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In This List

Anglo American's Q3 copper equivalent output up 4%; Polyus' Q3 gold output up 9%

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


Anglo American's Q3 copper equivalent output up 4%; Polyus' Q3 gold output up 9%

TOP NEWS

Anglo American's Q3 copper equivalent output up 4% YOY

Anglo American PLC's third-quarter copper equivalent production increased 4% year over year, chiefly attributed to its continuing ramp-up of Minas Rio in Brazil, which produced 6.1 million tonnes of iron ore in the three-month period, and a 22% yearly output increase from its metallurgical coal segment.

Polyus improves Q3 gold output by 9% YOY

PJSC Polyus' total gold output in the third quarter rose 9% yearly to 752,700 ounces, resulting from increased seasonal output from its alluvial deposits and higher refined gold production at the Kuranakh, Verninskoye and Natalka mines. Gold sales for the three-month period were estimated at US$1.06 billion, up from US$821 million in the same quarter last year.

Norway's sovereign wealth fund builds Rio Tinto stake after Grasberg sale

Norway's US$1 trillion wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global, built a 1.4% stake in Rio Tinto by the end of September, placing it among the top 10 shareholders in the diversified mining major, Bloomberg News reported. For more than a decade, Norway refused to buy the mining major's stock due to the environmental damage caused by the controversial Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia. Earlier this year, the fund removed Rio Tinto from its blacklist, after receiving confirmation that the miner will not play any role in the activities or operations of the mine following the US$3.5 billion sale of its 40% stake in the operation.

BASE METALS

* Unionized workers at BHP Group's Escondida copper mine in Chile will down tools Oct. 22 in solidarity with protests across the country following a hike in public transport costs, Reuters reported. The workers will strike for at least one shift, the report said, citing Patricio Tapia, president of Escondida's Union No. 1. Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica had told the newswire that mining operations in the country operated normally through the weekend during the protests, which left at least seven people dead.

* Financing for Mongolian projects may become harder to secure as potential investors could be put off by the country being added to an anti-money-laundering watchdog's "grey list," The Australian Financial Review reported. Mining projects in the country include Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi copper project. The Financial Action Task Force considered Mongolia to be one of the countries whose financial systems are lacking in safeguards against money laundering and terrorism funding, the report said.

* The management of South32 Ltd.'s Cerro Matoso nickel mine in Colombia will pay 160 billion Colombian pesos to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, related to environmental and health damages caused by its operations in the country's Córdoba province, El Tiempo reported, according to attorneys at law firm De La Espriella, which represents the claimants.

* Sagittarius Mines Inc.'s US$5.9 billion Tampakan copper-gold mining project in the Philippines' South Cotabato province is expected to go into full swing in the coming months, Philippine News Agency reported, citing Felizardo Gacad Jr., director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Region 12.

* Nexa Resources SA expects to start commercial production at the Aripuana zinc project in Brazil by 2021, Mining.com reported. Once operational, the US$354 million project will become the world's second biggest zinc mine.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Third-quarter gold production at Trans-Siberian Gold PLC's Asacha mine in Russia improved 7.9% yearly to 12,620 ounces, while silver output slipped 18.3% to 24,686 ounces.

* Erdene Resource Development Corp. expects its Khundii gold project in Mongolia to generate strong returns following the results of two studies for the property's Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar deposits. The company is targeting a development decision in 2020, with initial gold production anticipated in 2021. A pre-feasibility study on the Bayan Khundii deposit outlined a net present value of US$97 million, after tax and discounted at 5%, with a 42% internal rate of return and a 1.8-year payback period. Meanwhile, an updated preliminary economic assessment on the Altan Nar deposit at Khundii defined a net present value of US$24 million, with a 92% IRR and a 1.1-year payback period.

* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. raised 500 million Chinese yuan through a short-term debt issuance with a fixed interest rate of 2.65%.

* Three members of a Russian gold mining company Sisim LLC have been arrested and placed in pre-trial detention following the collapse of a dam on the Seyba river in southern Siberia that killed at least 15 miners and left several others missing and injured, according to the Investigative Committee of Russia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vale SA now expects full-year iron ore and pellet sales between the lower end and the midpoint of its previously announced guidance range of 307 million tonnes to 332 Mt, following the temporary shutdown of the Itabiruçu tailings dam, part of the Itabira iron ore complex in Brazil's Minas Gerais state.

* Western Australia ports minister Alannah MacTiernan expressed doubt that more than 500 kilometers of rail and a deepwater port can be viably built at Oakajee to service iron mines, The Australian Financial Review reported. The comment follows the completion of Mitsubishi Corp.'s transfer of shares in its A$9.7 billion Jack Hills iron ore mine, expansion, and planned rail and port facility to Sinosteel Corp. Sinosteel Midwest CEO Stuart Griffiths said that people should keep an open mind, as the company is conducting a thorough review of iron ore development options in Australia's mid-west before it decides whether to spend billions at Oakajee.

* Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House Group has reignited talks with the U.K. government about buying British Steel Corp. Ltd., which collapsed into compulsory liquidation last May, Sky News reported.

* Tata Steel Ltd. subsidiary Tata Steel Europe will cut 2,500 jobs, or 25% of its workforce, in Europe to save US$930 million in costs, Business Standard reported, citing Dutch news outlet NH Nieuws.

* IRC Ltd.'s third-quarter production at the K&S iron ore mine in Russia inched up 0.2% yearly to 617,956 tonnes, as sales shrunk 4.7% to 601,668 tonnes. Operations at K&S were affected by exceptionally heavy rain that dragged down the production rate.

* Avenira Ltd. completed the sale of its interest in the Baobab phosphate project in Senegal and in Novaphos Inc. The company is now debt free. Avenira retains the Wonarah phosphate project in Australia's Northern Territory and exclusive rights to use the Novaphos high-grade technology in Australia.

* Brazilian steel consumption fell 6.4% to 1.8 million tonnes in September from 1.9 million tonnes in the same month of the previous year, Fastmarkets MB reported, citing national industry association Instituto Aço Brasil, as demand retreats for both domestic and imported materials.

* Russian Railways is proposing the introduction of an 8% export premium to transport cargo shipped by United Co. Rusal PLC, Kommersant reported. Rusal previously did not pay a shipment surcharge as the Russian government aided the aluminum producer, which was previously slapped with sanctions by the U.S. Meanwhile, a separate report by the newspaper said that Russian Railways increased the discount on transit of Kazakhstan coal to the Baltic ports and Poland by up to 60%.

* A minor roof fall at Bounty Mining Ltd.'s Cook coal project in Queensland, Australia, interrupted production as it partially buried the company's CM13 continuous miner. There were no injuries associated with the incident, but will negatively impact its October production.

SPECIALTY

* Former Lynas Corp. Ltd. corporate planning manager Geoff Atkins aims to turn Vital Metals Ltd. into the ASX's next rare earths producer with a new flagship asset he came across while scoping extra material to feed Lynas' Gebeng plant in Malaysia. Atkins was announced as Vital's new managing director upon completion of the acquisition of the private company he led, Cheetah Resources Pty. Ltd., which had done a deal with Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. to buy the near surface resources of the Thor Lake, or Nechalacho, rare earths project in Canada.

* Rio Tinto is studying the potential extraction of lithium from waste rock at its borates business in California, Reuters reported.

* Orocobre Ltd.'s output from the Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina in the first fiscal quarter of 2020 increased 35% yearly to 3,093 tonnes.

* A pre-feasibility study for Advantage Lithium Corp.'s 75% owned Cauchari lithium project in Argentina outlined a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$671 million, a 20.9% internal rate of return and a 30-year mine life, based on a 25,000-tonne-per-annum production capacity.

* The Kunming Intermediate People's Court in China will launch four simultaneous online auctions Oct. 27 for germanium, gallium, tellurium and selenium inventories formerly held by the now-defunct Fanya Metal Exchange, Reuters reported, citing notices on e-commerce platform Taobao.

* South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources and Energy granted a mining right to Pamish Investments No. 39 (Pty.) Ltd. regarding the five farms which comprise the Mokopane Vanadium project, owned by Bushveld Minerals Ltd. and Izingwe Capital (Pty) Ltd., in South Africa. Bushveld Minerals' stake in the project will accordingly reduce to 60.8% from 64%, while Izingwe Capital's stake will reduce to 34.2% from 36%.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Emeco Holdings Ltd. fended off media speculation over its potential acquisition of contract mining services provider BGC Contracting Pty Ltd. "Emeco explores opportunities to add value to the Emeco Group and its shareholders on an ongoing basis, [BGC Contracting] being just one of many in recent times," the firm said.

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