Saturday, October 31, 2020

Hope beckons for Botswana copper as prices jump

While other minerals recorded productions for the first quarter of the year 2020, though on the negative edge, copper in concentrates and silver recorded zero production during the same period.

The latest Statistics Botswana’s volume of mining production of Q1 2020 shows this was due to the instability and uncertainty of commodity prices affected by production at the associated mines, leading to provisional liquidation as mining operations could not be sustained at the current prices. Mowana copper mine in particular, has since 2019 been placed under care and maintenance with the likelihood of a complete shutdown. 

The mine situated about 114 kilometres west of Francistown has shut down and re-opened on numerous occasions under different management. Negotiations between creditors and Leboam Holdings, the company that currently holds the mining licenses for the troubled Mowana, are still ongoing.

However, all hope is not lost as the latest Trading Economics show that copper continued the uptrend in July, trading above $2.70 per pound, as a resurgent Chinese demand supply concerns and global stimulus boosted a rebound from March’s four-year lows. 

The metal has climbed to a level not seen since January on better-than-expected factory data from top consumer China and supply disruptions in Chile, the world’s largest miner of the metal. 

International stock prices by yesterday (Monday) , showed that, three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up to hit $6,320 a tonne reaching its highest since January. 

This price jump paints a better future for emerging copper miners such as Khoemacaeu and Tshukudu Metals, but not also excluding Mowana mine should it find new investors very soon.  Khoemacau is expected to start ore mining in the last quarter of 2020. Khoemacau has been exploring and developing the Ghanzi-Chobe Copper Silver Project located in the Kalahari copper belt within the Ghantsi and Ngamiland Districts. Tshukudu Metals is also an emerging copper producer operating in the Kalahari Copper-belt, Ghanzi.

Copper which is the third most widely used metal in the world in power and construction- is on course to notch its seventh weekly gain, which would be its longest winning streak in nearly three years.

China’s top copper smelters met on Friday to decide floor treatment and refining charges for the third quarter.

Chile kept copper output steady in May from a year earlier even as the coronavirus outbreak exploded.

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