Archive | Copper

Rio Tinto joins race for Teck’s copper project stake: sources – by Clara Denina (Reuters U.S. – November 14, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto is among parties making a final offer for a minority stake in Teck Resources Ltd’s Quebrada Blanca copper mine expansion in northern Chile, a development worth $4.8 billion, two sources close to the matter said.

The world’s second largest mining company is eager to boost its copper assets, with the metal viewed in the industry as having one of strongest outlooks. Existing reserves are dwindling and increased electrification means demand is likely to be strong.

Canada’s Teck (TECKb.TO) (TECK.N) has said a development partner could contribute $2 billion for a 30 percent to 40 percent stake in the copper project, an investment deal it expects to close in the fourth quarter. Continue Reading →

On the Iron Range, new hopes and new anxieties – by Matt McKinney and Josephine Marcotty (Minneapolis Star Tribune – November 11, 2018)

http://www.startribune.com/

Permit approvals for PolyMet open a new chapter in an old struggle.

HOYT LAKES, Minn. – For years, residents of this struggling mining town have clung to the hope that their old way of life would return. But even so, when state regulators finally approved permits late last month for Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine, the news hit like a thunderbolt.

“You could feel it,” said Toni Thuringer, co-owner of the Haven Bar and Grill, who described a buzz that ran through patrons dining in the restaurant and elbowing up to the bar. “It’s just so cool because it’s been so long since we’ve had that feeling around here.”

In Iron Range towns left for dead by the mining industry’s last bust in the 1980s, the sudden realization that, after years of contentious debate, PolyMet Mining Corp. might actually open its $1 billion mine has fueled rousing talk. Continue Reading →

Montana generous in sharing men, women and treasures to hasten end of WWI – by Kim Briggeman (Helena Independent Record – November 10, 2018)

https://helenair.com/

“I’ve got a quote in my book that every American bullet fired in
the war was encased in Butte copper,” said Robison, who’ll be
part of Sunday’s program at Fort Missoula.

They’re not forget-me-nots, but they could be called that. The scientific name for the tiny blue flowers that grow in France’s Forest of Verdun is Sisyrinchium montanum. “They call it the blue-eyed grass of Montana,” a national forest official in Douamont told the American Foreign Press in 2016.

Douamont is lined with graves of 80,000 of the 300,000 French and German soldiers who died in the 300-day Battle of Verdun in 1916, the year before the United States entered World War I. The flowers aren’t native, Patrice Hirbec told the news service. They were introduced to Verdun as seeds on the hooves of United States Army horses.

It wasn’t a good war to be a horse. It’s said that on one day during the Battle of Verdun, 7,000 were killed in the shelling. Estimates vary but somewhere between 6 million and 8 million horses, mules and donkeys died during the four years of conflict. Continue Reading →

Cheers, tears as historic smelter from Magma Mine demolished in Superior – by Ryan Randazzo (Arizona Republic – November 10, 2018)

https://www.azcentral.com/

Cheers erupted at 8:46 a.m. Saturday in Superior after the historic copper smelter stack from the Magma Mine crashed to the ground. But the cheers only came because the controlled demolition offered such a spectacle. Many of the people lined up along the streets watching the destruction were sad to see the 293-foot brick stack fall.

Even though smoke hasn’t wafted from the top of the stack since 1971, the 94-year-old smelter about 60 miles east of downtown Phoenix was a symbol of the region’s mining heritage, and had sentimental value for those who lived and worked in Superior.

That includes Larry Palacio, a Gilbert retiree who spent more than 21 years working at the Magma Mine after he graduated from Superior High School in 1955. “I did just about everything,” he said, standing along Main Street waiting for the warning sirens before explosions that caused the stack to topple. “I was a mucker, mechanic, worked the cage.” Continue Reading →

BHP’s ‘measured creep’ of risk appetite – by Matthew Stevens (Australian Financial Review – November 11, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

Ivan Glasenberg wondered recently how it was the BHP had moved into mining frontier of Ecuador when management at Australia’s Smart Thinking resources house was supposedly content to sustain and grow its business around its existing sites. This bemusement is well founded.

Among the themes consistent through Andrew Mackenzie’s evolving reformation of BHP are that it has little or no appetite for investment in frontier opportunities and that the company’s growth aspirations will be best afforded through a laser focus on the Global Australian’s existing six-strong fleet of mega-resource basins.

But that message is in the process of being massaged into something more nuanced, and not just because BHP’s two-stream play to possibly shape Ecuador’s future in copper stands an obvious test of the past house line in emerging mining sovereignties. Continue Reading →

Environmental groups ask for suspension of PolyMet permits – by Jimmy Lovrien (Duluth News Tribune – November 8, 2018)

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

Several Minnesota environmental groups asked state agencies to suspend permits for the contentious PolyMet copper-nickel mine in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, WaterLegacy and Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness submitted a request for stay, or suspension, of permits issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources last week and pending permits from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency until the Minnesota Court of Appeals rules on whether an additional environment review of the project is needed.

Before the groups can ask the Court of Appeals for a stay on the permits, they’re required to first request a stay of permits from the agencies themselves, WaterLegacy counsel and advocacy director Paula Maccabee told the News Tribune on Thursday. “It’s not like this is the endgame, but it is a preliminary step,” Maccabee said. Continue Reading →

Glencore to go deeper at Sudbury operations – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – November 7, 2018)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

“We have still, I believe, a lot of untapped potential in the Sudbury
basin, especially at depth,” said Xavier. A series of deep copper
deposits dubbed Norman West is particularly intriguing to the company.

Xavier also highlighted the strides the company has taken to reduce its emissions,
which have dropped 90 per cent over the past 30 years, while production has climbed.
And he noted Glencore has spent $272 million on a Process Gas Project at its smelter,
which will further reduce sulphur dioxide emissions.

“We’re committed to a long, stable future in Sudbury,” he said.
(Peter Xavier, VP of Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations – Glencore)

Cleaner. And deeper. That’s the direction Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Glencore) is heading with its existing properties, a new nickel mine in the Onaping area and copper deposits it hopes to develop north of Capreol.

“Deep mining is where the future lies for us,” said Glencore VP Peter Xavier during an address to a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce audience Tuesday. “After 100 years of mining in the Sudbury basin, you can imagine a lot of the close-to-the-surface operations are getting depleted, and we’re having to go deeper.” Continue Reading →

How Electric Vehicles Should Give a Jolt to Copper Miners – by Simon Constable (Barrons.com – November 2, 2018)

https://www.barrons.com/

Copper prices have dropped 18% in recent weeks, creating a long-term opportunity to get in on some cheap copper-mining giants with generous dividend payouts. Their prospects will depend on a major technological transition: the move from gasoline-powered to electric vehicles.

“If you’re bullish on global growth over the next 18 to 24 months, you have to own copper-related assets, especially since current prices aren’t high enough to fund new-mine development,” says Adam Johnson, founder and author of the Bullseye Brief financial newsletter. “Longer term, and this is key, rising electric-vehicle production will shift the entire demand curve since EVs require multiple times the copper content of internal-combustion engines.”

Investors should consider buying shares of a handful of European-based miners: Rio Tinto (ticker: RIO), Glencore (GLEN.UK), and Anglo American (AAL.UK). All are diversified, but they’re also among the largest copper miners. Better yet, they have hefty dividends of 5%, 5.1%, and 4.7%, respectively. Continue Reading →

Saudi miner Ma’aden actively looking for overseas investments – CEO – by Marwa Rashad (Reuters U.K. – October 25, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian Mining Co (1211.SE) (Ma’aden), the Gulf’s largest miner, is actively looking for investment opportunities overseas that would complement and strengthen its business inside the kingdom, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday.

Ma’aden, which mines gold and copper and has in recent years expanded into the production of aluminium and phosphates, is key to Saudi Arabia’s plan to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons. The government aims to more than triple mining’s contribution to the nation’s economic output by 2030.

The company, which is 65 percent owned by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, is looking for joint ventures and acquisitions in Latin America, India and other countries to boost its operations in phosphate fertilisers and base metals. Continue Reading →

Glencore posts rise in copper, cobalt output on Katanga restart (Reuters U.S. – October 26, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – Glencore Plc on Friday reported a 12 percent rise in copper production so far this year, while cobalt production rose 44 percent, boosted by the restart of Katanga’s processing operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The London-listed miner and commodities trader, which posted record half-year earnings in August, said then it had been facing higher costs and weak prices for cobalt and other byproducts.

Glencore’s copper production rose by 116,600 tonnes to 1,063,100 tonnes from the start of this year and cobalt output jumped 8,700 tonnes to 28,500 tonnes. Continue Reading →

Papuans want Filipino miner out of their ancestral land – by Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star – October 29, 2018)

https://www.philstar.com/

A Filipino miner is causing social unrest in the Pacific island of Bougainville, the same way he stirred up Mindanao tribesmen against his mining. Tens of thousands of Bougainville natives are livid that SR Metals Inc., owned by Eric Gutierrez, is to log and consequently extract copper.

Central authorities in Papua New Guinea are being asked why an outsider has been allowed into the Panguna forest. Foreign mining in Panguna had triggered a ten-year civil war, 1988-1998, that claimed the lives of 20,000 people. Since then Panguna has been declared a “no-go zone.”

Gutierrez’s SRMI up to recently was extracting nickel in the mountains of Tubay, Agusan del Norte. Dispossessed Lumad had opposed his 20 years of supposed small-scale mining that actually exceeded legal limits. It also denuded forests in and beyond its 128-hectare concession. Continue Reading →

How Ivanhoe Mines is helping China in its quest to dominate electric vehicles – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail/Report on Business Magazine – October 24, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

China wants to be No. 1 in electric cars, so it needs copper and cobalt. Where does it find its most helpful suppliers and allies? On Canadian stock markets

Robert Friedland, the founder and executive co-chairman of Vancouver’s Ivanhoe Mines, calls copper “the new oil.” By that, he means copper is essential to the new electrified, battery-powered economy in the same way oil, a century ago, was essential to the era of mass mobility.

Copper’s conductivity – its ability to transmit electricity – is superb. You cannot build a smartphone, an electrical grid or an electric car without copper, and lots of it.

China has figured out that copper and other common and rare minerals are essential to its long-term industrial ambitions. It wants to own the source of those minerals, rather than buying them on the spot market. The country’s leaders believe that whoever controls the minerals controls the end product, not just domestically, but globally. Call it an extreme form of vertical integration – from mine site to retail channel. Continue Reading →

Global growth worries, tariff battle weigh on copper market – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 24, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Copper prices extended a recent slide as flaring geopolitical concerns and fears over a slowing Chinese economy weigh on demand for the widely used industrial metal.

Copper futures declined about 1 per cent on Tuesday to US$2.73 a pound and some of Canada’s biggest base-metals companies came under heavy selling pressure, with First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Hudbay Minerals Inc. and Lundin Mining Corp. falling 2.8 per cent, 2.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.

Copper prices have been falling amid rising concerns that the trade dispute between the United States and China could slow the Chinese economy, a crucial market for the metal. Continue Reading →

Copper mines put Anglo American on track for strong 2018 – by Allan Seccombe (Business Day – October 23, 2018)

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

After a standout performance in its copper division in the September quarter and positive performances across the bulk of its other businesses so far in 2018, Anglo American lined itself up for a strong 2018 by meeting its production targets.

Anglo, which is listed in London and Johannesburg, reported quarterly falls in diamond, iron ore and metallurgical coal production for the three months to end-September compared to a year ago, but these were offset by an outstanding performance from its copper mines.

“Strong operational performance at our copper assets delivered a 17% increase in production, more than offsetting planned lower volumes at De Beers and the impact of rail infrastructure constraints at Kumba in the first half of the year,” Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani said, referring to JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore, Africa’s largest iron ore miner. Continue Reading →

Then Again: The rise and fall of the Ely Copper Mines – by Mark Bushnell (VTDigger.org – October 21, 2018)

https://vtdigger.org/

Editor’s note: Mark Bushnell is a Vermont journalist and historian. He is the author of “Hidden History of Vermont” and “It Happened in Vermont.”

Ammunition was handed out to the troops: 20 rounds per man. The state militia planned to bring order to the town of Vershire.

Before dawn on the morning of Saturday, July 7, 1883, roughly 200 militia members climbed into wagons that would transport them to the outskirts of town. A group of striking miners had controlled Vershire since Monday. Word had spread that the miners had seized explosives and were threatening to start blowing things up if their demands weren’t met. One rumor had it that the miners were holding company executives, town officials and others hostage.

Their complaint was simple: they weren’t getting paid. Miners hadn’t seen a paycheck in months. Company officials claimed the mine was nearly bankrupt, but workers believed, or in desperation at least hoped, they were lying. Continue Reading →