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Rio Tinto cuts FY'17 copper production guidance due to Escondida ramp-up delays


Essential IR Insights Newsletter - April 2023


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Rio Tinto cuts FY'17 copper production guidance due to Escondida ramp-up delays


Rio Tinto cuts FY'17 copper production guidance due to Escondida ramp-up delays

Rio Tinto cut its mined copper guidance to between 460,000 and 480,000 tonnes, from 500,000 to 550,000 tonnes previously, due to the delayed ramp-up of an expansion project at the Escondida operations in Chile and the impact of mine sequencing changes at Rio Tinto Kennecott. The company produced 120,600 tonnes of copper during the third quarter, down 3% on a yearly basis due to lower head grades at Rio Tinto Kennecott and Oyu Tolgoi.

BHP mulls fast tracking stage 2 nickel sulfate production

BHP Billiton Group is looking at accelerating its phase-two expansion to 200,000 tonnes of nickel sulfate per annum after receiving strong interest from potential customers. The company previously approved funding of US$43.2 million for a project at the Kwinana refinery in Western Australia that will allow the mining heavyweight to produce an initial 100,000 tonnes per annum of nickel sulfate from 2019. BHP expects to complete stage one in April 2019, with major construction activities starting this November.

De Beers' diamond sales drop to US$370M in 8th cycle

Anglo American Plc said the provisional rough diamond sales for its De Beers SA unit dropped to US$370 million in the eighth sales cycle of the year, from US$507 million in the seventh sales cycle and US$494 million in the eighth cycle of 2016.


* A consortium between Glencore Plc and Qatar Investment Authority finalized negotiations to off-load a 14.16% stake in the Russia's state-owned Rosneft Oil Co. to CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd. for €3.91 billion plus the amount arising from the conversion of US$4.58 billion at a five-day average exchange rate at the payment date.

* Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. produced 36,900 tonnes of copper in concentrates in the third quarter, lower than the 46,600 tonnes of copper in concentrates produced in the year-ago period from the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. Gold and silver in-concentrate production also declined to 31,000 ounces and 239,000 ounces, respectively, compared to 37,000 ounces of gold and 361,000 ounces of silver recorded in the year-ago corresponding quarter.

* Australian explorer Ardea Resources Ltd. plans to evaluate a potential demerger of its noncore gold and base metals projects. The company's key focus is its Kalgoorlie project in Western Australia, which is prospective for both nickel and cobalt, and it recently raised A$5.5 million to accelerate drilling to define a reserve and upgrade the resource for the KNP cobalt zone.


* Metals X Ltd. expects to reach its production target of 40,000 tonnes per annum at the Nifty copper mine in Western Australia in the second quarter of 2018, Managing Director Warren Hallam told delegates at the Australian Nickel Conference in Perth.

* Australian copper-gold explorer Bryah Resources Ltd. marked its first day as a publicly listed company with gains of up to 25%. The newly listed company traded as high as 25 Australian cents not long after the ASX started trade.

* Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. expects its attributable net profit for the nine months that ended Sept. 30 to increase by 50% to 70% as compared to a net profit of 988.3 million Chinese yuan, or 29 fen per share, in the year-ago period, on the back of higher metal prices.

* The auto industry is shifting with the revolution in electric vehicles, a trend that is expected to drive up global demand for metals used in batteries, according to speakers at the 121 Mining Investment conference in Hong Kong. Commodity Discovery Fund founder and chief investment officer Willem Middelkoop said copper and nickel will benefit greatly from the growing trend.

* Myanmar Metals Ltd. posted a maiden resource estimate of 41.4 million tonnes for the Bawdwin lead-zinc-silver-copper project in Myanmar. The inferred resource included 7.5% lead, 3.5% zinc, 0.33% copper and 178 g/t of silver at a 2.0% lead cutoff.

* Ferrum Crescent Ltd. revised its strategy for exploration and evaluation for its Toral lead-zinc project in Spain, which will allow the company to produce a maiden JORC-compliant resource estimate. The company is also undertaking a cost review at the project.

* Trevali Mining Corp. produced 58.4 million payable pounds of zinc, 12.5 million payable pounds of lead and 433,442 payable ounces of silver in the third quarter. The figures, all record highs, reflected year-over-year increases from 13.7 million payable pounds of zinc, 6.4 million payable pounds of lead and 221,324 payable ounces of silver in the year-ago period.

* Rio Tinto unit Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. declared force majeure on sales of copper and sulfuric acid after a worker died in the week of Oct. 9 at its smelting facility in Utah, Metal Bulletin reported.

* More than 20 parties are interested in the US$2 billion Michiquillay copper project in Peru as the country readies to auction off the rights to develop it in December, reported, citing authorities. The project was originally scheduled to be auctioned off in November, but state bidding agency Proinversión decided to delay the date so interested companies have more time to submit offers.


* Western Australia's Exploration Incentive Scheme may be on the chopping block after the opposition blocked the Labor government's plan to hike the royalty rate levied on the gold industry. While the government originally announced that it planned to continue the scheme, it is now looking at possibly axing it after the Liberal Party voted against increasing the gold royalty rate, Mines Minister Bill Johnston told reporters on the sidelines of the Australian Nickel Conference.

* Primary Gold Ltd.'s pre-feasibility study for its Coolgardie gold project in Western Australia pegged a net present value, discounted at 8%, of A$14.8 million and a two-month payback period. Revenue, at a gold price of A$1,600 per ounce, is expected at A$104.3 million during the 28-month mine life.

* Petropavlovsk Plc produced 104,000 ounces of gold in the third quarter, compared to 102,400 ounces a year ago. The company reiterated its full-year production guidance of 420,000 to 460,000 ounces.

* Jaguar Mining Inc. lowered its full-year 2017 gold production forecast to between 87,000 and 92,000 ounces of gold, from about 95,000 ounces of gold previously announced. The reduction was mainly due to lower-than-anticipated production from the Turmalina mine in Brazil.

* First Majestic Silver Corp. produced 4 million equivalent ounces of silver in the third quarter of 2017, down 12% from the same period a year earlier.

* An employee of Anglo American Plc unit Anglo American Platinum Ltd. died after sustaining injuries in a suspected winch-related accident at the Dishaba platinum mine in South Africa on Oct. 9.

* Stratex International Plc sold its 13.7% stake in GoldStone Resources Ltd. to institutional investors at 1.6 British pence per share for a total of £550,000.

* Inception Mining Inc. completed the expansion at its Clavo Rico gold project in Honduras, which will allow it to meet its production target for 2018 of 10,000 ounces of gold.

* LeaGold Mining Corp.'s measured and indicated resource estimate at its Bermejal underground project surged 94% to 9.9 million tonnes at 6.2 g/t gold for about 2 million contained ounces. The inferred resource stands at 4.8 million tonnes at 5.4 g/t gold for 820,000 contained ounces.

* Cora Gold Ltd. signed a contractor to start aircore, reverse circulation and diamond core drilling program at its Sanankoro gold discovery in South Mali. The 16,000-meter drilling program is expected to start at the end of November.

* Some of Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s Rustenburg platinum group metals operations in South Africa have avoided the chopping block, after finding enough cost savings to keep the targeted operations going after restructuring and consolidating them with other Rustenburg-area assets.

* Yamana Gold Inc. is evaluating increasing its full-year gold, silver and copper output guidance after output in the third quarter and the first nine months of the year came in ahead of guidance and budget and amid an expected strong fourth quarter.

* A syndicate of underwriters agreed to acquire convertible senior unsecured debentures a total of C$260 million from Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd.

* Sierra Metals Inc.'s silver and copper equivalent production in the third quarter dropped 8% year over year to 2.7 million ounces and 23.5 million pounds, respectively.

* Atlatsa Resources Corp. said its 51%-owned Bokoni platinum mine in South Africa was placed on care and maintenance Oct. 1 as part of an Anglo American Platinum-backed restructuring agreement.


* Evraz Plc's consolidated crude steel output in the third quarter increased 5.9% over the prior quarter, to 3.5 million tonnes. Production of steel products, net of rerolled volumes, improved 4.4% to 3.1 million tonnes in the quarter. Output of iron ore products dropped 7.5% quarter over quarter to 4.2 million tonnes.

* A conceptual engineering study into an expanded plant for Avenira Ltd.'s Baobab phosphate project in Senegal estimated CapEx of US$53.4 million to increase nameplate capacity from the current 500,000 tonnes per year to 1 million tonnes per year of high-grade phosphate rock concentrate.

* Botswana-focused coal developer Minergy Ltd. decided to seek a U.K. listing instead of Johannesburg due to negative investor sentiment attached to South Africa, MiningMx reported, citing CEO Andre Bojé. The company previously announced plans to raise up to 270 million Botswanan pula through listing on both the Botswana Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

* Rio Tinto is in advanced talks with Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance to off-load its aluminum assets in Australia and New Zealand, the Financial Times reported, citing sources. Gupta is flying to Australia this week to continue negotiations but could face competition from Glencore's 47%-owned Century Aluminum, which has also been eyeing Rio Tinto's PacAl operation.

* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd.'s commercial coal production and sales in the first nine months of the year rose 3.8% and 13.9%, respectively, to 221.3 million tonnes and 328.3 million tonnes.

* T.V. Narendran, Tata Steel Ltd.'s managing director for India and Southeast Asia, said the company and ThyssenKrupp AG have no plans to spin off their pending European steel joint venture within the next two to three years, Reuters reported.

* Aluminum prices are set to rise as the Chinese government plans to close a tenth of aluminum smelting capacity by year-end to curb pollution and tackle overcapacity, Reuters reported.


* Altech Chemicals Ltd. exercised its option to purchase about 94 hectares of land at Meckering in Western Australia, within which the company's granted and fully permitted kaolin mining lease M70/1334 is located.

* Plateau Uranium Inc. signed the first agreement with the local community of Chaccaconiza to explore a uranium-prospective area in southeastern Peru.

* North Arrow Minerals Inc. discovered diamonds at its Mel diamond project on Nunavut, Canada's Melville Peninsula. The company plans to conduct exploration drilling at the ML-8 discovery and other targets in 2018.


* Chinese President Xi Jinping could lay the groundwork for deeper reform of state-owned enterprises, with debts running at about 115% of GDP, at the Communist Party Congress, held once every five years, where he will aim to consolidate power ahead of a second term, economists told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.