Weekly Nugget

Peruvian Election Puts Miners in Crosshairs

The first-round winner of Peru’s presidential election, Pedro Castillo wants to renegotiate mining contracts rather than seize assets, said an official of the Free Peru Party to Bloomberg.

Ana Maria Cordova, the legal representative of Free Peru said:

“Not to expropriate them, not to nationalize or anything, but so that the conditions in some way also favor populations where these industries or mining operations are involved,” she said. “It is simply renegotiating conditions so that they somehow improve in favor of the population.”

Peruvian mining operations owned by BHP Group, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and Southern Copper Corp. account for 11% of the world’s mined copper. Anglo American is scheduled to begin production at the Quellaveco mine next year. 

Castillo will face right-wing Keiko Fujimori in a June 6 runoff vote.

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Anglo American to Provide 100% Renewable Energy for its South American Mines

Anglo American (LON:AAL) plans to deliver 100% renewable energy to its Quellaveco copper mine in Peru, fulfilling a promise of powering all of its Latin American operations by green energy by 2022.

The company stated two years ago that it would meet power requirements of its copper operations in Chile with renewables by 2021. It also said it expected to have its iron ore and nickel operations in Brazil, as well as its copper mine in Perú, relying solely on green power by 2022.

Engie Energía Perú, a subsidiary of France’s Engie, said in early April it planned to start working on the development of a $300-million, 260-megawatt wind project in the Moquegua region of Perú. The facility will provide 150 megawatts for an initial eight-year period to Quellaveco.

Quellaveco, with an expected cost of ~$5 billion, is expected to begin operations in 2022, ramping up to full production in 2023. During the first ten years of full production, the mine is expected to produce approximately 300,000 tonnes per year.

Anglo American also signed last year a 15-year contract in Brazil to buy 70 MW of solar power for its iron ore operation in Minas Gerais.

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Philippines Ends Moratorium on New Mining Deals

The Government of the Philippines has removed a nine-year moratorium on new mineral agreements in an effort to increase revenues. Current Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte signed executive order (EO) No.130 to amend Section 4 of EO No.79, s. 2012 that was signed by past President Benigno Aquino III.

This new executive order allows the government to make new agreements with mining companies to advance projects. The order also allows for a reconsideration of existing mining contracts.

This executive order directs the country’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources to: 

"...formulate the terms and conditions in the new mineral agreements that will maximize government revenues and share from production, including the possibility of declaring these areas as mineral reservations to obtain appropriate royalties, in accordance with existing laws, rules, and regulations..."

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Serbia Asks China's Zijin Mining to Stop Work at Copper Mine

China’s Zijin Mining Group has been reportedly asked by Serbia to stop work at the RTB Bor copper mine due to a lack of compliance with local environmental standards.

The company was also ordered to complete a wastewater treatment plant at the mine to avoid polluting the River Pek, a tributary of the Danube, according to Reuters citing Serbian Mining and Energy Minister Aleksandar Antić.

In 2018, Zijin Mining took control of a copper smelter for $350 million in the nearby city of Bor and began drilling, development and mining for copper and gold.

Zijin Bor Copper, the Serbian unit of China's Zijin Mining Group, plans to invest $408 million in the Bor mining complex in 2021, up from $360 million last year, it said.

The company intends to produce 83,450 tonnes of copper cathode, the output of gold is estimated at 2.5 tonnes, while production of silver is 10 tonnes, Zijin Bor Copper said in the online edition of its corporate newsletter Kolektiv earlier this week.

Bor accounts for 80% of Serbian exports to China. 

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