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Anglo warns of risk to FY'20 copper output; Italy to nix Arcelor's legal shield


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Anglo warns of risk to FY'20 copper output; Italy to nix Arcelor's legal shield


Anglo warns of risk to FY'20 copper output amid 'unprecedented' Chilean drought

Anglo American PLC's third-quarter copper output fell 8% year over year to 158,900 tonnes as a severe drought in central Chile weighed on output at its Los Bronces mine, prompting the company to lower the upper end of its full-year production target by 10,000 tonnes, to 650,000 tonnes. The company flagged the "unprecedented" drought as a risk to its 2020 output, with output at Los Bronces suffering in the quarter due to lower plant throughput as a result of the water shortages.

Italy to cancel ArcelorMittal's legal shield over Ilva plant

The Italian Parliament will revoke ArcelorMittal's legal shield over its Ilva International SpA plant, Reuters reported, citing Dario Stefano, deputy Senate leader of Democratic Party. The shield protects the company from liability in case of a failed environmental cleanup. The company had dropped its plan to close the plant after an amended law restoring the guarantee was passed, although the measure still needs to be ratified by Parliament.

Norway's sovereign wealth fund builds Rio Tinto stake after Grasberg sale

Norway's US$1 trillion wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global, had built a 1.4% stake in Rio Tinto by the end of September, placing it among the top 10 shareholders in the diversified mining major, Bloomberg News reported. For more than a decade, Norway had refused to buy the mining major's stock due to the environmental damage caused by the controversial Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia. Earlier this year, the fund removed Rio Tinto from its blacklist after receiving confirmation that the miner will not play any role in the activities or operations of the mine following the US$3.5 billion sale of its 40% stake in the operation.


* High demand for PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co.'s latest five-year eurobond offering resulted in a lower coupon than all of its previous dollar-denominated note issues, one of the sale's organizers told S&P Global Market Intelligence. The order book for the bonds exceeded US$2 billion with 110 bids. As a result, the deal was increased from an initial US$500 million to US$750 million, while the price guidance was lowered three times, culminating in a final yield of 3.375%, according to Andrey Solovyev, head of debt capital markets for Russian state-owned investment bank VTB Capital.

* The main trade unions at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile expressed support for ongoing protests in the country while condemning the escalation to violence, Fastmarkets MB wrote. Union No. 1 reportedly said it is open to scheduling an assembly to decide whether to back a nationwide strike.

* The management of South32 Ltd.'s Cerro Matoso nickel mine in Colombia will pay 160 billion Colombian pesos to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities related to environmental and health damages caused by the company's operations in the country's Córdoba province, El Tiempo reported, according to attorneys at law firm De La Espriella, which represents the claimants.

* Nexa Resources SA expects to start commercial production at the Aripuana zinc project in Brazil by 2021, reported. Once operational, the US$354 million project will become the world's second-biggest zinc mine.


* Anglo American Platinum Ltd.'s third-quarter platinum group metals output remained stable year over year at 1.14 million ounces. Total sales dropped 13% to 1.05 million ounces due to 168,700 ounces of palladium, platinum, rhodium and gold returned through toll arrangements and not sold by the company.

* Third-quarter production for Russia's largest gold producer, PJSC Polyus, climbed 9% year over year to a quarterly record of 752,700 ounces. A surge in output from its Natalka and Kuranakh mines more than offset declining contributions from the Olimpiada, Blagodatnoye and Alluvials mines.

* Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd. produced a record 96,324 ounces of gold in the September quarter at all-in sustaining costs of A$964 per ounce, compared to output of 88,940 ounces and all-in sustaining costs of A$993/oz in the year-ago period. The company attributed the improvement to its investment in exploration and development in recent years.

* Third-quarter gold production at Trans-Siberian Gold PLC's Asacha mine in Russia improved 7.9% yearly to 12,620 ounces, while silver output slipped 18.3% to 24,686 ounces.

* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. raised 500 million Chinese yuan through a short-term debt issuance with a fixed interest rate of 2.65%.

* In the fourth quarter, Calibre Mining Corp. expects to produce between 32,000 and 35,000 ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of US$950 per ounce to US$980/oz following its acquisition of the El Limon and La Libertad mines in Nicaragua from B2Gold Corp.

* An armed gang entered DRDGold Ltd.'s Ergo gold plant in South Africa, killing a security officer and stealing an estimated 17 kilograms of gold contained in calcine concentrate. The company said it will support the South African Police Service's efforts to apprehend the suspects.


* Vale SA now expects full-year iron ore and pellet sales between the lower end and the midpoint of its guidance range of 307 million tonnes to 332 Mt following the temporary shutdown of the Itabiruçu tailings dam, part of the Itabira iron ore complex in Brazil's Minas Gerais state.

* Thyssenkrupp AG invited at least 10 strategic and private equity firms to submit indicative bids for the company's elevator business, Reuters reported, citing two sources.

* Tata Steel Ltd. subsidiary Tata Steel Europe will cut 2,500 jobs, or 25% of its workforce, in Europe to save US$930 million in costs, Business Standard reported, citing Dutch media outlet NH Nieuws. The job cuts will be across the company's plants in the Netherlands, France, England and Belgium, according to Central Works Council Vice Chairman Gerrit Idema.

* Arch Coal Inc. reported net income of US$106.8 million for the third quarter, falling from US$123.2 million a year ago.

* Whitehaven Coal Ltd.'s salable coal production in the September quarter increased 23% on a yearly basis to 4.9 million tonnes, while total coal sales rose 14% to 5.5 Mt.

* Western Australia ports minister Alannah MacTiernan expressed doubt that more than 500 kilometers of rail and a deepwater port can be viably built at Oakajee to service iron mines, The Australian Financial Review reported. The comment follows the completion of Mitsubishi Corp.'s transfer of shares in its A$9.7 billion Jack Hills iron ore mine, expansion, and planned rail and port facility to Sinosteel Corp. Sinosteel Midwest CEO Stuart Griffiths said people should keep an open mind as the company is conducting a thorough review of iron ore development options in Australia's midwest before it decides whether to spend billions at Oakajee.

* Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House Group restarted talks with the U.K. government about buying British Steel Corp. Ltd., which collapsed into compulsory liquidation, Sky News reported.

* Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal Pty. Ltd. applied for a 35-year mining lease to develop a new coal mine near Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s Carmichael project in Queensland, Australia, Reuters reported.

* Contura Energy Inc. completed a transaction related to surety bonds for the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr thermal coal mines in the Powder River Basin, allowing their transfer to FM Coal LLC affiliate Eagle Specialty Materials LLC.

* A minor roof fall at Bounty Mining Ltd.'s Cook coal project in Queensland, Australia, interrupted production as it partially buried the company's CM13 continuous miner. There were no injuries associated with the incident, but it will negatively impact the mine's October production.

* China is on track to increase its coal imports by more than 10% this year, Reuters reported, citing traders and analysts. Coal imports are expected to reach 276 million tonnes well before the end of 2019, compared to 281.23 million tonnes imported in 2018, the report said.


* Former Lynas Corp. Ltd. corporate planning manager Geoff Atkins aims to turn Vital Metals Ltd. into the ASX's next rare earths producer with a new flagship asset he came across while scoping extra material to feed Lynas' Gebeng plant in Malaysia. Atkins was announced as Vital's new managing director upon completion of the acquisition of the private company he led, Cheetah Resources Pty. Ltd., which had done a deal with Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. to buy the near-surface resources of the Thor Lake, or Nechalacho, rare earths project in Canada.

* Rio Tinto will spend US$10 million to build a 10-tonne-per-annum pilot plant that will extract lithium from waste rock at its borates business in California, Reuters reported. If the pilot plant is successful, the mining giant will reportedly consider spending US$50 million to build a 5,000-tpa lithium plant.

* Conrad Keijzer, CEO of French specialty minerals company Imerys SA resigned after the company lowered its 2019 profit guidance by about 20% from a €356.8 million profit in 2018, compared to the previous forecast of about a 10% decrease amid weak market conditions in the third quarter, especially in the manufacturing sector.

* A pre-feasibility study for Advantage Lithium Corp.'s 75%-owned Cauchari lithium project in Argentina outlined a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$671 million, a 20.9% internal rate of return and a 30-year mine life, based on a production capacity of 25,000 tonnes per annum.

* South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources and Energy granted a mining right to Pamish Investments No. 39 (Pty.) Ltd. regarding the five farms that comprise the Mokopane Vanadium project in South Africa owned by Bushveld Minerals Ltd. and Izingwe Capital (Pty.) Ltd. Bushveld Minerals' stake in the project will accordingly drop to 60.8% from 64%, while Izingwe Capital's stake will drop to 34.2% from 36%.


* Onsite Rentals, which rents equipment to miners and construction companies, aims to raise up to A$253 million in an IPO priced in the range of A$2.87 to A$3.15 per share, according to The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk. The company is majority-owned by U.S. institutional investors.

* Emeco Holdings Ltd. fended off media speculation over its potential acquisition of contract mining services provider BGC Contracting Pty. Ltd. "Emeco explores opportunities to add value to the Emeco Group and its shareholders on an ongoing basis, [BGC Contracting] being just one of many in recent times," it said.

* Mine blasting and explosives-maker MAXAM entered the Chinese market by inaugurating a manufacturing plant in Shandong province. The plant has an annual production capacity of 10,000 tons of watergel cartridges and 60 million detonators. MAXAM invested €70 million in the joint venture with Shandong Tianbao Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. and Weihai Yuboqiang.

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