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Rio Tinto's Q3 iron ore output up 6%; Newmont's Ahafo starts commercial output


Rio Tinto ups Pilbara iron ore shipments, production in Q3'19

Rio Tinto's Pilbara iron ore shipments in the third quarter increased 5% year over year to 86.1 million tonnes, while Pilbara iron ore production increased 6% to 87.3 million tonnes. Bauxite output was up 9% to 13.8 million tonnes, but aluminum output declined 3% to 789,000 tonnes. Rio Tinto's Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. reported a decrease of 27.8% year over year in copper production to 28,446 tonnes and a decrease of 66.8% year over year in gold production to 25,607 ounces.

Newmont Goldcorp's Ahafo expansion hits commercial production

Newmont Goldcorp Corp.'s US$175 million expansion of its Ahafo gold operations in Ghana reached commercial production, with expectations that it would lower costs and boost output. Newmont expanded the Ahafo mill by 50% and estimated that gold output would climb to between 550,000 and 650,000 ounces per year on average until about 2025.

OZ Minerals again hikes gold production guidance for FY'19

OZ Minerals Ltd. raised its gold production guidance for full year 2019 to between 123,400 and 136,800 ounces, from between 122,200 ounces and 135,600 ounces, on the back of higher output expected from its Antas gold operation in Brazil. The company produced 24,663 tonnes of copper and 30,346 ounces of gold in the third quarter.


* Peru's Mining Council is expected to rule in late October on the claims filed against the Ministry of Energy and Mines resolution that authorized the construction of Southern Copper Corp.'s Tia Maria copper mining project. Southern Copper's director of environmental services, Darío Quevedo, said the miner has been clarifying misconceptions that drive opposition to the project in the Arequipa region, daily Gestión reported.

* Horseshoe Metals Ltd. proposed to form a joint venture with Copper Mining and Metallurgy Pty. Ltd. to acquire 50% interest in the license to operate the Mount Gunson copper project and agreed to acquire Stockworks Exploration and Mining Pty. Ltd.'s Glenloth gold project, both located in South Australia.

* Anglo American PLC expects the mine life of its US$5 billion Quellaveco copper project in Peru to reach nearly 100 years. "This is not going to be a 30-year mine. My personal opinion is that it is going to be closer to 100 years," Tom McCulley, head of the company's Peruvian division, reportedly said in a briefing. "It will be a license to print money for a long period of time."

* Antofagasta PLC reached a labor agreement consisting of a 36-month contract with a union of supervisors at its flagship Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile. The contract includes a 1% hike in salaries, a signing bonus of US$17,000 and loan incentives for workers.

* Arkle Resources PLC, formerly known as Connemara Mining Co. PLC, said its partner at its 23.44%-owned Stonepark zinc project, Group Eleven Resources Corp., received a C$1.0 million investment from Glencore PLC in exchange for an 11.58% equity interest.

* Osisko Metals Inc. signed a binding term sheet to fully acquire Karst Investments LLC, which holds a 3% net smelter returns royalty on the Pine Point zinc-lead project in Canada's Northwest Territories, for US$8.5 million in cash and 2 million Osisko Metals shares.

* Pure Minerals Ltd.'s Queensland Pacific Metals Pty. Ltd. unit and its partners Societe des Mines de La Tontouta and Societe Miniere Georges Montagnat SARL agreed to extend the term of the ore supply agreement for the Townsville nickel project in Australia by five years to a total of 10 years starting in June 2020.

* Carnavale Resources Ltd. abandoned an option to acquire 70% of African Panther Resources (U) Ltd.'s Kikagati tin project in Uganda.


* Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd. will receive US$145 million as part of a streaming agreement for gold production from its mines excluding Styldrift II and the Impala royalty areas. The company will supply 70% of its gold output to Triple Flag Mining Finance Bermuda Ltd. until 261,000 ounces are delivered and 42% of payable gold production thereafter. Triple Flag will pay 5% of the spot gold price to the miner.

* Chinese gold producer Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. Ltd.'s net profit attributable to shareholders for the first nine months of 2019 fell to 316.9 million yuan from 355.6 million yuan year over year as higher revenue was offset by larger fair-value losses, cost of sales and finance expenses.

* Evolution Mining Ltd.'s flagship Cowal gold mine in New South Wales could face production constraints by the end of the financial year if the state's drought does not break, The Australian reported, citing CEO Bob Fulker. The company is working on a number of mitigation strategies for the water crisis that is threatening to disrupt the state's mining industry but confirmed that a dry summer could threaten Cowal's operations.

* First Mining Gold Corp.'s preliminary economic assessment for its Springpole gold project in Ontario outlined a posttax net present value of US$841 million, discounted at 5%, with an internal rate of return of 22% and a 3.4-year payback period from production. The assessment is based on a gold price of US$1,300 per ounce.

* Polymetal International PLC agreed to a 10-year fixed rate loan of US$500 million with Sberbank. The facility will replace the existing loans with the bank, which were due to mature between 2021 and 2024, and other short-term debt.

* B2Gold Corp. completed the sale of the El Limon and La Libertad gold mines in Nicaragua to Calibre Mining Corp. for US$100 million.

* RNC Minerals is targeting production of between 42,000 and 49,000 ounces of gold at an average all-in-sustaining cost of US$1,150 to US$1,250 per ounce for the second half.

* Broadway Gold Mining Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement for a reverse takeover deal with neuro-pharmaceutical company Mind Medicine Inc. The company plans to transfer its Broadway and Madison mines to wholly owned unit Madison Metals Inc.

* GBM Resources Ltd. agreed to acquire Stibium Mining Pty. Ltd. unit Millstream Resources Pty. Ltd., which has an option to earn an initial 50% joint venture interest in the White Dam gold operation in South Australia.

* Oklo Resources Ltd. was granted a 100-square-kilometer permit over the Kandiole gold project in west Mali. A 10-square-kilometer permit on the project is pending approval.

* Caledonia Mining Corp. PLC said the electricity supply situation at its Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe improved in late August and September as a new electricity pricing schedule was introduced for the mining industry to support the funding of imported electricity, which is used exclusively to supply participating mining companies.

* Magna Terra Minerals Inc. agreed to acquire Anaconda Mining Inc. subsidiary 2647102 Ontario Inc., which owns the Great Northern and Viking gold projects in Newfoundland and Labrador and the Cape Spencer gold project in New Brunswick.

* Northern Star Resources Ltd. has taken control of Echo Resources Ltd. with the acquisition of 59.3% of its shares.

* Ariana Resources PLC agreed to conditionally acquire KEFI Minerals PLC unit Dogu Akdeniz Mineralleri San. ve Tic. Ltd., which holds a 2% net smelter return on the Kizilcukur project and KEFI's exploration database on Turkey.


* South32 Ltd. is looking at closing, mothballing or selling its Temco manganese alloy smelter in Tasmania, with an announcement expected by Oct. 17, The Australian reported. However, the company said it has not yet made a decision. A confidential report revealed that closing the smelter would slash state energy demand by 5% to 10%, challenging the viability of up to 10 wind farms.

* U.S. Steel Corp. intends to offer US$300.0 million of senior convertible notes due 2026 and grant a 30-day option to the initial buyers to purchase up to an additional US$50.0 million of the notes. The company intends to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

* PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works reported a 2.3% yearly fall in output of pig iron to 2.56 million tonnes, while crude steel dropped 5.4% to 3.19 Mt. Finished products fared worse, slumping 7.3% to 2.79 Mt. The company warned that performance in the fourth quarter would suffer from seasonally weak business activity and a significant correction in global prices.

* Vale SA unit Mineração Corumbaense Reunida SA agreed with Mato Grosso do Sul Environment Institute for 20.6 billion Brazilian reais as a compensatory measure for the manganese and iron ore extraction activities in Corumbá, Mato Grosso state, Brazil, Notícias de Mineração reported.

* China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment said 100 million tonnes of steelmaking capacity in the Hebei province, equating to about half of the region's total capacity, and 15 million tonnes of steel capacity in the Shanxi province will meet ultra-low emissions standards by the end of this year, Reuters reported.

* China's steel-sector fragmentation is worsening as unplanned new capacity at small mills undermine government efforts to restructure and merge companies in the huge industry, Reuters reported, citing Chinese Society for Metals President Gan Yong.

* China Hongqiao Group Ltd. agreed to set up a "green aluminum" industrial park in China's Yunnan province to capitalize on cleaner hydropower resources for its energy-intensive smelting process, Reuters wrote. The company will lead construction efforts, developing an integrated hydropower and aluminum project, but did not provide details on capacity or location.

* The European Investment Bank stopped short of agreeing on a strategy to limit funding for fossil fuels, a plan that would help Europe fight climate change, Bloomberg reported.

* Enterprise Metals Ltd. lodged four large potash exploration licenses covering 697 square kilometers in Western Australia.


* PJSC Alrosa's revenue for the first nine months of the year, on Russian Accounting Standards, decreased 35% year over year to 119.8 billion Russian rubles due to the difficult situation the global diamond market is facing. The company's net profit decreased 42% to 42.2 billion rubles.

* Kenmare Resources PLC's primary zircon and rutile output in the third quarter grew 26% and 24% year over year, respectively, to 12,900 tonnes and 2,100 tonnes. Concentrates production jumped 78% to 10,700 tonnes, while ilmenite production dropped 1% to 230,800 tonnes.

* Alligator Energy Ltd. agreed to acquire the Big Lake uranium project in South Australia from privately owned Big Lake Uranium Pty. Ltd. The company will immediately initiate exploration evaluation and geophysics, with initial drilling scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.

* A revised preliminary study for Astro Resources NL's Governor Broome heavy mineral sands project in Western Australia expects the likely value to be less than the 2018 preliminary study. However, the reduction has been partially offset by certain changes, such as lower capital costs.

* Nemaska Lithium Inc. is letting go of 64 employees to help ensure optimization of current cash flow and the continuation of its Quebec-based Whabouchi lithium project, for which it is adjusting the date of implementation due to delays in finalizing financing.

* Lithium Australia NL increased its equity stake in strategic partner Envirostream Australia Pty. Ltd. to 23.9% from 18.9%, increasing the company's exposure to the process of collecting and separating spent lithium-ion batteries for recycling.

* IsoEnergy Ltd. added two new uranium exploration properties, Collins Bay Extension and Edge, to its asset portfolio in Saskatchewan, on which fieldwork is expected to start in 2020.

* Wealth Minerals Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding granting Rosatom subsidiary Uranium One Group an option to acquire up to 51% of Wealth Minerals' Atacama lithium project in Chile.


* The Colombian government is reportedly preparing a bill that could define a new set of minerals deemed strategic and of national interest to the country, daily Portafolio reported.

* Minehub Technologies Inc. completed developing its technology platform designed to improve efficiency in trading operations and environmental and social governance compliance in the mining and metals supply chain. The platform's first release enables miners to capture mineral production and digital contracts with buyers and streamline post-trade operations including document flow, financing and logistics.

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