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US court throws out lawsuit against Rio Tinto, former execs over Guinea payments

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


US court throws out lawsuit against Rio Tinto, former execs over Guinea payments

TOP NEWS

US court throws out lawsuit against Rio Tinto, former execs over Guinea payments

A District Court in New York threw out a class-action lawsuit against Rio Tinto and three former executives over the Guinea bribery scandal, accepting a motion to dismiss the legal proceedings, The Australian Financial Review reported. The lawsuit was seeking damages for the loss of value in the company's American securities that followed the miner's 2016 decision to self-report to regulators in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.

Sibanye's top shareholders expected to approve merger with Lonmin

Three of Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s largest investors will likely vote in favor of its proposed acquisition of Lonmin PLC, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources. The investors, which hold more than a third of Sibanye shares, are Gold One Group Ltd., Public Investment Corp. and Exor Investments UK LLP. Sibanye investors could vote in December after a review by South Africa's competition authorities.

Codelco H1 profit jumps 25% YOY on high copper prices

High copper prices, higher sales volume and better management propelled Codelco's first-half pretax profit to US$1.24 billion, a 25% year-over-year jump from US$990 million last year, President and CEO Nelson Pizarro said. First-half EBITDA also surged 21% to US$2.69 billion, from US$2.22 billion in the comparative period.

DIVERSIFIED

* An all-cash offer made by Volcan Investments Ltd., the family trust of Vedanta Resources PLC Chairman Anil Agarwal, to buy all of the shares in Vedanta Resources it does not own at US$10.89 per share was declared unconditional.

BASE METALS

* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. emerged as the winning investor for Serbia's sole copper mine and smelter, RTB Bor, Reuters reported. The Chinese miner committed to invest US$1.26 billion for a 63% stake in the debt-laden asset, and pledged another US$200 million to settle RTB Bor's debt, according to Serbian Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic.

* Grupo México SAB de CV began refurbishing its San Martin mine zinc-copper-lead-silver mine in Mexico's Zacatecas state, and could restart the site in the first quarter of 2019, Reuters reported, citing Carlos Barcena, the state's economy minister. The country's largest underground mine was mothballed in July 2007 due to a labor conflict with the National Miners Union, run by Napoleon Gomez, now an incoming senator.

* New Century Resources Ltd. entered a binding term sheet for a A$40 million senior secured debt and bank guarantee facility with National Australia Bank Ltd., allowing for the Australia-listed explorer to fast-track the planned expansion of its Century zinc mine in Queensland, Australia.

PRECIOUS METALS

* The National Union of Mineworkers, or NUM, served Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Phakisa gold operation in South Africa with a 48-hour strike notice, African News Agency reported. The labor action could start with the night shift on Sept. 2, as thousands of union members are ready to strike. NUM earlier rejected a wage offer from the company.

* Northern Star Resources Ltd. shares surged by as much as 18.5% to a record A$8.25 per share after the end of a trading halt in the wake of a deal to acquire the Pogo gold mine in Alaska, the Australian Associated Press reported.

* Australia's gold miners produced 310 tonnes of gold in fiscal year 2018, the highest annual production in 20 years and near record highs, The West Australian reported, citing data from Melbourne-based mining consultants Surbiton Associates.

* Dalradian Resources Inc. received 98.78% approval from its shareholders for the Canada-listed explorer's sale to Orion Mine Finance affiliates, in a deal valuing Dalradian at about C$537 million.

* Evolution Mining Ltd. and Andromeda Metals Ltd. formed a joint venture over the latter's Drummond gold project in Queensland, Australia.

* Torian Resources Ltd. acquired the surface rights to several Western Australian tenements, part of a profit sharing deal with Strategic Projects Mining Pty. Ltd., at zero cost.

* Approximately 36 staffers at Eastern Goldfields Ltd.'s Davyhurst gold mine in Western Australia were declared redundant after the company declared a temporary suspension on mining operations.

* Tahoe Resources Inc. shut down mining operations at the La Arena gold mine in Peru after a group of 80 to 100 people from a nearby community trespassed as part of a protest. Tahoe said the protesters had demanded financial compensation for alleged damage from dust and vibrations related to blasting at the site. The gold miner filed charges against protest leaders and contacted authorities to try to resolve the situation.

* Valor Resources Ltd. outlined the timeframe of necessary work to be completed, in support for a pre-feasibility study on the Berenguela silver project in Peru, due in the third quarter of 2019.

* Colombia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Venezuelan police's help to identify the bodies of five workers who were killed in a massacre in a gold mine in Tumeremo, a town in Venezuela's southern Bolivar state, Mining.com reported. According to authorities, at least 12 people were killed in the incident, which happened on Aug. 26.

* The underground development at Ilunga, part of Shanta Gold Ltd.'s New Luika gold mine in Tanzania, began three months ahead of schedule, with first ore from the deposit expected in mid-2019.

* Strategic Minerals PLC agreed to sell four gold-prospective tenements, held by its Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd. subsidiary, to Great Southern Mining Ltd. for A$145,000 in cash and shares.

BULK COMMODITIES

* South Korea's major steelmakers, including POSCO and Hyundai Steel Co., asked the U.S. Department of Commerce to exclude some of their products from the 70% steel import quota, news agency Yonhap reported, citing industry sources.

* India's state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd. decided it would not distribute a dividend for the last fiscal year to the government, citing a lack of cash and bank balance, Reuters reported, citing an internal document. The company was required to pay a dividend of 21.71 billion Indian rupees based on its "net worth" for the last fiscal year. "SAIL does not have any cash and bank balance and would need to borrow from the market for payment of dividend," the company said.

* Four Italian steel trade unions will launch a company-wide strike against Ilva International SpA on Sept. 11 amid the uncertainty surrounding the sale of the struggling steelmaker to ArcelorMittal, Metal Bulletin reported. They will also hold a protest outside Italy's Ministry of Economic Development on the same date.

* Following an announcement by Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional of a steel price hike in July, Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA also raised prices by about 10%, effective Sept. 1, following the devaluation of the Brazilian real against the US dollar and rising materials costs, news agency Estadao reported.

* TerraCom Ltd.'s Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland, Australia, booked record sales of A$141.1 million for fiscal year 2018.

* thyssenKrupp AG is struggling to find a new chairman after a number of candidates have turned down the job, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source. Former Deutsche Bank Deputy CEO Marcus Schenck, ex-Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers and Airbus CEO Tom Enders have all refused the position, the report said.

* Magnetite Mines Ltd. terminated a final framework agreement with Lodestone Equities Ltd. and lone shareholder Coffee House Group Ltd. for a proposed merger.

* Peabody Energy Corp. expects its rehabilitation efforts to turn the Millennium coal mine into grazing land to be completed two years ahead of schedule, Mining.com reported.

* Metro Mining Ltd. signed a binding deal with China's state-owned State Power Investment Corp. Aluminium and Electric Power Investment Co. Ltd. for the supply of 300,000 wet tonnes of bauxite from the Bauxite Hills mine in Queensland, Australia.

* Huainan Hongtai Steel Co. Ltd. was shut down for the second time after refusing to follow a directive to shut down in December 2017 due to environmental violations, Reuters reported, citing Xinhua News Agency. The Chinese steelmaker had sold 288,000 tons of steel billets since resuming production without permission, the report said.

SPECIALTY

* Institutional backing is believed to be forthcoming for Centaur Resources, whose prospectus is due about Sept. 14 ahead of a A$50 million IPO on the ASX in October focusing on the Lobo Blanco project in Argentina's Salta province. Centaur CEO Brian Clifford told S&P Global Market Intelligence during an investor roadshow in Perth, Australia, that the company already has an exploration permit, its pilot plant permits are expected in a month, and a JORC resource is due by June 2019 underpinned by drilling down to between 450 meters and 600 meters post-listing, targeting grades north of 550 milligrams per liter of lithium concentrate.

* China's Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. tapped Citigroup as the sponsor in its bid to list in Hong Kong, Reuters reported. The size of the planned listing was not disclosed publicly in the draft prospectus filed with the exchange. The company earlier delayed plans for a US$1 billion flotation in Hong Kong as it waited for lithium prices to stabilize.

* The Indian government has directed state-run Indian Rare Earths Ltd. to handle all mineral sand exports from the country, effectively banning all private mineral sand miners from making overseas shipments, Mining Weekly reported. The new restriction, which aims to stop the illegal mineral sands trade, would impact the sand mining coastlines of southern Indian states Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.

* Tungsten Mining NL agreed to acquire the Hatches Creek tungsten project in Australia's Northern Territory for approximately A$8.7 million. The sale of Hatches Creek will allow GWR to focus on its Wiluna West gold project in Western Australia.

* An environmental impact assessment report for Greenland Minerals Ltd.'s Kvanefjeld rare earths project was lodged with Greenland’s Environmental Agency for Mineral Resource Activities.

* Desert Lion Energy Inc. ceased all operations in Namibia due to falling lithium carbonate prices.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Africa-focused mining companies, including Randgold Resources Ltd., Acacia Mining PLC, and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., saw their share prices fall in the wake of resource nationalism sweeping across countries they are operating in, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania, Miningmx reported.

* The Chilean mining industry expects to attract a total investment worth US$65.75 billion spread over 44 operations over the next decade, Reuters reported, citing the country's copper commission Cochilco. Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, Gold Fields Ltd. and Antofagasta PLC are reportedly among the companies that will take part in the investments, which include new lithium, copper and gold mining projects.

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