Barrick Gold to pay US$300M in settlement of disputes with Tanzania
Barrick Gold Corp. agreed to pay US$300 million to settle all outstanding taxes and other disputes with the government of Tanzania related to the mining companies formerly operated by Acacia Mining PLC and now managed by Barrick. Other terms of the agreement include lifting the concentrate export ban, sharing future economic benefits on a 50/50 basis, and establishing a unique, Africa-focused international dispute resolution framework. In conjunction with finalizing the agreement, a new operating company called Twiga Minerals Corp. was formed to manage the Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines.
BHP Group reached new renewable energy contracts for its Spence and Escondida copper mines in Chile, which it said will reduce energy prices by up to 20% and displace up to 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The company is also looking to start using desalinated water as the main source of supply at Spence starting in mid-2020, once it completes a plant, in order to cut its reliance on the country's aquifers.
Brazilian police accused top Vale SA executives of having ignored the dam risks at the company's Feijao iron ore mine to avoid liability, The Wall Street Journal wrote, citing a 215-page police report that has not been made public. The police did not provide evidence to support the claim, the Journal noted. In September, police reportedly called for criminal charges against Vale, the dam auditor and 13 employees related to the disaster that killed hundreds of people in January.
* Financing for Mongolian projects may become harder to secure as potential investors could be put off by the country being added to an anti-money-laundering watchdog's "grey list," The Australian Financial Review reported. Mining projects in the country include Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi copper project. The Financial Action Task Force considered Mongolia to be one of the countries whose financial systems are lacking in safeguards against money laundering and terrorism funding, the report said.
* Aeon Metals Ltd.'s scoping study for the Walford Creek copper-cobalt project in Queensland, Australia, showed total contained production of 146,000 tonnes of copper and 22,000 tonnes of cobalt for total copper equivalent production of 446,000 tonnes and average annual copper equivalent output of 42,500 tonnes. Posttax net present value, at an 8% discount, is A$431 million, with an internal rate of return of 34% and a payback period of three years.
* A group of farmers is organizing a protest against the Peru-based Zafranal copper project, owned by Teck Resources Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp., Mining.com reported, citing information from La Republica newspaper. The president of the community council, Nelson Martinez, said his people are worried about the quality of their resources being affected by the project as the miners are not properly disclosing the impact of their activities on the agricultural land.
* Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. entered into a test work cooperation agreement with OZ Minerals Ltd. The test work will evaluate a processing technology that Cobalt Blue developed to recover cobalt, copper and gold from a pyrite concentrate. A key goal is to assess if a high-purity cobalt sulfate can be produced from the concentrate.
* Focus Minerals Ltd. will pursue a counterproposal from Horizon Minerals Ltd. on the sale of the Coolgardie gold project in Western Australia. The counterproposal includes a total consideration of A$52 million, extending the exclusivity period for 60 days, and requiring Horizon to replace the environmental bonds by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety if required.
* Petropavlovsk PLC's total gold sales in the third quarter rose 53% yearly to 126,400 ounces, and average realized prices rose to US$1,388 per ounce from US$1,228/oz.
* Perseus Mining Ltd.'s gold production in the September quarter totaled 65,825 ounces at an all-in site cost of US$922 per ounce. Gold sales totaled 73,561 ounces, and the average sales price was US$1,374 per ounce.
* Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd. produced 16,377 ounces of gold equivalent in the third quarter, down from second-quarter output of 16,996 ounces.
* A pre-feasibility study on Erdene Resource Development Corp.'s Bayan Khundii gold deposit, part of its Khundii gold project in Mongolia, generated a posttax net present value, discounted at 5%, of US$97 million, with a 42% internal rate of return. An updated preliminary economic assessment on the property's Altan Nar deposit outlined a posttax net present value, at the same discount rate, of US$24 million and a 92% IRR.
* Highland Gold Mining Ltd.'s third-quarter gold production grew to 75,038 ounces from 74,826 ounces in the year-ago quarter. The average realized gold price in the period was US$1,483 per ounce.
* Avesoro Resources Inc.'s board recommended that minority shareholders accept a full takeover from 72.9% shareholder Avesoro Jersey Ltd. Avesoro secured a US$5 million loan from Avesoro Jersey to fund its near-term cash flow needs.
* Russia's federal investigators arrested the CEO of small mining company Sisim as well as a senior manager and the foreman of the site after a flood in a gold mine in the Siberian region killed 15 people, Deutsche Welle reported. Sisim is accused of illegally building a series of five dams that collapsed and triggered the flood, the report said.
* A truck driver transporting fuel to Guyana Goldfields Inc.'s Aurora mine died after crashing into a ravine. An investigation is ongoing, and operations continue at the mine.
* An Ebola epidemic is concentrated in the Mandima health zone area in the Biakato mine health area in eastern Congo, according to the World Health Organization, Reuters reported.
* Sinosteel Corp. is looking to revive the long-stalled A$9.7 billion Oakajee mining rail and port project in Western Australia following its acquisition of Mitsubishi Corp.'s interest, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd.'s coal output in the first nine months of 2019 dropped 2.7% to 21 million tonnes, and sales were down 2.4% to 37 Mt. Output and sales for September were down 12.9% and 5.9%, respectively, on a yearly basis.
* Black-owned South African mining group Lurco agreed to acquire the bankrupt Koornfontein coal mine from the Gupta family's Tegeta Exploration and Resources Pty. Ltd., Fin24.com reported, citing Netwerk24.com. Lurco has until later this week to fully settle the bid, worth 500 million South African rand, the report said.
* Merafe Resources Ltd.'s attributable ferrochrome output from its South African joint venture with Glencore PLC declined 29% year over year in the third quarter to 60,000 tonnes due to increased planned maintenance, more community unrest and production cutbacks in response to market conditions.
* Iluka Resources Ltd. is under pressure to spin off royalty tied to iron ore production at BHP's Area C in Western Australia in a move that may unlock about A$2 billion for shareholders, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported.
* Evraz PLC acquired a pilot plant and tailing technology for the Kachkanarsky ore mining and processing plant in Russia from LLC Rock Capital Partners for 249.1 million Russian rubles, inclusive of 20% value-added tax.
* Shares in Keras Resources PLC were up more than 18% in early afternoon London trade after 85%-owned unit Société Générale de Mines obtained government clearance to do large scale mining at the Nayega manganese project in Togo.
* Talison Lithium Ltd., co-owned by Albemarle Corp. and Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group Co. Ltd., expects to double its production to about 1.3 million tonnes of lithium concentrate per year as the company opens its new chemical-grade processing plant 2 at the Greenbushes lithium project in Western Australia, ABC News reported. The company plans to bring CGP3 online in the next three to four years, subject to market demand.
* The Kunming Intermediate People's Court in China will launch four simultaneous online auctions Oct. 27 for germanium, gallium, tellurium and selenium inventories formerly held by the now-defunct Fanya Metal Exchange, Reuters reported, citing notices on e-commerce platform Taobao.
* Moses Mukwada, chairman of Bocha Diamond Trust, said there have been cases of villagers being rounded up and forced to work in diamond mines in the Marange mining region in Zimbabwe, contrary to the government's claim that there is no forced labor happening in the mines, BBC reported. The U.S. banned imports of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe this month due to concerns about forced labor.
* Lynas Corp. Ltd.'s total production of rare earth oxides fell to 3,926 tonnes in the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 from 4,651 tonnes in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2019, in line with the production limit that the Malaysian government applied for calendar year 2019. The company ruled out a compensation claim against Malaysia over delays in securing approval for its plan to boost lanthanide concentrate processing. CEO and Managing Director Amanda Lacaze said Lynas had no appetite for "additional conflict with the government," The Australian Financial Review wrote.
* Hastings Technology Metals Ltd. awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and management contract with an estimated value of A$350 million for the Yangibana rare earths processing plant in Western Australia to DRA Pacific (Pty.) Ltd.
* Mali Lithium Ltd. launched a scoping study into the possible downstream processing of a 6% lithium oxide product to be produced from its Goulamina lithium project in Mali. The study will be done in parallel with an ongoing definitive feasibility study on Goulamina.
* Volvo established a new division focusing on autonomous transportation in sectors such as mining, ports and transport between logistics centers.
* Chile's mining industry is operating normally amid violent protests against a proposed increase in public transport costs that rocked the country's capital of Santiago over the weekend, Reuters reported.
* President Donald Trump is nominating Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette to lead the agency after Secretary of Energy Rick Perry resigns later this year.
* Zimbabwean Chamber of Mines CEO Isaac Kwesu said the country needs to address potential impediments to create an enabling environment for the mining sector in response to the government's announced target to reach a US$12 billion mining industry in the next three years, The Sunday Mail reported.
* At contracting giant WorleyParsons Ltd.'s annual meeting, 30.9% of the votes cast were against its remuneration report after it paid A$680,000 in bonuses to top executives for completing its A$4.6 billion takeover of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., The Australian wrote.
* The Philippines' Department of Finance welcomed the proposal of Albay Representative Joey Salceda to impose a new tax program for the mining sector composed of a 3% royalty tax on large-scale mining operations within a mineral reservation and a margin-based royalty tax ranging from 1% to 5% on large-scale mining operations outside mining reservation areas, The Philippine Star reported. Salceda also proposed imposing an additional 2% tax on the gross revenues of mining companies to create a National Resource Trust Tax.
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