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Hyundai Steel, Dongkuk among 6 South Korean steel firms fined over price fixing

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


Hyundai Steel, Dongkuk among 6 South Korean steel firms fined over price fixing

TOP NEWS

Hyundai Steel, Dongkuk among 6 South Korean steel firms fined over price fixing

South Korea's six largest steel firms, including Hyundai Steel Co. and Dongkuk Steel Mill Co. Ltd., were slapped with a total fine of 119 billion South Korean won over charges of fixing the prices of steel reinforcement bars, The Korea Herald reported, citing the country's Fair Trade Commission.

Pretium Resources hit with 2 lawsuits over production reporting

Pretium Resources Inc. is facing two separate class-action lawsuits for allegedly making false and misleading statements, particularly about its Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia not being a "high-grade, high-output" mine. These moves follow the release of a 47-page report by Viceroy Research, which claimed that the company's reported grades and reserves are inflated. Pretium President and CEO told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the company stands by its numbers. He rejected the core claims made by Viceroy.

Ramelius launches all-share takeover offer for Explaurum

Ramelius Resources Ltd. intends to make an off-market takeover bid for Explaurum Ltd., offering 1 Ramelius share for every 4 Explaurum shares held, valuing the offer at 12.3 Australian cents apiece. The offer represented a 66.2% premium to the last closing price of 7.4 cents per Explaurum share on Sept. 7 and a 50.0% premium to Explaurum's 30-day volume weighted average price of 8.2 cents per share. Explaurum advised its shareholders to take no action until it has released its formal recommendations.

DIVERSIFIED

* India's largest nonferrous metals miners, including Hindalco Industries Ltd., Vedanta Ltd., Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Hindustan Copper Ltd. and National Aluminium Co. Ltd., sounded a warning against the country's participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal, fearing it would deal further damage to the industry, following the India-ASEAN free trade agreement, The Economic Times of India reported.

* African Rainbow Minerals Ltd.'s attributable profit for the year surged to 4.56 billion South African rand from 1.37 billion rand a year ago. The earnings include a net value gain of 977 million rand on the restructuring of the ARM Coal debt in late June. The year-ago results also included attributable impairments on the Nkomati mine and Modikwa mine assets. Patrice Motsepe, the company's executive chairman, said it is looking at some very exciting growth opportunities, Mining Weekly reported.

BASE METALS

* BHP Billiton Group awarded a A$190 million contract extension, covering a minimum period of 24 months, for underground mining services at the Leinster nickel mine in Western Australia to CIMIC Group Ltd.'s Thiess.

* PT Antam (Persero) Tbk. swung to a first-half net profit of 344.45 billion Indonesian rupiah from a year-ago net loss of 496.12 billion rupiah. The results came on the back of higher production and net sales as well as efficiency improvements. Ferronickel sales jumped 90% to 12,579 tonnes of nickel in ferronickel, and production grew 37% to 12,811 tonnes of nickel in ferronickel.

* Mineral Resources Ltd. took a 10.8% stake in Barra Resources Ltd. after investing A$2 million in the Australian cobalt explorer, with proceeds to be used in part to complete the pre-feasibility study on the Mount Thirsty cobalt-nickel project in Western Australia.

* Highlands Pacific Ltd. increased the ore reserve and resource estimate at the Ramu nickel-cobalt project in Papua New Guinea. Total ore reserves, in the proved and probable categories, increased to 56 million tonnes grading 0.9% nickel and 0.1% cobalt, while total measured, indicated and inferred resources rose to 136 million tonnes grading 0.9% nickel and 0.1% cobalt.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Northam Platinum Ltd.'s normalized headline earnings grew to 421.5 million South African rand in fiscal 2018 from 398.3 million rand a year earlier, while its headline loss widened to 701.6 million rand from 636.4 million rand, Mining Weekly reported. The company said its growth, diversification and optimization strategy is on track, with development advancing at the Booysendal South and Zondereinde platinum mines in South Africa.

* RNC Minerals is no longer in talks for the potential sale of its Beta Hunt mine in Western Australia after it reported a high-grade gold discovery at the site.

* Chalice Gold Mines Ltd. agreed to acquire the remaining 30% joint venture interest in the Chimo property from Monarques Gold Corp. The property forms a key part of the company's East Cadillac gold project in Quebec.

* Orosur Mining Inc. reached separate deals with Newmont Mining Corp. where the latter will invest US$2 million and enter into an option to earn up to a 80% interest in the Anza gold project in Colombia.

* Tahoe Resources Inc. restarted mining operations at its La Arena gold mine in Peru following an agreement to end a protest at the site.

* Cradle Arc PLC entered into a joint venture agreement with Mukuyu Resources (Mali) Ltd. to explore and develop the Kossanto West gold project in Mali.

* Gold mining in South Africa claimed 50 lives so far this year, which was roughly the same as the same time in 2017, as the country's miners are facing concerns over mining safety, Bloomberg News reported.

* Kin Mining NL's update of indicated and inferred resource estimate for the Helens deposit, part of the Leonora gold project in Western Australia, resulted in a 92% rise in resource ounces to 70,900 ounces, contained in 1.03 million tonnes grading 2.14 g/t gold.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Yancoal Australia Ltd. CEO Reinhold Schmidt refuted a suggestion by a Credit Suisse analyst who suggested that the premium on low ash hunter valley coal paid by Asian power utilities rose to 70% due to the emergence of dominant players, saying that the sector's consolidation was to be blamed, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Assore Ltd. CEO Charles Walters said that 2.7 billion South African rand in CapEx was approved for the modernization and optimization of Assmang Pty. Ltd.'s Gloria manganese mine in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported.

* Nucor Corp.'s board approved a US$650 million investment to expand the production capacity at Nucor Steel Gallatin LLC, the company's flat-rolled sheet steel mill in Kentucky. With the investment, the mill's current capacity of 1.6 million tons per year will be increased to about 3 Mt/y.

* Fertilizer producer Danakali Ltd. is looking to raise US$322 million this year to develop its Colluli potash project in Eritrea, Reuters reported, citing industry sources. The amount will be used to allow the project's first phase to start production in 2022 of 470,000 tonnes per year of low-chloride potassium sulfate.

* Indian state-owned National Mineral Development Corp. Ltd. is seeking to secure tungsten exploration licenses in Western Australia, Press Trust of India reported.

* Sirius Minerals PLC CEO Chris Fraser raised the possibility of bringing in a partner with a larger balance sheet to help the company advance its North Yorkshire polyhalite project in the U.K., which is expected to produce first potash in 2021, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Iron ore shipments originating from Western Australia's port of Port Hedland to China marked a 10% monthly increase to 35.5 million tonnes in August, Reuters reported, citing the port's data.

* Supply of Chinese aluminum surged through world markets, with shipments from June to August exceeding 1.5 million tonnes, as buyers sought for supply of the commodity to replace production from United Co. Rusal PLC, which was hit by U.S.-imposed sanction, Bloomberg News reported.

* Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to prohibit state and municipal institutions from purchasing certain goods containing aluminum from foreign countries.

* S&P Global Ratings withdrew all of its ratings on Englewood, Colo.-based coal producer Westmoreland Coal Co. and its issuing subsidiary Oxford Mining Co. LLC at the issuer's request.

* South32 Ltd. said in a report discussing its climate change strategy that it will develop decarbonization plans in 2019 to support its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

SPECIALTY

* Tianqi Lithium Corp. and Chile's national competition authority, FNE, reached an agreement over the Chinese company's acquisition of a 24% stake in Chile's Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, or SQM, Reuters reported. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The court scheduled to hear the details of the settlement Sept. 13 and is slated to make a decision by Oct. 4, the FNE noted.

* QEM Ltd. closed its A$5 million raise for a A$20 million IPO due by early October focused on the Julie Creek project in North Queensland located over the Toolebuc Formation, which hosts widespread vanadium mineralization and is also considered an "oil shale," potentially giving the company two revenue streams, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.

* Peak Resources Ltd. secured the environmental permit for its Teesside rare earth refinery and separation plant in the U.K., which will process ore from the Ngualla rare earths mine in Tanzania.

* Australian Vanadium Ltd. pegged a 49.7-square-kilometer license area, prospective for vanadium-gold-copper-uranium mineralization, which expanded its landholding in the Gabanintha project in Western Australia to over 240 square kilometers.

* European Lithium Ltd. is considering a spinoff of its Austrian subsidiary and its subsequent listing at the Prime Market of the Vienna Stock Exchange.

* Savannah Resources PLC reported a 64% increase in the Grandao deposit, part of the Mina do Barroso lithium project in northern Portugal, to 16.4 million tonnes grading 1.04% lithium oxide for 171,400 tonnes of contained lithium oxide.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Ausdrill Ltd. raised approximately A$77 million after completing the retail component of its 1-for-2.13 pro rata accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer, which will be used to fund its A$271.5 million acquisition of Barminco Holdings Pty Ltd.

* The market capitalization of the world's 25 largest mining companies at the end of August fell to an aggregate US$710.8 billion, with only five companies posting month-over-month gains. The total was down 8.5% from the end of July.

* Mineral exploration in the Rainy River watershed in Minnesota's Superior National Forest, also known as the Iron Range, will soon be allowed after the U.S. Department of Agriculture canceled a review that would have led to a 20-year ban on mining and prospecting in the area. Antofagasta PLC unit Twin Metals Minnesota LLC is expected to benefit from the latest move, as the company recently got the green light for the reinstatement of two expired mineral leases for its Twin Metals copper-nickel project.

* Even before making a decision on whether to impose steep tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports, President Donald Trump is considering new levies on an additional US$267 billion worth of products from the country, according to White House pool reports.

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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