Author: E & MJ Editors

Nevada Copper Secures Financing for Pumpkin Hollow

Nevada Copper Corp. said it has entered into arrangements for a $378 million construction financing and recapitalization package, which will provide a clear pathway toward first production in 2019 from its 100% owned Pumpkin Hollow Copper Property. Pumpkin Hollow will be the first fully permitted copper project of scale to begin production in the United States in years. It will consist of two proposed copper mines: a near-production, high-grade underground mine with an existing production-size shaft and infrastructure; and a large-scale open-pit project with resource upside that involves pursuing a staged-development plan. The financing package is designed to provide a comprehensive funding solution for the restart of construction of the underground project and to position Nevada Copper for anticipated first production in 2019; and open-pit project extension drilling and optimization works to commence in the first quarter of 2018. “This financing is a pivotal moment for Nevada Copper,” said Evgenij Iorich, chairman of Nevada Copper. “We now look forward to swift progress with project development, including the near-term appointment of EPC and mining contractors, securing of long-lead items for the underground project, resource extension drilling for the open-pit project, and realizing the full value of this strategic asset.” Financing will be provided by Triple Flag Mining Finance Bermuda Ltd., Pala Investments Ltd., Red Kite Mine Finance, Concord Resources Ltd., as well as several institutional equity investors including JP Morgan...

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Construction at Boungou Progresses

SEMAFO Inc. reported that construction of the Boungou mine in Burkina Faso was 75% complete and remains on budget for commissioning in the third quarter of 2018. The company has so far invested $148 million. More than 90% of the total concrete pour, some 60% of structural steel and 30% of mechanical installation has been completed. The SAG mill is being installed. Structural steel for the pebble crusher, reagent storage, reclaim, grinding, workshop and pipe rack areas has been erected. The tailings storage facility is more than 60% complete. Pre-stripping continues at the Boungou deposit with 8.3 million of the projected 18 million metric tons (mt) already...

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Vale Offers Update on Fertilizer Transaction

Vale confirmed the sale of Vale Fertilizantes to the Mosaic Co. (Mosaic) is expected to close on or about January 8. The company said some final adjustments were made to the terms and conditions of the transaction. Vale will retain an equity interest in the TIPLAM port in the southeast of Brazil, formerly included in the transaction, and will receive about $1.15 billion plus $34.2 million worth of Mosaic shares, representing 8.9% of Mosaic’s total capital after issuance of the shares, upon...

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South Africa’s Next President Could Have Positive Effect on Mining Industry

A changing of the guard of South Africa’s political leadership could usher in a new era of mining, ending years of questionable policy decisions that have hampered the industry. In late December, the country’s ruling African National Congress held its elective convention to choose a new leader to replace Jacob Zuma, the party’s current leader and president of the country whose two-term tenure was at an end. In a tightly fought race, Zuma’s chosen successor, his ex-wife Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, lost out to businessman Cyril Ramaphosa. Although slated to remain in office until elections in 2019, Zuma is likely to come under pressure to quit sooner and allow Ramaphosa, current vice president of the country, to take over. Ramaphosa’s win is the best possible outcome for the beleaguered mining industry. He is cut from a very different cloth than Zuma. A lawyer by training and a founder of the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1980s, which led the fight against the then-apartheid regime that officially ended in 1994. Ramaphosa himself was a key figure in negotiating the country’s constitution that paved the way to end white rule. Sidelined in the years following Nelson Mandela’s presidency, Ramaphosa turned to business and built up a fortune that Forbes estimates at $675 million. His interests vary but include mining, and until recently, he held a seat on the board of...

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Suncor Expects First Oil From Fort Hills in January

Suncor, the operator of the Fort Hills Energy Ltd. Partnership, has confirmed that during 2017, the mine, primary extraction, utilities and froth assets were commissioned. More than 80% of the Fort Hills plant is now operational and has safely run at full capacity through the test runs over the past four months. All three secondary extraction trains are mechanically complete with the first train in its final commissioning stage. First oil is expected in mid-January. The second and third trains are currently being insulated and expected to start up in the first half of 2018, as planned. Fort Hills remains on track to reach 90% capacity by the end of 2018. The Fort Hills partners have resolved a previously announced commercial dispute. Suncor and Teck have each acquired an additional working interest in the Fort Hills project from Total E&P Canada (Total). Suncor’s share of the project has increased from 50.8% to 53.06% and Teck’s share has increased from 20% to 20.89%. Total’s share has decreased from 29.2% to 26.05%. Suncor and Teck have funded an increased share of the project capital, in the amounts of approximately $300 million and $120 million, respectively, commensurate with the additional working interests, which may be further adjusted in accordance with the terms of the Fort Hills partnership agreement, as amended, based on the parties’ respective contributions to project...

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