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Rusal may halt more production due to US sanctions

TOP NEWS

Rusal may halt more production due to US sanctions

United Co. Rusal PLC could be forced to shut down more of its output if U.S. sanctions are not lifted, Reuters reported, citing two sources. The company's export-bound production of alloys and of value-added products could be halted as early as September. "If sanctions are not lifted in the near future, then contracts will expire and from Oct. 1, all of the company's production, intended for the external market, will once again go into the warehouses," a source said.

BHP receives court approval for 20B-reais Samarco deal, settles US lawsuit

A federal court in Brazil's Minas Gerais state formally approved an agreement between BHP Billiton Group, Vale SA, their joint venture Samarco Mineração SA and other parties for the settlement of a 20 billion-reais civil claim related to the Samarco dam failure. Separately, BHP reached a settlement over a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. in connection with the incident. The mining major agreed to pay the plaintiffs US$50 million, with no admission of liability.

Evraz H1 attributable profit surges to US$1.11B

Evraz PLC's first-half attributable net profit soared to US$1.11 billion, or 76 cents per diluted share, from US$53 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, in the same year-ago period. Consolidated revenue for the period ballooned to US$6.34 billion, from US$5.11 billion a year earlier. The company also declared a second interim dividend for the year of 40 cents per share.

DIVERSIFIED

* Glencore PLC would prefer share buybacks over deal-making, as the market remains volatile, Reuters reported. "Right now, buybacks may be the best returns we can get," said CEO Ivan Glasenberg. "We just don't see anything out in the market. We look opportunistically at M&A," the executive added.

* Separately, Glasenberg said the company is reluctantly paying higher taxes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the country's new mining code, but the industry is looking at the option of filing legal action against it, Reuters reported. The executive added that talks are ongoing with the government.

* Rumble Resources Ltd. inked an option to acquire the Long Lake gold-copper-nickel-platinum project and the Panache cobalt-nickel-copper-gold-platinum project in Ontario.

BASE METALS

* Codelco announced it will invest US$4.88 billion to convert its open cast Chuquicamata mine in Chile into an underground facility, Reuters reported. The investment represented a scaled-back version of its original plans, resulting from fluctuating copper prices and higher operating costs.

* The main union at the Caserones copper mine in Chile said that a strike was imminent after the last round of labor talks with mine operator Minera Lumina Copper Chile SA broke down, Reuters reported. Union President Nelson Iribarren told the newswire that the strike will begin Aug. 14, should Lumina Copper not improve its contract offer.

* Barrick Gold Corp. said the company's copper operations in Saudi Arabia are not likely to be affected by the current diplomatic dispute between Canada and the Kingdom, The Globe and Mail reported. "Over the past four years we have developed a strong partnership with Ma'aden, working side by side at our Jabal Sayid joint venture, and we expect that partnership will continue to deepen over time," Barrick spokesperson Andy Lloyd said in an email.

* Sipa Resources Ltd.'s Kitgum-Pader nickel joint venture in Uganda with Rio Tinto has started, following the completion of due diligence proceedings.

* New Century Resources Ltd. started operations at the Century zinc mine in Queensland, Australia, with the initiation of hydraulic mining operations at the site.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Global gold production grew for a ninth consecutive year in 2017, reaching an all-time high of 106.5 million ounces. With most companies meeting their guidance as of midyear and with a slate of new mine openings, the Metals and Mining Research Team at S&P Global Market Intelligence expects production to rise further this year to 108 Moz.

* Randgold Resources Ltd.'s attributable net profit in the second quarter plunged year over year to US$52.0 million, or 54 cents per diluted share, from US$84.0 million, or 88 cents per diluted share. Revenue in the three months ended June 30 fell to US$283.7 million, from US$336.8 million.

* Workers at the Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine operations who were present during rock falls in May are receiving compensation and psychological counselling for stress and trauma, The West Australian reported, citing the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union.

* Doray Minerals Ltd. said a standard re-entry is being undertaken at the Deflector gold-copper mine in Western Australia to ensure there are no further hazards at the site prior to the restart of operations. Operations at the mine were temporarily halted due to a fire involving an underground loader.

* Franco-Nevada Corp. booked net income of US$53.6 million in the second quarter, up from US$45.6 million in the year-ago period, driven in part by higher revenues from its oil and gas assets. Oil and gas revenues surged 136.5% on a yearly basis to US$22.7 million, reflecting additional contributions from the SCOOP/STACK, Midland, Delaware and Orion royalties, higher prices and increased payments from the Weyburn operation.

* IAMGOLD Corp.'s attributable gold production in the second quarter slipped to 214,000 ounces, from 223,000 ounces in the year-ago period. The drop in output was attributed to lower throughput at the Rosebel mine in Suriname and the Essakane mine in Burkina Faso resulting from a planned mill maintenance, as well as lower head grades at the Westwood mine in Quebec, but partially offset by higher throughput at its joint venture operations.

* Pan American Silver Corp. lowered its full-year cash cost guidance to between US$2.80 per ounce and US$3.80 per ounce, after cash costs in the second quarter fell to a record low of 92 U.S. cents per ounce. The Canadian miner's silver production in the three months ended June 30 was steady on a yearly basis at 6.3 million ounces of silver, with gold output rising to 53,370 ounces from 37,710 ounces.

* Royal Gold Inc. swung to an attributable net loss of US$113.1 million, or US$1.73 per share, for its full fiscal 2018, from a profit of US$101.5 million, or US$1.55 per share, a year ago. Earnings were hurt by a US$239.1 million noncash impairment related to the Pascua-Lama mine in Argentina.

* Newcrest Mining Ltd. flagged a noncash earnings impact for fiscal year 2018 in the range of US$260 million to US$270 million, due to a reduction in the posttax carrying values of the Telfer mine and Namosi mine.

* Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.'s second-quarter net income marked a 26% rise year over year to US$11.2 million, or 7 cents per share, with revenue up 15% to US$73.7 million.

* EMR Capital Group sold its 95% stake in the Martabe gold-silver mine in Indonesia in a deal that values the project at US$1.21 billion, less than three years after buying the operation for US$775 million, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Canadian Platinum Corp. signed a letter of intent to acquire a privately held natural gas company in an all-scrip deal, with the number of consideration shares to be determined.

* 55 North Mining Inc. agreed to sell its 50% interest in the Tully gold mining claims and mining lease in Ontario to Havilah Mining Corp. unit Havilah Mining Canada Ltd.

* Bauba Platinum Ltd. signed an off-take agreement to supply 240,000 tonnes of run of mine chrome ore from its Moeijelijk mine in South Africa to Gerald Metals SA and Pelagic Resources (Pty) Ltd., Mining Weekly reported.

* Dacian Gold Ltd. executive chairman Rohan Williams is certain that it will be eyed by bigger rivals, but no suitors have stepped forward so far, The West Australian reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Lawyers from Phi Finney McDonald said their arguments against BHP over the Samarco mine disaster in 2015 have been "vindicated" as the mining giant opted to settle a U.S. class action suit. They warned that the losses incurred by the Australian claimants are likely to be larger than the U.S. investors, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Unionized workers at Alcoa Corp.'s operations in Western Australia walked off the job after the aluminum giant asked regulators to terminate an existing enterprise bargaining agreement, Reuters reported, citing the Australian Workers' Union. The company said the walkout has not impacted production as the sites have contingency plans in place.

* Gerdau SA's net income in the second quarter jumped 830.7% to 698 million Brazilian reais, from 75 million reais the year before. Adjusted EBITDA was up 56.8% to 1.76 billion reais from 1.12 billion reais, and the steelmaker said that it was the best quarterly EBITDA result since 2008.

* Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd.'s attributable profit rose 24.1% year over year to ¥28.91 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. The company's net sales, meanwhile, jumped 14.5% to around ¥241.98 billion.

* Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s net profit attributable to shareholders in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019 climbed to 1.69 billion Indian rupees, or 1.54 rupees per month, from the year-ago net profit of 1.59 billion rupees, or 1.45 rupees per share.

* Exxaro Resources Ltd. expects its attributable earnings per share to jump between 41% and 54% year over year to between 12.05 South African rand 13.15 rand for the six months ended June 30.

* Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional expects to announce the sale of its steel facilities in Europe by October, Metal Bulletin reported.

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not oppose the proposed acquisition of steel product manufacturer Fero Group Pty Ltd. by DSI Underground Australia, saying the companies' remaining competitors will provide sufficient competitive constraint following the acquisition.

* Roy Hill Holdings Pty Ltd. soon intends to boost production capacity at its Roy Hill iron ore mine, railway and port to 60 million tonnes per annum, The Australian reported, citing CEO Barry Fitzgerald. Currently, Roy Hill is producing at a nameplate capacity of 55 million tonnes per year, and is awaiting approval to move to 60 million tonnes.

SPECIALTY

* Chilean lithium miner Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA said it would overtake Albemarle Corp. as the world's top lithium producer by 2022, with output capacity expected to increase to 28% of the world's total against the U.S.-based lithium producer's 16%, Reuters reported, citing Vice President Daniel Jimenez.

* Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. swung to a second-quarter net loss of C$6.3 million, or 3 cents per share, from a profit of C$7.6 million, or 5 cents per share, a year ago, due to foreign exchange losses. Sales for the period increased to C$99.1 million, from C$27.6 million.

* Lucara Diamond Corp. recovered 81,507 carats of diamonds from the Karowe mine in Botswana at operating costs of US$220 per carat sold, increasing from 57,624 carats recovered in the same year-ago period. Revenue from the mine, however, fell to US$64.5 million, from US$79.6 million.

* Altura Mining Ltd. decided to suspend a potential control transaction with major shareholder Shaanxi J&R Optimum Energy Co. Ltd. to focus on its Altura lithium project in Western Australia.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Indonesia unveiled new tax regulations intended to provide legal certainty for mining companies that are shifting current contracts to special mining permits, Reuters reported. The new rules include a 25% corporate tax, in line with the country's current rate, a 4% levy on net profit going to central government and a 6% levy to local government. The move could help Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and the Indonesian government conclude a US$3.85 billion agreement related to the giant Grasberg copper-gold mine. Freeport had indicated it wanted some guarantee on fiscal terms before agreeing to the complex deal.

* China fired back in its growing trade dispute with the U.S., announcing 25% tariffs on US$16 billion worth of American exports, including coal, oil products and liquefied petroleum gas.

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