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Most of Voestalpine's US steel tariff exemption requests accepted

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Insight Weekly: US stock performance; banks' M&A risk; COVID-19 vaccine makers' earnings

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Insight Weekly: LNG exports surge; investors unfazed by inflation; neobanks drive VC funding

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Essential Metals Mining Insights November 2021

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[Infographic]: 2021 World Exploration Trends


Most of Voestalpine's US steel tariff exemption requests accepted

TOP NEWS

Most of Voestalpine's US steel tariff exemption requests accepted

Voestalpine AG secured approvals for more than half of its applications to be exempted from U.S. steel imports tariffs, Reuters reported. The company said it received 2,360 positive and 280 negative responses out of a total 4,300 product exemptions the company and its customers applied for. Voestalpine expects to receive more positive responses to the remaining applications and said this has significantly reduced the economic risk of the tariffs.

Trump's brashness on trade belies US dependence on global mines

The U.S. relies on other countries for the supply of many mined commodities the U.S. Geological Survey classes as "critical" for the domestic economy. Part one of an S&P Global Market Intelligence series on critical minerals looks at how the country's reliance on these commodities has increased and what implications this might have on the recent trade spats between the U.S. and the countries it imports from.

China: Shanxi province gives coke producers 1 year to meet tighter rules

The Shanxi province, a key coal mining region in China, decided to cut annual coke capacity and output to reduce toxic emissions from heavy industry in the long term, Reuters reported, citing a government statement. The province gave producers a deadline of Oct. 1, 2019, to meet strict environmental standards. One-fifth of China's total coke output in 2017 came from Shanxi, according to Reuters.

DIVERSIFIED

* Glencore PLC launched an action with the high court of Australia to force the Australian Taxation Office to return its copies of documents that detail how the company moved A$30 billion of resource projects out of the Australian tax net, The Australian Financial Review reported.

BASE METALS

* Chile plans to enter new copper markets and expand its lithium industry to shield its economy from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, Reuters reported, citing Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica. The South American country is also considering opening its copper and lithium reserves to foreign investment to take advantage of the demand for the metals from the electric vehicle industry.

* Chilean state-miner Codelco is said to be in discussions to supply up to 60,000 tonnes of copper per annum to China Minmetals Corp. between 2019 and 2021, Reuters reported, citing industry sources.

* Chile's copper output declined 7% year over year to 462,000 tonnes in August due to lower production at Codelco and BHP Billiton Group's Escondida copper mine in the country, Reuters reported, citing government agency Cochilco.

* The US$1 billion expansion of Vale SA's Salobo copper mine in Brazil is expected to be approved at an Oct. 24 board meeting, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

* Archer Exploration Ltd. terminated a conditional deal to sell its nongraphite assets to Ballista Resources Ltd. after it notified the company that its IPO will not take place this year.

* Trafigura Beheer BV plans to invest in a project to train, equip and organize artisanal and small-scale cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo into licensed cooperatives, Reuters reported.

* The Federal Service for Supervision of Use of Natural Resources approved a positive conclusion of the environmental impact assessment of the design documentation of the first stage of the Udokan copper mining and smelting complex in Russia, TASS reported. Earlier in the year, Baikal Mining Co. LLC said it kicked off construction of a mining and metallurgical plant at Udokan.

* Georgian Mining Corp.'s exploration permit application for the Kvemo Bolnisi East copper project was endorsed by George Kobulia, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development in Georgia.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Anglo American Platinum Ltd. will pay 55 million South African rand to compensate two communities in Limpopo, 19 years after they were displaced to make way for the Mogalakwena platinum mine, the African News Agency reported.

* Randgold Resources Ltd. said it secured approval from the Malian government for an agribusiness project designed to replace mining at the Morila gold mine when it closes in two years.

* Avesoro Resources Inc.'s third-quarter gold production dropped 22% quarter on quarter to 47,177 ounces due to a change in the gold circuit inventory at the New Liberty gold mine in Liberia and lower mined grades the Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso due to a focus on the lower-grade oxide ore zone at the Gassore East pit.

* The World Gold Council said the People's Bank of China is one of the central banks that has added gold to its reserves over the past several years, with the Chinese central bank aiming to diversify its reserve assets and hold the commodity as a form of currency and a store of value, the South China Morning Post reported.

* Genesis Minerals Ltd. said resources at its Ulysses gold project in Western Australia grew 137% to 760,000 total contained ounces, with a 10% increase in average grade from the February resource estimate. Measured and indicated resource increased 162% to 471,000 ounces. The company expects to complete a feasibility study by mid-2019.

* Magmatic Resources Ltd. completed the acquisition of Landslide Investments Pty. Ltd., the holder of an exploration license that forms part of the Yamarna gold project in Western Australia. The company is set to begin field work at the project and at the Mount Venn copper-nickel project.

* Kin Mining NL plans to raise up to A$10.4 million to advance its Leonora gold project in Western Australia and to repay an outstanding Sprott facility.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Due to a recent court order delaying RWE AG's plans to expand its Hambach mine in Germany by clearing an ancient forest, the company expects to reduce lignite output by up to 15 million tonnes per year from its current level of 40 million tonnes, Reuters reported, citing a company spokeswoman.

* Tata Steel Ltd.'s Indian operations produced about 3.27 million tonnes of steel in the second quarter of its fiscal 2019, slightly up from 3.20 million tonnes produced in the year-ago period, driven by better plant availability. Steel output at Tata's European operations during the quarter slipped to 2.46 million tonnes from 2.60 million tonnes due to shutdowns and annual maintenance programs.

* Ferrexpo PLC's total iron pellet production in the third quarter stood at 2.7 million tonnes, representing a 5.9% quarterly increase, due to the successful completion of the pellet line's refurbishment in the second quarter.

* United Co. Rusal PLC's aluminum exports in the first eight months of the year increased by 14.8% to 2.12 million tonnes, Vedomosti reported, citing data from the Federal Customs Service of Russia.

* Mineral Resources Ltd. is said to be scouting BCI Minerals Ltd.'s assets as the latter looks to divest its entire iron ore portfolio, which includes Iron Valley, Kumina, Bungaroo South, the Cape Preston East port rights and a number of other exploration tenements, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported. The binding bids for the assets were due last week. Other potential bidders include BBI Group, Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd. and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.

* Hancock Prospecting unit Redstone Corp. Pty. Ltd. will begin a compulsory acquisition of Atlas Iron Ltd. shares after its voting power in the Australia-listed junior surpassed the 90% threshold.

* Turkey will impose quotas on steel imports, effective Oct. 17, with an additional 25% duty on any imports above the quotas, Reuters reported, citing a filing published by the World Trade Organization.

* Kibo Energy PLC completed the acquisition of a 60% stake in Mast Energy Developments, a U.K.-based company that specializes in buying and developing small-scale power generation assets.

* Fabricated aluminum-products manufacturer China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. signed a deal with Britain's Jaguar Land Rover, a unit of Tata Motors Ltd., to become a tier-one supplier.

* NioCorp Developments Ltd. and IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. successfully produced aluminum-scandium master alloy at the Ames Laboratory facility in Iowa.

* Russia's VTB will submit an independent bid for Essar Steel India Ltd., The Times of India reported, citing unnamed sources. VTB initially led the Numetal Ltd. consortium in a bid to acquire the debt-laden Indian steelmaker but decided to go solo after the Indian Supreme Court allowed the company to join the bidding war despite being under U.S. sanctions.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed its BB/B long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on thyssenKrupp AG and assigned a developing outlook after removing the ratings from CreditWatch positive. The move comes on the back of the company's recently announced plans to split its operations into two separate companies.

* Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. redeemed all of its outstanding 5.90% senior notes due March 2020 and 4.80% senior notes due October 2020 with an aggregate outstanding principal amount of US$211 million. The redemption will decrease annualized interest expense by about US$10 million and extend the company's maturity profile.

* Germany's TRIMET Aluminium SE expects aluminum demand to increase in 2019, but a forecast is difficult to provide due to the global impact of U.S. import duties, Reuters reported, citing executive board member Thomas Reuther.

* Moreton Resources Ltd. filed an appeal with the Federal Court of Australia of a decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in September, which affirmed an internal review decision by Innovation and Science Australia that found the company's activities registered under the Industry Research and Development Act from 2012 to 2014 were not research and development activities.

SPECIALTY

* Wolf Minerals Ltd. shares slumped in London after it said it will not be able to meet its short-term funding needs unless it can favorably conclude financing talks with stakeholders this week.

* AVZ Minerals Ltd. will proceed with a feasibility study for the Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, due for completion in the second quarter of 2019, after a scoping study for a 2 million-tonne-per-annum operation outlined a pretax net present value, discounted at 10%, of US$1.6 billion and an internal rate of return of over 90%.

* Meetings between Citic Securities offshore arm CLSA and key Malaysian ministries, politicians and protest groups reinforced messaging from the highest levels of government that rare earths producer Lynas Corp. Ltd. has "no case to answer" amid a review of its plant's environmental impact.

* ASX-listed BlackEarth Minerals NL's shares rose 12% after the company identified new high-grade target zones at its Maniry graphite project in southern Madagascar. Rock chip sampling returned grades of up to 48% total graphitic carbon, The West Australian reported.

* An updated resource estimate for Bacanora Lithium PLC's Zinnwald project in Germany posted a 30% increase in measured and indicated resources of 124,974 tonnes of lithium contained in 35.5 million tonnes grading 3,519 parts per million.

* Altura Mining Ltd.'s first shipment of spodumene concentrate produced at its namesake lithium mine in Western Australia departed Port Hedland.

* Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan believes that the state's lithium boom is at risk from a crackdown on company tax rebates introduced by the federal government, The Australian wrote.

* King Island Scheelite Ltd. entered into an agreement to acquire the Portside Links property, which adjoins its Dolphin tungsten mine in Tasmania.

* Boss Resources Ltd. is on track to complete a definitive feasibility study for restarting the Honeymoon uranium mine in South Australia following positive infill drilling results and the development of its optimization program.

* PJSC Alrosa's JSC Almazy Anabara unit extracted a rare, 28.59-carat, rough yellow diamond from the Ebelyakh placer deposit, part of the Anabar Division in Russia.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The International Monetary Fund lowered its global growth projections through 2019, saying in its latest "World Economic Outlook" report that escalating trade tensions remain one of the biggest threats to sustained growth. Global expansion is forecast to decline to 3.7% for the rest of 2018 through 2019, 0.2 percentage point less than the IMF's April forecasts.

* Investment in Chinese President Xi Jinping's flagship Belt and Road Initiative rose to a record $20.1 billion, up 30% from a year ago, despite the country's overall direct overseas investment in 2017 dropping by 19%, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing data from the commerce industry.

* The impact of the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China has yet to surface, various speakers at this year's LME Seminar indicated. Expectations are that the fallout between the world's two largest economies will further intensify in the coming months, posing obvious downside risks to commodities markets. However, China is tipped to take sufficient measures to shield and strengthen its economy, implying ongoing solid demand for most metals.

* PAO Severstal's Severstal Ventures invested in Chrysalix RBV GP Ltd., which has been set up to invest in intelligent systems and automation platforms such as artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning and in the development of new materials and special technologies, enabling the digital transformation of large industrial companies. The fund will mainly invest in developing projects in Europe, North America and Asia. Vedomosti cited a source as saying that Severstal invested about US$10 million in the fund.

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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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