Zambia’s just deepened worries of sinking global copper output – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 23, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

Zambia’s Chamber of Mines on Thursday delivered further signs of a major global undersupply of copper about to hit the market by announcing that the country’s output of the metal could be as much as 100,000 tonnes lower than last year.

The industry lobby group attributed the expected drop in production to changes to mining taxes introduced in January, which is driving companies to cut output.

“The new tax regime forced miners to do the unthinkable – cut production – because many cannot afford to continue producing as before,” it said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Barrick proposes low-ball buyout offer for beleaguered Tanzanian subsidiary Acacia – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – May 23, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Barrick offered a nine per cent discount to the London-listed Acacia’s closing price, valuing it at US$787 million

Earlier this month, Barrick Gold Corp. chief executive Mark Bristow had said his company would consider buying out minority shareholders in its embattled subsidiary, Acacia Mining Plc, but only at the right price.

“The problem is that we are not prepared to overpay for these assets,” Bristow said. On Wednesday, the Toronto gold company made its price clear — proposing a share swap at 0.1533 of a Barrick share for each Acacia share in an offer that values the smaller company at US$787 million.

That’s a nine per cent discount to the London-listed company’s closing price on Tuesday, which comes on top of a 68 per cent decline since 2017 amid an ongoing dispute with Tanzanian authorities, which slapped a US$190 billion tax bill and banned the export of processed metals. Continue Reading →

A Copper Mining Lesson From Zambia: History Repeats Itself – by Antony Sguazzin and Matthew Hill (Bloomberg News – May 23, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Vedanta Resources Ltd. is learning the hard way that when it comes to Zambia’s copper-mining industry, history tends to repeat itself.

Fifty years ago, Zambia’s first post-independence leader Kenneth Kaunda nationalized mines owned by Anglo American Plc and Roan Selection Trust to rally his political supporters.

Now populist President Edgar Lungu is taking legal steps to take over the operations of Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines, alleging the unit lied about expansion plans and cheated on taxes. Continue Reading →

Explainer: China’s rare earth supplies could be vital bargaining chip in U.S. trade war (Reuters U.K. – May 22, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rare earth elements are used in a wide range of consumer products, from iPhones to electric car motors, as well as military jet engines, satellites and lasers.

Rising tensions between the United States and China have sparked concerns that Beijing could use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths for leverage in the trade war between the two global economic powers.

WHAT ARE RARE EARTHS USED IN?

Rare earths are used in rechargeable batteries for electric and hybrid cars, advanced ceramics, computers, DVD players, wind turbines, catalysts in cars and oil refineries, monitors, televisions, lighting, lasers, fiber optics, superconductors and glass polishing. Continue Reading →

Mining proposal for Skagit River headwaters in B.C. sparks outcry from congressional Dems, Gov. Inslee – by Evan Bush (Seattle Times – May 22, 2019)

https://www.seattletimes.com/

Nine members of Washington state’s congressional delegation, all Democrats, called Wednesday for the U.S. Department of State to intervene in a simmering dispute with Canada over a company’s proposal for exploratory mining in the headwaters of the Skagit River.

“The potential for releases of copper and other heavy metals would pollute waters downstream,” the congressional leaders wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, declaring their opposition to the project.

The letter outlines concerns over potential harms to Washington’s tourism and recreation economy, public health and vulnerable fish populations, among others. Continue Reading →

No end in sight for Brunswick Smelter strike – by Tori Weldon (CBC News New Brunswick – May 23, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/

It’s been one month since unionized employees at Brunswick Smelter started striking, and both sides of the contract dispute say they’re waiting for the other to come back to the table.

On April 24, employees at the Glencore Canada-owned smelter were sent home — with pay — hours before the strike was set to begin. Because they were paid for their time, both parties agree the union is striking and the contract dispute is not a lockout.

Bart Dempsey, president of local 7085 of the United Steelworkers, said “we haven’t heard anything from the company, but it remains the same. We’re willing to go back to the table if they remove these concessions that we don’t believe they need.” Continue Reading →

Column: Rare earths trade gun is loaded; will China pull the trigger? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – May 23, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Is China about to weaponise its global dominance of rare earths production in an escalation of the trade dispute with the United States? President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Chinese city of Ganzhou earlier this week seemed designed to send a double message.

A stop-off at Yudu was for the domestic audience. The town was the starting point of the Long March, the 1934 retreat by Communist Party forces in their ultimately successful campaign against Chinese nationalists.

The message: things are going to get tough but we’ll win in the end. A side-trip to a rare earths plant operated by JL MAG Rare-Earth Co, was for the United States. Continue Reading →

Australia, US should form battery mineral alliance, says lithium chief – by Jacob Greber (Australian Financial Review – May 22, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Washington | Australia and the US may need to jettison free-market orthodoxy and develop a strategic alliance to guarantee supply of the raw materials essential to the new era of battery-based electrification.

James Calaway, chairman of Australian-listed lithium developer Ioneer, said there was an “unusual amount” of interest within the US and Australian governments over the vulnerabilities of critical supply chains for battery technology.

“I don’t think we need to get into protectionism, but we can talk about what do we need to do to encourage domestic investment in value-added materials and development,” Mr Calaway, who is based in Houston, Texas, said in an interview. “That shouldn’t be off the table.” Continue Reading →

Turbulent times for Lynas – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – May 21, 2019)

http://resourceclips.com/

How often does an investor presentation draw such keen interest from non-investors?

No doubt representatives from a number of governments and industries watched intensely on May 21 as Lynas CEO/managing director Amanda Lacaze accentuated her company’s “will to win.” Lynas has plans in place and funding en route to overcome what previously appeared to be an unattainable ultimatum.

Far from becoming a takeover target, let alone a jurisdictional fatality, the miner expects to continue building a rare earths supply chain “focused on rest-of-the-world markets, that is non-Chinese markets.” Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Rockcliff Announces Appointment of New CEO

http://rockcliffmetals.com/

Toronto, ON – May 23, 2019 – Rockcliff Metals Corporation (“Rockcliff” or the “Company”) (CSE: RCLF) (FRANKFURT: RO0, WKN: A2H60G) is very pleased to announce the appointment of Alistair Ross as the Company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. In addition to his new executive management role, Alistair has also been appointed to the Board of Directors of Rockcliff. The strengthening of Rockcliff’s senior management team is a major component of the Company’s strategic initiative to become a producing mining company.

Alistair brings to Rockcliff a broad spectrum of in-depth mining experience and mining innovation in both small to large-scale projects as he prepares to lead the Company in its next phase of growth. His career has spanned three continents beginning with Rio Tinto in Zimbabwe, Phelps Dodge in New Mexico as well President of Lonmin’s South African operations, the world’s third largest platinum producing company from 2005 through 2008.

Alistair also spent a combined seven years with Inco/Vale most recently directing a team responsible for the re-build of Vale’s Sudbury mining operations which consisted of six mines and approximately 2,000 employees. Continue Reading →

Hudbay preparing sale of Arizona Rosemont copper mine stake – by Dinesh Nair and Scott Deveau (Bloomberg/Financial Post – May 22, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Hudbay Minerals Inc. is preparing a sale of a stake in one of the largest copper mines under development in the U.S. as an investor pushes the company to review its portfolio, people familiar with the matter said.

The Toronto-based base metals miner has interviewed potential advisers about selling a 30 per cent stake in the Arizona Rosemont project and is planning to kick off a process in the coming months, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

The stake is likely to draw interest from financial bidders, such as private equity firms, the people said. No final decisions have been made and Hudbay may still decide to keep the asset, they said. Continue Reading →

The Hunt for the Singing Atom – by C. Fred Bodsworth (MACLEAN’S Magazine – August 15, 1948)

http://www.macleans.ca/

Gold’s old stuff; miners on the Trail of ’48 want uranium, the stuff that can chirp in their ears or flatten a city

WHERE Northern Ontario’s broad Abitibi River tumbles through the spruce-walled gorge of Otter Rapids and lunges northward on its final 90-mile dash for James Bay and the sea, I stood over one of Canada’s newest radioactive ore discoveries and listened to its tune of disintegrating atoms, the theme song of the atomic age.

Locked in a brown-red vein of ore at my feet there was possibly bread-and-butter stuff for scores of potential atom bombs, but the tune of cracking atoms I heard could have been drowned out by the snap of a jenny firecracker.

Detected and amplified by the Geiger counter which hung at my waist, a wondrous little electronic gadget which smells out disintegrating atoms of radioactive ore as keenly as a cat smells out fish, the atom tune in the Geiger’s earphone sounded merely like raindrops spattering on a tin roof. Without the Geiger to translate it into sound, those thousands of disintegrating atoms Would have been as undetectable as the 40-pound sturgeons which, so the natives say, lurk in the Abitibi’s khaki-colored water offshore. Continue Reading →

China’s MMG says Las Bambas copper operations not disrupted, talks ongoing – by Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – May 21, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LIMA (Reuters) – Chinese miner MMG Ltd’s operations at its Las Bambas mine, one of Peru’s largest copper producers, have not been disrupted and talks with an indigenous Peruvian community are ongoing, the miner said on Wednesday.

The Fuerabamba community had imposed a new road blockade on the mine after talks with the company over compensation broke down, Americo Contreras, a representative of the public ombudsman office told Reuters on Tuesday.

The community started the blockade after the talks ended without a solution late on Monday, Contreras said by phone, citing a document from government officials who had mediated the negotiations. Continue Reading →

Nunavik Inuit respond to proposed rare earths mine – by Jane George(Nunatsiaq News – May 21, 2019)

https://nunatsiaq.com/

Company wants to build 185-kilometre road south from Kuujjuaq

Organizations representing Inuit in Nunavik and in the comunity of Kuujjuaq have signed a letter of intent with a junior mining company that wants to build a 185-kilometre haul road south from Kuujjuaq to an open pit rare earths mine.

Maggie Emudluk, Makivik Corp.’s vice-president for economic development, and Sammy Koneak, the president of the Nayumivik Landholding Corp., signed the letter of intent on May 15 with Vancouver-based Commerce Resources Corp. A Makivik Corp, spokesperson said the letter of intent creates a committee that will provide answers to concerns and questions from people in Kuujjuaq.

“The Ashram deposit project is still in a pre-development phase and has to go through several stages prior to getting formal Inuit acceptance to be implemented,” the Makivik spokesperson said. Continue Reading →

The Northern Miner Podcast – episode 139: Indigenous People as ‘Resource Rulers’ in Canada ft Bill Gallagher – part 2 (May 21, 2019)

Northern Miner

This episode wraps up our two-part conversation with strategist, lawyer and author Bill Gallagher on the topic of Canada’s Indigenous People and their land rights, and how that affects resource development in the country.

Based in Waterloo, Ont., Bill is the author of two popular books on the topic: the recently published “Resource Reckoning: a Strategist’s Guide from A to Z” and the 2012 milestone “Resource Rulers: Fortune and Folly on Canada’s Road to Resources.”

To buy the books and for more information, visit www.billgallagher.ca and find him on Twitter at @ResourceRulers. Continue Reading →