Archive | Copper

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Zambia Files Notice of Plans to Seize Vedanta Copper Assets – by Taonga Clifford Mitimingi and Matthew Hill (Yahoo Finance – May 20, 2019)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Zambia’s government filed notification of plans to take over Vedanta Resources Ltd.’s domestic copper assets, President Edgar Lungu said. The southern African nation’s Eurobond yields surged to a record high and the currency hit a 3 1/2-year low.

The move marks an escalation in tension between the government and mine owners, after Lungu last week threatened to “divorce” Vedanta and Glencore Plc, two of the biggest employers in Africa’s second-largest copper producer. Relations have been simmering after the state earlier this year increased royalties and unveiled a plan to overhaul the value-added tax system.

Lungu mainly targeted Konkola Copper Mines, Vedanta’s local unit, in a weekend visit to Zambia’s Copperbelt province, where some companies are cutting production and firing workers. Continue Reading →

SolGold in talks to finance long-life Ecuador copper project – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – May 20, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – SolGold is in talks with financiers keen to invest in its Ecuadorian copper-gold prospects and mining major BHP could increase its stake in the company, SolGold’s chief executive said on Monday.

In a preliminary economic assessment of the Alpala copper-silver-gold deposit in northern Ecuador released earlier, London-listed SolGold said annual copper output should be 207,000 tonnes for the first 25 years of a mine life of roughly half a century.

Ecuador has attracted a flurry of interest from big miners eager to increase their exposure to copper. The highly conductive metal is in demand for use in renewable energy and electric vehicles, but big, new deposits are rare. Continue Reading →

The Uncertain Future of the Boundary Waters – by Stephanie Pearson (Outside Magazine – May 20, 2019)

https://www.outsideonline.com/

At 1.1 million acres, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is one of the largest and most popular backcountry destinations in the U.S. and a longtime proving ground for adventurers. But now the region is facing the threat of sulfide-ore copper mining. Stephanie Pearson paddles into the wild.

The new moon is invisible, and the night is black. My sister, Jen, is paddling in the stern. Her shivering wobbles the bow where I’m sitting. Canoeing in 45-degree weather at midnight dressed in T-shirts and underwear is not our normal behavior while camping in northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in September.

But an enormous black bear is on its hind legs, ten feet away, aggressively swiping at the food pack dangling from a low tree branch at our campsite. By the sound of its grunts, it’s hungry.

In our panic, we failed to forage for layers. Jen scooped up her sleeping bag and white Labrador, Sunny, I grabbed my knife and headlamp, and we tripped over ourselves to get to the water’s edge, where we launched the canoe. Continue Reading →

Japan’s SMM aims to double battery material capacity in nine years – by Yuka Obayashi (Reuters U.S. – May 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese miner and smelter Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd (SMM) aims to more than double its production capacity of cathode materials used in batteries for automobiles by March 2028, its president Akira Nozaki said on Friday.

SMM, which also makes electrical materials, supplies the nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) cathode materials used in Panasonic Corp’s lithium-ion battery that powers Tesla Inc’s Model 3 and Model X cars.

The Japanese company plans to boost its output capacity of cathode materials to 10,000 tonnes a month by end-March 2028, from 4,550 tonnes a month now, Nozaki told an analyst meeting. Continue Reading →

COLUMN: Commodities for the Trump-China trade war: Gold for bears, copper for bulls – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – May 16, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – One of the most popular questions at mining conferences is what is your top metal and why are you bullish on it. The clear winner so far this year is gold. While gold is a perennial favorite at mining events, the near unanimous backing among industry insiders likely reflects two emerging dynamics.

These are the limited prospects for significant new supply of the precious metal, and the view that the world economy is headed for turbulent times as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump ramps up its trade war with China and its disputes with major oil exporters Iran and Venezuela.

At a session at this week’s 121 Mining Investment event in Singapore, three out of four panelists picked gold, while the fourth was more in favor of other precious metals such as palladium and silver. Continue Reading →

The ‘hidden costs’ of striking the Lincoln cent – by Chris Bulfinch (Coin World – May 15, 2019)

https://www.coinworld.com/

Most recent studies suggest that the Lincoln cent is wasteful. Contemporary analyses suggest that it costs several times a cent’s face value to produce, and most consumers find them a nuisance. But is there a hidden cost behind the continued production of the cent? Climate scientists think so.

According to an article published by the Smithsonian and research by students at the University of California Davis, production of the cent produces considerable greenhouse gas emissions and other toxic waste.

The current cent’s alloy, 95 percent zinc plated with 5 percent copper requires mining both materials in massive quantities. Each ton of copper produced releases 2.45 tons of carbon dioxide, one of the gases that causes climate change, and each ton of zinc produced releases .58 tons of the same, according to the scientists. Continue Reading →

Trump administration opens up Minnesota wilderness area to copper mining – by Valerie Volcovici (Reuters U.S. – May 15, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday renewed two mineral leases near the Boundary Waters Wilderness area in Minnesota, a key step in opening the popular wilderness and recreation area up to copper mining despite heavy opposition from local and national conservation groups.

The department’s Bureau of Land Management granted the hardrock mineral leases inside the Superior National Forest to Twin Metals Minnesota LLC, a subsidiary of Chile’s Antofagasta, with the aim of expanding domestic mining of “critical minerals” used in common appliances and products, saying it is beneficial to national security because it reduces foreign imports.

“Mining strategic metals in the United States is beneficial to national security, national and local economies, and job creation,” the Interior Department’s assistant secretary Joe Balash said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Column: Lack of mine supply growth highlighted by Copper Study Group – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – May 15, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The refined copper market will experience supply shortfalls both this year and next, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) says. The group has in fact lifted its 2019 deficit assessment to 189,000 tonnes from a forecast 65,000 tonnes at its last biannual meeting in October 2018. Next year’s deficit is expected to be wider at 250,000 tonnes.

These are still marginal numbers given the size of the global copper market – 25 million tonnes – and prey both to statistical error and a highly changeable macroeconomic backdrop.

The rate of demand growth is a key variable and one that is very much to the fore as copper and other industrial metal markets eye nervously slowing global manufacturing activity and trade tensions between the United States and China. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-BHP to keep Nickel West, Rio looks to Jadar lithium for battery boom (Reuters Africa – May 14, 2019)

https://af.reuters.com/

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – Global miner BHP will hold on to the Australian nickel operations it previously put up for sale, while Rio Tinto is working on copper and lithium projects as the mining industry bets on demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The biggest mining companies say they are well positioned to provide the metals needed for the shift to EV technology, although they acknowledge the political risks and environmental issues in some of the countries where the best supplies are found.

Nickel is in demand to allow cars to travel further on a single charge. Using more nickel also cuts costs by reducing the use of expensive cobalt, a mainstay of current EV batteries. Continue Reading →

Minnesota’s PolyMet Mining move could result in Glencore majority ownership – by Mike Hughlett (Minnesota Star Tribune – May 7, 2019)

http://www.startribune.com/

PolyMet Mining plans to raise $265 million in a stock offering to existing shareholders, a move mainly intended to pay off debt to the company’s longtime backer, mining and commodities giant Glencore.

Depending on how the offering shakes out, Glencore may end up with majority ownership of PolyMet, which plans to develop Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine. Switzerland-based Glencore already owns 29% of PolyMet.

In March, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted PolyMet the last major permit it needs to proceed with the controversial project on the eastern Iron Range. PolyMet still faces several legal challenges to the mine and processing plant, and it must raise money for the $1 billion project. Continue Reading →

Boundary Waters at Risk – by Carlos Rivero Lopez and Jenny Rowland-Shea (Center for American Progress – May 8, 2019)

Center for American Progress

Trump’s Attempts to Shortcut Science and Ignore Local Concerns Are Endangering Minnesota Wilderness

In early April, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) faced off against Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue during a hearing of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

The congresswoman lambasted Perdue for the last-minute cancelation of a two-year study meant to determine if mining should be allowed on the doorstep of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the nation’s most visited wilderness area.1 The study was canceled 20 months into the 24-month review.

“Twenty months of collecting public input, 20 months of science-based assessment, and all you released was a one-page press release,” objected McCollum, calling the press release “completely inadequate.” Continue Reading →