Archive | Latin America Mining

A look behind Sherritt’s double financing victory – by Barry Critchley (Financial Post – February 15, 2018)

The Canadian resource company bought back $121.223M of three classes of debt at an aggregate cost of $110.331M plus accrued interest

It looks like a classic win-win, now that the second part of a financing package unveiled one month back by Sherritt International has closed: the issuer raised more equity than originally intended and bought back more debt than anticipated — and at a slightly lower price.

Wednesday, Sherritt announced it had bought back $121.223 million of three classes of debt at an aggregate cost of $110.331 million plus accrued interest. Under normal circumstances, that debt was set to mature over the period of 2021-2025. Because of the buy-back the company now has about $600 million of debt outstanding — down from $720 million previously.

Sherritt bought the debt back through a modified Dutch auction: prior to the auction, it posted maximum prices; asked holders to submit their proposals, indicated those proposals “must be less or equal to the maximum price,” and then picked the so-called market-clearing price. Continue Reading →

Barrick Cuts Gold Output Forecast for Eighth Potential Drop – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 15, 2018)

Barrick Gold Corp., the bullion producer that once towered over rivals, continues to shrink. The Toronto-based miner is predicting its eighth straight decline in annual production as it takes less gold out of the ground at its main mines.

The company expects to produce 300,000 fewer ounces in 2018 than it had previously forecast. It now projects total production will be 4.5 million to 5 million ounces this year, compared with a previous forecast of 4.8 million to 5.3 million ounces. Total gold output in 2017 was 5.32 million ounces.

Barrick also raised its forecast for all-in-sustaining costs to a range of $765 to $815 an ounce this year, compared with previous guidance of $710 to $770. Continue Reading →

INSIGHT: Brazil Potash – King of the jungle? ( – February 14, 2018)

LONDON (ICIS)–Deep in the Amazon lies a wide clearing – an unremarkable space overlooked by jungle trees with little sign of human habitation. However, if muriate of potash (MOP) start-up Brazil Potash pulls off its plan, the sleepy jungle of Autazes could soon be home to the nation’s largest MOP mine – a scheme CEO Matt Simpson believes could vastly reduce Brazil’s near-complete reliance on imported potash fertilizer.

Simpson – an experienced industry professional in the field of mining – heads up Brazil Potash, which formed in 2009 with a simple plan: to provide Brazil’s immense agricultural industry with a homegrown source of the vital mineral fertilizer.

‘Potash’ is the umbrella term for a number of potassium-rich fertilizers used the world over to support plant nutrition, improve yields, and fend off disease. Continue Reading →

Barrick sees drop in gold production ahead, putting its No. 1 spot at risk – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 15, 2018)

Barrick Gold Corp. is on track to lose its long-held crown as the world’s largest gold producer after forecasting production for this year that will likely fall short of U.S. competitor Newmont Mining Corp.

In a release announcing its fourth-quarter results after the markets closed on Wednesday, Toronto-based Barrick said it expects to produce between 4.5 million to 5 million ounces of gold in 2018. In December, Newmont predicted that its 2018 gold production will be between 4.9 million to 5.4 million ounces.

While Colorado-based Newmont had already passed Barrick in terms of market capitalization, it had lagged Barrick in production. Continue Reading →

Experts warn of civil unrest in Argentina as it readies to lift ban on open pit mining – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – February 13, 2018)

Argentina’s national government is pressing ahead with its intentions to make of mining one of the pillars of job creation, and it’s holding talks with the leaders of the three provinces that declined to sign a 2017 mining act, which harmonizes taxes and regulations in hopes of attracting investment.

Mining secretary, Daniel Meilán, told local paper El Diario that the government wants the leaders of Chubut, La Pampa and La Rioja, to adopt federal mining regulations and reactivate major projects that have been halted for years.

Among those proposed mines currently stalled is Canada’s Pan American Silver’s (TSX:PAAS) Navidad project in Chubut, which has been on hold since 2013, when it ran afoul of provincial rules banning the use of cyanide and open-pit mining. Continue Reading →

Sherritt narrows headline loss as cost savings, higher metal prices boost bottom line – by Henry Lazenby ( – February 14, 2018)

VANCOUVER ( – Canadian diversified miner Sherritt International has narrowed its headline loss for the 12 months ended December 31, as lower costs and higher commodity prices boosted the bottom line.

The Toronto-based miner, which produces nickel, cobalt and oil in Cuba, and nickel and cobalt at the Ambatovy mine, in Madagascar, reported an adjusted net loss of C$317.1-million, or C$1.07 a share outstanding, compared with an adjusted net loss of C$427.9-million, or C$1.46 a share outstanding, for 2016.

Net earnings for the period, including a C$629-million gain related to the Ambatovy Joint Venture (JV) restructuring, were C$293.8-million, or C$0.99 a share outstanding, up from a net loss of C$378.9-million, or C$1.29 a share outstanding, in 2016. Revenue for the period fell 22% to C$54.8-million. Continue Reading →

18 killed as Venezuela army takes control of wildcat mine – by Pableyas Ostos (ABC News – February 11, 2018)

Associated Press: CIUDAD GUAYANA, Venezuela – At least 18 people were killed at an illegal gold mine in southern Venezuela during clashes with security forces looking to take control of the area, an official said Sunday.

The confrontation was confirmed to The Associated Press by an army officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the operation.

He said it broke out Saturday when the army travelled to the Cicapra mine after receiving information that an armed gang was threatening wildcat miners in the remote area. Four assault weapons, grenades and several light firearms were seized. Continue Reading →

Mexican activists ask Ottawa to investigate alleged support of mining firm – by Bill Curry (Globe and Mail – February 8, 2018)

A delegation of activists from Mexico – including the son of a community leader who was murdered after raising concerns with the Canadian embassy – are calling for an investigation into the actions of diplomats who allegedly supported a Canadian mining company accused of human-rights abuses.

The Public Sector Integrity Commission says it is considering the formal request for an investigation filed by the activists this week. The activists also met privately on Tuesday with senior Canadian government officials.

The call for an investigation comes on the heels of a major announcement by International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne that Canada will create a new watchdog position with a mandate to investigate human-rights complaints against Canadian companies operating in other countries. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Why Tesla is turning to Chile for its lithium – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 7, 2018)

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Tesla, the pioneer of the electric vehicle revolution, is turning to Chile to secure the lithium it needs to power its mass production drive.

Tesla and Chilean lithium producer SQM are “exploring” opportunities after the automotive company expressed interest in buying “important volumes” of the battery ingredient, according to Eduardo Bitran, head of Chilean development agency Corfo.

It’s an obvious place for Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, to look for secure supply. The global lithium mother-lode is in the brine lakes of Chile’s Atacama desert. Continue Reading →

WHITE GOLD: Tesla may get into the lithium business in Chile as the price of battery ingredients soar – by Michael J. Coren ( – January 30, 2018)

While showing off Tesla’s Gigafactory in the Nevada desert last year, its designers showed journalists a curious thing: One side of the factory’s massive wall could be opened up to received lithium ore one day.

Tesla said that the facility had been built with an eye toward receiving raw lithium material on one side and producing a finished battery pack on the other. The only operating lithium mine in the US is about 200 miles away in Clayton Valley, Nevada.

But Tesla is hedging its lithium bets. The Finanical Times reports (paywall) Tesla is in talks with Chile’s largest lithium producer Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) to invest in a processing plant. Continue Reading →

Bucking trend, Leagold ready for shopping spree as gold prices climb – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 26, 2018)

Conventional wisdom suggests ‘buy low, sell high’ is the best strategy. But as gold prices surge to new peaks daily, and some companies hang back from acquisitions, Leagold Mining Corp.’s chief executive Neil Woodyer believes he’s found a loophole to this age-old adage: In about a one-year timespan, he has built a Latin America-focused intermediate by snapping up assets that larger companies cast aside.

This week, the Vancouver-based company announced an estimated $264-million takeover bid of Brio Gold, which controls a series of mines in Brazil, and which Yamana Gold once owned but has been selling off since 2016.

The deal mimics Leagold’s $350 million acquisition of the Los Filos Mines in Mexico from Goldcorp in April 2017, in that both assets were deemed non-core by more senior mining companies. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Global Trends in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): A review of key numbers and issues (International Institute for Environmental and Development – January 22, 2018)

For the entire report:

Global Trends in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): A review of key numbers and issues was prepared by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) for the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (IGF).

ASM has experienced explosive growth in recent years due to the rising value of mineral prices and the increasing difficulty of earning a living from agriculture and other rural activities. An estimated 40.5 million people were directly engaged in ASM in 2017, up from 30 million in 2014, 13 million in 1999 and 6 million in 1993. That compares with only 7 million people working in industrial mining in 2014.

ASM is generally pursued as a route out of poverty or as an activity to complement insufficient income, especially in communities where alternative employment is hard to come by. ASM is also a very diverse sector. Its main challenges vary from region to region—and often from site to site. Continue Reading →

Protect the Amazon from big business and greed, Pope Francis urges – by Philip Pullella and Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – January 19, 2018)

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru (Reuters) – Pope Francis issued a ringing defense of the people and the environment of the Amazon on Friday, saying big business and “consumerist greed” could not be allowed to destroy a natural habitat vital for the entire planet.

Francis, who has made the environment and climate change a focus of his nearly five-year-old pontificate, made his appeal while visiting a corner of the Amazon in Peru where pristine rainforest and biodiversity is being blighted by mining and logging, much of it illegal.

“The native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present,” the pope told a crowd of indigenous people from more than 20 groups including the Harakbut, Esse-ejas, Shipibos, Ashaninkas and Juni Kuin. Continue Reading →

Regulator orders Barrick to close Chilean side of Pascua-Lama project – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 19, 2018)

Chile’s environmental regulator has ruled that Barrick Gold Corp. must shut down its above-ground operations on the Chilean side of its massive Pascua-Lama gold and silver project.

But the latest admonishment by Chile is not expected to overly affect Barrick’s plans for Pascua-Lama, which sits at an elevation between 3,800 to 5,200 metres in the Andes, and straddles the border between Chile and Argentina.

For some time now, Barrick has been exploring the possibility of restarting the suspended project by building an underground mine on the Argentinian side, which may be less detrimental to the environment. Continue Reading →

Sherritt gets creative with debt and equity financings – by Barry Critchely (Financial Post – January 18, 2018)

For those who like their financings complex, the recent news from Sherritt International will provide sufficient fodder for at least a few meals.

Over two days, it announced: a $100 million offering of units; a plan to purchase, by way of a Dutch auction, up to $75 million of high-yield debentures; and the pricing of the unit offering, which because of strong demand, ended up at $115 million.

And, as a little something on top, the unit offering consisted of a share and half a warrant linked to the high-flying price of cobalt, a metal Sherritt produces. The equity deal is Sherritt’s first in a decade. Continue Reading →