At the end of another busy week in the Metal Bulletin newsrooms, deputy editor Fleur Ritzema takes a look back at some of the key stories.

Some of the world’s largest copper mines had to shut operations this week, after they were plagued with sudden rainfall in Chile.

Sources told Metal Bulletin sister publication Copper Price Briefing that Chile’s worst rain-caused disaster in more than eight decades could affect the availability of clean copper concentrates in the market and put pressure on treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs).

Danielle Assalve had the story.

And here’s the latest update on Codelco’s operations

In the markets, London Metal Exchange nickel prices closed the week at a six-year low of $13,285 per tonne after kerb trading.

In China, major copper smelters have lowered their TC/RC floor prices. More on the news here

And ten months on from the discovery of large-scale collateral fraud at the port of Qingdao in Shandong province, Chinese banks continue to take a dim view on lending to the copper industry, and to the metals sector overall. Metal Bulletin’s Kiki Kang reports on the developments

Trafigura has, meanwhile, put forward two candidates to whom it has close ties for election to the board of Belgium-based zinc producer Nyrstar, in which it owns a stake of just over 15%, at an agm on April 29.

Alex Harrison had the story

And Impala won a judgment in the UK courts about proceedings arising from the Qingdao incident.

Wanxiang, which is a subsidiary of China-based manufacturing company Wanxiang Group, had brought a case against the warehousing company in China, and a key element of the case in London is whether that litigation can or should continue.

Although Impala won, it wasn’t an unqualified win.

Here, Claire Hack takes a look at the key points that arose from judgment in the case

Earlier in the week, Noble Group brought legal action against a former employee that it fired in 2013 and another entity for conspiracy to injure the commodities trading giant by anonymously spreading false and misleading information.

China is, meanwhile, preparing to open its futures markets to international investors, to help its economy cope with global price fluctuations. Here, Metal Bulletin takes a look at what this means for LME warehouses.

And the country’s official Xinhua News Agency noted that China’s government has not been encouraging local smelters to dump aluminium on the international market at low prices. 

Meanwhile, sources said that the Japanese market’s access to the London Metal Exchange and the liquidity of the LME’s planned aluminium premium contract, will determine to what degree it is adopted in Japan. 

And here’s what a member of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry had to say to Metal Bulletin about the country’s ban on bauxite exports

The new head of metals trading at Castleton Commodities International, Peter Sellers, spoke to Andrea Hotter. Read the interview here.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government’s proposed changes to the country’s mining code could put the future of the mining industry there “at grave risk”, according to the DRC Chamber of Mines.

Also in Africa, South Africa’s embattled electricity supplier, Eskom, has requested a further 25.3% hike in its tariffs over the next three years on top of existing tabled increases.

This bodes ill for the South African mining and manufacturing industries, according to Elton Bosch, gm and energy consultant at NUS Consulting Group in Johannesburg.  

Fleur Ritzema
Twitter: FleurRitzema_MB