Base Metals Weekly Round-Up: Zinc and Lead’s Jumpy Week

- November 29th, 2019

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

As the week and month of November finish up, the base metals all experienced different weeks as we march toward the final month of 2019.

Copper started the week on a high note but began to fall by Thursday (November 28). On Monday (November 25), copper traded for US$5,872 per metric ton and rose by 0.15 percent on Wednesday (November 27) to US$5,925. By Thursday, the price had dipped to US$5,881, but that still represented a 0.9 percent increase since Monday.  

Zinc had a week full of dips and rises, but ultimately ended on a low note. On Monday, the metal traded for US$2,334 per metric ton and ended off the five-day period trading for US$2,312. Zinc posted an increase of 0.9 percent over the course of the week.

Nickel was on the decline all throughout this week, starting off Monday at US$14,560 per metric ton and closing Thursday at US$14,060, a 3.43 percent decrease.

Lead was all over the place, but ultimately ended in the red. Lead traded for US$1,944.50 on Monday, reached its peak for the week on Wednesday when it traded for US$1,945, only to fall to US$1,925 on Thursday. Overall, lead decreased by 0.95 percent this week.

Iron increased steadily this week, ultimately by 0.15 percent. Iron started the week off at US$84.29 per metric ton and closed Thursday trading for US$84.42.

Top Stories

1. BHP to become SolGold’s top investor

Global miner BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) announced this week that it would purchase 77 million shares of SolGold (TSX:SOLG,LSE:SOLG) for US$21.9 million, becoming SolGold’s largest shareholder. 

This purchase will render BHP the majority stakeholder in the Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador as well, a project that has expectations to become one of the largest copper sources in the world. 

2. Vedanta may process its South African zinc ore abroad

International mining company Vedanta (NYSE:VEDL) recently announced that it would begin processing its zine ore in another African country if South Africa does not solve the power outages occurring across the country, which have led to rolling blackouts. 

The company is considering moving its processing to Namibia, but this would require Vedanta to adapt the processor currently there.

3. Rio Tinto to increase investment in Pilbara iron ore mine

Diversified miner Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) announced its plan to increase its investment in the Pilbara iron ore mine this week in order to facilitate additional mining at the Australian site.

The US$749 million investment would allow the company to mine at new and existing deposits and aid in the construction of a new crusher and 13 kilometer conveyor meant to reduce greenhouse gases. 

In other news

Reuters reported that Vale (NYSE:VALE) wrote down the value of its New Caledonia mine, which incurred an impairment charge of US$1.6 billion in Q4. The company changed the New Caledonia mine’s value from US$3 billion to US$1.6 billion. 

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi mine has received the go-ahead from the Mongolian government to move forward with its project, following concerns that a lawsuit brought forward by a non-governmental organization against the government’s contracts regarding the site would halt production. 

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

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

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