This Morning in Metals: Chuquicamata Underground Mine to Start up Mid-Year

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This morning in metals news, Chile’s Codelco announced its underground Chuquicamata mine will open later this year, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday and the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an affirmative preliminary determination in an anti-dumping investigation related to China.

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Chuquicamata to Open this Year

Chilean state-owned miner Codelco announced the underground Chuquicamata copper mine will open for operations in the middle of the year, Reuters reported.

As the report notes, the miner last year announced plans to transform the mine site from an open cast setup to an underground mine, coming in at an investment of $5.55 billion.

Lighthizer at Ways and Means

As trade meetings between the U.S. and China continue, USTR Robert Ligthhizer offered testimony Wednesday before the House Ways and Means Committee.

“We are here to talk about China,” Lighthizer said during his opening remarks. “I agree with those who see our large and growing trade deficit and their unfair trade practices – including technology transfer issues, failure to protect intellectual property, large subsidies, cyber theft of commercial secrets and other problems – as major threats to our economy.  We can compete with anyone in the world but we must have rules – enforced rules – that make sure market outcomes, not state-capitalism and technology theft, determine winners.”

Lighthizer continued, saying the negotiating teams had made progress but that there is still much work left to do.

“Let me close by saying that we have engaged in a very intense, extremely serious, and very specific negotiation with China on crucial structural issues for several months now,” he said. “We are making real progress. If we can complete this effort – and again I say ‘if’ – and can reach a satisfactory solution to the all-important outstanding issue of enforceability as well as some other concerns, we might be able to have an agreement that helps us turn the corner in our economic relationship with China.

“Let me be clear: much still needs to be done both before an agreement is reached and, more importantly, after it is reached, if one is reached.”

DOC Rules in Steel Rack Case

The U.S. Department of Commerce issued an affirmative preliminary determination in its anti-dumping investigation of steel racks from China.

According to the DOC, exporters have been dumping the steel racks at margins ranging from 18.08- 144.50%.

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The value of steel rack imports from China in 2017 hit $200 million, according to an estimate by the Coalition for Fair Rack Imports (the petitioner in the case).

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