Archive | Copper

Glencore feels pain of Africa risk, cobalt price fall – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – July 31, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore said on Wednesday it faced a $350 million hit after cobalt prices halved and has begun an overhaul of its under-performing Africa business, which it will explain next week with output revisions in Democratic Republic of Congo.

First-half copper production was 5% lower than last year, while cobalt output rose 28%. Zinc and coal output rose 8% and 10% respectively and nickel dropped 11% versus the same time last year because of maintenance.

London-listed Glencore’s exposure to risk in Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia has weighed on the company’s share price, which has fallen while those of its diversified mining peers have risen. Continue Reading →

Alaska mine developer Northern Dynasty wins U.S. EPA reprieve, shares soar – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters Canada – July 30, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Trump administration said on Tuesday it would lift an Obama-era restriction on the world’s biggest undeveloped gold and copper resource owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, sending the Canadian company’s shares soaring.

Under former U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 proposed limits on large-scale mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, citing environmental concerns. Under President Donald Trump, the EPA has dismantled scores of environmental rules and Trump rejects mainstream climate science.

Northern Dynasty’s site is near Lake Iliamna in southwestern Alaska between the headwaters of two rivers that drain into Bristol Bay, and is known for its huge salmon runs, wilderness and abundant brown bears. Continue Reading →

Mineral-rich Ecuadorean province requests popular referendum on mining (Reuters Canada – July 30, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

QUITO (Reuters) – The government of a key mining province in southern Ecuador has proposed a popular referendum on the development of new mines in the region, the latest obstacle to market-friendly President Lenin Moreno’s efforts to attract foreign mining investment.

Azuay province is home to several potentially lucrative gold, silver and copper projects, including the Loma Larga project operated by Canada’s INV Metals (INV.TO) and the Rio Blanco mine, owned by a Chinese consortium consisting of Junefield Mineral Resources Limited and Hunan Gold Group.

But provincial prefect Yaku Perez on Tuesday requested the South American country’s Constitutional Court make mining development subject to a popular referendum, expressing concerns about mining’s environmental impacts. Continue Reading →

ENVIRONMENT: From ‘they need it’ to ‘it’s going to destroy the land,’ people in Ely have a lot of thoughts about Twin Metals – by Walker Orenstein (MinnPost.com – July 29, 2019)

https://www.minnpost.com/

At Ely’s annual Blueberry/Art Festival this weekend, the debate over copper-nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) was nearly as visible as the food, music and crafts for sale.

Dueling booths run by supporters and opponents of Twin Metals Minnesota and the controversial underground mine it hopes to build dotted Whiteside Park on Friday as thousands of people streamed through the small town in northern Minnesota for the first day of the festival.

One of those tents was run by Up North Jobs, a pro-mining nonprofit that declared the weekend “Twin Metals Appreciation Days” in honor of the company’s continued investment in Ely. Just across the park was Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, which warned fairgoers of the risk that copper-nickel mining could be to the BWCA. Continue Reading →

China’s electric cars: Can they drive Chilean copper? – by Diego Laje (Al-Jazeera.com – July 29, 2019)

https://www.aljazeera.com/

Growing demand for battery storage and lithium could be a silver lining for Chile’s mining industry.

In the arid north of Chile some 1,500km from the capital, Chuquicamata has been a plentiful source of copper since before the rise of the Inca Empire in the 1400s.

“Chuqui” – as it is informally known – is one of the country’s most emblematic mines, a symbol of human ingenuity despite the fortnight of labour strikes held this June against mine owner Codelco over job cuts and compensation.

Economic reality sunk in last month when the mine shut down, as miners demanded better wages at the same time the place began an expensive transformation from an open pit to an underground shaft mine. Continue Reading →

Large cost overrun by Canada’s Turquoise Hill haunts mining sector – by Tim Kiladze (Globe and Mail – July 28, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Soaring construction costs at one of the world’s most promising copper projects have hit the mining industry, giving skittish investors reason to question how much the sector has truly changed.

Canada’s Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., which owns two-thirds of the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) project in Mongolia, unexpectedly announced this month that an underground expansion of its mine will take much longer, and will cost much more, than originally planned.

Already expected to cost US$5.3-billion, the OT expansion will now require up to an additional US$1.9-billion in capital spending to complete. Sustainable production from the project has also been delayed by 16 to 30 months from original estimates, to between May, 2022, and June, 2023. Continue Reading →

Chile’s mining waste poses silent threat to humans on multiple fronts (Channel News Asia – July 25, 2019)

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/

For every ton of minerals extracted, 30 tonnes of mining waste are generated.
With 1.5 million tons of residue created per day, Chile is the world leader in
mining waste.

REQUINOA, Chile: From the sky, the glistening emerald ponds of northern Chile are almost beautiful, but closer to the ground they harbour an ugly and dangerous secret: the reservoirs, filled with toxic waste from the country’s mining industry, are ticking time bombs.

Mines are the pillar of Chile’s economy, but their byproducts – which accumulate in ravines, mountain areas, river beds and reservoirs, and which are often used to create tailings dams, pose a handful of problems for surrounding inhabitants.

Apart from the environmental threat, the recent collapse of two Brazilian dams that killed hundreds of people has triggered alarm in Chile, which produces approximately a third of the world’s copper. Continue Reading →

South African Court Blocks Zambia’s Plans to Sell Vedanta Mines – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – July 23, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A South African court ordered Zambia to halt plans to liquidate and sell copper mines controlled by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal pending arbitration in a dispute that’s rattled investors. The Zambian government said it would appeal the ruling.

The Zambian government must immediately cease efforts aimed at winding up Vedanta Resources Ltd.’s Konkola Copper Mines unit, Johannesburg High Court Judge Leicester Adams said.

The court also ruled the state breached its shareholder obligations, and continues to do so. The South African court has no jurisdiction in Zambia and the ruling isn’t enforceable in the nation, Zambian Mines Minister Richard Musukwa said in comments broadcast on Facebook. Continue Reading →

Twin Metals changes its plan to deal with mine waste — to a strategy lauded by some environmentalists – by Walker Orenstein (Minn Post – July 18, 2019)

https://www.minnpost.com/

The safety of storing mining waste in a tailings basin has been a critical part of the debate over copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota, with some environmental advocates warning that failures and spills could unleash toxic slurry into nearby waters.

Now, in a major shift, one of two companies hoping to build a copper-nickel mine says it plans to store much of its waste using a “dry stack” method, an emerging technology that many of the same environmental nonprofits — and some mining experts — argue will better prevent water pollution.

Twin Metals Minnesota, which plans to mine just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, said Thursday it would abandon its plan to use a tailings basin, which entails waste rock being covered in a pond held back by a dam. Continue Reading →

Send in the troops: Congo raises the stakes on illegal mining – by Aaron Ross (Reuters U.S. – July 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

DAKAR (Reuters) – A Congolese army officer arrived in the village of Kafwaya in June and warned residents not to trespass on a major Chinese copper and cobalt mine next door. As night fell about a week later, the soldiers moved in.

“They didn’t say anything to anyone,” said Fabien Ilunga, an official in Kafwaya, which is home to thousands of miners eking out a living by illegally exploiting the nearby mineral resources. “The army started to burn down the tarpaulin houses.”

Deploying soldiers to clear tens of thousands of illegal informal miners from mining concessions is a new approach by the authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo, who have wrestled with the problem for decades. Continue Reading →

Column: Copper concentrates tightness threatens benchmark pricing – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – July 18, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The copper market may be stuck in a well-worn trading range but there is plenty of action unfolding in the mine concentrates segment of the copper supply chain.

China’s copper smelters have just slashed their minimum charges for converting concentrates into refined metal. The 10-member China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) has set treatment and refining charges at $55.00 per tonne and 5.5 cents per lb respectively for third-quarter deliveries.

That’s down from $73 and 7.3 cents in the second quarter and from $92 and 9.2 cents in the first quarter. It is now sufficiently low to cause margin distress for higher-cost smelters. Tumbling treatment charges reflect a tightening market for copper raw material. Continue Reading →

Rockcliff gears up to drill in Snow Lake – by Stan Sudol (Northern Miner – July 15, 2019)

Rockcliff Metal’s founder Ken LaPierre at the 2019 PDAC Mining Convention. A $29 Million financing has turbo-charged junior Rockcliff Metals, which plans to complete over 100,000 metres of exploration drilling over next 18 months. Rockcliff is the 2nd largest landholder in the legendary Flin Flon/Snow Lake greenstone belt in Northern Manitoba after HudBay Minerals. (Photo by Stan Sudol)

Northern Miner

At the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto in March 2018, Rockcliff Metals (CSE: RCLF) was a struggling junior with a large land package in the lesser known but geologically rich Flin Flon–Snow Lake (FF–SL) greenstone belt, with eight high-grade, base-metal volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits and five gold properties.

It began as a tough year for Rockcliff, and it turned even rougher the week before the PDAC convention, when Kenneth Lapierre, Rockcliff’s president and CEO at the time, slipped on freshly fallen snow when taking out the garbage at home.

Not thinking much about his sore ankle, the six-foot-three-inch, former hockey-playing, karate-practising jock then started shovelling the driveway. Twelve hours later, the swelling and pain in his ankle demanded a trip to the doctor, where he learned that it was broken, and that he had torn all the soft tissue. Continue Reading →

‘Bisbee ’17’ Documents Dark History Of Mass Deportations In Arizona Mining Town – by Robin Young (WBUR.org – July 15, 2019)

 

https://www.wbur.org/

More than a century ago, nearly 2,000 copper miners — most of them immigrants — were deported from Bisbee, Arizona, to the desert of New Mexico. Those who survived the deportation were banned from returning.

At that point 1917, copper was critical for Americans fighting abroad during World War I. The miners, who were underpaid and worked in dangerous conditions, had joined the Industrial Workers of the World, which threatened a strike. Some residents saw the workers as communists who were undermining the war effort.

Authorized by the sheriff, residents dragged workers and their sympathizers from homes and businesses, forced them into cattle cars and deported them miles from town. Continue Reading →

Breakingviews – Rio sounds copper warning from Mongolian steppe – by Clara Ferreira-Marques (Reuters U.S. – July 16, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) – Rio Tinto has sounded a copper warning from the Mongolian steppe. The $104 billion mining giant says its flagship Oyu Tolgoi expansion in the country’s south will be up to 30 months late, and could cost as much as a third more than planned.

That’s a fresh blow to a project that has been battered by local politics and other troubles for years. It’s also a reminder of just how hard it has become to dig up the coveted red metal.

Oyu Tolgoi is critical for Rio’s growth, but also to its shift towards the ingredients for a greener economy. Currently, iron ore constitutes almost three-quarters of group earnings. When this mine’s underground operation is added to the existing pit, it will be one of the world’s largest sources of copper, and account for a gargantuan proportion of Mongolia’s GDP. Continue Reading →

Key permit for copper project in Peru fuels fears of new round of unrest – by Marco Aquino (Reuters U.S. – July 10, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra’s decision to grant a green light for a long-delayed copper project is emerging as a key test of his ability to ease opposition to mining that has derailed billions in investments in the world’s No. 2 producer.

Opponents of Southern Copper Corp’s $1.4 billion proposed Tia Maria mine readied plans on Wednesday for an indefinite strike, a day after Vizcarra’s government granted the company a construction license that two of his predecessors had declined to issue.

Tia Maria is expected to add 120,000 tonnes of copper annually to Southern Copper’s production portfolio at the “very competitive cash cost” of $1 per pound, Moody’s Investors Service said. Continue Reading →