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Vale denies rumors about acquiring CSN's iron ore mine

TOP NEWS

Vale denies report about acquiring CSN's iron ore mine

Vale SA refuted a rumor that it was in talks with Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional to purchase its Casa de Pedra iron ore mine in Brazil, adding that there were never any discussions to acquire assets from the Brazilian company. Local newspaper O Globo cited unnamed sources as saying that Vale was studying a partnership that involved purchasing a stake or creating a joint venture with a Companhia Siderúrgica subsidiary that operates the Casa de Pedra and Engenho e Pires mines in the country, according to RTT News.

South Africa pulls planned moratorium on new mining rights, renewals

South Africa's Chamber of Mines and its Department of Mineral Resources reached an agreement in the High Court of Gauteng after Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane made a formal statement indicating that he would pull back a proposed moratorium on processing renewals and new applications for mining and prospecting rights.

Buyers lining up for AngloGold's Kopanang mine

At least three parties are said to be interested in AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'s Kopanang mine in South Africa, one of the operations that the company plans to shutter, City Press reported. Kopanang Shaft 9, a company controlled by a 100% black-owned consortium, is reportedly preparing a bid of more than 330 million rand.

DIVERSIFIED

* RBC Capital Markets reduced its target price for Glencore Plc stock to £410 per share from £430 per share with 104% in upside potential while maintaining its "outperform" recommendation.

* Top Glencore executives are sitting on paper profits of over US$782 million from their investments in the group during the commodities downturn. CEO Ivan Glasenberg and senior staff pumped US$470 million into a US$2.09 billion emergency fundraising in late 2015, and since then the recovery in commodities prices has led to a 170% surge in the company's stock value, providing large windfall gains for management, The Australian reported.

BASE METALS

* BHP Billiton Group expects annual output from its Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia to more than double on the back of heap leach technology, which is being tested in a pilot plant, The Australian Financial Review reported. Annual production from the mine is expected to reach 450,000 tonnes on the back of the new technology, according to Jacqui McGill, asset president at Olympic Dam.

* BHP, meanwhile, is looking at ways to boost Olympic Dam's power supply while reducing costs as it aims to expand output following several outages at the site, Reuters reported, citing a company official.

* Nickel Asia Corp.'s attributable net income rose significantly to 1.54 billion Philippine pesos in the first half, compared to 24.4 million pesos in the same period last year, driven by several factors, including the company's focus on more shipments of its higher-value saprolite ore, a stronger U.S. dollar and a turnaround in profits from its equity share in its investment in both the Coral Bay and Taganito processing plants.

* Rio Tinto unit Rio Tinto Holdings Ltd. and Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. agreed to off-load a collective 17.56% interest in Mason Resources Corp. to Mantos Copper (Bermuda) Ltd. for a total of C$2.7 million.

* Vedanta Resources Plc is offering US$1.0 billion of 6.125% bonds due 2024 with a seven-year maturity, the proceeds of which will be used to fund its any and all offers to purchase for cash its outstanding US$774.8 million 6.00% bonds due 2019 and US$900.0 million 8.25% bonds due 2021 and to repay existing debt.

* Uranium Equities Ltd. notified Antasitua Chile SPA that it will not proceed with the option and joint venture agreement to earn an 80% interest in the Plateado cobalt project in Chile.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Trade union Solidarity said that job losses resulting from Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s retrenchment plan could climb up to 10,200 as the miner's Beatrix West and Cooke operations also employ about 2,400 contractors, 365 employees not yet placed as part of an earlier scaling-down process, and about 50 people in management positions affected by an unrelated process due to the separation between Sibanye's South Africa operations and its U.S. interests, fin24 reported.

* Gold Road Resources Ltd.'s partnership with Gold Fields Ltd. over the Gruyere gold project in Western Australia has put the company's exploration plans for the broader Yamarna greenstone belt five years ahead, The West Australian reported, citing Gold Road CEO Ian Murray.

* Firesteel Resources Inc. signed a letter of intent with Pandion Mine Finance LP to secure US$20.6 million in financing via a prepaid forward gold purchase agreement.

* A new gold explorer, Riversgold Ltd., is moving toward a listing on the ASX with the planned launch of an IPO to raise up to A$8.0 million. Australia's second-largest gold miner, Evolution Mining Ltd., has agreed to become a cornerstone investor with a firm commitment of A$2.5 million, which will give it a stake of between 13.6% and 16.2% in Riversgold.

* De Grey Mining Ltd. will proceed toward a pre-feasibility study incorporating the Indee and Turner River gold projects in Western Australia's Pilbara region after a scoping study estimated the combined project will produce about 290,000 ounces of gold over a five-year life, delivering an undiscounted pretax net cash flow of A$112 million based on a gold price of US$1,250 per ounce.

* Colorado Resources signed an amending agreement with Seabridge Gold Inc.'s SnipGold Corp. subsidiary to acquire the remaining 49% stake in the KSP gold project in British Columbia by paying C$1 million in cash and issuing 2 million shares to Seabridge Gold.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Warrior Met Coal Inc. CEO Walter Scheller is expecting more volatility in metallurgical coal markets and is poised to take advantage of a shift to an index-based pricing formula.

* Itochu Corp.'s metals and minerals segment posted net profit attributable to the company of ¥21.1 billion in the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, up from ¥8.38 billion a year ago. The segment's revenues rose to ¥54.8 billion in the quarter that ended June 30, compared to ¥37.16 billion in the year-ago period.

* Exports from Queensland, Australia, reached a record of A$65.9 billion over the last 12 months, bolstered by a significant surge in the value of its coal exports.

* Kameron Collieries ULC's recently opened Donkin coal mine in Nova Scotia has already received 10 compliance orders and 29 warnings for safety infractions, which could risk workers' lives, CBC News reported.

* Rio Tinto is earmarking about A$70 million to upgrade its bulk handling facilities at East Intercourse Island in the Port of Dampier, Western Australia. The project includes the manufacture, installation and commissioning of three replacement stackers and associated equipment.

* Swiss trader ARG International purchased the remainder of Noble Group Ltd.'s aluminum book in the U.S., Metal Bulletin wrote, citing sources.

SPECIALTY

* A total of 133 miners have been evacuated from PJSC Alrosa's Mir underground diamond mine in eastern Siberia after water flooded the site Aug. 4, Reuters reported. The search for nine missing miners is underway and no casualties have been reported so far.

* Alrosa, meanwhile, will revise its production guidance for 2017 due to the incident at the Mir mine, Kommersant and Vedomosti reported, citing Alrosa President Sergey Ivanov Jr.

* S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Petra Diamonds Ltd. to negative from stable and affirmed its B+ long-term corporate credit rating, after the miner posted lower-than-expected production for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

* Lucara Diamond Corp. is considering forming a partnership to sell a tennis ball-sized 1,109-carat rough diamond that it unearthed from the Karowe mine in Botswana about two years ago, if it fails to secure a deal in the next six to eight weeks, Reuters reported.

* Australian Vanadium Ltd.'s focus is on bringing its Gabanintha project in Western Australia into production as soon as possible, but the ASX-listed junior is keeping its options open when it comes to potential investment by larger players.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Trump administration took a formal step toward severing U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement on climate change, submitting its intent to withdraw from the deal to the United Nations on Aug. 4.

* The United Nations Security Council approved a resolution that would ban North Korean exports and restrict investment activities in the country, among other things. The resolution was passed unanimously Aug. 5.

* The value of mergers and acquisitions across the global mining sector rose 71% year over year in the second quarter to US$14.8 billion, driven by corporate activity in the precious metals sector, according to a new report by EY.

* The South African government expressed concern over the retrenchments recently announced by mining companies and urged stakeholders to be more responsible in how these plans are being announced as they affect the livelihood of thousands, Reuters reported, citing Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

* According to the South Africa Chamber of Mines 2017 fact sheet, the country's mining sector has significantly transformed and promoted gender diversity, with the number of women employed in the industry having increased from an "extreme minority" to top 10% across various levels, Mining Weekly reported.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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