Archive | Copper

Giant Alaska copper-gold mine gets final environment nod after 15-year fight – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – July 24, 2020)

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM) has cleared the last environmental hurdle for its proposed Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum mine in Alaska, almost two decades after developers first started considering the project.

The US Army Corps of Engineers issued on Friday a final environmental impact statement (EIS), backing the controversial mine in the Bristol Bay region.

The decision opens the door for Northern Dynasty to obtain the federal go-ahead as soon as late August. Continue Reading →

Copper price surges to two-year high – by Frik Els ( – July 21, 2020)

Copper futures prices rallied on Tuesday after the agreement of a massive economic stimulus plan in Europe, optimism about a covid-19 vaccine and ongoing worries about pandemic-hit supply from top producer South America.

Copper for delivery in September trading in New York changed hands for $2.9750 a pound ($6,560 a tonne) in early afternoon trade, up 2% from Monday’s settlement.

Copper futures prices are on track for the highest close in two years and are now up by more than 50% from the covid-19 lows struck in March. Continue Reading →

Ivanhoe keeps Kakula copper project ahead of schedule – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – July 6, 2020)

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) said on Monday that progress at its Kakula copper project, the first of multiple planned mining areas at Kamoa-Kakula in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues ahead of schedule.

The company, together with its joint venture (JV) partner China’s Zijin Mining Group, has now completed more than 17 km of underground development, of which 5.1 kms is ahead of schedule.

Ivanhoe also said that Kakula’s 2,000-tonne-per-hour ore conveyor system began operations in June, which will further increase the mine’s pace of underground development. Continue Reading →

Thousands of Copper Workers Have Fallen Ill in Chile – by Jackie Davalos (Bloomberg News – July 6, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — It’s no coincidence that global copper prices and Chilean Covid-19 cases are rising together.

Chile, which accounts for more than a quarter of global supply, is battling to maintain output levels as more workers fall ill amid a nationwide surge of infections.

Mines have been attempting to keep their workers safe without forgoing too much output by postponing non-essential activities such as maintenance and construction work. Fewer workers on site mean less risk of infection. Continue Reading →

SolGold goes after rival Cornerstone Capital Resources – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – June 30, 2020)

SolGold (LON, TSX:SOLG) is trying to buy Canada’s Cornerstone Capital Resources (TSX-V: CGP), which owns a minority stake in the Alpala copper-gold project, part of the Ecuador-focused miner’s Cascabel asset.

The C$140 million ($102m) all-stock offer, SolGold’s second attempt to take over the Ontario-based junior, would see the bidder pay C$3.90 for each Cornerstone share. That is a 22% premium to its closing price of C$3.19 on Monday.

Chief executive Nick Mather said the deal would boost the junior’s footprint in copper-rich, but underdeveloped Ecuador, while simplifying the structure of the $2.85 billion project. He highlighted that the business combination would reduce the risk of dilution and future development costs for Cornerstone shareholders. Continue Reading →

Copper Heads For Best Quarter Since 2010 as Supply Worries Mount – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – June 29, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Copper is poised for its best quarter since 2010, helped by optimism over a stronger-than-expected demand rebound in top consumer China and mounting supply concerns in South America.

The metal used in everything from automobiles to electronics has surged about 20% this quarter, and climbed above $6,000 a metric ton last week for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak became a global pandemic.

Prices have rallied steadily over the past three months, fueled by sentiment over consumption prospects as first China and then other large economies began to ease lockdowns. Continue Reading →

New lawsuit targets Minnesota’s copper-nickel mining rules – by Jimmy Lovrien (Minnesota Public Radio News – June 25, 2020)

Duluth News Tribune – Opponents of copper-nickel mining are urging Minnesota regulators to change the state’s copper-nickel mining rules to ban that type of mining within the same watershed as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters announced in a news release Wednesday it was filing a lawsuit under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act asking a judge to order the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources “to initiate a public process to amend state non-ferrous mining rules that would fully protect the water and air quality, wilderness character and other irreplaceable natural resources of the Boundary Waters” and “to prohibit sulfide-ore copper mining and related surface disturbance in the Rainy River-Headwaters.”

If successful, the rule change would effectively kill Twin Metals’ proposed underground copper-nickel mine, processing plant and tailings storage facility along Birch Lake, which flows into the BWCAW via the Kawishiwi River. Continue Reading →

‘Welcome to the age of copper’: Why the coronavirus pandemic could spark a red metal rally – by Chloe Taylor ( – June 24, 2020)

The coronavirus pandemic is set to pave the way for “the age of copper,” according to the director of energy, climate and resources at Eurasia Group, as governments double down on investments that will drive up demand for the red metal.

The commodity, which is widely seen as a bellwether for the general state of the economy, has taken a hit during the coronavirus crisis.

Slumping demand drove prices down at the height of the pandemic in March. However, benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was trading around $5,909 per metric ton Tuesday, up 0.5%. That’s close to its five-month high of $5,928 hit earlier this month, Reuters reported. Continue Reading →

DNR deems Twin Metals’ plan for copper mine near Boundary Waters ‘incomplete’ – by Jennifer Bjorhus (Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 24, 2020)

Minnesota environmental regulators have published nearly 800 comments on the Twin Metals plan to build a copper-nickel mine just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota, deeming the company’s project proposal “incomplete.”

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says it needs the clarifications and extra information before it can start the required environmental impact statement on the proposed mine, one of the most contentious mine projects in the state’s history.

The comments, dated June 15, are posted on the Twin Metals section of the DNR’s website. The agency has “determined the initial submittal to be incomplete,” it said. Continue Reading →

Future of Copper Production Thrown Into Doubt by Worker Cuts – by James Attwood, Jackie Davalos and Winnie Zhu (Bloomberg News – June 23, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Skeleton crews are running Chile’s massive copper mines at full tilt, skimping on maintenance and earthworks. It’s a short-term fix that carries risks for future output.

When the pandemic hit and mines around the world shut, those in Chile figured out a way to keep churning out copper for Chinese factories. They kept non-essential staff at home and introduced longer schedules for streamlined crews of 60-70% of normal levels. The latest data show it’s working, with output up even as Chile becomes a virus hot spot.

But they’re doing it by postponing projects and maintenance and homing in on areas that are easiest to access. Such practices can raise the risk of unforeseen stoppages and, if done for too long, constrain future production. Continue Reading →

Congo officials vow to tackle child labour at mines as virus threatens spike – by Malaicka Adihe (Reuters U.K. – June 23, 2020)

KINSHASA, June 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo’s southeastern mining heartland are boosting efforts to tackle child labour amid concerns that the coronavirus pandemic could drive more families to put their children to work in mines, officials said.

Congo is Africa’s main producer of copper and the top global source of cobalt, accounting for two-thirds of global supplies of the metal used in smartphones and electric car batteries.

Mining accounts for 32% of Congo’s national output and the economy has been hard hit by the pandemic, which has slowed demand for metals and other raw materials. Continue Reading →

Northern Dynasty to share Pebble mine revenue with locals – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – June 17, 2020)

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM), the company behind a proposed massive copper-gold mine in southwest Alaska, has announced a revenue sharing program for full-time residents of Bristol Bay.

The initiative would distribute a 3% of the revenue generated from the Pebble copper-gold-silver mine among adult locals who subscribe as participants of the “Pebble performance dividend” plan.

Northern Dynasty’s subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership said the dividend would distribute a guaranteed minimum annual payment of $3 million, beginning “at the outset of project construction”. Continue Reading →

Biggest Copper Nation Has an Optimistic Take on Hectic News Flow – by Jackie Davalos and James Attwood (Bloomberg News – June 17, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Copper traders are being bombarded with possible price drivers right now — from $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure spending to a second wave of Covid-19 in China. For Chile’s official forecaster, the upshot is cautiously optimistic.

Prices probably will average more than $2.50 a pound this year, according to Marco Riveros, who heads government agency Cochilco. So far this year, the average has been just below that level.

With demand supported by a recovery in Europe and President Trump’s infrastructure proposal, there’s incentive for Chilean mines to continue operating at near capacity levels, Riveros said in an interview Tuesday. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Copper blind-sided by the strength of Chinese recovery – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – June 16, 2020)

LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) – The copper price has recovered strongly from its COVID-19 collapse in March.

London Metal Exchange (LME) copper is currently trading at $5,810, up 33% from its March 19 low of $4,371 and back to where it was before the deadly coronavirus knocked out global manufacturing activity and demand for industrial metals.

The world, Doctor Copper seems to be saying, is ready to move on. Or at least China is. As ever, copper and other industrial metals are taking their fundamental cue from the world’s largest user. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining company denies allegation after rights groups say workers confined to sites in Congo – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – June 13 2020)

Thousands of workers at multinational mining companies in Congo, including Vancouver-based Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., were confined to their mine site for more than two months under the threat of losing their jobs if they left the site, human-rights groups say.

Ivanhoe denies the allegation, which was made this week in a letter by a group of 11 international and local human-rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Ivanhoe says its workers were permitted to leave the pandemic lockdown and self-quarantine at home if they chose.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the world’s top producer of cobalt and Africa’s biggest producer of copper. Many cobalt and copper mining companies announced a lockdown of their mine sites in March because of the novel coronavirus, which has infected at least 4,515 people and killed 98 in the Central African country. Continue Reading →