Green Shoots for Metals?

As mining companies were releasing their second quarter financials, it was becoming clear that some of the markets for several metals may be turning the corner. Prices for precious metals and iron ore had moved north. Gold miners have seen their market capitalization rise considerably since the beginning of the year. Other areas, especially bulk commodities such as coal, oil sands and potash, have yet to see a rebound.

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Can Kuczynski Unlock Peru’s Potential?

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) won Peru’s presidential runoff election during June. The runoff was between two center-right candidates each of whom promoted a continuation of the country’s pro-development path. The differences, however, were stark. The 77-year-old PPK, a former finance minister and successful investment banker, argued that cutting taxes and reducing the regulatory burden would bring more business into the formal economy and grow revenue for the government. He also promised to reform the police and improve the judiciary system, and make running water available to all Peruvians.

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Politicians Subvert Federal Approval Process

Executives from Antofagasta Minerals flew to Washington, D.C., during May to meet with Minnesota lawmakers about the company’s proposed Twin Metals copper mine. Antofagasta owns Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM), which hopes to open a copper mine south of Ely, Minnesota, near the Boundary Waters wilderness area. The group met with U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Crosby, who represents the region, and they reportedly gave him an update on what the company is committed to do as far as protecting the Boundary Waters. They also met U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-St. Paul) and well…she was not as hospitable.

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Reversion to the Mean

One of the expressions we are hearing more frequently from mining companies when they talk about high-quality assets these days is the ability to return the cost of capital, make money, generate cash flow, etc., “throughout the commodity cycle.” Many of the people making these statements believe that metal prices have now reached the bottom of the cycle. That generalization could be made easily looking at the last five years. Looking at 15 or 25 years, however, that benchmark for Tier 1 designation rises substantially.

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From the Editor

Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief, EMJ, Engineering Mining Journal
Steve Fiscor heads a world class group of writers and editors serving the mining and construction markets. He has served as editor-in-chief for E&MJ since 2003 and Coal Age since 2001. He writes articles on mining and processing, organizes the technical programs for several conferences, and produces many of MMI's ancillary products.

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