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Codelco to halt Chuquicamata copper smelter to complete upgrade works


Codelco to halt Chuquicamata copper smelter to complete upgrade works

Codelco will have to place its Chuquicamata copper smelter on hold amid struggles to finish an ongoing overhaul at the operation prior to the enactment of stringent emission standards in Chile, Bloomberg News reported. In an emailed statement to the newswire, the Chilean state miner said it is facing difficulties in installing equipment while the smelter is operating, resulting in some processes potentially facing delays of about 80 days.

Vale to focus on shareholder returns after meeting 50% debt reduction target

Vale SA CEO Fabio Schvartsman said he has achieved the target of halving the company's net debt to US$10 billion and will now focus on boosting shareholder returns, the Financial Times reported. "There is nothing more than can or should be done," he stated, noting that share buybacks were the best investment the company could make at this time.

Chilean court halts SQM stake sale to Tianqi to hear lawsuit

Chile's Constitutional Court suspended a planned stake sale in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA to China's Tianqi Lithium Corp., Reuters reported. The move comes after Pampa Group, SQM's controlling shareholder, filed a lawsuit to block the transaction, claiming that an antitrust court did not give the shareholders sufficient time to review a settlement between the Chilean National Economic Prosecutor Office, or FNE, and Tianqi.


* Trafigura Beheer BV-backed Atalaya Mining PLC confirmed it is undertaking a review of strategic options, in response to media reports stating that the copper miner tapped Bank of Montreal to aid in a potential sale process.

* Pelican Resources Ltd. entered into a new memorandum of understanding to sell its Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Corp. unit to Dynamo Atlantic Ltd. for A$3.6 million. Sibuyan is the beneficial owner of the Romblon nickel project in the Philippines.

* Golden Arrow Resources Corp. signed agreements to consolidate and acquire the Atlantida copper-gold project, which consists of two land packages in Chile totaling around 3,450 hectares.

* Voltaic Minerals Corp. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire L2 Cobalt Inc. for 4.8 million shares.

* Sandfire Resources NL completed the acquisition of Talisman Mining Ltd.'s 30% interest in the Springfield copper-gold joint venture in Western Australia.

* RTG Mining Inc. secured a two-year exploration permit renewal from the Philippines' Mines and Geosciences Bureau for the Mabilo copper project.


* B2Gold Corp.'s consolidated gold production in the third quarter jumped 78% year over year to a quarterly record of 242,040 ounces, from 135,628 ounces a year ago.

* SSR Mining Inc. delivered its strongest quarter of the year after third-quarter gold production at its Marigold mine in Nevada and Seabee mine in Saskatchewan both surged around 18% compared to the second quarter.

* Endeavour Silver Corp.'s third quarter silver production increased 13% year over year to 1.4 million ounces while gold production decreased 5% to 12,968 ounces.

* Aurelia Metals Ltd. produced 35,499 ounces of gold in the September quarter, lower than the 54,746 ounces of gold in the previous three-month period, based on preliminary figures.

* Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported third quarter production of 2.2 million ounces silver, up 11% year over year, while gold output declined 6% to 12,542 ounces.

* Heavy seasonal rains caused a contingency pond to overflow at the dry stack tailings facility of Fortuna Silver Mines' San Jose silver mine in Mexico. The overflow continued for about two hours and led to the spill of about 1,500 cubic meters of water carrying sediment and minor amounts of fine tailings from the facility's drainage system into the nearby Coyote Creek.

* McEwen Mining Inc. produced 33,806 ounces of gold and 745,172 ounces of silver in the third quarter, bringing its nine-month gold and silver output to 105,834 ounces and 2.2 million ounces, respectively.

* Rusoro Mining Ltd. and Venezuela agreed on terms of a US$1.28 billion settlement over the acquisition of the company's mining data and for the release of an arbitral award. The Toronto-listed company's shares were up more than 80% in mid-afternoon trading.

* Hawkeye Gold & Diamond Inc. struck a deal to acquire a 1,360-hectare property, contiguous to the eastern boundary of its McBride project in British Columbia's Golden Triangle region.

* An updated ore reserve for the Cosalá and Galena deposits, part of Americas Silver Corp.'s Galena Complex in Idaho, resulted in a 9% decrease in silver inventory to 25.6 million ounces contained in 4.2 million tonnes grading 191 g/t.


* ArcelorMittal received a binding offer from Liberty House Ltd. for the acquisition of the former's Czech Republic, Romanian, Macedonian and Italian units. The four assets are part of a divestment package ArcelorMittal agreed with the European Commission during its antitrust investigation into its acquisition of Ilva International SpA.

* Alf Barrios, head of Rio Tinto's aluminum business, said increasing raw materials prices would affect the company's earnings by US$400 million this year against the year-ago total, the Financial Times reported. According to the report, Rio Tinto expects to take a US$178 million hit to its profits from old alumina supply contracts in the first half of the year. It added that there had been a further "negative impact" totaling US$130 million in the third quarter.

* BHP Billiton Group reported an 80% decrease in incidents involving haul trucks at its Jimblebar iron ore mine in Western Australia since investing in a fully autonomous truck fleet in 2013.

* Hesteel Co. Ltd. expects its net profit attributable to shareholders for the quarter ended Sept. 30 to range between 1.48 billion Chinese yuan to 1.68 billion yuan, from 944.3 million yuan reported a year earlier.

* Canada will introduce new quotas and tariffs on imports of seven categories of steel, a measure aimed to head off a potential rise in imports due to the U.S. government's tariffs, Reuters reported, citing the Canadian government. In a separate Reuters report, the Mexico government said it will take action to protect its exporters from the tariffs imposed by Canada.

* Moody's downgraded Westmoreland Coal Co.'s probability of default rating and withdrew all its ratings for the coal producer after Westmoreland and its master limited partnership, Westmoreland Resource Partners LP, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

* European Electric Metals Inc. agreed to acquire Gerold, owner of the past-producing Skroska iron-nickel mine in Albania, for €5.4 million in cash and shares.

* China's unwrought aluminum and aluminum product exports increased 37% yearly to 507,000 tonnes in September, but represented a slight decrease from 510,000 tonnes in August, Reuters reported, citing customs data. Meanwhile, a separate Reuters report said the country's iron ore imports rose to its highest level in four months to 93.08 million tonnes.

* The Russian Steel Association sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov, requesting not to support an initiative of Russian Railways for setting an 8% mark-up to tariffs for export freight in 2019, Vedomosti reported.


* FMC Corp. spinoff Livent Corp.'s shares fell over 5% in the company's market debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 11 before recovering, trading down 2.4% in the afternoon, Reuters reported. Livent CEO Paul Graves, however, dismissed lithium oversupply concerns, saying demand will continue to grow.

* Deer Horn Capital Inc. signed a binding letter of intent to purchase the Colorado Klondike tellurium property in Colorado from Colorado Klondike LLC. The deal's terms were not disclosed.

* Core Exploration Ltd. said a JORC 2012-compliant inferred resource estimate for the Napperby uranium project in Australia's Northern Territory stood at 8.03 million pounds of uranium contained in 9.5 million tonnes grading 382 parts per million U3O8. The estimate used a 200 parts per million U3O8 cutoff.


* A survey by Western Australia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that 54% of surveyed firms, including mining companies, believed that the state's economy would improve over the next 12 months, The West Australian reported.

* Colombia's constitutional court ruled that local referendums that prevent mining and oil extraction cannot stop energy projects, Reuters reported.

* An ad launched by a group of U.S. businesses said that trade tariffs introduced by President Donald Trump are costing local businesses and customers around US$1.4 billion per month, Reuters reported.

* Investor appetite for emerging market assets suffered as trade wars and concerns about global growth helped to stoke a general market rout, analysts said.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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