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Union for Chilean mine Caserones accepts revised contract, averting strike

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 The main union for Chilean mine Caserones has accepted a revised contractual offer from the copper company, which averted the threat of a strike, according to an internal memo sent to workers early on Friday. An agreement between the union and the mining company, controlled by JX Holding and... 

Gold Fields advances projects to ‘underwrite a better future’

By: Simone Liedtke     17th August 2018 NYSE- and JSE-listed Gold Fields aims to continue building new projects that will “underwrite a better future for [the miner] in terms of a longer life at lower costs”. This, CEO Nick Holland said during a conference call on Thursday, is particularly important, given the volatility of the gold... 

Gold Fields remains in ‘strong’ financial position, despite $367m loss, says Holland

By: Simone Liedtke     16th August 2018 Despite attributable losses from continuing operations for the six-month period ended June 30, of $367-million or $0.45 a share, CEO Nick Holland maintains that the NYSE- and JSE-listed Gold Fields remains in a strong financial position. Holland further noted on Thursday that the integrity of the... 

Chile's Escondida says deal reached with union on new contract

By: Reuters     16th August 2018 Management at the world's largest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, said it struck a deal on Wednesday on a new labour contract with the union representing most of its workers. Union officials could not be reached for immediate comment on the agreement, which could signal labor peace after last... 

Battery boom spurs quest to resurrect World War II cobalt mines

By: Bloomberg     15th August 2018 The giant rocky outcrop known by locals as La Cobaltera offers a glimpse into northern Chile’s mining past, and a hint of its future. Slag from an ancient furnace is piled at the entrance of a mine shaft that hasn’t seen commercial activity since World War II. Inside, eucalyptus posts still... 

Antofagasta's H1 earnings fall, trade tensions cloud demand outlook

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 Chilean copper producer Antofagasta said first-half core earnings fell 16.2% from a year earlier, citing weaker ore quality, and said trade tensions clouded the broader market outlook in the short term. Its share price was down by 5.4% by 09:13 GMT, while the broader sector was 0.8% lower. 

BHP, union extend labor talks at mammoth Chile copper mine

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 The union at the world's largest copper mine, Escondida in Chile, has called off a strike planned to start on Tuesday after agreeing to extend talks with operator BHP for another day. The announcement early on Tuesday comes amid fears of a repeat of last year's strike at Escondida, which jolted... 

China's Ganfeng buys SQM's stake in lithium project for $87.5m

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 Chile's SQM, one of the world's largest lithium producers, said on Monday that it agreed to sell its 50% stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz project in Argentina to China's Ganfeng Lithium for $87.5-million. The deal also stipulates that Ganfeng will pay SQM an additional $50-million if the project's... 

Peru President expects lithium, uranium mining laws passed in 6 months

By: Reuters     12th August 2018 Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra told Reuters his government will likely pass laws within six months needed to tap a new lithium and uranium deposit, removing a major hurdle for Canadian miner Plateau Energy Metals' proposed $800-million mine. Plateau said last month it had found 2.5-million... 

Copper shorts exposed to supply shock as giant mine faces strike

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2018 Copper bears could get caught wrong-footed as a strike looms at the world’s biggest mine. In the US, hedge funds’ bearish bets outnumber bullish wagers by the most since 2016, latest government data show. The top brokers on the Shanghai Futures Exchange boosted their net-short position by more... 

Most unions at Chile's El Teniente copper mine accept contract

By: Reuters     10th August 2018 Four of the five labor unions representing workers at the El Teniente copper mine in Chile have accepted the latest contract offer from state mining company Codelco, union leaders told Reuters. "The contract was approved by an ample margin after the company improved its offer," said Guillermo... 

Australian miners steam ahead with lithium exploration

By: Reuters     10th August 2018 Australian miners are ramping up exploration for lithium even as prices dip, betting on renewed strength in the raw material used for rechargeable batteries. Australian miners' enthusiasm for lithium projects appears undimmed by sliding prices as they expand their exploration and development... 

Barrick says China partner for copper 'makes all kinds of sense'

By: Bloomberg     10th August 2018 Barrick Gold executive chairman John Thornton says the Canadian miner is looking at its copper assets “very seriously” to see if it makes sense to form a copper company with one or two partners, most likely from China. “The question for us on copper is, ‘Can you take the copper assets, combine... 

Union at Caserones mine in Chile says no deal in labour talks, strike imminent

By: Reuters     9th August 2018 The main union at Chile's Caserones copper mine said on Wednesday that a last round of labor negotiations with mine operator Lumina Copper had broken down and that a strike was imminent. The 300-member worker's union said Lumina, which is controlled by a partnership of JX Holding and Mitsui... 

SQM says to overtake Albemarle as world's top lithium producer by 2022

By: Reuters     9th August 2018 Chilean miner SQM said on Wednesday it would overtake competitor Albemarle as the world's top producer of lithium by 2022, boosting its production capacity that year to 28% of the world's total versus the US-based Albemarle's 16%. SQM Vice President Daniel Jimenez said in a presentation at a... 

Teck gets approval to expand Quebrada Blanca mine in Chile

By: Reuters     9th August 2018 Teck Resources said on Wednesday it had received regulatory approval for its $4.8-billion Phase 2 project at its Quebrada Blanca copper mine in northern Chile, a sprawling expansion that will boost production from the deposit to 300 000 t/y of copper. The environmental approvals will allow the... 

Humiliated for years, women are fighting back in mines of Chile

By: Bloomberg     8th August 2018 he first time Karen Requena entered the cafeteria at BHP Billiton’s massive Escondida mining operation in northern Chile, she couldn’t help feeling countless eyes fixed on her body as she walked across the vast hall. “It can’t get worse than that,” she thought. Then as Requena looked for a place... 

Chile lithium exports more than double in July from previous year

By: Reuters     7th August 2018 Chile's exports of lithium carbonate reached $85-million in July, more than double that of the same month the previous year, as demand and prices for the key component in electric vehicle batteries continues to rise, the central bank said on Tuesday. The value of exports of the metal from Chile,... 

BHP asks for government mediation in talks at Chile's Escondida

By: Reuters     7th August 2018 Miner BHP said on Monday that it had formally requested a period of government mediation with the union at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, prompting the union to postpone the start of a strike approved by workers. The two parties will meet, together with a government... 

Union at Chile's Escondida sets deadline for negotiations ahead of strike

By: Reuters     6th August 2018 The union at BHP 's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, has told the company it should prove its willingness to negotiate by Monday morning if seeks to strike a deal with workers ahead of a pending strike, according to an internal union communication obtained by Reuters.... 

Copper supply woes on show with No. 2 mine output to halve

By: Bloomberg     6th August 2018 A battle over the world’s second-largest copper mine has dogged Freeport-McMoRan shareholders for more than a year. Now it may be the turn of the copper market. Production at Grasberg in Indonesia will fall by more than half next year as its giant pits transition to underground operations,... 

Kinross pauses Phase 2 expansion of Mauritania mine

By: Mariaan Webb     2nd August 2018 Canadian gold miner Kinross has pressed the pause button on the Phase 2 expansion of its Tasiast mine, after the government of Mauritania earlier rejected a key permit and requested discussions about the miner’s activities in the country. CEO Paul Rollinson said on Wednesday that Kinross was... 

Chilean workers vote to strike at world's biggest copper mine

By: Reuters     2nd August 2018 Workers at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, have voted to reject a company wage offer and go on strike, according to a communique sent to Reuters on Thursday. A total of 2 330 members voted on strike action, with 1 955 supporting it and 370 accepting the... 

Chile says lithium miner Albemarle slow to respond on contract details

By: Reuters     31st July 2018 Chile's government said on Monday that lithium miner Albemarle had been slow to respond to the government's requests for information about a contract the US-based miner signed with the South American country in 2016. The contract allows Albemarle to produce lithium on land owned by the Chilean... 

Union official at Chile's Escondida mine predicts 'overwhelming' vote against BHP offer

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 The union at BHP's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's largest copper mine, is expected to overwhelmingly reject the final contract offer from the Anglo-Australian miner, increasing the likelihood of a strike, a union leader told Reuters on Monday. Union members have until Wednesday to finish... 

Workers at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile walk off job

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Workers at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile, the state miner's second largest by output, walked off the job on Monday morning in protest at the "unjustified layoff" of two workers, union leaders told Reuters. Chuquicamata Union No. 1, 2, and 3, as well as Antofagasta Union No. 1... 

Escondida mine workers reject labour offer, to vote on strike

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Workers at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, have rejected the company's final contract offer and agreed to vote on whether to go on strike, according to an internal union document seen by Reuters on Friday. After several meetings in recent days, the workers at the mine owned... 

Part-owner of Chile lithium producer SQM sells $275m bond

By: Reuters     29th July 2018 Chile's Pampa Calichera, one of the companies through which businessman Julio Ponce holds his ownership stake in lithium producer SQM, said it sold bonds in the local market on Friday for the equivalent of $275-million. The bond had an annual interest rate of 4.5% and a duration of 15 years,... 

Equinox shareholders approve Solaris Copper spinout

By: Anine Kilian     27th July 2018 Equinox Gold shareholders have voted in favour of a plan of arrangement for Equinox to transfer all of its copper assets into a newly incorporated company called Solaris Copper. The company will now seek approval for the plan of arrangement from the Supreme Court of British Columbia. 

Outgoing Albemarle executive to join Chilean cobalt miner

By: Reuters     25th July 2018 Privately held clean energy investor Glenlith said on Wednesday that it hired outgoing Albemarle Corp executive John Mitchell to run its Chilean cobalt subsidiary. Mitchell, who has run Albemarle's lithium business since 2015, will join Glenlith's Chilean Cobalt Corp subsidiary next month,... 

Lundin hikes FY guidance targets; names new CEO as Conibear retires

By: Mariaan Webb     25th July 2018 A stellar performance from the Neves-Corvo mine, in Portugal, during the most recent quarter has prompted TSX-listed Lundin Mining to paint a more rosy production outlook for the full year, with the miner's copper and zinc guidance having been improved. The Neves-Corvo mine, where Lundin is... 

Freeport remains positive about copper despite trade tensions

By: Mariaan Webb     25th July 2018 US-based Freeport-McMoRan remains positive on the outlook for copper, despite the recent decline in prices associated with international trade developments, CEO Richard Adkerson affirmed on Wednesday. Copper has been caught up on the trade war rhetoric between the US and China, while at the same... 

Chile’s Finance Minister downplays copper’s decline, sees prices rebounding

By: Bloomberg     25th July 2018 Chile’s Finance Minister Felipe Larrain downplayed the recent slump in copper prices, forecasting that they would rebound, underpinning growth in the world’s largest producer of the red metal. "The fall in the price of copper is concerning but we are looking at a forecast in the long-term,"... 

Canada’s Nutrien sells equity position in Arab Potash

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd July 2018 Canada’s Nutrien, created through the merger of Agrium and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, on Monday announced the sale of its 28% interest in Arab Potash (APC) to China’s SDIC Mining and Investment for $502-million. The sale followed last month’s auctioning of its remaining stake in Chile... 

Commodity contagion spreads as raw material crash threatens calm

By: Bloomberg     19th July 2018 Don’t be fooled by the relative calm across financial markets: The inputs in the global supply chain are flashing warning signs. Commodities have tumbled into correction territory Thursday, sliding again in the face of the resurgent dollar and lingering global trade tensions. Among the recent... 

Anglo reports production growth across all commodities in Q2

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th July 2018 Global diversified miner Anglo American reported a 6% year-on-year increase in total production on a copper equivalent basis for the second quarter. Anglo CE Mark Cutifani remarked in a statement on Thursday that higher copper and metallurgical coal production reflected the company’s consistent... 

Chile's SQM seeks approval for $450m lithium plant expansion

By: Reuters     18th July 2018 Chilean miner SQM on Wednesday began the process of seeking government approval for a $450-million expansion of its lithium carbonate plant, which could more than double its production as demand rises for the key element in the manufacturing of batteries. SQM said in an environmental impact... 

BHP beats production expectations; warns of $650m Samarco charge

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     18th July 2018 Diversified giant BHP on Wednesday announced that the company had met or exceeded the production expectations for its commodities during the 2018 financial year, but warned of a $650-million financial impact related to the Samarco dam failure, in Brazil. “We have delivered a strong finish to the... 

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