Base & Precious Metals News

May 19 - Chile's top court puts Dominga mining project decision on Boric admin
Chile's top court on Wednesday turned down appeals filed by communities and environmentalists against the controversial Dominga mining project, saying a final decision needs input from President Gabriel Boric's administration. Last year, environmentalists and surrounding communities appealed a ruling from a lower court that tossed out a decision by a regulator that denied the company permits.

May 19 - Turquoise Hill to receive debt funding from Rio Tinto as it evaluates $2.7 bln offer
Canada's Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd said on Wednesday Rio Tinto will provide it interim debt funding of up to $400 million while it evaluates the Anglo-Australian miner's $2.7 billion bid for the company. Rio Tinto in March had proposed to buy out the 49% of Turquoise Hill (TRQ) it does not already own for about $2.7 billion in cash, paving the way for direct ownership of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining project in Mongolia.

May 18 - Fortescue Metals founder Forrest back at helm to oversee iron ore business
Fortescue Metals Group appointed its billionaire founder Andrew Forrest as executive chairman on Wednesday, specifically to oversee the iron ore business for an interim period when Chief Executive Elizabeth Gaines leaves in August. The move will also see Forrest, Australia's richest man, taking charge of the group's iron ore business for the first time since stepping down as chief executive officer in 2011.

May 18 - Peru mining protests risk clogging $53 bln investment pipeline, industry warns
Peru, the world's second-largest copper producer, risks losing out on billions of dollars of mining investment if the government fails to defuse protests that are hitting the industry and denting production, analysts and executives said. Social conflicts have risen in the Andean nation over the past year since socialist President Pedro Castillo came into office, with a spate of protests against mines, including one that has halted production at the huge Las Bambas copper deposit.

May 17 - Europe's aluminium deficit triggers further large LME stock draw
Aluminium inventories in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses, already at their lowest in nearly 17 years, are likely to fall further over coming days and weeks as more metal leaves the LME system and heads for Europe where supplies are scarce. Record high power prices in Europe have pushed up costs of producing metals such as aluminium used widely in the energy, construction and packaging industries.

May 17 - Palladium to swing back into deficit, platinum surplus to fall -Metals Focus
Improving demand and lower supply will help palladium and rhodium swing back into deficit this year and reduce platinum's surplus, consultants Metals Focus said on Monday. The three precious metals are used by automakers in engine exhaust systems, where they neutralise harmful emissions. Platinum is also used in other industries and for jewellery and investment.

May 16 - LME starts consultation to make OTC metals market more transparent
The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Friday proposed measures that it said would improve transparency and stability in the over-the-counter (OTC) metals market, including more frequent disclosures of all positions. In March, the exchange was forced to halt trading of nickel after short-covering by one of the world's top producers, China's Tsingshan Holding Group, caused prices to skyrocket.

May 16 - China April crude steel output up on month as COVID curbs ease
China's crude steel output picked up in April, rising 5.1% from a month earlier as the impact of environmental restrictions and COVID-19 disruptions eased, but it was still well below year-ago levels.  The world's biggest steel producer made 92.78 million tonnes of the metal last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday, up from 88.3 million tonnes in March and down 5.2% from April 2021.

May 13 - Miner BHP targets Chile expansion under 'right conditions' - CEO
Global mining giant BHP Group is keen to expand operations in Chile, the world's top copper producer, under "appropriate conditions," Chief Executive Officer Mike Henry said on Thursday. The mining sector in the Andean nation faces uncertainty as the country drafts a new constitution, which could lead to tighter environmental regulation for key minerals including copper and battery metal lithium.

May 13 - Peru community wants its land back, threatening Chinese copper mine
The community of Fuerabamba in the Andean region of Peru was resettled eight years ago to make way for a giant Chinese-owned copper mine, in a $1.2 billion scheme billed as a model solution to protests dogging the South American nation's mining sector. Now the community wants the land back. In mid-April, more than a hundred Fuerabamba community members stormed the Las Bambas mine and pitched tents near the open pit, forcing a halt in production at a site that provides 2% of global copper supplies. They were joined by the nearby Huancuire community, which was protesting a planned expansion of the mine on their former land.

May 12 - Anglo American to return to Zambia with Arc Minerals copper deal
Anglo American has agreed a deal to take majority control of Arc Minerals' Zambia copper-cobalt exploration licences, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, which is Anglo's first investment in Zambia in 20 years. The joint venture deal would give Anglo a 70% interest in London-listed exploration firm Arc Minerals' licenses in Zambia's copper-rich North-Western province, covering an area which Anglo previously explored in the late 1990s.

May 12 - Miners turn to bacteria and other new ways to leach copper from waste rock
Rio Tinto Ltd, Freeport-McMoRan Inc and other global miners, spurred by rising prices and demand, are deploying a raft of new leaching technologies that can extract low concentrations of copper from waste rock and help avoid lengthy mine permitting delays. Copper prices have nearly doubled in the past two years largely due to the electric vehicle industry's growth, with the demand prompting miners to find faster ways to produce the metal.

May 11 - Peru fails to broker deal to allow for MMG's Las Bambas mine restart
Peru's government on Tuesday failed to reach an agreement with a group of indigenous communities whose protests have halted operations at MMG Ltd's massive Las Bambas copper mine. Peru is the world's No. 2 copper producer and Chinese-owned Las Bambas produces about 2% of global supply. The prolonged suspension - which began almost three weeks ago - means both the company and Peru are missing out on millions in revenue and taxes at a time of historically-high copper prices.

May 11 - COVID-19 outbreak hobbles Chinese demand for cobalt, nickel, lithium
China's COVID-19 outbreak is suppressing the country's consumption of cobalt, nickel and lithium by disrupting transportation and cutting battery manufacturing, state-backed research house Antaike said. Across China, automobile plants have reduced or even suspended production, Antaike said, as cities across the country battled to control the virus.

May 10 - Indonesian president plans to meet Elon Musk over nickel - minister
Indonesian President Joko Widodo is planning to meet Elon Musk during an upcoming U.S. visit, a minister said on Monday, as the Southeast Asian country seeks to accelerate development of its nickel industry to supply batteries for electric vehicles. Representatives of Musk's EV maker Tesla Inc were currently in Indonesia and due to visit the nickel production hub of Morawali on Sulawesi island, Coordinating Minister of Investment and Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said.

May 10 - Ukraine war drives De Beers to step up diamond traceability efforts
De Beers, the world's No. 2 diamond producer, is stepping up efforts to formally track its products from mine to retailer, the company's CEO said, as Western customers want assurance that their purchases do not come from Russia. De Beers, a unit of Anglo American, is also looking to adjust its supply chains, CEO Bruce Cleaver told Reuters in an interview, as it sees rising demand in the United States for its diamonds after U.S. authorities banned the import of diamonds from Russia's Alrosa, the world's biggest producer.

May 09  - China April copper imports fall 4% on year on weaker demand - customs
China's copper imports in April fell 4% from the same month a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, as lockdowns across the country hurt manufacturing activity and consumption. The world's top metals consumer brought in 465,330 tonnes of unwrought copper and products last month, down from 484,890 tonnes in April 2021 and compared with 504,009 tonnes in the previous month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

May 09  - Kicking the China habit: South Korea hunts tungsten treasure
Blue tungsten winking from the walls of abandoned mine shafts, in a town that's seen better days, could be a catalyst for South Korea's bid to break China's dominance of critical minerals and stake its claim to the raw materials of the future. The mine in Sangdong, 180 km southeast of Seoul, is being brought back from the dead to extract the rare metal that's found fresh value in the digital age in technologies ranging from phones and chips to electric vehicles and missiles.

May 06 - UK sanctions Russian steelmaker Evraz, part-owned by billionaire Abramovich
The British government said on Thursday it had sanctioned steel manufacturing and mining company Evraz, whose biggest shareholder is sanctioned billionaire Roman Abramovich, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "The steel manufacturing and mining company operates in sectors of strategic significance to the Government of Russia," the government said in a statement.

May 06 - Peru keeps emergency decree in place for now in conflict over mine
Peru pledged to review conditions around a major cooper mine but said it will not lift by Friday an emergency declaration temporarily suspending civil liberties in the area, a step demanded by indigenous protesters camped out at the mine, forcing its closure. According to a letter on Thursday from the presidency's council of ministers addressed to two local indigenous leaders, the government will only commit to announce findings of a review of conditions around the shuttered Las Bambas mine on Saturday ahead of any possible change to the emergency declaration.

May 05 - London Metal Exchange bars Russian lead from its market
The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Wednesday it had stopped allowing Russian-produced lead into its warehouses following European Union sanctions on the country's products, effectively shutting Russian lead out of the world's biggest metals market. Russia is not a major producer of lead, but the decision could add to market jitters about a potential ban on its aluminium and nickel, where its supplies are far more important.

May 05 - Miner Barrick Gold doubles dividend as profit beats on higher prices
Barrick Gold Corp on Wednesday doubled its quarterly dividend after beating Wall Street estimates for profit on the back of higher gold and copper prices. Realized gold prices rose 5.6% to $1,876 per ounce in the first quarter from a year earlier, while copper jumped near 14% to $4.68 per pound.

May 04 - South African coal miners turn to trucks as rail service deteriorates
Mining companies in South Africa have resorted to trucking coal to ports to meet a surge in European demand since the war in Ukraine started, bypassing the deteriorating rail infrastructure they blame for billions of dollars in lost revenue. Poor maintenance, a lack of spare parts for trains, copper cable theft and vandalism have disrupted state logistics firm Transnet's freight rail services, causing coal and iron ore exports to fall in recent years.

May 04 - Mexico seeks lithium association with Argentina, Bolivia and Chile
Mexico is working with governments of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile to create a lithium association so the countries can share their expertise to exploit the battery mineral, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday. "We're going to work. We're already doing so together on development, on exploration, processing, new technologies," Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference.

May 03 - Peruvian mine protesters reject talks until emergency order lifted
Peruvian indigenous communities occupying a key copper mine will agree to talks with officials and company representatives only if the government lifts its emergency order for the region, leaders of the groups told Reuters on Monday. The conflict over the Las Bambas mine, one of the world's biggest copper mines and a large contributor to government coffers, has stoked uncertainty over the South American country's massive mining sector.

May 03 - Enough nickel, lithium for 14 mln EVs in 2023 - European climate group
Data shows there is enough nickel and lithium to produce up to 14 million electric vehicles (EVs) globally in 2023, so Europe should secure more raw materials to shift away from oil faster, campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) said on Tuesday. In a study based on BloombergNEF data on global maximum volumes of EV battery-grade nickel and lithium, T&E said that in 2025 there would be enough to make 21 million EVs globally.

May 02 - China-owned Las Bambas fails to evict indigenous Peruvian community from mine
At least one protesting indigenous community on Friday continued to occupy MMG's Las Bambas copper mine in Peru as operations remained halted, the company and two community sources said, despite police operations to evict them. The indigenous communities of Fuerabamba and Huancuire entered the mine on April 14 and set up camp inside, forcing Las Bambas to suspend operations a week later.

May 02 - Europe urgently needs an accelerator in critical metals race: Andy Home
Europe is running out of time to secure the metals it needs to power the energy transition. The region's import dependency for enabling metals was already high and has turned critical since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Apr 29  - Glencore cuts output guidance for copper, zinc, cobalt
Miner and trader Glencore lowered its 2022 production guidance on copper, zinc and cobalt after operational challenges and COVID-related absenteeism in the first quarter drove output for some metals lower. It upped its output guidance for nickel and ferrochrome, however, and said it expected its full-year trading earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to "comfortably" exceed $3.2 billion, which is the top of the range of its long-term annual guidance.  

Apr 29  - Volatile gold prices could dampen Indian demand in Q2 - WGC
India's gold demand is likely to remain soft in second quarter after falling 18% in the first quarter as retail purchases during a key festival early next month could be below normal because of volatile prices, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday. Lower purchases by the world's second biggest gold consumer could weigh on prices, which are trading near their lowest level in two months.

Apr 28 - Fortescue raises annual shipments view, hikes cost estimate for key project
Fortescue Metals Group raised its full-year iron ore shipments forecast on Thursday helped by a production ramp-up at Eliwana operations, while increasing capital estimate for its key Iron Bridge Magnetite project in Western Australia. The world's fourth-largest iron ore miner now expects to ship between 185 million tonnes (mt) and 188 mt of the commodity in fiscal 2022, up from a previous guidance of 180 mt to 185 mt.

Apr 28 - Automakers go back to the future to secure battery metals: Andy Home
Henry Ford was right all along, it turns out. After decades of honing just-in-time global supply networks, car companies are going back to Ford's founding principle of self-sufficiency.

Apr 27 - China-owned Las Bambas mine weighs plan to evict protesting communities
Chinese-owned MMG Ltd's huge Las Bambas copper mine in Peru is considering a plan to evict indigenous communities that have camped on the property and forced a production halt, according to an executive and a document seen by Reuters. Under Peruvian civil law, property owners can attempt to evict trespassers by force during the first 15 days after they have settled in the property.
Apr 27 - Global miners rank ESG as their top concern. Really?: Russell
Environment, social and governance (ESG) issues are the top concern of global miners, knocking out commodity price risk for the first time, according to a new survey. KPMG said it was a "significant milestone" as ESG for the first time topped the list of industry risks in its 12-year-old Global Mining Outlook.

Apr 26 - Russia and India in talks to restart coking coal supplies - sources
Russian and Indian officials met last week in an effort to resolve an impasse over the shipping of coking coal to Indian steelmakers, which has dried up since March over payment methods, a trade source and an Indian government source said. Russia usually supplies about 30% of European Union, Japanese and South Korean coking coal needs, while India had planned to double its Russian imports to around 9 million tonnes this year.

Apr 26 - Russia's Nornickel Q1 nickel output up, palladium down
Russian metals producer Nornickel said on Monday its first-quarter nickel production rose year-on-year due to the recovery of its two mines after flooding in 2021, while palladium output fell due to a high base effect. Nornickel, the world's largest palladium producer and a leading nickel producer, kept its previous output forecast for 2022 unchanged despite difficulties posed by the Western sanctions on Moscow.

Apr 25  - LME to scrap gold and silver futures by July due to thin activity
The London Metal Exchange (LME) plans to scrap its precious metals futures due to low levels of trading activity, it said on Friday. Last October, sources told Reuters that banks that partnered with the LME to launch gold and silver futures in 2017 were preparing to abandon the project after hoped-for volumes did not materialise.

Apr 25  - Global miners must overcome labour shortages, inflation pain to meet targets
Global mining companies must overcome COVID-related labour shortages and soaring production costs if they are to meet annual production targets, analysts said after downbeat quarterly reports. London-listed Anglo American and Antofagasta are among those to have either lowered annual production targets or increased expected capital expenditure, laying part of the blame on the broad inflationary pressure coming from rocketing diesel prices.

Apr 25  - Indian aluminium producer NALCO faces coal scarcity due to train shortage
Indian state-run aluminium producer National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) is facing a coal supply shortfall, due to supplies being diverted to priority electricity generation and a shortage of trains to deliver fuel to NALCO's power plants. Daily supplies to NALCO were falling short of requirement by at least 5,000 tonnes due to the train shortage, a senior company official told Reuters, adding that the company had coal inventories that would last only four days.

Apr 22 - Britain's steelmakers scorched by white-hot power prices
Steel boss James Brand raises his voice above the roar of metal being funnelled into a foundry furnace as he details how rampant costs have pushed him to raise his prices by 70%. Yet he says that, despite this hefty hike, his customers in sectors including oil and gas, autos and construction are placing new orders at a record-breaking gallop. His order book has ballooned from the usual 4-6 weeks to 6 months.

Apr 22 - Peru's Castillo hardens stance on mining protests as economy stumbles
Peru's leftist President Pedro Castillo has signaled a tougher stance on protests against mining companies that are roiling the Andean nation, the world's second largest copper producer, mobilizing the army in a sharp tactical shift from a previous conciliatory approach. Mining activity has been halted at Southern Copper Corp's Cuajone since late February as protesters from the mostly indigenous surrounding communities demand financial compensation and a share of future profits.

Apr 21 - BHP reports weaker-than-expected iron ore production on COVID curbs
BHP Group on Thursday fell short of estimates for iron ore production for the March quarter, as a pandemic-related labour crunch weighed on the miner's efforts to boost production in the mineral-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia. The world's largest listed miner warned June-quarter production of the steel-making commodity is also expected to be impacted by lingering worker absenteeism, but said it remained on track to meet fiscal 2022 costs and volume forecast.

Apr 21 - Silver demand to reach its highest on record in 2022, Silver Institute says
Silver demand will climb to a record level this year thanks to increasing use of solar panels as governments boost renewable energy to meet climate goals, setting the stage for years of supply deficits, an industry report said on Wednesday. Global silver demand is expected to rise to 1.1 billion ounces this year, up 5% from 2021, consultants Metals Focus said in an annual report compiled for the Silver Institute.

Apr 20 - Rio Tinto suffers iron ore shipments drop on COVID delays, flags risks
Rio Tinto on Wednesday reported lower-than-expected iron ore shipments in the first quarter and warned of risks from sustained high inflation, a resurgence of COVID-19 lockdowns in China and a prolonged Russia-Ukraine war. Labour shortages and supply chain snags impeded the Anglo-Australian mining giant's efforts to ramp up its Pilbara operations in Western Australia in the first three months of the year.

Apr 20 - Mexico nationalizes lithium, plans review of contracts
Mexico's Congress on Tuesday passed a bill to nationalize lithium, tightening control of strategic mineral resources, as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador vowed to review all contracts to exploit the metal. By a large majority, the Mexican Senate passed the lithium amendment to the country's mining law. A day earlier, the lower house spent just a few hours debating and then approving the bill that Lopez Obrador submitted on Sunday.

Apr 19 - China to keep cutting crude steel output in 2022, state planner says
China's state planner will reduce crude steel output this year after cutting about 30 million tonnes of production in 2021, an official said on Tuesday. The world's top steel producer met its annual target last year by slashing steel output to 1.035 billion tonnes from 1.065 billion tonnes in 2021, logging its first annual drop in six years.

Apr 19 - MMG's Las Bambas copper mine in Peru to suspend operations after protest
MMG Ltd said on Monday its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru will suspend operations from April 20 after residents of a community nearby entered the property as part of a protest. Las Bambas accounts for 2% of the global copper supply and is a subject of recurring disruptions from impoverished local communities demanding higher financial contributions from the mine.

Apr 18  - China March crude steel output slips 6.4% on year, hurt by COVID outbreak
China's crude steel output fell more than 6% in March from the same month a year earlier, data from the statistics bureau showed on Monday, as production at mills was crimped by COVID-19 outbreaks and environmental restrictions. The world's top steel producer made 88.3 million tonnes of the metal last month, down from 94.02 million tonnes in March 2021, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Apr 18  - Ukraine's top steelmaker says it will never work under Russian occupation
Ukraine's biggest steelmaker Metinvest said on Friday its enterprises would never operate under Russian occupation and that Ukraine had currently lost access to 30% to 40% of its metallurgy output capacity in the besieged city of Mariupol. The company controlled by Ukraine's richest man Rinat Akhmetov said that Ukraine, one of Europe's biggest suppliers of iron ore, had also more than halved its iron ore production due to Russia's Feb. 24 invasion.

Apr 14 - 'Black swan' LME nickel chaos shows regulators still missing market risks
Last month's chaos in London Metal Exchange nickel trading has shone a light on the failure of a core reform from the global financial crisis to help regulators quickly spot destabilising risks in markets. The 2008 Lehman Brothers crash and bailout of insurer AIG prompted G20 leaders to increase transparency in over-the-counter (OTC) or off-exchange derivatives such as credit default swaps by making it mandatory to report transactions to repositories.

Apr 14 - Southern Copper says Peru mine remains halted despite latest deal to end protests
Southern Copper Corp said on Wednesday that its Peruvian mine remains closed after six weeks of a standoff with protesters, accusing Peru's government of failing to intervene to guarantee security for its 1,300 workers and their families. A recent deal aimed at ending protests at the Cuajone copper mine required the company to withdraw complaints against protest leaders, amid a continuing blockade of its railway to transport minerals and supplies, the company said in a statement. Production has been suspended since Feb. 28.

Apr 13 - China March copper imports down 8.8% from a year earlier
China's copper imports in March fell for third month, slipping 8.8% from the same month a year earlier on easing demand, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday.  The world's top metals consumer brought in 504,009 tonnes of unwrought copper and products last month, down from 552,317 tonnes in March 2021 and compared with 459,461 tonnes a month earlier, according to the customs data.

Apr 13 - GM signs cobalt deal with Glencore as rush for battery metals intensifies
General Motors Co said on Tuesday it would buy cobalt from miner Glencore PLC to use in its electric vehicles (EVs), as automakers around the world scramble to stock up on the critical raw material amid supply chain disruptions. Global automakers, ranging from EV leader Tesla Inc to Volkswagen, are splurging billions of dollars on developing vehicles for a market that could be worth $5 trillion over the next decade.

Apr 12 - Australia's Lynas posts record revenue on strong demand for rare earths
Australia's Lynas Rare Earths on Tuesday posted a record quarterly revenue as demand for the specialized metals it mines surged amid a global push to electrify vehicles and curb carbon emissions. Demand for neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), among the most important minerals that Lynas mines, has soared in recent years as countries and companies pivot towards cleaner energy to tackle climate change.

Apr 12 - NYMEX suspends trading of Russian platinum, palladium produced after April 8
The New York Mercantile Exchange Inc (NYMEX) has said that platinum and palladium produced by two Russian refineries after April 8 cannot trade on the exchange. Metals produced by Krastsvetmet and Prioksk after April 8 will not be eligible for warranting and delivery until further notice, exchange operator CME Group said in a notice on Friday.

Apr 11 - London blocks sale of new platinum and palladium from Russian refineries
Newly refined Russian platinum and palladium was suspended from trading in London from Friday, denying access to the metals' biggest trade hub in the latest in a growing list of measures against Russian interests because of the conflict in Ukraine. Prices of palladium surged as much as 11%, with traders fearing the move could worsen a shortage of the metal automakers use in exhaust pipes to reduce emissions.

Apr 8 - Trafigura set to take zinc out of LME system, fuelling concern
Commodity trader Trafigura and other firms are moving to take large amounts of zinc out of London Metal Exchange approved warehouses in Asia, sources familiar with the matter said, fuelling concern about more problems at the exchange after chaotic nickel trading last month. A Trafigura spokesperson in response to request for comment said "we don't usually comment on commercial matters".

Apr 8 - New lithium technology can help the world go green -- if it works
Rio Tinto, General Motors and even the U.S. Energy Department are investing heavily in a crop of newer technologies that could revolutionize the way lithium is produced for electric vehicle batteries. Now those technologies just have to prove they work on a commercial scale. If they do, miners will be able to boost global lithium production with a footprint far smaller than open-pit mines and evaporation ponds, which often are the size of multiple football fields and unpopular with local communities.

Apr 7 - Rusal exports first Guinea bauxite in nearly a month, data shows
Russian aluminium giant Rusal, whose global operations have been hobbled by the war in Ukraine, has exported its first bauxite shipment from its mines in Guinea in nearly a month, an analysis of shipping data showed on Wednesday. Unlike a number of other Russian companies, Rusal is not the target of sanctions, although its billionaire founder Oleg Deripaska is.

Apr 7 - Brazilian miner Vale agrees to sell manganese, iron ore assets to J&F
Brazil's Vale SA has agreed to sell its manganese and iron ore mines in central Brazil, with an enterprise value of about $1.2 billion, to holding company J&F Investimentos, it said in a securities filing on Wednesday. In addition to the manganese and iron ore mines, the mining giant also agreed to sell logistics assets in the region to J&F, parent company of meatpacker JBS SA and pulpmaker Eldorado Brasil.

Apr 06  - Russia's war delivers massive boost to Australia's commodities

 - The impact on commodity prices of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has largely focused on crude oil and natural gas in Europe, but a massive surge in Australia's forecast earnings from natural resources shows the wider impact. Australia's government forecaster said in its latest Resources and Energy Quarterly report, released on Monday, that earnings from commodity exports would rise to a record A$424.9 billion ($318 billion) for the fiscal year to June 30, 2022. This is up a full third from earnings in 2020-21, and also up nearly A$50 billion since the December quarter report. Driving the jump, says the Office of the Chief Economist at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, is the upsurge in the price of energy commodities since Moscow's Feb. 24 attack on its neighbour.

It's also likely that the government is being cautious with its forecasting, with the price assumptions likely to be below what is actually achieved over the year to June 30.

- Iron ore is Australia's biggest commodity earner. While this is expected to remain the case, the government actually expects revenue from the steel raw material to drop this fiscal year compared to last. Iron ore export earnings are forecast at A$135 billion for the 2021-22 year, down from A$158 billion in 2020-21, with lower prices the culprit given that volumes are expected to rise to 897 million tonnes from 867 million. But the price assumption used for iron ore for the 2021-22 year is $118 a tonne. That is likely to prove on the low side, given the spot price is now $160.01, and has only been below the assumed average price for about 12 weeks of the nine months so far in the current fiscal year. Iron ore has seen some impact from the Russian conflict with Ukraine, mainly centred around expectations of tighter steel markets as buyers self-sanction purchases from Russia. That has led to the expectation that steel mills in Asia will produce more in order to make up for lost Russian supplies. But the resources that have surged in the wake of Russia's action, which Moscow refers to as a "special military operation", are energy commodities such as coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

- Australia's LNG exports are forecast to earn A$70 billion in 2021-22, more than double the A$32 billion for the previous fiscal year, even though volumes are expected to rise modestly to 82 million tonnes from 77 million. The jump is due to the forecast price rising to A$16 a gigajoule, which is about $11.99 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). Asian spot LNG prices have been above this level since the start of the fiscal year, reaching a record $48.30 per mmBtu in late December. But the bulk of LNG is sold under crude oil-linked long-term contracts, and therefore would have been sold at prices well below the spot level. Nonetheless, the strength in LNG prices is likely to continue as long as Europe seeks alternatives to Russian pipeline gas.

- Stellar Coal : Australia is the world's largest exporter of metallurgical coal, used in steelmaking, and it's this commodity = which largely flies under the radar - that is the standout performer. Earnings from metallurgical coal, also known as coking coal, are forecast to almost triple to A$65 billion in 2021-22 as the expected price for the year jumps to $348 a tonne from $123 in 2020-21. Again, this price forecast looks cautious. The Singapore Exchange contract has traded above this level since the start of year, including a surge to a record of $635 a tonne in mid-March, followed by a retreat to a still-elevated $480 on April 1.

- Russia is a significant exporter of coking coal, supplying about 30% of Europe's needs, and if self-sanctioning by European steel mills does occur, an already tight seaborne market is going to face further challenges. Russia is also a major exporter of thermal coal, used mainly for power generation, ranking behind Indonesia and Australia.

- Prices for thermal coal have also surged, with the Australian benchmark Newcastle Weekly Index , as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, hitting an all-time high of $379.69 a tonne in mid-March, before declining to $262.30 by April 1. Nonetheless, thermal coal prices remain well above the Australian government's forecast of $193 a tonne for the 2021-22 year. The forecast level would already result in export earnings of A$45 billion, nearly three times the A$17 billion recorded for the prior year.

It's not just energy commodities getting a boost, given Russia is also a major exporter of metals.

- Australia expects earnings from aluminium exports to rise to A$5.8 billion from A$3.9 billion, nickel to go to A$7 billion from A$3.9 billion and copper to A$13 billion from A$12 billion, even though export volumes of the industrial metal are expected to decline by 6.9% in 2021-22. Overall, it's clear that the Russia-Ukraine crisis is going to deliver Australia, and other diversified commodity exporters, a massive earnings boost.

- How long it lasts will depend on whether the conflict can be resolved and Russia re-admitted to the Western world's economies, and how widespread self-sanctioning of Russia's commodity exports becomes.

Apr 6 - Global nickel smelting up in March despite Ukraine, satellite data shows
Global nickel smelting activity climbed in March, including in major producer Russia despite the Ukraine conflict, data from satellite surveillance of nickel plants showed. Production in Russia has continued unhindered, according to a statement on Tuesday from commodities broker Marex and SAVANT, a satellite analytics service it launched with Earth-i in 2019.

Apr 6 - Some Japanese buyers agree Q2 aluminium premium of $172/T
Some Japanese aluminium buyers have agreed with at least two global producers to pay a premium of $172 a tonne over the benchmark price for April-June shipments, down 2.8% from the previous quarter, three sources directly involved in the pricing talks said. The figure is lower than the $177 per tonne paid in the January-March quarter and marks a second consecutive quarterly drop. It is also lower than initial offers of $195-$250 made by producers.

Apr 5 - Canada to invest C$2 bln on mineral strategy for EV battery supply chain
Canada's federal budget will include an investment of at least C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) for a strategy to accelerate the production and processing of critical minerals needed for the electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain, two senior government sources said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, which is due to release its budget on Thursday, will make the investment to ramp up the extraction of processing of critical minerals including nickel, lithium, cobalt and magnesium, said the sources who are familiar with the matter but were not authorized to speak on the record.

Apr 5 - LME to commission independent review of nickel market chaos
The London Metal Exchange said on Monday it would commission an independent review into the events that led to chaos in the nickel market last month, and said it had introduced daily price limits for all its metals. The LME, the world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals, last month brought in 15% upper and lower daily price limits for all of its physically delivered metals plus cash-settled cobalt.

Apr 04  - Australia sees global uncertainty driving resource export earnings to record
Australia's mining and energy export earnings are forecast to reach a record A$425 billion ($318 billion) in 2021-22, although prices of its key iron ore shipments are expected to ease, the government said on Monday. Resource export earnings are forecast to climb 33% in the 2021–22 financial year ending in June from a record A$320 billion the previous year driven by an unprecedented surge in coal and LNG prices, the Department of Industry said in its quarterly resources and energy outlook. These earnings are seen falling to A$370 billion in 2022–23, it said.

Apr 04  - London Metal Exchange bans some Russian metal from British warehouses
The London Metal Exchange suspended deliveries of some Russian produced metals into its approved warehouses in Britain on Friday, although there is none stored in them at present. The exchange, which is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, said in a statement that there was significant risk that someone receiving such metal from British warehouses would be hit with very high additional costs.

Mar 01 - As good as gold? Bullion funds grapple with ethical investing
Want to invest in ethical gold? It's harder than it looks. A push by investment funds to avoid bullion from unethical sources by buying newly made bars is limited in its impact because many still contain old gold whose provenance is unknown, bankers and refiners say. That means very few investment funds know the origin of their product and its environmental and humanitarian record, denting ambitions to tap into the booming market for sustainable investments.

Mar 01 - Chile's February copper production down 7%, manufacturing output dips
Copper output in Chile, the world's largest producer of the metal, fell 7% year on year to 399,817 tonnes in February, the country's statistics agency said on Thursday. This follows a drop of 7.5% year-over-year in January and a 1.9% decline in copper production in 2021.

Mar 30  - CRU-CESCO-Antofagasta expects high copper prices for next 12 months, CEO says
The copper market has solid fundamentals despite current market volatility and will maintain high prices for at least the next 12 months, Ivan Arriagada, CEO of Chile's Antofagasta, forecast. In an interview with Reuters during the CRU-CESCO World Copper Conference in Santiago, Arriagada also said the company is still looking to develop its Twin Metals project despite the Biden administration's refusal to renew its licenses.

Mar 30  - China copper smelters raise Q2 treatment charge floor as supply woes ease

China's top copper smelters set their floor treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for copper concentrate in the second quarter of 2022 at $80 per tonne and eight cents per pound, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. The rates, decided at a meeting of the China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) held online on Wednesday, are up 14.3% from $70 per tonne and seven cents a pound in the first quarter.

Mar 29  - Bullion groups launch gold bar database to thwart fraud
Two gold industry associations are working with miners, refiners, traders and shippers to create a database of gold bars in an effort to prevent trade in counterfeit metal and allow buyers of bullion to trace its origin, they said on Monday. The scheme aims to exclude gold linked to violence and crime from the mainstream market. Gold worth billions of dollars is mined each year in illegal conditions and large amounts are sold by groups including warlords and drug traffickers.

Mar 29  - Chile's state-owned miner Codelco may partly privatize some assets, executive says
Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, is preparing to offer the market some "non-core" exploration assets, signaling a rare privatization for the state-owned mining firm, a senior executive said on Monday. Patricio Vergara, vice president of mining resources and development at Codelco, said the hived-off assets could become eventual partnerships, which would mark a new model for the firm in Chile.

Mar 28  - India leans toward continued import of Russian coking coal - minister
India is leaning toward continuing to import coking coal from Russia, the steel minister said on Sunday, seeming to buck a global trend to shun Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. "We are moving in the direction of importing coking coal from Russia," Ramchandra Prasad Singh told a conference in New Delhi.

Mar 28  - LME nickel limps back but tensions are not going away: Andy Home
London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel is currently trading at $35,150 per tonne. This is in itself something of an achievement for the exchange. It's not been easy restarting the London nickel market after its March 8 breakdown and ensuing week-long suspension.

Mar 25  - China faces challenges supplying Russia with alumina  - analysts
Russia might look to its giant neighbour to replace Australian alumina supplies cut off by sanctions, but Chinese aluminium smelters need all the feedstock they can get and may be worried about secondary sanctions from the West, industry analysts say. Australia on Sunday imposed an immediate ban on exports to Russia of alumina and aluminium ores, including bauxite, in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Mar 25  - Top steel city Tangshan set to cut output amid COVID disruptions  - sources
Steel producers in China's northern city of Tangshan are likely to have to cut or suspend production in the coming days because of the difficulties getting raw materials, sources said, as transportation comes to a standstill following fresh COVID curbs. Tangshan in Hebei province implemented a temporary lockdown on Tuesday, urging residents to stay at home except for tests or emergencies, after the city detected locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for four straight days.

Mar 24  - Steel giant Severstal scrambles to avoid first major default of Russia-Ukraine crisis
Russian steel giant Severstal was racing against the clock on Wednesday to avoid becoming the country's first major corporate default since the Ukraine crisis began, with international payment lines snarled by sanctions. Severstal, whose main shareholder Alexey Mordashov is one of a number of wealthy Russians now sanctioned by the European Union, has until the end of the day to get an already overdue $12.6 million loan 'coupon' payment to its creditors.

Mar 24  - Copper may be too relaxed about Russian supply threat: Andy Home
Doctor Copper has sat serene amid the chaos engulfing London Metal Exchange (LME) trading this month. The London copper market was briefly shaken by the margin meltdown that triggered the March 8 suspension of the LME nickel market with a short-lived spike up to a new all-time high of $10,845 per tonne.

Mar 23  - LME says it has no current plans to ban Russian metal from its system
The London Metal Exchange has no current plans to ban from its system metal from Russian producers, such as nickel and copper from Norilsk Nickel or aluminium from Rusal, it said on Tuesday, despite calls from some members to do so. Western countries have sanctioned Russian banks and wealthy individuals connected to President Vladimir Putin since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last month - which the Kremlin terms a "special operation" - but so far there are no restrictions on buying Russian metal.

Mar 23  - New U.S.-U.K. trade deal cuts tariffs on British steel, American motorcycles, bourbon
The United States and Britain ended a four-year dispute over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs on Tuesday, pledging to work together to counter China in a deal that also removes retaliatory tariffs from U.S. motorcycles, whiskey and other products. In a joint statement, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the deal would protect steel and aluminum companies - and their workers - in both countries, allowing the allies to focus on what they say are "China's unfair trade practices."

Mar 22  - Nickel hits its 15% lower limit in London
The London Metal Exchange's (LME) three-month nickel contract hit its lower trading limit of 15% on Monday as traders sold on expectations of falling prices for the metal used to make stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries. The 15% limit within which nickel can trade from Friday's closing price of $36,915 a tonne is wider than the previous day's 12%, and at the same level as that for other metals, such as copper, aluminium, zinc and lead.

Mar 22  - Australian alumina ban will squeeze Rusal and aluminium: Andy Home
Australia's decision to ban exports of alumina to Russia tightens further the raw materials squeeze on Russian aluminium giant Rusal. The company's four million tonnes of smelter capacity each year processes eight million tonnes of alumina, which sits between bauxite and refined metal in the aluminium production chain.

Mar 21  - Australia bans alumina exports to Russia, sources coal for Ukraine
Australia has imposed an immediate ban on exports of alumina and aluminum ores, including bauxite, to Russia, the government said on Sunday as part of its ongoing sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. "Russia relies on Australia for nearly 20 percent of its alumina needs," the Australian government said in a joint statement from several ministries, including the prime minister's office. It added that the move will limit Russia's capacity to produce aluminium, which is a critical export for Russia.

Mar 21  - Barrick to restart Reko Diq project in deal ending dispute with Pakistan
Barrick Gold has ended a long-running dispute with Pakistan and will now start to develop one of the world's biggest gold and copper mining projects under an agreement signed on Sunday. Under the out-of-court deal, an $11 billion penalty slapped against Pakistan by a World Bank arbitration court and other liabilities will be waived and Barrick and its partners will invest $10 billion in the project, Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said.

Mar 18 - Investors find they have no easy alternative to chaotic LME nickel trade
Despite the turbulent, stop-start trading of nickel on the London Metal Exchange, frustrated investors who may want to shift their business elsewhere have found there are no quick and easy alternatives. The 145-year-old institution suspended activity and cancelled trades last week due to volatility that saw prices double to above $100,000 a tonne within hours. A spate of technical glitches after trading resumed this week has left traders fuming.

Mar 18 - Metals Acquisition clinches $1.1 bln deal for Glencore's CSA copper mine
Blank-check firm Metals Acquisition Corp on Thursday emerged as the winner of a years-long race to acquire Glencore's CSA copper mine in Australia with a $1.1 billion deal.  Metals Acquisition became the top contender for the asset - one of Australia's highest-grade copper mines - after Perth-based IGO Ltd dropped out of exclusive deal talks in February.

Mar 17 - Nickel market in disarray after chaotic London return
The London Metal Exchange had hoped to get the global market for nickel motoring again on Wednesday after a week in limbo. It didn't work out as planned. The world's oldest metals exchange was forced to halt trading on its electronic system within a minute of opening due to a technical glitch and when it resumed in the afternoon there were very few trades.

Mar 17 - EU hikes tariffs on India, Indonesia stainless steel imports

The European Union will increase tariffs on stainless steel products from India and Indonesia after determining they benefited from unfair subsidies, including some from China under its Belt and Road investment programme. The European Commission, which conducted the investigation, has set the anti-subsidy duties on stainless steel cold-rolled flat products at rates of between 4.3% and 21.4%, the EU official journal said on Wednesday.

Mar 16  - Caution reigns as nickel trading resumes in London
Nickel trading on the London Metal Exchange (LME) resumes on Wednesday with limits on price movements to prevent disorderly trading after wild swings triggered a rare market shutdown. China's Tsingshan Holding Group bought large amounts of nickel to reverse bets on lower prices, propelling the metal up more than 50% to above $100,000 a tonne on March 8, sources have said, prompting the LME to suspend trading.

Mar 16  - Australia unveils $360 mln in critical minerals funding to offset China dominance

Australia announced almost A$500 million ($360 million) in funding to boost output of critical minerals, aiming to diversify supply for its allies and counter China's dominance of the global market. Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the funding for a slew of projects in Western Australia on Wednesday and said the state would become a powerhouse for Australia's allies.

Mar 15  - China's Tsingshan agrees standstill agreement on LME nickel margins with banks
China's Tsingshan Holding Group has reached an agreement with banks under which they will not make margin calls on or close out the producer's nickel positions on the London Metal Exchange (LME), the company said on Monday, a move sources said should help calm the market. During the standstill agreement, the company and banks will discuss a standby secured liquidity facility, Tsingshan said. It did not provide any other details, such as how long the standstill period would last.

Mar 15  - Australian court overturns ruling requiring mine approvals to weigh climate harm

An Australian court on Tuesday overturned a groundbreaking ruling from last year that required the country's environment minister to consider harm to children from climate change as part of the approval process for a coal mine. The full Federal Court decided unanimously in favour of the appeal by Environment Minister Sussan Ley against a judge's ruling that she had a duty of care to avoid harming children when weighing approval for a coal project. The court ruled "the duty should not be imposed upon the Minister".

Mar 14  - Chinese tycoon's 'big short' on nickel trips up Tsingshan's miracle growth
Chinese tycoon Xiang Guangda has to find a way to bail his Tsingshan Holding Group out of a crisis after its bet on nickel prices backfired, fuelling more volatility in a metal essential for the electric vehicles industry. One of the world's top nickel producers faces massive losses on its short positions after prices soared over $100,000 per tonne last week and forced the London Metal Exchange to halt nickel trading.

Mar 14  - India will ensure steady coking coal cargoes to allay supply concerns
India will take steps to ensure a steady supply of coking coal for domestic steel companies, which are struggling with cargo disruptions and rocketing prices in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "We are discussing amongst ourselves, and we will definitely chalk out some plan on how to deal with this situation," India's Steel Minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh told Reuters in an interview.

Mar 11  - LME's CEO calls for more powers to intervene after nickel halt
The London Metal Exchange's chief executive called for it to have more powers to intervene, after it was forced to halt nickel trading when prices spiralled out of control. Nickel prices jumped to record highs above $100,000 a tonne on Tuesday as China's Tsingshan Holding Group bought large amounts to reduce short bets on the metal, which is used to make stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries.

Mar 11  - China February copper output rises on month, zinc and lead down - Antaike
China's copper cathode output jumped 5.8% in February from a month earlier, as major smelters ramped up production after maintenance, data from research house Antaike showed on late Thursday. A group of 22 copper smelters in China, accounting for some 83% of the country's total capacity, made 785,900 tonnes of copper cathodes last month, up from a revised January output of 751,700 tonnes and 3.5% higher than February 2021.

Mar 11  - India's Russian coal imports could be highest in over two years in March
India's coal imports from Russia in March could be the highest in more than two years, data from research consultancies showed, as Indian buyers continue buying the fuel from a market that is now increasingly isolated by sanctions. Vessels carrying at least 1.06 million tonnes of coking coal, mainly used for steelmaking, and thermal coal, used primarily for electricity generation, are set to deliver the fuel at Indian ports in March, the highest since January 2020, data from consultancy Kpler showed.

Mar 10  - Contracts shield Asia's EV battery makers from nickel surge, for now
Asian battery makers for electric vehicles are shielded from a big, immediate hit from surging nickel prices amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, thanks to long-term contracts and a diversified supply chain, companies and industry sources said. Nickel prices doubled on Tuesday to more than $100,000 per tonne, a surge sources blamed on short covering by one of the world's top producers, forcing the London Metal Exchange (LME) to halt nickel trading.

Mar 10  - Australia, South Africa miners eye options as Europe makes desperate calls
Australian and South African miners are exploring ways to supply coal and metals consumers in Europe scrambling for alternative sources to Russian supply, but logistics and cost constraints make it difficult to rapidly boost output, companies said. Prices of palladium, coal and other commodities have skyrocketed since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, while sanctions on Moscow drive Western consumers to replace Russian supply.

Mar 09  - LME forced to halt nickel trading, cancel deals, after prices top $100,000
The London Metal Exchange (LME) was forced to halt nickel trading and cancel trades after prices doubled on Tuesday to more than $100,000 per tonne in a surge sources blamed on short covering by one of the world's top producers. The LME's shock move came as Western sanctions threatened supply from major producer Russia and marked the biggest crisis to hit the 145-year-old exchange in decades.

Mar 09  - London market green-lights Russia's palladium while blocking its gold
A market authority said on Tuesday that Russian refiners can continue to sell platinum and palladium in London, the world's biggest precious metals trading centre, a day after new Russian gold and silver bars were blocked from markets in London and New York. Traders and analysts said removal of the palladium refiners from London trading would have worsened worries over Russian supply that have sent prices to record highs.

Mar 08  - Boeing suspends Russian titanium as Airbus keeps buying
Boeing Co said on Monday it had suspended buying titanium from Russia, while its European rival Airbus continues to use supplies from the nation that hosts the world's largest supplier of the commodity, VSMPO-AVISMA. The U.S. planemaker said it had "substantial" inventory of the metal, prized in aerospace for its strength relative to its weight and its compatibility with the latest generation of carbon-fibre, long-distance passenger jets.

Mar 08  - LME watching nickel after price soars on Russia supply concern
The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Monday it was closely monitoring nickel and other metals after prices surged as Western sanctions against Russia disrupted supply from the major producer. Benchmark three-month prices for LME nickel, which is used to make stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles, surged about 60% on Monday to $46,850 a tonne, and have now nearly doubled since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Mar 07  - Russian metals industry's reliance on China set to rise as sanctions disrupt supplies
Russian steelmaker Severstal said March 2 it was looking at alternative markets to export steel after facing challenges with European customers.

Mar 07 - China's Jan-Feb iron ore imports steady from year earlier, but at lower costs
China's iron ore imports in the first two months of 2022 were almost flat from the same period a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. The world's top iron ore consumer brought in 181.1 million tonnes of the steelmaking ingredient in January-February, compared with imports of 181.5 million tonnes in the first two months of 2021.

Mar 07 - China Jan-Feb copper imports see unexpected rise as delayed shipments lend support
China's unwrought copper imports unexpectedly rose 9.6% during the first two months of 2022 compared with the same period a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, as a delay in logistics pushed up imports. Arrivals of unwrought copper and copper products into top consumer China were 969,000 tonnes in January and February combined, up from 884,010 tonnes a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said.

Mar 04 - Mining companies may pause growth plans amid Ukraine war, inflation
Flush with cash after bumper earnings, mining companies straddle a delicate balancing act as they benefit from soaring commodity prices amid the Ukraine-Russia crisis but also potentially face high inflation that could hit short-term demand and slow down growth plans, analysts said. The world's largest listed miners, including BHP Group, Anglo American and Glencore are sitting on huge piles of cash after skyrocketing prices for copper, iron ore, coal, nickel and other resources buoyed profits.

Mar 04 - LBMA asks Russian gold refineries if they have links to sanctioned entities

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) told Reuters it has asked six Russian gold refiners it accredits if they have commercial links with sanctioned Russian entities and that such links, if found, could affect their accreditation. Governments including those of the United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Russian individuals, companies, banks and the Russian central bank since the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Mar 03 - Russian businessman places $1m bounty on Vladimir Putin’s head (The Independent)
A Russian businessman has placed a $1m bounty on Vladimir Putin’s head and urged the country’s military officers to bring the president to justice. Entrepreneur Alex Konanykhin made the promise in a post on social media site LinkedIn and called it his “moral duty” to take action and help Ukraine following the unprovoked attack.
“I promise to pay $1,000,000 to the officer(s) who, complying with their constitutional duty, arrest(s) Putin as a war criminal under Russian and international laws,” wrote Mr Konanykhin.
“Putin is not the Russian president as he came to power as the result of a special operation of blowing up apartment buildings in Russia, then violated the Constitution by eliminating free elections and murdering his opponents.”
His post included a photo of Mr Putin, with the caption, “Wanted: Dead or alive. Vladimir Putin for mass murder.”
And he added: “As an ethnic Russian and a Russia citizen, I see it as my moral duty to facilitate the denazification of Russia. I will continue my assistance to Ukraine in its heroic efforts to withstand the onslaught of Putin’s Orda.”

Mar 03 - Russia's invasion of Ukraine (Reuters)
Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its second week as an apparent tactical failure so far, with its main assault force stalled for days on a highway north of Kyiv and other advances halted at the outskirts of cities it is bombing into wastelands.

The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine rose to more than 1 million, the United Nations said. Hundreds of Russian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians have been killed, and Russia itself has been plunged into isolation never before experienced by an economy of such size.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he believed some foreign leaders were preparing for war against Russia and that Moscow would press on with its military operation in Ukraine until "the end". Lavrov also said Russia had no thoughts of nuclear war.

The Chinese foreign ministry said that reports on Chinese and Russian coordination ahead of Russia's attack on Ukraine are "fake news". Senior Chinese officials told senior Russian officials in early February not to invade Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the New York Times reported.

French customs have seized a yacht belonging to Rosneft boss Igor Sechin as it tried to leave the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat in a breach of EU sanctions on Russian oligarchs. At least five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were anchored or cruising in Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

The bells of major churches across Europe chimed in unison to express solidarity with the people of Ukraine, mourn those killed, and pray for peace.

Mar 03  - Chile's SQM posts near five-fold profit jump on higher lithium prices
Chilean miner SQM, the world's No. 2 lithium producer, on Wednesday reported a nearly five-fold rise in profits in the fourth quarter, driven by the rapidly surging price of lithium. The company reported a net profit of $321.6 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a net profit of $67.0 million in the year-ago quarter and beating the average Refinitiv estimate of $266.44 million.

Mar 03  - LME says EU sanctions on Russia's Usmanov do not impact its listed brands
The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Wednesday said sanctions announced by the European Union on Feb. 28 against Russian tycoon and metals magnate Alisher Usmanov do not impact any of the LME's listed brands. The LME, the world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals, had on Feb. 25 ordered any of its members who have positions with individuals or entities subject to Russian sanctions not to make payments to them.

Mar 02  - Polymetal and Evraz could lose FTSE spots after shares plunge
Shares in Polymetal and Evraz fell to new lows on Tuesday as a selloff deepened, paving the way for the two Russia-exposed miners to drop out of the UK's blue-chip FTSE 100 index at this month's quarterly review. Polymetal shares were down more than 20% by 1501 GMT after tentative gains at the open following news that BlackRock rounded up its stake to more than 10% last week, having first crossed the 5% threshold in November 2019.

Mar 02  - Congo court appoints temporary administrator to run China Moly's Tenke mine

A court in Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday appointed a temporary administrator from state miner Gecamines to run China Molybdenum's Tenke Fungurume mine amid a dispute between the shareholders over reserves of copper and cobalt. The dispute started last August when Congo's government announced it had formed a commission to reassess the reserves and resources at the mine, known as TFM, in order to "fairly lay claim to (its) rights".

Mar 01 - WoodMac says Rusal halts alumina shipments from Ukraine's Nikolaev refinery
Russian aluminium producer Rusal has halted alumina shipments from its 1.75-Mtpa Nikolaev refinery located close to the port of Mykolaiv in Ukraine, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Monday in a research note. Russia put its nuclear deterrent on high alert and Western nations imposed tough new sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea.

Mar 01 - China plans sharp increase in overseas iron ore output by 2025 - state media
China plans to raise its equity output of iron ore in overseas mines to 220 million tonnes by 2025 as well as increase domestic raw material supplies, state-backed China Metallurgical News said on Tuesday. China aims to "fundamentally" solve the shortage issue in steelmaking ingredients in 10-15 years, Luo Tiejun, the vice-chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association, was quoted as saying, citing what he called a "cornerstone plan".

Feb 28 - LME says some members may have positions subject to sanctions
The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Friday ordered any of its members who have positions with individuals or entities subject to Russian sanctions not to make payments to them. The United States, Britain and the European Union imposed more severe sanctions on Russia on Thursday after it invaded Ukraine and the EU said on Friday it was planning a third round of measures.

Feb 28 - Rio Tinto settles with Australian watchdog on Mozambique disclosure breach
Rio Tinto has agreed to pay a small penalty for overstating its Mozambique coal reserves in 2012 in return for the Australian corporate watchdog dropping charges against its top two executives at the time, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) said on Monday. The settlement of A$750,000 ($538,200) for a single breach of continuous disclosure obligations remains subject to approval by a Federal Court judge, an ASIC spokesperson said.

Feb 25  - Gold ETFs see big inflows on rising geopolitical concerns
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invest in gold and other precious metals have seen massive inflows as investors rush to shield themselves against the rising geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Data from Refinitiv Lipper showed gold and other precious metal ETFs have seen an inflow of $4.7 billion this year, after witnessing outflows worth $7.8 billion last year.

Feb 25  - U.S. miners irked that Pentagon mineral stockpile plan bypasses them
U.S. miners are clamoring for Washington to approve new domestic sources of minerals used to make weaponry, electric vehicles and other high-tech gadgets, frustrated that the Pentagon is working with non-American companies to stockpile the materials. Reuters reported last week that the U.S. Defense Department plans to boost its reserves of lithium, cobalt and other minerals to reduce its dependence on China. President Joe Biden confirmed the plan at a White House ceremony this week.

Feb 24  - Russia invades Ukraine in Europe's 'darkest hours' since WWII (Reuters)
- Russia invades Ukraine in Europe's 'darkest hours' since WWII, NATO puts warplanes on alert, and U.S. banks tackle Russia sanctions fine print. In the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two, Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea  - a confirmation of the worst fears of the West.

- The United States and its allies will impose "severe sanctions" on Russia after its military forces launched an attack on Ukraine, Joe Biden said. The U.S. president said he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and briefed him on the steps Washington was taking to rally international condemnation of Russia. Putin's Ukraine assault confounds Biden's strategy and puts his leadership to the test. How Biden handles this crisis is expected to have profound implications for his political fortunes and U.S. relations with the world.

- The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said the EU will hold Moscow accountable for the "unjustified" attack on Ukraine.

- Oil prices broke above $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, stock markets slumped and the rouble hit a record low on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine
- The rouble tumbled to an all-time low against the dollar and euro in highly volatile trading after Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine. Russia's invasion saw investors scrambling for the safety of gold and the protection of inflation hedges.
- The Moscow Exchange suspended trading on all markets, saying the exchange will announce the resumption of trading at a later date.
- The United States imposed sanctions on the company in charge of building Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, expanding penalties on Moscow after it recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Feb 24  - Rio Tinto rides iron ore gains to post record profit, pay $17 bln dividend
Rio Tinto posted on Wednesday its best ever annual profit and a record full-year dividend of $16.8 billion, boosted by higher iron ore prices and strong demand from top consumer China. The stellar results cap a mixed year for the world's biggest iron ore producer, in which demand for its main product picked up as the global economy slowly recovered from the coronavirus but inflation and Chinese scrutiny of prices created headwinds.

Feb 24  - Brazil miner Samarco files new debt restructuring proposal

Samarco Mineracao on Wednesday presented a new debt restructuring proposal it hopes can win the support of creditors at a meeting on March 10 and help take the Brazilian iron ore miner out of bankruptcy. Creditors of the joint venture between Vale SA and BHP Group had been expected to vote on Wednesday on the latest proposals to restructure some $5 billion in debt.

Feb 23  - Energy prices drive up costs of battery material lead
Soaring energy prices have pushed up costs of battery material lead for European consumers such as those in the auto sector, even though ample supplies have meant benchmark prices on the London Metal Exchange held steady. European power prices have rocketed over the past year mainly due to the rising price of natural gas used for power generation and heating, low renewable energy output and higher carbon prices.

Feb 23  - Antofagasta profits, dividend surge to record on high metals prices
Chile's Antofagasta saw profit surge to its highest ever in 2021 on strong copper and molybdenum prices, allowing it to dish out a record shareholder payout of $1.4 billion for the year. The London-listed miner, majority owned by Chile's wealthy Luksic family, said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to a record $4.8 billion in 2021 from $2.74 billion a year earlier.

Feb 22  - Electric vehicle battery demand surge supercharges nickel: Andy Home
Nickel rose to its highest level in more than a decade on Monday morning. London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel has broken through January's high of $24,435 per tonne to reach $24,610, a level last traded in 2011. Time-spreads remain in the grip of a ferocious squeeze, the cash premium closing last week valued at $465 per tonne.

Feb 22  - AngloGold's full-year profit falls 39%, targets higher output in 2022
South Africa-based gold miner AngloGold Ashanti on Tuesday reported a 38.66% drop in profit for 2021 and forecast higher gold production this year, but said inflationary pressures were likely to be a key risk to earnings. The company's headline earnings per share (HEPS) — the main profit measure in South Africa — was 146 U.S cents, down from 238 U.S cents a year ago, mainly due to lower production and higher costs.

Feb 21  - Pentagon to boost rare earths and lithium stockpiles  - sources
The Pentagon plans to boost the stockpile of rare earth minerals, cobalt and lithium it manages for the U.S. government to reduce its long-term dependence on China, two people familiar with the plan said. The new stockpile agreement guidance is expected to be announced as soon as next week, one of the people said, nearly a year after U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order to study U.S. supply chain resiliency in February 2021.

Feb 21  - Australia's IGO in exclusive talks to buy Glencore's CSA copper mine
Australian miner IGO Ltd said on Monday it was in exclusive discussions to buy UK-based miner Glencore Plc's CSA copper mine in New South Wales state. IGO is conducting due diligence and talks between the companies have not been completed, it said in response to a media report that it had beaten out special purpose acquisition company Metals Acquisition Corp for the mine.

Feb 18  - China urges some iron ore traders to reduce inventory
China's state planner has told some iron ore traders to release excessive inventory and reduce stocks to reasonable levels, following a joint investigation with the market regulator in Qingdao, one of the country's biggest iron ore ports. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on Thursday that it and the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) have learned of changes of iron ore inventory in Qingdao Port and retrieved a list of companies with rapid growth in their stockpiles.

Feb 18  - LME warehousers slash capacity as metal stocks drain away: Andy Home
Glencore's decision to sell its warehousing and logistics business looks like a well-timed call on the metals storage market. It bought Access World in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis, which generated a surge of metal, particularly aluminium, into London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses.

Feb 17  - Barrick Gold announces $1 bln buyback as quarterly earnings jump
Barrick Gold Corp on Wednesday announced a share buyback of up to $1 billion as the miner's fourth-quarter results beat analysts' estimates following strong production at its Nevada mines and a smaller tax take than expected. Barrick's U.S.-listed shares rose around 5% at the open. Net earnings more than doubled from the previous quarter to $726 million, while adjusted earnings per share were $0.35, beating expectations of $0.30 from analysts who had anticipated a higher fourth quarter tax rate.

Feb 17  - Albemarle sees annual profit below estimate despite record lithium prices
Albemarle Corp, one of the world's largest lithium producers, forecast on Wednesday its annual earnings below market estimate even as lithium prices were at record highs, leaving investors unimpressed and sending shares down 11%. Global efforts to tackle climate change have led to a surge in demand for lithium used in electric vehicle batteries that has far outpaced supply, driving up prices of the metal.

Feb 16  - Fortescue Metals first-half profit drops 32% as costs weigh
Australia's Fortescue Metals, the world's fourth-largest iron ore miner, on Wednesday said first-half profit tumbled a third on higher material and labour costs and lowered its interim dividend, sending its shares more than 4% lower. Fortescue said costs for the half jumped by a fifth. Australian miners have been burdened by a shortage of workers in resource-rich Western Australia state due to lockdowns and border closures to control a recent wave of Omicron COVID-19 infections.

Feb 16  - Lithium supply crunch Part II - this time it's for real: Andy Home
The lithium supply crunch has arrived in full force. The price boom of 2016-2017, it's now clear, was just the dry run. This is the real deal. Back in November 2017 the spot price for battery-grade lithium carbonate in China peaked at 175,000 yuan per tonne. Fastmarkets currently assesses it at 400,000-430,000 yuan, up 47% on the start of the year and eight times higher than it was at the start of 2021.

Feb 15  - BHP first-half profits beats estimates and triggers talk of M&A
BHP Group announced a record dividend payout after reporting an estimate-beating first-half profits on Tuesday, helped by higher commodity prices, despite a cutback in demand from top metals consumer China. The miner has had a busy six months marked by sweeping changes, including selling its $13-billion petroleum business and a listing unification, while managing pandemic-related disruptions to its business.

Feb 15  - Peru community says it will not block Las Bambas mining road for now

A Peruvian community on Monday said it would not block the key mining road used by MMG's Las Bambas copper mine, according to meeting minutes seen by Reuters, which should allow the firm to resume normal operations. Las Bambas, a massive Chinese-owned mine that supplies 2% of global copper, was operating at a reduced capacity last week and faced the possibility of suspending all operations by Feb. 20 due to a road blockade.

Feb 14  - Australian miners earnings to shine spotlight on iron ore prices, Chinese demand
Second-half results from the Australian mining triumvirate of Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue are likely to draw a grim picture of a sharp drop in iron ore prices and demand from top metals consumer China. Half-year 2021 earnings at Fortescue, a pure-play iron ore miner, will likely drop by roughly a third, while six-month profit growth at more diversified, larger rivals Rio Tinto and BHP is expected to be knocked down.

Feb 14  - Rio Tinto agrees heritage protection plan for West Australia iron ore project

Rio Tinto said on Monday it has agreed a heritage protection plan with an Indigenous group for a project in West Australia as it looks to avoid a repeat of the backlash it faced for destroying the sacred Juukan Gorge rock shelters. In a statement, the company said the agreement, with the Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation (YAC), will ensure a new co-designed management plan protects social and cultural heritage values in Rio's proposed development of the Western Range iron ore project in the Pilbara region.

Feb 11  - LME stocks surge fails to cool red-hot aluminium market: Andy Home
London aluminium hit a fresh 13-year peak of $3,333 per tonne on Thursday morning, the latest leg up towards its all-time high of $3,375 dating back to July 2008. London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month aluminium is up 15% on the start of 2022, making it the star performer of a bullish base metals pack.

Feb 11  - Indonesia suspends operations of more than 1,000 miners  - ministry
Indonesia has suspended the operations of more than 1,000 miners of coal, tin and other minerals due to a failure to submit their 2022 work plans, according to a document issued by the Minerals and Coal Directorate General of the mining ministry. The Southeast Asian country has been seeking to improve the oversight of its rich resources sector and President Joko Widodo last month revoked the permits of more than 2,000 companies due to poor compliance.

Feb 10  - Brazilian miners set to miss deadline for removal of tailings dams
Vale and other Brazilian mining companies are set to miss a legal deadline in the state of Minas Gerais for the removal of all tailings dams built using a method linked to past collapses, and the industry is seeking to change it. The Feb. 25 deadline has been considered unrealistic by the mining industry ever since it was first set in early 2019, a month after the collapse of a tailings dam in Brumadinho that killed 270 people.

Feb 10  - Iron ore fundamentals appear at odds with Beijing's lower price wish: Russell
China is once again trying to talk down the price of iron ore, with the state planner warning that market players "should not fabricate or publish any false price information." The problem for the authorities in Beijing is that iron ore prices seem perfectly capable of rallying on actual supply and demand fundamentals.

Feb 09  - China warns against publishing false iron ore information amid price rally
China's state planner warned on Wednesday against fabricating iron ore prices, saying for the second time this year that regulators would study effective measures to ensure market stability amid fast rising prices. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration for Market Regulation recently talked to iron ore price information providers, warning the firms to ensure accuracy of their releases, the regulator said in a statement.

Feb 09  - New LME stocks squeeze is creeping up on Doctor Copper: Andy Home
The copper market has been subdued since the start of the year, the price trapped in a tight trading range with volumes and open interest sliding across all three global exchanges. 'Doctor Copper' - the nickname for a metal whose price is often seen as a reflection of the world's economic health - has been out of favour with investors since October, when the London Metal Exchange (LME) stepped in to restrain a market in danger of disorderly meltdown.

Feb 08  - U.S., Japan reach deal to cut tariffs on Japanese steel, fight excess output
The United States and Japan on Monday announced a deal to remove Trump-era tariffs from about 1.25 million metric tons of Japanese steel imports annually after Washington granted similar access for European Union steelmakers last year. The new deal, which excludes aluminum, will take effect on April 1 and requires Japan to take "concrete steps" to fight global excess steel manufacturing capacity, largely centered in China, U.S. officials said.

Feb 08  - Mining activity at Peru's Las Bambas tumbles amid blockade - data, source
Mining activity at Peru's massive Las Bambas copper mine, which accounts for 2% of global supply, has started to fall sharply after protesters blocked a key access road late last month, according to unreported power use data and a company source. The mine, owned by China's MMG Ltd, has been a flashpoint of protests since it started operating in 2016. MMG warned on Monday that it may have to halt operations at the mine by Feb. 20 if the blockade is not lifted.

Feb 08  - Blockchain rare earth scheme to certify sustainable output for EVs

An EU-funded certification scheme using blockchain is being developed for rare earths as automakers demand proof that materials used to make magnets for electric vehicles (EVs) are not linked to toxic pollution. The system will set global standards and give confidence to consumers demanding sustainable products, two of the organisers told Reuters ahead of an official announcement on Tuesday.

Feb 07 - MMG may halt Peru Las Bambas mine operations by Feb 20 after latest blockade
MMG Ltd said on Monday that production at its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru may stop by Feb. 20 after a local community blocked again a road used by the miner, causing the company to curtail operations. The Chinese-owned mine has been a flashpoint of protests and road blockades since it started functioning in 2016, with operations last suspended in December due to a similar blockade.

Feb 07 - China plans to increase iron ore output, boost use of steel scrap
China, the world's top steel producer, said on Monday that it aims to "significantly increase" mines' iron ore production and boost utilisation of steel scrap, as part of a plan to develop a higher quality, greener ferrous industry. Making a joint statement with the state planner and environmental regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) reiterated a desire for consolidation and restructuring in the steel sector.

Feb 04  - Big miners plug into battery metals joint ventures
Big miners, under pressure to increase their exposure to minerals needed to drive the electric vehicle revolution, have so far opted for the cautious approach of joint ventures with small explorers rather than buying them outright. Shareholders will scrutinise quarterly results and statements in this month's earning season for news on battery metals such as copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium, used in batteries and renewable energy.

Feb 04  - Global copper smelting surges in January, satellite data shows
Global copper smelting activity powered to a 13-month peak in January as operations in China ramped up ahead of seasonal construction demand, data from satellite surveillance of copper plants showed. The number of inactive smelters fell to the lowest level since February 2018, according to a statement on Thursday from commodities broker Marex and SAVANT, a satellite analytics service it launched with Earth-i in 2019.

Feb 03  - Investors urge miners to change ways after damning Rio Tinto workplace report
Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto's admissions of sexual assault, racism and bullying in an internal report have sparked calls from investors for the entire industry to clean up its act. An 85-page report released by Rio on Tuesday that pointed to a culture where harmful behaviours are often normalised and bullying is rife put a spotlight on the broader industry, which has long been accused of tolerating inappropriate behaviour.

Feb 03  - Portugal may launch long-awaited lithium auction within two months
Portugal's long-awaited lithium licensing auction could be launched within two months after an environmental assessment gave the green light to mining the metal in six areas, the government said on Wednesday. The auction, initially planned for 2018, has been repeatedly postponed due to concerns over the environmental and social impact of lithium mining.

Feb 02 - Chile assembly debates nationalizing copper; industry calls idea ‘barbaric’
Chile's constituent assembly approved on Tuesday an early stage proposal that could lead to the nationalization of the country's copper industry, sparking an angry response from mining firms in the world’s top producer of the red metal. The environmental commission of the assembly, which is drafting Chile’s new constitution, green lit the proposal "for the Nationalization and New Social and Environmental Management of Copper Mining, Lithium and other Strategic Assets".

Feb 02 - S.Africa's AngloGold flags annual earnings slump on lower sales

South Africa-headquartered miner AngloGold Ashanti said on Tuesday it expects its annual earnings to slump by up to 42%, dented by lower gold sales, increased inflationary pressures and pandemic-fuelled impact on costs. The gold miner said it expects headline earnings per share (HEPS), the main profit measure in South Africa, to come in at between 137 U.S. cents and 153 U.S. cents for the year ended Dec. 31, 2021, compared with an HEPS of 238 U.S. cents reported a year earlier.

Feb 01 - Rio Tinto report finds 'disturbing' culture of sexual harassment, racism and bullying

A report released by Rio Tinto on Tuesday outlined a culture of bullying, harassment and racism at the global mining giant, including 21 complaints of actual or attempted rape or sexual assault over the past five years. Nearly half of all employees who responded to an external review of the miner's workplace culture commissioned by Rio said they had been bullied, while racism was found to be common across a number of areas.

Feb 01 - S.Africa's Amplats to sell stake in two mines to rival Sibanye

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) will sell its 50% stake in its Kroondal and Marikana operations northwest of Johannesburg to Sibanye Stillwater, the platinum group metals miners (PGM) said on Monday. Sibanye Stillwater, which controls the other 50% of the mines, will take full control for a cash consideration of 1 rand ($0.0643), and all associated liabilities of the projects, including costs related to rehabilitation estimated at 415 million rand, it said.

Jan 31 - Copper to soften in 2022 on growing supply and rate hikes

Copper prices are set to languish this year, weighed down by weaker demand as rising interest rates curb economic growth while mines churn out more supply. Benchmark copper hit a record peak at $10,747.50 a tonne in May last year, boosted by pent-up demand as growth accelerated when pandemic lockdowns were eased and the market faced tight supplies and sliding inventories.

Jan 31 - Zinc squeeze worsens as a second European smelter closes: Andy Home

The year has not got off to a good start for European zinc buyers. Premiums for physical zinc are at record highs as the market scrambles for metal after the closure of a second zinc smelter due to high power costs.

Jan 28 - Serbia's green activists rally to demand moratorium on lithium mining

Hundreds of Serbian environmental activists on Thursday blocked Belgrade's city centre, demanding a moratorium on lithium mining and exploration, following authorities' decision to revoke permits for Rio Tinto and its $2.4 billion lithium project in the Balkan country. The anti-mining protests that started last November have become a headache for the ruling Progressive Party and its leader, populist President Aleksandar Vucic, as they erode their popularity ahead of an April 3 general election. 

Jan 28 - Chilean Senate commission approves adjusted mining royalty bill

Chile's Senate on Thursday pushed forward an amended version of the country's mining royalty bill, which would raise tariffs on firms operating in the world's top copper producing nation despite being watered down amid industry pushback. The upper chamber's Mining Commission waved through the amended draft, which seeks to address concerns within the copper and lithium industries that higher tariffs will hit Chile's competitiveness and hurt new investment.

Jan 27 - Biden administration kills Antofagasta's Minnesota copper project

The U.S. Department of the Interior canceled two mineral leases for Antofagasta Plc's proposed Twin Metals copper and nickel mine in Minnesota on Wednesday, effectively killing the project and handing a major win to environmentalists. The decision shows President Joe Biden's administration is increasingly comfortable prioritizing domestic conservation efforts even as demand for minerals used to build electric vehicles rises amid efforts to combat climate change.

Jan 27 - Rising copper prices boost Freeport-McMoRan profit

Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc on Wednesday reported a 56% jump in quarterly profit that matched expectations as supply concerns and the global economic recovery from the pandemic drove up prices of the red metal. Prices of copper, considered to be an economic bellwether, rose by a quarter last year and are expected to continue their positive momentum in 2022 due to the metal's central role in the energy transition.

Jan 26 - Environmental groups sue to undo 2017 PolyMet mine deal in Minnesota 

Environmentalists sued the U.S. Forest Service on Tuesday in an attempt to reverse a 2017 land transfer that gave PolyMet Mining Corp more than 6,600 acres (2,670 hectares) needed to build an open pit copper and gold mine in northern Minnesota. The suit, led by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), claims the project would destroy a region home to Canada lynx and northern long-eared bat, both of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Jan 26 - Global steel output grows 3.7% in 2021 despite Chinese weakness 

Global crude steel production gained 3.7% last year to 1.95 billion tonnes, World Steel Association data showed on Tuesday, despite weaker output in top producer China as an energy crunch curtailed operations. Chinese steel production dropped 3% in 2021, while second-ranked India saw output surge by 17.8% and third-place Japan jumped 15.8% as economies recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jan 25 - Rio Tinto and Mongolia settle feud over Oyu Tolgoi copper mine

Rio Tinto Plc, and the Mongolian government said on Tuesday they have reached an agreement to end a long-running dispute over the $6.93 billion expansion project for the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining project. The deal marks a positive development for the Anglo-Australian mining giant, which is reeling from Serbia's rejection last week of its proposed lithium mine as well as local opposition to projects in Guinea, the United States and elsewhere.

Jan 25 - Sibanye Stillwater ends $1 billion Brazil mines deal, seller considers action

Sibanye Stillwater said on Monday it had abandoned a $1 billion deal to buy the Santa Rita nickel mine and Serrote copper-gold mine in Brazil after a "geotechnical event". The South African precious metals miner, which had aimed to bolster its battery metals business with the Brazilian deal, said the event at Santa Rita would have had a material and adverse impact on mining operations there.

Jan 24 - Fortescue taps Williams Advanced Engineering to decarbonise operations

Fortescue Metals Group said on Monday it will buy an engineering and battery company, founded by Williams Formula 1 team, for 164 million pounds ($222.2 million) in the Australian miner's push to decarbonise its fleet and equipment. The iron ore miner said it had been working with Williams Advanced Engineering Ltd (WAE) since early 2021 to build a prototype battery to power an electric haul truck, and will release more details this year on plans to develop an electric train project. 

Jan 24 - Brazil's Vale expects to pay 9 bln reais in Brumadinho reparations in 2022

Brazil's Vale expects to spend about 9 billion reais ($1.65 billion) in 2022 on reparations related to the Brumadinho dam burst, the company's special director of repair and development, Marcelo Klein, told Reuters on Friday.  That amount does not include the figure the company will spend in individual compensations, which are being negotiated.

Jan 21 - Rio Tinto shares plunge as Serbia pulls plug on its $2.4 bln lithium project 

Shares in Rio Tinto tumbled on Friday after Serbia revoked its lithium exploration licences over environmental concerns, hurting the Anglo-Australian miner's ambition to become Europe's largest supplier of the metal used in electric vehicles. The decision by Serbia comes as it approaches a general election in April, and as relations between Belgrade and Canberra have soured after Sunday's deportation of tennis star Novak Djokovic from Australia over its COVID-19 entry rules.

Jan 21 - BHP investors approve scrapping of dual listing

BHP Group investors in London and Sydney have approved plans to scrap the mining company's dual listing in favour of a main listing in Sydney. More than 97% of investors voted in favour of the plan at a company shareholder meeting in London after the proposal won the support of more than 96% of proxy votes at an earlier meeting in Australia.

Jan 20 - U.S., UK launch talks to resolve steel, aluminum dispute; U.S. producers wary

United States and Britain on Wednesday agreed to start talks aimed at resolving their trade dispute over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, the countries said in a joint statement. No specific date or timeline was given for the talks but discussions will address "global steel and aluminum excess capacity, including the United States' application of tariffs" on the metals from Britain.

Jan 20 - Indonesia ICDX yet to see tin export permits issued, PT Timah says no delay

Indonesia's government has yet to issue permits for miners seeking to export tin in 2022 using the ICDX exchange, an official said on Wednesday, while the country's other commodities bourse said it was unaware of any delays. The Southeast Asian nation is the world's second-biggest producer of tin and benchmark prices on the London Metal Exchange have hit record highs this week, reaching $43,815 a tonne in Asian trading on Thursday, amid rumours of a holdup in export licence issuance by Indonesia.

Jan 19 - BHP flags labour constraints, warns of further Omicron disruption

Mining giant BHP Group on Wednesday joined rival Rio Tinto in warning of further disruptions from COVID-19, including labour shortages, and said the impact of the Omicron variant will last into the second half of its financial year. BHP said the proposed easing of border restrictions in Western Australia on Feb. 5 may also cause some short-term disruption to the operating environment as the pandemic evolves in the state.

Jan 19 - China 2021 aluminium imports rise to annual record high

China's aluminium imports in December eased from the previous month, snapping three monthly gains, although imported volumes were strong enough to solidify 2021's position as a record year of shipments. China, the world's biggest aluminium producer and consumer, imported 3.2 million tonnes of unwrought aluminium and products - which include primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminium - in 2021, a new record high and up from 2.7 million tonnes in 2020.

Jan 18 - Rio Tinto sees soft 2022 iron ore shipments on labour issues, project delays 

Rio Tinto, forecast slightly weaker-than-expected 2022 iron ore shipments on Tuesday, citing tight labour market conditions and production delays from the new greenfields mine at Gudai-Darri project. The world's biggest iron ore producer said it expects to ship between 320 million and 335 million tonnes (Mt) in 2022 from the Pilbara region in Western Australia, a forecast with a mid-point below RBC estimate of 332 Mt and UBS' estimate of between 330 Mt and 340 Mt

Jan 18 - Europe's metal industry asks EU to help it deliver energy transition

Industry association Eurometaux has asked EU policy-makers to allow member states to support domestic producers of aluminium, zinc and silicon with state aid to ensure supplies of the metals crucial for the transition to low carbon energy. The European Union has a goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, as a step towards "net zero" by 2050, with plans including electric vehicles that need aluminium and renewable energy that needs zinc and silicon. 

Jan 18 - Vale, other Brazil miners ramp up production as rains subside

Brazilian miners including Vale SA are resuming production in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais after halting some operations due to heavy rains that disrupted logistics and increased the risk of accidents. Vale said in a securities filing on Monday that the Brucutu and Mariana mines were gradually ramping up production as part of its Vitoria-Minas railway was cleared, allowing iron ore to be moved.

Jan 17 - U.S. bill would block defense contractors from using Chinese rare earths

A bipartisan piece of legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate on Friday would force defense contractors to stop buying rare earths from China by 2026 and use the Pentagon to create a permanent stockpile of the strategic minerals. The bill, sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, and Mark Kelly, an Arizona Democrat, is the latest in a string of U.S. legislation seeking to thwart China's near control over the sector. 

jan 17 - BHP Group joins Australia's big miners in electric trains purchase to transport iron ore

BHP Group on Monday said it would buy four battery electric trains to deliver iron ore from its mines to ports in Western Australia, as miners in the country push to fall in line with their emission goals. With the announcement, the world's biggest listed miner would join other major miners like Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals, that have made similar purchases in the past weeks as part of the ongoing effort to move to a cleaner future.

Jan 14 - China 2021 copper imports slip after previous year's record high 

China's imports of unwrought copper and copper products slipped in 2021 from the previous year's record, though imports of copper concentrate hit a historic high. Imports of unwrought copper and copper products for the year totalled 5.53 million tonnes, General Administration of Customs data showed on Friday, down 17.2% from 2020's record volume of 6.68 million tonnes. 

Jan 14 - U.S. Commerce chief to hold virtual talks with UK on steel, aluminum tariffs - source

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is expected to participate in virtual talks with British officials about U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs in the coming month, a source familiar with the plans told Reuters on Thursday. Britain is keen to negotiate a deal granting substantial duty free access to the United States for its steel and aluminum producers along the lines of the quota agreement that Washington struck with the European Union in October.

Jan 13  - BYD Won the Mining Right of 80,000 mt of Lithium Ore in Chile (SMM)

- BYD and Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del Norte have each won the mining right of 80,000 mt of lithium in a 400,000 mt tender launched by the Ministry of Mines of Chile in October, and the result was announced on January 12. BYD bid US$61 million and Servicios y Operaciones bid US$60 million, and the two contracts together represent approximately 1.8% of Chile's known lithium reserves.
- Under the terms of the tender, the successful bidder would be given a seven-year period for exploration, research and project development, extendable by up to two years, and then a further 20-year period to produce lithium salts. Both of these successful bidders must obtain the required environmental permits prior to exploration and must facilitate community development and wellbeing.
- It is worth noting that the tender process for the 400,000 mt of lithium contract in Chile has not been smooth. It has caused considerable opposition in Chile. In early January 2022, some of Chile's centre-left opposition party, the PPD, applied to the courts to prevent the outgoing government from accepting the lithium mining contract. However, the application was quickly rejected by the court on the grounds that it was "too late".
- According to the USGS 2021 data, global lithium reserves total 21.06 million mt of lithium metal equivalent, equivalent to about 105.28 million mt of LCE, of which the world's top five countries in lithium resources are Chile, Australia, Argentina, China and the United States, accounting for a combined 86%. Among them, Chile accounts for as much as 44%, and is very rich in lithium resources.
- According to SMM historical prices, lithium metal spot prices rose as much as 175% in 2021. And as one of the raw materials for power batteries, the average price of battery-grade lithium carbonate rose by more than 418%.
- This situation has not been alleviated until now. Lithium carbonate prices have been rising entering 2022, and have now managed to rise to 316,000 yuan/mt and test the high of 350,000 yuan/mt.

Jan 13 - Copper Prices to Gain Strong Support from Macro Economy and Low Inventory (SMM)

- The copper market still focused on domestic credit liberalisation, expectations of interest hikes on recovering overseas economies, and the overall low inventories entering 2022. The domestic inventory will start to increase approaching the CNY, but the domestic copper prices are expected to gain strong support, and the overseas prices will rise as well.
- Faced with the downward pressure on the economy, the People's Bank of China, China Banking Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission, and China Insurance Regulatory Commission frequently suggested that the tight monetary policy should be relaxed. In the regular meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People's Bank of China in Q4 2021, it was even more clearly  emphasised that the economy should grow steadily, and the cross-cyclical adjustment should be strengthened combined with counter-cyclical adjustment. The effect of the easing monetary policy implemented in Q4 2021 is expected to be reflected in Q1 2022, which will prop up the spot and futures market.
- The Fed unexpectedly delivered a hawkish stance amid strong macro data, and the interest hikes may be advanced this year. This will restrain the inflation expectations from growing too fast. But after the market fully digests the hawkish attitude, the transactions prices will return to the upward trend in the long run, and the overseas prices are expected keep rising.
- According to SMM survey, the copper cathode output in December 2021 stood at 870,300 mt, which was far higher than the market expectations and hit a new high in H2 2021, as most copper smelters have completed their maintenance, and some smelters have resumed their production from accidents rapidly. The shortage of copper anode was gradually alleviated, as the imports returned to normal in November after the port congestion in South Africa eased slightly. Only a few smelters in coastal provinces still lacked copper anode and could not produce in full capacity.
- At the same time, the copper smelters had high raw material inventories as the supply of copper concentrate stabilised. The temporary shutdown of the ports in north China did not drag on the copper concentrate consumption by the smelters in north-west China. Based on the current market, the impact of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics is insignificant on the smelters in north China, and the export window will stay open as the SHFE/LME copper price ratio keeps falling. The smelters will basically keep their production in full capacity in January 2022.
- However, the social inventory remained low as of January 11. Although some copper cathode cargoes arrived at domestic ports recently, they were stored in the bonded areas amid closed import window. The bonded inventory is likely to increase more significantly in the traditional off season during the CNY. The unusually low domestic social inventory of copper cathode will provide strong support for the domestic spot and futures prices, so the copper prices are unlikely to fall below 68,500 yuan/mt.
- SMM sees SHFE copper between 68,800-71,000 yuan/mt in January and LME copper between $9,500-9,800/mt.

Jan 13 - Chile awards lithium quotas to China's BYD, local firm 

Chile on Wednesday awarded quotas for lithium production to Chinese battery and carmaker BYD and a local firm, part of a push to speed of development of the ultra-light battery metal that is key to the booming electric vehicle market.  The Andean country's mining ministry said on Wednesday it had awarded BYD Chile and Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del Norte SA quotas of 80,000 tonnes of marketable metallic lithium (LME) each. 

Jan 13 - Gold miners in Mali see no immediate sanctions impact

Companies mining in Mali have not so far been impacted by tough economic sanctions imposed on the country by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), they said, telling investors their mines can withstand potential supply disruption. Mali is one of Africa's biggest gold producers, with mining contributing around 10% of its gross domestic product.

Jan 12 - Kazakh president says mining companies must pay higher taxes

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered his government on Tuesday to extract greater tax revenue from the mining sector which he said was profiting from higher metals prices. Kazakhstan has just weathered the worst bout of unrest since it gained independence from the Soviet Union three decades ago and the plan for higher taxation of the mining sector was included in a package of measures announced by Tokayev on Tuesday to try and bridge income inequality.

Jan 12 - Power fuels aluminium's price surge to record in Europe

Costs of aluminium for European consumers are scaling record highs due to soaring energy costs and production cuts, which have exacerbated deficits of the metal used in the power, construction and packaging industries.  Consumers buying aluminium on the physical market usually pay the benchmark price on the London Metal Exchange -- around $2,950 a tonne on Tuesday -- plus a physical market premium that typically covers transport costs and taxes.

Jan 11 - Heavy rains force miners to halt operations in southeast Brazil

Heavy rainfall in southeastern Brazil has prompted miners including Vale SA to suspend some operations, they said on Monday, after downpours caused deadly floods in the northeast and threatened to delay harvests in the midwest. Rainfall is expected to remain heavy this week in most of top mining state Minas Gerais, after runoff closed roads and railways.

Jan 11 - BHP re-enters Africa with Tanzania nickel investment

BHP Group has invested $40 million in a Tanzania nickel project, UK-based private company Kabanga Nickel said on Monday, the first new bet by the world's biggest miner in Africa in years. BHP has not been active in Africa since it spun off South32 in 2015, but CEO Mike Henry recently signalled a new willingness to venture into "tougher jurisdictions".

Jan 10 - Israel began buying aluminium from Bahrain, envoy tells Al-Ayam newspaper 

Israel began importing aluminium from Bahrain, Manama-based newspaper al-Ayam reported on Sunday, citing an interview with Eitan Na'eh, the Israeli ambassador to the Gulf Arab monarchy. Na'eh was appointed as Israel's first ambassador to Bahrain in 2021, a year after the two states agreed to normalise relations.

Jan 10 - Serbia may suspend lithium deal with Rio Tinto - PM Brnabic 

Serbia may soon decide to annul all contracts related to mining group Rio Tinto's $2.4 billion lithium project in the country, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Saturday, as green groups blocked roads across Serbia protesting against the plan.  Rio Tinto wants to develop the mine near Loznica in the western Jadar valley, but the local municipality has already scrapped a plan to allocate land for it. 

Jan 10 - Tensions rise again against Peru's Las Bambas mine, despite latest deal 

Peruvian Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez said on Friday she would travel again next Friday to an area of frequent protests against MMG Ltd's Las Bambas copper mine as tensions with community protesters build up once again.  The trip will be Vasquez's third to the area since she was appointed in October, following repeated road blockades that have disrupted Las Bambas' operations.

Jan 07 - World's biggest uranium miner says it is unaffected by Kazakh turmoil

Kazatomprom, the world's biggest uranium producer, said on Thursday it was operating normally with no impact on output or exports despite unrest in Kazakhstan. Uranium prices have risen after unrest in Kazakhstan which was spurred initially by protests against fuel price hikes.

Jan 07 - Europe's power crunch sparks aluminium smelter meltdown: Andy Home

It's turning into a winter of discontent for Europe's aluminium smelters as they struggle to cope with rocketing power prices across the region. Four operators have announced curtailments totalling over half a million tonnes of annual production capacity, with others flexing output to mitigate power-load price spikes.

Jan 06  - Vehicle makers face challenging 2022 amid persistent chip shortage
Although chip makers have pledged billions to expand production capacity in the coming years, it will take some time for the fresh capacity to come online. A semiconductor fabrication plant, or fab/foundry, costs $10 billion-$20 billion and takes 3-5 years to build.

Jan 06 - BHP to adapt Chile copper mine after court ruling on water usage

BHP said it will adapt its Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile to lessen the impact of a recent court ruling that prevents it from drawing water for its operations, while it waits for the decision to be reconsidered. BHP said last week it had approval from a committee to keep operating the mine, whose environmental licence runs until the end of 2023, but it was still awaiting a decision from the First Environmental Court of Chile's northern city of Antofagasta.

Jan 06 - Japan Q1 aluminium premium falls 20% to $177/T - sources

The premium for aluminium shipments to Japanese buyers for January to March was set at $177 per tonne, down 20% from the previous quarter, as local spot premiums and overseas prices eased, six sources involved in pricing talks said on Wednesday. That is down from the $220 per tonne paid in October-December and marks a first quarterly drop in six. It is also lower than the initial offers of $193-$195 per tonne made by producers.

Jan 05 - Chile lawmakers ask courts to stop bidding on lithium mining contracts 

Chilean lawmakers went to court on Tuesday to stop the outgoing government from taking bids for lithium mining contracts, with SQM and Albemarle, the world's two largest producers of the ultra-light battery metal, in the running. Lawmakers from the center-left opposition party PPD asked the Santiago Court of Appeals to stop the surprise bidding process, which will end in mid-January. 

Jan 05 - Chile's Nov. copper output falls amid drops from Codelco and Escondida - Cochilco 

Chile's total copper production in November fell by 0.6% year-on-year to 481,800 tons, due to drops from state-owned Codelco and the giant Escondida mine, the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) reported on Tuesday. Codelco's production saw an output drop of 7.4% in November compared with the same period of the previous year to 153,800 tonnes, accumulating a 0.4% drop in 2021 so far.

Jan 04 - Centerra confirms talks with Kyrgyzstan for out-of-court settlement over mine dispute

Canada's Centerra Gold on Monday confirmed it was in talks with the Kyrgyzstan government for an out-of-court settlement over a dispute in which the state seized the company's Kumtor mine. In May 2021, Centerra kicked off arbitration against the former Soviet republic after it took over the country's biggest mine for allegedly posing danger to human lives or the environment. The company has denied all the allegations

jan 04 - Australia's Firefinch greenlights Mali lithium project

Australian lithium miner Firefinch Ltd and China's Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd have given the go-ahead for their Goulamina Lithium Project in Mali, even after raising the estimated capital cost for the first phase of the project. The first phase of the project is now expected to cost $255 million, up from a prior estimate of $194 million, partly due to costs associated with making the project more easily expandable.

Jan 03 - Chile's copper production down 1.6% in November; manufacturing output rises

Copper production in Chile, the world's largest producer of the metal, fell 1.6% year-on-year in November, while manufacturing output rose and unemployment dropped, government figures released on Friday said. The National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported that in November the country produced 485,716 tonnes of copper. In 2021 through November, Chile's copper production fell 2% to 5.18 million tonnes. 

Jan 03 - MMG's Las Bambas mine to restart copper output after Peru deal

MMG Ltd's Las Bambas mine on Thursday said it would restart operations after reaching a deal with a Peruvian community that blocked a key transport road for a month, forcing it to halt copper output. The mine said the process would take up to 6 days.