Base & Precious Metals News

Jun 01 - LME launches two consultations on reforms in wake of nickel crisis
The London Metal Exchange (LME) launched two consultations on Wednesday on possible reforms in the wake of last year's crisis in nickel trading, saying it was following up on an action plan set out in March. The move is part of sweeping reforms to boost investors' confidence in the wake of last's year's crisis, when the exchange suspended trading and annulled billions of dollars of deals.

Jun 01 - Zinc inventories in LME warehouses have nearly doubled since last week
Zinc inventories in London Metal Exchange-registered warehouses have nearly doubled since last week to a one-year peak after a shipment arrived in Malaysia, data published by the exchange showed on Wednesday. Steady arrivals of metal into storage facilities indicate there are surpluses of the metal used to galvanise steel due rising supply and weak demand from the construction sector.

May 31 - Glencore plans $1.5 bln investment to expand Peru copper mine
Mining giant Glencore Plc plans to invest $1.5 billion on an expansion project at its Antapaccay mine in Peru, up from $590 million announced previously, a company executive said, in a bid to unlock the stalled plan key to maintaining copper output.Carlos Cotera, general manager of Antapaccay Mining Co, told Reuters the Glencore unit was pushing forward the "Coroccohuayco" project, which aims to extend the mine's lifespan by decades.

May 31 - Chile's Cochilco sees lithium shortage, price increases from 2031
The Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) forecast on Tuesday a "strong" lithium shortage and significant price hikes from 2031, as demand surges for the metal used to make batteries for electric vehicles. A presentation by the state-run entity showed annual global demand at 3.8 million tonnes by 2035, far exceeding estimated worldwide production of 2.46 million tonnes.

May 30 - Indonesia puts nickel export levy on hold to devise a price index first
Indonesia, the world's top nickel producer, has put on hold plans to tax nickel product exports while it works on creating a price index to ease volatility tied to the London Metal Exchange (LME) benchmark, a senior government official said on Tuesday. The government plans to launch a nickel price index by the end of 2023 and needs it to be in place before going ahead with an export levy, Septian Hario Seto, a senior official with the investment coordinating ministry, told the SMM Indonesia Nickel-Cobalt conference in Jakarta.

May 30 - China's net gold imports via Hong Kong climb 5% in April
China's April net gold imports via Hong Kong rose to the highest in two months, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data showed on Monday. Net imports into the world's top gold consumer rose to 49.906 tonnes in April, the highest since February and compares with 47.527 tonnes in March, the data showed.

May 29 - China steel prices hit three-year low on demand woes
Steel rebar prices in China hit their lowest in three years this week, underscoring flagging growth in the world's second-largest economy, particularly in its weak property sector. The spot price of HRB400 20mm steel rebar - used to reinforce concrete for buildings and infrastructure - fell to 3,510 yuan per tonne in Shanghai on Thursday, data from consultancy Mysteel showed.

May 29 - Glencore's shareholder opposition to climate report grows

Just over 30% of Glencore's investors rejected the company's climate progress report at its annual meeting on Friday, demanding more clarity on how the global miner will meet its commitments to cut emissions. Around 29% of shareholders also backed a shareholder resolution seeking more disclosure on progress in scaling back thermal coal production.

May 26 - China's state iron ore buyer gets down to business, yet to flex pricing power
China's new state iron ore buyer is asserting itself in negotiating deals for the world's biggest steel industry but has yet to help manufacturers struggling with weak demand to get lower prices, mills and miners said. Around 30 Chinese steel mills have signed 2023 iron ore procurement contracts through China Mineral Resources Group (CMRG), which was set up last year to buy iron ore on behalf of the industry as well as oversee Chinese interests in mines abroad and at home.

May 26 - Zinc inventories in LME warehouses jump 40%
Zinc inventories in London Metal Exchange (LME) registered warehouses jumped 40% to 63,450 tonnes, data published by the exchange showed on Thursday. LME stocks data is published with a two-day lag.

May 25 - From Russia with gold: UAE cashes in as sanctions bite
The United Arab Emirates has become a key trade hub for Russian gold since Western sanctions over Ukraine cut Russia's more traditional export routes, Russian customs records show. The records, which contain details of nearly a thousand gold shipments in the year since the Ukraine war started, show the Gulf state imported 75.7 tonnes of Russian gold worth $4.3 billion - up from just 1.3 tonnes during 2021.

May 25 - Congo to hike stake in copper, cobalt venture with China
The Democratic Republic of Congo aims to boost its stake in a cobalt and copper joint venture with Chinese firms to 70% from 32%, on concerns the deal gives away too much of Congo's resources with little benefit to the country. The plan to boost Congo's stake and have greater control in managing the Sicomines venture - currently dominated by the Chinese firms - was detailed in a document seen by Reuters, that outlined Congo's demands ahead of talks to overhaul a $6 billion infrastructure-for-minerals agreement.

May 24 - World refined copper market in 332,000 tonne surplus in first quarter – ICSG
The global refined copper market saw a 332,000 tonne surplus in the first quarter, compared with an 8,000 tonne surplus in the corresponding period last year, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in its latest monthly bulletin on Tuesday. World refined copper output rose 7.5% in the quarter to 6.69 million tonnes while usage was estimated 2.3% higher at 6.35 million tonnes, the ICSG said.

May 24 - VLME aluminium stocks climb by over 20,000 T in South Korea
London Metal Exchange (LME) inventories of aluminium jumped by over 20,000 tonnes in Gwangyang, South Korea, a location that has seen large gains in recent months, data showed on Tuesday. The LME said its daily inventory report failed to show a delivery of 16,125 tonnes of aluminium T-bars into warehouses in Gwangyang, due to an error, but the totals were correct.

May 23 - Global steel demand to grow 1.7% in 2024 - association
Global steel demand is expected to grow by 1.7% in 2024 following a 2.3% rebound forecast for this year based on a recovery in manufacturing activity, an executive from the World Steel Association (WSA) said. In the long run, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to see a doubling in steel demand by 2035 from 80 million tonnes currently, Frank Zhong, the association's deputy director general told an industry conference.

May 23 - LME extends registration timeline for mandatory digital certificates
The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Monday said it has extended the deadline for the compulsory digital registration of quality assurance documents designed to ensure transparency for all parties handling, or trading in the physical markets. The Certificates of Analysis (COA) describe the size, shape, purity and characteristics of a parcel of metal and are a requirement for the majority of physically settled contracts at the exchange.

May 22 - Australia gets U.S. backing for critical minerals industry
Australia has won the support of the United States for development of its critical minerals industry after the two countries reached an agreement to coordinate polices and investment to support the industry's growth. Australia supplies around half of the world's lithium as well as other minerals like rare earths used in batteries for electric cars and defence amid a global push to diversify supply chains away from dominant producer China.

May 22 - Lithium slump puts China's spot price under the spotlight:
Andy Home
A super-charged two-year rally, which saw Chinese spot lithium carbonate prices rise by tenfold, went into brutal reverse over the first part of this year. The spot price slumped by 70% between November and its low point in April.

May 19 - Nickel prices seen falling as global surplus looms
Global nickel prices are poised to decline over the next few years as top producer Indonesia ramps up supplies and production costs fall, industry watchers predicted at metals conferences this week. Indonesia, which made up 38% of global supply in 2021, is set to quadruple its nickel capacity to 1.2 million tonnes between 2021 and 2025, said Chen Yan, head of basic materials and engineering research at CICC.

May 19 - Zinc price could hit $2,000/T by 2025 on ballooning surplus
Refined zinc prices are expected to be on a downward trend until 2025, as weak demand growth failed to match with a surge in production, analysts said. "Demand for zinc will be relatively weak in coming years while zinc mining and refined output are still growing. This will create pressure on zinc prices," said Dina Yu, an analyst at consultancy CRU Group.

May 18 - Copper concentrate market to face steep deficit from 2025
The global copper concentrate market will see a steep deficit during 2025-2027 as Asian smelters ramped up capacity amid a lack of matching mining projects in the pipeline, analysts said. CRU saw the global surplus in copper concentrate this year to be 240,000 tonnes and extend to 243,000 tonnes in 2024 before flipping into a steep deficit during 2025-2027, with the shortfall in 2026 hitting 595,000 tonnes.

May 18 - Chile greenlights mining tax reform that boosts government take

Lawmakers in Chile's lower house of Congress gave final approval on Wednesday for a long-awaited mining tax reform that now requires only the signature of leftist President Gabriel Boric, who has publicly backed it, to become law. The reform will require large copper and lithium producers that operate in the mineral-rich Latin American nation to pay more taxes and royalties to the government.

May 17 - Aluminium demand seen weak, risk of lower prices
Demand for aluminium has slumped in Europe and top consumer China in recent weeks amid a slowing global economy, raising the risk of further downside in prices, a conference heard on Tuesday. Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange has slid 16% since touching a $2,679.5 peak in January and was flat at $2,260 on Tuesday.

May 17 - Lead's balancing act still depends on China's exports: Andy Home
The global refined lead market will be roughly balanced between supply and demand this year, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG). Production fell short of usage by a substantial 141,000 tonnes last year but the deficit will shrink to just 20,000 tonnes this year, according to the Group's April update.

May 16 - China April crude steel output dips as mills seek to stem losses
China's crude steel output in April fell 3.2% from a month earlier and was down 1.5% from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said, as steel mills cut their production amid a slump in margins. The world's largest steel producer manufactured 92.64 million tonnes of the metal last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

May 16 - Platinum facing biggest deficit in years as carmakers snap up metal
Rising demand from automakers, industry and investors will push the global platinum market into its biggest deficit in years, three industry reports predicted on Monday. The reports underline an emerging change in fortunes for platinum and its sister metal palladium, both used chiefly in vehicle exhausts to neutralise harmful engine emissions.

May 15 - Australian gold miner Newcrest backs Newmont's $17.8 billion offer
Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining Ltd said on Monday it would back Newmont Corp's $17.8 billion takeover offer in one of the world's largest buyouts so far this year. The deal, subject to approval from shareholders of both companies and other regulatory hurdles, would lift Newmont's gold output to nearly double its nearest rival, Barrick Gold Corp, and catapult the miner past Freeport McMoRan to become the largest U.S. gold and copper producer by market capitalisation.

May 15 - LME to tighten rules for nickel handling by warehouses
- Bloomberg News
The London Metal Exchange (LME) will require warehouse companies to carry out additional checks on stocks of warranted nickel following irregularities earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported on Friday. The tests include using magnets and metal detectors, as well as a "touch inspection" which involves warehouse workers feeling the outside of bags to verify that the material inside is of an appropriate size and shape, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.

May 12 - Newcrest extends exclusivity period for Newmont’s $20 bln buyout offer
Newcrest Mining Ltd said on Friday it has extended the exclusivity period by a week for Newmont Corp to complete its due diligence on its A$29.4 billion final takeover offer for the Australian gold miner. The exclusivity period for Newmont's best-and-final offer of A$32.87 per share, which was set to expire on Thursday, has now been extended until May 18.

May 12 - Albemarle aims to expand Chile lithium mine in 2028 with new technology

Albemarle Corp hopes to expand its lithium operations in Chile's Atacama salt flat as early as 2028 with direct lithium extraction technology under its current government contract, Ignacio Mehech, the company's Chile manager, told Reuters. "Depending on environmental and other permits needed in Chile, as well as scaling technologies, we believe should be implemented, if everything goes well, towards 2028 or 2029," Mehech said during an interview at the company's Atacama lithium mining operations.

May 11 - Copper's anticipated supply surplus is proving elusive: Andy Home
The global copper market is facing another year of supply deficit, according to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG). The Group's April forecast is for a supply shortfall of 114,000 tonnes this year after a 431,000-tonne deficit in 2022.

May 11 - Chile's senate approves mining royalty bill, passes to final vote
Chile's senate approved on Wednesday a long-awaited new mining royalty bill, passing it back to the lower chamber for a final vote that could come as early as next week. Chile is the world's top copper producer and the bill aims to raise taxes on large copper producers.

May 10 - Trump abuse ( Bloomberg )
- Former President Donald Trump has been found liable for sexual abuse and forcible touching of author E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of attacking her in the dressing room of a Fifth Avenue department store in the 1990s and then harming her reputation by saying she’d fabricated the story when she went public with her account in 2019.
- Trump has been mandated to pay her $5 million in damages, $3 million of which for defamation. The trial brings fresh attention on Trump’s fraught history with women as he embarks on another run for the White House.

May 10 - Peru's March copper production up 20% as mines restart after protests
Peru's March copper production leapt 20.4% from a year earlier to reach 219,275 tonnes, the country's energy and mining ministry said on Tuesday, as large mines resume their operations following stoppages caused by several social protests. The world's no. 2 copper producing country saw its first quarter copper output rise 11.2% from the same period of 2022, the ministry said in a statement, landing at 615,514 tonnes.

May 10 - Chile Senate committee greenlights mining royalty bill
Chile's Senate finance committee voted to advance a new mining royalty bill on Tuesday, a day after the government said it reached a deal with lawmakers to lower the bill's top tax rate on major copper producers. The bill now moves on to the full Senate, where it could be voted on as soon as Wednesday.

May 09 - China April copper imports fall on sluggish economy, property woes
China's copper imports in April fell 12.5% from the prior year, customs data showed, curbed by weak demand and a jump in domestic production of the metal. Imports of unwrought copper and copper products totalled 407,294 tonnes in April, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

May 09 - Red metal rising: Argentina sets lofty sights on global copper top 10
Argentina, known better for its Malbec than its mining, has its sights set on becoming a top ten copper producer by 2030, with an investor friendly stance luring global players like Glencore and Lundin Mining to its mountainous north. The South American country has a pipeline of copper projects that could produce 793,000 tonnes a year by the end of the decade, government forecasts show, well below neighboring No. 1 producer Chile but near big players like Australia and Zambia.

May 08 - Global gold demand fell in the first quarter of 2023, WGC says
Global gold demand fell in the first three months of 2023 as large purchases by central banks and Chinese consumers were offset by reduced investor buying, the World Gold Council said on Friday. Total demand amounted to 1,081 tonnes, down 13% from the first quarter of 2022, the WGC said in its latest quarterly demand trends report.

May 08 - Global copper smelting slides to two-year low in April - satellite data
Global copper smelting activity slid in April to the lowest level in two years as Chinese operations shut for maintenance and plants in North America slowed down, data from satellite surveillance of metal processing plants showed on Friday. In Central Asia, smelters in Turkey and Kazakhstan were inactive at the end of the month, commodities broker Marex and the SAVANT satellite service said in a statement.

May 05 - Global gold demand fell in the first quarter of 2023, WGC says
Global gold demand fell in the first three months of 2023 as large purchases by central banks and Chinese consumers were offset by reduced investor buying, the World Gold Council said. Total demand amounted to 1,081 tonnes, down 13% from the first quarter of 2022, the WGC said in its latest quarterly demand trends report.

May 05 - Albemarle open to renegotiating Chile lithium contract early
Albemarle Corp is open to renegotiating its Chile lithium contract before 2043 and would seek access to even more of the country's vast reserves of the metal used to make electric vehicle batteries, CEO Kent Masters told Reuters on Thursday. The decision by Chilean President Gabriel Boric last month to gradually nationalize his country's lithium industry sparked concern that U.S. miner Albemarle and rival SQM could be kicked out of the country, even though officials have stressed they would not tear up existing contracts.

May 04 - Barrick not interested in bidding for Teck's copper assets
Barrick Gold Corp is not interested in bidding for the copper assets of Teck Resources Ltd as there are few synergies between the companies, CEO Mark Bristow said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday. Bristow's comments come at a time when Canadian mining company Teck has rebuffed a $22.5 billion unsolicited bid from Swiss mining company Glencore Plc and said it is exploring its own simplified diversification that includes opening its metals and coal business to a competitive bidding process.

May 04 - Copper to drift higher, but struggle to rally
Copper prices are due to recover slightly in coming months, supported by low inventories, but the upside will be curbed by weak physical demand in China and the threat of a global recession, a Reuters poll showed. Copper prices have been gradually losing steam since hitting their strongest levels in over seven months in January when optimism abounded about the reopening of the world's second biggest economy.

May 03 - Chile's Codelco posts first quarter profit drop, hit by lower prices
Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, posted a 73% drop in its pre-tax profit for the first three months of this year, which the company said was primarily due to both lower prices and sales volumes. Codelco's pre-tax profit totaled $418 million in the January-to-March period, the company said in a filing to Chile's main stock exchange on Tuesday.

May 03 - Gold to hover near record highs as interest rates near peak
Analysts expect gold prices to hover around $1,950 an ounce in the coming months, keeping close to all-time highs as central banks stop raising interest rates and investors buy bullion as a hedge against economic uncertainty, a Reuters poll showed. Gold hit a 13-month peak of $2,048.71 in April, just $24 shy of its record high, as bank failures spread fear through markets.

May 02 - China's Baosteel, Saudi Aramco and PIF set up JV to build steel plant in Saudi Aramco
China's biggest listed steelmaker, Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, said on Monday it has signed agreements with Saudi Aramco and Public Investment Fund to build a steel plate manufacturing joint venture. Baosteel will take 50% stake in the joint venture, while Saudi Aramco and PIF will take 25% stake each, Baosteel said in a statement.

May 02 - Australian miner Liontown confirms no new bids; resumes trading
Takeover target Liontown Resources Ltd said that it had not received any new offers amid speculation of a rival bid after the Australian lithium developer rejected a $3.7 billion offer from Albemarle Corp in March. Shares resumed trading on Tuesday after a halt earlier in the day, that valued the company at A$6.11 billion.

May 01 - Solid mine production growth to support copper supply in 2023-2024
Solid copper mine production from new or expanded operations is expected to push the market into surplus next year, before growth slows down in the second half of the decade. Higher mining output plus additional supply from a stockpile in Congo could further weigh on prices, which are already seeing pressure from weak demand and signs of a slowing global economy.

May 01 - Indonesia to allow Freeport, Amman Mineral to ship copper concentrate until 2024
Indonesia will allow miners Freeport Indonesia and Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara to continue exporting copper concentrate until next year, despite a ban starting this June, to allow for their smelters to be completed, the mining minister said on Friday. The government is due to ban exports of raw minerals like copper and bauxite from June as part of efforts to attract investment into its metals processing industry and boost the value of its exports.

Apr 28 - Doctor Copper calls in sick in China as metal makers cut production
Chinese copper product makers are cutting their output for the second quarter, typically the peak demand season, because of a slower-than-expected recovery in domestic consumption after COVID-19 and sluggish exports. A slump in demand for the red metal, nicknamed Doctor Copper for the correlation between its consumption and the economic health of a country, highlights troubling signs that China's economy, the world's second largest, is failing to return to its pre-pandemic output.

Apr 28 - Nickel faces huge supply glut as Indonesian output booms: Andy Home
The nickel market is facing a massive supply glut this year as surging Indonesian production continues to outpace global demand. The International Nickel Study Group is forecasting a supply-demand surplus of 239,000 tonnes, the largest in at least a decade and a significant increase from last year's excess of 105,000 tonnes.

Apr 27 - Teck Resources withdraws plan to split, shares jump as Glencore circles
Teck Resources withdrew its plan to split in two on Wednesday, a surprise development just ahead of a key shareholder vote, as the miner sought to fend off a $22.5 billion takeover attempt from Glencore. Vancouver-based Teck's share price in Toronto rose as much as 6% after the announcement.

Apr 27 - Philippines to woo investors in nickel ore processing
The Philippines is working to woo investment into its domestic nickel processing sector, the environment minister said, as the resource-rich country looks to squeeze value out of its metals and minerals industry. Already a major nickel ore supplier to top metals consumer China, the Philippines must now move up the value chain, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga told ANC News Channel in an interview.

Apr 26 - Chile, US miner Albemarle hold talks on lithium nationalization plan
Chile's state development office Corfo said on Tuesday it met with U.S.-based miner Albemarle to discuss the South American country's plan to nationalize the lithium industry. Chile's leftist President Gabriel Boric last week announced that control of the country's vast lithium operations would over time be transferred from Albemarle and SQM to a separate state-owned company.

Apr 26 - China steel association urges steelmakers to cut output after price drops
The government-backed China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) has urged domestic steelmakers to cut production following rapid price drops to help ensure a stable cash flow. Domestic steel prices have sunk, posing severe challenges to steel mills, it said at a meeting with several steelmakers on Monday.

Apr 25 - Chile to start lithium talks with SQM by mid-year to boost state control
Chile will start talks with SQM over its operations in the Atacama “this semester” to convince the world's No. 2 lithium mining company to sign onto a state-led public-private model, the economy minister said on Monday, while SQM said it would need to invest an additional $2 billion under the new strategy. In his first interview with international media since the government last week announced plans for state control of the metal key for electric vehicle batteries, Economy Minister Nicolas Grau told Reuters state miner Codelco would start talks over public-private lithium production "as soon as possible."

Apr 25 - Argentina's lithium pipeline promises 'white gold' boom as Chile tightens control
In Argentina's mountainous north, a strong pipeline of lithium projects close to coming online looks set to unlock a wave of production that could see its output of the key electric vehicle battery metal as much as triple within the next two years. The world’s fourth largest producer of the silvery-white metal sits within the so-called "lithium triangle" and has been luring investment from Canadian to Chinese mining firms with a regional and market-led model, even as a wave of resource nationalism has spread in the region.

Apr 25 - India's coking coal imports from Russia to accelerate this year
India is set to step up its purchases of Russian coking coal this fiscal year to cash in on lower prices and diversify its imports, trade and industry officials said. Executives at three steelmaking companies, who didn't wish to named, said Indian firms are keen to capitalise on lower Russian coking coal prices and faster deliveries.

Apr 24 - CME Group not planning to launch nickel contract to rival LME - FT
CME Group Inc, the world's largest derivatives exchange, is not planning to launch a nickel contract to rival the London Metal Exchange (LME), Terry Duffy, chair and Chief Executive of the group, told the Financial Times. "I'm not working on listing a nickel contract," he told the FT, adding that launching an alternative would be difficult.

Apr 24 - Australia needs green energy policy response quick smart – Fortescue
Australia needs to match energy policies being unfurled by other countries to make the most of its green energy advantage, the head of Fortescue Metals Group's energy unit said on Monday, as he gave details on five projects it wants to develop. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act has been met by policy responses from a range of jurisdictions including the European Union, Canada, Gulf states and India.

Apr 21 - Chile plans to nationalize its vast lithium industry
Chile's President Gabriel Boric said on Thursday he would nationalize the country's lithium industry, the world's second largest producer of the metal essential in electric vehicle batteries, to boost its economy and protect its environment. The shock move in the country with the world's largest lithium reserves would in time transfer control of Chile's vast lithium operations from industry giants SQM and Albemarle to a separate state-owned company.

Apr 21 - Copper industry warns of looming supply gap without more minesThe world's appetite for copper to build most electronic devices will exceed supply over the next decade and imperil climate targets unless dozens of new mines are built, executives and analysts said this week at a key industry conference. The forecast lays bare the growing tension over where and how the world can procure metals for the green energy transition, including copper, one of the best electrical-conducting metals that is widely used in motors, batteries and wiring.

Apr 20 - Record demand pushes silver into new era of deficits, Silver Institute says
Global demand for silver rose by 18% last year to a record high of 1.24 billion ounces, creating a huge supply deficit, the Silver Institute said on Wednesday, predicting more shortages in the years to come. The silver market was undersupplied by 237.7 million ounces in 2022, the institute said in its latest World Silver Survey, calling this "possibly the most significant deficit on record".

Apr 20 - Rio Tinto reports record Q1 Pilbara iron ore shipments, sees inflation risk
Rio Tinto reported a better than expected 15.4% jump in first-quarter iron ore shipments from Western Australia, a record for the quarter, as it ramped up production at its Gudai-Darri mine. The world's biggest iron ore producer, however, warned of "persistently high" inflation in the U.S. and a tightening of credit conditions in the aftermath of the collapse of two U.S. regional lenders in March, which it expects to weigh on economic activity across the board.

Apr 19 - Hefty shortages to help buoy aluminium prices this year
Supply disruptions in top producer China due to problems with hydro power mean hefty shortages of aluminium this year, which are likely to offset slow demand growth and help bolster prices. Smelter shutdowns in Europe due to high energy prices over the past couple of years and consumers there shunning Russian metal after Moscow invaded Ukraine last year make the problem particularly acute in the region.

Apr 19 - Teck CEO sees split plan as 'most strategic' option for shareholders
Teck Resources Ltd's chief executive said on Tuesday he believes the plan to split his company's coal and copper businesses will be safer and more-lucrative for shareholders than Glencore Plc's $22.5 billion takeover attempt. "A shareholder vote against the split is a vote for status quo and far fewer paths to create value," CEO Jonathan Price told investors on a hastily arranged Tuesday evening conference call.

Apr 18 - China's March steel output hits 9-month high on better margins, demand outlook
China's crude steel output in March rose 6.9% from a year earlier to a nine-month high, official data showed, as mills ramped up output on improved margins and expectations of robust downstream demand during the peak construction activity season. The world's top steel producer churned out 95.73 million tonnes of the metal last month, the highest since June 2022 and up from 88.3 million tonnes over the same period in 2022, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

Apr 18 - Myanmar's Wa militia to suspend mining in its zone from Aug, tin prices jump
Myanmar's ethnic minority Wa militia will suspend all work at mines in areas it controls from August, an information official from the militia force, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), said on Monday, driving up tin prices about 12% across markets. Most of Myanmar's tin concentrate comes from mines in the Wa state areas, according to the International Tin Association.

Apr 17 - Teck's base metals business attracts offers from Freeport, Vale, Anglo
Teck Resources has been approached by Vale SA, Anglo American and Freeport-McMoRan among others to explore deals for its base metals business if the Canadian copper miner goes ahead with a planned split, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Sunday. The approaches from more than six mining companies interested in transactions if Teck spins off its coal business come as the Vancouver-based miner is fending off an unsolicited takeover offer from Glencore.

Apr 17 - LME trial over nickel trading debacle set for June 20-22
A lawsuit bought by Elliott Associates and Jane Street Global Trading against the London Metal Exchange (LME) for cancelling nickel trades will to be heard in a London court on June 20-22, the LME said on its website. U.S.-based Elliott and Jane Street are demanding damages of $456.4 million and $15.34 million respectively, after the nickel price CMNI3 doubled to more than $100,000 a tonne on March 8, last year, prompting the LME to suspend nickel trading and void transactions made that day.

Apr 14 - Chile mining minister sees copper 'production slump' reversing
Chile's copper production should pick up in the coming years after a recent slump, mining minister Marcela Hernando told Reuters on Thursday, adding that dialogue with mining firms over planned tax and royalty changes was helping ease industry concerns. The Andean country is the world's top producer of copper, which is key to the global push towards vehicle electrification, but it has seen production slide in recent years.

Apr 14 - Mexico's mining law overhaul could cost $9 bln in coming years, says mining chamber
The head of Mexico's mining chamber on Thursday issued a stark warning against a proposed overhaul of the country's mining laws, saying this could cost the country some $9 billion in lost investment in coming years and up to 420,000 direct jobs. The overhaul, proposed by the government last month, would include shortening concessions to 15 from 50 years, tightening rules for water permits and requirements to give back at least 10% of profits to communities and disclose mining impacts.

Apr 13 - China March copper imports fall amid soft demand recovery, rising domestic supply
China's copper imports fell 19% in March from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, as domestic production climbed and higher global prices restrained interest. Imports of unwrought copper and copper products totalled 408,174 tonnes in March, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

Apr 13 - Glencore adds Russian aluminium to LME system
Commodity trader Glencore has deposited more Russian aluminium in warehouses approved by the London Metal Exchange (LME) in the South Korean port of Gwangyang, one source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Higher stocks of Russian aluminium, produced by Rusal, on the LME are a concern for producers as they could weigh on benchmark aluminium prices used as references in contracts between buyers and sellers.

Apr 12 - Global Commodities' Indonesian nickel indices plan may be a game-changer
An exclusive deal that will lead to the development and marketing of indices for Indonesian nickel, signed by UK-based Global Commodities Holdings Limited (GCHL), could change the landscape for referencing nickel prices, industry sources say. Since last March, when the London Metal Exchange (LME) suspended nickel trading for more than a week after prices erupted in a record breaking surge, many consumers, producers and traders have been looking for an alternative.

Apr 12 - More than half of aluminium in LME warehouses produced in Russia
The share of Russian aluminium stocks in warehouses registered with the London Metal Exchange (LME) climbed to 53% of the total in March, or 220,575 tonnes, from 41% in January, data on the exchange's website showed on Tuesday. The data suggests that consumers in industries ranging from transport to construction and packaging continue to shun Russian metal.

Apr 11 - Peru will mine more copper in 2023, lithium permits pending
Peru expects to produce 2.8 million tonnes of copper this year, a senior official said on Monday, representing an almost 15% jump from 2022, in a bright spot for the Andean nation's top export. Peru, the world's no. 2 copper producer, saw output affected since December following anti-government protests and road blockades spurred by the ouster and jailing of former President Pedro Castillo.

Apr 11 - Indonesia to propose limited free trade deal with US on critical minerals
Indonesia will propose a free trade agreement for some minerals shipped to the United States so that companies in the electric vehicle battery supply chain operating in the country can benefit from U.S. tax credits, a senior minister said on Monday. Washington has issued a new guidance for EV tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), requiring a certain value of battery components to be produced or assembled in North America or a free trade partner.

Apr 10 - Canada's budget measures brighten funding prospects for critical miners
Canada's move to expand the investment tax credit for mining companies to align it with policies in the United States is accelerating funding talks for critical miners, company executives told Reuters. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government proposed a 30% investment tax credit for expenses related to the exploration of critical minerals in the latest budget announced last month.

Apr 10 - Australia to work with Germany on critical minerals study
Australia will team up with Germany to create new opportunities for the study of critical minerals as the countries aim to meet climate and energy targets, Australia's Minister of Resources said in a statement on Thursday. Demand for rare earths and minerals like lithium, cobalt and nickel, which are key for a transition to green energy is set to surge in the coming years as countries across the world look for ways to cut their carbon footprint.

Apr 06 - India's 2022/23 steel exports slump to five-year low, imports at four-year high
India's steel exports slumped to a five-year low in the financial year that ended in March, as slowing global demand and an export tax hampered shipments, government data compiled by Reuters showed on Wednesday. India, the world's second-biggest producer of crude steel, shipped 6.7 million tonnes of finished steel in 2022/23, a decline of 50.2% on the year and the lowest since 2018/19, the data showed.

Apr 06 - Newcrest, Harmony Gold agree terms with Papua New Guinea for JV project
Newcrest Mining Ltd and South Africa's Harmony Gold Mining Co Ltd have agreed with Papua New Guinea on the terms of a contract to start developing their joint project in the Pacific island nation, the Australian miner said Thursday. The framework agreement sets out the key terms to be included in the mining development contract, a prerequisite for a special mining lease for the Wafi-Golpu copper-gold project, which is equally owned by Newcrest and Harmony.

Apr 05 - Global copper smelting slumps in March
Global copper smelting activity fell in March due to weaker activity in China and the Americas, data from satellite surveillance of metal processing plants showed on Tuesday. The month started strong in China, the world's top refined copper producer, but a growing number of smelters became inactive, commodities broker Marex and SAVANT said in a statement. 

Apr 05 - Mine waste finds new life as source of rare earthsSweden, South Africa and Australia are at the forefront of a push to transform piles of mine waste and by-products into rare earths vital for the green energy revolution, hoping to substantially cut dependence on Chinese supply. Prices of the minerals used in products from electric cars to wind turbines have been strong, and a rush to meet net-zero carbon targets is expected to further boost

Apr 04 - Copper miner Teck Resources rejects Glencore's $22.5 bln offer
Copper and zinc miner Teck Resources on Monday rejected an unsolicited $22.5 billion bid from Glencore Plc, citing reluctance to expose its shareholders to thermal coal, oil, LNG and related sectors. New York-listed shares of Teck jumped 19.6% on Monday, their largest daily rise in two years. London-listed shares of Glencore closed down 2.6%.

Apr 04 - Mincor Resources urges shareholders to back Wyloo's takeover offer
Australian nickel miner Mincor Resources recommended on Tuesday its shareholders vote in favour of a A$750.3 million ($509.08 million) buyout bid from Wyloo Metals, owned by Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest. A key attraction in Mincor is a nickel sulphide deposit it is developing in Western Australia that would raise Wyloo's exposure to the battery material and could feed a nickel sulphate plant it is considering building with miner IGO.

Apr 03 - Chinese lithium producers set price floor as demand evaporates
China's top lithium producers agreed this week to set a floor price of 250,000 yuan ($36,380) per tonne of lithium carbonate, six people familiar with the matter said, in an effort to slow a plunge in the price of the battery raw material. The price was agreed on Tuesday by around 10 companies including Tianqi Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium that met on the sidelines of a conference in Nanchang in southern China, said one person who attended the meeting and five others briefed on the discussions.

Apr 03 - London Metal Exchange aims at nickel market reboot: Andy Home
A year after the implosion of the London nickel market, the London Metal Exchange (LME) has unveiled its "Action Plan" for reviving the contract's flagging fortunes. The suspension of LME nickel trading and the cancellation of trades last March has left the 146-year-old exchange with a trail of lawsuits, a regulatory investigation and a collapse in volumes.

Mar 31 - LME launches sweeping plan to revive nickel contract
The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Thursday launched sweeping measures to revive its flagging nickel contract, including plans to cut waiting times and scrap fees for new brands of nickel that can be delivered against its contract. The world's largest and oldest metals trading venue, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing  (HKEx), announced a long list of measures that include moves to address low inventory levels and boost liquidity in electronic trading.

Mar 31 - Indonesian president pledges nickel mining clean up amid EV-led boom
Indonesia will improve monitoring of environmental standards for nickel mining, amid concerns over production of the metal which is increasingly used in electric vehicle batteries, the country's President Joko Widodo told Reuters on Thursday. The Southeast Asian country, which has the largest nickel reserves in the world, will step up scrutiny of mining and order companies to manage nurseries to reforest depleted mines, said the president, who is widely known as Jokowi.

Mar 30 - China smelter group sets copper TC/RC guide price for Q2 2023 at $90/T
China's top copper smelters agreed on a lower guide price for treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for copper concentrate processing in the second quarter of 2023 amid supply disruptions, three sources with knowledge of the matter said. The rates of $90 per tonne and 9.0 cents per pound were decided at a meeting of the China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) held on Thursday, the sources said.

Mar 30 - Peru's Antamina mine life extension cost hiked to $2 bln, CEO says
Peru's largest copper mine, Antamina, will spend $2 billion to extend the useful life of the deposit through 2036, up sharply from $1.6 billion previously planned, the company's chief executive officer told Reuters on Wednesday. Antamina CEO Victor Gobitz said the new investment figure for Antamina, co-owned by Glencore PLC, BHP Group Ltd, Teck Resources Ltd and Mitsubishi Corp, was due to higher and additional costs.

Mar 29 - US, Japan strike trade deal on electric vehicle battery minerals
The United States and Japan on Tuesday signed a trade deal on electric vehicle battery minerals that is key to strengthening their battery supply chains and granting Japanese automakers wider access to a new $7,500 U.S. EV tax credit. The swiftly negotiated agreement prohibits the two countries from enacting bilateral export restrictions on the minerals most critical for EV batteries, according to senior Biden administration officials.

Mar 29 - Pilbara Minerals approves $375 mln lithium expansion in Western Australia
Pilbara Minerals, Australia's largest independent lithium miner, said on Wednesday it has approved a capital investment to increase production capacity at its flagship Pilgangoora lithium project in Western Australia. The investment in the Pilgan plant will help increase spodumene concentrate production by 47% to 1 million dry metric tonnes per annum and is already attracting interest from existing and potential customers, Chief Executive Officer Dale Henderson told Reuters.

Mar 28 - China's February gold imports via HK triple on price dip
China's February net gold imports via Hong Kong nearly tripled from the previous month to their highest since August, on the back of a rebound in demand post Lunar New Year celebrations and a drop in bullion prices. Net imports into the world's top gold consumer stood at 64.878 tonnes in February, compared with 22.24 tonnes in January and 68.227 tonnes in August 2022.

Mar 28 - U.S. Supreme Court turns away challenge to Trump's tariffs on steel imports
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge to U.S. steel import tariffs imposed in 2018 under former President Donald Trump - a policy he touted as defending American national security - and largely maintained by President Joe Biden. The justices turned away an appeal by a group of U.S.-based steel importers of a lower court's ruling rejecting their challenge to the Trump administration's imposition of tariffs under a Cold War-era trade law.

Mar 27 - Northam wants control of RBPlat, but open to JV with Impala – CEO
South Africa's Northam Platinum wants to take full control of Royal Bafokeng Platinum, but would consider a joint venture with rival Impala Platinum, Northam CEO Paul Dunne said on Friday. Northam has countered bigger rival Impala's bid to acquire the mid-tier RBPlat, triggering a takeover battle that has run for more than a year.

Mar 27 - GEM plans nickel joint venture in South Korea to serve US demand
China's GEM Co Ltd, a battery and material recycler, has signed a joint venture agreement with SK On and ECOPRO Materials to set up a plant in South Korea to meet the conditions of the U.S.Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), it said on Friday. The joint venture would aim to invest about 1.21 trillion won ($932.56 million) between 2023 and 2026 to build a factory with a minimum capacity of 43,000 tonnes of nickel-based battery material annually, GEM said in a Shenzhen filing.

Mar 24 - Goldman hikes gold forecast, reiterates bullish commodities view
Goldman Sachs on Thursday raised its gold price forecasts, describing it as the best hedge against financial risks, and reiterated its bullish view on commodities as a banking crisis has yet to spill over into physical markets. It hiked its 12-month gold price target to $2,050 an ounce from $1,950, joining others such as Citi, ANZ and Commerzbank in raising forecasts.

Mar 24 - Chinese lithium price dives in heated auto price war
China's lithium prices are plunging faster than expected this year, down 34% in the last four weeks alone, hit by a slump in demand for electric vehicles in the world's biggest market that has left stocks of the metal piling up. Spot lithium carbonate prices assessed by Fastmarkets fell to 260,000 yuan ($38,079.06) per tonne this week, less than half the price quoted last November.

Mar 23 - Mercuria boosts exposure to transition metals in hybrid approach
Commodity trading house Mercuria is ramping up exposure to metals needed for the green transition such as copper, cobalt and lithium, both through buying company stakes and forging trading relationships, an executive said. In the past two years the Swiss trader has invested in several firms involved in critical minerals, even when there is no immediate prospect of getting offtake deals, Guillaume de Dardel, head of energy transition metals, told Reuters.

Mar 23 - Albemarle to build $1.3 bln lithium plant in South Carolina
Albemarle Corp said on Wednesday it had chosen Chester County, South Carolina, as the location for a $1.3 billion lithium processing plant it hopes will cement its status as a cornerstone of the rapidly growing U.S. electric vehicle industry. The facility, which was first announced last year without a specific location, will double the company's lithium processing capacity and thus its ability to supply key customers - including Tesla Inc- who are hungry for more North American supplies of the battery metal.

Mar 22 - LME warehouse delivers stones instead of nickel to Trafigura
Nickel delivered by London Metal Exchange (LME) approved warehouse firm Access World to commodity traders Trafigura and Stratton Metals turned out to be stone, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. Last week, the LME, cancelled nine warrants or 54 tonnes of nickel which had failed to meet the specification of its nickel contract.  

Mar 22 - Argentine mining exports hit 10-year high as lithium, EVs take off
Argentina's mining exports hit historic levels last year, the government said on Tuesday, powered by surging lithium income as the South American agricultural powerhouse targets profits from the metal key to meeting booming electric vehicle (EV) demand. Even as Latin America's third-largest economy suffers triple-digit inflation and the fallout of a devastating drought afflicting top farmland, lithium exports helped push up the country's mining exports to $3.86 billion last year - the highest level in a decade, according to economy ministry data.

Mar 21 - Gold flirts with record highs after topping $2,000 an ounce
Gold traded at record highs in some currencies on Monday and neared all-time peaks in U.S. dollar terms after banking sector turmoil sent prices of the safe haven asset rocketing 10% in a matter of days. Banking stocks and bonds continued to plummet on worries that more problems may emerge after several U.S. banks and Switzerland's Credit Suisse collapsed or required rescue. 

Mar 21 - Billionaire Forrest bids for nickel miner Mincor in $504 mln deal
Wyloo Metals, owned by Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, offered on Tuesday to buy all the shares of Mincor Resources it does not already own, valuing the nickel developer at A$750 million ($504 million). A key attraction in Mincor is a nickel sulphide deposit it is developing in Western Australia that would raise Wyloo's exposure to the battery material and could feed a nickel sulphate plant it is considering building with miner IGO.

Mar 20 - LME finds 'irregularities' in several nickel bags at a warehouse
The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Friday postponed the resumption of nickel trading during Asian hours by a week to March 27 after it found nickel that failed to meet contract specifications at an LME warehouse. The move is another blow to the world's oldest and biggest industrial metals market, which had been counting on a restart of Asian trade to boost liquidity in a contact that has been struggling since a nickel crisis a year ago. 

Mar 20 - Chinese copper demand revs up, but banking rout could cap prices
China's copper consumption is rebounding firmly and will likely stay strong in the next quarter, buoyed by a seasonal peak in demand and easing COVID-19 restrictions in the world's biggest consumer of the metal. The long-awaited rebound is providing much-needed support for copper prices, battered by a widening banking crisis in the United States and liquidity issues at Swiss lender Credit Suisse.

Mar 17 - Glencore will not renew $16 bln aluminium deal with Russia's Rusal
Glencore will not renew a $16 billion deal to buy aluminium from Russia's largest producer United Co Rusal International when it expires next year, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, quoting Chief Executive Officer Gary Nagle. The group has continued to honour existing contracts but has pledged not to enter into any new business with Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, the report said. 

Mar 17 - Gold Fields, AngloGold rule out merger after Ghana joint-venture deal
Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti are not considering a full-scale merger after they agreed to combine their neighbouring Tarkwa and Iduapriem mines in Ghana to create Africa's biggest gold mine, the two companies said on Thursday. Gold miners are increasingly looking to consolidate as they seek to replace depleting reserves and contain cost pressures.

Mar 16 - Miner BHP potentially faces $44 bln bill in Brazil dam case
Mining group BHP Group is potentially facing a 36 billion pound ($44 billion) lawsuit in London over Brazil's worst environmental disaster after the number of claimants more than tripled to 700,000, their lawyers said on Wednesday. BHP was initially sued by around 200,000 Brazilians over the 2015 collapse of the Fundao dam, owned by the Samarco joint venture between BHP and Brazilian iron ore mining company Vale. 

Mar 16 - In Bolivia's heartland, protests rattle lithium development push
Protesters in Bolivia's lithium-rich region of Potosi are blockading a key processing plant, demanding legislation that guarantees better benefits for local communities and larger royalties from extraction of the electric battery metal. The protests are focused on a plant in Llipi, near the Uyuni salt flats, which hold one of the world's largest troves of the metal whose price has surged so much during the global shift towards electric vehicles that it is now called "white gold".

Mar 15 - Australian coking coal too pricey for China even as curbs end
China's demand for Australian coking coal for steelmaking remains lacklustre even after Beijing removed import restrictions, as supplies from local mines, Mongolia and Russia are cheaper, traders say. Beijing in early January partially eased an unofficial ban on Australian coal imports by allowing three state-backed utilities and a steelmaker to resume procurement as the two countries sought to rebuild ties. 

Mar 15 - Rio Tinto sees robust short term outlook for copper
The short-term outlook for copper is "pretty healthy," with global stockpiles trending down and mine disruptions having eroded supply from Latin America, Rio Tinto's head of copper Bold Baatar said on Tuesday. "We're seeing pretty good fundamentals," he told Reuters after the opening of the underground phase of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia, which is set to be the world's fourth-largest copper mine when it is fully operational.

Mar 14 - Rio Tinto commences underground production at Mongolian copper mine
Anglo-Australian mining firm Rio Tinto Ltd on Monday said it commenced underground production at its Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia. The mine is expected to produce around 500,000 tonnes of copper per year, on average, from 2028 to 2036. 

Mar 14 - Gold bulls hope short-term bank contagion sparks longer-term rally: Russell
The gold bulls are running again, hoping that a short-term boost from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank can be translated into a longer-term rally for the precious metal. The spot price of gold rallied strongly on Monday after U.S. regulators enacted a series of emergency measures after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in New York.

Mar 13 - LME CEO urged nickel trading halt minutes after waking up
The head of the London Metal Exchange spent just 20 minutes on his mobile phone scrolling for news and watching nickel prices lurch higher last year before deciding the market was disorderly and later halting trading, according to a High Court document. The updated filing was lodged by Jane Street Global Trading, a market maker that is suing the LME for $15.34 million after it cancelled around $12 billion of nickel trades.  

Mar 13 - Commodities trader Trafigura makes record $3.5 bln Q1 profit
Commodities trader Trafigura smashed its previous profit records to make around $3.5 billion in the first quarter of its current financial year, four sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, benefiting from volatile energy prices. The Geneva-based company does not publish quarterly figures but provides half-year and full-year reports.

Mar 10 - Perth Mint faces London bullion body review over gold 'doping' charges
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the world's top accreditor of gold refiners, said on Thursday it was reviewing allegations that Perth Mint had sold "doped" gold to China. An Australian media report on Monday said Perth Mint, the world's largest processor of newly mined gold, may have to recall a potential $9 billion worth of diluted or "doped" one- kilogram gold bars sold to top consumer China. 

Mar 10 - Peru mining firms' logistics at risk from extended protests, Fitch says
Mining companies operating in Peru face "material risk" amid extended protests and blockades in the world's No. 2 copper-producing nation, Fitch Ratings said on Thursday, warning of possible lack of supplies and issues transporting ore to ports. "We believe protests and blockades that extend beyond three months can pose a material risk to a mine's operations, including logistics," Fitch said in a report, highlighting uncertainty on when the conflicts will be resolved - particularly in areas with important copper deposits.

Mar 09 - One year after nickel fiasco, LME left with multiple headaches
One year after nickel trading went haywire on the London Metal Exchange (LME), the 146-year old exchange is fighting to mend its reputation amid a host of lawsuits, vigorous action by regulators and struggling volumes. The impact of  March 8, 2022, will last years after nickel prices erupted in a record-breaking surge, forcing the world's largest forum for metals to halt trading and void billions of dollars worth of nickel deals, angering many investors. 

Mar 09 - BHP eyes copper, nickel projects as it bypasses lithium
BHP Group Ltd on Wednesday said it remains committed to growing its portfolio of copper and nickel projects but is not interested in the lithium market, which it believes is well supplied. The comments echo those the world's largest mining company made in the past year and come as lithium prices have been sliding amid demand worries.

Mar 08 - Cobalt supplies to swamp market, pressure prices further
Soaring supplies of battery material cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo will swamp the market creating a surplus and putting prices under more pressure this year and next, even though demand is expected to rise. Global supplies of refined cobalt used in the rechargeable batteries that power electric vehicles are expected to surge to around 210,000 tonnes this year, up 24% from 2022, while demand is forecast to rise 8% to 205,000 tonnes. 

Mar 08 - Peru's copper starts to flow to ports as protests ease, minister says
Peru's mines are starting to transport their copper concentrate to ports for export once again after three months of protests that have snarled shipments, Energy and Mines Minister Oscar Vera said. The minister told Reuters late on Monday that he had held meetings with firms, adding that shipments from mines like MMG Ltd's Las Bambas, which produces some 2% of the world's copper, were expected to reach Peru's coast in the coming days.

Mar 07 - LME faces new hedge fund lawsuits over cancelled nickel trades
The London Metal Exchange (LME) faces two fresh lawsuits, filings showed, from ten hedge funds and asset managers after it enraged investors last year by cancelling nickel trades. The world's largest and oldest metals market annulled billions of dollars of nickel trades following chaotic price action and suspended trading for the first time since 1988. 

Mar 07 - China Jan-Feb copper imports fall 9.3% to 879,000 tonne
China's unwrought copper imports in the first two months of 2023 fell 9.3% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, as higher global prices lowered buying appetite. Arrivals of unwrought copper and products into China, the world's biggest consumer of the red metal, were 879,000 tonnes in January and February, down from 969,289 tonnes in the same period a year earlier, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Mar 06 - Miners grow anxious as Canada tightens foreign investment rules
Junior mining companies hoping to produce lithium, nickel and other green energy metals are worried that Canada's crackdown on some overseas investors may limit their ability to raise funds for mines and related facilities. Ottawa last fall proposed bolstering its Investment Canada Act (ICA) to give government ministers power to block or unwind critical minerals investments if they believe such deals threaten national security.  

Mar 06 - UK watchdog's nickel probe poses more reputational hazard for LME
A UK financial regulator's move to launch an unprecedented probe into potential misconduct over the London Metal Exchange's nickel trading crisis could last years, regulation experts say, heaping further damage onto the LME's already bruised reputation. Sliding activity and shrinking liquidity, due to an overall lack of faith in the LME's offering, has left nickel consumers and producers without a global reference price.

Mar 03 - Canada’s Advanced Lithium in preliminary talks with Mexico’s lithium firm for JV
Canadian miner Advanced Lithium is holding preliminary talks with Mexican state-run lithium company LitioMx to form a joint venture to exploit the mineral, the firm's chief executive officer, Allan Barry, said on Thursday. "At this point in time the discussions are in a preliminary phase. LitioMx is preparing its wish list of what would need to be done to form a joint venture," Barry said in a phone interview.

Mar 03 - Nippon Steel could buy more stakes in coking coal and iron ore mines
Nippon Steel Corp could buy more stakes in coking coal and iron ore mines even after its recent decision to invest in a Canadian mine, as it sees a risk of commodity prices staying high, an executive at the world's No.4 steelmaker said. Japan's top steelmaker said in February it will spend around 1.15 billion Canadian dollars ($844 million) to buy a 10% stake in Elk Valley Resources Ltd (EVR), the coking coal unit to be spun off from Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd.

Mar 02 - Trafigura says Gupta sought to pass off Russian metal as Indian - court docs
An Indian businessman accused by Trafigura of fraud told the commodity trader he imported Russian nickel and had it processed before rebranding it as Indian to get around financing restrictions, a former Trafigura executive said in an affidavit to a London court.

Mar 02 - Harmony Gold CEO says gold sector consolidation 'inevitable'
Gold mining sector mergers and acquisitions are inevitable due to the need to replace depleting mineral reserves, Harmony Gold Chief Executive Peter Steenkamp said on Wednesday. U.S-based Newmont Corp, the world's top gold producer, last month tabled a $16.9 billion bid for Australia's Newcrest Mining, igniting speculation of a new wave of M&A activity in the gold industry.

Mar 01 - United States targets Russian aluminium and other metals: Andy Home
The United States has extended its punitive economic measures against Russia into the metals and mining sector. Aluminium will be hardest hit with penal tariffs of 200% on imports of Russian metal, effective March 10, and imports of any third-country product containing Russian metal, effective April 10.

Mar 01 - Australian Treasurer says Chinese investment in rare earth miner blocked after advice
Australia's Treasurer Jim Chalmers said on Wednesday he had blocked a Chinese investor from lifting its stake in a rare earths mining company on the advice of the nation's Foreign Investment Review Board. Reuters first reported on Tuesday that Chalmers had blocked Yuxiao Fund, which is the Singapore-registered private company of Chinese mining investor Yuxiao Wu, from raising its ownership of Northern Minerals to 19.9% from 9.92%.

Feb 28  - China's net gold imports via Hong Kong fall 47% in January
China's net gold imports via Hong Kong in January fell by about 47% from the previous month, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data showed on Monday. Total gold imports via Hong Kong were down about 47.3% to 22.992 tonnes, while net imports stood at 22.24 tonnes in January, compared with 42.16 tonnes in December.

Feb 28  - Chinese lithium investigation set to cut supply
An investigation into illegal mining in China's lithium hub could cut global supply of the battery raw material by 13% this month, analysts said on Monday, potentially supporting prices that have plunged from record highs. The city of Yichun in southern China, which produces about 29% of the country's lithium salt and is known as Asia's lithium capital, said late on Friday it was cracking down on criminal activity, such as unlicensed and environmentally-damaging mining.

Feb 27  - Lynas Rare Earths' production disruption concerns persist
Lynas Rare Earths Ltd said it was focused on getting its new plant in Australia up and running amid concerns its Malaysian facility would have to be partly wound down, as it posted a 4% drop in first-half profit on Monday. The world's biggest producer of rare earths metals outside China faces the prospect it will have to stop cracking and leaching in Malaysia after regulators said it must halt importing and processing rare earths concentrate from July.

Feb 27  - Nickel's electric dreams turn into a pricing nightmare: Andy Home
The global nickel market flipped from deficit to surplus over the course of 2022, according to the International Nickel Study Group (INSG). Supply of what is a key metallic input for electric vehicle (EV) batteries exceeded demand by 112,000 tonnes last year, the largest surplus since 2014, the INSG calculates.

Feb 24  - Newmont sees 'significant' shareholder value in buyout of gold rival Newcrest
Gold miner Newmont Corp on Thursday said it believes a buyout of Newcrest Mining Ltd would create "significant value" for shareholders and that it is in talks with its Australian rival's board of directors about closing a deal. Newmont is the world's largest gold producer by market value and ounces produced, but it would produce nearly twice as much of the precious metal as closest rival Barrick Gold Corp should it prevail in its bid for Newcrest.

Feb 24  - First Quantum stops processing ore at Panama mine as conflict deepens
First Quantum Minerals Ltd suspended ore processing operations at a key Panamanian copper mine, the Canadian miner said on Thursday, in a move the Central American country's government dismissed as unhelpful pressure tactics. The company and Panama's government have been locked in a prolonged contract dispute with tax and royalties at the heart of the stalemate.

Feb 23  - CME to launch nickel contract using prices from new platform  - sources
CME Group plans to launch a nickel contract, settled with prices gathered from a platform to be launched by UK-based Global Commodities Holdings (GCH), which could eventually compete with the London Metal Exchange, three sources with knowledge said. For years, LME nickel prices were used as a global reference by producers and consumers using the metal as an ingredient for the stainless steel and electric vehicle battery industries.

Feb 23  - Peru protesters temporarily lift mining highway blockade, sources say
Peruvian protesters have temporarily lifted blockades of a key mining highway in the country's south, sources told Reuters on Wednesday, a boost for activity at major copper mines that saw activity hit in recent weeks as supplies were choked off. The "mining corridor" highway, an important transport route for mines including Glencore Plc's Antapaccay and Las Bambas, owned by China's MMG Ltd, has in recent days been unblocked after weeks of protests, the sources said.

Feb 22  - Rio Tinto slashes dividend as profit plunges on slower China demand
Rio Tinto posted a 37.9% drop in annual profit and more than halved its dividend on Wednesday, hurt by weaker iron ore prices due to slowing demand from top consumer China, while higher labour and material costs also ate into earnings. Strict COVID-19 curbs in top steel producer China curtailed economic activity last year, pulling down iron ore prices from lofty levels scaled a year earlier.

Feb 22  - Another Yunnan power blow to China's aluminium output: Andy Home
The Chinese province of Yunnan has ordered its aluminium smelters to take another round of production cuts to stabilise power supplies. The province's hydro-electric grid has struggled with prolonged drought and low reservoir levels.

Feb 21  - BHP eyes demand green shoots in China as profit slumps
Global miner BHP Group reported a steeper-than-expected 32% fall in first-half profit owing to a drop in iron ore prices, sending its shares down, although it flagged a brightening outlook in China, its biggest customer. China's strict zero-COVID-19 policy curtailed economic activity and dented demand over the past year, driving iron ore prices down from lofty levels, while miners wrestled with surging costs and a tight domestic labour market.

Feb 21  - Iron ore prices jabbed higher by prongs of China demand, supply woes:
The spot price of iron ore is being pushed higher in a pincer move of stronger Chinese demand and lower supply from the world's two biggest exporters of the steel raw material. The spot price of benchmark 62% iron ore for delivery to north China, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, rose to $128.80 a tonne on Monday, just shy of the peak so far in 2023 of $129.50 reached on Jan. 30.

Feb 20  - Brazil plans legislation to crack down on laundering of illegal gold
Brazil's government is taking a fresh tack in its effort to crack down on illegal gold mining in the Amazon, preparing legislation that would require electronic tax receipts for the buying and selling of the precious metal, four sources with knowledge of the plans said. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wants to end years of environmental backsliding under his far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, and crack down on illegal mining in the Amazon.

Feb 20  - First Quantum warns employees that Panama mine may close if dispute is not settled
First Quantum Minerals Ltd has warned employees it may have to shutter operations in Panama if the government does not allow its copper exports to resume by next week, according to a memo sent to staff and seen by Reuters. A long-running contract dispute between the Canadian miner and Panama officials centers on disagreements over tax rates and royalties at the Cobre Panama mine.

Feb 17  - Brazil plans legislation to crack down on laundering of illegal gold
Brazil's government is taking a fresh tack in its effort to crack down on illegal gold mining in the Amazon, preparing legislation that would require electronic tax receipts for the buying and selling of the precious metal, four sources with knowledge of the plans said. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wants to end years of environmental backsliding under his far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, and crack down on illegal mining in the Amazon.

Feb 17  - First Quantum warns employees that Panama mine may close if dispute is not settled
First Quantum Minerals Ltd has warned employees it may have to shutter operations in Panama if the government does not allow its copper exports to resume by next week, according to a memo sent to staff and seen by Reuters. A long-running contract dispute between the Canadian miner and Panama officials centers on disagreements over tax rates and royalties at the Cobre Panama mine.

Feb 16 - Newcrest dismisses Newmont offer, opens books as profit beats expectations
Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd on Thursday rebuffed Newmont Corp's $16.9 billion takeover bid, but left the door open for a better offer as it logged profit that surged past analyst expectations and paid out a special dividend. Newcrest said its board had unanimously determined to reject the offer which it said did not offer sufficient value to shareholders, but said it would open its books on a limited, non-exclusive basis to Newmont, the world's largest gold miner.  

Feb 16 - Zinc turbulent as low stocks clash with expected surplus: Andy Home
Zinc's early-year rally has quickly fizzled out as the market prices in a looming supply surge.  London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month metal rose 16% to a five-month peak of $3,512 in late January but has since tumbled all the way back to $3,040, just 1% higher than it was at the start of the year.

Feb 15 - Fortescue sees solid iron ore demand this year on China property support
Australia's Fortescue Metals said it expects solid iron ore demand this year given China's support for its property and construction sectors, as it reported lower profit and dividends for the first half and flagged persistent inflationary pressure. Fortescue was seeing "really good" demand for its lower grade iron ore after the Chinese New Year, given compressed margins at steelmakers, Chief Executive Fiona Hicks said on Wednesday.

Feb 15 - Steelmaker Ternium reports near 100% drop in Q4 net profit as costs rose
Steel producer Ternium reported on Tuesday a fourth-quarter net profit of $59 million, down almost 100% from the $1.1 billion it reported in the year-ago period, as costs increased and steel prices fell. The company, which operates in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, the United States and Central America, posted revenue of $3.546 billion in the three months to the end of December, an 18% decrease.

Feb 14  - Freeport-McMoRan cuts forecast after floods damage Indonesia's Grasberg mine
Freeport-McMoRan Inc has cut its first-quarter copper sales forecast after heavy rains and landslides shuttered operations at its flagship Grasberg mine in Indonesia over the weekend, with the mine not expected to be back online until the end of the month. The temporary shutdown is the latest in a string of extreme weather-related disruptions to rock the mining industry amid the changing global climate.  

Feb 14  - Shanghai metal stocks dent great expectations: Andy Home
The London Metal Exchange (LME) base metals index jumped by 10% in January as investors placed their bets on a resurgent Chinese economy. China remains the engine room of global manufacturing, but two years of rolling COVID-19 lockdowns have muted its usual impact on metals pricing.

Feb 13 - Freeport Indonesia suspends some work at Grasberg mine after floods
Copper miner Freeport Indonesia has temporarily halted mining and processing work at its Grasberg mine after flooding and debris flow from heavy rains and landslides damaged its milling complex, Freeport-McMoRan Inc said on Sunday evening. Freeport-McMoRan said it expected first-quarter 2023 sales to be lower than previous guidance provided in January for 900 million pounds of copper and 300,000 ounces of gold, but it did not provide updated figures. 

Feb 13 - China's MMG secures supplies for limited operations at Peru mine as power use falls
China's MMG Ltd said on Friday its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru was able to secure critical supplies, enabling it to continue production at a reduced rate after road blockades prevented the arrival of key raw materials. "Levels of critical supplies remain low and should the situation remain unchanged, Las Bambas will be forced to commence a period of care and maintenance," the company said in a statement.

Feb10  - US tariffs on Russian aluminium risk more market fracture: Andy Home
The political fracturing of the aluminium market looks set to intensify as the United States mulls imposing penal tariffs of up to 200% on imports of Russian metal. Russian producers of industrial metals such as aluminium and nickel have largely evaded the official sanctions net since the invasion of Ukraine.  

Feb10  - Canada to not permit sea floor mining without 'rigorous' regulations
The Canadian government said on Thursday it would not allow mining in its domestic ocean seabeds without a "rigorous regulatory structure" and that the need for natural resources does not override Ottawa's environmental commitments. Sea floor nodules contain critical minerals used in batteries that are needed to fuel the world's transition to clean energy, but trawling the sea floor for them could disrupt ecosystems.

Feb 09  - Glencore deposits more Russian aluminium on LME system - sources
Commodity trader Glencore has deposited more than 100,000 tonnes of aluminium in London Metal Exchange registered warehouses in the South Korean port of Gwangyang, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Rusal produces aluminium in Russia and accounts for 6% of global supplies estimated at around 70 million tonnes this year.

Feb 09  - ArcelorMittal expects to increase steel shipments by 5% in 2023
ArcelorMittal, the world's second-largest steelmaker, on Thursday said it expects its steel shipments to increase by around 5% this year, as it reported fourth-quarter earnings that were in line with expectations. The Luxembourg-based company said its fourth-quarter core profit (EBITDA), the figure most watched by the market, was $1.26 billion, down from $5.05 billion a year before but in line with the average forecast in a company poll.

Feb 08  - U.S. appeals court allows higher tariffs on imported steel products
A U.S. federal appeals court upheld the imposition of higher tariffs on some imported steel products, reversing a lower court ruling that the Trump administration waited too long to act. Tuesday's 3-0 decision by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. covers imports of steel derivatives, such as nails and fasteners, that were subjected to 25% tariffs in a January 2020 proclamation by then-President Donald Trump.

Feb 08  - Cobalt price slump triggers lift-off in futures trading:
Andy Home
Cobalt prices have crashed over the last six months with demand growth slowing just as a wave of new supply washes through the market. After hitting a four-year high of $40 per lb in May last year, cobalt has slumped to $17 per lb, extending a long history of boom-and-bust price cycles.

Feb 07 - Newmont open to sweetening $16.9 bln bid for gold rival Newcrest
U.S.-based Newmont Corp is open to slightly increasing its $16.9 billion offer for Newcrest Mining Ltd, according to a source familiar with management's thinking, amid concerns its current bid is too low after recent leadership changes at the Australian company. Already the world's largest gold producer by market value and ounces produced, Newmont would become a gold mining behemoth should it prevail in its bid for Newcrest.  

Feb 07 - Coking coal price surge backed by demand as supply woes add froth: Russell
The price of coking coal has surged to a seven-month high, but the question is whether the rally in the fuel used to make steel is down to an improving economic outlook, or whether supply issues in top exporter Australia are to blame. The price of Singapore-traded contracts linked to the spot price of Australian coking coal ended at $345.67 a tonne on Monday, just below the $348.00 reached on Feb. 3, which was the most since July 1 last year.

Feb 06  - Gold giant Newmont's $16.9 bln bid for Newcrest clouded by deal doubts
Top gold producer Newmont Corp said it had made a $16.9 billion offer for Australian peer Newcrest Mining Ltd to build a global gold behemoth, although investors and analysts said it undervalued the target amid a leadership change. Newcrest is seeking a new boss, with previous chief executive Sandeep Biswas having stepped down in December, while global interest rates are expected to peak this year and turn down, polishing the outlook for gold prices.  

Feb 06  - China's zinc and lead exports plug Western supply gaps: Andy Home
China was a net exporter of refined zinc last year for the first time since 2007, while exports of refined lead remained super strong for the second year running.  China's shift to net exporter of both metals is a rare inversion of historical trade patterns and attests to the squeeze on availability in the rest of the world.

Feb 03  - EU steel demand to fall 1.6% in 2023 on costs, supply chain – Eurofer
Steel demand in the European Union is expected to drop 1.6% this year, hit by raging inflation, supply chain problems and cheap imports, industry group Eurofer said on Thursday. That is slightly more optimistic than the 1.9% drop in apparent steel demand the group forecast when it last updated its outlook in October.

Feb 03  - Gold Fields disputes Ghana tax bill

South Africa-listed gold miner Gold Fields on Thursday said it is disputing tax payments demanded by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) after an audit and is working with the tax authority to resolve the matter. Gold Fields, which has three gold-mining operations in Ghana, said it could not disclose the size of the back taxes bill but said it is "nowhere close" to the amount Ghana has demanded from mobile operator MTN.

Feb 02 - Freeport Indonesia's $3 bln copper smelter to be completed by end of 2023  - official
The construction of U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan's Indonesian copper smelter, one of the biggest in the world, will be completed by the end of this year, an official at its Indonesian unit said on Thursday. The $3 billion facility in Gresik, East Java, will have capacity of 1.7 million tonnes of copper concentrate and is expected to start operations gradually in 2024.

Feb 02 - Analysts wary of base metals after China recovery rally: Andy Home
Base metals have enjoyed a strong start to the year, the London Metal Exchange (LME) index rising by 9.4% over the course of January on high hopes for China's post-COVID reopening. However, analysts are cautious that China's recovery may not live up to bullish expectations and that prices have got ahead of themselves, judging by the latest Reuters base metals poll.

Feb 01  - Vale's fourth-quarter iron ore output edges down
Brazil's Vale SA, one of the world's largest mining companies, on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter 1% fall in iron ore production from a year earlier, while the sales volume of nickel soared The company said it produced 80.85 million tonnes of iron ore during the last three months of 2022, sending its annual output to 307.8 million tonnes, slightly below its 310 million tonne forecast.

Feb 01  - Japan buyers agree to pay Q1 aluminium premiums of $85-$86/T, sources say
The premiums for aluminium shipments to Japanese buyers for January to March were set at $85-$86 a tonne, down 13%-14% from the previous quarter, reflecting slack demand and high stocks, six sources directly involved in pricing talks said. The figures are lower than the $99 per tonne paid in the October-December quarter and mark a fifth consecutive quarterly decline and the lowest premium since the July-September quarter of 2020.

Jan 31  - Chinese-owned copper mine in Peru may halt production over unrest
The huge Chinese-owned Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, normally the supplier of 2% of the metal worldwide, could halt production this week due to protests and blockades that are starting to snarl output of the red metal amid already tight global supply. The Andean nation, the world's second-largest copper producer, has seen growing social unrest since early December, with key mines hit by road blockades and attacks by protesters, mainly impacting transportation of copper rather than production.

Jan 31  - Glencore sells Russian aluminium into LME storage, sources say
Commodity trader Glencore has delivered 40,000 tonnes of Russian aluminium to London Metal Exchange-approved warehouses in the South Korean port of Gwangyang, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. A build-up of Russian metal is likely to raise concern in the market that benchmark LME prices will weaken - an outcome some producers are keen to avoid as their contracts reference the benchmark.

Jan 30  - Australia searches for tiny radioactive capsule believed lost on desert highway
Rio Tinto Ltd apologised on Monday for the loss of a tiny radioactive capsule believed to have fallen from a truck that has sparked a radiation alert across parts of the vast state of Western Australia. It is unclear how long the radioactive capsule, part of a gauge used to measure the density of iron ore feed, has been missing.

Jan 30  - While Dr Copper waits for China, China buys more copper:
Andy Home
Doctor Copper has started the new year with a fresh spring in his step as investors bet on a powerful demand boost from China's post-COVID reopening. London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month metal is currently trading at $9,345, up 12% on the start of January, with funds jumping back into copper as a proxy for the China recovery story.

Jan 27 - Fortescue sees solid rebound in China after strong Q2
Australia's Fortescue Metals Group on Friday confirmed its delayed Iron Bridge project was set to begin production at the end of the March quarter, and said it is expecting a solid economic rebound in China, its top iron ore customer. Founder and Executive Chairman Andrew Forrest said Chinese businesses, large and small, were eagre to invest and hire workers again, ramping up after the world's no.2 economy eased COVID-19 curbs. 

Jan 27 - U.S. bans mining in parts of Minnesota, dealing latest blow to Antofagasta's copper project
The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday blocked mining in part of northeast Minnesota for 20 years, the latest blow to Antofagasta Plc's Twin Metals copper and nickel mining project but a step officials said is needed to protect the state's vast network of interconnected waterways. The decision further escalates the U.S. tension over where and how to procure the minerals crucial for the green energy transition. Copper and nickel are used to build electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy devices.

Jan 26  - U.S. worker shortage denting Freeport-McMoRan's copper output
Freeport-McMoRan Inc warned on Wednesday that its struggle to find workers in the United States is limiting the amount of copper it can produce for the green energy transition. The worker shortage reflects the talent crunch facing the broader mining industry, as well as the wider macroeconomic trend of workers jumping between jobs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Jan 26  - Chile mine delays to slow copper growth; peak seen lower, later - regulator
Copper production in Chile, the world's largest producer of the red metal, will grow at a slower rate this decade than previously hoped, a government report seen by Reuters showed, with peak output later and lower than estimated a year ago. Likely output of the red metal will peak at some 7.14 million tonnes in 2030, two years later than anticipated as delays hit mining projects in the Andean nation, according to an unpublished report from regulator Cochilco obtained by Reuters.

Jan 25 - Newcrest quarterly gold output misses estimates after fatality
Australia's Newcrest Mining said on Wednesday gold production fell 2.8% in the second quarter from the first, missing analyst expectations, after operations were suspended at its Brucejack operations in Canada following a fatality. In late October, the gold miner confirmed the death of a worker at its Brucejack mine. The resulting three-week operational suspension during a safety review led to a 38% drop in production on the quarter before to 52,000 ounces. 

Jan 25 - Chile's Codelco produced less copper in 2022, chairman says
Chile's state-run Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, produced 172,000 fewer tonnes of copper in 2022, Chairman Maximo Pacheco said on Tuesday, marking a roughly 10% drop from output in 2021. Speaking to an association of engineers in Santiago, Pacheco said 77% of the reduction was due to problems with operations while 23% was due to project delays.

Jan 24 - Power problems rein in global aluminium output growth: Andy Home
Global aluminium production rose by a marginal 2.0% last year, a rate of growth that was down from 2.7% in 2021 and the slowest since 2019, according to the International Aluminium Institute (IAI). Output barely rose at all over the second half of the year. Annualised production of 69 million tonnes in December was just 231,000 tonnes higher than June's global run-rate.  

Jan 24 - Indian gold prices hit record high, curtail demand
Indian gold futures hit a fresh all-time high on Tuesday, tracking gains in overseas markets and a depreciation in the rupee currency, but the surge dampened demand in the world's second biggest consumer of the precious metal, dealers said. Domestic gold futures rose to 57,099 rupees ($699.19) per 10 grams, up nearly 4% so far in 2023.

Jan 23 - South32 sees shipping delays tying up cash in inventory
Australian diversified miner South32 Ltd on Monday reported production of key commodities that largely met expectations but noted that shipping snarls had led to an inventory buildup, impacting working capital. In its quarterly report, South32 met coal, aluminium and copper forecasts and slightly exceeded analyst estimates for manganese ore production, for which it is the world's biggest producer. Shares were up 1.3%.  

Jan 23 - Iron ore price rally justified as China's January imports surge
The price of spot iron ore has been one of the major beneficiaries of expectations of strong demand as China re-opens its economy after abandoning its strict zero-COVID policy. While other commodities, such as crude oil and copper, have also enjoyed recent gains on the back of the China recovery narrative, iron ore's rally seems grounded in actual gains in demand.

Jan 20  - Copper on the way up, but with many 'ifs'
Copper bulls betting on a strong recovery of physical demand after the Chinese New Year should be wary of getting carried away, market participants say. A rally fuelled by sentiment and expectations, without an actual increase in consumption, could trap investors in an eventual sharp downturn, such as the one in mid-2022 triggered by the Ukraine-Russia war and an energy crisis.  

Jan 20  - Exchanges diversify as base metals trade shrinks in 2022: Andy Home
The London Metal Exchange's (LME) nickel meltdown in March has cast a long shadow over trading activity on what claims to be the world centre for industrial metals pricing. Volumes have fallen every month year-on-year since the suspension of nickel trading and the decision to cancel trades.

Jan 19  - Ukraine seeks to expand corridor deal to metals, could slow grains pace (AgriCensus)

- The Ukrainian government has said it wants to expand the grain deal agreement, signed between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations, and add metal products to the list of goods that are allowed to be exported from the country's Black Sea ports. Building on the success of the existing corridor, which has seen millions of tonnes of corn, wheat, sunflower and other agricultural products being shipped, adding metal exports would be another major boost to the country’s economy which has been suffering the effects of a devastating war for ten months.
“We will focus on building more storage for agricultural goods, but what we need to do from a strategic point of view is to open sea ports. It’s not just about agriculture, it’s about steel,” Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko said in an interview given to Bloomberg during the international forum held in the Swiss resort of Davos.

- The metal industry used to be among the key strategic contributors to the Ukrainian economy, but it has been hit hard following the Russian invasion of the country, as the biggest producing facilities have been partly destroyed or occupied by Russian forces. Alongside that, metal products, just like grains, were mainly been exported through the Black Sea ports and as such, since the start of the war, the flow has switched to railways, trucks, and small ports consequently making the logistics markedly more expensive. Thus allowing the metals to be shipped from the Great Odesa ports - typically the three ports of Pivdennyi, Odesa and Chornomorsk - potentially can help minimize the logistic costs and increase the flow, generating bigger margins for the country.

- However, the suggestion has been met with a lukewarm response from the grain trade, who fear he expansion of the corridor to include metals could bring challenges. Grain trade representatives have said that - for now - they do not see how it can be done as it is harder to argue that metals exports are crucial to the health and wellbeing of the world population in the same way that grains have been. Alongside that, any agreement regarding changes to the grain deal will have to be discussed with all the parties involved, and therefore with Russia as well - a major competitor to Ukraine in the industry and a request that is unlikely to be met with much enthusiasm.
"It sounds like one of the wish lists, such that is unlikely to be realized. It is easier to put pressure on the fact that we are saving the world from hunger, but you can't say that with metals,” one local source said, capturing the mood of a range of opinions from among the sources Agricensus spoke to.

- Russia has mounted a steady campaign against the export corridor, complaining about its operation trying to manipulate world opinion by arguing that the corridor is mostly sending Ukrainian grain to European countries, rather than the developing world that needs access to reliable, cheap food supplies. Another potential challenge could also be fears of exacerbating a bottleneck for ships exiting the Black Sea, with every vessel using the grain corridor required to be inspected twice at Istanbul - once on the way in and again on the way out. With Ukrainian exports through Black Sea ports reaching 4 million mt per month as its best since the corridor opened, and with inspections causing delays at Istanbul since October as only three or four vessels have been inspected per day.
Any increase in vessels is likely to need an increase in either the number of teams inspecting the vessels, or the 4 million mt potential maximum capacity will have to be divided between agricultural and metal products, thus crimping the potential for grain exports.
"Without going much into details, it will worsen the grain flow as the corridor is a bottleneck," one trader said.
"If there was two incoming inspections per day, then the metal will squeeze the grain," a second local source said.

- That comes even with metal exports facing a significant reduction, with around 5 million mt exported by rail during January-October 2022 compared to 13 million mt a year ago including the volume moved to ports by rail for further export, according to Julia Bolotova, EU steel market reporter for Fastmarkets MB. But even that amount means an additional 300,000-500,000 mt per month could be taken from grain’s share of the current monthly flow - potentially a 12% reduction.

- It could also bring higher competition for rail transport options delivering to the country's ports, but alleviate pressure on rail connections with the EU. At the same time, there could be scope for metals to take more of a share from grains as the current pace of grain exports has been big enough to potentially clear out all the country's stocks before the new marketing year comes in.
As such, in general there could be space for additional volumes to supplement any slowdown in grains and keep the ports busy.
“It is enough for us to have even less than 3 million mt per month within the corridor to export all potential [stocks] we have,” one local source said.

Jan 19 - BHP expects China to underpin commodities demand in 2023
China is set to be a stabilizing force for commodities demand this year as developed nations face economic headwinds, BHP Group Ltd said on Thursday as it posted higher quarterly iron ore shipments that beat expectations. BHP joined peer Rio Tinto to expect that China's measures to support its property sector will underpin solid demand for their steel-making products.  

Jan 19 - LME CEO says nickel reforms to be implemented 'relatively quickly'
London Metal Exchange (LME) will implement recommendations on accountability and position limits "relatively quickly" from an independent review of last year's nickel crisis to prevent market distortions and improve risk monitoring, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday. "The recommendations around accountability levels and position limits are particularly important, are broadly rules-based, so could be brought about quite quickly," LME CEO Matthew Chamberlain said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Jan 18  - Barrick set to report highest quarterly gold output for 2022
Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp on Tuesday reported a 13.4% sequential rise in gold production in what could be its highest quarterly output last year, driven by strong performances from its mines in Nevada and Ivory Coast. Gold prices XAU= gained 9.9% during the October-December quarter, the best since mid-2020. They have continued their upward trend this year as cooling U.S. inflation raised hopes for slower interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. 

Jan 18  - Funds jump back into copper, betting on Chinese recovery: Andy Home
Copper has begun the New Year on a surge, with funds piling back into the market in anticipation that China's rapid emergence from a year of lockdowns will translate into recovering demand Tuin the world's largest metals buyer. London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month copper CMCU3 broke back up through the $9,000-per tonne level last week for the first time since June.

Jan 18  - Glencore copper mine in Peru running at 'restricted' capacity due to protests
- source
Glencore Plc's huge Antapaccay copper mine in Peru is operating at "restricted" capacity due to anti-government protests that saw an attack on the facility last week, a company source told Reuters on Tuesday. "The mine has not yet suspended operations, which overall continue in a restricted manner," the company source said, asking not to be named. Road blockades by protesters were preventing trucks from moving its copper, the source said.

Jan 17  - Rio Tinto sees increased volatility as China reopens
Rio Tinto on Tuesday said that China's reopening from COVID-19 restrictions is set to raise near-term risks of labour and supply-chain shortages, while it also flagged a strong start to iron ore shipments for 2023.  The Anglo-Australian miner said consumers remain cautious of China's property market, which has been supportive to the economy, and that slowing global demand poses some risk to its exports.
Jan 17  - Peru protests snarl copper leaving MMG's Las Bambas mine
- source
Anti-government protesters in Peru are blocking traffic in and out of MMG Ltd's Las Bambas copper mine, but production will continue "as long as there is a stock of supplies," a source close to the company told Reuters on Monday. Highway blockades in protest of President Dina Boluarte are keeping copper concentrate at the mine and blocking supplies from arriving, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Jan 16  - Base metals start the new year with depleted inventory: Andy Home
The London Metal Exchange's (LME) global warehouse network held 654,345 tonnes of metal at the end of December, less than half the tonnage registered at the close of 2021. It's the lowest end-year inventory in the system this century and reflects two years of steady withdrawals which have left exchange stocks of metals such as zinc and lead almost depleted.

Jan 16  - U.S. to lend ioneer $700 million for Nevada lithium mine
The U.S. Energy Department said on Friday it will lend ioneer Ltd up to $700 million to build its Rhyolite Ridge lithium mining project in Nevada, a major step forward in President Joe Biden's plan to develop a domestic electric vehicle supply chain. Ioneer shares were up 16.3% at $16.30 on Friday afternoon in New York.

Jan 16  - India to seek easing of EU steel quotas, tarrifs in trade talks
India will seek an easing of European Union steel import quotas and tarrifs in talks for a new trade deal as Indian steelmakers struggle to sell the alloy in one of world's big markets, a senior government official said. Last year, India and the EU relaunched negotiations for a free trade agreement with the aim of completing talks by the end of 2023. The two sides previously launched talks in 2007, but they were frozen in 2013 due to a lack of progress.

Jan 12 - UK watchdog blocks LME plan to restart Asian hours nickel trade-sources
Britain's financial watchdog is blocking the restart of London Metal Exchange nickel trade in Asian hours due to doubts about the LME's ability to run an orderly market in that time zone, three sources with knowledge of the matter said. The world's largest metals trading exchange was forced to suspend all nickel activity for eight days in March 2022, after prices spiked more than 50% during Asian trading hours to hit a record above $100,000 a tonne. 

Jan 12 - Clock not yet ticking for First Quantum to halt Panama mine
The 10-day limit set by Panama's government last month for Canadian miner First Quantum to offer a plan to shut down its copper mine amid a contentious contract dispute has not yet started, the country's commerce minister said on Wednesday. The order to pause operations at the massive Cobre Panama mine stems from a dispute that started in late 2021, after a Supreme Court ruling declared unconstitutional the law under which the contract was signed.

Jan 11 - LME to decide nickel reforms by end of first quarter
The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Tuesday it will set out by end-March how it will implement recommendations to prevent market distortions and improve risk monitoring after a review into the nickel crisis last year. Months after turbulence highlighted shortcomings in LME oversight, the nickel contract remains broken.  

Jan 11 - Panama says Canada's First Quantum operating without contract
Panama's government on Tuesday doubled down on an order that Canada-based miner First Quantum Minerals halt operations at its local copper mine, saying the miner had been operating without a contract since 2017. Earlier, First Quantum said it would submit an appeal against Panama's order by the end of the day.

Jan 10  - Alcoa's Australia unit flags 30% production cut at alumina refinery
Aluminium producer Alcoa Corp said on Monday it expects production at its partially owned Kwinana alumina refinery in Western Australia to be cut by about 30% due to a shortage of gas supply. A unit of the refinery, majority owned by Alcoa in a joint venture with Alumina Ltd, has been taken offline, hitting process flows, the aluminium producer said in statement. 

Jan 10  - New fund friends will find lead in unusually lively mood: Andy Home
Lead has just joined the commodity A-list, bringing a new set of players to a market that has been trying to rebalance supply and demand for two years. Although commanding a weighting of just 0.936%, lower than any other industrial metal, lead is included in the Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) for the first time this year.

Jan 09 - China's Tianqi-led venture bids for Australian lithium firm Essential
A venture headed by China's Tianqi Lithium made an A$136 million bid to buy Australian lithium developer Essential Metals, in a big test of Australian regulators' appetite for Chinese-led foreign investment. Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia (TLEA), which is 51% owned by Shenzhen- and Hong Kong-listed Tianqi Lithium Corporation and 49% by Australian miner IGO Ltd, set the bid at 50 Australian cents per share. 

Jan 09 - New year, new nickel market after LME's 2022 meltdown?
March 2022 will go down in the history books as the moment the global nickel market broke down. The London Metal Exchange's (LME) six-day suspension of nickel trading plunged the global supply chain into pricing darkness.

Jan 06 - Global copper smelting dips in December after weak 2022
Global copper smelting activity dipped in December as smelters shut for maintenance after a year of sluggish activity, data from satellite surveillance of metal processing plants showed on Thursday. China's Yunxi plant began an annual maintenance programme at the start of the month while Codelco's Chuquicamata smelter in Chile remained closed, according to a joint statement from commodities broker Marex and SAVANT. 

Jan 06 - LME chair to step down, exchange declines comment on reason
The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Thursday said Gay Huey Evans will step down as LME chair, but declined to comment on whether it was due to regulatory reviews into the nickel market events in March. The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority in April launched a sweeping probe into how the LME suspended chaotic nickel trading on March 8 after prices doubled to a record above $100,000 a tonne in a few hours.

Jan 05 - Global Commodities Holdings to launch nickel trade platform in February
UK-based Global Commodities Holdings (GCH) said its planned physical nickel trading platform will launch in late February, and expects it to eventually offer an alternative to the London Metal Exchange's (LME) nickel futures contract. Many investors, traders, consumers and producers abandoned LME nickel after chaotic trading last March saw prices double to a record above $100,000 tonnes in a disorderly market, prompting the exchange to suspend nickel trading for more than a week. 

Jan 05 - Chile mining royalty bill progresses after committee approves
A Chilean congressional committee approved on Wednesday a controversial mining royalty bill, putting it a step closer to final approval as part of the government's sweeping tax reform. The proposal, strongly criticized by the industry, was presented in the middle of 2022 by the government to increase royalties on copper sales in Chile, the world's largest producer of the metal.

Jan 04 - Indonesia's Antam targets H2 2023 launch for ferronickel plant
Indonesian state miner Aneka Tambang plans to start operations at its new ferronickel plant on the island of Halmahera in the second half of 2023, the company said, after years of delays due to power supply issues. The company had initially planned to launch operations at the plant in East Halmahera in 2019. 

Jan 04 - Panama and First Quantum harden battle lines over key copper mine
Panama and First Quantum Minerals are hardening battle lines in a dispute over how much tax the Canadian miner should pay on its concession for the Central American country's only major copper mine in operation, a key asset for both parties. First Quantum's Chief Executive Tristan Pascall flew to Panama over Christmas and met with government officials for talks.

Jan 03  - Growth constraints to shackle industrial metals for a few more months
Industrial metals markets hoping for improving demand and a price rally may have to wait a few more months with the headwinds of slow growth likely to dominate the economic landscape for some time. Since hitting record highs in March on a rally fuelled by worries about disruptions to commodity supplies from Russia, copper has plummeted 22%, aluminium 41% and zinc 39%. 

Jan 03  - Panama president says final contract to miner First Quantum has been presented
Panama's president, Laurentino Cortizo, said on Monday the government has presented Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals a final contract to regulate operations. Cortizo, during a speech to the nation, vowed to abide by the constitution in the negotiations and to establish a "fair relationship" between the parties.