Non-European banks likely to fund Emal expansion
   

Emal will pay higher interest rates on European bank loans to fund its phase II expansion and is likely to be heavily funded by non-European banks because of the Euro Zone crisis. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are likely to chip in US$500 million of the US$4 billion needed and it is likely that Emal will seek bond investors too. Emal recently announced that its Al Taweelah smelter has completed over 10 million work hours with zero lost time incidents. The company claims that its Safety First, Last and Always culture is paying dividends, making it an industry leader in health and safety. The company's CEO Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrooei said, “Emal's safety record demonstrates its commitment to deploying high safety standards.”

  Vedanta to close alumina refinery
   

An acute shortage of bauxite has forced Vedanta Resources to shut down its 3Mt/yr alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, Orissa, India. The Indian aluminium giant has submitted 26 applications to the state government for mining licences since mid-2007 but heard nothing back and now has no option other than closure. Vedanta's problems began when the Ministry of Environment prohibited bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri region of Orissa. Closure will increase production costs for state-owned Balco, a big Vedanta customer.

  Novelis moves closer to 80% recycled content
   

Novelis, a world-leader in rolled aluminium products, has announced that it has moved a step closer to achieving its goal of using 80% recycled metals in its production processes. The company's second annual sustainability report shows an increase in the recycled content of its products from 33% to 39% one year after announcing its target of achieving an 80% recycled content by 2020. The report, which received an A rating from the Global Reporting Initiative (the world's most widely used framework for sustainability reporting) also recorded a 19% reduction in energy intensity, an 11% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 18% improvement towards reducing landfill to zero.
Chief executive Phil Maartens says that sustainability is driving the company's business strategy and that a growing number of people want to buy products that lower their carbon footprint."By dramatically increasing the amount of recycled content in our aluminium sheet and applying innovation to our product development, we enable consumers to make sensible, environmentally sustainable purchasing choices," adds Maartens.
Novelis is investing in new technologies and facilities to process a broader array of aluminium scrap. In the past three years, the company has announced investments of approximately 810kt of increased global recycling capacity in Germany, Korea and Brazil and has strengthened its recycling collection systems. Having withdrawn from the Evermore Project (a partnership initiative with Alcoa), Novelis has set up an independent beverage can procurement organisation in North America. The company recently set up the Novelis Sustainability Council, which includes ecological luminary Jonathan Porritt as a council member.

  Sequoia capital exits Ess Dee Aluminium
   

Global private equity player Sequoia Capital is learnt to have decided to exit from leading aluminium foil manufacturing company Ess Dee Aluminium. It is learnt that Sequoia has suffered a loss of about 60% through the stake sale. Sequoia Capital, through its investment arm- Ironwood Investment Holdings, sold 2.09 million shares at Rs 135 per share on Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange recently. The shares were sold for about Rs 285 crore. According to BSE, Sequoia was holding 2.17 million shares by June 2012. Sequoia Capital had been increasing stake in Ess Dee since 2011 and the stake went up to 6.77% by September 2011. Sequoia picked up stake when Ess Dee shares were trading in Rs 240-450 range. Sudip Dutta, chairman of Ess Dee Aluminium holds about 58.2% stake in the company. Other investors in the company include ICICI Prudential Life Insurance (3.63%) and Orange Mauritius Investments (2.05%). Rs 630-crore Ess Dee Aluminium Ltd is a leading supplier of packaging materials and into the business of manufacturing and marketing Aluminium foils and polyvinyl film-based packing products for the pharmaceuticals industry.

  Indonesian tin smelters resume output after metal rallies
   

Tin smelters in Indonesia's largest producing region have restarted output after prices rallied, boosting supplies from the world's biggest exporter. Mr Hidayat Arsani president of the Indonesian Tin Mining Association said, about 70% of smelting capacity in Bangka Belitung province is being used. Last month, the group estimated that about 30% of capacity was functioning with 24 of 28 smelters closed. Tin advanced to 4 month high after shipments from Indonesia, which accounts for about 40% of global trade, plunged in August and orders to remove the metal from warehouses jumped. Higher prices may boost profits at companies including PT Timah the third-biggest producer. The metal is used as solder in electronic products as well as for packaging. Mr Arsani said ,“Production has been resumed but is not yet at full capacity. Supplies of ore are also still limited as miners are not yet fully producing.”
Three month tin rose to USD 21,200 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange the costliest since May 9. The metal had tumbled into a bear market in May as demand waned on slowing global growth, prompting the Indonesian shutdowns as smelters said costs were not covered. Mr Sukito Gunawan director at PT DS Jaya Abadi said, smelters are waiting for prices to stabilize before producing at full capacity. Producers regard USD 23,000 per tonne as a so called ideal price. Exports from Indonesia declined 32% to 5,645.9 tonnes last month compared with July, reaching the lowest level since January. Orders to remove tin from LME warehouses, known as canceled warrants, accounted for 68% of total stockpiles on September 11th 2012, the biggest share on record. Canceled warrants totaled 7,135 tonnes or 61% of the 11,690 tonnes being stored. Holdings dropped for a fourth month in August.

  Vedanta calls on Indian Government to restrict bauxite Exports
   

Vedanta Aluminium has called upon the Indian Government to restrict exports of bauxite and instead support the country's domestic requirements for the mineral. Vedanta's Odisha alumina refinery has been operating at 70% capacity because it can't source it's daily bauxite requirement of 10kt. The company claims that some state governments are limiting the issue of bauxite mining leases and that such a practice cannot be justified as in the national interest. According to Vedanta,the federal government should open new mines in eastern Odisha state where the country's largest bauxite reserves can be found. Limiting the amount of bauxite mining leases, it is claimed, is due to local protests over land acquisition.

Colombia to renegotiate terms of BHP's Cerro Matoso mine
   

Colombia plans to renegotiate out-dated contract terms including royalty payments for BHP Billiton's Cerro Matoso nickel mine in a bid to get a better deal for the Andean nation. Cerro Matoso, which bills itself as the world's second largest producer of ferro nickel, has been in discussions with government officials for months over its agreements as Colombia tries to get better terms from the mining firm. A Colombian tribunal, which solves disputes between companies and the government and whose decisions are binding, said the country must negotiate more favorable conditions. BHP has two contracts which expire soon but a third contract will remain in effect. That contract, however, was signed in 1996 and must take into account new international standards and mining legislation, the tribunal said. National Mining Agency Director Maria Constanza Garcia said that the government hoped to complete the process on the conditions for the contract in the coming months. The company was not immediately available for comment. In the nearly two decades since the agreement was signed, the Andean country has become a magnet for foreign direct investment mainly into its oil and mining sectors thanks mostly to improved security. Located near the town of Montelibano in northern Colombia, the Cerro Matoso mine has a lateritic nickel ore deposit and a low-cost ferro nickel smelter. The smelter and refinery are integrated with an open-cut mine. About 65 percent of nickel is used to manufacture stainless steels, and 20 percent in other steel and non-ferrous alloys, often for highly specialized industrial, aerospace and military applications, according to the International Nickel study group. The government says that it expects Cerro Matoso output at 51,100 tonnes in 2012. The mine produced 37,810 tonnes of nickel last year, 23.5 percent lower than the 49,443 tonnes produced in 2010 as one of the furnaces was off, the government said. Cerro Matoso has an estimated reserve life of 40 years.

  Rising aluminium price to hurt utensil makers
   

The festive season, one of the peak times for utensil manufacturers, is a few months away, but manufacturers in the Haryana town of Jagadhri are a concerned lot. Bharat Garg, former president, Federation of All India Aluminum Utensil Manufac-turers Association, says that the sale of aluminum utensils has been affected of late on account of price revision. Since the last two weeks, prices of aluminum utensils have been revised by 15-20 per cent, which has had an adverse impact on sales. The revision in prices of utensils has been necessitated following a rise in the price of the base metal, aluminium. Garg said the worrying aspect was that the prices of aluminum as per the London Metal Exchange (LME) has moved up by 10 per cent in last three weeks, but in the domestic market the prices has doubled. Jagadhri's manufacturers mostly rely on primary producers in the country for their aluminum requirement. Tarun Goyal, president, Federation of All India Aluminum Utensil Manufac-turers Association, said that small manufacturers are the ones who are facing the heat due to the volatility observed in prices. “The bigger players can hedge or exercise other options to prevent themselves from getting hurt, but smaller players can't avoid it.” Goyal said that since the delivery time of the metal from LME warehouses has now moved up to six months, premium was being charged by the primary producers in the domestic market.

  Vinacomin opens alumina plant
   

A US$460 million, 300kt/yr alumina plant will open in Vietnam's Lam Dong Province next month (October). The plant, which is owned by Vinacomin, was built by Chalieco, a subsidiary of Chalco, otherwise known as the state-owned Aluminium Corporation of China. Plant capacity will increase to 500kt/yr in 2013 and 615kt/yr by 2014. The Nhan Co alumina project in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, has also been developed by Vinacomin and is expected to have an initial output of 300kt/yr in 2014 and 650kt/yr by 2016.

  Mitsubishi Materials plans H2 copper output 149,034 tonnes
   

Mitsubishi Materials Co, Japan's third-biggest copper producer, said it plans to produce 149,034 tonnes of copper in the October-March second half of this financial year. That would be down 10 percent from the same period last business year, when production stood at 166,962 tonnes. The lower volume is due to plans for a 30-day repair at its mainstay Naoshima plant scheduled for next March and is not connected with a slowdown in China's copper demand, a company spokesman said. Mitsubishi had halted the 20,000 tonnes per month Onahama plant in Fukushima prefecture, part-owned by Dowa Mining Co and Furukawa Co, for 20 days for maintenance from mid-October last year. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co, Japan's No.2 copper producer, said it had not changed its plan announced in April for second-half copper production of 218,000 tonnes.

  Aluminium use to increase in India
   

The Indian economy has arrived at a point where a non-ferrous metal such as aluminium will come in for increasingly significant application in many areas, besides electrical and electronics, which now has a preponderant share of 48 per cent of this country's total use of the white metal against world average of 11 per cent, reports said. No wonder, the chairman of National Aluminium Co (Nalco), Ansuman Das, believes this metal's “growth story here has begun to unfold and as we go forward, the per capita consumption of aluminium, now at 1.3 kg, can only rise. Our neighbour, China, has an aluminium per capita use of 14 kg”. But then in every metal China is miles ahead of India. The issue is not that India's aluminium production of 1.7 million tonnes (mt) is way behind China's 20 mt. What inspires confidence is that the three constituents of the local industry — Vedanta, Hindalco and Nalco — have in the face of some major raw materials cost inflation, falls in London Metal Exchange (LME) prices and the coal linkage plans not always working satisfactorily are negotiating the ongoing difficult period for the metal better than most of their peers abroad. Nalco's metal production loss of 30,508 tonnes to 413,089 tonnes in 2011-12 was much due to coal supply problems. Procurement of coal by the company by way of imports and local auction purchases, both proving to be expensive, could not fully offset the shortfall in supply by Mahanadi Coalfields. Vedanta remains in a quandary about bauxite availability. This is in spite of the Odisha government's commitment to give it sufficient access to deposits of this mineral. Hindalco complains about cost push due to the falling quality of bauxite. The phenomenon, however, is unavoidable in ageing mines. Hindalco, too, is meeting with local protests as it tries to open new mines and operate an existing one in Odisha. Considering the abundance of bauxite and thermal coal here, the country has no reason to be boastful of the size of its aluminium industry. But, as Das says, the world is taking note of “our growth programme, which will leave the country with aluminium capacity of over 3 mt by 2015-16”. In new capacity creation, all three groups are participating by way of new capacity and expansion. Now that the ill-advised Nalco Indonesian venture has been shelved, Das and his board members will find it convenient to quickly deliberate on whether the third phase of Nalco capacity expansion will be by way of enhancing the amperage of smelter potlines now at 180 kilo amperes and if so by how much or through a new fifth potline.

Nickel surplus may climb to 5-year high on new mine projects
   

A global nickel surplus may expand for a third year to the highest level since 2008 as supply from new mining projects outweighs China's demand growth, Japan's top producer said. Supply will likely exceed demand by 60,000 metric tons in 2013, said Toru Higo, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. (5713)'s general manager of nickel sales and raw materials. Supply outstripped demand by 40,000 tons this year and 22,000 tons in 2011, he said. Sherritt International Corp. (S) said that its Ambatovy project in Madagascar got a six-month approval to operate commercially. Xstrata Plc (XTA)'s Koniambo project in New Caledonia is scheduled to start production during the first quarter of next year, spokesman Wayne Groeneveld said Sept. 26. China, the biggest consumer, has been ramping up infrastructure spending to counter a slowdown in economic growth that's on course for the weakest annual pace in more than two decades.
“The surplus will likely increase further next year with the Ambatovy and Koniambo projects starting production,” Higo said in an interview. On the demand side, all countries except China are slowing.
Prices of the metal, used for corrosion resistance in stainless steel, have fallen 0.4 percent this year, making it the worst performer among six base metals on the London Metal Exchange. Three-month delivery metal traded at $18,636 a ton on the LME at 2:40 p.m. in Tokyo. LME stockpiles on Oct. 1 reached the highest level since March 30, 2011. World stainless-steel output may gain 4.7 percent to 35.7 million tons in 2013, Higo said. Output by China, the biggest producer, is expected to rise 9.7 percent to 15.8 million tons with the new infrastructure projects, he said.
In September, China's government approved plans for 2,018 kilometers (1,254 miles) of roads, as well as sewage plants, port and warehouse projects and subways. China's nickel output including pig iron may fall 3.4 percent to 425,000 tons in 2013, while demand will likely rise 6.9 percent to 770,000 tons, he said.
The country's nickel pig iron output may drop 7.7 percent to 240,000 tons because of lower nickel prices, he said. Pig iron is a substitute made from low-grade ore from Indonesia and the Philippines. China's nickel imports will reach a record 345,000 tons in 2013, up 23 percent from this year, Higo said. Japan's exports will jump 2 percent to an all-time high of 89,000 tons as producers ship more ferronickel and nickel oxide to China, Taiwan, South Korea and Southeast Asia to make up for sluggish demand at home, Higo said.

  Tianshan Aluminium to increase capacity
   

Tianshan Aluminium Co plans to increase capacity at its Shihezi, Xinjiang smelter to 1.6Mt/yr by 2015. Tianshan is also planning to construct an aluminium processing plant with a 1Mt/yr capacity alongside a captive power plant equipped with 10 350mW generators. The Shihezi smelter was established in 2010.

  Nalco signs contract to sell 330,000 tonnes alumina
   

State-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco) has finalised a long-term contract to export 330,000 tonnes of alumina for shipment in 2013 at 16.07 percent of the LME aluminium price on an FOB basis, the company sources said. The Singapore-based buyer will receive the alumina in batches between January and December next year. Nalco, whose tenders serve as a global benchmark, last November sold 240,000 tonnes of alumina for deliveries in 2012 to a Switzerland-based buyer at 16.39 percent of the LME aluminium price on an FOB basis.

  Xstrata to shut Australian nickel mine as prices slump
   

Xstrata Plc, the world's fourth- largest nickel producer, will shut one of its two nickel mines in Australia because of declining prices. The closure of the Cosmos mine in Western Australia will lead to 150 job losses, the Switzerland-based company said on its website. Australian mining companies are struggling to maintain profit margins because of rising costs and weak prices. Nickel traded in London has fallen 16 percent from a February 7 high. Xstrata's other nickel operations and projects globally, including the $5 billion Koniambo project in New Caledonia, remain on track, Perth-based spokesman Wayne Groeneveld said. Koniambo remains scheduled to start production during the first quarter of next year, Groeneveld said. Cosmos has produced 4,200 metric tonnes this year, according to the statement. Xstrata's Sinclair mine, also in Western Australia, is continuing production.

  Vedanta seeks bauxite exports ban
   

Fumed with the protests-led denial of bauxite mining resulting into threat of closure of its alumina refinery due to scarcity of the raw material at Lanjigarh, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) has urged the government to ban exports of bauxite from India. The one million tonne alumina refinery of VAL, a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc has sought ban on bauxite exports from the country, reports said. The company is struggling to keep its refinery operations afloat with the plant running at barely 50 per cent capacity amid deepening uncertainties in bauxite availability. VAL has not been allotted any mine in Odisha and fully depends on external bauxite supplies to run its refinery. The company has written to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) recently, urging the industry body to move the Centre for a ban on bauxite exports. Earlier, it had also written to Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) demanding the same. The company is not able to source bauxite while the raw material continues to be exported from Gujarat and Maharashtra, said Mukesh Kumar, president and chief operating officer of VAL. Kumar said the company was unable to source bauxite from state owned Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) as the PSU was yet to come out with a tender. VAL had filed 26 applications with the state government, seeking alternative bauxite deposits but to no avail. Odisha chief secretary B K Patnaik said, “There is no bauxite that is readily available to offer to Vedanta Aluminium. There is no dearth of bauxite deposits in the state. But the mines have to be opened and these need regulatory approvals. Moreover, the Niyamgiri case is still locked up in the Supreme Court and the state government can do nothing about it.” Meanwhile, the Lok Shakti Abhiyan (LSA), which had filed a case against Vedanta refinery in the Supreme Court, alleged that VAL is making profit in Lanjigarh and not running on losses. “A loss making company can't make a contribution of Rs 28 crore to political parties as the company has claimed in its annual general meeting in London this year,” said Prafulla Samantara, president, LSA. “The Lanjigarh plant should be dismantled and land must be restored back to people with due penalty. The money that Vedanta has spent in last two elections in Odisha should be investigated into by the CBI,” he added. VAL, however, trashed these allegations. “All these allegations are baseless. We have clarified about it in our AGM and stated in the closure notice about incurring losses of Rs 2,500 crore in running the Lanjigarh refinery,” Kumar said.

  Vedanta to source bauxite from GMDC
   

Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), is planning to source bauxite from Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC). The Gujarat government controlled GMDC recently floated a tender for sale of 92,174 tonnes of bauxite which injected hope to Vedanta's alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district of Odisha. The tender and procurement of aluminium raw material would avert the possible shutdown of the plant due to bauxite crunch. The company is planning to participate in the GMDC bid for sale of 92000 tonnes of bauxite. The company is struggling to keep its one million tonne refinery operations afloat with the plant running at barely 50 per cent capacity amid deepening uncertainties in bauxite availability. VAL has sent a three months advance closure notice to the state government, as required under law, stating that it won't be able to run the plant beyond December 5 unless it has assured supply of bauxite. By any means the company has to run the refinery till December 5. Sourcing 92000 tonnes of bauxite from the state PSU will serve the purpose for ten days at least. To operate the one million tonne per annum (mtpa) refinery plant at full steam, VAL needs 300,000 tonnes of bauxite every month. VAL had designed its refinery keeping in mind the locally available bauxite. The aluminium major had entered into an agreement with state controlled miner Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for supply of bauxite. But attempts to mine bauxite at the ecologically sensitive Niyamgiri hills under OMC's leasehold in Kalahandi district were red flagged by the environment ministry that had scrapped the Stage-II forest clearance on August 24, 2010. Owing to its total dependence on externally sourced bauxite, VAL has hitherto incurred cumulative losses to the tune of Rs 2500 crore. So far, VAL had filed 26 applications with the state government, seeking alternative bauxite deposits but to no avail. GMDC has set a basic floor price of Rs 800 per tonne for sale of bauxite up to 50000 tonnes and Rs 750 per tonne above 50000 tonnes.

  Copper declines as China, Japan data add to signs of slowdown
   

Copper dropped for the first time in three days after China's factory output shrank and Japan's largest manufacturers said they were pessimistic amid the global economic slowdown that has sapped export demand. Copper for delivery in three months lost as much as 0.6 percent to $8,155 a metric ton before trading at $8,170 on the London Metal Exchange. in Tokyo. The metal rose 7.8 percent in September, gaining for a second month. December- delivery metal fell 0.8 percent to $3.7280 a pound on the Comex. China's manufacturing industry contracted in the second month for the first time since 2009, a government survey indicated. This have resulted in increasing pressure for measures to reverse a deepening economic slowdown. Big Japanese manufacturers became more pessimistic in the July to September quarter as slowdowns in China and Europe sapped export demand, a report showed. The Purchasing Managers' Index was 49.8 in September after a 49.2 reading in August, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in Beijing. That compares with the median forecast of 50.1. The Bank of Japan's Tankan index of sentiment among large manufacturers fell in the quarter ended September to minus 3 from minus 1, the fourth consecutive negative reading, the central bank said in Tokyo. Copper will average $8,000 a ton next year and aluminum $2,000 a ton, while zinc is expected to average at $2,100, lead at $2,200, nickel at $18,500 and tin at $21,000 a ton, INTL FCStone Inc. said in a report.

  Hindalco blames 'operational disturbances' for aluminium output decline
   

Aluminium prices down by 3% since early-July, problems surrounding the supply of quality bauxite and a weak economy are three reasons behind Hindalco's 12% decline in aluminium output and its poor domestic performance. The company's operating profits declined by 46.5% to Rs 463 crore and after-tax profit declined by 33.6% to Rs 425 crore, despite materials costs declining by 26.7% and US-based Novelis (Hindalco's acquired business) posting EBITDA up 11% to $259M. Hindalco will be looking to Novelis to provide the good financial news in the short-to-medium term as its own results are showing little sign of improvement. Both Hindalco and Novelis are part of the Aditya Birla Group of India.

  Treatment Charges and Refining Charges to go up next year
   

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Japan's second-largest copper producer, expects higher processing fees next year as raw material supply from new and existing mining projects will probably increase. The fees, known as treatment and refining charges or TC/RCs, for copper concentrate, or semi-processed ore, will increase from this year's level of $63.50 a metric tonne and 6.35 cents a pound agreed between Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and major Japanese producers, President Nobumasa Kemori said. Sumitomo Metal Mining joins JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp. and Aurubis AG in seeking higher fees. World mine output may increase 14 percent to 14.45 million tonnes in 2013, while smelting capacity may rise 11 percent to 16.26 million tonnes with operating rates of 89 percent, according to data from Pan Pacific Copper Co. Increasing fees boost smelters' revenue. Spot TC/RCs have been increasing as the yen's strength against the dollar reduced margins for Japanese smelters and Chinese buyers were reluctant to purchase concentrate because of the unfavorable difference between prices in Shanghai and London, Kemori said. The yen has strengthened 7.9 percent since the year's high of 83.20 on March 15. TC/RCs in the spot market are likely to gain in the next several months and are at about $70 and 7 cents, Aurubis said in a report. Treatment fees are expressed in dollars per tonne of concentrate received and refining fees in cents per pound of copper in the ore. The fees are deducted from the price paid by smelters to mining companies for the raw material. Copper in London has climbed 8.8 percent this year and traded at $8,267 a tonne. The metal reached a four-month high on September 19 after the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank said they would buy more debt and China, the biggest copper user, approved a $158 billion subways-to- roads construction plan. Sumitomo Metal Mining has plans to participate in overseas mine development projects to achieve output of 300,000 tonnes from its own mining interests by 2020 from 120,000 tonnes currently. The company is reviewing two to three mine projects in South America, Kemori said. The company will add 60,000 tonnes of copper output from its mining interests by that time and its Sierra Gorda mine in Chile, which is scheduled to start in 2014, will add 70,000 tonnes, Kemori said. The final 50,000 tonnes will be secured through other foreign mine investments, with projects in Canada, the U.S, Chile, Peru and Argentina being considered, he said. The Sierra Gorda project plans to initially produce 110,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate a year before increasing capacity to 190,000 tonnes by 2017. Sumitomo Metal owns 31.5 percent and Sumitomo Corp. has a 13.5 percent holding in the project, while KGHM International Ltd. holds a 55 percent stake. Sumitomo Metal Mining already has stakes in mines including Morenci in the U.S., Candelaria, Cerro Verde and Ojos del Salado in Chile, Northparkes in Australia and Batu Hijau in Indonesia, the company's website said.

  Lundin Mining eyes acquisition for future growth
   

Canadian-Swedish group Lundin Mining is hunting for zinc and copper mine acquisitions and further ways to boost production, Chief Executive Paul Conibear said in Swedish business daily Dagens Industri. After failed merger deals in 2011, Lundin has been focusing on expanding its existing mines like the Tenke-Fungurume copper-cobolt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo but is now looking at new production. The company is looking at copper and zinc mines that produce 30,000 to 70,000 tonnes of metal per year. It is going to be very disciplined, but on finding something for the right price, it will act quickly and aggressively. Lundin is looking for targets primarily in Europe, Canada, Mexico and South America, but not Russia. Lundin Mining, listed in both Toronto and Stockholm, has up to 4 billion crowns ($604.05 million) to spend on acquisition. Early in 2011, Lundin agreed a $9 billion tie up with rival miner Inmet Mining. But this fell apart after Equinox Minerals launched a hostile bid for Lundin. Equinox itself was taken over by Barrick Gold and Lundin failed to attract any new suitors and has since then been focusing on expanding its existing mines. The Tenke project, which is operated by Freeport McMoRan, is on its way to total annual output of 195,000 tonnes of copper cathode. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2013. Conibear said further investment could take production to close to 300,000 tonnes by 2015. Lundin is also looking at expanding ore production at its Zinkgruvan mine in Sweden by up to 40 percent to 1.4-1.5 million tonnes a year from the current 1.1 million tonnes. The company has had a very strong development at Zinkgruvan this year and production is at a record level. At the Neves-Corvo mine in Portugal, Lundin is looking at spending $500 million over the next 5-6 years to boost production.

  Rising power costs threaten aluminium industry
   

The Australian Aluminium Council has warned that the Kurri smelter in the NSW Hunter Valley will not be the only one at risk if the industry is forced to absorb more electricity costs. It has told a Senate Inquiry into electricity costs that aluminium smelting already carries a disproportionate share of transmission costs, compared to other users. Hydro's Kurri smelter was recently forced to close because of the high Australian dollar and low world metal prices. Mr Miles Prosser Aluminium Council Executive Director said that Kurri will not be the only casualty if transmission costs rise. "We're not saying that the current costs for transmission need to change but we're just saying to the regulators and to the Government, look if you're going to play around with this policy just be conscious that you can't load more costs on to users like aluminium. There just isn't the capacity there to continue to take on more costs." Mr Prosser said that to make matters worse the industry is forced to carry a disproportionate share of transmission costs. The smelter takes a very consistent load of electricity and so it's actually quite a simple task to build a transmission line between the generator and the smelter. The transmission task when it comes to distributing electricity to households and other users is a bigger task and so what we're actually seeing is aluminium smelters probably taking more than their normal amount of the transmission cost if you like.

  NORSK HYDRO CEO : No further aluminium cuts planned
   

Despite aluminium prices remaining low, with plentiful supplies of the light metal available, Norsk Hydro is not planning to make further production cuts, its ceo told. With China, failing to cut capacity in response to industry calls for cutbacks, western producers, including Norsk Hydro, have been at the forefront of reducing output, Svein Richard Brandtzæg said. Norsk Hydro has significantly curtailed capacity since 2008, most recently 180,000 tonnes of annual output at the Kurri smelter in Australia. But now Norsk Hydro isn't planning to make any further production cuts, Brandtzæg told. "We believe we have taken action with the smelters highest up on the cost curve, and see no imminent need to take further action. We are currently focusing on improving cost within the portfolio that we have," he said. These cost improvements include the addition of the Qatalum smelter, along with significant cost improvements through Norsk Hydro's $300 programme aimed at improving earnings from its wholly-owned smelters. "We have clearly repositioned our portfolio, and become more competitive," Brandtzæg added. Indeed, Norsk Hydro agreed to sell its aluminium remelt plant in Taiwan to Ting Sin Metal for an undisclosed sum. Of greater concern to Norsk Hydro is the generally weak global macroeconomic picture, with a debt crisis in Europe plus signs of slowing growth in the USA and China. "The industry needs continued growth in demand for our metal to get out of a situation of oversupply, and again see sustainable aluminium prices," he added. Norsk Hydro is also focusing more on its joint ventures, "to make sure we are contributing to running these as efficiently as possible," Brandtzæg said. "Besides this, we also have power contract renewals coming up in Soral, at the end of 2012, and Slovalco, at the end of 2013, which we are currently working on," he added.

  RUSAL owner sees aluminum supply down in 6-9 months
   

RUSAL has been quoted saying that an overhang of aluminium should be reduced through production cuts and said stocks should be slashed to get rid of loss making supplies. Mr Oleg Deripaska also the aluminium giant's CEO said that he expected global aluminium supply cuts during the next 6 to 9 months. During the next 6 to 9 months we will see rationalization of production programs volumes of production should be decreased to achieve the balance of supply and demand." Mr Deripaska said that stocks should fall. While the global aluminium industry is in chronic oversupply, millions of tonnes of the metal are held in warehouses and much of these stocks are used for financing purposes. Stocks in LME warehouses were reported at just fewer than 5 million tonnes. All interim stocks are loss making. We should get rid of these losses. Right now the volume of metal in warehouses is twice the reasonable level. Mr Vladislav Soloviev first deputy CEO of RUSAL said, “We expect demand recovery. We are especially hopeful for the construction sector.”

  ILZSG : Global market for refined lead in surplus, zinc exceeded usage
   

The International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) have released preliminary data for world lead and zinc supply and demand during the first seven months of 2012. Provisional information reported to the ILZSG indicates that the global market for refined lead metal was in surplus by 49kt during the first seven months of 2012. Over the same period total reported stock levels decreased by 32kt. Global production of refined zinc metal exceeded usage by 135kt over the period January to July 2012 with total reported inventory levels rising by 118kt.
A rise in global lead mine production of 21.8% was primarily a consequence of a reported 41.3% rise in Chinese output. Production also increased in Mexico, Peru, the Russian Federation and Sweden. Higher refined lead metal output in Belgium, India, the Republic of Korea, Mexico and the United Kingdom was largely offset by reductions in Australia and the United States resulting in a limited overall global increase of 1%. Overall global demand for refined lead metal rose by 2.5% mainly driven by rises in China, Japan and Turkey. European usage rose by 0.8% but in the United States, decreased by 2.4%.
World zinc mine production increased by 10.5%. This was principally due to a sharp 30.4% reported increase in Chinese output. Elsewhere rises in Bolivia, Mexico, the Russian Federation and Sweden were partially offset by reductions in Australia, Canada and the United States. Lower refined zinc metal output in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China and South Africa more than balanced increases in Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands and Uzbekistan resulting in an overall reduction in global output of 1.4%. A small increase in global refined zinc metal usage of 0.5% was mainly influenced by higher demand in India, the Republic of Korea and Turkey. Usage in Europe declined by 3.7% and was marginally higher than during the first seven months of 2011 in both China and the United States.

  Japan Q4 aluminium premium up to USD 255 per tonne
   

Q4 aluminium premiums to Japanese buyers, Asia's biggest importers of the metal rose 24% from the previous quarter to a record high of USD 254 per tonne to USD 255 per tonne as supplies remain tight. Traders said that the rise follows a 70% jump in the premium, or money paid over the benchmark London Metal Exchange cash price to secure physical metal to USD 200 to USD 210 PREM-ALUM JP in the previous quarter.
Japanese buyers, comprising trading houses and big manufacturers, locked up October to December supply deals mostly at USD 254 to USD 255 with some small deals set at USD 253.5.
Premiums have doubled over the past 6 months to record highs mainly due to large stocks locked up by banks in financing deals which make it difficult for manufacturers to access supplies.
Typically in such financial deals, traders buy physical metal and simultaneously sell forward at a profit while striking a warehouse deal to store it cheaply in the interim. High premiums and government subsidies have helped keep many smelters afloat that otherwise would have been forced to shut down due a drop in global prices. Some aluminium producers have also reduced output due to a decline in demand.
A trader said referring to the US Federal Reserve's stimulus announcement said that premiums have jumped again, and so have LME aluminium prices after the monetary easing in the US. It's strange that these prices are decided not based on real demand. This is a very tough situation for manufacturers suffering from sluggish demand.
Three month LME prices were quoted at 5 month high of around USD 2,154 per tonne. Japan's domestic shipments for rolled aluminium grew 1.2% to 1.02 million tonnes in the first 6 months of 2012.

  China's zinc concentrate imports jump by 51% in August
   

China's zinc ore and concentrate imports surged by more than half in August, as smelters looked to capitalize on high treatment charges (TCs). The country imported 167,945 tonnes of zinc concentrates, up 50.8% month-on-month, according to the latest customs data. This figure was still down 50.2% on the year, however. Market participants attributed the monthly increase to relatively high TCs and an increase in output over the summer as some smelters resumed production. Spot TCs for imported concentrate rose to $100-110 per tonne in late June, up from $50-60 per tonne earlier in the year. Given that smelters profit from high TCs, market appetite for imports of zinc concentrate increased, participants said. Meanwhile, a positive arbitrage between the Shanghai and London metal markets also boosted imports. As for the sharp year-on-year decrease, some participants pointed to the unusually high figures from last year.
Also in August, refined zinc imports rose by 39.7% month-on-month to 50,671 tonnes. For the first eight months, the country's refined zinc imports totaled 302,091 tonnes, nearly three times the same period last year. No refined zinc was exported during August, compared with 2 tonnes in July. Total refined zinc exports for the first eight months stood at 5,796 tonnes, down 85.6% year-on-year.

  Hindalco faces Vedanta's mining fate in Odisha
   

Even when the protest against Vedanta over mining in Niyamgiri was at its peak, Hindalco Industries quietly carried on with its work in Mali Parbat, just miles away from the Vedanta project. But not anymore. With locals protesting against Hindalco's move to mine Mali Parbat, the contractor who was working on making the mine operational has left. All work at the mine has stopped. However, at the Aditya smelter site, in Lapanga and away from the mine, work is on in full swing and the company hopes to complete the 359-kilo tonne aluminium smelter and a 900-Mw power plant in 2013.
The Utkal alumina refinery of 1.5 million tonnes in Kansariguda is expected to be completed by March 2013. However, with the mining of bauxite under a cloud, the fate of the project is hanging by a thread. Vedanta, in the same region, has already faced the ire of locals and NGOs. The Union environment ministry has cancelled its mining license and the company relies on bauxite from Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.
Owing to the non-availability of captive bauxite, Vedanta has been posting losses quarter after quarter. It has decided to shut the refinery. The locals are upset with Hindalco's bauxite mining plans in Mali Parbat, saying it will make the water in the area disappear and jeopardize the livelihood of tribal people in the region. Hindalco refused to comment on issues with the locals in Odisha.
While Vedanta stayed in the limelight, Hindalco continued its work, though the local people protested against its mining activities from 1996. While in Vedanta's case it was the Lado Sikaka spearheading the movement, in Hindalco's it has been Prakrutik Sampad Surakshya Parishad. In Vedanta's case, the problem arose as the Niyamgiri Hills were a subject of worship for the Dongria Kondh tribals, who protested against the exploitation of their sacred hill. In Mali Parbat, Hindalco is being accused of jeopardizing the agricultural livelihood of local people. Both companies wanted to set up aluminium refineries and smelter and mine bauxite.

    Excessive concentrate supply raises China's conversion by charges 30%
   

China's spot treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for copper surged 30 percent in the past month and are set to rise further, traders said, as the supply of metal concentrate increases at a time of low purchases by the top consumer. TC/RCs, a profit indicator of copper smelters, are paid by overseas sellers to Chinese smelters for converting copper concentrate into metal and typically rise when supply increases or demand falls. Charges are deducted from the sale price based on London Metal Exchange copper. There are sellers in the market, but the Chinese have not bought a lot, said a trader at an international trading house. Global mines' production has improved and the market is no longer short of materials. India and Japan are not in the market. The only place spot concentrates can go to is China. Chinese smelters received $65 per tonne and 6.5 cents per pound in TC/RCs for spot clean, standard concentrate imports recently and the last, which is the highest level for this year and up from $50 per tonne and 5.0 cents per pound fetched in August. These rates are also higher than the $60-$63.5 and 6-6.35 cents locked in for term shipments this year. Higher spot TC/RCs mean smelters such as Jiangxi Copper Company Ltd will have to pay less for concentrate imports. This, together with an expected increase in concentrate supply, could boost term shipments TC/RCs for 2013. Chinese smelters are already asking for TC/RCs higher than $65 and 6.5 cents, traders said, as some sellers are keen to sell concentrates scheduled to leave producers' ports between October and November. Meanwhile, smelters expect concentrate supply to increase as the new Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia comes online, traders and sources at smelters said. Oyu Tolgoi is said to be one of the three largest copper and gold deposits in the world. The Oyu Tolgoi project is 66 percent owned by Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd, which is majority-owned by Rio Tinto. At least one Chinese smelter recently signed a term contract with Rio Tinto for Oyu Tolgoi concentrates starting at the end of this year, two sources at separate Chinese smelters said. But there are concerns about the gold content in the Oyu Tolgoi concentrate and its impact on import costs, given high bullion prices, sources at some smelters said. They also expressed concern about high transport fees. Concentrates from Oyu Tolgoi will be delivered to a border point between Mongolia and China's northern province of Inner Mongolia. That location does not have a rail connection as of now and a buyer would have to use road transport. Output from the world's largest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, jumped 18 percent in the first half from a year ago. Escondida, which is majority-owned by global miner BHP Billiton, has this year increased its copper output month by month. The world's No. 3 mine Collahuasi also expects its output to improve in the second half from the first.

    Aurubis to offer copper term premiums at USD 86 per tonne for 2013
   

Aurubis has been quoted saying that they will offer 2013 copper cathode term premiums for its European customers at USD 86 a tonne unchanged from levels set in June this year. The figures represent a USD 4 decrease from premiums of USD 90 a tonne set by the world's No.1 copper producer Codelco for European customers in 2012 seen as an industry benchmark.
Traders said Aurubis' decision to offer premiums at a lower level than the previous year puts pressure on Codelco to trim their 2013 premium against a backdrop of weak demand for the metal. Sources said this week Codelco's 2013 physical premiums for Europe were likely to be held or trimmed by a small amount. Mr Michaela Hessling head of group communications of Aurubis said "We wrote to our customers and confirmed that USD 86 will also be valid for next year". Premiums are paid over the London Metal Exchange cash price to secure physical metal. It covers the cost of freight and insurance and reflects regional demand and supply.
Term contract negotiations typically take place during LME Week a yearly event in London where the global base metals industry meets. LME Week begins on October 15th 2012.
In Japan the country's biggest copper smelter Pan Pacific Copper is in talks with buyers in China to slash its term premium for 2013 shipments by 15% from this year a source familiar with the matter said as demand slows in China the metal's top consumer. China's imports of copper in August were its second lowest this year falling 2.9% from July to 355,856 tonnes, as a slowdown in the global economy hit the country's manufacturing sector. China accounts for as much as 40% of global refined copper consumption. Demand has been sluggish this year as the country grapples with the effects of a slowdown in its major export markets.

    China's bauxite concerns prevail despite Indonesian deliveries
   

China's bauxite supply concerns prevail despite a pickup in shipments from Indonesia recently, importing refiners said , citing lower than expected volumes in the cargoes received. "Our cargo just arrived this month, and it's a lot less than expected, by more than 60%," a source from Shandong refiner Nanshan Donghai said. The company previously received monthly shipments of around 200,000 mt. Another Shandong refiner, Lubei Enterprise, who received a shipment from Indonesia in early September, said he also saw a lower quantity delivered, but declined to provide further details. A third Shandong refiner, Chiping Xinfa, said they had yet to receive a shipment from Indonesia, but were expecting the cargo to arrive in October. “We have also been told the amount will be less than normal, but we can't be sure by how much until we see the cargo,” a source said.
Chinese importing refiners attributed the lower quantity to export quota issues in Indonesia, which limited the amount suppliers could deliver. The refiners said deliveries from Indonesia were expected to continue regularly in the coming months, but there was no assurance on the quantity, so whether there can be sufficient supply remained a major concern. In a bid to ensure regular supply of bauxite from Indonesia, some Chinese refiners such as Aluminium Corp of China (Chalco) and Chongqing Bosai Minerals Group have agreed to investment projects in the Southeast Asian country. Chalco said in August it will set up a joint venture with PT Indonusa Dwitama to build a bauxite mine and alumina refinery in Indonesia, while Chongqing Bosai Minerals Group planned to invest $1 billion in Indonesia to build a 2 million mt/year alumina plant. The decision to invest in Indonesia has helped Chalco and Bosai bypass Indonesia's new export policies this year, which had resulted in delays of bauxite shipments to China since May. The two companies were the earliest to see bauxite shipments from Indonesia resume in July and August, while most others started receiving shipments in September.

    Won't allow bauxite mining in Vizag - Mr Jairam Ramesh
   

Mr Jairam Ramesh union rural development minister has been cited as saying that bauxite mining would not be allowed at any cost in the Visakhapatnam agency area to protect the interests of tribals. Mr Ramesh said that this following reports that some private companies had shown interest in mining bauxite there. However, local villagers and tribals are opposing the proposed move. While talking to reporters at Mr Paderu village, Mr Ramesh said along with the local tribals, he and Mr Kishore Chandra Deo union minister of Tribal and Panchayat Raj had been against mining in the tribal areas since long. He said, "We are also articulating the opinion of local tribes for the last 4 years. Mr Kishore Chandra Deo also wrote a letter to the state government on the decision of the Ministry. As long as we are in power, we don't allow mining in the agency areas.

    Paraguayan government ready to move on with negotiations with Rio Tinto over Al smelter
   

The government of Paraguay will enter the second stage of negotiations with Rio Tinto over the construction of an aluminium smelter in the country, industry and trade minister Francisco Rivas has confirmed. The minister said the government is ready to listen to Rio Tinto's proposal. “The first stage of negotiations is complete, we are studying their proposals, we have prepared ourselves and now we have the guidelines of the executive chief (the president),” Rivas said after a meeting with president Federico Franco and the national economic team. The negotiations will be split into five stages, according to local media. The energy rate to be offered by the Paraguayan government remains the main point of discussion. The production cost of energy in the country is about $40 per Mw/h. The Paraguayan government is considering charging Rio Tinto between $40 per Mw/h and $60 per Mw/h.

    India's alumina smelters face 'severe' bauxite Shortage
   

Indian business leaders are pushing their government to ban the export of bauxite over concerns that local alumina refineries are being starved of supplies. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has written to the ministry of commerce and industry in New Delhi arguing that if a ban is not imposed, some Indian refineries could close. “Even though we have the fifth largest deposits of bauxite in the world, due to environmental clearance and land acquisition reasons, no new mines are coming up,” said FICCI director Arnab Kumar Hazra. This, he said, has left India's alumina sector with limited supply from mines in Maharashtra and Gujarat. He claimed the problem had been worsened by the closure earlier this year of bauxite mines in eastern Odisha and southern Andhra Pradesh. “The industry is today is at a crossroads primarily owing to severe shortage of raw materials, forcing plant closures and jeopardising employment,” Hazra said in an earlier letter to the secretary (chief official) in the ministry.
According to the government's Bureau of Mines, India holds about 3.5 billion tonne of bauxite reserves and in the financial year ending March 2010 India produced about 14,000 tonnes of the ore. Hazra emphasised that Indian manufacturers would pay dearly for an aluminium shortage, with the metal being worth at least 10 times more than bauxite. This additional value could be generated in India with reliable supplies of ore, rather than going to foreign refiners and smelters. He highlighted India's rising bauxite exports to China as a special cause of concern. “Maybe the Chinese are driving up bauxite prices,” Hazra told. “They did it with iron ore by buying at spot prices and are now doing it in bauxite”. According to United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics, India exported 434,000 tonnes of bauxite in 2011, more than half of it – 282,000 tonnes – was sent to China.

    Escondida helps push Chile's copper output Higher
   

Miners in Chile posted a 7% year-on-year increase in copper production for August, thanks mostly to a big increase in output at the BHP Billiton-operated Escondida mine. Copper output from all mines reached 458,000 tonnes, up from 426,500 tonnes a year earlier, Chile's copper commission Cochilco said. A more than doubling of production at Escondida helped offset declines at mines run by Codelco, the world's biggest copper producer. Escondida's production was 88,400 tonnes, up from 42,500 tonnes a year earlier. Anglo American Sur also reported a sharp increase to 33,000 tonnes, from 20,100 tonnes in August 2011.
Codelco total output fell 8.1% to 143,900 tonnes in the year-on-year comparison for August.
That decline was driven by a big decrease in output at Chuquicamata y Radomiro Tomic, the company's main project. Chuquicamata y Radomiro Tomic reported an output of 72,500 tonnes in August 2012, against 87,700 tonnes in the same month of 2011. Other projects of the state-owned company posted growth in production for the month. El Teniente 37,600 tonnes, up 8%, while Andina produced 19,700 tonnes, higher by 6%. Los Pelambres, controlled by Antofagasta, posted a 7.1% decrease to 36,300 tonnes. Collahuasi, another major mine, reported a 46.8% decrease in August 2012 to 19,600 tonnes. The mine is owned by a consortium consisting of Anglo American (44% ownership), Xstrata (44%) and others investors. In the January-August period, output amounted to 3.49 million tonnes of copper, vs. 3,37 million tonnes in the same period in 2011.

    Chile August copper output jumps 7.8%
   

Chile produced 462,643 tonnes of copper in August, jumping 7.8 percent from the same month a year earlier due to a low base of comparison and a higher current productive capacity, the government said. Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, churned out 414,339 tonnes of the red metal in July, a 9.8 percent jump from the same month a year earlier, also due to a low base of comparison and higher productive capacity, the government said last month. But copper output sank 8.5 percent in July compared with June on the maintenance of conveyer belts and grinding equipment.

    Codelco to cut Asia premiums-source
   

Codelco seek to reduce 2013 physical copper premiums to Asian buyers by about $5, while its European rate will likely be held or trimmed by a smaller amount, a source linked to the company said. The possible offer of a roughly $105 premium per tonne for Chinese clients over cash London Metal Exchange copper prices comes as international mining companies fret about sagging demand from leading metals consumer China. For 2012, Codelco offered $90 premiums to its European clients and $93 premiums to its Japanese clients, trading sources said. Codelco sets the industry's benchmark for global copper premiums. Miners are making a special effort to cultivate clients amid an uncertain outlook for demand. Many traders and industry players say copper demand in debt-ridden Europe is nevertheless unlikely to rebound significantly in 2013 no matter the premium. Copper, which is used extensively in construction and is seen as a bellwether for the health of the global economy, gained around 7 percent this quarter, closing at $8,205 a tonne. Codelco's spokesman said the company could not comment on premiums, as such negotiations are confidential. The state-run miner's copper output fell 6.4 percent in the first half to 767,000 tonnes compared with a year earlier, but the company said it still intended to produce around 1.7 million tonnes this year. Euro zone debt crisis and China's slowing economy have caused jitters in the copper industry. China's August copper imports fell 2.9 percent from July, preliminary customs data showed, reversing July's uptrend. China consumes around 40 percent of global copper. China has given the green light to 60 infrastructure projects worth more than $150 billion as it looks to energize an economy mired in its worst slowdown in three years, fueling hopes for a pick up. European copper demand is expected to contract this year, the International Copper Study Group said in April.

    Trafigura exits Australia's Tiger Resources, no strategic buyers
   

Commodities trader Trafigura has sold its 28 percent stake in Tiger Resources Ltd to institutional investors but no corporate buyer emerged to grab a strategic stake in the Australian miner with growing operations in central Africa's hot copper belt. The shares were sold at 35 cents a share to Australian and offshore investors, a person familiar with the process said who declined to be identified as the pricing was confidential. That's a pretty hefty discount to its cashflow valuation, said PCF Securities analyst Travis Baroni, who values the stock at 67 cents a share, or A$451 million. Baroni said general market jitters and worries about political stability in the Democratic Republic of Congo may have put off potential buyers, particularly as Tiger's Kipoi mine is 40 percent owned by DRC state-owned Gecamines. Tiger had hoped to buy out Gecamines' stake this year, but those talks have been put on hold as the Australian firm focuses on its expansion plans, Tiger spokesman Nathan Ryan said. The sale had been an opportunity for companies like China's MMG Ltd to get a foot in the door at a firm with growth potential in a region that has spawned more than $10 billion in copper miner takeovers in the past two years. MMG has said it is looking for acquisitions in the region following its $1.3 billion takeover earlier this year of Anvil Mining, whose Kinsevere copper mine is just 50 kilometres east of Tiger's Kipoi mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. MMG declined to comment on whether it looked at picking up any of Trafigura's shares. Other companies with assets in the region include commodities trader Glencore International and China's Jinchuan Group. Trafigura announced it would be exiting a week ago, appointing Canaccord Genuity to handle the sale of shares and warrants, which together amounted to 28 percent of Tiger's share base on a fully diluted basis.