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Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest smelter

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


Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest smelter

TOP NEWS

Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest smelter

Rio Tinto is said to be in early talks with potential buyers for its Dunkerque aluminum smelter in northern France amid rising prices, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. private equity firms are also said to be interested. The smelter has an annual production capacity of 270,000 tonnes. The global mining giant is also considering selling its Iceland-based Reykjavik aluminum smelter and is renewing efforts to off-load the Pacific Aluminium Pty Ltd. assets in Australia and New Zealand.

Coeur again lowers FY'17 silver equivalent production forecast

Coeur Mining Inc. once again lowered its silver production target for 2017, now expecting full-year silver production to fall between 15.3 million ounces and 16.6 million ounces. The company maintained its gold production forecast at between 367,000 and 392,000 ounces of gold and lowered its expected silver equivalent production to between 37.3 million and 40.1 million silver equivalent ounces. In the third quarter, Coeur produced 4.0 million ounces of silver and 93,293 ounces of gold, up 11% and 10%, respectively, on a yearly basis.

Alrosa begins restoration works at flooded Mir diamond mine

Russian diamond miner PJSC Alrosa began restoration works in the flooded Mir mine at its Mirny Division in a process that will take a number of years, company CEO Sergey Ivanov told Interfax. Ivanov said the loss of the mine will have a negative impact on 2018 production levels but the company has substantial ore stockpiles and other deposits it can use to soften the blow. Separately, Ivanov said the losses from the flooded Mir mine could amount to between 10 billion and 12 billion Russian rubles, according to Interfax.

DIVERSIFIED

* Glencore Plc agreed to acquire a 75% stake in Chevron South African Pty. Ltd. and the entire issued share capital of Chevron Botswana Pty. Ltd. for US$973 million. The purchase price will be subject to adjustment of debt and working capital of the companies holding the assets at closing. The assets comprise the interests of the Chevron group in its manufacturing, retail and industrial-supply business in South Africa and Botswana. The deal is expected to close in mid-2018.

BASE METALS

* ASX-listed copper producer Finders Resources Ltd. was handed an unsolicited takeover offer by an Indonesian consortium that values the company at much the same as its current market capitalization of about A$175.0 million. Bidding vehicle Eastern Field Developments Ltd. said its offer is "significantly above" the three-month volume weighted average price of about 21 cents and the 12-cent price of Finders' last equity raising in November 2016.

* Trafigura Beheer BV's joint venture with the Cuban government, the Castellanos polymetallic project, started production this week on the first lead and zinc concentrates at its plant in Minas de Matahambre, said Juan Ruíz, general mining director at the Ministry of Energy and Mines, daily Guerrillero reported.

* Codelco plans to invest US$20 billion in developing several structural projects by 2021, mainly the Traspaso Andina, Chuquicamata Underground and the Nuevo Nivel Mina El Teniente expansion plans. The company would also study the feasibility of the Rajo Inca at El Salvador unit, the Desarrollo Andina at Andina mine and the RT Sulfuros project at Radomiro Tomic, CEO Nelson Pizarro said in a Senate hearing, daily La Nación reported.

* The restart of the Bougainville copper mine on Papua New Guinea's Bougainville island is running into problems due to a dispute about who will control the mine following a June 2019 vote by the people of Bougainville on independence from Papua New Guinea, Reuters reported. The options are the previous operator, Bougainville Copper Ltd., supported by the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Papua New Guinea government or an Australian consortium of investors backed by the landowners holding the mineral rights.

* Vast Resources Plc is in discussions with metal traders and debt providers to finance the new metallurgical complex planned for its Manaila polymetallic mine in Romania. The complex is expected to cut production costs by up to 25% by eliminating the transport of ore and waste between the mine, the complex and the tailings facility.

* Aus Tin Mining Ltd. shipped the first tin concentrate from its Granville project under its off-take agreement with Traxys Europe.

* MMG Ltd. reported the death of an employee at its Las Bambas copper operation in Peru. Hilario Castro was fatally injured after the haul truck he was driving left the road near the Ferrobamba pit Oct. 3. Castro was found Oct. 5 following a search-and-rescue operation.

* Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. unit is considering reducing the footprint of its Pebble copper-gold project in Alaska to about 5.4 square miles. Under the development scenario being considered, the primary mine operations in the Upper Talarik watershed region would be eliminated and enhanced tailing storage facilities with improved safety would be constructed.

* The Chinese government's crackdown on pollution prevented more than 1,000 zinc mines across the country from ramping up production, Metal Bulletin reported, citing sources in China.

* Ferrum Crescent Ltd. believes that it is possible to develop the Toral zinc-lead asset in Spain for a lower cost than planned and is, therefore, withdrawing the resolution to seek shareholder approval at the Oct. 18 annual general meeting for a A$2.7 million fundraising.

* Codelco and Antofagasta Plc reported no damage to their operations following a magnitude 5.4 earthquake at Calama in Chile's Antofagasta region, Metal Bulletin wrote.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Lonmin Plc received approval from its lending banks to go ahead with the previously announced acquisition of Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Northam Platinum Ltd.'s stake in the Pandora platinum joint venture in South Africa for 45.6 million rand.

* Details are slim on the backers of a proposed US$750 million deal to buy assets from West High Yield Resources Ltd. by Gryphon Enterprises, said to be a Maryland-based company. West High Yield CEO Frank Marasco said he knew little about Gryphon head Stephen Cummins. The potential deal caught the market off guard and briefly propelled West High Yield shares up nearly 1,000%.

* Central Rand Gold Ltd. said Lola Trollip resigned as CEO and director of the company and her last day will be Jan. 4, 2018.

* New Gold Inc. poured first gold at its Rainy River gold mine in Ontario, and the company's commissioning plans are on schedule. The first pour yielded approximately 500 ounces of gold and 600 ounces of silver.

* Riversgold Ltd. has been admitted to the ASX and will begin trading Oct. 10.

* Classic Minerals Ltd. completed the sale of its Doherty's gold project in Western Australia to Accelerated Mining Pty Ltd. for A$1.2 million. The company retained a 7.5% net smelter royalty over production from the tenement.

* Tonogold Resources Inc. secured an exclusive six-month right to earn a 51% interest in 1,162 acres of gold mining claims, including the Lucerne deposit, in Nevada held by Comstock Mining Inc. To earn the stake, the company will be required to invest US$20 million over the next 42 months on work programs over the Lucerne properties.

* Kalamazoo Resources Ltd. entered an option to acquire between 80% and 100% equity in three gold projects, comprising Hill Gold, Sisters and Marble Bar, covering 252 square kilometers in Pilbara, Western Australia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Glencore and its partners in the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal in Australia proposed to partially repay the US$3 billion debt in order to avoid a fast-approaching full repayment deadline, Reuters reported, citing two lenders familiar with the matter. In the event the refinancing fails to materialize by September 2018, the loan terms call for Glencore and four other partners in the terminal to pay the full amount.

* Germany is inviting ministers and senior officials from leading steel producing nations to Berlin on Nov. 30 to discuss measures to prevent overcapacity in the global steel industry and ensure fair competition, Reuters reported, citing Matthias Machnig, the state secretary in the German Economy Ministry.

* The U.S. Commerce Department is delaying issuing its preliminary judgment in an antidumping duty probe into Chinese aluminum foil imports to allow the department more time to fully analyze information pertaining to China's status as a nonmarket economy country, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the commerce department.

* The European Union is imposing antidumping duties on imports of hot-rolled steel from Brazil, Russia, Iran and Ukraine, Reuters reported. A tariff of between €17.60 per tonne and €96.50 per tonne will be levied against exports starting Oct. 7.

* Iron ore shipments from Australia's Port Hedland terminal to China increased 2.8% on a monthly basis to 36.7 million tonnes in September, Reuters reported, citing port data.

* Russian fertilizer producer PJSC PhosAgro and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to contribute to the sustainable development of the companies and to domestic and global food security.

* Australia's Office of the Chief Economist sees India needing 1 billion tonnes per annum of steel by 2035, which could spur demand for Australian coking coal and iron ore, The Australian reported.

SPECIALTY

* Magnis Resources Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with German public-private partnership WiN Emscher-Lippe GmbH that will develop a 30-GWh lithium-ion battery and an integrated battery recycling plant in North Rhine Westphalia. The public-private partnership includes British Petroleum Evonik Industries, INEOS, SASOL, SABIC, Uniper, RAG and E.ON.

* De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.'s exploration program is grinding to a halt due to ongoing issues the miner is experiencing with South Africa's Department of Minerals Resources, Mining Weekly reported. The company is unlikely to continue budgeting between 30 million South African rand and 40 million rand per year for greenfields diamond exploration in the country, with the as many as 54 prospecting license applications being held up for as long as two years.

* W Resources Plc identified two major customers for about 80% of the company's planned 2,700 tonnes per annum of tungsten concentrate production at its La Parrilla tungsten-tin project in Spain.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Australia's resource and energy export earnings in fiscal 2016/2017 rose by 27% to A$204 billion and are expected to hit a record A$211 billion in fiscal 2017/2018 before falling to A$201 billion in fiscal 2018/-2019, according to a report by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

* BMI Research forecasts Mexico's mining industry value to average 3% year-over-year growth over 2017 to 2021, driven by a strong pipeline of projects, competitive costs, supportive policies and rising metals prices, Mining.com reported. From US$15.7 billion in 2016, the industry value will reach US$17.8 billion by 2020, according to the report.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.