South Africa urged to recycle more of its copper scrap

Given limited domestic copper production, South Africa should prioritise the recycling of copper scrap to ensure there remains sufficient stock as the economy changes to be more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels, Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) executive chairperson Evert Swanepoel has said. He was a panellist in a DRC Mining Week webinar, focused on the use of copper in renewable energy technologies and electric vehicles (EVs), held on July 9.

Zambia copper production rises to 342 734 t in first five months of 2020 – govt

Zambia's copper production increased to 342 734 t in the first five months of this year, from 330 024 t in the same period of 2019, the ministry of mines said on Thursday. Copper production was projected to continue rising in the third and fourth quarters of 2020 in line with rising prices driven by factors including growing production of electric vehicles that rely on copper.

Copper is surging, but it doesn’t mean economy is booming

Copper prices are surging, and for once it’s not because the economy is booming. The metal – known colloquially as Dr. Copper because its performance is often used to gauge the health of the overall economy – has surged by a staggering 45% since mid-March. That’s despite the International Monetary Fund downgrading its global forecast and a resurgence of Covid-19 infections forcing governments around the world to re-impose business-crippling lockdowns. Copper’s gain has been driven chiefly by concerns over strains on supply from key producers South America.

New GM appointed for FQM’s Kansanshi mine

Anthony Mukutuma has been appointed GM of dual-listed First Quantum Minerals’ multimillion-dollar Kansanshi mine, in the Solwezi District of North Western province.  He is the first Zambian to hold the post of GM at Kansanshi, which is the largest copper mine in Africa by production.

Freeport is selling more copper than it thought in pandemic

The world’s biggest publicly traded copper company is navigating the pandemic better than it thought. Freeport-McMoRan expects to report about 8% more copper sales volume and 10% more gold in the second quarter than it forecast in April when it was first coming to grips with the implications of the coronavirus. The Phoenix-based company gave the rare update less than three weeks before its earnings release. Shares surged as much as 8.6%, the most in a month.

In copper country, they’re using the metal to fight the virus

As Chile’s giant copper mines battle to keep workers healthy in the Covid-19 pandemic, a laboratory in the country is touting the use of tiny specks of the metal to contain the spread among the general population. Santiago-based Aintech says its products are the first to make use of copper nanoparticles in disinfectants to kill and prevent viruses and bacteria on surfaces. One product is an alcohol spray that can be used on shoes or face masks. The other is for hard surfaces whose effects purportedly last a week. It’s the latest application for a metal that’s mostly used in wiring but whose ability to kill microorganisms is a selling point for new household and industrial products. Copper is now used to coat everything from gym equipment to cages at salmon farms. Chilean copper producer Codelco has promoted using the metal in hospitals, airports and even socks.

Codelco unions say nearly 3 000 miners infected by coronavirus, call for enhanced safety

Unions at Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, said on Wednesday that nearly 3 000 workers had been infected with the coronavirus, prompting renewed calls for more safety measures at the company's sprawling operations. Patricio Elgueta, president of the Federation of Copper Workers (FTC), an umbrella group for the company's unions, told Reuters it had tallied 2 843 coronavirus infections among workers as of July 5. "The company does not give the database to the workers, so we have to rebuild it every day in order to see how (infections) are progressing," he said.

Brixton Metals drills high-grade silver, gold and copper at Hog Heaven

Brixton Metals Corp. [BBB-TSXV; BBBXF-OTCQB] announced initial drill results from the maiden drill program at its wholly-owned Hog Heaven Project 55 miles south-southwest of Kallispell, Montana, which returned multiple intervals of high-grade silver, gold and copper mineralization. Seven holes totalling 1,400.35 metres were drilled.

Gary R. Thompson, Chairman and CEO, stated: “We are pleased to have successfully completed our maiden drill program at the Hog Heaven Project. The new strategic approach under Brixton is to define a compliant resource on the high-grade silver-gold-copper targets as a near-term underground operation versus the historic mine plan, which was an open-pit mine plan. Based on these results and our preliminary interpretation of the remaining holes, we plan to complete a Phase 2 exploration program later this summer.”

The purpose of the drilling program was to validate historical results from the 1970s and 1980s at the Main mine area. High-grade mineralization was encountered in all the holes.

Drill hole HH20-02 intersected a broad 224.85-metre zone of mineralization for 78.16 g/t silver, 0.66 g/t gold and 0.24% copper (75.07-299.92 m), including 5.48 m of 445.79 g/t Ag, 1.41 g/t Au and 1.50% Cu; 2.13 m of 917.36 g/t Ag, two g/t Au and 3.06% Cu; 53.49 m of 165.9 g/t Ag, 1.28 g/t Au and 0.55% Cu; 13.56 m of 185.8 g/t Ag, 2.24 g/t Au and 0.76% Cu; and 1.37 m of 1,750 g/t Ag, 5.39 g/t Au and 2.65% Cu.

High grades emerged within the hole as two distinct upper and lower zones.

The Upper Zone interval of 36.18 metres is from 75.07 metres to 111.25 metres of depth. A specific high-grade interval within the Upper Zone includes 5.48 metres of 445.79 g/t silver, 1.41 g/t gold and 1.5% copper, including 2.13 metres of 917.36 g/t silver, 2 g/t gold and 3.06% copper.

The Lower Zone interval of 53.49 metres is from 198.12 metres to 251.61 metres, encountered in the sediment-hosted unit, a newly recognized mineral style at Hog Heaven. In total, the 53.49-metre interval in the Lower Zone returned 165.90 g/t silver, 1.28 g/t gold and 0.55% copper. Several high-grade intervals within the zone returned 9.45 metres assaying 221.90 g/t silver, 1.05 g/t gold and 0.94% copper; 0.32 metres of 1,010 g/t silver, 7.47 g/t gold and 0.64% copper; and 13.56 metres of 185.8 g/t silver, 2.24 g/t gold and 0.76% copper.

Exploration has begun at the 100%-owned Thorn Project in the Golden Triangle of northwestern British Columbia.

Thousands of copper workers have fallen ill in Chile

It’s no coincidence that global copper prices and Chilean Covid-19 cases are rising together. Chile, which accounts for more than a quarter of global supply, is battling to maintain output levels as more workers fall ill amid a nationwide surge of infections. Mines have been attempting to keep their workers safe without forgoing too much output by postponing non-essential activities such as maintenance and construction work. Fewer workers on site mean less risk of infection. But cases keep rising, and unions and local politicians are calling for tighter restrictions. With Chilean supply risk growing at a time of recovering Chinese demand, the price of copper is back to near where it started the year.