Archive | Latin America Mining

Brazil’s Coronavirus Crisis Disrupts Iron-Ore Market; Prices Surge – by Joe Wallace (Wall Street Journal – May 20, 2020)

Brazil’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has disrupted global supplies of iron ore just as demand from China is revving up, pushing the price of the steel ingredient to a seven-month high.

Iron ore is one of the most heavily traded commodities and can influence the price of materials used in everything from buildings to cars. Front-month futures for ore with 62% iron content jumped 10% to nearly ¥759 ($107) a metric ton Wednesday on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange. That is their highest closing price since October 2019.

Prices have risen 20% since early April, driven by squeezed supplies from Brazil, which dominates the iron-ore mining industry along with Australia. The rally is also an indication that China’s economy is gathering momentum, after a downturn at the start of the year when swaths of the country went into lockdown to stop the coronavirus spreading. Continue Reading →

Gran Colombia proposes merger with Guyana, Gold X – by Donna Slater ( – May 11, 2020)

Canadian midtier gold producer Gran Colombia Gold has signed a definitive agreement to complete a business combination with junior miner Gold X Mining and has submitted a proposal to Guyana Goldfields to acquire all its issued and outstanding common shares.

As part of the transaction, Gran Colombia will acquire the remaining 81% of the issued and outstanding shares of Gold X that it does not already own at a share exchange ratio of 0.500 of its own shares for each Gold X share.

This implies a headline value of C$3.17 a piece, representing a premium of 15% to the closing price on the TSX-V on May 8, and a premium of 41% to the volume-weighted average price of Gold X shares over the 20 trading days ended May 8. Continue Reading →

SolGold scores $150m in funding from Franco Nevada – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 11, 2020)

Ecuador-focused miner SolGold (LON, TSX:SOLG) has secured up to $150 million from streaming company Franco Nevada (TSX, NYSE: FNV), which it will use to develop its Alpala copper-gold project.

The company said the net smelter return (NSR) agreement includes an initial $100 million. Franco-Nevada, which provides natural resource companies with upfront cash in exchange for future production, will receive a perpetual 1% NSR.

The total amount could increase by $50 million, at SolGold’s discretion. The move would also increase the NSR for Franco Nevada to 1.5%. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Solaris Regrets to Announce Passing of David Lowell (May 5, 2020)

VANCOUVER, May 5, 2020 /CNW/ – Solaris Resources Inc. (“Solaris” or the “Company”) regrets to announce that J. David Lowell, a consultant and strategic partner of the Company, passed away at his home in Tucson, Arizona, earlier this week at the age of 92. David is survived by his wife, daughter and two sons.

Daniel Earle, President & CEO, commented, “We are deeply sorry to have learned of David’s passing and extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and everyone touched by this extraordinary person. David was the ‘World’s Best Mine Finder,’ discovering 17 major minerals deposits over a 50-year career. Our flagship project, Warintza, was a discovery he made while exploring in southeast Ecuador in the early 2000s, and our pipeline of grassroots exploration projects were his targets for future discoveries.”

Up until the very end of his life, David was busy designing programs to test his vision for the future of discovery in the Americas. Innovation and ingenuity were constants throughout his legendary career, which began with first defining the porphyry copper model with John Guilbert, a deposit type which is now thought to account for 60% of the world’s copper. Continue Reading →

Chile copper industry largely unscathed by coronavirus – minister – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters U.S. – April 29, 2020)

SANTIAGO, April 29 (Reuters) – Chile´s mining minister said on Wednesday the South American nation´s sprawling copper industry so far ranks among the least affected globally by the COVID-19 pandemic, citing official figures that point to a reduction in output of just 1%.

Mining minister Baldo Prokurica, in an interview with Emol TV, credited both public and private measures aimed at protecting workers with the industry´s resilience even as the virus has ravaged other parts of Chile´s economy.

“One realizes that Chile has been one of the countries that will be least hit by this pandemic,” Prokurica told the web news broadcast. Continue Reading →

World’s mine workers resist quick restart amid coronavirus – by Tanisha Heiberg, Helen Reid and Marco Aquino (Reuters U.S. – April 28, 2020)

JOHANNESBURG/LIMA (Reuters) – As mining heavyweights South Africa and Peru move to lift coronavirus lockdowns, workers in deep mines are resisting going back to work without adequate protective gear and information about cases at sites, with one major union filing legal action against restart plans.

The workers fear being literal canaries in the coal mine in facilities where social distancing is nearly impossible and warn that companies are not divulging coronavirus cases, putting them at risk.

South Africa, the world’s largest producer of platinum, manganese and chrome ore, is letting its mines run at half-capacity after a national lockdown. Peru, which hopes to end its own lockdown on May 10, is the world’s No. 2 copper producer and No. 6 gold producer. Continue Reading →

Venezuela risks fueling pandemic by allowing Amazon mining, activists say – by Maria Ramirez (Reuters U.S. – April 27, 2020)

PUERTO ORDAZ, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuela’s move to allow gold and diamond mining in six rivers in its Amazon region may worsen the environmental damage from a state-backed mining effort while also fueling the spread of the coronavirus, according to activists and lawmakers.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government this month lifted the long-standing prohibition on mining in the rivers, with the opposition-controlled National Assembly condemning the decree last week.

Though such mining is already taking place illegally, critics said lifting the probation will encourage wildcat mines that for years have been a hotbed of infectious diseases just as the country is seeking to keep COVID-19 – the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus – from spreading. Continue Reading →

Silvercorp Metals strikes $105M deal to buy Guyana Goldfields (Canadian Press/BNN Bloomberg – April 27, 2020)

VANCOUVER – Silvercorp Metals Inc. says it has struck a deal to buy Guyana Goldfields Inc. in a cash-and-shares transaction worth about $105 million.

The two Canadian miners say the transaction will create a diversified company by combining Silvercorp’s two underground silver mining operations in China with Guyana Goldfields’ Aurora gold mining operation in Guyana.

Guyana Goldfields shareholders will have the option to receive 60 cents in cash or 0.1195 of a Silvercorp common share for each Guyana Goldfields share they hold, subject to maximum cash consideration of $33.2 million. Continue Reading →

MMG sees copper output sink 20% in first quarter, confirms Peru force majeure (Reuters U.S. – April 23, 2020)

(Reuters) – MMG Ltd said on Thursday its copper output fell 20% year-on-year in the first quarter because of lower-than-planned production at the Las Bambas mine in Peru, where the miner has declared force majeure because of coronavirus-related curbs.

Las Bambas is among the world’s biggest copper mines and one of the major mining projects that has cut production, prompting Australia-based MMG to formally withdraw its full-year production guidance for the mine earlier this month.

Company-wide copper production for the three months ended March 31 totalled 91,911 tonnes, MMG – which is majority-owned by China Minmetals Corp [CHMIN.UL] – said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, down from 114,369 tonnes a year earlier. Continue Reading →

Where is Covid-19 increasing the threat of illegal mining? – by Matthew Hall (Mining Technology – April 24, 2020)

As mine’s worldwide temporarily close to suppress the spread of Covid-19, and the ongoing pandemic wreaks havoc on metal prices, the risk of illegal mining to mine operations and communities is increasing. We look at some of the countries where Covid-19 is exacerbating illegal mine activity.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to temporary mine closures worldwide, as governments mandate non-essential businesses to close temporarily in order to suppress the spread of the virus. Aside from the production hit that these temporary mine closures lead to, there have been increasing concerns around illegal mining activity, which poses a risk to mineworkers as well as local communities.


On 22 April, Gemfields Group announced that they had suspended all but critical operations at their Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique. This closure has coincided with the government of Mozambique temporarily allowing the release of prisoners to reduce the risk of outbreaks of Covid-19 in prisons. Continue Reading →

Mexican union wants mining operations to resume in May – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – April 19, 2020)

The deputy secretary of work at the national level for the Confederation of Mexican Workers, Javier Villarreal, asked the federal government to include mining in its list of ‘essential services’ so that operations can resume in May.

Most economic activities were halted in Mexico in late March due to the covid-19 pandemic, with the health and energy sectors, the oil industry, and public services such as water supply, waste management and public safety being the exception, together with steel, glass and cement manufacturers.

However, according to Villarreal, mining provides the raw materials that allow other industries, considered essential, to operate. Thus, he believes the extraction and processing of minerals and metals should be allowed to go ahead. Continue Reading →

Argentina’s fledgling lithium sector clipped by coronavirus – by Marina Lammertyn (Reuters U.S. – April 16, 2020)

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s fledgling lithium sector has been torpedoed by the global spread of coronavirus, with operations stalled by a nationwide crackdown and some projects being abandoned as the pandemic has sharpened economic concerns in the country.

Argentina is part of South America’s so-called “lithium triangle,” a major sources of the light metal that is key to the development of electrified vehicles. It has been pushing new projects to catch up with neighboring lithium powerhouse Chile.

Those now are hanging in limbo, threatening what the country had hoped would one day be a $2.1 billion lithium export market, according to a government presentation, up from $190 million last year when it shipped 50,000 tonnes of the white metal. Continue Reading →

Coronavirus Pandemic Turns Locals Against Miners – by Alistair MacDonald and Daniela Blandón Ramírez (Wall Street Journal – April 14, 2020)

Locals from a town in northern Colombia last month blockaded a mine operated by one of the world’s biggest miners, Glencore PLC, burning tires and delivering a simple message: Don’t bring the new coronavirus here.

Covid-19 is swamping hospitals around the world, shutting down entire economies amid measures to slow its spread. It is also heightening local mistrust of some foreign corporations working in far-off lands, adding to a number of new pressures that the pandemic has created for globalized industries.

In recent weeks, some miners have been hit by protests around the world. Residents and activists accuse foreign companies of risking the safety of local communities in the pursuit of profit during the pandemic. Continue Reading →

Televised raid on illegal Amazon mining angers Brazil government, leads to sacking – by Jake Spring and Lisandra Paraguassu (Reuters U.S. – April 14, 2020)

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles has fired the country’s top environmental enforcement officer, according to a government notice published on Tuesday, after a news program broadcast a dramatic raid on illegal mining in the Amazon rainforest.

The move appears to be the latest attempt by the government of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro to defang the federal environment agency Ibama, which serves on the frontlines of Brazil’s fight against deforestation.

Fantastico, a news program on Brazil’s largest broadcaster Globo, accompanied a team of agents from Ibama on raids against miners who were illegally working inside indigenous reservations. It aired on Sunday. Continue Reading →

Barrick to invest $10 million in Dominican-focused Precipitate Gold – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 14, 2020)

Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) has inked an earn-in agreement with Precipitate Gold (TSX-V: PRG) that gives it the right to earn a 70% stake in the junior’s Pueblo Grande project, located right next to the gold giant’s Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.

To earn the set interest, the world’s second largest gold producer will have to invest a minimum of $10 million in exploration and deliver a pre-feasibility study within six years of the agreement.

As part of the deal, Barrick has also agreed to subscribe for $1 million (Cdn$ 1.39m) of Precipitate’s common shares in a private placement, the Vancouver-based junior miner said in a separate statement. Continue Reading →