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Rio Tinto exec sees FY'18 earnings taking hit from higher raw materials prices


Rio Tinto exec sees FY'18 earnings taking hit from higher raw materials prices

Alf Barrios, head of Rio Tinto's aluminum business, said increasing raw materials prices would affect the company's earnings by US$400 million in 2018 against the year-ago total, the Financial Times reported Oct. 11. According to the report, Rio Tinto expects to take a US$178 million hit to its profits from old alumina supply contracts in the first half of the year. It added that there had been a further "negative impact" totaling US$130 million in the third quarter.

Vale to focus on shareholder returns, meets 50% debt reduction target

Vale SA CEO Fabio Schvartsman said he has achieved the target of halving the company's net debt to US$10 billion and will now focus on boosting shareholder returns, the Financial Times reported. "There is nothing more than can or should be done," noting that share buybacks were the best investment the company could make at this time.

Chilean court suspends SQM stake sale to Tianqi to hear lawsuit

Chile's Constitutional Court suspended the planned sale of a 24% stake in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA — one of the world's largest lithium producers — to China's Tianqi Lithium Corp., to hear arguments on Oct. 22 after the Chilean miner's controlling shareholder filed a lawsuit, Reuters reported. The lawsuit claims an antitrust court failed to follow due process when it approved a settlement between Tianqi and the Chilean National Economic Prosecutor Office, or FNE, allowing the transaction to move forward. Meanwhile, SQM has separately filed a motion with an antitrust court in Chile to reconsider a settlement between the regulator and Tianqi.


* Codelco may have to halt its Chuquicamata copper smelter as the company struggles to conclude an ongoing overhaul in time for the start of tougher emission standards in Chile, Bloomberg News reported. The miner is facing difficulties in installing equipment while the smelter is operating, and some "processes" could experience delays of about 80 days from mid-December, the company said in an emailed statement.

* Atalaya Mining PLC tapped Bank of Montreal to help with a potential sale of the company, Reuters reported, citing banking sources. The company's flagship asset, the Proyecto de Rio Tinto project, is located in Spain.

* Pembridge Resources PLC will not acquire the Minto copper-gold mine in Canada's Yukon Territory from Capstone Mining Corp. as it was unable to raise money for the deal. Meanwhile, Capstone is putting Minto on temporary care and maintenance while continuing to explore alternatives, including discussions with Pembridge and other interested parties.

* Pelican Resources Ltd. entered into a new memorandum of understating to sell its Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Corp. unit to Dynamo Atlantic Ltd. for A$3.6 million. Sibuyan is the beneficial owner of the Romblon nickel project in the Philippines.

* Strategic Elements Ltd. shares were up almost 22% by trading close on the ASX after the company said it found large gravity anomalies in Western Australia within two large multi-ringed magnetic ring features. The company plans to conduct exploration for sulfide minerals, which can be associated with very large deposits of nickel, copper, platinum-group elements and gold.

* OZ Minerals Ltd. earned an initial 51% stake in Cassini Resources Ltd.'s West Musgrave copper-nickel joint venture in Western Australia.

* Boadicea Resources Ltd. expanded its landholding in Western Australia's Fraser Range region by over 300% to 231 square kilometers after the state's Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety granted the Fraser Range South tenement.


* B2Gold Corp.'s consolidated gold production in the third quarter jumped 78% year over year to a quarterly record of 242,040 ounces, from 135,628 ounces last year.

* SSR Mining Inc. delivered its strongest quarter of the year after third-quarter gold production at its Marigold mine in Nevada and Seabee mine in Saskatchewan both surged around 18% compared to the second quarter. Marigold produced 58,459 ounces of gold, up from 49,436 ounces produced in the prior quarter, while output at Seabee reached a record 27,831 ounces, rising from 23,582 ounces in the previous quarter.

* Caledonia Mining Corp. PLC dropped its full-year adjusted EPS forecast to between C$1.40 and C$1.50, from C$1.65 to C$1.90 previously forecast, amid tighter output guidance at its Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe and weak gold prices. The mine is expected to produce between 54,000 and 56,000 ounces in 2018.

* Anglo Asian Mining PLC's third-quarter output jumped 38% yearly to 24,412 gold equivalent ounces. Gold output in the period increased 47% to 21,318 ounces, copper production slipped to 470 tonnes from 550 tonnes a year earlier, and silver output rose to 59,346 ounces.

* Endeavour Silver Corp.'s third quarter silver production increased 13% year over year to 1.4 million ounces while gold production decreased 5% to 12,968 ounces.

* Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported third quarter production of 2.2 million ounces silver, up 11% year over year, while gold output declined 6% to 12,542 ounces.

* McEwen Mining Inc. produced 33,806 ounces of gold and 745,172 ounces of silver in the third quarter, bringing its nine-month gold and silver output to 105,834 ounces and 2.2 million ounces, respectively.

* Heavy seasonal rains caused a contingency pond to overflow at the dry stack tailings facility of Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.'s San Jose silver mine in Mexico. The overflow continued for about two hours and led to the spill of about 1,500 cubic meters of water carrying sediment and minor amounts of fine tailings from the facility's drainage system into the nearby Coyote Creek. Fortuna said no industrial process water was discharged, noting that the San Jose operation uses a cyanide-free process to produce concentrate.

* Rusoro Mining Ltd. and Venezuela agreed on terms of a US$1.28 billion settlement over the acquisition of the company's mining data and for the release of an arbitral award. The Toronto-listed company's shares were up more than 80% in mid-afternoon trading.

* An official from the Indian Ministry of Finance said the government is finalizing a second list of import curbs, which will exclude gold and other essential items from the capital goods industry, according to a CNBC-TV18 tweet.

* Acacia Mining PLC said that one of its employees was charged by the Tanzanian Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau. The employee pleaded not guilty and was granted bail.

* Evolution Mining Ltd. approved a plan to progress the underground development, stage-four pit cutback and relevant plant modifications at the Mount Carlton gold project in Queensland, Australia.

* Orminex Ltd.'s partnership with underground mining contractor GBF Mining Pty. Ltd. is in advanced due diligence to expand a model to another near-term production gold mine. The model enabled the Comet Vale project in Western Australia's Goldfields to be fast-tracked to first gold in August despite the company having only relisted on the ASX in May.

* Clancy Exploration Ltd. signed a binding letter of intent to sell a 70% interest in the Hong Kong gold project in Western Australia to Pacton Gold Inc. for C$1.7 million in cash and shares.

* Drilling at Shanta Gold Ltd.'s New Luika gold project in Tanzania resulted in converting 27,240 ounces of gold into indicated resources.


* PAO Severstal's crude steel production in the second quarter inched up 2% quarterly to 3.1 million tonnes, and hot metal output increased 2% to 2.3 million tonnes. Consolidated sales volumes in the period dropped 5% to 2.7 million tonnes.

* Canada will introduce new quotas and tariffs on imports of seven categories of steel, a measure aimed to head off a potential rise in imports due to the U.S. government's tariffs, Reuters reported, citing the Canadian government.

* S&P Global Ratings said it expects the rating buffer for Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. to reduce as development spending peaks for the Eliwana project in Western Australia over the next two or three years.

* S&P Global Ratings revised Atlas Iron Ltd.'s CreditWatch implications on its CCC issuer credit rating and issue ratings from developing to positive after Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd. increased its shareholding on the junior miner to over 90% and will initiate compulsory acquisition proceedings.

* Kenyans who lost their lands due to Kenya Fluorspar Co. Ltd.'s mining operations in the country's Kerio Valley are seeking compensation, Reuters reported. The government said it was looking at compensating the evictees but it does not have alternative land to give them. About 1,400 families were evicted from the fluorspar-rich 3,642-hectare site in the 1970s, the report added.

* Adam Bandt, the deputy head of political party Australian Greens, pledged to push for the orderly shutdown of all coal-fired power stations in Victoria if his party comes into power after the state election in late November, arguing that market forces do not work for the environment or the community, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Pacific Bauxite Ltd. said that the High Court of Solomon Islands granted an interim injunction to its 50%-owned joint venture company, Eight South Investments Pty. Ltd., related to the Nendo bauxite project. The injunction prevents authorities from accepting any applications from, or granting any conflict tenements within the property to any entity other than the joint venture company, pending the outcome of court proceedings.

* European Electric Metals Inc. agreed to acquire Gerold, owner of the past-producing Skroska iron-nickel mine in Albania, for €5.4 million in cash and shares.

* Prairie Mining Ltd. said discussions with Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa SA regarding a potential cooperation or transactions for its Polish coal operations are ongoing.

* As part of efforts to reduce pollution, Datong city in northern China's Shanxi province will establish "no-coal zones" in urban districts, Reuters reported.

* The Singapore Exchange will launch new high-grade iron ore derivatives in December, to cater growing demand for higher quality supplies of the raw material for steelmaking, Reuters reported.


* FMC Corp. spinoff Livent Corp.'s shares fell over 5% in the company's market debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 11 before recovering, trading down 2.4% in the afternoon, Reuters reported. Livent CEO Paul Graves, however, dismissed lithium oversupply concerns, saying demand will continue to grow. "I see a real challenge for our industry to meet that demand," Graves said.

* Shares of Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. closed 29% lower on its Hong Kong debut Oct. 11, coinciding with a rout spreading through global equity markets following the worst single-day decline on Wall Street.

* Energy Resources of Australia Ltd.'s September-quarter uranium oxide production slipped 15% yearly to 544 tonnes.

* Northern Minerals Ltd. outlined plans to add an ore sorting circuit to the pilot plant at its Browns Range heavy rare earths project in Western Australia in the second quarter of 2019.

* TNG Ltd. signed a native title agreement with the Eynewantheyne Aboriginal Corp. RNTBC for the Mount Peake vanadium project in Australia's Northern Territory, clearing the way for the grant of the mineral licenses for the operation.

* The Greenland government reaffirmed its support for rare earths and uranium production at Greenland Minerals Ltd.'s Kvanefjeld project.


* Asian stock markets tumbled following the worst single-day decline on Wall Street in eight months led by a selloff of technology stocks and concerns over rising bond yields and trade uncertainty.

* Growing trade and political tensions around the world, but chiefly between the U.S. and China, are beginning to weigh on international commerce and have the potential to derail the economic recovery of the eurozone, according to minutes published by the ECB.

* An ad launched by a group of U.S. businesses said that trade tariffs introduced by President Donald Trump are costing local businesses and customers around US$1.4 billion per month, Reuters reported.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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