Investor group sets sights on Rio Tinto's Queensland coal assets
Apollo Global Management and Canada Pension Plan have teamed up with Xcoal Energy & Resources and a former Glencore Plc executive to make a play for Rio Tinto's Hail Creek and Kestrel coal mines in Queensland, Australia, which could fetch the miner about US$2 billion, Reuters reported, citing sources. Anglo American Plc had expressed interest, but the waning outlook for metallurgical coal might discourage it from taking part in the sale. One of the sources added that Whitehaven Coal Ltd. is also likely to make an offer.
Barrick's gold production drops 10% YOY in Q3'17
Barrick Gold Corp.'s third-quarter gold output dropped 10% year over year to 1.24 million ounces. In a breakdown of its operations, Barrick reported yearly declines in gold production across the board for the quarter including its Nevada mines, its 60%-owned Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic and its 63.9%-owned Acacia Mining plc operations in Tanzania, where a ban on concentrate exports hit output. Quarterly copper production inched up 15% year over year to 115 million pounds.
S&P Global Ratings upgraded its long-term corporate credit rating on Teck Resources Ltd. to BB+ from BB. The outlook is stable. The move reflects the rating agency's expectation that Teck is on track to exceed the previous estimates for cash flow generation for this year, on the back of materially higher copper and zinc prices and the continued strength in its metallurgical coal business, as well as debt repayment.
* Yunnan Tin Co. Ltd. expects its net profit attributable to shareholders for the third quarter to surge to between 170 million Chinese yuan and 200 million yuan from the 50.3 million yuan recorded a year ago. The company attributed the surge in net profit to reduced costs and a rebound in prices of base metals.
* MMG Ltd. CEO Jerry Jiao said MMG is now the Chinese government's "preferred vehicle for foreign direct investment into international resource investment in 'China short' commodities" after being selected for a trial, Reuters reported. Jiao also said the company continues to look at acquisitions beyond its primary commodities, copper and zinc.
* Atalaya Mining plc adjusted its full-year copper production guidance to between 36,000 tonnes and 39,000 tonnes from the previous guidance of between 34,000 tonnes and 40,000 tonnes, as output from the company's Proyecto de Rio Tinto mine rose 18% to a record 10,679 tonnes of copper in concentrate in the September-quarter.
* The Democratic Republic of the Congo's government lifted the order banning Sinohydro Corp. and China Railway Group Ltd.'s Sicomines joint venture from exporting raw copper and cobalt, Reuters reported, citing the country's mines ministry and a company official.
* Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Técnicas de Desalinazación de Aguas SA's 50/50 joint venture Caitan SpA has been tapped to build a desalination plant for BHP Billiton Group's Spence copper mine in Chile as part of a US$2.5 billion mine expansion approved earlier this year, Mining.com reported.
* An updated reserves estimate at Metals X Ltd.'s Nifty copper mine in Western Australia increased contained copper by 55% and extended the life of the underground operation to seven years based on current production rates.
* Metalicity Ltd. exercised its option to acquire the Napier Range and Emanuel Range zinc projects in Western Australia.
* Data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group showed that global zinc deficit rose to 287,000 tonnes in the first eight months of the year from 221,000 tonnes in the same period of 2016, Mining Weekly reported.
* Acacia Mining sold 132,787 ounces of gold in the third quarter, down from 206,488 ounces in the year-ago quarter, due to the ban on export of gold and copper concentrate produced at the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines from Tanzania. The company produced 191,203 ounces of gold in the third quarter, compared to 204,726 ounces in the year-ago period.
* Armenia has great potential for exploration and the discovery of new deposits, but government reforms are needed before metals and mining companies would be able to exploit the country's mineral wealth, the head of the investment projects directorate at Polymetal International Plc, Tamara Golovina, told S&P Global Market Intelligence during an interview at the Moscow MINEX conference.
* Over the last 20 years, there has been very little gold exploration in Russia, and as a result, Russian companies are overly reliant on Soviet-era deposits, Polymetal CEO Vitaly Nesis said at the MINEX Russia conference in Moscow. Only 15% of the gold produced in Russia comes from deposits that were discovered in the last 20 years, he said, adding that the Soviet system for exploration was abandoned in 1996.
* Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SAA's gold production from its mines in the third quarter totaled 399,997 ounces, up from 242,599 ounces of gold produced in the prior three-month period. Silver production, meanwhile, was also up at 6.7 million ounces from 6.6 million ounces in the second quarter.
* According to preliminary results, Hecla Mining Co.'s silver production fell 23% year over year to 3.3 million ounces in the third quarter, while gold output rose 21% to 63,046 ounces. Lead and zinc production tumbled 48% and 2% to 5,368 tonnes and 14,498 tonnes, respectively.
* Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. expects gold production from its underground South African operations to be 12% to 14% higher quarter over quarter and 6% to 8% higher year over year in the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, bolstered by increased volumes and recovery grades.
* Alamos Gold Inc. posted an 8% year-over-year increase in third-quarter production to 107,000 ounces, from 99,228 ounces gold in 2016, as Young-Davidson gold mine in Ontario more than offset declines at its other operations.
* Pan African Resources Plc CEO Cobus Loots told Reuters that the construction of the company's Elikhulu tailings retreatment project in South Africa has been halted for the past two days due to protests and assaults on workers by a local group demanding jobs and business opportunities.
* Regis Resources Ltd. achieved record gold production for the second consecutive quarter at its Duketon gold project in Western Australia, booking 91,921 ounces in the September quarter, reflecting a 2% quarter-over-quarter increase.
* Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. agreed to acquire a 1% net smelter royalty over Osisko Metals Inc.'s projects within Quebec and the Bathurst Mining Camp in New Brunswick for C$5 million.
* Canadian Gold Miner Corp. and Transition Metals Corp. said Canadian Gold Miner signed a nonbinding letter of intent with Osisko Mining Inc. to acquire the latter's DeSantis and Catherine gold properties in Ontario in exchange for stock.
* Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. completed the US$3 billion expansion of its Rocanville operation in Saskatchewan. The company increased the mine's nameplate capacity to 6.5 million tonnes from 3 million tonnes previously, while the workforce was doubled to more than 750.
* Prairie Mining Ltd. is in advanced talks with Chinese banks to secure funding for its Jan Karski coking coal mine in Poland, Reuters reported citing company CEO Ben Stoikovich. Upfront capital costs for the mine development are pegged at US$630 million, with Chinese lenders expected to finance 85% of the total.
* Qatar Investment Authority is considering participating in En+ Group Ltd.'s IPO, Reuters wrote, citing a report from Vedomosti. The IPO aims to raise about US$1.5 billion.
* Kobe Steel Ltd. head Hiroya Kawasaki said the firm's data-fabrication may have spread beyond Japan, as the government ordered the company to report on how the misconduct occurred and address safety concern, Reuters reported. Kawasaki added that the scandal has left the company's credibility at "zero."
* The local government of Tangshan, China, a major steelmaking city in the country, ordered steel enterprises to cut output by 50% from Oct. 12 to meet air quality targets for the year, Reuters wrote, citing a government statement.
* As China steps into what would presumably be the second five-year term of President Xi Jinping, analysts told S&P Global Market Intelligence that they are expecting authorities to strengthen regulations around environmental protection as well as continue or even accelerate capacity reduction programs for the coal and steel industries that were launched in 2016.
* China's Hebei province ordered coal miners Kailuan Group and Jinzhong Energy Group to temporarily shut down a total of 59 mines during a key Communist Party gathering in Beijing later in the month, Reuters reported, citing state-run China Coal News.
* Bowen Coking Coal Ltd.'s shares continued to go up following its debut on the ASX, spurred by a tightening in seaborne coking coal supply. "In the afternoon session, we saw significant buyer interest as the news on Bowen Coking Coal started to spread, which also transpired into a 10% gain in early [Oct. 12] trade," CEO and Managing Director Gerhard Redelinghuys told S&P Global Market Intelligence.
* An updated mineral resource estimate for Avenira Ltd.'s Baobab phosphate project in Senegal significantly increased the potential longevity of the project. Meanwhile, indicated resources rose 11% to 34.9 million tonnes at 20.7% phosphorus pentoxide, or P2O5 and inferred resources jumped 37% to 156 million tonnes at 18% P2O5, using a 15% P2O5 cutoff.
* Adavale Resources Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to sell subsidiary PT Prima Perkasa Abadi, which holds the Tapan coal project in Indonesia, to creditor PT Harner and its owner Haryono Eddyarto, valued at about A$600,000.
* Aspire Mining Ltd. unit Northern Railways LLC entered a binding agreement with China Gezhouba Group International Co. Ltd. to complete a rail bankable feasibility study by March 31, 2018.
* Ironveld Plc is continuing negotiations with multiple parties to secure funding for necessary upgrades and refurbishment to allow for the processing of magnetite ore at the Middelburg smelter in South Africa. The company said two parties have completed due diligence proceedings and are in the process of concluding internal approval processes.
* Michal Herman, head of private coal miner PG Silesia, warned that Poland could face a shortage of coal if state-owned Polish Mining Group fails to reach its planned production this year, Reuters reported.
* RBC Capital Markets downgraded Stornoway Diamond Corp. to underperform from sector perform, citing Stornoway's breakage problem. The issue has affected the company's realized prices, and RBC said it could also impact Stornoway's balance sheet. RBC also downgraded Firestone Diamonds Plc to sector perform from outperform on the back of uncertainty around the company's realized price and new mine plan.
* Peak Resources Ltd. adjusted the bankable feasibility study for the Ngualla rare earths project in Tanzania based on a lower price deck for neodymium and praseodymium, lanthanum oxide and cerium oxide, as seen in the market. The company estimated a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$612 million, an internal rate of return of 22%, and preproduction CapEx of US$365 million for the Ngualla and Tees Valley refineries combined.
* Ventnor Resources Ltd. secured a new silica sand project at Arrowsmith, which is 270 kilometers north of Perth, Western Australia.
* As Canada's Northwest Territories, or NWT, considers how to reshape its mining laws and regulations, the minister overseeing the process threw cold water on some pro-mining talk outlined in a discussion paper, "Unlocking our potential together," the government issued in August. A key plank of the discussion paper was that the NWT had fallen behind in attracting investment for exploration and to reverse course, new legislation might help attract business. Speaking with S&P Global Market Intelligence, NWT Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Wally Schumann pushed back strongly against the view that the NWT lagged in exploration owing to regulatory hurdles and dismissed a proposal to create special mining zones as a means to increase investment.
* Macquarie Group is scaling back loans against physical metals inventories as the bank continues to shift its focus toward the energy sector, Reuters reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter.
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