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Asset hunting, Labrador Iron Ore Royalty not looking to become 'M&A specialists'

TOP NEWS

Asset hunting, Labrador Iron Ore Royalty not looking to become 'M&A specialists'

A base metal acquisition is still on the table for Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp. as it seeks to shift strategy and diversify revenues away from being solely sourced from the IOC iron ore operations in eastern Canada, Labrador Iron Ore President and CEO William McNeil said in an interview. "We're not looking to become M&A specialists and start making big waves," he said. McNeil added that the plan was to focus on the base metal asset for the time being and remain a lean company with a staff of four.

Nucor Q3 earnings jump on stronger steel prices

Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp. reported a surge in third-quarter earnings to US$676.7 million from US$254.9 million the year before. Results fell short of a September forecast from the company that had indicated an EPS range of US$2.35 to US$2.40 as the guidance did not include a US$110 million charge related to Nucor's natural gas well assets, which the company booked in its latest financial update.

Exploration budgets surge amid mining industry recovery

Newly released 2018 global exploration budget data from S&P Global Market Intelligence's Corporate Exploration Strategies series confirms the industry recovery that began in late 2016 is continuing at an accelerated pace. Preliminary analysis shows that the annual aggregate global nonferrous exploration budget has increased for the second time since 2012, by almost 20% year over year to US$9.62 billion, from US$8.05 billion in 2017.

BASE METALS

* MMG Ltd. achieved record copper cathode production of 20,691 tonnes at its Kinsevere project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the third quarter. Total copper cathode production increased 4% year on year to 34,839 tonnes, while copper in concentrate output fell 24% to 87,087 tonnes due to a wall slippage at the Las Bambas project in Peru.

* Lead, zinc, tin and nickel futures made a trading debut on the Shanghai Futures Exchange Oct. 18, Reuters reported.

* Indonesia Commodity & Derivatives Exchange halted trading of tin ingots and tin ore with origin verified by PT. Surveyor Indonesia, based on "alleged criminal acts" referred to in a police report regarding the "accommodating, utilising, processing and refining, transporting [and] selling" minerals from sources without permits, Reuters wrote.

* Minera Freeport-McMoRan South America Ltda. agreed to acquire up to an 80% stake in the Ricardo copper-gold property in Chile from Solaris Copper Inc.'s Minera Ricardo Resources Inc. SA unit.

* Roman Abramovich opted not to sell his holdings in PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. on the London Stock Exchange as he is seeking a higher price, RBC wrote. Abramovich was unable to off-load his 4% interest in the company to Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska due to a ruling by a London court.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. will produce about 37 tonnes of gold in 2018, at par or slightly lower than in 2017, Reuters reported, citing company Chairman Chen Jinghe. When asked about setting up a joint venture with Acacia Mining PLC, the chairman said Zijin is "paying attention" to Tanzania but "not yet negotiating."

* S&P Global Market Intelligence forecasts Barrick Gold Corp. and Randgold Resources Ltd. to have lower all-in sustaining costs in 2019, compared to its senior gold peers Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., Newmont, Newcrest Mining Ltd. and Goldcorp Inc. Should the New Barrick Group successfully divest its noncore assets, the resulting company would most likely have lower production than previously and compared with Newmont but would have higher profitability than its peers.

* Ausdrill Ltd. acquisition target Barminco Holdings Pty. Ltd. secured two four-year contracts at Gold Fields Ltd.'s Agnew gold mine in Western Australia, extending each of its existing underground mining services and diamond drilling contracts through to 2022, collectively worth around A$335 million.

* Seven people were reportedly killed near a remote gold mine in Venezuela, in an incident that was believed to be the result of a struggle between armed groups for control of the area, Reuters wrote, citing the families of the victims.

* Scotgold Resources Ltd. decided to liquidate its French subsidiary SGZ France SAS after its planned sale to Ikigai Ltd. failed. The unit does not hold any assets except the Vendrennes exploration license in France. Scotgold's shares in London fell nearly 6% following the news.

* Highland Gold Mining Ltd.'s third-quarter gold production at its Mnogovershinnoye, Novoshirokinskoye and Belaya Gora mines in Russia inched up 4.4% yearly to 74,826 ounces at an average realized gold price of US$1,206 per ounce.

* A group of Kin Mining NL shareholders are supporting an attempt by former director David Sproule to regain control of the company, Mining News reported. Sproule and his allies claim they have amassed a more than 5% stake in Kin Mining.

* Vital Metals Ltd. pulled out of a deal to earn-in a 50% stake in the Bouli gold project in Niger from Summa Turizm Yatirimciliği AŞ. The Australia-listed explorer said the prevailing geopolitical situation and other factors led to the deal's cancellation.

* Hunt Mining Corp. reported shipping the first gold-silver concentrate from the Ailin vein at its La Josefina property in Santa Cruz, Argentina.

* A resource update for Alio Gold Inc.'s Florida Canyon gold mine in Nevada increased contained gold in the measured and indicated categories by 52% as compared to the previous estimate completed in 2016. The mine hosts measured and indicated resources containing 1.7 million ounces within 132.9 million tonnes grading 0.40 g/t, with inferred resources estimated to contain another 22,000 ounces of gold within 1.4 million tonnes grading 0.43 g/t.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Coronado Global Resources Inc.'s IPO price range was narrowed to between A$4 and A$4.20 per share, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported. The company was looking to raise between A$1.16 billion and A$1.39 billion at the per share price ranging between A$4 and A$4.80.

* Yara International ASA's third-quarter net income improved to US$98 million from US$90 million year over year. Revenue rose to US$3.55 billion, from US$3.02 billion a year earlier, and operating income grew to US$153 million from US$88 million. Total fertilizer deliveries were 9% higher at 8.3 million tonnes, driven by acquisitions in India and Brazil.

* Aurizon Holdings Ltd. is concerned about the backlash from activists if it starts hauling coal for Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s Carmichael coal mine, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing Chairman Tim Poole. The executive, however, said Aurizon did not have any other choice as the company was legally required to consider all applications to use its Queensland rail tracks as it is obliged to operate under an open access system.

* Numetal will not be able to settle its outstanding dues to satisfy the eligibility requirement for bidding for Essar Steel India Ltd., narrowing the race for the debt-laden steelmaker to between ArcelorMittal and Vedanta Resources PLC, Mint reported. ArcelorMittal approved a payment of 74.69 billion Indian rupees to clear its dues in a bid to make its offer eligible for Essar.

* Steel mills in China's largest steel-producing city, Tangshan, are ramping up steel output amid winter pollution restrictions from the Ministry of Environment and Ecology that took effect Sept. 27, Reuters reported. Officials reportedly failed to give precise orders on the cuts.

* The EU, Norway and several other countries asked the World Trade Organization to form a dispute resolution panel to address import tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed by the U.S., Reuters reported.

* Euro Manganese Inc. is acquiring a parcel of industrial-zoned land adjacent to the Chvaletice manganese tailings project in the Czech Republic to build its high-purity manganese processing facility, Mining Weekly reported.

* SRG Global Ltd. secured an approximately A$20 million contract for drilling works with Downer EDI Ltd. at the Blackwater coal project, a joint venture between BHP and Mitsubishi Corp., in Queensland, Australia.

* Canada Coal Inc. said that Medcolcanna (BVI) Inc. terminated discussions for a proposed merger.

* Poland's Polish Mining Group will retain the Sośnica mine in Gliwice, which was part of a list of mines handed over for liquidation in a restructuring about two years ago, Puls Biznesu reported, citing Poland's Deputy Minister of Energy Grzegorz Tobiszowski.

SPECIALTY

* Galaxy Resources Ltd. produced 31,156 dry tonnes of spodumene concentrate in the third quarter, down 35% from the second quarter, primarily due to lower feed grade and weathered ore being treated from the 2SW pit at the company's Mount Cattlin lithium operation in Western Australia.

* Wolf Minerals Ltd. was ordered to be wound up by a court, after the company's board decided to appoint administrators as it failed to secure funding for short-term working capital needs.

* Element Six, De Beers SA's synthetic diamond arm, is building a US$94 million factory in Portland, Oregon, as it looks to expand its lab-grown diamond business beyond drilling and cutting, Reuters reported.

* Bacanora Lithium PLC plans to return to the London market once lithium prices stabilize, following the cancellation of a US$100 million share sale in July due to volatile market conditions, the Financial Times reported. The company is targeting a cornerstone investor to fund the development of its Sonora project in Mexico.

* Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. fetched US$24.2 million by selling 366,505 carats at an average realized price of US$66 per carat in its eighth diamond sale of the year.

* A maiden resource estimate for Tando Resources Ltd.'s SPD vanadium project in South Africa is due to be released this quarter, after 16 holes were completed under a phase-one drilling program.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Activist group Ecologists in Action and other organizations visited the European Parliament in Brussels to seek the closure of all active mines in Spain, saying their communities are affected by lithium, tin, lead, tungsten, uranium and copper operations, and citing alleged endangerment to nature, cities and jobs, Mining.com reported.

* Major Russian companies are exploring non-dollar deals abroad to bypass the U.S. sanctions that have obstructed access of some Russian firms to the international banking system, Reuters reported.

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