Monthly Metal Review
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
A mid-March EU order that depositors share Cy-prus-banks bailout costs ignited on-island turmoil and wider fears that it could be repeated elsewhere. Global stocks were shaken from multiyear highs, the euro fell and gold rose from a 13.5-percent winter fall as industrial commodities retreated. Copper prices dropped to a four-month low following the Cyprus deal, which investors consider more as a sign of dis-array than a cure.
Global markets were robust earlier on stronger February U.S. housing starts and job gains that dropped unemployment from 7.9 to 7.7 percent. In China, the biggest consumer of industrial metals, ex-ports soared almost 22 percent. But the mining industry faces a diminished Europe.
Undersea mining got a boost in the UK with gov-ernment selection of Seabed Resources UK, owned by Lockheed Martin, to lead undersea-mining efforts in 58,000 square kilometers between Hawaii and Mexico. Seabed said polymetallic nodules four kilometers down contain millions of tons of copper, nickel, cobalt, manganese and rare-earth minerals. China and Russia also have undersea-mining programs.
First Quantum’s Inmet acquisition at the end of the month will bring the company into the league of largest copper producers thanks to its Cobre Panama project. This acquisition could also show the path to an in-crease in mergers among mining companies. Ernst & Young predicts that throughout 2013 senior miners will be looking to divest non-core assets and reduce the risk on projects by entering into joint ventures.
Mexico's government is to introduce a mining policy with possible royalty tariffs. Mexico is the top producer of silver, fifth for lead and molybdenum and ninth for gold. The Philippines lifted its two-year ban on new mining applications, opening access to $850 billion in mineral reserves.
The party set to dominate Greenland's ruling coalition has called for miners to pay higher royalties and hew to labour standards making cheaper-labour imports difficult. Some 2,000 Chinese workers have been flown in to work at a $2.3 billion iron project run by London Mining to supply China. Analysts said the opposition victory was aided by voters' perception that the previous government was too friendly to foreign miners and China.
Copper stocks on the London Metal Exchange were at their highest in a decade, rising to 562,475 tonnes. The LME recorded a 28-percent 2012 reve-nue jump, reflecting establishment of a midyear exchange user fee (EUF).
Quebec's provincial government softened its stance on raising mining royalties. The natural re-sources minister said royalties might vary, depending on how long a mine is exploited. The government had planned 5-percent royalties on gross value of output, with a 30-percent surtax on profits.
Afghanistan's mining minister said a new mining law will conform to international standards and will be passed by Parliament in April. It would allow miners to find and mine under a unified contract, without separate bidding. London is supporting attempts to draw investment for Afghan mining projects.