Archive | Latin America Mining

Brazil to deploy police to protect Yanomami from miners ( – June 14, 2021)

Brazil said Monday it would deploy a special security force to protect the Yanomami indigenous reservation, whose residents have clashed recently with illegal miners encroaching on native lands in the Amazon rainforest.

The measure comes after Brazil’s Supreme Court last month ordered far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government to adopt “necessary measures” to protect the Yanomami and Mundurucu peoples’ reservations from wildcat gold miners.

Justice Minister Anderson Torres gave a federal force of police and firefighters a 90-day renewable mandate to “preserve the public order” on Yanomami lands. Continue Reading →

After two collapses, a third Vale dam at ‘imminent risk of rupture’ – by Juliana Ennes ( – June 14, 2021)

A dam holding back mining waste from Brazilian miner Vale is at risk of collapsing, a government audit says.

The same company was responsible for two tailings dam collapses since 2015 that unleashed millions of gallons of toxic sludge and killed hundreds of people in Brazil’s southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

The retired Xingu dam at Vale’s Alegria iron ore mine in Mariana — the same municipality where a Vale tailings dam collapsed in November 2015 in what’s considered Brazil’s worst environmental disaster to date — is at “serious and imminent risk of rupture by liquefaction,” according to an audit report from the Minas Gerais state labor department (SRT), cited by government news agency Agência Brasil. Continue Reading →

Copper Riches Are in Cross-Hairs of Chile Presidential Hopeful – by Valentina Fuentes and Eduardo Thomson (Bloomberg News – June 10, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — The man who early polling suggests will be Chile’s next president plans to raise mining taxes in coordination with neighboring nations and take equity stakes in copper mines in a bid to retain more mineral wealth.

Daniel Jadue, the current front-runner in polls for November’s elections in Chile, wants to align mining rules with Peru, Argentina and Bolivia so they don’t compete for investments, he said in an interview Wednesday.

Like Indonesia has done, he also plans to renegotiate with foreign companies to take stakes in their assets in what would be the industry’s biggest disruption since U.S.-owned mines were nationalized to form Codelco in the 1970s. Continue Reading →

New Peruvian president to deal with dozens of mining-related conflicts – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – June 6, 2021)

Over 64% of the 191 social conflicts registered in recent months in Peru are linked to social and environmental concerns related to mining operations, the most updated figures released by the Ombudsman Office show.

This is the reality that the new president of the Andean country will have to deal with. According to local media, this is particularly the case in the southern regions of Cusco, Puno, Apurímac, Moquegua, Arequipa y Tacna, which concentrated 30% of the social unrest.

One of the main issues relates to the Southern Mining Runway, which goes through the southeastern Cusco department, the south-central Apurímac department and reaches the southwestern Arequipa department all the way to the Matarani-Arequipa port, where products are shipped to Asia. Continue Reading →

Copper roars past $4.60 as resource nationalism grips market – by Richard (Rick) Mills – Kitco News – June 1, 2021)

A number of happenings in the copper market conspired to elevate the spot price beyond $4.60 a pound on Thursday, confirming Ahead of the Herd’s suspicions that a new wave of resource nationalism in some of the largest copper-producing nations is washing over the sector.

Resource nationalism is the tendency of governments to assert control, for strategic and economic reasons, over natural resources located on their territories. It has been identified as one of the key risks for investors in the natural resources space.

With the copper price soaring on tight supply and heavy demand, as the world’s biggest economies revive following a year of coronavirus-related restrictions, the temptation for producer nations to cash in on more valuable copper reserves to pay for social programs is proving hard to resist. Continue Reading →

Dundee expands into Ecuador with IVN Metals buy – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 31, 2021)

Canada’s Dundee Precious Metals (TSX: DPM) will add its first project in the Americas to its portfolio by acquiring all the shares it doesn’t already own in junior miner INV Metals (TSX: INV), which owns the advanced-stage Loma Larga gold project in southern Ecuador.

As part of the deal, Dundee will buy each of the issued and outstanding common shares of INV Metals it does not currently hold for 0.0910 of a DPM common share, or about C$0.80 a piece. This represents a 63% premium to the closing price of INV Metals stock on the Toronto Exchange on May 28.

Dundee, which owns about 23.5% of INV’s common shares, noted the transaction had strong shareholder support. It also said that IAMGOLD (TSX:IMG) (NYSE:IAG), which is IVN’s largest shareholder, is supporting the deal. Continue Reading →

Bolsonaro vows to keep mining out of Yanomami reservation in Brazil – by Cecillia Jamasmie ( – May 31, 2021)

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro promised the Yanomami Indigenous peoples he would respect their wishes to keep mining out of their reservation in the Amazon, though he still plans to use other Indigenous lands for commercial agriculture and mining.

In a video released late on Sunday, the former Army captain is seen talking to Indigenous leaders in Maturacá, an Amazon village at the western end of the Yanomami reservation.

The group, the largest of South America’s tribes that remain relatively isolated from the outside world, asked the right-wing president to protect their lands from mining, particularly from illegal diggers. Continue Reading →

Analysis: In world’s top copper region political risk rises – by Marco Aquino and Fabian Cambero (Reuters/Kitco News – May 17, 2021)

LIMA/SANTIAGO (Reuters) – In South America’s copper-rich Andes political risk is rising as high poverty and debt levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic drive potentially sharp policy shifts and put mining wealth into the crosshairs of angry citizens and political leaders.

In No. 1 copper producer Chile, an overhaul of its market-orientated constitution is underway, and it is debating whether to hike royalties on miners.

Peru, the No. 2 producer, is heading for a polarized June presidential election with a little-known socialist leading in the polls who wants to redistribute mining wealth. Continue Reading →

Peru Leftist Copies Chile’s Proposal for Tax on Copper Boom – by James Attwood and Daniela Sirtori-Cortina (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – May 17, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — A proposal to tax Chilean copper sales at rates of as high as 75% is reverberating all the way to Peru, where the leading presidential candidate wants to impose a similar measure.

Pedro Castillo, who has vowed to nationalize a major gas field and capture more mineral profits to fund social spending, just added a tax on copper sales to his platform in a document he shared on Twitter late Sunday.

The left-wing candidate, who retains a slim lead over his rival ahead of a runoff election, joins a list of politicians from copper-mining nations looking to gain a bigger share of record-high prices to fight poverty. Continue Reading →

An Acid Squeeze Is the Latest Obstacle Facing Giant Copper Mines – by Daniela Sirtori-Cortina (Yahoo Finance – May 10, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Add sulfuric acid to the list of challenges facing copper miners as the world clamors for more of the wiring metal.

The compound, used to extract copper from ore, is getting harder to come by. A slowdown in oil refining during the pandemic has resulted in less availability of sulfur, a key input for the acid.

At the same time, more acid made in Asia is being used locally as industries there rebound. At least one copper mine in top-producer Chile has already been impacted and spot prices have surged. Continue Reading →

Deadly shootout in Brazil’s Amazon as illegal miners enter indigenous lands – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 11, 2021)

At least three illegal gold miners have died inside the Yanomami reservation in northern Brazil, after opening fire with automatic weapons on an indigenous community opposed to their presence in the area.

The Yanomami group, the largest of South America’s tribes that remain relatively isolated from the outside world, said armed miners attacked one of their communities on Monday, leaving one member severely injured.

The indigenous group responded with bows, arrows and shotguns, wounding four of the attackers during the 30-minute clash, the government’s indigenous affairs (Funai) agency said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Copper price blasts to 10-year high as Chile strike adds momentum to rally – by Staff ( – April 26, 2021)

The copper price climbed to the highest since 2011 as the global recovery from the pandemic extended a rally in metals markets— and as port workers in Chile called a strike.

Copper for delivery in May was up 2% on Monday, with futures at $4.4425 per pound ($9,795 a tonne) on the Comex market in New York.

Top producer Glencore’s shares were up 3.3% on Monday, while Freeport-McMoRan was up 6.6% in New York. Vale, BHP, and Rio Tinto shares were also up around 1.5%, also benefitting from an iron ore price jump. Continue Reading →

Equinox sells Brazil mine, focuses on Canadian growth – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 19, 2021)

Equinox Gold (TSX, NYSE: EQX) said on Monday it had sold its Pilar gold mine in Brazil for $38 million cash as part of a portfolio optimization strategy that includes increasing its stake in the Greenstone project in Ontario, Canada.

As part of the deal, buyer Pilar Gold Inc. is also giving Equinox a 9.9% equity interest in the gold mine and a 1% net smelter return royalty on production.

Pilar, a complex of producing underground mines in central Brazil’s Goiás State, accounts for about 5% of Equinox’s previously reported 2021 production guidance of 600,000 to 665,000 ounces of gold. Continue Reading →

Pro-foreign investment Lasso wins Ecuador presidential election – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 12, 2021)

Guillermo Lasso, a 66-year-old conservative former banker, has won Ecuador’s presidential election with 52.5%of votes, beating out Andrés Arauz, a 36-year-old leftist handpicked by former President Rafael Correa.

While neither candidate had declared himself anti-mining, Lasso vowed since the beginning of its campaign to promote foreign investments in the mining and oil sectors, while cutting tariffs on agricultural and other heavy equipment.

Lasso also warned he would emphasize the enforcement of environmental protection rules and larger involvement from indigenous communities in deciding projects’ future. Continue Reading →

Top Nickel Miner Vale Turns Page on 14-Year New Caledonia Foray – by James Attwood (Bloomberg News – March 31, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Vale SA, the biggest producer of mined nickel, closed a deal to divest its underperforming New Caledonian mine to a group that includes the operation’s managers and workers.

The divestment will allow operations to continue and gives Vale the right to a portion of output amid growing demand for the battery metal, Rio de Janeiro-based Vale said in a statement Wednesday.

Tesla Inc. will support the operation through a “technical and industrial partnership” with the consortium, called Prony Resources. Continue Reading →