Base & Precious Metals News

Nov 28 - France seeks deal by January to save New Caledonia nickel sector
France is seeking an agreement by the end of January to salvage New Caledonia's nickel industry, which has been hobbled by political tensions and high energy costs, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday. New Caledonia has some of the world's largest nickel reserves but its producers have suffered years of losses, leaving the Pacific territory eclipsed by a nickel mining boom in Indonesia.

Nov 28 - Soft China and India may undermine gold's rally hopes: Russell
The spot price of gold has climbed to a six-month high, buoyed by hopes that monetary tightening in western countries is largely done and dusted. While signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve and other western central banks have finished increasing interest rates are a definite positive for the precious metal, they're not the only factor.

Nov 27 - China says boosts iron ore concentrate capacity to secure supplies
China has added 50 million metric tons of iron ore concentrate capacity from 2022, state media quoted an official at the industry association as saying on Monday, part of a plan to boost production of the key steelmaking ingredient. China, the world's top steel manufacturer, needs to import 80% of its iron ore. It has pledged to increase domestic supply to 370 million tons by 2025 from 286 million tons in 2022.

Nov 27 - China's lithium prices fall faster as supply beats expectations
Lithium prices in China fell more sharply this week, hitting a 26-month low, as a trial delivery of the metal to the Guangzhou Futures Exchange indicated larger-than-expected supply in the world's top producer of the battery metal. The most-traded January lithium futures contract on the exchange edged up 1% on Friday to end the week at 124,050 yuan per metric ton, down 10% on the week. They shed 7% last week.

Nov 24 - Trafigura plan to take lead from LME system sparked price spike -sources
Commodity trader Trafigura is planning to take large amounts of lead from London Metal Exchange approved (LME) warehouses, two sources with knowledge of the matter said, with a metals trader adding that the move was behind a short-lived price rally earlier in the week. Benchmark lead prices on the LME touched a 10-month high of $2,308.50 a metric ton on Monday when LME data showed cancelled warrants - metal earmarked to leave the LME system - had jumped to 44% of the total or 59,400 tons on Nov. 17.

Nov 24 - Copper supply rethink as smelter treatment charges fall: Andy Home
Chilean copper miner Antofagasta last week inked the first major 2024 concentrates supply deal with China's Jinchuan Group. It remains to be seen whether the terms form an annual benchmark for others. Indeed, it's far from certain there will be a single benchmark for next year due to a shifting copper concentrates landscape.

Nov 23 - LME zinc inventories see more large gains, tripling in a week
Another large inflow of zinc arrived in warehouses approved by the London Metal Exchange (LME), meaning the total has more than tripled in about a week to the highest levels in over two years, LME data showed on Wednesday. The sharp rise comes amid a background of oversupply of the metal mainly used for galvanising steel as weak economic activity hits industrial manufacturing, especially in Europe. 


Nov 23 - China to tighten oversight on iron ore market after price rally
China's state planner said on Thursday that it would closely monitor changes in the iron ore market and further tighten supervision of spot and futures trading in its latest effort to curb a rally in the price of the key steelmaking ingredient. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it met with iron ore trading companies and futures firms to understand their activity in the spot and futures markets after a "continuous and rapid" rise in iron ore prices.

Nov 22 - Top Chinese smelters seek higher fees than agreed by Jinchuan to process copper
China's top copper producers are looking for higher fees from Freeport for processing the U.S. miner's concentrates next year, above those agreed between Antofagasta and Jinchuan Group, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The fees known as treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) form a key component of copper smelters' income for converting copper concentrate into metal, which typically fall and squeeze smelters' profit margins when concentrate supply is tight. 


Nov 22 - Nickel to get boost from commodity index re-balancing in JanuaryNickel is likely to see a surge of buying before and during an annual re-balancing in January of commodity indexes, analysts said, getting a boost after prices tumbled this year on worries about surpluses of the stainless steel material. Funds that use the S&P GSCI and Bloomberg commodity indexes have to adjust their holdings during a five-day rebalancing, largely based on price moves the previous year.

Nov 21 - First Quantum plans maintenance for Panama copper mine amid protests - sources
Canada's First Quantum Minerals will carry out maintenance at its Panama mine from Nov. 23 due to coal supplies being blocked by protestors opposing the government's contract with one of the world's biggest and newest copper mines, two sources familiar with the discussions said on Monday. This move would effectively suspend production at the Cobre Panama mine until coal supplies resume as the mine cannot operate without power, one of the sources said. The sources declined to be identified as the information is not public.

Nov 21 - China's MMG seals $1.9 bln deal to buy Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana
Chinese miner MMG Ltd's share price jumped on Tuesday to a near eight-week peak after it agreed to buy Canada-based Cuprous Capital, the parent company of the Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana, with an enterprise value of $1.88 billion. MMG has been hunting for copper assets for more than a year, amid a surge in demand for the metal needed in green energy transition.

Nov 20 - China's Oct aluminium imports rise on solid demand, fears of reduced domestic supply
China's aluminium imports rose for the fifth straight month in October, customs data showed on Saturday, as buying appetite improved amid solid demand and expectations of reduced supply in the domestic market. The world's biggest consumer and producer of aluminium imported 351,065 metric tons of unwrought aluminium and products including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminium last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Nov 20 - Antofagasta agrees lower 2024 copper charges with Chinese smelter at $80 per ton

Chilean miner Antofagasta agreed treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) of $80 a metric ton and 8 cents per pound with Chinese smelter Jinchuan Group for copper concentrate supply next year, three sources said on Saturday. The charges, paid by miners to smelters to process ore into refined metal, are 9% lower than the 2023 benchmark level, agreed around the same time last year, of $88 a ton and 8.8 cents per pound.

Nov 17 - Copper demand growth seen driven by India, Southeast Asia, new energy

India and Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam, are expected to drive the growth in copper consumption towards 2030, as China's super-cycle growth slows, industry experts said. Southeast Asia and India together will likely account for 20% of global refined copper demand growth during the 2023-2028 period, and could account for 60% of longer-term copper demand growth, Craig Lang, an analyst at CRU, said at the World Copper Conference Asia.


Nov 17 - Citi delivers around $155 million worth of zinc for rent deal - sources

Citi has delivered 60,000 metric tons of zinc with a value of around $155 million to London Metal Exchange (LME) approved warehouses in a potentially highly profitable rent-sharing deal, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The U.S. bank is expanding its footprint in metals after it agreed a similar zinc deal in August and in September was involved in an aluminium trade for 100,000 metric tons of the metal, with a value of around $225 million.

Nov 16 - Codelco cuts cocktail party, tables in key Asia copper event amid restructuring

Chilean state mining company Codelco, the world's biggest copper producer, is cutting some of its usual spending at a major copper gathering in China, sources said, as the company undergoes restructuring. Codelco chairman has said the company is reassessing the costs of upgrades to the life of its mines.


Nov 16 - Antofagasta's 2024 payment offer for copper processing below $75 - sources 

Chilean miner Antofagasta has offered to pay Chinese smelters less than $75 a metric ton in 2024 to turn copper concentrate into metal, 16% below contracts signed last year, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. A spokesperson for the London-listed miner said Antofagasta "does not comment on copper negotiations"

Nov 16 - India to seek steady coking coal supplies from Australia - sources

The Indian government will request Australia to take measures to ensure steady supplies of coking coal, four sources said, as part of efforts to help steel mills reeling from falling supplies and rising prices of the key raw material in steel-making. Nagendra Nath Sinha, the most senior official at India's federal Ministry of Steel, will meet Philip Green, Australia's high commissioner to India, and the two sides are likely to discuss India's need for coking coal, said the sources, who included two Indian government officials and two industry executives.

Nov 15 - China's Oct crude steel output extends dip on thinner margins, weak demand

China's crude steel output fell for the fourth consecutive month in October, official data showed on Wednesday, as more mills implemented furnace maintenance amid thinning margins and disappointing demand in the peak consumption season. The world's largest steel producer manufactured 79.09 million metric tons of the metal last month, down 3.7% from 82.11 million tons in September, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.


Nov 15 - As Exxon eyes lithium, crucial decision looms on filtration technology

Exxon Mobil has yet to decide which lithium filtration technology it will deploy as part of its aggressive plans to become one of the world's top producers of the metal used to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries, an executive said on Tuesday. On Monday, the oil giant unveiled its long-awaited lithium strategy and said it aims to filter the ultralight metal from reservoirs about 10,000 feet beneath the U.S. state of Arkansas. Reuters first reported the news last weekend.

Nov 14 - EU agrees mineral supply targets to cut reliance on China

Negotiators for EU governments and lawmakers reached a deal on Monday on targets for domestic supply of critical minerals such as lithium and nickel to reduce its reliance on third countries, principally China. The European Commission proposed the Critical Raw Materials Act in March, a centrepiece of EU strategy to allow it to compete with the United States and China in making clean tech products.


Nov 14 - Iron ore defies commodity gloom amid China property hopes: Russell

Iron ore has defied weakness in most of the commodity complex, with prices climbing to an eight-month high amid both positive sentiment and supportive fundamentals in China, the world's biggest buyer of the steel raw material. Iron ore contracts in Singapore ended at $129.24 a metric ton on Monday, the highest since March 16, extending a rally since an Aug. 3 low of $103.21 to 25%.

Nov 13 - US, Indonesia to discuss potential for deal on EV minerals - sources

The United States and Indonesia will discuss how to advance a potential minerals partnership aimed a stimulating trade of the electric vehicle (EV) battery metal nickel, according to three people with direct knowledge of the conversations. Next steps that could move the countries toward formal negotiations on the partnership will be discussed when Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday, according to one of the people.


Nov 13 - Exxon aims to begin lithium production by 2026 in Arkansas - source

Exxon Mobil is set to unveil its long-awaited lithium strategy on Monday with an announcement that it aims to start production of the electric vehicle (EV) battery metal in Arkansas by 2026, according to a source with direct knowledge of the oil major's plans. Exxon's expansion into the sector comes as emerging technologies aim to boost global production of the ultralight metal by filtering it from salty brine deposits found across the globe and supplying it to battery makers eager for fresh sources.

Nov 10 - LME simplifies off-warrant stock reporting rules
The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Thursday it will require warehouses in its network to report all inventory that can be delivered against its contracts, in a move that reduces the complexity of previous rules. The changes are part of sweeping reforms announced by the 146-year old exchange to boost confidence in the LME, its management and systems damaged by the nickel crisis in March 2022. 

Nov 10 - Breakthrough in wildcat strike sees some Congo copper drivers resume work
Trucks carrying thousands of tons of copper in the Democratic Republic of Congo accompanied by security escorts have resumed travel toward the border with Zambia following a wildcat strike, two sources told Reuters on Thursday. About 2,700 trucks carrying around 89,000 tons of copper had been stuck in Kolwezi after drivers went on a wildcat strike demanding a risk allowance of $700 per journey, Reuters reported on Nov. 7 citing sources.

Nov 09 - Portuguese anti-mining groups urge suspension of lithium projects after PM's resignation
Portuguese anti-mining groups have urged the government to suspend and review all lithium projects while authorities investigate alleged corruption in the handling of "green" energy deals that have led to the resignation of the prime minister. Antonio Costa resigned on Tuesday, hours after prosecutors detained five people, including his chief of staff, and named two formal suspects close to him in an investigation into lithium mining and hydrogen projects. 

Nov 09 - Western miners seek premium pricing for rare earth metals to break China grip
A handful of Canadian, German and Australian critical mineral explorers plan to command premium prices for key metals used in electric vehicles, promising quality and consistency in exchange for shifting reliance away from China, the dominant producer and price-setter. China controls 95% of the production and supply of rare earth metals, integral to manufacturing magnets for electric vehicles (EVs) and wind farms, and this monopoly has allowed China to dictate prices and stir turmoil among end users through export controls.

Nov 08 - Codelco cuts 2024 copper premium to China, changes contract structure
Chile's Codelco cut the premium for selling copper to its biggest Chinese clients by 36% for next year and is trying to fix it in a way that would guarantee its revenues, three sources with knowledge of the matter said this week. Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, has offered to sell copper at a premium of $89 a metric ton to major Chinese clients for its 2024 contracts, down from this year's $140 a ton, the sources said.

Nov 08 - Copper, cobalt supplies from Congo stranded by truckers' strike
Copper and cobalt produced by companies, including Glencore and CMOC, are stranded in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), due to a truckers strike that started in late October, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Already 2,700 trucks carrying around 89,000 metric tons of copper are stuck in Kolwezi, two of the sources said.

Nov 07 - China Oct iron ore imports fall on thinning margins, wider steel production cuts
China's iron ore imports in October fell 1.8% from September, customs data showed on Tuesday, dropping for a second straight month as narrowing steel margins, wider production cuts among steelmakers and high prices curbed buyers' appetites. The world's top iron ore consumer brought in 99.39 million metric tons of the key steelmaking ingredient last month, down from 101.18 million tons in September, data from the country's General Administration of Customs showed.  

Nov 07 - China's October copper imports hit 10-month high as inventories fall
China's copper imports hit a ten-month high in October, customs data showed on Tuesday, as declining domestic stocks and firm demand underpinned buying activity. Imports of unwrought copper and copper products, used widely in the construction, transport and power sectors, totalled 500,168 metric tons, the highest since last December, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. The data includes anode, refined, alloy and semi-finished copper.

Nov 06 - Rainfall plays key role in capping Chinese aluminium capacity: Andy Home
Another month, another new record for China's primary aluminium production sector. Output in the world's largest producer of the light metal has increased by an annualised 2.3 million metric tons since March and hit a fresh peak of 42.6 tons in September, according to the International Aluminium Institute. The production surge has refocused minds on the government's capacity cap of 45 million tons, a measure dating back to 2017 which requires new smelting capacity to be offset by closures of older plants.  

Nov 06 - China steel association says EU carbon tax a new trade barrier, calls for more talks
The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) proposed by the European Union creates a new trade barrier for Chinese exports, China's state-backed steel association said on Friday, calling for more talks with the bloc to address climate issues. The EU approved in April the world's first plan to impose a levy on high-carbon goods imports from 2026, targeting imports of steel, cement, aluminium, fertilisers, electricity, and hydrogen.

Nov 03 - Panama lawmakers scrap plan to annul copper mine concession
Lawmakers in Panama scratched provisions from a proposed bill that would cancel a recently approved mining concession extending the life of a controversial but lucrative copper mine by at least two decades, legislators told Reuters on Thursday. The fate of the Cobre Panama mine, which accounts for 1% of global copper output and is operated by a local unit of Canadian miner First Quantum, has been roiled by street protesters opposed to the project over the past couple weeks.  

Nov 03 - Lithium producers stay bullish on EVs despite growing headwinds
The world's largest lithium producers say they remain bullish on long-term demand for the battery material in the midst of recent price drops fueled by growing worries that the global pace of electric vehicle adoption is slowing. LG Energy Solution, General Motors, Honda and other auto and battery makers have trimmed EV expansion plans in recent weeks, partly due to rising interest rates, which in turn has stoked concerns of a supply glut for the battery metal.

Nov 02 - Miner First Quantum faces rocky road as Panama protesters dig in
Battered Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals is bracing for a rocky road ahead as Panama moves to strike down its contract to operate one of the world's largest copper mines. Panama's shock decision on Sunday to call a binding vote on whether to scrap the mine's recently struck 20-year contract sparked a sell-off in Vancouver-based First Quantum shares.  

Nov 02 - Bears bet big that nickel can close the product gap: Andy Home
The bears are out in force on the London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel market. Fund players have lifted their bets on lower prices to levels last seen in 2019, or even earlier if expressed as a percentage of open interest. It's not hard to understand why. The LME three-month nickel price has been on the slide for most of the year, sucking in momentum-tracking technical funds. Currently trading around $18,000 per metric ton, nickel is down by 42% on the start of January and challenging chart support levels dating back to late 2021.

Nov 01 - China's Yunnan begins aluminium production cuts as dry season begins
Chinese aluminium smelters in southwestern Yunnan province started cutting a total of 1.15 million metric tons of capacity this week, to comply with curbs expected to last until April, a smelter manager and two analysts said. The curb, issued by China Southern Power Grid on Oct. 30, asked local producers to cut their production by between 9% and 40% of capacity, according to Li Lin, aluminium director at AZ Consulting. 

Nov 01 - Mining faces gulf between ambition and reality on energy transition, China: Russell
Mining companies in the West are facing two overarching challenges in trying to produce enough metals to enable the energy transition, and at the same time build alternative supply chains to lessen their dependence on China. The problem is that there is a vast gulf between the scale of the ambition and the reality of what's actually happening, and what's likely to happen in the next few years.

Oct 31 - Indian gold demand loses lustre in peak festive season as prices rally
Gold prices near record highs could dampen demand in India during the peak festival season and lead to the lowest purchase volumes in three years, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Tuesday. India is the world's second-largest gold consumer, and a drop in purchases could limit a rally in global prices. Falling demand for gold imports could also help narrow India's trade deficit and support the rupee. 

Oct 31 - Australian mining red tape hurts its global investment case- Hancock
Australia's slow pace of mining approvals is diminishing its attraction as a global investment destination, Hancock Prospecting, owned by Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart, said on Tuesday. Hancock joins BHP Group and Rio Tinto in flagging red tape around mining projects as hurting Australia's drive to secure major investment into its minerals industry.

Oct 30 - Aussie billionaire threatens to sink SQM's $1 bln lithium deal
Hancock Prospecting, owned by Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart, threatened on Friday to torpedo a deal by the world's second biggest lithium chemicals maker, Chile's SQM, for an Australian lithium miner. Hancock Prospecting, an iron ore miner, has built up a stake of 18.3% in Azure Minerals, which is developing the Andover project in Western Australia, a filing to the Australian securities exchange showed on Friday.

Oct 30 - China's exports of refined lead feed LME stocks rebuild: Andy Home
China's exports of refined lead hit a 15-month high in September with year-to-date shipments already exceeding last year's total. The acceleration in outbound flows has been triggered by a persistent cash premium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) lead contract which has widened the export arbitrage window.

Oct 27 - Indonesia export plan to upset Freeport's mined copper benchmark
Indonesia's bid to add value to its mineral exports will dilute copper miner Freeport's benchmark status for annual contracts as its 2024 sales will fall short of levels needed for a global reference, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. As one of the world's largest copper miners, producing two million metric tons annually, treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) Freeport agrees with Chinese smelters has for years been used as a basis for contracts worldwide. 

Oct 27 - Codelco workers warn against job cuts, do not rule out strike -union head
Workers for Chile's Codelco will not rule out a strike if the state-owned copper company enacts job cuts to counteract a slump in production, which has reached its lowest point in a quarter century, the head of the company's union association said. In an interview with Reuters, Amador Pantoja, president of the Federation of Copper Workers (FTC) - which brings together the company's unions - said Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, should focus on getting structural projects, which have faced numerous delays, into production.

Oct 26 - G7 announcement on Russian diamond ban expected by end Oct.
A G7 statement announcing a ban on imports of Russian diamonds is expected by the end of this month, followed closely by a proposal for the European Union's 12th package of sanctions on Russia, diplomatic sources said. "We now need the final blessing of the G7 before then translating these elements in legal texts at the European level," an EU diplomat said. 

Oct 26 - Steelmaker SSAB launches $224 mln share buyback after earnings beat
Swedish steelmaker SSAB announced a 2.5 billion crown share buyback program on Wednesday as it posted a smaller than expected drop in third-quarter operating profit, sending its stock price up 6% in early trade. A seasonal slowdown in European steel markets was more pronounced than usual in the third quarter and demand in the region is expected to remain subdued in the final three months of the year, the company said. 

Oct 25 - Canada's Teck Resources says restructuring remains 'priority' as Q3 underwhelmsTeck Resources was progressing "expeditiously" on a split of its coal and copper businesses, the Canadian miner said on Tuesday, after missing quarterly profit estimates on weak sales of steelmaking coal. The company also trimmed its full-year production forecast for copper, steelmaking coal, and molybdenum, sending its shares down.

Oct 25 - Anglo American lowers 2023 copper production guidance
Global miner Anglo American on Tuesday lowered its 2023 production guidance for copper on curtailments at its Chilean operations, even as its output of the metal rose 42% in the third quarter. Anglo expects to produce between 830,000 and 870,000 metric tons of copper this year, lowering a previous forecast of 840,000 to 930,000.

Oct 24 - Russia's Nornickel: Q3 nickel output higher q/q, palladium output drops
Russia's Nornickel, the world's largest palladium producer and a major producer of high-grade nickel, said on Monday its third-quarter nickel production was 21% higher than in the previous quarter at 53,945 metric tons. Unlike many Russian companies, Nornickel has not been directly targeted with Russian sanctions over its actions in Ukraine, but Western suppliers staying away from the Russian market may pose operational challenges for Nornickel's production in the longer term.

Oct 24 - India's JSW steel boss says 'nothing concrete' with Canada's Teck
India's JSW Steel Ltd's discussions with Canada's Teck Resources over buying a possible stake in its coking coal unit have yielded "nothing concrete", JSW Steel Chief Executive Jayant Acharya told Reuters on Monday. Last month, Reuters reported that JSW Steel, India's largest steelmaker by capacity, had slowed down the process to buy a stake in Teck Resources because of a diplomatic spat between New Delhi and Canada.

Oct 23 - Graphite buyers to boost imports ahead of China's curbs - analysts
Some graphite consumers will aim to accelerate imports of the EV battery ingredient from China in November before the country's export curbs for some products come into force, but it may be difficult due to complex specifications, analysts said. China, the world's top graphite producer and exporter, said on Friday that from Dec. 1 exports of some types of natural and man-made forms of graphite would require permits. 

Oct 23 - Australian miner South32's met coal output falls on Illawarra disruptions - Reuters News
Australia's South32 posted a bigger-than-expected 18% drop in its first-quarter metallurgical coal output on Monday, hurt by production disruptions at its flagship Illawarra operations in New South Wales. Shares of the diversified miner fell as much as 3.6% to A$3.250, their lowest since Sept. 28, and were among the top 10 losers in the ASX 200 benchmark index.

Oct 20 - China, world's top graphite producer, to curb exports of key battery material
China will require export permits for some graphite products to protect national security, its commerce ministry said on Friday, in its latest move to control supplies of critical minerals in response to challenges over its manufacturing dominance. China is the world's top graphite producer and exporter and also refines more than 90% of the world's graphite into the material that is used in virtually all EV battery anodes, which is the negatively charged portion of a battery. 

Oct 20 - Freeport-McMoRan to slow expansions amid inflation, weak copper prices
Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan posted a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Thursday, but said it would slow expansion plans due to inflation and slumping prices for the red metal used across the global economy. The announcement from one of the world's largest copper producers is the latest warning from the mining industry that supplies of minerals critical to the clean energy transition are likely to fall far short of aggressive demand forecasts in coming years.

Oct 19 - Rio Tinto flags return to record iron ore production
Rio Tinto plans to raise output by 16% at its newest iron ore mine in Western Australia as it sets out step by step changes that will bring it back to record production levels as soon as 2025. The world's biggest iron ore producer will increase production capacity at its Gudai-Darri mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia by 7 million metric tons to 50 million tons a year at a cost of $70 million, it said on Wednesday.

Oct 19 - G7 to discuss four versions of Russian diamond ban this week
G7 countries will this week discuss four plans to ban Russian diamonds from G7 markets from Jan. 1, from light-touch self-regulation to strict import measures, laying bare differences that explain why a ban has been so difficult to agree for more than a year, documents showed. The four proposals were prepared by Belgium, India, a French jewellery industry group and the World Diamond Council and will be discussed at a technical meeting of G7 representatives on Thursday, officials close to the talks told Reuters.

Oct 18 - Global steel demand growth downgraded to 1.8% in 2023 on high rates
Global steel demand is expected to rise by 1.8% in 2023 as infrastructure projects in top consumer China help to offset weakness elsewhere, the World Steel Association (WSA) said on Tuesday, downgrading its forecast. The industry group revised its April forecast, which estimated steel consumption would rise by 2.3% this year. 

Oct 18 - China's Sept crude steel output falls further, surprising market
China's crude steel output fell 5% in September from August, official data showed on Wednesday, confounding some market expectations for a rise after steelmakers had lifted utilisation rates amid the peak construction season. The world's largest steel producer manufactured 82.11 million metric tons of the ferrous metal last month, down from 86.41 million tons in August, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

Oct 17 - Rio Tinto cuts Canada iron ore production estimate on extended plant outage
Rio Tinto reported a rise in quarterly output across its copper and aluminium portfolios on Tuesday, sending its shares 3% higher, even as the miner cut its annual estimate for the Canadian iron ore business due to operational failures. The world's biggest iron ore producer expects an iron ore output of 9.3 million to 9.8 million tons (mt) from its Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) business, down from 10.0 to 11.0 mt previously projected. 

Oct 17 - Australia's Newcrest reports lower quarterly gold output on maintenance shutdowns
Newcrest Mining, which is in the final stages of a takeover by global gold mining giant Newmont Corp, on Tuesday posted an 18.1% sequential fall in quarterly gold production, hurt by maintenance shutdowns during the quarter. Planned maintenance activities at the miner's Cadia, Telfer, Brucejack projects resulted in a lower throughput during the quarter, while output at Red Chris declined due to lower gold grade.

Oct 16 - Lithium developer Liontown to raise funds after Albemarle dumps $4.2 bln bid
Australian lithium developer Liontown Resources on Monday entered a trading halt to raise funding for its flagship Kathleen Valley lithium project after U.S.-based miner Albemarle  abandoned a A$6.6 billion ($4.16 billion) buyout bid. Albemarle withdrew its indicative proposal amid "growing complexities," the companies confirmed in separate statements that came days after Hancock Prospecting, an iron ore miner controlled by Australia's richest person, Gina Rinehart, raised its stake to 19.9% of Liontown. 

Oct 16 - London Metal Exchange tries to move on from nickel crisis: Andy Home
The London Metal Exchange's (LME) Monday seminar was packed out, the Tuesday black-tie dinner was as glitzy as ever and the champagne and wine flowed liberally in the many meetings and cocktail parties taking place across London's West End. This year's LME Week, the annual gathering of the world's metals industry, felt like a return to bygone days, the numbers boosted by the welcome return of Chinese visitors after three years of travel restrictions.

Oct 13 - China's Sept iron ore imports fall as steel margins shrink, domestic supply grows
China's iron ore imports in September fell 4.9% from August, customs data showed on Friday, as declining steel margins and rising domestic supply curbed buying. The world's largest iron ore consumer brought in 101.18 million metric tons of the key steelmaking ingredient last month, down from 106.42 million tons imported in August, which was the highest since October 2020, data from the country's General Administration of Customs showed. 

Oct 13 - Newcrest investors strongly approve $17 billion Newmont takeover
Newcrest Mining shareholders have voted strongly in favour of accepting the A$26.2 billion buyout bid from global gold mining giant Newmont Corporation, Australia's largest corporate takeover this year. The company announced on Friday that 92.63% of the votes cast by Newcrest shareholders were in favour of the deal going ahead, exceeding the requirement for at least 75% support.

Oct 12 - Miners seek partners for copper assets as M&A heats up
A flurry of copper mining deals are being lined up for the next six to 12 months, industry sources said, as producers seek to spread the soaring cost of new projects for the metal key to the energy transition. The capital needed to develop new mines has shot up some 50% to between $3 billion-$4 billion on average in recent years, fuelled by declining ore grades, stricter environmental requirements and rising labour costs. 

Oct 12 - Eramet rues timid European banks, sees lithium plant costing $1.5 bln
European banks are too slow to finance mining projects because of red tape linked to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, France's Eramet said, as it pursues a lithium project with China's Tsingshan that could cost $1.5 billion. Eramet aims to start producing lithium in Argentina in the second quarter of next year under the first phase of its joint venture with steel giant Tsingshan, part of Eramet's shift towards minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries.

Oct 11 - LME WEEK-China's top copper buyers expect a 36% cut in Codelco premium
China's largest copper buyers expect to pay a premium of around $90 per metric ton next year for Codelco's metal, 36% below what they are paying this year, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Premiums set for physical delivery of copper are paid on top of the reference London Metal Exchange contract and are sometimes used as a benchmark for global contracts. 

Oct 11 - LME WEEK-Russia's Rusal has fully allocated 2023 sales volumes - company
Citi has been purchasing large volumes of physical aluminum and zinc on the London Metal Exchange, in a metal-financing trade that has made it one of the biggest players in the market in recent months, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday. In the last few months, Citi requested delivery of about 100,000 tons of aluminum and 40,000 tons of zinc — worth over $300 million, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.

Oct 10 - Codelco 2024 copper premium offer matches 2023's record $234/T for European customers
Chile's Codelco, the world's biggest copper miner, is offering to sell copper at a premium of $234 a metric ton to European customers next year - matching this year's record - a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. The premiums set by Codelco for physical delivery of copper are paid on top of the London Metal Exchange contract and are sometimes used as a benchmark for global contracts for the metal used in the power and construction industries.

Oct 10 - Zinc study group now sees market surplus for 2023
The global refined zinc market will see a surplus of 248,000 metric tons in 2023 compared with a previously forecast deficit of 45,000 tons due to slower than expected demand growth, the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) said on Monday. Prices for zinc are down 16% so far this year following last year's slump in demand from China, the world's largest consumer.

Oct 09 - LME WEEK-Resilient China demand supports copper prices, boosts local aluminium prices
Demand for copper and aluminium in China has been surprisingly robust despite the country's property sector crisis, driven by orders from the home appliance, electric vehicle, solar and wind sectors. That's lent support to otherwise weak copper prices globally and helped aluminium prices in the world's biggest metals consumer surge, according to traders, analysts and producers. 

Oct 09 - Codelco says reassessing costs of projects to upgrade mines
Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, is reassessing the costs of upgrades to extend the life of its mines, its chairman said on Friday, given cost overruns at El Teniente and Chuquicamata. Higher costs could mean Codelco's debt is likely to reach $30 billion by 2030 from $18 billion now, Chile’s Centre for Copper and Mining Studies (CESCO) said in a rare intervention, in August.

Oct 06 - LME WEEK-Nickel debacle casts long shadow as industry masses in London
The ramifications of 2022's London Metal Exchange nickel trading debacle, including potential challenges to its nickel contract and the fate of the exchange itself will be hot topics next week as the metals industry descends on London. On March 8, last year, the 145-year old exchange was plunged into crisis - forced to halt nickel trading for the first time since 1988 - when prices more than doubled in a few hours to records above $100,000 a metric ton. 

Oct 06 - Chile's Codelco CFO resigns amid growing debt concerns
Chile's state miner Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, announced on Thursday its Chief Financial Officer Alejandro Rivera has resigned effective Nov. 3 amid a credit rating downgrade and growing debt. Chile’s Centre for Copper and Mining Studies said in a report seen by Reuters that Codelco is at risk of insolvency due to rising costs and a growing debt pile.

Oct 05 - Global miner BHP to focus on cost cuts, patient on M&A
Global miner BHP Group is focused on cutting costs to drive growth while being patient on buying assets, its chief development officer Johan van Jaarsveld said on Thursday in Melbourne. "This is a cyclical industry, and you sometimes are going to have to wait for 10 years or may be more to get the right opportunity at the right price," van Jaarsveld said.

Oct 05 - LMEWEEK-Hydro CEO sees rapid demand growth for low-carbon aluminium
Hydro expects demand for its low carbon aluminium to grow at a fast pace over coming years, the CEO of one of the world's largest aluminium producers told Reuters, adding that U.S. customers are starting to ask for recycled material. Aluminium is a key material for the energy transition, which includes electric vehicles.

Oct 04 - Global nickel market surplus to widen in 2024 -INSG
The surplus in the global nickel market is expected to widen to 239,000 metric tons in 2024 from 223,000 tons this year, the International Nickel Study Group (said on Tuesday, signalling further pressure on the metal. Prices for nickel on the London Metal Exchange are down 38% so far this year. High-grade "Class 1" nickel can be delivered against the LME contract, while production of lower-grade "Class 2" is soaring in Indonesia. 

Oct 04 - Australian billionaire strengthens hand in Albemarle's Liontown target
Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart has beefed up her stake in Liontown Resources seeking to have a greater say over the lithium developer's direction as it awaits a takeover offer from Albemarle, a company filing on Tuesday showed. Rinehart's company Hancock Prospecting raised its stake to 14.67%, putting it in a strong position to negotiate with Albemarle, the world's biggest lithium producer, whose proposed takeover would require support from 75% of votes cast.

Oct 03 - U.S. optimistic it will reach critical minerals deal with EU
The United States is optimistic it will conclude an agreement with the European Union to allow critical minerals mined or processed in Europe to qualify for U.S. clean vehicle tax breaks, a senior U.S. official said on Monday. The transatlantic partners are negotiating whether and how EU critical minerals, such as lithium and nickel, can qualify for green subsidies under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, which promotes products manufactured in North America. 

Oct 03 - Codelco strikes early deal with Radomiro Tomic mine supervisors' union
Chilean state-owned mining group Codelco said on Monday it had reached an early collective agreement with the supervisors' union at its Radomiro Tomic mine, which accounts for more than a fifth of its copper output. The company said in a statement that the deal, which starts in December and spans 36 months, includes goal-based and productivity incentives as well as "quality of life" benefits for supervisors, but did not provide specifics.

Oct 02 - Silver to benefit from solar sector demand once rates peak
Robust demand from the solar industry and limited supply growth from mines will buoy silver prices once the period of higher global interest rates is over, analysts said. Silver is both an investment and is consumed in the manufacture of jewellery, electronics and electric vehicles, as well as solar panels which has been gaining traction amid the global green energy transition. 

Oct 02 - Supervisors at Chilean mine reject contract offer, strike possible
The union of supervisors at Chile's Escondida mine on Friday rejected a contract offer from mine owner BHP, paving the way for a strike, the union told Reuters, while the company said it would request government mediation. The proposed contract was rejected with nearly 99% of the vote according to the union which counts over 900 members.

Sep 29 - Brazil mineral rights dispute casts shadow on Sigma Lithium expansion
A Brazilian court injunction is halting the sale or mining of two plots of land where takeover target Sigma Lithium is planning open pits, according to court documents seen by Reuters. Vancouver-based Sigma Lithium is one of the hottest names in Brazil's budding lithium sector – a pioneer in sustainable mining practices and, according to the firm, a potential acquisition target for some of the world's top carmakers. 

Sep 29 - Iron ore prices head into China holidays facing downside risks: Russell
Iron ore heads into a week-long Chinese holiday hiatus with prices elevated and mixed signals as to the strength of demand in the world's largest importer of the steel-making raw material. The concerns in the residential property sector threatens to cast a pall over China's economic recovery, and over the iron ore and steel sectors given that it accounts for about a third of domestic steel demand.

Sep 28 - Chile's Codelco expects copper output to start recovering in 2024
Codelco Chairman Maximo Pacheco said on Wednesday the Chilean state-run company's copper production is expected to start recovering next year as it overhauls its mining operations. Copper output from Codelco's operations fell in 2022 to the lowest level in 25 years, exacerbated in part by delays to key projects for extending the life of its mines.

Sep 28 - Mexico not able to cancel Ganfeng Lithium concessions, chamber says
Mexico will not be able under the law to cancel concessions for China's Ganfeng Lithium in the government's bid to tighten control over its potentially lucrative lithium reserves, the president of Mexico's mining chamber said on Wednesday. Lithium giant Ganfeng said in a late August filing that Mexico's mining authorities had issued a notice to its local subsidiaries indicating nine of its concessions had been canceled.

Sep 27 - Chile's Codelco to meet obligations as financials deteriorate -JPMorgan
Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, will meet its financial obligations despite headwinds from a series of operational problems and from high levels of debt and investments, JPMorgan said on Tuesday. Codelco's copper production fell in 2022 to its lowest level in 25 years, exacerbated in part by delays to key projects for extending the lives of its mines. 

Sep 27 - Brazilian steelmakers say Chinese, Russian imports 'flooding' market
Cheaper steel from Russia and China is "flooding" Brazil's market, the chairman of Brazil's Aco industry group said on Tuesday, though a top executive said Chinese imports were less of a problem than a decade ago. Jefferson de Paula, who also heads the Brazilian arm of No. 2 global steelmaker ArcelorMittal, said during an industry event that "Chinese and Russian companies are flooding the market with steel products at subsidized prices."

Sep 26 - China sets 2023 rare earth mining quota at 240,000 T, up 14% y/y
China has doubled its rare earth mining quota for this year to a record high of 240,000 metric tons, government data showed on Monday. The full-year mining output quota for this year, including 120,000 tons issued in March, represents a 14% rise over 2022, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Ministry of Natural Resources said in a joint statement.  

Sep 26 - China powers global aluminium output to record high: Andy Home
Global production of primary aluminium hit an all-time high in August, with the world's smelters running at an annualised rate of 71.2 million metric tons. It's now clear that China, the world's largest producer, is experiencing a production surge thanks to improved power supply in previously drought-hit parts of the country's hydro-electric syste

Sep 25 - Inside Vietnam's plans to dent China's rare earths dominance
Vietnam plans to restart its biggest rare-earths mine next year with a Western-backed project that could rival the world's largest, according to two companies involved, as part of a broader push to dent China's dominance in a sector that helps power advanced technologies. The move would be a step toward the Southeast Asian country's aim of building up a rare-earths supply chain, including developing its capacity to refine ores into metals used in magnets for electric vehicles, smartphones and wind turbines.

Sep 25 - China smelters keep Q4 copper guidance price at six-year high
China's top copper smelters maintained their fourth-quarter guidance for copper concentrate processing treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) at a six-year high amid expectations of ample supply in the market. The rates, decided at a meeting of the China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) held on Friday, were $95 per metric ton and 9.5 cents per pound, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Sep 22 - Southern Copper sees Peru output hitting 400,000 T this year - exec
Southern Copper, controlled by Grupo Mexico, expects its production of the red metal in Peru to bounce 17% this year to 400,000 metric tons, a senior executive told Reuters, driving the firm's overall output growth. The mining firm, Peru's third largest copper producer, saw its copper output slide to 342,000 tons last year from just over 398,000 tons the year before as operations at its Cuajone mine were paralyzed by almost two months of community protests.  

Sep 22 - Sigma Lithium signs supply deal with Glencore
Miner Sigma Lithium, said on Thursday it would supply more than 20,000 tonnes of the mineral to commodity trader Glencore amid rising demand for the key element used in electric vehicle batteries. The Vancouver-based miner said it would ship the 22,500 tonnes of lithium to Glencore from the Vitoria port in Brazil this week as part of a collaboration with the Swiss firm.

Sep 22 - US firm AXT says China unit has initial export permits for key chipmaking metals
U.S. semiconductor wafer maker AXT Inc said its Chinese subsidiary Beijing Tongmei had received initial export permits for shipping gallium arsenide and germanium substrates - compounds key to chipmaking - to certain customers. Tongmei will continue to work to obtain permits for additional customers, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sep 21 - Russian oil producers send CPC Blend to UAE, open new export route
Russian oil producers supplied their first cargoes of CPC Blend crude to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in August and September, traders told Reuters, opening up a new export route as Moscow looks to find new customers and skirt Western sanctions.The world's third largest oil exporter, Russia has rerouted most of its oil to China, India and Turkey over the past year, and has also sent cargoes to countries including Brazil, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Sep 21 - Promise of calmer markets as US oil wrests pricing power from Brent
Increased exports of oil from the United States into Europe and Asia mean U.S. crude has snatched back its primacy in setting international pricing after North Sea grades have for decades determined the value of the world's most traded commodity. The trend has calmed volatility and limits the potential for trading plays, known by traders as squeezes, that have on occasions distorted the established Brent oil benchmark, based on North Sea crudes, traders and industry insiders said.

Sep 20 - China exported no germanium, gallium in Aug due to export curbs
China's exports of germanium and gallium products in August plunged to zero, customs data showed on Wednesday, due to new export controls on the two chipmaking metals. Beijing exported no wrought germanium products last month, compared to 8.63 metric tons in July when volumes more than doubled from June as overseas buyers rushed to lock in supply ahead of the curbs.

Sep 20 - Top nickel producer Indonesia will not approve any new mining quotas for 2023

Top nickel producer Indonesia will not approve any new mining output quotas this year, government official Septian Hario Seto told Reuters, a move likely to further tighten supplies of nickel ore. Indonesia's mining quota distribution has already been delayed after the government reverted to an older approval process due to an ongoing investigation into illegal mining.

Sep 19 - Glencore took low volumes of Rusal aluminium, contract could go to 2025
Glencore bought only a small portion of a potential 6.9 million metric tons of aluminium it could have bought in 2020 to 2022 under its contract with Russia's Rusal, which could be extended to 2025, regulatory filings show. Commodities group Glencore, under pressure to stop buying metal from Rusal due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, said last year it would agree no new contracts for Russian material, but would meet existing obligations.

Sep 19 - Rio Tinto shoulders Simandou iron ore bill as Chinese funds delayed
- sources
Rio Tinto, has been solely funding preparatory work at the blocks it holds at Simandou, one of the world's largest untapped iron ore deposits, as its Chinese partners are yet to make their funds available, two sources close to the matter said. The Anglo-Australian miner owns two of four Simandou mining blocks as part of its Simfer joint venture with China's Chalco Iron Ore Holdings (CIOH) and the government of Guinea, where the mine is located.

Sep 18 - Codelco ends long-term mined copper deals to China clients from 2025 - sources
Chile's Codelco is ending long-term contracts to sell copper concentrate to Chinese clients from 2025, bidding to broaden its product offering to them after evaluating its production outlook, five sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.The sources said Codelco is aiming to replace exclusively copper concentrate deals with others that include concentrate and value-added intermediate products such as blister and anode which are derived from concentrate and can be turned into copper metal or cathode.

Sep 18 - G7 to launch Russian diamond ban in bid to curb revenues
- Belgian officials
The Group of Seven (G7) countries is expected to announce an import ban on Russian diamonds in the next 2-3 weeks, Belgian officials told reporters on Friday, in a bid to tighten a squeeze on Russia's capacity to finance the war in Ukraine. The plan could transform the global diamond supply chain, but implementation will depend heavily on India, whose diamond industry employs millions of people who cut and polish 90% of the world's diamonds.

Sep 15 - China aluminium output hits record-monthly high in August
China's primary aluminium output in August rose by 3.1% from the previous year to an all-time monthly high, data showed, as production in the southwestern province of Yunnan continued to ramp up after hydropower generation recovered. The world's biggest aluminium producer churned out 3.6 million metric tons of primary aluminium last month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. 

Sep 15 - LME to change the way closing prices are determined
The London Metal Exchange said on Thursday that it would introduce a phased roll-out of an evolved closing price methodology to its most liquid contracts from January 2024 after a market-wide consultation. The changes are part of sweeping measures that the LME, the world's largest and oldest metals trading venue, launched in March to strengthen its markets and revive its flagging nickel contract.

Sep 14 - Shanghai exchange exploring potential LME nickel rival
The Shanghai Futures Exchange is looking into the possible launch of nickel futures for international use, a potential challenge to the London Metal Exchange's contract, five sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. One of the sources said ShFE has been studying the structure of the nickel market and supply and demand at the instigation of industry participants looking for alternatives. 

Sep 14 - Europe's mining quest faces a hurdle: angry locals
In Portugal's northern Barroso region, Maria Loureiro weeps at the prospect of losing her family's land to a mine that could become one of Europe's biggest producers of lithium, used in electric vehicle batteries and other clean technologies. "I don't want them to take away what has been left to me by my parents and grandparents," 55-year-old Loureiro said. "I don't want the mine ... I will fight it to the death."

Sep 13 - Russian aluminium splits dealmakers at Barcelona metals meet
Russian aluminium is dividing the metals industry as producers and consumers gather this week to hammer out next year's supply deals. Some industrial consumers have refused to buy supplies from Russia over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, but others argue that is wrong when sanctions do not apply to a company or its metal. 

Sep 13 - Near-term LME zinc price discount at highest since March 2021 after stocks inflow
The discount on zinc for near-term delivery versus the three-month contract on the London Metal Exchange has reached its highest since March 2021, indicating plentiful immediate supply. The discount, or contango, for cash zinc against the three-month contract, reached $24.50 per metric ton at Monday's market close, its deepest since March 2021.

Sep 12 - Share of Russian aluminium in LME-registered warehouses steady at 81%
The share of available aluminium stocks of Russian origin in London Metal Exchange-approved warehouses remained steady in August versus the previous month at 81% of the total while the actual volume declined, data on the exchange's website showed. Total aluminium stocks available to the market in LME-registered warehouses are referred to as on-warrant. Warrants are title documents conferring ownership of metal.  

Sep 12 - Russia's largest untapped copper deposit starts concentrate production
Copper concentrate production started at Russia's largest undeveloped copper deposit on Monday following a ceremony overseen by President Vladimir Putin via video link. The long-awaited Udokan project in Russia's far east is coming on stream at a challenging time. The United States imposed sanctions on its operator - Udokan Copper LLC - in April as part of a wave of restrictions placed on Russia due to its activities in Ukraine.

Sep 11 - First Quantum reaches deal with Panama copper mine union, avoids strike
The Panamanian unit of Canada's First Quantum Minerals and a workers union at the company's key copper mine in Panama said on Saturday they had reached an agreement, avoiding a planned strike over profit sharing and wage increases. The worker's union, Utramipa, had threatened on Thursday to stop work on Saturday, alleging an impasse in negotiation with the directors of Minera Panama, the miner's local unit. The company indicated on Friday that it was negotiating with workers.

Sep 11 - Tantalex secures Glencore's backing for Congo lithium project
Tantalex Lithium, a Canadian junior miner that is aiming to produce lithium from the Democratic Republic of Congo, said on Friday its tailings project has secured the backing of Glencore. The Swiss miner and trader will pay a staggered $5 million to Tantalex as part of the marketing off-take agreement and has agreed to finance a third of the capital requirements for the DRC project, if it meets its conditions, Tantalex said in a statement.

Sep 08 - EU, US 'green steel' plan to box out China stalls ahead of October deadline
U.S.-European Union talks to create a 'green steel' trade deal that boxes out China have hit a wall as an Oct. 31 deadline looms that could bring back tariffs on billions of dollars of transatlantic trade, sources familiar with the negotiations on both sides of the Atlantic told Reuters. U.S. negotiators are frustrated by what U.S. trade sources said is the EU's lack of engagement on U.S. proposals in recent weeks. Deep disagreements remain over the structure of any joint trade curbs aimed at reducing carbon emissions and curbing excess production capacity, they said.  

Sep 08 - China's zinc import surge a sign of renewed optimism: Andy Home
China has rediscovered its appetite for imports of refined zinc after a prolonged absence from the international market. The country took in 76,800 metric tons of metal in July, the highest monthly tally since April 2019.

Sep 07 - Vale Base Metals commits nearly $9 bln in Indonesia investments
Vale Base Metals has committed nearly $9 billion for investment in Indonesia, including for its development of high-pressure acid leaching plants for nickel, chief executive Deshnee Naidoo said. Through its local unit Vale Indonesia, the company is partnering with companies like China's Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co to build two HPAL plants on the island of Sulawesi to produce mixed hydroxide precipitate from nickel.

Sep 07 - China's Aug iron ore imports jump ahead of peak construction season
China's imports of iron ore in August climbed 13.8% from July, customs data showed, fuelled by growing demand from steel mills ramping up production ahead of peak construction months. The world's largest iron ore consumer brought in 106.42 million metric tons of the key steelmaking ingredient last month, up 10.6% from a year earlier, according to data from the country's General Administration of Customs.

Sep 06 - Copper giant Codelco raises $2 billion in bond offering
Chile's Codelco raised $2 billion in a bond offering in New York on Tuesday, as the world's top copper producer seeks to fund an investment drive to revive flagging output. The company offered 10-year and 30-year notes. The 10-year was for $1.3 billion with a yield of 5.966%, or 210 basis points over the comparable U.S. Treasury rate.

Sep 06 - Platinum market faces record deficit, WPIC says
Platinum will register a 2.2% bigger supply deficit than previously expected for 2023 at a record 1 million troy ounces, driven by strong demand and flat supply, the World Platinum Investment Council said. Demand for platinum, which is used in catalytic converters to reduce harmful emissions from vehicle exhaust systems among other applications from jewellery to glassmaking, is on track to grow 27% to 8.2 million troy ounces in 2023, the WPIC said in a quarterly report.

Sep 05 - Codelco expects to reach lithium agreement with SQM this year - chair
Chilean state-owned mining company Codelco expects to reach an agreement with lithium miner SQM this year, Codelco chairman Maximo Pacheco said on Monday during a public event. Chile's government earlier this year announced plans to strengthen state control of the white metal, only allowing public-private partnerships to participate in lithium exploitation.

Sep 05 - JFE Holdings to raise $1.4 bln via share offering, convertible bonds
Japanese steel giant JFE Holdings said its board has approved a fundraising plan through a public share offering and convertible bond issuance to overseas investors, totalling 211.4 billion yen. The company will raise 121.5 billion yen by offering 55 million treasury shares and raise another 89.9 billion yen by issuing a five-year convertible bond, it said in regulatory filings.

Sep 04 - Australian lithium developer Liontown backs $4.3 bln Albemarle bid
Shares of Australia's Liontown Resources shot up 11.5% after the lithium developer's board backed a refreshed A$6.6-billion bid from Albemarle Corp, the world's biggest producer of the battery material. Emerging Australian lithium companies are experiencing a surge in buyouts as their lower valuations and cash needs lure some of the world's top producers of lithium and others racing to secure supplies. 

Sep 04 - Saudi's SABIC to sell steel unit Hadeed to PIF for $3.3 bln
Saudi Basic Industries Corp said on Sunday it had agreed to sell subsidiary Saudi Iron and Steel Company (Hadeed) to the Public Investment Fund for an enterprise value of 12.5 billion riyals. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2024, and proceeds from the sale will be used to support SABIC's growth in the chemicals industry, according to a company statement to the stock exchange.

Sep 01 - Fortescue executive rout continues as Debelle quits green unit
Guy Debelle, the former Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor, resigned from the board of Fortescue Metals Group's green energy unit, media reports said, continuing the run of abrupt departures by executives at the world's fourth largest miner. Debelle has stepped down as a non-executive director from the board of Fortescue Future Industries, the green energy arm of Fortescue Metals Group, the Australian Financial Review reported.

Sep 01 - Peru's Minsur to invest at least $2 bln as it expands copper, tin operations
Peruvian miner Minsur has announced an investment of at least $2 billion in five years as it expands its copper and tin operations, an executive told Reuters on Thursday. Minsur is set to invest around $543 million in an underground project in Justa mine, which is owned by the firm and Chilean mining company Copec, Minsur corporate affairs executive Gonzalo Quijandria said in a phone interview with Reuters.

Aug 31 - Nippon Steel expects Asia's steel margins to remain weak – executive
Nippon Steel Corp, Japan's top steelmaker, expects profit margins on steel sales in Asia will remain weak through March because of sluggish demand in the world's top consumer China and in the region, a senior executive said. But the world's fourth-biggest steelmaker is still on track to achieve a record annual business profit excluding one-off items in the 2023/24 fiscal year, driven by stronger earnings from high-end products and improved marginal profit following a series of restructurings, Executive Vice President Takahiro Mori said.  

Aug 31 - Indonesian nickel smelters turn to Philippines for ore as local supply tightens
Nickel smelters in top producer Indonesia are making rare purchases of ore from the Philippines to ease tight supplies, people familiar with the matter said, upending trade flows of the raw material and pushing up costs across the supply chain. Jakarta recently delayed the issuing of mining quotas and suspended operations at a key site of state miner Aneka Tambang after an investigation into corrupt practices in issuing mining allowances.

Aug 30 - LME clearing house cuts size of minimum default fund
The clearing house of the London Metal Exchange said on Tuesday it would cut the size of its default fund, reflecting a lower level of risk over the previous six months. In the event of a member default, LME Clear takes over the member's portfolio and sells it. Any losses are initially offset against margins paid by the defaulter, and then by LME Clear's default fund. 

Aug 30 - Chinese steel demand declining less than data suggests, says Vale executive
Brazilian miner Vale sees declining steel demand in China, the world's largest producer, but the situation is not as dire as some indicators suggest, the miner's vice president of iron ore solutions told Reuters. Vale is "cautiously optimistic" about the largest global consumer of iron ore, as China's economy has proven resilient, despite uncertainties surrounding possible stimulus measures to achieve growth targets, the Vale executive, Marcello Spinelli, said.

Aug 29 - Lynas flags higher costs for Kalgoorlie rare earths plant, profit slumps
Australia's Lynas Rare Earths hiked construction cost estimates for its Kalgoorlie rare earths facility by more than a quarter and said it would boost the plant's production capacity to tap growing demand. Lynas has sped up construction at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia amid worries that a facility in Malaysia may have to be partly wound down after regulators there raised concerns about radiation levels from the process of cracking and leaching. 

Aug 29 - Indonesia nickel mining quota delays due to switch back to old system
Indonesia's mining quota distribution has been delayed having reverted to an older approval process due to an ongoing investigation into illegal mining, a senior official said on Monday, assuring there was sufficient nickel ore for smelters. Prices of nickel ore in top global producer Indonesia have surged about 10% in recent weeks, local buyers say, with ore production affected by delayed quotas, known locally as RKAB.

Aug 28 - Fortescue profit drops on Iron Bridge impairment charge; co-CEO to step down
Australia's Fortescue on Monday reported a $1 billion pre-tax impairment charge associated with its flagship magnetite growth project, while posting its lowest annual profit in three years amid a surprise senior-management overhaul. The world's fourth-largest iron ore miner, which has been beset by senior management turnover over the past two years, earlier in the day announced the resignation of its metals division head and co-CEO Fiona Hick.  

Aug 28 - Chile launches probe into deadly mining accidents at Anglo American, Minera ACF
Chile's government has sent officials to investigate accidents at two mines in the South American country's metropolitan and Tarapaca regions that killed three workers, it said on Sunday. Newly appointed mining minister Aurora Williams is closely monitoring the inspections, her ministry said in a statement.

Aug 25 - New Singapore commodity exchange aims to launch EV nickel contract this year
A new Singapore-based commodities exchange aims to launch the world's first futures contract for a type of nickel used in the booming electric vehicles (EV) sector by the end of this year, an executive said on Thursday. The Abaxx Commodities Exchange, which is getting its final regulatory approvals in Singapore, plans to launch nickel sulphate futures, the first such contract globally, Dan McElduff, president of strategy and development, told Reuters. 

Aug 25 - LME warehousers bet the great metals destock is over: Andy Home
It's been a tough couple of years to be in the metals storage business with dwindling inventories taking a heavy toll on the London Metal Exchange's (LME) global warehouse network. Exchange storage capacity contracted by almost a quarter between March 2021 and March 2023, while the number of registered warehouse units has fallen from over 600 to a current 453.

Aug 24 - Australia sees strong demand for critical minerals over next 40 years
Australia's economy is well-placed to benefit from strong demand for critical minerals with the global appetite expected to rise by 350% by 2040, official forecasts showed on Wednesday, as many big economies rush to hit net zero emission targets by 2050. Australia supplies around half of the world's lithium and has vast reserves of the nickel, zinc and bauxite required for the production of clean energy technology in electric vehicles and batteries.  

Aug 24 - Indonesia's nickel prices surge amid probe into mining approvals
Prices of nickel ore in top global producer Indonesia have surged about 10% in recent weeks, say local buyers, after an investigation into mining quotas disrupted production of the metal used in stainless steel and batteries. Indonesia's Attorney General Office (AGO) in June launched a probe into illegal mining, leading to the arrest of a top government official earlier this month and the suspension of operations at a key mining site owned by state miner Aneka Tambang (Antam).

Aug 23 - Lithium buyers eye cheaper early-stage deals in Australia
Emerging Australian lithium companies are witnessing a surge in buyouts as their lower valuations and cash needs attract some of the world's top producers of the battery material and other suitors who are racing to secure supplies. Driven by receding prices of lithium and by major producer Chile nationalising the industry earlier this year, companies such as Albemarle Corp, the world's biggest lithium producer, have been sniffing around for buys in Australia, which makes the most lithium in the world and has more than 80 lithium-related companies listed on its main stock exchange. 

Aug 23 - Copper trapped between old and new super-cycles: Andy Home
Copper may be poised to embark on a new energy transition super-cycle but it is currently struggling to escape the gravitational pull of the old Chinese super-cycle. China has been the core driver of copper pricing over the last two decades as the country built new cities and rolled out the infrastructure needed to power them.

Aug 22 - Short positions in lead worth $182 mln set to drive Shanghai price surge
Many thousands of tonnes of lead already worth around $182 million have been sold on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) for delivery next month, according to ShFE data, which is expected to trigger a price surge of the battery metal. Producers often sell forward or take short positions to hedge their output, while speculators, such as traders and funds have taken short positions that can be a bet on lower prices or an arbitrage play.

Aug 22 - BHP sees China commodity demand as stable. And that's the best case: Russell
BHP Group reported its lowest annual profit in three years, but the decline isn't the most worrying factor for the world's biggest mining company. That prize goes to an increasingly uncertain outlook for its key commodities. BHP said on Tuesday the company's underlying attributable profit for the year ended June 30 dropped to $13.42 billion from $21.32 billion a year earlier.

Aug 21 - China's July germanium exports surge ahead of restrictions
China's July exports of germanium products more than doubled from June to their highest in six months, customs data showed on Sunday, as overseas buyers rushed to lock in supply ahead of export restrictions that took effect on Aug. 1. China, the world's top germanium producer accounting for more than 60% of global supply, shipped abroad 8.63 metric tons of wrought germanium products last month, surging from 3.29 tons in June and 41% higher than a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. 

Aug 21 - Trickle of LME zinc deliveries turns into a flood: Andy Home
London Metal Exchange (LME) zinc stocks have more than doubled to 145,975 metric tons over the last month and are now at their highest level since February 2022. What started in July as a trickle of metal into the market of last resort has turned into an August flood with 76,425 metric tons placed on LME warrant since the start of last week.

Aug 18 - U.S. Steel says union cannot block company's sale
U.S. Steel said on Thursday that its labor agreement with United Steel Workers (USW) does not afford the union the right to veto a sale of the company that may arise from its recently announced strategic review. U.S. Steel's statement came after USW said this week it would only back Cleveland-Cliffs Inc as a suitor for the company. The union said that "over the years, Cliffs has shown itself to be an outstanding employer to all of its workers."

Aug 18 - US to impose tariffs on tin mill steel from Canada, China, Germany
The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday said it will impose preliminary anti-dumping duties on tin-plated steel imports from Canada, Germany and China, sparing five other countries in a decision that drew some relief from food can manufacturers that had feared higher tariffs. The department said the highest preliminary anti-dumping duties of 122.5% will be imposed on tin mill steel imported from China, including the country's largest producer, Baoshan Iron and Steel.

Aug 17 - ArcelorMittal weighs possible bid for US Steel - sources
ArcelorMittal SA, the world's second-largest steelmaker, is considering a potential offer for U.S. Steel Corp, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The combination would reverse ArcelorMittal's retreat from the United States as a production base after it sold most of its operations to Cleveland-Cliffs Inc in 2020 for $1.4 billion to focus on growing markets such as India and Brazil.

Aug 17 - Demand headwinds mean no respite in pressure on aluminium prices
A glut of aluminium due to floundering demand in China and elsewhere and soaring supplies will undermine prices of the metal used in the transport, packaging and construction industries, possibly until end-2023. With manufacturing activity shrinking in China, the United States and Europe, the outlook for consumption of industrial metals looks sluggish.

Aug 16 - Weak demand sends near-term LME aluminium discount to highest since 2008
The discount on aluminium for near-term delivery compared with the three-month contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) has reached its highest since the global financial crisis of 2008, indicating weak demand and rising supply. Aluminium, used in transportation, construction and packaging, is widely expected to be a sought-after commodity as the transition to greener energy accelerates, though current prices are being suppressed by the sluggish demand growth in top consumer China. 

Aug 16 - China's iron ore imports may hold up despite gloomy economy: Russell
A swathe of poor economic data in China is putting pressure on the price of iron ore, which is struggling to hold above the key psychological level of $100 a metric ton. However, the run of soft indicators in China's embattled property sector has yet to translate into a significant decline in the volume of imports of the main raw material used to make steel.

Aug 15 - China's July crude steel output eases from prior month on production curbs
China's crude steel output in July eased 0.34% from the prior month, the statistics bureau said on Tuesday, because of production restrictions in Tangshan city in northern China and Sichuan province in the southwest. The world's largest steel producer manufactured 90.8 million metric tons of the ferrous metal last month, down from 91.11 million tons in June but up 11.5% from the same month in 2022, when steel mills cut production amid shrinking margins as property sector woes stifled demand.

Aug 15 - Surpluses, low prices to remain a feature of cobalt market
Surging supplies of cobalt from Indonesia and Africa are forecast to outpace demand from electric vehicles, generating large surpluses over the next few couple of years which will keep prices of the metal under pressure. Throwing the spotlight on the deteriorating outlook was London-listed miner Glencore, which last week said it would consider adding to its cobalt stockpiles and cut production to support cobalt prices.

Aug 14 - U.S. Steel explores options after rejecting $7.3 bln offer from Cleveland-Cliffs
United States Steel Corp on Sunday launched a formal review of its strategic options, after rebuffing a takeover offer from rival steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. The unsolicited cash-and-stock offer from Ohio-based Cliffs valued U.S. Steel at about $7.3 billion, representing a 43% premium to its closing price on Friday.  

Aug 14 - Lithium exploration auctions in China's Sichuan attract strong interest
Two auctions for lithium exploration rights in China's southwestern Sichuan province drew heavy bidding interest and concluded at values thousands of times starting prices, according to information by a provincial government body. An auction for five-year exploration rights to the Jiada Lithium Mine in Maerkang city that started last Thursday received 11,307 bids and concluded at 4.2 billion yuan ($579 million) on Sunday, 1,317 times higher than the starting price of 3.19 million yuan, according to auction data from the Sichuan Public Resources Trading Center.

Aug 11 - China's Nanfang to open major copper smelter ahead of expectations
China's largest private copper producer Nanfang Nonferrous is due to bring a major new smelter to production by October, more than doubling its capacity, a few months ahead of expectations, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Used for wiring in electric vehicles, copper is a key plank of the energy transition. Chinese firms have ambitious plans to dominate production of the refined metal also used in the power and construction industries. 

Aug 11 - Chile's leftist president rejects push for private lithium concessions
Chile's leftist president on Thursday said he would oppose a proposal from conservative leaders in Congress to allow private lithium concessions, arguing that his state-centred approach was the better bet. Earlier this year, President Gabriel Boric pitched a sweeping reform that would ensure that future developments of the coveted battery metal remain firmly under government control.

Aug 10 - China's refined tin output drops 13% on-month – Antaike
China's refined tin output in July declined 13.1% from the prior month due to smelters' maintenance, state-backed research house Antaike said on Wednesday, expecting August output to stay below a normal level amid Myanmar's mining ban. Production at 21 tin smelters surveyed by Antaike, with a total capacity of 320,000 metric tons and accounting for 97% of China's total capacity, was at 13,428 metric tons last month. 

Aug 10 - Sweden's H2 Green Steel lines up Vale, Rio Tinto for iron ore supply
Swedish metal and hydrogen company H2 Green Steel (H2GS) said on Wednesday it has signed multi-year deals with miners Rio Tinto and Vale for the supply of iron ore pellets from Canada and Brazil. H2GS, which plans to build a low-carbon steel plant in Boden in northern Sweden and to start production in 2025, said the contracts with the two miners will help the company convince investors and lenders to commit to financing of its project.

Aug 09 - Glencore stockpiled cobalt in first half to support prices
Glencore stockpiled cobalt in the first half of the year, cutting supplies to the market to support prices of the electric vehicle battery material, the London-listed miner's CEO Gary Nagle said on Tuesday. Nagle said the world's largest cobalt-producing company would also consider reducing production and adding to its stockpiles of the material that is used to make alloys for the aerospace industry as well as in batteries.

Aug 09 - China's imports of major commodities lose some steam in July: Russell
China's imports of major commodities lost momentum in July in a further sign that the world's second-biggest economy is struggling to boost flagging growth. China is the world's biggest buyer of crude oil, copper and iron ore, and imports of these key commodities underperformed in July.

Aug 08 - Healthy tin inventories, soft demand caps upside from Myanmar ban
A surge in tin inventories, weak demand and the risk of speculators selling bullish positions are likely to constrain tin prices rallying further following a mining ban in the world's third biggest tin mining nation Myanmar. Tin is the strongest performing metal on the London Metal Exchange (LME) this year, rising by 12% so far compared to a 1.4% gain for the next best performer, copper.

Aug 08 - China's July iron ore imports dip as sintering curbs dent demand
China's imports of iron ore in July slipped 2% from the previous month, customs data showed on Tuesday, as sintering curbs in major steel production hub Tangshan dampened demand for the key steelmaking ingredient. The world's largest iron ore consumer brought in 93.48 million metric tons of iron ore in July, up 2.5% from the same month a year earlier, data from the country's General Administration of Customs showed.

Aug 07 - Botswana plans extra diamond sales route after De Beers deal
Botswana's state diamond company is planning to diversify how it sells precious stones to the market as it gears up to receive far more supply under a multi-year deal the country struck with producer De Beers in July. The Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) currently sells 25% of the gems produced by the Botswanan government's Debswana joint venture with Anglo American unit De Beers via an auction process.

Aug 04 - Global copper smelting ticked higher in July, but China slid
Global copper smelting activity bounced slightly in July, despite a sharp fall in top refined producer China, data from satellite surveillance of metal processing plants showed on Thursday. "The weakness here (in China) was driven by subdued activity in the east and south central regions," commodities broker Marex and the SAVANT satellite service said in a statement.  

Aug 04 - China nickel producers look to London exchange in dash for profit
Chinese nickel producers are looking to list metal on the London Metal Exchange (LME), two China-based industry analysts said, as they seek improved access to global markets and rush to lock in profits while they boost output. That could be a boost for the exchange, the world's oldest and largest forum for trading metals, which is struggling to reinvigorate its nickel contract after a severe price crunch in March 2022 damaged its trading volumes and its credibility.

Aug 03 - Mongolia, Rio Tinto have resolved nearly all copper mine tax issues -PM
Mongolia has settled almost all of its outstanding tax issues with Rio Tinto over development of the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine and is confident that the remaining issues will be resolved, the country's prime minister told Reuters. The partners spent years mired in a tussle over development of the Gobi Desert mine which is the country's biggest foreign investment and is set to become the world's fourth largest copper mine by 2030 as demand heats up for the metal key to the energy transition.  

Aug 03 - World battles to loosen China's grip on vital rare earths for clean energy transition
Refining rare earths for the green energy transition is hard. Just ask MP Materials and Lynas. The world's two biggest rare earths companies outside of China are facing challenges turning rock from their mines into the building blocks for magnets used across the global economy, from Apple's iPhone to Tesla's Model 3 to Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet.

Aug 01 - Ecuadorean votes could bar oil output in Amazon reserve, mining near Quito
Ecuadoreans will decide in two August referendums whether oil and mining projects in key regions of the country can continue, weighing Indigenous and environmental concerns against billions in potential lost income. The South American country could lose about 12% of its 480,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) crude oil output if voters approve shuttering the 43-ITT block in the megadiverse Yasuni nature reserve in the Amazon, while a local referendum in Quito would bar mining in the Choco Andino forest, scuppering six gold concessions. 

Aug 01 - Chile's Codelco to explore copper deposit with Rio Tinto
Chilean state copper company Codelco said on Monday it would partner with Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto to explore a copper deposit in northern Chile. As part of the agreement, Rio Tinto will buy Pan American Silver's 57.74% stake in the Agua de la Falda project, located in the Diego de Almagro commune, said Codelco. The Chilean company already owns 42.26% of the project.

Jul 31 - Industry groups urge LME to resist calls to ban Russian aluminium
Five European industry associations asked the London Metal Exchange (LME) to ignore calls to ban Russian aluminium from its system, they said in a joint statement on Friday, adding that such a move would damage smaller metal users in Europe. Earlier this month, Norwegian producer Norsk Hydro urged the LME to reconsider its decision not to ban Russian aluminium from its warehouse network.

Jul 31 - China's Yunnan orders steel output curbs, say analysts
Steel mills in China's southwestern Yunnan province have been asked to prepare to cut back production in order to meet a government mandate on capping 2023 output at last year's level, two Chinese consultancies said on Friday. The orders, reported by Shanghai-based consultancies MySteel and Fubao, follow similar instructions issued to mills elsewhere earlier this week, weighing on iron ore prices in the world's top steel market.

Jul 28 - Analysts trim gold outlook in absence of fresh spur
Analysts slightly lowered their gold forecasts for this year on the grounds zero-yield bullion would need a catalyst for another run to all-time highs, such as an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday. The poll of 36 analysts and traders conducted through July returned median forecasts for gold at $1,950 an ounce in the third quarter of this year, $1,995 in the fourth, $1,944.5 for the full year and $1,988 in 2024.  

Jul 28 - Analysts mark down copper forecasts as output ramps up
Analysts have pared price forecasts for copper and other industrial metals as supply expands while demand in top metals consumer China remains muted, a Reuters poll showed. Copper prices have been range-bound in recent months after a January slide from their highest in more than seven months and a May rebound from a slump below $8,000 a metric ton.

Jul 27 - EU steel demand to slide 3% in 2023; industry group cuts outlook
Steel demand in the European Union is expected to slide 3% this year amid persistently high energy prices and sluggish demand, the European Steel Association (Eurofer) said on Wednesday, downgrading its outlook. In May, the industry group said steel consumption was due to decline by 1% in 2023, but lingering uncertainty meant that the prospects for this year have deteriorated, a statement said. 

Jul 27 - Australia to add to priority critical minerals by year end
Australia will update its critical minerals list by the end of the year, its resources minister said on Thursday, potentially opening the way for copper and nickel miners to tap government incentives and speed up new project development. One of the world's biggest suppliers of raw minerals, Australia last month set out a strategy to work with investors and international partners to build a critical minerals processing industry.

Jul 26 - Some Chinese steel mills ordered to cap output this year - sources
Several Chinese steel mills have received instructions to cap this year's output at the same level as 2022, five people familiar with the matter and analyst reports said on Tuesday, potentially curbing iron ore demand in the world's top steel market. Three mills owned by the world's biggest steelmaker, state-owned China Baowu Steel Group, were given verbal instructions that output should not exceed that of 2022, said four of the sources, with two adding the orders were delivered yesterday. 

Jul 26 - Goldman Sachs says 'time to sell nickel' as oversupply concerns loom
Goldman Sachs on Tuesday said that with nickel supply set to outstrip any potential demand uplift and the metal's prices trading at the very top of the curve, there is a good opportunity to short the market. "Nickel prices are currently trading at the very top of the industry cost curve, which is at odds with the necessary supply rationing needed to restrain the expected glut ahead," analysts at Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Jul 25 - Smaller miners' hunger for cash grows as copper prices fall, sparking M&A bets
A fall in copper prices is having an outsized impact on small and mid-sized miners, forcing many to cut output, and some are now open to raising funds from new investors to ride out the current downtrend, several company executives told Reuters. Copper is set to play a crucial role in the transition to a greener economy and cashed-up bigger miners are seeking assets with longer mine life and high-quality grade ore to meet the growing demand for the red metal. 

Jul 25 - Vietnam aims to raise raw rare earths output to 2 mln t/yr by 2030
Vietnam aims to raise its rare earths production to 2.02 million tonnes a year by 2030, according to a government plan reviewed by Reuters, as it seeks to tap one of the world's largest reserves of key industrial metals. The Southeast Asian country has the world's second-largest reserves of rare earths - an estimated 22 million tonnes - second only to China, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Its rare earths production jumped to 4,300 tonnes last year from 400 tonnes in 2021, the USGS said.

Jul 24 - Hydro says Russian metal threatens LME benchmark, Rusal hits back
The London Metal Exchange should reconsider a decision not to ban Russian aluminium from its warehouse network as large volumes are jeopardising the benchmark status of its contract, producer Norsk Hydro said in a letter this week. Top Russian producer Rusal hit back on Friday, saying rival Hydro was aiming to destabilise the market for its own benefit. 

Jul 24 - Australia blocks acquisition of lithium mine by China-linked firm
Australia has barred the takeover of financially stricken lithium miner Alita Resources Ltd by a China-linked company after advice from its Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), a spokesperson for Treasurer Jim Chalmers said on Friday. Australia supplies around half of the world's lithium as well as other minerals including rare earths used in batteries for electric cars and defence.

Jul 21 - LME expects more fast-track listings after approval of new nickel brand
The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Thursday it had approved nickel produced by Quzhou Huayou Cobalt New Material, a subsidiary of China's Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, as a list brand and expects more brand applications in coming months. It is the first new approved brand for delivery against the LME nickel contract since the exchange cut the waiting time for listing as part of its programme to revive nickel trade volumes after a 2022 crisis. 

Jul 21 - How Chile's progressive new plan to mine lithium faces Indigenous hurdles
Chile's millennial president, Gabriel Boric, promised to mine differently. He would turn the world's largest copper producer and second largest lithium miner into a country that focused on environmental and social responsibility. When Boric announced his ambitious plan in April to take state control over the country's lithium industry and expand extraction of this essential component of electric car batteries, he pledged to so with pioneering environmentally-friendly technology, and personally talk with local Indigenous communities.

Jul 20 - Energy transition faces metals gap unless investment rises, report finds (Reuters)

- ETC estimates investment needs to be $70 bln/year
- More mining, technology, recycling needed to support supply

- Rapid demand growth as a result of the energy transition could lead to a shortage of several metals in the next decade unless investment is increased, a global group of energy producers, consumers and financial institutions said.

Large supply gaps for lithium, nickel, graphite, cobalt, neodymium and copper could lead to higher prices and delay the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) said in a report.

To reduce the risk of shortage, mines need to produce more, but large-scale mining projects can take up to 20 years to come online, and the last decade was characterised by a lack of investment in exploration and output, the ETC said.
"In some key minerals - particularly lithium and copper - it will be challenging to scale up supply fast enough over the next decade to keep pace with rapidly rising demand," ETC Chair Adair Turner said in the report.

Annual capital investment in energy transition metals averaged $45 billion over the last two decades compared with the $70 billion needed each year through to 2030 to expand supply, the ETC said.
"Governments, regulators, producers and consumers must work together to increase recycling, improve material efficiency, invest in new mining, and regulate environmental and social standards," Turner said.

The energy transition, according to the commission, will require production of up to 6.5 billion tonnes of materials cumulatively between 2022 and 2050, with steel, copper and aluminium accounting for 95%.

The forecast assumes an aggressive deployment of clean energy technologies for global decarbonisation and that recycling and the amount of material needed would follow recent trends.

However, if investors manage to speed up progress on technology, efficiency and the recycling of clean energy materials, the cumulative need for fresh supply from mines would eventually fall by 20%–60%, it added.

Jul 20 - Copper miners squeezed by lower prices, higher labor costs
Major North American copper miners are likely to report a fall in second-quarter profits, as global growth concerns dented realized prices for the red metal and labor costs remained high. Freeport-McMoRan, Southern Copper and Teck Resources are estimated to post a combined adjusted profit of $1.53 billion for the April-June quarter, according to data from Refinitiv, compared with $2.63 billion a year earlier. 

Jul 20 - BHP posts record full-year iron ore output, flags rising costs
BHP Group on Thursday reported its highest ever annual iron ore production, helped by the continued ramp up at its South Flank operations in Western Australia but flagged it faces rising costs. The world's largest listed miner said unit costs at its Western Australia iron ore operations and Chilean copper mine Escondida are expected to be towards the upper end of forecast ranges, but said capital and exploration spending would be below annual guidance, partly due to foreign exchange movements.

Jul 19 - Rio Tinto warns on global slowdown risks, production issues
Rio Tinto flagged concerns about a global economic slowdown on Wednesday as it logged a raft of production issues across its operations but said its iron ore production should be at the upper end of its expectations for the year. Prices of iron ore, from which Rio Tinto derives around 70% of its profits, eased over the second quarter on concerns over China's debt-ridden property sector, but could improve after Beijing on Tuesday pledged to roll out policies to boost growth. 

Jul 19 - Peru's mining zones back protests, which Boluarte calls 'threat to democracy'
Residents of Peru's key mining areas are expected to support protests due to kick off this week against the government of President Dina Boluarte, who on Tuesday denounced the planned demonstrations as a "threat to democracy." Communities along the main mining corridor in Peru - the world's No. 2 copper producer - have voiced their backing for the protests, which begin Wednesday, NGO leaders said.

Jul 18 - Indian traders scoop up cheaper Chinese steel
Indian traders have been scooping up Chinese steel at a deep discount, industry officials and analysts said, spooking Indian producers ahead of a seasonal pick up in domestic demand. Lured by discounts of $30 to $50 a tonne on hot-rolled and cold-rolled products, Indian buyers are signing a flurry of import deals, they added. Domestic industrial activity is set to pick up over the next two months after the monsoon rains recede.

Jul 18 - China's June crude steel production rises on better margins
China's June crude steel output rose 1.1% from May and 0.4% from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said on Monday, as mills were encouraged to ramp up production after steel prices rose. The world's largest steel producer manufactured 91.11 million metric tons of the ferrous metal last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, higher than 90.12 million metric tons manufactured in May and 90.73 million metric tons in the same month in 2022.

Jul 17 - Trade body considers calling for EU ban on Russian aluminium, but not Rusal
Europe's aluminium industry group has considered lobbying for European Union sanctions on Russian aluminium, but would oppose specifically targeting the country's largest producer Rusal, according to a document sent to members. The head of trade group European Aluminium said it prepared the internal memorandum for planning purposes and had no information about any imminent EU sanctions.

Jul 17 - Critical minerals supply improves but many risks remain: Andy Home
First the good news. The supply of minerals critical to the green energy transition could move close to levels needed to support climate pledges by 2030, according to the first annual review of the sector by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Investment in the critical minerals pipeline grew by 20% in 2021 and by 30% in 2022, led by lithium, copper and nickel. Exploration spending was up by 20% last year with Canada and Australia both registering year-on-year growth of over 40%, notably in hard-rock lithium plays, according to the IEA.

Jul 14 - Chile miners, facing higher taxes, seek faster permits, lower energy costs
Now that Chile has passed an increase in mining royalties, copper miners are pushing for incentives to keep investing in production of the metal needed for the renewable energy revolution, with steps such as cuts in energy costs, speeded-up permit approvals and other incentives. Beginning in 2024, mining royalties will rise to a range of 8% to 26% of operating margin from the current range of 5% to 14%. There will also be a 1% ad valorem tax based on sales for miners that post a profit.

Jul 14 - Goldman sees limited potential for sustained rebound in industrial metals
Goldman Sachs on Thursday said there is limited potential for a sustained rebound in industrial metals in the near-term following a downside in the previous quarter, due to an unfavorable global economic environment. "Until a more robust demand environment emerges at a micro level, we continue to see a fundamental setting where rallies in metals prices are likely to quickly fade," the Wall Street bank said in a note.

Jun 13 - Shanghai Futures Exchange targets commodity storage outside China
The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) is looking to expand its commodities warehousing network outside China, and is examining systems and regulations in the sector overseas, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
China's dominant commodities bourse has a domestic network of 216 storage facilities for futures contracts, including metals traded on its market, plus other materials such as rubber. 

Jun 13 - China's June copper imports fall on strong output, soft demand
China's copper imports fell 16.4% in June from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, restrained by strong domestic production and weak demand in the world's top consumer of the metal. Imports of unwrought copper and copper products totalled 449,649 metric tons in June, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Jul 12 - World's biggest gallium buyer says clients stockpiling
China's planned export controls on gallium have caused frantic stockpiling of speciality semiconductor wafers made from the metal, according to the world's largest gallium buyer. Freiberger Compound Materials relies almost entirely on Chinese suppliers for its gallium needs to make wafers that go into mobile phone radio signal amplifiers and optical electronics.

Jul 11 - IEA says critical minerals supply could pull close to demand by 2030
Supply of minerals critical to the energy transition could move close to levels needed to support climate pledges by 2030 after a surge in investment, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday - provided all projects go as planned. Consultants and analysts have warned of looming shortages due to surging demand for key minerals like lithium and cobalt used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and other clean energy technologies.

Jul 11 - China gallium curbs raise chip questions for future EV models
China's looming gallium export controls leave automakers with a dilemma over whether they can continue to rely on a metal which had been seen as a game changer for electric vehicles. Gallium is currently used in a wide variety of applications, from LEDs to smaller mobile phone adaptors. Little known to most people, gallium in pure form can melt in your hand - but in a couple of compounds has become sought after for semiconductors.

Jul 10 - Innovation in EVs seen denting copper demand growth potential
New electric vehicles from Tesla and rivals are being engineered for efficiency in a way that cuts copper content, changes that could limit demand growth for the metal as the next-generation of EVs hits the road, industry analysts say. The strong ramp-up in sales for EVs, led by growth in China, means copper demand will continue to grow for the remainder of the decade, but innovation in EVs has emerged as a limiting factor, according to two recent forecasts.

Jul 10 - Indonesia probes possible illegal nickel ore exports to China
Indonesian officials are investigating whether there have been illegal nickel ore shipments to China, more than three years after Jakarta banned exports of the commodity, its mining minister said on Friday. Indonesia, the world's biggest nickel ore producer, had stopped exports of the material since the beginning of 2020 to reserve raw material supply for its domestic stainless steel and battery-grade nickel production.

Jul 07 - VW ready to deal with China metal curbs; chipmakers play down fallout
Volkswagen is monitoring metals markets after China imposed export restrictions on two minor metals used in semiconductors and electric vehicles, it said on Thursday, while some chipmakers played down fears of shortages. Fears are growing that more curbs on strategic exports including rare earths could be coming after a top Chinese trade adviser said on Wednesday that the limits on gallium and germanium, effective Aug. 1, were "just a start". 

Jul 07 - Deep-sea metal rush in doubt as regulatory body meets
Plans to extract minerals from the ocean floor are expected to be put on hold next week at a meeting of the U.N. body regulating the sector, with environmental and economic risks threatening to scupper the industry before it begins. Environmental groups expect next week's meeting of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in Kingston, Jamaica, to rule out any immediate permission for mining to begin. Countries will also discuss a moratorium later in the month to ensure projects do not go ahead without safeguards.

Jul 06 - China's chipmaking export curbs 'just a start', Beijing adviser warns before Yellen visit
China's export controls on metals used in semiconductors are "just a start", an influential Chinese trade policy adviser said on Wednesday, as Beijing ramps up a tech fight with Washington days before a visit from U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Shares in some Chinese metals companies rallied for a second session as investors bet that higher prices for gallium and germanium, which Beijing's export restrictions target, could boost revenues.

Jul 06 - China's metal export curbs reignites global companies' hunt for stable suppliers

China's decision this week to restrict exports of some strategic metals has prompted more companies to re-think their reliance on the world's No. 2 economy at a time when mounting geopolitical tensions have fed fears that more curbs could be coming. In a move that a top Chinese trade advisor warned was "just a start," Beijing said on Monday it would limit exports of products made from the minor metals of gallium and germanium to protect national security. That followed the U.S. decision to impose export restrictions to curb China's access to key technologies used for artificial intelligence (AI).

Jul 05 - Beijing jabs in US-China tech fight with chip material export curbs
Companies caught out by China's decision to restrict exports of two metals widely used in semiconductors and electric vehicles were racing to secure supplies on Tuesday as some industry suppliers worried that curbs on rare earth exports could follow. Monday's abrupt announcement of controls from Aug. 1 on exports of some gallium and germanium products has ramped up a trade war with the United States and could potentially cause more disruption to global supply chains.  

Jul 05 - High quality nickel glut to narrow nickel pig iron price gap
A surplus of high quality nickel due to new sources of supply means prices of the stainless steel ingredient will come under pressure over coming years, narrowing the price differential against lower grade nickel pig iron (NPI). Prices of higher grade nickel known as Class 1 have been buttressed by shortages and inventory draws from London Metal Exchange (LME) approved warehouses, data shows, mostly for use in batteries that power electric vehicles.

Jul 04 - China to control exports of some gallium and germanium products
China will control exports of some metals widely used in the semiconductor industry, its commerce ministry announced on Monday, the latest salvo in an escalating war over access to high-tech microchips between Beijing and the United States. The controls, which China said were aimed at protecting national security and interests, will require exporters to seek permission to ship some gallium and germanium products.  

Jul 04 - China's Yunnan region ramps up aluminium production as power curbs eased
Aluminium smelters in China's southwestern Yunnan province have started to ramp up production as curbs on power usage are relaxed after a recent recovery in hydropower output, an analyst who visited the province last week told Reuters. The aluminium market has been watching weather forecasts in Yunnan, China's fourth-largest producing region for electrolytic aluminium, where reduced hydropower generation meant idled production capacity for many months.

Jul 03 - EU countries seek to stretch raw material targets, add aluminium
European Union countries agreed on Friday to raise proposed targets for recycling and processing of raw materials required for its green transition and added aluminium to the list of essential minerals. The Critical Raw Materials Act is a centrepiece of the EU strategy to ensure its industry can compete with the United States and China in making clean tech products and accessing the necessary raw materials. 

Jul 03 - Argentina to begin lithium battery production in Sept
Argentina's first plant for lithium batteries will begin operations in September, using metal extracted locally by U.S. company Livent Corp, mining officials said on Saturday. Livent had agreed earlier this year to supply lithium to the new plant, which was developed by Y-TEC, a unit of Argentine state oil firm YPF.

Jun 30 - NSW regulator says Newcrest's Cadia mine has taken steps to reduce dust pollution
Newcrest Mining Ltd's Cadia mine in Australia's New South Wales (NSW) has adjusted its operations to significantly reduce production of dust, the state's Environment Protection Authority (EPA) said on Friday. Cadia, Newcrest flagship goldmine, has been under investigation by the EPA after testing of residential rainwater tanks identified heavy metal contamination. Further testing of kitchen taps by the state's health ministry had found the water met guidelines. 

Jun 30 - Fixing deep-sea mining damage would be double the cost of extraction
Extracting minerals from the ocean floor could negatively impact biodiversity on a scale of up to 25 times greater than land-based mining, and fixing the damage would cost twice as much as extraction, a new report said on Thursday. A search for alternatives to fossil fuels has driven demand for materials that go into batteries, some of which can be found on the seabed where ecosystems have yet to be fully explored.

Jun 29 - China steel exports seen surging to seven-year high as home demand wilts
China is set to export the most steel this year since 2016, say analysts, as the weakening yuan and competitive prices help the world's biggest producer offload surplus metal due to weak demand at home. China's massive steel industry has been hard hit by a months-long slump in the country's huge property sector, pushing steel prices to three-year lows in May. 

Jun 29 - Exxon Mobil expands lithium bet with Tetra Technologies deal
Exxon Mobil has agreed to develop more than 6,100 lithium-rich acres in Arkansas with Tetra Technologies Inc, the second move this year by the oil giant for control of assets needed to produce the electric vehicle battery metal. Exxon's rapid expansion into the lithium sector comes amid growing interest by traditional energy companies and others into emerging technologies that aim to boost global supply of the ultralight metal.

Jun 28 - Global exchange copper stocks sink to 15-year lows: Andy Home
There's a renewed scramble for copper sitting in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses. Headline LME copper stocks have slid from 100,100 tonnes to 77,050 over the last three weeks despite almost 30,000 tonnes of arrivals.

Jun 28 - S.African mines seek to turn up renewables to ease power crisis

South African miners have increased their efforts to bring on new solar and wind generation, renewables company JUWI said, as they seek to cut costs and emissions and address an electricity crisis that has hit their output and the wider economy. Frequent breakdowns by state-owned utility Eskom's ageing coal-fired plants have led to extensive power cuts.

Jun 27 - Australia's critical minerals industry needs quicker permits, not subsidies
Australia's critical minerals strategy does not need the sugar hit of more subsidies as good projects will find investment, but the country needs to hasten mine development timeframes and rework new workplace legislation, BHP's CEO said on Tuesday. BHP CEO Mike Henry's comments came a week after Australia, one of the world's biggest suppliers of raw minerals, outlined a strategy on how it will work with investors and international partners to build a critical minerals processing industry. 

Jun 27 - BHP plans credible, financially viable but slow path to decarbonised mines: Russell
BHP Group announced plans to decarbonise its mining operations, outlining a process that may well serve as a template for the industry, but also shows how the reality is quite different from hope. In a remarkably frank presentation last week the world's largest mining company showed how it intends to reach net-zero emissions at its global operations.

Jun 26 - Palladium in retreat on EV prospects, growth risks
Palladium could extend this year's near 30% price decline as the rapid rise of electric vehicles threatens to hammer demand for the autocatalyst metal at a time broader economic weakness and chart factors are also weighing. Spot palladium hit a four-year low of $1,269.09 an ounce on Thursday, having fallen more than 60% from a record high of $3,440.76 scaled in 2022 as the war in Ukraine unfolded. 

Jun 26 - Nerves on edge as exchanges, funds await ruling in LME nickel case
Exchanges are in an uncomfortable wait for the outcome of a lawsuit by two financial firms against the London Metal Exchange for voiding nickel contracts, worried about possible curbs on their ability to react in crisis situations if the LME loses. Whichever side wins, in the case that wrapped up three days of hearings on Thursday in the wake of a chaotic spike in nickel prices in March last year, the stakes are huge for London's status as a major global financial centre.

Jun 23 - Lithium producers warn global supplies may not meet electric vehicle demand
Lithium producers are growing anxious that delays in mine permitting, staffing shortages and inflation may hinder their ability to supply enough of the battery metal to meet the world's aggressive electrification timelines. Once a niche metal used primarily in ceramics and pharmaceuticals, lithium is now one of the world's most in-demand metals given aggressive EV plans from Stellantis, Ford and other automakers.  

Jun 23 - LME failed to probe Tsingshan before nickel chaos, London court hears
The London Metal Exchange failed to investigate a large nickel position held by China's Tsingshan that sparked a chaotic surge in prices and billions of dollars of cancelled trades, lawyers told a London court on Thursday, despite a previous incident with the company in 2019. They were speaking on the final day of the hearing of a case in which U.S.-based hedge fund Elliott Associates and market maker Jane Street Global Trading have accused the LME of unlawfully cancelling trades made on March 8, 2022, after the nickel price doubled in a matter of hours.

Jun 22 - LME tells court it was forced to void nickel trades after "abnormal" spike
The London Metal Exchange had no choice but to cancel billions of dollars of nickel trades last year to avert a jolt that would have hit wider financial markets, its lawyers argued in a London court on Wednesday. Other alternatives put forward by two financial firms suing the LME for $472 million were not viable and would still have led to ructions on global markets, they said.

Jun 22 - For EV batteries, lithium iron phosphate narrows the gap with nickel, cobalt
As the auto industry scrambles to produce more affordable electric vehicles, whose most expensive components are the batteries, lithium iron phosphate is gaining traction as the EV battery material of choice. The popularity of the chemical compound known as LFP is due partly to environmental and geopolitical concerns. But technological advances have also reduced the performance gap with more widely used materials such as nickel and cobalt.

Jun 20 - LME readies for court showdown over voided nickel trades
The London Metal Exchange will face two financial institutions in court on Tuesday over market chaos that resulted in billions of dollars of cancelled trades, in a case that could affect the reputation of Britain's capital as a financial centre. The world's largest metals market enraged some investors in March last year when it annulled around $12 billion in nickel deals after prices erupted in a record-breaking surge, its first suspension of trading since 1988. 

Jun 20 - Australia taps global partners in landmark critical minerals strategy
Australia, one of the world's biggest suppliers of raw minerals, unfurled a landmark strategy on Tuesday that outlines how it will work with investors and international partners to build a critical minerals processing industry for the energy transition. The Labor government strategy aims to see Australia as a significant producer by 2030 of raw and processed critical minerals that are key to the energy transition, on its path to becoming a renewable superpower.

Jun 19 - China's May aluminium imports up slightly on prior year
China's aluminium imports in May climbed 1.8% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Sunday, but arrivals were lower than the prior month amid weak industrial demand. The world's biggest aluminium producer and consumer brought in 191,701 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and products -including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminium - last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. 

Jun 19 - Fortescue expands battery and electric powertrain output in UK with new plant
Australian miner Fortescue Metals is expanding its battery and electric powertrain production operations in the UK with a new plant in Oxfordshire, its green power arm Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) said on Monday. The Banbury facility will open in 2024 and operate alongside Fortescue’s other Oxfordshire facilities including the Kidlington factory which will open later this year, FFI said in a press release.

Jun 16 - Nearby LME tin prices soar, putting pressure on short positions
Prices of tin for nearby delivery on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have soared compared with those for longer maturities due to one company holding more than half of the inventory in LME registered warehouses. This, traders say, makes it expensive for companies that have sold large amounts - short positions - of tin to deliver against their contracts or roll them forward.

Jun 16 - Iron ore dances between China stimulus optimism and soft economic reality: Russell
Iron ore is engaging in a familiar dance of flitting between hopes of more and effective economic stimulus in China, and the reality that the rebound in the world's second-biggest economy is sputtering. The spot price of iron ore has gyrated in recent weeks, driven by hopes for more stimulus from Beijing and concerns that the run of soft economic indicators is likely to extend.

Jun 15 - China's May crude steel output extends falls on production cuts
China's crude steel output extended both year-on-year and month-on-month falls in May, the statistics bureau said on Thursday, with the reduction mainly coming from electric-arc-furnace (EAF) based steelmakers that had cut production to curb losses. The world's top steel producer manufactured 90.12 million metric tons of the ferrous metal last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

Jun 15 - China May aluminium output largely flat on-year as power crunch persists
China's primary aluminium output in May rose only slightly from a year earlier, data released on Thursday showed, as production in most regions remained steady while output growth was capped by extended power curbs in the southwestern Yunnan province. The world's top aluminium producer churned out 3.42 million metric tons of primary aluminium last month, up 1.1% from the same period a year ago, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Jun 14 - Global aluminium producer cuts Q3 premium offer to $170/T from initial $180/T
A major global aluminium producer has lowered its offer of a premium for Japanese buyers to $170 per tonne for July-September primary metal shipments from its initial level of $180, two sources directly involved in quarterly pricing talks said. The $170 offer still marks a 31-36% increase from the current quarter's premiums of $125-$130 per tonne.  

Jun 14 - Australia's ANZ looks to expand lending to critical minerals sector
Australian lender ANZ Group is looking at opportunities to invest more in the critical minerals sector as part of its efforts to support decarbonisation and has recently backed its first stand-alone lithium deal, an executive said on Wednesday.  ANZ has traditionally supported long-life, low-risk mine projects for Australia's staple resources including iron ore, gold, aluminium, copper and nickel, said Simon Arduca, ANZ's executive director of resources, energy and infrastructure.

Jun 13 - Russian aluminium stocks at LME grow, boosting demand for Indian alternative
Russian aluminium's share of stocks in warehouses registered with the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose to 68% in May from 52% in April, data from the exchange showed on Monday, as traders reported increased demand for Indian metal as an alternative. The world's oldest exchange and largest market for industrial metals has not banned Russian metals from being traded and stored in its system since Moscow invaded Ukraine, as there are no Western sanctions on Russian base metals. 

Jun 13 - Glencore makes offer for Teck's steelmaking coal business
Glencore on Monday offered to buy Teck Resources' steelmaking coal business as a standalone unit, after the Canadian miner twice rebuffed its $22.5 billon offer to combine the two companies. Teck Resources said on June 6 it had received several proposals for its coal business, as it reworks a plan to split it from its copper and zinc unit that failed to secure enough shareholder support in late April.

Jun 12 - LME gets first request to list new nickel brand since cutting waiting times
The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Friday it had received the first application to approve a new nickel brand for delivery against its nickel contract since it cut the waiting time for listing to three months from six to nine months in March. The 146-year-old exchange has struggled to revive nickel volumes since prices jumped to a record above $100,000 a tonne in disorderly trade in March 2022, forcing the LME to suspend the nickel market for the first time since 1988.

Jun 12 - Ghana returns to gold top spot as output jumps 32%
Ghana recorded a 32% increase in gold production last year, enabling it to win back the top spot from South Africa as the largest gold producer on the continent, the president of the mines chamber said on Friday. Ghana lost the position to South Africa in 2021 after a drastic fall in output.

Jun 09 - Namibia bans export of unprocessed critical minerals
Namibia has banned the export of unprocessed lithium and other critical minerals, the government announced on Thursday, as it seeks to profit from growing global demand for metals used in clean energy technologies. The southern African country has significant deposits of lithium, which is vital for renewable energy storage, as well as rare earth minerals such as dysprosium and terbium needed for permanent magnets in the batteries of electric cars and wind turbines.

Jun 09 - Nickel Industries plans to raise $633 mln through share placement
Australia's Nickel Industries said on Friday it planned to raise A$943 million ($633.32 million) and had executed an agreement to reduce its investment in the Excelsior Nickel Cobalt (ENC) project in Indonesia. Under the latest placement, the company will issue about 20% of its shares to PT Danusa Tambang Nusantara, a subsidiary of Indonesia's PT United Tractors Tbk.

Jun 08 - Nickel prices coming supply glut but stocks keep falling: Andy Home
Nickel has been the under-performer of the London Metal Exchange (LME) base metals pack this year.  LME three-month nickel sank to a nine-month low of $20,310 per tonne last week and at a current $21,500 is now down by 31% since the start of the year. 

Jun 08 - Trinidad's TTIS agrees to buy idled steel plant from ArcelorMittal
Trinidad and Tobago's TT Iron Steel Company (TTIS) has agreed to purchase an idled iron and steel plant in the country from a unit of Luxembourg-listed multinational ArcelorMittal, the Trinidadian company said on Wednesday. The purchase agreement comes seven years after ArcelorMittal closed operations in Trinidad following layoffs amid low global steel prices, which have since rebounded.

Jun 07 - China's May copper imports down 4.6% y/y after record local output
China's copper imports slid 4.6% in May from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, as soft demand amid a shaky economic recovery in the world's top metal consumer dampened buying appetite while domestic production remained high. Imports of unwrought copper and copper products totalled 444,010 tonnes in May, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. 

Jun 07 - Philippines Q1 nickel ore output up 5.3% y/y - mines bureau
Philippine nickel ore output in the first quarter totalled 4 million dry metric tons (dmt), up 5.3% versus the 3.8 million dmt produced in the same period last year, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said on Wednesday. Of the 33 nickel mines in the Philippines, only 13 recorded output during the first quarter while the rest did not produce any due to unfavourable weather or because they were under maintenance, the agency said in its quarterly report.

Jun 06 - LME aluminium stocks battle comes with a Russian twist: Andy Home
There was another raid on London Metal Exchange (LME) aluminium stocks last week. While headline inventory fell by a marginal 1,475 tonnes over the holiday-shortened week, available stocks slumped by 19% thanks to 83,875 tonnes of net cancellations.

Jun 06 - Germany targets $2.1 bln in funding for Thyssenkrupp green steel plant
Germany is planning to make around 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) available to help fund a green steel plant that Thyssenkrupp aims to build at its base in Duisburg, one of the struggling conglomerate's key turnaround projects. The 2 billion euros, unveiled by Germany's Economy Ministry on Monday, include 700 million euros of funds pledged by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Thyssenkrupp's headquarters is located.

Jun 05 - Green shoots of recovery for LME nickel after restart of Asian hours trading
Trading volumes for the London Metal Exchange's (LME) benchmark nickel contract in electronic trading, boosted by the restart of Asian hours trading, climbed in May to their highest since the crisis in March last year. LME data shows average daily nickel volumes in May for the three-month benchmark contract at 18,190 tonnes compared with more than 28,000 tonnes in March 2022 when prices hit a record above $100,000 a tonne in disorderly trade and the LME suspended the nickel market for more than a week. 

Jun 05 - Peru April copper production jumped 30%
Peru's copper production soared by 30.5% in April versus the same month a year earlier, due to the good performance of mines including Las Bambas and Cerro Verde, the Ministry of Energy and Mines said in a statement on Saturday. Fine copper production in April shot up to 221,999 tonnes, the statement said, compared to 170,168 tonnes in April 2022.

Jun 02 - Copper price to fall to $7,000 in second half of 2023, says Antaike
Global copper prices are set to fall to $7,000 per tonne in the second half of this year, predicted influential Chinese research firm Antaike, as rising risks of recession and a lack of solid demand growth in China weigh. Copper prices rallied to a seven-month high of $9,550.50 in mid-January, thanks to bullish bets on prospects of a Chinese economic recovery, but the benchmark contract on the London Metal Exchange fell below $8,000 a tonne last week, the lowest since November.

Jun 02 - LME loses benchmark status in part of nickel market -Bloomberg News
The London Metal Exchange (LME) has lost its benchmark status for a part of the nickel market to the Shanghai Metals Market, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday citing French mining company Eramet. An index produced by Shanghai Metals Market "has become the benchmark" for pricing ferronickel, the report quoted Eramet's chief executive officer Christel Bories as saying.

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.