Rio Tinto cuts FY'17 copper production guidance due to Escondida ramp-up delays
Rio Tinto revised down its mined copper guidance to between 460,000 tonnes and 480,000 tonnes, from 500,000 tonnes to 550,000 tonnes previously due to the delayed ramp-up of an expansion project at its Escondida operations in Chile and the impact of mine sequencing changes at Rio Tinto Kennecott. The company produced 120,600 tonnes of copper during the third quarter, down 3% on a yearly basis due to lower head grades at Rio Tinto Kennecott and Oyu Tolgoi.
BHP mulls fast tracking stage 2 nickel sulfate production
BHP Billiton Group is looking at accelerating its phase two expansion to 200,000 tonnes of nickel sulfate per annum after receiving strong interest from potential customers. The company previously approved funding of US$43.2 million for a project at the Kwinana refinery in Western Australia that will allow the mining heavyweight to produce an initial 100,000 tonnes per annum of nickel sulfate from 2019. BHP expects to complete stage one in April 2019, with major construction activities starting this November.
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. produced 36,900 tonnes of copper in concentrates in the third quarter, lower than the 46,600 tonnes of copper in concentrates produced in the year-ago period from the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. Gold and silver in-concentrate production also declined to 31,000 ounces and 239,000 ounces, respectively, compared to 37,000 ounces of gold and 361,000 ounces of silver recorded in the year-ago corresponding quarter.
* A consortium between Glencore Plc and Qatar Investment Authority finalized negotiations to off-load a 14.16% stake in the Russia's state-owned Rosneft Oil Co. to CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd. for €3.91 billion plus the amount arising from the conversion of US$4.58 billion at a five-day average exchange rate at the payment date.
* Metals X Ltd. expects to reach its production target of 40,000 tonnes per annum at the Nifty copper mine in Western Australia in the second quarter of 2018, Managing Director Warren Hallam told delegates at the Australian Nickel Conference in Perth.
* Australian copper-gold explorer Bryah Resources Ltd. marked its first day as a publicly listed company with gains of up to 25%. The newly minted company traded as high as 25 Australian cents not long after it lit up the boards of the ASX.
* Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. expects its attributable net profit for the nine months that ended Sept. 30 to increase by 50% to 70% as compared to a net profit of 988.3 million Chinese yuan, or 29 fen per share, in the year-ago period, on the back of higher metal prices.
* The auto industry is shifting with revolution in electric vehicles, a trend which is expected to drive up global demand for metals used in batteries, according to speakers at the 121 Mining Investment conference in Hong Kong. Commodity Discovery Fund founder and chief investment officer Willem Middelkoop said that copper and nickel will benefit greatly from the growing trend.
* Ferrum Crescent Ltd. revised its strategy for exploration and evaluation for its Toral lead-zinc project in Spain, which will allow the company produce a maiden JORC-compliant resource estimate. The company is also undertaking a cost review at the project.
* Energia Minerals Ltd. secured an exploration license covering the historic Salafossa zinc mine in Italy, which complements its Gorno zinc project.
* Trevali Mining Corp. produced 58.4 million payable pounds of zinc, 12.5 million payable pounds of lead and 433,442 payable ounces of silver in the third quarter, compared to 13.7 million payable pounds of zinc, 6.4 million payable pounds of lead and 221,324 payable ounces of silver posted in the year-ago period.
* Rio Tinto unit Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. declared force majeure on sales of copper and sulfuric acid after a worker died in the week of Oct. 9 at its smelting facility in Utah, Metal Bulletin wrote.
* Over 20 parties are interested in the US$2 billion Michiquillay copper project in Peru as the country readies to auction off the rights to develop it in December, Mining.com wrote, citing authorities. The project was originally scheduled to be auctioned off in November, but state bidding agency Proinversión decided to delay the date so that interested companies have more time to submit offers.
* Western Australia's Exploration Incentive Scheme, or EIS, may be on the chopping block after the opposition blocked the Labor government's plan to hike the royalty rate levied on the gold industry. While the government originally announced that it planned to continue the EIS, it is now looking at potentially axing it after the Liberal Party voted against the increase of the gold royalty rate, Mines Minister Bill Johnston told reporters on the sidelines of the Australian Nickel Conference.
* Primary Gold Ltd.'s pre-feasibility study at its Coolgardie gold project in Western Australia pegged a net present value, discounted at 8%, of A$14.8 million and a two month payback period. Revenue, at a gold price of A$1,600 per ounce, is expected at A$104.3 million during the 28-month life of mine.
* Petropavlovsk Plc produced 104,000 ounces of gold in the third quarter, compared to 102,400 ounces a year ago. The company expects full year production of 420,000 ounces to 460,000 ounces of gold.
* An employee of Anglo American Plc unit Anglo American Platinum Ltd. died after sustaining injuries in a suspected winch-related incident at the Dishaba platinum mine in South Africa on Oct. 9.
* Stratex International Plc sold its 13.7% stake in GoldStone Resources Ltd. to institutional investors at 1.6 British pence per share for a total of £550,000.
* Inception Mining Inc. completed the expansion at its Clavo Rico gold project in Honduras, which will allow it to meet its production target for 2018 of 10,000 ounces of gold.
* LeaGold Mining Corp.'s measured and indicated resource estimate at its Bermejal underground project surged 94% to 9.9 million tonnes at 6.2 g/t gold for about 2 million contained ounces. The inferred resource stands at 4.8 million tonnes at 5.4 g/t gold for 820,000 contained ounces.
* Cora Gold Ltd. appointed a contractor for aircore, reverse circulation and diamond core drilling at its Sanankoro gold discovery in South Mali. The 16,000-meters drilling program is expected to start at the end of November.
* Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. inked definitive deals with Platinum Group Metals Ltd., JOGMEC, Mnombo Wethu Consultants (Pty.) Ltd. and Waterberg JV Resources Pty. Ltd. to acquire up to a 50.01% stake in the Waterberg platinum project in South Africa. Implats will immediately acquire a 15.0% interest in the project for a total of US$30.0 million, while it secured an option to increase its interest to up to 50.01% and assume control of the property for another US$164.8 million.
* Some of Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s Rustenburg platinum group metals operations in South Africa have avoided the chopping block, after finding enough cost savings to keep the targeted operations going after restructuring and consolidating them with other Rustenburg area assets.
* Yamana Gold Inc. is evaluating increasing its full year gold, silver and copper output guidance after output in the third quarter and the first nine months of the year came in ahead of guidance and budget and amid an expected strong fourth quarter. It produced 257,000 ounces of gold, 1.4 million ounces of silver and 37.1 million pounds of copper in the quarter that ended Sept. 30 and 717,000 ounces of gold, 3.8 million ounces of silver and 92.7 million pounds of copper in the first nine months.
* Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters, which agreed to acquire convertible senior unsecured debentures of the company for a total of C$260 million.
* Sierra Metals Inc.'s silver and copper equivalent production in the third quarter dropped 8% year over year to 2.7 million ounces and 23.5 million pounds, respectively.
* Atlatsa Resources Corp. said its 51%-owned Bokoni platinum mine in South Africa was placed on care and maintenance Oct. 1, as part of an Anglo American Platinum-backed restructuring agreement.
* Pan African Resources Plc resumed construction at the Elikhulu tailings retreatment project in South Africa, Reuters reported. Work was halted last week due to community protests demanding jobs and business opportunities.
* A feasibility study for Falco Resources Ltd.'s Horne 5 gold project in Quebec estimated the mine's posttax net present value at US$602 million, discounted at 5%, and the internal rate of return at 15.3%, with a payback period of 5.6 years.
* Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. produced 2 million ounces of silver and 13,412 ounces of gold in the third quarter from its San Jose mine in Mexico and the Caylloma mine in Peru, a 4% and 5% year-over-year decrease, respectively. The company expects to produce 8.1 million ounces of silver and 52,400 ounces of gold in the full year.
* Evraz Plc's consolidated crude steel output in the third quarter increased 5.9% on the prior quarter to 3.5 million tonnes. Production of steel products, net of re-rolled volumes, improved 4.4% to 3.1 million tonnes in the quarter. Meanwhile, output of iron ore products dropped 7.5% quarter over quarter to 4.2 million tonnes.
* Law firm Levi & Korsinsky LLP started an investigation on Kobe Steel Ltd. concerning possible violations of federal securities laws after the company acknowledged that some of its products did not comply with specifications agreed with the customers.
* Rio Tinto is in advanced talks with Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance to off-load its aluminum assets in Australia and New Zealand, the Financial Times wrote, citing sources. Gupta is flying to Australia this week to continue negotiations but could face competition from Glencore's 47%-owned Century Aluminum, which has also been eyeing Rio Tinto's PacAl operation.
* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd.'s commercial coal production and sales in the first nine months of the year rose 3.8% and 13.9% respectively, to 221.3 million tonnes and 328.3 million tonnes.
* T.V. Narendran, Tata Steel Ltd.'s managing director for India and Southeast Asia, said the company and ThyssenKrupp AG have no plans to spin off their pending European steel joint venture within the next two to three years, Reuters reported.
* PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works plans to switch its dividend policy and move to quarterly payouts to shareholders instead of semiannual payments.
* Altech Chemicals Ltd. exercised its option to purchase about 94 hectares of land at Meckering in Western Australia, within which the company's granted and fully permitted kaolin mining lease M70/1334 is located.
* Plateau Uranium Inc. signed the first agreement with the local community of Chaccaconiza to explore a uranium-prospective area in southeastern Peru.
* North Arrow Minerals Inc. discovered diamonds at its Mel diamond project on Nunavut's Melville Peninsula. The company plans to conduct exploration drilling at the ML-8 discovery and other targets in 2018.
* Chinese President Xi Jinping could lay the groundwork for deeper reform of state-owned enterprises, with debts running at about 115% of GDP, at the five-yearly Communist Party Congress where he will aim to consolidate power ahead of a second term, economists told S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. London time, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.