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Trump calls off Brazilian steel tariffs; contaminated water found near Rio's QMM


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Trump calls off Brazilian steel tariffs; contaminated water found near Rio's QMM


Trump decides not to impose tariff on Brazilian steel

U.S. President Donald Trump decided not to pursue imposing tariffs on steel from Brazil, following his call with the latter's President Jair Bolsonaro, The New York Times reported, citing social media posts. Bolsonaro said in a Facebook post that Trump "decided not to make good on his plan to impose tariffs on our steel/aluminum." Trump, on the other hand, said in a Twitter post that he had a "great call" with Bolsonaro, wherein the two of them "discussed many subjects including trade." "The relationship between the United States and Brazil has never been stronger!," Trump tweeted.

Charity finds high lead, uranium in water near Rio Tinto's mine in Madagascar

A study commissioned by Madagascar-focused British environmental charity The Andrew Lees Trust found high concentrations of uranium and lead in water downstream of Rio Tinto's 80%-owned QMM ilmenite mine in Madagascar, Reuters reported. The water, which is used by local residents for drinking, contained 350 times higher concentrations of uranium and 9.8 times higher concentrations of lead downstream of the mine than upstream. The minerals, if ingested, can interfere with mental and physical development of children as well as damage kidneys, according to the report.

ArcelorMittal signs deal over Italy's possible investment in Ilva steel plant

ArcelorMittal signed a nonbinding agreement with the commissioners of Italy's Ilva International SpA to continue negotiations on a new industrial plan for the troubled steel plant, including a possible equity investment by a government-controlled entity. The new plan would consider investments in green technology, including through a new company financed by public and private investors. Negotiations are seen running into January 2020.


* BHP Group said that Andrew Mackenzie's retirement date from the CEO position will be on March 31, 2020, three months earlier than previously announced. Mike Henry will assume the CEO role beginning Jan. 1, 2020.


* Katanga Mining Ltd.'s majority-owned Kamoto Copper Co. SARL agreed to purchase property around its existing mining concessions in Congo from Gécamines SA for up to US$250 million. The Glencore PLC unit holds a 75% stake in the Kamoto copper-cobalt joint venture, while state-owned Gécamines owns the remaining 25%.

* Codelco terminated a contract awarded to a consortium led by Japan's Marubeni Corp. to build a desalination plant for the Chuquicamata, Radomiro Tomic and Ministro Hales copper mines, Reuters reported. A new tender will take place within the next 24 months, after the company made adjustments to the project, the report said.

* A bill requiring a federal report to include the effects of sulfide-ore copper mining on international waters was signed into law in the U.S., under the 2020 federal package, Duluth News Tribune reported.

* ICBC Standard Bank scrapped its plan to close its base metals business and will instead merge it with its precious metals unit to slash costs, Reuters reported, citing an emailed statement from the bank.

* South32 Ltd. exercised its previous option to acquire a 50% interest in a joint venture company with Trilogy Metals Inc., which will own the latter's Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects in northwest Alaska. Trilogy will contribute all of its assets associated with the copper projects and South32 will contribute US$145 million.

* Bass Metals Ltd. agreed to sell its Tasmania, Australia, assets, which include the Hellyer zinc project and the Mount Block permit, to NQ Minerals PLC.

* Aeris Resources Ltd. said that construction of about 20 kilometers of water pipeline from the Nyngan-Cobar pipeline to the company's Tritton copper operations in New South Wales is 50% complete. The pipeline is on target to become operational in mid-to-late January 2020.


* Several Muslim nations, namely Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar, are mulling trading among themselves using gold through a barter system, as protection against any economic sanctions in the future, Channel News Asia reported, quoting Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at an Islamic summit.

* China's Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. has used the advantage of cash purchases to help expand its global footprint, including a recent offer to buy what it said could be the largest independent gold mine in Colombia when it starts operating in 2020.

* Ramelius Resources Ltd. reported a 226% increase in the measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource for the Eridanus deposit within the Mount Magnet gold project in Western Australia to 12.0 million tonnes grading 1.3 g/t gold for 490,000 ounces of gold, from the maiden resource reported in 2018.

* Tribune Resources Ltd. started proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia against EKJV Management Pty. Ltd., Northern Star Resources Ltd., and Gilt-Edged Mining Pty. Ltd. in relation to the East Kundana gold joint venture agreement, in which the company holds a 49% stake.

* Troy Resources Ltd. said that all matters needed to restart operations at its Karouni gold mine in Guyana, including financing and working capital, have been put into place. This includes the transfer of mining tenements and licenses in respect of Ohio Creek and the reissuance of the importation permit conforming to the previously agreed Karouni mineral agreement between the company and the government of the Republic of Guyana.

* Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. said a security contractor died following an armed attack at the Kalgold gold mine in South Africa. No gold was stolen, and the attack is being investigated by the South African police.

* China launched its maiden gold options contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, amid high prices for the precious metal, Reuters reported.

* The Australian Taxation Office had its A$250 million goods and services tax assessment against EBS Refining upheld in a landmark tax case, after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal struck down the gold refiner's arrangement to obtain refunds from an artificial gold bullion processing and trading scheme, The Australian wrote. The victory meant the tax office operated within the law, and states that have lost about A$1 billion in goods and services tax revenue will find it harder to retrieve monies from the Commonwealth, the report said.

* Shanta Gold Ltd. successfully connected its New Luika gold mine in Tanzania to the state power grid supplied by TANESCO. The cost of state grid power is about half that of self-generated power.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. said that the Stage 1 of the Ravenwood Expansion project at the Ravenswood gold mine in Queensland, Australia, has been completed. Stage 1 covers the recommissioning of the third grinding mill at the Nolans processing plant, which allows a return to a processing rate of 5 million tonnes per annum.

* Macarthur Minerals Ltd. inked an agreement to pay A$250,000 in cash and A$250,000 in shares to access a small portion of Arrow Minerals Ltd.'s Strickland gold project in Western Australia, necessary for infrastructure of Macarthur's Moonshine magnetite project.


* India's steel production may be affected by a severe shortage of manganese and chrome ore, with the demand-supply imbalance expected to lead to job losses in the long-term, Mining Weekly reported, citing the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries.

* Australia's Construction, Forestry, Maritime Mining and Energy Union will appeal the Fair Work Commission's approval of two labor agreements covering BHP Group's in-house labor hires at its Operations Services coal workforce in Queensland and New South Wales, The Australian reported. The two deals contained conditions that are worse than current union-negotiated agreements covering directly employed BHP coal workers, the report said, citing Tony Maher, the union's mining division national president.

* The Hong Kong Stock Exchange censured Ding He Mining Holdings Ltd. and three of its directors, including Chairman Wang Song Ling, for breaching listing rules and failing to cooperate with the exchange's investigation. Due to the directors' conduct in the case, the exchange concluded that their tenure in the company is prejudicial to investors.

* CIMIC Group Ltd. unit CPB Contractors Pty Ltd. won three contracts worth A$150 million to carry out work at Rio Tinto's Robe River iron ore operation in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

* Ncondezi Energy Ltd. said its namesake coal-fired power project and coal mine in Mozambique was selected as a priority project under a cooperation agreement between the African nation and China.

* BCI Minerals Ltd. expects a final investment decision for the Mardie salt and potash project in Western Australia by the third quarter of 2020, with start of construction targeted in early 2021.


* The U.S. military is seeking proposals to stockpile rare earth magnets that are vital to manufacturing certain weapons, including missiles and fighter jets, Reuters reported, citing a government document. Critics said the plan will not help boost the domestic supply chain, which local producers are hoping for amid China's dominance of the sector.

* USA Rare Earth LLC partnered with Australia’s Arafura Resources Ltd. for the latter to send heavy rare earth concentrate from Nolans Bore to the former’s Colorado pilot plant. The definitive agreement is set to be executed in the first quarter of 2020.

* New Hope Corp. Ltd. welcomed an appeals court decision that confirmed the Supreme Court of New South Wales' earlier ruling that the company was not bound by a Deed of Cross Guarantee to guarantee the debts of Northern Energy Corp. Ltd. and Colton Coal Pty. Ltd., which own the Colton coal project in Queensland, Australia, with both companies in liquidation.

* Metallica Minerals Ltd. agreed to sell a 50% stake in the heavy mineral sand plant and tenements at Urquhart Point in Queensland, Australia, to Victorian Ferries Pty. Ltd. for a total of about A$1.7 million in stages.

* Speciality Metals International Ltd., through its joint venture with CRONIMET Australia Pty. Ltd., successfully completed the cold commissioning at the Mount Carbine plant in Queensland, Australia. The company started has started hot commissioning and concentrate production.

* Lithium Australia NL's subsidiary Envirostream Australia Pty. Ltd. made the first shipment of mixed metal dust containing cobalt, nickel, lithium and graphite, from its upgraded battery recycling plant in Campbellfield, Victoria.

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