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Barrick's Q3 gold, copper output rises; BHP to decide on Jansen by early 2021


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Barrick's Q3 gold, copper output rises; BHP to decide on Jansen by early 2021


Barrick posts rise in Q3 gold, copper output

Barrick Gold Corp.'s third-quarter gold output rose year over year to 1.31 million ounces from 1.15 Moz, while copper production grew to 111 million pounds from 106 million pounds. Gold sales increased to 1.32 Moz, from 1.20 Moz a year ago, but copper sales fell to 64 million pounds from 114 million pounds due to a major refurbishment at one of the third-party smelters that processes part the concentrate produced by Barrick's Lumwana mine in Zambia.

BHP to make decision on Jansen in early 2021; Q1'20 copper output rises

BHP Group said it will make a final investment decision on its Jansen stage 1 potash project by February 2021, after the board approved US$345 million in funding for planning and de-risking the project. The company's copper production in the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 climbed 5% year over year to 429,500 tonnes, while iron ore output slid 1% to 61.0 million tonnes. Production of metallurgical coal was down 10% to 9.4 Mt, and energy coal output declined 15% to 5.6 Mt. Nickel output improved 1% to 21,600 tonnes.

Peruvian armed forces, police to unblock access to MMG's Las Bambas copper mine

The Peruvian government authorized the armed forces and police to unblock access to MMG Ltd.'s Las Bambas copper mine after the company said it may have to cease production at the site due to an ongoing protest, Reuters reported. The report cited the decree published in the country's official newspaper, El Peruano, declaring a state of emergency for 30 days in an Andean area where for almost four weeks, residents have been blocking a road the mining company uses to transport concentrates.


* South32 Ltd.'s metallurgical coal production in the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 climbed to 1.65 million tonnes from 1.52 Mt a year ago, and energy coal output increased to 6.72 Mt from 6.56 Mt. The company maintained its fiscal 2020 production guidance for all operations.


* MMG Ltd.'s third-quarter copper concentrate output rose 12% year over year to 97,369 tonnes, while copper cathode production for the period fell 11% to 18,495 tonnes.

* Atalaya Mining PLC reduced its copper output guidance to between 44,000 and 45,000 tonnes from between 45,000 and 46,500 tonnes due to delays in securing electric supply for its 15 million-tonne-per-annum expansion at the Proyecto de Rio Tinto project in Spain. The company produced 10,568 tonnes of copper in the third quarter, down from 11,055 tonnes a year ago.

* Horizonte Minerals PLC's pre-feasibility study for its Vermelho nickel-cobalt project in Brazil outlined a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$1.72 billion, a 26.3% internal rate of return and a 4.2-year payback period, assuming a base case nickel price of US$16,400 per tonne.

* Northern Cobalt Ltd. executed a binding term sheet with Millrock Resources Inc. to earn up to an 80% interest in the brownfields Goodpaster project in Alaska near Millrock's West Pogo gold project.

* Henan Yuguang Gold & Lead Co. is looking into building a lead-acid battery production line to meet demand from China's automotive sector.

* The China Smelters Purchase Team raised fourth-quarter copper treatment and refining charges by 20% from the previous quarter to US$66 per tonne and 6.6 U.S. cents per pound, respectively, Reuters reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. The charges were down from a floor of US$90/t and 9 cents per pound set in the same quarter a year earlier.

* Karmin Exploration Inc.'s shareholders approved the acquisition of the company by Nexa Resources SA unit Votorantim Metals Canada Inc. for about 77 U.S. cents per share.

* Poseidon Nickel Ltd. interim CEO David Riekie said a final investment decision for the proposed restart of the Black Swan nickel project in Western Australia can be expected in the current quarter, reported.

* Justice Debra Mullins said she has yet to be convinced of Queensland Nickel Pty. Ltd.'s argument that it was not insolvent Jan. 13, 2016, when it made a A$135 million security arrangement with Aurizon Holdings Ltd., The Australian Financial Review reported. The claim was made in Clive Palmer's bid to avoid paying a further A$100 million over the collapse of the company in 2016.

* The Supreme Court of British Columbia approved Cobalt 27 Capital Corp.'s acquisition by Pala Investments Ltd.


* Northern Star Resources Ltd. recovered of 188,175 ounces of gold for the September quarter, down from 226,028 ounces in the previous quarter, while gold sales decreased to 184,005 ounces from 232,042 ounces. Output fell due to lower-grade mining sequences and scheduling, though head grade is forecast to rise as development taps new mining zones. The company also decided to invest US$30 million to expand the processing capacity at its Pogo mine in Alaska to 1.3 million tonnes per annum from 1 mtpa.

* Eldorado Gold Corp. produced 101,596 ounces of gold in the third quarter, up from 84,783 ounces a year ago, as output from its Lamaque mine in Quebec more than doubled year over year.

* Roxgold Inc. produced 33,036 ounces of gold in the third quarter, up from 30,532 ounces produced in the same quarter of 2018.

* Sprott Inc. is looking for stakes in mining companies that are "beaten up" while eyeing Detour Gold Corp. and Torex Gold Resources Inc. as potential takeover targets, Bloomberg wrote, citing an interview with CEO Peter Grosskopf.

* Aura Energy Ltd. is looking into a separate IPO of its gold assets and is engaging several companies regarding listed shells to use for the assets.

* Tyranna Resources Ltd. agreed to enter into a term sheet to sell its Jumbuck gold project in South Australia to Syngas Ltd.


* Alcoa Corp. reported a third-quarter net loss of US$221 million, or US$1.19 per share, widening from US$6 million, or 3 U.S. cents per share, posted a year ago. Citing market conditions, the company said it would look to divest US$500 million to US$1 billion in noncore assets over the next 12 to 18 months. Alcoa will also review 1.5 million tonnes of smelting capacity and 4 million tonnes of aluminum refining capacity over the next five years in a process that could lead to curtailments, closures and divestitures.

* Heavily indebted Russian potash producer PJSC Uralkali placed US$500 million of five-year eurobonds at 4%, VTB Capital, a joint bookrunner of the sale, confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Uralkali declined to comment on the placement, but demand for the notes reached over US$1 billion, according to VTB. As a result, the initial yield guidance of 4.375% was lowered to between 4.125% and 4.25% and subsequently to between 4.0% and 4.125%.

* Mechel PAO signed a memorandum to supply up to 1.2 million tonnes of coking and thermal coal from its Southern Yakutia facilities and PCI product from its Southern Kuzbass Coal unit to South Korea's STX Corp. in 2020.

* KONE Oyj is in discussions with CVC Capital Partners Ltd. while Blackstone Group Inc. has partnered with Carlyle Group LP for a planned joint bid for thyssenkrupp AG's elevator unit, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. CVC is also discussing whether it could bid independently in addition to pursuing a joint offer with KONE.

* Steel Dynamics Inc.'s attributable net income in the third quarter slid to US$151.0 million, or 69 U.S. cents per share, from US$398.4 million, or US$1.69 per share, a year ago. Net sales declined to US$2.53 billion, from US$3.22 billion a year earlier, due to "a challenging steel pricing environment."

* Altos Hornos de México SAB de CV's steel production is down 25% year over year to about 3 million tonnes per year, mainly due to a lack of funding from foreign banks, which is "suffocating" the company's operations, daily El Financiero reported, citing interim CEO James Pignatelli.

* Metalsearch Ltd. wholly acquired Abercorn Kaolin Pty. Ltd., which owns the 128-square-kilometer Abercorn high-purity alumina project in Queensland, Australia. The company is planning a 2,000-meter reverse circulation drilling program on the project to define a maiden inferred mineral resource and the potential scale of kaolin containing high-grade aluminum oxide.

* Coal mined from the Powder River Basin, the most productive coal-producing area in the U.S., is expected to decline significantly in 2020 and could pressure companies to close "at least a few [Powder River Basin] mines" in the early 2020s, Moody's Investors Service wrote.

* Stanmore Coal Ltd.'s run-of-mine coal production in the September quarter jumped 41% to 704,000 tonnes while salable coal production surged 84% to 619,000 tonnes on a yearly basis. Total coal sales reached a record 722,000 tonnes for 127% growth year over year.

* Separately, Winfield Group Investments Pty. Ltd. terminated the proposed acquisition of a 50.1% interest in Stanmore Coal, saying it was unable to engage with the latter's key shareholders.

* China's demand for steel is poised to grow by only 1% to 909 million tons in 2020, sharply lower than the 7.8% growth forecast for 2019 as domestic industries wrestle with the repercussions from the country's trade war with the U.S., Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing data from the World Steel Association.

* Aguia Resources Ltd. was granted the preliminary license for developing the Tres Estradas phosphate project in Brazil following the Rio Grande do Sul State Environmental Agency approving the project's environmental impact assessment.


* PJSC Alrosa produced 12.1 million carats of diamonds in the third quarter, rising 15% year over year due to production starting at the V.Munskoye deposit and output increasing from the Nyurba Division's Botuobinskaya pipe in Russia. Diamond sales declined 5% to 6.4 million carats due to lower demand, especially from end customers in China and the U.S. amid ongoing trade tensions. Average realized prices for gem-quality diamonds were down 32% on a yearly basis to US$135 per carat.

* U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry expects the Nuclear Fuel Working Group, a cabinet-level group that President Donald Trump set up in July, to make recommendations that will strengthen the domestic uranium mining industry, Reuters reported. "I think the challenge has always been to keep a uranium mining industry that was viable in U.S. and dealing with a global market place," Perry said.

* Oak Tree Capital Management LP and Ormonde Mining PLC's jointly owned Saloro SLU, operator of the Barruecopardo tungsten mine in Spain, entered into a €10 million, 12-month term loan facility, which will be provided by funds managed by Oaktree. The loan gives Saloro additional liquidity as it advances mining operations on the main orebody at Barruecopardo.

* Zenith Minerals Ltd. secured the Laramie rare earths project through leasing and staking in Wyoming. The company's surface rock sampling returned widespread total rare earth oxide grades up to 0.54% in two initial sampling areas.

* Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. sold a run-of-mine parcel of 1,736 carats of diamonds from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola, in which its partners are ENDIAMA EP and Rosas & Petalas SA, for US$2.6 million.


* The number of tailings dams suspended in Brazil fell to 38 on Oct. 17, according to the country's mining regulator, ANM. Of the 54 structures the agency rejected last week due to a lack of stability, 16 delivered their declarations of stabile condition and resumed operations, daily Valor Econômico reported.

* Members of the Chilean Senate's Mining and Energy Commission postponed a highly anticipated discussion of a new glacier law, which was scheduled for Oct. 16, saying the ruling party and the opposition are trying to reach an understanding concerning extractive activities in permafrost and periglacial environments surrounding glaciers, daily Emol reported.

* Australian Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter is set to reintroduce legislation designed to fix a hole in indigenous title laws caused by the Federal Court's surprise decision to overturn an indigenous land-use agreement signed between the Western Australian government and the Noongar people, which has put more than 300 mining leases at risk, The Australian reported.

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