Putin adviser's tax proposal on mining companies may raise additional US$7.5B
Andrey Belousov, the top economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, proposed that the government should increase taxes on mining companies, including PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. and PJSC Alrosa, Bloomberg News reported. The tax proposal could raise as much as 500 billion Russian rubles, or about US$7.5 billion, per year, with the additional budget revenues used to help pay for Putin's commitment to boost spending after his re-election this spring. PJSC Novolipetsk Steel Chairman Vladimir Lisin said the higher taxes will force companies to be inefficient, Reuters added. "The proposed method of creating an extra tax base looks like an encouragement for inefficiency: the lower the profitability, the lower the tax that needs to be paid," Lisin said.
Nevsun rejects Lundin's hostile takeover bid, kicks off strategic review
Nevsun Resources Ltd.'s board rejected the hostile takeover offer from Lundin Mining Corp. and kicked off a strategic review to evaluate its options. The company said it is evaluating four proposals from major and midtier companies it received as part of its recent strategic investment process, which include their willingness to acquire up to a 19.9% stake in Nevsun and partner to develop the Timok copper project in Serbia.
Barrick Gold Corp. is assessing its copper assets "very seriously" to see if it makes sense to form a copper company with one or two partners, most likely from China, Bloomberg News reported, citing statements from Executive Chairman John Thornton at an internal meeting. The Canadian miner is planning to increase its tier-one assets over time and subsequently divest assets that are not deemed strategic. Meanwhile, Thornton denied Paulson & Co. Inc.'s claim that it was interested in acquiring Detour Gold Corp., saying it did not meet certain criteria to be a tier-one mine.
* Profit after tax in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 for Hindalco Industries Ltd. plus Utkal Alumina International Ltd. more than doubled year over year to 7.34 billion Indian rupees, compared to 3.64 billion rupees a year earlier, driven by higher EBITDA and lower finance costs. Revenue climbed to 106.7 billion rupees, from 104.14 billion rupees in the prior-year quarter.
* Chengtun Mining Group Co. Ltd. agreed to acquire 100% of cobalt producer Zhuhai Kelixin Metal Material Co. Ltd. for 1.2 billion Chinese yuan in shares to widen its footprint in the new energy equipment industry. It expects to expand its cobalt business by adding processing and manufacturing.
* Asiamet Resources Ltd. expects its bankable feasibility study for the Beruang Kanan Main copper project in Indonesia to be finalized in the current quarter. The company plans to further review the capital and operating cost estimates once the mine planning studies are complete.
* Germany-based copper recycler Aurubis AG's consolidated net income fell 15% year over year to €60 million in the third quarter of its fiscal year 2017-2018. It was affected by a scheduled repair shutdown that cut concentrate processing at the company's Hamburg smelter in Germany. The company's revenues rose 8% to €2.98 billion in the quarter.
* CITIC Metal Group Ltd. provided Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. with an interim loan of US$100 million in accordance with a term loan facility that is part of a long-term strategic cooperation and investment agreement between the parties. The interim funds have an annual interest rate of 6% and will be repaid from the proceeds of the C$723 million strategic investment by CITIC.
* Consolidated Zinc Ltd. rejected a claim by Pandion Minerals Pty Ltd., which said it was conditionally entitled to a 10% interest in Consolidated Zinc's 51%-owned Minera Latin America Zinc joint venture, which owns the Plomosas zinc project in Mexico.
* Pima Zinc Corp., formerly Rae-Wallace Mining Co., agreed to buy the Pima zinc property in Arizona through the acquisition of the issued share capital of 1139432 B.C. Ltd.
* Titan Minerals Ltd. will proceed with the compulsory acquisition of Andina Resources Ltd. after it issued 545,263,978 shares to shareholders representing 97.09% ownership of the Peru-focused explorer.
* Glencore PLC unit McArthur River Mining Pty. Ltd. received approval from the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority for the overburden management project at the McArthur River lead-zinc mine.
* Vedanta Resources PLC's Zambian unit halted work at its Konkola copper mine after a worker was killed in an accident at underground shaft four, Reuters reported. An investigation will be conducted.
* Trevali Mining Corp. said a contract worker was fatally injured in an accident at the company's Perkoa zinc mine in Burkina Faso. The underground operations were suspended following the accident, and an investigation is underway.
* Franco-Nevada Corp. is leaning away from gold, its main source of revenue, in terms of acquisition targets in the mining sector. "There are some good opportunities that we're looking at that are on the mining side but are nongold," President and COO Paul Brink said during a second-quarter earnings call.
* Miners trading at steep discounts might consider going private, Royal Gold Inc. President and CEO Tony Jensen said in opening remarks during a fiscal year-end conference call. "Operators have limited access to equity markets, and few wish to issue equity today because of large market value discounts. We would not be surprised to see precious metals miners going private in this market, something I certainly haven't seen before in this sector."
* Randgold Resources Ltd. expects to resume operations at the Tongon gold mine in Cote D'Ivoire by mid-August, the Financial Times reported, citing CEO Mark Bristow. The company was forced to halt Tongon in July due to a workers' strike at the site, but Randgold recently said it was engaging with the government to resolve the situation. The company lowered Tongon's full-year 2018 gold production forecast to 250,000 ounces from 290,000 ounces. Additionally, Bristow told Reuters that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has not yet applied the new mining code to the miner as the two sides are still negotiating.
* Pretium Resources Inc. swung to a second-quarter net profit of US$31.1 million from a year-ago net loss of US$2.5 million. Revenue in the period totaled US$146.5 million on 115,309 ounces of gold sold as its Brucejack mine in British Columbia ramps up production.
* SSR Mining Inc.'s income from mine operations declined to US$14.7 million in the second quarter from US$21.4 million a year earlier. Revenue in the period fell to US$60.8 million from US$72.5 million. The group had cash and cash equivalents of C$493.7 million at the end of the second quarter.
* Dampier Gold Ltd. claimed Vango Mining Ltd. is acting in breach of its joint venture deal for developing the K2 gold mine in Western Australia. If the companies do not resolve the dispute within three weeks, the matter will be escalated to a mediator.
* An Antofagasta PLC unit agreed to acquire a 70% interest in San Marco Resources Inc.'s Chunibas gold-silver project in Mexico by spending US$8 million on exploration and paying US$200,000 cash over four years.
* Marindi Metals Ltd. ended negotiations on the potential sale of its Bellary Dome gold project in Western Australia's Pilbara region to Pacton Gold Inc.
* Underground mining at Doray Minerals Ltd.'s Deflector gold-copper mine in Western Australia resumed following safety checks that ensured there were no further hazards at the site.
* Weak performance at the ferroalloys segment impacted the second-quarter results of Afarak Group PLC, which recorded a loss of €2.7 million, compared to a year-ago profit of €2.9 million. Lower market prices and specific adverse conditions at the South African plants affected the ferroalloys segment.
* India's National Company Law Appellate Tribunal cleared Tata Steel Ltd. to file a bid for Bhushan Steel Ltd. and cleared Vedanta Ltd. to bid for Electrosteel Steels Ltd., Mint reported. The tribunal ruled in favor of Tata after rejecting appeals from Bhushan Steel founder Neeraj Singal and its operational creditor, Larsen & Toubro Ltd.
* Meanwhile, India's Serious Fraud Investigation Office said Singal was arrested for allegedly siphoning funds from Bhushan Steel, the Financial Times reported.
* Banpu PCL's 68%-owned Indonesian subsidiary, PT Indotambangraya Megah Tbk., acquired coal miner PT Nusa Perdana Resources for US$30 million.
* Tata Sponge Iron Ltd. may invest about 30 billion Indian rupees to set up a steel manufacturing facility, The Economic Times of India reported.
* Geo Energy Resources Ltd. unit PT Tanah Bumbu Resources completed its first shipment of about 50,000 tonnes of coal produced from the 50525 TBR coal mine in Indonesia to PT Sulawesi Mining Investment.
* A total of 35,000 tons of North Korean coal and pig iron worth US$5.8 million illegally entered South Korean ports in 2017, in possible violations of U.N. sanctions, The Washington Post reported, citing preliminary results from an investigation by the Korea Customs Service.
* Rio Tinto is pondering a float of its stake in Iron Ore Co. of Canada Inc. on the Toronto Stock Exchange to focus on its flagship iron ore assets in Australia's Pilbara region, Reuters reported, citing banking and industry sources. While the mining giant owns 59% of the company, it is deemed noncore for Rio Tinto's iron ore business. The company unsuccessfully sought to sell its stake for between US$3.5 billion and US$4 billion in 2012.
* National Mineral Development Corp. Ltd.'s net profit in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019 reached 9.75 billion Indian rupees, up 1% year over year. Iron ore production in the quarter reached 6.98 million tonnes, and sales totaled 6.78 million tonnes.
* Shaanxi Coal Industry Co. Ltd.'s net profit rose 8.6% year over year to 5.94 billion Chinese yuan in the first half due to increased demand for energy in China. Operating revenue grew 2.57% year over year to 26.24 billion yuan.
* K+S AG expects EBITDA to grow to between €660 million and €740 million for the full year, compared to 2017 EBITDA of €577 million. The company noted that the guidance range is below the current average market expectation of €797 million.
* GrowMax Resources Corp. shareholders Kulwant Malhi and BullRun Capital Inc. said the company refused to recognize their requisition of a shareholders' meeting to remove and replace the company's board. The shareholders claim shareholder interests have been severely undermined by the incumbent board through its decisions to award excessive salaries over the past several years, failure to advance any existing projects and inability to seek out new growth opportunities.
* ArcelorMittal restarted a 1.1 million-tonne-per-annum blast furnace at its ArcelorMittal Zenica d.o.o. long steel mill in Bosnia and Herzegovina following a comprehensive rebuild, Metal Bulletin reported, citing equipment provider Danieli Corus.
* Red Moon Resources Inc. will begin developing the Ace gypsum mine in western Newfoundland after it received government approval for its plan for the open pit operation.
* Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration Ltd. intends to surrender its Botswana licenses after receiving disappointing drilling results. The company said it is restructuring its portfolio to focus on the new African hard-rock lithium assets.
* BlueRock Diamonds PLC reached a settlement with former CEO Riaan Visser and will provide security for £230,000, the full amount of his alleged claim. Visser's application for the liquidation of the company's operating subsidiary, Kareevlei Mining Pty. Ltd., will be removed from the court roll.
* Oakdale Resources Ltd. formally terminated its deal to acquire up to a 51% interest in Africa Mineral Sands Pte. Ltd., which owns the Vast mineral sands project in South Africa.
* Australian miners are increasing lithium exploration amid strong demand for the commodity, despite a decline in commodity prices, Reuters reported. According to the newswire's report, a flurry of new hard-rock lithium projects beginning to ship was pinpointed as the cause of the 44% drop in lithium carbonate prices this year.
* Alrosa raised about US$1.5 million from the sale of polished diamonds in a U.S. tender. The company sold 111 stones of standard color weighing a total of 308.97 carats in its first tender since reopening its New York office. Meanwhile, Vedomosti reported that Jewelry House Mouawad Group confirmed that it purchased the 51.38-carat round stone Dynasty from Alrosa. The whole Dynasty collection was sold for US$10 million.
* Yellow Cake PLC purchased 350,000 pounds of uranium from National Atomic Co. Kazatomprom JSC for about US$8.2 million in cash.
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