The big mining story this weekend is the Congo's tearing up contracts with western large-cap miners. It sounds like they are just plain ripping off the miners in favor of the Chinese (probably in return for a big piece of the Chinese 5B$ investment). Here's a piece of a good article on the subject:
"DRC strips mining licences; gives China mineral rights
Four Chinese state enterprises will take a 68% stake in a joint -venture with Gecamines, DRC`s state-mining company, the government commission will recommend alterations to 38 contracts and say another 23 should be canceled... in return for a loan currently being negotiated."
For owners of Jr copper mining stocks (whose mines are not in the Congo), this sounds initially like a bullish thing in you'd think world copper supply would take a hit in that it will disrupt existing production and slow down production increases from projects whose contracts are being canceled or altered. This would drive up copper prices.
But from my perspective, this quote from the article tells a different story: "The Chinese want to go into production," Fortin said. "They`ll go very fast. They`re here to get the metal."
The Chinese, who don't dilly dally around with zoning regulations, input from indigenous people groups, environmental regulations, protracted feasibility studies and obtaining financing may be able to bring the copper online faster than the western companies they are displacing (leaving quite a mess behind in the process).
This story certainly highlights the "Politically Safe" part of the Don Coxe mantra: "Invest in companies with large reserves in politically safe locations". Those companies with projects in the Congo will take a hit in the markets on Monday. An investment in a jr miner (I'm not aware of any such jr miner) whose project was in the Congo would be a complete loss.