Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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80 E&MJ • NOVEMBER 2018 www.e-mj.com MARKETS The trends for metal prices remained un- changed during October for the most part, except for two metals: palladium and cobalt. Iron ore, moly and copper prices remained fl at while the rest of the non-ferrous base metals gave up 3% to 5%. Katanga Mining made an announcement (See News, p. 22) that could drive future cobalt prices higher. Among the precious metals, gold advanced 3% to close above $1,226/oz, but the real story this month was palladium. Palladium closed above $1,100/oz for the fi rst time on October 23. The mar- ket, according to metal traders, remains tight and "illiquid." There are heightened concerns about supply disruptions from Russia, the largest primary and secondary palladium producer. Meanwhile, mines pro- ducing palladium in South Africa and North America are reaping the benefi ts. Kantanga Mining suspended the export and sale of cobalt at its Kamoto Copper operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) until further notice. The presence of uranium was recently detect- ed in the cobalt hydroxide product in levels that exceed the acceptable limit allowed for export of the product through main African ports to customers. After restarting earlier this year, Ka- moto was in the process of ramping up to become the biggest cobalt-producing asset in the world. Production year-to-date was 6,600 metric tons (mt) and they were plan- ning to produce 11,000 mt in 2018 and possibly 34,000 mt next year. "Katanga was the great savior to meet burgeoning demand from the EV battery sector," said Wood Mackenzie Research Director Gavin Montgomery. "With it out of the picture for half a year at least, the reliance on other sources naturally surges. And while we see additional tonnages from new supply, such as Pengxin Mining's Shituru project (3,000 mt/y) and ERG's Metalkol project (14,000 mt/y) over the coming months, both of these will take some time to ramp up." WoodMac sees the balance of pow- er shifting from refi ners back to miners. "[Cobalt] prices have fallen over the course of the year," said Wood Mackenzie Re- search Analyst Milan Thakore. "This trend is likely to reverse sharply. The import- ance of Katanga to the cobalt story cannot be overstated." Palladium Achieves Milestone, Cobalt Suffers Disruption By Steve Fiscor, Editor Gold and silver prices provided by KITCO Bullion dealers (www.kitco.com). Platinum group metals prices provided by Johnson Matthey (www.platinum.matthey.com). Non-ferrous base and minor metal prices provided by London Metal Exchange (www.lme.co.uk). Iron ore prices provided by Platts Iron Ore Index. Currency exchange rates were provided by www.xe.com. (November 7, 2018) Precious Metals ($/oz) Base Metals ($/mt) Minor Metals ($/mt) Exchange Rates (U.S.$ Equivalent) Gold $1,226.10 Aluminum $1,951.50 Molybdenum $26,000 Euro (€) 1.144 Silver $14.54 Copper $6,210.00 Cobalt $52,500 U.K. (£) 1.310 Platinum $877.00 Lead $1,899.00 Canada ($) 0.764 Palladium $1,141.00 Nickel $11,670.00 Iron Ore ($/dmt) Australia ($) 0.729 Rhodium $2,440.00 Tin $19,050.00 Fe CFR China $74.18 South Africa (Rand) 0.071 Ruthenium $270.00 Zinc $2,522.00 China (¥) 0.144

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