Aeris Resources confirms interest in Glencore's CSA copper mine
Aeris Resources Ltd. confirmed a report from The Australian Financial Review that it is in talks to buy Glencore PLC's CSA copper-silver mine in New South Wales, Australia, for about US$575 million. The proposed deal would involve up to US$300 million of debt, an equity capital raising of up to US$240 million, and a silver stream of up to US$40 million.
Cyberattack forces Norsk Hydro to partially halt operations
Norwegian aluminum major Norsk Hydro ASA reported an extensive cyberattack affecting several areas and said IT systems are compromised in most divisions. The company said it is working to restart its systems in a safe and sound manner, but it is still not clear how long it might take to restore stable IT operations. Certain systems at the company's extruded solutions and rolled products operations are expected to restart soon, which would allow for continued deliveries to customers.
Brazilian court allows Vale to resume Brucutu operations
A Brazilian court allowed Vale SA to resume operations at its Brucutu iron ore mine and the Laranjeiras tailings dam in Minas Gerais state after production from the mine was suspended and the dam's licenses were canceled in February. The company said the mine remains halted pending compliance from Brazilian environmental regulators. Brucutu is Vale's largest mine in the state and has a yearly capacity of 30 million tonnes.
* PT Aneka Tambang Tbk is racing against time to finish its Haltim ferronickel and Mempawah alumina smelters in Indonesia before the relaxation of a ban on ore exports ends in January 2022, The Jakarta Post reported.
* Chile's Codelco and Ecuador's Enami EP will shortly sign a deal to jointly develop the Llurimagua copper project in Ecuador, Reuters reported, citing Chilean mining minister Baldo Prokurica. Already in its advanced exploration stage, the Llurimagua project may be the first mine Codelco will operate outside Chile following years of attempts at international expansion. Meanwhile, Prokurica separately said that Codelco may lose about US$40 million from the delay of a planned restart of a smelter in Chile due to issues related to construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., which is facing corruption charges in Canada.
* BHP Group signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire up to a 70% stake in Luminex Resources Corp.'s Tarqui 1 and 2 copper mining concessions in Ecuador for up to US$7 million in cash payments and by investing as much as US$75 million in the property. The companies will hold talks over the next three months to sign a binding deal.
* A contract worker died at Anglo American PLC's Los Bronces copper mine in Chile after he was hit by an electrical discharge during maintenance work at the mine's high voltage system. Local authorities were informed and the miner launched an internal investigation into the accident.
* Glencore suspended operations at the South Ore Body shaft, which forms part of its Nkana copper mine in Zambia, following the deaths of two workers in an accident, Reuters reported.
* Hong Kong-listed copper and cobalt producer Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd. recorded a 60.8% year-over-year jump in profit attributable to shareholders for full-year 2018 to US$66.9 million, or 51 U.S. cents per share. Revenue for the year surged 154.9% to US$1.40 billion on the back of strong cobalt prices.
* Nickel Mines Ltd. commissioned the second kiln at its 60%-owned Hengjaya nickel-cobalt mine in Indonesia and produced the first nickel pig iron. The first and second kilns are expected to reach at least 80% nameplate capacity by early April and early May, respectively.
* KGHM Polska Miedź SA averted a strike at its Sierra Gorda copper mine in Chile after it extended negotiations with the union of 520 workers, Reuters reported, citing a union representative.
* Polish lawmakers plan to cut copper taxes to allow KGHM to make more investments, Reuters wrote.
* Poseidon Nickel Ltd. kicked off initial refurbishment of the Silver Swan decline in Western Australia, which will enable safe access into underground diamond drilling platforms for exploration drilling of the Black Swan ore deposit, expected to start this week.
* Antofagasta PLC CEO Iván Arriagada expects the global copper market to have a deficit of between 100,000 tonnes and 300,000 tonnes in 2019, Reuters reported.
* Tri-Star Resources PLC's partners in Strategic & Precious Metals Processing LLC agreed to provide a US$35 million mezzanine loan to cover the joint venture's short-term working capital and capital expenditure requirements. Tri-Star will maintain its 40% shareholding and will not have to inject new funds into the unit, which owns the Oman Antimony Roaster antimony-gold processing facility in Oman.
* Kinross Gold Corp. will secure a 9.7% stake in Wolfden Resources Corp. with a C$2.5 million investment, which will mainly be used to explore the Pickett Mountain zinc-rich polymetallic deposit in northeastern Maine.
* Franco-Nevada Corp. swung to a net loss of US$31.3 million, or 17 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2018, from a net profit of US$43.5 million, or 23 cents per share, recorded a year earlier. The loss reflects US$75.4 million in impairment charges associated with KGHM's Sudbury operations in Ontario.
* IRC Ltd. completed the refinancing of an outstanding loan with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. following the initial US$172 million drawdown by IRC unit Kimkano-Sutarsky Mining and Beneficiation Plant LLC from a US$240 million facility with JSC Gazprombank.
* Crusader Resources Ltd. entered a binding term sheet to sell its wholly owned Juruena gold project in Brazil to Meteoric Resources NL for A$1.0 million cash and A$2.0 million in shares.
* IAMGOLD Corp. will slash its workforce at the Westwood gold mine in Quebec by 32% following an assessment of production levels and costs amid a revision of a life of mine plan.
* The U.S. government sanctioned Venezuela's state-owned gold company Corporación Venezolana de Guayana Minerven CA and its president, Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata, for allegedly being complicit in the illicit activities of disputed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
* The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union agreed, in principle, to accept a proposed settlement deal advanced by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to end a months-long strike at Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s gold operations in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported.
* Endeavour Mining Corp. poured first gold from the Ity gold-silver project in Ivory Coast under its initial budget of US$412 million and four months ahead of schedule, yielding about 1,800 ounces of gold.
* SSR Mining Inc. closed its previously announced US$230 million offering of unsecured convertible senior notes due 2039. Net proceeds are intended for the repurchase of about US$150 million of its outstanding US$265 million 2.875% convertible senior notes.
* A third-party environmental impact audit has begun on Lydian International Ltd.'s Amulsar gold project in southern Armenia. The country's government called activity to a halt on the site in 2018 over concerns for endangered flora and fauna.
* Renforth Resources Inc. renegotiated the remaining work requirement under an option agreement granting Renforth the right to acquire Globex Mining Enterprises Inc.'s Parbec gold project in Quebec.
* Canadian fertilizer company Nutrien Ltd. priced US$750 million of 4.20% senior notes due April 1, 2029, and US$750 million of 5.00% senior notes due April 1, 2049. The net proceeds will mainly be used to repay US$500 million aggregate principal amount of 6.50% senior notes due 2019 upon maturity on May 15.
* TerraCom Ltd. said over three years were added to the economic life of its Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland, Australia, following an increase in the JORC marketable reserves to 23.5 million tonnes. The mine life now stands at about eight further years based on a sales profile of 3 million tonnes per annum.
* New Hope Group Co. Ltd. expects to decide on reopening the Burton coal mine in Queensland, Australia, by the end of the year, Reuters reported, citing CEO Shane Stephan. The mine, which was suspended in December 2016, was purchased from Peabody Energy Corp. in November 2017.
* New Hope warned that it could lay off workers at its New Acland coal mine if the company fails to secure mining leases and a water license for the project's stage-three expansion by the third quarter, The Australian reported.
* The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes rejected Churchill Mining PLC's request to annul an earlier decision that dismissed the company's claims against the Indonesian government over the revocation of its licenses at the East Kutai coal project.
* Evraz PLC's shares opened down 5.7% on March 19 in London after the Russian steelmaker's four core shareholders sold a total of 25.4 million shares in an accelerated bookbuild.
* Delays at Chinese ports have forced Australian coal exporters to divert coal ships or offer the shipments to buyers from other countries, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The delays have occurred amid Australia's ban on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and spying accusations against China.
* French lender BNP Paribas' Cardif insurance division laid out new goals to reduce exposure to coal, Reuters wrote. The company will no longer fund power generation companies where coal-fueled generation comprises more than 30% of installed capacity.
* Several state legislatures took up bills aimed at boosting coal during their 2019 sessions, but industry observers said the efforts will do little to turn the tide for the struggling sector. Robert Godby, director of the University of Wyoming's Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy, said much of the pro-coal legislation "has largely been symbolic" and is unlikely to do much more than slightly extend the life of some affected mines or plants.
* Kalium Lakes Ltd. entered into a nonbinding term sheet with German KfW IPEX-Bank for A$102 million of senior debt funding for its Beyondie sulfate of potash mine in Western Australia in addition to the A$74 million debt funding package the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility recently approved.
* Lepidico Ltd. said the wet commissioning of its pilot plant for lithium processing is on schedule to start in April, with operation during the second half of May.
* First Vanadium Corp. more than doubled the size of its Carlin vanadium property to 3,177 acres from 1,331 acres after staking unpatented lode claims over federal lands near the site.
* Unidentified gunmen shot dead five workers from an unidentified mining company in Ethiopia, Reuters reported.
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