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Alcoa swings to Q3 loss on pension charges, flags closure of 2 Spanish plants


Alcoa swings to Q3 loss on pension charges, flags closure of 2 Spanish plants

Alcoa Corp. swung to a net loss of US$41.0 million for the third quarter, from a net profit of US$113.0 million recorded a year earlier, with results including a negative impact of US$160 million for special items mainly due to a US$174 million settlement charge from further actions on U.S. pension and other post-employment benefit obligations.

South32 metallurgical coal output soars 207% YOY in Q1'19

South32 Ltd.'s alumina production in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019 fell 9% year over year to 1.16 million tonnes, while aluminum output was flat at 248,000 tonnes. The company's metallurgical coal output, meanwhile, soared 207% to 1.52 million tonnes in the quarter, but energy coal production notched a 6% decline to 6.56 million tonnes. Manganese ore production rose 11% to 1.45 million wet tonnes. South32 maintained its annual production guidance for all operations.

Acacia employees, subsidiaries charged with tax invasion, money laundering in Tanzania

Providing further details on the arrests of its current and former employees in Tanzania, Acacia Mining PLC said a former employee together with three of its current employees have been charged by country's authorities for violating money laundering rules. The other charges were ranging and include tax evasion, conspiracy, a charge under organized crime legislation, forgery and corruption.


* BHP Billiton Group Chairman Ken MacKenzie said the company has not suffered a material impact from current global trade tensions on its business, but it remains cautious in the near term, Reuters reported.


* Waterton Global Resource, an investor in Hudbay Minerals Inc., expressed its concerns to company Chairman Alan Hibben, saying it would reserve the right to do anything it deemed necessary to improve the company's performance, Bloomberg News reported, citing a source. The shareholder, which holds around a 7% stake in the miner, plans to discuss replacing members of its board and seek assurances that the company will not pursue acquisitions or joint venture without consulting shareholders.

* Indonesian state-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Persero), or Inalum, is targeting closing a US$3.85 billion deal for a 51% stake in Freeport's local unit in December, Reuters reported, citing Inalum CEO Budi Gunadi Sadikin.

* BHP's Nickel West operation in Western Australia is targeting selling 90% of its output to the battery sector by the end of 2019, Bloomberg News reported.

* Ruben Fernandes, CEO of Anglo American PLC's Brazilian operations, said results of ongoing drilling on the edge of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil were "very promising", hinting at a potential major copper discovery in the area, reported.

* Pacton Gold Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic alliance with Artemis Resources Ltd. to use the latter's Radio Hill processing plant in Western Australia on a nonexclusive basis.

* Sphinx Resources Ltd. finalized a definitive joint venture agreement with Osisko Metals Inc. to explore for zinc in prospective areas of southern Quebec's Grenville geological province.

* Greenfields Exploration Ltd. abandoned its plans to undertake Australia's first retail equity crowdfunding for a miner and to list on the ASX in early 2019 after Independence Group NL agreed to fund initial regional exploration work in Greenland. Independence Group's project generation and evaluation team "rapidly identified" two new belt-scale opportunities: Greenfields' Frontier project and its own 100%-owned Raptor project in Northern Territory.


* Hochschild Mining PLC raised its full-year production guidance to 520,000 gold equivalent ounces while cutting all-in sustaining cost guidance after record results for the first nine months of the year. Third-quarter attributable silver equivalent production slipped to 9.7 million ounces from 10.3 Moz a year ago.

* Barrick Gold Corp.'s and Newmont Mining Corp.'s Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine in Western Australia will cut 45 jobs and reposition a further 140 roles at the site as it looks to reduce costs after a rock fall incident in May affected production, The West Australian reported.

* The Competition Tribunal in South Africa postponed a hearing into the proposed merger between Sibanye Gold Ltd. and Lonmin PLC to November, Mining Weekly reported.

* The Schall Law Firm filed a class-action lawsuit against Pretium Resources Inc. on behalf of the investors who purchased or acquired the company's securities between July 21, 2016, and Sept. 6, 2018. The legal action alleges that the company made false and materially misleading stamens regarding its Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia, which in turn caused damages to investors.

* Endeavour Mining Corp. expects the first gold pour at the Ity carbon-in-leach project in Côte d'Ivoire about two months ahead of schedule in the second quarter of 2019, compared to the previously targeted mid-2019.

* Thundelarra Ltd. signed a binding deal to acquire the Abbotts gold exploration project in Western Australia from Doray Minerals Ltd. for 11 million shares.

* Troy Resources Ltd. suspended and deferred mining at the Smarts 3 pit of the Karouni mine in Guyana after the operation sustained a geotechnical event, which resulted in the pit's northern wall failing.

* Open pit mining started at Blackham Resources Ltd.'s Wiluna gold mine in Western Australia with free milling ore from the surface. Meanwhile, total indicated and inferred resources for the mine increased to 1.5 million ounces of gold contained in 18.6 million tonnes grading 2.52 g/t.

* IDM Mining Ltd. started drilling at its Red Mountain gold mine, with an estimated 7,600 meters in over 30 holes planned for the exploration program, which aims to test four areas, Mining Weekly reported.


* Alcoa plans to close at its Aviles and La Coruna aluminum plants in Spain, the least productive of the company's operations due to inherent structural issues. The company will begin a formal consultation process for collective dismissals that would affect all employees at the two plants. Avilés employs 317 employees and La Coruña employs 369 personnel. Additionally, Alcoa's board approved a stock repurchase program, under which the company may buy back up to US$200 million of its outstanding shares, depending on available cash flow and market conditions.

* Steel Dynamics Inc.'s attributable net income jumped to US$398.4 million in the third quarter, from US$153.3 million a year earlier. The result included charges of around US$13 million in connection with its recent Heartland acquisition, and a tax benefit of US$10 million.

* Canada will implement provisional safeguards for a 200-day period, through quotas and tariffs on imports of seven steel products, according to Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. Meanwhile, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal has been directed to investigate whether safeguards measures for up to four years are necessary.

* Coronado Global Resources Inc.'s brokers told fund managers ahead of the company's institutional bookbuild scheduled for Oct. 18 and 19 that demand for the miner's over A$1B IPO is now exceeding the supply, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk wrote. The coal miner is seeking to raise between A$1.16 billion and A$1.39 billion from the offering.

* India's Jindal Stainless Ltd. is working with banks to exit a central bank-mandated restructuring by the end of its fiscal year after it settles most of its dues, Bloomberg News reported, citing Managing Director Abhyuday Jindal. Once it exits restructuring, it plans to increase capacity to 2.4 million tonnes by 2021 from the current 1.6 million tonnes.

* To make its offer for Essar Steel India Ltd. eligible, ArcelorMittal approved a payment of 74.69 billion Indian rupees to creditors of Uttam Galva Steels Ltd. and KSS Petron Pvt. Ltd. to clear overdue debts. The steelmaker said that the payment was the appropriate course of action under the circumstances.

* Most of debt-laden Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd.'s creditors selected JSW Steel Ltd.'s 196 billion Indian rupee bid for its sale, beating rival bids from Tata Steel Ltd. and Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House Ltd., Bloomberg News reported.

* JSW Steel may not pursue Essar Steel's acquisition if it wins a bid for Bhushan Power and Steel, Mint reported, citing sources.

* The Indian Coal Ministry directed state-owned Coal India Ltd. to immediately start liquidating coal stockpiles in a bid to mitigate shortages at power plants across the country, after the miner failed to effectively review production and supplies, Mining Weekly reported.

* The government of Wales is finalizing a policy that would approve coal mining applications only under "wholly exceptional circumstances," BBC News reported. The government is analyzing consultation responses for the proposed rules that are set to be completed by the end of the year.

* BlueScope Steel Ltd. unit New Zealand Steel Ltd. acquired about a 15.8% stake in Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd. for A$42.3 million.

* Gulf Manganese Corp. Ltd. lost a A$10.8 million cornerstone investment for its Kupang smelting development after the new governor of East Nusa Tenggara told local reporters he would ban mining.

* Contura Energy Inc. and Alpha Natural Resources Holdings Inc. will meet in New York on Nov. 7 to vote on the metallurgical coal producing companies' plans to merge.

* As Beijing's flexibility on its industrial production curbs drove up demand, Chinese coking fuel futures reached their highest pricing in more than a year Oct. 17, Reuters reported.


* The Chilean government plans to seek international arbitration over Albemarle Corp.'s alleged non-compliance with a 2016 contract, Reuters reported. State development authority Corfo said the lithium miner failed to make a "serious" offer for as much as 25% of its yearly output to be provided at a discounted rate to companies looking to produce battery materials within Chile.

* Core Exploration Ltd. struck high-grade lithium about 88 kilometers by road from the Port of Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, and expects to start mining in 2019, ABC reported, citing Managing Director Stephen Biggins.

* Drilling at Sheffield Resources Ltd.'s Dampier project in Western Australia identified three new mineral sands discoveries near the Thunderbird deposit.


* The White House announced additional sanctions against Iranian companies, including the country's top steel manufacturer, Esfahan's Mobarakeh Steel Co., and Iran's Zinc Mines Development Co., a zinc and lead mining and processing company. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the sanctions, part of the Trump administration's wider campaign against Tehran and designated Iranian banks.

* The exploration sector rebounded strongly in September as an increase in all four metrics — significant drill results, significant gold and base metals financings, project milestones and initial resources — caused S&P Global Market Intelligence's Pipeline Activity Index, or PAI, to jump to 95 in September from 80 in August. By target, the gold PAI surged to 141 from 110, while the base metals PAI increased to 59 from 55.

* Zambian Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said mining companies operating in the country will still be able to meet their operational costs even after the government imposes higher taxes, giving an impression that the country did not plan to reverse the proposed taxes, Reuters reported.

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