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Barrick Gold to suspend Pascua Lama temporarily; Metinvest Q1 steel output up YOY; Prosecutor seeks to block Samarco restart

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Barrick Gold to suspend Pascua Lama temporarily; Metinvest Q1 steel output up YOY; Prosecutor seeks to block Samarco restart

TOPNEWS

BarrickGold to place Pascua Lama on temporary suspension

isimplementing a temporary suspension plan on Pascua Lama to optimize the project and itsCerro Casaleproject, and will continue exploration works at the Alturas gold discovery,Barrick Chile CEO Rene Muga toldmagazine Minería Chilena whiletalking about the company's priorities in Chile.

produced about 2.00million tonnes of crude steel in the first quarter, from the 1.67 million tonnesproduced in the same period in 2015. Hot metal production rose 17% year overyear to 2.06 million tonnes, and iron ore concentrate output increased 6% to7.91 million tonnes. Production of coal concentrate decreased 6% to 799,000tonnes.

Environmentalprosecutor seeks to block Samarco restart

MinasGerais state environmental prosecutor Carlos Eduardo Pinto filed a petitionwith a court in Belo Horizonte, seeking to block the planned restart of and 's joint ventureoperations until proof is submitted by Samarco Mineração SA that the leakages at the dam havebeen contained completely, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The stateprosecutor has also called for a fine of 1 million Brazilian reais until thesituation is resolved.

DIVERSIFIED

*Minas Gerais state environmental prosecutor Carlos Eduardo Pinto filed apetition with a court in Belo Horizonte, seeking to block the planned restart of and 's joint ventureoperations until proof is submitted by Samarco Mineração SA that the leakages at the dam havebeen contained completely, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The stateprosecutor has also called for a fine of 1 million Brazilian reais until thesituation is resolved.

*Fitch Ratings said that AngloAmerican Plc's US$1.5 billion sale of its niobium and phosphatesassets is at a better price than the rating agency had expected and is apositive step for the group's disposal program. However, several of theremaining non-core assets are either loss-making or only marginally profitable.Fitch, therefore, continues to expect further disposals to be at multiples of less than 4xEBITDA, in contrast to the roughly 10x multiple for the sale to ChinaMolybdenum. Meanwhile, completion of the planned disposals, combined with debtreduction, could lead to Anglo's outlook being revised to stable.

BASEMETALS

*The president and CEO of SouthernCopper Corp. Oscar Gonzales Rocha said the company will notrenounce its TiaMaria copper project in Tambo valley and downplayed the calls fornew strikes against the Peruvian project. Gonzales said that once the secondround of presidential elections, scheduled for June 5, are over, the companywill request a pending construction license before the Ministry of Energy andMines. The miner will reapply for the license if it does not obtain the permitbefore the new government takes office, Gonzales said during an activity withcommunities in Tambo, local daily El Búhoreported.

*The Chilean internal revenue service SII is reportedly retaining about US$1billion in tax refunds to an undisclosed number of mining companies operatingin Chile, sources tolddaily El Mercurio. The sources wouldnot specify the number of companies involved in the situation, but saidCodelco is not amongthem. The Chilean state is supposedly delaying payments without giving thecompanies much explanation, allegedly due to cash difficulties in the Treasurydepartment, the sources said.

*A federal court in the Argentine province of San Juan rejected two legal claimsfiled by AntofagastaPlc's LosPelambres copper mine in Chile, as part of the civil trial betweenAntofagasta and GlencorePlc over the ElPachon tailings deposit, which is owned by Pelambres but located inGlencore's El Pachon mine in Argentina. Pelambres argued that the court had nojurisdiction over the landfill and other legal procedures. The mine can appealthe ruling, daily Diario Financiero reported.

* Inits bid to further cut costs, Codelco said it is looking for new low-costsuppliers and revamp its offices in China to bring down its C1 costs to US$1.25per pound, from US$1.38 per pound in 2015, Business News Americas reported.

*Operations at the Antucoya copper mine in northern Chile were suspendedafter a worker fell and died at the site during inspection of a mineinstallation, Reuters reported.The mine is owned by Antofagasta Plc unit Antofagasta Minerals SA and

* Aworker died in Volcan CompañíaMinera SAA's Andaychagua zinc mine in Peru's Junín region, afterbeing run over by heavy machinery. The company and police are investigating theincident, news radio RPP Noticias reported.

*JSC Chelyabinsk ZincPlant's 2015 net profit jumped 59% year over year to 3.75 billion Russianrubles, versus 2014 profit of 2.35 billion rubles. The Russian companyattributed the jump in annual profit to the devaluation of ruble, growth inzinc and zinc alloy sales, as well as the reversal of the previously accruedimpairment loss related to the LLP Nova Zinc property, plant and equipment.

*PJSC MMC NorilskNickel's consolidated nickel output year on year in the firstquarter to 63,631 tonnes, while its copper production decreased by 3% to 87,255tonnes; palladium and platinum output, however, both increased to 642,000ounces and 171,000 ounces, respectively.

*French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has confirmed to facilitate a loan of up to€200 million to 's New Caledonia-basedunit Societe Le Nickel. Valls said the financing will be in place until 2018but the final terms are still under negotiation.

PRECIOUSMETALS

*Barrick Gold Corp. isimplementing a temporary suspension plan on Pascua Lama to optimize the project and itsCerro Casaleproject, and will continue exploration works at the Alturas gold discovery,Barrick Chile CEO Rene Muga toldmagazine Minería Chilena whiletalking about the company's priorities in Chile.

*Two employees of Anglo AmericanPlatinum Ltd. were killed in an incident involving a winch rope at theTumela mine, part of the Amandelbult Section platinum operations in South Africaon April 26.

*DRDGold Ltd.declared athird-quarter dividend of 38 South African cents per share for the quarterended March 31. Together with the interim dividend of 12 cents per share, thetotal distribution of 50 cents to date in fiscal 2016 is a 400% improvement onthe total distribution of 10 cents per share for the whole of fiscal 2015.

*Illegal gold mining in Peru's River Santiago is causing contamination ofdrinking water, destruction of forests, child labor, and prostitution, The Guardian wrote,citing local NGOs.

*The Royal Bank of Canada is suing NordGold NV unit CrewGold Corp. over a US$7.1 million fee that the bank was supposed toacquire for selling all or a substantial portion of the company to a third partyin 2010, Mining.com reported. Crew Gold representatives will contest the claimin the Ontario Superior Court of Justice once the trial begins in late May, asthe company says that the Royal Bank of Canada was not involved in the finalsale.

BULKCOMMODITIES

*Metinvest BV producedabout 2.00 million tonnes of crude steel in the first quarter, from the 1.67 milliontonnes produced in the same period in 2015. Hot metal production rose 17% yearover year to 2.06 million tonnes, and iron ore concentrate output increased 6%to 7.91 million tonnes. Production of coal concentrate decreased 6% to 799,000tonnes.

*Gerdau Steel is planning to increase capacity at its plant in India's AndhraPradesh by 200,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes in total through an investment of10 billion Indian rupees, Business Linereported."We have started looking at plans to expand product portfolio and furtherprocess debottlenecking," Gerdau Steel India Ltd. Managing Director SridharKrishnamoorthy said.

*Japan's ITOCHU Corp.and Mitsui & Co.Ltd. have made separate offers for Anglo American Plc's 40% stake in the Samancor manganesejoint venture with South32Ltd. The stake could sell for up to US$700 million.

*Coal of Africa Ltd.entered into a memorandum of understanding with , which is interested in acquiring a stake in Coal of Africa'sSouth Africa-based Makhado coking coal project, Mining Weekly reported.

*Separately, Business Day reported that Hengshun pitched a proposal to acquire up to34% interest in the Makhado project through a Coal of Africa unit for aboutUS$114 million.

*Vale is unlikely to acquire up to a 15% stake in undertheir March deal."We obviously do not have the resources nor the balance sheet to do itright now, so it is more of a long-term optionality," CFO Luciano SianiPires said. "It is welcome as an option, but nothing that we want to pursuein the short, nor even perhaps in the medium term."

*United Co. RUSAL Plcwill also prepaydebt worth US$522 million, utilizing new refinancing tranches to pay off US$414million and the company's own funds for the remaining US$108 million.

*The U.S. Department of Commerce initiated anti-dumping investigations and countervailingduty probes into imports of certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length platecoming from a number of countries, including Brazil, China and Korea, Reutersreported. The investigations were initiated on the requests put forward byArcelorMittal USAInc., NucorCorp. and SSAB Enterprises.

*New World ResourcesPlc Chairman Gareth Penny urged the Czech government to help restructuresome €300 million of debt to avoid its main unit, , from going bankrupt. The unithas only two weeks of cash left and has warned that it may be unable to pay worker salaries.

*Russian fertilizer producer PJSCUralkali entered into a loan agreement with 16 international banksfor a US$1.2 billion loan, Reuters reported. The company plans to utilize the five-year loanfor refinancing and other purposes.

*The recent surge in steel prices may fuel the reopening of the mills, resulting in overcapacitywhich the Chinese government has tried to limit by increasing transaction feesand warning retail investors against commodity trading, the Financial Timeswrote.

*Thousands of German steel and electrical industry workers staged walkoutsacross the country on April 29 as after labor union IG Metall rejected a 2.1%wage increase offer, saying the offered pay hike is far less than the 5% thatit demanded, Reuters reported. IG Metall warned that the union would embark on24-hour strikes if no deal was reached by the Pentecost holiday in mid-May.

SPECIALTY

*Lithium Australia NLand Cazaly ResourcesLtd. have combined their present and future lithium mineralinterests within a 100-kilometer radius of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, foran initial period of five years, forming the Goldfields Lithium Alliance on a50/50 basis.

*Cameco Corp. swung toa first quarter profitof C$78 million from a year-ago loss of C$9million, while revenue fell to C$408 million from C$566 million. The companybooked mark-to-market gains on foreign exchange derivatives in the firstquarter this year, compared to losses in the corresponding period of 2015, aswell as higher gross profit in its fuel services segment. It expects to produce25.7 million pounds of U3O8 this year, compared to 30.0 million poundspreviously expected, with CapEx forecast cut to C$275 million from C$320million.

TheDaily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. London time, and scans news sourcespublished in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish,Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.