Copper Mining News

Casablanca Mining narrows loss, increases assets

California-based Casablanca Mining reported first quarter results that consolidated the gains made by the exploration and intellectual property rights company in 2010. Total assets increased to $3.8m and net loss declined to $0.01/share. Construction of Sulfatos Chile Copper Sulfate plant using the company’s patented electrolysis extraction process was continued. Casablanca also said it is in negotiation to acquire further gold mining properties in Chile and has some 43-101 technical reports in progress.

Noront inks $17.4m deal with Baosteel in Ontario Ring of Fire

Noront Resources has completed a brokered placement worth $17.4 million, the Toronto-listed junior explorer announced yesterday. The deal will give Baosteel the right to increase its stake in Noront to 19.9%. It will also give Baosteel, a large steel producer owned by the Chinese government, a seat on Noront's board of directors. Proceeds from the placement will be used for feasibility studies on Noront's Eagle's Nest nickle-copper-palladium property and the Blackbird chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire poly-metallic mining district in northern Ontario, Canada.

Barrick receives investment Canada clearance for Equinox acquisition

Barrick Gold announced today that it has received confirmation that the Investment Canada Act does not apply to Barrick's proposed acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Equinox Minerals Limited. This confirmation has been obtained in connection with the previously-announced offer by Barrick's wholly-owned subsidiary, Barrick Canada Inc., to acquire, subject to the terms and conditions of the Offer, all of the Equinox Shares at a price of C$8.15 per Equinox Share.

Petmin to pay C$4.64m for 10% of Red Crescent Resources

Red Crescent Resources (RCB.TO: Quote) said on Monday that South African miner Petmin (PEMJ.J: Quote) has agreed to acquire a 10.1 percent stake in the Canadian exploration company for C$4.64 million ($4.78 million). Separately, Red Crescent said it had signed a new definitive agreement with privately held Gensay to acquire a 75 percent interest in the Sivas copper project in central Turkey.

HudBay Minerals increases first quarter profit by 59%

HudBay Minerals Inc. has released its first quarter 2011 financial results. Net profit attributable to shareholders increased to $16.8 million or $0.11 per share in the first quarter of 2011, compared to $10.6 million, or $0.07 per share, during the first quarter of 2010. Earnings in the first quarter of 2011 included a charge of $5.8 million, or $0.04 per share, for transaction costs associated with the successful acquisition of Norsemont Mining Inc. in March 2011. Earnings grew during the quarter mainly due to higher metal prices and reduced exploration expense, partly offset by lower sales volumes, a stronger Canadian dollar and Norsemont transaction costs.

Fearful of slumping copper, Taseko hedges

Taseko Mines Ltd. (TGB) has bought put options to hedge its 2011 copper production, signalling that miners, too, are worried about commodity prices. Taseko chief executive officer Russell Hallbauer noted that while copper prices have […]

What’s driving the divergence of commodity prices

As the chart below demonstrates commodity prices are driven by different factors. The precious metals prices have been the hyperbolic driver of headline commodities news relative to the broader based commodities index and oil. The latter two are more geared to industrial use as gold’s commercial use is limited. The chart highlights the divergence in the components of the commodities index. iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG) tracks 24 different commodities including energy (67%), industrial metals (16%), livestock (7%) and precious metals (3%).

John Kaiser: alternative energy fuels mining boom

Advances in energy and agriculture are creating demand for previously ignored metals such as scandium, tellurium and indium. In this exclusive interview with The Energy Report, Mining Analyst John Kaiser, editor of Kaiser Research Online, explains the science that could exponentially increase the value of overlooked stocks.

Without QE3, commodities may suffer

While China continues to make asset driven economic decisions and now looks like a traction control experiment where the economy is like a car that is driving on ice that doesn't yet know it, QE2 ignited the bunsen burner for commodity price speculation. Last I checked, Ben Bernanke has decided to continue on with QE2 but has decided that QE3 is probably a bad idea because the true positive impact of additional money coming into the economy would be more than offset by inflation. In my opinion he's making the right call, but this call is likely going to put downward pressure on commodities and other assets.

Chart of the day: commodity flows

QE, of course, only happens when interest rates hit the zero bound, so it’s impossible to disentangle the effects of QE from the effects of G3 interest rates all coming down to 1% or lower. But the effect of all these investment flows is clear: if you look at commodities as an asset class, total commodity assets under management have risen from just over $150 billion at the end of 2008 to over $400 billion today.

Entree Gold loses $5.3 million in Q1

Entree Gold said a $5.3 million net loss in the first quarter of 2011 was due to increased exploration activities at its Yerington copper porphyry projects in Nevada. "We are advancing our Yerington projects to development through systematic drilling and upgrading of known deposits and by exploration of additional targets. We have been building our team and operations in Yerington and are strongly encouraged by the initial drilling results we have received. In addition, substantial exploration and development work is underway on our properties in Mongolia," Entree Gold president and CEO Greg Crowe said on Friday.

Quadra FNX and Sumitomo form US$724 million joint venture to develop Sierra Gorda copper-molybdenum project in Chile

Quadra FNX Mining announced on Sunday a US$724 million joint venture with Sumitomo Corporation to develop the Sierra Gorda copper-molybdenum project in Chile. The total cost of the mine is estimated at 2.8 billion and production is scheduled to start in 2014. Sumitomo has a 45% stake in the joint venture; Quadra FNX has 55%. Sierra Gorda is a copper exploration project located in the Atacama Desert, Region II of Chile. According to Quadra FNX's recently completed feasibility study, the production from current sulphide reserves will average 483 M lbs of copper, 25 million lbs of molybdenum, and 64 kozs of gold per annum over a 20-year mine life.

Metals Economics Group Strategic Report: Base metals and gold 2010 acquisitions spending totals $50.7 billion

The 2010 dollar volume of large ($25 million minimum) acquisitions totaled $50.7 billion—the third-highest annual total in 10 years—a whopping increase of 260% over 2009’s $14 billion, and 23% over 2008’s $41 billion. According to Metals Economics Group’s (MEG) recent Strategic Report, the 2010 total signifies a general return of confidence to the industry after a period of significant strategic retrenchment and caution due to the worldwide recession and sharply lower metals prices that began in late 2008 and lasted into early 2010.

Transforming magnetite circuits with the IsaMillTM

IsaMillsTM have been established for over 15 years in base metal grinding circuits, transforming the operations with their energy efficient grinding action. The technology is now being adopted by the iron ore industry, with the first IsaMillTM being planned for commissioning in early 2011 at Xstrata Copper's Ernest Henry Mine's magnetite project in Queensland. Read more

Ivanhoe Mines: Construction of Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver complex advancing toward planned start of commercial production in the first half of 2013.

Overall construction of the Oyu Tolgoi Project was 15.1% complete by the end of Q1'11, slightly ahead of the planned 14.8%. Total capital invested in the project by the end of Q1'11 was $1.8 billion. The Oyu Tolgoi Project initially is being developed as an open-pit operation, with the first phase of mining planned to start at the near-surface Southern Oyu deposits, which include Southwest Oyu and Central Oyu. A copper concentrator plant, related facilities and necessary infrastructure that will support an initial throughput of 100,000 tonnes of ore per day are being constructed to process ore scheduled to be mined from the Southern Oyu open pit. Commercial production of copper-gold-silver concentrate is projected to begin in the first half of 2013.

Net gold and silver long positions cut last week

Speculators in gold, silver and copper futures and options sharply cut their net long positions in the week ended May 10. Metal prices sold off during a commodities rout during the period, according to the latest report by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Aurelia launches $3 million IPO; funds targetted to Breakaway Dam Copper VMS project

The Directors of Aurelia Resources Limited (ASX:AJU) are pleased to confirm the opening of the company’s Offer Period for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to raise $3 million, and to undertake a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Listing on the ASX is expected before the end of June 2011. Fifteen million shares are being offered at 20 cents per share and the company may accept subscriptions for a further 5 million shares to raise an additional $1 million. Also, a loyalty option, priced at 1 cent will be offered to shareholders after three months on a 1 for 2 basis. The exercise price is 20 cents with an expiry date of 30 April 2014. Image by Aurelia Resources Limited

Northern Freegold announces $8 million private placement

Northern Freegold Resources announced that it intends to complete a non-brokered private placement of up to 22,857,142 units at a price of $0.35 per unit, for gross proceeds of up to $8 million. Each unit will consist of a common share and a share purchase warrant, each warrant being exercisable to acquire an additional share at $0.45 for 18 months following the closing. Net proceeds from the private placement will be applied towards advancement of the Company's Yukon mineral properties and for general working capital purposes.

Strong gold and PGM revenues see Franco-Nevada Q1 net income up 157%

Franco Nevada reported an adjusted net income of US$21.4 million or 18-cents per share for the first quarter, a 157% increase over the adjusted net income of US$8.3 million or 7-cents per share for the first-quarter 2010. Net income for the first quarter of 2011 was $21.2 million or 18-cents per share, which included a $5.6 million gain, $6.5 million in forex losses and $1.7 million in losses recorded from the equity accounting of Franco's investment in Gold Wheaton prior to the acquisition, which closed on March 14, 201

Copper miner KGHM almost triples Q1 profits

Europe's No.2 copper producer KGHM (KGHM.WA) nearly tripled its net profit in the first quarter, beating expectations thanks to a rally in metal prices. Poland's state-controlled miner said on Friday its bottom line reached 1.96 billion zlotys ($710 million), compared to 1.84 billion seen in a Reuters poll.

Coal and copper led BC miners to profitable 2010

Buoyant prices for coal and copper yielded a profitable year for miners in British Columbia, according to PwC’s annual report on the BC mining industry. PwC partners Michael Cinnamond and Erfan Kazemi presented findings from their report at a press conference on Tuesday, flanked by key representatives of the BC mining industry, including outgoing BC Mining Association president Pierre Gratton, Gavin Dirom, president of the Association of Mineral Explorers BC, and Patty Moore, chair of the Mining Suppliers Association of BC.

Silver fails resistance; all eyes on copper's support

As I mentioned in my previous post on silver, I think the price adjustment in silver will be on-going as several relationships revert to their means (gold and silver miners in particular). However, in the meantime, […]

Ausenco wins C$237 million Gibraltar copper project in Canada

Ausenco has been awarded a Create phase contract to manage the C$237 million expansion of the Gilbraltar copper-molybdenum project in Canada for Taseko Mine. Ausenco’s Minerals & Metals business will manage on an EPCM basis the Gibraltar Development Plan 3 (GDP3) expansion, which will include the construction of a 30,000 t/d concentrator to complement the existing, currently operating, 55,000 t/d facility.

Big Russian base metals company looking at Toronto IPO

Intergeo, the Russian copper and nickel company owned by billionaires Mikhail Prokhorov and Maxim Finskiy, hopes to raise from C$100 million ($104.2 million) to C$500 million in a initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange by the end of the year. Finskiy, the company's chairman and 20 percent stakeholder, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday the company would float about 10 percent of its shares in the offering.

Caspiche: A mega mine in the making in Chile

The quest to commercialize one of Latin America’s last undeveloped major gold deposits is one major step closer to a prospectively big pay day for its unlikely owner - a small gold explorer named Exeter Resources. A Canadian-headquartered company, Exeter recently completed a major milestone development. It announced a positive metallurgical study for the sprawling Caspiche gold-copper deposit in northern Chile’s gold-rich Maricunga mineral belt.