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In This List

Fire at BHP's Australian iron ore mine disrupts production

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020

Report Outlooks of Lithium and Cobalt

Essential Metals & Mining Insights July 2020


Fire at BHP's Australian iron ore mine disrupts production

TOP NEWS

Fire at BHP's Australian iron ore mine disrupts production

A major fire has broken out at the processing plant of BHP Billiton Group's Mount Whaleback iron ore operation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, disrupting production, The Australian reported. Staff members are thought to be safe, and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Fosun taking 10% stake in Polyus Gold for US$886.9M

A consortium of Chinese investors led by Fosun International Ltd. will purchase a 10% stake in PJSC Polyus with the possibility of acquiring a further 5%. The value of the deal could amount to as much as US$1.37 billion. Russia's largest gold producer will sell 12,561,868 ordinary shares at US$70.6025 each, which amounts to a 10% stake worth US$886.9 million.

Asanko Gold rejects Muddy Waters' claims of potential bankruptcy

Canada's Asanko Gold Inc. rejected claims by short-seller Muddy Waters LLC that it is heading for bankruptcy and urged shareholders to ignore the report. The Muddy Waters report claims that "flawed geology" led Toronto-listed Asanko to unrecoverable investments in Nkran, Esaase and various satellite deposits and expects the company to run out of cash in 2018 while trying to service US$165 million in debt.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton may choose a replacement for Jac Nasser as chairman in its June board meeting, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

* The mining giant told Australian shareholders that it will move countercyclically while it spends on projects, acquisitions or shareholder returns, The Australian Financial Review reported.

BASE METALS

* BHP Billiton Group ended force majeure at its Escondida copper mine in Chile over a month after the strike at the mine ended, which is estimated to have cost the mining giant about US$1 billion, Reuters reported.

* Nearly 100 contract workers at Audley Capital Advisors LLP's Mantoverde and Mantos Blancos copper projects in Chile, partially blocked access to both mines in protests against the company's proposal to change the current collective negotiations framework agreement. The protests limited the flow of workers and equipment into and out of the sites, the company said, magazine Minería Chilena reported.

* Libero Mining Corp. estimated a mineral resource of 711 million tonnes at 0.33% copper equivalent at its Tomichi porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit in Colorado, at 0.25% copper equivalent cutoff.

* Zinc of Ireland NL estimated a maiden JORC 2012-compliant mineral resource of about 5.2 million tonnes at 8.6% combined zinc and lead for 374,400 tonnes of contained zinc and 72,800 tonnes of contained lead at its flagship Kildare MVT zinc project in Central Ireland.

* Copper production in Chile could reach between 130 million and 150 million tonnes by 2035, of which 85% would come from processing copper sulfides concentrates. The trend would double the current rate of tailings output, which would grow from 600 million tonnes per year to 1.2 billion tonnes, according to Chilean think tank Fundación Chile's estimates, daily Diario Financiero reported.

* Minería Chilena wrote that private equity firm Mineria Activa, the 90%-owner of the Pampa Camarones copper project in Chile, plans to submit a new environmental impact declaration report in the coming days to reactivate the operation, which has been suspended since October 2016.

* RBC Daily reported that, in May, a consortium of Chinese investors dubbed the Highland Fund raised their stake to 13.33% in an investment project of PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. The main shareholder of Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin and the owner of the ESN group Grigory Berezkin will acquire another 36.67% in the project this year.

* Highland Copper Co. Inc. is acquiring mineral properties covering 447,842 acres in Michigan from Rio Tinto subsidiaries Kennecott Exploration Co. and Rio Tinto Nickel Co. for US$18.0 million.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Fresnillo Plc will invest US$110 million to expand its Herradura gold mine in Sonora, Mexico, the company said. Work began in the first quarter, and operations are set to start in 2018. The mine's lifespan would extend to 12 years with an annual production capacity of 390,000 ounces, daily Opportimes reported.

* Peruvian environmental watchdog Organismo de Evaluación y Fiscalización Ambiental filed preventive measures against Aruntani SAC over the presence of concentrations of heavy metals in the influence area of its Arasi gold mine in the Puno region, news agency Andina reported.

* Torex Gold Resources Inc. secured a binding agreement for a US$400 million debt facility to refinance an existing project finance facility used for the construction of the El Limon-Guajes mine in Mexico.

* St Barbara Ltd. entered into forward gold contracts to secure a reliable cash margin on an additional 50,000 ounces of the Simberi mine's anticipated fiscal 2018 gold production, at A$1,730 per ounce. A total of 100,000 ounces of Simberi's anticipated full-year gold production in 2018 is now hedged.

* The development of Taranis Resources Inc.'s Thor silver project in British Columbia is facing permitting delays from the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

* WPG Resources Ltd. increased the contained gold resource at its Challenger mine in South Australia by 27%. The resource now stands at 1.4 million tonnes at 7.62 g/t for 343,299 contained gold ounces.

* Goldcorp Inc. completed the sale of its 100% interest in the Cerro Blanco gold-silver project in Guatemala to Bluestone Resources Inc.

* Patagonia Gold Plc completed the disposal of its Cap-Oeste Sur Este gold-silver project in Argentina to a subsidiary of Pan American Silver Corp. for US$15 million.

* Polymetal International Plc acquired another 25% stake in the Dolinnoye gold property for US$1.6 million, taking its interest to 50%.

* Yorbeau Resources Inc. agreed to sell its net smelter royalty over the Ellison gold property in Quebec to Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. for about C$2.3 million.

* Eastern Goldfields Ltd. signed an exploration farm-in joint venture agreement for certain tenements at the Menzies and Goongarrie projects in Western Australia with Intermin Resources Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Black Mountain Gold Ltd.

* Lundin Law PC launched a class action lawsuit against Asanko Gold Inc. for possible violations of federal securities laws. At least four law firms are investigating potential securities claims on behalf of Asanko Gold shareholders, alleging that the company may have issued materially misleading business information to investors.

* Jaxon Minerals Inc. signed a binding letter of intent to acquire the 15,531.8-hectare Foremore gold-silver property located adjacent to the company's Wishbone property in British Columbia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* China's Belt and Road Initiative is expected to boost global steel demand by about 150 million tonnes, Mining Weekly reported, citing BHP COO Arnoud Balhuizen.

* Gensource Potash Corp.'s feasibility study for its Vanguard One potash project in Saskatchewan indicated the operation will have a posttax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of US$235.8 million and internal rate of return of 16.31%.

* South32 Ltd. agreed to add AusQuest Ltd.'s Cerro De Fierro iron oxide-copper-gold project in Peru to their strategic alliance, bringing the total number under the joint venture to six.

* Haranga Resources Ltd. signed a deal to off-load its Selenge iron ore project in Mongolia to Ambaatar Bilguun.

* National Aluminium Co. Ltd. kicked off a process to open its south face bauxite deposit near existing Panchpatmali mines in India's Odisha state, Mining Weekly reported.

* Gulf Manganese Corp. Ltd.'s wholly owned subsidiary, PT Gulf Mangan Grup, signed a binding land lease agreement with the government of the East Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia for the construction of the company's Kupang manganese smelting hub.

* India's Hindalco Industries Ltd. intends to install an alloy plate manufacturing plant with an investment of 20.00 billion Indian rupees, which will cater to the country's defense sector, LiveMint reported.

* Arrium Ltd. administrator Mark Mentha said the company received two offers from shortlisted bidders for the company's operations, but both offers had "many" conditions attached, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Vedanta Ltd.'s board approved a plan to raise up to 3.5 billion Indian rupees via the issuance of nonconvertible debentures with a face value of 1 million rupees each. The notes will be redeemable after two years following allotment.

* Kibo Mining Plc received written reconfirmation from the ministry of energy and minerals in Tanzania calling for an expedited development of the Mbeya coal-to-power project.

* China's Jiuquan Iron & Steel Group will resume operations at Alumina Partners of Jamaica between June 18 and June 20 and aims to return to a production capacity of 1.65 million tonnes per annum within a month, Metal Bulletin reported.

SPECIALTY

* ASX-listed Black Rock Mining Ltd. executed a memorandum of understanding, aiming to sell graphite concentrates to a Chinese spherical graphite manufacturing and marketing company. The Chinese firm showed interest in buying 50,000 tonnes per annum of graphite concentrate from the Mahenge graphite project in Tanzania, subject to testing the concentrate quality for battery-grade spherical graphite.

* Medallion Resources Ltd. and Rare Earth Salts Separations and Refining LLC executed a nonexclusive commercial agreement to produce, market and share revenue from the sale of finished rare earth products. The agreement contemplates Medallion producing and supplying its rare earth concentrate to Rare Earth Salts for separation and refining into marketable rare earth oxides.

* Plato Gold Corp. entered two option deals to acquire the Good Hope niobium project in Ontario.

* U.K.-based mining investment firm Cadence Minerals Plc Chairman Andrew Suckling said the company's primary assets in Mexico and the Czech Republic were likely to become important sources of battery-grade lithium carbonate from 2019 onward, Mining Weekly reported.

* Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. recovered an 84.65-carat and 53.90-carat gem-quality diamond from the Gahcho Kue diamond mine in Canada's Northwest Territories in April. Additionally, the Gahcho Kué joint venture approved a US$19 million budget for the winterization of the conveyor systems and installation of expanded dust mitigation.

* The South African government refused to grant an exemption to diamond miner De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. regarding exports to neighboring Botswana for aggregation, Mining Weekly reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Mining exploration in Peru is expected to gain momentum in the second half, on the back of the upcoming approval of new regulations, Deputy Mines Minister Ricardo Labo said, Andina reported.

* U.S. President Donald Trump has made a final decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to reports from news outlets.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.