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Rio Tinto's Q3 iron ore output slips 3% YOY; copper production up 32%

TOP NEWS

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% year over year to 82.5 million tonnes and 81.9 million tonnes, respectively. 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. Meanwhile, 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.

Vale crosses 100 Mt production milestone with record Q3 iron ore output

Vale SA broke the 100 million-tonne production milestone with its iron ore production rising 10.3% year over year to a record 104.9 million tonnes in the third quarter, while pellet production rose 8.7% to a record 13.9 Mt. Vale also reaffirmed its iron ore production guidance of about 390 Mt in 2018 and about 400 Mt from 2019 onward.

BHP to raise SolGold stake to 11.2%

BHP Billiton Group 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.

BASE METALS

* Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. lifted Oyu Tolgoi's full-year production forecast for copper in concentrate to between 140,000 and 155,000 tonnes, from between 125,000 and 155,000 tonnes. In the third quarter, production from Oyu Tolgoi climbed to 39,400 tonnes of copper and 77,000 ounces of gold, as compared to 36,900 tonnes of copper and 31,000 ounces of gold a year ago. Silver output, meanwhile, declined to 230,000 ounces from 239,000 ounces last year.

* India's National Green Tribunal will decide on 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 cents per share return of capital to Nov. 23, to align with aspects of the company's off-market takeover offer for AIC Resources Ltd.

PRECIOUS METALS

* PJSC Polyus' third-quarter total gold output rose 8% yearly to 691,200 ounces, citing higher seasonal production volumes at its Alluvials mine in Russia and propped up by solid performance at its hard rock deposits. Output from the Russian miner's Olimpiada mine increased 7% year over year to 283,000 ounces.

* Polymetal International PLC expects to beat its full-year production guidance of 1.6 million gold equivalent ounces by up to 50,000 ounces due to the steady performance of its assets. The company's gold equivalent production for the first nine months reached 1.1 million ounces, a 4% increase year on year.

* Spectrum Metals Ltd. agreed to acquire the Penny West gold project in Western Australia, which consists of two contiguous mining leases covering a total of 878.2 hectares, from Patina Resources Pty. Ltd. and Plateaux Resources Pty. Ltd. for A$1.0 million in cash and shares, plus a 0.5% net smelter returns royalty after the first 7,500 ounces of gold recovered from the tenements.

* Bunker Hill Mining Corp.'s lease agreement for the Bunker Hill silver mine in Idaho was terminated after it defaulted on payments.

* Alliance Resources Ltd.'s stake in the Wilcherry gold project in South 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 General Corp., respectively, for 25 million shares and a 25% net profit interest.

* Geopacific Resources Ltd. said the release of the definitive feasibility study for the Woodlark gold project in Papua New Guinea has been moved to the fourth quarter to incorporate significant operational cost improvements that were identified in the pre-feasibility study.

* Harte Gold Corp. achieved first gold pour at the Sugar Zone mine in Ontario. The company also restarted ore production from underground, which will add to the surface stockpile.

BULK COMMODITIES

* PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works posted a 15.2% quarterly increase in pig iron output to 2.6 million tonnes in the third quarter, after blast furnace number 1 reached full production capacity following the completion of scheduled maintenance work at the end of the previous quarter. Sales of finished products increased 8.9% to 3.0 million tonnes.

* China Coal Energy Co. Ltd. expects to book an attributable net profit of between 4.90 billion Chinese yuan and 5.30 billion yuan in the nine-month period that ended Sept. 30, representing a year-over-year increase of between 55.6% and 68.3%.

* U.S. Steel Corp. reached a tentative four-year collective agreement with the United Steelworkers, covering approximately 14,000 union-represented workers, across the company's domestic flat-rolled and iron ore mining facilities as well as tubular operations.

* 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-cents-per-tonne levy to A$5 per tonne. The state's Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston, however, cast doubt that the state government would approve such idea despite revisions.

* 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 for a 5,000 wet tonne trial shipment from its Ardmore phosphate rock project in Queensland, Australia.

* Mayur Resources Ltd. inked a cooperation deal with Square Resources for the marketing of seaborne exported coal from the Depot Creek coal project in Papua New Guinea.

* The World Steel Association doubled its global steel growth forecast, with demand now projected to rise 1.4% next year to 1.68 billion tonnes, Reuters reported.

* Mexico's 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 stated that the U.S. is seeking to impose quotas on Mexican steel exports as part of a negotiation to remove metals tariffs.

SPECIALTY

* Lynas Corp. Ltd.'s ASX stock was on the way up again in early morning trading after Malaysian media released the names on the committee reviewing its Gebeng rare earths processing plant, void of environmental activists, which analysts say is another positive sign that 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.

* Select Sands Corp. placed 26 employees at its Northern White frac sand property in Arkansas on temporary furlough until further notice. The decision was driven by a current industry-wide market disruption, which has affected demand for silica fracking sand from Northern White.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* South Australia's Energy and Mining Ministry launched a A$218 million research organization, dubbed as the MinEx Cooperative Research Center, which will focus on developing technology which will unlock the value of mineral deposits, Australian Mining reported.

* 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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