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ThyssenKrupp CEO offers to step down amid shareholder criticism of Tata JV deal

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ThyssenKrupp CEO offers to step down amid shareholder criticism of Tata JV deal

TOP NEWS

ThyssenKrupp CEO offers to step down amid shareholder criticism of Tata JV deal

ThyssenKrupp AG CEO Heinrich Hiesinger offered to step down and requested the company's supervisory board to find a mutual agreement for his decision. The supervisory board will meet July 6 to discuss and decide on Hiesinger's request. ThyssenKrupp recently struck a definitive deal to form a 50/50 European steel joint venture with Tata Steel Ltd. Hiesinger has been facing pressure from major shareholders to secure a more favorable agreement in connection with the merger.

Glencore to buy back up to US$1B in shares

Glencore PLC will begin a share repurchase program of up to US$1 billion. The program, to be implemented in two stages, will be conducted by Citigroup Global Markets Ltd.

Amplats to sell Bafokeng Rasimone platinum JV stake to partner for 1.86B rand

Anglo American PLC unit Anglo American Platinum Ltd., or Amplats, is selling its 33% interest in the Bafokeng Rasimone platinum mine joint venture in South Africa to its partner and the project's 67% owner, Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd., for a total of 1.86 billion South African rand. Amplats will retain its right to process 50% of the Bafokeng Rasimone concentrate for the life of the mine.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton Group Chairman Ken MacKenzie said the company's culture needs to shift to become more agile and less bureaucratic, noting that there would be more input from the board on management's development spending and acquisition plans, The Australian reported. Meanwhile, MacKenzie said BHP would follow the U.K.'s corporate governance guidelines on board tenure, which outline a nine-year tenure as the rough maximum for directors, an indication that some of the longstanding board members may be retiring the next year, the report added.

* Law firm Dechert LLP alleged that Eurasian Natural Rsrc Corp. Ltd.'s senior managers oversaw bribes to senior officials in Africa, flouted sanctions and overpaid during acquisitions of related firms, the Financial Times reported. The documents filed in the court by the law firm that previously represented the company allege that ENRC, which is under criminal investigation by the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office, paid US$40 million in cash to sanctioned Israeli businessman Dan Gertler. The miner is suing the law firm and one of its top partners over breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.

* Greenpower Energy Ltd. signed an option to acquire private company Ion Minerals Pty. Ltd., which has the right to acquire the Lincoln Springs and Ashburton cobalt projects in Queensland and Western Australia, respectively, and an exploration permit application covering the Julia Creek vanadium project in Queensland.

* India has directed state-owned National Aluminium Co. Ltd., Hindustan Copper Ltd. and Mineral Exploration Corp. Ltd. to team up as it looks to acquire lithium and cobalt mines abroad, amid increasing demand for minerals used in batteries, The Economic Times of India reported.

BASE

* The workers' union at BHP's Escondida copper mine in Chile and the company are "far from reaching agreement", with less than three weeks to go before the contract negotiations deadline, Reuters reported, citing a union official. The official added that the union was setting up a US$400,000 emergency fund to support workers if they decide to go on strike after BHP offers its final proposal on July 24.

* An environmental court in India rejected Vedanta Ltd.'s bid to temporarily reopen its Tuticorin copper smelter in India's Tamil Nadu state, Reuters reported.

* Vedanta Resources PLC's Vedanta Zinc International unit kicked off commissioning activities at its Gamsberg zinc project in South Africa's Northern Cape province, Mining Weekly reported.

* Zambia agreed to give First Quantum Minerals Ltd. more time to complete its analysis of what the company might owe in taxes after the government slapped the miner with a US$7.9 billion tax bill, Bloomberg News reported. "We have given them a month so that they can complete the analysis," Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said.

* Cobalt Power Group Inc. agreed to acquire Little Trout Cobalt Development Corp., which owns the Little Trout group of claims in Ontario. The property consists of 46 claim units covering around 776 hectares and is prospective for cobalt-copper mineralization.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Unlike many of its peers that have been unloading assets and cutting spending, Toronto-based Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. has remained focused on growing its production base and investing in its exploration and development projects. The company expanded from one to eight gold mines in just over seven years and increased its production profile by more than 500% over the past 10 years, all while expanding gold reserves by 23%.

* St Barbara Ltd. produced a record 119,436 ounces of gold in the fourth fiscal quarter, bringing its full-year production to a record 403,089 ounces, up 6% year over year.

* Centerra Gold Inc. said that there is a risk that throughput levels at its Mount Milligan copper-gold project in British Columbia may need to be reduced in the fourth quarter, if the company fails to receive regulatory approval to access further groundwater and surface water solutions to meet water needs at the site.

* Development at AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'s Sunrise Dam gold mine in Western Australia is now underway, with production expected to increase by 25% this year to about 300,000 ounces, following completion of the Recovery Enhance project at the mine in late June.

* China Hanking Holdings Ltd. agreed to sell its 70% stake in investment holding company, Hanking (Indonesia) Mining Ltd., to Tuochuan Capital Ltd. for 350.0 million Chinese yuan. The company plans to use the proceeds for the development of an Australian gold project of Primary Gold Ltd., which it recently acquired, as well as to support its working capital.

* Shares in Metals Exploration PLC were down more than 10% in London midday trade after company reported that the BIOX circuit at its Runruno gold mine in the Philippines is experiencing problems. The circuit's throughput has been significantly reduced due to power shortages and distribution disruptions during the unusually long hot and dry period, the company noted.

* Goldcorp Inc. increased its ownership in Gold Standard Ventures Corp. to 12.73%, from 9.86% previously. Goldcorp acquired the additional 7.3 million common shares for investment purposes.

* Medusa Mining Ltd. signed an option to earn up to a 90% interest in Ellenkay Gold Pty. Ltd.'s Hill 212 and Mount Clark West gold projects in Queensland, Australia.

* American Creek Resources Ltd. granted Tudor Gold Corp. an option to buy out the company's 40% interest in their Electrum gold joint venture in British Columbia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* EU member countries backed measures proposed by the European Commission to curb steel imports into the region, following a U.S. decision to slap import tariffs on European steel and aluminum, Reuters reported. "This is intended to prevent the negative effects of trade diversion, but at the same time maintain traditional supply and effective competition on the EU market," a Commission spokesman said.

* Tekin Nasikkol, head of labor at ThyssenKrupp, said he will seek to renegotiate with management the planned layoff of around 4,000 workers agreed under the joint venture deal with Tata Steel, Reuters reported. ThyssenKrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger briefed the workers on the implications of the joint venture, which entails reductions of up to 2,000 jobs at each of ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel.

* Rio Tinto is mulling the development of its Western Range iron ore deposit, located near its Paraburdoo operations in Western Australia's Pilbara region, The Australian Financial Review wrote. The company welcomed the general sales tax reformed proposed by the Australian federal government saying it will encourage growth and development in the mining sector.

* BHP Billiton Group, the world's biggest coking coal exporter, is "cautiously optimistic" that India's renewed efforts to make its rail, port and road infrastructure internationally competitive will bear fruit, which an expert from information provider IHS says is good news for Australia's metallurgical coal which India prefers.

* Juru traditional owners lodged an application with the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships for a stop order to protect sacred sites, which could force Adani Enterprises Ltd. to cease work in the vicinity of its Abbot Point coal terminal and planned rail corridor, The Guardian wrote.

* For the first quarter of fiscal 2019, Steel Authority of India Ltd.'s captive mines under its Raw Materials Division produced and dispatched 5.2 million tonnes and 5.1 million tonnes of iron ore, respectively, reflecting year-over-year growth of 15.4% and 16.7%, The Economic Times of India reported.

* China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd. is boosting its hot metal capacity to 4.0 million tonnes and crude steel capacity to 3.6 million tonnes at its Zhanjiang production site in China's Guangdong province, Metal Bulletin reported. The increases come on the back of production cuts at operations in Shanghai and in Jiangsu province.

* Liberty House parent GFG Alliance acquired the freehold and cargo-handling services of Bird Port in South Wales, U.K., Metal Bulletin reported. Bird Port, which will be renamed SIMEC Bird Port following deal closing, handles mainly steel and bulk products.

* China's Hebei province plans to slash steel capacity by 50% in some of its major cities in 2020, as well as shutter coal mines, coking plants and cement factories in a bid to upgrade its industrial economy, Reuters reported.

* More than 350 unionized workers at Compass Minerals International Inc.'s salt mine in Ontario have been on strike for about 10 weeks, seeking negotiations with management for a new contract, CBC News reported.

SPECIALTY

* Petra Diamonds Ltd. agreed to dispose of its 75.9% interest in the Kimberley joint venture operation in South Africa to partner Ekapa Mining (Pty) Ltd. for 300 million South African rand. The deal also includes the tailings treatment operations. for 300 million South African rand. The deal also includes the tailings treatment operations.

* Eramet's A$1.75 per share takeover bid for Mineral Deposits Ltd. was declared unconditional, with an aggregate 38.72% in acceptances and existing shareholdings. The offer, which the latter has already asked its shareholders to reject, is the last and final offer and will not be increased if no completing proposal is received.

* Eramet is looking to acquire lithium deposits in Chile, Argentina and Brazil to expand its lithium footprint amid increasing demand of the mineral used in batteries for electric vehicles, Reuters reported. CEO Christel Bories noted that the company's priority is to develop its existing lithium deposit in Argentina.

* Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques is mounting pressure on his exploration team to discover the next world-class diamond mine as the company's Argyle mine in Western Australia is scheduled to close in 2020 while the Diavik mine in Canada's Northwest Territories is set to shut down in 2025, The Australian wrote. "We do not want to exit the diamond business. We have built, over many years, a very good position and it is a premier position and we just need to continue to find the right resources to support our position," said Jacques.

* Azarga Uranium Corp. completed its previously announced acquisition of URZ Energy Corp.

* Bacanora Lithium PLC secured a US$150 million senior debt facility with RK Mine Finance for the first-stage development of its Sonora lithium project in Mexico.

* CellCube Energy Storage Systems Inc., formerly Stina Resources Ltd., completed the previously reported acquisition of Pure Vanadium Corp., which holds a portfolio of licenses for the production and sale of vanadium electrolyte.

* Australian Vanadium Ltd. released an initial inferred cobalt-nickel-copper resource estimate at the Gabanintha vanadium project in Western Australia of 12.5 million tonnes grading 206 parts per million of cobalt, 659 ppm of nickel and 222 ppm of copper.

* Renascor Resources Ltd. will seek shareholder approval for the issue of shares to complete the acquisition of Ausmin Development Pty. Ltd., which holds the right to the Siviour graphite project in South Australia.

* MCC International Incorporation Ltd., the overseas business platform for Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd., was appointed to provide the engineering, procurement and construction services for Triton Minerals Ltd.'s flagship Ancuabe graphite project in Mozambique.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The resources sector in Australia welcomed the federal government's eight-year, three-step plan to overhaul the GST redistribution, Mining Weekly reported. The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies said the proposed changes would reduce the pressure on state and territory budgets, removing the need to adjust royalties and the indirect taxes.

* South African Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said that shuttered mines in the country are bad for the economy and the government is raising the issue with the Minerals Council, Bloomberg News reported. Mantashe was speaking at the opening of Sasol Ltd.'s Secunda colliery in the Mpumalanga province.

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