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Codelco H1 profit jumps 25% YOY on high copper prices

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Codelco H1 profit jumps 25% YOY on high copper prices

TOP NEWS

Codelco H1 profit jumps 25% YOY on high copper prices

High copper prices, higher sales volume and better management propelled Codelco's first-half pretax profit to US$1.24 billion, a 25% year-on-year jump from US$990 million last year, President and CEO Nelson Pizarro said. First-half EBITDA also surged 21% to US$2.69 billion, from US$2.22 billion in the comparative period.

US court dismisses lawsuit against Rio Tinto over Guinea dealings

A U.S. court dismissed a class action against Rio Tinto and three of its former executives over corruption allegations related to its dealings Guinea in 2016, according to an opinion piece published on The Australian Financial Review. The lawsuit sought damages for the loss of value of Rio's New York-listed equity after it decided that year to self-report to regulators in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

BHP flags shareholder windfall from sale of US shale assets by year-end

BHP Billiton Group CFO Peter Beaven hinted that shareholders may receive the proceeds of its US$10.8 billion U.S. shale asset sales, which is expected to close by Oct. 31, at the end of the calendar year, through either additional cash dividends or share buybacks, The Australian Financial Review reported.

BASE METALS

* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. emerged as the winning investor for Serbia's sole copper mine and smelter, RTB Bor, Reuters reported. The Chinese miner committed to invest US$1.26 billion for a 63% stake in the debt-laden asset, and pledged another US$200 million to settle RTB Bor's debt, according to Serbian Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic.

* Grupo México SAB de CV could restart its San Martin copper-silver-lead-zinc mine in Mexico in the first quarter of 2019, 11 years since its closure due to a workers' strike, Reuters reported, citing Carlos Barcena, the economic minister in the northern state of Zacatecas where the mine is located.

* CuDeco Ltd. will temporarily suspend mining and processing operations at its Rocklands copper mine in Queensland, Australia, to allow for critical maintenance work until Sept. 10.

* Talisman Mining Ltd. estimated a maiden resource for its wholly owned Sinclair project in Western Australia of 720,000 tonnes at 2.3% nickel for 16,200 tonnes of contained nickel.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Three of Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s largest investors will likely vote in favor of its proposed acquisition of Lonmin PLC, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources. The investors, which hold more than a third of Sibanye shares, are Gold One Group Ltd., Public Investment Corp., and Exor Investments UK LLP. Sibanye investors could vote in December after a review by South Africa's competition authorities.

* The National Union of Mineworkers, or NUM, served Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Phakisa gold operation in South Africa with a 48-hour strike notice, African News Agency reported. The labor action could start with the night shift on Sept. 2, as thousands of union members are ready to strike. NUM earlier rejected a wage offer from the company.

* Dalradian Resources Inc. received approval from 98.78% of its shareholders for the company's sale to Orion Mine Finance affiliates in a deal valuing Dalradian at about C$537 million.

* Tahoe Resources Inc. shut down mining operations at the La Arena gold mine in Peru after a group of 80 to 100 people from a nearby community trespassed as part of a protest. Tahoe said the protesters had demanded financial compensation for alleged damage from dust and vibrations related to blasting at the site. The gold miner filed charges against protest leaders and contacted authorities to try to resolve the situation.

* Colombia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Venezuelan police's help to identify the bodies of five workers who were killed in a massacre in a gold mine in Tumeremo, a town in Venezuela's southern Bolivar state, Mining.com reported. According to authorities, at least 12 people were killed in the incident, which happened on Aug. 26.

BULK COMMODITIES

* India's state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd. decided not to hand out a dividend for the last fiscal year to the government, citing a lack of cash and bank balance, Reuters reported, citing an internal document. The company was required to pay a dividend of 21.71 billion Indian rupees based on its "net worth" for the last fiscal year. "SAIL does not have any cash and bank balance and would need to borrow from the market for payment of dividend," the company said.

* Four Italian steel trade unions will launch a company-wide strike against Ilva International SpA on Sept. 11 amid the uncertainty surrounding the sale of the struggling steelmaker to ArcelorMittal, Metal Bulletin reported. They will also hold a protest outside Italy's Ministry of Economic Development on the same date.

* thyssenKrupp AG is struggling to find a new chairman after a number of candidates have turned down the job, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source. Former Deutsche Bank Deputy CEO Marcus Schenck, ex-Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers and Airbus CEO Tom Enders have all refused the position, the report said.

* Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd. said its first-half net profit attributable to shareholders rose 8.7% year over year to 2.91 billion Chinese yuan, or 12 fen per share. Operating revenues over the six months increased by 24.8% from the comparable period, to 126.11 billion yuan.

* Peabody Energy Corp. expects its rehabilitation efforts to turn the Millennium coal mine into grazing land to be completed two years ahead of schedule, Mining.com reported.

* Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa SA began the shutdown process for its 100-year-old Koksownia Debiensko coking coal plant in Poland, beginning with the coke oven battery in the plant, Puls Biznesu reported.

* The mining proposal and mine closure plan for Kalium Lakes Ltd.'s Beyondie sulfate of potash project in Western Australia was assessed and approved by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

* A Chinese steelmaker was shut down for the second time after refusing to follow a directive to shut down in December due to environmental violations, Reuters reported, citing Xinhua News Agency. Huainan Hongtai Steel Co. Ltd. had sold 288,000 tons of steel billets since resuming production without permission, the report said.

SPECIALTY

* Battery Minerals Ltd. Managing Director David Flanagan called on more companies to develop graphite projects in Mozambique and Tanzania so its price does not rise to the point where electric car makers seek alternative technologies. Flanagan told delegates at the Africa Down Under conference in Perth, Australia, that China, which currently accounts for about 70% of the world's production, is "screaming out" for graphite, as "there's no way it can meet the demand."

* China's Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. tapped Citigroup as the sponsor in its bid to list in Hong Kong, Reuters reported. The size of the planned listing was not disclosed publicly in the draft prospectus filed with the exchange. The company earlier delayed plans for a US$1 billion flotation in Hong Kong as it waited for lithium prices to stabilize.

* The Indian government has directed state-run Indian Rare Earths Ltd. to handle all mineral sand exports from the country, effectively banning all private mineral sand miners from making overseas shipments, Mining Weekly reported. The new restriction, which aims to stop the illegal mineral sands trade, would impact the sand mining coastlines of southern Indian states Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.

* Paladin Energy Ltd. said that all existing claims against its Canadian subsidiaries, which own 60.1% of the Michelin uranium project, have been settled. In May, the company put forward the proposal to the Canadian courts to extinguish the claims and finalized a joint venture agreement with the claimants, who now have a 50% participating interest in the Michelin project through a newly incorporated special purpose vehicle in British Columbia.

* Strandline Resources Ltd. secured the mining license for the company's Fungoni heavy mineral sands project from the Tanzanian Ministry of Minerals Mining Commission. The mining license grant will allow the company to finalize development plans, including completion of funding and pre-construction activities.

* Pioneer Resources Ltd. secured a 51% interest in the Mavis Lake lithium joint venture project in Ontario after taking a decision with its 49% partner, International Lithium Corp., to fast track the earn in.

* Two large white high-quality diamonds, coming in at 18.4 carats and 9.5 carats, were recovered from recently mined ore from the Ector pit of Merlin Diamonds Ltd.'s namesake Merlin diamond mine in Australia's Northern Territory.

* Desert Lion Energy Inc. ceased all operations in Namibia due to falling lithium carbonate prices.

* Audalia Resources Ltd. posted initial resource estimates for the Pinatubo and Kilimanjaro deposits in an update for its Medcalf vanadium-titanium property in Western Australia. The property hosts indicated resources of 18.2 million tonnes grading 0.55% vanadium pentoxide and 9.91% titanium dioxide, with inferred resources estimated at 13.8 million tonnes grading 0.37% V2O5 and 7.75% TiO2.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Chilean mining industry expects to attract a total investment worth US$65.75 billion spread over 44 operations over the next decade, Reuters reported, citing the country's copper commission Cochilco. Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, Gold Fields Ltd. and Antofagasta PLC are reportedly among the companies that will take part in the investments, which include new lithium, copper and gold mining projects.

* China's cabinet, the State Council, outlined new tax cuts for businesses in a bid to support economic growth amid an ongoing trade rift with the U.S. The latest measures are expected to reduce the corporate tax burden by more than 45 billion yuan this year, according to a report posted on the State Council's website following an executive meeting led by Premier Li Keqiang.

* U.S. President Donald Trump said he would drop out of the World Trade Organization if the international body does not improve its treatment of the U.S. "If they don't shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO," Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News at the White House.

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