Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: DRC Sends Troops to Protect Mines

- June 21st, 2019

In base metals news, copper, zinc, nickel and lead were all up as the end of the week rolled around, with copper reaching US$5,960.

Base metals were ascendant this week, with each of the commodities up on where they started out on Monday (June 17), while major news developments between the US and Iran pushed oil around and gold neared six year highs.

On the news front, fears over conflict between the US and Iran were heightened as US President Donald Trump revealed he ordered a strike in retaliation for Iran’s downing of a US drone, but aborted the action to save Iranian lives. American oil soared 10 percent as the news broke.

On the base metals front, copper, zinc, nickel and lead were all up as the end of the week rolled around, with the red metal rising to US$5,960 a tonne by Friday (June 21), a gain of 3.55 percent.

Meanwhile, zinc was also up to US$2,585 by Friday, though it was down off a weekly high of US$2,607.

Nickel was the best performer, jumping by 4.26 percent through the week to US$12,240 a tonne.

In news this week, the Investing News Network spoke with Remi Piet, senior director at Americas Market Intelligence, about risks posed to Ecuador’s bright future in mining in the form of community opposition. Listen to the full interview below, or read the story here.

In news from around the world in the base metals space, the Democratic Republic of Congo was reported by Reuters to have deployed its armed forces in order to protect China Molybdenum’s (OTC Pink:CMCLF,HKEX:3993) Tenke Fungurume copper mine from illegal miners.

An army spokesman said that several hundred soldiers were deployed to protect the mine because of its contribution to the national economy, though a local watchdog group said that deploying troops was counterproductive and dangerous, given Congolese troops have fired on civilians in similar deployments.

In Chile, state-owned miner Codelco continues to grapple with strike action at its Chuquicamata mine after workers walked off the job last week.

According to sources, the company has been adding sweeteners to deals on the table in a bid to entice unions representing up to 80 percent of the mine’s workforce to support a return to work.

In Australia, Havilah Resources (ASX:HAV) released a prefeasibility study which it says supports the development of a 30,000 tonne per year copper mine in Northeastern South Australia.

Meanwhile, mining investment company Pala Investments will pay C$501 million to acquire battery metals royalty and streaming company Cobalt 27 Capital (TSXV:KBLT,OTCQX:CBLLF).

Pala, which already holds a 19 percent stake in the Canadian company, has agreed to pay C$5.75 per common Cobalt 27 share, a price that is made up of C$3.57 in cash plus C$2.18 in shares of a newly established company called Nickel 28 Capital.

Finally, Northern Dynasty (TSX:NDMsecured more financing for its Pebble project in Alaska.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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