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Brazilian court suspends criminal proceedings over Samarco dam burst

Industry Top Trends 2021: Metals and Mining

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


Brazilian court suspends criminal proceedings over Samarco dam burst

TOP NEWS

Brazil court suspends criminal proceedings over Samarco dam burst

A Brazilian court has temporarily suspended criminal proceedings against 22 employees of Samarco Mineração SA and owners Vale SA and BHP Billiton Group, who are accused of killing 19 people in the 2015 Samarco iron ore mine disaster, over the validity of evidence submitted in court, Reuters reported. A judge in Minas Gerais state is considering whether to dismiss the case based on claims from two Samarco executives that phone data, instant messages and emails were collected outside of the legally authorized time period.

Chile expects miners to up investment to US$65B over next 10 years

Chilean Mining Minister Aurora Williams said mining companies are seeking to invest about US$65 billion in the country over the next 10 years, nearly one-third more than previously estimated, Reuters reported. More than 90% of the projects are in copper, including KGHM Polska Miedz SA's Sierra Gorda and include the reactivation of the El Abra mill, a joint venture between Codelco and Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

Alrosa says long-term contracts unaffected by Mir flooding

PJSC Alrosa suspended operations at the Mir underground pipe of its Mirny Division operations in eastern Siberia following a mine flood Aug. 4 that left eight workers missing, but it insists that long-term contracts will not be affected. Alrosa has a "substantial balance and high diversification of mining" and remains on track to meet customer contract requirements, a spokesperson for the Russian company told Interfax. Meanwhile, the search for the missing miners continues.

DIVERSIFIED

* Brazilian police arrested a couple for allegedly unscrewing the bases of energy towers belonging to Vale near the city of Parauapebas and who were seeking up to 15 million Brazilian reais from the miner in exchange for abandoning plans to continue such attacks, Bloomberg News wrote. According to a report by Globo, Vale has refused to negotiate with or pay the couple despite over a dozen attacks.

BASE METALS

* A new high-grade copper discovery made in Western Australia's Bryah Basin by Auris Minerals Ltd. has spurred investor interest in newcomer Bryah Resources Ltd., which has adjoining ground and is close to listing on the ASX.

* Audalia Resources Ltd. sold three exploration licenses, comprising the Gascoyne lead project in Western Australia, to Serena Minerals Pty Ltd. for 2.5 million shares.

* Red River Resources Ltd.'s Cromarty Resources Pty. Ltd. unit signed a contract with Trafigura Pte. Ltd. for off-take of zinc and lead concentrates to be produced from the Thalanga zinc project in Northern Queensland, Australia.

* King River Copper Ltd. applied for 12 exploration licenses in the Tennant Creek copper-gold belt of Australia's Northern Territory, which cover 6,633.97 square kilometers of ground prospective for iron oxide-copper-gold deposits.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Members of South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers marched to AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'s head office in Johannesburg to protest the miner's move to cut 8,500 jobs at its loss-making mines, Mining.com reported. The union is threatening a general strike as it also concerned about the Bokoni platinum mine's plan to cut over 2,600 permanent jobs by September.

* The Solidarity union expressed concern over Lonmin Plc's move to remove the recognition and organizational rights of minority trade unions including Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers and Uasa, Mining Weekly reported. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union is now recognized as the only trade union at the company's operations.

* Evolution Mining Ltd. hopes to spur a new wave of investment by larger gold producers in juniors to uncover the next generation of mines with its recent A$2.5 million cash injection into newcomer Riversgold Ltd.

* Conroy Gold & Natural Resources Plc shareholders approved the removal of six of the company's nine directors. Meanwhile, the resolution to appoint Patrick O'Sullivan, Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle as board members failed. The board now comprises executive chairman Richard Conroy, managing director Maureen Jones and nonexecutive director Garth Earls.

* 3D Resources Ltd. acquired a 70% interest in two Haitian companies, Delta Societe Miniere SA and Ayiti Gold Co. SA, which own the Morne Bossa and Grand Bois gold projects, respectively.

* Explaurum Ltd. recorded the highest-grade intersection at its Tampia gold project in Western Australia. Results included an intersection of 10 meters at 72.94 g/t gold from 61 meters, including 1 meter at 716 g/t gold from 68 meters.

* Capricorn Metals Ltd reported initial JORC-compliant probable ore reserves of 21 million tonnes at 1.06 g/t of gold containing 713,000 ounces for the Bibra deposit at its Karlawinda gold project in Western Australia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd. will invest 17.15 billion Chinese yuan in constructing a coal-to-olefins plant in Inner Mongolia, China, with annual production capacity is at 750,000 tonnes, consisting of 350,000 tonnes for polyethylene and 400,000 tonnes for polypropylene.

* Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. swung to a net profit attributable to owners of the parent of ¥22.08 billion, from a loss of ¥6.94 billion, in the first quarter of its fiscal year ending March. Operating profit jumped 171.8% year-over-year to ¥21.77 billion, while net sales increased 21.1% to ¥214.48 billion.

* Yancoal Australia Ltd. and its brokers met with fund managers in Singapore, as the company kicked off the process to hunt for equities investors with a three-to-five year view and willing to support its Coal & Allied Industries Ltd. acquisition from Rio Tinto, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk wrote.

* Tata Steel Ltd. posted consolidated net profit attributable to owners of 9.21 billion Indian rupees in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, swinging from a net loss of 31.83 billion rupees in the year-ago quarter. Revenue in the period rose 19% year over year to 309.7 billion rupees on the back of increased capacity in India and Tata's restructuring efforts in Europe.

* Compass Minerals International Inc. swung to second-quarter net loss of US$6.4 million from a year-ago net profit of US$6.3 million. The results were pressured by increased costs in the salt segment and sluggish plant nutrition sales in South America, the company noted.

* Merafe Resources Ltd. posted a surge in headline EPS for the six months that ended June 30 to 19.4 South African cents from 2.3 cents a year ago, while EBITDA jumped to 865.4 million rand from 256.6 million rand a year ago. The company's attributable ferrochrome production improved 10% to a record of 216,000 tonnes in the six-month period.

* Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s decision to develop either its Nyidinghu or Eliwana deposit as a replacement for its Firetail mine does not hinge upon the recent native title decision handed down by Australia's Federal Court, according to CEO Nev Power.

* Prices of Russian steel products increased in the first week of this month, with hot-rolled steel up 3.2% to US$463 per tonne and cold-rolled steel improving 5.5% to US$516 per tonne, Vedomosti reported. Prices were pushed by the rise in coal prices in July, as well as the decrease of steel making production in China.

* Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will accept for repurchase about US$484.1 million worth of its 8.250% senior secured notes due 2020 under a cash tender offer. The company is paying US$1,123.75 per US$1,000 face value to redeem the 2020 debt.

* Shaanxi Coal Industry Co. Ltd. said it plans to raise up to 4 billion Chinese yuan in debt to repay loans, including a phase one issuance of 1 billion yuan scheduled for Aug. 9. The 1 billion yuan notes will carry an interest rate between 4.20% and 5.20% and mature on Aug. 10, 2020.

* Five miners were killed and two others were injured after a coal mine in Muzaffarabad, Kashmir, collapsed due to a gas explosion, Mining.com reported. Authorities have arrested six officials of the mining company for failing to observe safety standards.

* Ding He Mining Holdings Ltd. entered a strategic cooperation letter of intent with Xinjiang Tianpeng Energy Co. Ltd. for magnesium ingot production. The parties also plan to team up on starting new businesses, including in semicoke.

* OAO Metalloinvest entered new long-term contracts to supply 3.4 million tonnes of iron ore and pellets to Evraz Plc before June 30, 2018.

* Paringa Resources Ltd. started excavation and site development works at the Poplar Grove mine site area, part of its Buck Creek coal mining complex in Kentucky.

* Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. resumed operations at its Oita Works plate mill in Japan after implementing all the necessary safety measures. The group suspended operations after a fire broke out at the mill Jan. 5.

SPECIALTY

* Albemarle Corp. posted attributable net income of US$103.3 million for the second quarter, swinging from a net loss of US$314.8 million in the same 2016 quarter. Net sales in the period rose year over year to US$737.3 million from US$669.3 million.

* Codelco cancelled a proposed joint venture with Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, or SQM, to develop the lithium reserves in the Pedernales and Maricunga salt flats in northern Chile, Pulso reported, citing the company's filing before the Chilean Lower Chamber. The cancellation was caused by SQM's ongoing contract conflict with Chilean development agency Corfo over concession rights in the Atacama desert.

* Firestone Diamonds Plc revised its financial year 2018 guidance at its 75% owned Liqhobong diamond Mine in Lesotho to between 800,000 carats and 850,000 carats, from 1 million carats previously, as a result of a revised mining plan.

* Richland Resources Ltd. reported a maiden JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate for exploration license 25973, located about 45 kilometers from its Capricorn sapphire mining operations in Queensland, Australia. The estimate comprises inferred resources of 5 million loose cubic meters of sapphire-bearing gravel at an estimated grade of 3.5 grams per loose cubic meter, or 17.5 carats per loose cubic meter.

* Pilbara Minerals Ltd. Managing Director Kenneth Brinsden said the next catalyst for the lithium sector will be battery and car manufacturers investing in mining projects to secure a supply of raw materials, The Australian Financial Review reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Chile raised US$430 million in taxes from the mining industry in the first half, up 34% compared with the same period last year, according to an analysis of government figures by Chilean mining association Sonami, El Mercurio reported.

* The aggregate market capitalization for the top 25 mining companies increased by 13.9% in July compared with the end of June, with the majority of these companies experiencing an increase in market value, according to an exclusive SNL Metals & Mining Research report.

* Australia's Minerals Council will lobby to reduce unions' powers to strike over the content of workplace agreements under a renewed push to reform industrial laws in this term of parliament, The Guardian reported.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. London time, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.