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Asset sales in Portugal, Germany may fetch steelmaker CSN US$1B

TOP NEWS

Asset sales in Portugal, Germany may fetch steelmaker CSN US$1B

Brazil's Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional tapped U.S. investment bank Jefferies to advise on the sale of its assets in Portugal and Germany, Reuters wrote, citing Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paulo. The sale of the assets, including Lusosider Projectos Siderúrgicos SA in Portugal and Stahlwerk Thüringen GmbH in Germany, are expected to fetch US$1 billion by October. The report added that CSN is also looking to secure a streaming deal next week with a Canadian bank for its mining output in the coming years, which could give it US$1.5 billion this year.

BlueScope ups dividend, offers A$250M buyback as FY'18 profit spikes 119% YOY

BlueScope Steel Ltd.'s net profit for its full fiscal 2018 spiked 119% year over year to A$1.57 billion, or A$2.82 per share, partly due to reversal of previously impaired plant and equipment at its Australian Steel Products segment, recognition of previously unbooked Australian tax losses, restatement of deferred tax liabilities associated with U.S. tax reform as well as higher underlying profits. As a result, the Australian steel major declared a 60% higher final dividend of 8 cents per share, as well as an on-market share buyback of A$250 million, to be held in the first half of its fiscal 2019.

South32 closes US$1.3B acquisition of remaining 83% stake in Arizona Mining

South32 Ltd. completed its acquisition of the remaining 83% interest in Arizona Mining Inc. for US$1.3 billion. Former Arizona Mining shareholders received to C$6.20 in cash for each share held, under the deal announced in June. Arizona Mining owns the Hermosa silver-zinc-lead project in Arizona.

BASE METALS

* China is the largest source of mined zinc in the world, accounting for 35% of estimated global production this year. Outside of China, the next-largest producers India, Peru, Australia and the U.S. are expected to contribute a further third of mined production, according to a report by the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Profit after tax in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 for Hindalco Industries Ltd. plus Utkal Alumina International Ltd. more than doubled year over year to 7.34 billion Indian rupees, compared to 3.64 billion rupees the year before, driven by higher EBITDA and lower finance costs.

* New Century Resources Ltd. started zinc concentrate production at its Century zinc mine in Queensland, Australia, amid renewed expectations of commodity price upside as Managing Director Patrick Walta says the perception of a looming "wall of supply" to which his project contributed is unlikely to eventuate.

* King River Copper Ltd. embarked on an internal corporate restructure, with its Mount Remarkable gold project and other copper-gold tenements in Western Australia to be held by newly-formed subsidiary Kimberley Gold Pty. Ltd., while its vanadium-titanium-iron-fluorspar projects are to be held by its existing Speewah Mining Pty. Ltd. unit. It also proposed a name change to King River Resources Ltd., subject to shareholder approval.

* A bus ferrying 18 Chinese mining workers in Pakistan's Baluchistan province was attacked by a suicide bomber, with some of the individuals suffering minor injuries, Reuters reported. The miners targeted worked at Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd.'s Saindak copper project in the country.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Trucks belonging to Banro Corp.'s Namoya gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were attacked by militia, resulting in two fatalities and the abduction of four others, Reuters reported, citing the country's army.

* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and eight of its subcontractors were nominated in a lawsuit brought by around 300 Navajo farmers and ranchers in connection with the Gold King mine spill in 2015, seeking US$75 million in compensation, Mining.com reported. An EPA clean-up team working at the site accidentally caused the spill of over 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater in the Colorado mine.

* Sumatra Copper & Gold Plc suspended operations at its Tembang gold-silver operation in Indonesia and placed the mine on care and maintenance. The company has been operating solely on the production from the Belinau underground mine, while it awaited connection of Tembang to the state-owned electricity grid.

* Lingbao Gold Group Co. Ltd. agreed to sell its Lingbao Wason Copper-Foil Co. Ltd. unit to Shenzhen Londian Electrics Co., Ltd. for 2.56 billion Chinese yuan.

* Eastern Goldfields Ltd. reached a settlement with GR Engineering Services Ltd. related to arbitration proceedings over the refurbishment contract for its Davyhurst gold project in Western Australia.

* African Underground Mining Services, a joint venture between Ausdrill Ltd. and Barminco Holdings Pty Ltd. secured a US$160 million contract to conduct underground mining at the Zone 55 and Bagassi South mines, part of Roxgold Inc.'s Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso.

* Avesoro Resources Inc. produced 60,231 ounces of gold, a 12% reduction quarter on quarter, at all-in sustaining costs of US$985 per ounce sold in the second quarter. Gold sold in the period, meanwhile, dropped 16% to 57,285 ounces at an average realized price of US$1,302 per ounce.

BULK COMMODITIES

* U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that U.S. tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum would be doubled to 50% and 20%, respectively.

* BlueScope Steel plans to undertake an up to US$700 million investment in the U.S. to expand the steelmaking capacity at its North Star business by up to 900,000 tonnes, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* Israel wants to re-tender the Dead Sea mining concession in 2022, around eight years ahead of schedule, due to environmental and investment concerns, Reuters reported. The government has rarely intervened in the operations of the largest extractor, the Dead Sea Works, which is formerly state-owned and now operated under Israel Chemicals Ltd.'s 70-year mining license.

* State-owned Coal India Ltd.'s attributable profit in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019 jumped to 37.86 billion Indian rupees, from 23.51 billion rupees a year earlier.

* Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. booked consolidated net profit of 1.10 billion Indian rupees in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019, swinging from a net loss of 4.21 billion rupees a year earlier.

* Banpu PCL booked second-quarter net profit of US$124.4 million, a significant increase from net profit of US$65.9 million reported in the year-ago period, driven mainly by the strong performance of the company's coal business, and also included a foreign exchange gain of US$36.8 million due to the rapid depreciation of the Thai baht against the U.S. dollar during the period.

* Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA halted all the blast furnaces at its Ipatinga facility in Brazil's Minas Gerais state after an explosion at one of the gas tanks at the site. About 34 people were injured following the incident, but all have left the hospital, Reuters reported.

* Rail freight operator Aurizon Holdings Ltd.'s attributable net profit for its full fiscal 2018 inched up to A$228.0 million, from A$226.4 million. Revenue, on the other hand, slipped to A$1.22 billion, from A$1.26 billion.

* Aurizon was ordered by the Federal Court to continue its intermodal operations in Queensland, Australia, while the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's case against it and Pacific National is heard and determined.

* Sberbank purchased a 10% stake in OAO Metalloinvest's Mikhailovsky GOK subsidiary in a transaction aimed at easing the company's debt burden, Reuters reported. Metalloinvest will use the proceeds to partially repay its Sberbank debt, Interfax cited a company spokesperson as saying.

* T2 Resources Fund Pty Ltd. will proceed with the compulsory acquisition of Realm Resources Ltd. after closing its offer to acquire Realm shares with a relevant interest of 96.3%.

* The Singapore Exchange announced plans to put in place a contract for 65% iron ore, which launched by year end, in addition to a benchmark contract for 62% iron ore and low-grade 58% iron ore, The West Australian reported, citing head of commodities William Chin.

* The board of KIOCL Ltd., formerly Kudremukh Iron Ore Co. Ltd., approved the technoeconomic feasibility report to set up a 2 million-tonne iron ore pellet plant in India's Andhra Pradesh state, with an investment of 9 billion Indian rupees, The Hindu reported. The plant would be commissioned by 2021.

* Metro Mining Ltd. secured two additional binding off-take deals with Chinese customers for a total of about 780,000 tonnes of bauxite from its Bauxite Hills project in Queensland, Australia.

* India's National Company Law Appellate Tribunal cleared Tata Steel Ltd. to file a bid for Bhushan Steel Ltd. and cleared Vedanta Ltd. to bid for Electrosteel Steels Ltd., Mint reported.

* Union Investment, which owns just a 0.2% stake in thyssenKrupp AG, said the German group requires a broad overhaul in strategy carried about by a new external CEO, as the recently unveiled mid-term goals will not be enough to put the group back on track, Reuters reported.

SPECIALTY

* Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra expects his government to pass laws within six months required to tap a new lithium and uranium deposit, Reuters reported. The move will remove a major obstacle for Plateau Energy Metals Inc.'s proposed US$800 million Falchani mine in the country, as the company recently pointed at the lack of rules to mine radioactive materials in the country.

* POZ Minerals Ltd. Executive Chairman Jim Richards believes that the company is ideally positioned to take over the shuttered Ellendale diamond mine, which once produced about half the world's fancy yellow diamonds, and a Euroz analyst said it is the right time for Western Australia's government to tender the project.

* Sheffield Resources Ltd. was granted environmental approval for its Thunderbird mineral sands project by the state government of Western Australia.

* Beowulf Mining PLC defined a maiden resource estimate for the Aitolampi graphite project in Sweden. Using a 3% total graphitic carbon cut-off grade, resources in the indicated and inferred category stood at 19.3 million tonnes grading 4.5% total graphitic carbon for 878,000 tonnes of contained graphite.

* A maiden resource estimate for Diatreme Resources Ltd.'s Nob Point prospect at the Cape Bedford silica-heavy minerals project in Queensland, Australia, outlined an inferred resource of 21.6 million tonnes.

* PJSC Alrosa's sales of rough and polished diamonds in July rose 16% year over year to US$339.1 million. Total diamond sales grew 9% to US$3.03 billion in the January-July period.

* Mozambique now accounts for as much as 80% of the world's ruby output, from nothing 10 years earlier, with miners such as Fura Gems Inc. and Gemfields Group Ltd. descending on the African nation, Bloomberg News reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Peru's mining exports totaled US$14.69 billion in the first half, representing an 18.3% rise yearly, El Comercio reported, citing figures from Peru's National Society of Mining, Petroleum, and Energy. Copper exports, meanwhile, booked a 23.2% increase to US$7.69 billion in the first six months.

* Resources companies are targeting school students in primary and high school levels in a campaign to push for the benefits of mining and recruit future workers at its operations, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

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