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Gold Fields flags 4.8B rand impairment at South Deep

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Gold Fields flags 4.8B rand impairment at South Deep

TOP NEWS

Gold Fields flags 4.8B rand impairment at South Deep

Gold Fields Ltd. reported a posttax impairment of 4.8 billion South African rand for its loss-making South Deep gold mine in South Africa to a carrying value of 20.7 billion rand and announced job cuts for as many as 1,560 employees and contractors. The company flagged a basic loss per share of 45 U.S. cents for the first half, compared to basic EPS of 7 cents a year ago, as a result of the South Deep impairment as well as a US$96 million write-down for operations in Ghana.

Whitehaven declares special dividend on record FY'18 profit

Whitehaven Coal Ltd. declared a special dividend after posting record profit for fiscal 2018 of A$525.6 million, up 29.7% from a year ago. The Australian coal producer's board proposed an unfranked dividend of 27 Australian cents per share, comprising a final dividend of 14 cents and a special dividend of 13 cents. CEO and Managing Director Paul Flynn said the company may announce an additional special dividend in a year on the back of strong cash flows, low CapEx and a possible stake sale in the under-construction Vickery coal project in New South Wales, Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported.

Restructuring costs keep Noble Group in the red

Noble Group Ltd.'s net loss for the second quarter shrunk to US$128.3 million from an adjusted loss of US$1.75 billion a year ago. Revenue dropped to US$1.12 billion from US$1.52 billion as trading volumes slipped to 14.9 million tonnes from 20.5 million tonnes on a yearly basis. The company recorded restructuring expenses of US$94.6 million, while net finance costs grew to US$66.9 million, from US$46.8 million a year ago. Meanwhile, Iceberg Research said it is arranging a class-action lawsuit against the company on behalf of investors.

DIVERSIFIED

* Vale SA shareholder Bradespar SA is raising 2.4 billion Brazilian reais through a commercial paper sale, with the proceeds said to be used for a 4 billion reais court award following a 10-year-old dispute with Vale shareholder Elétron SA, Reuters reported, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. Elétron sued Bradespar and Litel Participações SA, another significant Vale shareholder, over an option to purchase an additional stake in Vale.

* Aeris Resources Ltd. is back from the brink after over five years of repair, and Executive Chairman Andre Labuschagne believes that it is finally in the position to successfully hunt majors' noncore copper assets to better compete as a midtier producer.

* Teck Resources Ltd. reported early tender results for the purchase of up to US$1.00 billion of four series of notes due 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024, noting that the offer has been fully subscribed.

BASE METALS

* The union at the Escondida copper mine in Chile agreed to extend government-led talks with BHP Billiton Group and Rio Tinto over wage negotiations, delaying a potential strike, Reuters reported.

* Antofagasta PLC's first-half net profit dropped to US$194.3 million from US$290.5 million in the year-ago period. Group revenue increased 3.6% yearly to US$2.12 billion, with revenue from copper concentrate and copper cathode sales increasing 2.3% to US$1.77 billion as higher realized prices offset an 8.6% decline in copper sales volumes to 283,300 tonnes. The Chile-focused miner declared an interim dividend of 6.8 U.S. cents per share, down from 10.3 cents per share a year ago.

* Authorities in the Chinese province of Hunan ordered Hunan Gold Corp. Ltd. to shut down two of its antimony mines as they are in environmentally protected areas. The company expects the closure to reduce its net profit by 27 million Chinese yuan but said its first-half results will not be affected.

* PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co.'s first-half net income attributable to shareholders surged 81% on a yearly basis to US$1.65 billion on the back of higher revenue. Total revenue grew to US$5.83 billion, from US$4.25 billion a year ago, due to higher realized metal prices, an increase in copper and platinum group metals output and sales of palladium from previous stocks.

* Ero Copper Corp.'s second-quarter copper production was 5,684 tonnes, inching up from 5,651 tonnes in the year-ago period, at a C1 cash cost of US$1.49 per pound.

* ExGen Resources Inc.'s shares surged 50% after it announced a maiden National Instrument 43-101-compliant resource for the Empire copper project in Idaho. The project hosts measured resources of 3.3 million tonnes at 0.53% copper containing 17,472 tonnes of copper and indicated resources of 7.1 million tonnes at 0.51% copper containing 36,327 tonnes of copper.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s net profit for the first half slid 0.93% year over year to 612.02 million Chinese yuan, or 33 fen per share. Gold production grew 24.8% to 19.39 tonnes.

* Barrick Gold Corp. and Novagold Resources Inc. secured joint approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the environmental permit of its Donlin gold project in Alaska.

* Semafo Inc. said five gendarmes and one subcontractor employee died in an "armed incident" between the town of Fada and the Boungou gold-silver mine site in Burkina Faso.

* KEFI Minerals PLC said recent political developments in Ethiopia are "another positive factor" for its Tulu Kapi gold project in the country's Oromia region. The federal government and the Oromia Liberation Front recently signed a reconciliation agreement, ending a long-running dispute.

* Equinox Gold Corp. said AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. unit AngloGold Ashanti Holdings PLC terminated a 70% earn-in agreement on the former's greenfields concessions surrounding the past-producing Aurizona gold mine in Brazil.

* Gander Exploration Inc. completed a plan of arrangement with GreenBank Capital Inc. Gander owns the Cripple Creek, Dudder Lake and Blue Wind properties in Newfoundland.

* Magellan Gold Corp. struck a deal to acquire Ingenieros Mineros SA de CV's El Dorado gold-silver property located about 50 kilometers south of the former's SDA flotation plant in Mexico.

* Ascot Resources Ltd. agreed to acquire the Silver Coin gold property, a joint venture by Jayden Resources Inc. and Mountain Boy Minerals Ltd., in northwestern British Columbia in an all-share deal.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Glencore PLC and Japanese utilities including Shikoku Electric, Chugoku Electric and Kansai Electric finalized an Australian thermal coal import contract for April 2018 to March 2019 at US$110/tonne, almost a 30% increase year over year, Reuters reported, citing several people with knowledge of the matter. Japan imports about 115 million tonnes of thermal coal per year, buying about 40% of the total exports from Australia.

* K+S AG swung to second-quarter net loss of €31.9 million from a profit of €38.3 million a year ago. Revenue increased to €811.9 million from €742.0 million. The company expects full-year EBITDA from the salt segment to remain steady year over year, compared to the previous forecast of a moderate increase, despite higher volumes. Additionally, K+S said production disruptions at its Werra potash plant in Germany after September cannot be ruled out "if the extremely dry weather conditions persist," which are causing low water flow in the Werra river.

* Oleg Deripaska's En+ Group PLC submitted the final version of its proposal to the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control as it looks to be removed from the U.S. sanctions list, the Financial Times reported. The proposal will see Deripaska reducing his stake in the London-listed company to below 45%, from about 70%, mainly via a share transfer to Russian bank VTB. The bank will hold the shares briefly until the sanctions are lifted, following which they would be sold to cover Deripaska's loans.

* Tata Steel Ltd. reported consolidated net profit of 19.34 billion Indian rupees, or 16.66 rupees per share, for the first quarter of its fiscal 2019, jumping from a profit of 9.21 billion rupees, or 8.38 rupees per share, posted a year earlier. Consolidated steel production reached 6.92 million tonnes, up from 6.23 million tonnes produced in the year-ago period.

* The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union called on Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan to pressure BHP into reconsidering the award of major steelwork linked to its South Flank iron ore project in the Pilbara region to China's Tianjin BOMESC Offshore Engineering Co., The West Australian reported. The union said the miner's move would deprive the region of jobs.

* S&P Global Platts reported that European thermal coal traders have been hesitant to participate in the Turkish market amid the ongoing lira-U.S. dollar depreciation, despite demand from utilities.

* Coal India Ltd. will review domestic coal demand and the diversification of its business verticals to determine its CapEx beyond fiscal 2018/19 after formally ditching its production target of 1 billion tonnes per year by 2020, Mining Weekly reported.

* China's crude steel output in July increased 7.2% year over year to 81.2 million tonnes, setting a record high on a monthly basis, Reuters reported, citing data from the statistics bureau. Primary aluminum output climbed 12% yearly to 2.9 million tonnes, equaling its monthly record. Coal output dropped 2% yearly to 281.5 million tonnes, its lowest output since September 2016.

* The price of carbon in the EU's emissions trading scheme hit a 10-year high, reaching €18 per tonne Aug. 13, up about 200% from the year-ago levels, The Guardian reported. "It will already be cutting into coal profits," said Phil MacDonald, the head of communications at Sandbag, a group that monitors the carbon market.

* Many U.S. coal companies reported that they benefited from a strong export market through the second quarter that helped tighten the domestic sector.

* Canada is expected to begin consultations on possible measures to avoid a potential flood of imports from global steelmakers using the country as a safe haven from U.S.-imposed tariffs, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources.

* Edenville Energy PLC relinquished exploration license PL6098/2009, which forms part of the Muze deposit within the Rukwa coal project in Tanzania. The company concluded that all likely economic coal measures are within the primary licenses, resulting in US$30,000 in savings for license fees and work requirements.

* Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA expects blast furnace three at its Ipatinga facility in Minas Gerais, Brazil, to resume operations Aug. 15, days after a gas tank explosion that left 34 workers injured.

* Bounty Mining Ltd. completed a A$2 million upgrade of the Koorilgah rail loop, which services the Cook colliery in Queensland, Australia.

* Shanxi Coking Co. Ltd.'s attributable net profit jumped more than 4,000% year over year to 823 million Chinese yuan in the first half, while revenue rose 31.3% to 3.51 billion yuan, China Securities Journal reported.

* A methane gas explosion in a coal mine in Pakistan's Balochistan province killed at least seven miners, and six remain missing, Reuters reported, citing a mining official. Authorities warned that the death toll could rise.

* Champion Iron Ltd. plans to continue with operational improvements at its Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec after the asset achieved commercial production ahead of schedule June 30.

SPECIALTY

* Lithium Americas Corp. said Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA agreed to sell all of its interest in Minera Exar SA, the holding company for the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Argentina, to a Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. unit. As a result of the transaction, Lithium Americas' interest in the project will increase from 50% to 62.5%, and Jiangxi Ganfeng will hold the remaining 37.5% stake.

* Advantage Lithium Corp.'s preliminary economic assessment for a 20,000-tonne-per-annum, stand-alone lithium carbonate operation at its Cauchari lithium joint venture in Argentina pegged a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$827 million and an internal rate of return of 24.3%.

* The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies urged the Western Australian government to take advantage of an opportunity to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, which would deliver economic benefits to the state, The West Australian reported.

* Image Resources NL is on track to begin first production at its Boonanarring mineral sands project, part of its North Perth Basin project in Western Australia, in the fourth quarter as construction reached 50% completion as of June.

* BlackEarth Minerals NL outlined a maiden resource estimate for the Razafy deposit, part of the Maniry graphite project in southern Madagascar. Indicated and inferred resource stood at 795,200 tonnes of graphite contained in 11.2 million tonnes grading 7.1% total graphitic carbon.

* Dempsey Minerals Ltd. secured shareholder approval to change its name to Galan Lithium Ltd., effective Aug. 15, and the ASX-listed explorer's shares will trade under the ticker GLN.

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