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Rio Tinto ups interim dividend as H1 profit surges 93% YOY

TOP NEWS

Rio Tinto's H1 profit surges 93% YOY

Rio Tinto declared an interim dividend of US$1.10 per share, compared to the year-ago interim dividend of 45 U.S. cents per share, after a 93% surge in net earnings to US$3.31 billion in the first half. The dividend, which is equivalent to US$2.0 billion, along with an additional share buyback of US$1.0 billion by the end of the year, will see the company return US$3.0 billion in cash to shareholders.

Noble Group to challenge Yancoal's planned US$2.5B capital raising

Major Yancoal Australia Ltd. shareholder Noble Group Ltd. intends to challenge Yancoal's planned US$2.5 billion equity raising and will lodge an objection with Australia's Takeovers Panel as early as Aug. 3. According to The Australian, Noble Group could see its Yancoal stakes being drastically diluted if it does not participate in the latter's rights issue. Yancoal shares on the ASX crashed following news of the equity raising, which is intended to fund the acquisition of Rio Tinto's Coal & Allied Industries Ltd. unit. The financing will include an entitlement offer to raise about US$2.35 billion, with Yancoal parent Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. committing to subscribe for US$1.0 billion.

BHP, Mitsubishi explore sale of Gregory Crinum coal JV in Queensland

BHP Billiton Group and joint venture partner Mitsubishi Corp. are preparing to initiate a formal auction for their 50/50-owned Gregory Crinum coal complex in Queensland, Australia, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported. The asset has not produced coal since November 2015.

DIVERSIFIED

* BC Hydro and Power Authority exercised its right of first offer to buy Teck Resources Ltd.'s two-thirds stake in the 496-MW Waneta Dam in British Columbia for C$1.2 billion cash.

BASE METALS

* Nyrstar NV's loss in the first half narrowed to €21 million from €242 million in the same period of 2016, with underlying EBITDA rising 23% to €111 million, driven by a 50% increase in the average zinc price and a stronger U.S. dollar.

* Industrias Peñoles SAB de CV's second-quarter profit was over 5x higher at 3.22 billion pesos, compared to the 639.3 million pesos reported in the same quarter of 2016. Total quarterly sales rose 3.6% year over year to 20.71 billion pesos due to higher average metals prices.

* Southern Copper Corp. is ready to move forward with its Tia Maria copper project in Peru's Islay province after it receives the construction permits, daily El Comercio reported, citing the executive president of Peruvian subsidiary Southern Peru Copper Corp., Óscar González Rocha.

* European Cobalt Ltd. signed an exclusive option agreement to acquire the Jouhineva cobalt-copper-gold-silver project in Finland.

* The Indian government will off-load a 4% stake in Hindustan Copper Ltd. through an offering of 37 million shares in the copper miner, BloombergQuint reported. The floor price was set at 64.75 Indian rupees per share, at an 8% discount to the Aug. 1 closing price of 70.6 rupees.

* Katanga Mining Ltd., a Glencore Plc subsidiary, said some of its past financial statements likely need to be restated as the company's independent directors conduct a review. Katanga also said the review would delay the company's second-quarter financials beyond Aug. 14 and might affect the value and classification of inventories and other assets.

PRECIOUS METALS

* The Zimbabwean government filed a court application to enforce its previously announced seizure of over half of Zimplats Holdings Ltd.'s mining land in the country, Reuters wrote. Zimplats said it has responded to the application and it is in talks with the government to settle the matter.

* Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. saw its net earnings rise to US$34.6 million in the second quarter, from US$10.6 million a year ago, as revenue in the period more than doubled to US$189.9 million on the back of increased sales volumes.

* Kingsrose Mining Ltd. has fulfilled the conditions of the arrangement with its creditors, which has allowed the group to come out of external administration as of July 31.

* Saudi Arabian Mining Co. witnessed a 109% increase in its net profit in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, to 357 million Saudi Arabian riyals, largely as a result of increased sales and prices for some commodities and tighter costs.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. expects the workers at its Syama gold mine in Mali to return to work by the end of this week, MiningNews reported. The strike only affected the sulfide processing unit as 490 workers of the total 1,800 at the mine downed tools for 120 hours, demanding a bigger wage increase.

* Private equity group Ibaera Capital GP Ltd. entered a binding term sheet to earn up to a 47.5% interest in Azumah Resources Ltd.'s Wa gold project in Ghana by spending US$13.5 million.

* Endeavour Mining Corp. remains on track to meet its fiscal 2017 guidance for production and all-in sustaining costs after second-quarter output increased year over year to 152,283 ounces of gold from 138,487 ounces produced a year earlier.

* Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd. posted a net loss attributable to company owners of 28.8 million South African rand for the six months that ended June 30, swinging from net income of 150 million rand a year ago, mainly due to a one-off restructuring charge of 57.1 million rand and a lower realized average rand basket price.

* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. expects to book a headline loss for the first half of between US$80 million and US$98 million, or between 19 cents and 23 cents per share.

* A federal court in Argentina ruled that the country's Supreme Court should take up a case related to a government request to suspend operations at Barrick Gold Corp.'s Veladero gold mine, Reuters reported, citing a court filing.

* Mark Skelton and Trevor Birch of Duff & Phelps Ltd. were appointed joint administrators of Asa Resource Group Plc.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Producers of green aluminum, which is produced using renewable energy sources, are starting to increase prices amid growing demand from industrial customers that are facing pressure to their reduce carbon footprints. According to Reuters, aluminum producers that have access to sizable hydropower capacity include Norsk Hydro ASA, Alcoa Corp., United Co. Rusal Plc and Rio Tinto.

* Intrepid Potash Inc. more than halved its net loss in the second quarter to US$5.9 million from US$13.4 million a year ago, amid lower costs in its potash segment and increased sales from its Trio business.

* Japanese steelmakers are forecast to post "good results" this fiscal year, as price hikes are expected to improve their respective margins, Reuters reported, citing Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities senior analyst Keiju Kurosaka.

* Mitsubishi Corp.'s attributable net profit in the quarter that ended June 30 rose to ¥117.81 billion from ¥100.84 billion a year ago.

* Rio Tinto CFO Christopher Lynch said the company is making good progress in selling its stakes in the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, though talks are still underway given the complexity of the deal, Reuters reported.

* Coal India Ltd.'s sales outpaced production by a record 7.69 million tonnes in July, with shipments increasing 6.9% year over year to 44.33 million tonnes and production sliding 0.3% to 36.64 million tonnes, Bloomberg News reported.

* Glencore Plc's head of coal assets, Peter Freyberg, said Australia might have to postpone its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change to keep up its economy, The Australian reported. Freyberg said the renewable energy target needs to be abolished, with penalties introduced on anti-competitive electricity producers.

* JSW Steel Ltd.'s crude steel production in the first quarter of its fiscal 2018 was up 1% year over year at 3.9 million tonnes. JSW booked consolidated net profit after tax of 6.24 billion Indian rupees and revenue of about 159.77 billion rupees.

* China Investment Fund and the government of Angola are negotiating a project to mine iron ore deposits associated with a steelworks in the country's Kwanza Norte province, Macauhub reported, citing the provincial director of Industry, Geology and Mining, Emanuel de Sousa.

* Crusader Resources Ltd. signed a conditional sale agreement to divest its Posse iron ore mine in Brazil for about 8 million Brazilian reais.

* Mastermyne Group Ltd. was awarded a contract to supply development labor to South32 Ltd.'s Illawarra coal operations at its Appin colliery in New South Wales, Australia.

* Maintenance works impacted on OAO Metalloinvest's iron ore production in the second quarter of 2017, pushing output down by 2.6% year over year to 10.1 million tonnes. An ongoing overhaul at the Ural Steel facility weighed on crude steel production, which dropped year over year by 4.7% to 1.1 million tonnes.

* Ternium SA posted a 62% year-over-year increase in its attributable net income in the second quarter, driven by higher iron ore and steel shipments as well as stronger sales. Attributable net income came in at US$249.7 million, up from US$154.0 million reported in the year-ago period.

* Brazil's competition regulator, Cade, approved Ternium's acquisition of ThyssenKrupp AG's 5 million-tonne-per-annum slab facility, Companhia Siderúrgica do Atlântico, without restrictions, Metal Bulletin reported.

* A Brazilian regulator cleared Vale SA's US$2.5 billion sale of its Vale Fertilizantes SA unit to Mosaic without restrictions, Reuters reported.

* U.S. Steel Corp. said an investigation into an incident at the hot strip mill of the company's Great Lakes Works facility in Michigan is underway. Five employees were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Operations at the hot strip mill remain suspended, but other operations at Great Lakes have not been affected.

SPECIALTY

* Brazil's Odebrecht SA agreed to sell its 16.4% stake in Sociedade Mineira de Catoca Lda., which operates the Catoca diamond mine in Angola, to a partner, in a bid to meet its asset sales goal of 12 billion Brazilian reais for year-end 2018, Reuters reported, citing a source with knowledge of the transaction.

* Zimbabwe's High Court ordered state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co. to halt all mining activities in the absence of an operating permit from the environmental agency, Reuters wrote.

* Vedomosti reported that PJSC Alrosa does not see the point in ramping up production now. Alrosa's target for production this year will not undergo a strong correction, as the market will not be able to digest additional volumes of rough diamonds, company President Sergei Ivanov said.

* Separately, Reuters wrote that Alrosa plans to sell a rare collection of polished diamonds produced in Russia, including a 51.38-carat gem, through an online auction in November.

* FMC Corp. saw earnings for the second quarter climb 14% to US$74.7 million, or 56 cents per share, compared to the same quarter of 2016, largely due to strong growth in lithium segment earnings.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* South Africa's central bank warned that the country's economic woes may worsen if the government does not address the uncertainty over mining and agricultural policies, which affects investor confidence, Bloomberg News wrote, citing bank governor Lesetja Kganyago.

* The municipal council of the Colombian town of Ibagué in Tolima department banned all medium- and large-scale mining projects in the area, daily Portafolio reported. The decision affects 61 mining concessions that have still not applied for a license from regional environmental authority Corporación Autónoma Regional del Tolima.

* Effective immediately, several major stock market indexes operated by S&P Global Inc. will no longer bring in companies with nonvoting share classes.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.