Peabody EnergyCorp. — the world's largest privately owned coal producer — has filedfor U.S.bankruptcy protection, listing both assets and liabilities in the range of US$10billion to US$50 billion, Reuters wrote citing a court filing.
According to the Financial Post, Standard & Poor's RatingsServices downgradedthree giants in the fertilizer sector, including Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., as S&P analysts expectnitrogen, phosphate and potash prices to fall by 10% to 30% between 2016 and 2018,generally below 2015 levels for the "next several years." The firm cutits credit rating for Potash Corp. to BBB+ from A- and also downgraded the creditratings of EuroChem Group AG and K+SAG. The rating agency also revised PJSC Uralkali's outlook to negative from stable.
Fortescue slashes costs further in Q3'16
Fortescue MetalsGroup Ltd. recorded a 6% quarter-over-quarter and 43% year-over-yearreduction in its C1 cashcost to US$14.79 per wet tonne in the third quarter of the 2016 financial year.By comparison, costs in the previous quarter amounted to US$15.80 per wet tonneand in the third quarter of the 2015 financial year totaled US$25.90 per wet tonne.Meanwhile, shipments during the third quarter rose 4% to 42.0 million tonnes comparedto a year earlier, but remained in line with the prior quarter.
* Vale SAand U.S. private equity firm Apollo are said to be launching a for Anglo American Plc's niobium and phosphates business in Brazil,Reuters reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter. Anglo Americancould receive about US$1 billion for the sale for the assets.
* A dissident shareholder group, collectively known as RagingRiver Capital LP, is suingthree directors of Taseko Mines Ltd.— Russell Hallbauer, Ronald Thiessen and Robert Dickinson — for C$110 million, allegingthat they benefited from the acquisition of CurisResources Ltd. to the detriment of other shareholders, Business in Vancouver reported. "TasekoMines' acquisition of the failing Curis — which included assets that proved to beessentially worthless — constituted a related party transaction, and that the failureby Taseko's board of directors to allow shareholders to vote on the acquisitionconstitutes oppressive conduct," Raging River said.
* China's copper imports hita record 570,000 tonnes in March, pushing the country's total copper importsin the first quarter to 1.43 million tonnes — a 30.1% jump from imports in the sameperiod of the preceding year, Reuters wrote.
* Research firm IHS said a quarter of the world's nickel minersare producing the base metal ata loss to drive out competitors, Bloomberg News reported. "Very few industriescan support that, and yet we've seen a minimal supply-side reaction," saidJason Kaplan, commodities research manager at IHS. "Everybody is looking ateach other hoping that the guy down the street will fail before them."
* Clive Palmer — who faces up to five years of jail after hewas found to have siphoned over A$200 million from Queensland Nickel Inc. to his other business before the refinery'scollapse — has firedback at FTI Consulting, the administrator of Queensland Nickel, accusing themof corrupting investigation to "secure more funds for their exorbitant fees,"The Australian reported.
* Highlands PacificLtd. said a worker was killedand two were injured while they were working around high pressure vessels at theRamu nickel plantin Papua New Guinea.
* Sandfire ResourcesNL posted a maiden resourceestimate for its Monty deposit in Western Australia of 1.05 milliontonnes grading 9.4% copper and 1.6 g/t of gold for 99,000 tonnes of copper and 55,000ounces of gold.
* According to the Spencecopper mine's union, BHP BillitonGroup will lay offaround 7% of the 1,060 workers at the Chilean project, Reuters reported. "Thecompany says the main reason for this is organizational restructuring and problemsdue to the drop in copper prices," said union chief Ronald Salcedo, who addedthat in total, 77 employees are being laid off, including 11 supervisors.
* Bluebird MerchantVentures Ltd.'s entire ordinary share capital consisting of 184,963,840ordinary shares has been admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange.
* Brazil's VotorantimMetais SA increasedits stake to 80.24% in Compañía MineraMilpo SAA by acquiring an additional 20.17% interest in the company,Business News Americas reported.
* PJSC MMC NorilskNickel will considera proposal to sell off a 0.79% packet of its own shares to Cyprus-based CrispianInvestments Ltd., a company controlled by business magnate Roman Abramovich andEvraz Plc co-foundersAlexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov. According to Norilsk, Crispian, which alreadycontrols 5.5% of Norilsk's shares, approached the board with the proposal to buy1,250,075 treasury shares for US$158 million, or US$12.63 per ADR.
* Russia's PolyusGold International Ltd. may increaseits free float in Moscow in the coming months as it needs to meet the 10% free floatrequirement for the first listing level on the Moscow Exchange; the company currentlyhas a free float of 5%, Reuters wrote citing a Vedomosti report. According to Polyus CEO Pavel Grachev, the companyis yet to decide on how to gradually increase its free float.
* Compañía de MinasBuenaventura SAA posted preliminary first quarter productionof 293,238 ounces of gold and 5.95 million ounces of silver from its projects, ona 100% basis. For the full year, the company expects its mines to produce up to1.17 million ounces of gold and up to 25 million ounces of silver, on a 100% basis.
* Fresnillo Plcrecorded a year-over-year boost of26.3% in its first quarter production to 229,925 ounces of gold, witha quarterly increase of 6.5%, mainly due to a higher speed of recovery at and at Noche Buena.Silver output was 11.04 million ounces, slightly down from 11.31 million ouncesin the first quarter of 2015 and 11.34 million ounces in the fourth quarter of 2015.
* Anglo Asian MiningPlc is targetinggold production of between 73,000 ounces and 77,000 ounces this year, while copperproduction target for the year is between 1,700 tonnes and 2,100 tonnes.
* DGS MineralsInc. plans to switch itsbusiness to a live theatrical production and management company withthe acquisition of Dragon Legend Entertainment Inc.
* Alecto MineralsPlc entered into a vendor financingdeal with Yantai Xinhai Machinery Co. Ltd. and PenMin (Pty) Ltd. regarding theproposed construction and financing of mining operations at the Matala gold projectin Zambia, following the results of a feasibility study that pegged a net presentvalue of US$28.6 million, at an 8% discount rate, and an internal rate of returnof 52%.
* Diego Parrilla, precious metal expert and co-author of thebook "The Energy World is Flat," said central banks are helping to createa "perfectstorm" and their continuous testing of the limits of monetary policy creditmarkets could push gold prices above US$3,000 per ounce within three years, Khaleej Times reported.
* Gold Road ResourcesLtd. said Sumitomo MetalMining Co. Ltd. subsidiary SumitomoMetal Mining Oceania Pty. Ltd. has lifted to 50% its interest in the South Yamarna gold joint venture in Western Australiaafter meeting its A$8 million expenditure commitment.
* A rock drill operator was fatallyinjured in a fall of ground accident at HarmonyGold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Phakisagold mine in South Africa. Drilling and blasting operations at the mine have beenstopped while further investigations into the accident are ongoing.
* GoldQuest MiningCorp. said the government of the Dominican Republic has the La Tachuela concession, tothe south and adjacent to the company's mining application over its Romero gold-copperdeposit.
* Peabody EnergyCorp. — the world's largest privately owned coal producer — has filedfor U.S.bankruptcy protection, listing both assets and liabilities in the range of US$10billion to US$50 billion, Reuters wrote citing a court filing.
* According to the Financial Post, Standard & Poor's RatingsServices downgradedthree giants in the fertilizer sector, including Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., as S&P analysts expectnitrogen, phosphate and potash prices to fall by 10% to 30% between 2016 and 2018,generally below 2015 levels for the "next several years." The firm cutits credit rating for Potash Corp. to BBB+ from A- and also downgraded the creditratings of EuroChem Group AG and K+SAG. The rating agency also revised PJSC Uralkali's outlook to negative from stable.
* Fortescue MetalsGroup Ltd. recorded a 6% quarter-over-quarter and 43% year-over-yearreduction in its C1 cashcost to US$14.79 per wet tonne in the third quarter of the 2016 financial year.By comparison, costs in the previous quarter amounted to US$15.80 per wet tonneand in the third quarter of the 2015 financial year totaled US$25.90 per wet tonne.Meanwhile, shipments during the third quarter rose 4% to 42.0 million tonnes comparedto a year earlier, but remained in line with the prior quarter.
* The iron ore rally extendedtowards the US$60 per tonne mark, a month-high, buoyed by higher purchases fromChina's steel mills amid "pretty good" prospects for demand and the Chineseeconomy, Bloomberg News reported.
* According to Reuters, risingaluminum prices are encouraging Chinese smelters to restart production as aluminumprices in China have rebounded by about 21% since a record low in November 2015.Wan Ling, an analyst at metals consultancy CRU said about 1.4 million tonnes ofannual aluminum smelting capacity may resume in the year, mainly in the second half.
* According to Australian Mining, Glencore Plc plans toshutter its Newlands Northern underground coal mine in Queensland in June. Thecompany initially announced the mine's closure in 2014, proposing the shutdown inDecember 2015 when Newlands Northern's mine life was supposed to end.
* According to Chinese customs data, the country exported9.98 million tonnes of steel products in March, a 30% increase from exports a yearago, pushing the country's first quarter steel imports to 27.83 million tonnes —a 7.9% rise from a year earlier. Reuters added that China increased iron ore importsby 6.5% on a yearly basis to 85.77 million tonnes in March, with total iron oreimports for the quarter rising by the same percentage to 241.56 million tonnes.
* Adani EnterprisesLtd. is facing anotherlegal challenge in relation to the development of its Carmichael coal project in Queensland as the Wanganand Jagalingou people have lodged an appeal with the Federal Court, seeking a reviewof the decision to issue mining leases to the project, Mining Weekly wrote.
* Altius MineralsCorp. plans to raise about C$35 million by issuing 3.112 million sharesat C$11.25 apiece on a bought-deal basis. The company struck a deal with an underwritingsyndicate book run by TD Securities Inc. and Scotiabank, who will have an optionto acquire another 466,800 shares at the same price within 30 days of the offeringclosing, which would raise another C$5 million for the company.
* With 10,000 jobs on the line, European Commission PresidentJean-Claude Juncker warned that the EU is ready to take furtheraction in response to Chinese steel dumping. According to Reuters, Juncker didnot detail the measures but said the investigation on China's alleged steel dumpingis underway.
* The Indonesian government isin default of its payment obligations in an arbitration proceeding with theInternational Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes after failing topay its share of an advance payment. In February, the ICSID issued a request forpayment to both Churchill Mining Plcand Indonesia seeking the sum of US$200,000 from each as the fifth advance paymentof ICSID's fees and expenses in relation to an upcoming ruling on Indonesia's ForgeryDismissal Application of Sept. 24, 2014.
* Brazil's State Institute of the Environment and signeda conduct adjustment agreement, in which the steelmaker must complete by September2017 an investment of 178 million Brazilian reais in environmental adjustments atits Presidente Vargas plant in Rio de Janeiro, Exame reported.
* Two Chinese companies are part of short listof investors interested in purchasing Oro Blanco's 88.64% stake in , which in turn owns abouta 23% interest in Chilean fertilizer company Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, sources told El Mercurio. The companies are reportedlyreviewing Pampa's financial information.
* Tata Steel Ltd.will shut down its operationsin the U.K. if it is unable to set up a sale of the troubled business by May 28,Financial Times reported, citing an unnamedsource. The deadline may be extended to mid-June. However, on the record the companymaintains that there is no cutoff date to reach a deal, the report added.
* Separately, Tata Steel Ltd. and ThyssenKrupp AG are in high-leveltalks regarding the possibility of merging their respective European steel operationsunder a joint venture, Reuters wrote citing German daily Rheinische Post. According to the newspaper, the companies are discussinga model that would see each of Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp having shares in thejoint venture that are proportional to the values of the businesses they were contributing.However, Rheinische Post noted that anagreement is not imminent and that the parties are also discussing other optionsapart from a joint venture.
* Owners of NewWorld Resources Plc were unableto convince the Czech government to bail out the struggling firm beforea debt deadline, Bloomberg News reported. The government wants more input from creditorsbefore deciding on any aid, Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis said.
* Saudi Arabia has lifteda ban on steel rebar exports, Reuters reported, citing an industry source.
* Cazaly ResourcesLtd. acquireda 100% interest in lithium prospective tenements in the Goldfields of Western Australia,called the Kangaroo Hill project.
* Empire Rock MineralsInc. agreed to acquire70% interest in the Fox Creek lithium project as well as 100% of private companiesLithium Power Corp. and Dominica Energy Minerals Inc. in Alberta. The company willpay C$100,000 and issue 1,200,000 common shares to two private and one corporatevendors, and pay certain costs and fees not to exceed C$45,000. Empire Rock willinvest the first C$2 million in Fox Creek's development, then share costs on a 70/30basis with Blizzard Finance Corp., which holds the other 30% and a 2.2% net smelterroyalty at the project.
* Athabasca NuclearCorp. acquiredthe TREK project, which consists of 12 mineral tenures designed to target gold,copper, zinc and polymetallic prospects, through staking in British Colombia, followingits review of a newly released biogeochemical survey by Geoscience BC.
* The International Monetary Fund in its "World EconomicOutlook" report warned that metal prices are likely to dropby 14% in 2016 and 1% in 2017. "Futures prices point to continued low prices,but with rising uncertainty on account of both demand (especially from China) andstronger supply," the report noted.
* Despite persistent uncertainty in the mining sector, SNL Metals& Mining data shows that the Latin American industry's planned capital spendingannounced since January 2015 has risento roughly US$108 billion from US$60.09 billion recorded in late 2015.
The Daily Dose is updatedas of 7 a.m. New York time, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English,Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some externallinks may require a subscription.