LATAM Weekly News

21 April 2021

Hello, Jane Lockwood here with this week’s edition of Spotlight Mining’s Latin American newsletter.  I’ll be putting these out from now on, so if there’s anything you’d like to see more, less, or any thoughts you want to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at jane@spotlightmining.com!  Let’s get started…

Market Overview

Copper was the resource creating all the buzz this week, and that’s good news for the South America in particular, because the metal is one of its most precious exports.

Chile has closed its borders for the duration of April in an attempt to deal with the COVID-19 situation in the country, and this led to an immediate jump in copper prices as the market felt the tightening of supply from the world’s largest producer. Production has also been down in Chile and Peru as a result of the pandemic, which caused prices to surge in February.  While prices haven’t quite returned to that level, a Goldman Sachs report calling copper “the new oil” and citing an increase in battery and electric vehicle production against stagnant supply was released this week, driving prices up again. 

Demand is predicted to come from fast pandemic recovery in China and the West, the US’s $2 trillion infrastructure spending package, and the nearing of the Paris Agreement deadline, with renewable energy production relying heavily on copper. Goldman predicted prices of $15,000/ton by 2025, compared to current levels of around $9,000/ton.  Bear in mind though, that in the shorter term JP Morgan is predicting a fall in prices back to around $7,800/ton by the end of the year, partially driven by smelter downtime in China in response to the current tight supply – a position which is supported by the Yangshan copper premium index. 

One player looking to cash in on a bright copper future is Nobel Resources Corp. (TSXV:NBLC), which was listed on Monday, and which hopes to develop the Algarrobo copper project in Chile.

Around The Traps

For a look at the significance for mining of the surprise victory of the business-friendly candidate Guillermo Lasso in the Ecuadorian election earlier this month, check out my piece in The Prospector!

For more South American politics, have a look at Bloomberg on the softening of Peru’s presidential candidate, Pedro Castillo, in his stance on mine nationalisation.

Mammoth Resources (TSXV:MTH) has had an extremely positive week, with good results from its highly detailed geological and geophysical exploration on its Tenoriba gold-silver prospect in the Sierra Madre, Mexico.

Also in Mexico, the well-funded junior Riverside Resources (TSXV:RRI) announced strong drilling results, including a very near-surface 1.51 g/t gold over 24.2 m, on its Cecilia Project.

Los Cerros Limited (ASX:LCL) has announced (pdf) results of its gold porphyry drilling campaign in the Quinchia district of Columbia, with one hole returning the highest grade ever recorded in Quinchia on a gram-per-metre basis, according to Managing Director Jason Stribinskis.

Equinox Gold (TSX: EQX, NYSE:EQX) has sold its Brazilian Pilar gold mine for $38 million to private firm Pilar Gold Inc. as part as a portfolio optimization strategy.  Equinox acquired the mine complex when it took over Premier Gold Mines in December last year.

Anglo American (LON:AAL) has completed its goal of powering all its South American operations with renewable energy, having signed a deal to provide 100% of its Quellaveco copper project, expected to begin production next year, with renewables.

Posted in The Latin Quarter

Liam Hardy View posts by Liam Hardy

With a family background in African mining exploration and a degree in geology, Liam brings a mix of technical ‘on-the-ground’ ore hunting and suit-booted office experience to the team. Liam worked in Liberia with Hummingbird Resources and spent 4 years as a geochemical analyst, before focusing on streamlining communications and development in exploration businesses, through the founding of ‘Spotlight Mining’.