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Rusal may be forced to cut back aluminum production due to US sanctions

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Rusal may be forced to cut back aluminum production due to US sanctions

TOP NEWS

Report: Rusal may be forced to cut back aluminum production due to US sanctions

United Co. Rusal PLC could be forced to scale back production in 2019 and close some product lines, unless it reaches a resolution over the sanctions with the U.S. Treasury this month, Bloomberg News reported. Oleg Deripaska's representatives are said to be in constant contact with Treasury officials. However, sources said there is no indication when a deal might be reached to lift the sanctions, which may keep Rusal locked out of annual contract negotiations that will kick off this week in Berlin.

Andrew Mackenzie interested in remaining at BHP's top job over the long term

BHP Billiton Group CEO Andrew Mackenzie is leaning toward staying with the mining giant for the long haul, the Financial Times reported. "I'm very excited about ... how we can further transform the business and it's not unreasonable to think I am the right guy to lead it," the chief executive was quoted as saying.

Report: ArcelorMittal raises bid for Essar Steel to 420B rupees

ArcelorMittal increased its bid for bankrupt Essar Steel India Ltd. to 420 billion Indian rupees, Mint reported, citing a source. The company also committed to pay 70 billion rupees to settle the debt of Uttam Galva Steels Ltd. and KSS Petron, in which it is considered a promoter. ArcelorMittal confirmed it filed a revised offer for Essar Steel but did not disclose the terms.

BASE METALS

* Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin returned a 2% interest in PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. to fellow billionaire Roman Abramovich and his partners, Reuters reported, citing sources. In March, Potanin bought the 2% stake for about US$800 million from Abramovich, but the transaction was challenged at a London court by Rusal, which owns a 28% stake in Norilsk.

* Peru's energy and mines minister, Francisco Ismodes, affirmed that Minsur SA's Mina Justa copper project will result in the creation of approximately 4,000 jobs during its construction stage, with operations requiring between 3,000 and 3,500 employees, the Andina news agency reported.

* Nevada Copper Corp.'s preliminary economic assessment for the Pumpkin Hollow copper project in Nevada outlined a posttax net present value, discounted at 7.5%, of US$927 million and an internal rate of return of 19%.

* Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. and CuDeco Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to determine the commercial potential of cobalt-pyrite mineralization at the latter's Rocklands copper project in Queensland, Australia.

* Aura Minerals Inc. said it has all the necessary permits to start building a new tailings disposal system at its Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico.

* Syndicated Metals Ltd. agreed to relinquish its royalty entitlement over the Barbara copper project in north Queensland, Australia, for A$460,000 in cash.

* Metalicity Ltd. completed the sale of its Admiral Bay and Lennard Shelf zinc projects in Western Australia to newly created Canadian subsidiary Kimberley Mining Ltd.

* Cougar Metals NL updated its resource estimate at the Pyke Hill nickel-cobalt project in Western Australia. Total measured and indicated resource stood at 103,300 tonnes of nickel and 8,900 tonnes of cobalt contained in 10.5 million tonnnes grading 0.99% nickel and 0.08% cobalt.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Tahoe Resources Inc. CEO Jim Voorhees said the company will work closely with Guatemalan officials and locals to resolve a dispute and restart the flagship Escobal silver mine in the country, Reuters reported. Voorhees said the recent court ruling that upheld the suspension of Escobal licenses was "disappointing."

* Viceroy Research hammered away at Pretium Resources Inc. in an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence, arguing that the miner's production figures are hard to believe and that the Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia — its main asset — is not as gold rich as the company claims.

* RNC Minerals' Beta Hunt gold mine in Western Australia is attracting a "tidal wave of interest" from prospective buyers following the company's recent major discovery at the site, The West Australian wrote, citing CEO Mark Selby.

* Matsa Resources Ltd. began mining activity at the Red Dog gold mine in Western Australia.

* In an update on global gold production in the June quarter, the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence reiterated that production was expected to climb this year. The data shows stable production in the June quarter compared with the March quarter and about a 2% increase over the year-ago quarter.

* Anaconda Mining Inc. secured an option to acquire the Cape Spencer gold property in New Brunswick for C$445,000 in a combination of cash and/or shares, a C$400,000 exploration commitment over the deal's first four years and a 2% net smelter return royalty.

* Pelangio Exploration Inc. agreed to acquire the mineral rights to all or a portion of 24 patented claims in Ontario from the Kean Group and 2522962 Ontario Inc.

* Kingston Resources Ltd. increased its stake in the Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea to 70% from 49% after completing the expenditure requirements under a joint venture.

* Atlanta Gold Inc. was unable to secure an extension for the payment of a US$251,000 fine in connection with environmental violations. The payment is due Sept. 14. The company was fined by a federal court for allowing arsenic and iron from its Atlanta gold project in Idaho to enter a tributary of the Boise River.

* Drilling at Black Dragon Gold Corp.'s Salave gold project in northern Spain identified new high-grade extensions to the existing gold resource.

* United States Antimony Corp. said it invested considerable capital to boost the production of antimony, gold and silver from its Mexico-based operations.

BULK COMMODITIES

* S&P Global Ratings upgraded its outlook on Constellium N.V. from stable to positive, while affirming its B- long-term issuer credit rating and issue rating on its senior unsecured notes. This reflects the faster-than-expected improvement of the aluminum producer's credit metrics this year as a result of strong half-year results and the completion of a €200 million divestment.

* Intra Energy Corp. Ltd.'s Tancoal Energy Ltd. unit received a chamber summons and a petition for administration order from contractor Caspian Ltd., which seeks to place the Intra Energy unit under administration for a period of two years.

* Russian state-owned power company RusHydro is uncertain about its planned investment in Rusal's proposed Taishet aluminum smelter project in Siberia due to U.S. sanctions on Russian entities and individuals, Reuters reported, citing RusHydro head Nikolai Shulginov.

* Russia's Ministry of Economy expects Rusal to complete a process to redomicile at either the Russky or Oktyabrsky Islands special administrative regions in October, Kommersant reported.

* Brazilian pension fund Previ could sell a small portion of its stake in Vale SA, as part of its efforts to raise cash to pay for benefits, Reuters reported, citing Previ CEO José Mauricio Coelho. The executive, however, said the pension fund is not in a rush to offload the stake and it still sees some upside potential for Vale's shares.

* Vale is targeting increasing the number of autonomous trucks at its Brucutu iron ore mine in Brazil to 13 by 2019 from the current seven, International Mining reported.

* China is mulling a move to allow its northern provinces to enact their own restrictions on production by heavy industries during the winter season, eschewing a previous plan to enact a one-size-fits-all policy for all provinces, Reuters reported, citing sources.

* Tangshan Guofeng Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. and Hebei Xinjin Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. started tearing down their steel mills in the city of Tangshan, as part of measures imposed by China's Hebei province to crack down on polluting mills in the region, Reuters reported.

* Meridian Mining S.E. secured a trial production license, covering the extraction of 6,000 tonnes of manganese oxide per annum for its Espigão project in Brazil.

* South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources approved the environmental authorization for MC Mining Ltd.'s Makhado hard coking coal and thermal coal project.

* Vietnam shipped about 1.7 million tonnes of coal in the first eight months of the year, with cargoes going mainly to Japan, South Korea and India, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The country is aiming to produce more than 41.5 million tonnes of coal this year, up 9.2% on a yearly basis.

* U.S. coal producers idled production at 66 coal mines in the first half that were responsible for producing 3.0 million tonnes of coal in the 12 months that ended June 30, primarily in the Central Appalachia region.

SPECIALTY

* Anglo American PLC unit De Beers SA'S revenue from rough diamond sales in the seventh sales cycle this year fell to US$505 million, from US$507 million in the year-ago sales cycle.

* Tango Mining Ltd. agreed to acquire from West Mining Ltd. an 80% unencumbered interest in the Mano River project in Liberia. The property consists of one recently granted diamond mineral exploration license covering 104.3 square kilometers.

* Anson Resources Ltd. expanded its Paradox lithium project in Utah after it staked 334 additional claims covering 2,640 hectares.

* International Lithium Corp. agreed to acquire from a third party 55 additional claims adjacent to its Raleigh Lake lithium project in Ontario, nearly doubling the property's size to 1,976 hectares.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Democratic Republic of the Congo's revenues from its mining sector in the first half nearly tripled on a yearly basis to US$864.61 million, Reuters reported, citing the country's finance ministry.

* Over the coming years, renewable energy is seen playing a vital role in powering mining operations globally, helped by a reduction in renewable energy costs and an increasingly favorable regulatory environment in key markets, Mining Weekly wrote, citing a report from Fitch Solutions Macro Research.

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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