Norway's US$863 billion sovereign wealth fund — said to the biggestin the world — has banned52 coal-related firms from its portfolio in accordance with a new rule that thefund will exclude companies that get more than 30% of their business from coal,Reuters wrote. The banned companies include AES Corp., Allete Inc., and ReliancePower Ltd. of India.
New World ResourcesPlc minority shareholder Arca Capital offeredto buy the coal miner's OKD a.s.unit as the parent scrambles to secure government assistance to stay afloat, Reuterswrote. Arca did not disclose further details on its offer but said the bid wouldkeep OKD mines operating for at least five more years.
Mining giants, private equity firm eyeing Anglo coal assets
Sources said BHPBilliton Group, Rio Tinto,Glencore Plc and privateequity firm Apollo Global Management have signed nondisclosure agreements as partof the sale process, nowentering its second round, of AngloAmerican Plc's Moranbahand Grosvenor coalassets in Australia, Reuters reported. The assets could be valued at US$1.5 billion.
* Caving in to the outcry from suppliers and political pressure,Rio Tinto dropped itsplan to extend the length of payment terms on up to A$24 billion of supply contractsto 90 days from 45 days, The Australian FinancialReview reported.
* Zambia's parliament is set to debate on the country's amendedmines bill which proposesto slash copper mineral royalties to a variable tax of between 4% and 6%, dependingon prices. According to Reuters, the bill also proposes to cut mineral royaltiesfor other base metals to 5% for both underground and open cast operations.Draft legislation indicates that the new royalty regime would be effective as ofApril 1, Bloomberg added.
* Teck ResourcesLtd. said water containing metals had spilledat its Trail zinc and lead smelting and refining plant in British Columbia for upto 20 minutes on April 13, with some discharge possibly leaking to a nearby creek,Reuters reported. The company did not provide an estimate for the volume of thespill but said it would assess the potential environmental impact. The incidentwas caused by a break in the line carrying runoff water from a landfill to the water-treatmentfacility at the project.
* Taseko MinesLtd. said Raging River Capital LP's C$110 million lawsuit is "" and just another"proxy contest tactic," and that it will vigorously defend against thesuit. The dissident shareholder group has sued three Taseko directors — RussellHallbauer, Ronald Thiessen and Robert Dickinson — of benefiting from the 2014 acquisitionof Curis Resources Ltd.to the detriment of other shareholders.
* Antofagasta PlcChairman Jean Paul Luksic expectslow copper prices this year amid the unlikely improvement in the macroeconomic scenario,Diario Financiero reported. Luksic expectsa rebound in copper prices by late 2017.
* Workers at the GlencorePlc-operated Bolivar zinc mine in Bolivia went on hungerstrike demanding the ouster of general manager Juan Carlos Trillo, who allegedlycut back on worker benefits and is allegedly responsible for a death of an employee,Business News Americas reported, citing union leader Germán Chaparro.
* Kirkland LakeGold Inc. expects toproduce 270,000 ounces to 290,000 ounces of gold this year at all-insustaining costs of US$1,000 to US$1,050 per ounce, with CapEx earmarked at C$120million. The company posted first quarter output of 69,464 ounces of gold.
* Hecla MiningCo. posted record silverproduction of 4.6 million ounces in the first quarter of the year —a 61% increase from output in the same period of 2015 — while gold production rose37% to 55,688 ounces. Hecla President and CEO Phillips Baker Jr. said the company'sfirst quarter output is believed to be the highest for the year due to higher-than-expectedgrades compared to those expected for the remainder of the year.
* First MajesticSilver Corp. said totalproduction in the first quarter of the year reached a record 5.1 millionsilver equivalent ounces, up 30% from output in the same quarter last year, as goldproduced jumped to 16,870 ounces in the period from 2,970 ounces a year ago.
* Northern StarResources Ltd. recorded "extremelystrong" results for the March quarter with 143,469 ounces of goldsold, up from 142,017 ounces in the December quarter of 2015, pushing gold salesfor the nine-month period to March 31 to 427,042 ounces. The company also achievedrecord operating cash flow of A$103 million for the March quarter, and A$66 millionof free cash flow.
* Orosur MiningInc. posted a US$3.1 million net profit in the third quarter of its2016 fiscal year, compared to a US$1.9 million net loss reported a year ago. Thecompany's cost reduction strategies have also materialized, with its all-in sustainingcosts falling to US$978 per ounce from US$1,132 per ounce in the same quarter offiscal 2015.
* Beijing's new yuan-denominated gold benchmark by 18 members includingtop Chinese banks, foreign banks, gold miners and the world's biggest jewelry retailer,Reuters reported, citing a "source familiar with the matter." The Chinesebanks named as those joining the benchmark-setting process were the Industrial &Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China ConstructionBank and Bank of Communications.
* Nord Gold NV'smineral resources and ore reserves update for the year ended Dec. 31, 2015, sawan 8%rise in ore reserves to 14.0 million gold ounces, attributable to additionsat Bissa, Lefa, Zun-Holba, Neryungri and Suzdal mines. Measured and indicated goldresources increased by 1%, or 252,000 ounces, to 22.0 million ounces despite depletionof 1.1 million ounces.
* Marmota EnergyLtd. will acquirea 100% interest in three gold-prospective tenements, covering over 800 square kilometers,around the Challengergold mine in South Australia. The company will issue 1 million shares to a privateparty to acquire EL 5087, 5088, and 5527.
* Kingsgate ConsolidatedLtd. decided to advanceits Nueva Esperanzagold-silver project in Chile to the feasibility and permitting stage after receivingpositive economics from a pre-feasibility study. The study placed the net presentvalue of the project at US$168 million and the internal rate of return at 25% basedon a US$1,200 per ounce gold price and US$19 per ounce silver price.
* Illegal miners have assumedcontrol of areas at AngloGoldAshanti Ltd.'s Obuasigold mine in Ghana that host the richest deposits, curtailing redevelopment efforts,Bloomberg News wrote. If the takeover continues, the company may consider its optionsas an investor.
* Melkior ResourcesInc. acquireda mining claim totaling 64 hectares from an arm's length party that adjoins itsCarscallen goldproperty in Ontario.
* Infill drilling at the Mangazeisky North deposit of 's silver propertyin Russia converted 74%of the inferred resource into the indicated category. It also led to a 43% increasein the estimated average resource grade at the deposit to 637 g/t of silver.
* Norway's US$863 billion sovereign wealth fund — said to thebiggest in the world — has banned52 coal-related firms from its portfolio in accordance with a new rule that thefund will exclude companies that get more than 30% of their business from coal,Reuters wrote. The banned companies include AES Corp., Allete Inc., and ReliancePower Ltd. of India.
* New World ResourcesPlc minority shareholder Arca Capital offeredto buy the coal miner's OKD a.s.unit as the parent scrambles to secure government assistance to stay afloat, Reuterswrote. Arca did not disclose further details on its offer but said the bid wouldkeep OKD mines operating for at least five more years.
* Sources said BHPBilliton Group, Rio Tinto,Glencore Plc and privateequity firm Apollo Global Management have signed nondisclosure agreements as partof the sale process, nowentering its second round, of AngloAmerican Plc's Moranbahand Grosvenor coalassets in Australia, Reuters reported. The assets could be valued at US$1.5 billion.
* Sanjeev Gupta — part of a group seeking state backing to saveTata Steel Ltd.'s U.K.assets — is lobbyingthe government to reject any plan for a management buyout of Tata's Port Talbotplant, noting that he does not see "why someone thinks they can do what Tatacouldn't." Gupta said in an event held by the Financial Times that any plan to rescue site's blast surfaces wouldalmost certainly fail given the current market conditions.
* Credit Suisse Group AG's upgradeof Japan's JFE Holdings Inc.— due to the firm's exposure to the recovering Asian market — has led to other stockprice gains for other Japanese steelmakers, Bloomberg News wrote. According to aCredit Suisse analyst, signs that emerging economies are improving and the outlookfor supply cuts in China would help the recovery of Asia's steel markets. CreditSuisse upgraded its rating on JFE to outperform from neutral, and lifted its targetprice to ¥1,900 from ¥1,700.
* Arrium Ltd.'snew administrator — Mark Mentha's KordaMentha — will take a "grassroots"approach in restructuringthe collapsed steelmaker, The Australian FinancialReview reported. Fairfax Media obtained a letter that Mentha had sent to Arrium's7,000 employees, in which the administrator said his first step is to "stabilize"Arrium's business units and promised he'll "leave no stone unturned" topreserve the business and jobs.
* Whitehaven CoalLtd. continues to rampup output amid depressed coal prices as it battles to remain profitable andits major rivals look increasingly troubled, The Australian Financial Review reported. Managed run-of-mine and salablecoal output rose year over year by 21% and 28%, respectively, to 5.7 million tonnesand 5.3 million tonnes. Whitehaven further said it is on track to meet its fiscal 2016 guidance for salable coalof between 19.5 million tonnes and 20.1 million tonnes. According toWhitehaven managing director Paul Flynn, Peabody Energy's move to seek bankruptcyprotection took a little longer but "was always going to happen," The Australian Financial Review wrote.Flynn also said it would support the industry, by taking "some tonnes out ofthe market."
* OJSC PhosAgroimproved its fertilizerproduction and sales in the first quarter by 10.2% and 8.2%, respectively, comparedto the same period a year ago as a result of modernization and debottlenecking projectsimplemented in 2015.
* Noble Group Ltd.CEO Yusuf Alireza admitted that the commodities markets remaindifficult as the company continues to proceed with refinancing its debt, BloombergNews wrote. The CEO noted the importance of the weighted-average of the company'sdebt, which is forecast to rise to 4.1% in 2017 from an estimated 3.9% this yearbefore dropping to 3.8% in 2018.
* According to The Hindu,villagers opposing POSCO'ssteel plant project in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district are demanding that the companybe forced to formally announce its completewithdrawal from the project. The villagers' demand relates to a pending caseas POSCO is unable to work on the project because the land has not been handed overto the company and its environmental clearance expires after July 19, 2017.
* Celamin HoldingsNL said the International Court of Arbitration of the InternationalChamber of Commerce, or ICC, has appointed a sole arbitrator to determine the dispute with joint venturepartner Tunisian Mining Services, or TMS, over control of Chaketma Phosphates SAC Tunisia, or CPSA. A Celamin unit,which owns the stake in CPSA, applied in mid-April 2015 for the reversal of a sharetransfer against the director general of CPSA, Tunisian Mining, as well as executiveKais Mansouri.
* Protesters liftedthe blockade affecting Vale's railway service Estrada de Ferro Vitoria a Minas inBrazil's Minas Gerais state. About 50 residents were protesting against the environmentalproblems caused by Samarco MineraçãoSA's Fundão tailings dams spill in November 2015 to communities in theRio Doce region, Notícias de Mineraçãoreported.
* Brazil's electricity regulatory agency Aneel denieda request by Samarco Mineração to reduce contract costs that involve the use ofthe power transmission system by the company in Mariana, Minas Gerais state. Theinitial agreement states Samarco would demand 189,000 kW, but due to the iron ore mine tailingscollapse, the required energy would only reach 22,000 kW, Notícias de Mineração reported.
* Vale and FortescueMetals Group Ltd.'s bulk trials of blended ore with Chinese mills couldstart within a month, with the two companies still negotiating the terms ofthe proposed joint venture, The West Australianwrote.
* Fortescue CEO Nev Power said the company willuphold its existing 30-day payment policy, The Australian reported. "We see it very much as a value-add relationshipand we want to make sure that their businesses are strong and profitable and healthy,"he added.
* Separately, Bloomberg News quoted Fortescue CFO Stephen Pearceas saying that the Australian iron ore major is contemplating"all options" as its war chest for cutting debt increases to US$1.5 billionand iron ore prices recover.
* The national president of the Construction, Forestry, Miningand Energy Union Tony Maher expressed concerns that the bankruptcy of could see someof the company's Australian mines sold off and result in joblosses, ABC reported.
* Alcoa Inc.struck a newdeal with power supplier Bonneville Power Authority to keep 2.5 potlines openat its Intalco aluminumsmelter in Washington state, averting the facility's shutdown, Reuters reported.
* Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional Vice President Paulo Caffarellisaid the company has sought Brazilian regulator Cade's permissionto appoint a combined three members to UsinasSiderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA's board and financial committee as itis not satisfied with certain directors, Reuters reported. CSN holds a substantialinterest in Usiminas.
* An official from Bolivian state-owned Comibol said the company's US$178 million potassium chlorideproject is ontrack to commence output by mid-2018, Business News Americas reported.
* Encanto PotashCorp. and Metals and Minerals Trading Co. of India have the terms of their memorandum ofunderstanding for a substantial off-take agreement. The MOU is now expanded forthe supply of at least 2 million tonnes of potash per year from Encanto's project in Saskatchewan.
* The World Steel Association is forecasting global steel demandto continuefalling this year before it picks up slightly in 2017, Reuters reported.
* China GeneralNuclear Power Corp.'s uranium subsidiary, CGN Uranium Resources Co.Ltd., is looking to acquiremore assets in uranium-rich countries such as Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia,CGN Uranium chief engineer Zhou Rongsheng told China Daily. According to the executive, the company is now consideringexpanding its cooperation with Kazakhstan in both uranium production and fuel assemblies.
* The global lithium-ion battery market willgenerate revenue of US$46.21 billion in 2022 amid rising demand in electric/hybridvehicles, according to an Allied Market Research report.
* Macarthur MineralsLtd. appliedfor three additional exploration licenses in the Pilbara and Ravensthorpe regionsof Western Australia, expanding its potential tenement area to 1,192 square kilometers.
* A special tender of diamonds from Lucara Diamond Corp.'s Karowe mine in Botswana generated gross revenues of US$51.3 million, or US$33,632per carat. The tender consisted of 10 diamonds totaling 1,525 carats.
* Dominion DiamondCorp. reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of US$34.9 millionin the three months ended Jan. 31, wideningfrom a loss of US$2.2 million posted in the year-ago period. Sales also fell toUS$178.1 million from US$240.6 million a year earlier.
* Alix ResourcesCorp. acquiredthe Jackpot lithium property in Ontario from arm's length vendors in exchange for2.4 million shares as well as expenditures of C$350,000 on the property over a two-yearperiod.
* Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs Stewart told SNL Metals &Mining that more mining companies need to adopt innovative technologies in the current market, or risk goingout of business. But while the downturn is nudging more miners toward innovativetechnologies, it is seemingly a lot harder to convince those who fund the projectsthat this is a necessary move as the finance community does not necessarily lookat innovation as a way to improve the performance of mining companies.
* Data from Statistics South Africa showed that the country'sminingproduction fell by 8.7% annually in February, with iron ore falling the mostfollowed by platinum group metals, MiningWeekly wrote. Likewise, South Africa's mineral sales were also 1.5% lower year-on-yearin January.
* Bill Shorten, leader of the Australian Labor Party, revealeda six-point plan that would provide subsidiesfor local steel producers, but would leave foreign suppliers to meet the burdenof red tape on their own, The Australianreported. "This will ensure that safety and quality is never compromised onfederally-funded projects, while maintaining Australia's compliance with our internationaltrade agreements," according to the policy document.
* Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources is offering a rangeof state benefits for mining, providingalloying raw materials to Russian steelmakers in order to reduce their dependenceon imports, estimated at over US$500 million per year, Kommersant reported. The Ministry proposes to nullify severance taxfor new projects.
* The Mining Association of Canada released a statement the adoption of carbonprices to address climate change. "A broad-based carbon price is the most effectiveand efficient means to influence the investment and operating decisions that drivereal emission reductions and innovations from all sectors of an economy," theindustry organization said in its newly released "Principles for climate changepolicy design."
The Daily Dose is updatedas of 7 a.m. New York time, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English,Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some externallinks may require a subscription.