January 28, 2009 / 10:35 AM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX-Mines and plants hit by low prices, high costs

LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - The global financial crisis and sharp falls in metals prices have forced several companies to abandon or put on hold their plans to bring new mines onstream.

Some existing producers also have shut down or curtailed output at mines and plants as high costs and low prices bite. Below are details of major projects and facilities affected in recent months, as well as other related news.

Jan 28 - Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL) said it would continue adjusting aluminium output to shrinking demand. Company repeated it was considering a further 200,000-tonne cut, mainly at its Neuss smelter in Germany. [ID:nLS39675] [ID:nLR601521]

Jan 27 - Canada’s Thompson Creek Metals Co Inc TCM.TO said it will cut molybenum production in 2009 and halt mining activities for a month. [nBNG356469]

Jan 27 - Indonesia will cut a target cap on tin production this year to below a planned 100,000 tonnes because of falling prices. [ID:nJAK323691]

Jan 26 - Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc (FCX.N) said it would reduce mining and crushed leach rates by 50 percent at its Morenci copper mine, compared with a 25 percent curtailment announced in December, along with a series of other operating reductions and deferred start-ups. [ID:nN26404413]

Jan 26 - Eastern Platinum Ltd (ELR.TO) said planned reduction in reserve development, which began late November, included temporary suspension of Crocette mine. [ID:nWEB3437]

Jan 23 - Oxus Gold Plc OXS.L said it will expand its 50 percent-owned Amantaytau Goldfields project faster than planned, but will slash development costs. [ID:nLN654101]

Jan 22 - Bulgaria’s KCM said it will cut zinc output by 16 percent this year and lead output by 9 percent. [ID:nLM706116]

Jan 22 - Sharp falls in metals prices have forced several small mining companies in Mexico to scrap ongoing projects, the country’s mining chamber said. [ID:nN22253659]

Jan 22 - Japan’s Dowa Holdings Co Ltd (5714.T) said it would curb copper output by about 10 percent from its initial plan from February. [ID:nT16016]

Jan 22 - Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) said to close Galmoy zinc-lead mine in Ireland in May. Was to close on a phased basis over three years from end-2008. [ID:nWNAB2104]

Jan 22 - Australia’s top gold miner Newcrest Mining (NCM.AX) lowered its forecast for annual production. [ID:nSYD338382]

Jan 22 - BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) BLT.L may suspend operations at its Yabulu nickel refinery indefinitely, analysts said. [ID:nSYD360707]

Jan 21 - African Copper ACU.L said it will suspend production at its Mowana copper mine in Botswana for at least three weeks while it holds talks to raise up to $15 million for its working capital needs. [ID:nLL170854]

Jan 21 - Eramet (ERMT.PA) said it will cut its output of manganese ore and alloy in first quarter 2009. [ID:nLL351741]

Jan 21 - Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) (AMSJ.J) plans to trim production, a South African union official said. The official also said Gold Fields (GFIJ.J) is considering laying off about 1,500 workers. [ID:nLL154574]

Jan 21 - Columbia Falls Aluminum is to curtail the last operating potline at its 168,000 tonnes per year (tpy) smelter in the United States. [ID:nLL482319]

Jan 21 - BHP Billiton will close its giant Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Australia, reduce activity at Mount Keith nickel mine and put Pinto Valley copper operations in the United States on care and maintenance in February. [ID:nSYD409818]

Jan 21 - Latin American silver and gold producer Hochschild Mining Plc (HOCM.L) said it is considering closing its small Selene silver mine. [ID:nLK707366]

Jan 20 - OceanaGold (OGC.AX) OTC.TO said may slash planned investment in the stalled Didipio gold-copper project in the Philippines due to funding difficulties. [ID:nSP383612]

Jan 20 - Rio Tinto Alcan (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) said plans to cut another six percent of aluminium output and will also cut alumina production, shed 1,100 employees to cut costs. [ID:nLK644921]

Jan 20 - Anglo American Plc (AAL.L) said it has temporarily halted production at Loma nickel mine in Venezuela, partly due to high transport costs. [ID:nLK562927]

Jan 20 - Albidon ALDq.L ALB.AX said nickel output for the Dec. 2008 quarter had fallen and lowered its production forecasts. [ID:nLK504488]

Jan 19 - Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) said will delay by three years the start of production at a planned aluminium smelter after Rio Tinto Alcan (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) abandoned the project. [ID:nLJ559330]

Jan 16 - Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL) will cut primary aluminium output at its Neuss smelter in Germany by 30,000 tonnes by end-January. [ID:nLG679240]

Jan 15 - Alumina Partners of Jamaica, Jamaica’s biggest bauxite and alumina producing company, said it will cut production by 50 percent and lay off staff. [ID:nN1E490130]

Jan 15 - Rio Tinto said it had curtailed about five percent of aluminium smelter capacity at end-Q4 2008. It said it continued to review production rates at higher cost smelting units, which might lead to further cutbacks.

Jan 14 - Antofagasta Plc (ANTO.L) said will close its small Lince copper mine in Chile. [ID:nLE193215]

Jan 14 - Mexican silver miner Fresnillo Plc (FRES.L) said it would trim capital expenditure this year by about 8 percent. ID:nLD489404]

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