin transcript. Continue Reading →

South African Gold Industry Enters Final Phase of Slow Death – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – December 10, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Back in 1987, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa — then a 34-year-old labor union leader — led 300,000 black miners in a strike that symbolized resistance to the apartheid regime. Now, striking gold workers face a less politically charged battle, but one they can’t win.

The nation’s 130-year-old gold industry — which has produced half the bullion ever mined on earth — is locked in the final stages of a decades-long death spiral. Most of South Africa’s gold mines are unprofitable at current prices.

Dwindling output has cut gold’s contribution to little more than 1 percent of the South African economy, down from 3.8 percent in 1993 — the year before Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress won the country’s first democratic elections. While the industry’s demise won’t reverberate in the way it once would have, the mines minister has criticized Gold Fields Ltd.’s plan to cut jobs as the ruling ANC seeks to shore up its base before elections next year. Continue Reading →

Commentary: U.S. tariffs fail to dent Chinese aluminium export surge – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – December 11, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. International Trade Commission has just slapped anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese common aluminium alloy sheet. It’s another brick in the trade wall being erected by the Trump administration as it seeks to insulate domestic manufacturers from the flood of what it deems unfairly subsidised Chinese products.

U.S. imports of Chinese alloy sheet surged by 731 percent between 2007 and 2017, with Chinese product accounting for nearly 40 percent of total imports last year, according to the U.S. Aluminum Association.

The latest action builds on similar penal duties imposed on imports of Chinese foil and the broader “Section 232” tariffs on all imports of aluminium and steel. However, China’s exports of aluminium products are still accelerating, with outbound flows on track to set a new record this year. Continue Reading →

Detour Gold CEO voted off board in proxy fight – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 11, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

After a six-month duel between a New York hedge fund and a struggling Canadian miner, early results in Detour Gold Corp.’s proxy contest point to a partial victory for dissenting shareholder Paulson & Co. Inc.

The Toronto-based gold company said five of nine current directors have been ousted, according to a preliminary vote count.

Interim chief executive Michael Kenyon was among the incumbents voted off the board, Detour spokesman Ian Robertson said. Last week, Mr. Kenyon said if he lost his board seat he would also immediately step down as CEO. Mr. Robertson declined to identify any of the other directors who have been voted off. Continue Reading →

Trudeau’s tanker ban is making many Indigenous communities angry. Here’s why – by Richard Neufeld (Financial Post – December 11, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Opinion: Bill C-48 is currently before the Senate. If it passes, Eagle Spirit could be dead

On December 11th, the Senate of Canada will be honoured to welcome a delegation of 15 First Nations Chiefs from the National Chiefs Coalition, the Indian Resource Council, and the Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council who, together, represent some 200 First Nations communities.

They will be in Ottawa to speak about the Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor Project and how it can help achieve reconciliation through economic empowerment. My wish is that all Canadians become familiar with Eagle Spirit.

In brief, Eagle Spirit is a First Nations business consortium that proposes to build what has been called the greenest pipeline energy corridor on the planet, running from Bruderheim, Alta. to Grassy Point, B.C. Once completed, the project could ship four-million barrels of crude oil and ten billion cubic feet of natural gas to tidewater every day. Continue Reading →

ASIA INSIGHT: A small island gets caught in China’s Pacific power game with West – by Fumi Matsumoto (Nikkei Asian Review – December 11, 2018)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

SYDNEY — A small island has found itself caught in the escalating battle for influence in the South Pacific. On both economic and diplomatic fronts, Papua New Guinea’s autonomous region of Bougainville has become a key piece in the game between Beijing, on one side, and the U.S. and its allies on the other.

With Bougainville holding one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of copper, Chinese and Western companies are weighing the prospects for reopening its Panguna copper mine — closed since a vicious civil war broke out in 1989. The island is also set to hold an independence referendum on June 15, potentially creating a new country that could vote in international forums such as the United Nations.

John Momis, president of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, told the Nikkei Asian Review that Chinese businesspeople raised the matter of investing in the mine on a visit to PNG ahead of last month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in the capital, Port Moresby. Continue Reading →

Commentary: China, India pull back from coal imports, hurting prices – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – December 6,, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – It’s not shaping up as a merry Christmas for coal exporters to Asia as the region’s top buyers, China and India, pull back from the recent trend of strong imports.

The Chinese authorities appear to be making good on a commitment to try and limit the country’s imports of the polluting fuel to levels the same as 2017. The restrictions have led to a sharp drop in the daily import of coal so far in December, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

Seaborne imports in the first five days of the month stood at 1.5 million tonnes, or a daily rate of just 300,000 tonnes. This compares to total seaborne imports of 226.2 million tonnes in the first 11 months of 2018, a daily rate of about 677,000 tonnes. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Why Canada should be the home of ecologically-responsible natural resources – by Lorraine Mitchelmore (Globe and Mail – December 11, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Lorraine Mitchelmore is chair of the Resources of the Future Economic Strategy Table and former president of Shell Canada.

The expression “can’t see the forest for the trees” could have been coined by a typically modest Canadian. It summarizes perfectly much of our current attitude to the embarrassment of riches that constitute our natural resources: our vast forests, our wealth of metals and minerals and our diverse reserves of energy that make us a top producer in many categories.

We have commodities that would be the envy of any other country in the world. And yet, for a variety of reasons, we seem determined not to take full advantage of them. We are not building as many projects as we should, we are not attracting our share of global capital, we are not fully reaching global markets and, in certain cases, we are selling our products at significant discounts to the benefit of other countries.

As a result, the resource sector is not generating the level of wealth for Canada in the form of taxes, royalties, community investments, jobs and business opportunities of which it is capable. Continue Reading →

Illegal gold rush destroying Amazon rainforest – study – by Anastasia Moloney (Thomson Reuters Foundation – December 10, 2018)

https://af.reuters.com/

BOGOTA, Dec 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A rise in small-scale illegal gold mining is destroying swathes of the Amazon rainforest, according to research released on Monday that maps the scale of the damage for the first time.

Researchers used satellite imagery and government data to identify at least 2,312 illegal mining sites across six countries in South America – Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela.

The maps show the spread and scale of illegal mining and were produced by the Amazon Socio-environmental, Geo-referenced Information Project (RAISG), which brings together a network of nonprofit environmental groups in the Amazon. Continue Reading →