OZL 0.78% $15.34 oz minerals limited

project delays, mine shutdowns and cutbacks

  1. 197 Posts.
    Original text including links can be found at http://www.miningweekly.com/article.php?a_id=147279

    Published on 13th November 2008
    JULY - NOVEMBER 2008

    NOVEMBER 13 - Xstrata Nickel will cease operations ahead of schedule at the Craig and Thayer-Lindsley mines, in Sudbury, in response to low nickel prices.

    NOVEMBER 13 - Base-metals miner Lundin Mining will suspend zinc production from its Neves-Corvo copper/zinc mine, in Portugal, and put another operation, Aljustral, on care and maintenance until metal prices recover.

    NOVEMBER 12 - Copper-miner First Quantum has suspended production at its Bwana Mkubwa plant, in Zambia, and is renegotiating supply contracts to try accelerate the benefits of lower prices for oil and other key consumables, after copper prices fell sharply. The company will also defer nonessential exploration and capital expenditure programs.

    NOVEMBER 12 - Ferrochrome producer International Ferro Metals announces 40% production cut and says it will delay some of its capital expenditure projects in what it calls a prudent and swift move to ensure that the company weathers the economic storm.

    NOVEMBER 12 - Dutch aluminium producer Vimetco will cut its production in China by a further 15 000 t, in addition to an 80 000-t cut announced in October. The company also says it may cut production in Romania by as much as 65 000 t/y in 2009, resulting in the group's total output being reduced by 160 000 t to about 515 000 t

    NOVEMBER 11 - Cameco Corporation says it is “re-examining” expenditures, in response to what it describes as an effective shutdown of the capital debt market.

    NOVEMBER 11 - TSX-listed Arehada Mining has begun a temporary shut down of operations at its zinc/lead/silver mine and plant, in Inner Mongolia, China, after falling metal prices made the operation unprofitable.

    NOVEMBER 11 - Frontera Copper has suspended mining activities at its Piedras Verdes operation in Mexico, and will cut its workforce by about 100, in response to low metals prices.

    NOVEMBER 11 - China's refined nickel output is forecast to fall nearly 10% to around 130 000 t this year from a previous estimate as demands weakens, Reuters reports.

    NOVEMBER 10 - World number two zinc-miner OZ Minerals is reviewing all capital and operational expenditures, in response to “low and volatile” commodity prices, turbulent currency exchange rates and tight credit markets.

    NOVEMBER 10 - Platinum and chrome producer Xstrata Alloys and its South African joint-venture partner, Merafe Resources,will temporarily suspend six furnaces of the Xstrata-Merafe chrome venture. The six South African furnaces would represent about 500 000 t, or 29%, of the annual ferrochrome production of the chrome venture.

    NOVEMBER 10 - Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold will cut molybdenum production at its Henderson mine, in Colorado, by 25%, in response to a "sudden and sharp" drop in prices for the metal and weak global economic conditions. The company will also defer the planned restart of the Climax molybdenum mine, where production was previously scheduled to begin in 2010, and is reviewing production levels at its copper-mining operations.

    NOVEMBER 10 - Rio Tinto Alcan will review a $10,6-billion aluminium joint-venture with Saudi firm Maaden, Reuters reported.

    NOVEMBER 10 - Mining group Rio Tinto will cut its Australian iron-ore production by about 10%, in response to a reduction in demand from its customers and reduced shipments.

    NOVEMBER 7 - Eastern Platinum is re-evaluating its short-term development plan in response to lower platinum-group metals prices.

    NOVEMBER 7 - TSX-listed Silver Eagle Mines, which owns a silver and base-metals mine in Mexico, is considering "all potential alternatives", including putting itself up for sale, after it was unable to arrange debt financing.

    NOVEMBER 6 - Molybdenum-producer Thompson Creek Metals postpones the development of its Davidson underground mine in Canada, after a “dramatic reduction” in molybdenum prices.

    NOVEMBER 6 - Canadian metals-miner FNX Mining has cut its spending plans for this year for a second time, and expects to further “dramatically” reduce expenditures in 2009.

    NOVEMBER 5 - Peter Hambro Mining is carefully reviewing its exploration, construction, and maintenance expenditure for 2009, and will postpone a planned listing on the main LSE board.

    NOVEMBER 4 - HudBay Minerals will delay construction of its Fenix nickel project in Guatemala due to falling metals prices and economic uncertainty.

    NOVEMBER 4 - London-listed Aricom is reviewing its iron-ore projects to reduce spending because of the global economic crisis.

    NOVEMBER 3 - TSX Venture Exchange-listed Inca Pacific will cancel an order for a ball mill for its Magistral copper/molybdenum project, and will delay ordering any other long-lead-time equipment, in order to conserve working capital.

    NOVEMBER 3 - South African trade union Solidarity says that the world's third biggest platinum producer, Lonmin, issued unions a notice of possible retrenchments, as the company planned on cutting back on expenses.

    OCTOBER 31 - Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel miner, will cut 10% of the workforce at its central office in Moscow due to the financial crisis, Reuters reports.

    OCTOBER 31 - Brazilian miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce will cut iron ore output by 10% from November, as a global financial slowdown translates into softening demand for steel.

    OCTOBER 30 - Barrick Gold, the world's biggest gold-miner, is looking at opportunities to buy rivals or their assets cheaply, after the financial crisis and fears over weakening demand for commodities led to “amazing” declines in valuation.

    OCTOBER 29 - Canadian diversified mining and energy group Sherritt International is taking “immediate steps” to reduce costs and capital spending, as commodity prices continue to weaken, including the suspension of significant expansion initiatives.

    OCTOBER 29 - Vancouver-based Baja Mining will delay construction at its Boleo copper project, in Mexico, until market conditions improve.

    OCTOBER 29 - Denver-based gold major Newmont Mining may delay some projects because of turbulence in the financial and commodities markets, but the company also sees opportunities to benefit from the current environment, president and CEO Richard O'Brien tells analysts.

    OCTOBER 29 - Aquarius Platinum places its No. 2 shaft at Marikana, on the Western Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, on care-and-maintenance, in response to low prices for platinum-group metals.

    OCTOBER 28 - Platinum junior Wesizwe Platinum is reconsidering certain options of the project plan for its core 350 000-oz/y platinum-group metals Frischgewaagd-Ledig project, because of volatile metals prices and financial markets.

    OCTOBER 28 - North America's biggest iron-ore producer, Cliffs Natural Resources, will temporarily idle three pellet furnaces in Minnesota, in response to slumping demand for the steelmaking ingredient.

    OCTOBER 28 - Fortescue Metals Group, Australia's third-largest iron-ore miner, reports it has deferred some spending on expansion.

    OCTOBER 27 - South Africa's Simmer & Jack Mines says it will slow development at its Buffelsfontein gold mine and the Transvaal Gold Mining Estates, after a significant deterioration in capital market conditions to fund new growth projects.

    OCTOBER 24 - South African ferrous-metals miner Assmang will switch off two of its ferrochrome furnaces at the Machadodorp works, citing adverse marketing conditions. The move is prompted by a sudden decline in demand for its products in the spot commodity markets, more specifically the demand for ferrochrome and chrome ores.

    OCTOBER 24 - Copper and cobalt miner Katanga Mining is re-examining its capital expenditure plans, but, in the meantime, will continue funding the second phase of its Kamoto rehabilitation project.

    OCTOBER 23 - Diversified miner Anglo American is reviewing its capital expenditure programme owing to current market volatility and uncertainty.

    OCTOBER 23 - Diversified-miner Teck Cominco says it plans to curtail sustaining capital and exploration spending, and will consider selling assets, as it adjusts to slumping metals prices and seeks to pay down debt.

    OCTOBER 23 - The CEO of Codelco, the world's largest copper miner, tells journalists that the super cycle of high copper prices has come to an "abrupt" end. The company, owned by the Chilean government is taking steps to adjust to the new pricing environment.

    OCTOBER 22 - Uranium One announces that its Dominion mine, in South Africa, will be placed on care-and-maintenance while the company considers looking for a buyer or closing the operation completely. Plummeting uranium prices, cost inflation and a slower-than-expected ramp-up at the mine, which has yet to achieve commercial production, resulted in a “significant deterioration” in the economics of Dominion.

    OCTOBER 21 - Diamond giant De Beers will reduce the amount of unpolished gems at its next two sales due to reduced demand, according to Reuters.

    OCTOBER 21 - TSX-listed FNX Mining suspends contact nickel production at its Levack Complex, in Sudbury, Ontario, citing low commodity prices and low provisional metal accountabilities, along with high operating costs of mining the deposits.

    OCTOBER 21 - Toronto-based North American Palladium will temporarily close its Lac des Iles platinum-group metals (PGM) mine, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and will lay off about 350 employees. The mine is operating well below breakeven, thanks to plummeting platinum-group metals prices.

    OCTOBER 21 - Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold will defer mine expansions and put off restarting at least one operation, as it adjusts to slumping commodity prices. The group has plans to restart the historic Miami copper mine, in the US, and will defer incremental expansions at the Sierrita and Bagdad mines, in Arizona.

    OCTOBER 20 - TSX-listed First Nicke suspends production at its Lockerby nickel mine, in Canada's Sudbury basin, citing low metals prices and difficult financial conditions. The firm is placing the mine in a care and maintenance programme, which will enable it to restart production when economic conditions improve, and while the company evaluates its options

    OCTOBER 20 - Polymetal, Russia's largest silver miner, cuts its production forecast, citing falling metal prices, and says it will consider revising its investment plan for next year.

    OCTOBER 17 - Metals analysts say that many platinum projects still in the planning or development stage will battle to remain viable in the current pricing environment. One expert speculates that a number of platinum juniors are "dead in the water".

    OCTOBER 15 - Diversified-miner Rio Tinto will review near-term capital expenditure and project costs in light of recent market turmoil, CEO Tom Albanese reports. However, the group says it still believes the long-term outlook for commodities is positive.

    OCTOBER 15 - Zambia's Central Bank says that the global financial crisis will adversely affect demand for Zambian copper and hurt the flow of foreign direct investments. An official warns that a severe and prolonged financial crisis would affect demand for copper among major consumers like China and lead to a stagnation of growth in the country's copper mining industry.

    OCTOBER 14 - London-listed Gem Diamonds warns it may postpone the start-up of its Gope project, in Botswana, because of expected delays in securing project finance.

    OCTOBER 12 - The World Federation of Diamond Bourses urges mining firms to cut back on the supply of unpolished gems to the market amid the world economic crisis. Reuters reports that the organisation says the move is neccessary to the safeguard the strength of the industry.

    OCTOBER 13 - ASX- and TSX-listed Intrepid Mines postpones construction of the Casposo gold/silver project, in the San Juan province of Argentina, owing to the impact of the financial market turmoil on the availability of funds.

    OCTOBER 9 - Base-metals miner Strategic Resource Acquisition will place its Mid-Tennessee zinc mining complex on temporary care and maintenance, after determining that the project is “uneconomic” at current zinc prices.

    AUGUST 21 – Canadian base-metals-miner HudBay Minerals says it will close its Balmat zinc mine and concentrator, in New York, citing low zinc prices, high operating costs and "general inflationary pressures".

    AUGUST 7 – Lundin Mining says that its Aljustral project, in Portugal, is not economically viable at current zinc prices. The company records a $152,8-million noncash impairment after writing down the value of the Aljustrel operations, where it has battled falling zinc prices, high input costs and a slower-than-expected ramp-up.

    JULY 14 – Teck and Xstrata Resources announce that they will close their jointly owned Lennard Shelf Pillara mine, in Western Australia, after plummeting zinc and lead prices and rising costs made the mine uneconomic. The companies also cite a stronger Australian dollar and lower than expected production.

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