BHP wins 1st round in previously unknown A$87M legal battle over Singapore hub
BHP Billiton Group successfully convinced a tribunal that its dual-listed Australian and British companies are not associates, in an unreported A$87 million legal battle with the Australian Taxation Office over the company's controversial Singapore marketing hub, The Australian reported. The company is trying to fight the ATO's assertion that the company's British arm, BHP Billiton PLC, must also pay tax on 58% of the income it reaps from the sales of Australian goods, primarily coal from its Hunter Valley operations, through Singapore.
Mineral Deposits asks shareholders to reject Eramet's 'grossly inadequate' offer
Mineral Deposits Ltd.'s board asked shareholders to reject Eramet's takeover offer of A$1.46 per share. Chairman Nic Limb said Eramet's offer is "opportunistic" and "grossly inadequate" and "comes at a time when the TiZir joint venture is operating at or near record highs and is expected to deliver ongoing strong, sustainable operating performance." In a separate release, the company said it expects to produce 815,000 tonnes of heavy mineral concentrates this year and 745,000 tonnes in 2019, compared to 724,755 tonnes in 2017.
Franco-Nevada hikes dividend after booking record Q1 earnings, revenue
Franco-Nevada Corp. increased its quarterly dividend for the 11th consecutive year to 24 cents per share, representing a 4.3% increase on a quarterly basis. The company's net income in the first quarter rose 41.7% year over year to a record US$64.6 million.
* Indian mining magnate Anil Agarwal is encouraging Anglo American PLC, in which he holds more than a 21% stake, to highlight its South African connection, which Agarwal sees as a significant benefit to shareholders, Mining Weekly reported. "I would like more South African directors on the [Anglo American] board," he said in an interview.
* Sierra Metals Inc. produced 23.4 million pounds of copper equivalent in the first quarter, compared to 25.1 million pounds produced a year ago, on the back of record quarterly throughput from its Yauricocha mine in Peru and the Bolivar mine in Mexico. Revenue from metals payable increased 13% year over year to US$61.7 million in the quarter.
* Bezant Resources PLC completed its strategic review on all of its existing assets and operations and said it minimized overheads and is implementing additional cost-cutting initiatives identified in the review.
* Boliden AB secured a €770 million, two-tranche credit line from a banking syndicate, which CFO Håkan Gabrielsson said increases the Stockholm-based company's debt maturity profile at lower funding costs.
* Hecla Mining Co.'s first-quarter net income slumped to US$8.2 million, from US$26.8 million posted a year ago, primarily due to a US$29.1 million tax benefit booked in the first quarter of 2017. Hecla's board declared a quarterly cash dividend on 0.25 cent per common share as the realized silver price for the quarter failed to meet the company's criteria for a larger dividend.
* B2Gold Corp. swung to a net profit of US$57.4 million for the first quarter from a year-ago net loss of US$4.6 million. It attributed the swing to record gold production of 239,684 ounces, up 80.6% on a yearly basis, while all-in sustaining costs fell to US$750/oz from US$889/oz.
* Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.'s shares have slumped over 40% this year, hitting their lowest levels since 1999 as investors worry over the company's operational issues and cost ratios, Bloomberg News reported.
* Randgold Resources Ltd.'s first-quarter profit fell to US$57.5 million from US$69.8 million a year ago. Gold sales in the quarter declined to US$391.8 million, down 4% due to lower volumes, partially offset by higher selling prices. The company sold 294,428 ounces at US$1,331/oz, compared to 335,603 ounces at US$1,220/oz a year earlier.
* Metals Focus Ltd. sees Iran's gold demand rising in the next few months before slowly declining as U.S. sanctions on the country's gold trade will be reimposed after 90 days, Bloomberg News wrote.
* Australia's strong grassroots gold exploration and the improving broader sector confidence has triggered a spate of initial public offerings, which are whetting the appetite of Chinese and other large global miners looking to replenish reserves, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.
* First Majestic Silver Corp. swung to a net loss of US$5.6 million in the first quarter from a year-ago profit of US$2.7 million due to higher cash costs per ounce. Revenue dropped 15% year over year to US$58.6 million as the company noted a drop in silver prices and sales volumes.
* Mexican antitrust authorities cleared First Majestic's planned acquisition of Primero Mining Corp. in a cash and stock deal valued at about US$320 million.
* Ethiopia suspended the license held by Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Cos. for its Lega Dembi gold mine after weeks of protests against the operations, Africanews wrote.
* Eastern Goldfields Ltd.'s Davyhurst project in Western Australia saw a record weekly gold pour of 850 fine ounces for the week of May 1 as the mine continues to ramp up.
* Avesoro Resources Inc.'s gold production in the first quarter swelled 357% year over year to 68,088 ounces. It booked US$91.4 million in revenue along with record quarterly gold sales of 68,553 ounces.
* Dalradian Resources Inc.'s contained gold resource at its Curraghinalt deposit in Northern Ireland increased 46% in the measured and indicated categories and 32% in the inferred category. The deposit now hosts 6.35 million tonnes at 15.02 g/t gold for 3.1 million contained ounces in the measured and indicated categories and 7.7 million ounces at 12.24 g/t gold for 3 million contained ounces in the inferred category.
* Pan American Silver Corp.'s net earnings rose significantly to US$48.2 million in the first quarter from US$20.0 million a year earlier. Silver output in the period slipped to 6.1 million ounces from 6.2 million ounces, while gold output increased to 46,230 ounces from 37,700 ounces. The company approved a dividend of 3.5 cents per share for the quarter.
* Mongolia-focused explorer Steppe Gold Ltd. filed a final prospectus for a C$21.1 million IPO of units at C$2 each, with the offering to close by May 22. The company has secured conditional approval to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange, provided it meets all of the bourse's requirements by July 31.
* Cradle Arc PLC said Randgold Resources Ltd. is terminating the joint venture agreement for the exploration and development of the Kossanto West gold project in Mali, without providing details. Kossanto West forms part of the larger Kossanto property.
* Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Emirates Global Aluminum PJSC is likely to delay its IPO to 2019 due to volatile aluminum market conditions after the U.S. government imposed sanctions on United Co. Rusal PLC. However, an Emirates Global spokesman reiterated that the IPO remains set for this year, subject to market conditions.
* Sumitomo Corp.'s metal products business unit more than doubled its profit attributable to shareholders for the full fiscal year, which ended March 31, to ¥20.21 billion on the back of stable performance of its overseas steel service centers and a one-off profit from asset replacement. The mineral resources, energy, chemical and electronics business segment swung to a profit attributable to shareholders of ¥61.98 billion, compared to a year-ago loss ¥17.20 billion as the San Cristobal silver-zinc-lead mining project in Bolivia and the iron ore mining project in South Africa delivered strong results.
* S&P Global Ratings revised Sumitomo's outlook on its long-term corporate credit rating to stable from negative amid a stronger profit. The Japanese company booked an overall group net profit of ¥308.5 billion in its fiscal 2017, up by about 80%. The rating agency also affirmed its A- long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings and A-2 short-term corporate credit rating on the company.
* Israel Chemicals Ltd.'s net income in the first quarter surged to US$928 million from a year-ago profit of US$68 million. Revenue rose to US$1.40 billion from US$1.30 billion.
* Tronox Ltd.'s net loss in the first quarter increased to US$44 million, compared to the year-ago loss of US$41 million. Revenue in the quarter increased to US$442 million from US$378 million in the prior-year quarter.
* Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA is producing at 60% of its total capacity, compared with the Brazilian steel industry's national average of 68%, CEO Sergio Leite said, daily Diario do Comercio reported.
* Kommersant reported that Evraz PLC may see its charter capital reduced by US$1.43 billion for payment to shareholders. The dividend policy Evraz adopted in March assumes annual payments of at least US$300 million, but the company paid US$860 million for 2017, and analysts and investors are waiting for continued high payments.
* Kommersant reported that PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works postponed the launch of hot-rolled production at its Turkey-based plant, MMK Metalurji, until the situation with import duties on steel in the U.S., E.U. and Turkey is clarified.
* Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. booked a consolidated net loss of 4.26 billion Indian rupees in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2018, widening from a net loss of 983.7 million rupees a year earlier. The company's production of steel and pellets increased 32% and 15%, respectively, to 1.7 million tonnes and 1.8 million tonnes.
* Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau SA's net income in the first quarter plunged 45.6% from a year ago to 448.4 million Brazilian reais due to a one-time reversal of contingent liabilities made in 2017. Profit fell despite higher production and sales in the first quarter. Gerdau's crude steel output climbed 3.7% year on year to 4.17 million tonnes, and steel shipments rose 7.8% to 3.87 million tonnes.
* Brazilian antitrust authority Cade approved Yara International ASA's planned acquisition of the Cubatão Fertilizantes complex from Vale SA for about US$255 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the month.
* ArcelorMittal tapped Bank of America-Merrill Lynch to dispose of its assets in Italy, Romania, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Belgium, in a bid to secure antitrust clearance for the planned acquisition of Italian steelmaker Ilva International SpA, Reuters reported.
* Russia's PJSC Acron is in talks with Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro for the potential acquisition of the latter's two fertilizer units, Reuters reported.
* De Beers SA successfully used blockchain technology to track 100 high-value diamonds from mine to shop and is looking to roll out the platform called "Tracr" later this year, Bloomberg News wrote.
* Pathfinder Minerals PLC said shareholders who had requested a general meeting to consider ousting CEO Nicholas Trew and Chairman Henry Bellingham from the board withdrew their application.
* Albemarle Corp.'s first-quarter net income surged 162% year over year to US$131.8 million, and net sales rose 14% to US$821.6 million. The company lifted its full-year EPS guidance to between US$5.10 and US$5.40, reflecting an 11% to 18% increase on a yearly basis.
* The Democratic Republic of the Congo's Mines Ministry released a draft of new mining regulations that was circulated to the country's mining companies as the ministry wraps up work on the legislation. According to Bloomberg News, the draft showed that the government has so far ignored companies' major concerns on the proposed regulations. Separately, Bloomberg wrote that Randgold remains optimistic that the government will compromise on the new mining rules.
* South Africa's mining output fell 8.4% year on year in March, the largest contraction since March 2016, Fin24 reported, citing data from Statistics South Africa.
* Ghanaian Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia called on the government to review the country's mining code, saying the government's stakes in mining operations are "virtually useless" having earned almost no dividends since 2012, Bloomberg News wrote.
* The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the National Union of Mineworkers plan to picket at the Chamber of Mines on May 10 to demand action against "deteriorating safety standards" in the mining industry, Mining Weekly reported.
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