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Event Horizon: Major Catalysts In These Commodities This Year

Event Horizon: Major Catalysts In These Commodities This Year

Critical events to watch in the resource world these days, weeks, and months.

Monday, April 13: Zambia’s government tables changes to copper royalties

Royalty changes for miners in Zambia have been a contentious issue. With the government increasing royalties in January to 20% for open pits mines and 8% for underground operations (up from 6% for both categories previously).

In the face of protests and falling metals prices, Zambia’s president Edgar Lungu last month asked his finance and mining ministers to revisit the royalty hike. With recommendations mandated to be in by April 8. Related: U.S. Seizes On Venezuelan Weakness To Regain Caribbean Energy Foothold

The government said yesterday the proposed royalty revisions have now been submitted, and will be tabled by Zambia’s cabinet on Monday. Watch Reuters Africa for news on the scale of the royalty changes — a substantial cut in rates being supportive for mining stocks with operations here. And for the Zambian kwacha, which had been weakening in the wake of the royalty increases.

Saturday, May 2: China to lift molybdenum export restrictions

Chinese export restrictions have caused market-moving changes for metals like rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum. But last August the World Trade Organization ruled that such export controls were illegal — prompting China to commit to removing the measures by May 2. Related: Off-Grid Solar Threatens Utilites In The Next Decade

There has yet been no guidance from the government on how exactly the export laws will be changed. But any moves that allow heightened exports could affect all of these markets — China had, for example, been the world’s largest exporter of ferromolybdenum, prior to the export controls being introduced in 2007. Watch Platts Metals for the latest.

September 2015: Iran shows off new oil and gas opportunities to the West

Iranian officials said last week they want the West to be involved in their next round of oil and gas contracts. And to prove it, the government announced it will host an international conference on project opportunities in London this September. Related: Top 12 Media Myths On Oil Prices

It’s still early days, and there’s lots to be done in finalizing an Iran deal and lifting Western sanctions. But for developers looking for the next big petroleum play, this is an event worth penciling in to your calendar — watch IRNA for further details on timing and arrangements for the conference.

Here’s to revisions, provisions, and big decisions,
Dave Forest

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