SANTIAGO, April 8 (Reuters) – The world’s top copper miners
are ebullient this year as the price of the bellwether metal
has soared in recent months, but many fear that the rising cost
of energy, personnel and equipment could begin to eat into
profits, as new projects are brought online.
The price of the metal used in construction and power hit
$8,010 a tonne earlier this week, its highest since August 2008
and less than a $1,000 shy of its all-time high of $8,940
struck in July 2008.
SANTIAGO, April 8 (Reuters) – Equinox Minerals Ltd plans to
expand its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia and is in talks with
possible partners that will allow it to build a $200 million
uranium plant on the site, the company’s CEO Craig Williams
told Reuters on Thursday.
Australian miner, Equinox <EQN.TO> < EQN.AX>, is currently
ramping up output at Lumwana, one of the largest open pit
copper mines in Africa.
SANTIAGO, April 5 (Reuters) – Chile’s mining minister on
Monday reiterated his pledge to respect existing contracts as
the world’s biggest copper producer considers increasing
royalties in order to fund post-quake reconstruction.
In an effort to allay fears among miners who worried that a
rise in the 5 percent royalty rate could erode profits in an
industry still leery of making new investments, Mining Minister
Laurence Golborne told Reuters the contracts were inviolate,
but avoided any detailed comments on the subject.
LA PAZ (Reuters) – Leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales signed an agreement on Thursday that paves the way for the acquisition of a $300 million Chinese telecommunications satellite, the latest sign of deepening ties between the resource rich Andean country and commodity-hungry China.
The Morales government announced earlier this week that China will provide Bolivia with a $67 million loan to build infrastructure in the mineral-rich Oruro region and transportation equipment worth $2.6 million to the Bolivian armed forces.
SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Power distribution problems after a devastating earthquake in Chile could cut copper output more than 25 percent in the world’s top producer of the red metal, creating supply fears and lifting global copper prices.
The earthquake and ensuing tsunamis on Feb 27 killed hundreds of people, mangled roads and knocked down buildings in a pile of wreckage that could take years to rebuild.
LA PAZ, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Bolivia and Argentina are likely
to sign by March a contract amendment that will extend the
deadline for the Andean country to boost natural gas exports to
its wealthier neighbor, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia
Linera said on Monday.
Bolivia agreed in late 2006 to nearly quadruple exports of
natural gas to Argentina from the current maximum of 7.7
million cubic meters a day but, according to local media and
analysts, the two countries have been negotiating an amendment
to the deal for some months.
MEXICO CITY/LA PAZ (Reuters) – Hopes of an electric car boom are spurring companies to seek new lithium sources, but new finds may be lower quality and costlier to develop than established deposits able to meet demand for years to come.
Lithium is a key component in rechargeable batteries that power laptop computers, digital cameras and cell phones. Demand for the silver-white metal is expected to surge if carmakers start producing electric or hybrid vehicles on a large scale.
LA PAZ, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Bolivian President Evo Morales
appointed Luis Fernando Vincenti as the country’s new energy
minister on Saturday, in a Cabinet shuffle a day after starting
his second presidential term.
Bolivia has the second-largest natural gas reserves in
South America after Venezuela and is the region’s top exporter
of the fuel.
LA PAZ, Bolivia, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Bolivian President Evo
Morales began his second term on Friday vowing to further
tighten state control over South America’s poorest economy and
develop some of the world’s largest lithium reserves.
Morales, an Aymara Indian and Bolivia’s first indigenous
president, won a sweeping re-election victory in December on
the back of broad support from the poor Indian majority.
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Argentine President
Cristina Fernandez asked lawmakers on Tuesday to discuss her
firing of the Central Bank chief in an effort to defuse a row
over her plan to use foreign currency reserves to pay debt.
Fernandez’s plan to use $6.6 billion in central bank
reserves to make debt payments this year has sparked legal
challenges and political tension, rattling financial markets
and raising concerns that a planned bond swap could be