Archive | Copper

Eritrea ‘poison pill’ complicates miner Lundin’s aspirations: sources – by Nicole Mordant and Susan Taylor (Reuters U.S. – May 17, 2018)

VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) – The weak human rights record of one of Africa’s poorest countries is coming between Lundin Mining Corp and its pursuit of a prized European copper and gold asset. Cash-rich Lundin’s latest run at fellow Canadian miner Nevsun Resources Ltd is designed to bag the Timok project in Serbia, but it had to bring on a partner to pick up Nevsun’s Bisha mine in Eritrea.

That is because Lundin Mining’s board of directors, chaired by billionaire resources tycoon Lukas Lundin, refuses to invest in Eritrea, according to four people familiar with, but not able to speak publicly on, the matter.

They will not own the Eritrean mine “for even one second,” one of the people said. That stance is not necessarily a deal breaker, said an investor who declined to be named. Continue Reading →

Anglo looks to sell Peru copper stake to Japanese firms: sources – by Clara Denina and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – May 17, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – Anglo American (AAL.L) is likely to sell up to 30 percent of its multi-billion dollar Peruvian copper project Quellaveco to Japanese entities, including Mitsubishi, which already own part of it, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The London-listed miner said in its 2017 financial results it is seeking to cut its 82 percent interest in Quellaveco, which could produce 225,000 tonnes of copper annually, to between 50 and 70 percent.

The sources said it has hired investment banks Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) to help with the sale, which could be announced within the next two months. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Rushing to Ruin the Boundary Waters Wilderness – by Richard Moe (New York Times – May 17, 2018)

Minnesota prides itself on being “the Land of 10,000 Lakes.” At least 1,100 lie in the far northeastern part of the state, along the border with Canada, where more than a million acres of pristine waters and unspoiled woodlands are interspersed with canyons, steep cliffs and huge rock formations shaped by glaciers during the last ice age.

Today this region, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, looks almost exactly as it appeared 10,000 years ago when Paleo-Indians lived there.

Sigurd Olson, the naturalist and writer who guided there for three decades, called it “the most beautiful lake country on the continent.” Few who see it would disagree. Today it is the most visited wilderness area in the United States. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Copper scrap a key battleground in China’s war on waste – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – May 15, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – China’s self-declared war on “foreign garbage” has come to America. From May 3 all U.S. shipments to China of secondary materials, from scrap metal to plastics and waste paper, are suspended for a month.

China Certification and Inspection Group (CCIC) North America, the sole body licensed with checking U.S. cargoes before they sail, will not be allowed to issue export certification documents until June 4.

During the one-month suspension every container with U.S. waste material at Chinese ports will be opened, inspected and, if necessary, undergo laboratory testing. The reason, according to China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC), is that “multiple shipments” of U.S. scrap have failed to meet tough new environmental regulations since the start of the year. Continue Reading →

Japanese miners plan to boost output at Chile copper mines amid challenges – by Yuka Obayashi and Osamu Tsukimori (Reuters U.S. – May 11, 2018)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese copper miners JX Nippon Mining & Metals and Sumitomo Metal Mining plan to increase output from their mines in Chile this year, but are facing challenges in bringing them to full capacity and meeting profit targets.

JXTG Holdings Inc said on Friday that Caserones copper mine which is 51.5 percent owned by its metal unit JX Nippon Mining is expected to produce about 110,000 tonnes of copper concentrate in the year to end-March 2019, up from 91,000 tonnes a year earlier.

The projected annual output still falls short of the 150,000 tonnes target planned when the company started construction of the mine. Continue Reading →

Private firm takes on Codelco for control of Chile lithium deposit – by Fabian Cambero (Reuters U.S. – May 9, 2018)

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – A foreign-backed miner has sued Chile to block state-run Codelco from exploiting a lithium deposit where both have claims, according to a lawsuit filed in March that will be carefully watched by potential investors being courted by the country’s new government.

The little-known and remote Maricunga salt flat is far smaller than the expansive Salar de Atacama, where top lithium producers Albemarle and Chile’s SQM SQM_pb.SN rule supreme.

But the legal conflict at Maricunga under the newly inaugurated conservative government of President Sebastian Pinera may prove a bellwether for foreign miners anxious to invest in Chile, which is home to half of the world’s lithium reserves. Continue Reading →

Freeport Indonesia divestment still targeted for this year, Inalum says – by Fergus Jensen (Reuters U.S. – May 7, 2018)

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Freeport-McMoRan Inc’s (FCX.N) divestment of a controlling interest in Indonesia’s Grasberg mine is still planned for 2018, even though the price and some contract terms are still to be agreed, the head of state mining holding company PT Inalum said.

Inalum, which is arranging funding for the deal, already has a “committed” loan for the transaction with Freeport and Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) for the majority stake in Grasberg, Inalum’s Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a briefing on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the Coaltrans Asia conference in Bali.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo had instructed his administration to complete negotiations to buy a majority stake in the world’s second-biggest copper mine by end-April. Continue Reading →

Pebble Mine: Taking the Battle to the Board Room – Again – by Joel Reynolds (Natural Resources Defense Council – May 07, 2018)

Bristol Bay Coalition Delivers Message of Unrelenting Opposition in Meetings with First Quantum Minerals in Toronto

Sometimes really bad ideas are hard to kill – especially these days. Take, for example, the Pebble Mine, which Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Administrator Scott Pruitt rescued from its deathbed last May after cutting a deal with the project’s CEO. And just like that this reckless project had a new lease on life – and a new pitch for potential investors.

Last week in Toronto, together with a formidable delegation of leaders from the distant Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, my NRDC colleague Chris Tackett and I attended the shareholders’ annual general meeting (“AGM”) of Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals and met with its Chair and CEO.

First Quantum, which draws 84% of its revenue from copper mines in Zambia, is looking to expand its operations to the United States by bankrolling the Pebble Mine – now solely owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals, a small Canadian mining exploration company based in Vancouver. Continue Reading →

O’Neill ‘undermining’ Bougainville peace deal, vote plan, says Miriori – by PMC Editor (Asia Pacific Report – May 8, 2018)

Asia Pacific Report

A Bougainvillean leader has accused Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of “undermining” the island’s 17-year-old peace agreement and the independence vote due next year.

Martin Miriori also condemned O’Nell for lacking sensitivity over Bougainville that struck a New Zealand-brokered peace agreement which ended a 10-year civil war and included a referendum vote on independence.

Miriori, a Panguna landowner and pro-independence leader, was reacting to a statement by O’Neill at the Business Forum in Brisbane last week and repeated in PNG’s The National newspaper that the vote was not about independence, but what was best for the people of Bougainville. Continue Reading →

Rumble in the jungle: Glencore, a hard-slugging mining giant, meets its match in Congo (The Economist – May 3, 2018)

A fight between two billionaires involves a coveted mineral, cobalt

IN THE mining world the bout has the drama of a heavyweight title fight. In one corner is Ivan Glasenberg, billionaire boss of Glencore, the world’s biggest commodities-trading firm. In the other is Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire accused by America of corruption related to his dealings with Joseph Kabila’s government in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The prize is a battery mineral, cobalt, which Glencore produces in the DRC and whose value has almost tripled since the electric-vehicle revolution accelerated at the start of 2017. It will be a tough fight.

In the DRC Glencore is currently facing the potential loss of one of its biggest mines and sharply higher mining levies, as well as a costly lawsuit. “It’s a shakedown of Glencore,” says an analyst in London. Continue Reading →

Glencore’s Congo mining conundrum – by Barbara Lewis and Aaron Ross (Reuters U.K. – May 3, 2018)

LONDON/DAKAR (Reuters) – Miner and commodities trader Glencore (GLEN.L) is embroiled in a legal tangle over its copper and cobalt operations in Democratic Republic of Congo, where conflict and changes to regulations have deterred many mining firms.

U.S. sanctions on Glencore’s former Israeli partner in Congo have been a trigger for litigation. At the same time, relations with the Congolese authorities are under strain from a dispute with the government over a new mining code.

Investors are watching closely, particularly for any impact on supplies of cobalt from Congo, which is by far the world’s biggest producer of the metal whose uses include making alloys for jet engines and batteries for electric cars and mobile phones. Continue Reading →

Zambia’s copper production set to grow, but may be restricted by policy – BMI – by Marleny Arnoldi ( – May 2, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Although the growth prospects for Zambia’s mining sector remains positive for this year, amid rising copper prices and improved electricity supply, a worsening regulatory environment may negatively impact on the country’s copper production in the coming years, warns BMI Research.

“We expect Zambian copper production growth to accelerate in the coming months as copper prices and domestic power supplies improve. On March 20, the Zambian Ministry of Mines announced its targeted copper production levels of more than a million tonnes, up from 755 000 t in 2017,” BMI reports.

BMI expects Zambian copper production growth to average 8% this year, which will amount to production of 815 000 t – up 2% on that produced in 2017. Continue Reading →

Glencore Is Said to Take Congo Rift With Gertler to London Court – by Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – May 2, 2018)

Glencore Plc’s clash with former partner Dan Gertler over unpaid royalties at a key Congolese copper mine deepened as the legal battle spread to a London court.

The Swiss miner was on Tuesday granted a temporary injunction against the Israeli billionaire after petitioning the London court to rule against a Congolese judge’s decision last week to freeze assets at its Kamoto Copper project, people familiar with the matter said.

Gertler is claiming $2.28 billion in damages and unpaid royalties, which Glencore stopped paying after he was sanctioned by the U.S. in December. Continue Reading →

Copper and cobalt markets at risk of supply disruptions – by Neil Hume and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – April 30, 2018)

Glencore and Freeport-McMoRan under pressure in DRC and Indonesia

The commodities industry has been focused on the crisis surrounding Rusal, the Russian aluminium producer, but a number of disputes entail higher prices for copper and cobalt.

In the past week, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned mining company has filed legal action against Glencore, while in Indonesia the government has imposed new environmental standards on the giant Grasberg copper and gold mine owned by Freeport-McMoRan.

“Political risk has gone from being little thought about to being a major concern,” Michael Stoner, an analyst at Berenberg, said. Continue Reading →

Glencore Drops as Clash With Former Partner Adds to Congo Issues – by Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – April 30, 2018)

Glencore Plc dropped the most among the U.K.’s biggest stocks as the company clashed with a former partner over royalties at key copper and cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The shares fell as much as 3.9 percent after the company said late Friday that a Congolese court authorized bailiffs to freeze certain Glencore assets after Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler served orders on local units for almost $3 billion in damages.

The damages relate to royalties from the Mutanda Mining and Kamoto Copper projects, which Glencore stopped paying to Gertler since he was sanctioned by the U.S. for alleged corruption in December. Continue Reading →