The Portuguese mineral industry – update

Portugal has a long tradition in the mining industry (in our European heartland and, during our long and rich History, in other territories in South America, Africa, Asia). Romans mined (gold and other metals, natural stone) in what is now the Portuguese territory and before them the Celts and Phoenicians.

The  Portuguese mining industry is now built around three main pillars:

  1. The natural stone sector (with hundreds of active marble, granite and limestone quarries and high quality manufacturing centers – we are the largest per capita natural stone exporter: market research here).
  2. The metals (especially Au and W – in the country’s north and center – and Cu-Zn in VMS Iberian Pyrite Belt – in the south).
  3. Industrial rocks and minerals (kaolinite, felspar, aggregates, etc.).

There are several active exploration – evaluation projects (base metals, gold, tungsten) in the country and high potential for lithium and other mineral commodities. To know more about our mineral industry, just read Mineral Resources of Portugal, the latest official statistical information or, better still, contact us at

Portuguese infrastructure is first-class and where else do you find warmer people and weather and better food and wine?

Lundin Mining 2015 Production Results and 2016 Operating and Capital Guidance

In a news release (click here) of January 21 (two days ago) Lundin Mining announces its 2015 Production Results and provides 2016 Operating and Capital Guidance.

Lundin Mining Corporation (TSX:LUN)(OMX:LUMI)

Lundin Mining is a diversified base metals mining company with operations and projects in Chile, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and the U.S.A producing copper, zinc, lead and nickel. In addition, Lundin Mining holds a 24% equity stake in the world-class Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Freeport Cobalt Oy business, which includes a cobalt refinery located in Kokkola, Finland. (from Lundin’s website)

Mr. Paul Conibear, President and CEO commented: “The Company finished 2015 on a strong note and achieved or exceeded annual production guidance at each operation. In light of the current commodity price environment our operating and capital investment activities will continue to focus on financial flexibility and maximizing cash flows in order to preserve the Company’s strong balance sheet.” (from the news release)

Lundin's production results compared to the latest guidance.png
Lundin’s 2015 production results compared to the latest guidance
2016 Lundin Production and Cost Guidance.png
Lundin’s 2016 Production and Cost Guidance


USGS – Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Occurrence Model

The USGS is an invaluable source of knowledge and information on economic geology (and on most Geology branches, in fact). I have just come across one of their publications; in this case, on VMS deposits – an important source of precious and basic metals (in the world and in Portugal – in our case, for over two millennia). Enjoy: Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Occurrence Model.

Lundin Mining Production Outlook 2016-2018

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.29.33.png

(1) Production guidance is based on certain estimates and assumptions, including but not limited to; mineral resources and reserves, geological formations, grade and continuity of deposits and metallurgical characteristics.
(2) Tenke guidance has not yet been provided by operator, Freeport McMoRan Inc. (“Freeport”). Lundin Mining anticipates future production from Tenke to be comparable to expected 2015 production.

In a press release (Marketwired – Dec. 2, 2015) Lundin Mining Corporation (TSX:LUN)(OMX:LUMI) (“Lundin Mining” or the “Company”) provides the following production guidance for the three-year period of 2016 through 2018. Key highlights are as follows:

  • Annual attributable copper production guidance for 2016 and 2017 has improved from last year’s three year production guidance due primarily to the improved production profile at Candelaria.
  • Zinc production is expected to increase by 2018 due to a low-cost plant improvement project at Zinkgruvan.
  • This outlook does not include guidance for the Aguablanca nickel/copper mine. The mine is under suspension and recommencement of operations will depend on timing of receipt of environmental approval for underground operations and the outlook for nickel and copper prices.
  • This production profile does not incorporate any expansions for the zinc plant at Neves-Corvo or further debottlenecking at Tenke, each of which could further increase the Company’s production profile.
    Given current depressed market conditions, the Company continues to refine planned investments in capital programs and exploration.

The Company is also conducting a further review of operating costs and considering actions required in order to preserve healthy operating margins under a sustained period of low commodity prices. The 2016 outlook for cash costs, capital spending and exploration programs will be disclosed towards the end of January 2016.

Mr. Paul Conibear, President and CEO commented: “The Company’s near term strategy is focused on stable production with low capital investment and improving operating costs, in order to maximize profitability and cash flows, preserving a strong balance sheet. The stability of our producing assets combined with the strength of our balance sheet, ideally positions the Company to generate leading returns to shareholders in any commodity price environment.”

Mineral commodities 2013 total mined volumes and values, average prices

Commodities 2013

Diamonds mined in 2013 total 14 bn USD. How do they compare with other mineral commodities?

Rather than using somebody else’s compilations, I prefer to check values published by (commodity) specialised international organisations or public companies (OPEC, World Gold Council, KPCS, USGS, etc.). After some work, I have arrived to the estimates presented in the table to the left.

Is the ranking surprising? Any obvious error on the table’s values? Comments and suggestions (always) welcome. Yes, reality changed a lot since 2013 (only 18 months ago).


Lundin Mining (TSX: LUN; Nasdaq Stockholm: LUMI) just announced that the 2014 Annual Filings Document is available for download from the Company’s website. You may also obtain it from here: lun_annual_filings

Lundin Mining Corporation is a diversified base metals mining company with operations in Chile, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and the United States, producing copper, zinc, lead and nickel. In addition, Lundin Mining holds a 24% equity stake in the world-class Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Freeport Cobalt Oy business, which includes a cobalt refinery located in Kokkola, Finland.

NEVES-CORVO: em 2014, pela primeira vez, mais zinco que cobre

Neves-Corvo é a mais importante mina portuguesa. Localizada no Baixo Alentejo, na Faixa Ibérica Piritosa, é constituída por um conjunto de massas de sulfuretos complexos exploradas em lavra subterrânea. A mina é hoje propriedade da Lundin Mining, que acaba de publicar o relatório anual de 2014 – lun_annual_filings.

Em resultado, por um lado, dos teores decrescentes de cobre no minério explorado, uma tendência natural à medida que a idade da mina avança e, por outro, da produção do jazigo de Lombador (que contribuiu para o crescimento da produção de zinco em 26% face a 2013), Neves-Corvo produziu mais zinco que cobre, mudando o seu perfil de produção.

Neves-Corvo produced 51,369 tonnes of copper and 67,378 tonnes of zinc for the year ended December 31, 2014. Production from the Lombador ore body helped contribute to a 26% increase in zinc production over the prior year, and an annual zinc production record. Copper production met guidance, but lower copper head grades, metallurgical recoveries and ore throughput resulted in lower copper production compared to the year ended December 31, 2013. Copper cash costs1 of $1.85/lb for the year were in-line with our latest full-year guidance ($1.85/lb).”

in Lundin Mining 2014 Annual Report