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March 13, 2017 / admin

Listen Hear! NZ Report by National Foundation for the Deaf

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NZ-Hearing-Loss-Final-Report-2016 Download Full Report Here
In 2016 the Foundation, in partnership with the wider deaf and hard of hearing community, commissioned Deloittes Access Economics (Australia) to research and produce a report on the impact that hearing loss has on the New Zealand economy. The purpose of this research has been to draw back the curtain on the economic cost of hearing loss in our country and to help inform on its impact. Reference: The National Foundation for the Deaf Inc

March 12, 2017 / admin

Balfour Beatty Rail Takes on Echo Barrier as Best Practice on London Underground


A new and highly effective solution to the problems of excessive noise pollution generated during rail works has now been included as best practice by Balfour Beatty Rail (BBR) on their London Underground rail replacement projects. In order to be a responsible contractor and neighbour, BBR were keen to proactively demonstrate a commitment to reducing noise levels on track renewal work. They needed a solution and following some market research, a 'new and innovative' product called echo H1 acoustic barrier from Echo Barrier was discovered. It offers an inert, safe and lightweight solution which does not absorb water, is easy to fit to heras fencing and is quick to install. The echo H1 literally soaks up sound around it rather than reflecting it, attenuating noise by up to a remarkable 30dB. Echo Barrier acoustic barriers were used during works at Edgware Road with impressive results, leading BBR to conclude that their reputation had been directly enhanced as no complaints from residents were received. Balfour Beatty Rail said: "The Echo Barrier and what it allows us to do, has had a considerably positive impact on our reputation and on our procedures. It will prove a valuable asset moving forward in ensuring that we are able to respect the communities in which we do our work, and are able to work more efficiently and effectively." It is imperative that works happen when initially planned and are not rescheduled or held up due to issues such as noise. The echo H1 is weatherproof, fire resistant, lightweight yet hard wearing and also gives the opportunity for display of client advertising or branding. It can be rolled, which makes transport, man handling and storage very easy. Other uses for the product include construction site work, demolition projects, loading and unloading areas and to provide improved on-site staff welfare facilities.

September 29, 2016 / admin

ECHO Barrier expands in US


UK News: Worldwide distribution deal for noise experts

Noise reduction experts Echo Barrier have secured a deal with US giant United Rentals, which will see their award-winning acoustic barriers becoming available across the globe. The post UK News: Worldwide distribution deal for noise experts appeared first on Echo Barrier. United Rentals, who are the world’s largest equipment rentals company, are based in the USA and cover the States and Canada, and they will take on a distributor role for the Sudbury based noise experts. The innovative Echo Barriers are already used by some of the world’s biggest construction companies and have already been credited with reducing building noise at the likes of the World Trade Centre in New York and on the London Underground. However, the deal will see the products being made available through United Rentals, who have an established customer base and recognised brand worldwide. Peter Wilson, Technical Director at Echo Barrier who created the Echo Barrier just 5 years ago says this is a monumental landmark in the company’s growth. “United Rentals can get our product in front of huge markets across the world with relative ease which will significantly grow our business” he said. “We have been working with the team based in the States for a long time to try and get the deal right to benefit both parties and we are thrilled to have finally signed on the dotted line.” Echo Barrier launched its first innovative noise reduction barrier into the market in 2010 to be a cost effective and accessible tool to help construction, rail and events companies and Local Authorities reduce the impact of works noise on local communities. In the 5 years since, two more improved iterations of the barrier have been designed and produced, whilst the generator acoustic enclosure, H20 Acoustic tent, the zero rated barrier and the transparent barrier have also been added into the portfolio of products. Recently, Echo Barrier played a pivotal part in the Earls Court London Underground station improvement project, allowing crucial work to take place without having to close the station. With an integrated network of over 880 locations across the United States, United Rentals is the world’s largest equipment rental provider, offering 3,300 classes of equipment. United Rentals will deliver Echo Barrier’s acoustic barrier products including the Echo H2 Acoustic Noise Barrier, Echo H3, Echo FR H2O Acoustic Enclosure, among with numerous other noise reduction accessories.

September 26, 2016 / admin

These 10 mines will set the copper price for the next decade

Copper Mine

Chile's state-owned copper giant Codelco's announcement today of another round of layoffs is just the latest sign of an industry under stress. Copper has recovered from six-year lows struck late August on the back of supply cuts by major producers but at around $2.30 a pound or $5,000 per tonne on Tuesday there isn't much breathing room for producers. The latest estimates by the Lisbon-based International Copper Study Group paint a very different picture from the previous forecast made in April. The market is now expected to be broadly in balance this year and to fall into a deficit of 130,000 tonnes in 2016. This compares with April’s forecasts of surpluses of 364,000 and 228,000 tonnes respectively.

Despite a $4.2 billion expansion project output at the world's largest copper mine output will fall by 17% this year
According to ICSG World mine production, after adjusting for expected disruptions, is expected to increase by around 1.2% in 2015 to 18.8 million tonnes. 2014 recorded similar growth rates. The expected market shortfall in 2016 will be against a backdrop of higher mine output of around 4% expected next year. The copper industry has a long history of these supply-side surprises however. Typical disruptions associated with adverse weather (exacerbated this year and next by El Nino, which create droughts on one side of the pacific and floods at the other),  technical problems, power shortages and labour activity coupled with falling grades and dirty concentrates at old mines (pushing up unit costs) make forecasting a tough proposition.

Expansions, expansion, expansion

Longer term Wood Mackenzie predicts a 10 million tonne deficit by 2028. Supply to fill this gap is expected to arise from expansions at existing operations, ramp-up in production from mines that have recently come on stream and output from a few new mine projects. Crucial for the direction of the copper price are the development activity from copper's top tier. The world's ten largest copper mines produced 4,315.2kt of fine copper in 2014 representing about 23.3% of the world total according to ICSG.  But the fact that Codelco, which vies with US-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as the world's number one producer of the metal, is spending $25 billion over the next several years just to keep output steady is also telling. Another indication of to what extent the copper price is dependent on the performance of a few giant operations is Escondida, the complex of mines and plants in Chile owned by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Escondida is a truly massive complex and the only mine to produce more than a million tonnes per year. Operator BHP in May completed a $4.2 billion expansion and is spending another $3.4 billion on water  facilities. Despite the billions being spent, Escondida's output will fall by more than 200,000 tonnes this year as record material mined is offset by a sharp decline in grades. These 10 mines will set the copper price for the next decade   The top ten list based on data from IntelligenceMine, a sister company to, will look different in coming years. Freeport’s Grasberg mine in remote Indonesia didn’t make it to the 2014 list. Grasberg is worthy of mention however, as it produced 295.3kt (420kt in 2013) of copper and 1,132 koz of gold and boast one of the world’s largest reserves for both metals. Freeport is expecting lower output in 2015 due to the El Nino weather effect, but the iconic mine is bound to make a comeback as it completes the transition to underground over the next several years.
A tripling of capacity at Cerro Verde will catapult the century old mine into the top three global copper operations by 2017
While Freeport has made cutbacks at existing operations it's going ahead with the expansion of the Cerro Verde copper and molybdenum mine in Peru, which has been in production since the mid-1800s. Capacity at the concentrator plant at the open pit is being tripled to 360,000 tonnes per day and should catapult Cerro Verde to the top three global copper operations by 2017. New mines such as Las Bambas, owned by China-backed MMG, will produce on average 400,000 per year in its first 5 years of production. Construction at the Peruvian mine is nearly complete and the Australia-based MMG expects first production of concentrate in the first quarter of 2016. Last month the copper price got a boost when deadly clashes at the mine forced Peru to declare a state of emergency in the region. More evidence that even sure bets like Las Bambas – acquired by Chinese investors from Xstrata at the time of the merger with Glencore – are prone to disruption. Oyu Tolgoi mine has one of the world’s largest copper and gold reserves and is currently operating as an open-pit in Mongolia. Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce an average of 430,000 of copper and 425,000 oz of gold per year over its mine life. Full production following a $5 billion underground expansion is expected in 2021 and at full tilt the mine will represent nearly a third of the country's GDP. Rio Tinto-controlled Turquoise Hill Resources holds 66% and the Mongolian government the remainder.

The giants of copper mining

  These 10 mines will determine the copper price for the next decade
  1. Escondida
Escondida is the largest copper producer with 54 years of reserve life The Escondida Complex, located in the Atacama Desert, is the largest of Chile’s big seven, contributing 1.14 million tonnes (Mt) fine copper in 2014. This represents 6% of the world’s copper output and roughly 20% of Chile’s output.  C1 cash costs of US$1.07/lb are among the lowest in the industry and are expected to drop to US$0.91 in 2016. In 2014, gold at 72.90koz and silver at 4271koz are important by-products.  Minera Escondida is owned by BHP Billiton (57.5%), Rio Tinto (30.0%), and Mitsubishi and Nippon Mining and Metals (10%) and Jeco 2 Ltd (2.5%).  Escondida Complex has the capacity to move 1.3 Mt of material per day from the two operating mines, Escondida and Escondida Norte.  Both deposits are supergene-enriched copper-molybdenum porphyries. Minera Escondida reserves total 26.2 Bt grading 0.523% Cu translating to a reserve life of 54 years (as of 30 June 2015). Copper in sulphide mineralization is recovered through two existing processing options: high grade is treated by conventional flotation at one of three concentrators (153.7 million tonnes per annum capacity; (Mtpa)) to produce copper concentrate (844.7kt in 2014) while lower grade is treated by a run of mine bio-leaching and subsequent solvent extraction (SX) and electrowinning (EW) producing copper cathodes. Copper in oxide mineralization is recovered through the acid leaching-SX-EW process plant. The cathodes (308.0kt in 2014) are transported by rail to ports at Antofagasta and Mejillones and concentrate is transported by two 168km Escondida owned pipelines to its Coloso port facilities. A new 152ktpd concentrator and a new leach pad were completed in late 2014 to help process more material which is important as grades are expected to fall 27% by 2016.
  1. Collahuasi
Future development plans call for Collahausi to be expanded to produce 1Mtpa of copper   Collahuasi mine, a copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit, located 370km north of Escondida, is the second largest producer in our list at 470.4 thousand tonnes (kt) fine copper representing 8% of Chile’s total output.  The Collahuasi operation, operating over 4,400 metres above sea level (masl), consists of three open pits and a concentrator producing 445.4kt which is fed through a 203 kilometre slurry pipe to Puerto Patache. In 2014, 25.0kt of cathode was also produced via the SX-EW process. The mine also produced 6125t of molybdenum in concentrate in 2014. C1 cash costs have been reduced to US$1.42/lb in 2014 from US$1.48/lb in 2013 and US$2.08/lb in 2012 returning costs to the second quartile in the industry. Over the same three years production has gone from 282kt to 470kt in 2014. In September 2015, Collahuasi decided it would cut production by 30,000 tpy due to lower copper prices. In terms of resources, the Collahuasi deposit ranks third in the world at 9.96 Bt with an average grade of 0.82%, including 3.25Bt of reserves with an average grade of 0.80%. Minera Dona Ines de Collahuasi, the owner, is held by Anglo American plc and Glencore, each at 44%, with a Japanese consortium Japan Collahuasi Resources B.V. headed by Mitsui and Nippon owning the remaining 12%.
  1. El Teniente
El Teniente The first CODELCO owned mine in the list and number three overall in fine copper produced in 2014 is El Teniente. This mine also has the distinction of being the world’s largest underground copper operation and the sixth largest copper mine in terms of reserves with 1.67Bt grading 0.925% copper. Total refined production in 2014 was 452.1kt copper, 7496 t molybdenum, 3.110 Moz silver and 25.8koz gold.  The daily mining rate is approximately 137,000 tonnes per day (tpd). The deposit is another porphyry type located 80km south of Santiago, in the Andes mountain range. El Teniente is undergoing an extensive $5.4bn expansion project called the New Mine Level project, which will extend the mine’s production life by 50 years by accessing a further 2.02 Bt of reserves grading 0.86% copper and 220 ppm (parts per million) molybdenum. The project is 35% complete and is two years behind schedule and USD2 billion over budget. El Teniente is yet another example of a large tonnage copper mine in a tough market facing decreases grades but being helped financially by cost cutting measures, lower energy and fuel costs, and favourable exchange rates.
  1. KGHM Operations
KGHM Operations is the eighth largest copper producer and the largest silver producer in the world. Rudna mine pictured.   KGHM operates three underground copper-silver mines and remaining mine life, Lubin (45 years), Runa (31 years) and Polkowice-Sieroszowice (40 years), three smelter and refineries and a copper wire rod plant in close proximity to Lubin, southwestern Poland. The three mines produced 420.4kt of copper, 44.304 Moz silver, and 82.8koz gold in 2014 from the Kupferschiefer ore which makes it the fourth largest copper mining operation worldwide and the first non-Chilean mine. Other commodities mined include rock salt, molybdenum, nickel, rhenium, lead, and platinum. C1 copper cash cost in 2014 was US$1.82/lb placing KGHM between the third and fourth quartiles on the global cost curve. The average weighted global C1 cost of metal production for 2014 was US$ 1.55/lb based on Wood Mackenzie data. KGHM attributes unfavourable exchange rates in the first half of 2014 and the new mineral extraction tax implemented in 2012 as major reasons for recent C1 cash cost increases. KGHM is the eighth largest copper producer and the largest silver producer in the world. A new project called “Deep Glogow” began producing for the first time in April 2014 with production coming from below 1200m. The project contains 265.5 Mt grading 1.66% copper and 54 ppm silver with a mine life of 40 years. Infrastructure from the Rudna and Polkowice-Sieroszowice mines is used to access Deep Glagow. Total reserves of all of KGHM Operations are 17.48Mt copper and 52.4 million kg of silver.This table was produced using data from IntelligenceMine which features a powerful multi-faceted search with comparative result grids, sorting and download capabilities. Find out more at 5. Los Bronces Los Bronces C1 copper cash cost places it in the lower quartile of the cost curve   Los Bronces is an open-pit copper-molybdenum mine located in the Andes, 65 kilometres northeast of Santiago at 3,500 masl. Infrastructure includes copper sulphide ore treatment plants, a 56-kilometre slurry pipeline, copper and molybdenum floatation plants and two solvent extraction electro-winning (SX-EW) plants for the low-grade ore dump leaching process. The fifth largest copper producer in this list is 50.1% owned and operated by Anglo American, while Mitsubishi owns 20.4%, and CODELCO and Mitsui hold 20.0% and 9.5%, respectively. Mine production is 145 Mt/y with production from Los Bronces totaling 404.5kt fine copper with 368.3kt copper in concentrate and 36.2kt cathode in 2014. Declining grades and ore hardness have posed a challenge for the mine over the years, however, by 2016 production should be back to 38Mtpa. The mine has C1 copper cash costs of approximately USD0.90/lb placing it in the lower quartile of the cost curve. Remaining reserves of 2.06Bt grading 0.51% copper and 0.014% molybdenum give Los Bronces approximately a 35 year reserve life. Recently, production was affected by water shortages as central Chile has seen a record breaking drought in 2015. Los Bronces may go underground, however, that development will not happen before 2020. 6. Los Pelambres A new expansion project at Los Pelambres will increase throughput from 175kt/d to 205kt/d at an estimated cost of USD 1.2 billion   Los Pelambres open-pit is number six on our list. Minera Los Pelambres, the owner and operator, is 60% owned by Antofagasta plc with Nippon at 25% ownership, Mitsubishi at 10% and Marubeni at 5%. Los Pelambres is a sulphide deposit in the Coquimbo Region, central Chile, 240 km northeast of Santiago. It produces copper concentrate (containing gold and silver) and molybdenum concentrate through milling and flotation. In 2014, 391.3kt copper, 66.5koz gold and 7,900t molybdenum were produced at a C1 copper cash cost of USD1.18/lb. Copper and molybdenum production has been declining in recent years due to lower grades and harder ore, however, a new expansion project is in the feasibility stage which will increase throughput from the current 175kt/d to 205kt/d at an estimated cost of USD 1.2 billion and includes a new desalination plant, grinding circuit and floatation plant. This expansion, if given the green light by the government, will lead to an average copper production increase of 40 to 45kt of copper per year. Current reserves are 1.4Bt grading 0.59% copper, 0.045 g/t gold and 0.019% molybdenum. In a unique way of cutting costs, Antofagasta holds a 30% interest in the El Arrayan  wind farm, which started supplying Los Pelambres with power under a 20-year contract at an average of 40MW, approximately 20% of the mine’s total energy requirement. 7. Morenci Morenci’s concentrate leach, direct-electrowinning facility,  mothballed in 2009 is expected to come back on line this year. Image by Stephanie Salisbury    The Morenci complex is located in southeast Arizona, and is number seven in the list. It is owned 85% by Freeport-McMoRan and 15% by Sumitomo. The copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit produced 368.8kt copper in cathode and concentrate in 2014. To date, a significant mill expansion from 50,000 tpd to 115,000 tpd was nearly complete which will allow additional sulphide ores to be processed. As a result, Morenci's copper production is expected to average over 480 kt over the next five years which would make it the second largest copper producer in the world. Molybdenum production will also increase to approximately 4kt over the same time from its current level of approximately 0.5kt. Total electrowinning tank house capacity is approximately 900 million pounds of copper per year. Morenci’s concentrate leach, direct-electrowinning facility, which was placed on care-and-maintenance status in early 2009, is expected to resume operation during 2015. The life of mine is 23 years. The current reserves are 9.7Bt grading 0.25% copper and 0.002% molybdenum. 8. Antamina Antamina is a skarn deposit with associated regional porphyry mineralization   Located in the Andes of north-central Peru, 270km northeast of Lima, the eighth mine in this list is unique in that it is predominantly a polymetallic skarn with associated regional porphyry mineralization. Mined by open-pit methods, the deposit consists of a central core of copper mineralization with an outer band of copper-zinc ore. Antamina produces separate copper, zinc, molybdenum and lead/bismuth concentrates, with silver predominantly contained within the copper concentrates, with additional silver contained with the lead-bismuth concentrate. Antamina is one the lowest cost copper mines in the world. Nominal milling capacity is 52Mtpa. Concentrate is sent through a 304km slurry pipeline to port facilities at Huarmey. During 2014, 345kt copper, 211kt zinc, 1.42kt molybdenum, 12Moz silver and 5.6kt lead were produced. In spite of record mill throughput, lower grades in 2014 resulted in 30% lower copper production compared to 2013. Remaining reserves are 0.647Bt grading 0.94% copper, 0.98% zinc, 234ppm molybdenum and 10.7 g/t silver. The estimated mine reserve life is 13 years. Compania Miñera Antamina S.A. is the owner and operator with BHP and Glencore at 33.75% interest each, and Teck holding 22.5%, and Mitsubishi at 10%. 9. Chuquicamata   Chuquicamata is moving underground with first production in 2018   The CODELCO owned Chuquicamata copper-molybdenum porphyry mine is located in northern Chile, 250 km northeast of Antofagasta and is ninth in our list. In 2014, the current open pit operation produced 340.4kt of fine copper in cathode and copper concentrate and 14.6kt molybdenum, 757t gold, 186.9t silver and 1.0 million tonnes of sulphuric acid at C1 copper cash costs of approximately USD0.90/lb. Current mine reserves stand at 0.902 Bt grading 0.83% copper.  The mine operates as an open pit but underground construction began in late 2011 which will access 1.7Bt of reserves grading 0.7% copper and 502ppm molybdenum (approximately 40 years of mine life) and as of December 2014 construction was 92.4% complete with first production scheduled for 2018. Production from Chuquicamata underground will be 320kt copper and 15t molybdenum per year once the transition is complete.
  1. Radomiro Tomic
Radomiro Tomic copper mine Radomiro Tomic, another open-pit copper porphyry, rounds out the list of top ten list. The operation is located in the Chilean Andes, 4km from Chuquicamata mine and is also wholly-owned by CODELCO. Radomiro Tomic produced 327.3kt of copper cathode and 0.90kt molybdenum in 2014. Total reserves in 2014 are 2.06Bt grading 0.50% copper which is the largest copper reserve for any CODELCO mine. Copper production from oxide ore is declining and is due to fall quickly in the coming years. As a result, CODELCO is developing the lower grade sulphide reserves to extend mine life to 40 years by accessing 2.67 Bt of mineral resources grading 0.47% copper. A new 100,000tpd concentrator plant is part of the plan with ramp-up beginning in 2019. Radomiro is expected to reach a total of 354kt fine copper production at completion. Vince Peckham | November 3, 2015

November 4, 2015 / admin

Fiji and Thunderstruck Resources – Copper & Zinc Exploration in the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire


Thunderstruck Resources Ltd. (TSXV:AWE) is developing a diverse portfolio of mineral properties in the island archipelago of Fiji. The Company’s two flagship properties are the Nakoro and Wainaleka zinc-copper projects located on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu. Thunderstruck’s Fijian property portfolio covers nearly 4 percent of the main island and also includes the prospective Liwa Creek Gold Project, and Rama Creek copper-gold porphyry. Both the Nakoro and Wainaleka zinc/copper projects are the site of successful historic drilling by Anglo American Corporation. Thunderstruck Resources has focused its attention on Nakoro and has identified targets for a planned drill campaign in 2015. Thunderstruck Resources is managed by an experienced team of geology, mining and financial professionals. The Company’s Country Manager, Bill Brook has worked as a geologist in Fiji for more than three decades and conducted preliminary sampling on the project areas in the 1980s. Project Manager Geoff Taylor, knows the properties well, having participated in the Anglo American drill campaigns in the 1970’s.

Investment Highlights

  • Mining-friendly government with reasonable tax structure.
  • Significant mineral deposits on the main island including Vatukoula Gold Mine and Namosi JV project.
  • 100% ownership option by Thunderstruck Resources.
  • 26 holes drilled by Anglo with grades up to 12.7% Zn and 2% Cu.
  • High-grade copper, zinc, silver and gold targets.
  • Mineralization remains open at depth and along strike.
  • Accomplished management and exploration team.
  • Close to Asian markets.
  • Tight share-structure.
  • Excellent infrastructure: deep water port, hydroelectric dam and paved roads.
  • Low-cost country for mineral exploration and mining.

October 30, 2015 / admin

Drop in mining sales takes toll on Komatsu Q2 results

Komatsu Mining Equipment

Japanese equipment maker Komatsu (TYO:6301) became the latest victim of a global slowdown in demand for construction and mining gear as it reported a 19% drop in second-quarter profit.

Net income declined to US$217 million (32.6 billion yen) in the quarter ended in September, from a revised 40.3 billion yen a year earlier.
The company, the world’s second-largest supplier of industrial machinery, said net income declined to US$217 million (32.6 billion yen) in the quarter ended in September, from a revised 40.3 billion yen a year earlier.

Construction and mining equipment account for almost 90% of the Tokyo-based company's revenue.

Komatsu, however, did not change its previous outlook for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. It still expects full-year net income to drop around 10% to 138 billion yen, while operating profit will probably fall 8.7% to 221 billion yen. The Asian equipment manufacturer’s main competitors have not done any better. Last week, Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) missed on earnings and slashed its profit outlook for the year. And yesterday, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Japan’s second-biggest producer of building machinery, cut its sales and profit targets for the year, saying that the slowdown in demand in China had spread to its markets in the developed world. Cecilia Jamasmie | October 28, 2015

October 30, 2015 / admin

These countries are winning the gold mining game


These countries are winning the gold mining gameThe third quarter gold survey by GFMS Thomson Reuters calculate global primary gold production rose 2% in the first half of the year to 1,507 tonnes. Most of the growth too place in Asia and where production across the region grew by double digits. That was thanks to increased production in top gold mining country China, which added nearly 10 tonnes for first half production of just under 219 tonnes. China's many state-owned gold mines overtook South Africa in 2007 as the world's top gold producer, a position it has held since.

The number of registered artisanal miners, or barrequeros, in Colombia now top 100,000 and production should keep rising
Indonesia grew output a full 28% or 14.5 tonnes to more than 66 tonnes in the first half. Smaller producing countries in Central Asia made even greater strides with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolian production showing strong gains. A better performance by Kyrgyzstan's Kumtor mine, majority owned by Canada's Centerra Gold and a rise in Mongolia of byproduct output from the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine saw output in both countries jump some 50%. A $5 billion underground extension where 80% of Oyu Tolgoi's resources are located should see Mongolia enter the top 20 producing countries in the near future. Colombia enters the ranking at number 20. GFMS estimates the number of registered artisanal miners, or barrequeros, inside the country now tops 100,000 and production should keep rising from the 21.6 tonnes achieved in the first half. Peru, the world's number 5 gold producer also shows strong growth with six-month output rising 7% to 86.7 tonnes while Argentina managed to up output by 15%.
During the industry's peak in the 1960s and 1970s South Africa accounted for as much as 80% of total global output, surpassing 1,000 tonnes in good years
Canada overtook South Africa to become the world's sixth largest gold producer after increasing output for seven years in a row to more than 150 tonnes on an annual basis. On a tonne for tonne basis the US was one of the biggest losers with production declining 4% to below 100 tonnes due to falling grades at Barrick Gold's Cortez mine in Nevada and the suspension of the Hollister operation. The US is the world's fourth largest producer of gold behind Russia and Australia. The greatest declines in Africa and globally came from South Africa and Ghana. South African output fell by an estimated 14% to 70 tonnes in the first half of 2015. The country was the number one gold mining country for more than a century and during its peak in the 1960s and 1970s accounted for as much as 80% of total global output, surpassing 1,000 tonnes in good years. Production was affected by safety stoppages across many South African operations during the period while in Ghana, power shortages and the cessation of underground mining at Obuasi hit output which was down 9% or five tonnes for the six months according to GFMS research. Overall output in Africa was down 2% with a 31% rise in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where Randgold Resources Kibali mine is ramping up and commercial production of Otjikoto in Namibia failing to offset the losses at the continent's top producers. These countries are winning the gold mining game

Tolima gold mask from Gold Museum in Bogota, Colombia

 Frik Els | October 27, 2015

October 28, 2015 / admin

Weak metal prices to hit miners through 2016 — Moody’s


I shall briefly address the impact of negative interest rates, should they occur, at the end of this report, after looking at this week’s trading. The week started with a slow downwards drift for precious metals on Monday and Tuesday before a sharp two-day rally, taking the gold price up $33 (nearly 3%) by yesterday afternoon. There was very little gold-related news to trigger this rally, only the deterioration of other markets. For bulls of precious metals it really has been a case of patience being rewarded. Those who have followed the advice of the major investment houses must be badly bruised. For them, equities should be wending their bullish way and gold challenging the $1,000 level. The evidence is mounting that to continue with this investment philosophy will likely be increasingly costly. On the futures markets, Open Interest in precious metals shows little sign of turning up, so on this basis we cannot claim there is much evidence of buying yet. The gold price and Comex OI are shown in the chart below. Negative interest rates and gold - Comex Gold graph The disparity between OI and the gold price has been evident since the low in early-August, so in that context this week’s rally is nothing new. Silver’s open interest continues to drift lower, while the price is trending higher, telling a similar story.

Prices for iron ore, copper, nickel, aluminum and other metals have been in a multiyear slump amid sluggish growth in advanced economies and weakening expansion in emerging markets. Unfortunately, the trend won’t be fading anytime soon, Moody's Investor Service says in its latest global base metals outlook report, published Monday. "Slowing growth in China and Brazil, muted conditions in Europe and a weak recovery in the US will continue to pressure global base metal prices," the ratings agency warns. Moody's expects the current situation to get worse next year, and says that uncertainty regarding growth in China is one of the primary factors underpinning its negative outlook. This, as the Asian giant still accounts for more than 40% of global demand for most key base metals. Moody's also noted that steeper price declines will flow through to companies' earnings in 2015, resulting in a material decline in cash flow for many producers. “Base metal prices won't materially change over the next 12 to 18 months in our view, and could face further downside risk. "Prices [will] continue to trade at lower levels, given expectations for reduced demand and slower growth rates," it added. Weak metal prices to hit miners through 2016 — Moody’s And while the gloomy scenario may be a boon for economies that import metals, nations that rely heavily on such exports, such as Chile, DRC, Niger and Liberia, will likely have a rough ride ahead. In terms on which companies are likely to downsize even further next year, Moody’s says that well-capitalized, diversified producers with low cash costs, good liquidity and manageable debt-maturity profiles, such as Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), will have a greater ability to negotiate a period of weakness. However, it adds that even they will not be immune to a protracted period of low prices. Other diversified producers, like Vale (NYSE:VALE), Anglo American (LON:ANGLO) and Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.A, TCK.B), (NYSE: TCK), which have exposure beyond base metals to commodities such as metallurgical coal and iron ore, or ongoing, significant, strategic capital expenditures, also face further downward pressure. Weak metal prices to hit miners through 2016 — Moody’s The firm said it may change its outlook for the industry if the purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) in the large economies which are also huge consuming nations is consistently up. "We could change our outlook for the industry to stable if purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) in Europe, China and the U.S., the key consuming regions, track between 50 and 55 (above 50 indicates growth) for at least two consecutive months, and if Moody's global macro outlook is for GDP growth of between 3% and 4%. A positive outlook would require PMIs in the US, Europe and China exceeding 55 for at least three consecutive months, and for Moody's global macro outlook for GDP growth to be greater than 4%," Moody's concludes.
Source: www.mining.comCecilia Jamasmie | October 26, 2015

October 28, 2015 / admin