Vale board to approve US$3B sale of Mozambique coal assets to Mitsui
Vale SA's board is expected to approve in a meeting on Sept. 29 the US$3 billion sale of its coal assets in Mozambique to Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico reported, citing unnamed sources. The board is also expected to evaluate the sale of the company's fertilizer assets, which are worth about US$3 billion, with Mosaic Co. pegged as the main buyer.
Samarco Mineração misses interest payment on US$500M bond
Vale and BHP Billiton Group joint venture Samarco Mineração SA failed to make an interest payment of about US$13.5 million on a US$500 million bond that was due Sept. 26, Reuters reported, citing the trustee Bank of New York Mellon Corp. The company will have a 30-day remedy period to make the payment, or else investors holding at least 25% of the bond could declare the principal due immediately.
Rio Tinto to redeem up to US$3B in debt
Taking advantage of its strong liquidity position, Rio Tinto has launched another buyback of its outstanding notes, this time aiming to reduce its debt bill by up to US$3 billion. Under the plan, the global mining giant will redeem about US$1.5 billion of its 2017 and 2018 U.S. dollar-denominated notes, and started a cash tender offer to buy back up to about US$1.5 billion of its 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 notes.
* Tethyan Resources Plc signed an option agreement to fully acquire Deep Research d.o.o.'s Suva Ruda lead project in Serbia for €6 million in cash, plus a percentage of the eventual capital cost of building the mine.
* Vast Resources Plc has released the maiden JORC-compliant mineral resource for the Manaila mine in Romania. Total open-pit resource, under the indicated and inferred categories, was 2.6 million tonnes at 1.0% copper, 0.4% lead and 0.9% zinc, at a cutoff of 0.25% copper. Underground resource was 310,000 tonnes at 1.7% copper, 0.4% lead and 0.5% zinc, at a 1.00% copper cutoff.
* Consolidated Zinc Ltd. renegotiated and exercised its option to acquire additional equity at below the original anticipated cost, and will move to 80% ownership of the Plomosas zinc-lead-silver project in Mexico.
* Teck Resources Ltd. submitted the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment for the second phase of its Quebrada Blanca copper-molybdenum mine in Chile. Phase-two operations at the site are expected to have the annual capacity to produce over 250,000 tonnes of copper and 8,000 tonnes of molybdenum in concentrate for the first 10 years of the mine's life.
* African Copper Plc's Mowana copper mine in Botswana has found a buyer, a year after the mine was liquidated over a debt of 47 million Botswana pula, African News Agency reported. The mine received six offers from potential buyers and the winning bid is anticipated to be disclosed Oct. 7.
* Acacia Mining plc restarted stoping at the Bulyanhulu underground gold mine in Tanzania after the resumption of stable operation of the process plant and delivery of paste fill.
* Austral Gold Ltd. is set to restart full operations at its Casposo gold-silver project in Argentina following positive results of an updated mineral resource and ore reserve estimate. The proven and probable ore reserves, as of June 30, stood at 972,000 tonnes at 2.53 g/t of gold and 231 g/t of silver containing about 79,000 ounces of gold and 7.2 million ounces of silver.
* OceanaGold Corp. CEO Mick Wilkes denied that the company violated environmental regulations in the Philippines, following the closure of its Didipio gold mine amid a government audit on all mines in the country, Reuters reported.
* Alto Metals Ltd. started field work and preparations for a 5,000-meter drill campaign after the granting of the five exploration licenses comprising its recently acquired Sandstone gold project in Western Australia.
* Resolute Mining Ltd. is raising at least A$150 million from a share placement to advance the development of the Ravenswood extension project in Queensland, Australia, and for drilling and evaluation of the Bibiani gold mine in Ghana.
* Highland Gold Mining Ltd.'s first-half earnings attributable to shareholders totaled US$36.8 million, a 159% increase on a yearly basis, reflecting higher gold output, higher prices and lower costs due to a cheaper Russian ruble.
* Moody's said Nord Gold SE's recent launch of the US$140 million Bouly gold mine in Burkina Faso near its largest existing mine, Bissa, is credit positive, as it will increase the company's scale and support its leverage and interest coverage metrics.
* As part of its portfolio management strategy, Kinross Gold Corp. sold 5.5 million common shares of Lundin Gold Inc. to GMP Securities LP for C$30.8 million.
* Auryn Resources Inc. acquired an option from local Peruvian company ExploAndes SAC to earn a 100% interest in the Banos del Indio gold project, covering 7,534 hectares in southern Peru.
* Tasca Resources Ltd. secured an option to earn up to a 100% interest in the Princeton gold property, which comprises 13 claim units covering 4,013 hectares in British Columbia.
* Probe Metals Inc. inked a memorandum of understanding with Mattagami and Flying Post First Nations, envisaging cooperation between the parties, in regard to the company's early-stage West Porcupine gold project in Ontario.
* An employee of Argonaut Gold Inc.'s Mexican unit Minexson SA de CV was fatally injured in an accident at the El Castillo gold-silver mine in Durango, Mexico, on Sept 25.
* Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional is reportedly in talks with China Brazil Xinnenghuan International Investment Co. to potentially sell a 25% stake in iron ore producer Congonhas Minérios SA, Reuters reported. Two people familiar with the deal said discussions are progressing slowly and may not result in the sale of a minority stake to Chinese mill CBSteel.
* Former Executive Director of Ferrous Metals and Strategy at Vale José Carlos Martins is said to be the candidate replacing Murilo Ferreira as CEO of the company, sources told O Globo.
* The environmental authority of Minas Gerais state Semad, following a recommendation of the Public Prosecutor's Office, determined that Samarco Mineração will have to fix the environmental licensing processes for its Germano iron ore mining facility in Brazil, Notícias de Mineração reported.
* Iron Mountain Mining Ltd. completed final formal agreements to acquire a 50% interest in AU Capital Mining, which holds two bauxite projects in the Solomon Islands.
* Fishermen filed lawsuits in a Vietnamese provincial court against Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, a subsidiary of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics, seeking compensation for a discharge of toxic waste into the sea that killed tens of millions of fish in April, Reuters reported.
* According to Citigroup Inc., leading iron ore exporters Brazil and Australia will each add about 100 million tonnes of supply by 2020, worsening the global glut and hurting prices, in a slump that will force marginal miners to slash output, Bloomberg News reported.
* Gensource Potash Corp. finalized the terms of a pay-or-take off-take agreement with Yancoal Canada Resources Co. Ltd., pursuant to which the latter will buy 100%, or 250,000 tonnes per year, of the planned production capacity from Gensource's potash facilities for an initial five-year term.
* Dongbei Special Steel Group Co. Ltd. missed another one-year bond payment, its ninth default this year, Reuters reported. The company failed to pay 744 million Chinese yuan of principle and interest on the bond.
* According to sources, the British Steel Pension Scheme stands as a hurdle in Tata Steel Ltd.'s negotiations for a merger of its European operations with another steelmaker, Metal Bulletin reported.
* Citing the Colombian Mining Association, Bloomberg reported that the country's coal production is expected to reach 85 million tonnes, missing a government target of 90 million tonnes because data collected earlier this year was inflated.
* WCP Resources Ltd. is looking to secure 415 acres of lithium-prospective surface property and the associated mineral rights in the Carolina lithium belt, a historical lithium-producing region in North Carolina. The property will comprise the company's Piedmont lithium project.
* Anson Resources Ltd. entered an agreement to earn up to a 70% interest in Voyageur Industrial Minerals Ltd.'s ULI lithium brine project in Utah.
* Capital Mining Ltd. secured the Wail lithium project in Western Australia, which comprises three exploration licenses over a total area of 492.3 square kilometers. Exploration for lithium clays and lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatites has not started at the Wail project area.
* Core Exploration Ltd. has been granted two key exploration licenses covering 120 square kilometers within the Finniss lithium project in Australia's Northern Territory.
* Gemfields Plc intends to increase annual production at its Kagem Mining Ltd. operations, to 30 million carats to 35 million carats of emerald and beryl, driven by an investment of about US$10 million. Meanwhile, the company also plans to earmark about US$25 million to boost annual output targets at Montepuez Ruby Mining Ltda. to 10 million carats to 12 million carats of ruby and corundum.
* Iluka Resources Ltd.'s newly appointed CEO and Managing Director Tom O'Leary said his immediate priority would be to develop plans to address the first-half loss booked by the company, The West Australian reported.
* Margaret Lake Diamonds Inc. completed the acquisition of the remaining 40% interest in the Margaret Lake diamond property in Canada's Northwest Territories.
* The value of Western Australia's mineral and petroleum production in the 2016 financial year slid 12% to A$87.5 billion, according to the state's Department of Mines and Petroleum. The drop in value was attributable to steep price falls for many of the state's major commodities.
* Russia's Ministry of Energy sees risk in about one-in-three mines, with 20 of 58 mines considered dangerous, Vedomosti reported. Among those mines pegged as dangerous were all of PAO Severstal's mines except the Vorgashorskaya mine, six mines of Evraz Plc, three mines of Mechel PAO and one mine owned by OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works. Closing these 20 mines will cost 53.7 billion Russian rubles, while their safety upgrades in the next four years will cost up to 23.1 billion rubles. Once upgraded, the number of hazardous mines will drop to just five.
* James Rickards, Yancoal Australia's general manager of investor relations and corporate affairs, urged the New South Wales government to introduce reforms in the planning system and called on ministers to stop outsourcing mine approvals to committees and panels, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* Citing a local newspaper, Reuters said China has launched a 350 billion-Chinese-yuan restructuring fund to bolster the government's "supply-side" reforms, which include mergers of inefficient state enterprises and job cuts in struggling sectors such as coal and steel.
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