Newmont Mining Stops Output at Indonesian Copper Mine
U.S. based Newmont Mining has stopped copper output from its Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia following stalled talks with government officials.
The company has been hit hard by Indonesia’s new mining rules, which were imposed in January, banning mineral export along with higher tax on copper concentrate exports. The new rules have forced Newmont Mining to halt concentrate exports since mid-January.
Newmont said its storage facilities at the Batu Hijau mine have reached full capacity and it’s attempting to delay standing down its 8,000 employees and contractors ahead of a government meeting this week.
"Newmont Nusa Tenggara (PTNNT) today said that its concentrate storage facilities at Batu Hijau are now full, forcing the operation to halt processing activities and cease production of copper concentrate," Newmont said in a statement.
Newmont along with fellow U.S. miner Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. are expected to hold talks this week with senior government officials in hope of ending the hiatus to copper shipments.
According to the statement from Newmont, “[The meeting] is intended to clarify the conditions under which copper concentrate exports will be permitted. The company is communicating with employees about the situation and most are prepared to be on standby at reduced pay, should that become necessary.”
After a slower first-quarter economic growth and a swelling trade deficit in April, the risk of massive job layoffs could add to pressure on the Indonesian government to find a solution to the stoppage.
Newmont Mining and Freeport McMoRan account for 97 percent of Indonesia’s copper output. The two companies are still shipping out some refined copper, but have immobilized exports of copper concentrate after objecting to the newly imposed tax rule.
Before the newly imposed rules, Newmont’s forecast for copper was at 110,000-125,000 tons in 2014.
View the entire statement from Newmont Mining Corporation here: http://www.ptnnt.co.id/ptnnt-provides-update-on-batu-hijau-operations.aspx
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.