Archive | Latin America Mining

Mexico’s Zacatecas state offers to mediate Newmont Goldcorp mine dispute (Reuters U.S. – May 28, 2019)

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Authorities from Mexico’s Zacatecas state hope to mediate an agreement to end a two-month blockade at the Penasquito gold mine between mining firm Newmont Goldcorp Corp and villagers in San Juan de Cedros.

The dispute at Penasquito, Mexico’s largest gold and silver mine, has led to losses for public coffers and the firm, as well as lost pay for workers and contractors.

“Our priority is that the mine resume its activities,” said Jehu Salas, the secretary general of the northern state of Zacatecas, where open-pit Penasquito is located. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s iron ore industry misery, a boom for Australian big miners (Merco Press – May 29, 2019)

Iron ore prices look set to be stronger for longer, potentially delivering windfall profits for West Australia’s big miners for the next two years.

As the iron ore price hit a five-year high of US$107.50/t this week, analysts have begun scrambling to revise their estimates as they start to digest the impact of supply disruptions out of Brazil and how long the outages could linger.

Iron ore giant Vale has been forced to close mines in Brazil, representing about 90 million tons of annual product, after a tailing dam disaster in January which killed hundreds. The company is facing another dam failure at one of its inactive mines and its 30mtpa Brucutu mine remains closed with lingering uncertainty as to when it can reopen. Continue Reading →

Study into $1bn Pueblo Viejo expansion to be completed next year – Bristow – by Mariaan Webb ( – May 28, 2019)

The world’s largest gold mining companies are committed to the long-term development of the Dominican Republic and are considering putting up another $1-billion for the expansion of the Pueblo Viejo mine, Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow said on Monday.

Barrick and its joint venture (JV) partner in Pueblo Viejo, Newmont Goldcorp, would next year complete a feasibility study considering the expansion of the processing plant and tailings capacity, as well the potential for a mine life extension to 2030 and beyond.

The proposed capital investment would more than double the contribution the mine has already made to the Dominican Republic, Bristow said in a media statement. Continue Reading →

China’s iron ore extends red-hot rally on supply worries – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – May 26, 2019)

MANILA, May 27 (Reuters) – China’s iron ore futures hit a new high since 2013 on Monday, extending last week’s record-breaking rally, as stocks of the steelmaking ingredient at ports continued to drop while worries lingered about another Brazil mine dam at risk of collapsing.

Iron ore inventory at Chinese ports SH-TOT-IRONINV has shrank further to the lowest in more than two years, latest data compiled by SteelHome consultancy showed.

Concerns about supply have also intensified after Vale recently told prosecutors in Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais that a dam is at risk of rupturing at its Gongo Soco mine. Continue Reading →

Analysis: Fallout from dam disaster piles up against Vale – by Bryan Harris, Andres Schipani and Neil Hume (Australian Financial Review – May 27, 2019)

Brumadinho/London | Shortly after employees broke for lunch on January 25, a dam at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil ruptured and collapsed, unleashing a tidal wave of sludge that devoured everything in a 5 kilometre path.

When the thick, brown discharge finally abated, almost 300 people were missing. Many drowned, buried alive in the industrial waste. Others were killed by the force of the impact, their bodies broken into pieces, and some suffocated while submerged in their vehicles. Investigators would later find scratch marks on the windows, where they had tried desperately to escape.

“This was murder,” says Andresa Rodrigues, whose 26-year-old son, Bruno, an engineer at the facility, was among the 231 people killed. More than 40 are still missing. Continue Reading →

China’s MMG says Las Bambas copper operations not disrupted, talks ongoing – by Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – May 21, 2019)

LIMA (Reuters) – Chinese miner MMG Ltd’s operations at its Las Bambas mine, one of Peru’s largest copper producers, have not been disrupted and talks with an indigenous Peruvian community are ongoing, the miner said on Wednesday.

The Fuerabamba community had imposed a new road blockade on the mine after talks with the company over compensation broke down, Americo Contreras, a representative of the public ombudsman office told Reuters on Tuesday.

The community started the blockade after the talks ended without a solution late on Monday, Contreras said by phone, citing a document from government officials who had mediated the negotiations. Continue Reading →

SolGold in talks to finance long-life Ecuador copper project – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – May 20, 2019)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – SolGold is in talks with financiers keen to invest in its Ecuadorian copper-gold prospects and mining major BHP could increase its stake in the company, SolGold’s chief executive said on Monday.

In a preliminary economic assessment of the Alpala copper-silver-gold deposit in northern Ecuador released earlier, London-listed SolGold said annual copper output should be 207,000 tonnes for the first 25 years of a mine life of roughly half a century.

Ecuador has attracted a flurry of interest from big miners eager to increase their exposure to copper. The highly conductive metal is in demand for use in renewable energy and electric vehicles, but big, new deposits are rare. Continue Reading →

Vale’s Gongo Soco mine dam has up to 15% chance of bursting: Brazil official (Reuters U.S. – May 20, 2019)

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale’s tailings dam in the town of Barao de Cocais in Minas Gerais has up to a 15% chance of breaking, the state’s environment secretary said on Monday.

The dam at Vale’s Gongo Soco mine is about 40 miles (64 km)from Brumadinho, where a tailings dam collapse unleashed a torrent of toxic mud in late January, killing more than 240 people.

Environment Secretary Germano Vieira disclosed the estimate after discussing the matter with prosecutors and the company itself. Continue Reading →

Vale warns Brazil prosecutors another dam at risk of collapse – by Marta Nogueira (Reuters U.S. – May 16, 2019)

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA told prosecutors in the state of Minas Gerais that a dam is at risk of rupturing at its Gongo Soco mine, about 40 miles from where its Brumadinho dam collapsed, killing more than 230 people.

According to a document published on Thursday, prosecutors said Vale is predicting the dam in the city of Barao de Cocais may collapse next week if the current rate of movement in the embankment of the mine pit close to the dam is maintained.

The warning underlines ongoing concern about the stability of dams in Brazil’s mining heartland of Minas Gerais in the aftermath of the Brumadinho accident, which itself came less than four years after another deadly dam collapse at a joint venture between Vale and BHP Group. Continue Reading →

Vale exploring dry stacking/magnetic separation to eradicate tailings dams – Posted by Daniel Gleeson (International Mining – May 13, 2019)

International Mining

Vale has confirmed a Reuters news report from last week stating that it would spend an additional BRL11 billion ($2.5 billion) on dry iron ore processing over the next five years.

The company said it has invested nearly BRL66 billion installing and expanding the use of dry processing, using natural moisture, in iron ore production in its operations in Brazil over the last 10 years and it would carry on this trend.

“By not using water in the process, no tailings are generated and, therefore, there is no need for dams,” the company said, added that about 60% of Vale’s production today is dry, and the goal is to reach 70% in the next five years. Continue Reading →

Column: Iron ore tugged between Brazilian supply shock, Trump’s trade war – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – May 7, 2019)

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Iron ore prices look increasingly caught between the bullish reality of lower supply from Brazil and the bearish possibility of weaker demand if President Donald Trump carries out his threat to ramp up his tariff war against China.

The price action in the wake of Trump’s Twitter threat on Sunday to ramp up tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China to 25 percent was indicative of iron ore’s dilemma.

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the most liquid market for the steel-making ingredient, dropped in early trade as investors fretted that the trade talks between the United States and China had been effectively derailed. Continue Reading →

Chilean Lithium Prices Decline Even as Demand Soars – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – May 7, 2019)

Lithium export prices from the world’s second-largest producing nation fell in the first quarter, marking the first decline for the mineral that is key to electric vehicle batteries since at least 2014.

Chile exported lithium carbonate at an average price of $12,183 per ton, 0.9 percent down from the same period a year earlier, according to data from Chilean customs compiled by Bloomberg. Prices have soared 167 percent in the past five years.

The South American nation holds the world’s largest lithium reserves, the lightest metal on the periodic table and a key component in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries that power electric cars. Continue Reading →

SolGold confident in new major copper-gold find in Ecuador – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 7, 2019)

Ecuador-focused miner SolGold (LON, TSX:SOLG) said Tuesday that recent results from the Porvenir project, held by its wholly owned subsidiary Green Rock Resources, suggest the presence of a “significant” copper-gold system.

Mapping and sampling, SolGold said, has extended copper-gold mineralization at Cacharposa Creek on Porvenir, located in southern Ecuador. The samples, the company noted, show similar veins to its other major target, Alpala, on its flagship Cascabel copper-gold project in the country’s north.

SolGold has also found similar results at Porvenir’s Mula Muerta Creek, and it believes both targets are part of the same system, comprising an 800 metre-wide corridor over 1,200 metres long. Continue Reading →

BHP faces $5 billion claim over 2015 Brazil dam failure – by Kirstin Ridley and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – May 7, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP is facing a landmark, $5.0 billion damages claim in England for being “woefully negligent” in the run-up to a 2015 dam failure that led to Brazil’s worst environmental disaster, a lawsuit alleges.

The claim, which will be largest group action to be heard in England, was served on the miner on Tuesday on behalf of 235,000 Brazilian individuals and organizations, including municipal governments, utility companies, indigenous tribes and the Catholic Church, according to law firm SPG Law.

BHP spokesman Neil Burrows said the miner intended to defend itself against the proceedings, brought in the north western English city of Liverpool. Continue Reading →

Vale’s latest legal blow boosts iron ore stocks – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – May 7, 2019)

Australia’s booming iron ore stocks are tipped to stay higher for longer in the wake of the latest blow to Brazilian producer Vale’s plan to reopen mines that were shuttered in the wake of the tragic Brumadinho tailings dam collapse.

Vale was forced to suspend work at its 30 million tonne-a-year Brucutu mine on Monday after a Brazilian court overturned an earlier ruling that it could reopen.

The ruling from the higher court came as Vale said it expected sales of iron ore and pellets to be at the low to mid-end of previous guidance of 307 million tonnes to 332 million tonnes in 2019. Continue Reading →