Archive | Copper

Freeport Indonesia copper mine access to resume after clashes – by Sam Wanda (Reuters U.S. – August 20, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

TIMIKA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Limited access to the giant Grasberg copper mine in eastern Indonesia is expected to resume on Monday, its operator said, after hundreds of former workers blockaded the site and clashed with police.

Trouble erupted at the mine, which is operated by the Indonesian unit of Freeport McMoRan Inc, during a demonstration over employment terms on Saturday afternoon.

Three former workers were injured after police fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse the blockade, according to a union official representing the ex-workers. Freeport said at least four contractors were also injured. Continue Reading →

Four warning signs that Teck’s spectacular gains are over – by David Berman (Globe and Mail – August 18, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Teck Resources Ltd. rewards nimble investors who can move against the current, selling the stock when times are good and buying it when the outlook is dismal. Today, conditions are excellent for the Vancouver-based miner, and that suggests shareholders should consider departing from this roller coaster of an investment.

On the surface, this might not sound like a great idea, given Teck’s stellar second-quarter results, released late last month. Teck, which produces copper, zinc and steelmaking coal from mines in Canada, the United States, Chile and Peru, topped analysts’ estimates with a profit of $577-million or $1 a share – way up from a profit of just 3 cents a share a year ago.

Analysts had been expecting a profit of 90 cents a share, according to Reuters. The company’s debt levels are also falling, which is good. Net debt per share declined to $9.59, according to a report from Canaccord Genuity, down from $13.42 a share last year, which is a steeper drop than analysts had been expecting. Continue Reading →

BHP commits $2.5bn to extend life of Spence copper mine in Chile – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – August 17, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) greenlighted Thursday a long-awaited $2.46 billion expansion of its Spence copper mine in Chile, which will add another 50 years to the operation’s productive life.

The decision comes at a time when copper prices have reached their highest levels since late 2014 and will boost BHP’s annual copper production by around 185,000 tonnes of copper over the first decade of the expanded operation, with first production expected in 2021.

Spence’s expansion contemplates the construction of a concentrator plant and a desalination plant at Mejillones port, located about 60 km north of Antofagasta city, which will be built and operated by a third party. BHP has committed to a 20-year lease nominally worth $1.43 billion. Continue Reading →

Copper price surges to 32-month high as hedge funds place $20 billion bet – by Frik Els (Mining.com – August 16, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

Copper futures trading on the Comex market in New York raced ahead on Wednesday as global supply disruptions came back into view and large-scale speculators place huge bets on rising prices.

In massive volumes of more than 3 billion pounds by lunchtime copper for delivery in September jumped to a high of 2.9795 a pound ($6,569 per tonne), up more than 3% from Tuesday’s close to the highest since end-November 2014.

Copper’s 2017 year to date gains in percentage terms now top 18% and the red metal has recovered 54% in value after falling to six-year lows below $2.00 a pound in January last year. Continue Reading →

Africa’s Biggest Copper Mine Hit by Zambian Power Restrictions – by Matthew Hill and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi (Bloomberg News – August 15, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Zambia is cutting power to mines including Africa’s biggest copper site, the Kansanshi pit owned by First Quantum Minerals Ltd., escalating a fight over tariffs.

“They have still got some significant amount of power for them to operate, but obviously their operations will not be at 100 percent because of the power restrictions,” Energy Minister David Mabumba told reporters Tuesday in Lusaka, the capital.

Glencore Plc has said it halted production at the Kitwe and Mufulira operations in Zambia’s Copperbelt province after the main electricity provider restricted supplies.

Copper miners in Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal, have been in a dispute with the country’s energy regulator since it raised tariffs by almost 30 percent in 2014. Continue Reading →

As 777 winds down, Hudbay looks to Lalor – by D’Arcy Jenish (Canadian Mining Journal – June 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

For nearly a century – 90 years in December, to be precise – Hudbay Minerals has been the cornerstone and lifeblood of the northern Manitoba community of Flin Flon. But change is coming to this quintessential one-industry, resource-based Canadian town. In 2020, Hudbay is scheduled to close the 777 mine – its only remaining mining operation in the immediate vicinity of Flin Flon.

Meantime, the company is continuing to develop and expand its base and precious metal Lalor mine, which began producing in late 2014 and is located in Snow Lake, 215 km east of Flin Flon. “We have undertaken a program of re-evaluating exploration opportunities with the Flin Flon area,” says Cashel Meagher, Hudbay’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer. “The obvious future in northern Manitoba will divert from Flin Flon to Lalor. We want to perpetuate the life of the Lalor mine.”

In fact, the potential at Lalor has continued to increase since Hudbay launched an aggressive exploration program in 2007. The company drilled 180 holes from surface and identified a sizeable deposit of ore-grade material – zinc on top, copper beneath it and a halo of contact gold beneath the copper. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Bullish funds’ return to copper a taste of things to come? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – August 9, 2017)

http://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON, Aug 9 (Reuters) – London copper on Wednesday morning touched a high of $6,515 per tonne, a price level last seen in December 2014. This is an extension of the rally that began so dramatically on July 25, when London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month copper punched through $6,200, the top end of a long-standing trading range.

The news trigger for that technical break was a proposal by Chinese authorities to prohibit imports of lower-grade scrap from the end of next year. In the intervening couple of weeks analysts have taken a collective hard look at the implications of such a ban and no-one seems to think it’s a game-changer. Supply chains might change but the scrap itself is not going away. If not in China, it will be processed somewhere else.

None of which particularly matters right now because the money men are in the price driving seat. Money managers have lifted their net long positioning on the LME copper contract by 17,841 contracts since the middle of July to a current 72,563 contracts. That’s equivalent to around 450,000 tonnes of extra buying. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Mitsui, Cobra in talks with BHP over desalination plant – sources – by Gram Slattery (Reuters U.S. – August 10, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – A consortium made up of Mitsui & Co and Grupo Cobra is in exclusive talks with BHP Billiton Plc to build an $800 million desalination plant at its Spence copper mine in Chile, two sources with knowledge of the process told Reuters this week.

This means BHP, the world’s biggest mining house, is advancing the contracting process for a planned $2.5 billion expansion at Spence, a project that has been on ice for years.

A number of other companies bid on constructing the plant, including a consortium of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and Spain’s Acciona, but BHP has selected the Mitsui group to go ahead with bilateral negotiations, said the sources, who requested anonymity because the matter is private. Continue Reading →

This Canadian Copper Giant is Missing Best of Metal’s Surge – by Danielle Bochove and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – August 11, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

As copper producers from Freeport-McMoRan Inc. to BHP Billiton Ltd. ponder what to do with the windfall from surging prices, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. has no such dilemma.

Unlike most of its peers, First Quantum’s copper sales are fully hedged — at an expected average price of $2.37 a pound for the second half of the year. That means it’s largely watching from the sidelines as the metal surges above $2.90 for the first time in more than two years.

The Vancouver-based company began hedging in 2015 to lock in the value of its output so as to avoid breaching debt covenants while developing a project in Panama. But as copper has risen more than 30 percent in the past year, the trade has proven to be a liability: the company posted a net loss of $35 million in the second quarter as its hedge book lost $97 million. It plans to continue hedging next year, although to a lesser extent. Continue Reading →

The green economy needs Minnesota mining – by U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (Minneapolis Star Tribune – August 9, 2017)

http://www.startribune.com/

Rick Nolan, a Democrat, represents Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District in the U.S. House.

Counterpoint: Copper and nickel play a role in today’s climate fight, so why not mine them safely right here? That’s what my land exchange is about.

Mining copper and nickel on Minnesota’s Iron Range and addressing global climate change are compatible, complementary and essential to our way of life. We have the brains, the technology and the need to do both.

If we attempt to do one without the other, we will end up with neither (“PolyMet is just feeding Minnesotans a line on proposed mine,” July 21). The survival of humankind rests on our willingness to embrace all of the knowledge and resources at our disposal to reverse climate change — including the vast deposits of strategic minerals in northeastern Minnesota. We owe future generations no less.

In fact, there would be no viable green economy and no effective means to reverse climate change without mining. Consider the rapid development and deployment of electric and hybrid vehicles. Continue Reading →

Glencore turns bigger copper, zinc price bull: Nickel not so much – by Frik Els (Mining.com – August 10, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

Miner and commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN) raised its revenue and profit outlook for the year on Thursday with the Swiss company citing the fast-growing electric vehicle market as a key driver.

“Most automotive players are now accelerating investment in/adoption of electric vehicle technologies, reflecting, in part, increasingly aggressive Government mandates around emission targets.

Growth in electric vehicle/energy storage systems requires changes in material flows, including the installation, rebuild and replacement of supporting infrastructure. Based on current and emerging technologies, these changes should benefit enabling commodities such as copper, cobalt and nickel,” Glencore said in a statement accompanying its half-year results. Continue Reading →

Sprott Conference: Friedland pitches metals used in electric vehicles – by Lesley Stokes (Northern Miner – August 8, 2017)

Global mining news

VANCOUVER — The electric car revolution is accelerating, and so will the demand for metals that make them work, Robert Friedland, executive chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; US-OTC: IVPAF) said during a presentation at the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium in Vancouver in late July.

In what has become a recurring topic in his presentations, Friedland stated that continued rapid urbanization, combined with efforts to fight air pollution, will lead to the ramping up of electric vehicle production. And the demand for the metals needed to build them — including copper, platinum, palladium, zinc, nickel and cobalt — will rise as a result.

“This is an era of unprecedented change, it’s really happening,” Friedland said. “The handwriting is on the wall. For those of you who deny this phenomenon, you’re going to miss this massive disruption opening soon at a theatre near you.” Continue Reading →

BHP presses for cheaper power ahead of Olympic Dam mine expansion (Reuters U.S. – August 4, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – BHP Billiton is looking for ways to shore up power supply and bring down power costs at its Olympic Dam copper mine in Australia, as it plans to expand following a string of electrical outages, the mine’s head said on Friday.

The mine has been badly hit by an energy crisis in Australia stoked by the rapid rise of wind power and closure of coal-fired power plants. This has destabilized the national grid and soaring natural gas prices have driven up power tariffs.

A blackout last year forced Olympic Dam to shut for two weeks, costing the company $105 million. Over the past year, rising power bills have added around $30 million to its costs.  Olympic Dam President Jacqui McGill said security of supply, price and system reliability are all challenges for the mine. Continue Reading →

PRESS RELEASE: Clean Energy Transition Will Increase Demand for Minerals, says new World Bank report (The World Bank – July 18, 2017)

For the report: http://bit.ly/2uFGrnD

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2017 – A new report released today by the World Bank highlights the potential impacts that the expected continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will have on demand for many minerals and metals.

Using wind, solar, and energy storage batteries as key examples of low-carbon or “green” energy technologies, the report, “The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future” examines the types of minerals and metals that will likely increase in demand as the world works towards commitments to keep the global average temperature rise at or below 2°C.

According to the report, minerals and metals expected to see heightened demand include: aluminum, copper, lead, lithium, manganese, nickel, silver, steel, and zinc and rare earth minerals such as indium, molybdenum, and neodymium. The most significant example is electric storage batteries, where the rise in relevant metals: aluminum, cobalt, iron, lead, lithium, manganese, and nickel—grow in demand from a relatively modest level under 4°C to more than 1000 percent under 2°C. Continue Reading →

Copper in, nickel out — Vale (Reuters/Sudbury Star – July 28, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian miner Vale SA (VALE5.SA) said on Thursday it would seek out fresh copper mining options and stop expanding nickel production capacity after second-quarter net income plunged on forex losses, rising costs and weaker iron ore prices.

Net income tumbled 99 per cent to $16 million from $1.1 billion a year earlier, far below an average estimate of $421 million.The world’s largest iron ore miner kept making slow progress on cutting net debt, which slipped 3 per cent in the three months through June to $22.12 billion – still a far cry from a target of $15 billion to $17 billion by year-end.

Fabio Schvartsman, who took over as CEO in May, said the company was aiming for $15 billion in net debt in 2018, adding that a company reliant on volatile commodity prices should ideally not be carrying debt at all. Continue Reading →