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Rio Tinto's FY'19 iron ore output slips 3%; Barrick's Q4'19 gold output up QOQ

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Rio Tinto's FY'19 iron ore output slips 3%; Barrick's Q4'19 gold output up QOQ


Rio Tinto's FY'19 iron ore production, shipments slip 3%

Rio Tinto's fourth-quarter 2019 Pilbara iron ore production and shipments slipped 3% and 1% year over year to 83.6 million tonnes and 86.8 million tonnes, respectively, while bauxite output increased 28% to 15.1 million tonnes. Full-year 2019 iron ore production and shipments, meanwhile, both decreased 3% to 326.7 million tonnes and 327.4 million tonnes. Rio Tinto expects full-year 2020 iron ore shipments between 330 million and 343 million tonnes.

Barrick's Q4'19 gold output, sales rise QOQ

Barrick Gold Corp. reported preliminary gold production of 1.44 million ounces for the fourth quarter of 2019, rising from 1.31 Moz in the third quarter of 2019. Gold sales climbed to 1.41 Moz from 1.32 Moz, with average gold prices reaching US$1,481 per ounce. Financials for 2019 will be released Feb. 12. Cost of sales in the December 2019 quarter is expected to be in line with the September 2019 quarter, when Barrick's share came in at US$1,065/oz.

Vale stops Esperanca mine's tailings operations for technical evaluation, safety improvement

Vale SA stopped the tailings operations at the Esperança mine soon after the Brazilian mining giant took control of Ferrous Resources Ltd. last year. Vale said that it took the preventive measure to conduct a technical evaluation and carry out work to improve safety at the site. Esperanca's processing plant has a capacity of about 1.2 million tonnes of iron ore annually, according to Vale.


* Ecuador exported the first 22,000 tonnes of copper concentrate from the Mirador copper mine, owned by a joint venture between Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. Ltd. and China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd., to the Chinese city of Tongling, Reuters reported. The shipment was valued at about US$25 million by Ecuador's energy ministry, the report said.

* PolyMet Mining Corp.'s subsidiary Poly Met Mining Inc. will file a petition for review of the NorthMet copper project to the Minnesota Supreme Court, seeking to overturn a state Court of Appeals decision remanding the company's permit to mine and dam safety permits to the Department of Natural Resources.

* Atalaya Mining PLC forecast copper production of between 55,000 tonnes and 58,000 tonnes in 2020. Copper output in 2019 climbed 6.7% to 44,950 tonnes.


* Sibanye Gold Ltd. concluded a consultation process that reduced the number of proposed job cuts as the company restructures its Marikana platinum operations it acquired last year. The company announced in September 2019 that it planned to cut around 5,270 jobs or about 6% of its workforce. The consultation process outcome, meanwhile, saw about 1,612 employees granted voluntary separation packages, 1,142 employees retrenched, and contractors reduced by 1,709.

* Vancouver, Canada-based Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. produced 2.3 million ounces of silver from its San Jose mine in Mexico and Caylloma mine in Peru in the fourth quarter of 2019. Full-year output came in at 8.8 million ounces, slipping 1% year over year and in line with annual guidance of 8.2 Moz to 9 Moz.

* Coeur Mining Inc. reported total production of 359,418 ounces of gold in full-year 2019, within the company's guidance of between 334,000 and 372,000 ounces. Silver produced totaled 11.7 million ounces, below the guidance of 12.2 million ounces to 14.7 million ounces. Zinc production was at 17.1 million pounds, well below the guidance of 25.0 million pounds to 40.0 million pounds, while lead production was at 16.6 million pounds, also well below the guidance of between 20.0 million pounds and 35.0 million pounds.

* Mandalay Resources Corp. produced a total of 15,739 ounces of gold from its Bjorkdal and Costerfield mines in the fourth quarter of 2019, higher than the 15,430 ounces of gold produced in the same period of 2018. Antimony produced from Costerfield totaled 684 tonnes during the period, higher than the 561 tonnes in the fourth quarter of the previous year. The company has set a guidance of between 95,000 and 109,000 gold equivalent ounces with an average all-in cost per ounce of gold equivalent between US$1,195 and US$1,345.

* Cora Gold Ltd.'s initial scoping study for its Sanankoro gold project in Mali outlined a post-tax net present value of US$24.2 million, a 73% internal rate of return, and payback in less than 18 months, at a gold price of US$1,400 per ounce. Preproduction capital expenditure was estimated at US$20.6 million for a 1.5-million-tonnes-per-annum heap leach operation.

* The World Gold Council anticipates an increase in gold investment demand in 2020 due to financial and geopolitical uncertainty as well as low interest rates, Mining Review Africa reported. Meanwhile, the council launched its Qaurum analytics tool that would help understand how gold reacts under diverse macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions. Qaurum "provides investors with a framework for evaluating gold’s performance consistent with approaches used for other asset classes," said John Reade, chief market strategist at the council.

* Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis & Co. LLC recommended Detour Gold Corp. shareholders to vote for the proposed transaction by Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Detour Gold.

* Dynacor Gold Mines Inc.s gold exports from Peru have now resumed after its shipment was retained by customs' authorities for control procedures.

* Black Tusk Resources Inc. closed the acquisition of Chalice Gold Corp. and staked some additional claims to expand its newly acquired South Rim project.


* South32 Ltd. said that metallurgical coal output for the second quarter of its fiscal 2020 slumped 22.9% yearly to 1.21 million tonnes due to the longwall move at the Appin mine at the company's Illawarra operation in New South Wales, Australia. Total energy coal output fell 7.4% in the December 2019 quarter to 5.90 Mt, after the company's South Africa Energy Coal unit demobilized contractors in response to market conditions. Aluminum production remained largely unchanged at 248,000 tonnes, while alumina output inched down 4.0% to 1.33 Mt.

* Russian iron ore exports to China via the Trans-Baikal railway shot up 62% to 1.7 million tonnes in 2019, state-owned JSC Russian Railways Trans-Baikal subsidiary, known as ZabZD, reported.

* Rio Tinto's majority-owned subsidiary, Iron Ore Co. of Canada Inc., executed a pension risk transfer deal with Sun Life Financial Inc.

* Hbis Co. Ltd. expects its net profit attributable to shareholders for 2019 to drop between 25.5% and 36.6%, as steel prices slumped and prices for raw materials including iron ore increased over the period. The Chinese steelmaker, also known as Hesteel, expects its net profit for the year to drop to between 2.3 billion Chinese yuan and 2.7 billion yuan, compared with 3.63 billion yuan booked for 2018.

* Norwegian state-owned Statkraft AS signed a long-term agreement to supply 20% of steel producer CMC Poland Sp. z o.o.'s power consumption at a fixed price. The contract — part of a growing wave in Europe of so-called virtual, or financial, power purchase agreements — will start in 2021 and will coexist with a physical supply contract.

* Germany has agreed to give €40 billion in aid to communities impacted by the government's plan to phase out brown coal, or lignite, at its power plants, as the country looks to close down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2038, Reuters reported. Angela Merkel's government also plans to cut carbon emissions to 55% of 1990 levels by 2030. Germany plans to pay about €2.6 billion to utility RWE AG and about €1.75 billion to mining company Mibrag, Reuters wrote separately, citing government sources and people familiar with the matter.


* Lucara Diamond Corp. entered into a collaboration with Louis Vuitton and the HB Company to manufacture its historic, record-setting 1,758-carat Sewelô diamond recovered from its Karowe mine in Botswana. Lucara will receive an upfront non-material fee for the diamond and retain a 50% interest in the individual polished diamonds that will result. Further, 5% of all the retail sales proceeds generated from the historic collection will be invested directly back into Botswana through Lucara's community-based initiatives.

* Juan Carlos Liu, Peru's energy and mining minister, said that he is confident that the country would have regulations for the domestic exploitation of lithium prepared this year, Reuters reported.

* Fortum Oyj is acquiring 100% shareholding in CrisolteQ Oy, a Finnish specialist in recycling of valuable metals in lithium-ion batteries, for an undisclosed price. The acquisition will strengthen Fortum's position in the recycling of high-value materials within Europe and will support its existing battery business.


* The U.S. Treasury Department will allow a 90-day period through April 9 to wind down transactions in Iran's construction, mining, manufacturing and textile sectors that were affected by the new U.S. sanctions last week, Reuters reported.

* Global dividends are projected to increase at a higher pace in 2020 than they did in 2019, amid mounting business optimism and expectations that global growth will stabilize in 2020, IHS Markit said. Dividend payouts are expected to hit $1.9 trillion in 2020, up 5.5% from 2019, when payouts rose 4.5% on an annual basis, according to the IHS Markit, whose analysis covered 7,700 companies.

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