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Newcrest OKs Cadia expansion phase; Evolution flags higher costs


Newcrest approves first phase of Cadia expansion project

Newcrest Mining Ltd.'s board approved the execution of the first of two stages of the Cadia expansion project in New South Wales, Australia. A feasibility study estimated first-stage capital cost of US$685 million to increase plant capacity of 33 million tonnes per annum. The first stage comprises developing the PC2-3 mine, where production is targeted in Newcrest's fiscal 2023.

Evolution hikes FY'20 production cost estimate; fiscal Q1 output slips YOY

Evolution Mining Ltd. raised its all-in sustaining cost guidance for its fiscal 2020 by A$50 per ounce to between A$940/oz and A$990/oz, citing a revised mine plan at the Mount Rawdon pit in Queensland, Australia, and higher royalty payments and lower byproduct credits. The company produced 191,967 ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of A$1,018/oz in the first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, down from 200,218 ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of A$885/oz in the year-ago quarter.

Vale's Q3'19 iron ore output, sales down YOY

Vale SA's third-quarter iron ore production fell 17.4% year over year to 86.7 million tonnes from a record 104.9 Mt, while pellet production fell 19.8% to 11.1 Mt from a record 13.9 Mt. Iron ore sales fell 11.8% to 74.0 Mt as pellet sales sunk 22.3% to 11.1 Mt. Despite further slashing its annual pellet production target to 43 Mt, Vale reaffirmed its iron ore and pellet sales guidance of between 307 Mt and 332 Mt, with sales estimated to be around the midpoint.


* Sierra Metals Inc. reported a 34% year-over-year jump in silver and copper production for the third quarter to 1.0 million ounces and 11.1 million pounds, respectively. Zinc output rose 8% on a yearly basis to 22.5 million pounds, lead rose 65% to 10.5 million pounds, and gold production jumped 83% to 3,490 ounces.

* Chilean state-owned copper miner Codelco is considering closing operations at its Ventanas copper smelter to cut pollution, Reuters reported. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera is expected to announce the closure in the COP25 climate change conference scheduled for December.

* PT Vale Indonesia Tbk.'s nickel production for the third quarter rose 12% from the previous quarter, while output for the first nine months of the year was down 7% to 50,531 tonnes of nickel matte, Reuters reported.

* The liquidation of Doe Run Peru SRL's assets in Peru is gradually advancing as the liquidator firm obtained the necessary votes from creditors to turn mining unit Cobriza into a separate company, Minera Cobriza SA, to expedite its sale. However, creditors representing workers did not approve the conversion of the La Oroya metallurgical complex into a separate business, daily El Comercio reported.

* Trafigura Beheer BV is helping to finance a US$450 million copper and cobalt facility at the Mutoshi mine in Democratic Republic of Congo even while Glencore PLC is set to close its Mutanda copper mine in the country by the end of the year, Financial Times reported, citing unnamed sources. Trafigura is part of a consortium backing the processing plant that includes the First Bank of Nigeria and Africa Finance Corp. Trafigura is betting that the Mutoshi mine can become a competitive producer just as demand starts to rise.

* Nyrstar NV's Langlois zinc mine in Quebec will operate on care and maintenance with production to cease in December, following an in-depth geological and budget analysis. Nyrstar said the rock conditions have deteriorated to the point where the company considers it uneconomic to continue to mine ore in 2020.

* The EU imposed tariffs as high as 66.4% on steel products from China as part of a crackdown on alleged dumping by Chinese exporters of steel wheels for vehicles, European Views reported.

* A major nickel exploration campaign will start this month at Hannans Ltd.'s Forrestania nickel project in Western Australia.


* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. is aiming to double its mined gold production in the next three to five years as the company starts internationalizing, even though the company expects to miss the production target set for this year, Executive Director and Senior Vice President George Fang said at LBMA's Global Precious Metals Conference in Shenzhen in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

* OceanaGold Corp. slashed its full-year gold production guidance to between 460,000 and 480,000 ounces, from between 500,000 and 550,000 ounces previously, due to a blockade disrupting operations at its Didipio gold-copper mine in the Philippines.

* Lundin Gold Inc. said operations at its Fruta del Norte gold mine in Ecuador are returning to normal as the movement of key supplies and personnel resumed after roadblocks were lifted. The company expects commissioning activities to return to the normal plan in the next few days.

* Great Panther Mining Ltd. slashed its full-year gold equivalent production guidance to between 150,000 and 160,000 ounces from between 171,500 and 185,000 ounces, mainly due to a geotechnical issue at its Tucano gold mine in Brazil.

* B2Gold Corp. approved the US$38 million construction of a solar battery plant at its Fekola gold mine site in Mali. Construction will start at the end of 2019 and is expected to complete in August 2020.

* Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported a 13% year-over-year dip in silver production to 1.9 million ounces for the third quarter, while gold output fell 9% to 11,436 ounces.

* Anglo Asian Mining PLC's gold equivalent production slid to 20,227 ounces in the third quarter from 24,412 ounces a year ago.

* Horizon Gold Ltd. kicked off a scoping study after optimizations identified the highest potential for open pit mining at the Swan North and Swift deposits at Horizon's Gum Creek gold project in Western Australia. The study, based on open pit mining with processing by toll treating, is expected to complete in November.

* Authorities in Guyana ordered Troy Resources Ltd. to halt operations at the Karouni gold mine after a worker died recently following an embankment collapse at the property's Hicks 1 extension trench.

* Thomson Resources Ltd. agreed to acquire the Yalgogrin gold exploration project in central New South Wales, Australia, located 50 kilometers north of its Bygoo tin project, from private company Bacchus Resources Pty. Ltd.

* Altyn PLC outlined an ore reserve at its Teren-Sai project in Kazakhstan of 16.4 million tonnes at 2.74 g/t gold and 4.54 g/t silver containing 1.45 million ounces of gold and 2.40 Moz of silver.

* GWR Group Ltd. signed a joint venture agreement with Blackham Resources Ltd. to mine at the Wiluna West Gold project in Western Australia. The agreement provides for Blackham and GWR to delineate and mine gold deposits at Wiluna West and for processing to take place at the Matilda operation.

* Saturn Metals Ltd. estimated higher indicated and inferred mineral resources of 24.5 million tonnes grading 1.0 g/t gold for 781,000 ounces of gold at a cutoff grade of 0.5 g/t for its Apollo Hill project in Western Australia, from the previous estimate of 20.7 Mt grading 1.0 g/t for 685,000 ounces of gold.

* Ariana Resources PLC was granted renewal of an operational license for its Salinbas gold project in Turkey for five years until June 3, 2024. The company now holds all three operational licenses, Ardala, Salinbas and Hizarliyayla, comprising the Salinbas project. Resource drilling is expected to start in the second quarter of 2020.

* Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd. expects to publish an update for the mineral resource estimate of its Tulkubash gold project before the end of the year. The resource estimate will be used for the project's reserve estimate and the economic model during the first quarter of 2020.


* U.S. President Donald Trump announced economic actions against Turkey in response to its military offensive in northeast Syria, including a planned increase of tariffs on Turkish steel back to 50% from 25% and the suspension of negotiations for a US$100 billion bilateral trade pact.

* PJSC Novolipetsk Steel's third-quarter sales fell 9% year over year to 4.02 million tonnes due to ongoing blast furnace repairs at its Lipetsk operations. Output dropped 16% year over year to 3.73 Mt.

* Peru's Federation of Mining, Metallurgical, Iron and Steel Workers plans to hold a national strike Nov. 27 against extractive companies' rejecting the establishment of collective negotiations to standardize labor benefits, said the organization's general secretary, Jorge Juárez, daily Gestión reported.

* PJSC PhosAgro's CEO and the president of the Russian Fertilizer Producers Association, Andrey Guryev, presented an environmental labeling program for Russian mineral fertilizers to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeev and Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev. Using the labels is expected to strengthen the competitive advantages of Russian producers of environmentally friendly phosphates in global markets, in the context of EU regulations tightening in the near future for fertilizers with high levels of cadmium and other heavy metals.

* PhosAgro and Ma'aden Phosphate Co. signed a cooperation agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to support global food security through using environmentally friendly phosphate-based fertilizers.

* The Western Australian Department of Water and Environmental Regulation granted Sheffield Resources Ltd. the Stage 1B works approval for the Thunderbird mineral sands project, amending the original authority provided by the Stage 1A Works approval to build and operate the project to include an above-ground tailings storage facility for the first three years of production and allow the installation of product load-out facilities at the mine site.

* Peabody Energy Corp. will close its Arclar coal complex in Saline County, Ill., on Dec. 14 due to "uneconomic mining conditions," The Southern Illinoisan reported. The shutdown will impact about 225 workers at the Wildcat Hills mine and the nearby Willow Lake processing facility.

* MACA Ltd. was awarded the Bulk Earthworks for Access Roads and Infrastructure contract for the Iron Bridge magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB Pty. Ltd. The contract is expected to generate A$26 million of revenue for MACA and has already started.


* U.S. Vanadium Holding Co. LLC acquired a vanadium pentoxide-producing facility in Hot Springs, Ark., from a leading Russian steel conglomerate. It is the only high-purity vanadium production facility in the U.S., according to a news release. Investors in U.S. Vanadium Holding include Techmet Ltd., Elysee Development Corp. and The Lind Partners LLC.

* Largo Resources Ltd. achieved record quarterly vanadium production of 2,952 tonnes in the third quarter, rising 15% year over year.

* Bacanora Lithium PLC, which is planning a US$300 million capital raise early in 2020, said its deal with China's Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. will put Bacanora in a better position to raise cash for its Sonora lithium project in Mexico, Reuters reported. Construction at Sonora is slated to begin in the second quarter of 2020, with production in early 2022, six months later than expected.

* Sagon Resources Ltd. estimated a maiden inferred mineral resource of 13.0 million tonnes grading 1.13% total rare earth oxides, comprising 147.3 million kilograms of total rare earth oxides for its Cummins Range rare earths project in Western Australia.

* Core Lithium Ltd. agreed with Lithium Plus Pty. Ltd. to acquire the rights to apply for an ancillary mineral lease within exploration license EL31133 as part of the Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

* Talga Resources Ltd. estimated a maiden resource of 4.6 million tonnes at 25.82% graphite containing 1.2 million tonnes of graphite for its Niska deposits, which form part of the Vittangi graphite project in Sweden.


* Zimbabwe mines minister Winston Chitando said the country is targeting a fourfold increase in revenue from minerals to US$12 billion by 2023 but gave little detail on how this would be achieved, Bloomberg reported. Chitando is also expecting diamond production to increase to 11 million carats by 2023 from 3.2 million carats in 2018, according to Reuters.

* Publicly traded North American metals and mining companies show generally credit-friendly governance characteristics, according to Moody's Investors Service.

* A total of 128 mining fatal accidents were recorded this year in China as of Oct. 12, down 28.1% year over year, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing National Coal Mine Safety Administration spokesperson Shi Baozhong.

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