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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 on 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., meanwhile, reported a decrease of 27.8% year on year in copper production to 28,446 tonnes, and a decrease of 66.8% year on 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.

NLMK's Q3'19 steel sales fall 9% YOY as repairs weigh on output

Top Russian steelmaker PJSC Novolipetsk Steel's third-quarter sales fell 9% year over year to 4.02 million tonnes as output registered a second consecutive quarterly decline due to ongoing blast furnace repairs at its Lipetsk operations. Third-quarter crude steel output dropped 16% year over year to 3.73 Mt.


* OZ Minerals Ltd. raised its gold production guidance for full year 2019 to 123,400 to 136,800 ounces, from 122,200 to 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.

* OceanaGold Corp. slashed its full-year gold production guidance to between 460,000 and 480,000 ounces, from between 500,000 and 550,000 ounces previously, due to a blockade disrupting operations at its Didipio gold-copper mine in the Philippines. The company produced 107,478 ounces of gold and 2,316 tonnes of copper in the third quarter.

* Sierra Metals Inc.'s third quarter production climbed 34% year over year for both silver and copper to 1.0 million ounces and 11.1 million pounds, respectively. Zinc output rose 8% on a yearly basis to 22.5 million pounds, lead output rose 65% to 10.5 million pounds, and gold output jumped 83% to 3,490 ounces.

* 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 in South Australia.


* 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.

* 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," McCulley 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 a 11.58% equity interest.


* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. is aiming to double its gold production in the next five years as the company looks to build up its international presence, even though it expects to miss output targets for 2019, George Fang, executive director and senior vice president of Zijin, told delegates at LBMA's Global Precious Metals Conference in Shenzhen in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

* 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 doesn't break, The Australian reported, quoting 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 a dry summer could threaten Cowal's operations.

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

* Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported a 13% year-over-year dip in silver production to 1.9 million ounces for the third quarter, while gold output fell 9% to 11,436 ounces.

* Great Panther Mining Ltd. slashed its full-year gold equivalent production guidance to between 150,000 ounces and 160,000 ounces from between 171,500 ounces and 185,000 ounces following geotechnical issue at its Tucano gold mine in Brazil.

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

* Broadway Gold Mining Ltd. entered a definitive agreement for a reverse takeover deal with neuro-pharmaceutical firm Mind Medicine Inc. The company plans to transfer its Broadway and Madison mines to its 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, while a smaller 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 has 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.

* Authorities in Guyana ordered Troy Resources Ltd. to halt operations at the Karouni gold mine after a worker died due to an embankment collapse at the property's Hicks 1 extension trench.

* 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 that it has not yet made a decision. A confidential report reveals that the closure of the smelter would slash state energy demand by 5% to 10%, further 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, or Imasul, 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.

* Enterprise Metals Ltd. has lodged four large potash exploration licences covering a total 697 square kilometers in Western Australia.

* 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, quoting Chinese Society for Metals President Gan Yong.

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


* PJSC Alrosa's revenue for the first nine months of the year, on Russian Accounting Standards, decreased 35% year on 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 of 230,800 tonnes was slightly down 1% from the year-ago quarter.

* 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 lesser 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.

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


* The government of Colombia 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 the development of its technology platform designed to improve efficiency in trading operations and environmental and social governance compliance in mining and metals supply chain. The platform's first release offers comprehensive functionality that enables miners to capture mineral production and digital contracts with buyers, streamline the post-trade operations including document flow, financing and logistics.

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