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Glencore H1 net income up 13% YOY on higher commodity prices, revenue

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Glencore H1 net income up 13% YOY on higher commodity prices, revenue

TOP NEWS

Glencore H1 net income up 13% YOY on higher commodity prices, revenue

Glencore PLC booked a 13% increase in attributable net income to US$2.78 billion, or 19 U.S. cents per share, in the first half due to strong performances from its metals and minerals and energy segments, partially offset by a weaker performance from its agricultural products segment. Revenue for the period increased to US$108.55 billion, from US$100.29 billion a year earlier. For the metals and minerals segment, adjusted EBITDA grew 28% to US$6.01 billion, and energy products flagged a 19% rise in adjusted EBITDA to US$2.59 billion.

Samarco iron ore mine seen restarting after license review in 2019

BHP Billiton Group and Vale SA joint venture Samarco Mineração SA expects to secure all licenses required to resume operations at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil in 2019, Reuters reported, citing a company statement. In a separate statement, the environmental agency for the country's Minas Gerais state said it expects to conclude an analysis of the licenses in the first half of 2019. Mine operations at Samarco were suspended after a fatal tailings dam accident in 2015 that killed 19 people.

Technology is key to 'future-proof' industry and stave off critics, miners say

Leaders from Northern Star Resources Ltd., Gold Fields Ltd. and Roy Hill Holdings Pty. Ltd. said technology is the key to ensuring the industry's survival, but a Deloitte partner sounded caution amid fears highlighted at a major mining conference in Western Australia about automation potentially leading to "massive" job losses.

BASE METALS

* African Battery Metals PLC is fully acquiring Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. and Regent Resources Interests Corp. in two separate all-share deals. The takeover targets hold cobalt-nickel prospective exploration assets in Cameroon and Cote D'Ivoire, respectively.

* Glencore unit Katanga Mining Ltd. widened its attributable net loss to US$324.5 million in the second quarter from US$126.6 million a year ago. Sales from the Democratic Republic of the Congo-focused copper miner ballooned to US$345.5 million from US$11.7 million due to higher sales of copper cathode and cobalt contained in hydroxide. The company resumed production in late 2017 after completing phase one of the WOL project, part of the Kamoto copper operation in the DRC.

* The union at the Escondida copper mine in Chile called on BHP to revise its negotiating strategy and improve its contract offer during a final phase of talks if it hoped to avoid a strike, Reuters reported. The two sides set the agenda for the last round of talks after BHP requested government-led mediation.

* Independence Group NL is seeking to replicate its success at the Nova nickel mine in Western Australia through exploration across 15,000 square kilometers of tenure within the Fraser Range area, The West Australian reported, citing Managing Director Peter Bradford.

* Talisman Mining Ltd. intends to distribute a substantial proportion of its cash to shareholders after completing a conditional agreement with Sandfire Resources NL for the sale of its 30% interest in the Springfield copper joint venture in Western Australia for A$72.3 million. Sandfire already holds 70% of Springfield.

PRECIOUS METALS

* St Barbara Ltd. CEO Bob Vassie said hunting a development acquisition or even a merger of equals will consume most of his time over the next 12 months, just as EY released new commentary saying it expects gold to continue to dominate global transactions this year along with coal and steel.

* Great Western Mining Corp. PLC shares tanked by more than 50% in afternoon London trades after the company said it recorded no significant gold, copper or trace element geochemistry in the first batch of core samples at the Sharktooth zone, part of its M2-Smith copper-gold project in Nevada. The company said it will terminate drilling at the current hole and move to a new location 600 feet due west.

* ASX-listed Evolution Mining Ltd. is considering an expansion into North America amid the relatively weak valuation of gold assets in the U.S. and Canada, The Australian reported, citing Executive Chairman Jake Klein.

* Australia's Takeovers Panel declined to conduct proceedings on the application from Bullseye Mining Ltd. to look into director Wu Qiyuan and Fountain Enterprises Int'l Co. Ltd., which are trying to replace board members that are resisting a takeover from Red 5 Ltd.

* Novo Resources Corp. President Quinton Hennigh sympathizes with Australia's skeptics who doubt his company's Pilbara conglomerate gold potential but urged patience and suggested those misgivings could be transformed within six months when he reveals the gold's geological source and the critical bulk sampling will hopefully be underway.

* Gold Fields expects its basic EPS for the first half to be at least 20% lower compared to the 7 U.S. cents recorded for the year-ago half. Separately, Gold Field did not guarantee that another cost blowout will not happen for its Gruyere JV with Gold Road, with the budget already swelling by over A$100 million from its original estimate of A$507 million, The West Australian reported, citing Gold Fields' Australasia boss, Stuart Mathews.

* Galantas Gold Corp. said the processing plant at its Omagh gold mine in Northern Ireland began operating on feed from underground development of the Kearney gold vein.

* Gold Road Resources Ltd. Managing Director and CEO Ian Murray called for the gold royalty in Western Australia to remain capped at 2.5% to promote greenfields exploration for gold-focused companies in the state, the Kalgoorlie Miner reported.

* South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union will launch an unspecified industrial action at Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. if talks over the company's plan to slash several thousand jobs fail to stop the layoffs, Reuters reported, citing Union President Joseph Mathunjwa. The company's board recently approved a strategic turnaround that would see 13,000 jobs axed at its Impala Rustenburg operation in South Africa by 2021.

* Underground operations at Doray Minerals Ltd.'s Deflector gold-copper mine in Western Australia were suspended following a fire involving an underground loader.

* Semafo Inc. sunk to an attributable net loss of US$10.4 million in the second quarter, from net income of US$8.9 million a year ago, with gold production falling to 45,700 ounces from 47,600 ounces and gold sales down to US$58.5 million from US$59.3 million.

* Golden Reign Resources Ltd. and Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. signed a definitive agreement regarding the planned merger announced in mid-May, with closing anticipated in October.

* Sunvest Minerals Corp. agreed to acquire privately held 1174679 B.C. Ltd., which owns the 4,215-hectare Moosehead North gold project near Sokoman Iron Corp.'s Moosehead project in Newfoundland and Labrador. Meanwhile, Tasca Resources Ltd. agreed to buy a property that covers 600 hectares near the Moosehead project.

* Brixton Metals Corp. will acquire 29,608 hectares of mineral rights within the Atlin gold camp of British Columbia, which includes the purchase of the Spruce and Yellowjacket properties and the McKee and Otter properties.

* Spectrum Rare Earths Ltd. confirmed that surface infrastructure at the Washington gold mine suffered damage as a result of an active wildfire in California.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Workers at Alcoa Corp.'s operations in Western Australia began an indefinite strike following a dispute over an enterprise agreement, Reuters reported, citing the Australian Workers' Union. According to the union, the strike is the result of Alcoa's application to Australia's workplace regulator to terminate the current agreement, which will affect about 1,500 of the 1,600 employees at its Western Australian operations, which comprise three alumina refiners and two bauxite mines. The refineries have a capacity of 9.3 million tonnes. Alcoa plans to ask workers to vote on a new enterprise bargaining agreement later in August.

* Despite fierce support for coal from the Trump administration, industry representatives at the American Coal Council's Coal Market Strategies conference in New Mexico indicated they are still seeking strategies to address the challenges facing the sector.

* Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional swung to a profit in the second quarter of 1.19 billion Brazilian reais, compared to a year-ago loss of 640 million reais due to gains from the US$400 million sale of Indiana-based unit CSN LLC and a partial reversal of a provision for deferred income tax gains. Net revenue in the quarter jumped 32% year over year to 5.69 billion reais due to higher steel and iron ore sales.

* China's coal imports for July totaled 29.01 million tonnes, up 23.9% from imports in June and up 49.1% from July 2017, Reuters reported, citing customs data. The imports were the highest since January 2014.

* Separately, China's Shanxi province offered to voluntarily cut industrial manufacturing output, including steel and construction materials, during the next three winters in a bid to fight pollution under its 2018-2020 program, Reuters reported. The province will also prohibit new facilities in sectors including steel, coke, metal casting and others in eight cities.

* ArcelorMittal launched cash tender offers to purchase up to US$750 million of notes due 2039 and 2041.

* Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp. swung to a net loss of C$3.2 million in the second quarter from a net profit of C$32.3 million a year earlier, with royalty revenue sliding to C$5.2 million from C$34.2 million as Iron Ore Co. of Canada Inc.'s concentrate production in the second quarter fell 69% year over year to 1.5 million tonnes, while pellet output plummeted 78% in the period.

* Fitch Ratings expects China's boosted demand for high-quality iron ore and coking coal to widen premiums and discounts for the products' various grades relative to benchmarks in the short term but expects the gap to tighten over time.

* Czech miner Euro Manganese Inc. is said to be seeking a dual listing in Australia and Canada by September, with a market capitalization of about A$45 million, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported. The company owns the Chvaletice manganese project in the Czech Republic and is looking to produce "ultra high-quality and high-purity manganese products," namely batteries.

* Wescoal Holdings Ltd. agreed to sell its Leeuw Braakfontein colliery in South Africa to Sitatunga Resources Pty. Ltd. for 103 million South African rand.

* Argentine antitrust regulator CNDC will investigate steelmaker Acindar Industria Argentina de Aceros SA to determine if it abused its dominant position in the market for long steel products to block imports from entering the market at lower prices, Reuters reported.

SPECIALTY

* MGX Minerals Inc. plans to acquire a 50% stake in three prospective lithium exploration projects in Chile.

* Technology Metals Australia Ltd. started work to complete a definitive feasibility study for the Gabanintha vanadium project in Western Australia with a stage-one drilling program of about 6,600 meters.

* E3 Metals Corp. entered into a joint venture with Comstock Metals Ltd. to acquire and develop battery metals deposits in North America.

* Albemarle Corp. posted an attributable net profit of US$302.5 million in the second quarter, nearly tripling from US$103.3 million a year ago on the back of its lithium segment's performance. Lithium net sales rose 30.2% year over year to US$317.6 million due on favorable pricing impacts, increased sales volumes and other factors.

* Pilbara Minerals Ltd. Managing Director Ken Brinsden attempted to address fears of lithium oversupply in the global market, which led to price drops in China, saying the recent slide was caused by subsidy regime changes in China favoring nickel-rich cathode batteries, The West Australian reported.

* Chile's lithium carbonate exports more than doubled to US$85 million in July, compared to the same year-ago period, on the back of higher demand and prices for the key component in electric vehicle batteries, Reuters reported, citing the country's central bank.

* Bass Metals Ltd. reached nameplate production at is Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar.

* Altura Mining Ltd. began trucking lithium concentrate produced at its namesake Altura lithium mine in Western Australia to the port of Port Hedland ahead of the first concentrate shipment.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Despite the widespread outcry from American companies that may suffer as a result of more tariffs, the Trump administration said it would move forward with a 25% tariff on US$16 billion of Chinese imports, marking the latest development in the ongoing trade war between the nations.

* Boosted spending by iron ore majors BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. brought a sense of optimism to Western Australia's mining sector, Reuters reported.

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