Archive | Latin America Mining

The Attack On Indigenous Rights In Brazil – OpEd – by Yanis Iqbal (Eurasian Review – August 11, 2020)

On 5 August, 2020, the Brazilian Supreme Court ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to institute measures aimed at protecting indigenous people from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This ruling is the legal recognition of the totally disastrous anti-indigenous policies of the Bolsonaro government. Like other indigenous people living in the Peruvian jungles, eastern Bolivia, the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Colombian Amazon, Brazilian collectivities too have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 23,000 members of 190 indigenous groups in the Amazon basin have been infected by the virus and all of these communities share a commonality – they suffer from structural inequalities. Continue Reading →

With deep pockets and long time horizons, China targets struggling Canadian gold companies – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 30, 2020)

Chinese state-owned gold companies are going after some of the most troubled gold companies in Canada, betting that their deep pockets, cheaper access to capital and long time horizons will pay off.

In the past few months, Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. proposed a $323-million acquisition of Guyana Goldfields Inc., and Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. offered to buy TMAC Resources Inc. for $207.4-million.

Both Toronto-based companies are among the most beaten-down assets in the Canadian gold sector, with Guyana long grappling with grade problems at its Aurora mine and TMAC struggling for years with an underperforming mill at its Doris mine in the Arctic. Continue Reading →

Iron Ore Boom Generates 700% Gross Profit Margins For Big Miners – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – July 14, 2020)

The iron ore boom powering the profits of the world’s biggest mining companies is showing no sign of fading thanks to stronger-than-expected Chinese steel demand.

Despite multiple forecasts over the past 12-months that the iron ore price was overdue for a fall it has done exactly the opposite, rising this week to a new 2020 high of $107 a ton, up 30% over the past four months.

Given that the biggest miners produce iron ore at a cash cost of around $13/t that latest price implies a gross profit margin, before accounting and other charges, of close to 700%. Continue Reading →

79North taps into Suriname’s Guiana Shield – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – July 7, 2020)

Global mining news

Exploration geologist Jon North was attending Mille Miglia – the annual re-enactment of the classic car race from Brescia in the foothills of the Italian Alps to Rome and back – when he met Oscar Louzada.

Louzada, a Dutch mining investor who had worked in Canaccord Genuity’s London office for several years, bonded with North over their mutual appreciation for “sexy European cars” and the two attended the event as part of a larger group of friends from Holland, Switzerland and Italy for many years.

“I grew up in Windsor so I have gasoline in my veins,” jokes North, who drives a 2007 Ducati S2R 100 and a 2015 Ducati MS 1200, noting that the motorcycles give him “street cred” with his Italian friends. Continue Reading →

Researchers find clues of Ice Age people mining for ochre in Mexican caves – by Ivan Semeniuk (Globe and Mail – July 4, 2020)

More than 10,000 years ago, the limestone caves near Tulum, Mexico, were an irresistible and occasionally fatal attraction for some of the earliest inhabitants of North America – a past that was preserved for the ages when the caves were inundated with water.

Now, through a series of spectacular finds, an international team of divers and scientists has revealed what drew at least some ancient people into those labyrinthine depths: They were mining for ochre.

The discovery opens a new window into one of the most intriguing archeological sites in the Americas, connecting those who used it to the rust-coloured mineral that has been valued since the dawn of humanity. Continue Reading →

Thousands of Copper Workers Have Fallen Ill in Chile – by Jackie Davalos (Bloomberg News – July 6, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — It’s no coincidence that global copper prices and Chilean Covid-19 cases are rising together.

Chile, which accounts for more than a quarter of global supply, is battling to maintain output levels as more workers fall ill amid a nationwide surge of infections.

Mines have been attempting to keep their workers safe without forgoing too much output by postponing non-essential activities such as maintenance and construction work. Fewer workers on site mean less risk of infection. Continue Reading →

Tesla is the world’s top carmaker on the back of a tech boost and huge Chinese sales – by Gareth Hutchens (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 5, 2020)

It’s a sign of the times. Electric car manufacturer Tesla became the world’s most valuable carmaker last week, overtaking Toyota, despite never having made an annual profit.

In the past 12 months, Tesla shares have surged over 400 per cent to reach a market value of $US210 billion ($302 billion). In July last year, its share price was $US233. Last week, it closed at $US1,208.

According to the financial firm Refinitiv, Tesla is now trading at 69 times its estimated 2022 earnings. What’s behind the eye-watering rally? A broader improvement in the tech sector has helped. Continue Reading →

SolGold goes after rival Cornerstone Capital Resources – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – June 30, 2020)

SolGold (LON, TSX:SOLG) is trying to buy Canada’s Cornerstone Capital Resources (TSX-V: CGP), which owns a minority stake in the Alpala copper-gold project, part of the Ecuador-focused miner’s Cascabel asset.

The C$140 million ($102m) all-stock offer, SolGold’s second attempt to take over the Ontario-based junior, would see the bidder pay C$3.90 for each Cornerstone share. That is a 22% premium to its closing price of C$3.19 on Monday.

Chief executive Nick Mather said the deal would boost the junior’s footprint in copper-rich, but underdeveloped Ecuador, while simplifying the structure of the $2.85 billion project. He highlighted that the business combination would reduce the risk of dilution and future development costs for Cornerstone shareholders. Continue Reading →

Chile’s lithium miners consume 65% of region’s water – by Micheal McCrae ( – June 24, 2020)

The social license for battery material producers is challenged by water depletion, toxic dust and worker exploitation, according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Miners in the Democractic Republic of Congo face challenges operating in a country with few worker protections.

“[About] 20% of cobalt supplied from the DRC comes from artisanal mines where child labour and human rights abuses have been reported. Up to 40,000 children work in extremely dangerous conditions in the mines for meagre income,” write the report’s authors. Continue Reading →

Amazon gold rush: illegal mining threatens Brazil’s last major isolated tribe – by Simon Scarr and Anthony Boadle (Reuters Canada – June 25, 2020)

(Reuters) – Illegal gold mining activity has risen sharply over the last five years in Brazil’s indigenous Yanomami reservation in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, a Reuters review of exclusive data from satellite images shows

The Yanomami are the largest of South America’s tribes that remain relatively isolated from the outside world. More than 26,700 people live within a protected reservation the size of Portugal, near the Venezuelan border.

However, the land beneath the pristine forest they have inhabited for centuries contains valuable minerals – including gold. Continue Reading →

Vale reopens Itabira but pandemic threats persist – by Reese Ewing (Australian Financial Review – June 23, 2020)

Sao Paulo | Vale’s Itabira mine is back up and running this week after the Brazilian mining giant convinced local health authorities that new measures would contain the spread of COVID-19 among its workers.

The mine was producing 2.7 million tonnes a month before a local court in the state of Minas Gerais this month shut it down for almost two weeks on reports that 200 workers had tested positive for COVID-19.

Vale got clearance late last week to resume operations after clarifying its safety protocols and amending some of its policies. The miner estimates it lost about 1 million tonnes of output over the 12-day shutdown, but again stuck by its revised 2020 guidance of 310-330 million tonnes. Continue Reading →

Future of Copper Production Thrown Into Doubt by Worker Cuts – by James Attwood, Jackie Davalos and Winnie Zhu (Bloomberg News – June 23, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Skeleton crews are running Chile’s massive copper mines at full tilt, skimping on maintenance and earthworks. It’s a short-term fix that carries risks for future output.

When the pandemic hit and mines around the world shut, those in Chile figured out a way to keep churning out copper for Chinese factories. They kept non-essential staff at home and introduced longer schedules for streamlined crews of 60-70% of normal levels. The latest data show it’s working, with output up even as Chile becomes a virus hot spot.

But they’re doing it by postponing projects and maintenance and homing in on areas that are easiest to access. Such practices can raise the risk of unforeseen stoppages and, if done for too long, constrain future production. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Peru miners restart pandemic-hit operations with mass testing, isolating workers – by Marco Aquino (Reuters U.S. – June 18, 2020)

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s miners are revving up stalled operations with mass testing, isolation periods and revamped shift patterns, setting up the world’s No. 2 copper producer to hit 80% of production capacity by the end of June, industry officials said.

The restart is key to Peru’s economic engine and metals output which was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown. But unions for mine workers have voiced concerns that some planned shifts are too long while testing and protective measures need to be strengthened.

The mining and hydrocarbons industry, the top driver of Peru’s exports, fell over 40% in April, with output of copper, gold, zinc and silver down sharply. Companies are scrambling to avoid falling further behind larger neighboring producer Chile, which has maintained production through the pandemic. Continue Reading →

Spotlight: What next for Mexico’s massive silver deposits? ( – June 17, 2020)

Mexico is the dominant force in the global silver mining space, with some of the world’s biggest primary silver producing assets. But the country also hosts some of the largest undeveloped silver deposits which have been held back by weak economics and shifting prices.

With mining and exploration activities restarting following a COVID-19 suspension, BNamericas takes a look at latest developments at four projects holding a combined 1.78Boz of silver in reserves.

Silver is currently trading in the US$17-18/oz range, down from a recent peak of around US$19/oz in 2H19, but up from a US$14.99/oz average in June last year.

TOP SILVER DEPOSITS Continue Reading →

Biggest Copper Nation Has an Optimistic Take on Hectic News Flow – by Jackie Davalos and James Attwood (Bloomberg News – June 17, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Copper traders are being bombarded with possible price drivers right now — from $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure spending to a second wave of Covid-19 in China. For Chile’s official forecaster, the upshot is cautiously optimistic.

Prices probably will average more than $2.50 a pound this year, according to Marco Riveros, who heads government agency Cochilco. So far this year, the average has been just below that level.

With demand supported by a recovery in Europe and President Trump’s infrastructure proposal, there’s incentive for Chilean mines to continue operating at near capacity levels, Riveros said in an interview Tuesday. Continue Reading →