Polyus' gold sales rise 12% to US$821M
PJSC Polyus reported an 8% year-over-year increase in total gold output to 691,000 ounces in the third quarter, driven by higher seasonal production volumes at its alluvial deposits and supported by solid performance at its hard rock deposits. The company's gold sales for the quarter increased 12% year over year to US$821 million. Total gold sales included 92,000 ounces of gold contained in concentrate from the Olimpiada mine in Russia.
Australia launches A$218M exploration research center amid fall in discoveries
South Australian Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan launched a A$218 million research organization called the MinEx Cooperative Research Centre aimed at developing mineral exploration technologies. MinEx CRC Chairman Chris Pigram said the launch was driven by the declining discovery of new mineral deposits, which is viewed as a major threat to Australia's economy. The center received A$50 million in federal government funding on top of A$165 million in backing from its 34 mining and mining equipment, technology and services participants over the next 10 years
Rio Tinto's Q3 iron ore output slips 3% YOY; copper production up 32%
Rio Tinto's third-quarter iron ore production and shipments slipped 3% and 5%, respectively, year over year to 82.5 million tonnes and 81.9 million tonnes. Iron ore production was affected due to planned maintenance cycles and safety pauses across all operations following a fatality at the company's Paraburdoo iron ore mine in Western Australia. Mined copper output in the period surged 32% year over year to 159,700 tonnes on the back of increased production from Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. due to higher grades.
* BHP Billiton Group is on track to meet its goal of a 50% female workforce by 2025, the Financial Times reported. The company recorded a 40% increase in the number of female staff over the past two years.
* India's National Green Tribunal will decide the fate of Vedanta Ltd.'s Tuticorin copper smelter in Tamil Nadu at the end of November, Metal Bulletin reported, citing local media. The property was shuttered in May after 13 people died during violent protests over alleged pollution.
* Kalamazoo Resources Ltd. consolidated the ownership of the Cork Tree copper project in Western Australia after acquiring Atlas Iron Ltd.'s 49% share of the two joint venture tenements for a 2.5% gross smelter royalty.
* Intrepid Mines Ltd. moved the record date of the proposed 75-Australian-cent-per-share return of capital to Nov. 23 to align with aspects of the company's off-market takeover offer for AIC Resources Ltd.
* Bunker Hill Mining Corp. lost its option to acquire the Bunker Hill zinc mine in Idaho after defaulting on payments for the project, rendering the lease with Placer Mining Corp. void.
* African Battery Metals PLC started geological work on its recently acquired 380-square-kilometer Lizetta II cobalt-chrome-nickel exploration property in Cote d'Ivoire.
* Coeur Mining Inc. agreed to acquire projects from Alio Gold Inc. to feed operations at Coeur's Rochester silver-gold mine in Nevada for US$19 million of shares.
* Gran Colombia Gold Corp. produced 57,163 ounces of gold in the third quarter, up 54% year over year, Mining Weekly reported. Output in the first nine months of the year totaled 162,741 ounces.
* BHP Billiton agreed to raise its stake in SolGold PLC to 11.2% through a £45 million share subscription agreement. The mining giant will acquire 100 million SolGold shares at 45 pence apiece and earned the right to nominate one director to the SolGold board provided its shareholding does not drop below 10%. BHP also agreed not to acquire additional SolGold shares for two years, subject to certain exceptions.
* Spectrum Metals Ltd. agreed to acquire the Penny West gold project in Western Australia. The company also completed its acquisition of the First Hit gold mine in Western Australia for A$100,000 cash and A$100,000 of shares.
* Alliance Resources Ltd.'s stake in the Wilcherry Hill gold project in Western Australia increased to 79.01% after it sole funded expenditure over the project area in the September quarter, resulting in Tyranna Resources Ltd. diluting its interest to 20.99%.
* Egan Street Resources Ltd. received nonbinding offers for financing of up to A$35 million of conventional debt alternatives to fund the development of its Rothsay gold project in Western Australia.
* 3D Resources Ltd. signed a revised deal to secure full ownership of the Grand Bois and Morne Bossa gold projects in Haiti from former joint venture partners Sono Global Holdings Inc. and Resource Generale Corp., respectively, for 25 million shares and a 25% net profit interest.
* Geopacific Resources Ltd. said it moved the release of the definitive feasibility study for the Woodlark gold project in Papua New Guinea to the fourth quarter to incorporate significant operational cost improvements identified in the pre-feasibility study.
* Apollo Consolidated Ltd.'s exploration drilling at the Lake Rebecca gold project in Western Australia discovered the Laura Lode, a new gold surface north of the previously identified Jennifer Lode.
* Bonterra Resources Inc. intends to raise up to C$20 million through a private placement.
* The World Steel Association doubled its global steel growth forecast, and demand is projected to rise 1.4% in 2019 to 1.68 billion tonnes, Reuters reported. Saeed Al Remeithi, chairman of the Worldsteel economics committee, said developing countries in Asia will continue to drive global steel demand in 2019, particularly Southeast Asia and India, as demand in developed countries slows down, Metal Bulletin wrote.
* PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works third-quarter crude steel production rose 11.5% over the previous quarter to about 3.4 million tonnes due to higher pig iron output and the company completing scheduled repairs to the oxygen converter. Group finished products sales went up 7.2% over the previous quarter to 3.1 Mt in the third quarter
* Western Australia's Nationals party will rehash a proposed increase to an iron ore export levy to entice miners and political rivals to approve the measure, The West Australian reported. The previous measure proposed to raise about A$2 billion per year by increasing the 25-cent-per-tonne levy to A$5 per tonne. Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston cast doubt that the state government would approve such idea despite revisions.
* Whitehaven Coal Ltd. CEO Paul Flynn reiterated the company's focus on bringing two new coal mines, Vickery and Winchester in northern New South Wales, into production under the Australian government's new, shorter approvals process, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
* Altech Chemicals Ltd. secured a patent for its process of producing high-purity alumina from kaolin, originally filed in October 2014, from the Australian Patent Office.
* Centrex Metals Ltd. signed its first contract with a major regional fertilizer manufacturer for a 5,000-wet-tonne trial shipment of phosphate rock concentrate from its Ardmore project in Queensland, Australia.
* Mayur Resources Ltd. signed a cooperation deal with Square Resources for marketing seaborne exported coal from the Depot Creek coal project in Papua New Guinea.
* Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo raised concerns over Canada's imposition of new quotas and tariffs on steel imports to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Reuters reported, citing a Canadian government source. A separate report by the newswire said the U.S. is seeking to impose quotas on Mexican steel exports as part of a negotiation to remove metals tariffs.
* Bowen Coking Coal Ltd. terminated its binding deal to sell its Comet Ridge coal project in Queensland, Australia to Springsure Creek Coal Pty. Ltd. The parties could not reach an agreement on certain key commercial issues.
* Kenmare Resources PLC reported an 8% growth year over year to 8.41 million tonnes of ilmenite ore mined in the third quarter, mainly due to increased supplementary dry mining. The company also unveiled its new dividend policy, a minimum of 20% profit after tax, beginning with an interim dividend for the first half of 2019.
* Lynas Corp. Ltd.'s ASX stock was on the way up again in early morning trading after Malaysian media released the names of the committee reviewing its Gebeng rare earths processing plant, void of environmental activists, which analysts said is another positive sign the process will be scientific, independent and transparent.
* Anglo American PLC unit De Beers SA's provisional revenue from rough diamond sales in the eighth sales cycle this year improved to US$475 million, from US$376 million in the year-ago sales cycle.
* India is close to resolving its trade disputes with the U.S., although a final agreement has yet to be signed, Reuters reported, citing a trade ministry source. The newswire earlier reported that the two countries could close a new trade deal involving steel, medical devices, agriculture and IT equipment.
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