Archive | Copper

First Quantum Falls as Panama Court Casts Uncertainty on Project – by Natalie Obiko Pearson (Bloomberg News – September 25, 2018)

Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd. headed for a one-week low after a ruling by Panama’s Supreme Court cast uncertainty over a major copper mine it’s developing in the central American country.

Local media in Panama reported that the court ruled on Monday that Law 9 — used to approve a mining concession contract between the state and Minera Petaquilla in February 1997 — was unconstitutional.

Minera Petaquilla, now known as Minera Panama SA, is majority-owned by Vancouver-based First Quantum. Company’s filings show it obtained the concession rights for the Cobre Panama project in 1997 under that law. Continue Reading →

Russian giant copper project in talks to raise $1.25 billion – by Polina Devitt and Diana Asonova (Reuters U.S. – September 17, 2018)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A company owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov is in talks to raise $1.25 billion from Russian banks by the start of 2019 to build a massive mining and metallurgical plant at Russia’s biggest untapped copper deposit, its chairman said.

Large greenfield projects in Russia’s energy and mining sector slowed after Russia was hit by Western sanctions four years ago, limiting the economy’s access to foreign finance, but some of the bigger projects are now being revived with home-grown financing.

Usmanov’s Baikal Mining Company, operator of the Udokan copper deposit, is betting on strong global appetite for the metal, which many expect to be in demand for use in electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Demand for renewable energy drives the need for copper – by Erin Thorburn (AZ Big – September 18, 2018)

AX Big

Next time you make a call on your cell phone, drive a car and kick up the AC, remember to thank copper. In the words of Jonathan Ward, spokesperson for Resolution Copper, “Without copper, we would all be living in the Stone Age.”

Thanks to copper mining, we remain happily embedded in the 21st Century, but that’s not all we should be thankful for. In our small portion of the desert, Arizona mining has a huge impact on our state, on the Southwest and on the rest of the world.

From modern luxuries to renewable energy to the integrity of our national security, copper is one of Arizona’s most valuable export industries and commodities.

Copper is king in sustainable development

From the time it was discovered in 8700 B.C., copper was the reigning, sole metal known to man for almost five millennia. Continue Reading →

Imperial Metals explores sale of company amid financial restructuring – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 18, 2018)

Troubled junior copper producer Imperial Metals Corp. has kicked off a strategic review that may result in the sale of the company as it struggles under a mountain of debt.

In a Monday release, Imperial Metals said it will also consider selling assets piecemeal, entering into joint ventures or recapitalizing the company.

The Vancouver-based company, backed by well-known energy executive Murray Edwards, says it has taken a number of steps that give it financial breathing room in the short term. With a market capitalization of just $134-million, it has a debt load of roughly $857-million and a cash balance of $16-million as of the end of the second quarter. Continue Reading →

Chile lawmakers mull additional mining tax for copper, lithium – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 14, 2018)

The Lower Chamber of Chile’s Parliament has begun studying a project that would set a 3% mining royalty for all companies operating in the country, which is the world’s top copper producer and the one with the largest known reserves of lithium.

The proposed tax, to be applied on the nominal value of extracted metals, would affect copper miners that produce more than 12,000 tonnes of the metal annually and those extracting 50,000 tonnes a year of lithium, used in batteries that power electric cars.

The idea is to have miners contributing part of their profits to the regions where they operate, Radio Universidad de Chile reported (in Spanish). Continue Reading →

Lundin Mining has hefty M&A appetite for copper, says incoming CEO – by Susan Taylor (Reuters U.S. – September 13, 2018)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s Lundin Mining Corp (LUN.TO) is on the hunt for copper mines and projects and willing to spend up to $3 billion on mergers and acquisitions, its incoming chief executive officer said in an interview on Thursday.

But Lundin will stick with its strategy of disciplined bids and a focus on low-risk jurisdictions, Marie Inkster said at the company’s Toronto head office.

The base metal miner was recently outbid by China’s Zijin Mining Group (601899.SS) in its hostile takeover offer for Nevsun Resources (NSU.TO). “We want to get more copper. We want to get more mines. We want good prospects,” said Inkster, who will take over as CEO when Paul Conibear retires later this year. Continue Reading →

Power plant delays fuel tensions over Rio’s giant Mongolia copper mine – by Barbara Lewis and Munkhchimeg Davaasharav (Reuters U.S. – September 13, 2018)

LONDON/ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) – Nearly 10 years on from the launch of a giant copper and gold project in Mongolia, Rio Tinto is still looking to secure a domestic power source it needs for the mine under an agreement with the government.

Oyu Tolgoi, located in the South Gobi region near landlocked Mongolia’s southern border with China, is scheduled to complete a $5.3 billion underground expansion for first production by 2020, creating one of the world’s biggest copper suppliers.

The project, launched in 2009 and 34 percent-controlled by Mongolia, is set to transform the country’s tiny economy, and is also key for Rio as the biggest potential growth area for its copper business. But it has been beset by squabbles over cost overruns and claims of unpaid taxes. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Battered copper bulls take refuge in LME options market – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – September 13, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – It’s been a hard time for copper bulls. A year of expected supply disruption from expiring labour contracts has failed to live up to expectations as strike deadlines have largely passed without incident.

Neither accelerated Chinese imports, up 15 percent through August, nor mass cancellations of London Metal Exchange (LME) stocks, 125,000 tonnes over the second half of August, have made any impression. The LME three-month copper price is down 20 percent on the start of 2018 at a current $6,020 per tonne.

Copper has become a proxy for geopolitical angst, specifically the trade tensions that are simmering between the United States and China. Wednesday was an “up” day, thanks to the prospect of another round of peace talks between the two protagonists. Continue Reading →

Defeat for Minnesota wilderness protection means back to business for mining – by Josephine Marcotty (Minneapolis Star Tribune – September 10, 2018)

The federal government’s sudden decision to reopen mineral exploration just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was a resounding defeat for wilderness advocates. But for the mining industry, it means back to business as usual.

By 2016, when the U.S. Forest Service adopted the temporary ban on exploratory drilling, mining companies had already poked thousands of holes in the ground in northern Minnesota in a decadeslong hunt for copper, nickel, platinum and other precious metals.

Now, the grinding sound of the drill rigs in 234,000 acres of the Superior National Forest around Ely will resume and, over the next few years, probably increase, say those in the industry. More importantly, the decision to lift the ban makes it more likely that at some point all that exploration will result in a mine. Continue Reading →

Feds Lift Roadblock to Copper Mining Near Boundary Waters (Associated Press/Voice of America – September 6, 2018)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Trump administration on Thursday lifted a roadblock to copper-nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northeastern Minnesota, reversing a decision made in the final days of the Obama administration.

The Obama administration in late 2016 withdrew around 234,000 acres of the Rainy River watershed near Ely from eligibility for mineral leasing pending a two-year study, citing the potential threat from acid mine drainage to the nearby Boundary Waters, the country’s most-visited wilderness area. The move could have led to a 20-year ban on mining and prospecting on the land.

The most immediate beneficiary is Twin Metals Minnesota, which hopes to build a copper-nickel-precious metals mine south of Ely. It plans to submit its first formal mining plan to regulators in the next 18 months. Continue Reading →

Zambia Seen Considering Higher Mine Taxes to Trim Budget Gap – by Matthew Hill and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi (Bloomberg News – September 5, 2018)

Zambia plans to trim its fiscal deficit next year even as Africa’s second-biggest copper producer boosts spending. It may be considering raising mine taxes to achieve that, according to analysts.

The Finance Ministry is targeting a budget shortfall of 6.5 percent of gross domestic product next year, compared to 7.4 percent this year, according to a medium-term expenditure plan that sets its fiscal course until 2021. At the same time, it forecasts mineral-royalty and mine-profit tax revenue increasing by about a quarter, as copper output grows 3.7 percent and prices remain flat.

That suggests an increase in rates for both profit tax and royalties for companies including Glencore Plc, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Barrick Gold Corp., said Mark Bohlund, an Africa economist with Bloomberg. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Nevsun Resources agrees to richer Zijin bid – by Susan Taylor (Reuters U.S. – September 5, 2018)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s Nevsun Resources Ltd has agreed to a buyout bid worth C$1.86 billion ($1.41 billion) from China’s Zijin Mining Group Co, the companies said on Wednesday, in a deal trumping Lundin Mining Corp’s earlier hostile offer.

Zijin, which also has ventures with Canada’s Barrick Gold and Ivanhoe Mines, said it plans to rapidly develop Nevsun’s high-grade Timok copper project in Serbia and extend the life of an Eritrean copper and zinc mine.

On Friday, Zijin emerged as the top bidder for a 63 percent stake in Serbian’s RTB Bor copper complex, near the Timok deposit, after pledging a $1.26 billion investment in the operation. Continue Reading →

Chile mining sector to see $60 billion in investment over next decade – by Dale Benton (Mining Global – September 3, 2018)

The worlds largest producers of copper are forecasting mining investments of more than $60 billion over the next decade.

The Minister of Mining, Baldo Prokurica, along with the Executive Vice President of the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco), Sergio Hernandez, announced in a new report that the mining sector is anticipating an investment of $65.747 billion over the next decade.

In the report, entitled “Investment in Chilean Mining – Portfolio of Projects 2018 -2027 “, it identifies 44 mining projects that will provide contribution of copper projects of around 3.5 million tons, the largest of the last 3 years. Continue Reading →

Teck seeking partner for $4.8bn Quebrada Blanca mine expansion – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – August 29, 2018)

Canada’s largest diversified miner Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.A | TECK.B)(NYSE:TCK) is looking for a business partner before moving ahead with its Phase 2 at Quebrada Blanca copper mine in northern Chile.

The Vancouver-based company, which earlier this month received regulatory approval for a $4.8-billion mine extension, said that before kicking off work, it would have to secure a development partner able to invest $2billion for up to 30% to 40% stake in the project.

Earlier this year, Teck had said it was exploring various potential financing alternatives for the project. Chile’s Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica had said that Teck would begin the mine extension, aimed at extending Quebrada Blanca’s life by 25 years, in November, local paper El Mercurio reports. Continue Reading →

Remnant strategy could extend 777 lifespan: Hudbay – by Eric Westhaver (Flin Flon Reminder – August 29, 2018)

Hudbay is proposing a new strategy that could extend the life of Flin Flon’s main mine. The strategy includes pursuing reserves with remnants, or small pockets of ore found underground.

“They are spread out, smaller in size and more expensive to extract than the ore that is being mined right now,” said Scott Brubacher, Hudbay director of corporate communications.

The 777 Mine is currently slated to end production in 2021, but the remnants strategy has become one of the company’s main hopes for extending the mine past 2021. Continue Reading →