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Apr. 23, 2015, 9:54 AM
- Protests in Peru’s Arequipa province yesterday against Southern Copper's (NYSE:SCCO) proposed Tia Maria copper mine left one person dead and many more wounded, and opponents say they will keep protesting until the mine project is canceled.
- Thousands of people marched and blocked roads as part of a month-long series of protests in the province against the proposed mine; Pres. Humala's government has supported the project, and sent thousands of police officers to keep order.
- A local newspaper says the government may declare a state of emergency in the areas around the conflict.
Apr. 17, 2015, 11:19 AM
- Peruvian Pres. Humala is throwing his weight behind Southern Copper's (SCCO -0.2%) stalled $1.4B Tia Maria copper project, sending delegations of cabinet ministers to persuade reluctant local residents of the benefits of the mine.
- Recent protests against Tia Maria echo other fights between anti-mining groups, farmers and mining companies over the last few years over who gets to use precious water supplies in some of Peru's extremely dry areas.
- Peru’s Energy and Mines Ministry issued a statement this week saying SCCO has guaranteed it will not touch water to be used for farming, and that dust from the mining process will be controlled.
- SCCO expects mining at Tia Maria will start in the middle of 2017, once a construction license is granted.
Apr. 15, 2015, 6:22 PM
- Southern Copper's (NYSE:SCCO) says Peru's government has approved its planned $1.2B expansion of its Toquepala mine, putting it on track to double the operation's concentrating capacity.
- SCCO says the expansion will boost the capacity of the mine's copper concentrator to 120K metric tons/day from the current 60K.
- SCCO also says it expects the government to issue a construction permit for its stalled $1.4B Tia Maria project in coming months, despite ongoing protests.
Mar. 27, 2015, 4:56 PM
- Conflicting statements about whether Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) is canceling development of its $1.4B Tia Maria copper mine in Peru leave investors confused about the project's future.
- Not long after a report quoted SCCO's head of institutional relations as saying the project would be canceled due to lack of support from regional authorities and continued local opposition, CEO Oscar Gonzalez said the company would "continue with its efforts to move forward with the Tia Maria project and we hope to have the support of the people and the government."
- Grupo Mexico (OTCPK:GMBXF), which owns a controlling stake in the Peruvian company, also said its subsidiary was not cancelling the project.
Mar. 27, 2015, 11:19 AM
- Southern Copper (SCCO -3.9%) has canceled its $1.4B Tia Maria project amid protests in Peru, the company's head of institutional relations in the country reportedly tells a local radio station.
- Tia Maria has been stalled for the last three years after local residents protested that the mine would hurt water supplies.
- The project was expected to produce 120K metric tons/year of copper over two decades.
Mar. 26, 2015, 11:58 AM
- Southern Copper (SCCO -0.5%) is initiated with a Hold rating and a $32 price target at Brean Capital, which believes SCCO's significantly richer valuation than peers is justified by a deep bench of opportunities and strong balance sheet from which to pursue them.
- As SCCO pursues its aggressive expansion program, the firm projects the majority of the company's capex budget - currently $4.3B through 2017 - will be funded by cash from operations, with only a modest temporary increase in leverage in 2015.
- On the whole, Brean believes SCCO is one of the better positioned names to not only weather the cyclical downturn in commodity pricing, but also to expand and execute growth opportunities ahead of and during a market recovery.
Mar. 24, 2015, 6:58 PM
- Police in Peru clashed today with opponents of Southern Copper's (NYSE:SCCO) $1.4B proposed Tia Maria mine in protests that threaten to further delay the project.
- Protesters called for the government to end the project because they say it will pollute agricultural valleys; the local police chief says 600-700 protesters, mostly women, took part in today's march in the second day of protests.
- SCCO has said it expects to receive a building permit by the end of this month following the government's key approval of its environmental plan last year; the company hopes the project will produce 120K metric tons/year of copper.
Feb. 4, 2015, 12:28 PM
- Southern Copper (SCCO +2.1%) posted a 14% drop in Q4 net earnings to $348M, mainly due to lower prices for copper, but topped the consensus analyst estimate of $297M.
- Q4 EBITDA fell 8.7% to $664M
- Sales were $1.47B in the quarter, down from $1.54B a year earlier; sales for the full year totaled $5.79B, down 2.8% Y/Y, as weaker metal prices offset a 9.7% increase in its copper production.
- FY 2014 production totaled 676.6K metric tons of copper, vs. 617K tons in 2013, while molybdenum production rose 16% to 23.1K tons from 19.9K tons in the prior year.
- SCCO says the $1.2B expansion of its Toquepala mine and its $1.4B proposed mine Tia Maria, both in Peru, should add 220K metric tons of copper and 3.1K tons of molybdenum to its production capacity, and expansion to its Buenavista mine in Mexico is seen adding 308K tons of copper and 4.6K tons of molybdenum to annual production capacity.
Feb. 3, 2015, 10:24 AM
- Copper prices are on track for their biggest gains since September on speculation that China would use stimulus measures to jump-start its economy and boost demand for the metal.
- Rising oil prices and Chinese stimulus speculation “have changed the focus to the upside and the short-covering has done the rest,” says Saxo Bank's Ole Hansen, adding that “energy is such a big and important part of the commodity sector, and the somewhat improved sentiment there also helps other” raw materials; aluminum and nickel also are rising to multi-week highs.
- "We’re in this perverse world where bad news is good news,” says BNP Paribas analyst Stephen Briggs, and "a lot of people are thinking China’s going to join the rest of the world and lower interest rates or [offer] some kind of monetary response."
- Raw materials companies are off to a strong start today: FCX +5.8%, BHP +3.9%, RIO +2.4%, VALE +3.9%, SCCO +3.4%.
- ETFs: JJC, DBB, JJN, JJU, JJT, CPER, BOM, RJZ, BOS, LD, BDD, JJM, FOIL, NINI, CUPM
Jan. 23, 2015, 11:18 AM
- Iron ore miners are broadly lower after Goldman Sachs becomes the latest global bank to deliver a dismal outlook for the steel-making ingredient, forecasting an average price of $66/metric ton this year from an earlier estimate of $80.
- Goldman is at least the fifth bank this month to lower estimates, citing rising seaborne supplies and weaker demand growth from China; just last week, Citigroup cut its iron ore forecast to $58 in 2015, down from its earlier $65, and UBS lowered its target to $66 from $85.
- Low-cost expansions likely will continue as major producers are still mining iron ore at a profit, which would expand the global seaborne surplus from 47M tons this year to 260M tons by 2018, Goldman says.
- Iron ore miners: VALE -8%, BHP -3%, RIO -3.6%, CLF -7.6%.
- Copper miners: FCX -2.6%, SCCO -2.4%, TCK -2.6%.
- Steel companies: X -6.3%, MT -7.1%, AKS -3.2%, NUE -1.2%, STLD -3%, CMC -3.8%, TMST -2.4%.
- Earlier: Goldman gives in on mined commodities
Jan. 16, 2015, 5:36 PM
Jan. 15, 2015, 3:59 PM
- Barclays is bullish on steel producers thanks to improving U.S. steel demand that should offset the downward trend in steel pricing, neutral on copper miners as lower than expected metal supply will outweigh a slowdown in Chinese consumption growth, and cautious on coal as low nat gas prices along with growing utility regulations and slowing Chinese demand for imported coal will hurt demand.
- In steel, the firm's Overweight-rated steel stocks Nucor (NYSE:NUE) and Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) stand to gain from steel consumption growth from the U.S. construction, manufacturing and automotive industries while offering little direct exposure to the troubled energy sector.
- In copper, both Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) and Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) boast high-probability mining expansion projects over the next two years, but Barclays considers pure-play SCCO's overall risk profile more favorable.
- In coal, Cloud Peak (NYSE:CLD) offers a relatively healthy balance sheet and reasonable valuation on realistic pricing, while Alpha Natural (NYSE:ANR) and Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) struggle under heavy debt from ill-timed acquisitions exacerbated by very slim profitability.
Jan. 14, 2015, 12:39 PM
- Citi cuts price targets for iron ore to $58 for 2015 and $62 for 2016, down from its prior estimates of $65 for both years, and lowers its outlook for thermal and met coal.
- Citi warns its downwardly revised forecast means it now expects earnings for major mining companies will fall by 9%-21% for 2015 and by 3%-16% in 2016.
- Rio Tinto (RIO -2.5%) is the exception, as Citi sees earnings rising 7.1% this year and 10.6% next year due to the company’s greater exposure to the weaker Australian dollar.
- The firm cuts its price target for Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF -7.2%) by 8% to £3.60 from £3.90 and sees earnings falling 21% and 16% respectively in 2015 and 2016.
- Citi says it is still bullish on the sector, but warns that metals and mining companies will only slowly grind higher over the next few years.
- Also: BHP -4.5%, VALE -5%, FCX -12%, SCCO -4.9%, TCK -9.7%, CLF -4.4%, CENX -9.1%, MT -4.2%, X -4.9%, NUE -3.4%, STLD -2.6%, BTU -9.8%, ANR -8.8%, ACI -8.9%.
Jan. 14, 2015, 10:28 AM
- Freeport McMoRan (FCX -10.8%) sinks to a 52-week low as copper prices fall 4.5% to collapse to 2009 levels, though it is off overnight lows after prices were down nearly 9% at one point in London.
- Other big global miners also are sharply lower: SCCO -7.3%, RIO -2.5%, BHP -4.4%, VALE -3.8%, CLF -5.8%.
- Concerns over a supply glut and slowing consumption in China have weighed on copper prices in recent months; copper is often seen as an omen for the global economy because it is used in a wide array of construction and manufacturing activities, so today's precipitous drop explains much of the weakness in global equity markets.
- The iPath Dow Jones UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEARCA:JJC) is trading so heavily that nearly 60% of the average full-day volume traded in the first 10 minutes this morning.
- ETFs: CPER, CUPM, DBB, BOM, RJZ, BOS, BDD, JJM, RGRI, UBM, BDG, USMI, HEVY
Jan. 14, 2015, 9:17 AM
Dec. 18, 2014, 1:22 PM
- Peru's government approves the environmental study for Southern Copper's (SCCO +2.8%) $1.2B expansion of its Toquepala mine, a project expected to raise the miner's copper output by 100K metric tons/year.
- Construction on the expansion, which will add a new concentrator at the mine and boost its tailings storage capacity, is scheduled to wrap up in two years.
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