SAIL to approve US$1B automotive steel JV with ArcelorMittal
Steel Authority of India Ltd., or SAIL, called for an emergency board meeting to approve the long-delayed US$1 billion joint venture to make automotive-grade steel with ArcelorMittal, Reuters wrote, citing three sources familiar with the matter. The companies signed the memorandum of understanding for the joint venture in 2015, but the transaction has been delayed due to clashes over terms of the agreement.
Vale may deploy spare iron ore capacity if prices get too high
Vale SA CEO Fabio Schvartsman told Bloomberg News that the company is ready to use its idle 50-million-tonne iron ore capacity to help maintain market balance if prices become too high. According to the report, Vale expects to produce 390 million tonnes of iron ore next year, and output is capped at 400 million tonnes over the following four years, compared to the company's annual production capacity of 450 million tonnes.
Vedanta's Zambian unit to set up base metals processing plants
Vedanta Resources Plc's Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines Plc is aiming to set up a copper smelter in Zambia as part of a US$1 billion investment program it announced in March, Reuters reported. The company plans to construct a copper refinery at Nchanga, in Chingola, and a cobalt processing plant and a training academy at Konkola. The program will also see the de-watering of the Konkola copper-cobalt mine in the country.
* Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. Ltd. has started idling 20% to 30% of its 800,000-tonne annual copper smelting capacity in accordance with an Anhui province government directive to curb pollution over the winter months, Bloomberg News reported, citing a company official.
* The No. 2 workers union at Chilean state miner Empresa Nacional de Minera's Paipote copper smelter began an indefinite strike after workers rejected the company's proposal of a 1.2% readjustment on wages beginning 2019, Diario de Atacama reported. The workers demanded a salary increase of 0.6% beginning this month, followed by another hike of 0.6% in December 2018.
* Pasinex Resources Ltd. secured an option to earn up to an 80% stake in the Gunman high-grade zinc project in Nevada from Cypress Development Corp. and Silcom Systems Inc.
* Minsur SA's board approved a US$150 million budget to finance subsidiaries Marcobre SAC, Minera Sillustani SAC, and Compañía Minera Barbastro SAC in Perú, and Mineração Taboca SA in Brazil, Gestión reported, citing the company's filing with Peruvian regulator SMV.
* First Cobalt Corp. bought four contiguous mining claims in Ontario near the past-producing Caswell mine for 224,000 company shares.
* Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. said a Dec. 5 incident related to a ground fall at its Tshepong gold mine in South Africa killed one of its employees. An investigation into the incident is underway, but challenging conditions continue to hamper efforts to recover the miner's body.
* Brio Gold Inc.'s preliminary economic assessment for an underground operation at the Santa Luz gold project in Brazil estimated a post-tax net present value, discounted at 5%, of US$103 million, a 27% internal rate of return, and additional production of 500,000 gold ounces.
* Maximus Resources Ltd. placed its Burbanks gold treatment plant on stand-down due to a lack of ore supply. Meanwhile, Empire Resources Ltd. gave a 30-day notice to terminate the toll treatment agreement.
* Monarques Gold Corp. secured another custom milling contract for its Camflo gold mill in Quebec. Ressources Nottaway Inc will process at least 15,000 tonnes of ore per month in 2018 from its Vezza gold mine for a minimum of 180,000 tonnes in the whole year at Camflo.
* Kin Mining NL's board has decided to proceed with the development of the Leonora gold project in Western Australia. This follows the completion of a definitive feasibility study and the execution of a binding senior secured credit facility for US$27 million with Sprott Private Resource Lending to fully fund the pre-production capital cost of Leonora.
* Goldcliff Resource Corp. is examining regulatory compliance requirements for an initial coin offering as part of an effort to introduce a digital currency based on gold.
* The Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia gave conditional approval to BHP Billiton Group for the development of its open-cut, US$3.2-billion South Flank iron ore project in the Pilbara region. Western Australia's Environment Minister Stephen Dawson will make the final decision, The West Australian reported.
* Separately, BHP tapped BGC Contracting for the major refurbishment of the Coondewanna airport, serving the Area C project, and the expansion of maintenance facilities at the Jimblebar site.
* Vale completed the sale of its two remaining vessels, both with 400,000-tonne capacities, for about US$178 million to the nominees of Bank of Communications Finance Leasing Co. Ltd. The company has sold all 19 of its very large ore carriers as it looks to focus on core assets.
* Kobe Steel Ltd.'s Japanese Industrial Standards certifications were suspended at its Moka aluminum and aluminum alloy plant, and at its aluminum extrusion plant in Chofu, in the wake of a widespread data falsification scandal. The certifications were revoked for unit Shinko Metal Products, which ships copper and copper alloy seamless pipes, and for the company's Hatano plant.
* Mayur Resources Ltd. signed a memorandum of agreement with the government of Papua New Guinea's Gulf Province for the development of its natural resources, including coal and industrial minerals, under an exclusive license.
* The Securities and Exchange Board of India fined Tata Steel Ltd. for 1 million Indian rupees for delays in making necessary disclosures on increased shareholding in Tinplate Co. of India Ltd., Mint reported. Tata Steel currently holds nearly 75% in Tinplate.
* Authorities of a northern Indiana city threatened to take legal action against U.S. Steel Corp., condemning the company's silence over an October spill of a potentially carcinogenic chemical into a Lake Michigan tributary, The Associated Press reported.
* Moody's revised the outlook on ArcelorMittal's ratings to positive from stable while affirming the steel giant's Ba1 credit rating.
* ArcelorMittal plans to invest US$60 million into its Tubarão steelworks in Brazil to increase steel production capacity to 7.70 million tonnes per year, Metal Bulletin reported.
* Data from Statistics South Africa showed that mining production rose 5.2% year on year in October, led by iron ore, Mining Weekly reported.
* Chinese steel producers' preference for higher-grade iron ore is taking its toll on producers of lower-grade ore from India, which are struggling to sell a fraction of their production in the previous year, Bloomberg News reported.
* Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. CEO Jochen Tilk met with Corfo executive vice president Eduardo Bitrán to discuss the ongoing legal conflict between the Chilean development agency and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, or SQM, concerning lithium mining concessions in northern Chile, Reuters reported. PotashCorp holds a 32% stake in SQM, which it is mulling to sell as part of its merger with Agrium Inc.
* France's Electricité de France SA, or EDF, rejected a debt restructuring proposal from the administrators of Paladin Energy Ltd., saying the deal is not in the interest of creditors.
* Lithium Australia NL's graphite spinoff, BlackEarth Minerals NL, reached the minimum subscription of A$4.5 million for its IPO. The company can raise a maximum of A$6.0 million in the offer, which is scheduled to close Dec. 14.
* Mineral Resources Ltd. said that it will take appropriate action to protect its legal interests from the allegations of Michael Langford, who made damaging social media posts on Twitter on the quality of direct shipping ore from the Wodgina lithium project in Western Australia.
* Savannah Resources Plc said that the Mutamba Consortium completed the commissioning of a pilot processing plant at the mineral sands project in Mozambique. The 20-tonne-per-hour plant will be used to produce concentrates as part of the pre-feasibility study for Mutamba, which began earlier this year.
* Zimbabwe's finance ministry proposed to confine laws that require the transfer of a 51% interest in companies to its black citizens to just the platinum and diamond mining industries, Bloomberg News reported.
* Mining fatalities in South Africa rose for the first time in nine years, with 81 fatalities reported from January through November this year, compared to 73 fatalities in 2016, Bloomberg News reported, citing the Chamber of Mines.
* The Australian Tax Office said its corporate tax take fell A$3.6 billion in 2015-2016 amid the mining and energy sector's reduced profitability during the period, though an ATO official said the tax office expects increased collections in 2016-2017 thanks to higher commodity prices, The Australian Financial Review reported.
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