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   Gold/Mining/EnergyMining News of Note


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To: LoneClone who wrote (140855)3/27/2020 4:13:50 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 142996
 
OSISKO TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS OPERATIONS AT WINDFALL

In Accordance with Quebec Government Province-Wide Covid-19 Shutdown

globenewswire.com

March 23, 2020 16:11 ET | Source: Osisko Mining Inc.
multilang-release

TORONTO, March 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Osisko Mining Inc. (OSK:TSX. "Osisko" or the "Corporation") announced today that in response to the order of the Government of Quebec to close all non-essential businesses until April 13, 2020, it has suspended operations at its 100% owned Windfall gold project located in the Abitibi greenstone belt, Urban Township, Eeyou Istchee James Bay, Québec.

To date, Osisko has had no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, and has had a COVID-19 protocol in place since March 11 to protect its workforce. The health and safety of Osisko's workforce, their families and the communities in which we operate remains the number one concern for Osisko. Osisko is committed to fully supporting safety measures for our workforce, families and communities. Osisko thanks our workforce, partners and all stakeholders for their understanding and support, and looks forward to resuming operations as soon as possible.

About Osisko Mining Inc.
Osisko is a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition, exploration, and development of precious metal resource properties in Canada. Osisko holds a 100% interest in the high-grade Windfall Lake gold deposit located between Val-d'Or and Chibougamau in Québec and holds a 100% undivided interest in a large area of claims in the surrounding the Urban Barry area and nearby Quévillon area (over 2,700 square kilometres).

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation that is based on expectations, estimates, projections and interpretations as at the date of this news release. The information in this news release about the Windfall Lake gold deposit being one of the highest grade resource-stage gold projects in Canada; the term of any Government order, or of the suspension of operations described therein; mineralization; the potential to extend mineralization up and down-plunge and at depth at the Windfall Lake gold deposit; the ability to realize upon any mineralization in a manner that is economic; the ability to complete any proposed exploration activities and the results of such activities, including the continuity or extension of any mineralization; and any other information herein that is not a historical fact may be "forward-looking information". Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, interpretations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "interpreted", "management's view", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans", "budget", "scheduled", "forecasts", "estimates", "believes" or "intends" or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results "may" or "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking information and are intended to identify forward- looking information. This forward-looking information is based on reasonable assumptions and estimates of management of the Corporation at the time such assumptions and estimates were made, and involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Osisko to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include, among others, risks relating to the terms and duration of any government orders suspending or limiting operations that are applicable to Osisko; the responses of relevant governments to the COVID-19 outbreak and the effectiveness of such responses; the ability of exploration activities (including drill results) to accurately predict mineralization; errors in management's geological modelling; the ability of Osisko to complete further exploration activities, including drilling; property interests in the Windfall Lake gold project; the ability of the Corporation to obtain required approvals and complete transactions on terms announced; the results of exploration activities; risks relating to mining activities; the global economic climate; metal prices; dilution; environmental risks; and community and non-governmental actions. Although the forward-looking information contained in this news release is based upon what management believes, or believed at the time, to be reasonable assumptions. Osisko cannot assure shareholders and prospective purchasers of securities of the Corporation that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking information, as there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended, and neither Osisko nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any such forward-looking information, Osisko does not undertake, and assumes no obligation, to update or revise any such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information contained herein to reflect new events or circumstances, except as may be required by law.

For further information please contact:
John Burzynski
President and Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (416) 363-8653





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To: LoneClone who wrote (140856)3/27/2020 4:15:32 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 142996
 
O3 MINING TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS OPERATIONS

In Accordance with Quebec Government Province-Wide COVID-19 Shutdown

globenewswire.com

March 23, 2020 17:26 ET | Source: O3 Mining Inc.

TORONTO, March 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- O3 Mining Inc. (TSX.V:OIII) ("O3 Mining" or the "Corporation") announced today that in response to the order of the Government of Quebec to close all non-essential businesses until April 13, 2020, it has suspended operations in Quebec.

To date, O3 Mining has had no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, and has put in place a COVID-19 protocol to protect its workforce. The health and safety of O3 Mining's workforce, their families and the communities in which we operate remains the number one concern for O3 Mining. O3 Mining is committed to fully supporting safety measures for our workforce, families and communities. O3 Mining thanks our workforce, partners and all stakeholders for their understanding and support, and looks forward to resuming operations as soon as possible.

About O3 Mining Inc.

O3 Mining, an Osisko group of companies, is an emerging consolidator of exploration properties in prospective gold camps in Canada – focused on projects in Quebec and Ontario - with a goal of becoming a multi-million ounce, high-growth company. The Corporation's goal is to become one of the premier gold exploration companies in Canada.

O3 Mining is well-capitalized and holds a 100% interest in a number of properties in Quebec (435,000 hectares) and Ontario (25,000 hectares). O3 Mining controls 61,000 hectares in Val D'Or and over 50 kilometres of strike length of the Cadillac-Larder Lake Faut. O3 Mining also has a portfolio of assets in the James Bay and Chibougamau regions of Quebec and in the Hemlo district in Ontario.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation that is based on expectations, estimates, projections and interpretations as at the date of this news release. The information in this news release about the transaction; and any other information herein that is not a historical fact may be "forward-looking information". Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, interpretations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "interpreted", "management's view", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans", "budget", "scheduled", "forecasts", "estimates", "believes" or "intends" or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results "may" or "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking information and are intended to identify forward-looking information. This forward-looking information is based on reasonable assumptions and estimates of management of the Corporation, at the time it was made, involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the companies to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include, among others, risks relating to the scope and duration of the government ordered shutdown described herein, further steps that might be taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19; the impact of COVID-19 related disruptions in relation to the Corporation's business operations including upon its employees, suppliers, facilities and other stakeholders; uncertainties and risk that have arisen and may arise in relation to travel, and other financial market and social impacts from COVID-19 and responses to COVID-19. Although the forward-looking information contained in this news release is based upon what management believes, or believed at the time, to be reasonable assumptions, the parties cannot assure shareholders and prospective purchasers of securities that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking information, as there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended, and neither party nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any such forward-looking information. Neither party undertakes, and assumes no obligation, to update or revise any such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information contained herein to reflect new events or circumstances, except as may be required by law.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

For further information on O3 Mining, please contact:
José Vizquerra Benavides
President, CEO and Director
Telephone: (416) 363-8653



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To: LoneClone who wrote (140857)3/29/2020 7:15:18 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 142996
 
COLUMN-Zinc 2020 benchmark smelter terms may already be outdated: Andy Home

reuters.com

Andy Home

* The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.

* Zinc treatment charge benchmarks:



By Andy Home

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - This year’s benchmark zinc smelter treatment charges have been set at a 12-year high of $299.75 per tonne, according to Fastmarkets.

This is not surprising.

The spot market has swung even higher in recent months as a surplus of mined zinc concentrate works in favour of smelters, allowing them to charge more for converting raw material into refined metal.

As such, the 2020 benchmark conforms with the bear zinc narrative that has been playing out over the last year or so as the global market switches from chronic supply shortfall to abundance.

But there is a sense that this year’s benchmark is already a backward-looking indicator as the spread of the coronavirus chills the zinc supply chain, with a growing number of mines closing or reducing operations.

This is a key differentiator with the demand shock of 2008-2009. The supply response then took months to materialise as producers gritted their teeth and struggled on. This time many have no choice but to heed their governments’ lockdown orders.

TOP OF THE CYCLE

As reported by Fastmarkets, the benchmark deal was concluded between Canadian miner Teck Resources and South Korean smelter Korea Zinc, the two companies that have historically set the treatment charges for annual shipments.

It represents a sharp increase from last year’s benchmark of $245 per tonne and is the highest annual reference point since 2008, when it came in at $300.

Price participation clauses appear to have been dropped this year. That’s understandable, given that it requires both sides to agree an anchor point around which price participation can work. Who, right at this moment, can forecast the price of zinc, or just about anything else, over the coming weeks and months?

The question, however, is whether this annual benchmark is actually relevant in such a fast-changing market environment. There are reports that spot treatment charges are already falling fast as ever more global mine capacity is frozen by national lockdowns.

MINES ORDERED TO CLOSE

In terms of the global zinc market the single biggest supply hit so far has come out of India, where the government has ordered a 21-day lockdown.

Hindustan Zinc, with annual production of 690,000 tonnes in 2019, has temporarily halted all operations until March 31.

However, the company is a fully integrated producer with concentrates treated in-house, meaning the closure should on paper have little direct impact on the freely-traded concentrates market.

More significant in terms of smelter supply chains is the part closure of Peru’s mining sector.

The country’s mines churned out almost 1.5 million tonnes of zinc in both 2017 and 2018. Domestic smelter capacity is limited to Nexa Resources’ Cajamarquilla plant, which produced 333,000 tonnes of refined metal in 2018.

The bulk of the country’s zinc concentrates are exported, making Peru a key player in global raw materials availability.

The extent of the collective shutdown is still uncertain with some mines, such as the giant Antamina, deemed to be critical and allowed to continue operating.

That said, a cumulative supply-side shock is building, albeit not as fast as the demand shock already roiling zinc and other base metals.

PRICE PAIN

Moreover, these government-mandated closures are likely to be followed by a second wave of price-related closures.

London zinc hit a four-year low of $1,675 last week and has struggled to stage any sustained recovery, last trading at $1,805.

The downtrend has been running since late January, the coronavirus accentuating the existing bear narrative of oversupply.

Analysts at Citi estimate that on the basis of so-called “C2” production costs, meaning cash costs plus depreciation, around 25% of the world’s zinc mines are now losing money. (“Metals Weekly”, March 25, 2020)

True, the cost curve so beloved by analysts is itself a fast-moving target, particularly right now when oil (energy) inputs are also falling and the dollar is rising, buffering non-dollar producers.

On the debit side for zinc miners, however, is the fact that the two most common by-products of zinc production, lead and silver, are also experiencing bombed-out price levels.

METAL OVERSUPPLY BUT...

Welcome to the new coronavirus world, which is unlike anything metal markets have seen before.

The demand shock rolling around the world in the wake of the virus is similar to that experienced during the Global Financial Crisis a decade ago.

Citi expects the global refined zinc market to record a 500,000-tonne surplus of supply over demand this year, annualising at a higher 1-million tonne surplus in the second half of this year.

That compares with an October 2019 assessment by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group that the global market surplus would be around 200,000 tonnes in 2020.

Citi has just cut its short-term zinc price forecast to $1,650 per tonne, at which stage it would be trading deep into the global cost curve.

However, the growing list of mine casualties, both from lockdown and old-fashioned mine economics, means that a supply response is going to arrive much faster than in previous price slumps.

The bank “conservatively” models 800,000 tonnes of mine production losses over the second half of this year. That’s equivalent to around 6% of global output.

“Concentrate shortfalls would affect smelter rates from (the second half of 2020) onwards and we now actually model 2020 as a full-year balanced concentrate market.”

If that assessment turns out to be accurate, it would mark a sharp turnaround in zinc’s bear narrative. Indeed, Citi suggests that zinc is becoming a medium-term buy as the normal commodity boom-bust cycle is accelerated.

A forecast balanced raw materials market, however, also places a big question-mark against the benchmark deal just negotiated for concentrate deliveries to smelters this year.

A top-of-the-cycle benchmark is a fair reflection of the zinc concentrates market prior to January. But that original script has now been ripped apart by the coronavirus.

The virus has exposed the whole concept of setting market terms that apply for a full calendar year.

It may be time for the zinc supply chain to evolve.

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To: LoneClone who wrote (140858)3/29/2020 7:31:13 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 142996
 
COLUMN-Collapsing auto sector a body blow for industrial metals: Andy Home

reuters.com

Andy Home
(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)

By Andy Home

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - France’s Recylex has just announced the temporary closure of both its German lead smelter and two battery-recycling plants, one in Germany and one in France.

The decision is due to a “strong drop in demand, especially in the automotive sector, in a context of sharply lower metal prices,” the company said.

It will surely not be the last lead producer to mothball its production facilities.

Lead is umbilically tied to the automotive sector. Lead-acid batteries account for around 80% of global usage of the metal.

And carmakers just about everywhere have halted their own production lines due to the spread of the coronavirus and the lockdowns on activity that have followed in its wake.

Virtually every industrial metal gets used in one form of another in making planes, trains and automobiles.

Particularly the latter. Collapsing automotive production and sales are generating a demand shock that is travelling up the value chain through parts suppliers to metals fabricators and on to metal producers such as Recylex.

CORE DEMAND DRIVER

Lead’s dependence on carmaking activity is the highest of any metal because the metal’s toxic legacy has seen it engineered out of other consumer products.

The lead-acid battery, however, remains the power source of choice for internal combustion engines. Even most electric vehicles use one for starting, lighting and ignition functions.

However, every other industrial metal has some exposure to the automotive sector.

Carmakers focus’ on light-weighting to meet ever tighter environmental standards has been a core driver of aluminium usage in recent years.

Just over a quarter of global aluminium demand comes from the transport sector. The ratio is even higher in developed countries, reaching 40% in the European Union, according to the European Aluminium industry association.

A locked-down global automotive sector represents a 16 million-tonne hit to aluminium demand on an annualised basis.

Look no further to understand analysts’ increasingly gloomy prognosis for the light metal. Citi, for example, is forecasting a 6% decline in consumption this year on the back of a 2.7-million tonne surplus. (“Metals Weekly”, March 25, 2020).

Steel producers are similarly exposed with automotive production accounting for 12% of global usage and other forms of transport another 5%, according to the World Steel Association.

Copper goes into automotive motors, wiring, radiators, connectors and brakes. Every internal combustion engine vehicle uses around about 22.5 kg (50 lbs) of copper, while luxury cars on average contain around 1,500 copper wires totaling about 1.6 km, according to the International Copper Study Group.

Transport accounts for around 13% of global copper demand, a similar ratio, give or take a couple of percentage points, to both zinc, which is used to galvanise steel body sheet, and nickel.

Usage of metals such as copper and nickel in the automotive sector is steadily increasing on the back of growing production of hybrid and electric vehicles (EV), which need more copper for electrical circuits and more nickel as an input for lithium-ion battery technology.

But EV makers are no more insulated from the virus than their internal combustion engine rivals, with Tesla and battery partner Panasonic both slashing activity.

In terms of industrial metal markets, the automotive sector has turned from hero to zero in the space of weeks.

DOUBLE BLOW

The demand shock emanating from the automotive sector comes in two parts.

The first is the physical closure of car assembly lines around the world.

Volkswagen, the world’s largest car producer, has closed just about all of its plants and is not making any sales outside of China, according to Chief Executive Herbert Diess.

General Motors, the No. 1 U.S. automaker, is planning to keep its plants closed indefinitely and is moving into cash preservation mode.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) has suspended activity across its North American operations until next month. Ford is hoping to restart some plants, simply to generate cash.

The question, however, is whether anyone is going to buy its pick-ups anyway.

Even if production can be restarted, sales are likely to drop off a cliff-edge. The U.S. Labor Department reported an eye-watering 3.3 million of new jobless claims last week, dwarfing anything seen in the past. That’s three million people whose last thought right now is buying a new car.

Car sales were already weak globally. The coronavirus will cause them to implode, a second tail-wind demand hit for metals.

Moody’s is now expecting global auto sales to plunge around 14% this year, compared with a previous forecast for a 2.5% drop published in February. That’s an indication of just how fast the virus is changing the automotive landscape.

Sales are expected to drop by 21% in Western Europe this year, by 15% in the United States and by 10% in China, the world’s largest car market by volume.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?

Moody’s holds out the prospects of a sales rebound next year, but the strength of any recovery will depend on both when the virus peaks and when consumer sentiment troughs.

One ray of light is coming from China, which saw car sales plunge 80% in February.

Car dealers in the country, which is ahead of the global coronavirus curve, are now pulling out all the stops to try and lure lockdown-weary customers back to the forecourts. The usual heavy discounts are being accompanies by novelties such as a free medical mask.

Beijing is also likely to try and engineer a recovery in a key manufacturing sector through subsidies, a path that has already been tried and tested in terms of encouraging people to buy EVs rather than traditional vehicles.

Something similar may have to come from Western governments, particularly those like Germany which also view their automotive sector as a manufacturing pillar.

Indeed, there may even be an opportunity to mimic Chinese policy by linking an automotive recovery stimulus to accelerated EV usage.

That, however, is a question for tomorrow.

Today, much of the world’s car industry is closed. And that’s very bad news indeed for demand for all industrial metals.

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To: LoneClone who wrote (140859)3/29/2020 7:34:43 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 142996
 
Aura Announces Postponement of Plans for Initial Public Offering and Listing in Brazil Amid COVID-19 Impact

globenewswire.com

March 24, 2020 08:16 ET | Source: Aura Minerals Inc

ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands, March 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aura Minerals Inc. (TSX: ORA) (“Aura” or the “Company”) announces that, in light of current market conditions arising as a result of COVID-19, the Company has decided to postpone its initial public offering in Brazil and concurrent listing of Brazilian depositary receipts on B3 S.A. – Brasil, Bolsa, Balcão (collectively, the “Offering”), which was announced on March 3, 2020. The Company will reassess the market conditions in the second half of 2020 and will keep the market informed.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements”, as defined in applicable securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) which include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future. Statements containing forward-looking information in this press release may include, among other things, statements relating to the Company’s completion of the Offering.

Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s ability to predict or control, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Specific reference is made to the most recent Annual Information Form on file with certain Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements herein are qualified by this cautionary statement. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information or future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. If the Company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.

About Aura 360° Mining

Aura is focused on mining in complete terms – thinking holistically about how its business impacts and benefits every one of our stakeholders: our company, our shareholders, our employees, and the countries and communities we serve. We call this 360° Mining.

Aura is a mid-tier gold and copper production company focused on the development and operation of gold and base metal projects in the Americas. The Company’s producing assets include the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, the Ernesto/Pau-a -Pique gold mine in Brazil and the Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico. In addition, the Company has two additional gold projects in Brazil, Almas and Matupá, and one gold project in Colombia, Tolda Fria.

For further information, please visit Aura’s website at www.auraminerals.com or contact:

Rodrigo Barbosa
President & CEO
305-239-9332



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To: LoneClone who wrote (140860)3/29/2020 7:36:25 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 142996
 
Vanadium: Positive recoveries in pilot tests for Australian Vanadium

roskill.com

Posted 27th March 2020 in ?Industry news.
By Erik Sardain

Australian Vanadium Limited (AVL) has announced that its latest pilot-scale tests confirm concentrate, generated from life-of-mine average feed blend, achieved 76% vanadium recovery at a grade of 1.37% V2O5. Year 0–5 pilot testing achieved 69% vanadium recovery of concentrate at 1.39% V2O5.

Earlier this month, AVL announced that its total vanadium resources rose to 208Mt, a 9.5% increase at 0.74% V2O5. The high-grade portion has been increased to 87.9Mt at 1.06% V2O5 while the indicated resource part has been increased by 115% to 25.1Mt at 1.10% V2O5.

AVL’s vanadium project is a Bushveld-type vanadiferous titanomagnetite (VTM) deposit with an annual forecast production of 5.7kt V and AVL expects offtake agreements to be announced in 2020.

Roskill View

Vanadium demand coming from steel is forecast to slow over the 2020s, as China’s steel production will reach a peak in the next couple of years. Demand from vanadium redox batteries (VRB) will remain limited and slow to take off, but presents a potential upside if price volatility can be mitigated.

Roskill forecasts that incremental primary production additions will be sufficient to keep the market in surplus over the next decade. Additional vanadium supply will also come from secondary sources through spent catalysts, following the IMO 2020 new regulations. A reduction in sulphur levels from 2–3% to 0.5% in bunker fuel will translate into an increased supply of spent catalysts, which will incentivise refineries to build recycling and processing plants. Most of these plants are still on the drawing board and Roskill believes that the processing capacity will remain a bottleneck to a rapid ramp-up for the time being. Unless demand from batteries picks-up faster than expected, the vanadium market could face a significant structural overcapacity as both primary and secondary supply sources are added to the market over the next decade.

Roskill’s NEW



Vanadium: Outlook to 2029, 18th Edition report will be published in May 2020 and provide detailed analysis on supply, demand, trade, prices, cost curves and forecasts. The report discusses key aspects impacting the industry, including substitution risk from niobium in rebar and the outlook potential of vanadium redox batteries.

Contact the author This article was written by Erik Sardain. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

Contact the author

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To: LoneClone who wrote (140861)3/29/2020 7:37:38 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 142996
 
Tin: PT Timah cuts output amid COVID-19 uncertainty

roskill.com

Posted 27th March 2020 in ?Industry news.
By Adam Slade

Indonesian tin miner PT Timah, the world’s largest refined tin producer, has announced plans to temporarily reduce production and delay exports as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts global demand for the metal. In a statement released by the company’s Chief Executive, Riza Pahlevi, PT Timah said it would delay some exports and reduce its monthly output by 20–30% while it gauges global demand. The move comes as tin prices hit a four-year low, trading at an LME cash and 3-month price of US$13,375/t.

Roskill View

In 2019, PT Timah replaced Yunnan Tin as the world’s largest producer of refined tin, after increasing refined output from 33.4kt in 2018 to 76.4kt in 2019, whilst Yunnan Tin produced 72.0kt in 2019. PT Timah more than doubled production as government-enforced export regulations led to reduced competition in Indonesia, with many of Indonesia’s private smelters reducing operations or closing as a result. The recent announcement of output cuts puts PT Timah’s new status as the world’s largest producer at threat, with no similar announcements coming from Yunnan Tin as of March 2020.

Prices had shown signs of recovery after several major refined tin producers announced output cuts in September 2019, peaking at US$17,750/t in January 2020. However, supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak saw prices drop back to US$16,150/t in early February 2020. As the outbreak has spread to 182 countries, becoming a global pandemic, the price has dropped sharply to US$13,375/t. This substantial price drop comes amid concerns over an impending global recession and uncertainties over tin demand this year. With no spread currently between LME cash and 3-month prices, prices are expected to stay subdued over Q2 2020.

Despite substantial headwinds, there are bright spots for the tin market, as activity in the Chinese metals and mining sector is showing signs of a rapid recovery after the virus disruption. As new confirmed cases of the virus have dropped to below 10 per day in China, economic activity is beginning to return to usual levels. The Chinese economic disruption appears to be consistent with a sharp “V-shaped” trend, with a full recovery expected by May or June, assuming a second outbreak in the country can be avoided.

Roskill’s Tin: Outlook to 2029, 11th edition report was published in October 2019. Click here to download the brochure and sample pages for the report, or to access further information.

Contact the author This article was written by Adam Slade. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

Contact the author

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To: LoneClone who wrote (140862)3/29/2020 7:39:21 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 142996
 
Nickel: PolyMet enters into US$30M financing agreement with Glencore

roskill.com

Posted 27th March 2020 in ?Industry news.
By Jack Anderson

PolyMet Mining‘s US$30M deal with Glencore is formed of unsecured convertible debentures, with funds intended to progress current litigation related to permits for its NorthMet project in Minnesota, USA. In addition, the funds are intended to advance engineering and optimisation efforts at the project.

The debentures will be received in four portions through this year, all of which are due on whichever is earlier, 31 March 2023 or upon PolyMet obtaining US$100M of financing for the project, with interest accruing at 4%py on the balance drawn.

Roskill View

The NorthMet project lies in the Duluth Complex, part of the Mesabi Iron Range in north-eastern Minnesota, and comprises 290Mt proven and probable reserves grading 0.08% Ni. The mine plan calls for a mine life of 20 years, producing around 7ktpy nickel-in-concentrate and 32.6ktpy copper-in-concentrate.

Glencore became the majority shareholder of PolyMet in June 2019 by taking approximately 72% of Polymet’s common shares. Approvals at PolyMet’s NorthMet nickel-copper mine have been ongoing for over a decade now, with the project being held up by environmental issues. The mine has faced strong opposition from local environmental groups including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and WaterLegacy.

Successful commissioning of the project would make NorthMet the second operational nickel mine in the USA. Its future is likely to be determined only after environmental issues are resolved in the courts. Glencore’s cash injection will come as a timely boost.

Roskill’s NEW Nickel: Outlook to 2029, 16th Edition report will be published in April 2020, outlining industry trends and forecasts for the next decade. The report examines new mine supply from nickel producers and forecasts the growth of nickel products supplied to the stainless steel sector.

Contact the author This article was written by Jack Anderson. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

Contact the author

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To: LoneClone who wrote (140863)3/29/2020 7:40:51 PM
From: LoneClone
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Lithium: Supply takes another hit as Argentina enters lockdown

roskill.com

Posted 27th March 2020 in ?Industry news.
By David Merriman

As part of a nationwide lockdown, the lithium industry in Argentina has suspended all operations and development projects to limit the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Both producing companies, Orocobre and Livent, announced the suspension of activities at their respective Salar de Olaroz and Salar del Hombre Muerto operations on 23 March, with no date announced for the recommencement of production. Galaxy Lithium and Argosy Minerals have also announced that all but essential services have been suspended at their respective Sal de Vida project and Rincon lithium pilot plant.

Roskill View

Growing disruption to global lithium production is inevitable as an increasing number of national governments implement restrictions on non-essential industries, including mining and chemical processing. As the first country to be impacted by COVID-19 related lockdowns and disruption, China is often used as a barometer for the level of disruption to be expected. In Q1 2020, Chinese refined lithium production is forecast to fall by 42%, with major refineries who source raw materials internationally displaying the most severe impacts.

The suspension of Argentine lithium production during March and into Q2 2020 alone, is expected to remove around 17.5kt LCE capacity from 2020 annual production via direct disruption and delays to capacity expansions. Delays to the development of greenfield projects are also expected to push back growth in lithium supply during 2021, with Lithium Americas stating that commissioning of its Salar de Cauchari-Olaroz project is likely to be delayed because of the national shutdown.

There is real potential for similar suspensions to occur in Chile, which could see disruptions to both Albemarle’s and SQM’s Salar de Atacama operations and associated processing facilities. If a similar level of disruption is considered, Chilean refining capacity could be reduced by roughly 42.0kt LCE in 2020. Even with weaker lithium demand expected in 2020, the reduction in lithium production is expected to cause tighter market conditions and have wider implications on demand growth in 2020 and 2021.

In Roskill’s quarterly update to the Lithium: Outlook to 2028, 16th Edition report, global supply of both mined and refined lithium products, along with forecast lithium demand and prices, will be reassessed evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact the author This article was written by David Merriman. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

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To: LoneClone who wrote (140864)3/29/2020 7:42:12 PM
From: LoneClone
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Fluorspar: China’s support policies for businesses under COVID-19

roskill.com

Posted 27th March 2020 in ?Industry news.
By Kerry Satterthwaite

Earlier in March, the Chinese Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation issued Announcement No. 15 of 2020, on increasing the export tax refund rate for some products. According to this latest announcement, China will increase the export tax refund rate for 1,464 products, with the rate for 1,084 products increasing to 13% and the rate for 380 products increasing to 9%.

Most of the products covered by this announcement are produced by small and medium-sized enterprises and the move is, therefore, consistent with the Chinese government’s current strategy to secure employment and stabilise small and medium-sized enterprises.

The announcement includes more than 70 products involved in the fluorine chemicals industry. More than 90% are pesticides or pesticide intermediates, and eight fluorocarbon refrigerants are involved. Fluorspar, HF, aluminium fluoride and fluoropolymers are not included.

Roskill View

China’s main fluorocarbon refrigerant exports comprise HCFC-22, HFC-32, and HFC134a. These chemicals accounted for 89% of Chinese refrigerant export volumes in Q4 2019. They are excluded in the above announcement.

This new announcement on the export tax refund rate is likely to stimulate Chinese exports and production of fluorine pesticides and pesticide intermediates, but it will have a limited effect on the whole mine-to-market fluorine supply chain. Roskill will continue to monitor new Chinese support policies for businesses via our Shanghai office.

Fluorspar is a critical strategic raw material. It is used directly in steel production and in aluminium production in the form of aluminium fluoride. It is also the principal source of fluorine (via HF) for the fluorochemical industry, which encompasses the production of a wide range of important products, from refrigerant gases to speciality polymers and chemicals used in the production of electronics, medicines and nuclear fuels. Many of these end-use markets are large and mature, but fluorspar also finds application in smaller but rapidly growing markets such as in the production of electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries.

Overall, Roskill is anticipating a healthy compound annual growth rate for fluorspar demand between 2019 and 2029, driven largely by high-value acidspar markets. China dominates acidspar supply. The USA and Canada are heavily import dependent.

The NEW 14th edition of Roskill’s report on fluorspar, with forecasts to 2029, was just published in February 2020 and breaks down the complex fluorine supply chain considerations into clear forecasts with price forecasts based on international analysis of both supply and demand. Dr Adam Coggins reviewed the market in an interview with Proactive Investors in December 2019: click here to view.

Contact the author This article was written by Kerry Satterthwaite. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

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