Monthly Metal Review
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
Torrential rains in Chile forced a five-day work stoppage at the largest underground copper mine, Codelco’s El Teniente. The state-owned miner said it hopes to recoup lost production of 1,500 tonnes daily by using mitigation measures at its mines.
Indonesia is to temporarily halt new mining and palm-oil operations to protect its tropical forests in the wake of international criticism of rapid rainforest loss. The ban would likely begin this year for an undeter-mined period. Noting that it will mostly impact palm-oil producers in Sumatra and Borneo, some miners said the moratorium would allow Jakarta to improve monitoring and help reduce illegal mining.
The top mining official in Mexico, the world’s largest silver producer, said he supports an industry push for tax legislation that would save millions yearly in exploration costs. The Finance Ministry opposes the proposed change since it would only allow immediate investment deductions for the mining sector. The value of Mexican mining production in 2016 was $13.5 bil-lion, down about one-quarter since 2012.
The Mexican government said it expects gold and silver output to drop this year, whilst copper pro-duction will likely be flat. Gold output could reach some 120,000 kilograms, down nearly 4 percent against production of 124,581 kilograms in 2015. Silver pro-duction is expected to fall by more than 6 percent compared to last year, reaching 5,245 tonnes. Copper output is seen unchanged at some 540,000 tonnes, compared to 540,468 tonnes last year.
China's first-quarter economy grew at an annu-al 6.7-percent rater, easing slightly from the previous quarter’s 6.8 percent. But industrial-output growth leapt to 6.8 from 5.4 percent, and March exports grew for the first time in nine months. Economists said a new-credit surge appears to be powering recovery in household spending, factory activity, retail sales, and investment. The IMF has upped its growth estimate, predicting 6.5-percent China expansion this year, up from 6.3.
The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in March, fewer than February’s 242,000 new openings but still healthy. The unemployment rate rose to 5 percent from an eight-year low of 4.9 percent. The jobs increase could make it easier for a cautious Fed-eral Reserve to gradually raise interest rates this year.
U.S. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen com-forted markets, vowing to move with extreme care before raising interest rates despite China’s slowing and lingering global deflation. She said the central bank still sees gradually paced interest-rate hikes ahead, but her comment boosted gold and strength-ened the euro.