Base & Precious Metals News

Jul 13 - Russia's Nornickel reports another fuel leak in Arctic
Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel said on Sunday that around 45 tonnes of aviation fuel had leaked from its pipeline in the Arctic. Arctic environment security has been in the spotlight at Nornickel's assets since another leak of 21,000 tonnes of diesel from Nornickel's power plant near the city of Norilsk on May 29.

Jul 13 - Adani claims Carmichael coal win, but it's a pyrrhic victory built on subsidies: Russell
Lucas Dow, the outgoing chief executive of Adani Enterprises' Australian operations, signed off with a vigorous defence of the company's controversial Carmichael coal mine, and a spray at the venture's numerous opponents. Perhaps Dow is justified in having a go at his detractors, and it is no small feat for the Indian company to actually be constructing the Carmichael mine, in the frontier Galilee basin in Queensland state.

Jul 13 - Trading volumes show a metals world that is out of synch: Andy Home
It's been a good couple of months for the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE). Volumes on its base metals contracts slumped over the first quarter of this year as China went into COVID-19 lockdown and manufacturing activity ground to a near halt.

Jul 13 - Indonesia group seeks judicial review over new mining law
A group made up of activists and regional officials submitted on Friday a request for a judicial review of Indonesia's mining law at the Constitutional Court, arguing there had been a failure of procedures before the law was approved by parliament in May. The group, which includes the governor of Indonesia's main tin mining region Bangka Belitung province, believe the bill failed to comply with a number of law-making rules, their representatives said.

Jul 13 - Canada's Triple Flag, China's CMOC agree to streaming deal for Australian mine
Mine financing company Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp said on Sunday it has agreed to pay $550 million upfront as part of a streaming financing deal with China Molybdenum Co Ltd (CMOC) for future production of precious metals at CMOC's Northparkes mine in Australia. Streaming transactions are a type of alternative financing in the mining industry where funds are provided upfront to a miner in exchange for the sale of a fixed amount of future production of metals at a discounted price.

Jul 13 - Workers at Antofagasta's Zaldivar copper mine in Chile vote to strike - union
Workers at Antofagasta Minerals's Zaldivar copper mine in Chile have voted in favour of strike action after rejecting a pay offer, the mine's union said on Friday.  The union said in a statement that 99% of its members had rejected a collective pay offer and a strike had been set for July 15, pending government mediation.

Jul 13 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC
Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to July 7, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also upped their net long position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Jul 13 - Barrick Gold sends dispute notice to Papua New Guinea over Porgera mine
Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp said on Friday it served a dispute notice to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government over the country's refusal to extend a mining lease in the Porgera valley. The company said the notice was sent by its subsidiary Barrick (PD) Australia Pty Limited, an investor in the Porgera mine, citing a violation in a bilateral investment treaty between PNG and Australia as well as international law governing foreign investment.

Jul 13 - China's June refined nickel output rises 10.8% y/y - Antaike
China's June nickel cathode output rose 10.8% year on year to 15,099 tonnes, Antaike, the research arm of the country's nonferrous metals association, said on Friday. The total, which included 13,000 tonnes from top producer Jinchuan Group, was up 5.4% from May, Antaike said.

Jul 10 - Gold to benefit if China recovers strongly from second virus wave - Goldman 
Goldman Sachs expects gold to benefit if China, the world's top retail buyer, recovers much strongly from a second wave of COVID-19 cases than the United States, and reinforced its $2,000 an ounce target for bullion prices. The Wall Street bank recommended maintaining long positions in copper, silver, steel and gold, which are "both less exposed to areas with new outbreaks — Asia and Europe versus the Americas — and less exposed in the event of an outbreak."

Jul 10 - Russia's Nornickel fights cover-up accusations over Arctic oil spill 
Pressure is mounting on Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel over an Arctic oil spill that has wiped about 17% off its share price, left it with a hefty compensation bill and exposed it to accusations of covering up the full extent of the damage. Nornickel, as it is better known, denies the cover-up allegations by green campaigners, a regional governor and a former official at Russia's environmental watchdog, who have spoken out publicly and, in some cases, published tests, photographs and witness accounts to support their allegations.

Jul 10 - Japan Q3 aluminium premium falls to $79/T as COVID-19 hits demand 
The premium for aluminium shipments to Japan for July to September was set at $79 per tonne, down 3.7% from the prior quarter as the coronavirus pandemic collapsed manufacturing activity, four sources directly involved in the pricing talks said. The premium has come down from $82 per tonne paid in the April-June quarter, making its fourth straight quarterly drop. It is also the lowest since the October-December quarter in 2016 and down from initial offers of $85 producers made. 

Jul 10 - LME nickel price immune for now to surplus of alloys 
Shrinking nickel demand and a large surplus are unlikely to push London Metal Exchange prices lower as excess metal is in alloys which cannot be delivered against contracts on the exchange. Benchmark LME nickel prices at around $13,500 a tonne are at their highest since late January and up about 25% since March when COVID-19 lockdowns saw economic activity slump.

Jul 10 - Small China copper smelters shut as big get bigger-satellite data 
Large copper smelters in China are boosting output and taking market share from smaller ones that are closing, data from satellite surveillance of copper plants showed. Overall smelting activity in China, the world's top refined copper producer, was only slightly down in June month on month despite a large number of closures, a joint statement from satellite service SAVANT and broker Marex Spectron said on Friday. 

Jul 10 - Sacred sites blast exposes Australia's laws skewed to mining 
When mining giant Rio Tinto blew up two ancient caves in Western Australia's iron-ore rich Pilbara with state approval, the destruction was met with anger from indigenous landowners for whom the sites were of deep cultural and sacred importance. The blasts in late May became one facet of the Black Lives Matter protests in Australia, which saw thousands of people demanding an end to racial inequality in a country where Aboriginal groups have long suffered higher rates of imprisonment, unemployment and lower life expectancy.

Jul 10 - London Metal Exchange begins push for transparency on metal inventories 
The London Metal Exchange on Thursday started its push for more transparency on metal availability by publishing, for the first time, stocks of metal in its global storage network that could be put on warrant and traded on the exchange. Currently, of most interest are off-warrant stocks for aluminium, which are at 1,004,227 tonnes in warehouses registered to issue LME warrants, according to data collected by the LME and published on its website.

Jul 10 - Australia ships record volume of iron ore to China in June 
Australia's shipments of iron ore to China from the world's top export hub of Port Hedland climbed to a record of 46.2 million tonnes in June, data from the port authority showed on Friday. Shipments rose by 7% from May's figure of 43.18 million tonnes, and were up by 10% from the same month last year, the data showed.

Jul 10 - Foreign mineworkers return to South African mines after lockdown 
Foreign mineworkers have begun returning to South African mines, though at a slower rate than hoped, as the industry rebuilds output after the easing of the coronavirus lockdown, the Minerals Council said on Thursday. Mines in South Africa, the world's biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a major gold and diamond producer, have been raising output after the virus restrictions, which caused some migrant mineworkers return to their home countries.

Jul 10 - Zambia copper production rises to 342,734 tonnes in first five months of 2020 - govt 
Zambia's copper production increased to 342,734 tonnes in the first five months of this year, from 330,024 tonnes in the same period of 2019, the ministry of mines said on Thursday. Copper production was projected to continue rising in the third and fourth quarters of 2020 in line with rising prices driven by factors including growing production of electric vehicles that rely on copper.

Jul 09 - Rio Tinto to shutter NZ aluminium smelter, putting jobs and economy in peril 
Rio Tinto said on Thursday it will close its aluminium smelter operation in New Zealand due to high costs and a challenging market, putting over a thousand jobs on the line and dealing a blow to the country's top power producers. The closure of the New Zealand Aluminium Smelters venture, which is the country's single largest power user, comes amid forecasts of massive job losses and a looming recession in New Zealand, with the economy crippled by tough restrictions to beat the spread of the coronavirus.

Jul 09 - Gold storms past $1,800 towards new record high 
Gold pushed above $1,800 an ounce on Wednesday for the first time since 2011, with analysts expecting further gains as investors stock up on an asset they expect to hold its value while the coronavirus convulses the global economy. Spot gold prices have surged 40% in the last 14 months and are within striking distance of 2011's record high of $1,920.30 an ounce.

Jul 09 - LME trading floor to stay closed despite Britain's lockdown easing 
The easing of social distancing in England will not allow the London Metal Exchange (LME) to reopen its open-outcry trading floor, which has been closed for more than three months, the exchange said on Wednesday. The exchange, the world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said last month it would examine whether it could reopen the floor, known as the ring, after the government announced less strict social distancing rules, which took effect on July 4.

Jul 09 - Russia's Nornickel disputes $2 bln Arctic spill damages claim 
Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) is disputing more than $2 billion in damages after a fuel spill which Russia's environmental watchdog has said threatens unprecedented damage to the Arctic. Watchdog Rosprirodnadzor sent a request for "voluntary compensation" of almost 148 billion roubles ($2.1 billion) to Nornickel power subsidiary NTEK this week.

Jul 09 - Indian travel curbs thwart gold smugglers, boost legal market 
Gold smuggling in India has declined as a lack of international flights thwarts grey market operators and serves to boost the premium legal importers can charge, industry officials said on Wednesday. Dealers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reduced supply of smuggled gold had driven Indian spot prices to a premium this week for the first time this year, adding to bullish sentiment on the gold market. 

Jul 09 - BHP´s Escondida mine in Chile offers early retirement package amid pandemic, union balks 
Global miner BHP Group Ltd said on Wednesday its Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, had offered some workers the option for early retirement amid the coronavirus pandemic, a plan blasted by the company´s union as a scheme to oust the old and sick. Escondida said in a statement to Reuters the offer would provide an "improved" package of retirement benefits to workers who met its "requirements." The company declined to detail those stipulations.

Jul 09 - China June zinc output falls y/y amid early maintenance - Antaike 
China's zinc and zinc alloy production fell 8.3% year-on-year to 396,000 tonnes in June, research house Antaike said on Wednesday, hitting its lowest monthly level since February as smelters carried out summer maintenance. Output was down by 11,000 tonnes from a revised figure of 407,000 tonnes for May, although the daily production rate increased by 0.5%, Antaike said in its monthly survey of 49 zinc smelters; June has one less day than May.

Jul 09 - Serbian steelmaker shuts furnace as pandemic hits demand 
Serbia's only steelmaker, Zelezara Smederevo, said on Wednesday it shut down one of its two furnaces due to a drop in demand caused by coronavirus crisis. In 2016, Hesteel, China's biggest steelmaker, paid 46 million euros to take over the then loss-making plant with a capacity of 2.2 million tonnes, pledging to preserve its 5,050 jobs and invest $300 million. 

Jul 09 - Aboriginal groups call for Rio to lose human rights status after caves blast 
Aboriginal and human rights groups on Thursday called for miner Rio Tinto Ltd to be stripped of its status as a human rights leader following its destruction of an Aboriginal sacred site showing evidence of 46,000 years of human habitation. With state government approval, the world's biggest iron ore miner in May destroyed two sacred caves in the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as part of a mine expansion.

Jul 08 - Chile putting mine workers' health over copper production, minister says 
Chile's mines minister said on Tuesday there were "no silver bullets" to help the industry weather the coronavirus pandemic, but insisted the world's biggest copper producer was prioritizing workers' health to avoid the spread of infections that could further harm operations. Baldo Prokurica told Reuters that Chile's copper industry had kept the contagion rate to just 2% with a strict testing regime and by keeping half of its more than 200,000-strong workforce at home. 

Jul 08 - Gold-hungry investors drive ETF stockpile to new record in June 
Gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) added 104 tonnes of the metal worth $5.6 billion to their hoard in June as investors worried about the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak rushed to buy bullion, the World Gold Council said on Tuesday.  ETFs, which store gold for investors, added 734 tonnes to their holdings in the first half of 2020 - more than in any previous full year, the World Gold Council said. 

Jul 08 - Newcrest Mining to explore options for its stake in SolGold - sources 
Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd has hired investment bank RBC Capital Markets to explore options for its 13.57% stake in gold and copper producer SolGold, two sources said, after it contested SolGold's latest fundraising initiative. The Ecuador-focused company agreed in May a financing package of up to $150 million and a $15 million bridge loan for its Alpala project with streaming company Franco-Nevada defying Newcrest, which had urged it to raise funds via equity. 

Jul 08 - Glencore copper mine in Congo says six workers have coronavirus 
Six workers at Glencore's Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) mine in Democratic Republic of Congo's Lualaba province have tested positive for the coronavirus, KCC said on Tuesday. The copper and cobalt miner said none of the workers screened and tested presented symptoms of COVID-19, adding they are isolating at home under medical supervision. 

Jul 08 - China's Nanjing Iron & Steel seals blockchain iron ore deal with Rio Tinto JV 
China's Nanjing Iron & Steel Co Ltd said on Wednesday it has completed its first blockchain-backed trade in iron ore after booking a $16.87 million shipment of the steelmaking ingredient from a joint venture of miner Rio Tinto.  Blockchain, a digital ledger that forms the backbone of many cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, helps to boost efficiency and transparency. 

Jul 08 - Japan July-Sept crude steel output forecast to fall 27.9% yr/yr – METI 
Japan's crude steel output is forecast to fall 27.9% in the July-September quarter from a year earlier to 17.70 million tonnes, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Wednesday. Demand for steel products, including those for exports, is forecast to drop 24.3% to 17.28 million tonnes in July-September compared with a year earlier, the ministry said, citing an industry survey.  Exports are forecast to decline 28.6%, the ministry said.

Jul 08 - Australian rare earth miner Lynas chairman Harding to retire 
Australian rare earth miner Lynas Corp said on Tuesday chairman Mike Harding intends to retire by September 30 after more than five years in the role. Kathleen Conlon, a non-executive director at the firm since 2011, has been elected to succeed Harding. 

Jul 08 - Canada's Lundin Gold expects output of up to 220,000 oz from Ecuador mine in 2020 
Canadian miner Lundin Gold Inc expects to produce between 200,000 and 220,000 ounces of gold this year at its Fruta del Norte gold mine in the Ecuadorean Amazon, its head told Reuters, after restarting operations last weekend. Lundin halted production in March when Ecuador's government declared a health emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic and the firm cut staffing at the site to the mininum required.

Jul 07 - China approves more scrap metal import quotas as new system slips 
China has approved its largest scrap metal import quotas since April, a government notice showed on Monday, after failing to clarify its new system for bringing in high-quality scrap material by the scheduled date.  The allowances published by the China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Center - for 176,746 tonnes of high-grade copper scrap, 209,660 tonnes of aluminium scrap and 4,990 tonnes of steel scrap imports in 2020 - will ease fears over a shortage of supply after implementation of the new system was delayed. 

Jul 07 - London aluminium hit by flash squeeze even as stocks surge: Andy Home 
The London aluminium market was rocked by a short but severe squeeze last week. Short-position holders had to cough up as much as $20 per tonne to roll their positions a day.  This may seem strange given the world is apparently once again awash in aluminium. London Metal Exchange stocks (LME) have surged by 68% from a mid-March low of 967,325 tonnes to 1,624,775. 

Jul 07 - Russian watchdog seeks $2 bln in damages from Nornickel over Arctic fuel spill
Russia's environmental watchdog has asked a power subsidiary of Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) to pay almost 148 billion roubles ($2 billion) in damages over an Arctic fuel spill in Siberia. Rosprirodnadzor said in a statement on Monday that it had sent a request for "voluntary compensation" to the subsidiary, NTEK, after calculating the damage caused by the May 29 fuel spill. Nornickel's Moscow-listed shares fell by 5% after the watchdog's statement.

Jul 07 - Kibali's $500 million will be cleared to leave Congo 'very soon' - Barrick CEO 
Barrick Gold's Kibali gold mining joint venture in Democratic Republic of Congo will be able to get $500 million out of the country very soon, CEO Mark Bristow told Reuters on Monday.  The gold miner has been in discussions with Congo's government over how to get the money out of the country for months. A resolution was close in January, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bristow said in a telephone interview.

Jul 07 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC  
Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to June 30, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Monday. The speculators also upped their net long position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Jul 07 - Some Japanese aluminium buyers agree Q3 premium at $79/T, down 3.7% from Q2 - sources 
Some Japanese aluminium buyers have agreed to pay a global producer a $79 per tonne premium for July to September shipments, down 3.7% from the previous quarter, reflecting lower demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic, three sources directly involved in the pricing talks said. Japan is Asia's biggest aluminium importer and the premiums for primary metal shipments it agrees to pay each quarter over the benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME) cash price set the pricing tone for the region.

Jul 07 - Australia's Prospect Resources picks advisor for sale of Zimbabwe lithium mine 
Australian-listed Prospect Resources said on Monday it had picked Renaissance Securities Capital as its exclusive financial advisor for the possible sale of shares in Zimbabwe's Arcadia Lithium mine to Russian energy firm Uranium One. Uranium One, a unit of Russia's state-owned nuclear energy firm Rosatom, agreed with Prospect last December to start talks towards buying equity in Arcadia and an offtake agreement.

Jul 06 - Chinese miners' deal frenzy seen stalling on regulatory hurdles 
Growing scrutiny by mineral-rich Australia and Canada may cut short a deal frenzy led by China's state miners and limit Beijing's role in gold sector consolidation, bankers and analysts said. Shandong Gold Mining Co and Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd have driven a wave of acquisitions from the Canadian Arctic to South America to West Africa this year.  Canada and Australia have recently tightened restrictions on investment by state-backed firms, fearing economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic will make it easier to buy strategic assets. No specific countries have been named under the revised guidelines.

Jul 06 - 'On the edge': Chile copper production at risk as coronavirus bites 
Chile's vaunted copper industry is nearing a tipping point as coronavirus explodes across the South American nation, mine workers and analysts say, laying bare the hidden costs of policies that have until now salvaged its output of the red metal. Since early April leading miners, including state-owned Codelco, BHP, Anglo American, Glencore and Antofagasta have doubled down with skeleton crews in the world's largest copper producer, churning out more amid the pandemic than the year before.

Jul 06 - Keep SMB's Congo coltan mine in supply chains, says mineral tracker 
Insecurity around Société Minière de Bisunzu's (SMB) coltan mine in Democratic Republic of Congo could get worse if it is cut out of supply chains following a deadly grenade attack there, the company running the mine's mineral tracing scheme said. Up to three people were reported killed in the attack on June 23 in Kisura village, which is on an unmined part of SMB's vast mining concession known as PE 4731. 

Jul 06 - Congo mines minister to meet with firms on confinement moratorium 
Democratic Republic of Congo mines minister Willy Kitobo Samsoni plans to meet with mining companies to agree a moratorium on confining workers to mine sites due to the coronavirus. Civil society groups last month demanded an end to mandatory mine-site confinement policies put in place by copper and cobalt mining companies to avoid coronavirus outbreaks. 

Jul 06 - Chile´s Codelco to suspend El Teniente copper mine expansion, cites pandemic 
Chile´s state-run Codelco said on Saturday it would temporarily halt construction on a new level at its flagship El Teniente mine, a move it said was necessary to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. World top copper producer Codelco said in a statement the measure would bring the total reduction in staff at its Teniente operations to 4,500 people. The mine will continue to operate with a previously announced shift schedule of 14 days on and 14 days off to protect workers, the company said.

Jul 06 - Over 80 workers at Trevali Mining's Santander mine test positive for COVID-19 
Copper miner Trevali Mining said on Friday that a total of 82 workers have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, at its Santander mine in Peru, where operations have been suspended. The company said late in June that 19 workers at the mine tested positive during routine testing, after which the mine's operations were suspended and 298 workers on the site underwent further testing. 

Jul 06 - Small tailings dam collapses in Ecuador, communities denounce pollution
A small tailings dam associated with a mine run by Ecuadorean firm Austro Gold has collapsed, Ecuador's government said on Friday, sending mining waste into a nearby river. A retaining wall collapsed at the Armijos tailings station, located in the Camilo Ponce Enriquez area in southern Ecuador, the energy and mines ministry said. Nobody was injured.

Jul 06 - HSBC closes its industrial metals business 
HSBC Holdings Plc has decided to close its industrial metals business, it told Reuters on Friday, as Europe's largest bank pushes ahead with plans to cut around 35,000 jobs. HSBC was a small player in industrial metals. It exited the business in 2005 but had in recent years began to slowly re-enter, with around 2-3 staff in the unit.

Jul 06 - Vale CFO says dividend payments may resume depending on coronavirus pandemic 
Brazilian miner Vale SA is ready to resume dividend payments to investors and is just waiting for more certainty around the coronavirus pandemic before approving the move, Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani told investors on Friday.  Vale has suspended dividend payments since the Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, dam burst, in 2019. The company last paid dividends in September 2018.

Jul 03 - Copper's bull run at risk as China enters slow summer season
A stunning V-shaped recovery in the price of copper is looking stretched as top consumer China enters its summer construction slowdown and fears of supply disruptions from the coronavirus have been mostly priced into the market. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange leapt 21% in the second quarter - its best quarter in a decade - on a strong post-virus recovery in China, fears of supply upsets, a weaker U.S. dollar and massive global stimulus.

Jul 03 - China copper smelters cut Q3 treatment charge floor - sources
China's top copper smelters on Friday cut their floor treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for copper concentrate in the third quarter by 3.6% from a year ago, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, amid concerns over tight supplies. The China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) set the treatment charge floor at $53 per tonne and the refining charge floor at 5.3 cents per pound during a video conference, said the people, who declined to be identified as the information is not public.

Jul 03 - World top copper producer Chile keeps output steady in May even as coronavirus explodes
World top copper producer Chile held its production of copper steady in May versus the previous year even as the coronavirus outbreak exploded in the South American nation, according to data released on Thursday by state copper agency Cochilco. The fast-spreading pandemic in Chile has rattled markets. The country´s Andean and northern desert deposits account for nearly one-third the world´s supply of the red metal.

Jul 03 - Rio Tinto cuts reserves at Mongolian copper project as costs rise 
Rio Tinto on Friday cut estimated reserves at its underground copper mine extension in Mongolia and confirmed it would face delays and higher costs after ground instability forced it to redesign its mine plan. Oyu Tolgoi (OT) is Rio's biggest copper growth project but has faced geological challenges. In July last year, Rio estimated the project's capital cost at $6.5 billion to $7.2 billion, as much as $1.9 billion more than its initial estimate in 2016. 

Jul 03 - A miraculous COVID-19 recovery but Dr Copper needs more tests: Andy Home 
Doctor Copper has staged a miraculous COVID-19 recovery. But with few signs the world economy is set for an equally impressive bounce back, he needs to remain under observation for any sign of a relapse. London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month copper ended the first half of the year at $6,015 per tonne, up a whopping 38% from March lows and only 3.0% shy of the level at which it started 2020.

Jul 03 - Chile´s Codelco warns more restrictions on copper mines would be 'catastrophic' - report
Chile´s state-run Codelco, the world´s top copper producer, warned on Thursday any move to ramp up restrictions on its mines amid the coronavirus outbreak would be "catastrophic" for the country, the company´s chief executive said in an interview in a local daily newspaper. CEO Octavio Araneda said the miner, which turns over all its profits to government coffers, had acted quickly and proactively to contain the virus, despite increasing criticism from unions and politicians in recent weeks.

Jul 03 - Antofagasta reaches early copper supply deals with China smelters
China's top two copper smelters clinched copper concentrate supply deals with miner Antofagasta for the first half of 2021, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. Jiangxi Copper and Tongling Nonferrous signed agreements to take concentrate, or partially processed copper ore, from the Chilean miner after a recent round of talks, the sources said.

Jul 03 - Death toll rises above 160 in Myanmar jade mine collapse
The death toll in a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar has risen above 160, with more feared dead, authorities said on Friday, as search efforts continued for a second day. A heap of mining waste collapsed into a lake on Thursday and buried many workers under mud and water.

Jul 03 - Australia's Metals X to sell copper assets as shareholder fight leads to cash crunch
Australia's Metals X Ltd is looking to sell its entire copper portfolio after issues with a shareholder hindered the company's ability to repay debt, the diversified miner said on Thursday. The copper assets include the Paterson exploration project, for which Metals X signed a farm-in agreement last month with nickel miner IGO Ltd, Nifty copper operation and Maroochydore copper project - all located in Western Australia.

Jul 03 - China's Chalco shuts down 10% of its alumina capacity
Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, known as Chalco, said on Thursday it would implement "flexible production", a phrase used to refer to output cuts, at three alumina production lines accounting for about 10% of its total capacity. Chalco is the world's biggest supplier of alumina, the substance used to make aluminum, with an annual capacity of 18.86 million tonnes, according to its annual report, which adds that it produced 13.8 million tonnes in 2019.

Jul 03 - India's June gold imports plunge on record price, lockdown
India's gold imports plunged 86% year-on-year in June due to record high prices and as international air travel was banned and many jewellery shops closed amid a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, a government source said. The world's second-biggest consumer of the precious metal imported around 11 tonnes of gold in June, down from 77.7 tonnes a year ago, the source, who asked to remain anonymous since he is not authorised to speak to the media, said on Thursday.

Jul 03 - Nornickel draws up permafrost monitoring plan after Arctic fuel spill
Russia's Norilsk Nickel, a major global nickel and palladium producer, has prepared a long-term programme to monitor permafrost and remedy environmental damage after an Arctic fuel spill in its home city, it said on Thursday. A fuel tank lost pressure on May 29 and unleashed 21,000 tonnes of diesel into rivers and subsoil near Norilsk, an incident that Greenpeace has compared to the devastating 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska.

Jul 03 - Britain provides emergency loan to Celsa Steel
Britain agreed an emergency loan to the British arm of Celsa Steel on Thursday, designed to keep the company trading and safeguard more than 1,000 jobs, mostly at a site in south Wales. The size of the loan was not disclosed. The government said it expected to be repaid in full and that the deal depended on commitments to protect jobs and meet environmental targets.

Jul 03 - Coltan supply from SMB mine in Congo unaffected by clashes - mines minister
Activity at Societe Miniere de Bisunzu's (SMB) coltan mine in Congo's North Kivu province is continuing as normal and supply chains were not disrupted despite violent clashes last week, the region's mines minister said on Thursday. SMB has some of Africa's biggest deposits of coltan, an ore rich in tantalum, which is used widely in smartphones.

Jul 02 - CME amends its new gold contract to allow delivery in London
CME Group said it would expand delivery options for its new gold contract to include vaults in London as well as in New York after disruption to supply routes caused havoc in gold markets earlier this year. CME operates the Comex exchange, the world's biggest gold futures trading venue.

Jul 02 - BHP´s Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile to scale down operations
Global miner BHP said on Wednesday it would begin to ramp down activity at its small Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile amid the coronavirus pandemic which has thrown metals markets into disarray. Cerro Colorado produced 71,700 tonnes of copper in 2019, or approximately 1.2% of Chile´s total.

Jul 02 - Perth Mint sales at four-month low as demand for physical gold slumps
The Perth Mint's sales of gold products fell 30% to its lowest in four months in June as the coronavirus crisis weakened demand for jewellery, coins and minted bars, even though investors in international commodity markets sent the gold price higher. Compounding factors such as drop in footfall through jewellery stores in India, China and other markets caused by the coronavirus crisis, the mint has faced criticism over how it sources its metal.

Jul 02 - Metals have placed their bets on China, global V-shaped recovery: Russell
Metals markets appear to have made up their mind that the global economy is likely to have a V-shaped economic recovery, and that China is already in this happy condition. The prices of copper, aluminium and iron ore, on exchanges in China and elsewhere, are pointing to a consensus that the worst of the economic hit from the novel coronavirus is over.

Jul 02 - India's June gold imports plunge 86% y/y to 11 T – govt source
India's gold imports plunged 86% year-on-year in June due to record high prices and as international air travel was banned and many jewellery shops were closed amid a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, a government source said. The world's second-biggest consumer of the precious metal imported around 11 tonnes of gold in June, down from 77.73 tonnes a year ago, the source said on Thursday. The source asked to remain anonymous since he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Jul 02 - LME seeks to boost options market with new electronic system
The London Metal Exchange (LME) launched a consultation on Wednesday about plans to boost options trading through simpler rules and a new electronic trading system. The exchange, the world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said in a statement it planned to develop a new electronic trading platform that would allow broader participation in options trading.

Jul 02 - China copper smelter Fangyuan says failed to fully repay 3-yr bond
Chinese copper smelter Dongying Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Co said it had failed to repay all of its 1.5 billion yuan ($212.44 million) bond last year, as the embattled firm and its founder prepare for a legal hearing brought by a creditor. There has been "no progress on the bond repayment by the firm itself," Dongying Fangyuan said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, where the bond was traded, without providing a reason.

Jul 02 - Brazil's Vale to relocate 50 people near dams, expanding 'safety zone' 
Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Wednesday it will relocate about 50 people near a series of tailings dams in the state of Minas Gerais to reflect concern that a wider area could be hit by a potential dam burst. Vale said in a securities filing that the move to expand the "safety zone" around the Forquilha dams in the case of a dam collapse had been taken based on more conservative studies and an "extreme" hypothesis.

Jul 02 - Most miners at Poland's biggest coal company recover from COVID-19 
Poland's biggest coal producer, state-run PGG, said on Wednesday that most of its infected miners have recovered from the novel coronavirus, as the company relies on government support to see it through the crisis. Polish coal mines have struggled with the rapid spread of the virus, with the mining region in southern Poland accounting for at least half of new daily cases throughout much of May and June. PGG had reported 1886 cases as of Wednesday.

Jul 02 - Peru mining activity tumbles in May for third straight month
Activity in Peru's mining and hydrocarbons sector plummeted 45.79% in May from a year earlier, the third straight monthly drop, the government said on Wednesday, due to a lockdown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Peru, the world's second largest copper producer, began a strict quarantine in mid-March, while in May the government ordered the gradual restart of some key industries, a move that allowed miners to starting ramping up production.

Jul 01 - Precious metals, biotech among Q2 fund winners as markets rebounded 
Funds that rode the market's rally to generate the highest second-quarter returns included those invested in assets such as mining stocks, energy and technology.  Global financial markets staged an impressive rebound in the second quarter despite deepening economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic, with the U.S. equity benchmark S&P 500 index clocking its strongest performance since the fourth quarter of 1998. 

Jul 01 - EU rejects calls by steel industry to cut import quotas 
The European Union made only modest changes to its measures to protect the steel sector on Tuesday, sparking an angry response from an industry that had called for reduced import quotas to head off a potential glut of inflows. The EU put in place safeguard measures in 2018 to guard against shipments redirected to Europe after Washington's imposition of 25% steel tariffs closed the U.S. market to many exporters.

Jul 01 - India gold prices hit all-time high as virus spike lifts safe-haven demand 
Gold prices in India hit an all-time high on Wednesday, tracking a global rally, as surging coronavirus cases in many countries raised the metal's safe-haven appeal. Local gold futures hit an all-time high of 48,871 rupees ($646.66) per 10 grams in early trade, taking their gains to 25% in 2020 so far. The contract had gained nearly 25% in 2019.

Jul 01 - Lead market gets a jump-start as lockdowns lift: Andy Home 
The easing of COVID-19 restrictions around the world is generating a short-term demand boost for the lead market.  Many drivers, including this columnist, have got back into their cars after weeks of lockdown only to be faced with a dead lead-acid battery.

Jul 01 - Indian private firms seen developing 15 mln T capacity coal mines this yr - minister 
India's private companies could start developing coal mines with an annual capacity of 15 million tonnes by the end of March, the country's coal minister told Reuters, a move that would end the near-monopoly of state-run Coal India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month officially launched the auction of 41 coal mines to companies including those in the private sector, with an annual production capacity that is nearly one third of national total output. 

Jul 01 - Russia's Polyus maintains output targets following COVID outbreak at largest mine 
Russia's largest gold producer Polyus on Tuesday confirmed its output forecasts for this year and next following a major outbreak of coronavirus at its main Olimpiada mine in Siberia, which infected nearly a quarter of workers at the site. Polyus started testing all its staff in the Siberian Krasnoyarsk region, where the mine is located, in April, and found 1,400 positive cases among its 6,000 employees and contractors. 

Jul 01 - Global nickel market surplus narrows in April to 8,800 T - INSG 
The global nickel market surplus narrowed to 8,800 tonnes in April from an downwardly revised 10,900 tonnes the previous month, data from the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) showed. For the first four months of this year, there was a global surplus of 53,900 tonnes compared with a deficit of 23,500 tonnes in the same period of 2019, Lisbon-based INSG added.

Jul 01 - Egypt says gold deposit discovered in southeast 
Egypt's Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said on Tuesday a gold deposit with estimated resources of 1 million ounces had been discovered in the southeast of the country.  The deposit lies in the concession area of the military-controlled Shalateen Mining Company in the Eastern Desert's Iqaat area, it said in a statement. 

Jul 01 - India's Jindal Steel and Power to sell Oman unit for more than $1 bln to cut debt 
India's Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) said on Tuesday it is selling its Oman subsidiary to Templar Investments Limited in a deal valued at over $1 billion, to ease the group's debt burden. The sale still needs to be approved by JSPL's shareholders and lenders as well as India's markets regulator, but JSPL said in a statement that it hopes it will be completed within a month.

Jun 30 - China to keep issuing scrap import quotas till end-2020 - environment ministry
China's environment ministry said on Tuesday it would keep up its system of approving import quotas for solid waste, including scrap metal, until the end of 2020, in a move that will soothe concerns over imminent disruption to supply. "In the second half of the year, our ministry will continue the approval mode ... and further reduce the import volume of solid waste, including scrap metal, according to the established plan," Liu Youbin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said at a monthly press conference.

Jun 30 - Freeport Indonesia's Jan-May copper, gold output below target - MIND ID
Freeport Indonesia's production of copper concentrate and copper ore were both below its initial targets this year, state holding firm Mining Industry Indonesia (MIND ID) told parliament on Tuesday. Freeport's January-May copper concentrate production stood at 524,492 tonnes, 85% of the 616,277 tonnes targeted.

Jun 30 - China's May gold exports via Hong Kong outpace imports for 2nd month
China's net gold imports via Hong Kong in May fell below its exports for a second straight month, but were still 85% higher than April, as domestic supply remained abundant in the top consumer amid a bleak demand outlook, data showed on Monday. Net gold imports via Hong Kong stood at minus 1.5 tonnes from the minus 10.3 tonnes in April, which was the first time imports fell short of exports since at least 2011, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data showed.

Jun 30 - Coal prices slammed on slumping India imports, China fears: Russell
Seaborne coal prices in Asia have plunged to the lowest in more than a decade as shipments to the region's top importers, especially India, have come under pressure in the midst of the coronavirus-led economic slowdown. The benchmark Australian thermal coal price, the weekly Newcastle Index, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, slumped to $48.14 a tonne in the week to June 26, the lowest since November 2006 and down 31% from the peak so far this year of $69.59 in mid-January.

Jun 30 - EU climate transition needs mineral miners, not coal miners
The European Union needs to transform its coal-mining regions into the source of minerals for clean technology, such as cobalt and rare earths, if it is to meet its climate goals and curb import reliance, a senior official said on Monday. The European Union has long wrestled with its dependency on imported natural resources. But the debate has gathered momentum as it seeks to use the coronavirus crisis to spur a green recovery and meet its ambitions to become a net zero economy by 2050.

Jun 30 - Voestalpine strengthens railway unit with buys in France, China, Argentina
Austrian specialty steelmaker Voestalpine said on Monday it had bought a railway switch plant in France and stakes in companies in China and Argentina to strengthen its production capacity in the railway business. With the acquisition of the French switch plant SEI.L (Societe d'Equipement Industriel.Lietaert) Voestalpine is positioning itself for orders from railway operator SNCF, which is expected make significant infrastructure investments in coming years, it said.

Jun 30 - Environmental groups propose tailings dam safety standards
Mining companies should be required to buy private insurance for tailings dams and their board of directors should be held legally responsible for any disasters, a coalition of 140 environmental groups said in a report published on Tuesday. The recommendations, which differ from standards to be published soon from a group that includes miners and investors, come as public scrutiny over tailings dams has intensified after the deadly 2019 collapse of a Brazil dam owned by Vale SA.

Jun 30 - Kirkland Lake Gold sued in U.S. over Detour purchase
Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd, the Canadian mining company, was sued on Monday in U.S. federal court for allegedly defrauding shareholders about its business plans before its C$4.1 billion (US$3 billion) purchase of Detour Gold Corp caused its stock to tumble. In a proposed class action filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, shareholder Stephen Brahms accused Toronto-based Kirkland of making false and misleading statements during 2019 about its risks and two key mining metrics, all-in sustaining costs and reserve grade.

Jun 29 - World agencies step in as pandemic poverty hits artisanal miners
From a $15 million World Bank fund to an experimental gold-buying project in Burkina Faso, development agencies are delivering financial aid to subsistence miners the COVID-19 pandemic has impoverished. World market prices of gold - viewed by investors as a safe store of value in uncertain times - have surged to levels last seen in 2012, and are up 16% this year.

Jun 29 - All tangled up: China confusion leaves scrap metal stranded overseas
China is dragging its feet in releasing new codes governing high-grade copper and aluminium scrap imports, leaving scrap metal firms abroad confused and without a clear way into their key market. Top metals consumer China has carried out an environmental campaign against foreign garbage in recent years, progressively restricting scrap inflows and planning a ban on all solid waste imports by the end of 2020.

Jun 29 - Chilean mines minister sees 3.5% drop in copper output as coronavirus impact grows
Chile's mines minister Baldo Prokurica on Friday cited figures projecting a decline in the country's copper output of 200,000 tonnes as a result of the growing impact of the new coronavirus on the industry.  Prokurica said the Cochilco copper commission's projection, representing around 3.5% of Chile's total 2019 production, was a best guess since the combined impact of the virus and economic fallout made it "very difficult" to predict with certainty.

Jun 29 - Shrinking aerospace demand to keep pressure on cobalt prices
Cobalt prices are at 10-month lows due to sagging demand from the electric vehicle and aerospace sectors amid the COVID-19 pandemic and look likely to slide further as airlines defer maintenance. Airlines such as Australia's Qantas, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines are looking to defer plane deliveries from Airbus and Boeing and this means postponed demand for cobalt and nickel alloys used in jet turbine blades.

Jun 29 - BHP completes first blockchain iron ore trade with China's Baosteel
BHP Group has completed its first blockchain trade in iron ore with China Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, in a transaction worth around $14 million. BHP and technology firm MineHub said in separate statements on Monday that blockchain - a digital ledger that forms the backbone of many cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin - would boost efficiency and transparency. They did not say whether BHP has used blockchain before for other uses.

Jun 29 - Iron ore, gold are keeping Australia's luck from running out: Russell
Iron ore and gold may seem unlikely bed fellows, but in the current coronavirus pandemic they are combining to try and hold up Australia's reputation as the "lucky country". While the country's unbroken 29-year stretch of economic growth will be ended by the pandemic, the resource sector is proving to be key in cushioning the blow and likely ensuring Australia outperforms other developed economies.

Jun 29 - Congo aims to launch state cobalt monopoly in two months, mines minister says
Democratic Republic of Congo will begin its state-controlled buying of artisanal cobalt in about two months time, having been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the mines minister said on Thursday. In January, the government created the Entreprise Generale du Cobalt as a subsidiary of state mining company Gecamines to purchase and market all cobalt that is not mined industrially in an effort to exert greater influence over prices.

Jun 29 - Congo president wins approval for state mining company nominees
Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi won approval on Friday for his nominations to lead state mining company Gecamines, its chairman said, after they were held up by allies of Tshisekedi's predecessor for over a year. The approval from the public portfolio ministry could allow Tshisekedi to exert more influence over Gecamines, which controls minority stakes in most of Congo's largest copper and cobalt projects.

Jun 29 - Australia's South32 names industry veteran to lead Illawarra, manganese ops
Australian miner South32 on Monday promoted industry veteran Jason Economidis as joint chief operating officer (COO) and said he would head its operations at Cannington, Illawarra Metallurgical Coal and Worsley Alumina mines in the country. Economidis, who was appointed vice president of operations at Illawarra in 2018, will also manage the company's Australian manganese operations.

Jun 29 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC
Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to June 23, 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.

Jun 29 - Rio Tinto reaches power supply deal with Mongolia for Oyu Tolgoi mine
Rio Tinto said on Monday that Mongolia would build a coal-fired plant that would supply power to its giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in the country, with construction set to start by this time next year. The Mongolian state owns 34% in the Oyu Tolgoi project, while Rio's majority-owned Turquoise Hill Resources has a 66% stake.

Jun 29 - COVID-19 hits tin and zinc supply but focus now on copper: Andy Home
COVID-19 has generated the most severe demand shock for industrial metals since the financial crisis a decade ago. The first-round impact came from the lockdown of key demand sectors such as automotive.

Jun 29 - Dutch Tata Steel workers strike at IJmuiden plant
Tata Steel factory workers went on strike for the second time in three days on Sunday to protest planned job cuts in the Netherlands, delaying a shipment to Britain, labour union FNV said. Workers have held work stoppages since June 10, but the actions were suspended last week while talks were held with Tata Steel Europe's management.

Jun 29 - Yanomami men killed by illegal gold miners in northern Brazil, tribe says
Two Yanomami men were killed with shot guns by gold rush miners on their reservation in the northern Amazon region, according to a statement released on Saturday by the tribe, the largest in Brazil that is relatively isolated from the outside world. The Yanomami are imploring Brazil's government to evict more than 20,000 miners illegally prospecting for gold on their land in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 160 and killed five members of the tribe.

Jun 26 - U.S. imposes sanctions on companies operating in Iran's metals sector 
The United States on Thursday blacklisted four companies in Iran's metals sector, as well as one German and three Emirati subsidiaries of Iran's largest steelmaker that Washington said generate millions of dollars for Tehran's metals industry. The Treasury Department said in a statement that the sales agents together generated tens of millions of dollars annually from the foreign sale of Mobarakeh Steel Company products, contributing to billions of dollars generated overall by Iran's steel, aluminum, copper and iron sectors.

Jun 26 - Chile's Codelco halts Chuquicamata smelter and refinery amid coronavirus 
Chilean copper miner Codelco said on Thursday it was suspending refinery and foundry operations at its sprawling Chuquicamata division to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus. The world's biggest copper miner said in a statement that the measure was "transitory" in nature and aimed at "reducing exposure, reinforcing preventive efforts and controls for the safety and health of people" working in the affected areas of the division.

Jun 26 - Amazon gold rush: illegal mining threatens Brazil's last major isolated tribe 
Illegal gold mining activity has risen sharply over the last five years in Brazil's indigenous Yanomami reservation in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, a Reuters review of exclusive data from satellite images shows. The Yanomami are the largest of South America's tribes that remain relatively isolated from the outside world. More than 26,700 people live within a protected reservation the size of Portugal, near the Venezuelan border.

Jun 26 - Brazil's Vale signs deal with authorities on COVID-19 monitoring at Itabira mines 
Brazilian miner Vale SA has signed an agreement on monitoring for possible coronavirus cases at its Itabira complex, a major iron ore production facility temporarily shuttered earlier this month out of health concerns, authorities said on Thursday. A number of sanitary measures including testing all workers every 21 days were agreed with labor prosecutors in Minas Gerais state and with a local court, the authorities said, adding that Vale now had 15 days to draw up the details of a virus mitigation plan.

Jun 26 - Congo aims to launch state cobalt monopoly in two months, mines minister says 
Democratic Republic of Congo will begin its state-controlled buying of artisanal cobalt in around two months, having been delayed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the mines minister told Reuters on Thursday. In January the government created the Entreprise Generale du Cobalt as a subsidiary of state mining company Gecamines to purchase and market all cobalt that is not mined industrially in an effort to exert greater influence over prices.

Jun 26 - ArcelorMittal seeks EU support to make steel greener 
ArcelorMittal on Thursday outlined plans and costs for steelmaking processes that produce less carbon, but also called for investment support from European Union states as well as carbon border taxes. Europe's steelmakers like ArcelorMittal, are under pressure to cut carbon emissions while maintaining profitability in a market where there is fierce competition, mainly from China. 

Jun 26 - South Africa's mines record six COVID-19 deaths, 1,796 cases 
South Africa's mining industry has recorded 1,796 cases of COVID-19 with six deaths, the Minerals Council said on Thursday as mines ramp up after an extended shutdown. The sector has conducted 15,994 COVID-19 tests so far, the industry body told reporters.  The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among mineworkers is around 1.6% of South Africa's current total of 111,796 cases.

Jun 26 - Canada's AJN Resources says only it can add lustre to Congolese gold assets 
Canada-listed junior miner AJN Resources dismissed an attempt to block the company's plan to buy five gold projects in Democratic Republic of Congo and said the country needed it to bring value to the assets. Civil society groups on Thursday called on the president and prime minister to block a draft deal announced in early February, which cabinet meeting minutes showed last week is awaiting their approval.

Jun 26 - South Africa's Harmony raises $200 million in share sale 
Harmony Gold raised $200 million after issuing more than 60 million new ordinary shares to partly fund its purchase of rival AngloGold Ashanti's last remaining South African assets, the company said on Thursday. Harmony agreed in February to buy AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng mine, the world's deepest gold mine, and its Mine Waste Solutions assets for about $300 million.

Jun 25 - Global tailings dam standards fall short of changes sought by civil society groups
A sweeping global standard that sets out how the world's largest miners care for waste dams falls short of measures environmental and civil society groups say are needed to avert future disasters, according to a copy of the final draft seen by Reuters. A panel of industry, investor and U.N. groups has been working for more than a year on the standard, triggered by the 2019 collapse of Vale SA's Brumadinho upstream tailings dam that killed more than 250 people. The standard is not binding but the panel expects that miners will adhere to it.

Jun 25 - Inside Iran’s secret project to produce aluminium powder for missiles
At the edge of the desert in North Khorasan province in northeast Iran, near the country’s largest deposit of bauxite, sits an aluminium production complex that the government has publicly hailed as a key part of its efforts to boost output of the metal. But the site near the city of Jajarm is also home to a secret facility set up by Iran’s elite security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, that has been producing aluminium powder for use in its missile programme, according to a former Iranian government official and documents relating to the facility he shared with Reuters. Aluminium powder, derived from bauxite, is a key ingredient in solid-fuel propellants used to launch missiles.

Jun 25 - COVID-19 will tilt aluminium axis further towards China: Andy Home
China's giant aluminium production sector seems to have emerged unscathed from the COVID-19 crisis. The country's annualised production rose by 718,000 tonnes to 36.56 million tonnes over the first five months of this year, the latest estimate from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) found. China's share of global output touched 57% in May. Since the IAI first started using its own assessments of Chinese production, the country has only exceeded that level a couple of times in 2018, a year of record national output. 

Jun 25 - Demand plunge will spoil gold rally, says Metals Focus
Demand for gold will weaken this year as a surge in purchases by investors will not offset a dramatic fall in consumption by jewellers, industry and central banks, an industry report said on Wednesday. Consultancy Metals Focus also predicted that gold prices would average $1,700 an ounce this year, suggesting that a rally to eight-year highs around $1,770 will stall. 

Jun 25 - Chilean copper miner Codelco hit by third COVID-19 death
Chilean state miner Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, on Wednesday reported the death of a third worker who had contracted the new coronavirus. The death will pile further pressure on the country`s economically key copper mining industry as unions seek greater protection for workers. 

Jun 25 - Australia's Orocobre warns of 53% plunge in June-quarter lithium sales volume
Australia's Orocobre Ltd on Thursday warned sales volume of lithium carbonate would more than halve in the June quarter from its flagship Olaroz mine, and brought forward its scheduled maintenance period for the Argentinian project. The miner said it expected total sales volume for the lithium by-product to be 1,600 tonnes during the April-June period, compared with 3,387 tonnes last year, as restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus dented production and demand for the metal.

Jun 25 - China's Ganfeng Lithium buys 6.9% stake in cobalt firm Tengyuan
China's Ganfeng Lithium, one of the world's biggest producers of the material, said late on Wednesday it would buy almost 7% in Chinese cobalt firm Ganzhou Tengyuan Cobalt New Material for 300.12 million yuan ($42 million). The move marks Ganfeng's first investment in production of cobalt, which – like lithium – is a key ingredient in rechargeable batteries for the electric vehicle industry, now booming around the world. 

Jun 25 - South Africa's Harmony raises $200 million in share sale
Harmony Gold raised $200 million after issuing more than 60 million new ordinary shares to partly fund its purchase of rival AngloGold Ashanti's last remaining South African assets, the company said on Thursday. Harmony agreed in February to buy AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng mine, the world's deepest gold mine, and its Mine Waste Solutions assets for about $300 million. 

Jun 25 - South Africa's Implats lifts force majeure, revises 2020 output
Impala Platinum (Implats) has lifted force majeure it had declared on contracts and revised 2020 production guidance as its South African mines returned to 85% capacity following a lockdown. South Africa, the world's No. 1 platinum producer, saw mining production fall sharply in March and April, when mines were forced to shut temporarily due measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus . 

Jun 25 - Dutch Tata Steel workers suspend strike as talks resume - union
Employees at Tata Steel's Dutch factory in IJmuiden have suspended their strike action after the company indicated its willingness to talk, the CNV labour union said on Wednesday. The union said workers had given Tata two days to come up with a proposal to meet their demands after the company invited unions to return to the negotiating table.

Jun 25 - Artisanal miner in Tanzania finds large rare gemstones worth $3.3 million
A Tanzanian subsistence miner hit the jackpot on Wednesday after the government handed him a cheque for 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings ($3.35 million) for the two largest tanzanite gemstones ever found. The two dark violet-blue gemstones, each about the size of a forearm, were discovered by Saniniu Laizer in one of the tanzanite mines in the north of the country which are surrounded by a wall to control cross-border smuggling of the gemstones.

Jun 25 - Three dead in violence at SMB's coltan mine in Congo
Three people were reported killed on Tuesday during clashes at Société Minière de Bisunzu's (SMB) coltan mine in eastern Congo, but the mine's owners and the cooperative that operates it gave diverging accounts that disputed the police role in the violence. SMB's mine near Rubaya, North Kivu province, is operated by mineworkers from COOPERAMMA, a local collective. The mine has seen an increase in deadly violence between mineworkers and police hired by SMB to oversee the site and prevent smuggling.

Jun 24 - LME to examine floor reopening after easing of UK lockdown
The London Metal Exchange (LME) will examine whether the easing of social-distancing restrictions in England from July 4 will apply to its open-outcry floor, which has been closed for three months. The 143-year-old exchange temporarily closed the floor - the last open-outcry floor in Europe - on March 23 due to COVID-19 restrictions and shifted activity to its electronic system.

Jun 24 - Lead gets lifeline as essential industries energise battery demand
Demand for lead-acid batteries from hospitals and food producers seeking more backup power during the coronavirus pandemic is helping battery and lead producers weather a collapse in orders from the auto sector. For high-quality lead producers such as Glencore's Britannia Refined Metals, Ecobat Technologies and others, the additional demand from customers outside the car industry has helped keep price discounts in check during the pandemic.

Jun 24 - Barrick to begin layoffs at PNG mine as lease dispute deepens
Barrick Gold Corp will lay off most staff at its Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea, the mine's operator said on Wednesday, a signal that an impasse with the government over ownership is unlikely to be resolved swiftly. Canada's Barrick, the world's second-biggest gold miner, was refused an extension of its expired lease on the mine in April, with the government citing unrest and pollution concerns.

Jun 24 - Tesla's reluctant commitment to cobalt a warning to others: Andy Home
The unpredictable Elon Musk strikes again. Just when his electric vehicle (EV) company Tesla seemed to be pivoting away from using cobalt in its batteries, it signs a long-term supply deal for the controversial metal with Glencore. This from the man who has vowed to eliminate cobalt from the Tesla product mix because of its financial cost and the reputational cost of a metal associated with child labour and poor safety conditions at artisanal mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world's dominant producer. 

Jun 24 - Chilean mines minister calls for 'balance' between safety and keeping economy running
Chile's Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica on Tuesday underlined the need to strike a balance between protecting mine workers from the new coronavirus and keeping the economic engine of the world's largest copper producer running. Prokurica said the "indispensable" mining sector had stood down around half its workforce and tightened health protocols in response to the outbreak of the virus in Chile in March.

Jun 24 - U.S. Chamber opposes plans to reimpose tariffs on aluminum from Canada
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday said it firmly opposed reported plans by the Trump administration to re-impose 10% tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada this week, warning that Canada would likely retaliate against U.S. exports. The United States is planning to re-impose tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada, Bloomberg reported late on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. 

Jun 24 - Deep sea mining could destroy undiscovered species, says Ocean Panel
Mining on the sea floor should not begin before a full assessment of likely environmental impacts can be made, a report commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) said on Wednesday. Environmentalists including Britain's David Attenborough have called for a ban on deep-seabed mining that would extract resources including copper, cobalt, nickel, zinc, lithium, and rare earth elements from nodules on the ocean floor.

Jun 24 - India levies charge on some steel imports from China, Korea, Vietnam
India has imposed an anti-dumping duty on flat rolled steel products that are plated or coated with alloy of aluminium and zinc originating in, or from China, Vietnam and South Korea, according to a government order issued on Tuesday. The duty will be in the range of $13.07-$173.10 per tonne for 5 years, according to the statement. In the last few days, India has taken steps to protect its domestic industry and push local manufacturing as Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to make the nation self-reliant to bolster its sagging economy and create jobs.

Jun 24 - Banro agrees sale of troubled Namoya gold mine in Congo
Canadian miner Banro Corporation has agreed to sell its Namoya Mining gold mine in Democratic Republic of Congo to Shomka Resources Ltd, in which China's Baiyin International Investments has a minority stake. Banro mines in Congo's eastern Maniema and South Kivu provinces have faced several attacks by armed militia. Two of its workers were kidnapped in July 2019, the fifth in a series of such incidents since September 2016, according to a United Nations report published on June 12.

Jun 24 - China May aluminium imports more than double y/y, miss decade-high
China's aluminium imports more than doubled year-on-year in May, customs data showed on Tuesday, but failed to hit an expected decade-high after a rare pricing phenomenon made it cheaper for domestic buyers to source metal from overseas. Arrivals of unwrought aluminium imports and aluminium products into China, by far the world's biggest producer of the metal, stood at 119,145 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said.

Jun 23 - Global steel output falls 8.7% in May, but China lifts production 
Global crude steel output slipped 8.7% in May to 148.8 million tonnes as many steelmakers shut operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even as top producer China was resilient and pumped out more of the metal. Data from the World Steel Association on Monday showed a sharp contrast between steel production in China, which has largely been lifting its lockdowns, and the rest of the world.

Jun 23 - Australia's mining lobby takes a baby step on climate change: Russell 
Australia's mining lobby group, the Minerals Council of Australia, long derided by environmentalists as coal-loving dinosaurs, has launched a climate action plan that is probably significant for what it doesn't say than what it does. On the surface the council's report looks reasonable, committing to an ambition of net zero emissions and outlining a series of actions aimed at achieving the goal.

Jun 23 - U.S. plans to slap tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada - Bloomberg News 
The United States is planning to re-impose tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada, Bloomberg reported late on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. If Canada declines to impose export restrictions, the United States will announce on Friday the re-imposition of 10% tariffs on aluminum from the country, the report said.

Jun 23 - Chile´s Codelco tightens anti-coronavirus measures at its largest copper mine 
Chile´s state-run Codelco said on Monday it would implement new measures at its El Teniente copper mine, the company´s largest deposit, to maintain operations amid increasing worker angst over the fast-spreading coronavirus. The world´s top copper producer said it would move to a 14-day on, 14-day off shift schedule at its flagship El Teniente, and that it would begin to test workers three times per shift for COVID-19. 

Jun 23 - China's sliding metals inventories point to higher prices, V-shaped recovery: Russell 
One of the encouraging aspects for those hoping for a V-shaped economic recovery from the novel coronavirus in China has been the increase in the price and demand for many key metals. There is a further aspect that supports the quick rebound thesis - falling Chinese inventories of many metals, from steel rebar to iron ore, copper, aluminium and zinc.

Jun 23 - Global zinc market surplus narrows to 10,800 T in April - ILZSG 
The global zinc market surplus declined to 10,800 tonnes in April from a revised surplus of 29,700 tonnes in March, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showed on Monday. The March figure was revised from a surplus of 47,300 tonnes in last month's data.

Jun 23 - Global aluminium output rises to 5.448 mln T in May - IAI 
Global primary aluminium output rose to 5.448 million tonnes in May from a revised 5.274 million tonnes in April, data from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) showed on Monday. Estimated Chinese production increased to 3.105 million tonnes in May from a revised 2.997 million tonnes in April, it added.

Jun 23 - Liberty Steel aims to double output at UK plant to 1 mln tonnes 
Privately-held Liberty Steel plans to double output at a British plant to 1 million tonnes in three to five years, processing scrap steel and producing rebar for the construction sector. Liberty, owned by the GFG Alliance headed by British-based tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, said in a statement on Monday that it aimed to boost output at its Rotherham plant, northern England, while also cutting its carbon dioxide emissions.

Jun 23 - Japan May crude steel output slumps 32% to 11-yr low amid pandemic 
Japan's crude steel output plunged 31.8% in May from a year earlier to its lowest in nearly 11 years, as a collapse in demand from industry forced to shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic spurred a wave of suspensions of steel plants. Output, which is not seasonally-adjusted, dropped for a third consecutive month to 5.92 million tonnes in May, the lowest monthly volume since April 2009, when a global financial crisis dampened demand, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation said on Monday.

Jun 22 - Unions at Chile's Codelco demand more protection against coronavirus
Labor unions at Chile's state-owned copper miner Codelco said on Sunday that measures taken by the company against the spread of the novel coronavirus were insufficient and threatened to take steps to force stricter health policies. On Saturday the death of the second Codelco employee from the virus was confirmed, prompting the company to suspend construction projects in northern Chile and take other steps aimed at reducing the circulation of workers. 

Jun 22 - Soft underbelly in China's steel sector boom points to bumpier economic recovery
Behind the boom in China's steel production since March - and hopes for a quick economic recovery - is a tale of two diverging sectors: construction demand for infrastructure projects has been strong, while manufacturing has been slower to bounce back. That highlights the challenge facing policymakers as Beijing and local governments can control the pace of spending on projects like roads, rails and reservoirs, but have very limited options to support exports or domestic demand for machinery and appliances. 

Jun 22 - Freeport Indonesia to shift to all-underground mining by 2022 - CEO
Freeport Indonesia, operator of Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine, is on track shift to all-underground mining by 2022, its chief executive said on Sunday. "By 2021, approximately 75% of our operations will be underground mining, with it reaching 100% by 2022," said Tony Wenas, chief executive of PT Freeport Indonesia, a unit of Freeport-McMoran Inc. 

Jun 22 - Australia's OZ Minerals to buy base metal explorer Cassini Resources
Australian copper miner OZ Minerals said on Monday it would buy base metals explorer Cassini Resources, raising its stake in Australia's largest undeveloped nickel-copper deposit, West Musgrave, to complete control from 70%. OZ Minerals acquired its majority stake in the West Musgrave project in Western Australia from Cassini in 2016, developing the project as a joint venture ever since.

Jun 22 - Friend or foe? Canadian imports split U.S. aluminium sector: Andy Home
A surge in Canadian aluminium imports "is destroying what remains of the United States industry". The dramatic warning comes from the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA), which represents Century Aluminum and Magnitude 7 Metals, two of the last three remaining primary producers in the United States. 

Jun 22 - Venezuela's rival presidents prepare to battle over gold in London vaults
In the vaults beneath the Bank of England, where foreign nations stash parts of their vast gold reserves, lie 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) of disputed gold bars. Two parties claim access to them. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says they belong to his administration's central bank. His rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, who the British government recognizes as Venezuela's rightful leader, say the bars are his to control.

Jun 22 - Swiss prosecutors launch Glencore criminal probe over Congo
Switzerland's Attorney General's Office (OAG) has opened a criminal probe into commodity miner and trader Glencore over allegations it failed to have measures in place to prevent corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Swiss-based, London-listed multinational, which is subject to various international inquiries, said it would cooperate with the probe, but declined to comment further.

Jun 22 - Steelmaker Altos Hornos de Mexico says will lay off 2,400 workers
A unit of Mexican steelmaker Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) said on Friday it will lay off 2,000 workers in Mexico and 400 in Texas after state power company the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) "unilaterally" canceled a contract to purchase coal. AHMSA said in a statement its subsidiary Minera del Norte will lay off workers at its MICARE unit in Mexico and Dos Republicas Coal Partnership in Texas. Another 5,000 workers from companies supplying goods and services will also be impacted.

Jun 19 - EU must engage in lithium standards or lose to China, EU's Breton says
EU industry chief Thierry Breton has urged EU governments to be more active in setting global standards for ultralight battery metal lithium, key to many strategic industries and electric cars, or cede technological advantage to China. Breton's warning underlines the European Commission's concern as China seeks to increase its influence in setting standards for a metal crucial to the bloc's electric car and green energy ambitions, involving major companies such as Volkswagen, PSA and Siemens. 

Jun 19 - Peru miners restart pandemic-hit operations with mass testing, isolating workers
Peru's miners are revving up stalled operations with mass testing, isolation periods and revamped shift patterns, setting up the world's No. 2 copper producer to hit 80% of production capacity by the end of June, industry officials said. The restart is key to Peru's economic engine and metals output which was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown. But unions for mine workers have voiced concerns that some planned shifts are too long while testing and protective measures need to be strengthened.

Jun 19 - World's ultra-wealthy go for gold amid stimulus bonanza
As stock markets roar back from the coronavirus-led rout, advisers to the world's wealthy are urging them to hold more gold, questioning the strength of the rally and the long-term impact of global central banks' cash splurge. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most private banks recommended their clients hold none or just a tiny amount of gold. 

Jun 19 - Rio Tinto launches board-led review into sacred caves blast
Rio Tinto on Friday launched a board-led review into how the miner destroyed two ancient and sacred Aboriginal caves in Western Australia, stepping up its response to the blasts after weeks of public criticism and shareholder dismay. In his first comments since the caves were destroyed in late May, Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson apologised to present day traditional owners of the land and pledged to make public the review's findings, due in October. 

Jun 19 - Barrick Gold alerts authorities after fake news release claims it sold Lumwana mine
Barrick Gold on Thursday said there is "absolutely no truth" in a news release circulated on social media in Zambia claiming the gold miner sold its Lumwana copper mine. The fake press release, dated June 15, claimed Barrick had sold its Zambian copper mine to Metalinvest Capital Corporation and Zambia's National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) for $895 million in cash. 

Jun 19 - BHP Group buys nickel tenements as Norilsk Nickel completes Australian exit
BHP Group said on Friday it was expanding its exposure to nickel by purchasing nickel tenements in Western Australia in a deal marking the exit from the country of Russian mining group Norilsk Nickel. The mining giant said it had agreed to buy the Honeymoon Well Nickel Project from a unit of Norilsk Nickel, which is the world's leading producer of nickel and palladium. 

Jun 19 - Australia's Altura Mining inks lithium supply contracts with Ningbo Shanshan; shares soar
Altura Mining Ltd said on Friday it had signed multi-year lithium supply contracts with its second-largest shareholder Ningbo Shanshan Co Ltd, sending its shares more than 30% higher. The Australian miner said it would supply a minimum of 60,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of the metal, used to make alloys that make up parts of aircraft and high-speed trains, to the Chinese lithium battery material manufacturer from January 2022. 

Jun 19 - Lawyer asks UN to intervene with Cerrejon mine on behalf of indigenous Colombians
A British barrister is asking the United Nations Special Rapporteur to intervene with coal miner Cerrejon on behalf of Wayuu indigenous people in Colombia allegedly suffering damage to their health amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cerrejon, which is owned equally by BHP Group, Anglo American and Glencore, rejected the allegations, saying information in the claim was wrong.

Jun 18 - Miners must invest $37 bln to avoid peak supply - WoodMac
Gold miners will need to invest $37 billion into projects in the next five years to maintain 2019 production levels and counter the prospect of peak supply, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said in a report on Wednesday. With no major new gold discoveries over the last few years, miners have resorted to mergers and acquisitions to maintain and extend their waning gold reserves.

Jun 18 - Perth Mint stops taking artisanal gold after sourcing allegations
Australia's Perth Mint, one of the world's biggest gold refiners, said it would stop processing metal from artisanal and small-scale miners after allegations that it took gold dug in Papua New Guinea using child labour and toxic mercury. The Australian Financial Review said last week the mint refined gold worth hundreds of millions of dollars despite concerns from some staff about where it came from. 

Jun 18 - Chile lithium miners feel heat from exploding coronavirus outbreak, output steady
Chile´s vaunted lithium industry, the world´s second largest, has begun to feel the impact of a runaway coronavirus outbreak nationwide, though top producers SQM and Albemarle said output from their Atacama operations nonetheless remained unscathed. Albemarle, the world´s No.1 miner of the ultralight battery metal, told Reuters in an email Wednesday it planned to immediately shut down its Atacama potash plant for 15 working days in order to comply with restrictions requiring miners cut back staff.

Jun 18 - Australia begins probe into Rio's destruction of Aboriginal site
Australia called for submissions on Thursday to an inquiry into how mining giant Rio Tinto legally blew up two sacred Aboriginal caves that showed human history stretching back at least 46,000 years. Rio in late May destroyed the sacred caves in the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, having been granted state government approval in 2013. 

Jun 18 - China maintains tough stance on steel capacity as 5-yr campaign nears end
China's state planner on Thursday called for an all-out effort to prevent shuttered illegal steel capacity from restarting as it looks to ensure the country doesn't toss away progress in supply-side reform right at the end of a five-year campaign. China, the world's top steel producer, has already exceeded its goal of cutting 100 million to 150 million tonnes of annual crude steel capacity during 2016-2020. As of end-2019, it had already cut more than 150 million tonnes of outdated capacity and another 140 million tonnes of low-grade steel output. 

Jun 18 - Congo wants to help mining firms hit by coronavirus crisis
The Democratic Republic of Congo will try to offer financial support to mining companies which need help due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis, the mines minister said on Wednesday. Congo is Africa's top producer of copper and the world's main source of cobalt, accounting for two-thirds of global supplies of the metal used in smartphones and electric car batteries. 

Jun 18 - EY finds China copper smelter Fangyuan has misstated accounts - sources
A report by auditor EY found that Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group, China's biggest privately held copper smelter, has been overstating its profit and production levels while understating its debt, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. Its core unit, Dongying Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Co Ltd, and group firm Dongying Lufang Metals Material Co Ltd had "significantly higher debt, lower profitability, (and) lower production volumes," than publicly disclosed, one source quoted a summary of the EY report as saying.

Jun 18 - Brazil's Vale can reopen Itabira complex after coronavirus measures
Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA has received permission to reopen mines in the Itabira complex shuttered due to coronavirus concerns, the company said in a Wednesday filing, adding there was no change to its production guidance. Vale said it had received permission to reopen the mines from Minas Gerais state labor inspectors. They concluded that the measures Vale had taken to mitigate the threat from the virus and protect its workforce were sufficient to restart works, the company said.

Jun 18 - Canada's Iamgold suspends operations in Suriname amid COVID-19 cases
Canadian gold miner Iamgold on Tuesday halted operations at its Rosebel gold mine in Suriname as a workers union issued a stop work order after seven employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The company said infected employees were quarantined and it was taking steps to disinfect the workers' living and work areas, but the union used one of its preventative measures as the basis to stop work.

Jun 18 - Copper sustainable group expects more members following Rio Tinto's units
Copper Mark, a traceability system launched by the International Copper Association (ICA), expected more members this year after two units of mining giant Rio Tinto joined in May. Copper Mark was launched in April 2019 as part of ICA's effort to bring the whole copper supply chain in par with the rising standards and expectations for responsible copper production.

Jun 18 - Acacia Mining employees pay Tanzania $650,000 in tax evasion case
Three employees of Acacia Mining, a former Barrick Gold unit, have been released from jail in Tanzania after paying 1.5 billion Tanzanian shillings ($649,632) in compensation for tax evasion, a prosecutor told Reuters on Wednesday. Deodatus Mwanyika, Alex Lugendo, and Assa Mwaipopo had been imprisoned since October 2018 when Tanzanian authorities charged three of Acacia's local subsidiaries with dozens of offences including money laundering and tax evasion.

Jun 18 - Sudan further opens gold trade to private sector
Sudan, a gold producer, has taken steps to open up the trade in the precious metal further to private investors, allowing them to handle all exports and taking the business out of state hands, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported on Tuesday. A circular approved on Tuesday bars government bodies from exporting gold and opens the trade to private firms provided they meet requirements, such as paying taxes and royalties, it said.

Jun 17 - EY finds China copper smelter Fangyuan has misstated accounts - sources 
A report by auditor EY found that Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group, China's biggest privately held copper smelter, has been overstating its profit and production levels while understating its debt, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. Its core unit, Dongying Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Co Ltd, and group firm Dongying Lufang Metals Material Co Ltd had "significantly higher debt, lower profitability, (and) lower production volumes," than publicly disclosed, one source quoted a summary of the EY report as saying.

Jun 17 - Chile says copper miners complying with sanitary measures amid outbreak 
A Chilean regulator on Tuesday dismissed the concerns voiced by union workers that mining companies were failing to enforce sanitary measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, calling mine adherence to the restrictions "adequate." Unions had urged the government to re-assess the operating plans of the country´s sprawling mines on Sunday, citing an "alarming" increase in infections among workers.

Jun 17 - Copper blind-sided by the strength of Chinese recovery: Andy Home 
The copper price has recovered strongly from its COVID-19 collapse in March. London Metal Exchange (LME) copper is currently trading at $5,810, up 33% from its March 19 low of $4,371 and back to where it was before the deadly coronavirus knocked out global manufacturing activity and demand for industrial metals. 

Jun 17 - Indonesia’s Timah sees 2020 refined tin sales falling 18.8% y/y 
The world's largest tin producer, PT Timah, is targeting refined tin sales of around 55,000 tonnes in 2020, finance director Wibisono said on Tuesday. That compared with 2019 sales of 67,704 tonnes, company data showed.

Jun 17 - Australia's Arafura to test rare earth processing with U.S. firm 
Rare earths miner Arafura Resources Ltd will test samples of concentrates from its Australian mine as potential feedstock for a refinery in Colorado owned by USA Rare Earth LLC, it said in a statement on Wednesday. Arafura plans to send samples of a refined liquor comprising middle and heavy rare earths, produced from its ores processed at an Australian government plant, to the USA Rare Earths' pilot plant in Colorado to separate into individual heavy rare earths, the company said in a stock exchange statement.

Jun 17 - BHP names Lamont as new CFO; Beaven to step down 
BHP Group said on Wednesday that David Lamont, a former mining executive who has more recently been at global biotech firm CSL, would take the reins as company's chief financial officer from the start of December. Lamont, who worked closely with BHP Chief Executive Mike Henry in BHP's coal division in the early 2000s, has been CFO at Australia's second-biggest listed company since January 2016. 

Jun 17 - Barrick Gold sells majority stake in China's Shandong for $210 mln 
Canadian gold producer Barrick Gold said on Tuesday it sold a partial stake in Shandong Gold Mining Co for $210 million, profiting off a rise in share price of the Chinese gold miner. Gold stocks have been steadily rising since the coronavirus outbreak battered equity markets across the globe and sent investors scurrying for safe-haven assets. 

Jun 17 - Russia's Severstal says steel exports offset domestic demand drop 
Russian steel producer Severstal expects domestic demand to fall by 5%-7% in 2020 compared to 2019 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but says increased exports have allowed it to keep producing to capacity. Chief Financial Officer Alexey Kulichenko said in an interview the second quarter would be the toughest as the coronavirus impact was most severe, ahead of a second-half recovery.

Jun 17 - Congo mining provinces impose new COVID-19 lockdowns 
Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo's southeastern mining heartland announced temporary lockdowns on Tuesday in an effort to widen coronavirus testing and prevent a worrying situation from worsening, governors said. Cases have multiplied in the central African nation despite the imposition of short-term lockdowns in some urban centres and restrictions on movement. A lack of local testing has fanned fears the virus is spreading undetected.

Jun 17 - India asks oil and gas producers to use more local steel in infrastructure 
India has asked domestic oil and gas companies to raise the share of domestically manufactured steel they use in future infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars to cut its dependence on imports, boost the economy and create jobs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is pushing for local manufacturing to resuscitate the economy, which is likely to contract by about 5% this fiscal year.

Jun 16 - LME plans switch to electronic exchange of metal warrants 
London Metal Exchange members and users will be able to electronically make and take delivery of metal and move away from a process that involves the physical exchange of title documents or warrants, under plans put forward by the exchange. The proposal was detailed in a discussion paper issued on Monday. The LME, which said electronic warranting would bring "significant operational efficiencies", is seeking responses by July 10.

Jun 16 - Canadian exemption from U.S. aluminium import levy under scrutiny 
The aluminium market is pricing in rising prospects of the United States replacing Canada's exemption from import tariffs with quotas, aiming to boost the survival chances of local producers. Some U.S. aluminium industry sources expect the exemption to be lifted completely, which would slash Canadian imports and trigger a large price rise, anchoring the viability of high-cost U.S. 

Jun 16 - Kinross Gold resolves Mauritania disputes and secures expansion 
Canadian mining firm Kinross Gold on Monday said it reached an agreement with Mauritania's government under which the company will pay a total of $25 million to resolve disputes over fuel use, tax exemptions, and mining licences. Under the deal, the government will give Kinross a 30-year exploitation licence for its new project Tasiast Sud. Mauritania will receive a 15% free carried interest in the project, with an option to purchase an additional 10% after further feasibility work is completed.

Jun 16 - Tokyo Steel to raise product prices for July by up to 7.3% 
Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd, Japan's top electric-arc furnace steelmaker, said on Tuesday it would raise its steel product prices by 3.5%-7.3% in July to reflect an upward trend in international markets on strong demand from China. The company kept prices unchanged for all of its steel products in June for a second consecutive month. 

Jun 16 - Rio Tinto won't bid for remaining stake in Canadian diamond mine - document 
Global miner Rio Tinto PLC has no plans to take full control of its Canadian Arctic diamond mine, which faces closure and will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up, court documents show. Rio, which owns 60% of the Diavik mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, said in a May 28 court filing that it "does not seek to bid" for Dominion Diamond Mines ULC's 40% stake or its nearby Ekati mine as part of a court-supervised auction. 

Jun 16 - Japan crude steel annual output to fall below 80 mln T -steel federation head 
Japan's crude steel output is expected to come in around 35 million tonnes for the April-September period and below 80 million tonnes for the current financial year to end-March, the new head of a steel industry group said on Tuesday. "It's my personal view, but I still expect Japan's crude steel output is likely to fall below 80 million tonnes for the current financial year," Japan Iron and Steel Federation's new chairman, Eiji Hashimoto, told a news conference. 

Jun 16 - Tajik-Chinese antimony project delayed to October by COVID-19 
A Chinese-Tajik antimony and gold mining joint venture has once again delayed its start-up because of the coronavirus pandemic and now plans to begin commercial production by October, Tajik state metals firm TALCO said on Monday. 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 in March.

Jan 15 - Copper trading volumes slide on CME, LME as funds withdraw 
Copper trading on the CME and London Metal Exchange tumbled last month as funds and speculators fled from high volatility during the coronavirus pandemic, but volumes shot up in top metals consumer China as lockdowns were lifted. Dealing activity in copper - the metal widely regarded as an economic barometer of the global economy due to its industrial uses - has withered in the West and analysts expect it to remain weak after sharp swings on the market.

Jan 15 - Gold and iron ore are doing equally well. Their miners are not: Russell 
Gold and iron ore are the standout commodities so far this year, but the performance of their respective miners are far more divergent - and weighted in favour of the precious metal. Spot gold closed at $1,729.67 an ounce on June 12, up 14% since the end of last year. Meanwhile benchmark 62% iron ore for delivery to China, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, was at $104.45 a tonne, a gain of 14.6%.

Jan 15 - China May aluminium output edges up from previous month 
China's primary aluminium production edged higher in May from the previous month, official data showed on Monday, as the launch of new smelting capacity and the incentive of higher prices kept supply levels high. The world's biggest producer and consumer of aluminium made 2.98 million tonnes of the metal last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said. 

Jan 15 - China crude steel output soars 8.5% in May record on robust construction demand 
China's crude steel output jumped 8.5% from a month earlier in May, hitting the highest ever in records published for single-month production, lifted by a construction boom amid a Beijing infrastructure development push and a recovery in manufacturing. The world's largest steel producer made 92.27 million tonnes of crude steel last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday, up from 85.03 million tonnes in April and 4.2% higher than in May 2019. 

Jan 15 - Chilean copper miners labor group alleges 'alarming' rise in coronavirus cases 
Chilean copper miners' unions called on Sunday for a re-evaluation of the operational continuity plans of the country's biggest miners during what they said was an "alarming" increase in coronavirus cases among workers. In a statement signed by the union leadership of state-owned Codelco, the Mines Federation - which groups the majority of workers for Chile's major copper mines - rejected the "business as usual" discourse advanced by miners and the mines minister, Baldo Prokurica.

Jan 15 - Knives out for nickel market as restaurants close: Andy Home 
The knives may be out for the nickel market. Stainless steel knives specifically, together with stainless steel forks and spoons. COVID-19 has hit just about every aspect of the global economy but the hospitality business is one of the worst affected. 

Jan 15 - China's Zijin Mining to buy Guyana Goldfields for $238 mln 
China's Zijin Mining, said on Friday it would acquire Guyana Goldfields for C$323 million ($238 million), bringing an end to a protracted takeover battle for the Canada-listed gold miner. Toronto-based Guyana Goldfields announced on June 3 that it had received a binding proposal from an unnamed overseas-based miner to acquire the company, valuing it around 35% higher than a previously accepted offer from Silvercorp Metals.

Jan 15 - Congo's gold being smuggled out by the tonne, UN report finds 
Gold production in Democratic Republic of Congo continues to be systematically underreported while tonnes of the precious metal is smuggled into global supply chains through its eastern neighbours, a United Nations report has found. The countries along Congo's eastern border have long been conduits for gold worth billions of dollars mined using rudimentary means by so-called "artisanal" miners.

Jan 15 - LBMA says it will investigate Perth Mint gold sourcing allegations 
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) said on Friday it would investigate allegations in an Australian newspaper that the Perth Mint processed gold from small-scale gold miners in Papua New Guinea who used child labour and toxic mercury. The mint, owned by the government of Western Australia, is one of the world's largest gold refiners and is accredited by the LBMA.

Jun 12 - 'Health, then production': Unions ramp up pressure on Chile copper miner Codelco
Unionized mine workers in Chile, the world's top copper producer, warned on Thursday that health should take precedence over output, one day after state-run Codelco's unions threatened a walkout at some of its operations. Workers with the Federation of Copper Workers said there had been an "alarming" spike in coronavirus cases at some mines, one week after a miner at the company´s massive Chuquicamata mine died from COVID-19.

Jun 12 - ETFs outshine futures as investors look for gold exposure
A rise in the cost of holding U.S. gold futures since the start of the coronavirus outbreak is pushing investors wanting exposure to the metal towards gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs), industry data shows. Gold is increasingly in demand from buyers who believe it is likely to hold its value relative to other assets as the virus shakes the global economy.

Jun 12 - China curbs coal imports after 5 months of record inflows - sources
China has stepped up customs checks for coal imports, leading to lengthy processing delays at ports, four sources familiar with the matter said, as the country seeks to bolster the domestic coal industry. China is curbing coal arrivals through import quotas and quality restrictions on downstream users, such as utilities, following record imports for the first five months of the year.

Jun 12 - Rio Tinto chief apologises for blasting ancient caves as Australia starts inquiry
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques on Friday apologised for distress caused by Rio's destruction last month of two ancient and sacred Aboriginal caves in Western Australia, pledging full cooperation with an Australian government inquiry. "We are very sorry for the distress we have caused the PKKP in relation to Juukan Gorge and our first priority remains rebuilding trust with the PKKP," Jacques said in a statement, referring to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people.

Jun 12 - Congo mines must end on-site confinement, civil society groups say
Mining companies in Democratic Republic of Congo must end mandatory mine-site confinement policies, a group of 11 civil society organisations said in a letter to 13 of Congo's biggest copper and cobalt mining companies on Thursday. Sealing mine sites off is an extreme measure taken by mining firms in Congo and elsewhere as they seek to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks which could force them to shut down.

Jun 12 - Australian state says BHP can disturb 40 sacred sites in mine expansion
Western Australia approved BHP Group's application to disturb 40 culturally significant Aboriginal sites as part of a mine expansion, the state government said on Thursday, days after Rio Tinto blew up sacred rock caves in the same area. State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said in a statement he had approved BHP's application to "impact" the sites in the iron ore-rich Pilbara region, where BHP is planning its $3.4 billion South Flank expansion.

Jun 12 - Metalor to process traceable gold from small mines in Peru
Metalor, one of the world's biggest gold refiners, is to start processing a small amount of traceable and responsibly sourced gold from small-scale miners in Peru as part of a scheme to improve their conditions. The initiative by Metalor is one of a growing number by refiners and non-profit organisations to help small-scale gold miners to sell their output legally and at fair prices in the mainstream market.

Jun 12 - Norilsk Nickel co-owner proposes 2020 dividend cap after fuel spill
Russian mining group Norilsk Nickel's shares slipped on Thursday after its co-owner proposed capping 2020 dividends after a fuel spill in the Arctic city where the company is based. Some 21,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into rivers and subsoil on May 29 in the remote city of Norilsk, an incident that Greenpeace has compared to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska.

Jun 12 - South African mining output plunges on COVID-19 lockdown
South Africa's mining production fell sharply during March and April, when output was largely halted during a strict lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus, official data showed on Thursday. Mines in South Africa, the world's biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a leading producer of gold and diamonds, were forced to shut temporarily when a nationwide lockdown to contain the virus began in late March.

Jun 12 - Metals tycoon Gupta's GFG to cut jobs as forecasts further weak demand
British-based commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta's global metals businesses said on Thursday it will cut costs and shed jobs due to a sharp slide in demand that could last up to 18 months. The GFG Alliance, a conglomerate with wide ranging operations including steel, aluminium and infrastructure, said its business had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jun 12 - Papua New Guinea amends oil, gas, mining laws to boost revenue
Papua New Guinea has passed legislation seeking to boost benefits to the country from oil, gas and mine developments, which could impact talks on a stalled project planned by Exxon Mobil Corp. Prime Minister James Marape came to power a year ago on a platform to lift the country out of poverty by getting a bigger share of wealth from the country's energy and minerals. His government this week secured an emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Jun 12 - S.Africa's Harmony expects to be at full production by around mid-July
Harmony Gold said on Thursday it expected to be back to full production by around the middle of July, after South Africa eased its coronavirus lockdown regulations from June allowing all mines to operate at full production. Mines in South Africa were forced to shut temporarily when a nationwide lockdown to contain the virus began in late March.

Jun 11 - Rail damage halts supply to Russia's top alumina plant 
Rusal, the largest aluminium producer outside China, is negotiating alternative routes for the raw materials it needs for its Siberian Achinsk alumina plant, after damaged rail infrastructure interrupted supplies, it said on Wednesday. The company said it was in talks with Russian Railways to quickly organise alternative routes to the plant, the largest in Russia, which supplies the Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter.

Jun 11 - Iron ore's rally built on as yet unrealised Brazil supply fears: Russell
Iron ore's ongoing run above $100 a tonne is begging the question as to how long a price rally can sustain on fear of an event that is yet to present itself in the evidence. The surge to a 10-month high on June 8 of $105.75 a tonne in spot iron ore for delivery to China, as assessed to by commodity price reporting agency Argus, was largely built on market concerns that shipments from number two exporter Brazil would be hit by coronavirus shutdowns at mines.

Jun 11 - Commodities trader Trafigura H1 profit boosted by COVID-19 volatility 
Trafigura recorded its highest first half net profit since 2016, despite $580 million in impairments, as its oil and metals trading divisions thrived in the extreme volatility caused by Middle East events and COVID-19, the company said on Thursday. The Geneva-based trading house posted a 27% year-on-year rise in net profit to $542 million for the six months to March 31. New IFRS 16 accounting rules, however, reduced the total by $31 million.

Jun 11 - Workers at Chile´s Codelco threaten work halt to quarantine against coronavirus 
Unionized workers at Chile's state-run Codelco, the world's largest copper miner, said on Wednesday they were weighing walking off the job at some sites in order to implement a self-imposed quarantine after one of their members died from COVID-19. The Federation of Copper Workers (FTC) said in a statement there had been "alarming" numbers of coronavirus infections at several of the country´s mines. Measures to tame the spread of the virus had been insufficient, the federation said.

Jun 11 - Lithium: the metal of the future with a futures problem: Andy Home
Lithium is the metal that will power the coming electric vehicle (EV) revolution. 
The build-out of a lithium-ion battery chain, however, is at risk from depressed pricing and a lack of investment in new capacity. "Money needs to start flowing into the lithium market quickly, or the road to electrification will be stunted by lithium supply, in even the most conservative of forecasts."

Jun 11 - Indians pawn gold for loans as borrowing from banks becomes tougher
Umesh Patil, a farmer in western India, pawned 40 grams of gold jewellery to raise 130,000 rupees ($1,723.11) to buy supplies needed to plant his next crop. Many Indians are using gold to secure loans, bankers and industry experts say, as banks are otherwise increasingly unwilling to lend during the coronavirus pandemic due to fear of the loan souring.

Jun 11 - Indonesia's Antam ferronickel sales down in Q1 due to virus outbreak 
Indonesian state nickel miner PT Aneka Tambang sold ferronickel with 6,370 tonnes of nickel content in the January-March quarter, corporate secretary Kunto Hendrapawoko told reporters on Thursday. That was around 10% lower compared to 7,122 tonnes of nickel content in the same period last year, company data showed.

Jun 11 - Brazil prosecutors expand probe into Vale's efforts to shield workers from COVID-19
The office that enforces labor laws in Brazil's Para state has stepped up an investigation into potential shortcomings in mining giant Vale's efforts to protect workers from the coronavirus, authorities said on Wednesday. The federal labor prosecutor's office in Para has an internal working group in place known as the GEAF to monitor Vale's iron ore operations in the Carajas region, near the eastern fringe of the Amazon rainforest.

Jun 11 - Russian diamond producer Alrosa's May sales drop to $40.1 mln
Russian diamond producer Alrosa on Wednesday said its sales of rough and polished diamonds stood at $40.1 million in May, down from $266 million a year ago. The May figure represents a slight rise from the previous month, but April sales had plunged to $15.6 million as the coronavirus crisis hit demand.

Jun 11 - Mali's 2019 gold mining revenue boosted by strong output, prices
State revenue from gold mining companies in Mali surged 63.5% to 403.6 billion CFA ($702 million) in 2019 compared with 2018, boosted by a strong turnover from companies operating in the West African nation, the government said on Wednesday. Mali's mines ministry said the gold mining sector generated a turnover of 1.65 trillion CFA in 2019 compared with the previous year, up 19%, due the increase output and a rise in global gold prices.

Jun 11 - Rio Tinto loses Australian indigenous backing after blasting sacred caves
An Australian indigenous group has suspended Rio Tinto from its reconciliation plan after world's biggest iron ore miner blasted two ancient sacred caves as part of a mine expansion. Reconciliation Australia, the lead body for promoting better ties between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, announced the move after Rio Tinto destroyed the two Aboriginal caves in late May.

Jun 10 - Italian government rejects ArcelorMittal's Ilva plan as workers strike
The Italian government rejected ArcelorMittal's latest plan for the loss-making Ilva steel plant on Tuesday which it said included major job cuts and went back on investment pledges as workers held a strike to protest the plan. The world's biggest steel producer took over the plant in the southern city of Taranto in 2018 but its rescue plans have triggered months of wrangling.

Jun 10 - China's coal mining hub Shanxi to shut small mines by end-2020 
China's coal mining hub Shanxi will shut down all small-sized coal mines, with annual capacity below 600,000 tonnes, in the province by the end of 2020, the provincial authorities said in a statement. The northern province is China's second biggest coal mining region by production after Inner Mongolia. It produced 971.09 million tonnes of coal in 2019, accounting for a quarter of the country's total.

Jun 10 - Goldman says 'too much, too fast' commodity rally unsustainable
The rally across commodities has gotten ahead of fundamentals with the exception of metals, Goldman Sachs said in a note dated Tuesday, adding that it was hesitant to recommend a long position this early in the cycle. The Wall Street bank sees downside risks in agricultural and energy markets, citing the recent strength as surprising given the massive inventory overhangs and depressed demand.

Jun 10 - Mexican president urges Canadian mining firms to pay taxes
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday some of Canada's mining firms were behind on their tax payments and urged the Canadian government to lean on them to avoid the dispute reaching international tribunals. "There are a few Canadian mining companies that are not up-to-date, they want to go to international tribunals," Lopez Obrador told a regular government news conference.

Jun 10 - Saudi Arabia aims to boost investment with new mining law
Saudi Arabia's cabinet on Tuesday approved a new mining law that aims to accelerate foreign investment in the sector as part of efforts to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons. The new law facilitates investor access to financing and supports exploration and geological survey activities, state news agency SPA said, quoting the minister of mining and industry, Bandar Alkhorayef.

Jun 10 - Chalco gets licence for bonded bauxite warehouse in southern China
Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, also known as Chalco, received an operating license for its new bonded bauxite warehouse in southern China's Guangxi region, according to a report from the country's nonferrous metals association. A bonded warehouse is a storage facility for dutiable imported goods that have not yet cleared customs and can therefore easily be shipped to other countries.

Jun 10 - Guinea signs Simandou iron deal with SMB-Winning consortium
Guinea on Tuesday signed an agreement with a consortium for the development of its giant Simandou iron ore reserve, another step towards the realisation of a project which it hopes will bring a $15 billion windfall over the 25-year lifespan. The deal includes the construction of a 650 km railway from Guinea's mountainous forest region to the coast, and a deep sea water port, which will unlock the development of blocks 1 and 2 of the rich Simandou iron reserve.

Jun 09 - European steel industry calls on EU to cut import quotas
European steel producers on Monday urged the European Union to slash import quotas, warning a potential flood of shipments threatened an industry already hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, producers criticised recent proposed adjustments to safeguard measures the EU put in place in 2018.

Jun 09 - Chile's biggest copper mines keep production ticking up despite coronavirus: Cochilco
Copper production in Chile's top mines rose in April despite the generalised shutdown in the country aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus. Chilean copper commission Cochilco said state miner Codelco, the world's top copper producer, saw production rise 2.8% year on year in April and 3.8% in the first four months of 2020, while BHP´s Escondida, the world's largest mine, pumped out 102,600 tonnes, a rise of 11.4% on the same month the previous year, an increase of 9% so far in 2020.

Jun 09 - Poland halts work at 12 coal mines to curb COVID-19, angering union
Poland will close 12 coal mines from Tuesday for three weeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus among miners, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin said on Monday. Miners account for almost 20% of coronavirus cases reported in Poland. But the Solidarity trade union denounced the move, saying it would lead to permanent closures as the nationalist government was already planning to restructure the industry.

Jun 09 - Green aluminium needs common standard, labelling plan - Carbon Trust 
Common standards and clear labelling should be agreed for so-called green aluminium so industrial users can identify low-carbon material amid competing claims by producers, consultancy the Carbon Trust said on Monday. Purchasers of aluminium such as the auto and packaging industries are increasingly seeking to lower their own carbon footprints and buy material produced with low carbon dioxide emissions.

Jun 09 - China May zinc output drops as ore supply tightens; tin output rises - Antaike
China's zinc and zinc alloy production fell 6.3% year-on-year to 401,000 tonnes in May, Antaike said on Monday, as smelters reduced rates amid tight raw material supply and plunging treatment charges. Average daily output in May was down 6.2% from April, Antaike, the research arm of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said in its monthly survey of 49 zinc smelters.

Jun 09 - Unions at ArcelorMittal's Ilva plant call strike over job plans
Unions representing workers at the Ilva steel plant in southern Italy called a strike for Tuesday to protest at reported plans by ArcelorMittal for thousands of job cuts at the struggling facility. The call by the FIM, FIOM and UILM unions came after Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli accused the group of failing to respect the terms of a rescue agreement signed with the government in March.

Jun 08 - China May copper imports dip from prior month as factory rebound slows
China's unwrought copper imports fell in May from the previous month, customs data showed on Sunday, as a slowing recovery in its coronavirus-hit manufacturing sector reduced purchases, while aluminium exports plunged on dwindling orders. Imports of unwrought copper, including anode, refined and semi-finished copper products into China, the world's top copper consumer, came in at 436,030.6 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said.

Jun 08 - London Metal Exchange looking into low-carbon aluminium trading
The London Metal Exchange said on Friday it is looking into providing a trading platform that consumers can use to source low-carbon aluminium, which is typically produced with hydro power or other forms of renewable energy. Primary or new aluminium is often a focus for consumers in the low carbon debate as electricity accounts for between 30-40% of production costs. Aluminium is widely used in the transport and packaging industries.

Jun 08 - Unions at ArcelorMittal's Ilva plant call strike over job plans
Unions representing workers at the Ilva steel plant in southern Italy called a strike for Tuesday to protest at reported plans by ArcelorMittal for thousands of job cuts at the struggling facility. The call by the FIM, FIOM and UILM unions came after Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli accused the group of failing to respect the terms of a rescue agreement signed with the government in March.

Jun 08 - China copper stocks fall to over 4-month low, but pace of decline slows
Copper inventories in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) fell for the third straight week to their lowest in more than four months, but the pace of withdrawal has slowed, exchange data showed on Friday. Copper inventories in ShFE warehouses in the week to June 5 fell 3.5% to 139,913 tonnes, their lowest level since Jan. 23, as economic activity picks up in China after it eased its coronavirus lockdown.

Jun 08 - Traditional owners say Rio Tinto knew importance of caves razed for mine
Rio Tinto Ltd knew the cultural and historical significance of two caves in Western Australia years before it blew them up last month as part of an iron ore mine expansion, traditional owners said on Friday. However, Rio, which won state government approval to destroy the caves in 2013, has said it believed it had consent from the traditional owners of the caves, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP), because they had not explicitly asked that the site not be mined.

Jun 08 - India's Vedanta books $1.7 bln loss in Q4 as oil prices plunge
Indian miner Vedanta Ltd on Saturday reported a net loss of 125.2 billion rupees ($1.7 billion) for the fourth quarter of its financial year, compared with a profit of 26.15 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier. The company took a one-time loss of 171.3 billion rupees in the March quarter, mainly due to an impairment of assets at its Oil & Gas business, triggered largely by a fall in crude oil prices following the coronavirus outbreak.

Jun 08 - Speculators cut bullish bets on COMEX gold - CFTC
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and increased them in silver contracts in the week to June 2, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also switched to a net long position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Jun 08 - Perth Mint's gold, silver sales nearly halve m/m in May
The Perth Mint's sales of gold products tumbled about 47.4% in May from a month earlier, while silver sales plunged 53%, the refiner said in a blog post on Monday. Sales of gold coins and minted bars last month fell to 63,393 ounces from 120,504 in April, when they reached the highest level since at least March 2012.

Jun 08 - SolGold raises £27 mln to fund exploration of copper, gold in Ecuador
SolGold raised 27.1 million pounds ($34.3 million) in a discounted share placement on Friday, exceeding its initial target, to fund the exploration of copper and gold in Ecuador. The London-listed miner said late on Thursday it targeted at least 16 million pounds and ended up placing a total of 121 million new ordinary shares at a price of 21.5 pence per share.

Jun 08 - Putin chides Nornickel, orders law change after Arctic fuel spill
Russian President Vladimir Putin chided the billionaire boss of Norilsk Nickel on Friday over a huge Arctic fuel spill and ordered changes to the law to try to prevent such a disaster from happening again. Greenpeace has compared the scale of last week's accident near the northern city of Norilsk, where 21,000 tonnes of diesel poured into rivers and subsoil, to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

Jun 08 - Indonesia says it will ask Freeport build copper smelter in Halmahera
The Indonesian government will ask PT Freeport Indonesia to build a copper smelter in Weda Bay, a newly built metal industrial park in Halmahera, the senior minister overseeing mining said on Friday. "We have proposed to the president, and the president has agreed, to request Freeport to build a smelter in Weda Bay," Luhut Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, told a virtual seminar.

Jun 08 - Papua New Guinea accuses Barrick of plan to illegally export gold
Papua New Guinea's mining regulator said on Friday it is planning to bring criminal proceedings against a Barrick Gold Corp joint venture over what it says was an attempt to illegally export $13 million in silver and gold to Australia. PNG's Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) said it had received paperwork from the Barrick Niugini joint venture on Monday seeking clearance to export silver and gold worth a total of 46.7 million kina ($13.1 million) to the Perth Mint.

Jun 05 - Global steel demand seen recovering next year after 6% fall in 2020
Global steel demand is expected to fall 6.4% this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on industrial and construction activity, but bounce back next year, the World Steel Association said on Thursday. Wide swathes of industry such as automakers shut down during lockdowns to curb the coronavirus, slashing the need for steel and spurring the closure of many blast furnaces.

Jun 05 - LME storage capacity rises as metals glut looms in the shadows: Andy Home 
Where's the metal? Global manufacturing activity is experiencing the most severe contraction since the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 but signs of surplus metal are conspicuous by their absence. Total stocks registered with the London Metal Exchange (LME) ended May at 2.2 million tonnes, up just 260,000 tonnes on the start of 2020. 

Jun 05 - ETFs amassed more gold in 5 months than in any previous full year - WGC 
Gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) added 623 tonnes of the metal worth $34 billion to their stockpile from January to May, exceeding in five months every full-year increase on record, the World Gold Council said on Thursday. In May alone, the increase was 154 tonnes, it said. 

Jun 05 - South African miners seek return of foreign mineworkers
South Africa's mining industry is in talks with the government about allowing foreign miners to return to work, the Minerals Council said on Thursday, as output ramps up after the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Mines in South Africa, the world's biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a major gold and diamond producer, have been allowed to run at full capacity since June 1 after a temporary halt since March when a nationwide lockdown began.

Jun 05 - Nippon Steel to renovate blast furnace at Nagoya for $450 mln 
Nippon Steel Corp, Japan's biggest steelmaker, said on Friday it will spend 49 billion yen ($450 million) to renovate its No.3 blast furnace at Nagoya Works in central Japan in 2022 to boost stability and productivity. The world's third-biggest steelmaker by crude steel output also said it would step up plans to shrink its assets to help improve its financial health, targetting 500 billion yen in the three years through March 2021, up from 400 billion yen earlier.

Jun 05 - Guinea approves SMB-Winning deal for Simandou iron mine project
Guinea's government approved on Thursday a basic agreement for the development of its giant Simandou iron ore project by a consortium representing Chinese, French and Singaporean interests, the mines minister told Reuters. The consortium - which includes Société Minière de Boké (SMB) and Singapore's Winning Shipping as well as Guinean government interests - won a $14 billion tender last November to develop blocks 1 and 2 of the largest known deposit of its kind, holding more than 2 billion tonnes of high-grade ore. 

Jun 05 - Austral Gold reaches pay hike agreement to end strike at flagship mines in Chile 
Austral Gold Ltd said on Friday a near one-month long strike by two unions ended at its flagship Guanaco and Amancaya mines in Chile after reaching an agreement to increase pay and benefits by 15% along with a one-time bonus. The Australia-listed miner that is focussed on Argentina and Chile said its flagship mines would restart operations next week, and it does not expect a major hit to its 2020 output forecast of between 55,000 to 60,000 gold equivalent ounces. 

Jun 05 - Australian, India, sign joint deal on critical minerals 
Australia has signed a preliminary deal to supply India with critical minerals needed for the new-energy economy, Australia's resources minister said on Thursday. The agreement focuses on ways to increase bilateral trade, investment and research and development in critical minerals and comes after a virtual meeting at which leaders of both countries also struck accords on mutual access to military bases, and on cyber and key technology. 

Jun 05 - Tata Steel workers at Dutch plant vote to strike - ANP 
Employees at Tata Steel's Dutch plant in IJmuiden on Thursday voted to go on strike over planned job cuts and the plant's further integration with Tata's British operations, Dutch news agency ANP reported. The unions could not be reached immediately to confirm that a strike has been approved or when it will take place. The Dutch unions are upset over what they say are plans by the company to cut 1,000 out of 9,000 jobs in the Netherlands. Tata Europe says it does not plan forced redundancies.

Jun 05 - Changes to USMCA steel requirements give Mexican auto sector headache 
Late changes to a new trade deal agreed by the United States, Mexico and Canada will make it harder for companies in the auto sector to meet requirements for use of regional steel and aluminum, a local industry lobby said on Thursday. The modifications affect new content requirements for the industry under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will come into effect in July, replacing the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Jun 04 - Indonesia nickel ore export ban to remain -mining ministry director 
Indonesia will keep in place a ban on the export of nickel ore even as it relaxes exports of some other minerals under revisions to its mining law, the director of minerals at the country's energy and minerals ministry said on Thursday. Indonesia's parliament passed revisions to its mining law last month, allowing miners building smelters to export ore for the next three years. But the revisions stipulated that the government can rule against the export of specific ores under a separate regulation. 

Jun 04 - Anglo American Platinum shuts unit at processing plant 
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on Wednesday that it had closed the Phase B unit of its Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) after detecting a water leak in the high-pressure cooling section. The Johannesburg-listed miner last month completed repairs to the unit in Rustenburg, North West Province, and lifted the force majeure to suppliers of concentrate after a blast shut processing facilities. 

Jun 04 - Australia's EcoGraf inks graphite battery material supply deal with Thyssenkrupp unit 
Australian graphite explorer EcoGraf Ltd said on Thursday it had signed an agreement to supply graphite products used in making batteries to a unit of German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp AG, sending its shares more than 32% higher in early trade. EcoGraf said Thyssenkrupp Materials Trading GmbH would buy purified spherical graphite battery anode material, used in lithium ion batteries, from its Kwinana plant in Western Australia, but did not disclose any financial details of the deal.

Jun 04 - Magnitude 6.8 earthquake rocks northern Chile; minor damage, no casualties 
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Chile´s mineral-rich northern desert early on Wednesday, monitoring groups confirmed, though damage was minimal and mining companies told Reuters their operations had not been affected. In Chile, a South American nation often rocked by tremors, mine facilities and other infrastructure are built to withstand extraordinarily large quakes.

Jun 04 - Australia's Aeris to buy Evolution's Cracow gold mine to diversify assets 
Small Australian copper producer Aeris Resources on Thursday said it has offered to buy the Cracow gold project from Evolution Mining Ltd for up to A$125 million ($86.6 million) to diversify its portfolio. Aeris said it has budgeted A$13 million over the next two years for exploration at the Queensland-based mine, from which the company expects to generate pro forma core earnings of A$272 million to A$282 million for the period. 

Jun 04 - Mexico mining output to shrink 17% in 2020, industry group says
Mexican mining output will likely fall by about 17% in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and should recover by the first quarter of next year, the head of the country's mining chamber said on Wednesday. In interview with Reuters, Fernando Alanis, president of the chamber known as Camimex, also estimated that Mexican mining exports would decline by around 10% this year.

Jun 04 - Zambia denies power firm CEC claims of expropriation 
Zambia's government said on Wednesday it had no intention of taking over Copperbelt Energy Corp (CEC), after the company accused the government of expropriating its power lines by saying others must be allowed to use them if they paid. Energy Minister Matthew Nkhuwa issued a statement, known as a statutory instrument, on Friday declaring the CEC power lines a "common carrier" and obliging it to transmit electricity on behalf of other players on agreed terms and conditions.

Jun 03 - Chinese lead balloons: How long before the rally pops?
A rally in Chinese lead prices buoyed by a supply shortage could soon come to an end amid a weak demand recovery and a rebound in domestic supplies. The most active lead contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange jumped to more than a four-month high on Tuesday at 14,620 yuan ($2,059.18) a tonne due to a lack of scrap lead caused by lockdowns in China to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Jun 03 - U.S. hopes to expand strategic minerals initiative 
The U.S. State Department hopes to expand a strategic minerals initiative aimed at ensuring supply chains for metals critical for batteries and wind and solar power as demand for green energy keeps growing despite the coronavirus, a top diplomat said on Tuesday. Ten countries, including Canada, Australia and Brazil, joined the United States last year to form the Energy Resource Governance Initiative, or ERGI, in which Washington will share mining experience to help countries discover and develop minerals such as lithium, copper and cobalt. 

Jun 03 - Trade war tradeoff: How a Missouri town got America’s dirtiest air
The residents of New Madrid County cheered in 2018 when a bankrupt aluminum smelter that rises over the Missouri region’s vast farm fields restarted operations and hiring, thanks to aluminum tariffs levied in President Donald Trump’s trade war. The smelter reclaimed its place as one of New Madrid’s biggest employers, with more than 500 workers. But the resurrection has come at a cost.

Jun 03 - Vale expects to ship more iron ore to China in 2020 -China steel body 
Brazil's Vale SA expects iron ore shipments to China to rise in 2020 versus 2019 due to falling demand in other countries hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, the China Iron and Steel Association said after a telephone call with the miner. Vale, which shipped 190 million tonnes of iron ore and pellets to China in 2019, gave no further details. 

Jun 03 - Hedge funds still giving industrial metals a wide berth
Industrial metals such as copper have clawed their way back from coronavirus crisis lows, with the London Metal Exchange (LME) index of leading base metals contracts 12% off its March trough. Market optics are generally positive. With the exception of aluminium, visible exchange stocks have failed to build significantly despite the undoubted damage to demand. 

Jun 03 - China reduces paperwork for gold exporters 
China's central bank and customs authority said on Tuesday they would simplify procedures for companies exporting gold, following a slump in domestic demand for the metal. The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic led dealers to sell gold in China, the world's largest bullion consumer, at massive discounts versus the international spot prices. 

Jun 03 - U.S. opens national security probe into vanadium imports
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it was opening an investigation into whether imports of vanadium, a metal used in aerospace, defense and energy applications, impair U.S. national security. The "Section 232" probe is similar to ones that resulted in broad tariffs on steel and aluminum in 2018 and a probe underway into imports of titanium sponge. 

Jun 03 - Australia's Hastings Technology Metals inks supply deal with Schaeffler; shares surge 
Australia's Hastings Technology Metals Ltd on Wednesday signed an agreement with German automotive supplier Schaeffler Technologies AG to supply mixed rare earths carbonate used in making electric vehicle parts, sending it shares about 30% higher. The company said a "substantial volume" of the product would be supplied to Schaeffler from its Yangibana project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia over an initial period of 10 years.

Jun 02 - Nippon Steel fears China's economic rebound will sharpen rivals' edge 
China's faster economic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak gives its steel mills a competitive edge over Japanese companies that have cut output because of weak demand at home and abroad, an executive at Nippon Steel, Japan's largest steel maker, said. "China has managed to bring back economic activity quickly while countering the infection, which will give a relative advantage for Chinese mills in boosting competitiveness and financial health," Nippon Steel Executive Vice President Katsuhiro Miyamoto said on Thursday, in his first media interview since the company reported a record loss for the latest financial year. 

Jun 02 - Rusal's customers return with 20-30% of usual aluminium demand
Aluminium producer Rusal is seeing customers returning with 20-30% of their usual demand after a slump in April caused by fallout from the new coronavirus outbreak, Roman Andryushin, its head of sales and marketing, told Reuters. Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer outside China, has had to deal with a drop in demand from major consumers of its metal - car and aviation industries - but the second quarter of 2020 is likely to be the worst of the crisis.

Jun 02 - The more exposure to China the better for metals post-coronavirus: Russell 
The contrasting fortunes of the prices of industrial metals inside and outside of China serves to illustrate two trends as the Asian region starts to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns. The first is that the recovery is uneven and likely to remain so, and the second is that the more exposed to China the commodity is, the greater the likelihood it outperforms those metals that are not.

Jun 02 - India's May gold imports fall 99% from a year ago to 1.4 T - govt source 
India's gold imports in May plunged 99% from a year earlier as international air travel was banned and jewellery shops were closed amid a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, a government source said on Tuesday. The world's second-biggest consumer of the precious metal imported around 1.4 tonnes of gold in May, down from 133.6 tonnes a year ago, said the source, who declined to be identified because they are not authorised to speak to the media. In value terms, May imports dropped to $76.31 million from to $4.78 billion a year ago, he added.

Jun 02 - Vale expected to ship more iron ore to China in 2020 - China steel body 
Brazil's Vale SA expects iron ore shipments to China to rise in 2020, versus 2019, due to falling demand in other countries hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a phone call between the miner and the China Iron and Steel Association. Production at Vale has not been impacted by the pandemic and it is keeping its full-year output target unchanged, the China steel association said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

Jun 02 - Oil rescues big banks' commodities profits as gold income tumbles 
The world's 12 biggest investment banks cashed in on commodity price volatility caused by the coronavirus in the first quarter, with big increases in income from oil offsetting a tumble in precious metals, consultancy Coalition said. The banks' net revenue from trading, selling derivatives and other activities in the commodities sector was around $1.5 billion over January-March, the financial industry analytics firm said. 

Jun 02 - London Metal Exchange cancels 2020 LME Week events due to coronavirus 
The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Monday it cancelled all of its events during the LME Week in London because of the coronavirus. The annual gathering of the metal industry is due to take place in October 2020 where the exchange usually hosts seminars and a glitzy annual dinner.

Jun 02 - Russia's Polyus says output could be affected by coronavirus outbreak
Russia's top gold producer Polyus said on Monday its output targets for the year could be affected by the new coronavirus, as it reported a 21% rise in adjusted core earnings in the first quarter. Polyus, which said adjusted core earnings had reached $589 million in the period, said its operations had not been interrupted by the pandemic thus far.

Jun 01 - U.S. copper concentrate heads to China again after tariff relief 
China is importing at least two cargoes of copper concentrate from the United States after Beijing allowed Chinese companies to seek trade-war tariff waivers on the material, according to two smelter sources. The United States was China's eighth-biggest copper concentrate supplier in 2017, sending almost 433,000 tonnes, but trade virtually dried up after Beijing imposed a 10% tariff on U.S. shipments from September 2018 and later raised it to 25%.

Jun 01 - Metal inventories pile up in factories, smelters, warehouses
Inventories of industrial metals are building up in factories, smelters and warehouses not linked to financial exchanges, giving a misleading picture of how the COVID-19 outbreak is hitting the sector. Global industrial activity plummeted after lockdowns forced wide swathes of companies to temporarily shut down, hitting demand for metals such as aluminium, zinc and nickel.

Jun 01 - China braces for aluminium import wave as coronavirus recovery upends trade 
China's imports of aluminium are about to hit their highest levels in a decade, traders and analysts said, as an arbitrage opportunity created by demand recovery after its coronavirus outbreak makes it cheaper to buy metal from outside the country. China, the world's top producer of the metal used in everything from cars to cans, normally has little need to import primary aluminium, made from alumina rather than scrap. Imports for all of 2019 totalled just over 75,000 tonnes versus output of 35 million tonnes.  

Jun 01 - Pandemic saps union clout as talks loom with Chile copper miners
Chile's powerful copper unions are headed into contract talks with a hand weakened by the coronavirus pandemic, giving an edge to miners like Codelco, Glencore and Antofagasta in negotiations that could influence wages and benefits for years. Chile's generally well-paid copper mine workers argue they should be adequately compensated for working in a riskier environment to keep pits open during the pandemic.

Jun 01 - As economies reboot, silver prices are poised to outperform gold - somewhat 
Global efforts to restart economies following coronavirus lockdowns are expected to boost silver demand, making prices of the metal, which slipped to an all-time low relative to gold during the crisis, liable for a stronger rebound. The gold-to-silver ratio, which measures the number of silver ounces needed to buy an ounce of gold, hit a record 124 in March. By Thursday it had retreated to 98.6, but was still well above the 20-year average of 65 calculated by Reuters. 

Jun 01 - Gold M&A back on the agenda as coronavirus restrictions ease 
A lull in corporate takeover activity among gold miners is expected to end as new coronavirus-linked travel restrictions are lifted in coming months, clearing the way for prospective buyers, industry executives and fund managers said. Deals this year have been hobbled by lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus, preventing acquirers from travelling to inspect acquisition targets. 

Jun 01 - Copper gets a warning the worst may be yet to come: Andy Home 
"Have metal markets forgotten about corona?" The question, posed by analysts at Commerzbank in the title of a May 28 research note, captures the latent optimism the worst of COVID-19 may be over for industrial metals such as copper. The current London Metal Exchange (LME) copper price of $5,360 per tonne may be down by 13% on the start of January but it has also staged a significant recovery from its March low of $4,371. 

Jun 01 - Rio Tinto apologises for blowing up 46,000-year-old Aboriginal site 
Rio Tinto apologised for the destruction of a sacred Aboriginal cave in Western Australia that showed evidence of continual habitation dating back 46,000 years, and said it would urgently review its plans for other sites in the area. Rio Tinto blew up the cave last week in Juukan Gorge, about 1,075 km (667 miles) north of Perth, as part of an expansion programme in the Pilbara iron ore region, provoking a local outcry and calls for reform of heritage protection laws.

Jun 01 - Russia's Polyus says posts Q1 net loss of $389 mln 
Russia's top gold producer Polyus said on Monday it had posted a net loss of $389 million in the first quarter of 2020, down from a profit of $697 million in the preceding three months. Adjusted core earnings were at $589 million in the first quarter, down 33% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, while total revenue was at $872 million, down 32%.

Jun 01 - Speculators cut bullish bets on COMEX gold - CFTC 
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and increased them in silver contracts in the week to May 26, 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.

Jun 01 - Indonesia processing requests for deep-sea mining waste disposal, says gov't official 
Indonesian authorities are considering two companies' requests to dispose mining waste into the ocean, a senior government official said on Sunday, at a time of heightened sensitivity about the environmental impact of mining. The requests come as mining waste management is increasingly scrutinised after a nickel plant in neighbouring Papua New Guinea spilled red mud into the sea last year due to an operational failure.

May 29 - Bullion banks prepare CME pullback after virus snarl
Gold trading banks are preparing to significantly reduce their positions on CME Group's Comex exchange in New York, nine people familiar with the plans said, shifting more trading to London and raising costs for thousands of investors. Some bullion banks are no longer willing to hold large positions on Comex, the biggest gold futures market, after the coronavirus snarled the supply of gold bars, sending Comex prices vaulting above London rates in March. 

May 29 - Deferred expansion plans fuel prospect of lithium price spike after 2022
Shelved expansion plans for lithium projects due to collapsing demand for the material used to make electric vehicle batteries leaves the market facing a price spike after a couple of years when shortages start to emerge. Auto sales including electric vehicles have slumped this year due to economic damage from the coronavirus. But sales are expected to accelerate over coming years as auto makers plough on with plans to meet stringent emission regulations. 

May 29 - U.S. House bill aims to boost domestic mining of strategic minerals
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to introduce legislation on Thursday to bolster domestic mining and processing of minerals used in high-tech equipment, a sector currently dominated by China. The bill, which contains provisions worth roughly $2 billion over 10 years, is the latest in a string of recent U.S. legislation attempting to craft a national strategy to produce more lithium, rare earths and other so-called strategic minerals.

May 29 - Australia's Lynas says it complied with exchange's disclosure rules on funding
Lynas Corp on Friday said it has complied with Australian Securities Exchange's disclosure rules in response to an exchange letter asking the miner about its disclosures on the funding of a rare earths processing plant in the United States. Questions from the ASX in a letter on May 27, according to Lynas' response, focused on disclosures about funding from the United States Department of Defence for the first stage of the development of its planned Blue Line heavy rare earths facility in Texas, and a subsequent pause in that funding. 

May 29 - Fortescue loses bid to appeal court decision in indigenous land case
Fortescue Metals Group said on Friday it has been refused leave to appeal a court decision that gave an Aboriginal group exclusive title rights to land at its Solomon Hub iron ore mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In 2017, Australia's Federal Court ruled in favour of the indigenous Yindjibarndi People in a longstanding claim over land used by Fortescue to mine millions of tonnes of iron ore at its Solomon mining hub.

May 29 - Albemarle seeks full control of Australia's Greenbushes lithium mine
Albemarle Corp said on Thursday it wants to take control of Australia's Greenbushes, the world's largest lithium mine, signaling it intends to block any rival from buying Tianqi Lithium Corp's controlling stake. Tianqi, which owns 51% of Greenbushes to Albemarle's 49%, is selling some of its prized assets, including Greenbushes, to pay down debt. 

May 29 - Canada's CIBC lost $64 million in a day on paper in gold market turmoil
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) took a mark-to-market trading loss of C$88.2 million ($64 million) in one day in March due mainly to volatility in the gold market, the bank said in its second-quarter earnings report on Thursday. CIBC is not alone in being caught out when the coronavirus outbreak interrupted gold supply routes and gold futures prices in New York shot above London spot prices. 

May 29 - Alcoa considering more than 500 layoffs at Spanish plant
Alcoa said on Thursday it is considering laying off up to 534 workers from its San Ciprian aluminum plant in the Spanish region of Galicia, though a final decision has not yet been made. High energy costs and low aluminum prices led to persistent losses and left the plant unable to compete internationally, the company said in an emailed statement.

May 29 - Alrosa sees May diamond sales at tens of millions of dollars
Russian diamond producer Alrosa expects its sales for May to total tens of million dollars, down sharply from May 2019 but up from April 2020, when its diamonds sales were worth $16 million, its chief executive told Reuters. The new coronavirus outbreak has largely spared employees of Alrosa's main production assets in Russia so far, but April sales by the world's largest producer of rough diamonds plunged 95% due to a demand slump. 

May 29 - ArcelorMittal resumes output at Bosnia steel plant
ArcelorMittal resumed output at its Bosnia steel plant on Thursday after a 10-day stoppage due to a drop in demand caused by the coronavirus crisis, its spokesperson told Reuters. Steel end-users, including automakers, shut operations in March when Bosnia imposed a lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 2,462 people in the country and led to 153 deaths.

May 28 - Coronavirus to exacerbate copper surplus this year and next - IWCC
The global copper market is expected to be in surplus by 285,000 tonnes this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with the overhang rising to 675,000 tonnes in 2021, an industry body said in a report. The forecast from the International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) against the backdrop of coronavirus-related demand destruction that is expected to dwarf the impact of supply disruptions for industrial metals.  

May 28 - The spike before the slump? Australian coal exports to China soar in May: Russell
Australia's coal exporters are bracing for a slump in shipments to China, making it somewhat ironic that May is likely to be the strongest month in nearly two years for Chinese imports from Down Under. Traders are expecting that China's coal imports may fall in coming months amid moves by Beijing to restrict cargoes to protect the domestic mining industry and prices.

May 28 - Top China steelmakers propose expanding high-quality coking coal imports
China should control thermal coal imports and increase purchases of high-quality coking coal to meet environmental protection requirements, executives from two of the country's biggest steel producers said this week at the National People's Congress. Yuan Weixia from the Wuhan subsidiary of China's biggest steelmaker, China Baowu Steel Group, and Yang Gengbao from an arm of the country's biggest private steelmaker, Jiangsu Shagang Group, made the proposal at the nation's annual parliament meeting in Beijing, according to state-backed China Metallurgical News. 

May 28 - U.S. aluminium's negative price puzzle as premium crashes: Andy Home
Aluminium has been one of the industrial metals hit hardest by the coronavirus. The London Metal Exchange (LME) price hit a four-year low of $1,455 per tonne in April and is struggling to recover, last trading at $1,525. Inventory has surged, with 663,475 tonnes of metal placed on LME warrant since the middle of March, lifting headline exchange stocks to a three-year high of 1,493,775 tonnes. 

May 28 - Rio Tinto says it can extract strategic mineral from metal plant processing waste
Rio Tinto Plc said on Wednesday it has developed a process to extract the rare earth scandium from its titanium dioxide production process and is studying ways to commercially produce the mineral. The move is the latest example of Rio taking a second look at the waste from its core mining business in an effort to reprocess it and produce so-called strategic minerals and rare earths, a grouping of 17 minerals used to make electronics. 

May 28 - South African mines record 320 COVID-19 cases ahead of lockdown easing
South Africa's mining industry has so far recorded 320 cases of the new coronavirus, the Minerals Council said on Wednesday as underground mines prepare to ramp up output when Africa's most industrialised economy eases lockdown measures next week. Mines across South Africa, the world's biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a leading producer of gold and diamonds, were forced to shut temporarily when a nationwide coronavirus lockdown began in late March. 

May 28 - Peru mining production to drop by 15% this year due to pandemic - Buenaventura executive
Production in Peru's mining sector will fall by at least 15% this year, representing a loss in revenues of up to $5 billion, due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a top mining executive said on Wednesday. Large-scale mining, which makes up 80% of Peru's copper production, would not be fully up and running until early June, Victor Gobitz, general manager of mining company Buenaventura, said at a virtual news conference.

May 28 - Brazil's Vale ordered to set aside $1.48 bln for Brumadinho dam damages
A judge in Brazil's Minas Gerais state partially granted an injunction sought by prosecutors ordering iron ore miner Vale SA to deposit 7.9 billion reais ($1.48 billion) for payment of potential fines related to a dam disaster last year. Vale faces multiple legal battles after a tailings dam it owned and operated in the town of Brumadinho burst, killing more than 270 people.

May 27 - Lithium producers must wait as pandemic slows electric vehicle revolution
The coronavirus pandemic has paused the electric vehicle revolution, forcing producers of battery metal lithium into survival mode with output cuts, expansion delays and sales of major assets. Lithium industry shares have dropped sharply since January as the economic downturn from the pandemic slammed the brakes yet again on the electrification revolution that for years has seemed just around the corner. 

May 27 - LME to consult on whether its market abuse rules need reform
The London Metal Exchange plans to consult members on whether its rules need to be changed to guard against market abuse and insider trading, the exchange said on Tuesday. To start the process, the LME will form a working group to highlight potential problems and seek comment from representatives of the metals market. 

May 27 - Zimbabwe gold miners to keep more export earnings in dollars
Zimbabwe will increase the proportion of dollars gold miners can keep from their sales, the central bank's bullion-buying arm said on Wednesday, yielding to pressure from producers who were pushing to retain more. Gold is Zimbabwe's single largest foreign currency earner, and Fidelity Printers and Refiners, an arm of the central bank, has a monopoly on buying and refining all the country's production.

May 27 - U.S. imports record amount of gold from Switzerland as virus upends trade
Swiss exports of gold to the United States leapt to 111.7 tonnes in April -- by far the biggest monthly total on record -- while shipments to other destinations dwindled, customs data showed on Tuesday. The global gold market has been turned on its head by the novel coronavirus, with demand in China and India collapsing due to lockdowns while in the West investors rushed to buy bullion as a safe asset to weather a period of financial turmoil. 

May 27 - Scotiabank sets aside $168 mln for metals closure and investigations
Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) has set aside C$232 million ($168 million) to cover costs relating to the closure of its metals business and investigations of its metals trading practices by U.S. regulators, it said on Tuesday. The disclosure was made as Scotiabank announced a 41% profit fall in its second quarter to April 30. 

May 27 - Striking workers block doors of Tata Steel plant in Netherlands
A group of around 100 striking workers blocked the doors at Tata Steel's main IJmuiden plant in the Netherlands on Tuesday morning, in what labour representatives said was a spontaneous move and a prelude to major action in the coming weeks. Workers at the Dutch subsidiary have been unhappy since the departure last week of their CEO Theo Henrar, which prompted an angry response as he was seen as a strong advocate against Tata's plans to cut around 1,000 jobs in the Netherlands. 

May 27 - Coronavirus to cut S.Africa's 2020 mining output by 8-10% - industry body
South Africa's mining production is likely to fall by between 8% and 10% this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEO of industry body the Minerals Council said on Tuesday. Mines across South Africa, the world's biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a leading producer of gold and diamonds, were forced to shut temporarily when a nationwide lockdown to contain the virus began in late March.

May 27 - Bosnia's Jan-April metals exports down 18.3%
Bosnia's metals sector, which accounts for around a third of its exports, recorded a 18.3% fall in exports in the January-April period as demand from the EU markets shrank due to the coronavirus pandemic, data showed on Tuesday. Metals exports fell by 276 million Bosnian marka ($154 million) and imports were down 19% or 410 million marka, according to analysis by Bosnia's Foreign Trade Chamber (VTK).

May 26 - Barrick pays Tanzania initial $100 mln after gold shipments resume
Barrick's Tanzania subsidiary Twiga Minerals has resumed exports of gold concentrate after receiving clearance for its first shipments since the lifting of a government ban imposed during a tax dispute with the mining company. The dispute originally involved Acacia Mining, which was taken over by Barrick last year. 

May 26 - Iron ore defies coronavirus gloom with bullish supply, demand narratives: Russell
Iron ore is continuing to defy the global economic gloom, with both futures in China and the spot price surging to the highest this year, showing how the steel-making ingredient is benefiting from a cocktail of supply concerns and demand hopes. The Dalian Commodity Exchange's most-active contract, for September delivery, ended at 723 yuan ($101.40) a tonne on May 22, up 25.2% since the start of the year in local currency terms.

May 26 - Australia's New Century takes aim at Vale's New Caledonia assets
Australia's New Century Resources Ltd said on Tuesday it was in talks with Brazilian miner Vale SA to buy its nickel and cobalt operations on the Pacific island of New Caledonia. Vale said it received non-binding offers in April after putting them up for sale in December as the operation faced technical setbacks, a chemical spill and protests. 

May 26 - Chalco delegate pushes for China's bauxite-rich Shanxi to be aluminium hub
An executive from a shuttered smelting unit of state-run Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, or Chalco, has called for his province of Shanxi to take advantage of abundant bauxite resources and become a major aluminium production hub. Bauxite is the main ore source of aluminium and has to be refined into alumina to produce the metal of which China is by far the world's biggest producer and consumer. 

May 26 - China becomes net exporter of gold via Hong Kong in April
China's gold imports via Hong Kong in April fell short of its exports for the first time since at least 2011 as measures to contain the spread of coronavirus hammered demand in the top consumer of the metal. Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data on Monday showed it became a net importer of gold from China last month for the first time in Reuters data going back to January 2011, receiving 10.3 tonnes versus exports of 13.5 tonnes in March. 

May 26 - Australian mining explorers to struggle for funding through 2020 - BDO
Australian firms exploring for minerals and not yet involved in production are likely to struggle to raise financing for most of this year, after funding in the March quarter hit a four-year low, BDO said on Tuesday. The advisory firm's report, which analyses regulatory filings, covers early-stage miners seeking to raise capital to develop their assets.

May 25 - Reminder : Ascension Day on Thursday, the end of Ramadan on Friday and a Bank Holiday on Monday (LDN & NY closed)

May 25 - Pentagon halts rare earths funding program pending 'further research'
The U.S. Department of Defense last month reversed its decision to fund two projects to process rare earth minerals for military weapons, one of which has controversial ties to China, according to a government document seen by Reuters and three sources familiar with the matter. The Pentagon decision is a step backward for President Donald Trump's plan to redevelop the U.S. rare earths supply chain and reduce reliance on China, the world's largest producer of the strategic minerals used to build a range of weapons. 

May 25 - London tin squeezed as supply shock outweighs demand hit: Andy Home
Tightness has returned to the London Metal Exchange (LME) tin contract. Stocks are low and falling. Time-spreads have moved back to backwardation. This is, to some extent, business as usual for the London tin market, a low-liquidity contract where brokers sometimes struggle to match lending and borrowing flows. 

May 25 - AngloGold Ashanti shuts S.African mine after finding 164 coronavirus cases
AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng mine in South Africa has been temporarily closed after 164 workers tested positive for the coronavirus, the gold miner said in a statement on Sunday. The mine, the deepest in the world, only re-opened in April after being shut under a nationwide lockdown, and had been operating at around 50% capacity. 

May 25 - Japan's April crude steel output falls 23.5% y/y to 11-year low amid pandemic
Japan's crude steel output fell 23.5% in April from a year earlier to an 11-year low of 6.62 million tonnes, as weaker demand amid the coronavirus crisis forced steelmakers to trim output, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation said on Friday. The figure is the lowest monthly output since May 2009, when a global financial crisis dampened demand, a researcher at the federation said. 

May 25 - Poland's JSW banks on hotter coking coal prices for support
State-run JSW said it had increased output of coking coal and should benefit from a price upturn once an easing of lockdowns stimulates demand, as it sought to reassure investors following a first-quarter loss and a more than 5% share price fall. Poland's JSW is the European Union's biggest producer of coking coal, which is of higher value than thermal coal because of its usefulness in steelmaking.

May 25 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver
Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to May 19, 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.

May 25 - Steinmetz's BSGR seeks to reopen $1.25 bln Guinea ruling
Billionaire Beny Steinmetz's BSG Resources Ltd (BSGR) is seeking to reopen an arbitration case that ordered it to pay $1.25 billion to Brazilian minder Vale SA over an abandoned mining joint venture in Guinea. BSGR has filed documents, seen by Reuters, with a U.S. court which it said shows that Vale was aware of potential bribery or "red flags" when the companies partnered to develop Simandou, one of the world's biggest iron ore deposits containing billions of tonnes of the steelmaking ingredient.

May 25 - Alrosa cuts 2020 production due to falling diamond demand
Russian diamond producer Alrosa said on Friday it was cutting its 2020 output to between 28 and 31 million carats this year because the coronavirus pandemic has slowed demand for diamond jewellery. It said the decision to reduce production in 2020 had been made "in response to the crisis unfolding in the global rough and polished diamonds market."

May 22 - Traders Beware: U.S. taps new tools to find fraud in volatile commodities market 
When the U.S. Department of Justice charged a handful of JP Morgan Chase & Co traders in 2018 and 2019 with alleged commodities futures manipulation, it wasn't the first time the government had probed the bank's metals trading activities. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigated the same business as part of a similar probe of the silver market years earlier, but it was not able to build a case with the data it had at the time, according to U.S. court filings and a person with knowledge of the aborted probe. 

May 22 - Cacophony of voices on LME floor may not be heard for many months
The London Metal Exchange's open outcry trading floor may remain closed for many more months as it cannot be reopened under COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, the head of the exchange said. LME Chief Executive Matthew Chamberlain also told Reuters the exchange would look at potential M&A activity, but nothing was on the agenda currently.

May 22 - South Africa miners want to ramp up capacity as profits prove elusive
South Africa's underground miners say operating at half capacity during the coronavirus lockdown is unsustainable, with costs higher than returns, and are lobbying the government to allow them to ramp up output or risk mine closures. South Africa -- the world's biggest producer of platinum and chrome ore and a leading producer of gold and diamonds -- allowed underground mines to restart operations at half capacity in April.

May 22 - Australia reassures on China iron ore processing changes 
The Australian government said on Thursday a change in China's iron ore inspection procedures should streamline customs clearance of Australian shipments, reassuring markets worried about deteriorating ties between Canberra and Beijing. On Wednesday, China said it would simplify customs inspection procedures for iron ore imports from June 1, with quality checks no longer mandatory.  

May 22 - Chinalco exec proposes curbing China's copper capacity as lawmakers meet 
The general manager of state-owned metals group Chinalco is calling on China to rein in "blind expansion" of copper smelting capacity as the country's lawmakers gather in Beijing to decide policy objectives and economic targets for the year. Yu Dehui, also a delegate at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is submitting a proposal at this year's Two Sessions that will also urge an acceleration of supply-side reform in the sector, a publication run by the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said on Thursday.

May 22 - Australia's Core Lithium gets Europe supply deal for Finniss project 
Australian miner Core Lithium Ltd said on Friday it had signed an initial supply agreement with Geneva-based trading firm Transamine, with the possibility of a binding deal later in the year. The non-binding agreement, for an initial period of five years, is for the supply of 50,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate from Core's Finniss lithium project near Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. 

May 22 - Miner Hudbay Minerals expects delay to Peru copper expansion 
Canadian miner Hudbay Minerals Inc expects a delay of up to four months before it can start mining an extension at its Constancia copper mine in Peru, the miner's chief executive said on Thursday. Hudbay said in February it expected to start mining the Pampacancha satellite deposit in late 2020, but restrictions imposed to fight the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus have limited the government's ability to consult with a local indigenous community, said Peter Kukielski, Hudbay's president and CEO.

May 22 - Russia's TMK says to be very conservative on dividends in 2020 
Russian pipemaker TMK said on Thursday it expected its approach to dividend payments to be very conservative this year, after reporting financial results for the first quarter that showed revenue down 33% year-on-year. The company also said it was finalising a "Plan B" for its capital expenditure projections, saying spending could be reduced to well below $200 million, and could even fall below $150 million.

May 21 - Sulphur squeeze spells trouble for Congo's copper and cobalt miners 
Disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis have pushed up prices for sulphur by about 10% this year in the Democratic Republic of Congo, driving up costs of a vital ingredient for mining cobalt and copper in the African nation. Coronavirus lockdowns and border closures in South Africa and parts of Zambia and Congo have disrupted transport and other logistics, delaying essential mining supplies.

May 21 - China to slash H2 coal imports to back domestic miners, analysts say 
China is expected to tighten coal import rules in the second half of 2020 to shore up its struggling domestic industry, after record arrivals in the first four months, just as demand tanked because of the coronavirus outbreak. Imports could drop as much as a quarter in the second half from the corresponding 2019 period, analysts estimate, which is likely to boost pressure on major coal exporters, such as Australia, Indonesia and Russia, which are already battling weak demand because of the virus.

May 21 - Australia reassures on China iron ore processing changes 
The Australian government said on Thursday a change in China's iron ore inspection procedures should streamline customs clearance of Australian shipments, reassuring markets worried about deteriorating ties between Canberra and Beijing. On Wednesday, China said it would simplify customs inspection procedures for iron ore imports from June 1, with quality checks no longer mandatory.  

May 21 - In the coming renewable energy boom, Australia is once again the "lucky country" - Russell 
Which commodities and countries are best placed to emerge as winners in the post-coronavirus world, especially if the anticipated boost to investment in renewables energies actually happens? One of the themes emerging for a post-coronavirus world is that investment should flow into renewable energies, both as economic stimulus and as a way of limiting the impact of climate change.

May 21 - INSG says global nickel market surplus narrows in March 
The global nickel market surplus narrowed to 14,000 tonnes in March from an upwardly revised 15,700 tonnes the previous month, the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) said on Wednesday. For the first three months of this year, there was a global surplus of 45,700 tonnes compared with a deficit of 16,200 tonnes in the same period of 2019, Lisbon-based INSG added.

May 21 - Salzgitter: No negotiations with Thyssenkrupp on steel 
Germany's second-largest steelmaker Salzgitter on Wednesday said it was not in talks with larger rival Thyssenkrupp about consolidation, pouring cold water on hopes for the creation of a national metals giant. Salzgitter said it has been successfully independent for more than two decades, but added that it remained open to ideas about what cooperation with peers could look like, provided it was beneficial for its future.

May 21 - EU's industrial strategy is being wrecked by coronavirus - Andy Home 
German zinc producer Metallwerk Dinslaken (MWD) has just announced it is closing. You'd be forgiven for not noticing. The news didn't register with the London Metal Exchange (LME) zinc price. The company is too small with just 41 employees and annual production of 25,000 tonnes, a metallic drop in the 13.5-million-tonne global zinc ocean. 

May 21 - Virus to tip platinum, palladium closer to balance - Metals Focus 
The fallout from the coronavirus will shrink the oversupply in the platinum market this year and reduce a shortfall in the palladium market, Metals Focus said on Wednesday, predicting higher prices for palladium and price falls for platinum. Both metals are mainly used in vehicle exhausts to reduce engine emissions. Platinum is also used in jewellery and other industry. 

May 21 - Satellite data shows copper smelting revival as China activity rebounds 
Global copper smelting recovered in April due to renewed activity in China and has been even stronger so far in May, an index based on satellite surveillance of copper plants showed. Smelting activity in China, the world's top refined copper producer, has been rebounding as COVID-19 lockdowns are lifted and moved slightly higher in April, a joint statement from satellite service SAVANT and broker Marex Spectron said on Wednesday.

May 21 - Philippines Q1 nickel ore output falls 27% y/y as most mines shut 
The Philippines said on Thursday its nickel ore output in the first quarter shrank 27% from a year earlier to 28,006 tonnes, as more than half of its 29 operating nickel mines reported zero production. Just 11 of the Southeast Asian nation's nickel mines reported output in the March quarter, while 18 were either under care and maintenance programmes or did not operate due to unfavourable weather, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said. 

May 21 - SQM profits plunge again on lower lithium prices, slashes 2020 capex plan 
Chilean miner SQM, the world's No. 2 producer of lithium, said on Wednesday profits plunged by nearly half in the first quarter as prices for the battery metal continued to freefall during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Supply swamped demand earlier this year, and now lithium earnings have tumbled further on sliding automobile sales and economic malaise caused by the pandemic.

May 21 - Italians sell their gold as COVID-19 crunches economy
Massimiliano Barrotta is seeing a surge in customers coming to sell their gold in his Rome store as Italians feel the economic pain of their government's lockdown, imposed to curb one of the world's worst COVID-19 epidemics. The eight-week shutdown has been gradually eased since May 4, but it has left an economy on its knees, with businesses laden with debt and tens of thousands of new unemployed. The European Commission expects Italy's economy to shrink by nearly 10% this year.

May 20 - 'Nothing off-limits': Thyssenkrupp could sell steel business in historic shift 
Thyssenkrupp could sell most of its steelmaking division, its CEO said on Tuesday, marking a historic reversal in strategy for the German conglomerate which has built its 200-year-old legacy as an industrial champion on the business. "Nothing is off-limits anymore," Martina Merz said when asked by Reuters if Thyssenkrupp could a sell a majority stake in the steel business. She warned, however, that any disposals would be difficult to pull off in the current environment.

May 20 - Mining companies rush to shield indigenous communities from coronavirus 
Big mining companies that rely on indigenous workforces or operate near remote communities have acted fast to curb the spread of the coronavirus and avoid a public health crisis that could damage their reputations. From Australia's outback to Canada's Arctic wilderness to the Andes, mining firms have changed rosters to stop outsiders infecting remote communities, paid staff with potential health issues to stay at home and given food to indigenous families so they don't have to shop in nearby mining towns.

May 20 - Deficit likely to lift tin to top of industrial metals leaderboard
Reduced tin production because of coronavirus lockdowns is likely to result in supplies falling short of demand and ensure prices for the metal used in electronics will outperform those of other base metals this year. For metals such as copper, aluminium, zinc, lead and nickel, demand destruction caused by the pandemic is expected to outweigh supply disruptions and leave large surpluses. 

May 20 - Virus fallout will reduce palladium deficit and price - Heraeus
The global palladium market will see its smallest deficit since at least 2012 this year, while the platinum market remains significantly oversupplied, an industry report said on Tuesday. Supply and demand for both metals will fall sharply as the coronavirus outbreak hits consumers and producers, the report by Heraeus Precious Metals and SFA Oxford said, predicting prices would fall. 

May 20 - Miner Newmont expects higher costs, lowers 2020 capex on COVID-19 impact 
Newmont Corp said on Tuesday it expects costs to rise in 2020 as some of its operations were placed in temporary care and maintenance, and the miner also cut its spending budget due to COVID-19-led reduction in non-essential activities. The company now expects 2020 consolidated gold all-in sustaining costs to be $1,015 per ounce compared with its earlier expectations of $975 per ounce. 

May 20 - Australia's Newcrest secures water supplies for Cadia gold, copper mine 
Newcrest Mining Ltd on Wednesday said it had achieved sufficient water levels at its Cadia gold and copper mine, easing production-related concerns at the New South Wales-based project for at least two years. The state of New South Wales had heavy rains in February, bringing much-needed respite from a harsh, long-running drought of seven years that had crippled businesses in the region. 

May 20 - Brazil mining sector will quickly bounce back after COVID-19 disruption - Ibram 
Brazil's mining sector is likely to be the first to rebound from the economic shock of the coronavirus outbreak due to large iron ore capacity and already-growing demand from China, the president of industry association Ibram told Reuters. Nonetheless, Flávio Penido said there could be a negative impact on Brazilian production if the government does not curb the outbreak's spread. 

May 20 - Shanghai Futures Exchange to recruit market makers to boost liquidity 
China's Shanghai Futures Exchange seeks to recruit market makers for five listed futures products, including the flagship steel rebar and hot-rolled coils, saying it aims to "resolve discontinuity issues of main contracts fundamentally". There are three contracts mostly traded per year on the exchange, while others are not that active. The bourse hopes the scheme would help boost liquidity for the not-so-active contracts and prices could better reflect market fundamentals with enough trading volumes.

May 20 - ArcelorMittal halts Bosnia steel output as Zenica plant workers strike 
ArcelorMittal halted production at its steel mill in the central Bosnian town of Zenica after workers there went on strike in solidarity with colleagues furloughed over the coronavirus crisis, the company and unions said on Tuesday. The steelmaker employs around 1,400 workers at the plant, union representative Zuhdija Kapetanovic said.

May 20 - Venezuela files claim to force Bank of England to hand over gold
Venezuela's central bank has made a legal claim to try to force the Bank of England to hand over €930 million ($1.02 billion) of gold so President Nicolas Maduro's government can fund its coronavirus response, according to the document submitted in a London court. The claim follows a request Venezuela made to the Bank of England in April to sell part of its gold reserves there and send the proceeds to the United Nations to help with the country's coronavirus-fighting efforts.

May 19 - Ailing icon Thyssenkrupp seeks partners for steel, warship units 
Thyssenkrupp on Monday said it was looking for partners for its steel and warship divisions, singling out just three lines of businesses that will stay within the struggling German industrial icon. Hoping to stop the bleeding of cash and restore investor confidence, the group also pooled businesses worth 6 billion euros ($6.6 billion) of sales and employing 20,000, about 13% of total staff, that are either to be sold or shut down.

May 19 - China shifts policy tack to plug its copper scrap gap: Andy Home
China is short of copper scrap. This is largely a problem of its own making. China has steadily restricted imports of a material officially designated as "waste" during its broader war on pollution. Beijing had intended to ban all copper scrap imports at the end of this year in the same way it has already locked out other forms of "foreign garbage" such as used plastic. 

May 19 - Brace for volatility as virus grips platinum, palladium markets - JM
Platinum and palladium markets will be tight this year as the coronavirus pandemic hammers supply and demand, materials maker Johnson Matthey said on Monday, declining to give full-year forecasts and saying prices will be erratic. Production of the metals, used to reduce vehicle emissions, and their consumption by auto makers could fall by around one-fifth in 2020 but the course of the virus is too uncertain to give precise numbers, the company said in a report. 

May 19 - China targets Australian barley, but what matters is coal, LNG, iron ore: Russell 
If China was looking to send a political message to Australia by effectively banning the import of a commodity, then barley fits the bill almost perfectly. China on Monday imposed what it termed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5% on Australian barley imports from May 19, a move likely to end trade that has been worth between $980 million and $1.3 billion in recent years.  

May 19 - Unions hit out at Tata Steel plans to make Netherlands bear bulk of European job cuts 
Labour representatives at Tata Steel's Dutch operations said on Monday that the company plans to cut 1,000 jobs in the Netherlands and that the subsidiary's chairman will step down after opposing the layoffs. A spokesman for Tata Steel Europe confirmed that Chairman Theo Henrar will leave Tata Steel Netherlands in a decision agreed by "mutual consultation." 

May 19 - Papua New Guinea court to rule on Barrick mine challenge in June
A Papua New Guinea court is set to rule next month on whether Barrick Gold Corp can proceed with a legal challenge over the government's refusal to extend its lease on the Porgera gold mine, the head of the country's mining regulator said. Papua New Guinea (PNG) said last month it would take control of the lucrative but troubled mine in the remote highlands region, citing environmental and social problems. 

May 19 - Russian army sets up mobile hospital to fight coronavirus at Siberian gold mine 
Russia's defence ministry is setting up a mobile field hospital at the largest Siberian mine of the country's top gold producer, Polyus, to treat miners who contract the new coronavirus, the company said on Monday. Russia produces dozens of metals for global markets and the decision to open the field hospital at the mine underlines its concern to maintain smooth production amid the pandemic.

May 19 - Tianqi Lithium parent to sell 6% stake in struggling Chinese firm 
China's Tianqi Lithium Corp, one of the world's biggest lithium producers, said on Monday its controlling shareholder planned to sell around a sixth of its holding, which could raise more than $200 million in much-needed cash. Tianqi has admitted liquidity problems following a deep fall in prices for lithium, used in electric vehicle batteries.

May 19 - Ecuador restarts mines after quarantine; neighbors protest 
Ecuador has restarted some mining operations that were paused for nearly two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and residents of a community near one of the country's largest mines have protested that resuming work could spread the disease. The Andean country's government, in need of revenue to help service a heavy debt load, approved new security protocols for mineral transport and the return of workers to the mines. Mining activity has fallen by 60% due to quarantine measures to stem one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Latin America.

May 18 - Platinum surplus will remain modest despite coronavirus chaos - WPIC 
Platinum demand will plummet by 18% this year and supply by 13% as the coronavirus batters the global economy, leaving the market with a moderate surplus, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said on Monday. In its latest quarterly report, the WPIC revised its forecast for oversupply this year in the roughly 8-million ounce platinum market to 247,000 ounces from 119,000 ounces. 

May 18 - China copper stocks rise for first time in two months 
Copper inventories in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose for the first time in two months this week, latest exchange data showed, as imports of the metal lowered demand for domestic stocks. Copper inventories in ShFE warehouses rose 2.3% to 208,890 tonnes in the week to May 15, the first weekly rise since mid-March, the data showed on Friday. 

May 18 - Freeport cuts workforce at Grasberg mine as coronavirus cases in area rise
Freeport-McMoRan Inc's Indonesian unit said it will operate the giant Grasberg mine with a "skeletal team" after a rise in coronavirus infections in the area, including at the mine workers' living quarters, and three deaths. The move is aimed at ensuring workers at the world's biggest gold mine and second-biggest copper mine can socially distance effectively and avoid any further spread of the virus, which has infected 17,514 and killed 1,148 in Indonesia, a Freeport Indonesia spokesman said. 

May 18 - Thyssenkrupp in talks with peers over steel business - source 
German ailing conglomerate Thyssenkrupp is in talks with international peers about consolidating its loss-making steel business, a person familiar with the matter said. The talks, to be unveiled as part of a strategy revamp on Monday which is likely to include shutting or selling assets, follow a 372 million euro ($402 million) loss Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, Germany's largest steelmaker, posted in the first half of the group's fiscal year.

May 18 - China copper smelter Daye misses output target, posts loss amid coronavirus 
China Daye Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Ltd, one of the country's top copper producers, said its refined copper output came in more than 10% below target in the first quarter as the coronavirus outbreak hit operations. Daye, based in the virus epicentre of Hubei province, said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange late on Friday that its smelters' copper cathode production was 18,200 tonnes, or 10.5%, below plan in the January-March period, while gold and silver output were 38.9% and 51% under target, respectively.

May 18 - Speculators reduce bullish bets on COMEX gold 
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and increased them silver contracts in the week to May 12, 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.

May 18 - Chinese miner CNMC's stake sale fails to win support from unit's shareholders
A unit of state-owned China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group Co (CNMC) said on Saturday a proposal for it to acquire shares in an affiliate with African copper and cobalt assets had not received enough support from shareholders. China Nonferrous Metal Industry's Foreign Engineering and Construction Co, known as NFC, had planned to buy CNMC's 74.52% stake in China Nonferrous Mining Corp Ltd, which has mines in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, for 7.36 billion yuan ($1.04 billion) via a share placement. 

May 18 - South Africa's Impala closes platinum mine due to coronavirus cases 
South Africa's Impala Platinum said on Saturday it would temporarily close its Marula mine after detecting 19 coronavirus cases among workers reporting back for duty at the site in northern Limpopo province. "Implats has identified 19 positive cases during the week, all of them asymptomatic. Of these cases, 14 were identified as the result of proactive testing of employees returning to work. None of these employees had started work at the mine," the company said in a statement.

May 18 - Mexican miner Penoles to suspend zinc mine due to tough conditions, low prices 
Mexican miner Industrias Peñoles said on Saturday that it will suspend operations of a zinc mine in central Mexico indefinitely due to difficult mining conditions and low metal prices. Peñoles said in a statement that it has begun laying off unionized workers in the unit, although it did not specify the number. It said it would try to reassign other workers and contractors to other units. The company said the suspension of operations will not affect its production of refined zinc.

May 18 - China's Chifeng Jilong restarts gold production at Laos mine after 6 yrs 
China's Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co said it had started processing gold ore from its Sepon mine in Laos, marking the first time the project has produced gold in almost six and a half years. The restart of gold production at the mine, scrapped in part because it wasn't profitable enough, comes after gold prices hit a seven-year high last month. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted investors to pile into the safe-haven precious metal.

May 18 - Sierra Leone police arrest five expatriate staff of SL Mining 
Police in Sierra Leone have arrested five expatriate staff of a subsidiary of commodities trader Gerald Group on suspicion of inciting unrest, the company and local authorities said on Sunday. The staff members of SL Mining, who hail from the United Kingdom, South Africa, India and the United States, have not been formally charged. 

May 18 - Tokyo Steel to keep product prices steady in June amid weak demand 
Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co, Japan's top electric-arc furnace steelmaker, on Monday said it will keep product prices unchanged in June as it will take a while to see a recovery in demand from industries hit by the COVID-19 crisis. This is the second month the company has held prices steady for all of its steel products, including its main H-shaped beams.

May 15 - China April crude steel output jumps, demand picks up after coronavirus curbs eased
China's steel mills ramped up production 7.7% in April from the previous month, boosted by robust domestic demand as the world's second-biggest economy began to pick up after easing curbs imposed earlier in the year to counter the coronavirus epidemic. Total crude steel output last month was 85.03 million tonnes, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Friday, up from 78.98 million tonnes in March, and also 0.2% higher than in April 2019. 

May 15 - LME dealers take to the phones in fight to save LME ring
Wheeling and dealing that used to take place in the London Metal Exchange ring - the last open-outcry floor in Europe - has shifted to the phone as dealers resist an advertised shift to electronic trading in a fight for their jobs. The 143-year-old LME temporarily closed its ring, a circle of padded, red-leather benches, on March 23 when the coronavirus lockdown began.  

May 15 - Which metals will gain most from a green energy revolution?: Andy Home
If the world is serious about reducing global warming, it's going to need a lot of minerals and metals. More than three billion tonnes will be required by 2050 to deploy sufficient wind, solar and geothermal power, as well as energy storage, to have a chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. 

May 15 - Aurubis upbeat on annual outlook despite coronavirus risks
Aurubis AG, Europe's largest copper producer, posted on Friday a drop in quarterly profit but confirmed its annual earnings forecast despite the market uncertainty and economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis. Operating earnings before taxes (EBT) in the second quarter ended March 31 dropped 5% to 60 million euros ($64.82 million) from the previous year, the Germany-based company said.

May 15 - Russia's Nornickel uses freight flights for palladium exports amid coronavirus
Russia's Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest palladium producer, said on Thursday it was using air cargo flights to ship supplies of palladium and platinum because most of the passenger flights it usually uses had been suspended. Nornickel said in its market report, which it updates twice a year, that deliveries to clients had not been affected despite the disruptions to passenger flights.

May 15 - EU opens dumping probe into Turkish steel imports
The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether Turkey is dumping hot-rolled flat steel products in the European Union, it said on Thursday, as Europe suffers from tumbling demand. Turkey was the top source of finished steel product imports into the EU in 2018, with a surge of 65% to 6.17 million tonnes from the previous year.

May 15 - Poland's KGHM says demand for copper is stable
Poland's state-run KGHM, which is one of the world's biggest copper and silver producers, sees demand for its copper stable, with some exceptions in Italy, which has been severely hit by the new coronavirus pandemic. "We observe a stable demand and except for some occasional problems with supplies to Italy we do not have problems with sales," Pawel Gruza, KGHM deputy head told a news conference. 

May 15 - Indonesia state miner Inalum plans buyback of about $1 bln in bonds
State miner PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) plans to buy back bonds worth about $1 billion from a total of $2.25 billion maturing in 2021 and 2023, its chief executive told reporters on Friday. Inalum aims to cut short-term debt and the $2.5 billion in global bonds it sold this week will help finance the buyback, Orias Petrus Moedak said. 

May 15 - Mexico mining official says industry should aim for June 1 restart
Mexico's mining sector should re-start activities on June 1, two weeks later than previously suggested, Mexico's undersecretary for mining said on Thursday. Mexican government earlier this week said it would classify mining, along with the auto sector and construction, as essential activities, paving the way for a May 18 restart following a prolonged shutdown during the coronavirus outbreak.

May 15 - Australia's BlueScope Steel says cyber 'incident' causing disruptions
BlueScope Steel Ltd said on Friday a cyber "incident" at one of its U.S. businesses disrupted some of its operations, but it did not elaborate on the cause. "We are taking this event extremely seriously," Chief Financial Officer Tania Archibald said in a statement. She said BlueScope was working with external providers to "protect and restore" its systems.

May 14 - China's Jiangxi rolls out fiscal support for coronavirus-hit copper industry
China's Jiangxi province on Thursday unveiled measures including tax breaks and preferential loan terms to help copper producers after the coronavirus outbreak hit demand and prices for the metal used widely in power and construction. Jiangxi, which borders the virus epicentre of Hubei, is home to top copper firm Jiangxi Copper Co. Its support comes after Yunnan province announced a year-long non-ferrous metals stockpiling drive to relieve pressure on producers. 

May 14 - HSBC lost $200 mln in a day on paper as coronavirus dislocated gold market
HSBC Holdings Plc suffered mark-to-market losses of about $200 million in a single day in March after gold prices in London and New York diverged dramatically, the bank said in a filing. The losses by HSBC, one of the world's biggest bullion trading banks, are theoretical, reflecting the value of positions it held. They do not necessarily mean it lost money. 

May 14 - Coronavirus crushes base metals demand, hefty surpluses weigh
Demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will dwarf the impact of supply disruptions for industrial metals such as aluminium and zinc, leaving heavy surpluses and inventory levels that will pressure prices and output this year. Bleak demand prospects have driven down base metal prices, cutting into revenues for producers, triggering capital expenditure cuts and the prospect of output reductions. 

May 14 - Norway wealth fund blacklists Glencore, other commodity giants over coal
Norway's $1 trillion wealth fund is excluding some of the world's biggest commodities firms from its portfolio for their use and production of coal, including Glencore and Anglo American. Underlining the growing role of climate considerations for long-term investors, the fund is also excluding German utility RWE, South African petrochemicals firm Sasol and Dutch company AGL Energy over their use of coal.

May 14 - Zambia, in diversification push, starts processing artisanal gold
Zambia has built 10 milling plants to process gold in a drive to formalise artisanal and small-scale miners and diversify from copper mining, state mining investment company ZCCM-IH said on Wednesday. The project is being undertaken by Consolidated Gold Company Ltd (CGCZ), a gold processing and trading joint venture between Karma Mining Services and Rural Development and ZCCM-IH.

May 14 - Gold to rise in medium-term, may breach $2,000/oz in 2021 - Citi
Gold prices are forecast to rise in the medium-term and could climb to more than $2,000 per ounce in 2021 as central banks have cut interest rates and the uncertain macroeconomic outlook has bolstered safe haven demand, Citi Research said. "The current rates and Fed monetary policy environment is a primary driver of the bullish gold market outlook and should remain a structural tailwind in the medium-term," Citi said in a note dated May 12.

May 14 - Freeport Indonesia ramps up coronavirus testing as cases near mine rise
PT Freeport Indonesia, operator of the world's second-biggest copper mine, is to conduct "extensive testing" among its employees after coronavirus cases in the area where the mine operates topped 100. It said on Wednesday it had around 50,000 rapid and polymerase chain reaction test kits on site.

May 13 - Aiming to thwart China, U.S. senator pushes rare earths funding bill
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz introduced legislation on Tuesday to help revive the U.S. rare earths industry with tax breaks for mine developers and manufacturers who buy their products, the latest attempt by Washington to break China's control over the strategic sector. China is the largest global processor of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used to make electronics and military equipment. 

May 13 - BHP sticks with spending strategy, Rio eyes M&A amid coronavirus shock
BHP Group will stick with its capital allocation framework despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic while Rio Tinto is eyeing M&A, the chief executives of the miners said on Tuesday. The novel coronavirus has hit commodity prices and threatens to push global economy into a deep recession. 

May 13 - Brazil miner Vale to spend $2 bln to cut carbon emissions 33% by 2030
Brazilian miner Vale SA plans to spend at least $2 billion to cut both its direct and indirect carbon emissions by 33% by 2030, Chief Executive Eduardo Bartolomeo told Reuters on Tuesday. Direct emissions refer to those from the company's own operations, while indirect come from external sources, like electricity generated by a utility company and then used by Vale.

May 13 - As demand implodes, the zinc supply chain starts to adjust: Andy Home
The London Metal Exchange (LME) zinc price has bounced by 20% from its March low of $1,685 a tonne to $2,020. This is part of a broader mini-recovery across the base metals complex as the market focuses on the supply shock running alongside the demand shock caused by the spread of the coronavirus. 

May 13 - German economy ministry open to supporting Thyssenkrupp - paper
The German government's "protective umbrella" for businesses is open to struggling conglomerate Thyssenkrupp, which warned on Tuesday it faced a deep quarterly loss, the Rheinische Post newspaper quoted an Economy Ministry spokeswoman as saying. The steel-to-submarines group said earlier its operating loss could swell to 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) in the April to June quarter due to the coronavirus crisis, sending its shares down as much as 13.5%. 

May 13 - Indonesia passes new mining law revisions, met with praise and protest
Indonesia's parliament passed revisions to its mining law on Tuesday that will allow miners to extend permits and seek expansion of mining areas beyond current legal limits. Other parts of the law are also largely in line with mining rules under a proposed sweeping "omnibus" bill, aimed at removing red tape and attracting investment in many business sectors. 

May 13 - Philippine miners can fully operate, but quarantine rules set
Miners in the Philippines, one of the world's top nickel ore suppliers, are allowed to operate at full capacity as the country begins to relax coronavirus-containment measures, but they must follow strict safety protocols, the government said. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has released guidelines for the resumption of mining and mineral processing operations ahead of the May 16 easing of coronavirus-related restrictions across most of the country now deemed at low risk. 

May 13 - South Africa publishes proposed mine safety rules for COVID-19
South Africa published new proposed safety guidelines on Tuesday for mines operating during the coronavirus pandemic, which would require that mineworkers be screened, tested, kept further apart and provided with protective gear. South Africa, the world's largest producer of platinum and chrome ore and a major miner of gold, diamonds and coal, is gradually restarting the operations of its biggest export industry, shut down in a nationwide lockdown.

May 13 - Alrosa's April diamond sales plunge 95% on year earlier as virus strikes
Russian diamond producer Alrosa said on Tuesday its sales of rough and polished diamonds dived 95% in April compared to the same month of 2019 due to the coronavirus crisis. Sales fell to $15.6 million from $319 million in April 2019, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds by carats said, after it "virtually stopped selling rough and polished diamonds" during the pandemic. 

May 13 - U.S. proposes divestiture as condition for Novelis purchase of Aleris
The U.S. Justice Department proposed on Tuesday that Novelis Inc divest Aleris Corp's entire North American aluminum auto body sheet operations as a condition of its acquisition. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in September seeking to stop Novelis' $2.6 billion purchase of Aleris because of concerns over higher prices for aluminum sheet used to make cars. 

May 13 - Vedanta Resources to take Indian unit private as virus crisis deepens
Miner Vedanta Resources Limited on Tuesday confirmed that it would take its Indian unit Vedanta Ltd private, as it looks to accelerate simplification of its corporate structure amid the coronavirus crisis. The company said it will delist the unit from all stock exchanges and was willing to accept shares tendered in the offer at 87.5 Indian rupees ($1.16) per equity share, a premium of 9.9% on Monday's closing stock price, but a discount of 1.7% over Tuesday's closing.

May 12 - Chile sees no more layoffs at copper mines amid coronavirus outbreak - minister
Chile does not expect any fresh layoffs at the country´s sprawling copper mines in the near term, the mining minister told Reuters on Monday, as the South American nation continues to churn out the prized commodity even amid restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus. The world´s top copper producer has seen output remain largely steady even as the global pandemic has ravaged other parts of its economy. 

May 12 - China announces new tariff waivers for some U.S. imports
China announced on Tuesday a new list of 79 U.S. products eligible for waivers from retaliatory tariffs imposed at the height of the bilateral trade war, amid continued pressure on Beijing to boost imports from the United States. China's finance ministry said in a statement the new waivers will take effect on May 19 and expire on May 18, 2021. 

May 12 - BHP completes first yuan-based iron ore sale to China's Baosteel
The world's top listed miner BHP Group said on Tuesday it had made its first yuan-denominated sale of iron ore to China Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, known as Baosteel, and would explore using blockchain for such transactions in future. The deal, worth nearly 100 million yuan ($14.10 million), shows the Chinese currency is making further inroads in iron ore trade after Baosteel, the listed arm of the world's biggest steelmaker China Baowu Steel Group, bought for iron ore from Brazil's Vale SA in yuan in January. 

May 12 - Sibanye Stillwater first-quarter earnings surge on strong metal prices
Platinum producer Sibanye Stillwater on Tuesday posted a sharp rise in first-quarter core earnings, benefiting from higher metal prices and robust output from its South Africa and U.S. operations. The company, which is the world's largest producer of the metal, also said its South African operations were ramping up as planned following partial easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the country in April 2020.

May 12 - Gold miner SSR to buy Alacer in $1.7 bln deal as bullion prices surge
Canadian precious metals producer SSR Mining said it would to buy Alacer Gold in an all-stock deal valued at C$2.41 billion ($1.72 billion), adding heft as gold prices surge due to demand for the yellow metal in an uncertain economy. Gold miners have benefited from a 12% jump in prices this year as investors seek safer assets to shield themselves from the damaging impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global economy.

May 12 - Japan's Kobe Steel to cut spending after booking annual loss
Kobe Steel Ltd, Japan's No.3 steelmaker, said on Monday it will cut capital expenditure by a third after one-off charges and weaker demand in steel and aluminium even before the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it to an annual loss. The steelmaker reported a 68.0 billion yen ($634 million) net loss for the year to the end of March, against a profit of 35.9 billion yen a year earlier, as a special loss of 65 billion yen, including impairment losses on its aluminium and titanium assets, ate into earnings.

May 12 - Indonesia's state miner Inalum raises $2.5 bln in global bonds
Indonesia mining holding company PT Indonesia Asahan Alumunium (Inalum) has raised $2.5 billion through a global bonds sale, the ministry of state-owned enterprises said on Tuesday. The bonds were sold in three tranches, of maturities 5-, 10-, and 30-years, the ministry said in a statement, with coupon rates of 4.75%, 5.45% and 5.8% respectively.

May 12 - Livent posts Q1 loss on weak prices, lower volume
Lithium producer Livent Corp reported a quarterly loss on Monday, hit by weak prices of the metal used in rechargeable batteries and lower volume amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The lithium industry is beginning to feel the pain of sliding automobile sales and the economic malaise caused by the COVID-19 respiratory disease.

May 11 - Iron ore, coking coal divorce over China's coronavirus recovery: Russell
There is an increasing disconnect between the two key ingredients for making steel, with iron ore safely within China's economic bubble and coking coal more exposed to the rest of the coronavirus-riddled world. The main difference is that while China imports the bulk of the iron ore with which it feeds its 1 billion-tonne-a-year steel industry, it has a large domestic coking coal industry and imports only about 10% of its needs.

May 11 - China raps state miner Minmetals for renewed environmental failures
China's environment ministry on Monday called on China Minmetals Corp to improve implementation of environmental protection measures and oversight of subsidiaries in a less than glowing report on the state-run metals producer's compliance. As it looks to clean up heavy industry in China, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment has in the past reserved sharp criticism for Minmetals, China's top diversified metals miner, and last year labelled a unit of the company a "repeat offender" with regard to environmental breaches. 

May 11 - Brazil's Vale sees a 'very vigorous' economic recovery in China
Brazil's Vale SA is seeing a "very vigorous" economic rebound in China, the iron ore miner's principal export market, Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said during an online event hosted by newspaper Valor Economico on Friday. "Industrial activities (in China) are practically at their normal levels.... Civil construction is also rising daily and steel and iron ore stocks are falling," he said.

May 11 - Nippon Steel books record loss, plans to shut more furnaces
Nippon Steel Corp on Friday reported a record $4 billion annual net loss as a hefty restructuring charge dampened its earnings, and said it will idle two more blast furnaces from July to cope with slumping demand amid the coronavirus pandemic. Japan's biggest steelmaker did not provide a forecast for the current financial year to next March, but its president Eiji Hashimoto said it would not be able to avoid a big loss in April-September period.

May 11 - Thyssenkrupp overhaul must happen faster due to COVID-19 – CEO
Thyssenkrupp has less time for a wide-ranging restructuring plan than previously thought as the coronavirus pandemic is significantly burdening the already ailing conglomerate, its chief executive said in a note to staff. "The difficult economic situation at Thyssenkrupp is being significantly intensified by corona. 

May 11 - BAML sees platinum, palladium deficit this year as South Africa production losses bite
There is likely to be a deficit of platinum and palladium this year after a COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa, the world's biggest platinum producer, forced mines to shut, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted on Friday. While demand for platinum group metals, which are mainly used in cars and jewellery, has also plummeted due to the global pandemic, the analysts said they expect demand to rebound, while mine production will take months to build back up.

May 11 - AngloGold Ashanti boosts cash flow despite production loss
AngloGold Ashanti reported improved first-quarter cash flow on Monday but said it had lost 11,000 ounces of production because of coronavirus-related stoppages at its operations. With stoppages at Brazilian, Argentinian and South African operations, total production dipped to 716,000 ounces in the three months to March 31 from 752,000 ounces in the same period last year, but the company reported strong performances from its Kibali, Geita and Iduapriem mines. 

May 11 - Shanghai exchange to allow delivery of nickel briquettes amid EV push
The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) said on Friday it would allow delivery of nickel briquettes against its nickel futures contracts later this year in response to rising demand for other forms of the metal, notably for electric vehicles (EVs). The change, one of the biggest the Chinese commodities bourse has made to its nickel futures since their launch five years ago, will be implemented from Oct. 16 for contracts for November delivery onwards. 

May 11 - China extends anti-dumping duties on U.S., EU steel tubes and pipes for 5 years
China said on Saturday it would extend anti-dumping duties on certain alloy steel seamless tubes and pipes from the United States and European Union for five years starting May 10. The decision is part of a final review of anti-dumping duties for the products that had been in place from 2014 to May 2019. Last June, it hiked the tariffs by as much as ten times while the review was underway and those levels of duties now remain in place. 

May 11 - China's Shandong Gold to buy Canadian miner TMAC Resources for almost $165 mln
Shandong Gold Mining, one of China's biggest gold producers, said on Friday it had entered into an agreement to acquire Toronto-listed TMAC Resources for around C$230 million ($164.89 million). TMAC operates the Hope Bay gold project in Canada's far-north territory of Nunavut, which started commercial production in 2017 and had proven and probable mineral reserves totalling around 3.54 million ounces of gold at the end of 2019, according to the company's website.

May 08 - Chile's top miners boost production in March -state copper agency 
Chile's top copper mines ramped up production in March even as the coronavirus outbreak took hold, according to data released on Thursday by state copper agency Cochilco, boosted by a sharp spike in output from state miner Codelco. Production at Codelco - the world's largest copper mining company - rose 14.8% year over year in March to 147,600 tonnes. Codelco's output jumped 4.2% to 386,600 tons in the first quarter, Cochilco said. 

May 08 - Peru mines set to restart; to hit 80% production in a month - industry official 
Peruvian miners are set to restart operations in coming days and ramp up to around 80% of normal production levels within a month, a senior official at the country's mining industry group told Reuters, as the world's No. 2 copper producing country looks to rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Pablo de la Flor, executive director of the National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy (SNMPE), said around 20 mining companies were ready to resume operations that were scaled back sharply during a nationwide lockdown since mid-March.

May 08 - Australia's Port Hedland iron ore shipments to China up 10.6% in April 
Australia's shipments of iron ore to China from the world's top export hub of Port Hedland jumped to 38.7 mln tonnes in April, data from the port authority showed on Friday. Shipments were up by 10.6% from a year earlier, although they shrank by 4.2% from March's figure of 40.43 million tonnes, the data showed. 

May 08 - Trump's tariff wall breached by rising tide of aluminium: Home 
It's two years since U.S President Donald Trump imposed 10% tariffs on imports of aluminium, citing national security concerns. The stated aim was to provide a lifeline to domestic producers struggling against low prices and repeated waves of cheap product imports. Things aren't panning out too well. 

May 08 - Copper takes aim at COVID-19 with virus-killer coatings 
At an outer suburban manufacturing plant, engineer Byron Kennedy is resetting a machine to spray-print a layer of copper on to a door handle, aiming to use the metal's antiviral properties to counter the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. His firm Spee3D is better known as a producer of 3D printers for copper and aluminium, used by customers including the Australian defence force and U.S. Marines to rapidly print new parts to get broken equipment back in action without waiting days for spares to arrive.

May 08 - Albemarle expresses interest in Tianqi's stake in Greenbushes lithium mine 
Albemarle Corp said on Thursday it was interested in buying all or part of Tianqi Lithium Corp's controlling stake in Australia's Greenbushes, the world's largest lithium mine. Already the world's largest producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Albemarle would cement its control over the global market for the white metal were it to take control of Greenbushes, a hard rock lithium mine.

May 08 - Rio Tinto dodges climate reporting fire, but issue unlikely to go away 
Rio Tinto shareholders in Australia voted on Thursday against forcing the miner to set targets for the emissions of its steel-making customers, but the issue is unlikely to go away as more than a third supported the motion. Investors have been pushing for corporate giants to cut back their emissions as part of a wider drive to combat global warming outlined in the Paris climate accord.

May 08 - Anglo American considers spinning off South African coal operations 
Diversified miner Anglo American said on Thursday it prefers unbundling and listing its thermal coal operations in South Africa in the next two to three years over other options for exiting the business.  Increasing pressure from investors, regulators and climate change activists is prompting miners to limit their exposure to fossil fuels.

May 08 - Rand Refinery restarts smelter, ramps up refining as S.Africa's lockdown eases 
Rand Refinery is restarting smelting operations and boosting refining as South Africa's COVID-19 lockdown starts to ease, with the speed of the ramp-up dependent on gold mines' production, the chief executive of the refinery said on Thursday.  Rand, which produces between 250 and 280 tonnes of refined gold a year, shut its smelter and scaled down gold refining for the duration of the lockdown, which began on March 27 and was only beginning to ease slightly from May 1.

May 08 - Poland to test 1,000 miners a day as coronavirus grips coal region 
Poland plans to test 1,000 miners a day at drive-through sites to check whether they have been infected with the coronavirus as data show a rapid growth in new cases in the coal region. Poland has reported 14,898 infections, including 737 deaths. Earlier this week the Silesia mining region in southern Poland showed the highest number of infections at 3,025.

May 07 - China April copper imports rise as demand recovers; aluminium exports slump 
China's unwrought copper imports rose in April from the prior month as the country continues to recover from the coronavirus outbreak, while aluminium exports saw their lowest monthly total since October on dwindling orders from overseas. Imports of unwrought copper, including anode, refined and semi-finished copper products into China, the world's top copper consumer, came in at 461,457.5 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said on Thursday.

May 07 - China iron ore imports jump in April on firm demand 
China's iron ore imports in April rose 11.4% from a month earlier on robust demand from steelmakers, as downstream sectors started to emerge from lockdowns to contain the coronavirus epidemic. Arrivals of the steelmaking ingredient were 95.71 million tonnes last month, data released on Thursday by the General Administration of Customs showed. 

May 07 - ArcelorMittal sees drop in steel shipments and profits 
ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, forecast steel shipments in the second quarter would fall by between a quarter and a third, leading to sharply lower profits as coronavirus lockdowns hit demand. Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal said on Thursday the company's core markets had showed signs of improvement at the end of 2019, but activity and market conditions had since worsened.

May 07 - Gold price boosts Barrick profit as miner eyes copper deals 
Barrick Gold Corp reported a nearly 55% rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday as gold prices surged, bolstering its ability to snap up mines including in copper, its chief executive said. Investors' anxiety about a global economy brought to its knees by the coronavirus pandemic has boosted "safe-haven" gold by 12% so far this year, while copper, seen as a bellwether for economic growth, is down about 15%.

May 07 - Robust imports of major commodities show China shrugging off coronavirus hit: Russell 
If 2020 was a normal year then China's imports of major commodities would look sort of ho-hum, but given the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the performance looks remarkable. Imports of crude oil, coal, iron ore and copper in April all rose from the March levels, and all four were stronger in the first four months of the year than in the same period in 2019. The only blemish, if you could go as far as to call it that, was that imports of crude oil in April 2019 were slightly higher than those for this year.

May 07 - China aluminium dances to its own beat as LME price stumbles 
A robust recovery in aluminium demand in China has boosted prices in the world's top consumer and producer of the metal by more than 10% in a month, but traders say weak demand for Chinese exports could soon take the shine off the market. Shanghai Futures Exchange's (ShFE) most-active aluminium contract hit a seven-week high on Wednesday of 12,760 yuan ($1,799.67) a tonne, after rising 10.2% over the last four weeks, Refinitiv data showed.

May 07 - Albemarle pulls 2020 forecast, cuts budget due to coronavirus 
Albemarle Corp, the world's largest producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries, cut its 2020 budget and pulled its annual forecast on Wednesday as sales drop amid the global spread of the coronavirus. The steps reflect the first concrete signs that the lithium industry is beginning to feel the pain of sliding automobile sales and the economic malaise caused by the coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease.

May 07 - Harmony plans to issue $200 mln worth of shares for AngloGold deal 
Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd said on Wednesday it planned to raise up to $200 million via a share issue to fund part of its purchase of AngloGold Ashanti's last remaining assets in South Africa. AngloGold said in February it would sell the assets, including Mponeng mine the world's deepest gold mine, for about $300 million to Harmony turning it into the country's largest gold producer. 

May 07 - Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau eyes construction rebound after profit drop 
Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau plans to restart the blast furnace at its mill in the town of Ouro Branco at the end of June or beginning of July, as the company expects a gradual rebound in orders, Chief Executive Gustavo Werneck said on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Gerdau said its first-quarter profit fell by half to 221 million reais ($39.6 million) compared with a year ago due to weaker sales in South America, although sales in the United States were more resilient. 

May 07 - Indian state says NMDC Ltd diverted CSR money to PM Modi's coronavirus fund 
India's eastern Chhattisgarh state's chief minister has accused federal government-run NMDC Ltd of diverting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) money owed to the state to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's coronavirus fund, according to a letter seen by Reuters. The state also said the iron ore miner had not paid 10.23 billion rupees ($134.51 million) in remaining penalties over alleged violations, adding that the miner was not keeping up its commitments that included a housing scheme.

May 06 - Funds don't buy into Doctor Copper's recovery story: Home 
Copper has staged a partial recovery from its initial COVID-19 price shock. London Metal Exchange (LME) copper plunged to a four-year low of $4,371 per tonne in March but has since clawed its way back up to $5,110. Doctor Copper appears to have priced in the first-stage demand shock caused by the spread of the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease. 

May 06 - Citi says iron ore to fall to $70 in coming weeks 
Citigroup on Tuesday lowered its forecast for iron ore prices which it expects to hit $70 in May due to softening steel demand that will weigh on prices, it said in a research report. Citi said it sees a surplus of more than 80 million tonnes of iron ore in the second half following a 17 million tonne deficit in the first half, "suggesting ample downside to the current $80/t spot price."

May 06 - Gold miner Newmont's profit surges on higher production, rise in bullion prices 
Gold miner Newmont Corp's adjusted profit nearly doubled on Tuesday boosted by higher production and a surge in the prices of the precious metal, as investors rushed to the safe-haven asset amid market turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The world's biggest gold miner said average realized price for gold in the first quarter rose to $1,591 per ounce from $1,300 an ounce last year, while attributable gold production rose 20% to 1.5 million ounce mainly due to new output from the Goldcorp mines that it acquired last year.

May 06 - Outokumpu Q1 profit up on cost cuts, Americas turnaround 
Finland's Outokumpu warned of weakening recent demand after it almost doubled its first-quarter core operating profit as the stainless steel maker cut costs and saw a turnaround in its Americas business. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation rose to 106 million euros ($115 million) from 54 million, meeting analysts' expectations, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

May 06 - Freeport-McMoRan to cut molybdenum production at Colorado mine 
Freeport-McMoRan Inc is cutting molybdenum production at a key Colorado mine by half and "plans to reassess" operations at a New Mexico copper mine that has been temporarily shuttered due to COVID-19, a spokeswoman said. The steps come after Phoenix-based Freeport, the world's largest publicly traded copper producer, said last month it would cut $1.3 billion from its budget as prices for the red metal plunged due to the global spread of the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19.

May 06 - Russia's Alrosa warns 2020 output plan may change as it halts two projects 
Diamond producer Alrosa warned on Tuesday that its production plans for this year may change as it prepares to suspend two mining projects due to falling demand and sales caused by the coronavirus outbreak. From May 15 it will halt the Aikhal underground mine and Zarya open pit, which account for roughly 7% of the company's diamond output in carat terms. They produced 2.6 million carats of rough diamonds last year.

May 06 - Trump administration drafting 'Artemis Accords' pact for moon mining - sources 
The Trump administration is drafting a legal blueprint for mining on the moon under a new U.S.-sponsored international agreement called the Artemis Accords, people familiar with the proposed pact told Reuters. The agreement would be the latest effort to cultivate allies around NASA’s plan to put humans and space stations on the moon within the next decade, and comes as the civilian space agency plays a growing role in implementing American foreign policy. The draft pact has not been formally shared with U.S. allies yet. 

May 06 - Ukraine alumina plant of Russia's Rusal says avoided shutdown after customs dispute 
An alumina plant in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, part of Russian aluminium group Rusal, said on Tuesday it had avoided suspending its production after settling a dispute with the Ukrainian customs service. The plant, near the Black Sea coastline, relies on imported bauxite and then exports alumina to be used at Rusal's aluminium smelters in Siberia. Ukrainian regional customs had blocked access to supplies of bauxite, requesting more duty payments.

May 06 - Two killed in Liberia gold mine collapse 
Two people died when an informal gold mine collapsed in western Liberia early on Tuesday, the National Disaster Management Agency said. The collapse happened in a mining hub in Grand Cape Mount County, said Assistant Mines Minister Emmanuel Swen and other government officials.

May 05 - First Cobalt pioneers cobalt production for electric cars in North America 
First Cobalt said on Monday it expects to start making cobalt sulphate around the turn of the year and become North America's first producer of the component crucial for batteries used in electric vehicles. The Canadian company's plans for its cobalt refinery in Ontario, would be a step towards helping North America reduce reliance on China, which dominates the supply chain for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

May 05 - Former Australian boom town carves road to coronavirus recovery 
In the world's biggest iron ore loading hub, Western Australia's Port Hedland, huge vessels line up near the red-dirt coast, waiting to be loaded with the sought-after steel-making material. Further south, the state's wheatbelt has started planting the year's main crop, buoyed by high grains prices and global demand for flour.

May 05 - Copper smelter Aurubis gets EU approval for Metallo takeover 
Europe's biggest copper smelter Aurubis won European Union antitrust approval on Monday for its planned 380 million euro ($412 million) acquisition of Belgian-Spanish metal recycling group Metallo, the European Commission said. The Commission said in a statement: "The merger would not adversely affect competition" in the copper recycling sector. 

May 05 - India's April gold imports plunge 99.9% y/y to 3-decade low-govt source 
India's gold imports plunged 99.9% year-on-year in April to their lowest in nearly three decades as air travel was banned and jewellery shops were closed amid a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, a government source said. The world's second biggest consumer of the precious metal imported around 50 kilograms of gold in April, down from 110.18 tonnes a year ago, the source said on Monday, who is not authorised to speak to the media.

May 05 - Amplats completes repair to processing plant unit after blast 
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on Tuesday it had completed repairs to one unit at its Anglo Converter Plant and would lift its force majeure to suppliers of concentrate, three months after a blast shut processing facilities. The Johannesburg-listed miner said it expected the Anglo Converter Plant and full downstream processing operations to be fully operational at its Phase B unit from May 12, while repairs would continue at its Phase A unit.

May 05 - Swiss gold refineries reopen as virus lockdown eases 
Two of the world's biggest gold refiners, Valcambi and Argor-Heraeus, are restoring almost all operations after Switzerland relaxed coronavirus lockdown measures, they said on Monday. The decisions end six weeks of partial or full closure that disrupted global gold supply and helped to drive prices in New York and London further apart than they have been in decades.

May 05 - Norsk Hydro to close German auto parts plant, 129 jobs at stake 
Norsk Hydro will close its loss-making Hydro Precision Tubing plant in the German city of Remscheid by the end of the year, putting 129 jobs at stake, the Norwegian metals maker said in a statement on Monday. "The basis for continued operation is not present ...The long-term market outlook is negative for PT Remscheid, as most products go into the combustion engine market where demand for Remscheid products is declining," Hydro said.

May 05 - Sudan sets up bourse for gold as opens up market 
Sudan, Africa’s third biggest gold producer, is setting up a bourse for the precious metal and will standardize the price in accordance with the global rate, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said in a statement on Monday. In January, Sudan started 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.

May 05 - Colombian miner Cerrejon ramps up operations after virus-led reduction 
Colombian coal miner Cerrejon said on Monday it has started ramping up operations following a temporary reduction as part of efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Cerrejon, which is owned equally by BHP Group, Anglo American and Glencore, had reduced its operations along with other mining companies in the Andean country to contain the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness that has infected more than 7,600 people in Colombia and killed and 340 dead.

May 04 - Copper market heading for 200,000-300,000 tonne surplus in 2020 - Antofagasta chief 
The global copper market is headed for a surplus of between 200,000-300,000 tonnes in 2020, the head of miner Antofagasta told Chilean media on Saturday, with operation halts at some mines offsetting depressed demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. Iván Arriagada, chief executive of the Chilean copper miner, told the El Mercurio newspaper it was hard to make projections on the price of the red metal due to market volatility caused by the virus, which has impacted businesses worldwide.

May 04 - U.S. lawmakers fault Trump for failing to curb Chinese aluminum overcapacity 
Four senior Democratic lawmakers from Washington state on Friday sharply criticized President Donald Trump’s trade policies for failing to address overcapacity in China's aluminum market they say is costing American workers their jobs. In a letter to the president, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and two House lawmakers said neither the Phase 1 trade deal with China, nor Trump’s separate 10% tariffs imposed on aluminum imports in 2018 had solved the underlying problem, and more efforts were needed.

May 04 - A brief history of China's metals stockpiling programmes: Home 
When the going gets tough in industrial metal markets, the Chinese get stockpiling.  The province of Yunnan has announced the creation of a fund to facilitate an 800,000-tonne stockpile of just about every industrial metal from aluminium to zinc.

May 04 - Glencore's Zambia subsidiary to resume mining temporarily 
Glencore's Zambian subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) will resume mining for 90 days, but still expects to go ahead with its initial plan to place operations on hold, the local firm said on Sunday. Glencore's original announcement that it planned to put MCM under "care and maintenance" due to the coronavirus crisis and other issues sparked a backlash from Zambia's government, which threatened to revoke its licences for not giving enough notice.

May 04 - Asia gold demand steady in Singapore, little action elsewhere
Physical bullion demand was steady in Singapore as investors sought cover from economic uncertainties due to the coronavirus, while activity wound down in top hub China ahead of a public holiday. Dealers in Singapore sold gold at average premiums of about $1.50 an ounce over benchmark spot prices. 

May 04 - Rare earths producer Lynas to restart Malaysia plant at 70% production rate 
Lynas Corp, the largest producer of rare earths outside China, said on Monday its processing plant in Malaysia will restart later in the day at about a 70% production rate. The plant restart comes on the back of easing restrictions by the Southeast Asian nation to control the spread of the coronavirus. The plant has been shuttered since March. 

May 04 - Perth Mint's April gold sales surge in scramble for safe havens
Australia's Perth Mint said its gold sales shot up in April to their highest level in at least eight years as concerns of a shortage prompted investors to stock up to seek cover from the economic blow from the coronavirus. Sales of gold coins and minted bars in April rose to 120,504 ounces, the highest since at least March 2012, gaining 28.5% month-on-month and 502.8% higher than the same period last year, the refiner said in a blog post on Friday.

May 04 - Speculators raise bullish bets on COMEX gold, silver - CFTC 
Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to April 28, 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.

May 04 - Copper giant Peru to gradually ease restrictions on mining sector in May 
Peru will gradually ease restrictions on key sectors including mining and construction in May, the government said in a decree on Sunday, after activity had been virtually paralyzed since mid-March by the coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown. In the decree published in the official newspaper El Peruano, the government said the exploitation, storage and transportation of large-scale mining could be restarted, as well as key construction projects, some related to hydrocarbons.

May 01 - Chile copper output grows in March even as coronavirus bites 
Chile, the world´s top copper producer, boosted its output of the red metal in March versus the previous period, according to government data released on Thursday, even as the coronavirus outbreak spread quickly across the mineral-rich South American nation.  Copper production grew 4.2% in March, hitting 498,083 tonnes. Manufacturing output also grew 0.6% in March compared with the previous year, beating expectations, while overall mining output grew 2.3%. 

May 01 - Barrick welcomes court decision over Papua New Guinea gold mine 
Barrick Gold Corp said on Friday it welcomed a court ruling ordering the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government to negotiate over a lease extension for the Porgera gold mine. PNG Prime Minister James Marape said last week that the country would not grant the mine a 20-year operating extension due to environmental damage and social unrest. 

May 01 - China copper stocks drop most in over 2-1/2 years in April 
Copper inventories in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) saw their biggest monthly decline since end-September 2017, as demand in China improved after it lifted virus-led restrictions, pushing businesses to resume operations. Stockpiles dropped 36.6% in April, compared with the previous month, to 230,956 tonnes, exchange data showed on Thursday.

May 01 - Rare earths miner Lynas looks to restart Malaysian plant as virus curbs ease 
Rare earths miner Lynas Corp said on Friday that it hoped to reopen its processing plant in Malaysia next week as the Southeast Asian nation eases restrictions imposed since March to control the spread of the coronavirus.  The announcement by the largest producer of rare earths outside China follows the decision by Malaysia to allow the majority of businesses to resume activity on Monday. 

May 01 - Gold demand rises as investor buying spree offsets jewellery plunge- GFMS 
Global gold demand rose in the first quarter as a surge in investment as the coronavirus outbreak convulsed global markets offset sharp falls in appetite from jewellers, industry and central banks, an industry report said on Thursday.  Coronavirus lockdowns have closed swathes of the global economy but triggered a wave of interest in gold from investors who see it as a safe place to park money. 

May 01 - Russia's Nornickel draws on credit lines to build cash buffer 
Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel has drawn on some of its credit lines to build a cash position of $5 billion to protect it against market volatility caused by the coronavirus outbreak and ahead of a $1.2 billion dividend payment. As lockdowns to slow the spread of the new coronavirus have had a drastic impact on demand for natural resources, some oil companies and miners, including in Russia, have delayed dividends. 

May 01 - S.Africa's Implats cuts output guidance and capex spend as coronavirus weighs 
South Africa's Impala Platinum (Implats) has cut its output and capital expenditure guidance for 2020 after production losses during a nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus, the company said on Thursday.  Implats said in its quarterly update that it expects annual refined production of between 2.6 million and 2.9 million ounces this year, compared with previous guidance of between 3 million and 3.4 million ounces. 

May 01 - China Moly shrugs off South Africa port disruption as DRC cobalt sales rise 
China Molybdenum Co is sending more copper and cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to ports in Tanzania, Namibia and Mozambique, a spokesman said on Thursday, as it weathers coronavirus disruption at South African outlets. South Africa implemented a COVID-19 lockdown on March 27, under which ports handle only essential goods with reduced staff, leaving minerals mined across southern and central Africa without a key route to international markets. 

May 01 - Tsingshan and Eramet's Indonesia Weda Bay nickel project starts production 
Production began on Thursday at Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP), a nickel project by France's Eramet and China's Tsingshan Holding Group. "Weda Bay Nickel Project is in the early stage of production, with total annual production capacity of 30,000 tonnes," IWIP said in a statement. 

May 01 - Japan's March steel output marks steepest monthly drop since 2009 
Japan's crude steel output fell 12.5% in March from a year earlier, the industry ministry said on Thursday, marking the biggest monthly drop in more than 10 years, as the coronavirus crisis choked demand and forced steelmakers to cut production. The output decline in the world's third-biggest steel producer marks the steepest percentage drop since November 2009 when the global financial crisis dampened steel demand, a researcher at the Japan Iron and Steel Federation said.

Apr 30 - Glencore slashes 2020 spending, production guidance as coronavirus hits 
Glencore on Thursday cut its capital expenditure and production targets in 2020 as the coronavirus worsened the economic outlook and hit its business. The London-listed miner said spending for the year would fall by $1 billion-$1.5 billion from an original expectation of $5.5 billion.

Apr 30 - Gold hoarding investors avert coronavirus demand collapse- WGC 
Massive stockpiling of gold by investors spooked by the coronavirus outbreak offset a collapse in jewellery production to keep global demand for the metal stable in the first three tumultuous months of 2020, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.  The coronavirus has upended the gold trade, with lockdowns shuttering the two biggest markets, China and India, and disrupting supply routes. 

Apr 30 - Venezuela asks Bank of England to sell its gold to UN for coronavirus relief - sources 
Venezuela is asking the Bank of England to sell part of the South American nation's gold reserves held in its coffers and send the proceeds to the United Nations to help with the country's coronavirus-fighting efforts, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. Venezuela for decades stored gold that makes up part of its central bank reserves in the vaults of foreign financial institutions including the Bank of England, which provides gold custodian services to many developing countries.

Apr 30 - India's scrap gold supplies seen at record high on price rally, coronavirus - WGC 
Scrap gold supplies in India are likely to hit an all-time high in 2020 as consumers sell jewellery to reap record high prices and cope with the financial crunch from the coronavirus lockdown, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday. Rising scrap supplies amid a fall in demand could dent the world's second-biggest bullion consumer's imports and cap a rally in global prices, which hit a more than seven-year high earlier this month.

Apr 30 - Can gold keep rallying even as physical demand plunges?: Russell 
Imagine a commodity that posted a strong 12.8% rally in prices in the first quarter despite demand dropping a staggering 26% as buying collapsed in the world's two biggest consumers. Welcome to the weird world of gold. Total physical demand for gold in the first quarter of 2020 was 753 tonnes, down from 1,019 tonnes in the first quarter of last year, according to data released on Thursday by Refinitiv Metals Research.

Apr 30 - Fortescue raises iron ore export forecast as Q3 output jumps 
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd hiked its annual iron ore shipments forecast on Thursday after it reported a 10% rise in third-quarter shipments and said it has managed to keep a lid on costs amid the coronavirus pandemic. The world's No. 4 iron ore miner shrugged off any impact from the virus outbreak, saying iron ore shipments and customer payments remain unaffected, even as it conserves cash to guard against a prolonged downturn.

Apr 30 - Banking on stimulus, China steelmakers ramp up production 
China's steel mills are rapidly cranking up output on rising profit margins and hopes that government stimulus will revive consumption, despite an overhang of inventories and a slowdown in global steel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. While mills in Japan, India and Europe are cutting production, China's output of rebar, used for construction, has surged in recent weeks.

Apr 30 - China's metals imports reflect growing supply disruption: Andy Home 
China may be on the road to COVID-19 recovery but its giant industrial metals industry faces the new challenge of maintaining global supply chains of raw materials.  Key supplier countries such as Peru, Chile and the Philippines have been going through their own quarantines and restrictions in the fight against the coronavirus. 

Apr 30 - Lithium developer ioneer forecasts high margins for Nevada project 
Australian lithium developer ioneer Ltd on Wednesday forecast production costs for its Nevada lithium mine far below current prices for the white metal, implying large margins once it begins production in 2023. The forecast 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. Albemarle Corp is the only current U.S. producer of lithium.

Apr 30 - Chile copper industry largely unscathed by coronavirus - minister 
Chile´s mining minister said on Wednesday the South American nation´s sprawling copper industry so far ranks among the least affected globally by the COVID-19 pandemic, citing official figures that point to a reduction in output of just 1%. Mining minister Baldo Prokurica, in an interview with Emol TV, credited both public and private measures aimed at protecting workers with the industry´s resilience even as the virus has ravaged other parts of Chile´s economy. 

Apr 30 - Brazil's Vale receives non-binding offers for New Caledonia assets 
Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA has received non-binding offers for its nickel mining operations on the Pacific island of New Caledonia, an executive said in a call with analysts on Wednesday. On the call, Vale base metals chief Mark Travers said the company received the offers in late February. While the full economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic were not felt until March, he said negotiations were still progressing successfully with potential buyers. Vale expects to have relevant news on a potential deal within a month or two, he added. 

Apr 30 - Lithium developer ioneer forecasts high margins for Nevada project 
Australian lithium developer ioneer Ltd on Wednesday forecast production costs for its Nevada lithium mine far below current prices for the white metal, implying large margins once it begins production in 2023. The forecast 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. Albemarle Corp is the only current U.S. producer of lithium.

Apr 29 - Scotiabank to close its metals business - sources 
Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) told staff on Tuesday it would close its metals business, drawing the curtain on one of the most venerable names in precious metals trading, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Scotia was for years the world's biggest lender to the physical precious metals industry, with a history stretching to the founding in 1684 of London gold dealer Mocatta Bullion, which it bought in 1997. 

Apr 29 - World's mine workers resist quick restart amid coronavirus 
As mining heavyweights South Africa and Peru move to lift coronavirus lockdowns, workers in deep mines are resisting going back to work without adequate protective gear and information about cases at sites, with one major union filing legal action against restart plans. The workers fear being literal canaries in the coal mine in facilities where social distancing is nearly impossible and warn that companies are not divulging coronavirus cases, putting them at risk. 

Apr 29 - Zijin warns Papua New Guinea of China anger over end of gold mine lease 
China's Zijin Mining has warned Papua New Guinea that its failure to renew the lease of a gold mine it jointly owns with Barrick Gold Corp there could damage bilateral relations. Papua New Guinea on Friday said it would not renew a 20-year mining lease at its Porgera gold mine, citing environmental damage and social unrest even as gold prices have soared to more than seven-year highs.

Apr 29 - Brazil's Vale cuts capex as coronavirus hinders operations 
Brazilian iron ore miner Vale cut its forecast for 2020 capital expenditure on Tuesday and warned that the novel coronavirus could hinder medium-term production, underlining the impact of the outbreak on the labor-intensive mining industry. In a securities filing in which it divulged worse-than-expected first quarter results, Vale warned that ongoing postponements to maintenance programs could have a significant effect on some operations.

Apr 29 - S. Africa mining firms work together against COVID-19 as mines reopen 
South African mining companies are setting up shared quarantine facilities for miners testing positive for COVID-19 and are discussing other ways to cooperate, as the vital national industry gradually restarts operations halted since late March. President Cyril Ramaphosa agreed last week to partially ease a national lockdown that temporarily shut all mines, except for some production of coal, the main fuel used for power generation in Africa's most industrialised nation. 

Apr 29 - Rare earths miner Lynas extends Malaysia plant shutdown on govt orders 
Australia's Lynas Corp on Wednesday extended a shutdown of its rare earths processing plant in Malaysia for two weeks, following an extension of restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus spread in the Southeast Asian nation. Last week, Malaysia extended travel and other curbs aimed at fighting the spread of COVID-19 by two weeks to May 12, but added some sectors may be allowed to resume operations. 

Apr 29 - Aurubis to win EU approval for Metallo takeover - sources 
Europe's biggest copper smelter Aurubis is set to win EU antitrust approval for its planned 380 million euro ($412 million) acquisition of Belgian-Spanish metal recycling group Metallo, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Aurubis agreed in May 2019 to buy Metallo as part of an acquisition-led expansion into other metals. Metallo processes about 220,000 tonnes of scrap and recycling materials a year at its Beerse plant in Belgium and another 95,000 tonnes its plant in Berango, Spain.

Apr 29 - Norsk Hydro Q1 profit tops forecasts, warns of coronavirus impact 
Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro reported a four-fold jump in first-quarter operating profit on Wednesday that beat expectations, boosted by cost cuts and a weaker local currency. The company, however, warned the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting global demand for the metal used in construction, packaging and transportation, as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus' spread brought economic activity to a virtual halt. 

Apr 29 - Jiangxi Copper posts lowest profit since 2017 as virus sinks prices 
Jiangxi Copper Co, China's top copper producer, on Tuesday posted its smallest net income in more than two years as first-quarter profits fell 78.4% on lower copper prices in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Nanchang-based company said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange its net income was 160.26 million yuan ($22.65 million) in January-March 2020, down from 742.35 million yuan a year earlier.

Apr 28 - Scotiabank to close its metals business - sources
Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) told staff on Tuesday it would close its metals business, drawing the curtain on one of the most venerable names in precious metals trading, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Scotia was for years the world’s biggest lender to the physical precious metals industry, with a history stretching to the founding in 1684 of London gold dealer Mocatta Bullion, which it bought in 1997. Once a global player with more than 100 staff in offices from New York and London to India and Hong Kong, the bank sharply downsized the business in 2018 after a strategic review and an unsuccessful attempt to find a buyer.

Apr 28 - Can gold love a coronavirus crisis? 
Gold loves a crisis, the old adage goes. And with prices up 13% this year to their highest since 2012 and many predicting further gains as investors search for safe places to put their money, it looks true for the coronavirus crisis so far.  But, as individuals and countries alike see a drop in income, traditional gold consumers in India and China are buying less and central banks are cutting purchases. Without them, gold's run higher may be hard to sustain.

Apr 28 - BHP looks to expand iron ore exports from Port Hedland 
Miner BHP Group said on Tuesday it plans to expand its iron ore export capacity from Port Hedland, the largest global shipping hub for the steel-making commodity, by up to 40 million tonnes a year to 330 million tonnes a year. The move comes as improvements across BHP's supply chain have opened the way to raise shipments if market conditions allow, Tim Day, BHP's Acting Asset President Western Australia Iron Ore, said in a statement.

Apr 28 - China's Tianqi Lithium doubles annual loss guidance on bigger SQM impairment 
Tianqi Lithium Corp, one of the world's top lithium producers, said on Tuesday its net loss for 2019 was expected to be twice as big as it previously indicated after raising the impairment provision on its stake in Chilean miner SQM. The Chinese firm, which has flagged liquidity problems as it struggles to repay loans taken out to buy the 23.8% stake in 2018, said in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange its annual net loss is now set to total 5.98 billion yuan ($843.6 million). 

Apr 28 - Lockdowns and low prices generate nickel supply shock: Andy Home 
If the boredom has well and truly set in after weeks of travel restrictions and social distancing, you could always join metal traders in a game of lockdown lottery.  Metals have priced in the demand shock, or at least the first-stage demand shock, rippling around the world with the spread of COVID-19. The index of the major base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) bottomed out on March 23 and has since rebounded by 7%. 

Apr 28 - Philippine nickel miners to restart coronavirus-shuttered sites 
The Philippines' top two nickel miners said on Tuesday they expect to gradually resume mining and shipping operations in the country's main ore-producing region starting on May 1, following shutdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  Nickel Asia Corp and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc are preparing to restart operations in Surigao del Norte in the southern Caraga region, where the restrictions are expected to be eased after April 30, senior company officials told Reuters.

Apr 28 - Marex Spectron reports record 36% rise in annual core profit 
A series of takeovers by Marex Spectron helped push core profits up 36% to a record last year and the commodity broker said on Monday it had strengthened its liquidity position to handle disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. Core profit, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, rose to $70.5 million last year from $52 million in 2018, while first quarter net revenues gained 41% to $142.2 million from the same period last year, it said in a statement.

Apr 28 - China's Zijin cuts 2020 gold output target after Porgera mine snub 
China's Zijin Mining on Monday revised down its gold production target for 2020 after Papua New Guinea (PNG) refused to extend the mining lease at the Porgera mine it operates with Barrick Gold Corp. Zijin, which produced 40.8 tonnes of mined gold in 2019, was previously targeting output of 44 tonnes this year, rising to 42-47 tonnes in 2021 and 49-54 tonnes in 2022.

Apr 28 - Mongolia annuls IPO order for giant Tavan Tolgoi coal mine 
Mongolia has scrapped an executive order calling for its giant Tavan Tolgoi coal project near its southern border with China to be funded through an international initial public offering, the country's cabinet said. The massive project with estimated reserves of more than 7 billion tonnes of coal has long sought to raise money to fund transportation infrastructure that will allow it to deliver coking coal to markets in China and beyond. 

Apr 28 - Freeport´s El Abra copper mine in Chile to scale back processing as prices plunge  
Freeport's El Abra copper mine in Chile said on Monday it would scale back copper processing by 40% and lay off workers as global prices for the red metal plunge amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company said the plummeting copper price had put it in a "complex" situation and it would lay off 275 workers.

Apr 28 - Venezuela risks fueling pandemic by allowing Amazon mining, activists say 
Venezuela's move to allow gold and diamond mining in six rivers in its Amazon region may worsen the environmental damage from a state-backed mining effort while also fueling the spread of the coronavirus, according to activists and lawmakers. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government this month lifted the long-standing prohibition on mining in the rivers, with the opposition-controlled National Assembly condemning the decree last week.

Apr 27 - Gold miners and funds shine, boosted by coronavirus safe-haven bid 
Shares of gold miners and funds dealing in the precious metal have rallied in recent weeks as the coronavirus crisis rocked global markets and investors raced to buy safe-haven assets. Spot gold has climbed more than 10% this year, the most among major assets tracked by Reuters and significantly above gains in U.S. Treasury bonds and the dollar, while equities and industrial commodities have borne the brunt of the sell-off, with the MSCI World stocks index and copper prices both down 17%.

Apr 27 - Papua New Guinea to take control of Barrick Gold mine 
Papua New Guinea's government will take control of the Porgera gold mine after refusing to extend Barrick Gold Corp's lease over the facility, citing environmental concerns, Prime Minister James Marape said on Friday. The decision ends months of uncertainty since the lease over the troubled project expired last August, and may end Barrick's hopes of boosting output from a mine it said held potential as a long-life and high-margin asset.

Apr 27 - Freeport-McMoRan slashes $1.3 bln in costs to stem COVID-19 fallout 
Freeport McMoRan Inc, the world's largest publicly traded copper producer, said on Friday it would cut its 2020 costs by 18 percent, or $1.3 billion, as prices for the red metal plunge due to the global spread of COVID-19. The cost cuts involve employee layoffs, delays to expansion projects and output reductions of about 400 million pounds of copper, mostly in the company's Americas mines. The cuts also take into account a 50 percent drop in diesel prices so far this year.

Apr 27 - China's Yunnan launches 800,000 T metals stockpiling drive 
China's Yunnan province said on Sunday it would set aside 1 billion yuan ($141.22 million) to help businesses stockpile 800,000 tonnes of nonferrous metal as part of efforts to boost its real economy following the novel coronavirus outbreak. The funds will be used to cover interest on bank loans taken out for the one-year stockpiling drive, which will include copper, aluminium, lead, zinc, tin, as well as minor metals germanium and indium and other nonferrous metals, the provincial government said on its website.

Apr 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 April 21, 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.

Apr 27 - Glencore denies union claim S. Africa smelter workers had fake permits 
Glencore on Friday refuted statements from one of South Africa's biggest mining unions alleging that the company had given out inadequate work permits, which led to the arrest of employees during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown.  The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA)had earlier said in a Friday press statement that police took workers at the Lion ferrochrome smelter in Steelpoort into custody because "fake" permits, issued by the mining giant, lacked a company stamp. 

Apr 27 - Copper market in 5,000 tonnes surplus in Jan 2020 - ICSG 
The global world refined copper market showed a 5,000 tonnes surplus in January, compared with a 54,000 tonnes surplus in December, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in its latest monthly bulletin. For the first month of the year, the market was in a 5,000 tonnes surplus compared with a 77,000 tonnes deficit in the same period a year earlier, the ICSG said.

Apr 27 - Global nickel market surplus narrows in February - INSG 
The global nickel market surplus narrowed to 13,400 tonnes in February from a revised surplus of 13,900 tonnes in the previous month, the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) said on Friday. For the first two months of 2020, there was a global surplus of 27,300 tonnes, compared with a deficit of 4,100 tonnes in the same period of 2019, Lisbon-based INSG added.

Apr 27 - Russian steelmaker NLMK lowers Q4 dividend recommendation amid coronavirus 
Shareholders of Russia's largest steel producer NLMK on Friday decided not to approve a fourth-quarter dividend previously recommended by the board, proposing to halve the payout, the company said in a statement. The company, which said it may consider topping up dividend payments in the second half of the year, is also making changes to its 2020 investment programme and plans to announce an updated capital expenditure forecast, as the new coronavirus affects key markets.

Apr 24 - Banks shun aluminium financing deals, expose surplus
Banks' diminishing appetite to lend due to the coronavirus crisis mean a ballooning aluminium surplus, which previously would have been hoovered up by commodity traders using financing deals, will keep prices under pressure. Shrinking demand due to stalled manufacturing activity, particularly in the auto sector and growing supply are expected to leave the aluminium market with surpluses totaling millions of tonnes this year.

Apr 24 - POSCO posts 41% drop in Q1 profits as virus curbs steel demand
South Korean steelmaker POSCO on Friday posted a 41.4% fall in its first-quarter operating profit, hit by a slump in steel demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, and forecast a further hit to sales. The world's fifth-biggest steelmaker said it expected a continued slowdown in steel demand due to the outbreak, and revised down its consolidated sales outlook to 57.5 trillion won ($46.5 billion) from its January forecast of 63.4 trillion won.

Apr 24 - China March aluminium imports hit more than 6-year high
China's aluminium imports more than tripled in March from a year earlier, customs data released on Thursday showed, hitting their highest in more than six years, while incoming shipments of raw material bauxite fell. Imports of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products came in at 121,025 tonnes last month, compared with 35,420 tonnes in March 2019, the General Administration of Customs said. The intake volume last month was the highest since China imported 125,180 tonnes in December 2013. 

Apr 24 - Chile´s lithium miner SQM warns plans could change as coronavirus hits demand
Chilean miner SQM said on Thursday the coronavirus outbreak had yet to hit its lithium output, but warned it might have to scale back plans for 2020 if a slump continues in demand for the coveted battery metal. The world´s No. 2 miner of lithium had planned to unleash at least $330 million in 2020 to expand production capacity out of Chile´s Atacama salt flat, according to SQM board chairman Alberto Salas. The region is among the world´s richest in lithium.

Apr 24 - Gold Fields eyes full output at South Africa mine by end May
Gold Fields hopes to reach full production at its only gold mine in South Africa by the end of May, its chief executive said on Thursday, as it forecast limited impact to its global output from the coronavirus pandemic. Gold Fields operates the South Deep mine near Johannesburg and brought it to profitable production last year after making losses for many years due to challenging geology 3 kms (2 miles) below the surface.

Apr 24 - Russia's Polyus sees no major impact from coronavirus
Russia's largest gold producer Polyus said on Thursday that disruptions to its equipment supply chain caused by the spread of the new coronavirus and associated lockdown measures would not significantly affect capital expenditure for the year. The company said that the virus has had no impact on operations, with all production assets functioning as normal, albeit with some modest equipment supply chain disruptions.

Apr 23 - Global steel output falls 6% in March as crisis shuts furnaces
Global crude steel production fell 6% to 147.1 million tonnes in March from a year earlier, World Steel Association data showed on Wednesday, as the coronavirus crisis forced the closure of furnaces. Crude steel output from China, the world's top producer and consumer of the metal, however, has seen only modest production erosion from the coronavirus pandemic, with output down 1.7% in March to 79 million tonnes.

Apr 23 - American quandary: How to secure weapons-grade minerals without China
The United States wants to curb its reliance on China for specialized minerals used to make weapons and high-tech equipment, but it faces a Catch-22. It only has one rare earths mine - and government scientists have been told not to work with it because of its Chinese ties.

Apr 23 - Major miners braced to weather coronavirus, but cash-poor minnows in peril
Major miners are better positioned to weather the coronavirus disruption compared with previous downturns, having drastically reined in debt-fuelled buying and operating costs amid investor scrutiny and pressure. But smaller players could find themselves adrift as capital dries up. The International Monetary Fund predicted the coronavirus pandemic could cause the steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Apr 23 - Anglo American says cuts capex on coronavirus as it posts lower Q1 production
Global miner Anglo American said on Thursday slashed its capital expenditure guidance for the year by about $1 billion and warned of delays some projects due to coronavirus. The London-listed miner said overall production in its first quarter fell by 4% mainly due to lockdown measures in South Africa which hurt platinum, iron ore and diamond output. 

Apr 23 - New aluminium crisis looms as output rises in demand void: Andy Home
Global aluminium production rose by 2.1% over the first three months of this year, according to the latest figures from the International Aluminium Institute. This is a disaster for the world's aluminium producers. Amid all the uncertainty generated by COVID-19, one thing is for sure. Aluminium usage hasn't risen by anything close to that rate. It's rather a question of how hard it has fallen. 

Apr 23 - Lockdown to cut Gold Fields' South Deep output by 32,000 ounces
Gold Fields on Thursday said it expects to lose 32,000 ounces of production at its South African South Deep mine due to a nationwide lockdown. The miner said group gold production for the quarter ended March 31 was 537,000 ounces, down from 542,000 ounces a year earlier, with all regions tracking the annual guidance. 

Apr 23 - Global zinc market surplus rises to 130,100 T in Feb - ILZSG
The global zinc market surplus deepened to 130,100 tonnes in February from a revised surplus of 57,900 tonnes in January, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showed on Wednesday. The January figure was revised from a surplus of 35,600 tonnes in last month's data. 

Apr 23 - Global lead market swings to a surplus in February
The global lead market swung to a surplus of 26,100 tonnes in February from a deficit of 10,900 tonnes in January, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showed on Wednesday. The surplus of 16,000 tonnes over January and February this year compares with a deficit of 2,000 tonnes in the same period last year.

Apr 23 - U.S. probe into aluminum sheet imports from 18 countries moves forward
The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Wednesday it had made a preliminary determination that U.S. producers are harmed by imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from 18 countries, keeping an antidumping and countervailing duty trade probe alive. Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department launched an investigation into whether the 18 countries, which include Germany, Oman and Bahrain, were dumping aluminum sheet in the U.S. market, and whether four of them were unfairly subsidizing their exports.

Apr 22 - China's Q2 steel exports will drop as coronavirus spreads overseas
China's steel exports in the second quarter of 2020 are expected to fall as the coronavirus outbreak spreads to other countries, the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said in an online briefing on Wednesday. "The coronavirus is spreading globally since March and overseas steel demand fell sharply," He Wenbo, chairman of the CISA, said in the briefing. "The impact on Chinese steel exports from the overseas situation will be centralized in Q2."

Apr 22 - How global pandemic jeopardises China's metals supply chain
Mines around the world are cutting output due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving top metals consumer China fretting over supply as it recovers from the initial demand shock that the outbreak inflicted on its economy. China boosted copper imports year-on-year in March as it looks to reboot industrial activity across the country, but potential shortages of key metal-making raw materials create risks to production of everything from home appliances to electric vehicle batteries. 

Apr 22 - EU reviewing steel imports in view of possible glut - trade chief
The coronavirus crisis could lead to massive stockpiling of steel that could then flood the European Union when demand returns, the EU trade chief said on Tuesday, adding this was something the bloc would seek to guard against. The EU put in place safeguards in 2018 to control incoming steel to protect European manufacturers after Washington's imposition of 25% steel tariffs closed the U.S. market to many exporters.

Apr 22 - Teck Resources profit falls short as lockdowns, energy unit bite
Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd reported a much bigger-than-expected 84% plunge in quarterly profit on Tuesday, hit by shutdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak and weak performance in its energy unit. The blow from the health crisis is the latest setback as copper and other base metal prices were already under pressure from the long-drawn tariff war between the United States and China.

Apr 22 - Copper miner Antofagasta cuts 2020 capex and output plans
Chile's Antofagasta on Wednesday cut capital expenditure for the year and said copper production would be at the lower end of guidance due to the coronavirus pandemic. Annual copper production is now expected to be at the lower end of its range of 725,000-755,000 tonnes, it said.

Apr 22 - Miner Gemfields suspends buyback programme, cuts working days
Gemfields Group, owner of jewellery maker Faberge, said on Wednesday it suspended its share buyback programme and cut working days across the UK amid plans to shore up its finances in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The miner said its entire staff in the UK, including board members, will witness a 20% reduction in their salaries and a four-day working week schedule with effect from May 1. 

Apr 22 - Swiss gold exports to U.S. rocketed amid fears of shortages
Swiss exports of gold to the United States surged to 43.2 tonnes in March -- by far the biggest monthly total on record -- as high prices in New York pulled metal to the city, customs data showed on Tuesday. Fears that there was not enough gold in New York vaults to deliver against futures contracts pushed prices on CME Group's Comex exchange as much as 4% above spot prices in late March. 

Apr 22 - Australia's Orocobre says coronavirus outbreak to hit lithium demand into 2021
Australia's Orocobre Ltd warned on Wednesday that a downturn in U.S. and European car markets due to the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing factory shutdowns could hit lithium demand until early to mid-2021. The warning comes as demand for commodities across the globe has suffered amid lockdowns to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, with economic activity virtually grinding to a halt. U.S. oil prices on Monday temporarily turned negative for the first time in history and remain at near two-decade lows.

Apr 21 - BHP holds iron ore output outlook despite virus risks
BHP Group on Tuesday reported a 6.3% rise in third-quarter iron ore production that slightly missed analyst estimates, and maintained its iron ore forecast despite global economic disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The world's largest listed miner warned, however, that global steel production excluding China could drop sharply this year in light of the pandemic, and that capital spending in 2021 would be lower than its current outlook of $8 billion.

Apr 21 - Gold's rally will be tamed by dollar strength, weak physical market - poll
Gold prices are expected to consolidate below recent highs during 2020 and 2021 as increased demand from investors for the 'safe haven' asset is offset by dollar strength and weak retail consumption, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. Spot gold has surged more than 10% this year, reaching an around 7-1/2 year high of $1,746.50 on April 14, as the coronavirus pandemic roiled global markets and central banks unleashed a wave of monetary stimulus. 

Apr 21 - Can coronavirus pandemic tame the wild palladium market?: Andy Home
COVID-19 has roiled industrial metal markets with lockdowns around the world eviscerating demand, forcing mine closures and upending supply chains. It's been a wild ride for the likes of copper, aluminium and zinc, all of which have plunged to multi-year lows. 

Apr 21 - Glencore to reopen Zambia copper mines pending agreement with government
Glencore will reverse its earlier decision to shutter its Zambia subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) if it reaches an agreement with the Zambian government, the company said on Monday. Glencore wanted to shutter the mine due to disruption of its operations by the coronavirus crisis and low copper prices, while the mines minister has said the company is "fishing" for ways to lay off workers, and 11,000 jobs could be at risk. 

Apr 21 - Even a coronavirus crisis can't puncture palladium prices - poll
Analysts and traders have raised their forecasts for palladium prices, predicting the metal will remain undersupplied even as the coronavirus outbreak hammers auto makers, reducing demand, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. But poll respondents downgraded their predictions for platinum, which is expected to remain in surplus.

Apr 21 - Nippon Steel to idle 3rd blast furnace to offset demand hit from virus
Nippon Steel Corp, Japan's biggest steelmaker, said on Tuesday it will temporarily shut a third blast furnace in Japan in mid-May to cope with slumping demand from automakers and construction projects amid the coronavirus pandemic. The shutdown follows its recent decision to halt two other blast furnaces from this month and its suspension of another blast furnace in February due to causes unrelated to the pandemic, bringing the total reduction in its furnaces' volume to about 25%, a spokesman said. 

Apr 21 - Russia to grant full export rights to gold miners amid coronavirus
Russia will start granting perpetual licences for miners to export gold instead of one-off rights, a decree showed on Monday, to support them in shipping metal overseas independently as demand in its regular trade chain is hit by the coronavirus. Russian commercial banks, usually the main gold buyers from miners, have found it more difficult to export gold as the virus outbreak has grounded passenger flights.

Apr 20 - Brazil's Vale slashes 2020 output forecasts, citing virus
Brazilian miner Vale SA on Friday cut its forecast for production of iron ore fines and pellets, copper and nickel in 2020, saying in a securities filing that the new coronavirus outbreak was delaying some facilities from reopening. Vale reduced its forecast for annual production of iron ore fines to 310 million to 330 million tonnes from 340 million to 355 million tonnes previously. The company decreased its forecast for pellet production to 35 million to 40 million tonnes from 44 million tonnes.

Apr 20 - Zinc supply cuts outstripped by demand destruction from coronavirus
Collapsing demand for zinc caused by the novel coronavirus will swamp supply cuts from major producers Peru and India this year and leave the market with a massive surplus that will weigh on prices of the material used to galvanise steel. The coronavirus, which has infected nearly 2 million people globally, has roiled global markets and hit demand from zinc-intensive industries such as construction and transport.

Apr 20 - Newmont to reopen some Canadian, South American mines in 'days or weeks'
Newmont Corp is looking to restart in as soon as days some of the four Canadian and South American gold mines that it shut last month to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, Chief Executive Tom Palmer said on Friday. The world's biggest gold miner wound down operations at its Yanacocha mine in Peru in mid-March and a week later placed two more mines in Canada and one in Argentina on care and maintenance as it sought to safe-guard the health of its workers and comply with government regulations. 

Apr 20 - Zambian official says Glencore reverses plan to shutter copper mines 
Glencore told the Zambian government this week that it wants to keep operating its Zambian copper mining subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), not shutter the operations, mines ministry permanent secretary Barnaby Mulenga said on Sunday. Glencore's decision to put MCM under "care and maintenance" sparked a backlash from Zambia's government, which threatened to revoke the firm's mining licences because it said Glencore did not give enough notice before suspending the mines. 

Apr 20 - Molybdenum ore spill is China's biggest tailings leak in nearly 20 years
A spillage of waste molybdenum ore in northeast China last month was the biggest tailings leak the country witnessed in almost 20 years and needed the toughest environmental emergency response, the environment ministry said on Monday. The incident on March 28 in Heilongjiang province sent 2.53 million cubic meters of water containing waste molybdenum ore - mined for the metal used in stainless steel and tools - into the local river system, reviving fears over the safety of ponds used for tailings. 

Apr 20 - With economy in crisis, U.S. lets importers delay some tariff payments
The Trump administration on Sunday said it would allow importers hit by the national health crisis to defer for three months any tariff payments they owe the government. The measure aims to help businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which has put millions of Americans out of work and is widely seen pushing the economy into a deep recession.

Apr 20 - South32 Q3 metallurgical coal output rises, South African coal ops to restart
Australia's South32 on Monday posted a near 18% rise in third-quarter metallurgical coal output and said it had received approval to restart its South African coal operations during a coronavirus-related lockdown, although at a reduced rate. Production of the steel-making ingredient rose to 1.2 million tonnes during the quarter ended March 31, meeting a UBS forecast, and was higher than the 990,000 tonnes of output a year earlier. 

Apr 20 - Tianqi Lithium says weighing asset sales, strategic investors to slice debt
Tianqi Lithium Corp, one of the world's top lithium producers, said on Friday it was exploring selling equity and assets, as well as bringing in strategic investors to address liquidity problems but that no agreements had yet been signed. The Chinese company, which is set to post heavy losses in both 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 amid low lithium prices, made the comments in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange after reports it was looking to sell a stake in its Australian joint venture Talison Lithium to cut debt. 

Apr 20 - Congo mine closures would cause economic and social crisis, minister says
Democratic Republic of Congo's mining minister warned mine shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic would trigger a "catastrophic" economic and social crisis in the country, as he reported a 15% slump in cobalt exports in the first quarter. Congo, the world's biggest producer of cobalt, is highly reliant on mining, with the industry contributing 32% of its GDP and 95% of export revenue in 2018, according to the central bank.

Apr 17 - China March crude steel output slips 1.7% as coronavirus crisis cuts demand 
China's crude steel output fell 1.7% in March from the same month a year ago, data showed on Friday, as mills cut back production due to high stockpiles and thin profit margins amid the coronavirus pandemic. The world's top steel producer churned out 78.98 million tonnes of crude steel last month, down from 80.33 million tonnes in March 2019, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Friday. 

Apr 17 - Rio Tinto reports stronger-than-expected iron ore output, shares rise 
Rio Tinto Ltd reported higher-than-expected iron ore production for the first quarter on Friday, boosting its shares, but cut its forecast for annual copper output citing disruptions due to the coronavirus. The strong iron ore output comes despite a cyclone tearing through Rio Tinto's Western Australian operations in February, which had prompted it to downgrade its outlook for shipments from the Pilbara region. 

Apr 17 - China March daily aluminium output slips as low prices force smelter cuts 
China's daily aluminium production fell 1.7% in March from the previous two months, according to Reuters calculations based on official data on Friday, as the coronavirus outbreak pushed prices to a four-year low and prompted smelters to cut supply.  China, the world's biggest producer and consumer of aluminium, churned out 2.97 million tonnes of the metal last month, up 2.3% year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics said. First-quarter output was up 2.7% at 8.84 million tonnes.

Apr 17 - Indian gold demand could hit 3-decade low as lockdown hits festivals, weddings 
India's gold consumption in 2020 could fall as much as 50% from a year ago to the lowest level in nearly three decades as a nationwide lockdown has closed jewellery stores during key festivals and the wedding season. The drop in consumption by the world's second-biggest gold buyer could limit a rally in global prices, which hit a more than seven-year high earlier this month. The fall in demand could also narrow India's trade deficit and support the faltering rupee.

Apr 17 - Tin buoyed as world's largest producers curb supply: Andy Home 
COVID-19 has generated an unprecedented demand shock for every industrial metal and tin is no exception. London Metal Exchange (LME) tin plunged to $12,700 per tonne last month, its lowest since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.  However, the market has since bounced strongly to a current $15,150 and is vying with lead, an equally overlooked component of the LME's base metals suite, to be the most resilient performer so far this year. 

Apr 17 - Barrick expects to meet annual targets despite coronavirus-led lockdowns 
Barrick Gold said on Thursday it was on track to meet its full-year production targets even as it reported an 8.5% drop in first-quarter gold output due to the impact of coronavirus-driven lockdowns. The mining industry has been bracing for a prolonged drop in commodity prices and has been worried that the coronavirus outbreak could fuel a rare simultaneous drop in both supply and demand for metals used to power the global economy.

Apr 17 - S.Africa to allow mines to operate at 50% capacity during lockdown 
South Africa will allow mines to operate at up to 50% capacity during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, according to amended regulations published on Thursday. The government had ordered most underground mines and furnaces to be put on care and maintenance during the lockdown, apart from coal mines supplying state power utility Eskom.

Apr 17 - Cash-strapped Thais rush to sell gold as coronavirus hits economy 
Cash-strapped Thais rushed to sell gold in Bangkok's Chinatown, on Thursday, cashing in on a surge in the price of the precious metal as the new coronavirus outbreak pulls the economy into a recession, with millions losing jobs. Many Thais keep some savings in gold and at a time of hardship are taking advantage of a recent rise in the benchmark global price to $1,722 an ounce, a seven-year high. In Thai baht, prices hit an all-time high this week.

Apr 16 - Malaysia considers rare earths firm Lynas's request to operate in lockdown 
Malaysia will decide within five days whether to allow rare earths miner Lynas Corp Ltd to operate its processing plant during the country's partial lockdown that runs until April 28, the industry ministry told Reuters on Wednesday. Australian company Lynas, the world's largest rare earths producer outside China, said earlier it had applied to the Malaysian government for "critical industry" status as its products are essential to the supply chains of key industries in the country, including medical devices. Its shares rose on news of the request. 

Apr 16 - Seaborne coal prices under pressure as demand softens in China, India: Russell 
Worrying signs are emerging for coal exporters to the world's biggest markets in Asia, as top buyers China and India move to favour domestic supplies over seaborne imports. The prices of higher-grade Australian thermal coal, lower-rank Indonesian thermal coal, and Australian coking coal used in steel-making have come under pressure in recent days, amid signs demand may be easing.

Apr 16 - Global miner BHP faces water use lawsuit brought by Chilean state 
A Chilean environmental court said on Tuesday it would investigate a complaint brought by the government against global miner BHP over allegations of damage to the northern Punta Negra salt flat.  The First Environmental Court, based in the northern Chilean city of Antofagasta, said the complaint was brought by the State Defense Council against BHP. The complaint described "continuous, cumulative, permanent and irreparable environmental damage" to the salt flat, 170 kilometres southeast of Antofagasta.

Apr 16 - China zinc treatment charges slump to 1-yr low as mine closures mount 
Spot treatment charges (TCs) for zinc concentrate in China have fallen to a one-year low on tightening supply as mines around the world shut amid government-enacted measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.  The charges, paid by zinc miners to smelters to process concentrate into refined metal on short-term contracts, slipped to $255 a tonne on Tuesday, the lowest since April 16, 2019, according to industry pricing and information provider Asian Metal. 

Apr 16 - Zambia plans to revoke Glencore's Mopani Copper Mines licences - letter 
Zambia plans to revoke the mining licences of Glencore subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) because the company did not give enough notice before suspending its mining operations in the coronavirus crisis and other problems. In a letter dated April 14 to Mopani's chief executive Nathan Bullock, Mining Licensing Committee secretary Michael Chibonga said Mopani did not give sufficient notice to the government before placing the mines on care and maintenance.

Apr 16 - China's Tianqi Lithium faces further loss, eyes stake sales 
Tianqi Lithium, one of the world's top producers of the commodity used in batteries for electric vehicles, expects to post a net loss in the first quarter of 2020, exacerbating a grim financial situation that may force it to sell off assets. Tianqi said in a filing late on Tuesday that it expected to lose 450-510 million yuan in the March quarter this year, blaming low lithium prices, coronavirus-related disruption that hit sales, and foreign exchange factors. 

Apr 16 - AngloGold Ashanti expects Mponeng production to remain suspended until April-end 
Production at AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng underground mine in South Africa is expected to remain suspended until April 30, the gold miner said on Wednesday.  Production at Mponeng, the world's deepest mine, was halted earlier due to a government-mandated lockdown to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Apr 16 - Japan's JFE Steel to halt two blast furnaces as demand plunges 
Japan's JFE Steel, owned by JFE Holdings, will temporarily halt two blast furnaces in western Japan because of a coronavirus-related slump in steel demand, potentially cutting 25% of its capacity, it said on Wednesday. The move follows similar action by rival Nippon Steel and is the latest in a series of production reductions across a wide range of industries battling to contend with the economic fallout from the pandemic.  

Apr 16 - ERG to boost iron ore sales to China as traditional markets shrink
The Kazakh iron ore unit of mining and metals conglomerate Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) is increasing exports to China to offset declining demand in the former Soviet Union, the company said on Wednesday. Chinese consumers have confirmed they are ready to buy additional volumes of ore, ERG said in a statement without identifying any buyers.

Apr 16 - Top managers at mining group Eramet agree to pay cuts 
Leading managers at French metals and mining group Eramet have agreed to pay cuts, in order to help finance a solidarity plan for staff and communities hit by the coronavirus crisis, the company said on Thursday. Eramet said its chairman and CEO Christel Bories would forego 25% of her pay and would contribute money saved from that to the company's solidarity plan.

Apr 15 - Australia's Lynas seeks 'critical industry' status in Malaysia as virus hits output 
Lynas Corp Ltd on Wednesday said it has applied to the Malaysian government for an exemption from some coronavirus-led curbs, as reduced work levels drove an 18% drop in the miner's third-quarter rare earths oxides output. The company's Mt Weld mine in Australia has been running with only essential staff and its Malaysian processing facility went into maintenance on March 23, days after the government first announced restrictions on movement, which have now been extended to April 28. 

Apr 15 - How low can we go? Analysts slash base metals forecasts: Andy Home 
Three months can be a very long time in markets, the last three months particularly. COVID-19 has upended the world as we know it, forcing millions of people into lockdown, wiping out global economic growth and triggering a massive government response, most recently in the form of a historic multilateral deal to prop up oil prices.  In the world of industrial metals, the coronavirus has generated an unprecedented demand shock and, as ever more mines close, a lagging supply shock. 

Apr 15 - Coronavirus? What coronavirus? China's commodity imports remain robust: Russell 
The new coronavirus caused barely a blip in China's imports of major commodities, but this likely underscores the ways China differs from the rest of the world, rather than providing a template for the globe's recovery from the pandemic. China's crude oil imports in March, the month when much of the world's second-largest economy was in lockdown, were equivalent to 9.68 million barrels per day (bpd), according to official customs data released on Tuesday. 

Apr 15 - ERG cuts Kazakh bauxite production 
Mining and metals conglomerate Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) is shutting down for three months one of the bauxite mines supplying feedstock to its alumina plant in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, the company said on Tuesday. The Torgai mining division accounts for 3.4% of the plant's bauxite supply, ERG said in a statement, adding that the move was a result of a decline in the prices of alumina and aluminium.

Apr 14 - China March iron ore imports dip, sees firm demand on economic restorations 
China's iron ore imports dipped in March, official customs data showed on Tuesday, as mills slowed output to digest record-high steel inventories after disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak curtailed construction and industrial activities.  Imports of the key steelmaking ingredient were 85.91 million tonnes last month, according to the official data from the General Administration of Customs. That was down 0.6% from 86.42 million tonnes a year earlier, and compared with 176.8 million tonnes over the first two months of 2020. 

Apr 14 - China March copper imports rise 13% as factories resume output 
China's unwrought copper imports in March rose 13% from a year ago, customs data showed on Tuesday, as dwindling scrap supply increased demand for other forms of the metal and factories restarted as coronavirus containment efforts eased. Imports of unwrought copper, including anode, refined and semi-finished copper products into China, the world's biggest copper consumer, were 441,926 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said. 

Apr 14 - China's March rare earth exports at highest since at least 2014 
China's rare earth exports rose 19.2% in March year-on-year, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Tuesday, hitting their highest since at least 2014, as the industry appeared to recover from the coronavirus outbreak. Shipments totalled 5,551.4 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said, more than the total for January and February 2020 combined and the highest monthly total in Reuters records going back to January 2015.

Apr 14 - Coronavirus? What coronavirus? China's commodity imports remain robust: Russell 
The new coronavirus caused barely a blip in China's imports of major commodities, but this likely underscores the ways China differs from the rest of the world, rather than providing a template for the globe's recovery from the pandemic. China's crude oil imports in March, the month when much of the world's second-largest economy was in lockdown, were equivalent to 9.68 million barrels per day (bpd), according to official customs data released on Tuesday. 

Apr 14 - MMG nixes Las Bambas copper mine guidance as virus curbs reduce supply 
Australia-based MMG Ltd is formally withdrawing its 2020 production guidance for the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, it said on Monday, after the South American country extended a state of emergency to contain the spread of coronavirus. The miner, which is majority owned by state-run China Minmetals Corp, said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange that Las Bambas would continue to operate at reduced levels, but did not provide a new full-year output forecast.

Apr 14 - Mexican mine Penasquito suspends operations due to coronavirus 
Mexico's Peñasquito mine, one of the country's leading gold and silver producers, said on Monday that it had temporarily suspended operations to comply with government restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. In early April, U.S. mining giant Newmont, which operates the mine, said it would begin reducing its operations at the site after the government declared a health emergency compelling "non-essential" industries to pause activity. 

Apr 14 - Sibanye-Stillwater says it can resume limited mining in South Africa 
Sibanye-Stillwater said on Monday it could restart limited mining at its South African operations after a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus brought the mining industry to a standstill. The company said the South African government had given it approval for limited mining and processing from April 14, the first sign restrictions on one the country's most critical industries could be eased.

Apr 13 - EU puts anti-dumping duties on stainless steel from China, Indonesia and Taiwan 
The European Commission has imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on some stainless steel products from China, Indonesia and Taiwan, according to the official EU journal, nearly eight months after launching a probe into low-price imports.  The duties on hot-rolled stainless steel sheets and coils include a rate of 17% on shipments from two Indonesian subsidiaries of Chinese stainless steel maker Tsingshan Holding Group, whose rapid expansion and low production costs in the southeast Asian country have left EU producers fretting over market share.

Apr 13 - China approves import quotas for another 222,020 T of copper scrap 
China has approved import quotas for another 222,020 tonnes of high-grade copper scrap and 191,100 tonnes of aluminium scrap in 2020, a government notice published on Friday showed. The China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Bureau, part of the country's environment ministry, also approved quotas for 3,700 tonnes of steel scrap imports in the fifth batch of allowances issued for 2020 so far.

Apr 13 - Copper price to grind lower as coronavirus hits industrial demand - poll
The prices of copper and other base metals are expected to struggle in the coming months as the market is hit by feeble demand after widespread lockdowns to suppress the coronavirus pandemic has smothered industrial activity, a Reuters poll showed.  Analysts have pencilled in sharply lower prices and big surpluses for most industrial metals after the impact of the crisis froze large parts of the global economy, including the metals-hungry auto sector.

Apr 13 - Freeport-McMoRan closes New Mexico mine as coronavirus cases spread 
Freeport-McMoRan Inc said on Sunday it has suspended operations at its Chino copper mine in New Mexico indefinitely because of the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, among the site's workers.  The closure marks the latest blow for Freeport, the world's largest publicly traded copper producer, after Peru's government shuttered its mines last month because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed more than 110,000 lives across the globe and infected nearly 2 million. 

Apr 13 - Chile's Codelco copper miner says it may have to slow investment plan 
The head of Chilean miner Codelco said the company may have to reduce investment plans due to the coronavirus, but said an operations halt would impact the company's financial situation, a local newspaper reported on Saturday. In a preview of the Sunday edition of the La Tercera newspaper, Codelco's president, Octavio Araneda, said while the company has continued producing, it is closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 7,000 Chileans so far.

Apr 13 - Glencore copper mine in Congo sends 350 contractors home 
Glencore's Katanga Mining sent 350 workers to be repatriated this week after the copper and cobalt miner delayed the commissioning of an acid plant they were working on in Democratic Republic of Congo's Lualaba province.  Katanga Mining's 75%-owned subsidiary Kamoto Copper Co (KCC) had sent the 350 Indian contractors from the mine site near Kolwezi to Lubumbashi, capital of Haut-Katanga province, to be repatriated, a source at KCC told Reuters. They are awaiting flights back to India.

Apr 13 - Diamond miner Alrosa reports 60% sales fall as coronavirus hits trade 
Russian diamond producer Alrosa on Friday reported a 60% fall in March sales versus a year earlier citing the spread of the coronavirus for the fall in demand. The virus also hit the diamond trade, which traditionally involves a lot of travelling, with border closures and quarantine measures across the world.

Apr 13 - Investors caution cement, steel firms on EU climate lobbying 
Cement and steel companies are being warned by investors over their lobbying on planned European Union carbon costs, saying they are effectively asking to be compensated twice over. A review of public consultation responses by Reuters shows lobbyists want the EU to maintain an existing scheme to support firms with carbon credits at the same time as it introduces a new carbon border tax to shield them from outside rivals.

Apr 13 - 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 April 7, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. The speculators also upped their net short position in copper futures and options, the CFTC data showed.

Apr 09 - Rio Tinto to press ahead with dividend amid coronavirus uncertainty
Global miner Rio Tinto will go ahead with its $3.7 billion dividend payment this month, its chairman told shareholders on Wednesday, as a weaker global economy forces some of its peers to forgo payouts. The mining company held the London leg of its annual general meeting via teleconference call due to coronavirus restrictions.

Apr 09 - In uncertain times, global metals exchange volumes surge: Andy Home
The spread of the deadly coronavirus has upended industrial metal markets, with many plunging to multi-year lows and volatility spiking across the board. Uncertainty rules as traders try to navigate both the unprecedented demand shock of a world in lockdown and the trailing supply shocks that are accumulating from ever more mine closures.

Apr 09 - China March zinc output drops, nickel production jumps - Antaike
China's zinc and zinc alloy production in March fell 1.4% year on year to 396,000 tonnes and was down 5.7% from February on a daily basis as smelters faced raw material shortages, research house Antaike said on Wednesday. "Although the logistics restrictions and sulphuric acid build-up caused by the epidemic have been significantly alleviated, more smelting capacity has not been put into production," Antaike said in its survey of 49 zinc smelters.

Apr 09 - Chinese molybdenum miner halts production after tailings spill
Yichun Luming Mining Co Ltd, the owner of a tailings dam in northeast China that leaked last month and contaminated the local river system, has been ordered to suspend molybdenum production, according to a report on a provincial government website. The emergency management bureau in the city of Yichun in Heilongjiang province will "temporarily withhold the company's safe production licence" while rectifications are carried out, the report on the Heilongjiang government website said on Wednesday.

Apr 09 - MMG declares force majeure on supply from Las Bambas copper mine - sources
Australia-based miner MMG Ltd has declared force majeure on supplies from Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, two sources from smelters told Reuters on Thursday. MMG, owned by China Minmetals, has given notice to customers on their force majeure due to the lockdown in Peru to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, the sources said.

Apr 09 - Chile's Codelco says copper production, sales hitting targets amid coronavirus outbreak
Chile state copper miner Codelco, the world´s largest, said on Wednesday its production continued in line with its plans despite the measures it has implemented to stave off the spread of coronavirus at its operations. The company told Reuters in an email that it had also met 100% of its sales targets, even as many of its top customers, including China, have seen industry shuttered by the virus.

Apr 09 - Japan's April-June crude steel output to hit 11-year low on coronavirus shock
Japan's crude steel output is forecast to fall 25.9% in the April-June quarter to an 11-year low from last year as the global spread of the coronavirus chokes demand, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said on Thursday. "A slowdown in overseas economy and disruptions in supply chains due to the coronavirus outbreak are expected to reduce industry demand for steel, especially in automobiles," Tomoya Hasui, director of the METI's metal industries division, told an online news conference.

Apr 09 - Shares in Russian pipe maker TMK jump as it plans buyback, delisting from LSE
Russia's biggest steel pipe maker, TMK, has decided to delist its global depositary receipts (GDRs) from the London Stock Exchange amid the market volatility, the company said on Wednesday. TMK's shares in Moscow and GDRs in London rose by 22% as the company also announced its plan to buy back some of the ordinary shares with a market premium before the delisting. Holders of TMK's GDRs will be able to take part in the buyback if they cancel their GDRs and receive ordinary shares instead.

Apr 08 - Philippines' top nickel miners halt operations to contain coronavirus 
The Philippines' top nickel ore producers, Nickel Asia Corp and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc, are suspending mining and export operations in a southern province to comply with coronavirus-containment measures. The moves came just two days after announcing they were resuming operations because an earlier local suspension order had been lifted.

Apr 08 - Copper belt miners turn to Tanzania as South Africa lockdown hobbles ports 
South Africa's strict coronavirus lockdown has caused miners to divert copper from the country's ports to others in Africa, with Dar es Salaam the clear winner, sources told Reuters. Authorities in South Africa initially said ports would only process essential goods during a three-week nationwide lockdown that began on March 27. On Friday, the Department of Transport said ports remain open to all types of cargo. 

Apr 08 - Bets on potential mining defaults surge on worsening sector outlook 
The cost of insuring against potential debt default by mining companies has risen to the highest in five years on mounting fears of recession, demand destruction and shutdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Commodity group Glencore's five-year credit default swaps (CDS) - which traders use as a hedge against uncertainty - were up at 443 basis points on Tuesday from 190 bps at the end of February, data from information provider IHS Markit showed.

Apr 08 - Chinese molybdenum miner has production licence suspended after tailings spill 
Yichun Luming Mining Co Ltd, the owner of a tailings dam in northeast China that leaked last month, contaminating the local river system, has been ordered to temporarily halt production, according to a report on a provincial government website. The emergency management bureau in the city of Yichun, in Heilongjiang province, will "temporarily withhold the company's safe production licence" while rectifications are carried out, the report on the Heilongjiang government website said on Wednesday.

Apr 08 - Australia's Port Hedland iron ore exports to China jump by 22 pct in March 
Australia's Pilbara Port Authority said on Wednesday that iron ore exports to China jumped 21.6% to 40.43 mln tonnes in March from the month earlier.
Exports from the world's biggest iron ore export hub stood at 33.26 million tonnes in February when China typically imports less due to its Lunar New Year holidays. Iron ore miners in March shipped out the third highest volumes since January 2019.

Apr 08 - Comex gold stocks leap as price premium pushes higher 
Gold stocks held in New York vaults registered with CME Group have jumped almost 50% since the end of last week after the exchange launched a new contract and a price premium since the outbreak of the coronavirus encouraged stockpiling. The premium on CME's Comex exchange over spot gold traded in London rose sharply again on Tuesday as supply routes remained partially closed and banks and brokers wary of the price gap reduced trading. 

Apr 08 - Coronavirus impact sees Glencore Zambian unit shut copper mines 
Glencore's Zambian unit Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) will shutter its mines on Wednesday following disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic and low copper prices, it said in a statement, after the country's mines minister earlier criticised the closure. "In addition to the impacts of a rapid decline in the copper price, Mopani's situation has been further impacted by the critical disruptions to international mobility, transportation and supply chains arising from COVID-19," the company said.

Apr 08 - Nippon Steel to halt 2 blast furnaces to cope with falling demand 
Nippon Steel Corp, Japan's biggest steelmaker, will temporarily shut two blast furnaces in Japan later this month to cope with declining demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, it said late on Tuesday, cutting about a tenth of its capacity. The move is the latest in a series of production cuts by various industries due to the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis. 

Apr 08 - French group Eramet abandons planned Argentina lithium project 
Eramet has abandoned plans for an Argentine lithium mine project due to uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, the French mining and metallurgy company said on Wednesday. "In the current context of the coronavirus pandemic and considering the many uncertainties that currently weigh on the global economy and our markets, we have decided not to engage the construction of our lithium production plant in Argentina," Eramet chairman and CEO Christel Bories said.

Apr 08 - Freeport-McMoRan confirms New Mexico mine workers have coronavirus 
Freeport-McMoRan Inc said three employees at its Chino copper mine in New Mexico have tested positive for COVID-19, confirming earlier reports from state officials. Operations at the mine have not been affected, though any employees that came into contact with the affected workers have been told to self-quarantine, Freeport spokeswoman Linda Hayes said.

Apr 08 - Coronavirus forces steelmaker Voestalpine to warn of operating loss 
Austrian specialty steelmaker Voestalpine said on Tuesday it will not meet earnings targets for its recently ended business year because of the coronavirus pandemic, trimming its outlook for core profit and forecasting an operating loss. The Linz-based firm, which supplies the auto, aerospace and energy industries, said it had been forced to write down the value of assets and goodwill because of the pandemic, which had hurt its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT).

Apr 07 - EU targets more U.S. imports after U.S. metal tariff extension 
The European Union has drawn up a list of U.S. imports including lighters and plastic fittings for furniture that it will hit with tariffs in retaliation for an extension of U.S. duties on incoming steel and aluminium. U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation in January to extend tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium to derivative products, such as steel nails and aluminium cables, because imports of the latter had increased.

Apr 07 - Funds cut copper exposure amid fast-changing fundamentals: Andy Home 
Funds have slashed their exposure to the copper market over the last two weeks in response to a confused and fast-changing fundamental landscape. Long positioning had already been cut to the bone on fears of the global demand shock emanating from the spread of the deadly coronavirus. 

Apr 07 - Coronavirus-linked nickel shutdowns to help cut surplus 
Shrinking nickel supplies following shutdowns linked to the new coronavirus and loss-making operations because of low prices are expected to offset weak demand from stainless steel mills and leave the market with only a small surplus. This, analysts say, will support nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange, which have fallen by more than 20% since the start of the year to $11,000 a tonne, near January 2019 lows.

Apr 07 - India's March gold imports hit 6-1/2-year low on record price, lockdown 
India's gold imports plunged more than 73% year-on-year in March to their lowest in 6-1/2 years as record domestic prices and a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus squeezed retail demand, a government source said on Monday. Lower imports by the world's second biggest consumer of the precious metal could limit a rally in global prices, but also help New Delhi bring down its trade deficit and support the rupee.

Apr 07 - Freeport-McMoRan workers at New Mexico mine test positive for coronavirus 
Three employees at a New Mexico mine owned by Freeport-McMoRan Inc, the world's largest publicly traded copper producer, have tested positive for COVID-19, the state's lieutenant governor said on Monday. It was not immediately clear if operations at the mine have been affected. A Freeport spokeswoman said the company planned to issue a statement later.

Apr 07 - Shareholders of Bosnia's Aluminij back improved bid for foundry lease 
A meeting of shareholders in Bosnia's indebted aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar accepted an improved bid from an Israeli-Chinese consortium to lease its foundry, the first step towards partially restarting production, officials said on Monday. The Balkan country's sole aluminium smelter was shut down last July over debt incurred due to high power and alumina prices.

Apr 07 - Congo mine attack kills three Chinese nationals - Xinhua 
A gun attack in a mining area in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has killed three Chinese nationals, China's official Xinhua news agency reported on Monday, citing the Chinese embassy in the mineral-rich central African country. The attack took place on Saturday in the northeastern province of Ituri, which borders Uganda and South Sudan, Xinhua said, without naming the mine in question or the company operating it. "Three Chinese citizens were unfortunately killed," it added.

Apr 06 - Chilean copper miners 'considering production cuts' -industry association 
Copper miners in Chile are considering cutting production amid strict measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, an association of companies in the sector has told Reuters. A report by Sonami, which represents copper miners across Chile, the world's largest producer, said the realities of the coronavirus were forcing companies to weigh tough decisions.

Apr 06 - Philippines' Nickel Asia to resume ore shipments as coronavirus mining ban lifted 
Nickel Asia Corp, the Philippines' largest nickel ore miner and exporter, said on Monday its two units in Surigao del Norte province will resume ore shipments as the local government has allowed mining operations to resume after a suspension to curb the potential spread of the coronavirus. The company said in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange that foreign vessels chartered to deliver ores will strictly observe quarantine guidelines covering their crew and stevedores loading ores onto the vessels

Apr 06 - Growing New York gold stockpile eases fear of shortages 
The amount of gold stored in vaults in New York registered by CME Group's Comex exchange has risen by nearly 2 million ounces, CME data showed, proving ample to settle monthly contract obligations and easing concerns of shortages that sent prices skyrocketing. Traders worried it would be impossible to fly gold from London to deliver against Comex contracts after coronavirus lockdown measures grounded planes and shut several precious metals refineries last month.

Apr 06 - Antofagasta suspends operations at key Chile mine for 4 months 
Copper miner Antofagasta said on Monday it has suspended its Los Pelambres Expansion project in Chile for about 120 days due to the coronavirus crisis in the South American country. Antofagasta said it has also suspended contracts with most of the companies involved in the project, which accounts for nearly half of the its total copper output.


Apr 06 - Rusal, Glencore agree aluminium deal worth up to $16.3 bln 
Russia's Rusal has approved a new long-term aluminium supply contract with Glencore worth up to $16.3 billion, it said in a Hong-Kong regulatory statement on Friday. Swiss trader and metals producer Glencore has long been one of the main clients of Hong Kong-listed Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer outside China. 

Apr 06 - China's Chalco weighs output cuts as aluminium, alumina prices hit lowest since 2016 
Aluminum Corp of China, known as Chalco, will consider carrying out maintenance or even shuttering some aluminium production facilities as well as cutting alumina output because of current low prices, a company executive said on Friday. Chalco, China's biggest state-run aluminium producer with 3.79 million tonnes of output last year, is also the world's biggest supplier of alumina, having produced 13.8 million tonnes of the aluminium raw material in 2019.

Apr 06 - Swiss gold refiners to resume work, easing supply constraints 
Three of the world's biggest gold refineries said they will partially reopen after a two week closure that disrupted global supply of the metal. Valcambi, Argor-Heraeus and PAMP, located near the Swiss border with Italy, were shut by a local government order on March 20 which closed non-essential industry to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Apr 06 - Australia's Northern Star says employee tests positive for coronavirus 
Gold miner Northern Star Resources Ltd said on Monday an employee at its Pogo operations in Alaska tested positive for the coronavirus. The Fairbanks-based employee tested positive for the virus four days after completing a 12-day roster at Pogo, and has not developed serious symptoms, the company said in a statement, adding that operations will continue at the project, located 145 km (87 miles) southeast of Fairbanks.

Apr 06 - Nornickel may not sell all output if coronavirus crisis drags - report 
Russian nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) may find it hard to sell all of its output, as it normally can, if the coronavirus crisis persists, the company's largest shareholder and president told a daily newspaper. The spread of the coronavirus has halted production among many consumers of the metals, including makers of electric and other vehicles, Vladimir Potanin told Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Apr 06 - Congo's Chemaf mothballs copper-cobalt processing plant over coronavirus 
Chemaf, the Congo subsidiary of Dubai-based Shalina Resources, is halting operations at its Usoke copper-cobalt processing plant and stopping construction work on its Mutoshi plant, Chief Financial Officer Nico de Lange told Reuters on Sunday. The facilities are the latest mining operations to be affected by travel restrictions and border closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which de Lange said had made it impossible to source sufficient oxide ore for Usoke to function.

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.