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Intelligence Series

Latest reports

Copper in Latin America: Great Expectations
Argentina,Bolivia,...

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The global copper market is facing a looming deficit that is expected to drive prices higher within a few years, a boon for existing operations that is also leading to a new drive in copper-focused mining investment in Latin America and around the world. Challenges abound, including declining ore grades and earning and maintaining a social license to operate, and a lack of construction-ready projects will limit near-term spending to some extent. But as copper prices consolidate, miners will have greater leeway to dust off initiatives that stalled during the low-price cycle and to approach the in-country complications presented by each jurisdiction. The report also includes data on Latin American copper production trends, an outlook on the copper market, and details of key projects in Chile, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Panama and Ecuador.

Mining in Brazil: Breaking New Ground

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A series of new regulations and rising global metals prices are set to spur investment in Brazil's mining sector. The result of the October presidential election should resolve current political uncertainty and speed up sector growth.

AMLO: Friend or Foe for Mining in Mexico?
Mexico

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Mexico's left-wing president-elect Andrés López, or AMLO, will take the reins at a key moment for the country's mining industry, with a metals price-driven rebound beginning to gain traction. The Morena party leader's landslide election victory was driven by pledges to help the poor and tackle corruption. How he seeks to achieve these goals, coupled with his approach to areas such as workers' rights, the environment, security and taxes, will have a major bearing on the trajectory of Mexico's nascent mining recovery.

Mining in Colombia: Fortune Favors the Bold
Colombia

Mining in Colombia: Fortune Favors the Bold

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Colombia's president elect Iván Duque has pledged to cut corporate taxes, lessen bureaucracy and reduce legal uncertainty for foreign investors. This is positive news for mining as the country has large, untapped mineral resources that require a stable regulatory framework to unlock their potential.

Mining in Peru: Putting the Pieces Together
Peru

Mining in Peru: Putting the Pieces Together

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Peru is one of the best places to invest in mining in Latin America with a stable legal framework, firm respect for private property and excellent geological potential. Political stability and rising metals prices are helping to boost investment plans for 2018 and beyond. At the same time, a new approach to community development could help unlock stalled projects.

Mining in Chile: Back to the Future
Chile

Mining in Chile: Back to the Future

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Higher copper prices and a new political outlook have brought optimism back to Chile's mining sector. This report outlines the new government's take on supporting investment and the country's growing project pipeline, as well as the main challenges to development.

Iron Ore in Latin America: Projects Making a Cautious Comeback
Brazil,Chile,...

Iron Ore in Latin America: Projects Making a Cautious Comeback

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Iron ore prices are somewhat more stable after the commodities down cycle, though they have not recovered as well as other base metals. Still, some Brazilian and Peruvian projects have been recently reactivated and are set to keep Latin American production on the rise, though many still face challenges.

Zinc in Latin America: Strong Prices Driving New Wave of Projects
Bolivia,Brazil,...

Zinc in Latin America: Strong Prices Driving New Wave of Projects

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Zinc prices have finally rebounded after a long downturn, surging 38% in 2017 to their highest annual average in a decade. The turnaround is driving investment in zinc projects in Latin America, with stalled greenfields being reactivated and a growing junior interest in primary zinc.

Venezuela: Last Jewel in the Global Mining Crown?
Venezuela

Venezuela: Last Jewel in the Global Mining Crown?

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Nationalization, asset seizures and non-payment of arbitration claims under President Nicolás Maduro have made Venezuela a toxic environment for mining investment. But multinationals continue to circle, attracted by the country's enormous mineral wealth, and in particular, gold resources exceeding 60Moz.

White Gold Rush: South America's Lithium Triangle
Argentina,Bolivia,...

White Gold Rush: South America's Lithium Triangle

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Lithium prices nearly doubled in 2017, driving up profits for producers and further encouraging the growing contingent of junior companies, particularly in Argentina, seeking to cash in on the coming surge in demand from electric vehicles. But the size and strength of this boom remains open to debate. And with newly expanded quotas for Chilean producers, the coming years could see booming supply as well. This report seeks to evaluate the current state of the lithium market and profile the supply side from South America's "Lithium Triangle."

Mining Survey 2018
Argentina,Bolivia,...

Mining Survey 2018

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The results of BNamericas' Mining Survey 2018 show growing optimism along with continued caution, with spending and the availability of financing expected to rise but many players still prioritizing optimization over growth. In terms of prices, the outlook is particularly strong for copper and gold. Respondents appear less concerned about political risks in the region despite the scandals of the last year and elections to come.

Mining Outlook 2018: Investment Returns in Earnest as Metal Prices Consolidate
Argentina,Brazil,...

Mining Outlook 2018: Investment Returns in Earnest as Metal Prices Consolidate

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Prices for gold and copper, among other key Latin American mining products, have consolidated over the outgoing year and drawn increasing attention from investors. Financing is more readily available, exploration activity is rising and producers are better positioned to make acquisitions and consider organic growth, even as they maintain a focus on optimization. Political and social challenges persist in many LatAm countries - elections, legal changes and community opposition will all make headlines in 2018 - but the environment in some jurisdictions is improving and stronger markets could lead investors to a greater acceptance of the risks.

Mining in Mexico: First Steps on the Road to Recovery
Mexico

Mining in Mexico: First Steps on the Road to Recovery

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Mexico's miners are loosening purse strings and investing in cash-starved assets after years of forced frugality. Underpinning this relative lavishness is a renewed confidence, stemming from higher metal prices and cost reductions achieved during the downturn. But the road to recovery - and production growth - is strewn with potential stumbling blocks. For a start, the price outlook is uncertain. In addition, security fears and deterioration in the regulatory and tax regimes are chipping away at the country's ability to attract investment dollars.

Mining in Brazil: Recovery Underway but Political Tensions Still Simmer
Brazil

Mining in Brazil: Recovery Underway but Political Tensions Still Simmer

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Brazilian politics are in turmoil but the government is determined to push through key changes to the mining code and royalty scheme in an effort to attract investment and boost revenue. While there are signs of reactivation at projects, it remains to be seen whether the changes - and tentatively improving metal markets - will succeed in boosting activity.

Junior Mining: Light in the Tunnel or Another False Start?
Argentina,Brazil,...

Junior Mining: Light in the Tunnel or Another False Start?

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Metal commodity prices have increased significantly over the last 18 months but are still far short of the highs enjoyed at the height of the commodities boom. And while junior financing and exploration activity have seen marked improvements, the mood is sober as companies wait for stronger signs of a market comeback. Latin America remains the global region receiving the most exploration investment, and while the more established jurisdictions, such as Chile and Peru, are the favorites, political changes have reduced the perceived risk and could spur exploration in Argentina and Ecuador.

Mining in Colombia: Land of Opportunity or Pandora's Box?
Colombia

Mining in Colombia: Land of Opportunity or Pandora's Box?

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Miners in Colombia plan to invest US$7.6 billion in projects over the next five years, according to national mining association ACM. But social conflicts and adverse legal rulings may derail investment plans unless the government comes up with a broad-based long-term mining plan.

Mining in Chile: Positioning for Recovery
Chile

Mining in Chile: Positioning for Recovery

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Mining projects in Chile are facing increasing scrutiny and declining grades, as well as price and legal uncertainty. The country has the world's biggest copper reserves and big potential to increase production of gold and lithium, but these challenges are keeping many investors on the sidelines. Mining companies are working to prepare projects and balance sheets for investment when investment conditions are right.

Mining in Peru: Prices, Politics and Communities Challenge Projects
Peru

Mining in Peru: Prices, Politics and Communities Challenge Projects

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Peru enjoyed strong growth in 2016, driven largely by booming copper production. While red metal output is forecast to continue expanding, the overall outlook is less jubilant for 2017. President Kuczynski is struggling to advance key reforms through the opposition-controlled congress and there is growing frustration over the cancellation of major infrastructure PPP contracts. These factors also threaten to stymie efforts to address social opposition to mining projects, while metal prices also must consolidate if the pipeline is to be developed.

Copper in Latin America: Optimism is Back, But is Investment?
Argentina,Brazil,...

Copper in Latin America: Optimism is Back, But is Investment?

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Five years of low copper prices have decimated the project pipeline but Latin America's importance remains clear: half of the large-scale projects due for startup in the next four years are in the region. Though prices have risen in the last six months and optimism is high, the biggest producers remain focused on productivity. While the slim pipeline supports the idea of market deficits in the coming years, Chinese demand growth must stay strong if copper prices are to reach levels that would stimulate a wider return to investment.

Mining in Argentina: Preparing for Takeoff
Argentina

Mining in Argentina: Preparing for Takeoff

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For more than a decade, the investment climate in Argentina led many to dismiss the nation. Since President Mauricio Macri took office at the end of 2015, reforms have taken shape to fix the economy and stimulate investment, including a federal mining agreement to unify policy across the provinces. Combined with an improved outlook for metal prices, the pieces are falling into place for a new era in Argentine mining.