Archive | Copper

Indonesia, Freeport Near New Deal for Giant Copper Mine – by Fathiya Dahrul and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – December 15, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Indonesia and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. may sign a new agreement as soon as this weekend that will lay out a road-map for the transfer of majority ownership of the giant Grasberg mine to a local firm, according to people familiar with the proposal. Freeport shares rose.

The nation’s government, state-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium — known as Inalum, and Phoenix-based Freeport are set to back a so-called transaction completion agreement as early as Sunday, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the details are private.

Under the new deal, Inalum will seek to acquire London-based Rio Tinto Group’s joint venture interest in Grasberg by March, and subsequently aim to convert the interest into an equity stake, two of the people said. Continue Reading →

PolyMet proposes $544 million to cover Minnesota mine’s early environmental risks – by Josephine Marcotty (Minneapolis Star Tribune – December 13, 2017)

http://www.startribune.com/

PolyMet Mining Corp. says it will put up $544 million in financial protections for the first three years of construction and mining at its proposed copper-nickel facility in northern Minnesota to insulate taxpayers from any environmental damage that could result.

The so-called “financial assurance” is the last piece required in PolyMet’s application for a permit to construct a $650 million mine and processing plant near Hoyt Lakes, the company said.

The assurance estimate in PolyMet’s financial proposal, which is considerably higher than the company predicted a year ago, now goes under state review. Continue Reading →

Antofagasta has a new project in Canada – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – December 13, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

A subsidiary of Chile-focused copper miner Antofagasta Plc. (LON:ANTO) signed an agreement with Canada’s Evrim Resources Corp. (TSX.V:EVM) to acquire a 70% interest in the latter’s Axe property, located in south-central British Columbia.

In a press release, the companies explained that Antofagasta can acquire a 70% interest in Axe by incurring $50 million in exploration expenditures, making cash payments of $800,000, and completing a National Instrument 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Analysis, over a ten year period.

Axe is a 50-square-kilometre land package within the Intermontane Belt in the southern portion of the Quesnellia Terrane. This gold-copper porphyry belt, which extends from the Canada/US border to north of Kamloops, hosts Newgold’s New Afton Mine, Teck’s Highland Valley Mine and Copper Mountain’s namesake mine. Continue Reading →

Sulfide mining: the most fateful decision Minnesota will ever make – by C.A. Arneson (Minn Post.com – December 12, 2017)

https://www.minnpost.com/

On Nov. 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2017 (HR 3115) [PDF], facilitating perpetual pollution of Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Sponsored by Rep. Rick Nolan, HR 3115 has been received in the U.S. Senate; if attached to another bill it could slide through, selling Minnesota’s birthright to the highest bidder with scarcely a whimper.

If it passes the U.S. Senate, HR 3115 would exchange lands acquired for watershed protection for use by the most water polluting industry on the planet. It would render the pending lawsuits against the PolyMet land exchange for its proposed NorthMet mine null and void, the people’s right to seek justice in the courts stolen.

Where is the outrage? Minnesotans need to speak loudly, clearly – with the ballot if necessary – declaring they will not allow their representatives to turn our lake country into a sulfide mining cesspool. Water is becoming desperately scarce worldwide. Minnesota’s clean – incredibly rare – wealth of freshwater is its future. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-China’s Nov commodity imports confirm trends; copper the outlier – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – December 10, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The sharp rebound in China’s imports of major commodities in November was more of a return to normal service than any sign of a resurgence in demand in the world’s largest buyer of natural resources.

Certainly, it’s appealing to look at the November numbers and conclude that China’s appetite for commodities is storming ahead, but that ignores the reality that the data was affected by the week-long holidays in early October.

In the past three months, China’s commodity imports were extremely strong in September, with record iron ore purchases, unbelievably weak in October and now roaring back to strength in November. Continue Reading →

Copper Giant Chile Gears Up for Busiest Year Ever of Wage Talks – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – December 12, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Copper forecasters are reassessing their projections as the top-producing country prepares for its busiest year ever for wage talks just as a new labor code comes into effect and higher prices inflate pay expectations.

Chilean mines will negotiate contracts with 32 unions next year, representing about three-quarters of the country’s copper output, or about one-fifth of world production. Globally, labor negotiations could trigger disruptions at mines producing about 40 percent of supply, according to Barclays Plc, which this week raised its price estimate.

While prospects of slower Chinese demand growth have sent copper back below $7,000 a metric ton in the past few weeks, supply is also constrained after years of cutbacks spurred by low prices. Continue Reading →

Lundin’s hurdle: Reassure investors after rock slide – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 11, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The chief executive officer of Lundin Mining Corp. says the base-metals miner has “some work to do to get confidence back” after the recent sharp selloff in its stock. But Paul Conibear is also shrugging off any suggestions that the company was slow to disclose a damaging rock slide at its flagship mine.

Shares in the Toronto-based company have fallen roughly a fifth since Nov. 29, the date it disclosed a rock slide is hampering operations at its Candelaria copper complex in Chile. Production at the mine, which accounts for more than half of its revenue, will be 20 per cent lower next year than previously indicated, due to the slide. The company waited about a month after the slide happened to disclose the news to investors.

“It should have come out much sooner,” said Haywood Securities Inc. analyst Pierre Vaillancourt in an interview on Dec. 1. “It’s a material event and you can’t just hold on to that information.” Continue Reading →

Mining foe: No. No matter what; Twin Metals project, MINER Act injected into Joint Powers meeting – by Tom Coombe (The Ely Echo – December 8, 2017)

http://www.elyecho.com/

An item that wasn’t even on the agenda stirred some of the most passionate discussion at Monday’s sit-down with area legislators and other key officials.

One of the area’s leading opponents of copper-nickel mining, Ely business owner Steve Piragis, declared that he’d continue to oppose the Twin Metals Minnesota project even if federal regulators conclude it would “meet or exceed” current environmental standards.

That came during a mini-debate with Aurora Mayor-Elect Dave Lislegard and was spawned by discussion of the MINER Act, legislation approved just days earlier by the U.S. House of Representatives. As the bill advanced by U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) awaits action in the Senate, Elyite Becky Rom railed against it in an appeal to aides of both U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D), and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Continue Reading →

Massive Oyu Tolgoi mine to more than double gold production in 2018 – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – December 7, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

Rio Tinto-controlled Turquoise Hill (TSX:TRQ) is expecting its majority-owned Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia to churn in 2018 more than double the amount of the precious metal forecast for this year, with operating costs dropping about 2.8%.

In an update that went almost unnoticed, the Canadian miner said earlier this week it expected the massive Mongolian mine to produce 240,000 to 280,000 ounces of gold concentrate next year, more than double the 100,000 to 140,000 ounces initially expected for 2017.

The Vancouver-based company also forecast the mine to generate 125,000 to 155,000 tonnes of copper in 2018, slightly less than the 130,000 to 160,000 tonnes predicted for this year. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Indonesia’s Freeport-Rio plan masks longer-term issues – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – December 7, 2017)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Dec 7 (Reuters) – A proposed three-way deal between the Indonesian government, Rio Tinto and Freeport-McMoRan to clean up the ownership of the giant Grasberg copper-gold mine looks like one of those rare situations where everybody wins.

Except that it isn‘t. Certainly all parties may walk away feeling that they have achieved the best outcome, assuming the complicated deal can be pulled off at a price acceptable to all three.

But this ignores the wider picture in which any short-term advantage is likely to be offset by compounding longer-term problems. First, a brief re-cap of what’s at stake. Grasberg is the world’s second-largest copper mine, as well as being one of the five-biggest gold mines, and is further advantaged by having high grades and low costs. Continue Reading →

Displaced by mining, Peru villagers spurn shiny new town – by Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – December 7, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

NUEVA FUERABAMBA, Peru (Reuters) – This remote town in Peru’s southern Andes was supposed to serve as a model for how companies can help communities uprooted by mining.

Named Nueva Fuerabamba, it was built to house around 1,600 people who gave up their village and farmland to make room for a massive, open-pit copper mine. The new hamlet boasts paved streets and tidy houses with electricity and indoor plumbing, once luxuries to the indigenous Quechua-speaking people who now call this place home.

The mine’s operator, MMG Ltd (1208.HK), the Melbourne-based unit of state-owned China Minmetals Corp CHMIN.UL, threw in jobs and enough cash so that some villagers no longer work. Continue Reading →

Copper’s Art of the Deal – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – December 6, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The seeds of Tuesday’s 4.6 percent copper slump — the sharpest in almost three years — were planted in a scarcely noted non-event earlier this month.

Smelters and miners meeting during Asia Copper Week in Shanghai failed to come to an agreement over processing fees for 2018, and split without an agreement on a benchmark price, a smelter official with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News Friday.

Such miner-smelter agreements on treatment and refining charges, or TC/RCs, are an important indicator for the direction of the two industries we collectively call the copper market. Miners produce largely concentrates, a powdery brown intermediary product that’s then sold to smelter-refiners to turn into the pink metal itself. Just six of the world’s top 20 miners appear on the list of the world’s top 20 refiners. Continue Reading →

Electric charge: Glencore bets big on car battery metals – by Barbara Lewis and Maiya Keidan (Reuters Canada – December 5, 2017)

https://ca.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore (GLEN.L) has increased production of the metals used to make electric car batteries faster than its major mining rivals, according to an industry-wide analysis that shows the scale of a strategy that has big prospective risks and rewards.

The Anglo-Swiss company’s output of cobalt and copper roughly doubled in the five years to 2016, while its production of nickel quadrupled, the research compiled for Reuters by S&P Global Market Intelligence shows. (Graphic: Glencore’s mining production – tmsnrt.rs/2zOQTgo)

Electric vehicle metals account for roughly 50 percent of Glencore’s core profit, more than double the proportion of its major listed competitors – BHP (BLT.L) (BHP.AX), Rio Tinto (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) and Anglo American (AAL.L). Continue Reading →

Indonesia plans to buy out Rio’s share of Grasberg copper mine – by Wilda Asmarini and Fergus Jensen (Reuters U.K. – December 5, 2017)

https://uk.reuters.com/

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia plans to acquire Rio Tinto’s 40 percent participating stake in the Grasberg copper mine operated by the local division of Freeport-McMoRan Inc, part of government plans to control more of the country’s resources.

Under a joint venture formed in 1996, Rio has a 40 percent interest in Freeport’s Grasberg contract, entitling it to 40 percent of production above specific levels until 2021 and 40 percent of all production after 2022. Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport said in August it would divest 51 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia to the Indonesian government, to meet local ownership rules.

Indonesia plans to complete the acquisition of Rio’s interest in the mine in 2018, as part of a purchase of a 51 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia by the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) and other government units, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said on Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Bisbee: a copper town first, last and always – by Tom Beal (Arizona Daily Star – July 10, 2011)

http://tucson.com/

Bisbee was the most prosperous city in the new state of Arizona on Feb. 14, 1912. It retained its rough edges, however, and celebrated statehood in true mining-camp style – setting off 48 sticks of dynamite in a mining hole near its downtown.

Next year’s centennial festivities will mimic that raucous salute – with a decrease in firepower necessitated by Homeland Security concerns. Copper mining ceased in Bisbee more than 30 years ago, but it remains the best place to envision what life was like in an Arizona mining town 100 years ago.

Its handsome Main Street, lined with substantial brick buildings, looks much the same as it did then. That streetscape was new when its residents celebrated statehood. Disastrous fires in 1907 and 1908 had leveled the wooden buildings in Tombstone Canyon. Continue Reading →