Base & Precious Metals News

Apr 03 - Chinese commodities traders rush metals, oil as uncertainty rises 
Investors breaking trading records on China's commodities exchanges are looking to metals and energy futures products such as stainless steel, tin and crude oil, as they hedge risks amid the global coronavirus outbreak or take speculative positions. Activity has soared over the past month, pushing open interest and trading volumes in the futures markets to record and multi-year highs as the virus disrupts businesses and global supply chains, while consumer demand slumps. 

Apr 03 - Bargain hunters forecast to seek silver lining in precious metal's slump 
The global sliver market will be undersupplied for a third year in 2020 as investors are lured by decade-low prices, offsetting expected falls in its use by jewellers and industry, a report forecast. Prices tumbled to less than $12 an ounce – their lowest since 2009 -- from almost $19 during a 3-1/2-week period of mass selling in financial markets during February and March, but have since steadied around $14.

Apr 03 - Pressure builds on China's raw materials supply chains: Andy Home 
China is ready to move on from the coronavirus and get back to business as usual.  "With the spread of COVID-19 under control, we should actively carry out the resumption of work and production," President Xi Jinping said this week.  Xi's comments, reported by state media under the headline "Chinese president unpauses China's economy", were made during a tour of Zhejiang province. (CGTN, part of China Media Group, April 2, 2020)

Apr 03 - Rio Tinto declares force majeure on copper from U.S. smelter after quake 
Rio Tinto Ltd said it has invoked force majeure on copper cathode contracts for its Kennecott copper mine and smelter in the U.S. state of Utah after an earthquake last month resulted in an emergency shutdown. Force majeure is a clause that absolves parties to a contract from honouring terms due to reasons outside their control.

Apr 03 - Japan's Pan Pacific plans 1.3% cut in first-half copper output 
Japanese miner Pan Pacific Copper (PPC) said on Friday it plans to consign production of 295,000 tonnes of refined copper to its parent organisations' smelters in the first half of the financial year, down 1.3% from a year earlier. The country's first half of the financial year falls between April and September. PPC is 67.8% owned by JX Nippon Mining & Metals, a unit of JXTG Holdings Inc, and the remaining held by Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co Ltd.

Apr 03 - Brazil mining regulator orders closure of 25 Vale dams 
Brazil's National Mining Agency (ANM) said on Thursday that it would halt operations at 47 mining dams that failed to certify their stability, including at least 25 belonging to the world's largest iron ore producer Vale SA. The safety of Vale's facilities have been under heavy scrutiny after one of its dam collapsed last year, releasing a torrent of mining waste that killed about 270 people. It was the second Vale dam to collapse in four years.

Apr 03 - Norsk Hydro to slash investment, postpone dividend on virus fallout - 
Norwegian aluminium-maker Norsk Hydro is cutting costs and investments, and postponing a decision on whether to pay a dividend for 2019, due to the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, the company said on Thursday. The long-planned restart of a 95,000 tonnes per year aluminium production line at the company's Husnes plant in Norway has been postponed, and will at the earliest take place in the third quarter of 2020, Hydro added.

Apr 03 - Thyssenkrupp cuts steel output as coronavirus crisis hits demand 
Thyssenkrupp, Germany's largest steelmaker, is cutting steel output and staff will work shortened hours as the coronavirus crisis is hitting the steel sector. "In light of the economic impact as a result of the corona crisis we are adjusting our production chain. This includes blast furnaces as well as processing," a spokesman for Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe said in e-mailed comments.

Apr 03 - Annual output from India's top iron ore state to hold up despite shutdown -official 
Annual iron ore production volumes in India's largest producing state are unlikely to be impacted by a shutdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, a senior mines department official in the eastern state of Odisha told Reuters on Thursday. Odisha, which accounts for over half of India's iron ore production, produced 120 million tonnes during the 2019/2020 year to March, up slightly from 118 million tonnes the previous year, Umesh Chandra Jena, joint director of mines said.

Apr 03 - S.Africa's ARM says JV gets green light to load iron ore amid lockdown 
African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) said on Thursday it had received the green light from South African authorities to load iron ore from stockpiles at its joint venture mines despite a 21-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown. The diversified miner said Assmang, a 50-50 venture with Assore, had received authorisation from the mines ministry to operate its load-out stations at the Khumani and Beeshoek mines to distribute iron ore from the mines’ respective stockpiles.

Apr 02 - Coronavirus batters steel sector, Europe hardest hit 
The coronavirus pandemic is battering the global steel sector as huge swathes of industry that use steel shut down, with Europe hardest hit since steel demand and company margins were already anaemic before the crisis hit.  While many factories in China are gradually cranking back up as the virus outbreak there eases, widespread closures are spreading elsewhere in the world, including at the world's biggest automaker, Volkswagen Group.

Apr 02 - Glencore's chrome joint venture in South Africa with Merafe declares force majeure 
Glencore's chrome joint venture in South Africa with Merafe Resources has declared force majeure on qualifying contracts after a nationwide lockdown forced operations to shut, a Merafe executive said. "All our operations are shut and are on care and maintenance. We have declared force majeure on qualifying contracts" Merafe financial director Ditabe Chocho told Reuters.

Apr 02 - Chilean state copper miner Codelco confirms fifth case of coronavirus among workers 
Chile's state-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, said on Wednesday that a fifth worker has been confirmed as having contracted coronavirus, at its Ministro Hales mine. The diagnosis of the contract worker was confirmed in the central coastal city of La Serena on his final rest day before starting a new shift at the mine. 

Apr 02 - Australia's ALS says probe finds half of coal quality reports amended 
Testing laboratory ALS Ltd said on Thursday an investigation found that about half the certificates it provided for export coal samples over the past decade had been manually altered to improve the quality of the coal. The assay reports, going back to 2007, had been amended at four laboratories of the coal superintending and certification unit of ALS's Coal business in New South Wales and Queensland states, it said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.

Apr 02 - South Africa says ports remain open despite lockdown 
South Africa's ports remain open to all types of cargo despite a nationwide 21-day lockdown though essential goods should be prioritised, the Department of Transport said in a notice. "(The) government has now decided that in the interest of ensuring a functional supply chain across all ports, that all cargoes will be accepted for loading and off-loading," said the notice, which was dated March 31.

Apr 02 - Antofagasta says renewable energy to power Centinela mine from 2022 
Copper miner Antofagasta said on Wednesday its Centinela mine in Chile would be powered by renewable sources from 2022 under an agreement with power company Engie Energía Chile. The company said the unit had signed a new power purchase agreement with Engie Energía effective from 2022 until 2033 for the supply of power generated from renewable sources.

Apr 02 - Russia's Mechel calls for debt claim relief extension 
Russian steel and coal producer Mechel has asked its creditors to extend a debt claim relief deal, adding on Wednesday that lengthy restructuring talks were nearing an end. Mechel, which has been engaged in the talks since last year, could be asked to make repayments of up to 373.3 billion roubles ($4.73 billion), company data from the end of 2019 showed. 

Apr 02 - Vale ponders short-term options to raise Brucutu mine output 
Brazilian miner Vale said on Wednesday it is testing short-term alternatives to tailings dams which, if proved viable, would allow it to boost its Brucutu mine to 80% capacity from 40% at present. In a securities filing, Vale said that if the alternatives were not effective, 2020 iron ore production, most recently forecast at between 340 million tonnes and 355 million tonnes, may be impacted.

Apr 02 - Rights group calls on Rio Tinto to fix damage from old Papua New Guinea mine 
An Australian human rights group has called on Rio Tinto Ltd to fund a review of health and safety issues it says plagues people near a huge copper mine in Papua New Guinea that the company ran for nearly two decades. The review would be a starting point for talks around compensation and rehabilitation of the Panguna site that was run by Rio Tinto unit Bougainville Copper (BCL) from the early 1970s to 1990, the Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne said.

Apr 01 - Risk-hedging Chinese investors push commodities markets to record high trades  
Trading activity on China's commodities markets is skyrocketing as investors increasingly hedge risks, pushing open interest and trading volumes in the futures markets to record and multi-year highs in March following the coronavirus outbreak and volatile global commodity prices. The Shanghai Futures Exchange, known for its base metals contracts, saw March open interest volumes at a record 7.3 million while trading volumes reached a four-year high.

Apr 01 - South Africa lockdown squeezes global chrome supply 
Samancor Chrome, one of the world's biggest ferrochrome producers, has declared force majeure because of South Africa's 21-day coronavirus lockdown, removing further supply from global chrome markets. South Africa ordered all underground mines and furnaces be put on care and maintenance status from midnight on March 26 as part of its measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Apr 01 - Japan's Sumitomo Metal plans 10.7% hike in FY20-21 copper output 
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd, Japan's second-largest copper smelter, said on Wednesday it plans to produce 450,000 tonnes of refined copper this financial year, up 10.7% from a year earlier. The country's financial year 2020-21 started on Wednesday. The production plan was made before the coronavirus spread across the world, the company said, adding it is still assessing impact from the pandemic.

Apr 01 - Teck Resources suspends 2020 forecasts, cuts steelmaking coal output 
Miner Teck Resources Ltd suspended its 2020 financial forecasts on Wednesday and said it expected steelmaking coal production to drop to about 80-85% of normal levels in an initial two-week slowdown from March 25 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Canadian miner also said, however, steelmaking coal sales for the first quarter are estimated at 5.6 million tonnes, exceeding the company's previous outlook of 4.8 million to 5.2 million tonnes. 

Apr 01 - Subsistence miners lose out as coronavirus crushes local gold prices 
Informal gold miners from South America to Africa are selling gold at almost 40% discounts as measures to curb the coronavirus crimp supply routes and dry up funding. Border restrictions and flight cancellations have created gold gluts in local markets, depressing prices for small-scale miners even as global prices are pushed back towards 7-year highs by investors piling into bullion as a safe-haven asset. 

Apr 01 - Lead's viral resistance carries a lesson for other metals: Andy Home 
The demand shock rippling around the world as the new coronavirus spreads has upended the industrial metals complex. All the base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) are trading below their year-start levels.  However, one metal is proving remarkably resistant. Lead, trading in London at $1,725 per tonne, is down by just 10.1% so far this year. Zinc, the second best performer, has fallen by 15%. Copper, the LME's bellwether contract and investors' favourite metallic play, has slumped by 22%. 

Apr 01 - Indonesia approves new copper export permit for Freeport Indonesia 
Indonesia has approved a new export permit for 1.07 million tonnes of copper concentrate for Freeport Indonesia, operator of the world's second-biggest copper mine, an energy ministry official told Reuters.  The permit is from March 16 this year and will last until March 15, 2021, the ministry official and Riza Pratama, a Freeport Indonesia spokesman, told Reuters separately. 

Apr 01 - Glencore delays dividend payment decision as coronavirus risk mounts 
Glencore said on Tuesday it had deferred a decision on its proposed $2.6 billion dividend pay out for this year and said there could be material disruption to production due to the coronavirus epidemic. A decision would be made in August on the level of any dividend after considering the impact of the coronavirus on the economy and its business, the London-listed commodity miner and trader said. The decision would coincide with interim results.

Apr 01 - Miner South32 files request for arbitration in Colombia royalty dispute 
Mining company South32 has filed a request for arbitration at the World Bank over a dispute with Colombia concerning royalty payments from its majority-owned Cerro Matoso ferronickel mine, the company confirmed on Tuesday. In February the Andean country's comptroller opened an investigation into alleged unpaid royalties of 619 billion pesos ($152.3 million) from iron and nickel production at Cerro Matoso between 1982 and 2012. 

Apr 01 - Brazil's Vale says resumption of lost capacity could be slowed 
Brazilian mining company Vale SA said on Tuesday it was at risk of postponing the resumption of lost production capacity due to possible coronavirus-related delays in inspections, assessments and authorizations but that existing output so far had seen little impact. The risks, representing a fresh round of upheaval after production cuts last year stemming from the dam burst in the town of Brumadinho that killed roughly 270 people, were detailed in a presentation.

Apr 01 - Chinese-Tajik antimony project delayed by coronavirus 
A Chinese-Tajik antimony and gold mining joint venture has delayed its start-up by about three months, Tajik state metals firm TALCO said on Tuesday, as borders were closed by the coronavirus outbreak. TALCO Gold, jointly owned by TALCO and China's Tibet Huayu Mining Co, planned to start producing antimony, a metal used in batteries and fire retardants, from the Konchoch deposits in western Tajikistan this month.

Mar 31 - Top platinum miners declare force majeure after coronavirus lockdown 
The world's largest platinum producers Anglo American Platinum, Sibanye-Stillwater and Impala Platinum have declared force majeure on contracts after a three-week national lockdown forced operations to close. South Africa, which accounts for around 70% of mined platinum supply, called the shutdown last week to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Mar 31 - Jiangxi Copper plans to lift 2020 output by 6% y/y, but warns of virus impact 
China's biggest copper producer Jiangxi Copper Co said on Monday it aimed to churn out 6% more refined metal in 2020 than last year, despite warning that the spreading coronavirus could hurt demand. The Nanchang-based company, which posted a 0.8% rise in annual net profit to 2.47 billion yuan ($347.96 million) in 2019, is targeting 1.65 million tonnes of copper cathode output this year, according to a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Mar 31 - Vedanta to suspend operations at Namibian zinc unit 
Vedanta Zinc International, a unit of diversified miner Vedanta Resources, said on Monday it would suspend operations at its Skorpion Zinc mine and refinery in Namibia by the end of April. Vedanta said the decision to place Skorpion Zinc on care and maintenance, which means operations stop but are kept in a condition to resume in future, was taken because of pit failures that had paralysed a significant portion of the open-cast mine.

Mar 31 - China's PMI rebound is more likely the outlier than the template: Russell 
Is the spectacular rebound in China's manufacturing index a hopeful template for the rest of the world once the coronavirus pandemic is contained, or another volatility-affected number best treated with caution? The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) leapt to 52 in March from the record low 35.7 in February, vaulting over the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction. 

Mar 31 - Rio Tinto to scale back NZ aluminium smelter operations due to virus 
Rio Tinto Ltd will close one of the aluminium production lines at its smelter in Tiwai, New Zealand, to comply with government restrictions to contain the coronavirus, its New Zealand's Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) venture said on Tuesday. New Zealand is in a four-week lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus that has infected more than 750,000 people globally.

Mar 31 - Rare earths producer Lynas to follow Malaysia's movement curbs extension to mid-April 
Rare earths producer Lynas Corp said on Tuesday it will follow the Malaysian government's order to extend restrictions on movement by two weeks to April 14 to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.  "We will continue to follow all guidelines of the Malaysian government, including the Ministry of Health," Lynas said in a statement, referring to the extension announced last week. 

Mar 31 - Philippine nickel miners say Surigao operations to be suspended due to coronavirus 
Mining operations in the Philippines' southern province of Surigao del Norte, home to most of the country's nickel mines, will be suspended from April 1 as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, two mining companies said on Tuesday. Nickel Asia Corp and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc, the Southeast Asian country's two biggest nickel ore miners and exporters, separately said that they have received a copy of the suspension order issued by the provincial government on March 28.

Mar 31 - China's Yuguang plans copper smelter maintenance in April - sources 
China's Henan Yuguang Gold & Lead will put its 150,000 tonnes of annual copper smelting capacity on maintenance for around 20 days in April, two company sources said on Monday. One of the sources said the maintenance was routine and was expected to begin on April 7, affecting 6,000-7,000 tonnes of refined copper output.

Mar 31 - Polish miner KGHM operating below break-even due to low copper prices, says PM 
Poland's state-run KGHM, one of the world's biggest copper and silver producers, is currently operating below its break-even point with the copper price below $5,000, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.  "Break even is at $5,100-5,200, so one of our national champions has found itself, temporarily I hope, under water," Morawiecki told the upper house of parliament, asking it to approve a package of legislation designed to help the economy survive the coronavirus crisis.

Mar 30 - Shanghai aluminium stocks fall for 1st time in 2020; lead at 15-month low 
Aluminium stocks monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) have fallen for the first time in three months, data showed on Friday, although experts say this does not necessarily mean China's coronavirus-hit demand is catching up with supply. Inventories of aluminium in ShFE warehouses across nine Chinese cities and regions slipped by 5,922 tonnes, or 1.1% from the previous week to 528,072 tonnes, having previously risen non-stop since Dec. 27.

Mar 30 - Collapsing auto sector a body blow for industrial metals: Andy Home 
France's Recylex has just announced the temporary closure of both its German lead smelter and two battery-recycling plants, one in Germany and one in France.  The decision is due to a "strong drop in demand, especially in the automotive sector, in a context of sharply lower metal prices," the company said. 

Mar 30 - Aluminium surplus to balloon as producers resist output cuts 
Plummeting aluminium prices due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on demand are unlikely to persuade producers to immediately cut output as input costs have also fallen, leaving the market with massive surpluses.  Re-starting mothballed plants take a long time and comes with a high cost, and smelters typically avoid closing them even if in the short term they are losing money.

Mar 30 - CME launches enhanced delivery gold futures to combat volatility 
CME Group Inc on Friday announced the initial listing of enhanced delivery gold futures that will be deliverable in 100-ounce bars, 400-ounce bars, or kilo bars, effective April 6. The U.S. exchange operator said the product size of the new gold futures will be 100 troy ounces. Reuters on Tuesday reported the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and several major banks that trade gold have asked CME to allow gold bars in London to be used to settle its contracts to ease disruption to trading. 

Mar 30 - Chile's Codelco copper output drops 5.3% in 2019, profits plunge 
Chile's state-run Codelco said on Friday output had dropped 5.3% in 2019, driving profits down sharply as the world's top copper producer continues to battle with rising costs and falling ore grades at its aging deposits. Codelco said in end-of-year results it produced 1.59 million tonnes from its wholly owned mines in 2019, and that profits had fallen 17% from the previous year to $1.34 billion. Direct cash costs rose 1.8%, the company said.

Mar 30 - Brazil's Vale says it will receive 500k rapid coronavirus tests from China on Monday 
Half a million rapid coronavirus tests will arrive in Brazil on Monday, mining company Vale SA said on Friday, after receiving the first of 5 million tests from China as part of its efforts to boost testing in Brazil's healthcare system. Vale said it planned to ship the tests by plane from China's Guangdong province on Sunday and they would arrive the following night at Guarulhos airport in Sao Paulo. The rest of the tests will arrive over the course of April, the company said in an emailed statement. Brazil has been rationing tests for only the sickest patients thought to have coronavirus due to a lack of supplies.

Mar 30 - Namibia suspends mining operations as coronavirus lockdown takes effect 
Namibia on Saturday ordered mining companies to cease operations for three weeks as the country entered its first day of a partial lockdown, and stepped up measures to curb coronavirus infections which currently stand at eight people. Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo said in a statement mining activities should be discontinued during the lockdown, which lasts until April 16.

Mar 30 - Speculators raise net long position in COMEX gold - CFTC 
Hedge funds and money managers increased their net long position in COMEX gold and cut them in silver in the week to March 24, data from the U.S. the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed on Friday. The speculator group also trimmed their net short position in copper during the period.

Mar 30 - Petra Diamonds suspends 2020 production outlook 
Africa-focussed miner Petra Diamonds on Friday suspended its production forecast for fiscal 2020 and said it was in "active talks" with a South African lender for near-term financing, amid worries over the worsening coronavirus crisis. The miner, which has three operations in South Africa and one in Tanzania, withdrew its full year production outlook of 3.8 million carats that it had issued in July 2019. 

Mar 30 - Severstal employee suspected of having coronavirus, isolated from others 
Russian steelmaker Severstal said on Friday one of its employees was suspected of having coronavirus after travelling from Moscow to Cherepovets, where the steel producer's main plant is located, on a business trip with his wife.  Severstal said the employee and those he came into contact with had been isolated and that he did not have any direct contact with production staff.

Mar 27 - Chalco 2019 aluminium output falls 9% after smelter shutdowns 
Chalco, China's biggest state-run aluminium producer, churned out 9% less metal in 2019 as it shut two uncompetitive smelters and barely eked out a profit in the fourth quarter, while it played down the impact of the coronavirus on the industry. Chalco, or Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, produced 3.79 million tonnes, according to its presentation to analysts reviewed by Reuters - just managing to retain its spot as the world's No.2 listed aluminium producer ahead of rival Rusal's 3.76 million tonnes. 

Mar 27 - Glencore closes some operations in four countries over coronavirus curbs 
Glencore PLC on Thursday halted a number of smaller mines due to government restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus but added its larger operations were not materially impacted. The London-listed company said it would shutter its oil operations in Chad, some coal and ferroalloys operations in South Africa and Colombia, as well as nickel and zinc mines in Canada. 

Mar 27 - South African port closures add to commodity market turmoil 
South Africa's main export terminals will close to mineral exports from midnight, when a nationwide 21-day lockdown to try to contain the coronavirus begins, disrupting copper and cobalt supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.  Miners in the African copperbelt, which accounts for more than a tenth of global production, typically transport copper overland to South Africa's ports, where it is exported mainly to China, the world's biggest consumer of the metal.

Mar 27 - Tata, Liberty Steel cut European output due to drop in demand 
Tata Steel Europe and Liberty Steel have joined other European steel groups in cutting production after automakers and other firms slashed output due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many European carmakers, including the world's biggest Volkswagen Group, have suspended production at factories across Europe. 

Mar 27 - JFE to cut 13% steel capacity by March 2024, predicts record loss 
JFE Holdings Inc, Japan's second-biggest steelmaker, said on Friday it would cut its steel capacity by 13% by shutting a blast furnace by March 2024 due to weakening demand from manufacturers hit by the U.S.-China trade war. "We are facing an unprecedented and extremely challenging operating environment due to slumping steel demand from manufacturing industries hit by the U.S.-China trade war and rising prices of raw materials driven by China's increased output of steel," JFE Steel President Yoshihisa Kitano told a news conference.

Mar 27 - CEZ moves forward with partner on Cinovec lithium project 
Czech utility CEZ will move forward in developing the Cinovec lithium project with European Metals Holding (EMH) and will take a stake in the EMH subsidiary running the project, the companies said on Friday. CEZ said the second phase of the project involved technical matters and testing, not the start of mining. As part of the deal, CEZ will take a 51% stake in EMH unit Geomet for 29.1 million euros ($32.14 million), a slightly lower amount than conditionally agreed last year. 

Mar 27 - Brazilian miner Vale to battle coronavirus with thermal cameras 
Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA said on Thursday it planned to install more than 80 thermal cameras in select locations around the country, enlisting digital age technology in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Containing the fast-spreading disease marks an onerous challenge for the global mining industry, given the difficulty of employing "social distancing" measures in confined spaces.

Mar 27 - Anglo American expects hit to iron ore, coal in South Africa lockdown 
Anglo American said on Friday it expected a 2 million to 3 million tonne fall in production at its Kumba Iron Ore unit in South Africa this year and a drop of up to 2 million tonnes in output of export coal due to a three-week shutdown. The London-listed miner also lowered output of platinum and diamonds in South Africa, extended a slowdown in construction at its Quellaveco copper project in Peru and paused work in its Woodsmith polyhalite project in Britain.

Mar 27 - Freeport-McMoRan in talks to allow limited operations at Peru's Cerro Verde mine 
Freeport-McMoRan Inc said on Thursday it was in talks with the Peruvian government to conduct limited operations at its giant Cerro Verde mine after the country extended a national emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak to April 12. The mine was temporarily transitioned to a care and maintenance status on March 16 after the Peruvian government declared a 15-day emergency to battle the virus.  

Mar 27 - Two senior managers at Russia's Nornickel leave 
Russian nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel said on Friday two senior vice presidents, including Sergey Batekhin, who was in charge of sales, had left the company. Batekhin has joined holding company Interrros, which manages the assets of Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel's largest shareholder, and will focus on digital projects at the holding.

Mar 26 - CME's new contract no quick fix for gold market turmoil, traders say 
U.S. exchange operator CME Group on Tuesday announced a new gold futures contract to combat price volatility caused by the shutdown of gold supply routes, but traders and bankers said it would not immediately calm markets. Gold prices in London and New York diverged sharply on Tuesday as the coronavirus outbreak grounded planes and closed precious metals refineries. Traders worried they would be unable to move gold from London to New York.

Mar 26 - Chile's copper miner Codelco suspends construction projects over coronavirus 
Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper miner, said on Wednesday it would temporarily suspend construction on some projects in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus, as the company´s unions ratcheted up pressure for more safety measures.  In a statement Codelco said the 15-day suspension applied to remaining work being carried out to make Chuquicamata an underground mine, and projects at an early stage at Rajo Inca and Traspaso Andina. 

Mar 26 - Coronavirus slows U.S. push to produce electric vehicle minerals 
The coronavirus pandemic is hobbling U.S. efforts to produce lithium, rare earths and other materials used in electric vehicles and high-tech equipment, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump's plan to curb Chinese control of the strategic minerals sector. As the pandemic has killed nearly 20,000 across the globe, U.S. junior miners have slowed engineering work, environmental reviews and loan applications.

Mar 26 - Rio Tinto raps Australian lobby group for coal support 
Rio Tinto said on Thursday it had found several cases where Australia's biggest mining industry body advocated for thermal coal in contravention of 2015 Paris climate goals, as it released a review of its membership in industry groups. Rio Tinto laid out its expectations for the industry associations that it funds last April to ensure that their policy on climate change and energy advocacy was consistent with the miner's own, as well as the Paris Agreement which aims to limit global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius.

Mar 26 - Coronavirus threatens copper giant Peru's 21-years of growth 
Peru may be on track to record its first annual economic contraction in over two decades as the world's second largest copper producer is hammered by the impact of a global coronavirus pandemic hurting commodities demand. Around the country miners have been forced to slow or suspend operations with the government strictly curbing movement and activity with military presence on the streets to halt the virus with 416 confirmed cases so far.

Mar 26 - Recylex closes German lead plant as coronavirus cuts demand 
French metals producer Recylex said it would suspend output at its Weser-Metall lead production plant in Germany from Thursday as the coronavirus crisis cuts metal demand. Weser-Metall GmbH in Nordenham produces about 130,000 tonnes of lead annually and is one of Europe's main lead producers.

Mar 26 - Shares in Japan's traders sink on Marubeni loss warning as virus slams demand 
Shares in Japanese trading houses sank on Thursday after Marubeni Corp warned it will book a record annual loss as the coronavirus outbreak sends prices of oil and commodities tumbling. Shares in Marubeni plunged about 13% after it said it would have to write down massive impairment losses on its assets raging from oil, copper to grains. 

Mar 26 - Zinc 2020 benchmark smelter terms may already be outdated: Andy Home 
This year's benchmark zinc smelter treatment charges have been set at a 12-year high of $299.75 per tonne, according to Fastmarkets.  This is not surprising. The spot market has swung even higher in recent months as a surplus of mined zinc concentrate works in favour of smelters, allowing them to charge more for converting raw material into refined metal. 

Mar 26 - South Africa to continue processing platinum metals during lockdown 
South Africa will continue to process platinum group metals (PGMs) during its 21-day coronavirus lockdown, the country's minister of mines and energy said on Wednesday. A leading producer of platinum, palladium, coal and gold, South Africa's mining sector accounts for about 18% of the nation's gross domestic product.

Mar 25 - CME to launch new gold futures contract with expanded delivery options 
U.S. exchange operator CME Group Inc said on Tuesday it was launching a new gold futures contract with expanded delivery options that include gold bars, in a bid to address the disruptions to bullion's supply due to the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier on Tuesday, Reuters reported the London Bullion Market Association and several major banks that trade gold had asked CME Group to allow gold bars in London to be used to settle its contracts to ease disruption to trading. 

Mar 25 - China Jan-Feb rare earth magnet exports down 4.2% as virus curbs shipments 
China's rare earth magnet exports in the first two months of 2020 fell by 4.2% from a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data, as the coronavirus outbreak hindered shipments overseas. China is the world's biggest producer of rare earth magnets, which are widely used in medical devices, consumer electronics and defence.

Mar 25 - China's first iron ore futures ETF raises $11 mln ahead of Friday debut 
China's first iron ore futures-based exchange traded fund (ETF) has raised $11 million from institutional investors and clients at private banks, according to the manager of the fund, which will list in Hong Kong on Friday. The ETF, managed by the Hong Kong unit of Chinese broker Shanxi Securities Co Ltd - Shanxi Securities International Asset Management Ltd - will track the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) iron ore futures index and use its closing price on March 20 as a benchmark. 

Mar 25 - Gold supply fears push spot prices far below U.S. futures 
London spot gold prices fell far below U.S. gold futures on Tuesday in a sign the market is worried air travel restrictions and precious metal refinery closures will hamper shipments of bullion to the United States to meet contractual requirements. The promise of unlimited stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Monday sent gold prices soaring, but London's spot market has started lagging behind prices on the Comex futures exchange in New York. 

Mar 25 - China aluminium smelters start to reduce output as virus sends prices tumbling 
Chinese aluminium smelters have cut their annual production capacity by up to 340,000 tonnes in response to a coronavirus-driven plunge in prices of the metal, analysts estimate, chiefly by placing ageing pots under maintenance. China is the world's largest producer and user of aluminium, which is used in everything from cars to cans. Its smelters maintained high operating rates in January and February, even as demand from downstream manufacturers collapsed amid a shortage of labour following the coronavirus outbreak. 

Mar 25 - Australia's Pilbara Minerals signs 5-year lithium supply deal with Chinese firm 
Pilbara Minerals Ltd said on Wednesday it had signed a five-year deal to supply spodumene concentrate, a mineral mined for its lithium content, to China-based Yibin Tianyi.  The Australian lithium miner said deliveries of the concentrate from the Pilgangoora project to Yibin Tianyi, a unit of China's Suzhou TA&A Ultra Clean Technology Co, would rise to 75,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) from 2021 onwards, compared with 60,000 tpa in 2020.

Mar 25 - South African mining sector braces for coronavirus lockdown 
South African mining companies are bracing for a heavy hit from the country's looming nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, warning of an expected leap in costs in addition to their lost output. A leading producer of metals and minerals such as platinum, palladium, coal, gold and iron ore, South Africa's labour-intensive mining industry is a potential hotbed of infection among the thousands of miners who often work in confined spaces, with some living nearby in cramped accommodation.

Mar 25 - Thyssenkrupp to cut 3,000 jobs at steel unit by 2026 
The German elevator-to-car parts conglomerate Thyssenkrupp will cut 3,000 jobs at its steel unit by 2026 as part of a wage deal it struck with powerful labour union IG Metall, it said on Wednesday. Jobs will be cut in a socially responsible way, with no forced layoffs until March 31, 2026, Thyssenkrupp said.

Mar 25 - Miner First Quantum sees slower ramp-up at Panama mine after workers contract coronavirus 
Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd said on Tuesday that production at its Cobre Panama copper mine would ramp up at a slower-than-expected pace after several workers contracted the COVID-19 virus, forcing the miner to implement quarantine measures.  The miner maintained its production guidance for the year but said it would temporarily cut pay for certain senior staff by 20% and that it could defer some capital spending to preserve cash. 

Mar 25 - Marubeni now expects $1.7 bln annual loss instead of profit due to coronavirus 
Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp said on Wednesday it now expects a net loss of 190 billion yen ($1.7 billion) for the year ending this month after the coronavirus epidemic hammered the global business environment. The company had previously expected a 200 billion yen net profit. Marubeni said it was booking impairment and one-time losses worth a total 390 billion yen, notably 145 billion yen for its oil and gas division and 100 billion yen for its U.S. grain business.

Mar 24 - China copper treatment charges fall as coronavirus threatens ore supply 
Charges for processing copper concentrate in China have fallen for the first time since December, as the coronavirus outbreak and associated curbs hit operations at overseas mines and leave smelters uncertain over future supply.  Spot copper treatment charges (TCs), paid by miners to smelters to process ore into refined metal, sank by $4 a tonne, or 5.5%, to $68.50 a tonne on Monday, according to industry pricing and information provider Asian Metal.

Mar 24 - Coronavirus supply disruptions are the next worry for metals: Russell 
The spread of the coronavirus across the world has focused metals markets on the risks to demand, causing prices to plummet, but so far investors have largely ignored the mounting threats to supply. A hint of what may be coming was South Africa's decision on Monday to impose a 21-day nationwide lockdown to try and contain the epidemic, a move that will affect the nation's mines. 

Mar 24 - DR Congo locks down mining area, workers sent home over coronavirus 
Democratic Republic of Congo imposed a two-day lockdown in part of its copper and cobalt heartland on Monday, as two of the country's largest mines took steps to reduce staff levels in response to an accelerating coronavirus outbreak. The governor of Haut-Katanga province, Jacques Kyabula, issued the lockdown order late on Sunday. He said the boundaries of the southeastern province, which is home to concessions owned by Ivanhoe, MMG Ltd and Chemaf, would also be closed after two people tested positive for the virus in the provincial capital, Lubumbashi. 

Mar 24 - Goldman: Virus response, inflation risks to support gold as hedge 
Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday inflationary concerns triggered by the central bank policy response to the coronavirus outbreak should underpin gold prices this year as the "currency of last resort."  "Combined with the fiscal nature of the current policy response to COVID-19, we believe physical inflationary concerns with the dollar starting near an all-time high will for once dominate financial asset inflation that was a feature of the past decade," the Wall Street bank said in a note dated March 23. 

Mar 24 - Amid copper market mayhem, funds head for the exit door: Andy Home 
London copper slumped to a four-year low of $4,371 per tonne last Thursday as industrial activity across Europe and the United States went into lockdown.  Copper and the other base metals pack traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have belatedly realised that coronavirus is no longer just a Chinese but a global story. 

Mar 24 - Freeport-McMoRan to cut dividend and slash costs as coronavirus 
Freeport-McMoRan Inc, the world's largest publicly traded copper producer, said on Monday it will stop dividend payouts and slash costs and output due to the rapid worldwide spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The drastic move underscores how fast the virus, which causes a sometimes deadly respiratory illness known as COVID-19, has torn through the global economy and affected demand for the key metals that underpin it. 

Mar 24 - Rupture of copper demand to fuel surplus as industry hit by virus 
A slide in copper demand as much of the world's manufacturing sector is disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak is expected to fuel a surplus this year of up to a million tonnes in what was expected to be a balanced market.  Most analysts are still revising estimates but they say the loss of consumption will be greater than the decline in supply due to closures of loss-making mines or those that have workers affected by the virus.

Mar 24 - Copper market in 68,000 tonnes surplus in Dec 2019 - ICSG 
The global world refined copper market showed a 68,000 tonnes surplus in December, compared with a 49,000 tonnes deficit in November, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in its latest monthly bulletin. For the first 12 months of the year, the market was in a 341,000 tonnes deficit compared with a 391,000 tonnes deficit in the same period a year earlier, the ICSG said.

Mar 24 - Global nickel market surplus widens in January - INSG 
The global nickel market surplus widened to 13,100 tonnes in January from a surplus of 5,200 tonnes in the previous month, the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) said on Monday. The January figure compares with a deficit of 3,500 tonnes in the same month of 2019, Lisbon-based INSG added.

Mar 23 - China steel, copper inventories dip as demand recovers from virus 
Steel and copper inventories in China fell this week for the first time in months, exchange and consultancy data showed, as downstream metal consumers severely hit by the coronavirus come closer to restoring normal operations.  Total steel product stocks in China stood at 37.05 million tonnes as of Thursday, according to Mysteel. That was down 4.8% from 38.91 million tonnes a week earlier and marked the first drop since Dec. 19 as the traditional stock build ahead of the Lunar New Year was exacerbated by a virus-driven collapse in demand.

Mar 23 - Gold's safe haven status takes coronavirus hit; India, China demand wanes: Russell 
Is gold's current pullback just a blip on the way to higher prices as fears over the economic impact of the coronavirus will drive renewed buying, or is it a sign the precious metal isn't quite the safe haven it used to be? Certainly, up until two weeks ago gold was behaving pretty much as expected during times of global economic uncertainty, with spot prices reaching as high as $1,702.56 an ounce on March 9, a jump of 13% from the end of last year.

Mar 23 - Rare earth miner Lynas closes Malaysia plant due to coronavirus curbs 
Rare earths producer Lynas Corp said on Monday it closed its processing plant in Malaysia temporarily after the government introduced strict measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Lynas, the world's largest rare earths producer outside China, said its flagship mine Mt Weld in Australia will continue to operate.

Mar 23 - Anglo American says to reschedule work at mines to contain virus 
Anglo American said on Friday it would reschedule work at mines in countries such as Chile to contain the spread of coronavirus but added there had been no material disruption on production. The virus, which has claimed over 10,000 lives globally, has roiled global markets and forced miners such as Rio Tinto and Teck Resources to reduce activity as governments limit the movement of their populations. 

Mar 23 - China Hongqiao sees 2019 aluminium output fall sharply, eyes move into scrap 
China Hongqiao Group, the world's biggest aluminium producer, said on Friday lower costs boosted net profit by 12.7% in 2019 despite a sharp drop in output, as it announced its intention to boost production from scrap metal. Net profit came in at 6.095 billion yuan ($862 million) last year, versus 5.407 billion yuan in 2018, the company said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing, warning the coronavirus will have a "profound impact" on global supply chains.

Mar 23 - China's Tianqi postpones commissioning of Australia lithium plant amid liquidity problems 
Tianqi Lithium Corp, one of the world's biggest lithium producers, said on Sunday it had postponed commissioning of the first phase of its flagship Australian processing plant due to rising liquidity problems after the coronavirus outbreak. The Chinese firm started production from what was slated to be the world's largest facility for lithium hydroxide, used in batteries for electric vehicles, in September 2019, with the ramp-up of the 24,000 tonnes per year first phase in Kwinana, Western Australia, expected to take between 12 and 18 months. 

Mar 23 - As coronavirus spreads, Rusal puts brakes on Nornickel's palladium JV 
Norilsk Nickel said on Friday that Russian Platinum had withdrawn from talks about creating a joint venture for their Arctic palladium project due to a lack of approval from Rusal, one of Nornickel's shareholders. Nornickel is the world's largest producer of palladium, which has been hit hard by the economic fallout from coronavirus. Prices have plunged 45% since February as investors started dumping the precious metal for cash. 

Mar 23 - Glencore's Mopani Copper Mines reviews operations due to coronavirus 
Glencore's Mopani Copper Mines subsidiary in Zambia is reviewing its business in a bid to slash spending as lower copper prices and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic take their toll, it said on Friday. The comprehensive review aims to minimise cash outflow and any non-essential projects would be suspended, the copper miner said. "The rapid decline in the price of copper due to the impact of COVID-19 has now placed significant additional pressure on Mopani's operations," the company said in a statement. 

Mar 23 - Global aluminium output falls to 5.112 mln T in Feb - IAI 
Global primary aluminium output fell to 5.112 million tonnes in February from revised 5.447 million tonnes in January, data from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) showed on Friday. Estimated Chinese production fell to 2.879 million tonnes in February from revised 3.076 million tonnes in January, it added.

Mar 23 - BHP to exclude contractors at Chile copper mines for 15 days
Global miner BHP Group will exclude contractors from its Chile copper mines for 15 days, it announced on Sunday, saying this is part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.  BHP operates the Escondida and Pampa Norte mines in Chile, which on Saturday confirmed its first coronavirus death. The South American country has so far had 537 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Mar 20 - Echoing recession fears, gold's value rockets versus silver, copper 
Gold's relative value to copper has surged to its highest in more than a decade and its worth versus silver is the highest on record as the spread of coronavirus hammers metals with industrial applications. The rapid change in the relative values of these metals shows the scale of the economic damage investors fear that coronavirus containment measures are causing, said Carsten Menke, an analyst at Julius Baer.

Mar 20 - How U.S. aluminium recyclers reap dividends from tariffs 
North American aluminium recyclers and producers are using import tariffs to boost revenue at the expense of local beer and beverage firms, even though most of the metal used in their cans is not subject to the levy, industry data seen by Reuters show. Recyclers such as Novelis, a subsidiary of India's Hindalco, and Japanese-owned Tri-Arrows are charging a duty paid price for aluminium, which at the end of January was more than $180 a tonne above the duty unpaid price, according to data from S&P Global Platts.

Mar 20 - Copper crashes as viral chill catches up with metals: Andy Home 
Okay. So now it's time to panic. "Doctor Copper" and the rest of the base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had weathered the global financial storm surprisingly well until Wednesday.  However, over the last 48 hours LME copper has dropped by 16%, hitting a four-year low of $4,371 early on Thursday before clambering back to $4,685 per tonne. 

Mar 20 - Brazil's Vale may continue operating Malaysia port after coronavirus assessment 
Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Thursday it may continue to operate the Teluk Rubiah maritime terminal in Malaysia, after running a coronavirus risk assessment. "Based on discussions with local and national authorities and agencies, Vale believes it may continue to operate the (terminal)," a company statement said.

Mar 20 - BHP says no hit to operations so far from coronavirus 
BHP Group said on Thursday its operations had not been materially impacted so far by the coronavirus pandemic and that it had implemented additional procedures to prevent the spread of the disease among its employees. "BHP supply chains are still open and we currently have adequate supplies to operate and maintain critical equipment," Chief Executive Mike Henry said, adding that he was encouraged by increased activity in China, the world's top metals consumer.

Mar 20 - Alrosa considers options for online diamond trade in face of coronavirus 
Russian diamond producer Alrosa is considering options for online trade as global travel restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak complicate traditional physical inspection of gemstones, it said in a statement on Thursday. The state-controlled company, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds by carats, has been fighting to keep business as usual against a backdrop of lower global demand.

Mar 19 - Chilean copper miner Codelco to cut operations as coronavirus spreads 
Chilean copper miner Codelco said on Wednesday it would reduce its operations to comply with a state of catastrophe announced by the government in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus. The miner, the world's biggest of the precious red metal, said it would maintain "operational continuity" for a period of 15 days from March 19.

Mar 19 - After the rout, platinum and palladium face more turmoil before recovery 
Platinum and palladium will remain turbulent in coming months after huge losses sparked by the spread of coronavirus, before starting a tentative recovery with support from palladium's supply gap and platinum's correlation with gold, analysts said.  Platinum has plunged 40% and palladium 45% from February highs as efforts to contain coronavirus stifled the global economy and turmoil in wider markets forced investors to sell precious metals for emergency cash. 

Mar 19 - Are resilient iron ore, steel and coking coal having a Wile E. Coyote moment? : Russell 
China's iron ore and steel markets appear to be taking a risky bet that Beijing's yet-to-be-announced stimulus measures will be enough to offset a looming global recession as the coronavirus spreads across the world. But there is an increasing risk that they may be having a Wile E. Coyote moment, the one where the hapless Road Runner-chasing cartoon coyote goes over the edge of a cliff and hangs in midair until he realises he is about to plummet into a deep canyon.

Mar 19 - Teck Resources halts Chile copper expansion due to coronavirus, shares fall 
Shares in Teck Resources plunged as much as 21.7% on Wednesday after the Canadian miner suspended construction at a massive copper project in Chile to limit transmission of the novel coronavirus, as falling copper prices also rattled investors. Teck joins global miner Anglo American Plc, gold producer Newmont Corp and others that have shuttered mines or wound down operations in resource-rich Latin America as governments tighten curbs to fight the fast-spreading virus. 

Mar 19 - London Metal Exchange keeps ring trading at HQ until Friday 
The London Metal Exchange (LME) will keep open-outcry trading at its headquarters until Friday before moving all business to its electronic system on Monday. The world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals had previously said it would shift ring trading to its back-up location in Chelmsford, northeast of London, on Wednesday to safeguard traders from the coronavirus. 

Mar 19 - Aluminium producer Norsk Hydro says coronavirus will likely impact demand, activities 
Norsk Hydro, one of the world's largest aluminium producers, warned on Wednesday about increasing risk for its operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.  "Most of Hydro's operations are running at normal production levels, but with increased uncertainty and with likely increasing impact on demand and activities," the company, which has 36,000 employees in 40 countries, said in a statement.

Mar 19 - China's MMG curbs Las Bambas operations as Peru declares COVID-19 emergency 
Chinese miner MMG Ltd on Thursday joined a growing number of companies that have reduced operations in Peru after the government there declared a state of emergency and imposed restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Miners in Peru have shuttered mines or wound down operations and are bracing for an extended period of supply chain disruptions as the government tightens curbs to halt the spread of the virus.  

Mar 19 - From using drones to stockpiling cyanide, miners keep digging amid pandemic 
From using drones for field inspections to stockpiling cyanide, miners are scrambling to maintain output amid the coronavirus pandemic, a task made trickier in underground mines where social distancing is nearly impossible. The virus has claimed 8,700 lives and infected over 200,000 globally. While miners have faced some outages, due to government shutdowns in places like Peru and Mongolia, most production continues. 

Mar 19 - Sudan's Algunade passes Jabal Amer gold concession to government - ministry 
Sudanese gold firm Algunade has given up its rights over the Jabal Amer concession, which will now pass to the government, the energy and mining ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. A Reuters investigation last year traced Algunade's ownership to the brother of Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of Sudan's sovereign council. 

Mar 19 - Japan's MUFG takes big loss on loan to Glencore-led coal port - sources 
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) sold off its $85 million loan to Glencore's Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) in Australia to a hedge fund on Wednesday at about 52 cents on the dollar, two sources said.  The costly decision at a time of extreme market volatility extinguishes MUFG's exposure to the coal-related asset ahead of the bank's financial year-end on March 31, the two sources and a third person told Reuters.

Mar 19 - Poland's KGHM sees no virus impact on output, sales for now 
Polish state-run firm KGHM, which is one of the world's biggest copper and silver producers, sees no impact from coronavirus on its output and sales at the moment, but will consider asking the state for support if needed, its CEO said. "We are closely looking at the reality day by day and we will verify our plans if needed to take the company safely through this difficult time," KGHM Chief Executive Marcin Chludzinski told a video conference on Wednesday.

Mar 18 - Peru miners halt operations to slow coronavirus spread; Chile braces for impact 
Miners shuttered or wound down operations in Peru on Tuesday and girded for extended supply chain disruptions in neighboring Chile as governments tightened curbs to slow the spread of a coronavirus in the resource-rich region. Pan American Silver said it would temporarily shut four mines in Peru, the industry's latest response to a 15-day national quarantine imposed by the government. 

Mar 18 - London Metal Exchange plans to suspend ring trading next week 
The London Metal Exchange (LME) plans to suspend open-outcry trading next week and shift all business to its electronic system for the first time after Britain imposed severe restrictions on social life to fight coronavirus. The 143-year-old LME said on Tuesday it expected to temporarily close Europe's last open-outcry trading venue next Monday to safeguard traders.

Mar 18 - Antofagasta to cut 2020 spending as coronavirus squeezes global economy 
Antofagasta Plc plans to trim spending this year to protect its margins in a coronavirus-hit global economy, the Chilean copper miner said on Tuesday as it reported a smaller than expected 2019 dividend cut and slashed net debt. Its shares soared as much as 15% after the results before retreating to trade 6.7% up by 1350 GMT. It was the second best-performing stock on the FTSE 100 Index.

Mar 18 - Shanghai Gold Exchange raises trading margin and limit for silver contract 
China's Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) said on Wednesday it would raise margin requirements for its silver contract to 19% from 14% from today's settlement. The exchange will also hike the trading limit for its Ag(T+D) silver contract to 18% from 13% when trade resumes on Thursday, it said in a statement on its website. 

Mar 18 - China Jan-Feb copper output up, but virus takes down daily rate 15% from Dec 
China's refined copper production rose 2.8% on the year in the first two months of 2020, official data showed on Tuesday, but the daily rate fell more than 15% from December, as smelters reduced loads amid a coronavirus outbreak. China, the world's biggest copper consumer, churned out 1.527 million tonnes of the metal in January and February combined, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Mar 18 - Will aluminium heed the lesson from last demand shock?: Andy Home 
China's aluminium smelters lifted production by 2.4% over the first two months of this year. 
The increase was testament to producers' ability to keep operating over the worst of the coronavirus outbreak in China. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the country's aluminium processing sector, which transforms raw metal into semi-manufactured products ("semis") and which is only now limping back to normality. 

Mar 18 - Indonesia tin miner PT Timah cuts output, delays exports on coronavirus 
Indonesian tin miner PT Timah, the world's second-largest producer, said it is temporarily reducing its production and will delay exports as the coronavirus outbreak has impacted demand for the metal. "In the current situation, due to coronavirus outbreak, many companies are stopping production and this has reduced demand and prices continue to see correction," Chief Executive Riza Pahlevi said in a statement distributed late on Tuesday.

Mar 18 - Brazil's Vale cuts activity at Canadian copper mine due to coronavirus 
Brazilian miner Vale SA is reducing activity and output at its Voisey's Bay copper mine in Canada as a precaution to protect nearby indigenous communities from coronavirus, the company said in a securities filing late on Monday. Vale also said it may change the start date of a planned stoppage at its coal processing mines in Mozambique, originally scheduled to begin in the second quarter, due to travel and equipment transportation restrictions caused by coronavirus. 

Mar 18 - Sibanye to provide processing facility to Amplats during force majeure 
South Africa's Sibanye-Stillwater, the world's biggest platinum producer, said on Tuesday it will provide processing facilities at its Marikana operations to a local unit of miner Anglo American that had declared a force majeure. Anglo American's platinum arm, Amplats, declared a force majeure earlier this month for about 80 days and cut its production outlook after an explosion at its Rustenburg facility. 

Mar 18 - Australia resources exports to rise to record in FY20 despite virus 
Australia is on track to pull in a record A$299 billion ($182.69 billion) from resource exports in the current financial year, as miners like BHP Group and Fortescue churn out more iron ore amid a drop in the Australian dollar, the Department of Industry said on Wednesday. Iron ore is expected to account for nearly a third of Australia's revenue from the sector for the year, after prices were pumped up by supply disruptions in Brazil and a cyclone off the coast of its iron ore producing hub in Western Australia. 

Mar 18 - India's February steel exports fall for first time in 8 months 
India's finished steel exports plunged 8% in February from a year earlier, their first decline in eight months, government data showed, as demand from traditional buyers in Europe and South East Asia contracted due to coronavirus outbreak. India, the world's second-biggest steel producer, shipped 570,000 tonnes of finished steel in February, as against 619,000 tonnes a year ago, according to government data reviewed by Reuters. The decline in Feburary was the steepest since April, the data showed.

Mar 17 - Iron ore prices resilient, activity levels healthy - S&P Global Platts 
S&P Global Platts, which produces an iron ore benchmark index, said on Monday iron ore prices have been resilient and activity levels have remained healthy recently. On Sunday, the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) had warned about speculation risks in the market as the iron ore index was deviating from supply and demand fundamentals and the spot market. 

Mar 17 - Shanghai Gold Exchange imposes one-day halt on silver trade after huge price drop 
The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) said on Tuesday it would impose a one-day halt on trading in its Ag (T+D) silver contract on March 18 in line with its risk-control procedures, after wild price fluctuations for three consecutive trading days. The SGE also said it might raise the trading margin on the silver contract, which fell by 13% on Tuesday, and take other measures to reduce market risk, with details to be announced on Wednesday.

Mar 17 - Coal beats gold (and other commodities) amid coronavirus gloom: Russell 
Amid carnage in the oil markets, and sharp losses for other commodities such as copper, you may be tempted to think gold is the best option for a positive return. But coal beats the metal.  Coal's image is increasingly that of a pariah fuel, demonised by environmentalists and shunned by investors wary of its role in climate change. But one of the top performing commodities this year is coking coal, the higher-quality fuel used to make steel. 

Mar 17 - Antofagasta to review 2020 expenditure as 2019 profit rises 
Chilean copper producer Antofagasta on Tuesday reported a 9.5% rise in 2019 core profit but said it might rein in its 2020 spending plans in light of a worsened global economic outlook. The London-listed miner said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to $2.4 billion in the year ended Dec. 31 from $2.2 billion a year earlier.

Mar 17 - China's ShFE, INE waive fees on deliveries to ease virus pressure 
The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) and the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) will temporarily waive transaction fees on commodity product deliveries to ease the financial pressure on market participants, according to a ShFE statement on Tuesday. The waivers, in place from April 10 this year until Jan. 8, 2021, will apply to 16 products listed on the ShFE, including base metals, steel, gold, silver and fuel oil deliveries, as well as the INE's crude oil and TSR 20 rubber deliveries, the ShFE said.

Mar 17 - Anglo American slows Peru copper project construction due to national quarantine 
Global miner Anglo American said on Tuesday it was slowing down the construction work of the Quellaveco copper project in Peru, following a 15-day national quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The Latin American country has suspended constitutional rights including free movement and assembly as it tries to deal with the fast-spreading virus, which had infected 71 people as of Sunday. 

Mar 17 - Endeavour Mining employee in Burkina Faso tests positive for coronavirus 
Gold producer Endeavour Mining said on Monday an employee at its Houndé mine in Burkina Faso tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday and was placed under quarantine but mining and exploration activities were not disrupted. The employee experienced mild symptoms hours after arriving at the site from Britain, the company said, and the few people who were in contact with the employee have been identified and placed in quarantine.  

Mar 17 - Vale says home office measures adopted globally amid coronavirus pandemic 
Brazil's miner Vale SA said workers around the globe and third-party service providers in administrative roles would start working from home amid the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement on Monday. Vale said as of Monday 1,800 employees at its Rio de Janeiro headquarters would begin to work from home. The company added the home office measures are also in effect in Toronto while offices in China, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland are also affected.

Mar 17 - AngloGold Ashanti tightens quarantine policy after Ghana worker gets coronavirus 
A worker at AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi gold mine in Ghana tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, the company said, the second known case of the virus at a mine site in Africa.  AngloGold Ashanti said operations at the Obuasi mine, where gold production is ramping up, would continue. 

Mar 17 - Union members at Colombia's Cerrejon coal mine vote to strike 
The majority of members at two unions of Colombian coal miner Cerrejon voted in favor of a strike relating to a dispute over pay and benefits in the contract, a union leader said on Monday.  A strike at Cerrejon, which is owned equally by BHP Group, Anglo American and Glencore, could cut the company's coal production and sales outside of Colombia, the fifth biggest coal exporter in the world.  Coal is the second largest generator of foreign currency for the Andean country after oil.

Mar 16 - China Jan-Feb steel output rises 3.1% despite coronavirus disruptions 
China's steel output rose 3.1% in the first two months of 2020 from the same period a year earlier, with much of the increase being pushed into inventories held by mills and traders because of the slump in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.  Total crude steel output for January and February climbed to 154.7 million tonnes, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday. 

Mar 16 - London Metal Exchange ring-dealing member employee tested positive for coronavirus 
The London Metal Exchange said on Monday a member of staff of a ring-dealing member has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, prompting a number of precautionary measures, including a deep clean of the last open-outcry trading venue in Europe.  "The LME understands from its ring-dealing members ‎that they wish to continue open-outcry trading from London, and will facilitate this as long as desired and practicable," a spokeswoman for the exchange, which is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, said in an email.

Mar 16 - China Jan-Feb aluminium output rises 2.4% y/y despite demand hit from coronavirus 
China's aluminium production rose by 2.4% year-on-year in the first two months of 2020, official data showed on Monday, as smelting capacity commissioned late last year took supply higher despite a big hit to demand from the coronavirus outbreak.  The world's top aluminium producing country churned out 5.85 million tonnes of the metal in January and February combined, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The year-earlier, two-month period had one less day due to 2020 being a leap year. 

Mar 16 - China's Jan-Feb coal output drops 6.3% as coronavirus disrupts 
China's coal output in the first two months of 2020 fell 6.3% from the same period a year earlier as the coronavirus outbreak stopped miners from getting back to work after the Lunar New Year holiday was extended in a bid to contain the epidemic. China churned out 489.03 million tonnes of coal over January and February, down from 513.67 million tonnes in the same period last year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday.

Mar 16 - China copper inventories near 4-yr high as supply swamps virus-hit demand; steel stocks build again 
Shanghai Futures Exchange copper inventories rose another 10% in the past week to their highest in almost four years amid signs China's production is holding up even as demand struggles to recover from the impact of the coronavirus. Chinese steel stocks, meanwhile, remain at record highs.Inventories of copper climbed by 34,959 tonnes from the previous week to 380,065 tonnes, the exchange said on Friday. That's the most since March 25, 2016. 

Mar 16 - U.S. looks beyond tariffs to secure critical titanium supply: Andy Home 
First there was steel. Then there was aluminium. Now titanium joins the list of metals found to be threatening the national security of the United States. The U.S. Commerce Department launched a so-called Section 232 investigation into titanium sponge imports in March last year and submitted it to the White House in November. 

Mar 16 - Rio Tinto's Mongolia operations slowed by coronavirus curbs 
Work at the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia has slowed because of government curbs to curtail the spread of a coronavirus, Rio Tinto Ltd said on Monday. Since confirming its first infection last week, Mongolia has tightened stringent border and travel checks adopted since January to keep out the virus, which has now infected more than 156,000 people globally.  

Mar 16 - Speculators cut bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC 
Hedge funds and money managers reduced their bullish positions on COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to March 10, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also trimmed their net short position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Mar 16 - Russia's Rusal delays launch of Taishet aluminium smelter to H1 2021 
Russian aluminium producer Rusal expects metal from the first stage of its long-planned Taishet aluminium smelter in Siberia to arrive in January-June of 2021, it said in a presentation on Friday. Rusal previously planned to launch the Taishet smelter in late 2020. Rusal expects its total capital expenditures to rise to $1 billion in 2020 from $848 million in 2019, two analysts, who took part in the company's conference call earlier on Friday, told Reuters. The company confirmed this to Reuters.

Mar 13 - Venezuela removed 6 tonnes of central bank gold at turn of year - sources
The Venezuelan government removed some six tonnes of gold from the central bank's vaults between late 2019 and early 2020 to raise more hard currency for President Nicolas Maduro's cash-strapped administration, according to two government sources familiar with the movement. Last year Maduro's government repeatedly withdrew monetary gold to exchange it abroad for euros in cash, sources said at the time, as falling oil production, an economic collapse and U.S.-imposed sanctions hit public income and restricted access to credit. The government has never publicly commented on this.

Mar 13 - Russia's Rusal posts wider loss, sees coronavirus hitting demand
Russian aluminium giant Rusal said on Friday its net loss widened sharply in the last quarter of 2019, adding that the spread of the coronavirus may worsen aluminium market fundamentals in the first half of 2020. Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer outside China, expects the coronavirus to affect the Chinese aluminium market in January to June, causing a bigger supply surplus and weaker demand. 

Mar 13 - Chile copper industry braces for impact from coronavirus -Mining Minister
Copper miners in Chile, the world's top producer of the red metal, are implementing measures to contain an eventual spread of coronavirus, mining minister Baldo Prokurica said Thursday. Although only 33 cases have been confirmed in Chile, authorities are implementing health follow-ups for workers who have traveled abroad, as well as sanitary campaigns at mining sites.

Mar 13 - Russia's Alrosa relaxes payment terms for diamond contracts amid coronavirus
Russian diamond miner Alrosa will relax payment terms for long-term customers in its March trade session starting this week, it said on Thursday, as diamond sales fall due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Sales by state-controlled Alrosa, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms, fell in February as the risks related to the spread of the virus hit demand for gemstones.

Mar 13 - Rio Tinto to pay ex-CEO's deferred bonus with interest
Rio Tinto Ltd will pay out part of a delayed bonus to former Chief Executive Sam Walsh after a dispute resolution process found that the payments should not be held up, both parties said on Thursday. Rio Tinto's board and Walsh agreed to defer incentive payments from Walsh's time as chief executive in 2017 while regulators in the United Kingdom investigated payments to a consultant in relation to a Rio iron ore project in Guinea when Walsh was the head of Rio's iron ore group.

Mar 12 - Gold tumbles nearly 4%, as traders ‘sell what they can’ amid intensifying coronavirus fears
Gold futures fell sharply Thursday to trade below $1,600 an ounce, as a selloff in the stock market sent traders scrambling to sell positions in the precious metal in a bid for cash.
Traders are selling “what they can amid [in a] panicked marketplace,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, in daily note. Market liquidity “in a panicky global marketplace is drying up as traders and investors back away from trading markets. ‘When in doubt, get out is the mantra today.”

Mar 12 - Palladium tumbles 11%, gold down over 3% amid broader sell-off
Palladium plunged more than 11% on Thursday, en route to its biggest daily drop since 2008, while gold slipped over 3% as the United States travel ban on Europe
over virus spread drove jittery investors to liquidate assets across the board. Other precious metals also joined the free fall, with platinum declining over 7% and silver sliding more than 6%.

Mar 12 - Barrick eyes $1.3 bln lift at Pueblo Viejo gold mine 
Barrick Gold Corp will look to spend $1.3 billion to extend the life of its Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic beyond 2040, Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said on Wednesday, as the miner looks to wring more value from its existing assets. The proposed expansion of the processing plant and tailings facility at Pueblo Viejo will enable the mine to exploit lower grades, Bristow told local media and businessmen.

Mar 12 - Uganda gold exports more than doubled to $1.2 bln last year 
Uganda's gold exports more than doubled in 2019 compared with the previous year, according to data from the central bank seen by Reuters on Wednesday. An official attributed the surge to soaring demand for bullion and larger refining capacity. The east African country shipped $1.25 billion worth of gold last year, compared with $514.8 million exported in the previous 12 months. 

Mar 12 - London Metal Exchange to test alternate ring trading site on Friday 
The London Metal Exchange (LME) will move its open-outcry trading to a disaster recovery site northeast of London on Friday to test the operations, it said on Tuesday. The exchange, the world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said in a statement it tests the site in Chelmsford twice a year and that Friday's move was not part of its coronavirus contingency planning.

Mar 12 - Rio Tinto to pay ex-CEO's deferred bonus with interest 
Rio Tinto Ltd will pay out part of a delayed bonus to former Chief Executive Sam Walsh after a dispute resolution process found that the payments should not be held up, both parties said on Thursday. Rio Tinto's board and Walsh agreed to defer incentive payments from Walsh's time as chief executive in 2017 while regulators in the United Kingdom investigated payments to a consultant in relation to a Rio iron ore project in Guinea when Walsh was the head of Rio's iron ore group.

Mar 12 - Kirkland Lake Gold to axe two Australian projects, cut staff -report 
Toronto-listed Kirkland Lake Gold will shut two gold projects in Australia's Northern Territory by the end of the month, after it deemed their operations surplus, media said on Wednesday. Kirkland will wind down its Cosmo mine and Union Reefs processing plant near the remote, coastal city of Darwin by the end of the month, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said.

Mar 12 - Indonesia targets 11% increase in processed nickel output in 2020 
Indonesia targets to produce this year 2.02 million tonnes of processed nickel, such as nickel pig iron and ferronickel, as well as 78,000 tonnes of nickel matte, Energy and Mineral Resources data showed on Thursday. In comparison, output of processed nickel last year was 1.79 million tonnes and nickel matte output was 71,000 tonnes, the data showed.

Mar 12 - South Africa's Exxaro posts 13% rise in annual profit despite drop in coal earnings 
South Africa's Exxaro Resources on Thursday reported a 13% rise in annual earnings as gains from its stake in Sishen Iron Ore offset lower earnings from coal.  Headline earnings per share (HEPS), the main profit gauge in South Africa, rose to 3,027 cents per share for the year ended Dec 31, 2019, from 2,672 cents a year ago.

Mar 12 - Coronavirus concerns hit sales of Russia's Alrosa in February 
Russian diamond miner Alrosa said on Wednesday that its sales in February were hit by risks related to the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, which is likely to continue hurting demand for gemstones in the coming months. State-controlled Alrosa is the world's largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms. Together with Anglo American's De Beers unit, it produces about half of the world's rough diamonds.

Mar 11 - Sibanye, Implats and BASF develop new tri-metal catalyst, boosting platinum prices 
Sibanye-Stillwater said on Tuesday it along with Impala Platinum (Implats) and chemical company BASF had successfully developed a new tri-metal auto catalyst allowing the partial substitution of palladium with platinum. The news sent spot platinum 2.5% higher at $883 per ounce while palladium eased 0.8% to $2,469 by 1300 GMT. Earlier, palladium fell as low as $2,399. 

Mar 11 - Congo Republic seeks debt deal with Glencore, Trafigura before IMF review 
Congo Republic aims to reach a deal with energy traders Glencore and Trafigura to restructure a $1.7 billion debt before a meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April, the head of the national oil company, told Reuters. Maixent Raoul Ominga, director general of state-owned SNPC, said lawyers for Congo Republic were working with representatives of Glencore and Trafigura to get all the parties talking.

Mar 11 - Australia's top court rejects BHP appeal over tax ruling 
Australia's highest court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by BHP Group against a tax ruling, the latest loss for the global miner over the treatment of profits from commodities sold out of its Singapore marketing hub. BHP said in a statement the decision offered clarity on the interpretation of a technical area of Australian tax rules, and it would pay $87 million in additional taxes for income generated over 2006-2018.

Mar 11 - Amid market turmoil, Doctor Copper isn't panicking... yet: Andy Home 
London Metal Exchange (LME) copper tumbled to a three-year low of $5,433 per tonne on Monday. This was hardly surprising given the turmoil unfolding in the broader financial universe.  "Doctor Copper" is the most financialised of the LME industrial metals, meaning the metal was always going to take a double-whammy hit from simultaneous oil price implosion and global stock market collapse. 

Mar 11 - Australia's Newcrest cuts 2020 gold production outlook 
Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd cut its gold production forecast for the full year on Wednesday due to difficult mining conditions at its Lihir mine and the sale of its interest in the Gosowong mine in Indonesia.  The country's largest listed gold miner cut gold production outlook to between 2.1 million ounces and 2.2 million ounces for the fiscal 2020, from its prior forecast of 2.38 million ounces to 2.54 million ounces. 

Mar 11 - Albemarle expects weak first quarter in China due to coronavirus 
Albemarle Corp, the world's largest producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries, said on Tuesday it is experiencing a "weak" first quarter in China, where most of the company's processing facilities and customers are located. None of the company's employees have contracted the virus and so far there have only been minimal order reductions from customers. Logistic delays, though, "remain an area of concern," Chief Financial Officer Scott Tozier told the J.P. Morgan Industrials Conference, which was held entirely via webcast this year due to the virus.

Mar 11 - Tata Steel Europe to cut 1,250 jobs in turnaround push 
Tata Steel Europe is planning to cut 1,250 jobs as it faces "challenging circumstances" and "needs to urgently improve profitability", Chief Executive Officer Henrik Adam said in an internal memo seen by Reuters on Tuesday. "Our financial situation is serious and there's an urgent priority to improve the performance of the business and our cash position," Adams said in the memo.

Mar 11 - Employee of Brazil steelmaker CSN diagnosed with coronavirus -source 
An employee of Cia Siderúrgica Nacional SA, Brazil's second-largest producer of flat steel products, was diagnosed with new coronavirus in Sao Paulo, a source at the company said on Tuesday. Brazil has so far reported 34 confirmed cases of the virus and had no deaths.

Mar 10 - BHP in 'good shape' to act if coronavirus disruption brings M&A openings
BHP Group is in good shape to take action should supply chain disruption caused by the global coronavirus epidemic trigger acquisition opportunities, the global miner's Chairman Ken MacKenzie said on Tuesday. "On balance, the business is in very good shape," MacKenzie said, speaking at the Australian Financial Review summit in Sydney. 

Mar 10 - Brazil's Vale says iron ore mine near dam erodes further
Vale SA is monitoring further erosion in the embankment of its Gongo Soco mine over concern about its impact on the nearby Sul Superior mining waste dam, the Brazilian miner said on Monday, amid ongoing worry about its stability. The world's No. 2 iron ore producer, which said it is keeping authorities briefed on the situation, raised the emergency level at the dam last year after heavy rainfall eroded the reservoir of the structure near the city of Barao dos Cocais. 

Mar 10 - Resilience in China's commodity imports drowned out by coronavirus, oil price war: Russell
Amid the carnage of Monday's crude oil and equity markets routs, news of China's relatively robust imports of major commodities in the first two months of the year went under the radar but perhaps should have garnered attention. The strength in China's commodity imports came even as Beijing shut down large parts of the economy and quarantined millions of people in its battle to contain the coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 3,100 people and infected more than 80,000 in the world's most populous nation.

Mar 10 - Chile's Codelco copper output slumps in January, Escondida jumps
Copper output fell sharply at state miner Codelco's deposits in January, while BHP's sprawling Escondida mine saw production jump, according to Chile state copper agency Cochilco. Cochilco said output at Codelco, the world's largest copper miner, plunged 6.8% in January over the same month in 2019, to 118,600 tonnes. Production at BHP's Escondida, the globe's largest copper mine, rose 10% to 100,900 tonnes.

Mar 10 - China's Baosteel expects limited impact on 2020 output from weekend fire
A weekend fire at a steel mill in China will have limited impact on the molten iron output of top listed steel producer, Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, the firm said on Monday. Sunday's fire at the company's plant in the commercial capital of Shanghai was put out with no casualties, the fire department said on its official account on China's Weibo app. 

Mar 10 - Trump: No promises regarding steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil
President Donald Trump praised the United States' relationship with Brazil under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday, but declined to say whether he would impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the South American country. Ahead of a dinner between the two men at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump was asked if he would continue to hold off placing new tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminum. Trump responded that the United States had helped Brazil, but said he would not make any promises regarding tariffs.

Mar 09 - China Jan-Feb copper imports rise on restocking; virus sinks aluminium exports 
China's unwrought copper imports rose 7.2% year-on-year in the first two months of 2020, customs data showed on Saturday, as a restocking drive before Lunar New Year offset the impact of the coronavirus, which nonetheless sent aluminium exports plunging.  The General Administration of Customs said last month it would combine preliminary trade data for January and February instead of releasing data for individual months. Early-year data in China is typically distorted by the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, while this year the coronavirus epidemic has also widely disrupted business.  

Mar 09 - China Jan-Feb rare earth exports fall sharply as virus curbs supply 
China's rare earth exports fell by 17.3% year-on-year in the first two months of 2020, customs data showed on Saturday, as the coronavirus outbreak severely disrupted production and hampered shipments overseas.  The General Administration of Customs said last month it would combine preliminary trade data for January and February instead of releasing data for individual months. Early-year data in China is typically distorted by the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, while this year the coronavirus epidemic has also widely disrupted business.  

Mar 09 - China metal inventories scale new highs as demand makes slow recovery from virus 
Inventories of metal in China piled up this week, data from consultancies and the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) showed, underscoring persistent sluggish demand in the world's top metals consumer amid the coronavirus outbreak. Stocks of five main steel products held by traders in China, including construction steel rebar and hot-rolled coil used in cars and home appliances, hit a new all-time high of 25.27 million tonnes on Thursday, according to Mysteel, while ShFE data showed copper inventories near a four-year high.

Mar 09 - China Jan-Feb iron ore imports rise on firm demand despite virus disruption 
China's iron ore imports rose 1.5% over January and February from the same period a year earlier, customs data showed on Saturday, supported by firm demand at steel mills although downstream sectors experienced disruptions due to the coronavirus outbreak. The General Administration of Customs said last month it would combine preliminary trade data for January and February instead of releasing data for individual months. Early-year data in China is typically distorted by the week-long Lunar New Year holiday and this year the coronavirus epidemic also hit economic activity.  

Mar 09 - Trump: No promises regarding steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil 
President Donald Trump praised the United States' relationship with Brazil under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday, but declined to say whether he would impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the South American country. Ahead of a dinner between the two men at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump was asked if he would continue to hold off placing new tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminum. Trump responded that the United States had helped Brazil, but said he would not make any promises regarding tariffs.

Mar 09 - China's Baosteel expects limited impact on 2020 output from weekend fire 
A weekend fire at a steel mill in China will have limited impact on the molten iron output of top listed steel producer, Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, the firm said on Monday.  Sunday's fire at the company's plant in the commercial capital of Shanghai was put out with no casualties, the fire department said on its official account on China's Weibo app. 

Mar 09 - Barrick stockpiling supplies as mining industry braces for coronavirus 
Barrick Gold Corp said on Friday it would stockpile key commodities due to the coronavirus, drawing on its experience from Ebola outbreaks to prepare for the possibility the outbreak could shutter its mines.  It was the latest defensive step by the mining industry, which is bracing for a prolonged drop in commodity prices and worried the contagion could fuel a rare simultaneous drop in both supply and demand for the minerals used to power the global economy.

Mar 09 - Funds hammer zinc as coronavirus compounds weak outlook: Andy Home 
The spread of the coronavirus has hit the entire London Metal Exchange (LME) base metals complex as fears grow over the demand shock travelling out from China.  Zinc has been hit the hardest of all. At a current $2,010 per tonne, the London three-month zinc price is down by 13% on the start of January, the weakest performance in a weak pack. 

Mar 09 - China issues quotas for another 3,520 T of copper scrap imports 
China has issued imports quotas to nine companies for another 3,520 tonnes of high-grade copper scrap for use in 2020, according to a government notice on Saturday, in the smallest batch of allowances for this year so far. A single import quota for 100 tonnes of aluminium scrap and another for 170 tonnes of steel scrap were also granted in a list published by the China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Bureau, part of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

Mar 09 - Three AngloGold Ashanti miners dead after rockfall at Mponeng mine 
AngloGold Ashanti on Friday found the bodies of three miners after a 2 magnitude earthquake caused an underground rockfall at its Mponeng gold mine 76 km (47 miles) from Johannesburg. Mining at Mponeng, which produced 244,000 ounces of gold in 2019, was halted until further notice with only "essential services" ongoing, the mining company said.

Mar 06 - Sierra Leone iron ore crisis creates debt-racked ghost town
In the months since Sierra Leone's largest iron ore mine laid off almost all its workers due to a legal dispute with the government, the once bustling town of Lunsar has become a shadow of its former self. In the central market of Lunsar, whose name means "Land of Stones" in the local language, only a few stalls remain open. 

Mar 06 - AK Steel buyer warns of plant closures without stronger U.S. import curbs
The new buyer of AK Steel warned lawmakers on Thursday that without better protection against imports of electrical steel products into the United States, two of the company's mills would be forced to close with the loss of 1,600 jobs. Lourenco Goncalves, chairman and chief executive officer of iron ore miner Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, said the AK Steel mills in Butler, Pennsylvania and Zanesville, Ohio - the last producers of grain-oriented electrical steels in the United States - are unprofitable because of a loophole in President Donald Trump's "Section 232" steel tariffs.

Mar 06 - Russia's Severstal says two workers die in coal mine accident
A methane emission in a coal mine in Russia's northern Komi Republic killed two workers, steelmaker Severstal said on Friday. Work has been suspended at the mine owned by a subsidiary, Severstal said, adding that there was no threat of an explosion and that it was investigating the reason for the incident.

Mar 06 - Brazil state authority defends licensing Anglo American facility expansion
A Brazilian state environmental authority on Thursday defended granting a license to miner Anglo American PLC to expand an iron ore facility, including a mining waste dam, following a lawsuit by public prosecutors seeking to block the project. Minas Gerais, a major mining state, passed a law instituting new safety measures for miners last year following the collapse of a tailings dam at a Vale SA mine that killed more than 270 people.

Mar 06 - Brazil steelmaker CSN revives plan for mining unit IPO
Brazil steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional is looking again at the possibility of filing for an initial public offering of its mining unit, CEO Benjamin Steinbruch said on Thursday. The steelmaker shelved that plan years previously during Brazil's worst economic recession on record, from which it is still recovering. Announcing the IPO in an investor conference call, Steinbruch did not provide any additional details on the IPO plans.

Mar 05 - Activist investors tighten screws on Rio Tinto's emissions plan
Investors in Rio Tinto Ltd have renewed efforts to force the world's biggest iron ore miner to commit to targets that would scale back emissions of its customers in line with the Paris Agreement on combating climate change. A group of institutional investors represented by Market Forces has updated a resolution to be presented at Rio Tinto's annual general meeting in Brisbane on May 7, the unit of environmental group Friends of the Earth said on Thursday.

Mar 05 - The best places to mine are still in the developed world, and that's a problem: Russell
The latest list of the top places to invest in mining is dominated by developed countries with long histories of success in the industry, but this probably isn't a good thing. The Fraser Institute's annual survey of mining companies ranked Western Australia state as the most attractive jurisdiction for investment, as it moves up from the number two spot previously, replacing the U.S. state of Nevada, which slipped to third spot. 

Mar 05 - BofA sees higher gold prices on coronavirus impact
Bank of America Global Research raised its average gold forecasts, and said it was bullish on the yellow metal, citing limited ability of central banks to raise interest rates amid slowing global growth due to coronavirus epidemic and a trade dispute. The coronavirus that broke out in China in December has since spread worldwide, with over 93,000 cases and over 3,000 deaths. 

Mar 05 - EU imposes tariffs on Chinese steel wheel imports over dumping
The European Union will impose duties on imports of Chinese steel road wheels for the next five years after concluding that they are sold at unfairly low prices. The European Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 27 EU members, said on Wednesday it had set duties of 50.3% for some Chinese producers, including Xingmin Intelligent Transportation Systems, and 66.4% for others.

Mar 05 - ArcelorMittal signs deal to suspend plans to exit Ilva steelworks
ArcelorMittal said on Wednesday it had signed a deal that would see a significant injection of Italian state funding into the Ilva steelworks and would suspend a bid to walk away from the troubled plant, which it took over in 2018. The accord provides a respite in the four-month dispute that has seen ArcelorMittal threatening to hand back Ilva to the government after disagreements over plans to rescue the plant that was losing 2 million euros ($2.2 million) a day last year.

Mar 05 - Driving lorries, blasting rocks - Women break the mould at Burkina Faso gold mines
Tene Konate takes pride in telling incredulous relatives about her job driving a 72-tonne dump truck around the vast open pit at the Hounde gold mine in western Burkina Faso. The 42-year-old single mother is one of 111 women at the mine, many trained for jobs that would more traditionally be done by men in West Africa: hauling rubble, blasting rocks, or driving heavy vehicles.

Mar 05 - Colombian coal output fell 2% in 2019
Coal production in Colombia, the fifth-largest coal exporter in the world, fell 2% to 82.2 million tonnes in 2019 after output at one of the principle mines declined and operations were interrupted by droughts, the government said Wednesday. In 2018, the South American country recorded coal production of more than 84.2 million tonnes. A judicial ruling prevented the extension of mining operations at Cerrejon, a coal mine in the La Guajira province which is jointly owned by BHP Group, Anglo American and Glencore.

Mar 04 - Lithium miner SQM warns of further slide in prices in 2020, impact of coronavirus
Chilean miner SQM, the world's No. 2 lithium producer, saw profits tumble in the last quarter of 2019 and warned that early 2020 sales in China, a key market for the battery metals used in electric vehicles, could be hit by the impact of the coronavirus. The lithium giant is the latest miner to report grim 2019 results as overproduction of the metal drives down prices and dents revenues. 

Mar 04 - Brazil state prosecutors seek to block expansion of Anglo American mining dam
Brazilian state prosecutors filed a lawsuit on Tuesday requesting that miner Anglo American PLC's license to expand a mining dam be suspended, following a fatal mining disaster last year. The state of Minas Gerais passed a law last year commonly called "Sea of Mud, Never Again" to change mining rules following the collapse of a dam at a Vale SA facility that released a torrent of mining waste, killing at least 270 people.

Mar 04 - Global aluminium producers offer Q2 premiums of $98-$105/T
Global aluminium producers have increased their offers to Japanese buyers for the second quarter by as much as 27% from the current quarter, three sources directly involved in the pricing talks said on Wednesday. Smelters have offered primary metal shipments for the April to June period at premium of between $98 to $105 a tonne, the sources said.

Mar 04 - Platinum market to remain in surplus in 2020 despite auto rebound – WPIC
Demand for platinum from the auto industry will rise this year for the first time since 2016 but it won't be enough to offset a decline in investment buying, leaving the global market in surplus again, an industry group said on Wednesday. The World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said in its latest quarterly report that the surplus would rise to 119,000 ounces in 2020 from 65,000 ounces last year, and that was before factoring in any impact on demand from the coronavirus outbreak.

Mar 04 - Do LME stock movements still matter? The robots think so: Andy Home
Do London Metal Exchange (LME) stock movements have any market significance? There was a distant time when everyone thought so. The LME's daily stocks report was eagerly awaited for the light it shone on what was happening in the "real" physical metal markets. 

Mar 04 - Mask frenzy gives breathing space to China's virus-hit aluminium sector
China's all-out mask production drive in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak is on course to consume more than the weight of the Eiffel Tower in aluminium this year, research from consultancy Aladdiny said on Tuesday. With China producing face masks at a rate of 116 million per day at the end of February, the required amount of aluminium - used in metal nose clips of some popular models - works out at 1,305 tonnes in a 30-day month, Aladdiny said in a note.

Mar 04 - Russia's Polymetal posts record net profit amid higher gold prices
Polymetal, one of Russia's largest gold and silver producers, said on Wednesday its 2019 net earnings rose by 36% to a record high of $483 million due to stronger global gold prices and higher output. Its production of gold equivalent, a mix of gold and other metals, rose by 3% to 1.61 million troy ounces in 2019 and exceeded Polymetal's initial guidance of 1.55 million ounces.

Mar 03 - China's Baosteel to issue bonds worth up to $430 mln amid coronavirus outbreak
Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, China's top listed steel producer, said on Tuesday it would issue bonds worth up to 3 billion yuan ($430 million), partly to boost working capital amid the coronavirus outbreak. The bonds, with maturity of three years, will be the first tranche of the company's 20 billion yuan issuance plan from 2020 approved by the securities regulator in October. 

Mar 03 - Seaborne coal's struggles in Asia are more than just China coronavirus: Russell
Asia's seaborne coal markets stumbled in February and it appears the coronavirus outbreak in China may dodge most of the blame, with the weakness concentrated in other major importers of the polluting fuel. South Korea's imports of both thermal and coking coal were particularly hard hit, dropping to 6.9 million tonnes in February from 11.4 million in January and 9.4 million in February 2019, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

Mar 03 - Miners avoid handshakes at Toronto meeting over coronavirus fears
Miners in Toronto for an annual industry dealmaking event slathered on hand sanitizer and avoided handshakes, while Chile's mines minister doled out masks as coronavirus concerns overshadowed buyout buzz and prompted delegates to scrap some events. The Prospectors anad Developers Association of Canada conference (PDAC) has become an outlier as worries over the fast-spreading virus forces cancellation of other major international conferences.

Mar 03 - China metals producers seek government help as demand slumps: Andy Home
The scale of the coronavirus hit to China's giant manufacturing sector was laid bare by the slump in the country's purchasing managers indexes (PMI) for February. The official PMI imploded from 50.0 to 35.7, while the Caixin index, which captures activity among smaller companies, tumbled from 51.1 to a record low of 40.3. 

Mar 03 - Under pressure, AJN Resources scraps planned Kibali stake purchase
AJN Resources has scrapped a plan to purchase a 10% stake in Congo's biggest gold mine from state-owned gold firm SOKIMO, buckling to pressure from Barrick, the operator and 45% stakeholder of the Kibali mine which opposed the deal. The Canadian junior miner's shares tumbled nearly 50% last week after Reuters reported Barrick issued a cease-and-desist notice to block the Kibali stake purchase.

Mar 02 - Nippon Steel braces for downside risk as coronavirus spreads
Nippon Steel, the world's No.3 steelmaker, is bracing for a downside risk as slower manufacturing activities in China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak may further weigh on demand in industries such as auto and machineries, its executive said. "We have not cut our crude steel output... but we need to be prepared for downside," Nippon Steel Executive Vice President Katsuhiro Miyamoto told Reuters in an interview last week.

Mar 02 - Small miners hungry for fresh capital despite rampant EV enthusiasm
Small miners hoping to take advantage of demand for battery metals are struggling to convert electric vehicle aficionados into investors, compounding the sector's funding constraints even as analysts predict a long-term shortage of the raw materials used to make EVs. The predicament has made it harder for already-strapped miners to raise money and could stall construction of new mines in the event the burgeoning EV industry faces a supply crunch for battery-grade lithium, graphite and other minerals.

Mar 02 - China's commodity imports hold up better than the PMIs, for now: Russell
There's no way to sugar-coat the worst-ever reading of China's manufacturing indexes, which were pummelled as the economy was largely shut down in February as Beijing battled to contain the coronavirus epidemic. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slumped to 40.3 last month, the lowest since the survey began in 2004 and down sharply from a 51.1 reading in January as well as the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction. 

Mar 02 - Tin output down in 2019 but market needs more producer discipline: Andy Home
Global production of refined tin fell by 6.6% to 334,400 tonnes in 2019, according to the International Tin Association (ITA), but as the coronavirus outbreak saps demand and hobbles China's supply chains, it could fall to Indonesia to balance the market. Last year's production drop was down to lower run-rates in China, where smelters said in September they would curtail output in the face of a three-year low in the tin price and squeezed margins. 

Mar 02 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold - CFTC
Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish positions on COMEX gold and cut them in silver contracts in the week to Feb. 25, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also trimmed their net short position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Mar 02 - Shanghai copper, zinc inventories near 3-year high as virus hits demand
Copper and zinc inventories in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) jumped to their highest level in nearly three years on Friday as the coronavirus outbreak hurt demand. Copper stockpiles rose 4.1% to 310,760 tonnes this week, while zinc inventories were up 11.8% to 160,011 tonnes, each at their highest level since the week ended April 7, 2017, ShFE weekly data released on Friday showed.

Mar 02 - Shares in Russia's Rusal slump as it warns of coronavirus risk
Russian aluminium giant Rusal expects the coronavirus outbreak to negatively affect the aluminium market in China in the first half of 2020, the company said on Friday, sending its Hong Kong-listed shares down 11% to a 2-month low. Countries on three continents reported their first cases of the new coronavirus on Friday as the world prepared for a pandemic of the disease and investors dumped equities in expectation of a global recession. 

Mar 02 - Apache tribe marches to protect sacred Arizona site from copper mine
Hundreds of Apache tribe members and supporters marched for four days to a sacred campground in southeastern Arizona earlier this month, hoping to protect the land from copper mining while bringing awareness to injustices against Native Americans. The 45-mile march, from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, ended Sunday, Feb. 23 on what is known as Oak Flat, a 2,400 acre (970 hectares) parcel of public land in the Tonto National Forest near Superior, Arizona.

Mar 02 - Canada's top court rules Nevsun lawsuit can proceed, paving way for more overseas abuse cases
Canada's top court on Friday said a lawsuit by Eritrean workers against miner Nevsun Resources Ltd can proceed, a decision that clears the way for cases to be brought domestically against Canadian companies accused of abuses abroad. Legal advocates and civil society groups hailed the court's 5-4 decision as a landmark victory.

Feb 28 - Chinese metals association suggests stockpiling as virus hits demand 
China should stockpile some non-ferrous metals to take the pressure off producers whose sales have been drying up because of the country's coronavirus outbreak, the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) said on Thursday. Top metals consumer China is battling an epidemic that has killed more than 2,700 people and disrupted industrial supply chains in the country. 

Feb 28 - Lynas sees opportunity in coronavirus outbreak; profit slides 
Australian miner Lynas Corp is talking to customers about the risks of relying too heavily on China for rare earth supplies in the wake of disruptions from the new coronavirus outbreak, the company's CEO said on Friday. There has so far been little direct impact on the market for the metals used in everything from electric vehicles to military equipment, given current levels of oversupply, Lynas Chief Executive Amanda Lacaze told an analyst briefing.

Feb 28 - Aluminum smelter resurrected on Trump tariffs may close as losses mount 
A bankrupt aluminum smelter that re-opened in 2018, after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imported metals, is losing money at such a rapid clip that it could close within 60 days, the top executive at the Missouri plant said on Thursday. Trump's trade policies protect the generic aluminum product made by Magnitude 7 Metals LLC, a 50-year-old smelter on the banks of the Mississippi in southeastern Missouri. But the tariffs often do not cover the value-added aluminum products being shipped to the Unites States by foreign competitors, undercutting the company's position.

Feb 28 - AJN shares slump after Barrick moves to block Kibali stake purchase 
Shares in junior miner AJN Resources tumbled after Reuters reported Barrick Gold the operator of Congo’s biggest gold mine, issued a cease-and-desist notice to block AJN's acquisition of a 10% stake in the mine which it says the deal undervalues. AJN's Canada-listed shares fell 13.9% at Thursday's open, taking losses since Wednesday to 28%. The company's Frankfurt listing slid 9.6% on Thursday, having lost 8.6% on Wednesday. 

Feb 28 - Newcrest follows Rio Tinto in joint venture with Australian gold junior 
Gold explorer Antipa Minerals Ltd on Friday said it has formed a joint venture with Newcrest Mining Ltd in Western Australia's copper-and-gold hot spot, where Rio Tinto Ltd said it made a major find in 2018. Newcrest has signed a deal to spend as much as A$60 million ($39.58 million) to jointly explore the southern part of Antipa's lease in the Paterson province, adjacent to Newcrest's large ore processing plant and aging Telfur gold mine. 

Feb 28 - Fortescue's billionaire owner Forrest ups stake, lauds green efforts 
Billionaire Andrew Forrest raised his stake in Fortescue Metals Group, snapping up a further A$242.9 million ($160.2 million) in the Australian iron ore miner he founded, and praised the group's environmental credentials. Forrest, who is also Fortescue's chairman and largest shareholder, bought 22.1 million shares on top of the 1.09 billion he already owned, which represented a 35.3% stake. 

Feb 28 - Aurubis to expand in non-copper metals, eyes takeovers 
Aurubis AG, Europe's biggest copper smelter, will boost its expansion into the production of metals other than copper, its new chief executive officer said on Thursday. "We will undertake over-proportional expansion metals which are not copper," new CEO Roland Harings said in an advance release of a speech at the company's annual shareholders' meeting in Hamburg.

Feb 28 - S.Africa's Northam Platinum half-year earnings more than treble 
South Africa's Northam Platinum on Friday reported a three-fold increase in interim earnings, underpinned by higher metal prices and increased sales volumes. Normalised headline earning per share (HEPS), the main profit measure used in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items, for the six months ended Dec. 31 jumped 241% to 369.6 cents, from 108.5 cents in the year-ago period. 

Feb 28 - Brazil's Vale preparing for potential fuel leak from damaged ore carrier 
Brazilian mining company Vale SA said on Thursday it has begun preparations for a potential fuel leak from the damaged iron ore carrier MV Stellar Banner, which is stranded off the Brazilian northern coast. Vale said in a statement it requested that oil company Petrobras appropriate ships to deal with the possible leak and has arranged for the dispatch of oceanic buoys to the area.

Feb 27 - Malaysia approves 3-year licence for Lynas' rare earths plant, shares jump 
Lynas Corp Ltd said on Thursday Malaysia has approved a new three-year licence that allows the Australian miner to operate the only major rare earths processing plant outside of China, sending its shares up 11%. The licence will allow Lynas to continue processing rare earths at its $800 million plant in Kuantan, Malaysia, but is subject to the company meeting several conditions that it expects to meet.

Feb 27 - China aluminium firm Zhongwang to sell loss-making smelter for $656 mln 
China Zhongwang Holdings, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of aluminium extrusions, said on Wednesday it would sell its smelting operations for 4.6 billion yuan ($655.94 million) as high power costs make the business unprofitable. Aluminium extrusions are products made from primary metal that are widely used in the transport, construction and electronics industries. 

Feb 27 - Japan steel industry head: China's steelmakers should cut output 
The head of Japan's steel industry on Thursday said Chinese steelmakers should cut production to reflect weakening demand from manufacturers amid a coronavirus outbreak as steel inventories climb in the world's biggest steel producer. "We are aware that the steel stockpile in China is rapidly rising," said Japan Iron and Steel Federation Chairman Yoshihisa Kitano. 

Feb 27 - South Africa's Impala Platinum posts 41% rise in earnings, reinstates dividend 
South Africa's Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats) posted a 41% rise in half-yearly earnings on Thursday and reinstated dividends after higher metals prices boosted profits. The platinum miner reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 436 cents for the six months ended Dec. 31, compared with 310 cents a year earlier. HEPS strips out certain one-off items and is the main profit measure in South Africa.

Feb 27 - Russia's Nornickel warns of coronavirus risks, reports leap in profit 
Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) said on Wednesday it expected uncertain times ahead in two of its key markets -- nickel and copper -- as the coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt both demand and supply. The company, which reported 2019 net profit up 95% compared to the previous year, said the outbreak, which originated in China, made the future health of these markets hard to predict. 

Feb 27 - Nigeria's government licenses two gold refineries -mines minister 
Nigeria's government has licensed two gold refineries to produce the metal for export and for the central bank to hold in its reserves, the mines minister said on Wednesday.  Minister of Mines and Steel Development Olamilekan Adegbite told reporters in the capital, Abuja, that licences had been issued and the central bank would be the main off-taker, holding some of the gold in its reserves. 

Feb 27 - Brazil miner Vale says iron ore ship was damaged 
Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Wednesday the bow of the iron ore ship "MV Stellar Banner" was damaged after leaving a port in the northern Brazilian state of Maranhao on Monday. Vale said in a statement that the ship, which is 100 km (62 miles) off the Brazilian coast, is owned and operated by the South Korean company Polaris. A crew of 20 people has been evacuated from the damaged ship.

Feb 26 - Rio Tinto posts best earnings since 2011, ready for short-term coronavirus impact
Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday posted its best underlying earnings since 2011 on higher iron ore prices, but warned that the coronavirus outbreak could hurt business in the short term. The coronavirus outbreak has weighed on China's economy and BHP Group warned earlier this month that demand this year could take a hit if the fallout extended beyond March.

Feb 26 - Gold miners fret about long-term supply even as they boost dividends
Gold miners have largely been boosting dividends to appease long-suffering shareholders rather than funding fresh exploration projects needed to grow production, a strategy that executives are warning may pose long-term risk to the industry. The tension comes as gold prices are at the highest in seven years, near $1,650 an ounce, a surge in part fueled by a flight to safe-haven assets amid rising global concern about the coronavirus.

Feb 26 - London lead market gripped by worst squeeze since 2011: Andy Home
The London lead market is experiencing its most severe and prolonged period of tightness in almost a decade. Stocks of lead registered with the London Metal Exchange (LME) are flat-lining near historic lows and nearby spreads are both volatile and elevated.

Feb 26 - Global steel output rose 2.1% yr/yr in January - WorldSteel 
Global crude steel production rose 2.1% to 154.4 million tonnes in January from the same month a year ago, figures from the World Steel Association showed on Tuesday. Crude steel output from China, the world's top producer and consumer of the alloy, gained 7.2% to 84.3 million tonnes in January.

Feb 26 - U.S. trade panel rejects import duties on fabricated structural steel
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday threw out the U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on fabricated structural steel from Canada and Mexico, ruling that such imports do not harm U.S. producers. The decision by the panel in a split, 3-2 vote is a rare rejection of U.S. duties imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department in an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy case. Under U.S. trade law, the commission does not rule on whether products were dumped below cost or unfairly subsidized, but only on whether U.S. producers suffered an injury.

Feb 26 - Egypt to auction land for gold exploration next month
Egypt will auction 56,000 square kilometres of Eastern Desert land for gold and associated minerals exploration next month after amending its rules to make concessions more attractive to investors, the petroleum minister said on Tuesday. The country has changed from a system of production sharing to one of royalties and taxes, which appears to mean companies are no longer obliged to operate in joint venture with the Egyptian government.

Feb 26 - Russia to push for lifting limits on CAR diamond exports
Russia, as this year's chair of an international body tackling the trade in conflict diamonds, will work to lift restrictions on the export of diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR), deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev said on Tuesday.  A total ban on diamond exports from CAR was imposed in 2013 but partially lifted in 2016, allowing CAR to resume sales of diamonds from five "green zones" where the government could certify the stones were conflict-free.

Feb 26 - Canada's New Gold sells 46% cash flow stake in New Afton mine to pension fund
Canada's New Gold Inc said on Tuesday it has agreed to sell a 46% free cash flow interest in its New Afton mine to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for an upfront cash infusion of $300 million, which the gold miner will use to cut debt. The deal will also give one of Canada's biggest pension funds an option to convert the interest into a 46% joint venture in four years.

Feb 25 - Freeport's Adkerson does not want to sell Grasberg mine to Barrick 
Freeport McMoRan Inc is not interested in selling its Grasberg copper and gold mine in Indonesia, Chief Executive Richard Adkerson said on Monday, tamping down speculation of a deal with Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp. Barrick CEO Mark Bristow in recent weeks has expressed interest in buying Grasberg. Earlier this month Bristow said he sees no competition for the asset from global or state-backed Chinese miners. 

Feb 25 - Iron ore shows rain can triumph over China virus fears: Russell 
While the prices of most major commodities are wilting in the face of the coronavirus spreading out of China, iron ore is rallying, proving that supply disruptions can overcome the bearish sentiment over the economic fallout of the epidemic. Spot iron ore has rallied 14% since hitting a low of $79.85 a tonne on Feb. 3, closing at $90.85 on Monday, according to commodity price reporting agency Argus. 

Feb 25 - Australian state turns to crowdsourcing to uncover mineral riches 
South Australia is putting A$250,000 ($166,000) up for grabs in a crowdsourcing competition to uncover more mineral reserves, as the industry taps expertise from a wide array of disciplines to find new large mineral lodes. The five-month challenge will make available the state's historic data sets for a region home to BHP Group's huge Olympic Dam copper mine, the government of the Australian state said in a statement. 

Feb 25 - Funds sell copper as coronavirus hits physical supply chains: Andy Home
Funds have given up on their early-year hopes for higher copper prices. Investors have turned bearish on the CME copper contract, slashing long positions and putting on fresh bets for lower prices. The net money manager short is now back at levels last seen in the third quarter of 2019, when market sentiment hit a "trade war" trough. 

Feb 25 - Goldman Sachs flags downside risks for commodities before China stimulus kicks in 
Goldman Sachs said commodity prices could fall sharply before Chinese stimulus to combat the coronavirus impact later this year helps the sector achieve its 12-month return forecast of about 10%. "The promise of stimulus has made commodity markets act like equity markets, building up risks of a sharp correction," analysts at the Wall Street bank said in a note dated Feb. 21.

Feb 25 - Australia's Coronado warns coronavirus hit to steel demand; shares hit record low
Coronado Global Resources Inc warned on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak would weigh on steel demand in China as the Australia-based coal producer reported a lower production target for 2020, sending its shares to an all-time low. Coronado said it expects lower China production of steel, for which metallurgical coal is a key ingredient, in the near term as quarantine measures imposed by the Chinese government cut into demand from the residential and infrastructure construction sectors.

Feb 25 - Australia's Alumina annual profit halves as weak Chinese demand crimps prices 
Australian miner Alumina Ltd said on Tuesday its full-year adjusted net profit halved as weaker Chinese demand hurt prices of alumina, but added it expected some recovery in 2020. The prolonged trade war between the United States and China during 2019 crimped demand for aluminium and drove prices down, with the company on average earning about 25% less per tonne of alumina sold compared to last year.

Feb 24 - Teck drops C$20.6 bln oil sands Frontier project, to take writedown 
Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd has withdrawn an application to build its C$20.6 billion ($15.7 billion) Frontier oil sands mine in Alberta, days before the federal government was to decide on whether to approve a project opposed by environmentalists and indigenous groups. Teck said on Sunday it would write down the C$1.13 billion ($852.12 million) carrying value of the project. The news was first reported by the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Feb 24 - Top China steelmakers Baowu, Shagang see Q1 output down due to virus outbreak 
China's biggest steel producer, China Baowu Steel Group, expects output to fall 5% in the first quarter of 2020 due to coronavirus disruptions, a company official said on Saturday. The steel giant, which churned out 96 million tonnes of crude steel in 2019, sees its first-quarter output down by 1 million tonnes from the same period last year, Zhang Jingang, vice general manager of the group, told an industry news conference held by the China Iron and Steel Industry Association (CISA).

Feb 24 - Coronavirus is double shock for China's giant aluminium sector: Andy Home 
The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus could not have come at a worse time for the aluminium market. Global aluminium demand fell last year for the first time since the global financial crisis. Expectations of a demand recovery rested on China, which showed encouraging signs of a manufacturing revival towards the end of 2019. 

Feb 24 - EU aluminium firms' dumping complaints groundless, Chinese association says 
A European Union probe into whether China is dumping aluminium extrusions is a result of "internal" factors at the companies that complained and Chinese producers should not have to bear the consequences, China's metal association said on Saturday. Aluminium extrusions are widely used in transport, construction and electronics. China is by far the world's biggest aluminium producer and its extrusions have already faced anti-dumping duties in the United States, Canada, Australia and Vietnam.

Feb 24 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC 
Hedge funds and money managers upped their bullish positions on COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Feb. 18, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also decreased their net short position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Feb 24 - Brazil's Vale dam disaster report highlights governance shortcomings 
Brazilian prosecutors on Friday slammed Vale SA's corporate risk management policies, saying a report released by the iron ore miner a day earlier highlighted governance issues that contributed to a dam burst last year that killed 270 people, just four years after a similar disaster. "It's obvious from the report that profound changes in corporate governance and risk management need to be made if new disasters like those which happened in Brumadinho and Mariana are to be avoided," José Adércio Sampaio, the head federal prosecutor investigating the dam burst, told Reuters. 

Feb 24 - India clarifies size of gold discovery in northern state 
India has clarified the nature of a gold discovery in Uttar Pradesh, after a government official said on Saturday that fields with reserves of more than 3,000 tonnes of gold ore had been found, prompting a flurry of activity on social media. Federal and state departments have discovered traces of gold in northern Uttar Pradesh's Sonbhadra district after surveying the area for more than 10 years, Roshan Jacob, the head of the mining department in the state had said.

Feb 24 - China says major coal firms restore 95% of production capacity
China's coal companies controlled by the central government have resumed operations and are back at more than 95% of their capacity, an official with the National Energy Administration said on Sunday. Lu Junling, head of the administration's coal department, told a news conference that the capacity resumption rate for all coal firms has reached 76.5%. The adverse impact from the coronavirus outbreak on China's coal production has been largely eliminated, Lu added

Feb 24 - Fresnillo speeds up Juanicipio mine gold and silver production timeline 
Fresnillo on Monday brought forward the production date for its Juanicipio project in Mexico to mid-2020 at an additional cost of $45 million, as it factored in expenses on underground development of the mine, part of which is held by Toronto-listed MAG Silver. Fresnillo announced plans last July to cut capital investment and costs after its core profit almost halved in the first six months of 2019, sending its shares to a three-year low.

Feb 24 - Sawiris in talks to buy 51% stake in Egypt state-owned mining firm 
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said on Sunday that he was holding talks to acquire a 51% stake in the state-owned Shalateen mining company. Sawiris chairs private gold mining group La Mancha and had said that he intended to invest in gold and copper mining in Egypt if investment conditions improved.

Feb 24 - Ecuadorean court denies public vote on halting mining projects
Ecuador's Constitutional Court late on Friday denied for a second time a request by activists to hold a public vote on whether to ban mining in the Andean country's mineral-rich Azuay province, where several mining projects are in development. Azuay's prefect, Yaku Perez, who submitted the request, said gold and copper mines threaten communities' water sources and damage the environment.

Feb 21 - Brazil's Vale reports surprise loss amid base metal issues 
Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA severely missed quarterly profit and margin estimates on Thursday, largely due to impairments related to its base metal and coal operations and the lingering effects of a deadly dam burst in January 2019. Excluding one-time factors, the company would have largely met expectations.

Feb 21 - AngloGold's annual earnings surge 72% on higher bullion rates
South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti on Friday reported a 72% jump in annual earnings, underpinned by higher bullion prices and solid performance from its Kibali operations in Democratic Republic of Congo. The gold miner's headline earnings per share - the primary profit measure in South Africa - rose to 91 cents in the year ended Dec. 31, 2019, compared with 53 cents a year earlier, inline with what the firm had flagged to the market.

Feb 21 - Brazil's Vale knew Brumadinho dam was unsafe as early as 2003 - internal report
An independent investigation requested by Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA into the causes of the Brumadinho tailings dam disaster that killed 270 people a year ago found the company knew about the problem but failed to deal with it. An executive summary of the report published by Vale on Thursday said the company had had information dating as far back as 2003 that pointed to the fragility of the main B1 dam.

Feb 21 - BP slammed for lofty climate change ambition, Rio ignored for small step: Russell
Two major resource companies made two very different announcements recently, both on the theme of addressing climate change. The stark contrast between them shows the industry is still grappling with how to meet the challenges ahead. BP Plc's new Chief Executive Bernard Looney set out an ambitious plan for the oil and gas giant to achieve a zero net emissions goal by 2050, saying the company needed to "reinvent" itself.

Feb 21 - Surging gold prices propel earnings at miners Newmont, Kirkland
Surging gold prices propelled miners Newmont Corp and Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd to beat estimates for quarterly profit on Thursday as industry consolidation began to bear fruit for long-suffering shareholders. Gold prices marked their best annual increase since 2010 last year and are currently above $1,600 per ounce, as concerns over global economic health, low interest rates and geopolitical tensions triggered investor interest in safer assets.

Feb 21 - Eramet sees 3 mln T in nickel ore output this year at Indonesia mine
French mining and metals group Eramet said on Thursday that it aimed to mine more than 3 million tonnes of nickel ore this year in Indonesia through its Weda Bay project. Eramet started mining nickel ore in late 2019 at the site on the island of Halmahera, extracting 500,000 tonnes by year-end, it said during a presentation of its annual results.

Feb 21 - Teck Resources profit slumps on lower coal prices; flags virus hit
Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd, reported a 76% slump in fourth-quarter adjusted profit on Friday, hurt by lower prices for steelmaking coal and warned that the coronavirus epidemic would impact its earnings. Copper and other base metal prices have suffered from a long-drawn tariff war between the United States and China and fears of slowing global growth. The coronavirus outbreak is also expected to dampen demand in China, the world's biggest copper consumer.

Feb 21 - Australia's Galaxy Resources swings to annual loss, warns of virus hit
Australian lithium miner Galaxy Resources Ltd posted a large annual loss on Friday and warned that sales deals with Chinese customers would be hit this year by the coronavirus outbreak. The virus epidemic has upended global supply chains and caused widespread disruption to business and factory activity in China, leading the miner to say that it would not provide any sales forecasts until it had further clarity on the situation.

Feb 21 - Rio Tinto seeks international arbitration on tax dispute with Mongolia
Global Miner Rio Tinto said on Friday its Mongolian copper unit had begun an international arbitration process, seeking to resolve a dispute with the local tax authority. Rio Tinto is already stuck in renegotiations over terms of the agreement underpinning the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine project, as local lawmakers contend that financial gains from the project are not being evenly shared with Mongolia.

Feb 21 - Livent Corp expects lower profit in 2020 on weak lithium prices
U.S. lithium producer Livent Corp reported an 87% fall in quarterly adjusted profit on Thursday and said it expects a drop in 2020 profit, hit by a downturn in prices of the metal used in rechargeable batteries. The company forecast 2020 adjusted earnings per share of 18 cents to 31 cents, and said it expects higher costs from using up to 5,000 tons of additional third-party lithium carbonate.

Feb 21 - Lydian International calls on Armenia to help end gold mine blockade 
Anglo-American mining firm Lydian International called on the Armenian government on Thursday to help in solving a dispute with environmental protesters and to end their blockade of a gold mine. The Amulsar gold mine, located in a remote mountainous region, has been in development by Lydian International since 2016, with an investment of nearly $500 million so far.

Feb 21 - Japan zinc smelter agrees 2020 treatment charges of $300/T with miner - Antaike
A Japanese zinc smelter has agreed zinc concentrate treatment charges (TCs) of $300 a tonne with a Western mining company for 2020, Chinese research house Antaike said in a note on Thursday. The agreement was reached on the sidelines of the International Zinc Association's zinc and zinc oxide conference in Arizona, Antaike said, without naming either company involved or saying how it got the information.

Feb 20 - Anglo American's 2019 profit up 9% on higher iron ore, precious metals prices 
Global miner Anglo American said on Thursday its full-year profits climbed 9% as higher prices for iron ore and precious metals outweighed weakness in diamonds and coal. Anglo's underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to $10 billion in the year to December from $9.16 billion a year earlier. 

Feb 20 - Fires and climate fears rattle Australia's giant coal lobby 
As bushfires and floods fuel public concerns in Australia about global warming, the country's powerful mining lobby is facing increasing pressure from investors to drop support for new coal mines, according to a dozen interviews with shareholders in global mining companies. Nearly a third of shareholders in BHP Group Ltd, the world's biggest miner, last year voted for resolutions to axe its membership in industry groups advocating policies counter to the Paris climate accord, which aims to limit global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius.

Feb 20 - Albemarle expects 2020 profit drop as lithium prices sag 
Albemarle Corp, the world's largest lithium producer, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday and forecast a double-digit drop in 2020 earnings on weak prices for the battery metal. Lithium companies in the past year have been producing more than automakers currently need, denting prices. China, the world's largest electric vehicle market, is also facing an economic slowdown due to the coronavirus.  

Feb 20 - Anglo American Platinum names industry veteran Viljoen CEO 
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) on Thursday appointed industry veteran Natascha Viljoen as chief executive officer, replacing Chris Griffith whose departure was announced earlier this week. Viljoen, who has served as the group head of processing at parent company Anglo American since 2014, will take on the role from April 16 and joins Amplats at a time when higher metals prices have boosted the company's earnings. 

Feb 20 - Global zinc market deficit swells to 23,100 T in Dec - ILZSG 
The global zinc market's deficit rose to 23,100 tonnes in December from a deficit of 200 tonnes in November, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showed. The November figure was revised from a deficit of 1,100 tonnes in last month's data.  In 2019, the global deficit was 189,000 tonnes, narrowing from 522,000 tonnes in the previous year.

Feb 20 - Canadian miner Kirkland raises FY gold production forecast 
Toronto-listed miner Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd increased its full-year gold production guidance late on Wednesday, after it completed an all-stock deal to buy rival Detour Gold Corp in January. The company forecast gold production for 2020 between 1.4 million ounces and 1.5 million ounces, up from previous range of 950,00 ounces to 1 million ounces. 

Feb 20 - France's Eramet freezes lithium mine project in Argentina 
Eramet has postponed an Argentine lithium mine project aimed at shifting the group's focus towards electric vehicle minerals, it said, citing economic and regulatory uncertainty in the debt-stricken South American country. The French company had been due to make a final investment decision on the project after giving initial approval last year for plans to start producing lithium from late 2021.

Feb 19 - Fortescue profit spikes on iron ore price jump, but dividend seen conservative 
Australia's Fortescue Metals Group Ltd reported a near four-fold jump in half-year profit on Wednesday as it cashed in on higher iron ore prices, while analysts said a lower-than-expected dividend reflected caution on the global economy. Fortescue is the second of the global iron ore giants to report results this season, and also the second to offer lower than anticipated payouts which analysts said reflected a move to keep cash in reserve given uncertainties over global economic growth following the coronavirus outbreak.

Feb 19 - Coronavirus outbreak dents impact of China's scrap metal tax relief 
China's exemptions on import duties for U.S. copper and aluminium scrap will not massively increase shipments of the material as metal demand has dropped because of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. China on Tuesday granted tariff exemptions on duties of 25% tariffs on U.S. copper scrap and 50% on aluminium scrap. The taxes were in place since 2018 as part of its trade war with the United States. 

Feb 19 - Chinese copper smelting activity slips in January - satellite index 
Chinese refined copper production touched its lowest level in 20 months in January, according to an index based on satellite surveillance of copper plants. Global smelting activity, however, edged higher, helped by strong activity in Europe, the data released on Tuesday showed.

Feb 19 - GFG Alliance to invest 2 bln euros in European steel operations 
British-based conglomerate GFG Alliance will invest 2 billion euros ($2 billion), mostly in Romania and the Czech Republic, to modernise its emissions-heavy European steel plants and boost production, it said on Wednesday. The investment is a leap of faith in a sector that is grappling with issues of over-supply and falling demand, expected to be made worse by the impact of the coronavirus.

Feb 19 - Freeport Indonesia aims for August kick-off of construction on new copper smelter
Freeport Indonesia, operator of Grasberg, the world's second-biggest copper mine, expects to start construction of a new smelter in August, its chief executive said on Wednesday.  Front-end engineering and design for the $3 billion smelter has been concluded and ground preparation is expected to finish in around three months, said Tony Wenas, chief executive of PT Freeport Indonesia, a unit of Freeport-McMoran Inc. 

Feb 19 - Rising metals prices spur S.African miner Sibanye to second-half rebound
South African mining company Sibanye-Stillwater reported a near 80% surge in full year earnings on Wednesday following a rebound in the second half on the back of rising precious metals prices and the inclusion of its Marikana operations. Strike action had disrupted operations in the first half of 2019 and the diversified miner reported a headline loss for the full year. However, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) jumped 79% to 14.956 billion rand ($1 billion). 

Feb 19 - China sets first batch of rare earth mining output quota for 2020 
China set the first batch of mining quota for rare earth in 2020 at 66,000 tonnes, the natural resources ministry said on Wednesday. The rare earth mining quota accounts for 50% of last year's allocation of 132,000 tonnes, the Ministry of Natural Resources said in a notice on its website, without giving any smelting and separation quotas. A first batch of 52,500 tonnes of tungsten concentrate mining output was also granted by the ministry, it said.

Feb 19 - Chile says copper price to recover soon from coronavirus impact - mining minister 
Copper prices will rebound in the coming months from a downturn in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China, Chilean mining minister Baldo Prokurica said on Tuesday. China reported its fewest new coronavirus infections since January on Tuesday and its lowest daily death toll for a week, but the World Health Organization said data suggesting the epidemic had slowed should still be viewed with caution.

Feb 18 - Glencore posts first annual loss in four years as impairments bite
Glencore reported its first annual net loss since 2015 on Tuesday, as the commodity miner and trader took charges for its Colombian coal, Chad oilfields and African copper and cobalt operations. The London-listed miner reported a net loss of $404 million for the full year ended Dec. 31, compared to a profit of $3.41 billion a year earlier. 

Feb 18 - China's metal exporters hit by cancellations, damage claims amid virus - trade group 
Some overseas buyers of Chinese metal products have stopped accepting shipments amid the coronavirus outbreak, while others are seeking damages over delays, a China trade body said on Tuesday. Companies from countries including Russia, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa have told Chinese suppliers they will not accept deliveries, or have sought to suspend purchases, the Metallurgical Council of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade said on its website.

Feb 18 - Iron ore prices boosts BHP half-year profit, sees limited coronavirus impact 
Robust iron ore prices drove BHP Group, to its best result in five years, still slightly off estimates, with the miner saying containment this quarter of a coronavirus that is spreading around the globe should limit any economic impact.  BHP's underlying profit from continuing operations rose to $5.19 billion for the six months ended Dec. 31 from $4.03 billion a year earlier, the strongest result since the same period of 2015, lifted by lofty iron ore prices after last year's supply disruption out of Brazil and solid Chinese demand. 

Feb 18 - China to grant tariff exemptions on 696 U.S. goods to support purchases
China will grant exemptions on retaliatory duties imposed against 696 U.S. goods, the most substantial tariff relief to be offered so far, as Beijing seeks to fulfill commitments made in its interim trade deal with the United States. Tuesday's announcement comes after the Phase 1 trade deal between the two countries took effect on Feb. 14 and is the third round of tariff exemptions China has offered on U.S. goods.

Feb 18 - Miners welcome Indonesia's new jobs bill that could spur coal growth
Miners have welcomed proposed changes to Indonesian mining rules under a new law aimed at boosting investment, though critics are concerned that the changes could underpin an expansion in polluting coal and threaten environment protection. President Joko Widodo's sprawling "Job Creation" bill seeks to change about 80 laws affecting many business sectors, including mining, in order to fix rules deemed cumbersome for investors.  

Feb 18 - British metals tycoon Gupta buys bankrupt steel plant in India
British-based tycoon Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance has bought a bankrupt steel plant in India for $60 million. GFG has grown rapidly from its roots as a metals trader by spending billions of dollars buying up often troubled metals manufacturing facilities from the US to Europe and Australia.

Feb 18 - Petra's diamonds lose lustre as coronavirus hits demand 
Africa-focussed miner Petra Diamonds said the coronovirus outbreak had hit Chinese demand for diamonds, forcing it to push back targets for cashflow and debt reduction, sending its shares more than 20% lower. Petra has been fixing its balance sheet after spending years investing in its flagship Cullinan mine in South Africa.

Feb 18 - Rio Tinto says Mongolian project submits feasibility study on locally sourced power 
Rio Tinto Ltd on Tuesday said its Mongolian copper mine project has submitted a feasibility study to the local government in its bid to secure domestically sourced power for the East Asian's country's biggest foreign investment project. Oyu Tolgoi LLC submitted a feasibility study for the Tavan Tolgoi Power Plant (TTPP) Project, which involves building a 300 MW coal power plant at an estimated cost of about $924 million, the Anglo-Australian miner said in a statement. 

Feb 18 - South Africa's Kumba Iron annual earnings rise on higher ore rates 
South Africa's Kumba Iron Ore on Tuesday posted a rise in annual earnings, underpinned by higher iron ore prices and currency gains from a weaker rand exchange rate to the dollar.  The company, a unit of Anglo American, reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 50.88 rand for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with 30.28 rand a year earlier.

Feb 17 - New York is closed today (Presidents Day), London is trading at normal hours

Feb 17 - EU launches anti-dumping investigation on China aluminium products 
The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether China is dumping aluminium extrusions, products widely used in transport, construction and electronics, in the European Union, it said on Friday. A notice in the EU's Official Journal said it was acting on a complaint filed last month by industry group European Aluminium representing seven producers.

Feb 17 - Anglo American Platinum CEO Griffith to step down 
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) AMSJ.J said on Monday its Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith will step down effective April 16 to pursue other career opportunities, and the miner posted a surge in annual earnings on higher metal prices.  The company said its successor, who is expected to be an internal candidate from within the Anglo American group, will be announced in the near future. 

Feb 17 - Coronavirus cancels London Metal Exchange's Asian event 
The London Metal Exchange has cancelled its annual LME Asia Week dinner in Hong Kong, a major event for the metal industry, and postponed the seminar that would have taken place on the same day, the exchange said in a notice on Friday. The annual jamboree of the metal industry known as LME Asia Week was due to take place on May 6. 

Feb 17 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold - CFTC 
Hedge funds and money managers upped their bullish positions on COMEX gold and cut their bullish bets on silver contracts in the week to Feb. 11, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also increased their net short position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Feb 17 - Glencore held stocks of 12,797 tonnes of cobalt at the end of 2019
Glencore's Katanga operation in Africa held unsold stocks of 12,797 tonnes of battery material cobalt with a current market value of more than $400 million at the end of last year, statements from Katanga show. Its cobalt stocks at the end of 2018 stood at 3,769 tonnes.

Feb 17 - Britain's Royal Mint launches gold-backed securities tradable on London Stock Exchange 
Britain's 1,100-year-old Royal Mint said on Monday it will launch an exchange-traded product this week backed by physical gold held in its vault in Wales, which will trade on the London Stock Exchange.  Gold exchange-traded products, which issue securities backed by metal they buy and store on behalf of investors, have become big business since the first was launched in the early 2000s. 

Feb 17 - U.S. firm wins reprieve from expanded duties on steel products
The U.S. Court of International Trade has issued a temporary order under which U.S. customs agents cannot collect duties from a U.S. company under President Donald Trump's recently-announced expansion of steel and aluminum tariffs. PrimeSource Building Products had challenged Trump's surprise expansion of existing tariffs to include derivative products such as steel nails and aluminum cables. 

Feb 17 - Brazil state judge accepts charges against Vale ex-CEO, others over dam burst 
A Brazilian state judge has accepted charges against Vale SA former Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman and 15 others related to a fatal disaster at the iron ore miner's Brumadinho tailings dam a year ago, according to a statement on Friday. The move by a judge in Brazil's mining heartland of Minas Gerais follows charges filed by state prosecutors on Jan. 21 accusing the former CEO and other 15 people of homicide.

Feb 14 - Portuguese communities lock horns with lithium miners to save their land 
The lush, green hills where Paulo Pires has for years brought sheep to graze above his picturesque Portuguese village may soon be transformed by the race to power electric vehicles. Signs of change already give him sleepless nights. Hundreds of drill holes across the countryside show where miners want to excavate the land for lithium, a vital ingredient for batteries used in electric cars, smartphones and energy storage.

Feb 14 - LME Asia Week 2020 in Hong Kong may be delayed due to coronavirus 
The London Metal Exchange's annual event in Hong Kong could be postponed due to the coronavirus, the exchange said in a statement on Thursday.  The annual gathering of the metal industry known as LME Asia Week 2020 is due to take place in the first week of May. 

Feb 14 - Miner First Quantum posts surprise profit on higher copper sales, output 
Canada's First Quantum Minerals Ltd posted a surprise profit on Thursday, helped by higher sales and production, driven by a ramp up of its Cobre Panama copper mine. First Quantum's total copper production rose 29% to 204,270 tonnes, while sales jumped 31.8%.

Feb 14 - Agnico cuts 2020 production forecast on slower Nunavut ramp up 
Gold miner Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd lowered its full-year 2020 production outlook, citing slower-than-expected ramp up of production at its Nunavut operations in Canada. The company developed its Amaruq mine as a satellite deposit to supply a new source of ore to the Meadowbank mine in the Kivalliq district of Nunavut.

Feb 13 - Barrick CEO sees no competition in his bid for Freeport's Grasberg mine 
Barrick Gold Corp Chief Executive Mark Bristow on Wednesday said he sees no competition from rivals in his pursuit of Freeport-McMoran Inc's Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia but cautioned any deal for the asset would take time to pull off. Bristow has fanned speculation that Barrick, the world's No. 2 gold miner, is poised to deepen its exposure to copper and last week expressed interest in acquiring Freeport's flagship Grasberg mine. 

Feb 13 - Palladium, rhodium deficits set to grow in 2020– Johnson Matthey 
Rapidly rising demand from auto makers pushed the global palladium market last year to its biggest deficit for five years and created the first shortfall of rhodium since 2014, materials maker Johnson Matthey said on Wednesday.  It predicted deficits in both metals would grow this year despite record high prices. 

Feb 13 - Lynas shares surge 10% on report Malaysia renews rare earths' plant license 
Malaysia has agreed to renew Australian firm Lynas Corp Ltd's license to operate its rare earths processing plant in the country, Malaysian media reported on Thursday, sending shares of the company up as much as 10%.  The license renewal has been agreed in principle by the cabinet and would be valid until March 2023, news website MalaysiaKini reported on Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Feb 13 - Steel becomes new problem child as Thyssenkrupp posts profit drop 
Thyssenkrupp's steel division swung to a loss in the first quarter, raising doubts over Europe's second-biggest steelmaker, the conglomerate's core following its planned sale of its elevator business. Imports from China and weak demand from the car industry have pummelled steelmakers across the continent, including German rival Salzgitter and the local division of India's Tata Steel.

Feb 13 - China smelter Yuguang slashes zinc output in half amid virus outbreak 
Henan Yuguang Gold and Lead, one of China's biggest lead and zinc producers, has cut zinc output by 50% amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country, a company executive said on Thursday. Yuguang on Wednesday closed half of its 300,000 tonnes per year zinc smelting capacity, mostly because the company is unable to shift high inventories of byproduct sulphuric acid, sales director Li Xiaodong said.

Feb 13 - Crude oil, iron ore, coal cargo offloading slows in virus-hit China: Russell 
Calculating the exact impact on commodity markets from the coronavirus epidemic in China is still a fraught process, with too many unknown variables, but there are some early signs of the effect on physical shipments. China's imports of crude oil and iron ore so far in February are running at levels well below the preceding months, and also from the same month last year, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

Feb 13 - Investors from five countries eye Mexico's nascent lithium market 
Investors from at least five countries have expressed interest in Mexico's nascent lithium extraction and production industry, said Francisco Quiroga, the undersecretary for mining, after a promising find in the north of the country.  The find is still in the exploration phase. If initial estimates of lithium deposits are confirmed, Mexico could emerge as one of the world's largest players in a thriving sector.

Feb 13 - Greek lawmakers clear rescue plan for nickel producer Larco 
Greek lawmakers approved a restructuring plan for Larco late on Wednesday which Greece called a last attempt to save Europe's biggest nickel producer. The European Commission said in November it was taking Greece to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over its failure to recover 135.8 million euros ($147.63 million) of illegal state aid to Larco which is struggling under heavy debt. 

Feb 13 - Mining-reliant Indonesia targets red tape with new law 
Indonesia will take control of new mining permit issuance under a proposed new law which is part of government efforts to boost investment by removing red tape and reducing regulations. The Southeast Asian country, the world's biggest thermal coal and tin exporter as well as a top producer of minerals such as nickel and copper, has been trying to squeeze more out of mining to boost economic growth and jobs. 

Feb 13 - China steel group asks transport ministry to resolve logistical troubles amid virus outbreak - document
The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) appealed to the Ministry of Transport to resolve steel mills' difficulties caused by transport restrictions, according to a CISA document reviewed by Reuters.  CISA said in document that steel mills are having production and operation issues including raw material shortages and high product inventories due to logistical constraints amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Feb 12 - Brazil's Vale loses spot as world's top iron ore producer to Rio Tinto 
Brazil's Vale SA on Tuesday posted a sharp output decline and $671 million in net additional provisions stemming from a deadly dam burst about a year ago, underlining the enduring effects of the incident on the iron ore giant. In a statement, the company reported a 22.4% fall in fourth-quarter iron ore production from the same period last year and a 9.6% drop in quarterly terms. With that, Vale officially lost its position in 2019 as the world's top iron ore producer to Rio Tinto.

Feb 12 - Germany's Volkswagen and Daimler push for more 'sustainable' Chile lithium 
German automakers Volkswagen and Daimler have launched a study to push for more "sustainable" lithium mining in Chile, according to lobbyist filings reviewed by Reuters, a sign of growing supply chain concerns ahead of an expected electric vehicle boom. Chile's Atacama salt flat is by far the biggest source of supply of the ultralight battery metal in South America's so-called "lithium triangle." The region, whose fragile ecosystem relies on a limited water supply, is home to the globe's top two producers, U.S.-based Albemarle Corp and Chile's SQM.

Feb 12 - China steel traders hold off post-holiday buys as coronavirus saps demand 
Steel traders in China are holding off returning to the market for their usual post-Lunar New Year purchases, their appetites dampened by sluggish demand from a construction sector hit by the outbreak of a flu-like virus.  The coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000, was first discovered in December in Hubei province and has forced China to limit public activities and cut transport links as it spread across the country.  

Feb 12 - Virus another wild card in nickel's year of uncertainty: Andy Home 
Nickel is the weakest performer in the London Metal Exchange (LME) base metals pack so far this year. It's a dramatic change of fortune after last year's bull rally.  At a current $13,135 per tonne London nickel is down by almost 8% since the start of January and back to where it was last July, when Indonesia announced it was bringing forward a ban on the export of nickel ore from 2022 to this year. 

Feb 12 - Chinese coal traders hunt for short-term buys amid virus disruption 
Chinese coal traders and small coal-fired utilities are scrambling to lock in supplies of fuel from miners, worried about the prospects of market tightness as downstream users return to work after an extended national holiday. China added a week to its Lunar New Year holiday as it battles to rein in a coronavirus epidemic that has killed 1,016 and infected more than 42,000 nationwide. 

Feb 12 - AngloGold Ashanti to sell South African assets to Harmony Gold for about $300 mln 
AngloGold Ashanti said on Wednesday it will sell its remaining South African assets for about $300 million to Harmony Gold. The gold miner said in May it will review divestment options for its South African assets, which include the world's deepest mine, as it looks to streamline its portfolio and focus on assets that deliver higher returns.  

Feb 12 - Thyssenkrupp appoints Bernhard Osburg as CEO of Steel Europe unit 
Thyssenkrupp AG said Bernhard Osburg will succeed Premal Desai as Chairman of the Executive Board of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG.  Desai will step down from his position effective February 29, 2020. He departs because of differing views on the direction of the steel business and by mutual agreement, Thyssenkrupp said. 

Feb 12 - Russia's NLMK says Q4 core earnings down 43 pct y/y 
Russian steel producer NLMK said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter core earnings fell 43% year-on-year as revenues slipped on weak global steel prices as well as major repairs to a key blast furnace at the company's Lipetsk site.  Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to $480 million, down from $847 million during the same period the previous year.

Feb 12 - Indonesia will ease imports of scrap metal for steel industry 
The Indonesian government will ease rules on the import of scrap metal for use as raw material by the country's steel industry, hoping this will lead to a reduction in imports of steel billets, the industry minister said on Wednesday.  The Indonesian Iron & Steel Association has long complained that steel imports, particularly from China, have hurt their business, despite anti-dumping duties applied on many types of steel products from China and other countries.

Feb 11 - China copper treatment charges hit 8-month high as smelters battle virus 
Spot charges for processing copper concentrate in China have risen to their highest in eight months as the coronavirus outbreak and associated constraints on production and logistics leave smelters unable to take shipments.  Treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs), paid by miners to smelters to process copper ore into refined metal climbed to $62.50 a tonne and 6.25 cents a pound on Monday, as assessed by industry pricing and information provider Asian Metal.

Feb 11 - Iron ore, coking coal shrug off China coronavirus, look to stimulus
It may seem slightly odd to ask if a commodity that has shed 15% of its value in a little over two weeks has actually fallen enough, but iron ore is looking quite resilient in the face of China's coronavirus epidemic. In theory iron ore and steel should be among commodities most exposed to the expected economic hit from the virus, which has killed more than 1,000 people and infected more than 42,000. 

Feb 11 - Australia's Newcrest says PNG gold project back on track as stay lifted 
Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd said on Tuesday Papua New Guinea's national court dismissed a stay order on work relating to the Wafi-Golpu gold-copper project, paving the way for talks to resume on it with the Pacific country's government. The deal by Wafi-Golpu co-owners Newcrest Mining and South Africa's Harmony Gold hit a bump when the Papua New Guinea government said in September it wanted to keep 40% of gold produced from the project.

Feb 11 - Violence in Africa's Sahel region attacks the mining food chain 
Violence in Africa's Sahel region has driven mining exploration companies to put projects on hold, with knock-on effects for an industry struggling to expand and for fragile local economies. At least 37 people died and 60 were wounded last November when militants attacked a convoy of Semafo Inc employees, the deadliest attack yet on a mining company in the region. 

Feb 11 - Harmony Gold records half-year profit, helped by higher bullion prices 
South African bullion producer Harmony Gold Mining said on Tuesday it posted an interim profit boosted by a higher average gold price, which rose by 19% during the period.  Headline earnings per share (HEPS) rose to 249 cents for the six months ended Dec. 31, from a loss of 4 cents in the same period a year ago. 

Feb 11 - Perth Mint officials to join Australia's ABC Refinery treasury, trading teams 
Australia's ABC Refinery, the gold refining division of Pallion Group, said on Tuesday it hired three Perth Mint officials for its treasury and precious metals trading operations. The company named Joe Metcalfe as treasurer, who served as the deputy CEO of Perth Mint, Australia's key seller of gold coins and bars. Nishan Kodituwakku, the deputy treasurer of Perth Mint, and Michael Dymock, a senior trader at Perth Mint, will join ABC Refinery as deputy treasurer and senior trader, respectively.

Feb 11 - Brazil soy, iron ore exports slide amid concerns over coronavirus impact 
Brazil's exports of soy and iron ore fell in the first week of February compared to a year ago, government data showed on Monday, as traders watched for signs the coronavirus outbreak in China could affect demand for Brazilian commodities. For the first five working days of February, soybean exports declined to 198,600 tonnes per day on average from 263,500 tonnes per day for February 2019, according to Economy Ministry figures. Iron ore exports averaged 1.27 million tonnes per day for the first week of February, down from 1.4 million tonnes per day a year ago.

Feb 10 - Top lithium miner seeks to monitor water scarcity in parched Chile salt flat 
With residents and courts ringing the alarm about depleted water supplies in Chile's Atacama salt flat, the world's top lithium miner Albemarle quietly filed a proposal in December for a network to monitor flows beneath the parched desert floor. The previously unreported move is an indication of how important it has become for miners to prove their supplies of the so-called "white gold" battery metal are sustainable as they court automakers preparing for the coming electric vehicle revolution.

Feb 10 - China metals output seen falling over 10% in Feb, rebound from virus impact after Q2 
China's nonferrous metal output will fall at least 10% year-on-year in February as the world's top metals consumer battles a coronavirus but operations are expected to normalise after the second quarter, the country's metal association said. "If the epidemic situation can be effectively controlled in the next 20 days or so, and the manufacturing, real estate, and infrastructure investment are fully restored, market demand ... is expected to improve," an official from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association told its online news portal.

Feb 10 - Large stocks, subdued China demand to cap cobalt prices
Subdued demand in China due to the coronavirus and large stocks of cobalt are expected to outweigh supply losses from Glencore's giant Mutanda mine in Central Africa and cap prices of the battery metal for some months. Expecting a significantly tighter market and stronger demand in top consumer China, traders have pushed cobalt prices up nearly 10% to around $16 a lb or nearly $35,000 a tonne since the start of January.

Feb 10 - Indonesia's Timah may increase tin output by 5% in 2020, monitoring price 
Indonesia's state tin miner PT Timah is expected to increase refined tin output by around 5% this year, Corporate Secretary Abdullah Umar Baswedan said on Monday. This year's output target would be for modest growth after an output surge in 2019 that led the company to take steps to control production.  

Feb 10 - Speculators cut bullish bets on COMEX gold - CFTC 
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and raised their bullish bets on silver contracts in the week to Feb. 4, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also increased their net short position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Feb 10 - Congo's move to control artisanal cobalt is double-edged: Andy Home 
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has announced ambitious plans to take control of the country's wild-west artisanal cobalt sector. A new state company, Entreprise Generale du Cobalt (EGC), has been given monopoly powers to purchase and market cobalt from the informal sector. 

Feb 10 - Head of Thyssenkrupp's steel unit to leave - Handelsblatt 
The chief executive of Thyssenkrupp's steel division will leave at the end of the month, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported, citing sources close to the group's supervisory board. Premal Desai has been leading the division since June 2019. He is likely to be succeeded by Bernhard Osburg, currently the unit's chief commercial officer, Handelsblatt said.

Feb 10 - ArcelorMittal, commissioners extend talks on Italy's Ilva plant - lawyer
ArcelorMittal and commissioners of the Ilva steelworks in southern Italy have agreed to extend talks to the end of the month after making progress towards a possible deal to buy the plant, a lawyer for the company said on Friday. The world's biggest steelmaker had tried to walk away from a 2018 deal after parliament scrapped a guarantee of legal immunity from prosecution over environmental risks during a clean-up of the heavily polluting factory. 

Feb 10 - Japan's Mitsubishi Materials buys 30% stake in Chile copper mine 
Japan's Mitsubishi Materials Corp (MMC) has bought a 30% stake in Mantoverde copper mine and an associated copper project from Mantos Copper for $236 million to secure more concentrates for its smelters, the company said on Friday. The mine, which has 2.1 million tonnes of copper reserves, is owned by a consortium led by British investment company Audley Capital Advisors and Orion Mine Finance Group, which control Mantos Copper. 

Feb 10 - China's Ganfeng to take control of Argentina lithium project 
China's Ganfeng Lithium Co said on Friday it will take control of an Argentina lithium project it has been developing with Lithium Americas Corp, cementing its control over a key source of the white metal for electric vehicle batteries.  The move helps Lithium Americas cut its debt, up more than eight times in the past year, and reduce its exposure to recession-hit Argentina as it develops another lithium project in Nevada.

Feb 07 - Barrick CEO Bristow eyes Freeport's flagship Grasberg mine
Barrick Gold Corp does not want to buy copper mining giant Freeport McMoRan Inc, although it is interested in its rival's flagship Grasberg mine in Indonesia, Chief Executive Mark Bristow said on Thursday. The strategy replicates one that Bristow successfully deployed in 2019: aggressively float interest in an entire company even though the ultimate goal is just one asset.

Feb 07 - Industrial goods, oil, gas get slammed as China coronavirus slashes demand
Industrial goods from jet fuel and iron ore to rubber and sulphuric acid are sliding towards their lowest prices in weeks, months or even years as China's coronavirus epidemic hobbles movement and eats away demand in the world's no.2 economy. China's iron ore futures are headed for their biggest weekly loss in six months, oil prices hit their lowest since January, and Tokyo rubber futures have shed 15% since mid-January.

Feb 07 - Sibanye-Stillwater doubts it will become owner of world's deepest gold mine
South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater, which has made an offer for AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng, the world's deepest gold mine, said on Thursday it doubted its bid would succeed. AngloGold is selling the asset, its last operation in South Africa, as it pursues higher returns elsewhere. Precious-metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater has expressed interest, as has Harmony Gold. 

Feb 07 - China copper smelter Guangxi Nanguo declares force majeure amid coronavirus – sources
A copper smelter in Southwest China has declared force majeure on deliveries of copper concentrate, two sources briefed on the matter said on Friday, as a coronavirus outbreak in the country heightened fears about a hit to demand. Guangxi Nanguo Copper, with production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year, is the first smelter in China to declare force majeure following the virus epidemic, which has killed more than 600 people and sparked concerns about copper demand in the world's biggest consumer of the metal. 

Feb 07 - Australia's iron ore ports cleared ahead of cyclone - Pilbara Ports Authority
Australia's key iron exporting ports have been cleared ahead of a cyclone that is due to make landfall on Saturday, the port authority said on Friday. "The Port of Port Hedland has moved to Cyclone Alert Stage 3 – Clear Port," Pilbara Ports Authority said in a notice. 

Feb 07 - Nippon Steel to cut 10% of steel output capacity, sees record FY loss
Japan's Nippon Steel Corp, the world's third-biggest steelmaker, said on Friday it will cut nearly 10% of its crude output capacity to improve competitiveness and will book a record net loss of $4 billion this financial year. Japanese steelmakers face a future of stagnant domestic growth as the population declines, while competition abroad grows as other Asian countries step up output and trade conflicts escalate.

Feb 07 - Norsk Hydro Q4 earnings miss expectations on weak aluminium prices
Aluminium producer Norsk Hydro on Friday reported a smaller-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter earnings on lower metal prices and said it expects global aluminium supply to outstrip demand in 2020. Underlying October-December earnings before interest and tax rose to 560 million Norwegian crowns ($60.69 million) from 534 million crowns a year earlier, lagging the average estimate of 1.02 billion crowns in a company-provided poll.

Feb 07 - Two die in Zimbabwe gold mine collapse
Two illegal Zimbabwean miners died and another was injured after the gold mine they were working in collapsed, the disaster management agency said on Thursday, as rescuers searched for more miners. Fortune Mupungu, the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) chairman for Kwekwe district, 200 km south-west of the capital Harare, said rescuers had found two bodies.

Feb 07 - Semafo to restart mining at Burkina Faso's Boungou in fourth quarter
Semafo Inc on Thursday said it expects to restart mining at its Boungou operation in Burkina Faso in the fourth quarter after a deadly attack on a convoy of buses carrying its employees forced it to suspend operations in November. Shares of the company jumped 8.3% to C$3.01 in early trade.

Feb 07 - South Africa's Harmony Gold Mining forecasts first-half profit
South African bullion producer Harmony Gold Mining on Thursday said it expects to post a profit in the first half, as the average price it received for the yellow metal jumped 19%. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) is expected to be 249 South African(SA) cents for the six months ended Dec. 31, from a loss of 6 SA cents in the previous year, the company said.

Feb 06 - China's metals import hunger shifts towards raw materials: Andy Home
China last year imported less refined copper, nickel, zinc and lead than in 2018. It was a net exporter of refined tin and primary aluminium. In part this was a reflection of stuttering manufacturing activity over much of 2019, a slow-growth mini-cycle that was on the cusp of turning before the coronavirus outbreak upended China's economy. 

Feb 06 - ArcelorMittal sees 2020 steel pick-up as debt hits low
ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, forecast increased steel consumption in its core markets in 2020 after reporting a higher-than-expected annual profit and its lowest ever level of debt. Market conditions remained challenging, but there were early signs of improvement, particularly in ArcelorMittal's core markets of the United States, Europe and Brazil, Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal said. 

Feb 06 - Virus-hit China may need more imports of coal. Now comes the tricky part - shipping it there: Russell
China's domestic coal mines are struggling to ramp up production in the face of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. That's a situation that may seem positive for seaborne exporters, but in reality it may be challenging for miners to take advantage. While there may be increased demand for imported coal in China in coming weeks, the problem for major exporters such as Indonesia, Australia and the United States is going to be one of logistics.

Feb 06 - LME to keep open-outcry closing prices after electronic trial
The London Metal Exchange (LME) will retain traditional open-outcry trading for closing prices after largely negative feedback from members about a trial that used electronic final prices, the exchange said on Wednesday. The announcement by the LME confirmed a Reuters story last year that quoted industry sources saying that the electronic trial of the benchmark nickel contract failed to boost volumes and lacked support from members. 

Feb 06 - JPMorgan's role in metals spoofing is under U.S. criminal probe - Bloomberg Law
U.S. authorities that accused six JPMorgan Chase & Co employees of rigging precious-metals futures are building a criminal case against the bank itself, Bloomberg Law reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. No formal accusations have been made against the bank, the report said. The probe raises the prospect of criminal charges and significant fines against the bank, the report added.

Feb 06 - China steel group calls for industry stability amid coronavirus
The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) on Thursday asked steel firms to maintain stability amid fluctuations in steel prices caused by slumping demand as the coronavirus outbreak disrupts transport and industrial activity. The CISA said that companies facing the new situation of the virus outbreak should rationally analyse and accurately judge the market trends, according to a statement.

Feb 06 - Coronavirus drives Alrosa to shift diamond sales from Hong Kong
Russia's Alrosa, the world's largest diamond mining company, will hold its March auctions in Moscow and Israel after Hong Kong postponed two jewellery shows because of the coronavirus outbreak, the company said on Wednesday. Demand for diamonds in China, the world's second largest market after the United States, had already weakened last year because of trade tensions and democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Feb 06 - Vale's New Steel expects first plant startup in 2022
Using pioneering dry iron ore processing technology, Brazilian miner Vale SA's wholly owned New Steel plans to put its first industrial plant into operation in 2022, its CEO Ivan Montenegro told Reuters. With an investment of up to $100 million, the new plant will be an important part of Vale's strategy to reduce the accumulation of tailings, he said in a telephone interview on Friday.

Feb 06 - Court convicts Belgian gold refinery Tony Goetz of money laundering
Two brothers from a Belgian gold refinery have been found guilty by a court in Antwerp of money laundering and fraud and given 18-month suspended jail sentences, a court ruling showed. The judgment comes as investigators and states increase pressure on refineries to make sure illegally mined or traded gold does not enter the market. 

Feb 06 - Saudi miner Ma'aden says China supply, coronavirus dampen aluminium outlook
The outlook for aluminium prices in 2020 is "obviously more negative" than it was going into the year, pressured by the outbreak of coronavirus and a surge in supply from China, the chief executive of Saudi Arabian Mining Co said. "The coronavirus impact, the extension of Lunar year holiday does mean aluminium demand will be impacted by China," Darren Davis, chief executive of the miner known as Ma'aden, told Reuters in an interview late on Wednesday.

Feb 06 - Exports of Australia's resources hit record $196 bln in 2019 - Minerals Council
Buoyant iron ore prices lifted Australian exports of minerals, metals and energy commodities to a record A$290 billion ($195.72 billion) in 2019, a jump of 17% from the 2018 record, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said on Thursday. Iron ore - Australia's biggest export earner - reaped a record A$97 billion, the MCA said, based on an analysis of data from the statistics bureau, after prices rallied 28% over the year, following a Brazillian dam disaster that hit supply. 

Feb 06 - Nigeria sets ambitious target for mining sector growth
Nigeria expects its mining sector to grow to 3% of GDP within the next five years from just 0.3% currently as the government seeks to diversify the economy away from oil, the minister for mines and steel development said on Wednesday. Nigeria has been trying to boost the sector as part of efforts to diversify its economy. Gold, lead, zinc, limestone and coal are among seven strategic minerals Nigeria has identified for investment.

Feb 05 - India's Jan gold imports plunge 48% to 4-month low on record prices 
India's gold imports in January plunged 48% from a year earlier to their lowest in 4 months as a rally in local prices near record highs prompted buyers to curtail purchases, a government source said on Tuesday. Lower buying by the world's second biggest consumer of the precious metal could weigh on global prices trading near their highest level in almost seven years, but help New Delhi bring down the trade deficit and support the rupee.

Feb 05 - Waning sulphuric acid demand threatens China copper output amid virus lockdown
Factory closures due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, including in epicentre Hubei, are sapping demand for sulphuric acid, a byproduct of copper production, and will likely see smelters cut output, industry sources said on Tuesday. Prices for sulphuric acid, mostly used in fertilisers, have more than halved since December's outbreak, which has now claimed more than 400 lives in China and sparked concerns over the impact on copper demand in the world's biggest consumer of the metal. 

Feb 05 - China Feb copper output to fall more than 15% on virus woes - Antaike
China's copper smelters will reduce output by more than 15% in February from last month due to the coronavirus outbreak, said Antaike, the research arm of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association. Base metal prices slumped last week as the number of coronavirus deaths and infections rose, spurring fears the outbreak will reduce economic activity and metals demand in China, the world's biggest copper consumer.

Feb 05 - Congo's 2019 copper output up 17%, cobalt production falls 20% 
Copper production in the Democratic Republic of Congo rose 17% year-on-year to 1.433 million tonnes in 2019, central bank figures showed on Tuesday. Cobalt production fell 19.86% to 87,676 tonnes, while gold output slid 5.76% to 34,657 kilograms.

Feb 05 - Speedier Brazil exploration approvals to draw capital - mining lobby 
Brazilian mining lobby group Ibram on Tuesday praised a government decision to speed up approvals for mining exploration, saying it would bring more investment to the sector. Brazil's National Mining Agency (ANM) on Monday published new rules that set deadlines for carrying out a variety of administrative approvals, most notably requiring the agency to rule on exploration requests within 120 days.

Feb 05 - Australia's Perenti considers takeover of Downer mining arm
Australian mining services provider Perenti Global Ltd said on Wednesday it was considering buying Downer EDI's mining servicing business, but dismissed a report of a A$700 million ($471 million) offer. Downer is struggling with higher costs arising from loss-making construction contracts due to weak global business investment and a stuttering Australian economy.

Feb 04 - Glencore Q4 down in most metals but 2020 targets unchanged 
Glencore posted a 6% fall in fourth-quarter copper production and a 13% decline in cobalt as the miner and trader shut its Mutanda mine ahead of schedule. Glencore, which in December forecast a modest decline in copper output over the next three years, shut its Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo in November due to falling cobalt prices and rising costs and taxes. 

Feb 04 - Copper flashes red warning light on virus hit to growth: Andy Home
Copper prices slumped by 10% in January, marking the heaviest monthly fall since 2015, in a clear warning sign that China's battle with the coronavirus could be very bad news for metals demand.  Activity in China, the engine-room of global manufacturing, stuttered over much of 2019 but was expected to recover momentum this year. Investors' belief that the Chinese growth story was back on track helped London Metal Exchange (LME) copper hit an eight-month high of $6,343 per tonne on Jan. 16.

Feb 04 - En+ raises stake in Rusal to 57% after Glencore asset swap 
Russia's En+ Group has raised its stake in aluminium giant Rusal to 56.88% after completing an asset swap with Glencore, part of a deal that has helped companies controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska to ward off U.S. sanctions.  En+ Group and Glencore agreed in 2017 that Glencore would swap its 8.75% stake in Rusal for shares in En+ Group, an aluminium and hydropower group controlled by Deripaska, following En+'s initial public offering.

Feb 04 - Congo's new artisanal cobalt monopoly could seek private partner - minister 
A new state company set up by the Democratic Republic of Congo to manage the country's artisanally mined cobalt could seek a private partner if the state does not have the funds to purchase all production, the mines minister said. DRC produces about 60% of the world's cobalt. Most of that is extracted by industrial operators like Glencore and China Molybdenum, with artisanal miners accounting for about a quarter of output. 

Feb 04 - Mitsui CFO: China virus outbreak may slow manufacturing activities of autos and others 
Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co Ltd sees China's outbreak of a new coronavirus may slow manufacturing activities in automobile and other sectors, and possibly reduce steel product demand, the company's executive said on Tuesday.  "If steel demand slows, it may also affect prices of iron ore which are already under pressure now," Mitsui Chief Financial Officer Takakazu Uchida told a news conference after the company released its latest earnings report.

Feb 04 - ArcelorMittal to restart Polish steel plant in March 
ArcelorMittal has decided to restart its blast furnace and steel factory in Krakow, southern Poland, in March to supply its Belgian plant, the company said on Monday. The steel producer closed the Krakow operation in November, citing rising costs and a weakening outlook for the market.

Feb 03 - China commodities nosedive as coronavirus raise consumption fears 
Chinese commodities markets slumped on the first trading day after an extended Lunar New Year break, with several futures contracts hitting downside limits on fears the spread of a new virus will hit demand in the world's top commodities consumer.  The most-active copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and crude oil on the International Energy Exchange all fell by the maximum daily limit at the open, with copper down 7% and crude oil and iron ore down 8%.

Feb 03 - Miners face funding squeeze as green investing surges 
As global investors shift away from heavy industry in favour of cleaner sectors, mining companies are losing billions in financing, raising the cost of capital and jeopardising projects. Making the mining industry more sustainable by running mines on renewable energy, for example, will be a key focus at the annual Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town this week, as companies hunt for new sources of capital including private equity, debt, offtake finance and royalty finance. 

Feb 03 - Rare earths producer Lynas' Kalgoorlie plant given special status 
Rare earths producer Lynas Corp said on Monday the Australian government recognised its Kalgoorlie processing plant as a key project for the country and will support regulatory approvals. "Developing a robust and resilient critical minerals and Rare Earths industry is a priority for the Australian Government and Lynas is in a unique position to contribute to this as we are the only significant Rare Earths producer outside China," Chief Executive Officer Amanda Lacaze said in a statement. 

Feb 03 - Speculators cut bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC 
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Jan. 28, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also switched to a net short position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Feb 03 - Shanghai copper seen tumbling in post-holiday opening session - traders 
Shanghai copper prices could drop by their daily limit when the Shanghai Futures Exchange reopens on Monday to catch up with losses on the London Metal Exchange (LME) tied to a spreading coronavirus in China, traders and brokers said. More than 200 people in China have died from the virus with more than 9,000 infected, most in China but cases in more than 20 other countries, prompting widespread transport curbs in China and a World Health Organization declaration of a global health emergency. 

Feb 03 - Anglo American halts some output at Moranbah North coking coal mine in Australia 
Anglo American said on Friday it had halted production in parts of its Moranbah North coking coal mine in Australia after a roof collapsed. "Anglo American confirms a geotechnical issue at Moranbah North during development works, which resulted in a roof fall incident," it said in a statement, adding there were no injuries. A company spokesman added that production had been halted in the parts of the mine that where the incident occurred.

Feb 03 - Australia's TerraCom offers to buy rest of Universal Coal, valuing it at $120 mln 
Australian coal miner TerraCom Ltd on Monday offered to buy the remaining shares of Universal Coal PLC that it does not already own, in a deal that values the company at about A$175 million ($119.68 million). Under the cash-and-stock deal, a Universal shareholder will get 10 cents in cash and about 0.6026 new TerraCom shares for each Universal share held.

Feb 03 - Alcoa says power restored to Australian plant after heat waves
Power to Alcoa Corp's Portland aluminium smelter has returned to normal levels after a blackout on Friday caused by heat waves in Australia's south, the company said in a statement on Monday. One of two transmission lines to the smelter remains out of service due to the outage, however, Alcoa added. It blamed an external disruption for the interruption, but did not say if production had been affected.

Feb 03 - Nickel production at Indonesia's Morowali park unaffected by virus 
Indonesia's largest nickel industrial park said on Monday that its Chinese workers are clear of the coronavirus epidemic and that production is as "per normal". PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park, where Chinese giant Tsingshan operates, employs more than 5,000 employees from China but has been unaffected by the virus, a spokesman told Reuters.

Jan 31 - China 2019 rare earth magnet shipments to U.S. rise 12% from year ago
China's exports of rare earth magnets to the United States jumped 11.9% in 2019, customs data showed on Friday, amid a Pentagon plan to bolster its stocks as rare earths became a potential front in the Sino-U.S. trade war. U.S.-bound shipments of the magnets, which are widely used in medical devices, consumer electronics and defence, rose to 4,593 tonnes last year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs, from 4,103 tonnes in 2018. 

Jan 31 - China's 2019 nickel ore imports from Indonesia jump 72% on year
China's imports of nickel ore from Indonesia leaped by nearly three-quarters in 2019, customs data showed on Friday, as traders scrambled to ship the material before an export ban from the Southeast Asian nation took effect from the start this year. While total 2019 imports of nickel ore rose 30% from 2018 to 56.13 million tonnes, imports from Indonesia rocketed 72% to 23.9 million tonnes, according to the General Administration of Customs and Reuters calculations.

Jan 31 - Nickel and copper are bull stand-outs in base metals poll: Andy Home
Nickel and copper are the bull stand-outs in the latest Reuters poll of base metals analysts, with both set to rise in price over the next two years thanks to supply constraints and expected market deficits. All the other base metals are expected to fall in price this year at least, with zinc and lead set to underperform over the next two years as those markets transition from supply shortfall to surplus. 

Jan 31 - Ukraine court puts freeze on Ferrexpo unit's shareholding
Iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo Plc said on Friday a Ukrainian court has a put a restriction on the sale of 50.3% of its Swiss unit's shareholding in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining, one of the company's mining businesses. The Swiss unit, Ferrexpo AG Switzerland, has appealed the court order, the London-listed company said, adding that it believes the temporary restriction is related to matters involving former Chief Executive Officer Kostyantin Zhevago and the Bank Finance and Credit businesses he owned until 2015.

Jan 31 - POSCO Q4 operating profit down 56.1%; sees lower 2020 sales
South Korean steelmaker POSCO posted a 56.1% drop in its fourth-quarter operating profit as higher raw material costs squeezed its margins, and said it expected lower sales in 2020 on weaker global steel demand growth. The world's fifth-biggest steelmaker reported 2019 earnings on Friday without disclosing numbers for October-December. 

Jan 31 - Alcoa's Australian aluminium smelter hit by power cut amid heatwave
Alcoa Corp's Australian aluminium smelter was hit by a power cut on Friday after a transmission line tripped amid soaring temperatures in the country's southeast, the Australian Energy Market Operator said. AEMO, which manages electricity supply, said the transmission line outage "has resulted in a separation between Victoria and South Australia at the Heywood Interconnector, as well as interrupting supply at the Portland aluminium smelter."

Jan 31 - Japan's Nippon Steel to cut 10% of crude steel capacity -Nikkei
Nippon Steel Corp will likely cut about 10% of crude steel capacity by closing both blast furnaces at its Kure site "within a few years" to better compete in the face of rising output in top producer China, Nikkei business daily reported on Friday. The move comes as Japan's biggest steelmaker by output suffers weakening profit as slumping steel prices in Asia dent its export margins and after a series of suspensions at local facilities caused by typhoons and fires interrupted production. 

Jan 31 - Transport of copper halted at MMG's Las Bambas mine in Peru since Monday - police
The transportation of metal from MMG Ltd's Las Bambas copper mine in Southern Peru has been halted since Monday, a police chief told Reuters on Thursday. "As a safety measure, they have suspended the use of their vehicles," said Victor Andres Patiño, a police chief in Cuzco, in the region where the mine is located.

Jan 31 - Chile's Antofagasta appoints Mauricio Ortiz as new finance boss
Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc on Thursday named Mauricio Ortiz as its chief financial officer, replacing Alfredo Atucha, who will retire in March after seven years in the role. Ortiz joined the company in 2015 and is currently the vice president of finance at its mining division.

Jan 30 - Gold demand fell at the end of 2019, but prices set to march higher - GFMS
Global demand for gold fell in the last three months of last year as sales of gold jewellery, bars and coins declined alongside purchases by central banks and financial investors, an industry report said on Thursday. Central banks and investors had bought large amounts of gold earlier in the year, helping push gold prices up 18% in 2019 to the highest level since 2013. 

Jan 30 - Australia's Fortescue boosts iron ore shipments, says no virus impact felt
Australia's Fortescue Metals Group reported on Thursday a 9% rise in second-quarter iron ore shipments, and its CEO said demand remained strong and that its business had not been impacted directly by the new coronavirus outbreak in China. "Market conditions remain very positive and there are predictions of further crude steel production increases in 2020," Chief Executive Elizabeth Gaines said.

Jan 30 - Gold gets initial lift from China virus, but may take longer-term hit: Russell
One of the few beneficiaries from the outbreak of a deadly new coronavirus in China has been gold, which is fulfilling its customary role as a safe haven. But the epidemic may actually end up being bad news for the precious metal. Gold market watchers, particularly those in the Western world, tend to focus heavily on risk-on, risk-off sentiment swings and subsequent flows into, or out of, gold investment products, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Jan 30 - Australia's lithium producers see tough market conditions persisting well into 2020
Australia's Orocobre Ltd and Pilbara Minerals Ltd on Thursday gave bearish outlooks for lithium demand, as weak orders from electric vehicle makers in China look set to extend a prolonged downturn. Orocobre Ltd flagged a tepid market for the first half of 2020 and said it had cut costs at its flagship Olaroz lithium project in Argentina. Its shares sank 3.7%. 

Jan 30 - India's 2020 gold demand to rebound from 3-year low – WGC
India's gold demand is expected to rebound in 2020 as the government seeks to bolster consumer confidence and spending power to revive Asia's third-biggest economy, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday. A rise in consumption by the world's second-biggest gold buyer would further boost global prices, which scaled a near seven-year high earlier this month, but could widen India's trade deficit and pressure the rupee.

Jan 30 - Newcrest Q2 gold output drops, flags drought risk to output
Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd posted a 16% drop in second-quarter gold output on Thursday due to shutdowns at its Lihir mine, and flagged that production at its flagship Cadia mine could be impacted by year-end if a drought persists. Newcrest said it was putting together "corrective action plans" on its Lihir and Telfer mines "with the objective of improving their performance over the next six months." 

Jan 30 - Nornickel's fund to deliver 3 T of palladium ingots to the market
Russia's Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) said on Wednesday its Global Palladium Fund would deliver three tonnes of palladium ingots to the market from its current stock to provide a short-term relief to tight supplies. Nornickel is the world's largest producer of palladium. Spot prices for the metal, used by auto makers to reduce harmful vehicle emissions, briefly zoomed above $2,500 this month for the first time as power outages in major producer South Africa disrupted output, contributing to a supply squeeze. 

Jan 30 - Investors urge drillers, miners not to take advantage of Trump environmental rollbacks
A group of U.S. institutional investors urged energy, timber and mining companies on Wednesday not to take advantage of Trump administration rollbacks of environmental regulations, such as moving operations into public lands that are being opened up. The investors representing nearly $113 billion in assets sent a letter to 58 companies saying that firms seeking to make use of the rule changes put themselves and their investors at "significant risk of public backlash and stranded assets, should these actions be legally challenged or protections be restored by the courts or by future administrations.”

Jan 30 - Australia's Orocobre flags weak lithium market in first half of 2020
Australia's Orocobre Ltd on Thursday flagged a weaker lithium market for the first half of 2020 and said it had cut costs at its flagship Olaroz lithium project in Argentina to tackle waning demand in the market. Lithium miners in Australia faced severe pressure last year as prices plummeted after a cut in electrical vehicle subsidies by China, the world's biggest EV market, curbed demand for the metal.

Jan 30 - Russia's Yakutia governor says Alrosa's flooded mine will be re-opened
The world's biggest diamond producing company, Russia's Alrosa, will restart production at Mir, a mine in the Yakutia region of the far east, shut since a deadly 2017 flood, the region's governor Aysen Nikolaev said in an interview. Yakutia, the world's biggest province by area, comprising half of Russia's vast far east, derives much of its revenue from a 33% stake in Alrosa, and Nikolaev sits on the firm's board.

Jan 29 - Record palladium-platinum price gap to narrow in 2021
Palladium will cost on average more than twice as much as platinum this year, but that premium will narrow in 2021 as prices slip from record highs and platinum gains ground, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday. The sister metals are both used by automakers to reduce harmful vehicle emissions. Platinum is also used to make jewellery.

Jan 29 - Copper crashes as virus chills the China recovery story: Andy Home
The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan has hit industrial metals hard. The London Metal Exchange's (LME) index of base metal prices has plunged 7% since the first reports of the virus started dominating the headlines just over a week ago. Copper has been savaged. 

Jan 29 - Global turmoil to be good for gold - poll
Gold prices will hold above $1,500 an ounce this year and make modest gains in 2021 as low interest rates and geopolitical uncertainly bolster its appeal, while silver prices will begin to catch up, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday. Gold is traditionally seen as a safe store of value during times of turmoil and becomes more popular when other assets offer low returns. 

Jan 29 - Miner Kirkland wins shareholder backing for C$4.4 bln Detour takeover
Canadian miner Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd's takeover offer of C$4.4 billion ($3.35 billion) for rival Detour Gold Corp won shareholders' support at both companies on Tuesday, a person familiar with the votings said. Toronto-listed Kirkland won the backing of about 99% of its shareholders, and almost 86% of Detour's at separate meetings held on Tuesday.

Jan 29 - Freeport CEO 'looking forward' to deals once expansion projects done
Freeport-McMoran Inc, the world's largest publicly traded copper producer, would consider acquisitions, mergers or other deals once three ongoing expansion projects finish by 2022, Chief Executive Richard Adkerson said in an interview on Tuesday. Demand for copper is projected to surge this decade because of the rising popularity of electric vehicles, which use twice as much copper as internal combustion engines.

Jan 29 - Global steel output rose 3.4% in 2019 - World Steel Association
Global crude steel production rose to 1.87 billion tonnes last year, up 3.4% from 2018, figures from the World Steel Association show. Crude steel output from China, the world's top producer and consumer of the alloy, gained 8.3% to 996.3 million tonnes, according to Monday's figures.

Jan 29 - Fresnillo annual gold output falls on Noche Buena mine closure
Precious metals miner Fresnillo said on Wednesday its annual gold production fell 5.1%, hurt by planned closure of Noche Buena mine and lower grade output from San Julián project in Mexico. The company, which operates seven mines in Mexico, said it produced 875.9 kilo ounces (koz) of gold in the year ended Dec. 31, down from 923 koz in the previous year. 

Jan 29 - Australia gold project sale delayed as buyer quarantined over coronavirus
The sale of a small gold project in Australia has been delayed after a member of the Hong Kong-based buyer's family showed symptoms of coronavirus, leading to the whole family being quarantined, the vendor said on Wednesday. Australia's Ausmex Mining Group said it had agreed to extend the settlement for the A$4 million ($2.7 million) sale of its Gilded Rose Gold project in Queensland to Jin Resources (HK) Ltd.

Jan 29 - Uptick in world growth, supply constraints to lift copper prices - poll
The price of copper is expected to climb this year, supported by a recovery in global economic growth and problems with supply, a Reuters poll showed. The bulk of the poll was conducted between Jan. 8 and Jan. 20, before a coronavirus outbreak in China worsened, knocking financial markets including base metals.

Jan 29 - Brazil miner Vale suspends employee travel to China over coronavirus
Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Tuesday it would suspend travel by its employees to and from China indefinitely as a precaution amid an outbreak of a new coronavirus. Vale, the world's largest iron ore miner, said its employees in China will work remotely and the company will continue to operate normally at Asian ports.

Jan 29 - Miner Continental's investors approve sale to China's Zijin
Canadian miner Continental Gold Inc said on Tuesday its shareholders have voted in favour of a C$1.3 billion ($989.19 million) takeover offer from China's Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd. Of the cast votes, 98.63% were in favour of the deal, the company said. State-backed Zijin aims to secure Continental Gold's flagship Buritica gold project in Colombia.

Jan 28 - Barrick to sell gold worth up to $280 mln as export ban lifted
Barrick Gold will start to ship gold worth up to $280 million from Tanzania, chief executive Mark Bristow said on Monday, after the government lifted an export ban following the resolution of a three-year tax dispute. The world's second-largest gold miner signed a deal on Friday with Tanzania's government, ending a row that dated back to when Acacia Mining ran the Tanzanian operations.

Jan 28 - Murder charges in Vale dam collapse case complicate Brazilian probes
The filing of murder charges against the former CEO of Brazilian miner Vale SA and 15 others for a 2019 dam collapse that killed more than 250 people was hailed by victims' families as a major step in bringing those responsible to justice. But the move by state prosecutors in Brazil's Minas Gerais risks driving a wedge between their investigation and a parallel probe at the federal level, complicating the judicial process and potentially making convictions less likely, according to a lawyer with knowledge of the case and other legal experts.

Jan 28 - Amplats expects profit jump on higher metals prices
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) expects full-year profits to more than double helped by higher metals prices and steady operational performance despite power cuts, it said on Tuesday. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) for 2019 are expected to rise to between 66.89 rand and 72.65 rand per share, up as much as 151% from 28.93 rand the previous year.

Jan 28 - China's Tangshan city suspends public transit to prevent spread of coronavirus
Tangshan, China's largest steelmaking city in northern Hebei province, announced on Tuesday morning that it is suspending all public transit within the city in an effort to prevent the further spread of the new coronavirus. The statement was posted on the city government's official Weibo account. China is now in the grips of a new coronavirus outbreak that has killed 81 people and has shutdown many of the largest cities in central Hubei province.

Jan 27 - Trump increases tariffs on derivative steel, aluminum products from some countries
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation increasing tariffs on derivative steel products by an additional 25 percent and boosting duties on derivative aluminum products by an additional 10 percent. Trump said Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea are exempt from the additional tariffs on derivative steel products, and Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico are exempt from the added duties on derivative aluminum articles.

Jan 27 - Barrick Gold's 'long safari' ends with Tanzania deal
Canada's Barrick Gold Corp signed a deal with Tanzania on Friday in which the government will take stakes in three gold mines, ending a long-running tax dispute and setting a template for negotiations with other firms. It was signed by Barrick CEO Mark Bristow and Tanzanian minerals minister Doto Biteko at a ceremony in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

Jan 27 - Chile's Codelco seeks approvals to explore for lithium at Maricunga
Chile state miner Codelco filed with regulators on Friday a plan to begin exploration for lithium in its Maricunga salt flat holdings, a key step in advancing development of the country's second richest deposit of the metal needed for batteries. The proposal, if approved, would allow Codelco, the world's top producer of copper, to pinpoint concentrations of lithium on the flat, estimate the size of the resource and identify necessary next steps. 

Jan 27 - One year after Vale dam break, pain runs deep in Brazil mine disaster town
Exactly one year ago a tailings dam in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho collapsed, killing more than 250 people in one of the world's worst mining disasters. For survivors and relatives of the victims still searching for answers and justice, time has been no healer. 

Jan 27 - Armenian PM urges gold mine protesters to lift blockade
Armenia's prime minister called on Saturday for environmental protesters to end their 18-month-old blockade of a foreign-owned gold mine, saying the protest was not in the national interest. The Amulsar gold mine, which is located in a remote mountainous region, has been in development by Anglo-American mining firm Lydian International since 2016, with an investment of nearly $500 million so far.

Jan 27 - Speculators cut bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Jan. 21, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also increased their net long position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Jan 27 - Petra Diamonds first-half revenue drops on lower prices
Petra Diamonds on Monday said its first-half revenue fell 6%, dented by lower prices as the diamond industry grappled with soft demand from China following a trade dispute with the United States and amid anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Revenue for the six months ended Dec. 31, came in at $193.9 million compared with $207.1 million last year, the African diamond miner said.

Jan 27 - China's Jingye, British Steel unions agree to up to 500 job cuts
UK trade unions have reached a deal with China's Jingye Group about its provisional deal to buy British Steel, acknowledging that up to 500 jobs will go in exchange for protecting pay and employment terms. "The sale to Jingye is now firmly in sight and we would encourage all stakeholders in the business to focus on reaching a positive conclusion," three trade unions said in a joint statement released on Friday.

Jan 24 - Freeport shares dented by output drop, higher 2020 spending
Freeport-McMoRan Inc reported a fall in fourth-quarter copper output and said it expected higher spending in 2020 as it transitions its giant Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia to underground mining, sending its shares down 9%. The U.S. miner has spent billions of dollars in the switch from a depleting open pit mine and to develop a coexisting underground mine that would help achieve low cost, long life production and generate significant future cash flows.

Jan 24 - Australia's Lynas Corp on track to get new Malaysia permit by March
Australia's Lynas Corp posted a 7.4% rise in quarterly revenue on Friday as higher demand for rare earth elements countered weaker prices and the miner said it was on track to get its processing license renewed by Malaysia in March. The biggest rare earths producer outside of China said quarterly production of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), used in magnets utilized in electric vehicles and wind turbines, rose to 1,270 tonnes from 1,223 tonnes a year earlier.

Jan 24 - Where's has all the metal gone? LME zinc market starved of stock: Andy Home
"Zinc - Where's the metal?" The question was posed by analysts at ICBC Standard Bank in a research note published in February last year. One year on and the question is more relevant than ever. London Metal Exchange (LME) zinc stocks totalled 98,000 tonnes in the middle of February 2019.

Jan 24 - Global lead market widens surplus in November - ILZSG
The global lead market widened its surplus to 34,600 tonnes in November from a revised 1,500 tonnes in October, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showed. For the first eleven months of the year, the lead deficit narrowed to 33,000 tonnes from 82,000 tonnes during the same period of 2018, ILZSG data showed.

Jan 24 - China to halt capacity swaps in steel industry from Jan 24
China will stop approving new capacity and capacity swaps for steel projects from Jan. 24, the country's state planner said on Thursday, as the government wants to review all the projects first. Crude steel production in China, the world's top steel producer, climbed to a record high just shy of 1 billion tonnes last year despite Beijing's efforts to ease oversupply as some mills used swaps as an excuse to add new capacity.

Jan 24 - ERG suspends Zambia refinery on shortage of cobalt, copper concentrates
Eurasia Resources Group's (ERG) Africa unit said on Thursday it will suspend operations at Chambishi Metals in Zambia due to a shortage of copper and cobalt concentrates required to produce cathode. Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer, has introduced a 5% import tax on raw materials which has hobbled the flow of concentrates from mines in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Jan 24 - Germany to urge next Bolivian leaders to revive lithium deal
Germany will seek talks with Bolivia's next government to revive a deal to exploit jointly huge lithium reserves in the Andean country, as it works to secure supplies for production of electric cars in Europe's largest economy, officials said. Bolivia and Germany signed a lithium joint venture in 2018 following three years of intense lobbying from Berlin, which said a small family-run company from Germany was a better bet than its Chinese rivals. 

Jan 24 - Russia's NLMK says 2020 capex to exceed $900 mln – Ifax
Russian steelmaker NLMK sees its capital expenditure exceeding $900 million in 2020, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday, citing chief executive Grigory Fedorishin. "We confirm capex in 2019 at $1 billion, as previously announced," Fedorishin was quoted as saying. 

Jan 24 - Private equity fund GSOL eyes takeovers to expand ferronickel business
A private equity fund, which has grown in five years to be the world's second biggest producer of stainless steel ingredient ferronickel, is holding talks about four or five potential acquisitions, one of its executives told Reuters. The Global Special Opportunities Ltd (GSOL) fund aims to boost its output of 50,000 tonnes a year of ferronickel both by expanding its current two operations and possible takeovers, Marcos Camhis said.

Jan 24 - Australia's Wesfarmers defers lithium project investment decision
Australia's Wesfarmers Ltd has delayed its final investment decision on the Mt Holland lithium project by a year to the first quarter of 2021, it said on Thursday, as it focuses on cost-cutting amid weakening prices of the metal. The decision follows a review in November of a feasibility study run by Covalent Lithium, a joint venture between Wesfarmers and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, one of the world's largest producers of lithium products.

Jan 23 - Indonesia 2019 nickel ore output surges, 2020 output to slow -official
Indonesia's 2019 nickel ore output stood at 52.8 million tonnes, Director of Minerals Yunus Saefulhak at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said on Thursday, more than double production of 22.1 million tonnes a year earlier. Saefulhak said he expects miners of low grade nickel ore, however, to lower their production this year as the country stopped ore exports at the start of 2020. Most local smelters prefer higher grade nickel ore. 

Jan 23 - China virus outbreak a further risk to iron ore, steel outlook: Russell
The risk to commodity demand from the spread of a new flu-like virus in China has so far focused on crude oil and related products such as jet fuel, but the iron ore and steel markets will also be keeping a nervous watching brief. The effective quarantining of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the new strain of coronavirus emerged, sounds like a major step to combat the virus which has so far killed 17 people and infected several hundred more. 

Jan 23 - Brazil mine boosts Anglo American output as Chile drought hurts copper growth
Anglo American on Thursday reported a 4% increase in fourth-quarter production, as it ramped up its Brazilian Minas-Rio mine, while water shortages at its Los Bronces mine in Chile weighed on the global miner's copper output. Copper production dropped 13% to 159 kilo tonnes (kt) and output from the Los Bronces mine slumped 28% for the quarter, hurt by the drought.

Jan 23 - Rhodium rally goes supersonic as auto makers clamour for supplies
A rally in rhodium, a precious metal used to reduce vehicle emissions, has exploded into high gear, with surging demand and an uncertain supply outlook pushing prices up 40% in just three weeks to near record highs. Rhodium is used to neutralise nitrous oxides in car exhausts, and increasingly stringent emissions regulations, particularly in China, are forcing auto makers to use more of the metal. 

Jan 23 - Chinese steelmaker HBIS in yuan-denominated iron ore deal with Brazil's Vale
HBIS Group, China's second-biggest steelmaker, on Wednesday said its trading arm had secured two letters of credit to purchase iron ore from Brazil's Vale in a 200 million yuan ($29 million) contract denominated in the Chinese currency. China is the world's biggest iron ore consumer and has been trying to increase its influence over pricing of the steelmaking raw material, for which contracts are usually in dollars, and the Vale deal marks the first yuan-denominated deal for HBIS with an overseas ore supplier. 

Jan 23 - Nigeria to resume mining in Zamfara state in Q1 - minister
Nigeria will lift a ban on mining in Zamfara state by the end of March after the government deployed a surveillance team to stifle illegal activity in the northwestern region, the minister of mines and steel development said. The government suspended operations in April on concerns that illegal mining was connected to a surge in banditry in the state that was the worst hit by a wave of violence that killed dozens of people and displaced thousands.

Jan 22 - Brazil charges ex-Vale CEO with homicide for dam disaster
Brazilian state prosecutors on Tuesday charged Fabio Schvartsman, the former chief executive of mining giant Vale SA, and 15 other people with homicide for a dam disaster last year that killed more than 250 people, according to the charging document seen by Reuters. In addition to homicide charges, Vale and TUV SUD, the German company responsible for inspecting the dam, were charged with environmental crimes. Of the 16 individuals charged, 11 had worked for Vale and five for TUV SUD, prosecutors said. 

Jan 22 - China's gold consumption falls on high prices, economic slowdown
China's gold consumption fell for the first time in three years in 2019, figures released by its industry association showed on Tuesday, as high prices and an economic slowdown hit buying in the world's biggest market for the metal. China consumed 1,002.8 tonnes of gold in 2019, down 12.9% year-on-year, the China Gold Association said in a statement on its website.

Jan 22 - Global output drop fails to disperse aluminium gloom: Andy Home
Global aluminium production fell by 1.0% last year in its first annual contraction since the Global Financial Crisis in 2009. That should have been good news for the aluminium price, but London Metal Exchange three-month metal spent most of last year grinding steadily lower. 

Jan 22 - Davos: Easing U.S.-China dispute could boost copper to high $6,000s - ERG CEO
An easing in the U.S.-China trade dispute could push copper prices to the high $6,000s in 2020, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) Chief Executive Benedikt Sobotka said on Tuesday in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. The copper market's fundamentals will be strong in 2020 driven by Chinese infrastructure investment, electric vehicles and charging stations, Sobotka told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting.

Jan 22 - Shareholder in Russia's Alrosa proposes selling up to $1 bln of diamonds to Gokhran – Ifax
The government of Russia's Yakutia region, a major shareholder in diamond producer Alrosa, has proposed that precious metals and gems repository Gokhran buy $0.5-$1 billion of the firm's rough diamonds this year, Interfax news agency reported. The proposal was made to President Vladimir Putin and Russia's finance ministry, which is responsible for Gokhran within the government, Interfax quoted Aysen Nikolaev, the head of Yakutia region, as saying on Tuesday.

Jan 22 - Global nickel market deficit tightens to 1,266 T in Nov – INSG
The global nickel market deficit tightened to 1,266 tonnes in November from a revised shortfall of 3,077 tonnes in the previous month, the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) said on Tuesday. For the first 11 months of 2019, there was a global deficit of 53,373 tonnes, compared with a deficit of 141,968 tonnes in the same period in 2018, Lisbon-based INSG added.

Jan 22 - Antofagasta quarterly output hit by Chile protests, labour strike
Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc on Wednesday reported a 5.8% drop in fourth-quarter copper production, plagued by supply and transportation disruptions because of civil unrest in Chile that started in October last year. The copper miner said production of the red metal fell to 185.5 kilotonnes (kt) in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from 197 kt in the previous quarter. 

Jan 22 - Ivory Coast gold output up 35% in 2019 after new mine starts
Ivory Coast produced a record 32.478 tonnes of gold in 2019, up 35% from 24.06 tonnes in 2018, data from the mine and geology ministry seen by Reuters showed on Tuesday. The rise was partly explained by the start of production in the northern mine of Sissingue operated by Perseus Mining Limited, mining industry officials said.

Jan 22 - Russia's Potanin buys partner's stake in copper and gold mine near China
Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin has bought his partner Grigory Berezkin's stake in the Bystrinsky mine in Russia's Far East, representatives for the two businessmen said on Tuesday. Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel, known as Nornickel and which is co-owned by Potanin and holds a 50% stake in the remote copper and gold mine, has been looking for a partner in the ambitious project for several years.

Jan 22 - Gold Fields hires advisor to sell stake in Chilean gold project – sources
South African miner Gold Fields Ltd has hired investment bank RBC Capital Markets to explore the sale of a 30% stake in its gold project in northern Chile, two sources said. The gold sector has seen two multi-billion dollar takeovers over the last 18 months and bankers and investors say a buoyant gold market could drive further activity.

Jan 22 - China's Cedar buys steel trading group Stemcor
Chinese commodities group Cedar Holdings has agreed to buy the Stemcor Group, one of the world's biggest steel traders, for an undisclosed sum, Stemcor said on Tuesday. The biggest shareholder of London-based Stemcor is U.S. private equity group Apollo Global Management.

Jan 21 - Funds buy into copper as trade war uncertainty lifts: Andy Home
New year, new trade deal. The Phase 1 agreement signed by the United States and China may raise as many questions as it answers, but it does at least dispel some of the global trade uncertainty weighing on base metal prices. It's certainly been enough to buoy copper, which spent much of last year under selling pressure from funds looking for a metallic trade-war trade

Jan 21 - China's refined copper, lead and zinc output hit record highs in December
China's refined copper output rose 11.6% year-on-year in December to a monthly record high of 930,000 tonnes, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday. The total was also up 2.3% from November, which had set the previous record. 

Jan 21 - Copper market in 33,000 tonnes deficit in Oct 2019 – ICSG
The global world refined copper market showed a 33,000 tonnes deficit in October, compared with a 89,000 tonnes deficit in September, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in its latest monthly bulletin. For the first 10 months of the year, the market was in a 439,000 tonnes deficit compared with a 345,000 tonnes deficit in the same period a year earlier, the ICSG said.

Jan 21 - Russia's Mechel won't buy back stake in Elga coal mine
Russian steel and coal producer Mechel has decided not to buy back a stake in its biggest asset, the Elga coal mine in Russia's far east, its creditor Gazprombank, which has held the stake since 2016, said on Tuesday. Mechel is engaged in talks with its creditors about restructuring $6 billion in loans. 

Jan 21 - Australia's Western Areas wins contracts to supply nickel to BHP unit, Jinchuan
Australian nickel miner Western Areas on Tuesday said it has won new contracts to supply high grade concentrate from its Forrestania operations to BHP unit Nickel West China's Jinchuan Co Ltd. The new contract with Nickel West is for three years, starting Feb. 1, supplying 10,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate per year, Western Areas said in a statement.

Jan 21 - Lithium Americas moves closer to Nevada mine approval
U.S. regulators have moved a step closer toward approving Lithium Americas Corp's Nevada mine for the white metal, launching a review process that could result in final permits to build by 2021. The step comes as U.S. politicians have been pushing for increased domestic mining of specialized minerals. Lithium is used to make lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. 

Jan 21 - GFG Alliance to group aluminium assets into new firm based in Paris
London-based conglomerate GFG Alliance plans to merge its aluminium assets into a new company, ALVANCE, headquartered in Paris, it said on Monday. The privately-held GFG Alliance, which holds the family interests of British commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, said last October it was merging its steel operations ahead of a possible listing. 

Jan 21 - Glencore, Merafe could cut up to 665 jobs at South African smelter
Joint venture partners Glencore and Merafe Resources could cut up to 665 jobs at their Rustenburg ferrochrome smelter in South Africa because of problems including power cuts and rising electricity tariffs. The potential job cuts highlight the risks posed to Africa's most industrialised economy by struggling state power utility Eskom, which is battling breakdowns at its creaking coal-fired power plants and is mired in a financial crisis.

Jan 20 - New York will remain closed today due to Martin Luther King Day.

Jan 20 - China publishes new standards for copper and aluminium scrap
China's market regulator published new standards for high-grade copper scrap and aluminium scrap metal on Sunday, shedding some light on what material will be allowed into the country from the second half of this year. Details of the new standards, which take effect on July 1, have been highly anticipated by metals traders eager to know if they will still be able to ship their scrap into China, the world's biggest metals consumer, as it bolsters its environmental crackdown on imports of solid waste. 

Jan 20 - "There's no metal": Record-breaking palladium races higher
A squeeze in ready availability of automotive metal palladium has driven up already record-high prices by 25% in just two weeks, accelerating a four-year rally and stoking expectations for further gains, analysts said. A long-term supply deficit has led prices of the metal, used mainly in engine exhausts to curb harmful emissions, to double over the last year. 

Jan 20 - Low inventories to frustrate zinc bears
Historically low stocks of zinc in London Metal Exchange registered warehouses are likely to fuel price volatility and confound those investors looking at an oversupplied market and expecting significantly lower prices. Stocks of zinc in LME warehouses are close to 20-year lows at around 50,000 tonnes, having been on a downtrend since October 2015 when mining giant Glencore shut 500,000 tonnes of capacity because of low prices.

Jan 20 - Speculators cut bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Jan. 14, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also increased their net long position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Jan 20 - Tokyo Steel to hold product prices steady for 4th straight month
Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd said on Monday it would keep steel product prices unchanged for a fourth straight month in February, as it awaited confirmation that a recovery in steel markets would continue both at home and abroad. Japan's top electric-arc furnace steelmaker held prices steady for all of its steel products in January, including its main H-shaped beams. 

Jan 20 - Outokumpu says Q4 profit better than expected
Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu said on Monday its October-December core operating profit would be better than expected due to positive raw material impacts, including improved raw material efficiency and hedging. Outokumpu said its fourth quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would be around 70 million euros ($77.7 million). 

Jan 20 - Australia's Orocobre signs lithium supply deals with Chinese firms
Australia's Orocobre Ltd said on Monday that two contracts were signed for the supply of battery grade lithium carbonate to Chinese cathode manufacturers from its flagship Olaroz Lithium project. The Olaroz project in Argentina is a joint venture between Orocobre, Japan's Toyota Tsusho Corp, and Jujuy Energia y Minera Sociedad del Estado, a mining investment firm owned by the local government. 

Jan 20 - Fanya indium stockpile sold to Kunming Rongke for $416 mln in China auction
A vast stockpile of the indium formerly held by China's Fanya Metal Exchange was sold on Saturday, in a second attempt, as Kunming Rongke New Materials bid around $416 million for the hoard. The fate of the 3,609.46 tonnes of indium – several years’ worth of global supply of the metal used in flat-panel displays - was being closely watched by minor metals traders and Fanya creditors seeking to recover their money after the bourse collapsed in 2015.

Jan 17 - China's annual aluminium output slips for first time in decade
China's annual aluminium production fell for the first time in 10 years in 2019, official data showed on Friday, hit by softer demand amid the Sino-U.S. trade row and large-scale smelter outages. Aluminium output dropped to 35.04 million tonnes last year, down 0.9% from record levels a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported.

Jan 17 - China 2019 crude steel output jumps 8.3%, sets 2nd straight annual record
Crude steel production in China climbed to a record just shy of 1 billion tonnes in 2019, boosted by a resilient property market and robust demand as Beijing beefed up infrastructure spending in a bid to weather a slowdown in economic growth. The world's biggest steelmaker churned out 996.34 million tonnes of crude steel in 2019, up 8.3% from 2018's previous record, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday. 

Jan 17 - Rio Tinto's full-year iron ore shipments drop on disruptions from cyclone and fire
Rio Tinto on Friday posted a 3% drop in iron ore shipments in 2019 as the Anglo-Australian miner's operations faced disruptions due to cyclone and a fire at a port facility. Iron ore shipped from Australia's Pilbara region in 2019 was 327.4 million tonnes, the company said, well within its forecast of 320 million tonnes to 330 million tonnes.

Jan 17 - Higher Nevada production pushes up Barrick Gold's gold output forecasts
Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp's fourth-quarter gold production estimates came above analysts' expectations on Thursday, as its Nevada Gold Mines joint venture with Newmont Corp yielded more of the precious metal. The company said it expects the joint venture - the world's biggest gold complex - to produce 585 million ounces of gold for the three months ended Dec. 31.

Jan 17 - Lynas says lawsuit filed challenging Malaysian rare earths plant renewal
Australia's Lynas Corp Ltd said on Friday that three individuals had filed a court case in Malaysia challenging the local government's decision to renew the rare earths miner's operating licence last year. Lynas, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, 27 other ministers and cabinet members, and the country's Atomic Energy Licensing Board were among those named as respondents in the lawsuit, Lynas said.

Jan 17 - LME stock surge grounds high-flying nickel, but for how long? Andy Home
Nickel, the best performer among the base metals last year, is currently getting a reality check in the form of surging exchange stocks. London Metal Exchange (LME) inventory has more than doubled in the space of little more than a month, with almost 120,000 tonnes of metal flooding into registered warehouses. 

Jan 17 - Kirkland's C$4.4 bln bid for Detour wins backing from proxy advisory firms
Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd's C$4.4 billion ($3.4 billion)all-stock offer to buy rival Detour Gold Corp has won backing from two influential proxy advisory firms on grounds the target's shareholders would reap benefits from a larger company, bolstering chances of the deal going ahead. Detour Gold said on Thursday that Glass Lewis & Co and Institutional Shareholder Services Inc recommended shareholders vote for in favor of the takeover, which Kirkland has said will generate up to $100 million in annual savings and add 600,000 ounces to its annual capacity.

Jan 17 - Sibanye cuts fewer jobs than planned in Marikana restructuring
South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater said on Thursday it has concluded a consultation process that reduced the number of proposed job cuts as it restructures the loss-making Marikana operations it acquired last year. In September, Sibanye said it planned to cut around 5,270 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring process aimed at returning the mine to profit and protecting its remaining shafts. 

Jan 17 - Peruvian mining minister says lithium mining regulation 'ready this year'
Peruvian energy and mining minister Juan Carlos Liu said on Thursday he was confident Peru would have regulations for the exploitation of lithium ready in the coming year. Canada's Plateau Energy Metals announced in 2018 that it had found 2.5 million tons of high-grade lithium resources and 124 million pounds of uranium in its Falchani deposit in the Peruvian region of Puno.

Jan 16 - China to buy rare earths from U.S. as part of trade pact
China has agreed to buy two types of rare earth metals from the United States as part of an initial trade deal inked on Wednesday, a move likely to boost U.S. production of the strategic minerals. The agreement, signed in Washington by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump, gives China two years to ramp up purchases of hundreds of U.S. products, including scandium and yttrium, two of the 17 rare earths commonly used in lighting and computers. 

Jan 16 - Barrick Gold forges ahead on Papua New Guinea mine in face of local backlash
Barrick Gold Corp is set to elevate its troubled Papua New Guinea mine to its top-tier assets, despite landowner and government demands to cede a larger stake and deteriorating security at the joint venture with China's Zijin Mining. With a 20-year lease renewal application in the balance, Barrick has faced backlash from Papua New Guinea (PNG) landowners and residents. Critics say the Porgera mine has polluted the water supply and created other environmental and social problems, with minimal economic returns for locals.

Jan 16 - Bolivia's new lithium tsar says country should go it alone
The new chief of Bolivia's state-owned lithium company YLB plans strict limits on foreign investment in extraction and processing of the white metal key to electric vehicle batteries, he told Reuters in his first interview with international media since taking the reins this month. Juan Carlos Zuleta, a lithium expert who has worked in Chile and Bolivia, said a deal with a German firm that was aborted last year would remained shelved, while another with a Chinese partner was being reassessed.

Jan 16 - Race to refine: the bid to clean up Africa’s gold rush
In a refinery just outside Uganda's main airport, workers slip bars of freshly refined gold into clear plastic bags sealed with a sticker of the national flag - black, yellow and red - and the label "Ugandan's Treasure." Uganda produces little gold of its own. Alain Goetz, who set up the refinery, says that by branding gold from abroad as Ugandan, the operation is merely imitating others - for example, the Swiss don't mine the gold they refine in Switzerland. 

Jan 16 - Chile regulator says lithium miner SQM compliance plan adequate, appeals lower court decision
Chile's environmental regulator on Wednesday defended in court its approval of a plan by top lithium miner SQM to remediate damage to the Atacama salt flat, appealing a lower court decision to scrap the agreement and setting the stage for a new and prolonged legal battle. Chile's Environmental Superintendent (SMA) blessed SQM's $25 million compliance plan in 2019 after a multi-year investigation that found SQM had over-drawn lithium-rich brine from the salt flat. 

Jan 16 - Australia's South32 posts drop in manganese output, cuts trucking costs
Diversified miner South32 Ltd said on Thursday its manganese ore production slipped in the second quarter and it has managed to cut its trucking costs in South Africa amid lower commodity prices. The company, which also operates in Brazil, said its manganese output fell to 1.40 million wet metric tonnes (wmt) in the December quarter from 1.44 million wmt a year earlier, but was roughly in line with the UBS estimate.

Jan 16 - Congo opens Chinese-owned Deziwa copper and cobalt mine
The Democratic Republic of Congo's state mining company Gécamines on Wednesday opened the Deziwa copper and cobalt mine and processing plant, part of a joint venture majority-owned by China Nonferrous Metal Mining Company (CNMC). The Deziwa deposit, around 35 kilometres east of Kolwezi, is estimated to hold 4.6 million tonnes of copper and 420,000 tonnes of cobalt. 

Jan 16 - Ecuador sends first export of copper concentrate from Chinese-owned Mirador mine
Ecuador made its first export of 22,000 tons of copper concentrate from the Chinese-owned Mirador mining project, marking a new milestone in market-friendly President Lenin Moreno's effort to develop the country's large-scale mining industry, the energy ministry said on Wednesday. Ecuador, an Andean country neighboring No. 2 copper producer Peru, has large mineral reserves but is only beginning to establish industrial-scale mining projects.

Jan 15 - Australia's Fortescue eyes modest 2020 growth for Chinese steel output
China's steel production is expected to grow only modestly this year, driven by rising urbanization and Belt and Road Initiative projects, Australia's Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said on Wednesday. Gaines, who heads the world's No. 4 iron ore producer, said she expected China to produce around a billion tonnes of steel in 2019, with Chinese data showing 7% growth for the first 11 months of the year.

Jan 15 - Another spin of the giant LME aluminium stocks carousel: Andy Home
The giant London Metal Exchange (LME) aluminium stocks carousel is spinning again. LME-registered inventory surged by 58% to a two-year high of 1.49 million tonnes between the middle of November and the middle of December as 600,000 tonnes of metal flooded into exchange warehouses. No sooner had it arrived than the cancellations started. A total 633,675 tonnes have been earmarked for physical load-out since Dec. 16, including another 35,075 tonnes on Monday. 

Jan 15 - Global copper smelting activity creeps up in December - satellite index
Global refined copper production edged higher in December, according to an index based on satellite surveillance of copper plants. Copper smelting activity in China, however, hit new lows for the year in the second half of the month, the index data released on Tuesday showed.

Jan 15 - Endeavour Mining drops takeover bid for Centamin due to lack of information
Endeavour Mining abandoned its 1.5 billion pound ($1.9 billion) pursuit of gold miner Centamin on Tuesday, citing a lack of information on its target while Centamin maintained the proposal was too low. Emboldened by rising commodity prices, the gold industry has seen a flurry of deals since the end of 2018 as companies attempt to squeeze value from operations after years of subdued activity and low returns.

Jan 15 - Chile's Codelco says uncovered $22 mln insurance fraud involving unions
Chile's state-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, said on Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit over an alleged scam in insurance contracts drawn up by unions for workers at its Chuquicamata and Radomiro Tomic mines. The firm said in a statement that inflated premiums for life and personal accident insurance had cost $22 million between 2005 and 2018, half of which had been borne by the company and half by its workers. 

Jan 15 - Iran's metals under new U.S. sanctions
The United States sanctioned 17 Iranian metals producers and mining companies on Friday but the impact to global supply would be minimal as the country is not a major producer, analysts say. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions, which are in addition to those imposed in May 2009, were as a result of Iran's attack on U.S. troops in Iraq last week.

Jan 15 - Hochschild Mining cuts 2020 gold production outlook
Precious metals miner Hochschild Mining expects total gold production in 2020 to be lower than expected even as it reported better-than-anticipated output in 2019, boosted by record production at its Inmaculada mine in southern Peru. Hochschild, which operates two mines in southern Peru and one in Argentina, said it expects to produce 422,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2020, lower than its earlier forecast of 432,000 gold equivalent ounces.

Jan 15 - Australian Vanadium signs agreement with Chinese steelmaker for potential purchases and investment
Australian Vanadium Ltd (AVL) said on Wednesday it penned a non-binding agreement with a unit of steelmaker HBIS Group Chengsteel that could see the Chinese firm buy vanadium and invest in the Perth-based firm's flagship project. AVL signed a letter of intent with Hebei Yanshan Vanadium and Titanium Industry Technology Research Co Ltd that will allow both companies to negotiate a binding agreement for the sale of vanadium products. 

Jan 15 - Anglo Asian's Azerbaijan gold output declines 4% in 2019
Azerbaijan's leading gold mining company, Anglo Asian Mining Plc, said on Tuesday its gold output declined 4% in 2019 to 70,098 ounces from 72,798 ounces in 2018. Anglo Asian produces gold at Gedabek and other Azeri mines in a joint venture with the state in which the London-listed company holds a 51% stake.

Jan 14 - China Dec copper imports hit highest since March 2016; annual shipments fall
China's unwrought copper imports rose 9.1% in December from the previous month to their highest since March 2016, customs data showed on Tuesday, as improving industrial activity and dwindling scrap metal supply lifted demand. Imports of unwrought copper, including anode, refined and semi-finished copper products into China, the world's biggest copper consumer, stood at 527,000 tonnes last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. 

Jan 14 - China steel mills cut back on high-grade iron ore as margins slump
China's appetite for high-grade iron ore this winter looks set to drop from the peaks hit in recent years as steel mills try to cut costs and prop up profit margins weighed down by the nation's slowing economy, industry sources said. Demand for high-grade iron ore, which produces more molten iron than the same amount of lower grades of the steelmaking raw material, typically climbs from November to March, when China's winter anti-smog campaign forces smokestack industries to curtail output and use cleaner inputs to help clear the air. 

Jan 14 - China's 2019 iron ore imports rise to second-highest ever
China's iron ore imports rose 0.47% in 2019 to hover just below their all-time annual peak, fuelled by strong demand at steel mills and a second-half recovery in shipments from big miners after disruptions earlier in the year. The world's top steel producer brought in 1.069 billion tonnes of iron ore in 2019, rising from 1.064 billion tonnes a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday. 

Jan 14 - Codelco may not renew copper supply deal with troubled Chinese smelter - sources
Top copper miner Codelco may not renew an agreement to supply copper concentrate to China's Shandong Fangyuan for 2020 because of financial problems at the private smelter, three sources with knowledge of the matter said. Copper smelters in China are battling razor-thin margins and sliding profits brought on by low treatment charges paid by miners for converting concentrate into refined metal.

Jan 14 - China rare earth exports rebound in Dec, but annual shipments lowest since 2015
China's rare earth exports bounced back in December from a four-and-a-half-year low the previous month as buyers ramped up purchases ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, though annual shipments still sank to their lowest in four years, hit by weaker global manufacturing demand. China, the world's dominant producer of rare earths - a group of 17 minerals used in consumer electronics and military equipment - exported 3,657 tonnes of the material in December, data from the General Administration of Customs released on Tuesday showed. 

Jan 14 - China's commodity appetite robust in 2019, undimmed by trade dispute: Russell
China's imports of major commodities ended last year with a bang, with strong gains showing the appetite of the world's largest importer of natural resources remains robust despite the trade dispute with the United States. The exception was coal, but December's paltry imports of the polluting fuel were the result of cargoes not being cleared by customs in response to Beijing's wishes to put a cap on purchases from overseas.

Jan 13 - As metal trade shrinks, exchanges fight back with new products: Andy Home
Base metals trading volumes shrank on all three major global exchanges last year as trade war uncertainty and range-bound markets dampened speculative activity. 'Doctor Copper' has long been a favourite metallic play among punters and sliding volumes were symptomatic of a sector that was largely out of favour with the money men. 

Jan 13 - India's NMDC lined up to mine multibillion-dollar diamond deposit
State-owned Indian miner NMDC is poised to win a multibillion-dollar contract to explore and mine diamonds at a large project abandoned by global miner Rio Tinto, a leading local government official told Reuters. The central state of Madhya Pradesh has asked NMDC to explore the Bunder deposits, which could contain millions of carats of diamonds, Neeraj Mandloi, principal secretary at the state's Mineral Resource Department, told Reuters on Friday.

Jan 13 - U.S. imposes more sanctions on Iran after missile attacks in Iraq
The United States imposed more sanctions on Iran on Friday in retaliation for its missile attack on U.S. forces in Iraq this week and vowed to tighten the economic screws if Tehran continued "terrorist" acts or pursued a nuclear bomb. The targets of the sanctions included Iran's manufacturing, mining and textile sectors as well as senior Iranian officials who Washington said were involved in the Jan. 8 attack on military bases housing U.S. troops.

Jan 13 - Norsk Hydro to get boost from trend towards low-carbon construction
Metals maker Norsk Hydro expects its sale of low-carbon aluminium made from recycled drink cans and other scrap to more than double this year and to further increase in 2021 and beyond, the Norwegian company told Reuters. While overall global aluminium demand is largely stagnant, the company found that property developers in Europe, North America and elsewhere are increasingly willing to pay more for metal that can help to lower their carbon footprint.

Jan 13 - Australia's Coronado halts operations at mine after worker death
Metallurgical coal producer Coronado Global Resources said on Monday it had suspended operations at its only mine in Australia after a worker was killed there.
The employee who worked for Thiess, the mining services provider and unit of CIMIC Group, died in an incident at the mine on Sunday afternoon, Coronado said in a statement, without elaborating. 

Jan 13 - Thyssenkrupp explores steel merger with Salzgitter - Der Spiegel
Thyssenkrupp is considering reviving plans for a steel merger with smaller German peer Salzgitter, magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday, not citing where it obtained the information. The report said that Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Martina Merz and her counterpart at Salzgitter, Heinz Joerg Fuhrmann, are due to meet soon on the matter, which has surfaced regularly in recent years but failed to materialise.

Jan 13 - Brazil pushes plans for mining on tribal lands to European diplomats
Brazil's government on Friday said it was pushing ahead with plans to allow mining on tribal lands, briefing European diplomats on proposals that have drawn criticism from indigenous advocates in Brazil and overseas. Mining and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque told the diplomats that "significant leadership" from native communities had asked for the opportunity to mine on their lands, according to a public statement on the ministry's website.

Jan 13 - Polish coal producer JSW to tap its contingency fund to finance investments
Poland's JSW, the EU's biggest coking coal producer, will use 700 million zlotys ($183 million) from its contingency fund to expand coking coal production and other investments, its CEO said on Friday. State-run JSW, which also produces thermal coal, almost collapsed in 2015 when coal prices slumped and labour costs rose. In 2018 it set up a special fund to put aside cash to help cope with difficult times.

Jan 10 - Sudan opens up gold market in bid to raise revenue
Sudan has begun allowing private traders to export gold, a measure designed to crack down on smuggling and attract foreign currency into the country's cash-strapped treasury. Until now Sudan's central bank has been the sole body legally allowed to buy and export gold and set up centres to buy the metal from small-scale miners. 

Jan 10 - Venezuela's Guaido seeks EU 'blood gold' designation for informal mining
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Thursday urged the European Union to officially label as "blood gold" the precious metal informally mined in the country's southern jungles as he seeks to increase pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro's government since 2016 has supported artesanal mining in the Venezuelan Amazon to bring in revenue amid an economic crisis, an effort that expanded as Washington increased sanctions meant to force the ruling Socialist Party from power.

Jan 10 - United Steelworkers sues EPA over weakening of chemical safety rule
The United Steelworkers sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in federal court on Thursday in a bid to reverse its gutting of a safety rule at chemical plants, the union said. The largest U.S. industrial union's lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia adds to previous litigation against the rollback of Obama-era chemical safety rules. 

Jan 10 - Sibanye-Stillwater boosts stake in DRDGOLD to 50%
South African gold producer Sibanye-Stillwater has exercised an option to acquire an additional 12% interest in DRDGOLD, bringing its total stake to 50.1%, the smaller miner announced on Friday. The transaction marks the single largest investment ever made by an individual shareholder in DRDGOLD, its chief executive Niel Pretorius said in a statement. 

Jan 10 - China court to re-auction Fanya indium at same asking price
A Southwest China court on Thursday announced a re-run of an auction of minor metal indium that was formerly held by the Fanya Metal Exchange, after the initial attempt at a sale drew no bids - but did not reduce its asking price. The fate of the 3,609.46 tonnes of indium - equivalent to about five years of global supply of the silvery metal used in flat-panel displays - is being closely watched by minor metals traders and Fanya creditors seeking to recover their money after the bourse collapsed in 2015.

Jan 09 - Brazil prosecutor aims to charge Vale within days over mining waste dam disaster
A Brazilian state prosecutor expects to bring criminal charges "in the next few days" against miner Vale over a mining waste dam collapse that killed at least 259 people, even as the prosecutor's federal counterpart continues to investigate the case. Andressa de Oliveira Lanchotti, coordinator for the task force of state prosecutors investigating the disaster, told Reuters they expect to indict 15 to 20 people, including executives from Vale and employees from German inspection firm TÜV SÜD - as well as the companies themselves. 

Jan 09 - Indonesia approves environmental study for battery-grade nickel plants - minister
Indonesia has approved environmental impact studies for factories to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals in Morowali, Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said on Wednesday. The approval will allow investors, such as China's stainless steel giant Tsingshan Group, to continue the construction of their high-pressure acid leaching plants in Morowali, Central Sulawesi. 

Jan 09 - Crisis-hardened markets have learned to look past military flare-ups
Iran's missile attack on U.S. army bases in Iraq overnight sent gold blasting above $1,600 an ounce, boosted the Japanese yen by almost 1% and oil by $3 a barrel. But it took just hours for that safe-haven dash to fade and for world equities to resume their climb.

Jan 09 - Australia's Port Hedland iron ore shipments to China jump 12% in Dec - Pilbara Ports
Iron ore shipments in December to China from Australia's Port Hedland terminal, the world's biggest iron ore port, rose more than 12% from a month earlier, port data showed on Thursday. Shipments to China totalled 41.4 million tonnes last month, up from 36.9 million tonnes in November, the Pilbara Ports Authority said.

Jan 08 - Perth Mint's December gold sales hit 3-year peak
The Perth Mint's gold product sales in December rose 45% from the previous month and to their highest in more than three years, the refiner said on Wednesday. Sales of gold coins and minted bars in December climbed to 78,912 ounces - their highest since October 2016, and surged about 170% from the same month last year, the mint said in a blog post. 

Jan 08 - Italian court eases the way for Ilva talks between government and Arcelor
An Italian court ruled on Tuesday that one of three blast furnaces at ArcelorMittal's Ilva steel plant need not be shut down despite concerns it was in breach of safety rules, throwing a lifeline to the loss-making plant in southern Italy. The decision overturns a previous order from a local magistrate that the furnace should be closed after the death of a worker at Europe's biggest steel plant in the city of Taranto. 

Jan 08 - Base metals hope for manufacturing recovery in 2020: Andy Home
Well, at least there was nickel. Looking back on 2019 it was nickel that provided most of the thrills and a fair share of the spills in the base metals complex. The rest of the London Metal Exchange pack was largely moribund. Full-year performances ranged from up 5% (copper) to down 15% (tin) with aluminium, zinc and lead closing December barely changed from the start of January. 

Jan 08 - Lithium developer ioneer says U.S. environmental litigation resolved
Australian lithium developer Ioneer Ltd said on Wednesday it has resolved a lawsuit by a U.S. environmental group over a rare wildflower at its proposed project in Nevada. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sued U.S. regulators last year for granting ioneer permits to explore for lithium in the northern part of Nevada, arguing that the region where ioneer is operating is the main habitat for the Tiehm's buckwheat flower.

Jan 08 - Livent cuts earnings outlook on lower lithium prices
Lithium producer Livent Corp on Tuesday cut its fourth quarter and annual earnings outlook due to a downturn in prices of the battery metal, sending shares down nearly 14% in extended trading. Lithium producers such as Albemarle Corp, SQM have scaled back expansion plans as near-term oversupply and falling demand in China drag lithium prices lower, unnerving investors who are pushing the industry to focus more on profitability.

Jan 07 - Gold better hedge than oil during geopolitical tensions, says Goldman
Goldman Sachs on Monday maintained its three-, six- and 12-month forecast for gold at $1,600 per ounce, contending safe-haven bullion to be a better hedge than oil during phases of geopolitical uncertainty. "The range of potential scenarios is very large; spanning oil supply shocks or even oil demand destruction — which would be negative to oil prices," the Wall Street bank said in a note, adding under most outcomes gold is likely to rally beyond the current levels.

Jan 07 - India gold prices hit record high on safe-haven rush, weak rupee
Gold prices in India jumped over 2% on Monday to record levels amid a rush to invest in safe-haven assets globally as well as a steep fall in the rupee, dampening demand for the precious metal in the world's second-biggest consumer. Local gold futures hit an all-time high of 41,096 rupees ($570.05) per 10 grams, taking their gains to more than 5% in 2020 after rallying nearly 25% in 2019. 

Jan 07 - Canada's First Quantum shares fall after company adopts takeover defense
Canada's First Quantum Minerals Ltd fell as much as nearly 4% on Monday after the copper miner said it had adopted a poison pill takeover defense, nearly a month after China's Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd agreed to pay $1.1 billion to become the miner's largest shareholder. The move adds a potential barrier to any takeover proposal at a time analysts, bankers and miners expect to see more deals in copper, a critical ingredient in low-carbon technologies. 

Jan 07 - China Minmetals says 2019 net profit up 28.9% y/y; reserves fall
China Minmetals Corp said on Monday its net profit rose by 28.9% in 2019 and annual revenue increased by 13.4%, exceeding 600 billion yuan ($86.04 billion) for the first time. The state-owned miner and metals trader did not provide a net profit figure in the statement, which hailed a strong operating performance after its annual work conference in Beijing.

Jan 06 - India gold prices hit record high on safe-haven rush, weak rupee 
Gold prices in India jumped over 2% on Monday to record levels amid a rush to invest in safe-haven assets globally as well as a steep fall in the rupee, dampening demand for the precious metal in the world's second-biggest consumer. Local gold futures hit an all-time high of 41,096 rupees ($570.05) per 10 grams, taking their gains to more than 5% in 2020 after rallying nearly 25% in 2019.

 Jan 06 - Canada's First Quantum weighs $1 billion Zambian copper mine expansion - document 
Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd is weighing investment of around $1 billion to lift output at Africa's biggest copper mine in Zambia, a company document seen by Reuters showed, despite a feud with state miner ZCCM-IH over project funding. The investment would add a decade of life and head off production declines at the Kansanshi copper mine, increasing annual production to 300,000 tonnes over time from an expected 235,000 tonnes last year, according to a company presentation given to Zambian government officials.

Jan 06 - Gold better hedge than oil during geopolitical tensions, says Goldman 
Goldman Sachs on Monday maintained its three-, six- and 12-month forecast for gold at $1,600 per ounce, contending safe-haven bullion to be a better hedge than oil during phases of geopolitical uncertainty. "The range of potential scenarios is very large; spanning oil supply shocks or even oil demand destruction — which would be negative to oil prices," the Wall Street bank said in a note, adding under most outcomes gold is likely to rally beyond the current levels.

Jan 06 - China's Ganzhou launches rare earths exchange 
The city of Ganzhou in China's southeastern province of Jiangxi has launched an exchange for spot transactions in rare earths and minor metals, according to a report posted by the Association of China Rare Earth Industry on Thursday. The Ganzhou Rare Metal Exchange, which was launched on Dec. 31, will help boost the city's global influence and pricing power for the traded products, the report by the provincial government-run Jiangxi Daily cited Ganzhou mayor Zeng Wenming as saying.

Jan 03 - India 2019 gold imports hits 3-yr low as record high prices dent demand
India's gold imports in 2019 fell 12% from a year ago to the lowest level in three years as retail buying faltered in the second half after local prices rallied to a record high, a government source said on Friday. Lower buying by the world's second biggest consumer of the precious metal could weigh on global prices that jumped 18% in 2019, but help New Delhi bring down the trade deficit and support the rupee.

Jan 03 - China's Youngy to build lithium plant as part of $200 mln investment in Sichuan
Chinese lithium firm Youngy Co has signed a framework agreement to build a lithium ore processing plant in Sichuan province, part of a 1.4 billion yuan ($201.1 million) investment in an industrial zone there, it said on Thursday. According to a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, the deal stipulates that Youngy should process at least 1.05 million tonnes a year of spodumene from its Jiajika mine in Sichuan, China's largest deposit of the mineral. 

Jan 03 - Metals trader Gerald Group appoints third woman to board
Gerald Group has appointed Patricia Nikolopoulos as chief financial officer, the third women to join the metals trader's seven-strong board. Nikolopoulos was previously Gerald's North American finance chief and has been on the company's management committee since 2014.

Jan 02 - Chinese iron ore has stellar 2019, natural gas lags other commodities

China's iron ore futures were the best performing commodity in 2019, more than doubling in value while natural gas ranked as the biggest loser, dropping by more than a quarter. Crude oil, Malaysian palm oil, precious metals, nickel and arabica coffee were among other gainers. 

Jan 02 - China's Ganzhou launches rare earths exchange

The city of Ganzhou in China's southeastern province of Jiangxi has launched an exchange for spot transactions in rare earths and minor metals, according to a report posted by the Association of China Rare Earth Industry on Thursday. The Ganzhou Rare Metal Exchange, which was launched on Dec. 31, will help boost the city's global influence and pricing power for the traded products, the report by the provincial government-run Jiangxi Daily cited Ganzhou mayor Zeng Wenming as saying. 

Jan 02 - Golden year for precious metals as 2019 sees glistening run

Gold prices are set for their strongest annual increase since 2010, as worries over global economic health triggered a surge of interest in precious metals, while palladium soared more than 50% to record highs thanks to supply shortages. Silver and platinum, which like gold are often seen as safe investments in uncertain times, also saw their largest annual gains in several years.

Jan 02 - Chile mining activity, copper production fall in November amid protests

Chilean mining activity fell 7.1% in November, government data showed on Tuesday, plagued in part by operational issues at major mines during a tumultuous month of protests, road and port blockades and worker strikes in the South American nation. The world's top copper producer reported that production of the metal fell 6.7% in November from the same month a year earlier to 504,366 tonnes. Government statistics agency INE noted the fall in mining activity was in part due to an unfavorable basis of comparison, a reflection of strong production the previous November.

Dec 31 - Commodity3 would like to thank you again this year for the trust you have placed in us and wish you all a happy, healthy and successful new year 2020 !

Dec 20 - Pentagon to stockpile rare earth magnets for missiles, fighter jets 
The U.S. military plans to stockpile rare earth magnets used in Javelin missiles and F-35 fighter jets, according to a government document seen by Reuters, a step that critics say does little to help create a domestic industry to build specialized magnets now made almost exclusively in Asia. The Pentagon is seeking proposals to cache a rotating six-month supply of neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) magnets, a type of rare earth magnet essential to weapons manufacturing, according to the document, detailing the latest attempt to weaken China's control over the rare earths sector. 

Dec 20 - China launches gold options as prices near 6-year highs 
China, the world's top bullion producer and consumer, launched its first gold options contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange on Friday, adding to an array of investment options for the yellow metal that saw prices hit six-year highs this year. Gold prices globally have gained about 15% so far this year and are set for its strongest annual increase since 2010, as global growth concerns and uncertainties over the U.S.-China trade war boosted its appeal as a safe-haven metal.

Dec 20 - JPMorgan metals traders under Singapore scrutiny, two more depart - sources 
Regulatory scrutiny of precious metals trading at JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the world's largest gold brokerages, has expanded to Singapore and ensnared two more bank employees, according to people familiar with the situation. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is looking into the bank's precious metals trading unit, three sources confirmed. A probe in the United States has resulted in criminal charges against six current and former employees of the bank. Regulators in the United Kingdom are also interested in the matter, Reuters has reported.

Dec 20 - AngloGold aims to produce 350,000–400,000 oz of gold a year from Ghana mine 
AngloGold Ashanti said it expects its Obuasi gold mine in Ghana to produce about 350,000 to 400,000 ounces per year for the first ten years, after achieving its first gold pour since it was suspended five years ago. The initial capital expenditure for the mine, which has been in the process of redevelopment since last year, remains in the range of $495 million to $545 million, the company said on Thursday.

Dec 20 - Indonesia 2019 nickel ore exports estimated at 26.7 mln T - mining official 
Nickel ore exports from top exporter Indonesia are estimated at around 26.7 million tonnes for this year, compared to the 30.83 million tonnes export quota, the mining ministry's director of minerals, Yunus Saefulhak, said on Friday. He said ore shipments up through November had reached around 25.73 million tonnes. 

Dec 20 - Brazil's Bolsonaro says bill to allow mining on native reserves ready 
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that a bill authorizing mining on protected indigenous reserves was ready and only needed to be sent to Congress for consideration. Bolsonaro told supporters that indigenous people should also be allowed to commercially farm on reserves, a practice currently prohibited, and that native populations should be involved in a drive to expand the country's beef production.

Dec 20 - Brazil miner Vale elects new board members 
Brazil's Vale S.A., the world's largest iron ore miner, has elected two new board members, the company said in a statement on Thursday. They are Murilo Cesar Lemos dos Santos Passos, currently chairman at Tegma Gestão Logística SA and member of the boards at Odontoprev S.A., São Martinho S.A., Suzano Holding S.A. and IPLF Holding S.A.; and Roger Allan Downey, CEO of Fertimar S.A. (PrimaSea).

Dec 19 - Lynas says West Australian govt to help approvals for rare earths plant 
Australia's Lynas Corp said on Thursday its project to build a rare earths-processing plant in Kalgoorlie will get assistance on management and coordination of approvals from the Western Australia (WA) state government. The plant was awarded a so-called "lead agency" status by the WA government, which means the state, as lead agent, will assist Lynas with project advice and help it secure approvals within the project's time-frames, it said.

Dec 19 - Unexpected bump on the EV road hits battery metals: Andy Home 
It's been a tough year for electric vehicle (EV) metal bulls. The previous speculative heat surrounding any and every material that goes into an EV battery has dissipated over the course of 2019.  Two years ago the spot lithium price in China was $26 per kilogram. Today it is assessed by Fastmarkets at below $8. Cobalt, a key input for lithium-ion battery chemistry, has experienced a similar boom and bust cycle, the price of standard grade metal sliding from over $44 per lb in the second quarter of 2018 to a current $15.75.

Dec 19 - Unstoppable palladium flirts with $2,000 for first time 
Palladium prices are within a whisker of breaking above $2,000 an ounce for the first time, with a gaping supply deficit fuelling a remarkable run that has seen the autocatalyst metal more than quadruple in value since 2016.  Once the cheapest of the major precious metals, palladium, used chiefly in engine exhausts to reduce harmful emissions, is now more than twice as expensive as platinum and $500 an ounce more than gold. 

Dec 19 - China Minmetals sets up graphite unit in battery materials push 
China Minmetals Corp said on Thursday it had set up a graphite subsidiary in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, as the state-owned miner continues its push into battery materials.  The move marks Minmetals' first foray into graphite, a form of carbon used in pencils and steelmaking and is also required to make a key component, known as the anode, of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. 

Dec 19 - Zambia suspends 15% export duty on gemstones - minister 
Zambia will suspend a 15% export duty on gemstones but not diamonds from Jan. 1 after the move that was intended to raise more revenues instead undermined production, the finance minister said on Thursday. Bwalya Ng'andu told Reuters the suspension of the export duty, announced in the official gazette on Friday, was a concession to miners after the upfront tax had hurt output.

Dec 19 - Australia's Clean TeQ to supply rare earths metal to Panasonic unit 
Australia's Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd said on Thursday it entered into an agreement to supply scandium oxide, used for making high-temperature-resistant metal alloys, to a unit of Japan's Panasonic Corp. Under the offtake agreement, Victoria-based Clean TeQ will supply up to five tonnes a year of scandium oxide - a rare earths metal - from its Sunrise project in New South Wales to Panasonic Corp Global Procurement Co, once production gets underway.

Dec 19 - Brazilian regulator says Vale dam near Brumadinho is structurally sound 
A dam owned by iron ore company Vale SA that was the subject of an investigative report by a TV program last week is structurally sound and there is no reason for concern, Brazil's national mining regulator said late on Tuesday. On Friday, the program "Jornal da Band" said it had obtained documents saying that Vale's B-5 dam in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais had cracks, and that state prosecutors had asked the firm to hire independent auditors to look into the matter. 

Dec 19 - Chile's Antofagasta seeks green light for Minnesota mine near wilderness 
Chile's Antofagasta said on Wednesday that it had kicked off the environmental permitting process for its $1.7 billion Twin Metals copper, nickel and platinum mining project in the United States after the Trump administration overturned an Obama-era decision to protect a nearby wilderness area. Antofagasta Plc said it had submitted a formal mine operation plan (MPO) to U.S. federal and state permitting agencies but expected to wait several years for a decision. 

Dec 19 - Miner Centamin says Endeavour stalling in merger talks 
Endeavour Mining will not share information vital to assessing its value until an extension to a deadline for making an offer for Centamin is agreed, London-listed Centamin said on Wednesday. Under English takeover law, Canada's Endeavour has until the end of December to make a firm offer for Centamin's assets.

Dec 18 - BHP plans 'baby steps' return to commodities trading to cut transaction risk - sources
Global miner BHP Group is feeling its way back into commodities trading, making a dedicated hire to help it manage a base metals book in Singapore as it seeks to boost returns and manage transaction risk, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The return to trading at the world's biggest listed miner for the first time since the mid-2000s will see it add trading capacity across copper, energy and iron ore divisions in what one of the people described as "baby steps".

Dec 18 - Morgan Stanley restarts its base metals business - sources
U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley is building up its base metals trading business after abandoning it four years ago, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The move comes as rising volumes and volatility in industrial metals have boosted revenues for investment banks after years of lacklustre market conditions. 

Dec 18 - Australia's Metals X cuts 2020 tin output forecast for Tasmanian project
Australian copper miner Metals X Ltd cut its 2020 tin production outlook for its Tasmanian project and estimated it would incur almost $1 million per month in costs for the suspension of operations at its Nifty copper mine. The company lowered its 2020 tin production forecast for the Renison Tin Operations, in which it owns a 50% stake, to 7,000–7,400 tonnes from 8,000-8,500 tonnes announced earlier, citing lower grades of ore mined.

Dec 17 - Lynas fails to get Malaysian approval for higher processing limit, shares slide
Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp Ltd said on Tuesday it was unsuccessful in securing approval from a Malaysian regulator to increase its lanthanide concentrate processing limit for 2019. Shares of Lynas fell as much as 5.8% after the announcement, its worst slump since Aug. 23. By 0120 GMT, the shares pared losses to trade at A$2.50, down 3.1%.

Dec 17 - Commodities 2020? Trump, China bring deja vu, all over again: Russell
As 2020 approaches, the year ends with the tantalising prospect of a trade deal between the United States and China. Again. Initial agreement to de-escalate the tariff war between the world's two biggest economies has been interpreted as a positive for the global economic outlook. But it's worth remembering that 2018 ended on a similar note - leaving the commodities outlook once again hostage to the whims of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

Dec 17 - ArcelorMittal forms JV with Nippon Steel to run Essar Steel
ArcelorMittal SA said on Monday it had formed a joint venture with Nippon Steel Corp to run Essar Steel, the bankrupt Indian steel company that ArcelorMittal has taken over. Last month, India's Supreme Court had cleared the way for ArcelorMittal to take over Essar Steel following a legal tussle that dragged through multiple courts for over two years.

Dec 17 - Nevada Copper starts production at mine in western U.S.
Nevada Copper Corp said on Monday it has started production at its Pumpkin Hollow mine in the western United States, one of the first new mining projects to open in the country in decades. The mine is opening just as copper prices are projected to rise due to increasing demand from the electric vehicle industry. Once seen as a laggard in the global mining industry, U.S. copper deposits have drawn nearly $3 billion in recent investments from small and large miners alike. 

Dec 17 - Goldman Sachs raises 12-month commodity returns forecast
Goldman Sachs on Monday raised its 12-month commodity returns forecast by 3% to 6.4% citing an improved outlook for oil after an OPEC-led agreement to curb output further as well as agriculture sector supply concerns. "Policy clarity" after the U.S.-China trade deal and the British elections could trigger commodity demand, analysts at the bank said in a note.

Dec 17 - Texas rare earths mine developers to build U.S. refinery
Developers of a Texas rare earths mine said on Monday they will build a pilot plant to refine the strategic minerals, the latest domestic processing project announced at a time when more Americans are voicing concern about China's control over the sector. China is the largest global processor of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used to make a range of electronics and military equipment.

Dec 17 - Australia's Northern Star to buy 50% stake in KCGM for $800 mln
Gold miner Northern Star Resources Ltd said on Tuesday it had entered into an agreement with the Australian unit of Newmont Gold Corp to buy a 50% stake in Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) for $800 million. KCGM is a joint venture between Newmont and Saracen Mineral Holdings and owns the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, among other deposits. Super Pit is the biggest open pit gold mine in Australia.

Dec 17 - Voestalpine lowers profit forecast again, to cut dividend
Austrian speciality steelmaker Voestalpine cut its full-year profit forecast on Monday for the second time in two months, blaming write-offs and provisions, and highlighting the problems facing Europe's steel industry. The company also said it plans to lower its dividend payment from last year's 1.10 euros per share, helping send its shares down 3.5%.

Dec 13 - Australian rare earths producer Lynas to submit plant tender to U.S. Army
Australia's Lynas Corp on Friday said it would submit a compliant tender in response to the U.S. Department of Defense's call for proposals to build a heavy rare earths separation plant in the United States. The world's only major rare earths producer outside China said in a statement the tender period was not yet closed. It gave no other details. 

Dec 13 - Albemarle CEO says long-term lithium demand remains 'robust'
Albemarle Corp, the world's largest lithium producer, expects robust long-term demand for the electric vehicle battery mineral despite troubles in the existing market resulting from oversupply, Chief Executive Luke Kissam said on Thursday. The outlook comes as shareholder anxiety about Albemarle and its peers has escalated in recent months, with the industry having produced far more of the white metal than EV makers currently need. 

Dec 13 - Australia's Mineral Resources flags lower lithium sale price at WA project 
Australia's Mineral Resources on Friday said sale price for lithium from its Western Australia project for the December quarter had been finalised at 14.5% below the previous quarter prices amid weaker demand for the commodity. The sale price for 6% spodumene concentrate shipments at its Mt Marion Lithium Project has been set at $520.92 per dry metric tonne for the December quarter, versus $608.95 in the previous quarter, Mineral Resources added.

Dec 13 - Vale report blames water level for Brazil mining waste dam disaster
The deadly collapse of a Vale SA's mining waste dam in Brazil was partially triggered by "a persistently high water level" that caused the structure to lose strength and stability, according to a report by a panel of experts appointed by the company's lawyers. The report, released by Vale on Thursday, said there was no warning the dam was unstable, and no seismic activity or explosions in the area were recorded before it burst in late January.

Dec 13 - Miner BHP Group's chief transformation officer to depart
BHP Group said on Friday that its Chief Transformation Officer Jonathan Price would be leaving next year, as the miner shifts responsibility for the strategy away from the executive leadership team. Price's departure is the second leadership exit announced in a week, after BHP said on Monday Chief Technology Officer Diane Jurgens would depart the company early next year. 

Dec 13 - Cevian's Tischendorf to leave Thyssenkrupp supervisory board
Jens Tischendorf, a partner at activist fund Cevian, will leave the supervisory board of Thyssenkrupp after his five-year term ends next month, the ailing conglomerate said on Thursday. Tischendorf, who had been a member of the board since 2015, will not stand for re-election at the group's next annual general meeting on Jan. 31, the company said.

Dec 12 - China's 2020 crude steel output expected to drop - govt research body
China's crude steel output in 2020 is expected to ease from a record high this year to 981 million tonnes, a government consultancy said on Thursday. The 2019 output for the world's top steel producer is seen at 988 million tonnes, according to Li Xinchuang, president of the China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute.

Dec 12 - BHP puts four industry groups on notice after climate policy review
BHP Group said on Thursday it was considering its membership of four industry associations due to concerns about their climate and energy policies, although it was not yet ready to pull out as some shareholders have demanded. BHP has faced increasing pressure from investors worried that some mineral lobby groups, particularly in Australia, are promoting coal use in contravention of the goals of the Paris climate pact, and have urged BHP to stop funding them. 

Dec 12 - An abundance of aluminium scrap to spur U.S. recyclers
The growing use of aluminium by transport and packaging firms in the United States has created an abundance of scrap and is encouraging recyclers to expand capacity in what industry analysts see as the start of a new trend. Those already expanding include Novelis, one of the world's largest producers of rolled aluminium products, which last month announced plans to invest $36 million to boost and upgrade recycling capacity at its Greensboro facility in the United States, to be completed during the second half of 2021.

Dec 12 - Indonesia president defends nickel export curbs after EU complaint at WTO
President Joko Widodo warned on Thursday that there would be no going back on his policy to curb exports of nickel ore and other minerals, and Indonesia would defend itself against a complaint lodged with the World Trade Organisation by the European Union. In September, resource-rich Indonesia announced it would stop nickel ore exports from Jan.1, two years earlier than initially indicated, a decision set to disrupt global supply. 

Dec 12 - China's Jiangxi Copper gets $213 mln loan from parent after stake buy
Jiangxi Copper Co, one of China's biggest copper producers, will receive "financial assistance" to the tune of 1.5 billion yuan ($213.10 million) from its parent to repay loans and cut financing costs, the company said. The support from controlling shareholder Jiangxi Copper Corp comes after the state-run company said this week it would pay $1.1 billion for an 18% stake in Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals, to be part-funded by a syndicated loan of up to $700 million. 

Dec 12 - China is redrawing the global copper scrap map: Andy Home
China's war on "foreign garbage" continues apace. Less than three years after China told the World Trade Organization it was going to ban imports of "solid waste", it is close to doing just that. 

Dec 12 - Top gold sector investor demands more action on carbon emissions
South Africa's biggest money manager has written to 22 gold mining companies asking them to disclose data on the emissions they cause, adding to pressure on the resources sector to tackle climate change. Investec Asset Management, which manages around 111 billion pounds ($142 billion), including over $1 billion in gold assets, wants companies to disclose emissions data across their supply chain, a letter to one of the companies seen by Reuters showed.

Dec 12 - Australia's Prospect Resources in talks to sell stake, lithium supply to Russia's Rosatom
Australian lithium developer Prospect Resources Ltd said on Thursday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with a unit of Russia's Rosatom that could see the latter buy a stake in Prospect as well as supplies of the sought-after metal. The discussions are with Uranium One, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian state nuclear energy firm, and are incomplete and ongoing, Perth-based Prospect said in a stock exchange filing.

Dec 12 - First diamonds from Angola's new pipe to arrive mid-2020 - Alrosa
Angola's major new Luaxe diamond deposit may start trial mining in mid-2020 and could produce 1 million carats of diamonds worth $90 million in 2020, Russian diamond producer Alrosa said. Angola's state-controlled diamond miner Catoca and Alrosa found Luaxe's Luele pipe in 2013. Catoca has spent $200 million studying and developing it further and has said the pipe may turn out to be the largest discovery in the industry in 60 years.

Dec 11 - U.S. Army will fund rare earths plant for weapons development
The U.S. Army plans to fund construction of rare earths processing facilities, part of an urgent push by Washington to secure domestic supply of the minerals used to make military weapons and electronics, according to a government document seen by Reuters. The move would mark the first financial investment by the U.S. military into commercial-scale rare earths production since World War Two's Manhattan Project built the first atomic bomb. 

Dec 11 - South African mines grind to halt as floods deepen power crisis
Mines across South Africa shut down on Tuesday after flash flooding triggered the most severe power blackouts in more than a decade, threatening a key export sector in a further blow to the country's already slowing economy. Heavy rains across parts of South Africa have submerged entire neighbourhoods, leading to evacuations and aggravating problems at state-owned utility Eskom, which has been struggling to keep the lights on since 2008. 

Dec 11 - U.S., Canada and Mexico sign agreement - again - to replace NAFTA
Top officials from Canada, Mexico and the United States signed a fresh overhaul of a quarter-century-old trade pact on Tuesday that aims to improve enforcement of worker rights and hold down prices for biologic drugs by eliminating a patent provision. The signing ceremony in Mexico City launched what may be the final approval effort for U.S. President Donald Trump's three-year quest to revamp the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a deal he has blamed for the loss of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Dec 11 - Indonesia nickel ore royalties double in regulations shake-up
Major nickel ore exporter Indonesia will double royalties on sales of the ore to 10% while also adjusting the charges for other minerals, according to a copy of new government regulations seen by Reuters. Indonesia is aiming to reduce its reliance on natural resources exports by building smelting industries for minerals such as nickel, bauxite and copper. It will stop exporting nickel ore from January to process it domestically. 

Dec 11 - Aurubis sees stable fiscal year, hints at expansion plans
Aurubis AG, Europe's largest copper producer, on Wednesday posted a 42% slump in its annual earnings following scheduled maintenance shutdowns at major smelting plants, but said it expects the new fiscal year to be stable. The company proposed a dividend of 1.25 euros per share for 2018-19 fiscal year, down from 1.55 euros in the previous year.

Dec 11 - China major copper smelter output falls m/m in November - Antaike
Refined copper cathode production by major Chinese smelters fell by more than 4% in November from the previous month, a survey of producers by research house Antaike published on Tuesday showed. The 22 smelters surveyed churned out 738,000 tonnes of cathodes, down from a revised figure of 770,000 tonnes in October but up 8.9% year on year, said Antaike, the research arm of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association.

Dec 11 - ISTIM's Malaysia warehouses held 35% of LME aluminium in Nov
Warehousing firm ISTIM UK held 35% of total aluminium stocks in London Metal Exchange-registered warehouses in its Malaysian facilities by the end of November, data from the LME showed on Tuesday. Aluminium stocks in ISTIM's Port Klang and Johor warehouses rose 213,275 tonnes in November from the previous month to 476,846 tonnes, according to the data. Total aluminium stocks in LME warehouses stood at 1.27 million tonnes at the end of November.

Dec 11 - Barrick Gold to sell stake in Massawa project to Teranga for up to $430 mln
Canadian gold miner Barrick Gold Corp moved closer to its asset sales target on Tuesday by agreeing to sell its entire 90% stake in its Massawa project in Senegal to Teranga Gold Corporation for up to $430 million. The sale is the latest by Barrick Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow as he seeks to shed at least $1.5 billion of unprofitable mines by the end of 2020, following the company's acquisition of Rangold Resources a year ago. 

Dec 11 - What an EU carbon border tax might look like and who would be hit
The European Commission plans a carbon border tax aimed at shielding European steel producers and other energy-intensive industries against cheaper imports from countries with less strict climate policies. The EU executive's president Ursula von der Leyen, who took office on Dec. 1, is due to unveil on Wednesday a first outline of her "Green Deal", a package of regulations meant to drastically reduce carbon emissions of the 28-nation bloc.

Dec 11 - Indonesia targets starting up EV battery plants in 2023
Indonesia is aiming to start making lithium batteries for use in electric vehicles in 2023, alongside plants that are already slated to produce chemicals used in the batteries, according to the minister who oversees the energy and mining ministry. Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said he wants investors to start putting money into plants to make batteries alongside the plants that will soon be producing battery chemicals extracted from nickel ore. 

Dec 11 - Australia's Magnis Energy signs EPC contract for 'high-purity' graphite project
Australian graphite producer Magnis Energy Technologies said on Wednesday it executed a engineering, procurement and construction contract with Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) for its graphite project in Tanzania. The fixed price for the turn-key solutions services is $277 million under the contract, which is the complete cost of the 240,000 tonnes a year graphite production facility at the Nachu Graphite project.

Dec 10 - First Quantum shares jump after China's Jiangxi Copper takes 18% stake 
Shares of Canada's First Quantum Minerals Ltd rose as much as 5% to their highest since May on Monday after Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd agreed to pay $1.1 billion to become the miner's largest shareholder. State-backed Jiangxi Copper, one of China's biggest copper producers, said on Monday it would buy Cupric Holdings Ltd from Pangaea Investment Management Ltd. 

Dec 10 - China's imports of major commodities show accelerating trend: Russell
The growth rate of China's imports of major commodities has accelerated in recent months, indicating Beijing's stimulus efforts may be bearing fruit and that the impact of its trade dispute with the United States may not be as bad as feared. On the surface, China's imports of major commodities in November presented a mixed picture, with month-on-month gains in crude oil and copper, and declines in iron ore and coal. 

Dec 10 - Aluminium producers prepare for troubled times ahead: Andy Home
The aluminium market is in trouble again. The London Metal Exchange (LME) price touched a three-year low of $1,705 per tonne in October and has failed to stage any significant bounce over the intervening period. It is currently trading around the $1,760 level. 

Dec 10 - Chile's top miners boost copper output even amid protests
Copper production at Chile's top mines increased in October, Chilean copper commission Cochilco said on Monday, even as protests and sometimes-violent rioting gripped the nation. Cochilco said output at top copper miner Codelco increased 2.5% percent in October over the same month in 2018, to 154,500 tonnes.

Dec 10 - Global copper smelting activity dips in November - satellite index
Global refined copper production edged lower in November after some smelters temporarily shut for maintenance, according to an index based on satellite surveillance of copper plants. Copper smelting activity recovered, however, in the second half of the month and in early December, according to the latest index data released on Monday.

Dec 10 - Noble unit signs MoU to supply rare earth products to Chinalco Guangxi
Commodities trading firm Noble Group Holdings Ltd said on Monday its subsidiary Talaxis has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to potentially supply rare earths products to Chinalco Guangxi Nonferrous Rare Earth Development Co Ltd. Under the MoU, Talaxis will supply via sourcing, offtake and tolling of up to 42,000 tonnes of rare earths products, including concentrate and oxide, per year to Chinalco Guangxi, a joint-venture with China's biggest state-backed aluminium producer Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco).

Dec 09 - China copper imports hit 13-month high in November on improved factory activity 
China's copper imports rose 12.1% in November from the previous month to their highest in more than a year, as an unexpected improvement in the manufacturing sector drove up demand. Imports of unwrought copper including anode, refined and semi-finished copper products into China stood at 483,000 tonnes last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Sunday. That was the highest since September 2018.

Dec 09 - China Nov iron ore imports down for 2nd month as top miners ship less 
China's iron ore imports fell for a second straight month in November, customs data showed on Sunday, as lower shipments from top miners in Australia and Brazil overshadowed firm demand for the steelmaking ingredient at mills.  The world's top steel producer brought in 90.65 million tonnes of iron ore last month, down 2.4% from 92.86 million tonnes in October and compared with 86.25 million tonnes a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. 

Dec 09 - Mexico accepts U.S. steel demand in USMCA trade deal, but with conditions 
Mexico would accept a U.S. demand on steel in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement if the rule took effect at least five years after the trade pact's ratification, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Sunday. Mexican lawmakers earlier this year approved the deal, known as USMCA, which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. But Democratic lawmakers have held up U.S. ratification over concerns about how labor and environmental provisions would be enforced. 

Dec 09 - Nippon Steel may cut more blast furnaces to reduce costs
Japan's top steelmaker Nippon Steel Corp may close more blast furnaces as part of plans to reduce domestic facilities to cut costs, said a senior executive, as falling demand and lower Asian steel prices eat into its annual profit forecast. The world's third-biggest steelmaker has 15 blast furnaces across Japan with two due to be shut by around March 2024. Any further closures would reduce capacity and could undermine its presence in the growing, but highly-competitive Asian markets.

Dec 09 - Australia's Lynas picks Kalgoorlie for rare earth processing site 
Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp said on Monday it had picked outback town Kalgoorlie as the site for a new initial ore processing plant to extract low-level radioactivity from materials to be shipped to Malaysia for final treatment. In a statement, the world's only major producer of rare earth metals outside China said it the new planned cracking and leaching plant in Western Australia forms part of a $500 million growth strategy to boost production by 2025.

Dec 09 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold - CFTC
Hedge funds and money managers upped their bullish positions in COMEX gold and cut them in silver contracts in the week to Dec. 3, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also increased a net short position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Dec 09 - Italy ready to take 18% stake in Ilva steel plant - paper 
The Italian state is ready to take an 18% stake in the troubled Ilva steel plant in southern Italy through a public agency, newspaper Il Messaggero reported on Sunday, citing a draft proposal to save the factory. Industry ministry officials will present the plan on Monday to steel firm ArcelorMittal, the daily said, in an attempt to convince it to scrap its threat to walk away from a 2018 deal to buy the plant in the city of Taranto.

Dec 09 - Four dead after rock collapse at South African gold mine 
Four mineworkers were killed and one was seriously injured after a rock fall at a South African gold mine on Friday trapped five workers underground, the company and a mining union said on Sunday. The collapse at the Village Main Reef's Tau Lekoa gold mine in North West province followed at least one earth tremor.

Dec 09 - New mining waste dam rules should not be retroactive, says review chief 
New global standards for mining waste dams should take into account the difficulties of making existing dams compliant, the chair of an independent panel of experts crafting the new rules said on Friday. Industry groups object to a standard that would apply not only to the design of new dams, but also require existing dams to be modified - a retro-fitting process they claim may be technically impossible, and at the very least expensive and time-consuming.

Dec 06 - UK bribery investigation adds to Glencore's legal headaches 
The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a bribery investigation into Glencore, adding to legal troubles that have hit the shares of one of the world's biggest miners and commodity traders. The SFO said on Thursday it had opened an investigaton into suspicions of bribery in the conduct of business by the Glencore group of companies, its officials, employees, agents and associated persons in June. It declined to comment on the scope of its inquiry.

Dec 06 - Trump's tariff tweet halts talks over future Brazil steel exports to U.S. 
Negotiations over future Brazilian steel exports to the United States have been halted since President Donald Trump tweeted earlier this week that he would slap tariffs back on them, the head of Brazil's steel mills body IABr said on Thursday. Trump stunned Brazil and Argentina on Monday, tweeting that U.S. steel and aluminum imports from both countries would be subject to tariffs immediately because both had been "presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers." 

Dec 06 - Indonesia revises down outlook for nickel smelter capacity by 2022 
Indonesia expects to have 29 nickel smelters operating by 2022, with total annual input capacity of nearly 70 million tonnes, a mining ministry official said on Friday, in a downward revision of a November projection of ore refining capacity.  Yunus Saefulhak, minerals director at the country's energy and mineral resources ministry, scaled back his estimate of 91 million tonnes of input capacity at 37 operating smelters in 2021 made last month. 

Dec 06 - Nickel bubble deflates but a bear trap may be opening: Andy Home 
The nickel price bubble is slowly deflating but bears would be advised to tread carefully with a sharp fall in LME inventory threatening a repeat of the time-spread turbulence that rocked the London market in late September.  London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel surged to a five-year high of $18,850 on Sept. 2, from $12,000 per tonne at the start of July, as Indonesia brought forward to a ban on exports of nickel ore to January. 

Dec 06 - Apple buys first-ever carbon-free aluminum from Alcoa-Rio Tinto venture 
Apple Inc on Thursday said it has bought the first-ever commercial batch of carbon-free aluminum from a joint venture between two of the world's biggest aluminum suppliers.  The metal is being made by Elysis, a Montreal-based joint venture of Alcoa Corp and Rio Tinto announced last year with $144 million in funding from the two companies, Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec. 

Dec 06 - Major steel funds not yet approved - Thyssenkrupp labour leader 
Much-needed funds for Thyssenkrupp's steel division, which could be turned into the conglomerate's profit engine, have not yet been approved by management, a leading labour representative said. "The management of Thyssenkrupp needs to earn that money first," Tekin Nasikkol, who heads the works council of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, said on Thursday, adding some members of the board were saying the unit needs too much money.

Dec 06 - Endeavour courts Centamin shareholders after miner's board rejects proposal 
Endeavour Mining's top boss said on Thursday the Canadian firm was reaching out to Centamin shareholders to back its $1.9 billion merger plan, days after the British gold miner's board rejected the all-stock proposal. The UK-based company said earlier this week the proposal did not offer any benefits for its shareholders.

Dec 05 - Gold miners flash the cash in biggest deal binge in a decade
Gold miners look set to extend a deal spree after notching transactions worth a record $30.5 billion this year, according to data, the biggest M&A binge since bullion prices peaked nearly a decade ago. Led by top producers Newmont Goldcorp Corp and Barrick Gold Corp, miners are bulking up to replace dwindling reserves and win back investors who in recent years shunned the sector because of disappointing returns.

Dec 05 - Vale to exit New Caledonia, eyes Indonesia to boost nickel output
Brazil's Vale SA plans to exit its troubled New Caledonia assets but still aims to ramp up nickel output ahead of rising demand for electric batteries, executives said on Wednesday. The planned divestment of nickel operations in New Caledonia comes after Vale said last month it would write down the mine and incur a non-cash impairment charge of about $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter. 

Dec 05 - Thyssenkrupp outlines steel unit overhaul - letter
Thyssenkrupp, whose attempt to merge its steel operations with a rival was thwarted by regulators earlier this year, now plans to transform the business into its biggest profit engine, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. The German group told staff it aimed to boost earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at Steel Europe by an average of up to 600 million euros ($661 million) over the coming years, helped by job cuts and selling more to the autos industry. 

Dec 05 - Alcoa's Australian smelter needs cheaper power to stay open past 2021 - partner
Alcoa Corp will need cheaper, more reliable power to keep its Portland smelter in Australia open beyond 2021 when its current supply deal ends, the aluminium major's partner said on Thursday.  Alumina Ltd, Alcoa's partner in the Alcoa World Alumina and Chemical joint venture, would have a veto over any decision to shut the plant, its Chief Executive Mike Ferraro said, adding it was too early to predict the smelter's future.

Dec 05 - Australia's Panoramic rejects Independence's takeover offer, plans capital raise
Australian nickel miner Panoramic Resources on Thursday recommended that its shareholders reject a takeover bid by larger peer Independence Group NL and went ahead with a capital raising effort, breaching an offer condition. The miner said the A$312 million ($211.7 million) offer was "opportunistically timed" and shareholders would reduce their exposure to "near-term improvements in operational performance" if they accepted.

Dec 05 - Aurubis says accident hits Belgian copper plant but deliveries continue
Aurubis AG, Europe's biggest copper smelter, said on Wednesday that an accident at its plant in Olen in Belgium in November has disrupted copper production but that deliveries to customers are continuing normally. A crane collapsed in one section of the Olen tank house holding liquids for copper production on Nov. 19, stopping production of copper cathodes, an Aurubis spokeswoman said.

Dec 05 - Canadian National Rail enters deal with Teck Resources to ship steelmaking coal
Canadian National Railway Co said on Wednesday it has entered a long-term deal to ship steelmaking coal from some of Teck Resources Ltd's operations in British Columbia. Under the terms of deal, CNR will ship steelmaking coal from four of Teck's operations in the province, between Kamloops and Neptune terminals, and other west coast ports.

Dec 04 - Copper primed for a pop if U.S./China trade war is resolved
Low inventories across the copper supply chain mean that any resolution to the U.S.-China trade war could trigger a snap rally in prices as consumers rush to restock, market participants said on Tuesday. Combined stocks of on-warrant copper in London Metal Exchange and Shanghai exchange warehouses have declined 50.5% since mid-August metal buyers have slowed replenishment rates.

Dec 04 - Glencore's Glasenberg says successor could be in place next year
Glencore could announce a new chief executive next year once a new management team is in place, its current boss told an investor meeting on Tuesday as the commodities giant laid out its priorities for 2020. The mining and trading company faces a challenging year as it contends with problems on multiple fronts, from a series of mine fatalities and climate politics to a continuing U.S. Department of Justice investigation and difficulties in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dec 04 - Copper smelters feel the squeeze as mine supply falters: Andy Home
It's been a frustrating year for copper bulls. Trade war has trumped fundamentals as copper has been used as a proxy for trading the twists and turns of Sino-U.S. trade talks. The fact that London copper, currently trading around $5,815 per tonne, is virtually unchanged on the start of the year says much about the on-again-off-again nature of these talks. 

Dec 04 - Centamin snubs $1.9 bln bid proposal from Endeavour Mining
Gold miner Centamin Plc on Tuesday rejected a 1.47 billion pound ($1.9 billion) all-stock takeover proposal from Canada's Endeavour Mining, saying it did not offer enough value to Centamin shareholders. Endeavour announced its offer, a 13% premium to Centamin's last closing price, earlier in the day, seeking to gain control of Centamin assets that include the Sukari mine and Cleopatra project in Egypt and exploration projects in West Africa.

Dec 04 - U.S. copper frenzy grows as Rio Tinto plans $1.5 bln Utah mine expansion
Rio Tinto Plc said on Tuesday it would spend $1.5 billion to expand its Kennecott copper mine in Utah, part of a growing trend by miners to invest in strategic mineral projects across the United States. The move more than doubles the mining industry's recent investment in U.S. copper projects, as Tesla Inc and other automakers demand more of the red metal for electric vehicle motors and other components.

Dec 04 - Chile eyes state-backed lithium push in far-flung salt flats
Chile's Atacama salt flat may get all the attention when it comes to lithium, but the South American nation is looking to develop two lesser-known deposits of the mineral needed to power a global push into electric cars. Chile's mining minister, Baldo Prokurica, told Reuters on a trip to the Atacama region the government had asked state-owned copper giant Codelco and smaller state miner National Mining Company, Enami, to forge ahead with lithium projects in the region.

Dec 04 - Thyssenkrupp presents 'complex' turnaround plan for steel -workers
Ailing conglomerate Thyssenkrupp has worked out a new strategy for the group's steel business, a leading labour representative said on Tuesday, adding the roadmap included significant investments but also restructuring steps. The strategy paper was presented to the supervisory board of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe on Tuesday, following labour protests at the division's headquarters in Duisburg, in the heart of the Ruhr area, Germany's industrial heartland.

Dec 03 - Trump, citing U.S. farmers, slaps metal tariffs on Brazil, Argentina
U.S. President Donald Trump ambushed Brazil and Argentina on Monday, announcing tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from the two countries in a measure that shocked South American officials and left them scrambling for answers. In an early morning tweet, Trump said the tariffs, "effective immediately," were necessary because "Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. which is not good for our farmers." 

Dec 03 - China's Zijin Mining to buy Canada's Continental Gold for $1 bln amid security risk
China's Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd has agreed to buy Canadian miner Continental Gold Inc for C$1.3 billion ($1 billion), but a top executive with the target company said elevated security concerns in Colombia pose a risk to the deal. State-backed Zijin's offer for Continental, announced on Monday, aims to secure Continental Gold's flagship Buritica gold project in Colombia. 

Dec 03 - Vale to suspend disposal from Brucutu mine at Laranjeiras dam, lowers production outlook
Vale SA, the world's largest iron ore miner, said on Monday that it would slash output from its Brucutu mine for up to two months as it evaluates the stability of the nearby Laranjeiras dam, where much of the mine's waste is normally disposed. The move will leave Brucutu, Vale's biggest mine in Minas Gerais state, the industry's longtime heartland, operating at 40% of normal capacity for the period, cutting its output by 1.5 million tonnes.

Dec 03 - India's Nov gold imports jump to 5-month high - govt source
India's gold imports in November jumped 78% from a month earlier to the highest level in 5 months as jewellers in the world's second-biggest consumer of the metal restocked after a fall in prices, a government source said on Tuesday. New Delhi imported 71 tonnes of gold in November, compared with 40 tonnes in October, the source said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media.

Dec 03 - Thyssenkrupp works council demands $1.7 bln investment in steel unit 
Thyssenkrupp needs to pour 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) into its core steel business after years of underinvestment has left at a competitive disadvantage, the head of its works council. The labour chief's comments come days after Union Investment, a top-10 investor in the ailing German conglomerate, raised pressure on management to present a turnaround plan for the steel unit or drop the business. 

Dec 03 - Semafo says Boungou mine operations not expected to restart this year
Canadian gold miner Semafo Inc said on Monday it does not expect to restart operations at its Boungou Mine in Burkina Faso this year after a deadly attack on a convoy of buses carrying its employees last month forced it to suspend operations. The attack, which was the deadliest in recent years for the West African country, had killed at least 39 people while wounding more than 60 others. 

Dec 03 - Uganda picks South African firm for regional mineral survey
Uganda has contracted a South African company to conduct a mineral survey and mapping exercise in a northeast region that may hold substantial deposits of gold, copper and other lucrative minerals. Karamoja, a sprawling and parched area on the border with Kenya, missed out on earlier surveys because of security concerns caused by clashes between armed rival cattle-rustling tribes.

Dec 03 - Endeavour Mining discloses $1.9 bln takeover proposal for Centamin
Canada's Endeavour Mining Corp on Tuesday disclosed its 1.47 billion pound ($1.89 billion) buyout proposal for Centamin Plc, after the British gold miner refused to discuss the bid. Endeavour Mining said the all-share takeover plan has an exchange ratio of 0.0846 Endeavour shares for each Centamin share, a 13.1% premium to their closing price on Monday.

Dec 02 - China's Shanghai International Energy Exchange plans copper contract for 2020
China's Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) is preparing to launch a copper futures contract within the next year that will be open to domestic and foreign investors, according to two sources familiar with the plans. The yuan-denominated contract can be both cash and physically settled against copper cathodes stored at bonded warehouses, and will be traded without tax to attract foreign participation, according to one source, who requested anonymity because the matter is confidential.

Dec 02 - Chile's Codelco reports 57% fall in profits, plans to scale back mine projects
Chile's state-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, reported on Friday a fall of 57% in its pre-tax earnings to September because of heavy rains, an extensive strike at its flagship Chuquicamata mine in northern Chile and lower metal prices. Codelco, which turns over all its profits to the Chilean state, said it produced 1.12 million tonnes of copper from January to September, which represents a fall of 6.66% in relation to the same period of the previous year.

Dec 02 - Tin prices face pressure from rising output, says ITA 
Rising refined tin output will cut the global market deficit next year and weigh on prices as new Chinese smelters ramp up and Indonesia also expands production, the International Tin Association said on Friday. Benchmark tin prices have already been the worst performer on the London Metal Exchange this year, sliding 16%. 

Dec 02 - India makes gold jewellery hallmarking mandatory from mid-January 
India will make hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts mandatory from mid-January, a senior government minister said on Friday, a move that could boost demand in the world's second-biggest gold market by tackling quality concerns. Hallmarking will be mandatory from Jan. 15, but a period of one year will be allowed to set up new hallmarking centres and to clear jewellers' existing stocks, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters.

Dec 02 - Australia's Perenti Global to end two Burkina Faso contracts after attack 
Australian mining services company Perenti Global Ltd said on Monday that it would exit mining services contracts in Burkina Faso following an ambush of a convoy with workers at a Canadian-owned gold mine in the region. Shares of Perenti ticked up following the announcement to rise 0.3% at 0206 GMT to A$1.95, compared with a 0.5% gain on the Australian benchmark.

Dec 02 - Centerra Gold says two workers missing at Kumtor mine 
Two employees working at its Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan are missing following a "significant rock movement" at a waste rock dump, Centerra Gold Inc said on Sunday. Search and rescue operations are on and the company has temporarily stopped open pit mining operations at Kumtor, it said. 

Dec 02 - Blackstone Minerals partners with S. Korean firm for lithium ion battery production 
Australia's Blackstone Minerals Ltd on Monday said it signed a non-binding joint venture agreement with South Korea's Ecopro BM Co to develop nickel, cobalt or other minerals for battery manufacturing. The Western Australia-based firm said Ecopro BM, South Korea's largest electric vehicle battery cathode producer, will develop a downstream processing facility with Blackstone's Ta Khoa Nickel Project in Vietnam. 

Dec 02 - Nanhua Financial to debut on the London Metal Exchange on Dec. 2 
Nanhua Futures will begin trading and clearing on the London Metal Exchange (LME) on Monday after the Chinese brokerage was approved in October, a notice from the exchange said on Friday. Nanhua, which debuted on the Shanghai Futures Exchange in August, will join the LME as a Category 2 member. It has also been approved as a general clearing member from Monday, Dec. 2. 

Dec 02 - Brazil's Vale to resume operation of Viga concentration plant 
Brazilian miner Vale SA said it would resume operation of the Viga concentration plant on Saturday after having halted operations for a few months, as documents related to the operational permit had been "regularized." Vale, in August, had halted operations at the Viga concentration plant of Ferrous Resources do Brasil SA, a company it acquired earlier this year, due to "inconsistency in the documents." 

Dec 02 - Australia's Alita Resources repays loan to top shareholder Galaxy Resources 
Australian lithium miner Galaxy Resources on Monday said cash-strapped smaller peer Alita Resources had fully repaid its senior secured loan facility, sending the company's shares sharply higher. Galaxy bought $28.8 million worth of debt from the troubled miner earlier this year, making it Alita's largest equity holder. 

Dec 02 - Yamana Gold considers another doubling in dividend payout - chairman 
Canada's Yamana Gold is considering a further increase in dividends of between 50% and 100%, its executive chairman told Reuters, after doubling the payout this year. Yamana Gold, which sold its $1 billion copper-gold mine to Lundin Mining this year, doubled its dividend this year to 4 U.S. cents per share in its third quarter.