Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Growth Across the Board

- July 12th, 2019

What happened in the base metals space this week? Here’s a look at the top stories covered by the Investing News Network.

Though some base metals hit a mid-week snag price-wise, almost all of them managed to rebound and trend upwards through the rest of the week.

While copper started the week strong at US$5,911 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange (LME), the red metal took a dive on Tuesday (July 9) as it tumbled to US$5,804. However, the metal managed a graceful comeback as it jumped to US$5,924 by Thursday (July 11).

Experiencing an almost identical week was zinc, which hit its weekly low of US$2,371 per tonne on Tuesday. In the following days, the base metal managed to jump to US$2,402 on the LME by Thursday.

Meanwhile, lead sang a slightly different tune this week as it trended upwards through the beginning of the week to peak at US$1,954 per tonne on Wednesday (July 10). It spent Thursday cooling off and ended the day at US$1,949.

One metal that experienced nothing but gains this week was nickel, which started the week at US$12,520 per tonne. The metal’s continuous upward movement through the week placed it at US$13,085 by Thursday.

Remaining a red hot commodity this week was iron ore, which hovered around the US$119 to US$121 per tonne mark. As of 2:15 a.m. EDT on Friday (July 12), the metal had simmered to US$117.

Top News Stories

1. Nyrstar Extends Port Pirie Lead Smelter Force Majeure

An unplanned production outage at Nyrstar’s (OTC Pink:NYRSY,EBR:NYR) Port Pirie lead smelter has dragged its heels once again with a new extension to the end of July.

In early June, the company declared force majeure at the South Australian asset due to an unplanned delay in restarting the blast furnace after a planned shutdown. According to Nyrstar, a steam eruption in Port Pirie’s refinery caused the delay, along with a failed blast furnace water jacket.

“The further extended Blast Furnace outage now requires a partial dig out of the Continuous Drossing Furnace, essential for treatment of all lead output from the Blast Furnace, as it has now fully solidified,” a release from Nyrstar reads.

2. Copper Price Update: Q2 2019 in Review

2019’s second quarter brought a strong performance from copper for the first month, but saw the red metal’s price point take a downward trajectory from May onwards.

Between supply concerns and a consistently turbulent relationship between China and the United States, investor skittishness surrounding copper laid out a tough quarter for the base metal.

With Q3 already in motion, the Investing News Network (INN) caught up with analysts, economists and experts alike to find out what’s ahead for copper supply, demand and prices.

3. Atico Diversifies into Ecuador with Acquisition of Toachi Mining

Canadian company Atico Mining (TSXV:ATY,OTC Pink:ATCMF) is closer to its goal of becoming a mid-tier copper-gold producer after announcing it will acquire fellow Canadian Toachi Mining (TSXV:TIM,OTCQB:TIMGF) in an all-share deal.

Under the deal, which was announced on Monday (July 8), all of the issued and outstanding shares of Toachi will be exchanged for Atico shares, with Atico setting the exchange value of Toachi’s shares at C$0.073 each, or 47 percent above the company’s previous closing value.

Atico has described the deal as a step towards creating a multinational Latin America-focused miner, as Atico owns the producing El Roble mine in Colombia, while Toachi’s flagship is its La Plata project in neighboring Ecuador.

Also in the news

Major miner BHP (ASX:BHP,LSE:BHP,NYSE:BHP) received approval from Western Australia’s government this week for its strategic expansion proposal to the state’s Pilbara region. The proposal, which entails a 50 to 100 year game plan, outlined “bold” plans for new and pre-existing mines in the area.

Also in the land down under, Todd River Resources (ASX:TRT) announced a maiden mineral resource estimate for the Hendrix zinc-copper-lead deposit at its Mount Hardy copper-zinc project. Located in Australia’s Northern Territory, the deposit returned an estimate of 2.6 million tonnes at 10.5 percent zinc equivalent.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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