Thompson Creek starts copper / gold concentrate production

Thompson Creek Metals Company recently announced that the new Mount Milligan mine, in British Columbia, had started producing copper/gold concentrate, bringing the project that would diversify the company's portfolio, another critical step closer to commercial status.
The project, which had been subject to delays as a result of worker shortages, winter weather and a 50% budget blowout, was now producing concentrate that would be stored at the site until the company started transporting it to an off-site treatment and refinement facility in the fourth quarter. Adding copper and gold to the miner's molybdenum portfolio would reduce the risk of relying on a single commodity. The NYSE- and TSX-listed company said that since production started earlier this month, the mill had produced about 500 t of saleable concentrate with a specification of about 25% copper and 30 g/t gold. During the present phased mill start-up, the throughput rate was between 1 500 t/h and 2 000 t/h. The processing plant was currently operating with one of the two ball mills. The second ball mill, along with its primary related flotation circuit and the pebble crusher, were still in the commissioning and start-up phase. The copper/gold project's costs spiralled about 50% from the initial estimate of C$915-million. Royalty Company Royal Gold is entitled to buy 52.25% of gold produced at Mount Milligan for $435/oz under the terms of a streaming deal that Thompson Creek signed to obtain financing.
The project contains about six-million ounces of gold and about 2.1-billion pounds of copper in reserve The operation is expected to reach commercial production in the fourth quarter of this year, producing 60 000 t/d of ore over a 22-year mine life.

Manganese ore exports up in Sept via Port Hedland
    In September 2013, manganese ore shipments from Australia's Port Hedland increased by 2209580 metric tons in comparison with September 2012 which was 90,500mt. This year total export via Port Hedland was 230,080
According to the monthly data released by the Port Hedland Port Authority China was the only export destination for manganese ore shipments from Port Hedland in September this year, as in August. In September 2012, China's manganese ore shipments from Port Hedland totaled only 63,000 mt. Port Hedland handles production from mines owned by BHP Billiton, Fortes cue Metals Group and Atlas Manganese in the manganese ore-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia.
ECI launches new campaign for facelift of Copper

European Copper Institute launched its new campaign in September 2013 named, 'Innovating with copper', to demonstrate the role that copper products play in key societal needs such as renewable energy, healthcare, more energy efficient transportation and modern communications.
Such innovations are critical to support the European Commission's goal of reestablishing industry as the provider of 20% of Europe's GDP by 2020. The press notes disclose that the multitude of ways in which copper products provide added value to our industries and our lives. By delivering safe electricity and water, eliminating harmful bacteria, and enabling the continued development of electric and electronic devices, copper has never been more important to our society
The copper industry's ongoing research and testing of new concepts deliver a steady stream of innovations that can dramatically transform how things are made and how they work. These innovations may make processes more cost-efficient, minimize their environmental impact, lower their energy consumption, or reduce their use of precious natural resources. The note further states that Innovations require versatile, high performance materials. The incorporation of a wide variety of other metals (alloying elements) dramatically expands the range of material performance available to the downstream value chain. The European copper industry is working closely with its customers to develop the applications that drive the new products and services that improve our daily lives. Copper can also be recycled again and again, without any loss of performance, ensuring that it continues to be one of the most important and versatile materials at the heart of both economic development and human endeavours.

China refined copper production rises, aluminium at record

China is the world's top producer and consumer of refined copper and primary aluminium, produced 560,515 tonnes of refined copper in August, the third-highest this year. According to the data released by National Bureau of Statistics the copper production has gone by 4.9 percent in the month of august – Sept. Seasonal demand had risen in September to November in previous years. This year, some of the end-users were buying refined copper to build stocks as they expected orders to rise. Refined copper production rose 12.3 percent from a year earlier to 4.325 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2013. While China's primary aluminium production gone up by 1.3 percent from the previous month, hitting a record 1.863 million tonnes in August 2013, the data showed. The output increased 5.2 percent from August 2012. Spot aluminium prices AL-A00-CCNMM in China have fallen near 5 percent so far this year to 14,340 yuan ($2,300) because of oversupply problem in the industry. The data further reveals that China produced 14.349 million tonnes of primary aluminium in the first eight months of the year, up 8.2 percent from the same months in 2012, the data showed.

Metal prices for delivery in November traded lower by 0.69%
    Amid a weak trend overseas and subdued domestic demand, zinc futures prices today fell 0.87% to Rs 114.30 per kg as speculators trimmed positions. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, zinc prices for delivery in October declined by Re one, or 0.87%, to Rs 114.30 per kg in business turnover of 377 lots. Likewise, the metal prices for delivery in November traded lower by 80 paisa, or 0.69%, to Rs 115.85 per kg in seven lots. According to Market analysts it I believe that slow domestic demand in the spot market, and also weak trend in base metals overseas on concern that the US political impasse could lead to a recession in the world's biggest economy, mainly weighed on zinc futures .
Turkish PPI up by 0.88%

The Producer Price Index (PPI) in the month of September in 2013 for Turkish industry rose by 0.88 percent over July and was up 6.23 percent year on year, while an average rise of 3.6 percent was registered for the latest twelve months as per statistics released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK).
In September, the PPI for the domestic basic metal industry rose by two percent month on month and was up 4.9 percent compared to September 2012. Meanwhile, the average change in the PPI for the latest twelve months was -4.8 percent.
On the other hand, during the September month, the PPI for domestic manufacture of metal products, except machinery, rose up by 1.2 percent compared to the previous month and was up 4.8 percent year on year. Meanwhile, in the sector in question, an average decrease of 0.9 percent in the PPI index was registered in the latest twelve months.

SMM nickel market daily review

In Shanghai, transactions were mainly made among traders. Jinchuan raised nickel prices by CNY 300 per tonne to CNY 103,800 per tonne but most traders all discounted goods due to market pessimism. #1 nickel prices were between CNY 102,600 to 103,800 per ton with Jinchuan nickel prices between CNY 103,600 to 103,800 per ton and Russian nickel prices between CNY 102,200 to 102,400 per tonne. SMM surveyed 36 market players recently and found that 45% believe LME nickel prices will move between USD 14,650 to 14,900 per tonne this week.
35% believe LME nickel prices will hover between USD 14,350 to 14,650 per tonne. LME nickel prices failed to break through USD 15,000 per tonne last week, when combined with soft demand, LME nickel prices should fall. Meanwhile, the number of US initial jobless claims last week hit a record low since 2007 and when combined with Egypt land clearing, gold prices broke through USD 1,350 per tonne which will push up the US dollar index and weigh down LME nickel prices.
20% market players believe LME nickel prices will move between USD 14,900 to 15,100 per tonne. They think PMIs from many countries to be released this Friday will be positive, which will boost base metals prices. Besides, the price spread between NPI and refined nickel prices continued to narrow due to rising NPI prices, which will boost demand for refined nickel and nickel prices.

KD Diwan new CMD of Hindustan Copper

Kailash Dhar Diwan has taken over as the chairman cum managing director of state-owned Hindustan Copper Limited on Saturday, September 1, 2012. He replaces Mr Shakeel Ahmed who retired from service on August 31. Born in Dhamtari, Raipur, Mr Diwan completed BE (Electrical) from NIT, Raipur. He went on to complete LLB and Graduate Diploma in Materials Management and Post Graduate Diploma in Finance and Accounts Management. He joined Hindustan Copper Limited as Director (Operations) on September 14, 2007, where he also held additional charge as head of HCL's Materials and Contracts Department. Diwan joined Bharat Refractories Limited, Bokaro in 1983 as Assistant Electrical Engineer. He was posted at its unit Bhilai Refractories Plant and he worked in various departments like Electrical-Maintenance, Purchase, Stores, Contract Cell, Finance and Accounts, Marketing and Services and EDP. He was promoted to the rank of DGM (Marketing and Services) in Bharat Refractories Limited/Bhilai Refractories Plant in 2006 and he served in that capacity till September 2007.

Reed Copper Project commences initial production : VMS Ventures Inc

VMS Ventures announced that joint venture partner and operator Hudbay has received the Environment Act Licence for the Reed Copper Project from the Manitoba government and has commenced initial production. The licence permits the operation of the Reed mine, a 1,300 tonnes/day underground copper mine, and its supporting infrastructure.
VMS Ventures Inc. informed its shareholders during its general meeting on the progress made at the Reed Copper Project, near Flin Flon Manitoba. VMS Ventures owns 30% of the project and is carried to production. Hudbay Minerals Inc. owns 70% and is the Operator.
Hudbay has informed VMS that a bulk sample of approximately 7,000 tonnes of ore was mined under the Advanced Exploration Project permit and a metallurgical batch test of 4,500 tonnes of ore was milled in late September at Hudbay's Flin Flon concentrator. The 7,000 tonnes of ore, from the upper Zone 30, was mainly mined on 65 m Level with only 1 round (approximately 300 to 400 tonnes) taken on the 45 m Level.
Full production remains on the planned schedule to commence in first half of 2014 and the project remains within the estimated budget parameters.
Neil Richardson, VMS Ventures' COO states: "The receipt of the Environment Act Licence and the successful extraction of the bulk sample are both significant milestones for the project. The Licence confirms the care and diligence taken by our JV partner and operator Hudbay in moving the project forward within mandated environmental guidelines while the extraction of the bulk sample project is the first step towards full production at Reed".

Hindustan Zinc up 3.5% as DEA clears decks for stake sale

Anil Agarwal-promoted Sterlite Industries, which was merged with Sesa Goa last month, holds 64.92 percent stake in Hindustan Zinc and the rest of the stake is with the Government of India.
Hindustan Zinc gained around 3.5 percent intraday on Tuesday. The Department of Economic Affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram said that decks have been cleared for the Hindustan Zinc and Balco stake sale and now it's up to the mines ministry to take a final call. The finance ministry expects to rake in Rs 25000 crore from this stake sale. Anil Agarwal-promoted Sterlite Industries, which was merged with Sesa Goa last month, holds 64.92 percent stake in Hindustan Zinc and the rest of the stake is with the Government of India.

NALCO expects global aluminium prices to pick up in Q4

National Aluminium Company (NALCO) whose bottomline took a hit in the April-June quarter of this fiscal due to weak aluminium prices in the global market expects prices to recover in the last quarter as a glut in supply is likely to trigger capacity cut in China and Russia.
"In fourth quarter (January-March), price improvement is expected as about 100 million tonne capacity will be shut down around that time. The prices may look up then," said Ansuman Das, chairman and managing director (CMD) of Nalco at the company's annual press meet.
"The company's profit margin would improve this fiscal amid an expected upswing in aluminium prices. We hope the operating profit margin will also go up this year", he said.
The company had reported 28 per cent decline in net profit during the first quarter of 2013-14.
The aluminium major, however hopes to close the current fiscal with a net profit of Rs 657 crore, up from Rs 593 crore in 2012-13.
Global prices of aluminium, that has varied applications ranging from soft drink cans to aircraft parts, has witnessed a steep decline since August on anticipation of weaker demand amid over supplies from China, which accounts for half of the global production.Even Nalco has indicated cut in metal production for the current fiscal due to supply problems of coal, a key fuel required for smelting alumina. Company sources and analysts said amid a weaker rupee and lower aluminium price regime, it would be unviable to import coal for more metal production.
However, the company said it would look for overseas sites where it can get cheap power.
“We will continue to look after geographies which can offer us cheap power. The areas include Indonesia, Malaysia and Gulf countries," Das said.
Power supply is a key component of aluminium production, accounting for about 35 per cent of total output cost. Nearly all aluminium producers rely upon captive power generation to run their smelting units.
Nalco's 960 Mw captive power plant at its smelting facility site near Angul, depends upon Coal India Ltd (CIL) for its fuel supply.
The company is yet to begin mining from its allocated Utkal-E coal block.
"In the priority list for coal block allocation, aluminium sector does not qualify for core sector like steel or cement. We will pursue with the government to include aluminium production under the core sector," the Nalco CMD said.
In the recently-held annual general meeting of the shareholders, the company announced Rs 322.15 crore as dividend for 2012-13, which works out to Rs 1.25 per share at 25 per cent premium on face value. Currently, the Union government holds 81.06 per cent stake in the aluminium maker, after it offloaded 6.09 per cent shares through an offer for sale in March this year. Since its inception, the company has paid Rs 4519.17 crore as dividend, out of which share of Government of India amounts to Rs 3,920.23 crore.

Japan's nickel ore imports down 18.2 percent in August from July

Japan's nickel ore imports totaled 392,064 metric tons in August this year, down 18.2 percent month on month and decreasing by 4.9 percent compared to August 2012. According to statistics released by Japan's Ministry of Finance in the first eight months of the year, Japan's nickel ore imports amounted to 3.3 million metric tons, increasing by 13.5 percent year on year. In the first eight months of the current year, Japan's nickel ore imports from Indonesia rose 26.9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year to 1.7 million metric tons, while the Philippines exported 968,244 mt of nickel ore to Japan in the first eight months, down 5.5 percent year on year.

Nalco to invest Rs 33,000 cr for diversification and expansion

Unveiling a new plan for high growth through diversification and expansion, aluminium giant Nalco is set to invest more than Rs 33,000 crore in a host of sectors including energy to boost its productivity and profitability.
"NALCO is embarking upon an ambitious growth plan involving a massive investment of more than Rs 33,000 crore in next three to four years, not only in aluminium sector but also in energy sector," chairman and managing director Ansuman Das told reporters.
"Nalco has begun a new odyssey to conquer the challenges of present and threats of future with its new Corporate Plan ... This will give a significant boost to the company's productivity and profitability," he said. The plan encompasses expansion - both brownfield and Greenfield, diversification into energy and non-ferrous metal sectors, backward integration, merger and acquisition, Das said after NALCO's annual general meeting held here on Friday.
Referring to Greenfield projects, Das said the company is planning to set up a Rs 5,500 crore alumina refinery in Gujarat with one million tonne per annum capacity. Preparation of detailed project report for this has started. Similarly, the company is also planning a Rs 16,450 crore smelter of 0.5 million tonnes a year (mtpa) capacity and power plant of 1,260 Mw capacity in Odisha's Sundargarh for which approval of the high level clearance authority of the state government has been obtained, Das said.
Site selection study and preliminary land survey for the proposed project is under way and the company is actively pursuing allocation of coal block in this regard, he said.
On Nalco's foray into energy sector, Das said the company had formed a joint venture with Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to set up nuclear power plants.
Both the partners have selected Kakrapar Units 3 and 4 of 700 Mw each in Gujarat as their first joint venture project with an estimated project cost of Rs 11,500 crore, he said, adding construction work had already started and the project was scheduled to be commissioned by December, 2015. In pursuit of harnessing renewable energy sources,
Nalco has entered into new business of wind power generation with the establishment of 50.4 Mw wind power plant at Gandikota in Andhra Pradesh at an investment of Rs 274 crore. Second wind power plant of 47.6 Mw is being set up in Rajasthan with an investment of Rs 283 crore. Another plant has been planned in Nalco's own mined out area at Panchpatmali in Koraput district of Odisha.

HCL registered a growth of 9.59% during FY 2012-13

Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) registered a growth of about 9.59% during FY 2012-13. For the financial year of 2013 the Net value of the Company was Rs 1645.03 crore and the cash reserve Rs.527 crore as HCL paid tax of Rs.355.64 crore which is the highest ever since inception of the Company as against Rs.323.47 crore in 2011-12. The Sales Turnover achieved during the year was Rs 1475.27 crore as against Rs.1638.18 crore in the previous year. Addressing the shareholders during annual 46th Annual General Meeting at Kolkata Chairman-cum-Managing Director K D Diwan expressed his happiness and declared that “HCL continues to remain a debt free company .This strength will be of immense help in raising funds for capital requirement if any, for the expansion and modernization programme”.
Talking about Production K D Diwan said “During the year 2012-13 Ore production was the highest in the last 13 years the Company produced 36.57 lakh tones of Ore, 29,285 tones of Metal in Concentrate (MIC), 24,210 tones of Cathode and 20,368 tones of Wire Rod”. He further added that “the MIC production was however, marginally less compared to the previous year and the shortfall being due to low grade of mined ore mainly from Malanjkhand mines and low process recovery of Concentrator Plant at Khetri Copper.

Metal shares gain on robust China data

Metal stocks firmed up on hopes that demand would increase after robust data from China, Metal stocks firmed up on hopes that demand would increase after encouraging data from China, the world's largest consumer of copper and aluminium. China's non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index increased in September to 55.4 from 53.9 in August indicating signs of growth revival in the world's second largest economy. In noon trades, the BSE Metal Index was the top gainer among the sectoral indices up 3.6% at 8,650. Sesa Goa was the top gainer in the index up 6.2% followed by NMDC, Steel Authority of India and Tata Steel all up over 4% each. Among other metal shares, Hindalco Ind, Hindustan Zinc, JSW Steel was up 2-3.5% each.

The aluminium industry calls to unlock the recycling potential : EAA

The aluminium industry calls to unlock the recycling potential On the occasion of the closing of the public consultation on the review of the EU Waste management targets, the European Aluminium Association (EAA) urges the Commission to improve the EU waste rules and increase the availability of scrap for the European recycling industry.
The aluminium sector is already the European recycling champion with end- of-life recycling rates above 90% in transport and construction and close to 70% for beverage cans. Aluminium recycling is critical to sustainable development as it saves material resources as well as energy, reduces waste, and helps aluminium producers to continue to supply metal within Europe at a time when primary production is declining.
Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium Association said "The aluminium industry contributes since its existence to a resource efficient society. Today, over 75% of all the aluminium ever produced is still in use. We see recycling as a win-win solution: it helps the environment and helps the European industry to continue producing and providing valuable and innovative end-use products. However, a change in legislation is needed to help to further unlock the recycling potential of our industry and respond to growing scrap leakage."

Due to Falling prices of nickel Glencore Xstrata to closes its nickel mine

Due to falling prices of nickel Glencore Xstrata has suspended its operations at the Falcondo mines in the Dominican Republic.
According to source in Glencore Xstrata “The mine will be shuttered temporarily for around three years due to which around 1000 jobs would be at loss. The ferronickel mine in Loma Miranda about 60 miles north of the capital Santo Domingo has been the focus of environmental protests”
Recently lawmakers have decided to create a national park on the outskirts of the Falcondo mine. But if company is to be believed the demand was nothing to do with legislator decision of converting area into national park.

HCL to invest in eight mine expansion projects in next five years

Hindustan copper limited has drawn strategies for sustaining growth. The basic tenets of the strategy revolves around increasing the copper ore production from the exiting mining assets, intensifying exploratory and development efforts for creating new deposits on a continuous basis and value addition in the downstream.
Speaking during at 46th annual general meeting Chairman-cum-Managing Director K D Diwan announced that “HCL is implementing eight mine expansion projects with a combined capex of Rs 3435.0 crore spread over five years.
The mining projects of the Company are on course. Out of the total eight projects, EPC contractors for seven projects have been selected and work at site has commenced in four projects. He further expressed his happiness as environment clearance for Malanjkahnd Underground Project which is the flagship project of your Company has been received from MoEF, New Delhi on 17th June 2013. The work at site will commence after receiving the clearance from the Standing Committee of National Wildlife Board, process for which is underway. The State Government has recommended the proposal and it is being forwarded to the Central Government.
He further added that “company has also initiated action to extract minerals and materials from the copper ore tails. We expect that this will contribute significantly to the profitability of the Company in the years to come. This is also a big step forward towards achieving the goal of “Zero Waste Mining”.
Talking about Green Field Exploration K D Diwan said “With a view to consolidate our position as the only copper mining company in the country, we have applied for Prospecting License (PL), Mining License (ML) and Reconnaissance Permit (RP) in the State of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, MP and Haryana”.
Madhya Pradesh Government has granted RP of 580.73 sq. km in the Balaghat District to Hindustan Copper limited and the lease deed has been executed in the month of March'13. The Company's efforts in getting RP for exploration of copper deposit in the State of Rajasthan have also met with some success. Directorate of Mines and Geology has informed that a total area covering 1860.69 sq. km has been recommended for award of RP to your Company in the districts of Ajmer, Bhilwada, Pali Nagur.and Jaipur.

Layle Kip Smith to head Aluminum Association

The Aluminum Association announced recently a number of changes to its Board of Directors, including a new Chairman, Vice Chairman and members of the Board Class of 2016. In addition, the Association added two new member companies, AMCOR and Superior Flux and Manufacturing, bringing total membership to 97 companies, consisting of 49 producer and 48 associate members. The announcements were made during the Aluminum Association's 80th anniversary fall meeting at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania, where the industry celebrated aluminum as "the metal of modern life."
Former Aluminum Association Vice Chairman Layle "Kip" Smith, President of Noranda Aluminum, was elevated to Chairman of the Association, replacing Pat Franc, President of Tri-Arrows Aluminum. Additionally, Garney B. Scott, President of Scepter, Inc., was named Vice Chairman of the Association and Chairman of the Association's Executive Committee, which provides strategic vision and guidance overseeing all Association activities. Both Smith and Scott will serve for two-year terms. The Board also added three new members to the Board Class of 2016 :
l Marco Palmieri, President of Novelis North America
l Kevin Person, CEO of Wagstaff, Inc.
l David Hazelett, President of Hazelett Strip-Casting
Palmieri will also serve on the Association's Executive Committee. “I'm very pleased with these additions to the Board, which will help us tell the aluminum industry's great story on sustainability and innovation," said Association Chairman Kip Smith. "As the industry continues to come back from the recession, I'm pleased to have a diverse set of voices to rely upon."
The Association also announced the addition of two new member companies during the meeting. American Metal Chemical Corporation "AMCOR", of Medina, OH and Superior Flux and Manufacturing of Cleveland, OH, both of which provide goods and services to the aluminum industry, will join as Associate members.