Latin America Top Stories

Chile’s Codelco produced 875,000 tonnes copper in first half of 2018 – CEO

The company expects to produce approximately 1.7 mln tonnes of…

Canada’s Orosur to shut Uruguay’s San Gregorio West gold mine

The mine and processing complex, in operation since 1997, will…

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Codelco starts new legal actions against Anglo amid accusations of generating an “artificial dispute”

The legal battle between Codelco and Anglo American is escalating. Yesterday, Chile’s state-owned copper company lodged a so-called pre-judicial preparatory measure in the 17th Civil Court of Santiago, seeking details of Mitsubishi’s purchase of a 24.5 percent stake announced on Nov. 9. The measure aims to ultimately annul the $5.39 billion deal between Anglo and Mitsubishi. While this was happening, London-based miner filed a legal action to annul Codelco’s “protection petition” presented Nov.14, which prevents Anglo from keep selling part of its assets.

Newmont suspends construction at the Conga project in agreement with the Government of Peru

Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) ("Newmont" or the "Company") announced today that, in agreement with the government of Peru, it has suspended construction activities at the Conga project (or the "Project") in Peru for the safety of employees and community members. During the past month, the Conga project and the near-by Yanacocha operations have experienced intermittent work stoppages as a result of ongoing protests in the region. Beginning in October 2011, anti-mining activists expressed concerns about perceived impacts of the Project on the local water supply. The Conga Environmental Impact Assessment was approved in 2010 after extensive review by the Peruvian government which included significant engagement and consultation with local communities.

Collahuasi strike begins to bite into output

Output of copper cathodes and copper concentrates are beginning to be affected by a work stoppage that began Monday at the giant Collahuasi copper mine in Chile. Reuters reports that the mine, jointly owned by Xstrata and Anglo American, has implemented a contingency plan to deal with the labour action, which about 10% of workers are participating in: Some workers in Collahuasi, which produces about 3 percent of the world's copper, downed tools on Monday over fears of coming layoffs. The company later on Monday announced it had laid off a "limited" number of workers in response to a partial one-day strike in October, a move that could stoke tensions between management and the union.

Chilean miners down tools at Collahuasi

For the third time this year, workers at the Collahuasi mine in Chile are on strike. The union representing the world's third largest copper mine is accusing management of reneging on agreements that ended a work stoppage in October, AFP reports. Production was paralyzed on July 30 and October 29 when workers downed tools. Collahuasi is owned by Switzerland’s Xstrata and Britain-based Anglo American. Reuters reports Collahuasi produced 504,000 tonnes of copper in 2010, when output was hit by a month-long strike. The mine expects to produce 500,000 tonnes of copper this year. It supplies roughly 3% of the world’s copper.

Sniffing economic winds, Vale cuts capex

Brazilian mining conglomerate Vale, the world's leading iron producer, reduced its spending budget by 11 percent for 2012 in the face of an uncertain outlook for the global economy and commodities prices. In a statement released today, the Rio de Janeiro-based company plans to invest $21.4 billion on mining projects next year after failing to meet spending targets in 2011.

Demonstrators block city exits on day four of Peru gold mine protests

Latin American blogs reported on Sunday exit roads from the regional capital remained blocked and anger was mounting over Newmont Mining's proposed $4.8 billion Conga gold mine in northern Peru as protests entered its fourth day. Schools and business had closed and police used teargas against marchers since protests began Thursday. Residents led by the Maoist president of the Cajamarca region say Conga will destroy the environment by transforming four high Andean lakes into reservoirs for mining operations and on Saturday formed the 'Front for the Defence of the Interests of Cajamarca'. Conga would be the biggest investment ever in Peru mining and is a crucial test for newly installed president Ollanta Humala who has on many occasions publicly backed the project.

Chavez calls in troops to move first of 15,000 gold bars to Caracas central bank

Latin American Herald Tribune reports Venezuela's first shipment of 160 – 180 tonnes of gold held abroad was received at Maiquetia International Airport outside Caracas on Friday night. In operation that also involved tanks and aircraft, the first of some 15,000 standard 400-ounce bars wrapped in black plastic inside a caravan of armoured vehicles escorted by 500 soldiers then made its way to the bank’s headquarters downtown. President Hugo Chavez announced in August that the South American country plans to repatriate its gold reserves held by banks in England, the US, Canada and France. The Central Bank of Venezuela already holds 154 tons of bullion domestically.

Anti-Newmont protest shuts down regional capital

Reuters reports schools and businesses were closed and Peruvian police fired tear gas on Friday to break up a protest at Newmont Mining and Buenaventura's proposed $4.8 billion Conga gold mine as the government tried to mediate a bitter environmental dispute over the project. Residents in the northern city of Cajamarca which has more than 200,000 residents (pictured), led by the president of the region,  say a new mine – adjacent to South America’s largest gold mine Yanacocha – will harm agriculture and livestock by relocating water supplies.  Conga would be the biggest investment ever in Peru mining.

Chevron suspended in Brazil over oil spill

Brazil has temporarily banned Chevron from drilling in the country after it caused an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, raising doubts about the company’s role in one of the industry’s biggest investment programmes. Late on Wednesday, Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) accused the U.S. company of negligence late on Wednesday, announcing it would suspend all of Chevron’s drilling until it clarified the reasons for a spill that released almost 3,000 barrels of oil into the sea earlier this month. Analysts believe that the Brazilian government is keen to make an example of Chevron as a warning to other foreign companies looking to take a share of Brazil’s pre-salt reserves, which are estimated to contain as much as 50bn barrels of oil.