Column: Copper price slump brings Chinese buyers out in force – by Andy Home (Reuters – September 27, 2022)

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – While the rest of the world worries about recession, China is steadily increasing its imports of physical copper. The country’s net call on refined copper from the rest of the world was up by 9.8% in the first eight months of the year. Year-to-date volumes are the strongest since 2020, when China imported a record amount of metal.

China is simultaneously lifting imports of both copper scrap and mined concentrates, suggesting the hunger for refined units is not down to a shortage of raw materials. Strong import flows defy both the broader gloom around China’s debt-laden property sector and the more specific problems at trading house Maike, which is one of China’s dominant copper import channels.

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Agnico Eagle’s CEO says Mexican copper investment strategic, not a sign he’s losing faith in gold – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 22, 2022)

As soon as the Fed stops hiking rates, ‘gold is going to be unleashed’

The CEO of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., the largest producer of gold in Canada, said he’s confident that gold prices will break out of a months-long slump, and characterized his investment in a Mexican copper project as opportunistic, not a pivot from precious metals.

Gold appears to be suffering because the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks have been raising interest rates so quickly in recent months, making fixed-income assets such as bonds more attractive.

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Column: Low global copper stocks jar with market’s downbeat mood – by Andy Home (Reuters – September 21, 2022)

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) – London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses saw 11,200 tonnes of copper arrivals on Tuesday, the largest single-day warranting since June. Inflows have totalled over 35,000 tonnes so far this month but have been largely offset by departures. Headline stocks of 118,000 tonnes are up by only 3,625 tonnes on the end of August.

LME inventory remains ultra-low by any historical yardstick, representing just two days’ worth of global usage. But this is not just an LME phenomenon. Registered inventory with both the CME and Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) is also super low and between them the three exchanges hold just 200,000 tonnes of metal.

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A Great Copper Squeeze Is Coming for the Global Economy – by James Attwood (Bloomberg News – September 21, 2022)

The price of copper — used in everything from computer chips and toasters to power systems and air conditioners — has fallen by nearly a third since March. Investors are selling on fears that a global recession will stunt demand for a metal that’s synonymous with growth and expansion.

You wouldn’t know it from looking at the market today, but some of the largest miners and metals traders are warning that in just a couple of years’ time, a massive shortfall will emerge for the world’s most critical metal — one that could itself hold back global growth, stoke inflation by raising manufacturing costs and throw global climate goals off course. The recent downturn and the under-investment that ensues only threatens to make it worse.

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BHP Weighs Boosting A$8.4 Billion Bid for OZ Minerals – by Thomas Biesheuvel, Dinesh Nair and Vinicy Chan (Bloomberg News – September 16, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — BHP Group Ltd. is considering raising its A$8.4 billion ($5.6 billion) offer for OZ Minerals Ltd., people familiar with the matter said, as the world’s top miner seeks to boost its exposure to metals needed for the green-energy transition.

Melbourne-based BHP may increase its A$25 per share bid for OZ Minerals as soon as this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. It wasn’t immediately clear by how much BHP would increase its offer, or whether OZ Minerals would agree to any renewed proposal from BHP.

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The Energy Transition Could Be Derailed By A Looming Copper Shortage – by Haley Zaremba (Oil Price – September 07, 2022)

“Think of copper as a common carrier, so to speak, of decarbonization. It is literally the wiring that connects the present to the future,” writes Nathaniel Bullard, BloombergNEF’s Chief Content Officer.

While many of us imagine renewable energies to be just that – infinitely renewable, with no use of finite resources – the reality is that solar planes, wind turbines, energy transmission infrastructure, batteries for energy storage, and motors for your electric cars and electric bicycles all rely on metals that are not infinitely sourceable.

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Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill get serious, ink biding takeover deal – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 6, 2022)

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON: RIO) has inked a definitive arrangement with Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX: TQR) to buy the 49% of the Canadian miner it doesn’t already own for $3.3 billion.

The global miner noted Turquoise Hill’s board had unanimously recommended the C$43 per share cash offer and said it would not increase bid despite pressure from minority shareholders.

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Rio Ups Bid to $3.1 Billion to Take Over Giant Copper Mine – by Thomas Biesheuvel(Bloomberg/Yahoo – August 24, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Rio Tinto Group increased its offer to buy out Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. to $3.1 billion as it moves to gain more control of a giant copper mine in Mongolia.

The world’s biggest mining companies are getting increasingly aggressive in their pursuit of so-called future facing commodities, the natural resources such as copper and nickel that are key for the green energy transition. Yet despite the strong demand outlook, long-term supply may remain constrained by the lack of new mines.

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Glencore to invest $383 million to fix Horne smelter emissions – by Staff ( – August 22, 2022)

Glencore plans to invest more than C$500 million ($383m) in its Horne smelter located in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, with the aim of improving air quality to reduce its arsenic emissions to 15 ng/m3 within the next five years.

“This transformative project shows that our number one priority is to ensure our teams’ safety et security, as well as that of our neighbouring communities,” said Claude Bélanger, COO of Glencore’s North American copper assets.

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Twin Metals sues Biden administration to regain mine leases – by Steve Karnowski (Associated Press/Arizona Daily Star – August 22, 2022)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The developers of a proposed copper-nickel mine upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota sued the Biden administration Monday to seek the reinstatement of federal mineral rights leases that are crucial to the $1.7 billion project.

Twin Metals Minnesota alleged in its lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, that the Department of the Interior acted illegally earlier this year when it canceled the leases. The company asked the court to declare that those leases remain valid and in force, so that it can proceed with the environmental review and permitting process.

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‘Overexploitation’ by Canada’s Lundin caused massive sinkhole near mine: Chile – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – August 22, 2022)

Lundin shares dropped on the news

A sinkhole near Toronto-based Lundin Mining Corp.’s copper mine in Chile was formed due to excessive mining, the nation’s investigative authorities said.

Chile’s mining minister Marcelo Hernando said in a press release that the initial investigation points towards “overexploitation” in the Gaby 4 cave — located in the vicinity of the 36.5-metre-wide sinkhole — by Lundin’s Chilean unit Ojos del Salado.

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The copper project pipeline – by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco (CIM Magazine – August 4, 2022)

Both small and medium-sized companies will have big roles in meeting a growing demand for the metal

According to S&P Global Intelligence, there were 18 discoveries of new copper resources in 2021, marking a seven-year high. Although this is a far cry from the 2012 all-time peak of 57, it also came with a 31 per cent increase in initial resource exploration budgets.

That is good news not just for the copper-exploration sector but also for the global effort to decarbonize. Because copper is one of the best conductors of electricity, the electrification of our world is going to be copper intensive. Analysts are warning a shortage of the mineral will hit within a handful of years. Small and mid-sized copper exploration companies might just hold at least part of the key to solving the looming shortfall.

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BHP signals it is willing to walk away from bid for OZ Minerals – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 16, 2022)

BHP Group Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company by market value, appears willing to walk away from its latest major takeover proposal. After the release of the miner’s quarterly earnings Tuesday, BHP chief executive Mike Henry said in a call with media that OZ Minerals Ltd. would be “nice to have” but is not a “must have.”

Earlier this month, Melbourne-based BHP proposed a US$5.8-billion takeover of its fellow Australian copper and nickel producer. While the offer was 30 per cent above OZ’s market price, it was well below its peak share price, reflecting the sharp sell-off across the mining sector over the past few months. OZ Minerals rejected the offer, calling it “highly opportunistic.”

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ROM installs germ-destroying copper to keep patrons safe – by Christine Sismondo (Toronto Star – August 16, 2022)

B.C. company Teck partnered with TTC, ROM and other high-traffic public spaces to make surfaces safer.

The vast majority of folks headed into the new “Fantastic Beasts” exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will probably be so excited about all the magical creatures they’re about to see that they’ll completely miss a little bit of wizardry at the entrance.

To be fair, since it looks like an ordinary pair of door handles, it’s pretty easy to miss. The door handles do have a superpower, though, namely, the ability to kill germs and viruses in the blink of an eye. It isn’t actually magic. It’s science. The handles are made of copper, a metal with antimicrobial properties.

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Turquoise Hill rejects Rio Tinto’s $2.7 billion takeover offer – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – August 15, 2022)

Canada’s Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX, NYSE: TRQ) has rejected majority shareholder Rio Tinto’s (ASX: RIO) bid to buy the 49% stake it doesn’t already own in the company for $2.7 billion, saying it did not reflect its full and fair value.

The decision by the special committee appointed by Turquoise Hill blocks Rio Tinto’s efforts to gain greater control of the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine it’s developing in Mongolia.

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