Hudbay Minerals Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire Mantos Copper SA in a deal that could value the Chilean miner at up to C$1 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources. Mantos is said to be searching for a buyer to raise funds needed to develop the Mantoverde and Mantos Blancos copper mines in Chile. In a statement, Hudbay neither confirmed nor denied the rumored deal but noted that acquisitions are part of its strategy to maximize current assets and growth opportunities.
Barrick, Randgold merger to form gold industry 'champion'
Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp.'s proposed merger with London-listed Randgold Resources Ltd. would create what the companies term "a new champion for long-term value creation in the gold industry," based on a large share of the world's tier-one producing mines, low total cash costs and strong management. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence research, the addition of Randgold's 1.2 million ounces of projected attributable production in 2018 to Barrick Gold's 4.8 Moz for the year pushes the combined entity's production above the 5.2 Moz projected for its closest peer, Newmont Mining Corp.
BHP expects 7% hike in global copper demand from China's Belt & Road Initiative
BHP Billiton Group expects China's Belt & Road Initiative to increase the annual global demand for copper by 7% of the annual demand in 2017. The diversified miner said projects related to the initiative, which now includes 115 countries or regions, could add up to an incremental 1.6 million tonnes of refined copper demand.
* CENTAR Ltd. will sign contracts with Afghanistan to develop two sites with potentially significant copper and gold deposits. The projects could generate a combined economic impact of around US$1 billion and create nearly 13,000 jobs.
* Mining firms believe that Zambia's proposed tax hikes will cripple the country's copper industry, Reuters reported, citing Zambia Chamber of Mines President Nathan Chishimba. The country has announced plans to launch new mining duties and increase royalties to help lower its mounting debt.
* Operations at BHP's Kalgoorlie nickel smelter in Western Australia resumed 10 days after a fire broke out at its furnace room, the Kalgoorlie Miner reported.
* Central Asia Metals PLC is on track to meet its full-year copper, zinc and lead production guidance as third-quarter production at its Kounrad plant in Kazakhstan totaled 3,938 tonnes of copper, and it recorded output of 5,742 tonnes of zinc and 7,602 tonnes of lead at its Sasa mine in Macedonia.
* Aurania Resources Ltd.'s shares jumped by more than 9% after it announced key copper discoveries at its Lost Cities-Cutucu project in Ecuador.
* A panel including Anglo American Platinum Ltd. CEO Chris Griffith and Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp said at the Joburg Indaba mining investment conference in Johannesburg that deep-level gold and platinum mining in South Africa is coming to an end due to factors including safety concerns and high operating costs, Miningmx reported.
* Pretium Resources Inc. signed a commitment letter for a fully underwritten US$480 million debt facility with The Bank of Nova Scotia, Societe Generale and ING Capital LLC to refinance the existing construction credit facility for the Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia, which totals about US$423 million and is due Dec. 31.
* The president of South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Joseph Mathunjwa, sharply criticized mining companies, particularly the platinum industry, over plans to cut thousands of jobs. Calling on the government to intervene, he said, "Revoke licenses, give them to the juniors and give jobs to the people. Take away the license and give it to stakeholders that actually seek to employ, give it to other potential miners." Lonmin PLC and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. recently announced employee layoffs that will collectively see about 20,000 jobs axed.
* Alacer Gold Corp., which owns 80% of the Copler gold mine in Turkey, expects to meet the lower end of its production guidance this year of between 160,000 and 230,000 ounces of gold. The company produced 26,160 ounces of gold in the third quarter, bringing its total production so far to 89,233 ounces of gold.
* St Barbara Ltd. is on track to meet its full-year guidance of 350,000 to 375,000 ounces as consolidated gold production in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 totaled 98,547 ounces, a slight increase over the 98,259 ounces produced in the year-ago quarter.
* RNC Minerals is seeking to list on the ASX after recovering up to 35,000 ounces of gold worth nearly A$60 million in the past month at the Beta Hunt mine in Western Australia, The West Australian reported.
* Nusantara Resources Ltd.'s definitive feasibility study for the Awak Mas gold project in Indonesia outlined a posttax net present value, discounted at 5%, of US$152 million with an internal rate of return of 20.3%.
* Searchlight Resources Inc. secured an option from privately held Diamond Projects Inc. to acquire four claims in Saskatchewan, as well as a right of first refusal on additional claims in the area. The new claims are located near the company's Bootleg Lake gold project.
* Spectrum Metals Ltd. agreed to acquire the First Hit gold mine in Western Australia for A$200,000 in cash and shares.
* ThyssenKrupp AG's plans to keep a minority stake of around 30% in proposed company spinoff thyssenKrupp Industrials AG may lead to an eventual takeover bid, Reuters reported, citing Tekin Nasikkol, head of the works council at thyssenKrupp Steel Europe and a member of thyssenKrupp's supervisory board.
* Bauxite miners in Guinea routinely displaced locals from their lands to build mines and other related infrastructure, Human Rights Watch said in a 146-page report. The report focused on China Hongqiao Group Ltd.'s Societe Miniere de Boké, and the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee SA joint venture of Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corp.
* The Indian Supreme Court allowed ArcelorMittal and Numetal Ltd. to clear their outstanding dues within two weeks and submit their revised resolution plans for Essar Steel India Ltd. in eight weeks, Live Mint reported. If 66% of Essar Steel's committee of creditors do not approve a bid, the company will go into liquidation.
* Shares in Alumina Ltd. and South32 Ltd. rose up to 11% and 7.3%, respectively, following Norsk Hydro ASA's decision to temporarily shut down operations at Alunorte, the world's largest alumina refinery, Reuters reported.
* Glencore and Japan's Tohoku Electric Power set a price of US$109.77 per tonne of Australian thermal coal for the year ending September 2019, 16% higher than the previous 12-month period, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
* The demand for automotive aluminum is expected to more than double by 2025 due to its growth in Asia, Reuters reported citing Pierre Labat, vice president of global automotive at Novelis Inc. He added that the company is "projecting to grow from 1.5 million tonnes of aluminum demand this year to 3.5 million tonnes a year in 2025."
* BHP awarded Downer EDI Ltd. a maintenance services contract at its iron ore operations in Port Hedland, Western Australia, Australian Mining reported. The contract covers the provision of mechanical, electrical, heating, ventilating and air conditioning, minor civils and rope access services.
* Macmahon Holdings Ltd. settled the shareholder class-action proceedings filed against the company in the Federal Court of Australia in November 2015. Under terms of the deal, the company will pay A$6.7 million in final settlement of the proceedings, inclusive of interest and the applicants' legal costs.
* The Western Australian Treasury is considering a plan to base one of its officials in China to improve its iron ore price forecasting, The West Australian reported.
* Chile's antitrust court approved Tianqi Lithium Corp.'s US$4.07 billion acquisition of a 24% stake in Chilean lithium producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, Reuters reported.
* Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. priced its Hong Kong listing at the bottom of its marketed range, raising US$421 million, or HK$16.50 per share, Reuters reported, citing a source involved in the deal. The report said the company could raise up to US$448 million if an overallotment option is exercised after shares begin trading on Oct. 11. Ganfeng Lithium aimed to generate up to US$676 million from the planned initial public offering.
* Botswana Diamonds PLC concluded an agreement with Vast Resources PLC for developing the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe. The initial shareholdings will be 13.33% and 86.67% for Botswana Diamonds and Vast Resources, respectively, and the latter will contribute up to US$1 million as initial funding. Botswana Diamonds said it will cover the development of other diamond properties outside Marange through separate joint venture agreements.
* Cauldron Energy Ltd. agreed to acquire the Pippingarra and Marble Bar lithium projects from Mercury Resources Group Pty. Ltd. in Pilbara, Western Australia. Mercury will retain a 1% net smelter royalty on the projects.
* Chilean development agency Corfo will decide within a week whether it will take Albemarle Corp. to arbitration over a dispute relating to a 2016 agreement that allowed the company to extract lithium from Salar de Atacama, Reuters reported, citing Maria Elina Cruz, an attorney for the agency.
* Almonty Industries Inc. is close to securing a US$73 million loan from KfW IPEX-Bank to bankroll the development of its Sangdong tungsten mine in South Korea.
* The Chinese province of Jiangxi launched a four-month crackdown on illegal rare earth mining in September, a move that market watchers believe will boost the price of rare earth and the number of authorized producers. The latest crackdown is expected to impact about 5,000 tonnes of production, or about 10% of neodymium and praseodymium, or NdPr, supply in the industry, which may lead to an increase of between 5% and 25% for NdPr prices by year-end as stockpiles are depleted.
* Syrah Resources Ltd. expects the Balama graphite mine in Mozambique to return to production in approximately five weeks, after a fire rendered the operation's primary classifier inoperable and requires replacement. Mining and crushing operations, however, will continue during the period.
* Altura Mining Ltd. began loading the first shipment of spodumene concentrate produced at its namesake Altura lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia.
* South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe dismissed two senior officials of the Department of Mineral Resources, while seven others are being investigated over fraud charges. Mantashe has taken a strong stance against corruption since he took office earlier this year.
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