isselling its stake inTF Holdings Ltd. to ChinaMolybdenum Co. Ltd. for US$2.65 billion in cash and contingentconsideration of up to US$120 million, which comprises US$60 million if theaverage copper price exceeds US$3.50 per pound and US$60 million should theprices of cobalt exceeds US$20 per pound, both during two years between 2018and 2019. Freeport owns a 70% interest in TF Holdings and thereby an effective56% stake in the TenkeFungurume copper mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Inaddition, the company also agreed to negotiate with China Molybdenum the saleof its interests in the Kokkola cobalt refinery in Finland for US$100 millionand the Kisanfucopper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo for US$50 million.
FollowingBrazilian court endorsement of Samarco's settlement, BHP Billiton Group said has begun the processof seeking approvalsfrom relevant authorities to enable a restart of its operations."Samarco's operations will restart only when it is safe to do so, and whenall regulatory approvals are granted and accepted by the relevant authoritiesand communities," the company statement said, without providing a timeframe.
'snet income dropped 17% year over year to US$40.9 million in while revenueincreased 44% to US$187.5 million primarily to a 65% increase in the number ofsilver equivalent ounces sold, partially offset by a 13% decrease in theaverage realized silver equivalent price. The company's attributable silverequivalent production increased 24% to 12.7 million ounces.
*Earlier, China Minmetals Corp.unit MMG Ltd. wasreported by Bloomberg to be among the bidders in 's 56% stake inTenke Fungurume. Previously, MMG acquired the Kinsevere copper project in DRC for US$1.36billion in early 2012.
*Codelco chairman Oscar Landerretche said that private mining companies in Chileare not fully cooperating in reducing costs as part of industrywide efforts inresponse to the fall in copper prices. While the state miner has lowered itsbonus payments to employees, other private miners continue paying big bonuses,he said. Landerretche called for a unified front on costs, daily El Mercurio reported.
* Production will began at 's planned expansion projectat the OyuTolgoi underground mine in Mongolia when the global copper marketwill be in deficit by 2020, Bloomberg News reported,citing the company's new CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques. "The long-term needfor copper remains strong" Jacques said adding that the US$5.3 billioninvestment to expand the copper-gold mine required "courage" amidchallenging market conditions.
* After Solomon Islands' Ministry of Mines, Energy and RuralElectrification pledged to run an inclusive and transparent process in theawarding of license on the Isabel nickel deposit in the country, Axiom Mining Ltd. said it has submitted an over the deposit. Earlier in March, the Solomon IslandsCourt of Appeal ruled that neither Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. nor Axiom Mining wereentitled to theIsabel nickel deposit.
* As stockpiles rise, Chinese copper imports fell to 450,000tonnes in April, from 570,000 tonnes in March while year-to-date shipments increased23% on a yearly basis to 1.88 million tonnes, Bloomberg News wrote,citing data from the General Administration of Customs.
* SilverWheaton Corp.'s net income dropped 17% year over year to US$40.9million in the first quarter of2016 while revenue increased 44% to US$187.5 million primarily to a65% increase in the number of silver equivalent ounces sold, partially offsetby a 13% decrease in the average realized silver equivalent price. Thecompany's attributable silver equivalent production increased 24% to 12.7 millionounces.
* CanarcResource Corp. agreed to sell the El Compas gold-silver mine in Mexico toEndeavour SilverCorp. for a deemed value of C$10.5 million. Endeavour will assumeCanarc's obligation to deliver 165 troy ounces of gold to in three 55-troy-ounceinstallments due in October 2016, 2017 and 2018.
* EldoradoGold Corp. will resume construction work at its gold mine in Greece followingan approval of its updated technical study by the Ministry of Energy andEnvironment.
* AzumahResources Ltd. reduced the expected preproduction CapEx at itsWa gold projectin Ghana by A$54 million to A$142 million. The ASX-listed company achieved A$28million saving bythe incorporation of a contractor mining fleet into the mine plan, while a reschedulingof ore mining during construction saved some US$33.8 million. However, nochanges were made to the plant design or supporting infrastructure, and theproject was still expected to deliver around 90,000 ounces per annum over aseven-year mine life. "The recent high-grade discovery at Manwe, therequisition of the high-grade 69,000-ounce Julie West resource, a firmer goldprice and improved investor sentiment towards overseas gold projectsconsiderably enhances the prospects of securing project finance or adevelopment partner," company's Managing Director Stephen Stone said.
* A scopingstudy into Kin MiningNL's Leonora gold project in Western Australia, showed theproject can produce 315,600 ounces of gold over a seven-year mine life and willneed A$55 million to build based on a gold price of A$1,500 per ounce withpayback in 45 months. The project is estimated to generate net present value ofA$56.3 million, an internal rate of return of 30% and revenue of A$461.6million. The operation is expected to deliver 30,500 ounces of gold in thefirst year, peaking at 65,800 ounces in the 5 years and then declining to10,500 ounces during its final year.
* A preliminary economic assessment for 's gold project in Québec,Canada, indicated a twelve-year underground mining operation with attractiveeconomics in the current gold price environment. The study pegs an after-taxnet present value, at a 5% discount rate, of C$667 million and an internal rateof return of 16.0%. Production will average 236,000 ounces per annum, or 3.1million ounces of gold over the entire mine life with an all-in sustaining cashcost of US$427 per ounce net of by-product credits. The project is estimated togenerate gross revenue of C$6.8 billion and operating cash flow of C$2.6 billion.
* IntrepidPotash Inc. decided to idle operations and placed the potash project inNew Mexico to care and maintenance in July. The company attributed thedecisions to less profitability in recent months as oversupply and foreigncompetition in the U.S. potash market has pressured prices. According to thecompany, about 300 jobs will be affected by the decision.
* In a separate release, Intrepid reported it swung to a netloss of US$18.4 million in the first quarter, from year-ago profit of US$6.5 million.Sales dropped to US$73.3 million in the quarter from US$117.0 million a yearearlier. Potash sales dropped 6% year over year to 218,000 tonnes primarily dueto the timing of shipments to customers. Meanwhile, average net realized sales price per potash tonne fell 40% toUS$216 as oversupply and the strength of the U.S. dollar resulted insignificant price pressure in the markets the Intrepid operates in.
*OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron &Steel Works will likely repay US$614 million in debt ahead of schedulethis year using most of its spare cash on hand, CFO Sergey Sulimov said, addingthat the company was aiming to close a deal to pay down most of its debtmaturing in 2016 by the summer. He also confirmed executives were keen to repay"expensive" debt taken on in 2009 to finance construction of thecompany's Turkish steel plants, since the yield was high. Sulimov alsosuggested that a sale of the remaining 3% stake in Fortescue could come soon.
*Fitch Ratings placed Noble GroupLtd.'s long-term issuer default rating, senior unsecured rating anddebt ratings of BBB- on Rating Watch Negative. The move is driven by Fitch'sexpectations that Noble will focus more on shorter-term and secured financingto lower financing costs amid a difficult operating environment, which islikely to result in less financial flexibility for the company. The RatingWatch Negative will be resolved when Noble completes refinancing of itscommitted bank facilities, due in May, and on the announcement of its first-quarterresults.
*Russia's antitrust regulator approved Mechel OAO's sale of its Elga railway track to Gazprombank in a dealthat could finally dispel the threat of bankruptcy that has dogged the coalgroup for the past two years. The Federal Antimonopoly Service will allowGazprombank to buy a 75% stake in the 321-kilometer rail track, which links themassive Elga coal hub to the country's main transport system.
*Lucara Diamond Corp.sold a 812.77 carat,type IIa diamond — named "The Constellation" — recovered from theKarowe mine inBotswana for US$63.1 million, or US$77,649 per carat.
* Meanwhile, Swiss jeweler De Grisogono SA acquired rightsto sell a 404-carat rough diamond discovered at Lucapa Diamond's mine in Angola,Bloomberg News wrote.In February, Lucapa sold a similar404-carat diamond for US$22.5 million.
*Latin Resources Ltd.intends to form a jointventure with LepidicoLtd., which will acquire and advance lithium projects in Argentinaand Peru. Two joint venture companies, one in Argentina and the other in Peru,will be formed under the agreement.
* The Mining Association of Canada contributed C$50,000 onbehalf of its Canadian miner members to the Red Cross to support thecommunities which were affected by the wildfire in Fort McMurray andsurrounding areas in Alberta, MiningWeekly reported.
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