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In This List

Rio Tinto, Alcoa launch JV to advance carbon-free aluminum smelting

Mining Insights Newsletter June 2020

A Decade of Underperformance for Gold Discoveries

State of the Market: Mining Q1-2020

Mining Exploration Insights - April 2020


Rio Tinto, Alcoa launch JV to advance carbon-free aluminum smelting

TOP NEWS

Rio Tinto, Alcoa launch JV to advance carbon-free aluminum smelting

Alcoa Corp. and Rio Tinto are forming a joint venture to advance and market a carbon-free aluminum smelting process that the companies developed. The joint venture, to be called Elysis, will license the technology so it can be used to retrofit existing smelters or build new facilities. Canada and Quebec are each investing C$60 million in Elysis, with the provincial government to hold a 3.5% stake in the joint venture and the remaining ownership split evenly between Alcoa and Rio Tinto. Apple Inc. will also invest C$13 million in the venture.

Mineral Deposits asks shareholders to reject Eramet's 'grossly inadequate' offer

Mineral Deposits Ltd.'s board asked shareholders to reject Eramet's takeover offer of A$1.46 per share, saying the deal is "grossly inadequate" and undervalues the company. Separately, Mineral Deposits said that it expects to produce 815,000 tonnes of heavy mineral concentrates this year and 745,000 tonnes in 2019, compared to 724,755 tonnes in 2017. Revenue for 2018 is pegged at US$317 million and between US$345 million and US$456 million in 2019, from US$225 million in 2017.

Wheaton Precious Q1 earnings up 11.3% YOY

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.'s net earnings in the first quarter rose 11.3% on a yearly basis to US$68.1 million, while revenue inched up 0.7% to US$199.3 million. Attributable silver output rose 11.7% to 7.4 million ounces, driven primarily by higher production from the San Dimas mine, while gold production slipped 4.9% to 79,657 ounces as a result of weaker output at the Minto and Sudbury mines.

DIVERSIFIED

* Jindalee Resources Ltd. signed an agreement enabling unlisted explorer Aldoro Resources Ltd. to earn an 80% interest in the nongold rights of its North Sinclair and Camel Bore projects in Western Australia. Aside from gold, the two projects are considered prospective for nickel-cobalt mineralization and may also host platinum group metals.

BASE METALS

* Vedanta Resources PLC's Tuticorin copper smelter in India is likely to remain closed under an enforced shutdown for at least a week longer after a court set May 17 to hear opening arguments in proceedings to gain approval for the restart, Metal Bulletin reported. The smelter was shuttered in late March after local residents protested against the company’s plans to double the capacity at the plant, alleging environmental breaches.

* Bezant Resources PLC completed its strategic review on all of its existing assets and operations and said it minimized overheads and is implementing additional cost-cutting initiatives identified in the review.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Hecla Mining Co.'s first-quarter net income slumped to US$8.2 million, from US$26.8 million posted a year ago, primarily due to a US$29.1 million tax benefit booked in the first quarter of 2017. Hecla's board declared a quarterly cash dividend on 0.25 cent per common share as the realized silver price for the quarter failed to meet the company's criteria for a larger dividend.

* Randgold Resources Ltd.'s first-quarter profit fell to US$57.5 million from US$69.8 million a year ago. Gold sales in the quarter declined to US$391.8 million, down 4% due to lower volumes, partially offset by higher selling prices. The company sold 294,428 ounces at US$1,331/oz, compared to 335,603 ounces at US$1,220/oz a year earlier.

* SSR Mining Inc. booked an attributable net loss of US$2.3 million in the first quarter, swinging from a net profit of US$15 million a year earlier. Revenue in the period slipped to US$97.9 million from US$117.9 million a year ago.

* Pretium Resources Inc. reported a net loss of US$8.1 million in the first quarter, widening from US$4.3 million a year earlier, while the company's revenue totaled US$89.4 million.

* Stratex International Plc's 30.4%-owned Thani Stratex Ltd. informed the company that Ethiopian authorities did not renew the exploration licenses for the Blackrock and Cussra gold projects in the country. The cancellation will result in Thani Stratex writing off approximately US$8.7 million in its books. Stratex's share of this write-off is about US$2.7 million, and the carrying value of the company's investment in Thani Stratex will reduce by the same amount.

* Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd. announced a definitive all-share deal for a friendly takeover of ValGold Resources Ltd., which values the transaction at C$7.2 million.

* Gitennes Exploration Inc. agreed to acquire the Maroon gold property, comprising four claims totaling 1,059 hectares in British Columbia, from private firm Angel Jade Mines Ltd.

* Dalradian Resources Inc. reported a rise in the resources at its Curraghinalt deposit in Northern Ireland compared to the 2016 estimate. Measured and indicated contained gold ounces rose 46% to 6.35 million tonnes at 15.02 g/t of gold for 3.1 million contained ounces in the measured and indicated categories and 7.7 million tonnes at 12.24 g/t of gold for 3 million contained ounces in the inferred category, up 32% over the previous estimate.

* Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.'s shares have slumped over 40% this year, hitting their lowest levels since 1999 as investors worry over the company's operational issues and cost ratios, Bloomberg News reported.

* Australia's strong grassroots gold exploration and the improving broader sector confidence has triggered a spate of IPOs, which are whetting the appetite of Chinese and other large global miners looking to replenish reserves, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.

* Ethiopia suspended the license held by Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Cos. for its Lega Dembi gold mine after weeks of protests against the operations, Africanews wrote.

* Eastern Goldfields Ltd.'s Davyhurst project in Western Australia saw a record weekly gold pour of 850 fine ounces for the week of May 1 as the mine continues to ramp up.

* Avesoro Resources Inc. gold production in the first quarter swelled 357% year over year to 68,088 ounces. It booked US$91.4 million in revenue along with record quarterly gold sales of 68,553 ounces.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Benjamin Steinbruch, CEO of Brazilian steelmaker Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional, or CSN, vowed to proceed with the deleveraging of company by July, Bloomberg News reported. Steinbruch said earlier that CSN would conclude asset sales of 2 billion Brazilian reais to 3 billion reais this year to slash its debt. The executive added that he was confident about concluding debt talks with Caixa Economica Federal by the end of this month.

* Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd. posted a net profit of 6.71 billion Chinese yuan in 2017, up 12.4% year over year, while operating revenue rose 11.1% to 244.00 billion yuan in the period.

* Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. reported an attributable net income of ¥91.65 billion in fiscal 2017, swinging from a year-ago net loss of ¥18.54 billion. The company's net sales jumped 18.7% to ¥933.52 billion in the full fiscal year. The Japanese company's fiscal 2018 CapEx are expected to be about ¥63.0 billion, 15.5% lower from a year earlier.

* India's Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. plans to focus on halving its 420 billion rupee debt in the next three years via higher internal accruals and the sale of certain foreign assets, The Economic Times of India reported, citing Chairman Naveen Jindal.

* Emirates Global Aluminum PJSC's planned IPO is likely to be delayed to 2019 due to volatile aluminum market conditions after the U.S. government imposed sanctions on United Co. Rusal PLC, Reuters reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter. A company spokesman, however, reiterated that the IPO remains set for this year, subject to market conditions, and said Emirates Global continues to monitor markets.

* S&P Global Ratings revised Sumitomo Corp.'s outlook on its long-term corporate credit rating to stable from negative amid a stronger profit. The Japanese company booked an overall group net profit of ¥308.5 billion in its fiscal 2017, up by about 80%. The rating agency also affirmed its A- long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings and A-2 short-term corporate credit rating on the company.

* Israel Chemicals Ltd.'s net income in the first quarter surged to US$928 million from a year-ago profit of US$68 million. Revenue rose to US$1.40 billion from US$1.30 billion.

* A preliminary finding from the U.S. International Trade Commission determined that imports of steel automotive wheels from China are hurting U.S producers, Reuters reported.

* All miners were evacuated safely after a fire broke out at Evraz PLC's Raspadskaya coal mine in Russia, Reuters reported. A commission will be set up to investigate the cause of the incident, according to the Russian industrial safety watchdog.

SPECIALTY

* Western Australia is counting on the lithium boom to help it manage record state debt and is relying on about A$4.7 billion in investments under way or in the pipeline to create jobs, The Australian Financial Review reported. Meanwhile, the royalty income from all other commodities is forecast to increase by A$160 million to a record A$724 million in fiscal 2017-18.

* De Beers SA successfully used blockchain technology to track 100 high-value diamonds from mine to shop and is looking to roll out the platform called "Tracr" later this year, Bloomberg News wrote.

* PJSC Alrosa's diamond sales totaled US$405.3 million in April, declining from US$559.5 million in March. Rough diamond sales came in at US$396.2 million, while polished diamond sales totaled US$9.1 million. The Russian diamond producer's total diamond sales in the January to April period reached US$2.01 billion.

* Tronox Ltd. secured an option to acquire 90% of Advanced Metal Industries Cluster Co. Ltd.'s ownership in a titanium slag smelter facility in Saudi Arabia. The company recently entered into an agreement to provide technical assistance services to AMIC to facilitate the smelter's startup.

* Nemaska Lithium Inc. priced and closed the books on the senior secured callable bonds offering that was announced in April, raising the full amount of US$350 million. The offering is part of a fundraising for up to US$825 million to build the Whabouchi lithium project in Quebec.

* Mezzotin Minerals Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Sabi Star rare earth property in Zimbabwe to a local subsidiary of Hong-Kong-based private investor Max Mind Investment Ltd.

* Azincourt Energy Corp. acquired the 2,725-hectare Lithman West extension project in Manitoba, in conjunction with its joint venture deal with New Age Metals Inc., expanding the venture's Lithman West project to about 3,741 hectares.

* Pathfinder Minerals Plc said shareholders who had requested a general meeting to consider ousting CEO Nicholas Trew and Chairman Henry Bellingham from the board withdrew their application.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Western Australia's resources sector is expected to be a major driver in the state's economy with an estimated A$5.9 billion to be injected in 2018/19, Mining Weekly reported.

* Randgold remains optimistic that the Democratic Republic of the Congo will compromise on the new mining rules, Bloomberg News wrote.

* South Africa's mining output fell 8.4% year on year in March, the largest contraction since March 2016, Fin24 reported, citing data from Statistics South Africa.

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