increased itsstaff to up to 30 in Brazil, including two top executives, as the mining giantlooks to resumeoperations at its Samarco iron ore joint venture with in the country, Bloomberg Newsreported. Offices have also been opened in Belo Horizonte, which is about 70miles from BHP's Samarco interest.
shutdown a hot strip mill at its northwestern Indiana complex as part of arestructuring of its U.S. operations, the Associated Press reported.ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford said the company does not plan anylayoffs under the restructuring.
Fitch downgrades Tata Steelon profitability issues
FitchRatings downgraded Tata SteelLtd. and its TataSteel UK Holdings Ltd. unit's long-term foreign currency issuerdefault rating to BB from BB+/Stable and placed it on rating watch evolving.The downgrade reflects the decline in Tata Steel's profitability and jump in leverageduring the financial year 2016, following challenging market conditions for itsoperations in India and overseas, specifically in the U.K.
* People with knowledge of the matter said an Indonesianconsortium, led by veteran investment banker Agus Projosasmito, is preparingto offer about US$2 billion for an 80% stake in 's unitover the next week — at the earliest. According to Bloomberg News, the group isset to borrow about US$1 billion from banks including BNP Paribas SA, MalayanBanking Bhd. and Societe Generale SA, as well as state-owned lenders.
* Japan's Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. 445,200 tonnes ofelectrolytic copper in the current financial year, 6.1% more than that producedin the fiscal year ended March 31, when output was affected by a 25-daymaintenance at one of the company's facilities.
* Meanwhile, Sumitomo Metal Mining agreed to all of its shares inVale Nouvelle Calédonie SAS, amounting to 7.6%, which it holds through SUMICNickel Netherlands BV to Vale unit Vale Canada Ltd.
* MitsuiMining & Smelting Co. Ltd. — said to be Japan's biggest zincsmelter — plansto produce 12.6% more zinc in April to September than it did in the sameperiod of the preceding year, pushing its target output for the first half ofits fiscal year to 117,700 tonnes of zinc.
* VedantaResources Plc entered into irrevocable arrangements with J.P.Morgan Securities plc to buyback up to US$148.6 million, or up to 20%, of the US$743 millionoutstanding principal amount of the 6.75% bonds due 2016 of the company, alongwith up to US$200 million of the US$582 million outstanding principal amount ofthe 5.50% guaranteed convertible bonds due 2016 of .
* WesternAreas Ltd. decided to undertake a hefty A$70 million capital raising at a timemost miners would struggle to raise even a measly million. But the Australiannickel producer has proven investor confidence is strong despite the nickelprice sitting at a decade low, closing A$60 million placement component of thefundraising substantially oversubscribed.
* VMS VenturesInc. updated its reserve and resource estimate for its 30%-ownedReed coppermine in Manitoba. As of Jan. 1, the mine is estimated to host total reserves of 1.19 million tonnesgrading 4.09% copper, 0.38% zinc, 0.42 g/t of gold and 5.41 g/t of silver.
* LatinAmerican Minerals Inc. signed a nonbinding term sheet withSilverStream SEZC fora gold streaming purchaseagreement for its PasoYobai gold project in Paraguay. SilverStream will provide LatinAmerican Minerals with US$1 million in three tranches, with US$500,000deliverable on signing of the agreement and two payments of US$250,000 based onnear-term production milestones.
* ABMResources NL completed mining operations at the gold mine inAustralia's Northern Territory. Based on provisional results, the companymarginally exceededits 12,000-ounce production forecast for the mine from Dec. 1, 2015, to closure.
* ClancyExploration Ltd. has received a notice from advising ofits intention to withdraw from the Condobolin joint venture in New South Wales,Australia. The project has a substantial gold and base metal mining history.
* DynastyMetals & Mining Inc. said an unexpected walkout by workers atits Zaruma goldmine in Ecuador has resulted in the temporary suspension of all activities at the site. Thecompany is in discussions with worker's representatives, in cooperation oflabor authorities, to resolve the situation.
* Anova MetalsLtd. obtained the water pollution control permit from theNevada Division of Environmental Protection for its gold project.
* Macquarie's Perth office in Australia is reportedly in therunning to managethe initial public offering of China Hanking Holdings Ltd.-owned Hanking Gold Mining, The Australian wrote.
*BHP Billiton Groupincreased its staff to up to 30 in Brazil, including two top executives, as themining giant looks to resumeoperations at its Samarcoiron ore joint venture with ValeSA in the country, Bloomberg News reported. Offices have also beenopened in Belo Horizonte, which is about 70 miles from BHP's Samarco interest.
* shutdown a hot strip mill at its northwestern Indiana complex as part of arestructuring of its U.S. operations, the Associated Press reported.ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford said the company does not plan anylayoffs under its restructuring program.
* FitchRatings downgraded Tata SteelLtd. and its TataSteel UK Holdings Ltd. unit's long-term foreign currency issuerdefault rating to BB from BB+/Stable and placed it on rating watch evolving.The downgrade reflects the decline in Tata Steel's profitability and jump in leverageduring the financial year 2016, following challenging market conditions for itsoperations in India and overseas, specifically in the U.K.
* Tata Steel, meanwhile, is looking to takea stake in ThyssenKruppAG's European steel unit and the parties are in advanced talks overthe deal, Reuters wrote, citing German business paper Rheinische Post. Citing government sources in Berlin, the Rheinische Post wrote that severalscenarios are being considered, including a joint venture, but a representativefor ThyssenKrupp declined to comment on the report.
*Separately, The WallStreet Journal reported that the U.K. government pledged to assist TataSteel secure a suitor for its embattled steel plants in the country by providinghelp to any perspective buyer about the company's increasing pensiondeficit and hefty energy burden.
* Vale is concluding a proposal to offloadits 26.87% interest in CSA Siderúrgica do Atlántico to ThyssenKrupp for US$1plus the assumption of some debt, Reuters reported, citing "a source closeto the deal." According to the report, the money-losing steel slab plantin Brazil cost some US$10 billion to build.
* Fitch Ratings downgraded 'slong-term foreign currency issuer rating to BB from BBB-, with a negativeoutlook. The downgrade follows the deterioration in the company's financialprofile after a prolonged weakening in international steel prices as well asits debt-funded CapEx program, which magnified the impact of weak prices.
* AdaniEnterprises Ltd. secured key approvals for three separate miningleases from the Queensland state government for its Carmichael coal project in the Australianstate, bringing the company closer to starting work at the site, Mint reported.
* China levied anti-dumping duties of as much as 46.3% on electricsteel from the EU, Japan and South Korea. Tariffs will be applicable on theimports from overseas suppliers including JFE Steel Corp., Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. and . However, the ChineseMinistry of Commerce did not name any European suppliers affected by the levy.
* India's coal secretary Anil Swarup said produced a record 536million tonnes of coal in the year ended March 31, representing an year over yearfrom the preceding year but short of the 550 million-tonne annual output target.
* China's Hebei Iron & Steel Group Co. Ltd emerged as the onlybidder for the Serbian state-owned Zelezara Smederevo steel plant that Serbiaoffered for sale. The government announced the saleof the plant in an attempt to divest loss-making businesses, in line with its€1.2 billion loan deal signed with the International Monetary Fund, Reutersreported.
* Angang SteelCo. Ltd. warned that a new "iceage" has set in for the global steel industry, triggered by theslowdown in Chinese economic growth and its excess steel capacity in 2015,Bloomberg News wrote. Angang — which posted a 2015 net loss of 4.59 billionChinese yuan — said the industry is now facing severe challenges, fiercecompetition and difficult survival conditions.
* Japan's aluminum premiums for April to June shipments wereset at US$115 to US$117 per tonne — upby about 5% to 6% from premiums in the preceding quarter due to lower localinventories, Reuters wrote citing five sources directly involved in the talks.
* Two anti-mining activists chainedthemselves to conveyors at Whitehaven Coal Ltd.'s Narrabri coal mine in New South Wales,Australian Mining reported. A spokesperson for the coal miner said that theprotestors' action has "no effect" on the company's operations.
* CONSOLEnergy Inc. closed the $420 million of one of the most productiveCentral Appalachia coal mines to Coronado IV LLC, a unit of . The sale of theBuchanan minein southwest Virginia is intended to help CONSOL pay down debt.
* The AustralianFinancial Review wrote that Samarco Mineração, citing data from 84monitoring points, claims that the condition of the Doce River was "verysimilar" to that before the bursting of the Fundão dam in November2015.
* FlindersMines Ltd. Chairman Robert Kennedy urgedshareholders not to accept ToddCorp. Ltd.'s A$38 million offer, saying that the offer undervaluesthe company by at least A$26 million, TheAustralian Financial Review reported.
* The board of the Bratsk Aluminum Plant, part of , approvedan open-ended program of bonds worth up to 70 billion Russian rubles, Vedomosti reported.
* British Prime Minister David Cameron hopes for cooperationbetween the U.K. and China in battlingovercapacity in the steel industry, Reuters reported, citing Cameron'sspokesperson.
* De BeersSA uncovered the first diamond-bearing ore as part of itsUS$2.2 billion expansion plan for the Jwaneng diamond project in Botswana. According tooperation's General Manager Albert Milton, the unit plans toaccess the kimberlite through an area called Cut 8, which is expected to becomethe mine's main output source by 2018. It took the company seven years to reachgem-bearing ore at the body, which is estimated to host 110 million carats.
* Ukraine and Australia signed off on a nuclear cooperation agreement April 1,in a deal that opens the path for Ukraine to import Australian uraniumconcentrate and reduce its current reliance on Russian-supplied fuel for its 15operational reactors.
* A bankruptcy court in the U.S. has confirmedthe fourth joint amended plan of reorganization filed by , taking the bankruptrare earths producer a step closer before it will be able to emerge fromChapter 11 protection as a newly reorganized entity, Mining Weekly wrote.
* StratMinGlobal Resources Plc entered into heads of terms with , in which thelatter will acquirethe 93.75% stake of GraphmadaMauritius that it does not already own for a staged cash, equityand royalty consideration of up to approximately A$15.3 million.
* Lithium concentrate production has started at theMount Cattlinproject, a joint venture between Galaxy Resources Ltd. and , in Western Australia.The Mount Cattlin processing facility is ramping up to a throughput rate of800,000 tonnes per annum by the end of June.
* MZIResources Ltd. officially opened its flagship mineral sands projectin Western Australia.
* China's National Development and Reform Commission held ameeting for stockpiling rare earths reserves, determining the guidelines,policy measures, operation models and detailed action plans, China SecuritiesJournal reported.
* Despite the continued decline of commodity pricesglobally, top executives still appear to be taking home .Although the industry is seeing a decline in executive salaries, many stillquestion whether these numbers are acceptable in the current market.
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