By Shihoko Goto — Exclusive to Copper Investing News
UBS, on the other hand, is more bearish about the broader US and European economies, and demand for base metals in particular. “In the absence of further injections [from US and European central banks] in the second quarter, we expect prices to drift lower,” UBS stated.Late Thursday, COMEX copper for May delivery is up 2.1 percent at $3.71 a pound. Company news The share price of Australia's Kagara Mining (ASX: KZL) hit a record low as it suspended its Baal Gammon copper mine in Queensland. Meanwhile, the powerful earthquake that struck Indonesia earlier this week rattled investors as the country is home to many major copper mines. The Grasberg mine, located in the province of Papua and owned by the world's largest publicly-traded copper miner, Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX), is the third-largest red metal mine in the world. The quake does not, however, appear to have had any immediate impact on mining operations. Rather, it has increased awareness of the vulnerabilities of mines worldwide to natural disasters. Lundin Mining (TSX: LUN) signed an option agreement to acquire an 80 percent stake in Spain's Touro copper project for 60 million euros. Lundin will form a joint venture with the two Spanish companies that currently own the project and will fund all project costs should the option be exercised. "We believe the project has the potential to be rapidly advanced and we are well on our way to making a decision on the option, having mobilized several drill rigs onto the property earlier this year," stated Lundin CEO Paul Conibear. Roman Copper, which is wholly owned by Toronto's Bayfront Capital Partners, is continuing its attempt at buying Romania's largest copper mine. In March, Roman Copper won a tender to buy Cupru Min Abrud for 200.8 million euros, but the Romanian government pulled the plug on the deal last weekend. Since then, however, Roman Copper has stated that it is willing to meet the government's conditions, which “included an undertaking by Roman Copper to accept additional financial and other obligations that were not required in the original tender documentation.” Junior company news Orsu Metals (OTC Pink: ORSUF) reported that its Karchiga copper project in Northeast Kazakhstan, near the Chinese border, will have a producing mine life of 11.5 years with average mining costs of $1.70 per tonne of material moved. First production is slated for the fourth quarter of 2013. Vancouver-based West Cirque Resources (TSXV: SIG) has secured a permit to drill at its Castle gold- silver-copper project in British Columbia. The permit is valid for a four-year term, and will allow the company to drill 20 sites.