Jaguar Mining takes option on Iamgold assets in Brazil
The option gives Jaguar the potential to earn an initial 60% interest in the package, which comprises 28 exploration tenements. This includes the Paciência mill, which has been dormant in care and maintenance since 2012. The requirements for this option are that Jaguar spends $6mn on exploration over a four-year period, commencing in the third quarter of 2020.
Jaguar Mining will be the project operator. The technical committee will be drawn from representatives of both Iamgold and Jaguar.
The Iron Quadrangle area contains world-class multimillion-ounce gold deposits, including those at Morro Velho, Cuiabá and São Bento. Jaguar already has the second-largest gold land position among companies operating in the Iron Quadrangle, with more than 35 000 ha.
At present, Jaguar’s main operating assets are the Turmalina gold mine and the Caeté mining complex.
Jaguar’s CEO, Vern Baker, commented on the acquisition: “The opportunity to increase exploration targets with the Iron Quadrangle agreement, our sustainable production and excess plant capacity, underpinned by an expanding mineral resource and mineral reserve inventory, can easily support growth exploration initiatives”.
The company’s vice-president for geology and exploration, Jon Hill, added: “A multitude of historical mines and mineralised occurrences along the prolific Sao Vincente, Paciência and Congonhas crustal scale shear zones, along with existing data from ongoing generative work, indicate Tier 1 discovery potential targets. A discovery, regardless of size, may potentially be processed at Jaguar's underutilised and permitted Paciência mill”.
Iamgold is another Canadian gold mining company, with assets in Canada, Burkina Faso and Suriname as well as Brazil. Its CEO, Gordon Stothart, took up the post in March this year.
Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%
Copper production from the world’s top companies is set to increase by up to 3.8% this year, following a fall of 0.2% in 2020, GlobalData analysis reveals. Last year’s marginal slump saw production drop to 11.76 million tonnes (Mt).
The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mining operations was immense, however, six of the ten largest copper producers succeeded in increasing output last year. In 2021, copper production from the top ten copper companies is expected to bounce back, rising by up to 3.8%, to reach 12.2Mt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The highest increase in copper production was by Canada’s First Quantum, which, despite all the challenges, reported 10.4% growth in 2020. The company’s Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama were key contributors to this growth. While the latter remained under care and maintenance between April and August 2020, it delivered record production levels during the subsequent months.
Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal used in electric vehicles, also bucked the trend.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Despite Codelco reporting over 3,400 active cases during July 2020, the company achieved 1.2% growth in its production in 2020. The company implemented a four-phase plan, as part of the COVID-19 measures, to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while also avoiding any significant impact to its copper output.”
Although the overall impact was minimal, declines in production were observed from Glencore (8.2%), Antofagasta (4.7%), BHP (3.9%) and Freeport McMoRan (1.3%). Reduced operational workforces due to COVID-19 measures, lower ore grades and production halts due to maintenance were the key disruptors to output during 2020.
The move towards electric vehicles and clean energy from renewables sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has driven the copper price to all-time highs. Copper has been among the best performers over the last month where metals ranging from aluminum to iron ore have surged to their highest prices in years. The rally is being fueled by stimulus measures, near-zero interest rates and signs that economies are recovering from the global pandemic.