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Novelis to offer concessions for Aleris deal; Zambia delays new tax scheme


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Novelis to offer concessions for Aleris deal; Zambia delays new tax scheme


Report: Novelis to offer concessions for Aleris deal approval from EU regulators

Hindalco Industries Ltd. unit Novelis Inc. will have to offer concessions to EU competition authorities by Aug. 9 to secure approval for its US$2.6 billion takeover of Aleris Corp., Reuters reported, citing sources close to the matter. Novelis is willing to increase capacity and add 80 new jobs at the Aleris plant in Belgium to ease regulatory concerns that it may cut capacity to increase prices, according to one of the sources.

Zambia delays new tax implementation to January 2020 amid economic concerns

Debt-ridden Zambia delayed the implementation of a new sales tax opposed by business groups, including the mining sector, to January 2020 from its previous target of September 2019, Bloomberg News reported, citing Finance Minister Bwalya Ng'andu. The recently appointed minister said the delay would help the government look into concerns over the new nonrefundable levy, which is set to replace the existing value-added tax.

Experts urge Australian miners to improve engagement with Aboriginal communities

Australian miners need to take a bigger role in helping indigenous businesses grow if they want sustainable suppliers and contractors as Aboriginal procurement experts said broken promises have harmed the sector's reputation, according to an exclusive S&P Global Market Intelligence report.


* Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said a cap on Chinese ownership has not prevented the company from launching a share buyback, although he revealed that top shareholder Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd. is in talks with the Australian government over the matter, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Rio Tinto's head of growth and innovation, Stephen McIntosh, urged other miners to ramp up efforts on making greenfield discoveries as he blamed consolidation in the mining sector for the decline in early-stage development projects, The Australian Financial Review wrote.


* BHP Group intends to start nickel sulfate production at its Nickel West operation in Western Australia in the second quarter of 2020, targeting the electric vehicle battery market, Reuters reported, citing asset President Eddie Haegel.

* PT Aneka Tambang Tbk reported a 4% yearly fall in second-quarter ferronickel production to 6,486 tonnes of nickel contained in ferronickel, or TNi, amid the successful ramp-up of the Pomalaa plant to stable operating capacity of 27,000 tonnes per annum.

* Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra ordered the army to secure the Matarani Port Terminal, a key mining port, ahead of planned protests against Southern Copper Corp.'s Tia Maria copper project, Reuters reported.

* Mincor Resources NL executed a binding offtake agreement granting BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd. the right to process up to 600,000 tonnes per annum of nickel sulfide ore using the concentrator at Mincor's Kambalda nickel mine in Western Australia, which it plans to restart.


* The National Court of Papua New Guinea allowed Barrick Gold Corp. to continue operations at its Porgera gold joint venture with Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. while the government is considering the extension of a special mining lease, expiring on Aug. 16.

* Sibanye Gold Ltd. challenged a court application by a non-profit group seeking to halt the company's takeover of Lonmin PLC, the African News Agency reported.

* Arrow Minerals Ltd. threatened to sue Dreadnought Resources Ltd. over the alleged misuse of confidential information regarding Dreadnought's acquisition of the Illaara gold project in Western Australia from Newmont Goldcorp Corp.

* BHP, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., Newcrest Mining Ltd. and SolGold PLC are interested in exploring the La Merced de Buenos Aires area in Ecuador, which the military raided in July to remove illegal gold miners in the area, The Australian reported.

* Vantage Goldfields Ltd., which collapsed into liquidation, accepted Real Win Investment's conditional offer to acquire Vantage Goldfields South Africa, or VGSA, holder of the Lily and Barbrook gold mines in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported. Real Win will now work on reopening the mines, the report said, citing VGSA CEO Mike McChesney.

* Chinese gold consumption dropped 3.3% year over year to 523.54 tonnes in the first half, with 2% higher demand for jewelry offset by a 17.3% decrease in gold bar purchases, Reuters reported, citing the China Gold Association. Chinese gold production fell 5.1% year over year to 180.68 tonnes due to the withdrawal of mining rights in nature reserves.

* Gold Fields Ltd. expects a swing to profit in its first half, forecasting basic EPS of between 8.0 U.S. cents and 10.0 cents. from the year-ago loss per share of 45.0 cents.

* Azumah Resources Ltd.'s scoping study showed that an underground mining operation for the open-pit Bepkong gold deposit may boost the Wa project in Ghana with an estimated 154,000 ounces of contained gold and about US$32 million in post-royalty revenue.

* Gold Road Resources Ltd. and Gold Fields Ltd. completed commissioning activities at the Gruyere gold project in Western Australia. Commercial production is expected within six to seven months.

* Sabre Resources Ltd. agreed to purchase the Bonanza gold project in Western Australia through the acquisition of Power Metals Pty. Ltd.


* Marubeni Corp.'s metals segment posted a 34.5% yearly increase in net profit to ¥17.61 billion, from ¥13.09 billion, for the three-month period that ended June 30, driven by the strong performance of its Australian iron ore business.

* Itochu Corp. recorded a rise in fiscal first-quarter net profit for its metals and minerals division to ¥33.97 billion from ¥22.45 billion in the prior year, while revenue for the segment grew to ¥172.87 billion from ¥160.38 billion. Trading profit for the segment rose to ¥30.97 billion from ¥20.17 billion thanks to higher iron ore prices.

* Arconic Inc. swung to a second-quarter net loss of US$121 million, or 27 cents per share, from a year-ago profit of US$120 million, or 24 cents per share, driven by US$357 million in non-cash impairments.

* Ferrexpo PLC doubled the interim dividend as attributable net profit for the first half surged 78% year over year to US$269.4 million, or 45.8 U.S. cents per share, meeting expectations.

* CAP SA booked an attributable net profit of US$37.4 million, down from US$37.7 million a year ago.

* Coronado Global Resources Inc.'s run-of-mine coal production in the first half rose 7.3% year on year to 16.7 million tonnes while saleable coal production climbed 1.8% to 10.4 Mt. First-half net income surged 92.7% year on year to US$214.3 million. The company KD53334949 aims to deliver 15 Mt of annual saleable coal by 2023 from 12.9 Mt, under a new mine plan for its Curragh operation in Queensland, Australia.

* Australia's federal government is facing a lawsuit from aboriginal leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu for damages related to mining on indigenous land that covers Rio Tinto's Gove bauxite operation in Northern Territory, ABC News reported. Yunupingu said consent from the land's traditional owners were never sought when the lease was granted in the 1960s, the report said.

* Rio Tinto awarded more than A$250 million in contracts to BGC Contracting Pty. Ltd. and Monadelphous Group Ltd. for work on the West Angelas iron ore mine in Western Australia. Work at the site will begin in October, with completion expected in December 2020.

* Danakali Ltd. secured formal credit approval from Africa Finance Corp. and African Export Import Bank for a US$200 million senior debt facility to fund the development of the Colluli potash project in Eritrea.

* China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. is seeking legal advice after the company and its controlling shareholder, Liu Zhongtian, were charged for evading US$1.8 billion of metal tariggs by smuggling aluminum into the U.S., Reuters reported, citing a company statement.

* The government of Sierra Leone revoked several licenses of mining projects in the country, including Shandong Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.'s Tonkolili and Gerald Metals LLC's Marampa iron ore properties, Financial Times reported. The development comes after new Mines and Mineral Resources Minister Foday Rado Yokie reportedly condemned miners and claimed that Sierra Leoneans were not benefitting from the country's own resources.

* Gulf Manganese Corp. Ltd. agreed to acquire up to 100% of privately held Australia-based manganese explorer Iron Fortune Pty. Ltd., which is focused on East Timor.

* Orion Minerals Ltd. said it signed a memorandum of understanding to add Safika Resources as a shareholder to Prieska Resources, the company's black economic empowerment partner company.

* Salt Lake Potash Ltd. secured a US$150 million facility from Taurus Funds Management for the development of the Lake Way potash project in Western Australia.

* China's bauxite imports in the first half increased 30.2% year on year to 52.6 million tonnes due to supply tightness in the domestic market brought by recent environmental inspections across the country, Fastmarkets MB reported.

* A coal miner was killed while working in a Kentucky mine owned by Murray Energy Corp., the fifth fatal coal mine accident recorded by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration this year.


* Tibet Summit Resources Co. Ltd. plans to invest US$180 million to build a lithium carbonate plant in the Salar de Diablillos salt flat in Argentina, reported

* Clancy Exploration Ltd. is securing a 100% acquisition option over the Cummins Range rare earth project in Western Australia. It entered into a conditional agreement to acquire 100% of RareX Pty. Ltd., which holds an exclusive option to acquire the project from Element 25 Ltd.

* Nova Minerals Ltd. unit Snow Lake Resources Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Tanco Mining Corp. of Canada Ltd. to fast-track development at the Thompson Brothers lithium project in Manitoba.


* The Australian government established a new Productivity Commission that aims to improve the regulatory process in the resources sector, The Australian reported. The move comes after Adani Enterprises Ltd. waited for nine years to gain approvals for its Carmichael coal project in Queensland.

* Gabon launched a new mining code that will reduce corporate tax and extend the validity of operating licenses to 20 years, Bloomberg News reported, citing Mining Minister Tony Ondo Mba. The country is seeking to attract investors in manganese, gold and iron ore, the report said.

* South Africa is expected to receive more tax and royalty revenues from platinum and iron ore miners, whose earnings have been boosted by a rally in metal prices, Bloomberg News reported, citing a Morgan Stanley forecast.

* Japan's Cabinet approved the removal of South Korea from a list of preferred trading partners, effective Aug. 28, in a sign of deepening tensions between the two East Asian economies.

* Mining and construction contractor Macmahon Holdings Ltd. completed its takeover of underground mining contractor GBF Underground Mining Group.

* Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are studying the possibility of using bacteria to mine metals from asteroids, reported. Meanwhile, drilling asteroids for mineral resources may alter its direction and lead it to an unintentional collision with Earth, wrote, citing cosmochemist and science author Natalie Starkey, who discussed the topic on the StarTalk science podcast.

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