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Barrick Gold plans US$1B Pueblo Viejo expansion; Arcelor may bid for Essar plant

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Barrick Gold plans US$1B Pueblo Viejo expansion; Arcelor may bid for Essar plant

TOP NEWS

Barrick Gold pegs US$1B initial capex on Pueblo Viejo expansion

Barrick Gold Corp. estimated an initial capex of at least US$1 billion for the expansion of the processing plant and tailings capacity at its Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic. The project could potentially extend the life of mine to at least 2030. A feasibility study is expected in 2020.

Report: ArcelorMittal, Resurgent studying joint bid for Essar Power plant

ArcelorMittal is in preliminary talks with Resurgent Power Ventures to jointly bid for Essar Power Ltd.'s 1,200-megawatt plant in Madhya Pradesh, India, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources. The report said ArcelorMittal made a non-binding offer of 48 billion Indian rupees in February for the power plant, which supplies electricity to ArcelorMittal's takeover target Essar Steel India Ltd.

Saudi Arabian Mining shares fall on report of up to US$5B capital raise

Shares in Saudi Arabian Mining Co. fell up to 10% on the news that the company is planning a rights offering to raise up to US$5 billion, unnamed sources told Bloomberg News. The company is said to be working with the Saudi unit of HSBC Holdings PLC on the possible offering, which could take place in 2019, though the size is not yet final and may be less than US$5 billion.

BASE METALS

* As it plans to mount a legal challenge to Zambia's planned seizure of Konkola Copper Mines PLC's assets, Vedanta Resources PLC CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said the company remains open to discuss a "mutually agreeable solution" with the government over the issue, Reuters reported.

* Codelco CEO Nelson Pizarro said in a presentation that new environmental regulations in Chile are only adding to the problems of the country's mining industry, Reuters reported, citing local daily La Tercera. Pizarro also criticized the low productivity of Chilean mine workers due to labor policies in the country, the report said.

* The underperformance of the Nifty copper mine Metals X Ltd. bought in 2016 has shredded the company's value to its lowest ebb this year, but it believes the asset is well on its way to being cash positive on the back of a recently announced reset plan.

* On top of daunting engineering issues, low cobalt prices are holding back the development and commercialization of lower-cobalt electric vehicle batteries, analysts say.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Eldorado Gold Corp.'s shares climbed by up to 14.6% on optimism that a snap poll called by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras could result in the election of a new business-friendly party and help the company resolve permitting issues at its Skouries gold project, Reuters reported.

* The Minerals Council of Australia wants the government of Victoria, Australia, to abandon a new 2.75% gold royalty, saying it will threaten investment into the industry. The new tax will be applicable on all operating mines in Victoria, including smaller and marginal ones. The measure would put LionGold Corp. Ltd.'s Ballarat gold mine operations in peril, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing Stephen Jeffers, general manager of LionGold unit and Ballarat mine operator Castlemaine Goldfields Pty Ltd.

* Gold Fields Ltd. completed its previously announced buyback of US$250 million of its outstanding 4.875% notes due 2020 at 102% of par value.

* Core Gold Inc.'s former CEO Keith Piggott brought up further allegations against Titan Minerals Ltd., saying the latter could be responsible for about C$45 million in costs for toxic waste removal and cleanup of cyanide tailings within the Tulin gold plant area in Peru.

* Eloro Resources Ltd. said opponents of a proposed drill campaign at the San Markito target, part of its La Victoria gold-silver project in Peru, are now in favor of renting the land covering the prospect.

* At least nine illegal gold miners were killed after they blasted underground explosives at Metallon Corp.'s mothballed Mazowe gold mine in Zimbabwe, Reuters reported.

* According to gold mining consultants Surbiton Associates, Australia achieved its highest March quarter of gold output since 1998, with production reaching 78 tonnes, Australian Mining reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* State-owned Polish utility TAURON Polska Energia SA is pondering the sale of its Janina coal mine in a bid to reduce carbon emissions, Reuters reported. The news wire earlier reported that Tauron is considering the disposal of some of its loss-making coal mines to improve its finances.

* Thyssenkrupp AG is in talks with steel unit CEO Andreas Goss about ending his contract following its failed European steel joint venture with Tata Steel Ltd., Reuters reported.

* SRG Global secured a A$60 million asset services contract to carry out engineered access work at South32 Ltd.'s Worsley alumina refinery in Western Australia, The West Australian reported.

* An independent expert report by advisory firm BDO backed Angang Group Hong Kong (Holdings) Ltd.'s A$25 million offer to acquire the remaining shares in Gindalbie Metals Ltd. for complete ownership of the Karara Magnetite project in Western Australia, by saying it has been priced at a premium, The West Australian reported.

* Evraz PLC commenced the development of its Kachkanar iron ore project in Russia, Vedomosti reported. The company is expected to invest 6.4 billion Russian rubles for the first stage of field development, where 13 million tonnes are projected to be mined in 2024.

* Henan Shenhuo Coal & Power Co.Ltd. partially halted production at an aluminum smelter in Yongcheng, China due to a fire on May 26. The company suspended 250,000 tonnes of the plant's total capacity of 460,000 tonnes due to the fire, which destroyed three electrolytic tanks.

* Indian crude steel production for April remained nearly flat year on year at 8.662 million tonnes, Press Trust of India wrote, citing government figures.

* China's imports of U.S. coking coal surged 409.7% to 308,789 tonnes in April from 60,585 tonnes in March, Reuters reported, citing General Administration of Customs data.

SPECIALTY

* Galaxy Resources Ltd. has a preferred position to take up a stake in Alliance Mineral Assets Ltd. spinoff Cowan Lithium through its previous investments in Alliance, as well as the former Tawana Resources NL, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Image Resources NL secured sales agreements for all of its current heavy mineral concentrate, or HMC, inventory, including production through May, from its wholly owned Boonanarring mineral sands project in Western Australia.

* Australian Vanadium Ltd. produced high purity vanadium pentoxide from the ongoing pre-pilot testwork at its namesake Australian Vanadium project in Western Australia with quality comparable to those from existing global producers.

* China's ferrovanadium exports in April fell 53.5% year on year to about 344 tonnes on weak demand caused by the wide price gap between the Chinese and European markets during the month, Fastmarkets MB wrote.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries is seeking a 10-year extension for 288 mining leases that will expire in March 2020 due to expected delays in holding fresh auctions for the mines, Mining Weekly reported.

* Matt Canavan was reappointed as Minister of Resources and Northern Australia, under the leadership of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

* Protesters from 10 different anti-mining groups tried to disrupt the New Zealand Minerals Forum in the city of Dunedin by preventing delegates from entering the venue, Radio New Zealand reported. The forum will discuss a number of mining projects, including the formerly state-owned Stockton mine.

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