Archive | Latin America Mining

U.S. shifts Cuba policy to allow lawsuits against foreign companies — and that includes Canadian firms – by Mike Blanchfield (Canadian Press/Financial Post – April 18, 2019)

OTTAWA — Canada and the European Union hit back Wednesday at the Trump administration’s decision to allow lawsuits against foreign companies connected to properties seized from American firms during the Cuban revolution, vowing to protect their businesses.

Canada and the EU pledged to work together in the World Trade Organization and ban the enforcement or recognition of American court orders against Canadian or European companies.

The landmark tightening of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba’s communist government represents a major shift in U.S. foreign policy — one that could place Canadian mining, tourism and financial services companies at risk in American courts. Continue Reading →

Hissing snakes and ‘predatory schemes’: How the fight for Hudbay Minerals descended into name-calling – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – April 17, 2019)

So far, investors appear to love the fight

The battle for the future of one of Canada’s oldest mining companies, Hudbay Minerals Inc., has spilled into the courtroom, and turned into a mud-slinging contest as the company and one of its largest shareholders lash out at each another.

So far, investors appear to love it: The company’s stock has nearly doubled in the past six months, soaring from $5.17 on Oct. 1 to $10.01 on the Toronto Stock Exchange near close on Tuesday.

That surge began the same day mining-focused private equity firm Waterton Global Resource Management, which controls 12 per cent of Hudbay’s shares and has been leading a campaign to replace most of the board and the chief executive, filed a lawsuit accusing the company of depicting it as “snakes” in a circular sent to other investors. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Lundin Mining still seeking assets after $1 billion mine purchase: CEO – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters U.S. – April 15, 2019)

(Reuters) – Canada’s Lundin Mining Corp is looking to buy more mining assets, Chief Executive Marie Inkster told Reuters on Monday, after the company announced its purchase of a Brazilian copper-gold mine from Yamana Gold Inc for more than $1 billion.

The Toronto-based company is seeking a project where exploration is complete, which it can take over and build, Inkster said. Lundin prefers a copper asset, but would also consider a zinc poly-metallic mine, with nickel a distant third option, she said.

“Our leverage will still be extremely low after we close this deal, and we have great mines that are cash flowing,” Inkster said in an interview. “But there’s a scarcity of copper assets right now, and we have to be patient.” Continue Reading →

Yamana Gold cleans up balance sheet with $1-billion sale of Brazilian mine to Lundin Mining – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – April 16, 2019)

The company plans to apply the entire proceeds from the Chapada mine sale to reduce its $1.6 billion debt pile

When the management teams at Yamana Gold Inc. and Lundin Mining Corp. look at copper and gold, both see a rising price environment ahead.

Despite the shared positive outlook, it was copper-focused Lundin Mining Corp. that announced on Monday it would plunk down $1 billion in cash to purchase the Chapada copper-gold mine in Brazil from gold-focused Yamana, which needs cash to reduce its debt load.

In some ways the deal mirrors analysts’ optimistic predictions about copper compared to a more hazy outlook on gold equities, even in the face of a potential U.S. recession, and the possibility of a global economic slowdown amid persistent trade disputes. Continue Reading →

Lundin Mining to buy Brazilian mine from Yamana in $1-billion deal – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 15, 2019)

Lundin Mining Corp. is buying a copper gold mine from Yamana Gold Inc. worth US$1-billion, the latest big deal during a hectic period for mergers and acquisitions in the mining sector.

Toronto-based Lundin is buying the Chapada mine in Brazil that produced just under 59,000 tonnes of copper last year and 121,000 ounces of gold.

Cash-rich Lundin has been vocal about wanting to do a deal and came close last year. The sale of Chapada will also help struggling Yamana improve its balance sheet and pay down some of its debt. Continue Reading →

The Women Emerald Miners of Colombia – by Laura Millan (Bloomberg News – April 13, 2019)

Dubai-based Fura Gems is hiring dozens of women to help bring De Beers-like discipline to a once violent and wild industry.

Nubia Galeano slips the short-handled pick into her left rubber boot and turns on her headlamp as she enters a steaming, cramped tunnel, one of thousands that crisscross the vast Coscuez emerald mine. The corridor narrows, and Galeano, already dripping in sweat, is soon crawling on all fours.

When she reaches a space so tight her small body barely fits, she pulls out her pick and starts digging. The 45-year-old, single mother of two fills her sack with up to 40 pounds at once and crawls backward until she can stand back up and retrace her steps to the surface.

Outside, she washes the load in a small stream, indifferent to the swarming bugs and the buzz of dozens of other miners around her. Adept at spotting the tiniest speck of green, Galeano quickly realizes she’s come up empty-handed. Continue Reading →

Iron ore shortage after Vale disaster hurting Brazil steelmakers: report (Reuters U.S. – April 15, 2019)

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A decision by Brazilian mining company Vale SA to halt production at ten sites in Minas Gerais state following a deadly dam disaster has affected deliveries of iron ore pellets to clients, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Monday, citing industry sources.

Vale is trying to resolve the problem by bringing iron ore pellets produced in the northeastern state of Maranhão to clients in the southeast. The longer distances involved are adding to transportation costs, Valor said.

Vale did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Valor report. Continue Reading →

CRU-CESCO-Copper industry to see more disruptions in 2019 -Antofagasta CEO – by Dave Sherwood and Fabian Cambero (Reuters U.S. – April 12, 2019)

SANTIAGO, April 12 (Reuters) – The global copper industry will be rocked by more disruptions this year than in 2018, contributing to a supply deficit as demand for the red metal continues to grow, the top executive of Chilean miner Antofagasta told Reuters.

Antofagasta CEO Ivan Arriagada said labor strife, extreme weather and unexpected project delays will knock as much as a million tonnes off the year’s total copper production, versus 600,000 the previous year.

“We think this year there will be bigger disruptions than last, which was unusually tranquil,” said Arriagada in an interview on the sidelines of CRU’s World Copper Conference in Santiago. Continue Reading →

Mosaic suspends phosphate mines in Brazil after new rules for dams – by Marcelo Teixeira (Reuters U.S. – April 11, 2019)

SAO PAULO, April 11 (Reuters) – The Mosaic Company, a Brazilian fertilizer maker, said on Thursday it will suspend production at its phosphate mines of Tapira and Catalão after failing to obtain a deadline extension in order to provide stability certification for three of its tailings dams.

Phosphate is a crucial fertilizer ingredient and Mosaic’s operation is the largest in Brazil, which is a global leader in agriculture, producing more than 220 million tonnes of grains and 570 million tonnes of cane per year, among other products such as coffee, tobacco, cotton and fruits.

Mining regulations in Brazil have been affected by a dam disaster in January, involving miner Vale SA,that killed hundreds, prompting new rules to try to avoid more accidents. Brazil has dozens of tailings dams, which hold back byproducts created during the extraction of mineral resources. Continue Reading →

From turbines to thermostats: Copper miners eyes high-tech demand – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters U.S. – April 10, 2019)

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Growing demand for smart thermostats, wind turbines and other high-tech devices is expected to keep copper the dominant material used in electrical components, industry players said, offsetting rising use of aluminum, a cheaper alternative to conduct electricity.

That bodes well for the likes of Chilean producer Codelco, Rio Tinto Plc and other major copper miners, who are investing billions of dollars to bring new supplies of the metal online during the next 20 years.

Copper is used to make motors, batteries, wiring and other goods as it is the best electrical-conducting metal, after silver. Aluminum, which is lighter and cheaper than copper, shares some of these traits, but is more corrosive and brittle than its red rival and only about 60 percent as conductive. Continue Reading →

SolGold scores again, finds greater resource potential at Ecuador project – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 10, 2019)

Ecuador-focused miner SolGold (LON, TSX:SOLG) said drilling at its Cascabel copper-gold project in the country’s north, one of the few new red-metal bearing ones expected to come online in the near future, has revealed previously unknown mineralization.

Together with high-grade find, over 1.5% copper equivalent, the company has also detected mineralization within the inferred resource area at the Alpala resource, as well as some medium grade mineralization of between 0.7% copper equivalent and the high-grade threshold of 1.5%.

“The drilling campaign continues to deliver to our expectations with these latest results revealing previously unknown mineralization and providing a clear indication of the growth potential that exists through the extension of the Alpala resource,” chief executive Nick Mather said in the statement. Continue Reading →

Revitalizing its copper mines may not be sufficient to keep Chile at the fore – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters U.S. – April 10, 2019)

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Codelco and other copper mining giants are set to plow billions of dollars into the revitalization of Chile’s mines, but that may not be enough to keep the country from losing ground to competitors elsewhere in the world.

Demand for copper is widely expected to take off by the mid-2020s amid a boom in electric vehicle production, but Chile is saddled with mines facing crippling declines in ore grades and a system that allows the bulk of its exploration concessions to sit idle.

“Chile is a fantastic country to work in. The question then comes, if it has all this potential, why are we not seeing growth in exploration?” said Anthony Amberg, of Los Andes Copper, a Canada-based junior with prospects in Chile. Continue Reading →

Anglo American says tech overhaul to boost productivity by 30 percent – by Dave Sherwood and Fabian Cambero (Reuters U.S. – April 8, 2019)

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Anglo American, one of the world’s top miners, says productivity could jump by as much as a third at its Chilean copper mines within three years as it rolls out new technologies, the head of the company’s copper division said in an interview.

Copper chief Hennie Faul said Anglo American was re-tooling its smaller, lower output El Soldado mine in central Chile this year for use as an experimental technology center, allowing it to conduct full-scale testing of new products and ideas in real-time.

“This is not just incremental. It can have increases in productivity of between 20 to 30 percent,” he said, adding the technologies were still in the testing stage and that their effectiveness would vary by deposit. Continue Reading →

A Million Tons of Copper Is on the Way: It May Not Be Enough – by Laura Millan Lombrana and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – April 8, 2019)

Giant mines currently under construction will churn out an additional 1 million tons of copper through 2023, but that won’t be enough to fully close an expected gap between supply and demand in the next few years.

Industry analysts and executives descending on Santiago this week for the Cesco conference, one of the industry’s biggest events, are in bullish spirits: a key indicator of the market for semi-processed copper ore — known as concentrates — is pointing to the tightest market in more than five years, and banks and brokers such as Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Group Ltd. rank the metal as one of their top picks.

“We are looking at a classic resource cycle,” said Colin Hamilton, managing editor for commodities at BMO Capital Markets. “No one has copper coming now, when it is needed, but everyone has projects coming 2022-2023 –- potentially after we’ve had to drive some substitution.” Continue Reading →

Brazil tribal lands under new threat from farmers, miners – by Bruno Kelly and Sergio Queiroz (Reuters Canada – April 8, 2019)

RAPOSA SERRA DO SOL, Brazil (Reuters) – A decade after the Macuxi people won a bloody legal battle to expel rice planters from their reservation in a remote part of Brazil, their hold over ancestral lands has come under threat again from new right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.

The sprawling 1.7 million hectares (6,600 square miles) of savannah on the border with Venezuela — a reservation called Raposa Serra do Sol — is home to 25,000 native people whose main livelihood is raising cattle.

But the land remains coveted by commercial farmers and mining prospectors who believe the area is rich in minerals such as gold, diamonds, copper, molybdenum, bauxite and even niobium, a metal used to strengthen steel that Bolsonaro considers “strategic.” Continue Reading →