Archive | Copper

Norilsk Nickel to invest $12bn in production over next five years – by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya (Financial Times – December 10, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

Russia’s metals and mining major Norilsk Nickel plans to invest more than $12bn in production development over the next five years in order to boost production volumes, the company’s chief executive officer Vladimir Potanin said Monday.

The world’s largest producer of palladium, and one of the leading producers of nickel, platinum and copper, thus signalled a change of strategy from flat output to growth amid stronger global demand for its products.

“We are implementing a rather unprecedented investment programme: we are investing more than $12 billion in production development in the next five years,” Mr Potanin told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a meeting, according to the Kremlin transcript. Continue Reading →

ASIA INSIGHT: A small island gets caught in China’s Pacific power game with West – by Fumi Matsumoto (Nikkei Asian Review – December 11, 2018)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

SYDNEY — A small island has found itself caught in the escalating battle for influence in the South Pacific. On both economic and diplomatic fronts, Papua New Guinea’s autonomous region of Bougainville has become a key piece in the game between Beijing, on one side, and the U.S. and its allies on the other.

With Bougainville holding one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of copper, Chinese and Western companies are weighing the prospects for reopening its Panguna copper mine — closed since a vicious civil war broke out in 1989. The island is also set to hold an independence referendum on June 15, potentially creating a new country that could vote in international forums such as the United Nations.

John Momis, president of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, told the Nikkei Asian Review that Chinese businesspeople raised the matter of investing in the mine on a visit to PNG ahead of last month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in the capital, Port Moresby. Continue Reading →

Native Americans hope to protect ancestral sites threatened by multibillion-dollar copper mine – by Daisy Finch (Cronkite News – December 7, 2018)

Cronkite News

TONTO NATIONAL FOREST – LeRoy Shingoitewa dug his hiking boots into loose gravel and sand, watching the early November morning sunlight slowly spread across shrubby hills and rocky valleys near the proposed site of an enormous copper mine.

Resolution Copper plans to develop the mine east of Superior and predicts the mine will meet about a quarter of the nation’s demand for copper once it is in full production. The company says the mine, which may cost as much as $8 billion, is the “largest single investment in Arizona history.”

It has been passionately opposed by some Native Americans who say it will destroy a sacred site near Oak Flat Campground in the Tonto National Forest about 70 miles east of Phoenix. The Resolution Copper-Oak Flat controversy is not lost on Shingoitewa, even though he’s a field director for a team of Native American “tribal monitors” chosen for a program funded by Resolution Copper and designed with help from the U.S. Forest Service. Continue Reading →

Teck sells stake in Chilean copper project to Japan’s Sumitomo for US$1.2-billion – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 5, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Teck Resources Ltd. is selling a stake in a large Chilean copper project for US$1.2-billion to a Japanese mining company in a deal that will see Canada’s biggest diversified miner proceed with a major expansion of its copper business.

On Tuesday, Vancouver-based Teck said its board had approved the US$4.7-billion construction of Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) after selling a 30-per-cent share in the project to Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo Corporation.

Teck will put the proceeds raised from Sumitomo toward the construction of QB2, which it hopes to have in production in about three years. After those funds are exhausted, two-thirds of the future costs of construction will come from Teck and one-third from Sumitomo. Chile’s state-owned Empresa Nacional de Mineria (ENAMI), which owns 10 per cent of the project, has no funding commitments. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Congo state miner in production-sharing deal with Chinese firm (Reuters U.K. – December 3, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

KINSHASA, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Congo’s Gecamines said on Monday it had signed a production-sharing deal for copper and cobalt deposits with China’s Hongkong Excellen Mining Investment, which will pay a $40 million signing bonus.

Congo’s state mining company said its first production-sharing deal would guarantee it a “significant” share of annual production from the Kingamyambo and Kilamusembo deposits “regardless of the financial results of the project”.

China is the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals and has strengthened its grip over supplies from across Africa in recent years to feed its economic growth. Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s top copper producer and the leading miner of cobalt, which is used for electric car batteries. Continue Reading →

Bougainville’s tinderbox threatens to reignite – by Alan Boyd (Asia Times – December 4, 2018)

http://www.atimes.com/

An independence referendum and unresolved issues over the rich Panguna copper mine threaten to tilt Papua New Guinea’s tumultuous autonomous island back to civil war

Foreign mining companies are jostling for exploration rights on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville ahead of a crucial independence vote next year that some fear could revive tensions that sparked a civil war that killed 20,000 in the 1980’s.

The island will need mining royalties to maintain a viable economy if the referendum backs independence, but unresolved issues over the Panguna copper mine are still a sensitive point with traditional landowners. Villagers shut the pit down in 1989, triggering the previous lethal conflict.

The referendum is the culmination of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, which formally ended the decade-long bloody civil war. It will take place as the US and Australia aim to work closely with Papua New Guinea to develop its Lombrum Naval Base to counterbalance China’s growing maritime influence in the region. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: VALE AND GLENCORE TO INITIATE JOINT FEASIBILITY STUDY TO POTENTIALLY DEVELOP RESOURCES ACCESSIBLE FROM NICKEL RIM SOUTH MINE

SUDBURY, December 4, 2018 – Today, Vale and Glencore announced that they are entering into an agreement to facilitate a joint Feasibility Study to explore the possibility of developing and mining resources at depth accessible from the existing workings of Glencore’s Nickel Rim South Mine.

The Study will examine the economic and technical feasibility of using the existing shaft and infrastructure at Glencore’s Nickel Rim South Mine, as well as additional underground infrastructure, to potentially jointly develop and mine deposits in very close proximity to each other. This includes Vale’s Victor property and a shared deposit which exists adjacent to the boundary between each Company’s properties.

“A joint approach could allow for resources to be unlocked that would likely not otherwise be productive,” said Ricus Grimbeek, Chief Operating Officer, Vale’s North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries. “Assuming a successful outcome to our Study, this synergy could also lead to significant value generation – including job creation – at a time when the medium to long-term market outlook for both nickel and copper looks very promising,” he added. Continue Reading →

Glencore’s billionaire copper chief retires under legal pressure – by Jack Farchy and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – December 3, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

LONDON – Glencore on Monday announced the retirement of-billionaire Aristotelis Mistakidis, its embattled head of copper trading and one of the company’s biggest shareholders.

Mistakidis’s departure marks the end of an era. The 56-year-old executive is one of the world’s most powerful commodities traders and built Glencore’s reputation as a dominant force in copper. But he’s come under intense pressure recently following a string of investigations, problems and legal headaches.

The US Department of Justice is probing Glencore’s dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. Canadian regulators are also investigating accounting irregularities at copper mines where Mistakidis was a director. Continue Reading →

Hudbay Minerals’ exit from historic Manitoba mining town puts 800 jobs in peril – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – November 30, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Hudbay Minerals Inc. says it will close its mine in Flin Flon, Man. in 2021, ending hopes it would maintain a threadbare workforce in the town where it employed more than 800 people.

In a memo this week, Robert Assabgui, vice-president of Hudbay’s Manitoba Business Unit, told employees the company had hoped to keep the zinc plant operational, but can’t find enough ore to make it feasible.

“Despite a lot of work over the past few years, the most likely scenario is that mining operations will cease in Flin Flon in 2021,” Assabgui wrote in the memo, also sent to the Financial Post. “As a result, the Flin Flon mill will also cease operations.” Continue Reading →

Troilus buys more land north-east of past-producing mine – by Staff (MiningWeekly.com – November 29, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

Quebec-focused exploration and early-development company Troilus has significantly expanded its land position through the acquisition of the Troilus North project, located north-east of the Val-d’Or mining district.

The Toronto-based company is focused on restarting the former Troilus mine, which Inmet Mining operated as an openpit between 1997 and 2010, producing more than two-million ounces of gold and almost 70 000 t of copper.

TSX-listed Troilus will acquire the Troilus North project from Emgold Mining for 3.75-million shares and C$250 000 in cash. The cash component will absolve a bridge loan previously advanced. Continue Reading →

DRC miners blame international investors and activists for lack of progress – by William Clowes (Business Day – November 29, 2018)

https://www.businesslive.co.za/

Kinshasa — Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) state mining company blamed international investors and anticorruption activists for the country’s lack of progress despite its vast mineral wealth.

Nongovernmental organisations including the Atlanta-based Carter Center and London-based Global Witness have accused Gecamines of failing to account for hundreds of millions of dollars paid to the state miner by the companies exporting copper and cobalt from the Central African nation.

Gecamines president Albert Yuma launched a report late Wednesday, rebutting the allegations and asserting that foreign producers are responsible for the industry’s meager contribution to national development. He pledged to renegotiate existing partnerships with foreign mining investors. Major miners active in DRC include Glencore and China Molybdenum. Continue Reading →

Fed’s Powell Shakes Gold Out of Its Doldrums, Energizes Copper – by Marvin G Perez and Susanne Barton (Bloomberg News – November 28, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Dovish comments from the Federal Reserve’s Jerome Powell suggesting slower-than-anticipated interest-rate hikes awakened gold from its recent slumbers and boosted most base metals.

The Fed chairman said interest rates are “just below” the so-called neutral range, softening previous comments that implied steady rate hikes were in the central bank’s foreseeable monetary policy. That helped send the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index crashing and gold, which doesn’t pay interest, to its biggest gain in almost four weeks.

Greenback strength has dogged most metals this year as investors flocked to the American currency as a hedge against the impact of the simmering U.S.-China trade war. The presidents of both nations will have a chance to discuss the spat this weekend during a Group of 20 meeting in Argentina. Continue Reading →

RPT-Former Grupo Mexico workers plan to block copper mine access – by Anthony Espoito (Reuters U.S. – November 26, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MEXICO CITY, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Former workers of Mexican miner Grupo Mexico plan to block access to the giant Buenavista copper mine on Dec. 1 to pressure the company and the country’s incoming leftist government to give them back their collective labor contracts.

The planned industrial action is part of a longstanding dispute after Grupo Mexico fired the mine’s workforce and reopened it in 2010, following a federal judge’s ruling that a nearly three-year strike over a labor dispute was illegal.

“We’re looking to recover our collective labor contracts, which was stolen by Grupo Mexico,” Sergio Tolano, secretary general of section 65 of the National Mining Union, told Reuters. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto leads copper charge into Western Australia’s Paterson region – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – November 26, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A hive of mine exploration activity is underway in a remote corner of Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert, led by Rio Tinto Ltd, which has boosted its holdings 10-fold in the little explored Paterson province in the past year.

Rio’s interest in the area – flagged by its application for nearly 30 exploration licenses – has sparked a stampede into adjacent lots by other explorers, who see Rio’s aggressive activity as an indicator of a highly promising find.

Interest was further intensified by the global mining giant’s recent application to build an airstrip in Paterson – roughly halfway between Perth and Darwin, indicating it’s in for the long haul. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Copper benchmark deal signals shifting supply dynamics in 2019 – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – November 22, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Copper supply has surprised this year, but not in the way everyone expected. It was supposed to be a year of mine disruptions, with the market anticipating that multiple labour contract expiries would result in at least one strike, and possibly more. In the event there was none.

By copper’s standards it has been a remarkably smooth year for mine production, leaving analysts struggling to fill the customary collective allowance for disruption in their forecasts.

There has been plenty of disruption, but it has taken place at the smelting-refining stage of the copper production chain, roiling the refined metal market and allowing smelters to feast on a rare abundance of raw materials. Continue Reading →