Ford says carmakers may need to invest in cobalt mines soon

Carmakers may have to consider investing directly in cobalt mines in order to secure supply over the next three to five years, as demand for the metal used in rechargeable batteries is set to increase exponentially, Ford Motor Co. senior manager for energy storage strategy and research Ted Miller believes.

Speaking at a mining industry event in South Africa, Miller said the auto industry is now in an "awkward position" of actually driving the cobalt price on the back of electric vehicles (EVs) battery production needs.

“I fully anticipate we’re going to keep a lot of pressure on that cobalt production,” he said.

Cobalt, and its related supply-side risks with the bulk of metal coming out of Congo, makes it “a unique case, according to the executive.

Ford, which plans to launch new electric cars as soon as next year, has been reducing the proportion of cobalt it uses to lower its dependency on the metal and wants to collaborate at all parts of the supply chain, even down to the miners of the metal, he said. While the company doesn’t see the need to participate in mining, or have direct cobalt offtake agreements, that could be re-evaluated in the future.

While the carmaker doesn’t see the need to participate in mining, or have direct cobalt offtake agreements, that could be re-evaluated in the future.

“We've had ongoing discussions with suppliers of raw materials, processed material and even mining sources to ensure that customers ultimately get the vehicles they need,” he said.

Miller warned that the drive away from cobalt was playing into the hands of other metals. “We’re switching out cobalt dependency for nickel,” he said, adding that Ford was working with IBM and several partners on a blockchain project to monitor cobalt supplies from the DRC.

“We still do auditing, we still do actual site visits, but this is allowing us to use and take advantage of technology,” he noted.

A pilot of the scheme should be completed by mid-year and will track cobalt from Huayou's mine and smelter to LG Chem’s cathode and battery plant in South Korea and on to a Ford plant in the US.

Ford has also been focusing on sustainability in other ways. Miller said the company had changed its painting process, dramatically reduced its use of water and has separate recycling streams for materials.

Other carmakers are focused on finding alternatives to cobalt and lithium. Early last year, Toyota Motor Corp, Asia’s No.1 car manufacturer, said it had found a way to make EVs more affordable and less vulnerable to shortages in supply of the key elements needed.

The announcement came just a week after Samsung SDI, South Korea’s leading battery maker, unveiled plans to recycle cobalt from used mobile phones and develop lithium-ion batteries with minimum content of the metal, or no cobalt at all, as a way to offset soaring prices for the silver-grey commodity.

Most carmakers have chosen nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries or NMC. EV pioneer Tesla's favoured battery technology – nickel-cobalt-aluminum or NCA – already uses less than 3% cobalt.

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US govt study sees electric car sales stuck in slow lane

Increased demand for battery materials used in electric vehicles has reignited interest in the mining sector now that the China-induced supercycle in commodities demand is levelling off.

But if you rely on forecasts of EV take-up from the US Energy Information Administration, you may well wonder what the hype is about.

The EIA Energy Outlook 2019, released last week, foresees uptake of electric vehicles in the world’s second largest car market over the next 30 years that won’t rev mining investors’ engines.

According to the report, the combined share of sales attributable to gasoline and flex-fuel vehicles (gasoline blended with ethanol) declines from 93% in 2018 to 75% in 2050.

From EIA Energy Outlook, 2019.

The EIA predicts electricity usage in battery powered, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles to increase by 11.3% through 2050. That’s impressive growth, but electricity usage by the country’s light-duty vehicle fleet would still constitute less than 5% of the total.

Usage of electricity by transit buses is expected to grow at a 9.4% clip and constitute 11% of the total, but for intercity travel, electricity doesn’t even feature in the projections.

According to the outlook, California’s zero-emission vehicle regulation, which nine additional states have adopted, requires a minimum percentage of vehicle sales of battery-powered and and plug-in hybrids.

From EIA Energy Outlook

In 2025, the year the regulation and new federal fuel economy standards go into full effect, projected sales of battery-powered and plug-in hybrids is expected to reach 1.3 million, or about 8% of projected total vehicle sales.

That’s a far cry from Chinese uptake of EVs. Last year around 1.1m so-called new energy vehicle were sold in the world’s largest auto market, up nearly 70% from 2017.

In terms of the transportation industry as a whole and not just cars, electricity’s share of fuel consumption in the US hardly registers.

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Rethinking mining strategies among the top-10 global trends to shape 2019

Rethinking mining strategies among the top-10 global trends to shape 2019

Mining companies need to determine how to operate in a market that is also characterized by rising stakeholder demands, a widening talent gap, dwindling access to key inputs such as energy and water, and a Chinese economy growing at under 7%, rather than 12%, just to mention some challenges. (Image courtesy of Codelco | Flickr.)

2019 could go down in history as the year mining companies stopped anchoring their strategic planning around producing the highest volumes of ore at the lowest possible cost, and understood that focusing on the composition of their portfolios to offer a unique investment opportunity was the key to success, a study published Tuesday shows.

Deloitte’s “Tracking the Trends” annual mining report, now in its 11th edition, outlines how the challenges and opportunities the industry faces and proposes way to adapt to fast changes.

Mining companies, it says, now need to determine how to operate in a market that is also characterized by rising stakeholder demands, a widening talent gap, dwindling access to key inputs such as energy and water, and a Chinese economy growing at under 7%, rather than 12%, just to mention some challenges.

“In today’s climate, miners must focus on differentiating their business models to generate long-term value, not only to attract investors, but also to remain successful in the communities in which they operate,” Deloitte’s Canada and Global Consulting Leader Mining & Metals, Andrew Swart, said.

“We believe there is a significant opportunity for mining companies to harness the power of data and analytics,” he told MINING.com.  “As mining companies invest in technology, be it in the core operational or supporting processes, companies should be doing it with a view of how they will collect and utilize data going forward.”

Miners, he explained, need to ensure that they can gather data from pieces of equipment in real time or deploy sensors in key process areas, so that they can leverage the power of data to optimize those processes in real time.

The Fourth Revolution

The report notes how conversations around the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, revolve around the ways in which physical and digital technologies — such as analytics, AI, cognitive technologies, robotics, cloud computing, and the IoT— are combining to create digital enterprises that are both interconnected and capable of more informed decision-making.

In today’s climate, miners must focus on differentiating their business models to generate long-term value for investors and also their communities.

For Glenn Ives, Americas Mining and Metals Leader at Deloitte Canada, it represents a new era of business that can only be harnessed by leaders who have “the courage of their conviction.”

Beyond rethinking their mining strategy, companies should pay attention to other top growing industry trends that would determine their success. According to Deloitte, they are:

  • The frontier of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI): Mining companies are investing in analytics and AI in a bid to leverage the data they generate to sharpen planning and decision-making across the mining value chain. This could improve safety, increase productivity, reduce costs, and enhance the employee experience. As they consider how to move up the analytics and AI maturity ladder, miners are learning from global trends in other industries, exploring new use cases, and determining where best to focus their investment.
  • Managing risk in the digital era: In today’s broadened risk landscape, traditional assurances around risk are no longer effective. Boards, investors, and communities expect mining companies to have a forward-looking view on risk, moving from risk assurance to the anticipation of emerging risks. This will be enabled by analytics and a range of AI and cognitive tools that are now available to mining companies.
  • Digitizing the supply chain: The mining sector is at the earliest stages of building a digital supply network (DSN). The organizations that determine how to interlink their supply chains, from pit-to-port, can do more than break down operational silos. They can also gain the end-to-end visibility needed to enhance their asset utilization, operational efficiency, and productivity—realizing hard dollar savings as a result.Rethinking mining strategies among the top-10 global trends to shape 2019
  • Driving sustainable shared social outcomes: Organizations across industries are now being assessed on metrics far beyond financial performance. They are being judged based on their relationships with their workers, customers, communities, and regulators—as well as their impact on society at large. Miners are no exception. They must go beyond seeing corporate social responsibility as a cost of compliance and listen more closely to their constituents to determine what stakeholders truly want and shift their operational processes in response.
  • Exploring the water-energy nexus: Water is quickly rising to the top of mining companies’ agendas as one of the greatest constraints to supply. By approaching energy and water management in tandem, mining companies can make business choices that optimize the use of both. These changes are increasingly necessary if mining companies hope to maintain productivity, assuage community concerns, and manage their environmental risks in an energy-and water-constrained world.
  • Decoding capital projects: After the challenges faced during the last down cycle, there is a sense of optimism for mining companies as commodity demand picks up. Before launching into the next wave of investment, miners must learn from the mistakes of the past and rebuild trust with stakeholders. Organizations that focus now on putting the right capital project capabilities into place can strengthen their capacity to adjust supply in response to shifting demand patterns.
  • Reimagining work, workers, and the workplace: As digitization and automation alters the very nature of work, and the mining industry faces a massive generational shift with enrolment in mining-related disciplines down, miners will need to broaden their talent strategies. They must consider not only the shifting nature of work, but how to attract a new variety of workers and tailor their workplaces accordingly.
    The social contract between mines and communities is set to shift, Deloitte's Andrew Swart told MINING.com. Historically, it was based around jobs, but companies will need to include how to bring value to communities as a central issue in their corporate strategies.
  • Operationalizing diversity and inclusion programs: To improve diversity and inclusion in the mining industry, and to attract new talent to help meet the industries’ digitization, automation, and innovation goals, mining organizations will need to shift historical perceptions about the industry. This will involve collaboration across organizations as they recruit from education institutions and other online platforms, a focus on exposing unconscious biases that influence hiring decisions and contribute to workplace inequality, and the implementation of more flexible workplace practices.
  • Demanding provenance: As consumer demand for battery minerals rises, so too does the demand for transparent provenance. This is exposing miners to increased scrutiny as socially-conscious consumers question the origin of raw materials in products ranging from cell phones to electric vehicles. As a result, downstream customers—such as automotive manufacturers and tech giants—are demanding ethically-sourced minerals. This is driving the adoption of technologies such as blockchain to enhance the traceability of commodities.

The experts acknowledge that blockchain is mostly being used for supply chain transparency and highlight how very few companies, such as Goldcorp, are applying it in a different way. The Canadian gold miner has begun using blockchain to make direct sales to dealers and banks, Deloitte sees more broadly opportunities in commodities trading and the creation of smart contracts.

“One of the key value drivers for blockchain applications often comes down to the volume and frequency of transactions,” Swart says. “Many companies don’t necessarily have the scale/volume of transactions to make these applications viable so it will often depend on the individual dynamics of that company and commodity. There is, however, an opportunity for companies to collaborate in this area and share platforms.”

The study also suggests miners should move their Corporate Social Responsibility function among their top priorities.

As mining companies increasingly embrace technology and automation, it is likely that they end up employing less people at the mine site, while making greater use of workers located remotely.

As a result, the social contract between mines and communities will shift, Swart predicts. “Historically it was based around jobs, but this will need to be rethought going forward. Companies will need to consider how they bring value to communities as a central issue in their corporate strategies,” he concludes.

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Sherritt’s year end and 2019 guidance

Sherritt International Corp. has published its 2018 year end production numbers, some of which outstripped guidance and some of which fell short. The company also supplied guidance numbers for 2019.

At the Moa joint venture in Cuba, 2018 finished nickel production was 30,708 tonnes, despite bad weather, transportation delays, and disrupted hydrogen sulphide supply. Cobalt production at Moa was 3,234 tonnes, slightly below guidance.

Sherritt has put 2019 guidance numbers for Moa at 31,000 to 33,000 tonnes of finished nickel and 3,300 to 3,600 tonnes of cobalt (on a 100% basis).

Output at the Ambatovy joint venture in Madagascar were below guidance at 33,185 tonnes of nickel. That was a couple thousand below guidance because Cyclone Ava caused extensive damage to the site. At 2,825 tonnes, cobalt production was also low.

This year Ambatovy is expected to produce 40,000 to 45,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,500 to 4,000 tonnes of cobalt (on a 100% basis). 

Sherritt owns 50% of the Moa joint venture, and at Ambatovy it is the operator and holder of a 12% interest.

Learn more at www.Sherritt.com.

This story first appeared at Canadian Mining Journal.

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Slow growth for Europe’s mining sector — report

European miners will maintain their position at the forefront of integrating technology, particularly in more developed markets, due to a highly skilled workforce and high levels of connectivity among the more developed economiesa regional overview published by Fitch Solutions reports. 

On a more sombre note, analysts predict high costs, a weak project pipeline and conservative company strategies will drag on mining investment levels in Europe over the coming months, despite an improved commodity price environment.

Growth opportunities stand to be further impeded by a continued lack of investment in the European mining industry, and the outlook for Poland and Ukraine specifically will be hindered by EU environmental regulations and an ongoing armed conflict, Fitch forecasts.

In Q2 2019, analysts expect investment levels across the European mining sector will be sluggish as miners continue to pursue balance sheet improvements over expenditure, while macroeconomic risks increase.

Tightening environmental regulations will pose headwinds to mining sector growth prospects of coal-producing countries in the EU, particularly in the west. Fitch forecasts, while Ukraine's steel outlook will remain bleak in the coming quarters, as disruptions from the Donbas blockade remain in place, as tensions with Russia continue to run high.

According to Bloomberg, mining mergers and acquisitions in the reg ion over the first three quarters of 2018 totalled 9.47 billion, compared with 17.9 billion over the same period in 2017, reflecting European miners ' ongoing restraint. Europe only counts with 149 new mining projects in the pipeline according to Fitch’s Global Mines Database, tailing behind North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Read the full report here.

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Explorex Resources scraps plans to buy battery metals project in Finland

Canadian junior miner Explorex Resources (CSE:EX) (OTC:EXPXF) has placed in the back burn its plans to buy the Hautalampi cobalt, nickel, copper project in eastern Finland because it won’t be able to secure the required funding in advance, as it had planned.

The Vancouver-based miner, which in November said it intended to acquire the Finish asset, was supposed to give the project’s owner, FinnCobalt, around $1.9 million in cash plus $3 million value in shares of the company over a four-year staged period.

Explorex would have also have to spend $3 million in exploration before the second year. In addition, upon completion of the earn-in, FinnCobalt  — made up of three private Finnish firms: Alandra Oy, Kiviralli Oy and Tetra Ekberg Oy — would have  eceived a 1.5% net metals royalty. Once commercial production was declared at Hautalampi, the vendor would have received shares worth $1.5 million.

Explorex said it didn’t foresee sourcing adequate funds to move forward in a corporately prudent manner in the immediate term. However, it noted it was open proceed advancing the project on a non-exclusive basis.

“We recognize the merits of Hautalampi and will continue to pursue avenues to support the acquisition,” chief executive Gary Schellenber said in the statement.

The Hautalampi project was the focus for pre-production development in the mid-1980s and has seen extensive engineering that supported a feasibility study in 2009.

Currently, Explorex is focused on Kagoot Brook, a cobalt-manganese base metal project located in New Brunswick, Atlantic Canada. The junior also has a 100% interest in the early stage Handlebar cobalt-copper-nickel project northeast of Kamloops, British Columbia and is actively sourcing additional assets to increase its property portfolio.

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Volkswagen jumps into the EV batteries making wagon

German auto maker giant Volkswagen has just upped its bet on electric vehicles (EVs) by announcing it will begin manufacturing batteries and charging stations for those cars, which the company plans to also start mass producing soon.

The Wolfsburg-based company said it would invest 870 million euros (about $985 million) by 2020 to develop e-vehicle components, adding that its components division, which makes engines and steering parts, will now be in charge of producing, packing and overseeing recycling of  battery cells and packs.

Volkswagen has been actively promoting the electric push by creating global production capacities for the construction of one million EVs.

VW has been actively promoting the electric push by creating global production capacities for the construction of 1 million electric cars. Late last year, it announced it would spend nearly $50 billion to refocus on the making of electric cars, autonomous vehicles and new mobility services.

As part of the overhaul, the carmaker began converting three of its plants in Germany to build EVS and so ramp up production of zero-local emission cars ahead of tougher European emissions standards.

VW also said it would start developing mobile electric car charging stations at its nearby plant in Hannover, which currently makes engines and castings for traditional cars, which the company will stop producing in 2026.

The company will bundle cells from EV batteries into storage power banks that can be used to recharge up to 15 e-cars at a time and be transported to wherever power is needed.

Drivers will be able to find mobile charging stations thanks to an app on their smartphone, it said.

"It can be set up flexibly and independent of the power supply wherever it is needed: for example, in public parking lots in the city, on company premises, or as a temporary charging point at large-scale events," VW said.

Volkswagen jumps into the EV batteries wagon with $985 million-investment

Fifty years of the Salzgitter engine factory. (Source: VW | Twitter Feed.)

Volkswagen’s shift to e-mobility is also adding jobs in the U.S. It said last week it would build an $800 million plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., creating 1,000 positions,  plus additional ones at suppliers. EV production there will begin in 2022.

It also recently announced it was investing in Forge Nano, a California-based start-up called that seeks to improve the efficiency of battery cells.

Late last year, Germany set aside more than $1 billion to support domestic production of battery cells, and there’s been talk of a national consortium that may include Volkswagen.

The news comes a couple of days after the world’s largest maker of battery cells, China’s CATL, announced it planned to produce 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) beginning in 2026 from its battery factory in Germany, its first production site in Europe.

VW will develop its final generation of vehicles using combustion engine technology in 2026.

Recent studies show carmakers will need to add EVs to their sales lineups to meet the new European Union rules on greenhouse gas emissions from 2021. They also highlight how German carmakers need to rethink their business as the growing adoption of EVs is expected to cost the country's key auto industry about 75,000 jobs by 2030, according to a report carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Engineering.

Those figures, the institute said,  were calculated on the assumption that by 2030, a quarter of all vehicles on Germany's roads will be fully electric. Another 15% is expected to be hybrids, which combine an electric motor with a traditional internal combustion engine, and 60% of the cars will be powered by gasoline or diesel engines that are more fuel-efficient than today.

A more rapid adoption of electric vehicles could threaten up to 100,000 jobs, the study warned, adding that regardless of the final number, there will be suppliers that simply won't be able to adapt their business model, especially among small- and medium-sized companies.

While relatively slow to catch onto the ongoing EV boom, German carmakers have stepped up their efforts in the wake of VW's 2015 "diesel gate" emissions cheating scandal, which tainted the reputation of diesel cars and spurred a push towards more environmentally friendly engines.

BMW recently said raw materials needed for car batteries will grow 10-fold by 2025, adding it has been surprised by "just how quickly demand will accelerate". BMW plans to offer 25 electrified vehicles by 2025 and, like many of its peers, it prefers nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries or NMC. EV pioneer Tesla's favoured battery technology –nickel-cobalt-aluminum or NCA – already uses less than 3% cobalt.

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Pancontinental expands in Ontario’s Montcalm Greenstone Belt

Pancontinental Resources (TSXV: PUC) entered into a binding letter of intent with Pelangio Exploration (TSXV: PX) to acquire up to a 75% interest in the Strachan Ni-Co-Cu project, located 65 kilometres northwest of Timmins, Ontario.

Strachan covers 2,280 hectares within the Montcalm Greenstone Belt and sits approximately 5 kilometres south of Pancon's Gambler project, 10 kilometres east of Pancon's Nova project, 13 kilometres south of Pancon's Montcalm project, and 19 kilometres south of Glencore's former Montcalm Mine.

“Pancon now controls more than 157 square kilometres in a proven nickel-cobalt-copper mining location west of Timmins. Glencore’s former Montcalm Mine property covers less than 5 square kilometres of the Montcalm Gabbro Complex. With Strachan, in addition to our Montcalm, Gambler and Nova projects, Pancon is the dominant player in an emerging battery and energy metals exploration district,” the company’s president and CEO, Layton Croft, said in a media statement.

In the same brief, Croft explained that the Montcalm Mine was discovered and developed based on a single airborne electromagnetic anomaly identified in the 1970s and previously mined over 3.9 million tonnes of ore grading 1.25% nickel, 0.67% copper, and 0.051% cobalt. Based on these results, his company intends to explore the Strachan project by using airborne versatile time-domain electromagnetic and airborne gravity geophysical surveys.

Strachan is Pancon’s fourth early-stage Ni-Co-Cu exploration project in Montcalm. Under the terms of the LOI, the Toronto-based firm can earn a 60% interest in the project for a total cash payment of C$40,000 and issuance of 400,000 common shares over an initial three-year period as well as a C$250,000 work commitment over those three years, including C$50,000 within the first year. Pancon can earn a further 15% interest, for a total 75% interest in the Strachan Project, by completing an additional C$500,000 work commitment over an additional three-year period.

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Record $93B private capital flows into natural resources

Record $93B private capital flows into natural resources

Markets went into a tailspin in the second half of 2018. File image.

Private capital tracker Preqin says in an update that contrary to expectations, 2018 was another bumper year for the industry, particularly for natural resources investments.

Fundraising by unlisted funds for investment in natural resources – oil and gas, timberland, farmland, water and mines – set a fresh record in 2018 and is likely to top $100 billion for the first time.

Although significantly fewer funds closed in 2018 compared to the previous year, $93 billion in total capital was secured for investment in the sector. Preqin expects this to rise by up to 10% as more data come in.

After a dismal 2017, capital raised for investment in mining and metals was also up significantly compared to last year, but still makes up only a small percentage of natural resources private capital.

The energy market has typically dominated natural resources, which may be an impediment to the long term success of the asset class

Preqin’s analysis show energy-focused funds (really only oil and gas as investments in coal have dried up) accounted for almost all of the year’s activity as 77 funds raised $89 billion. The vast majority of these funds target North American oil and gas plays.

By comparison, just four metals and mining funds closed and raised $2.5 billion. Encouraging for the sector is that over half (57%) of natural resources funds exceeded their targets in 2018, “indicating that investor appetite outstripped fundraising capacity,” says Preqin.

“The energy market has typically dominated natural resources, which may be an impediment to the long term success of the asset class: although other sectors are less crowded with competing fund managers, they also see less attention from investors and so struggle to grow,” says Patrick Adefuye, head of real assets at the London-based firm.

Strong start, weak finish

Record $93B private capital flows into natural resources

2018 started off with a bang with Orion Mine Finance in February closing on the largest mining-focused fund in five years, and the second biggest fund dedicated to the sector in history. The New York-based firm closed on its Fund II after securing $2.1 billion (including a co-investment vehicle).

The sharp pullback in metal prices in the second half of the year over uncertainty of the strength of the Chinese economy, which consumes half the world’s metals and minerals, and trade relations with the US, made it difficult for the funds in the market in 2018 to come near the $4.9 billion sought.

There are 13 funds currently in the market targeting the mining sector, seeking a combined $4.6 billion

As of January 3 there are 13 funds are in the market targeting the mining sector, seeking a combined $4.6 billion from so-called limited partners which include sovereign wealth funds, public and private pension funds, foundations, family offices and other entities.

Some of money secured by the 22 funds in the market classified by Preqin as diversified may also end up being applied for mining and metals projects.

If all successful in obtaining capital commitments from investors (unlisted funds that closed last year took on average 17 months to do so) 2019 could equal 2012 which was the peak year for mining fundraising.

As of June 2018, the latest data available, across natural resources managers hold $238 billion in so-called dry powder (funds ready to be invested).

Private capital includes traditional private equity such as buyout, venture capital and turnaround funds, distressed debt and direct lending, private real estate, infrastructure and natural resources funds, and sovereign wealth and hedge funds.

The global private capital space has experienced rapid growth over the last decade and last year 1,733 private capital funds raised an aggregate of $757 billion, down from the record $925 billion raised in 2017.

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Mining the Americas in 2019 — a forecast

Analysts at Fitch Solutions are feeling bullish from spot levels on nickel, lead, copper, tin and gold over 2019, but are bearish on iron and coal, according to new reports on mining the Americas.

The outlook for Americas mining remains positive over the coming years, but miners will face challenges from tension over water usage from local communities if El Niño strikes and political uncertainty stemming from recent election outcomes and corruption scandals. Chile and Canada will stand out as leaders in integrating innovative technology and alternative less polluting energy sources into mining operations

Fitch forecasts the mining industry recovery will continue on track, supported by a strong project pipeline and a positive outlook for prices from 2018's rout.

The analysts predict miners will remain committed to supply and capital restraint, prioritising joint ventures and brownfield investment, and that a strong demand for cobalt, driven by the rapidly growing electric vehicle and battery storage sectors, will prompt significant investment in this nascent mineral sector in the Americas.

Copper will remain at the forefront with firms sprinting towards acquiring additional capacity for the same reason, the report reads.

Canada's cobalt sector and Ecuador's budding mining sector for copper and gold will be investment hot spots, analysts contend. Peru and Chile will continue to attract copper investment, currently accounting for 64% of new copper projects for Latin America in Fitch’s Global Mines Database.

Chile and Canada will stand out as leaders in integrating innovative technology and alternative less polluting energy sources into mining operations in a bid to remain profitable over the long term as the world transitions to a low carbon economy, Fitch forecasts.

Less rainfall could spell higher energy costs and lower mining production for miners in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador. Chile and Peru stand to benefit from the increased tax revenue generated from higher copper prices while Brazil will be hurt by a fall in iron ore, as the metal is the cornerstone of Brazilian mining.

The US mining industry will not fare as well in 2019, as Fitch forecasts thermal coal prices declining on top of a structural decrease in thermal coal consumption by the country.

Read the full report here.

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