South32's fiscal Q1'19 metallurgical coal output surges 207% YOY
South32 Ltd.'s metallurgical coal production in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019 increased 207% to 1.5 million tonnes, from 494,000 tonnes in the prior year, due to increased productivity at the Appin and Dendrobium longwalls of its Illawarra operation in New South Wales, Australia. Alumina production in the quarter fell 9% to 1.2 million tonnes, partly due to unplanned maintenance and power outages at its Brazil alumina operations and additional repairs at its Worsley alumina plant. Annual production guidance for the full year has been retained across all operations.
Alcoa swings to Q3 loss on pension charges, flags closure of 2 Spanish plants
Alcoa Corp. swung to a net loss of US$41.0 million for the third quarter from a net profit of US$113.0 million recorded a year earlier. Results include a negative impact of US$160 million for special items mainly due to a US$174 million settlement charge from further actions on U.S. pension and other post-employment benefit obligations. Meanwhile, the company plans to launch collective dismissal consultations for workers at its Aviles and La Coruna aluminum plants in Spain, which were deemed the least productive within its system due to their inherent structural issues.
Barrick, Newmont JV to cut more jobs at Kalgoorlie Super Pit
Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp.'s Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine in Western Australia will cut 45 jobs and reposition another 140 roles as it looks to reduce costs after rock falls in May, The West Australian reported. Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty. Ltd., the mine operator, revealed in a letter obtained by the news organization that the two rock fall incidents in May that led to 36 redundancies at the site significantly impacted business plans, and it was assessing further efficiencies and cost-cutting measures.
* BHP Billiton Group Chairman Ken MacKenzie said the company has not suffered a material impact from current global trade tensions on its business but remains cautious in the near term, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, BHP is considering an expansion plan to make its Nickel West operations the world's biggest nickel sulfate supplier. Nickel West is aiming to sell 90% of output to the battery sector by the end of 2019, according to Bloomberg.
* Indonesian state-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Persero), or Inalum, is aiming to close the US$3.85 billion deal for a 51% stake in Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s local unit, PT Freeport Indonesia, in December, Reuters reported, citing Inalum CEO Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
* Hudbay Minerals Inc. investor Waterton Global Resource Management is seeking a meeting with the miner to discuss replacing its board members, Bloomberg News reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. Waterton had also expressed its concerns to Hudbay Chairman Alan Hibben, saying it will reserve the right to do anything necessary to boost Hudbay's performance. The investor now owns about 7% of Hudbay, up from 4.8%.
* MMG Ltd. reported a 24% year-over-year drop in third-quarter production of copper in concentrate to 87,087 tonnes, while copper cathode output went up 4% to 34,839 tonnes. Zinc-in-concentrate output jumped to 57,595 tonnes thanks to the ramp-up at the Dugald River mine in Queensland, Australia.
* Providing further details on the arrests of its current and former employees in Tanzania, Acacia Mining PLC said a former employee and three of its current employees have been charged by country's authorities for violating money laundering rules. The other charges include tax evasion, conspiracy, a charge under organized crime legislation, forgery and corruption.
* Yunnan Copper Co. Ltd. intends to set up a 50/50 joint venture in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone with China Copper Co. Ltd., a wholly owned copper mining unit of Aluminum Corp. of China.
* Ruben Fernandes, CEO of Anglo American PLC's Brazilian operations, said results of ongoing drilling on the edge of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil were "very promising," hinting at a potential major copper discovery in the area, Mining.com reported.
* M2 Cobalt Corp. agreed to acquire four copper-cobalt prospective exploration licenses in Uganda from Olympic Minerals Ltd., an arm's-length party, in a cash and stock deal.
* Sphinx Resources Ltd. finalized a definitive joint venture agreement with Osisko Metals Inc. to explore for zinc in prospective areas of southern Quebec's Grenville geological province.
* Strongbow Exploration Inc. entered into a conditional 10-year off-take deal with Orion Mine Finance affiliate OMF Fund II H Ltd. for tin produced from the South Crofty mine in the U.K.
* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. Chairman Jinghe Chen told Reuters that the company will produce about 37 tonnes of gold in 2018, flat or a little below 2017's gold output.
* IAMGOLD Corp. joined Sprott Inc., Valcambi SA and Yamana Gold Inc. as partners in investing in financial technology company Emergent Technology Holdings LP's gold supply chain and digital token platform Responsible Gold to automate tracking responsibly sourced gold from its origin.
* S&P Global Market Intelligence forecasts Barrick and Randgold Resources Ltd. to have lower all-in sustaining costs in 2019, compared to its senior gold peers Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., Newmont, Newcrest Mining Ltd. and Goldcorp Inc. Should the New Barrick Group successfully divest its noncore assets, the resulting company would most likely have lower production than previously and compared with Newmont but would have higher profitability than its peers.
* An updated resource estimate for Alio Gold Inc.'s Florida Canyon gold mine in Nevada showed measured and indicated resources at 132.9 million tonnes at 0.40 g/t of gold, with 1.7 million ounces of contained gold, a 52% increase compared with a preliminary economic assessment from June 2016.
* Highland Gold Mining Ltd.'s third-quarter gold production at its Mnogovershinnoye, Novoshirokinskoye and Belaya Gora mines in Russia inched up 4.4% yearly to 74,826 ounces at an average realized gold price of US$1,206 per ounce.
* The Competition Tribunal in South Africa postponed a hearing on the proposed merger between Sibanye Gold Ltd. and Lonmin PLC to November, Mining Weekly reported.
* A group of Kin Mining NL shareholders are supporting an attempt by former director David Sproule to regain control of the company, Mining News reported. Sproule and his allies claim they have amassed a more than 5% stake in Kin Mining.
* The Schall Law Firm filed a class-action lawsuit against Pretium Resources Inc. on behalf of the investors who purchased or acquired the company's securities between July 21, 2016, and Sept. 6, 2018. The legal action alleges the company made false and materially misleading statements regarding its Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia, which caused damages to investors.
* Endeavour Mining Corp. expects the first gold pour at the Ity carbon-in-leach project in Côte d'Ivoire about two months ahead of schedule in the second quarter of 2019, compared to the previously targeted mid-2019.
* Wallbridge Mining Co. Ltd. secured an option to acquire the Beschefer gold project in Quebec from Excellon Resources Inc.'s Lateegra Gold Corp. unit.
* BTU Metals Corp. agreed to purchase two gold prospective properties called Dixie Halo South and Dixie Halo Southeast in Ontario from arm's-length sellers for 12 million shares and a C$2.5 million exploration spend on the properties over two years.
* Vital Metals Ltd. pulled out of a deal to acquire a 50% stake in the Bouli gold project in Niger from Summa Turizm Yatirimciliği A.Ş., citing the prevailing geopolitical situation and other reasons.
* Steel mills in China's largest steel-producing city, Tangshan, are ramping up steel output amid winter pollution restrictions from the Ministry of Environment and Ecology that took effect Sept. 27, Reuters reported. Officials reportedly failed to give precise orders on the cuts.
* Steel Dynamics Inc.'s third-quarter attributable net income jumped year over year to US$398.4 million, or US$1.69 per diluted share, from US$153.3 million, or 64 cents per share. President and CEO Mark Millett attributed the improved performance to record steel shipments, average steel selling price improvement and metal spread expansion across its steel operations, adding that steel consumption will continue to be strong, based on firm domestic steel demand.
* Yara International ASA's third-quarter net income improved to US$98 million from US$90 million year over year. Revenue rose to US$3.55 billion, from US$3.02 billion a year earlier, and operating income grew to US$153 million from US$88 million. Total fertilizer deliveries were 9% higher at 8.3 million tonnes, driven by acquisitions in India and Brazil.
* Coronado Global Resources Inc.'s brokers told fund managers ahead of the company's institutional bookbuild scheduled for Oct. 18-19 that demand for the miner's over A$1 billion IPO is now exceeding supply, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk wrote. The coal miner is seeking to raise between A$1.16 billion and A$1.39 billion from the offering, while demand was reportedly about A$1.7 billion.
* Canada will implement provisional safeguards for 200 days through quotas and tariffs on imports of seven steel products, according to Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. Meanwhile, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal has been directed to investigate whether safeguards for up to four years are necessary.
* The Mexican government is aiming to end disputes with the U.S. and Canada over steel tariffs before the new administration assumes office in December, Reuters reported.
* Kaiser Aluminum Corp.'s third-quarter net profit inched up to US$22 million, or US$1.29 per diluted share, from US$20 million, or US$1.16 per diluted share, a year ago. Net sales for the period improved year over year to $393 million from $333 million.
* To make its offer for Essar Steel India Ltd. eligible, ArcelorMittal approved a payment of 74.69 billion Indian rupees to creditors of Uttam Galva Steels Ltd. and KSS Petron Pvt. Ltd. to clear overdue debts. The steelmaker said the payment was the appropriate course of action under the circumstances.
* The Indian Coal Ministry directed state-owned Coal India Ltd. to immediately start liquidating coal stockpiles in a bid to mitigate shortages at power plants across the country after the miner failed to effectively review production and supplies, Mining Weekly reported.
* SRG Global Ltd. secured an approximately A$20 million contract for drilling works with Downer EDI Ltd. at the Blackwater coal project, a joint venture between BHP and Mitsubishi Corp., in Queensland, Australia.
* The government of Wales is finalizing a policy that would approve coal mining applications only under "wholly exceptional circumstances," BBC News reported. The government is analyzing consultation responses for the proposed rules that are set to be completed by the end of the year.
* China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment accused officials in Jiangsu province of improperly enforcing anti-pollution measures in three cities, including the regional steelmaking center Xuzhou and the provincial capital of Nanjing, Reuters reported.
* As Beijing's flexibility on its industrial production curbs drove up demand, Chinese coking fuel futures reached their highest pricing in more than a year Oct. 17, Reuters reported.
* The Chilean government said it would seek international arbitration over Albemarle Corp.'s alleged failure to fulfill the terms of a contract under which the company had to provide up to 25% of its annual lithium production to battery metal producers within Chile at discounted prices, Reuters reported. State development agency Corfo said Albermarle had violated the contract, entered in 2016, by failing to make a "serious" offer to the companies, and it would refer the dispute to the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.
* Volt Resources Ltd. secured from the Mining Commission of the Ministry of Minerals of Tanzania the mining licenses for the Bunyu graphite project.
* A maiden resource estimate for Tando Resources Ltd.'s SPD vanadium project in South Africa is due to be released this quarter, after 16 holes were completed under a phase-one drilling program.
* The exploration sector rebounded strongly in September as an increase in all four metrics — significant drill results, significant gold and base metals financings, project milestones and initial resources — caused S&P Global Market Intelligence's Pipeline Activity Index to jump to 95 in September from 80 in August. By target, the gold PAI surged to 141 from 110, while the base metals PAI increased to 59 from 55.
* Zambian Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said mining companies operating in the country will still be able to meet their operational costs even after the government imposes higher taxes, giving an impression that the country did not plan to reverse the proposed taxes, Reuters reported.
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