Mozambique Interested in Botswana Mining Experience (All – April 25, 2017)

Gaberone — Mozambique and Botswana could cooperate in the mining industry, declared President Filipe Nyusi in Gaberone on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening of a Mozambique-Botswana Business Forum, on the second day of his state visit to Botswana, Nyusi said that Mozambique is interested in such cooperation because Botswana is recognized for mining expertise across the world. The Botswanan diamond mining industry has become the basis of the country’s economy, accounting for around 60 per cent of its exports.

“Mozambique has been discovering mineral resources”, said Nyusi, addressing about 100 business people, 30 of them from Mozambique. “We need to share knowledge to take advantage of our potential throughout the entire value chain, and Botswana has enviable experience”. Continue Reading →

Local Angle: Healthy Hudbay better in ever-shrinking world – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – April 25, 2017)

During the so-called Great Recession of the late 2000s, several residents remarked that Flin Flon was left basically unscathed by the economic ravages occurring elsewhere in the world.

It wasn’t entirely true. The recession saw Hudbay suspend its Snow Lake operations, causing a ripple effect of layoffs that reached Flin Flon, and prompted the company to scale back its use of local contractors. Nevertheless, the notion that Flin Flon is insulated from global turbulence – that we are an economic island – gained traction during those tough times.

But globalization is a very real force in the mining industry and, by extension, Flin Flon’s economy. The acension of Donald Trump and his “America First” platform has politicized the issue of globalization down south. Here in Canada, mining globalization enjoys support from both the right and the left. Continue Reading →

Riots hit major bauxite mining hub in Guinea (Reuters U.S. – April 26, 2017)

Riots have paralyzed a major bauxite mining hub in Guinea, Africa’s top producer, as residents erected barricades and burned tires to protest against high pollution levels and power cuts, government and company officials said on Tuesday.

The unrest broke out on Monday night in the city of Boke, home to mining companies Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Companie Bauxite de Guinee (CBG) which each export around 15 million tonnes of the aluminum ore annually.

“It’s a problem with electricity that aggravated the situation. We are working on finding a solution to the problem,” said Saadou Nimaga, secretary general at Guinea’s Mines Ministry. Continue Reading →

Russian Mining Tycoons Eyeing Return to London Stock Market – by Yuliya Fedorinova and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – April 26, 2017)

For three years, Russian companies retreated from the London stock market. Now, a pair of oil and mining billionaires is hoping to break the drought.

En+ Group Ltd., owned by aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, and Polyus PJSC, a gold producer controlled by the family of Suleiman Kerimov, are planning to sell shares in May or June. If successful, they could raise as much as $3 billion in London and Moscow.

The deals will test investor appetite for Russian assets after a rally in share prices, driven by the commodities recovery and expectations of receding tensions between Moscow and the U.S. While there have been some secondary share sales in London, including by Novolipetsk Steel PJSC in December, En+ and Polyus would be the first Russian companies to join the London exchange since 2014, according to London Stock Exchange data. Continue Reading →

Robert Friedland goes to Hollywood – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – April 24, 2017)

One of Robert Friedland’s pet peeves is that as people move away from the country to the city they become divorced from the supply chain and no longer understand where things come from. They don’t realize, he says, that everything they touch is either grown or mined. Take a look at everything around you, he urges, “we either mined it or we grew it—there are no exceptions.”

“Most people who live in urban environments think a ham sandwich comes from a refrigerator—they don’t really visualize all those pigs being slaughtered in a river of blood outside Chicago,” he adds.

“Most people don’t realize that when they walk into a dark room and turn on the light, somewhere a generator has to kick in and give them that power, because there’s virtually no storage of electricity in the grid. We think miners have to do a much better job of explaining how fundamental we are to improving this world. That’s why we have gotten into Hollywood—that’s why we are in the movie business.” Continue Reading →

Robert Friedland: Celebrating a lifetime of achievement – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – April 24, 2017)

Over most of the last two decades, the first voice Peter Meredith would hear at the crack of dawn each morning was Robert Friedland’s. “The phone would ring and he would say: ‘Hi Peter, it’s Robert,’ and I’d think, ‘What a surprise, who else calls me at six in the morning?’”

Meredith, who retired as a partner at auditing firm Deloitte in Vancouver to join Ivanhoe Mines full-time in 1996, says that over the following sixteen years, he was pretty much a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day guy, to keep up with his boss.

“Robert doesn’t take weekends off and he doesn’t like holidays much … He is a very energetic, driven guy—he knows no boundaries as to how hard he works—so the tone from the top is that you feel like a non-contributor when you aren’t working as hard as he is.” Continue Reading →

[Canada] The Power 50: Who has the influence, the connections and the cash to get their way in the world of business? (Globe and Mail/Report on Business – April 26, 2017)

We pull back the curtain on the financiers, scions, politicians and CEOs—plus a few bureaucrats and even one hip-hop star—who wield true power in Canada

Only one miner makes the list, Vale Canada’s Jennifer Maki. – Stan Sudol

1. Paul & André Desmarais | Co-CEOs, Power Corp.

If there is a key to the Desmarais family’s formidable wealth and influence, it is this: entree. Paul Desmarais Sr. possessed astonishing business acumen. But it was his ability to cultivate the crème de la crème in politics and finance that elevated him to the highest levels in North America, Europe and China. He met with Deng Xiaoping in Beijing; invited Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to his estate in Charlevoix, Quebec; and received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour from Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.

Most importantly, Desmarais, who died in 2013, meticulously groomed his sons, Paul Jr. and André, for succession. In 1996, he named “the boys”—now in their early 60s—co-CEOs of Power Corp. Since then, Power has quintupled in value. How have they done it? As magnate Peter Munk said in 2008: “The boys got introduced to his contacts. They were educated well, they married well and they’ve behaved.” Continue Reading →

Barrick shares tumble as gold miner sounds cautious tone – by Josh O’Kane (Globe and Mail – April 26, 2017)

Barrick Gold Corp. shares slid 11 per cent Tuesday as investors reacted to the gold miner’s first-quarter results, which missed production and earnings estimates and revealed higher operating costs.

The world’s largest gold producer late Monday reported first-quarter net income of $889-million (U.S.) and adjusted net earnings of $162-million, or 14 cents a share, versus the analyst consensus estimate of 20 cents a share.

At the company’s annual meeting Tuesday, president Kelvin Dushnisky highlighted Barrick’s new era of caution, including cost savings through new joint ventures and debt reduction – having paid down $178-million in the first quarter. Continue Reading →

Climate-stressed Mongolia urged to put yaks before mines – by Thin Lei Win (Reuters U.S. – April 25, 2017)

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Mongolia should diversify its economy in the face of climate change and other stresses, as reliance on mining at the expense of its livestock industry has put people at risk of commodity price shocks and rising unemployment, an international aid group said.

Ramesh Singh, Mongolia director for Mercy Corps, said strengthening rural livestock markets and establishing centers of economic activity outside the over-stretched capital would enrich the nation’s coffers, provide work for young people, and boost the country’s resilience.

Mongolia has struggled with an economic crisis since 2016 due to government over-spending and declining revenues from its exports, which include copper and coal. “We have reached a tipping point,” said Singh, whose U.S.-based organization has worked in Mongolia since 1999. Continue Reading →

Barrick’s bad day: Shares fall 10% as investor confidence shaken by third cyanide spill at Argentine mine – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – April 26, 2017)

Barrick Gold Corp.’s third cyanide spill in two years at its Argentine operation was among a number of environmental and social concerns that took centre stage at its annual general meeting Tuesday, the stock’s worst day in six months.

Barrick president Kelvin Dushnisky told shareholders that a cyanide pipeline rupture on Mar.28 at its Veladero mine posed no risk to people or the environment.

“However, this was the third incident at Veladero leach pad in the last 18 months and that is completely unacceptable,” Dushnisky said. “These incidents weaken our partnerships and the trust that underpin them.” Continue Reading →

Why Apple Won’t Be Able to Stop Mining Yet – by Adam Minter (Bloomberg News – April 26, 2017)

(Bloomberg View) — Just before Earth Day, Apple Inc. announced a new goal: to make its computers and phones and watches without mining any new raw materials. Instead, Apple would one day build its products “using only renewable resources or recycled material.” This is what’s known as a “closed loop,” in which new products are made exclusively from older versions of the same product.

If successful, Apple would no longer have to worry about digging holes in the ground, avoiding conflict minerals and the other messy details of high-tech manufacturing in the 21st century. It’s a bold idea, even for Apple, which can boast several past successes in promoting sustainable manufacturing and operations. Given both technological and commercial obstacles, however, it’s almost certain to fail.

Closed-loop recycling isn’t a new idea. In the 1930s, Ford Motor Co. spent several years operating a money-losing factory devoted to recycling old Fords into raw materials for new ones. More recently, Dell Inc. developed a breakthrough computer made using materials from old devices. Continue Reading →

Does a gold-backed digital currency seem far-fetched? Look who’s behind it – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – April 25, 2017)

As gold miners begin reporting earnings this week, it’s time to ponder the long-term future of bullion demand. One of the most intriguing developments in that regard is an audacious $1-billion (U.S.) project to create a freely traded gold-backed digital currency.

To be sure, it’s easy to mock the new venture as a way-too-trendy attempt to marry the traditional appeal of precious metals with today’s enthusiasm for the blockchain technology behind bitcoin.

But the project has two big-name backers behind it and their reputation suggests investors might want to pay close attention. CME Group Inc. is a U.S.-based company that operates the world’s largest options and futures market. The Royal Mint is a thousand-year-old institution owned by the British government. Continue Reading →

Goldman Sacks advises ‘sell’ in BHP Billiton downgrade – by Matt Chambers (The Australian – April 26, 2017)

Goldman Sachs has turned ­increasingly negative on the mining sector, downgrading BHP Billiton to “sell” and slashing its target price for Rio Tinto in the face of falling iron ore prices and what it sees as China’s potential to restrict credit.

In a report out of London yesterday, Goldman analysts led by Eugene King told investors they should sell BHP and London-­listed miners Antofagasta and Kumba.

The bank kept its neutral rating on Rio but still slashed its target price for the miner’s London shares by 20 per cent to £28. It cut its target price for BHP’s London shares by 21 per cent to £11. Continue Reading →

Freeport cuts copper production targets after Indonesia spat – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – April 25, 2017)

Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest publicly traded copper company, has cut its production forecasts following a stand-off with the Indonesian government stop exports from its Grasberg mine banned.

The Arizona-based miner company had previously expected to sell 4.1bn pounds of copper this year, a figure it has now revised to 3.9bn after Jakarta banned shipments from Grasberg, the world’s second biggest copper mine.

The new guidance was revealed in a trading update that saw Freeport report adjusted net income of $220m for the three months to the end of March, against a loss of $196m a year ago when commodity prices were much lower. Continue Reading →

Alcoa’s stock surges in its first full quarter as standalone company – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg/Globe and Mail – April 25, 2017)

Alcoa Corp.’s first full quarter as a standalone company vindicates investors’ faith and signals even better times may be ahead.

Profit excluding one-time items was 63 cents a share, New York-based Alcoa reported after the close of regular trading Monday, exceeding all seven estimates of analysts tracked by Bloomberg. Shares jumped as much as 7.1 per cent on Tuesday.

Shares have surged since the company separated from its jet– and car-parts business in November, helped by a jump in aluminum prices. Investors have also rewarded Alcoa for its thrift, as Chief Executive Officer Roy Harvey merges units and drives efforts to simplify operations. The results come as Arconic Inc., the downstream business that split from Alcoa, contends with a proxy battle fueled in part by concern over corporate spending. Continue Reading →