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Prosecutor seeks to block Samarco restart; ITOCHU, Mitsui bid for Anglo American's manganese JV stake; Coal of Africa looks to sell stake in Makhado project

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Prosecutor seeks to block Samarco restart; ITOCHU, Mitsui bid for Anglo American's manganese JV stake; Coal of Africa looks to sell stake in Makhado project

TOP NEWS

Environmentalprosecutor seeks to block Samarco restart

Minas Gerais state environmental prosecutor Carlos EduardoPinto filed a petition with a court in Belo Horizonte, seeking to blockthe planned restart of ValeSA  and 's joint ventureoperations until proof is submitted by Samarco Mineração SA that the leakages at the dam havebeen contained completely, The SydneyMorning Herald reported. The state prosecutor has also called for a fine of1 million Brazilian reais until the situation is resolved.

Japan's ITOCHUCorp. and Mitsui& Co. Ltd. have made separate offers for Anglo American Plc's 40% stake in the Samancor manganesejoint venture with South32 Ltd..The stake could sell for up to US$700 million.

Coalof Africa in talks to sell stake in Makhado project

Coal of AfricaLtd. entered into a memorandum of understanding with , which is interested in acquiring a stake in Coal of Africa'sSouth Africa-based Makhado coking coal project, Mining Weekly reported.

DIVERSIFIED

* MinasGerais state environmental prosecutor Carlos Eduardo Pinto filed a petitionwith a court in Belo Horizonte, seeking to blockthe planned restart of ValeSA  and 's joint ventureoperations until proof is submitted by Samarco Mineração SA that the leakages at the dam havebeen contained completely, The SydneyMorning Herald reported. The state prosecutor has also called for a fine of1 million Brazilian reais until the situation is resolved.

* Fitch Ratings said that Anglo American Plc's US$1.5 billion sale of its niobiumand phosphates assets is at a better price than the ratings agency had expectedand is a positive step for the group's disposal program. However, several ofthe remaining non-core assets are either loss-making or only marginallyprofitable. Fitch, therefore, continues to expectfurther disposals to be at multiples of less than 4x EBITDA, in contrast to theroughly 10x multiple for the sale to China Molybdenum. Meanwhile, completion ofthe planned disposals, combined with debt reduction, could lead to Anglo'soutlook being revised to stable.  

BASE METALS

* JSCChelyabinsk Zinc Plant's 2015 net profit year over year to 3.75billion Russian rubles, versus 2014 profit of 2.35 billion rubles. The Russiancompany attributed the jump in annual profit to the devaluation of ruble,growth in zinc and zinc alloy sales, as well as the reversal of the previouslyaccrued impairment loss related to the LLP Nova Zinc property, plant andequipment.

* PJSC MMCNorilsk Nickel's consolidated nickel output year on year in the firstquarter to 63,631 tonnes, while its copper production decreased by 3% to 87,255tonnes; palladium and platinum output, however, both increased to 642,000ounces and 171,000 ounces, respectively.

* French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has confirmedto facilitate a loanof up to €200 million to Eramet's New Caledonia-based unit Societe Le Nickel.Valls said the financing will be in place until 2018 but the final terms arestill under negotiation.

* According to Codelco's Vice President for productivity andcosts, José Robles, in a bid to obtain quality supplies at low costs as part ofits plan to cut costs, Chilean state-owned copper major is revamping itsShanghai-based offices, Business News Americas reported.

* BolidenAB said the competition authorities in Sweden, Finland and Germanyhave approved its US$712 millionacquisition of the Kevitsa nickel-copper mine from First Quantum Minerals.The transaction is scheduled to close around June 1.

* Orion GoldNL signed a binding option agreement with Masiqhame Trading855 Pty. Ltd. whereby Orion will earn up to a 73% interest in the company,which holds a prospecting right over a large, highly prospective area about 80kilometers north of Orion's Prieska copper project.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Nord Gold NV said its refined gold production to 209,500 ounces inthe first quarter from the very high comparative quarter in 2015, at 266,700ounces, which included 28,500 ounces of gold doré produced but not refined atthe end of 2014. Lower production was also due to decreased output at the Bissamine in Burkina Faso and Berezitovoye mine in Russia. Gold sold also fell 28%year over year to 210,600 ounces.

* The Royal Bank of Canada is suingNord Gold unit Crew Gold over a US$7.1 million fee that the bank was supposedto acquire for selling all or a substantial portion of the company to a thirdparty in 2010, Mining.com reported. Crew Gold representatives will contest theclaim in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice once the trial begins in lateMay, as the company says that the Royal Bank of Canada was not involved in thefinal sale.

* Two workers were fatally injured in a winch rope incident at 'sTumela platinummine in South Africa.

* PantoroLtd. struck a deal with Bulletin Resources Ltd. to their minority 20% stake in theHalls Creekgold project, increasing its ownership to 100%. The project includes thehigh-grade Nicolsons mine and processing plant

* The Australian government's Takeovers Panel has upheld itsdecision to order ABM ResourcesNL to drop its 3-for-5 nonrenounceable rights issue after a reviewpanel agreed with the regulator's original ruling that the circumstances of the capitalraising were "unacceptable."

* Petropavlovsk PLC unit Horatio Ltd. signeda share purchase agreement relating to the sale of 100% of the participatoryshares in OOO Ilyinskoye, a company which holds the mining license for theVisokoe golddeposit, to the AO Yuzhuralzoloto Group of Companies. Petropavlovsk alsoentered into an agreement to dispose of its 49% interest in ZAO VerkhnetisskayaOre Mining Co. to an entity associated with the Yuzhuralzoloto group.

* ZhaojinMining Industry Co. Ltd. posted a first quarter 2016 attributable toowners of the parent of 14.3 million Chinese yuan, down from 96.7 million yuana profit booked a year earlier.

* ZhongjinGold Corp. Ltd.'s net profit attributable to shareholders for thefirst quarter rose by215.68% year over year to 60.3 million yuan, while operatingrevenue dropped 30.01% year over year to 5.60 billion yuan.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Japan's ITOCHU Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. have made for 's 40% stake in theSamancor manganese joint venture with South32 Ltd.. The stake could sell for upto US$700 million.

* Coal ofAfrica Ltd. entered into a memorandum of understanding withQingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng GroupCo Ltd., which is interested in acquiring a stake in Coal ofAfrica's South Africa-based Makhado coking coal project, Mining Weekly reported.

* Separately, Business Day reportedthat Hengshun pitched a proposal to acquire up to 34% interest in the Makhadoproject through a Coal of Africa unit for about US$114 million.   

* Vale is unlikely to acquire up to a 15% stake in Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.under their Marchdeal. "We obviously do not have the resources nor the balancesheet to do it right now, so it is more of a long-term optionality," CFOLuciano Siani Pires said. "It is welcome as an option, but nothing that wewant to pursue in the short, nor even perhaps in the medium term."

* United Co.RUSAL Plc's aluminum production in the first quarter over the lastquarter to 916,000 tonnes with its Russia Siberian smelters accounting for 94%of total aluminum output. Aluminum production in the quarter increased 1.7%year over year and aluminum sales grew by 9.2% over the previous quarter to957,000 tonnes.

* RUSAL will also prepay debt worth US$522 million, utilizing newrefinancing tranches to pay off US$414 million and the company's own funds forthe remaining US$108 million.

* The U.S. Department of Commerce initiatedanti-dumping investigations and countervailing duty probes into imports ofcertain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate coming from a number ofcountries, including Brazil, China and Korea, Reuters reported. Theinvestigations were initiated on the requests put forward by , and SSAB Enterprises.

* New WorldResources Plc Chairman Gareth Penny urged the Czech government tohelp restructure some €300 million of debt to avoid its main unit, , from going bankrupt.The unit has only two weeks of cash left and has that it may be unable to payworker salaries.

* Russian fertilizer producer entered into a loanagreement with 16 international banks for a US$1.2 billion loan, Reuters reported.The company plans to utilize the five-year loan for refinancing and otherpurposes.

* Celsius CoalLtd. said that it will sell its wholly owned unit View Nickel Pty. Ltd. toBearcat Resources Pty.Ltd. for A$1.00. The agreement is conditional on Celsius'successful acquisition of the issued shares in the Australia-based sports bettingplatform Favourit Global Pty. Ltd.

* The Vietnamese government has asked a Taiwanese steelfacility to digup the controversial waste pipe which has been blamed for the death oflarge numbers of fish in farms and coastal waters, even though the probe by thegovernment found no evidence to conclude a link between the facility and themass fish deaths, Reuters reported.

* The recent surge in steel prices may fuelthe reopening of the mills, resulting in overcapacity which the Chinesegovernment has tried to limit by increasing transaction fees and warning retailinvestors against commodity trading, the FinancialTimes wrote.

* Thousands of German steel and electrical industry workersstaged walkouts across the country on April 29 as after labor union IG Metallrejected a 2.1% wage increase offer, saying the offered pay hike is far lessthan the 5% that it demanded, Reuters reported.IG Metall warned that the union would embark on 24-hour strikes if no deal wasreached by the Pentecost holiday in mid-May.

* Strong demand from investors has prompted to the size of itspreviously announced offering of senior unsecured notes to US$500 million fromUS$300 million. The cash raised will be used to repay outstanding amounts underits US$300 million unsecured bridge facility and partly redeem its 7.125%senior unsecured notes due 2018.  

* MongolianMining Corp. continues to holdtalks with its bondholders to restructure the bonds on which the companymissed a coupon payment last month, Reuters said in a news brief. The 30-daygrace period for the US$26.6 million coupon on the miner's US$600 million8.875% bonds due 2017 expired April 29.

* China's Baosteel Group Corp. refutedU.S. Steel Corp.'saccusations, which include that Baosteel had stolen commercial secrets, andadded that the stealing allegation is a "rootless speculation andsubjective assumption," Reuters wrote.  

* Baoshan Iron& Steel Co. Ltd. board secretary Zhu Kebing warnedthat the Chinese government's efforts to curtail overcapacity may be hamperedby the recent increase in steel prices, which is pushing previously closedsteel mills to accelerate reopening.  

* The EU started monitoring imports of steel from China asthe world's biggest producer steps up exports. The is expected tocontinue until May 15, 2020. The measure will allow the union to impose tariffsmore quickly if cheaper imports threaten the European steel sector, whichreportedly employs some 328,000.

SPECIALTY

* CamecoCorp. swung to a first quarter profit of C$78 million from a year-agoloss of C$9 million, while revenue fell to C$408 million from C$566 million.The company booked mark-to-market gains on foreign exchange derivatives in thefirst quarter this year, compared to losses in the corresponding period of2015, as well as higher gross profit in its fuel services segment. It expectsto produce 25.7 million pounds of U3O8 this year, compared to 30.0 millionpounds previously expected, with CapEx forecast cut to C$275 million from C$320million.

* EnergyResources of Australia Ltd. entered into a A$100 million withRio Tinto unitNorth Ltd. The loanwill be used to fulfill the additional funding requirements on the company'srehabilitation obligations on the Ranger uranium project area in Australia's NorthernTerritory, should additional funding ultimately be required.

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