Glencore faces strikes across Hunter Valley coal ops
About 1,400 of Glencore Plc's miners voted to stage two 48-hour strikes across the company's coal operations in New South Wales' Hunter Valley region, The Newcastle Herald reported. The first strike will affect five sites — the Bulga, Glendell, Liddell and Mangoola mines, and at the coal preparation plant at Ravensworth — while the second labor action will expand to include the Ravensworth mine and the Liddell coal-handling plant, according to CFMEU District President Peter Jordan.
Heavy rain, snow force BHP, Rio Tinto and others to halt Chilean ops
Heavy rain and snow in northern Chile forced BHP Billiton Group and Rio Tinto to halt production at their Escondida copper mine on June 7, and were unable to give a restart date, The Australian Financial Review reported, Meanwhile, Antofagasta Plc halted activities at its Zaldivar copper joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp. and was expected to restart operations June 8.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. is "on a path" to reach a new mining deal with Indonesia this year for the company's giant Grasberg copper mine in the country, Reuters reported, citing CFO Kathleen Quirk. Meanwhile, PT Freeport Indonesia said it fired 3,000 workers amid an ongoing labor action at Grasberg that has lasted over five weeks. "Production is not at an optimum level because there are a lot of absentees," Freeport Indonesia spokesperson Riza Pratama said, adding that the miner is considering how to replace the workers.
* Brazil's Vale SA is expected to reduce the number of executive directors to four from six, Reuters reported, citing a column published by local newspaper El Globo.
* Chilean state-miner Codelco, which also shuttered mining operations at Chuquicamata, said all of its divisions in the Antofagasta region were fully operational June 8, while Salvador division operations were resuming gradually, Metal Bulletin reported.
* PT Amman Mineral Internasional subsidiary PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara is considering reducing its workforce by up to 20%, or 700 employees, amid falling output at its Batu Hijau copper mine in Indonesia due to delays in developing the mine, Reuters reported, citing the company CEO Rachmat Makkasau and mining ministry official Bambang Gatot.
* Global mined production of copper grew an estimated 5.4% year over year to total almost 19.92 million tonnes of contained metal in 2016. This was led by increased production at the 20 largest mines, ranked by 2016 output, which saw production grow by 8.3%, year over year.
* Pierre Malan, general manager of MMG Ltd.'s Dugald River zinc project in Queensland Australia, said links into Chinese banks from its major shareholder, China Minmetals Corp., allowed the company to net US$600 million required to complete the project, Townsville Bulletin wrote. He noted that Western banks were unwilling to finance the mine when metal prices slumped in 2015. The company is on track to come in under budget on the US$1.2 billion project, Malan added.
* Eramet finalized an agreement with Chinese stainless steel producer Tsingshan Group to jointly develop Weda Bay nickel deposit in Indonesia.
* Coral Gold Resources Ltd. said the US$15.75 million sale of its Robertson gold property in Nevada to a Barrick Gold Corp. unit has closed, about a year after it was first announced.
* Petropavlovsk Plc Chairman Peter Hambro is trying to thwart a shareholder revolt led by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg and called the move "a takeover by stealth" that is not in shareholders' interest, Reuters reported. The plan calls for the replacement of four of six board members.
* Battle Mountain Gold Inc. security holders overwhelmingly approved the company's takeover by Gold Standard Ventures Corp.
* S&P Global Ratings placed PJSC Polyus BB- issuer credit ratings on CreditWatch with positive implications, as the Russian miner's recently announced secondary public offering for a 7% stake in existing and new shares on the Moscow and London Stock Exchanges, along with 10% stake sale to a group of investors led by Fosun International Ltd., might indicate that risks related to the company's aggressive financial policies and excessive shareholder distributions are reducing.
* Millrock Resources Inc. entered into an option agreement to buy the El Picacho gold project in Mexico.
* GoldON Resources Ltd. acquired seven unpatented mining claims in the Rainy River area of Ontario, expanding the Rainy gold project, which is optioned to the company.
* Mexican Gold Corp. said its Mexican unit entered into a definitive deal to acquire the Pepe, Pepe Tres and San Jose concessions at its Las Minas gold-copper-silver property in Mexico.
* A pit expansion study at New Jersey Mining Co.'s Golden Chest gold mine and New Jersey mill in northern Idaho yielded a 14-fold increase in tonnage and a 12-fold increase in minable ounces of gold.
* Para Resources Inc. recommissioned the mill at its El Limon gold project in Colombia during May after an extensive 18-month renovation and upgrade.
* Austral Gold Ltd. estimated total indicated resources of 804,690 tonnes at 9.64 g/t of gold and 80.7 g/t of silver for 277,352 gold equivalent ounces at its Amancaya gold project in Chile.
* Westgold Resources Ltd. agreed to acquire privately owned specialist underground mining contractor Australian Contract Mining Pty. Ltd. for A$2.5 million cash and 14 million Westgold shares. The company plans to integrate Australian Contract Mining as the company's internal diversified mining services division.
* Anova Metals Ltd. entered a merger agreement to acquire all the issued capital of Exterra Resources Ltd. to create a diversified gold company. The merger has the support of the boards of both companies.
* Ramelius Resources Ltd. signed a A$100 million mining contract with MACA for its Mount Magnet gold mine in Western Australia, The West Australian reported. Work on the project is expected to start next month.
* Commenting on Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s US$1 billion rights issue to fund the mining major's acquisition of Stillwater Mining Co., Piet Viljoen, chairman of asset management company and former Sibanye shareholder RECM, said using shares to finance significant acquisitions often "went backwards," Miningmx reported.
* Japan's Mitsui & Co. Ltd. has reportedly hired Nomura's head of natural resources Rob Bailey to sell about half of its 49% joint venture stake in the Dawson coal complex in Queensland, Australia, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk wrote. This comes after joint venture partner Anglo American Plc decided against selling the asset when bids failed to reflect the value expectations of the company.
* A potential strike in South Africa's coal industry was averted after number of miners, including majors Anglo American, Glencore, and Exxaro Resources Ltd. agreed to conduct centralized wage negotiations, Miningmx reported, citing a statement from the Chamber of Mines.
* One of California's largest retirement funds voted to continue moving its assets away from the coal industry with the divestment of non-U.S. thermal investments.
* While China is still a major consumer of iron ore, the Asian powerhouse is no longer the main driver for growth in demand for the steelmaking commodity, according to China Hanking Holdings Ltd. Chinese crude steel production climbed only 0.5% year over year to 808 million tonnes in 2016, and according to China Hanking President and CEO Pan Guocheng, the global iron ore market will continue to be in oversupply given the flattened demand growth.
* Bellzone Mining Plc received provisional approval for the update and amendment for the 2010 mining convention for the Kalia iron ore mine in Guinea, including approval for the ferronickel project.
* Nordic Mines AB signed a memorandum of understanding with Firesteel Resources Inc. to establish a joint venture.
* Arianne Phosphate Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding with a global sulfuric acid producer to explore the possibility of setting up a downstream operation to produce phosphoric acid.
* U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said a national security review of the country's steel industry will be completed "very shortly" and will seek to protect the interests of both local steel producers and consumers, Reuters reported.
* Mechel PAO's board of directors recommended a dividend payout on preferred shares amounting to 1.43 billion Russian rubles, or 10.28 rubles per share, for 2016 and decided that there would be no annual payout on ordinary shares.
* Quantum Resources Ltd. executed a binding term sheet to acquire Halcyon Resources Pty. Ltd., a private Australian company focused on the production of high-purity alumina and high-purity silica from kaolin clay.
* PJSC Alrosa's diamond sales from January through May dropped by 5% year over year to US$2.13 billion. In spite that slip, the Russian company sold 33% more diamonds in May than during the same month in 2016, totaling US$472.1 million.
* On the back of an increase in domestic uranium production, Namibia's mining sector is anticipated to witness solid growth over the coming years, Mining Weekly reported, citing research firm BMI. The growth, however, could be subdued by proposed regulatory revisions, which will pose significant challenges for the broader industry.
* The U.K.'s governing Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in elections June 8, but will remain the largest party, an exit poll showed, sending the pound plummeting against the dollar as Prime Minister Theresa May's gamble on asking voters for a mandate to tackle talks on withdrawal from the European Union backfired.
* Khaltmaa Battulga, a front-runner for the Mongolian presidency, has called for greater government control over the country's mineral resources and projects such as Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, Reuters reported.
* The market capitalization of the top 25 mining companies decreased 2% to US$596.1 billion in May compared with the end of April, with the majority of these companies experiencing falls in market value. BHP Billiton once again topped the market cap rankings with valuation of US$89.13 billion, while Rio Tinto also retained its second position, with a market cap of US$74.81 billion.
* North American institutional investors, which are "materially underweight" on ASX mining stocks, could potentially inject billions of dollars into the Australian mining sector, according to PCF Capital Managing Director Liam Twigger. According to Twigger, North American institutions hold about 40%, or US$17 billion, of the top 30 gold stocks on the TSX, but only hold 27%, or US$6 billion, of the top 30 gold stocks on the ASX.
* Mexico's Tax Administration Service is holding in excess of US$360 million in tax rebates owed to six Canadian mining companies due to a spike in value-added tax refund requests leading to more detailed assessments, Reuters reported, citing sources and official documents.
* Commenting on Western Australia's calls for the overhaul of goods and services tax, or GST, Mike Henry, head of BHP Billiton's mineral operation in Australia, said the miner supports any changes that would boost jobs and be in the nation's economic interests for the state to get a fairer share of the GST, The West Australian wrote.
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