Cobalt Top Stories

Madagascar to raise minerals taxes, take 20% stake in mining projects

Mining royalties would rise to 8% from 2% for raw…

IMF says $10 billion Congo budget unrealistic as mining slows

The IMF projects that Congo’s actual revenue this year will…

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Katanga gets $635 million to build world’s largest cobalt mine

Katanga Mining announced on Friday it has secured $635.5 million in new loan facilities from parent Glencore International to fund the expansion of its Democratic Republic of Congo copper-cobalt mine. The Toronto-listed firm wants to bump copper production to 270,000 tonnes per annum and thereafter bump it up to 310,000 tonnes from cash flow. The company is already ramping up copper production with financials results also out on Friday showing year to date copper in ore mined was 157,658 tonnes, a 96% increase over 2010. Cobalt produced fell 30% to 593 tonnes, but that was in line with expectations. Katanga says with the expansion the DRC complex it could become Africa's largest producer of copper and the world's number one cobalt mine.

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Formation Metals loses financing but continuing to develop Idaho cobalt project

Stock in Formation Metals (TSE:FCO) plunged 13% today after a European bank decided to terminate its loan agreement with the Vancouver-based company. The $79.5 million loan from BNP Paribas was to go towards construction of Formation's Idaho cobalt mine. Formation said the credit facility was terminated without the closing of the subject financing.

Tenke Fungurume gets green light for $850 million expansion

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. has approved a US$850 million expansion to the Tenke Fungurume mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lundin Mining, a partner at the mine with FCX, made the announcement in a press release on Tuesday night. The phase two expansion, targeted for completion in 2013, will increase copper production by 50% to about 195,000 tonnes of copper cathode and 15,000 tonnes of cobalt in hydroxide. Funding will be split 70:30 between the mines two partners, FCX and Lundin Mining. The companies expect that capital costs will be funded by surplus cash from Tenke Fungurume operations.

Platinum brain device is top 10 medical breakthrough for 2012

A new minimally-invasive procedure that can safely and effectively treat brain aneurysms without open surgery by implanting an FDA-approved device consisting of a flexible braided mesh tube made of platinum and nickel-cobalt chromium alloy directly into the artery has been chosen by research facility Cleveland Clinic as one of the top 10 medical innovations for 2012. The 90-year old multispecialty academic medical center which has pioneered among others coronary artery bypass surgery and performed the US's first face transplant also included a new Concussion Management System for Athletes, Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Reduce Disease Threat and Wearable Robotic Devices in the top 10.

Investors applaud Sherritt’s pace building world’s biggest nickel mine, stock jumps 10%

Canada's number one coal producer and world-leading nickel miner, Sherritt jumped 10.2% on Wednesday after reporting a doubling of quarterly net earnings and good progress at its massive Ambatovy project in Madagascar. Sherritt will start production at Ambatovy in the first quarter of next year. The company has already spent more than 90% of the planned $5.5 billion to build what will be the world's biggest nickel mine with the capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of nickel and 5,600 of cobalt a year. Sherritt and its Asian partners have made the largest investment in the island's history and will make nickel the country's number one export for the next 27 years.

Zambia lifts metal export ban

Reuters reports Zambia has lifted a ban on metal exports just two days after imposing it to sort out revenue collection and increase transparency in Africa's top copper producer, a minerals ministry official said on Thursday. It's good news for the Zambian mining sector – a lengthy suspension could have further pressured mines already dealing with volatile metal prices in recent weeks. Newly elected President Michael Sata has been concerned – analysts say with good reason – about copper exporters misreporting the amount of ore leaving Zambia, and earlier this week suspended export permits, to put new guidelines in place. Cobalt, gold and nickel also fell under the ban and now all export payments need to be routed via the central bank.