US sanctions force RusHydro to rethink Rusal smelter investment
Russian state-owned power company RusHydro is uncertain about its planned investment in United Co. Rusal PLC's proposed Taishet aluminum smelter project in Siberia due to U.S. sanctions on Russian entities and individuals, Reuters reported, citing RusHydro head Nikolai Shulginov. In April, RusHydro's board approved joining the project, but Shulginov said, "Now, taking the sanctions into account, everything has changed. We have to get back, maybe to recalculate our model: what will happen to the aluminum prices, to the electricity prices ... There are lots of 'buts.'"
Rusal could be forced to scale back production soon and close its production lines, unless it reaches a resolution over the sanctions with the U.S. Treasury this month, Bloomberg News wrote. Oleg Deripaska's representatives are in constant contact with Treasury officials, but there is no indication when a deal might be reached, sources said.
Report: ArcelorMittal raises bid for Essar Steel to 420B rupees
ArcelorMittal increased its bid for bankrupt Essar Steel India Ltd. to 420 billion Indian rupees, Mint reported, citing a source. The company also committed to pay 70 billion rupees to settle the debt of Uttam Galva Steels Ltd. and KSS Petron, in which it is considered a promoter. ArcelorMittal confirmed it filed a revised offer for Essar Steel but did not disclose the terms.
* Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin returned a 2% interest in PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. to Roman Abramovich and his partners, Reuters reported, citing sources. In March, Potanin bought the 2% stake for about US$800 million from Abramovich, but the transaction was challenged at a London court by Rusal, which owns a stake in Norilsk. The court ruled in Rusal's favor, saying that Abramovich did not have the right to sell his stake in Norilsk to Potanin.
* United States Antimony Corp. said it invested considerable capital to boost the production of antimony, gold and silver from its Mexico-based operations.
* India's largest nonferrous metals miners, including Hindalco Industries Ltd., Vedanta Ltd., Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Hindustan Copper Ltd. and National Aluminium Co. Ltd., warned against the country's participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal, fearing it would further damage the industry following the India-ASEAN free trade agreement, The Economic Times of India reported.
* Telson Mining Corp. temporarily suspended operations at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero, Mexico, after a worker was fatally injured while repairing an underground articulated haulage dump truck.
* BHP Billiton Group awarded a A$190 million contract extension, covering a minimum of 24 months, for underground mining services at the Leinster nickel mine in Western Australia to CIMIC Group Ltd.'s Thiess.
* Mineral Resources Ltd. took a 10.8% stake in Barra Resources Ltd. after investing A$2 million in the Australian cobalt explorer. Proceeds will be used in part to complete the pre-feasibility study on the Mount Thirsty cobalt-nickel project in Western Australia.
* Aura Minerals Inc. said it has all the necessary permits to start building a new tailings disposal system at its Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico. In the meantime, the tailings are being disposed of in a historical dam.
* Tahoe Resources Inc. CEO Jim Voorhees said the company will work closely with Guatemalan officials and locals to resolve a dispute and restart the flagship Escobal silver mine in the country, Reuters reported. Voorhees said the recent court ruling that upheld the suspension of Escobal licenses was "disappointing" and "not the outcome we expected," but added that the company is "focused on engaging in good faith."
* Viceroy Research hammered away at Pretium Resources Inc. in an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence, arguing that the miner's production figures are hard to believe and that the Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia — its main asset — is not as gold rich as the company claims.
* RNC Minerals' Beta Hunt gold mine in Western Australia is attracting a "tidal wave of interest" from prospective buyers following the company's recent major discovery at the site, The West Australian wrote, citing CEO Mark Selby.
* In an update on global gold production in the June-quarter, the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence reiterated that production was expected to climb in 2018. While a handful of producers experienced declines in the March quarter, production for most producers was stable or higher in the June quarter. The data shows stable production in the June quarter compared with the March quarter and about a 2% increase over the year-ago quarter.
* Millennium Minerals Ltd. achieved its production target of 100,000 ounces per annum for its Nullagine gold project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
* Syndicated Metals Ltd. estimated a maiden JORC-2012-compliant inferred mineral resource of 855,000 tonnes at 1.8 g/t of gold containing 50,000 ounces at the Korong gold deposit, part of its Monument project in Western Australia's Laverton gold district.
* Newmont Mining Corp. entered into an option to secure up to an 80% interest in the Anza gold project in Colombia from Orosur Mining Inc. The company also purchased a 19.9% stake in Orosur by subscribing for 29,213,186 common shares for US$2 million.
* Cradle Arc PLC entered into a joint venture agreement with Indiana Resources Ltd. unit Mukuyu Resources (Mali) Ltd. to explore and develop the Kossanto West gold project in Mali.
* First Majestic Silver Corp. agreed to exercise the option agreements with Evrim Resources Corp. for the Ermitaño gold-silver and Cumobabi copper properties in Sonora, Mexico.
* Pelangio Exploration Inc. agreed to acquire the mineral rights to all, or a portion of, 24 patented claims in Ontario from the Kean Group and 2522962 Ontario Inc. The gold-prospective claims, known as the Dalton property, cover around 330 hectares in the Porcupine mining camp in Timmins.
* Pivit Exploration Inc. inked a binding memorandum of understanding to acquire privately held Pinot Gold Inc., which owns the Whirlwind Jack gold project in Ontario.
* Gold mining in South Africa has claimed 50 lives so far this year, roughly the same as this time in 2017, as the country's miners are facing concerns over mining safety, Bloomberg News reported.
* Atlanta Gold Inc. was unable to secure an extension for the payment of a US$251,000 fine in connection with environmental violations. The payment is due Sept. 14. The company was fined by a federal court for allowing arsenic and iron from its Atlanta gold project in Idaho to enter a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Boise River.
* Kin Mining NL's update of indicated and inferred resource estimate for the Helens deposit, part of the Leonora gold project in Western Australia, resulted in a 92% rise in resource ounces to 70,900 ounces contained in 1.03 million tonnes grading 2.14 g/t gold.
* Bluestone Resources Inc. estimated a measured and indicated mineral resource at its Cerro Blanco gold-silver project in Guatemala of 3.7 million tonnes at 10.1 g/t of gold and 37.9 g/t of silver as of July 22. The resource contains about 1.2 million ounces of gold and 4.5 million ounces of silver at a 3.5 g/t of gold cutoff.
* Galena Mining Ltd. reported high-grade lead and silver intersections from four new drillholes in the northwestern area of its existing Abra deposit in Western Australia.
* Poland's energy ministry plans to dismiss Daniel Ozon, CEO of state-controlled miner Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa SA at a Sept. 13 supervisory board meeting due to disagreements over strategy, Reuters wrote, citing a company source. Local daily Rzeczpospolita quoted Ozon as saying that he was pushed by Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski to use company funds to finance investments that were unrelated to JSW's operations. JSW shares closed about 7.68% down on Sept. 10.
* Ghana in May agreed a US$2 billion infrastructure deal with China's Sinohydro Corp., which will see the company build bridges, roads, hospitals and housing in the country, Bloomberg News wrote. The government will repay the Chinese firm with the proceeds of refined bauxite sales from a plant that is due to be commissioned and completed within three years. Ghana has requested proposals for a joint venture to construct the refinery, with an estimated cost of US$300 million.
* Brazilian pension fund Previ could sell a small portion of its stake in Vale SA, as part of its efforts to raise cash to pay for benefits, Reuters reported, citing Previ CEO José Mauricio Coelho. The executive, however, said the pension fund is not in a rush to offload the stake and it still sees some upside potential for Vale's shares.
* Vale is targeting increasing the number of autonomous trucks at its Brucutu iron ore mine in Brazil to 13 by 2019 from the current seven, International Mining wrote. Once the entire fleet is replaced by autonomous trucks, Brucutu will be the first mine to operate autonomously in the country.
* Vietnam shipped about 1.7 million tons of coal in the first eight months of 2018, with cargoes going mainly to Japan, South Korea and India, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Ministry of Industry and Trade. The country is aiming to produce more than 41.5 million tons of coal in 2018, up 9.2% on a yearly basis.
* U.S. coal producers idled production at 66 coal mines in the first half of 2018 that were responsible for producing 3.0 million tons of coal in the 12 months that ended June 30, primarily in the Central Appalachia region.
* European Lithium Ltd. is considering spinning off an Austrian subsidiary that holds its lithium assets to existing company shareholders and listing the entity at the prime market on the Vienna Stock Exchange.
* Savannah Resources PLC's mineral resource at its Mina do Barroso lithium project in northern Portugal increased by about 44% to 20.1 million tonnes at 1.04% lithium oxide for 209,000 contained tonnes. The JORC-2012-compliant measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource at the Grandao deposit increased about 64% to 16.4 million tonnes at 1.04% lithium oxide for 171,400 contained tonnes.
* QEM Ltd. closed its A$5 million raise for a A$20 million IPO due by early October focused on the Julie Creek project in North Queensland located over the Toolebuc Formation, which hosts widespread vanadium mineralization and is also considered an "oil shale," potentially giving the company two revenue streams, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.
* Australian Vanadium Ltd. pegged a 49.7-square-kilometer license area prospective for vanadium-gold-copper-uranium mineralization, which expanded its landholding in the Gabanintha project in Western Australia to over 240 square kilometers.
* Tango Mining Ltd. agreed to acquire from West Mining Ltd. an 80% unencumbered interest in the Mano River project in Liberia. The property consists of one recently granted diamond mineral exploration license covering 104.3 square kilometers.
* International Lithium Corp. agreed to acquire from a third party 55 additional claims adjacent to its Raleigh lithium project in Ontario, nearly doubling the property's size to 1,976 hectares.
* The Democratic Republic of the Congo's revenues from its mining sector in the first half nearly tripled on a yearly basis to US$864.61 million, Reuters reported, citing the country's finance ministry.
* Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita appointed Lelenta Hawa Baba Bah as mines minister, Reuters reported. Bah, who previously led the National Directorate of Geology and Mines, will oversee the government's bid to revise the mining code.
* Ausdrill Ltd. raised about A$77 million from the retail component of its 1-for-2.13 pro rata accelerated nonrenounceable entitlement offer, which will be used to fund its A$271.5 million acquisition of Barminco Holdings Pty. Ltd.
* Over the coming years, renewable energy is seen playing a vital role in powering mining operations globally, helped by a reduction in renewable energy costs and an increasingly favorable regulatory environment in key markets, Mining Weekly wrote, citing a report from Fitch Solutions Macro Research.
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