ArcelorMittal, Marcegaglia win race for Italy's Ilva
ArcelorMittal and Marcegaglia won a bid to purchase Italian steelmaker Ilva International SpA, Reuters reported, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. The special commissioners handling the Ilva operation accepted the joint bid of just under €2 billion. The transaction now requires approval from two Italian government ministries and the European Union.
Codelco swings to Q1 profit on higher copper prices, but production falls
Chilean state miner Codelco posted a pretax profit of US$534 million in the first quarter, swinging from a US$151 million year-ago loss, on the back of improved copper prices, Reuters reported. The company's first-quarter copper output slid 11% year over year to 416,000 tonnes including its stakes in other deposits.
S&P downgrades Eldorado Gold's credit rating on limited operating diversity
S&P Global Ratings downgraded Eldorado Gold Corp.'s long-term corporate credit rating to B+, from BB-. The ratings agency said it believes the Vancouver-based gold producer has limited operating diversity as an operator of two mines in Turkey, as well as a modest annual scale of production.
* Under the new CEO of Vale SA Fabio Schvartsman, the company will evaluate the potential in the diversification of its portfolio in a bid to reduce dependency on iron ore, Valor International reported. According to analysts, market volatility makes the Brazilian miner too sensitive to iron-ore price fluctuations.
* Based on current estimates, Glencore Plc may pay up to US$6 billion in cash in a possible merger with grains trader Bunge, Reuters wrote, citing Moody's. The rating agency, however, noted that it does not expect an outright acquisition.
* The legal uncertainties arising from the ongoing quarrel between Codelco and the Office of the Comptroller General in Chile regarding how the state miner assigns project contracts and pays voluntary retirement programs requires a swift resolution, CEO Nelson Pizarro said in an interview with daily El Mercurio. The situation requires settling whether Codelco must be regulated as a public service or as a state company that competes with private rivals, Pizarro said.
* MRG Metals Ltd. entered an agreement to earn up to a 50% stake in Mandalay Resources Corp.'s Norrliden base metals project in Sweden.
* More than 700 union workers went on strike at Barrick Gold Corp.'s Veladero gold mine in San Juan Province, Argentina, demanding better labor and safety conditions once it resumes operations. Veladero remains suspended since a cyanide spill reported in March. Barrick Gold, which is working on re-engineering the heap leach valley operations to restart activities this year, was surprised by the strike and rejected it, daily Diario La Provincia San Juan reported.
* Laconia Resources Ltd. completed the acquisition of the Kraaipan gold-nickel-copper-platinum group metals project in Botswana. The company plans to immediately start a comprehensive, targeted exploration program at the project.
* Acacia Mining plc rejected the findings and data presented in a report from a Tanzanian presidential committee covering the export of gold and copper concentrates. The committee accused the company of not fully declaring all minerals contained in concentrate. According to the company's verified data, the 277 containers at the Dar es Salaam port contain an aggregate 26,000 ounces of gold, while the committee's findings put the gold shipment content at 250,000 ounces.
* Novo Resources Corp. struck an initial deal to farm in and joint venture gold rights with Artemis Resources Ltd. on the latter's 1,536-square-kilometer exploration package in Western Australia's Pilbara region. Novo also recently acquired, via staking, a 6,021-square-kilometer area in the same region targeting newly discovered gold mineralization.
* The Democratic Republic of the Congo's Interior Ministry said that militiamen freed the remaining four workers abducted in March during an attack on Banro Corp.'s Namoya gold mine in the country, Reuters reported.
* New Hope Corp. Ltd.'s total raw coal production for the three months to April 30 slipped 1.4% year over year to around 3.5 million tonnes due to the impact of tropical cyclone Debbie on the Queensland operations in Australia. Total salable coal production, meanwhile, rose 10.9% year over year to 2.0 million tonnes and total coal sold increased 18.6% to about 2.2 million tonnes.
* The prefeasibility study on the re-engineering plan commissioned by Vale SA to Hatch Corp. for its suspended Rio Colorado potash project in Mendoza Province, Argentina, is progressing at 90% and expected to be ready in June, company executives told Mendoza government officials. The redesign aims to reduce the project's production capacity to one-third to improve profitability, daily Los Andes reported.
* Australian Pacific Coal Ltd. completed the acquisition of the Dartbrook coal mine in New South Wales, Australia, from Anglo American Plc and Marubeni Coal Pty. Ltd.
* The Chinese Shanxi province will defer the development of coal mines with a capacity exceeding 120 million tonnes to 2020, Reuters reported.
* BHP Billiton Group and Rio Tinto are facing a fresh tax threat in Western Australia after the state's premier Mark McGowan confirmed that their government would request the mining majors to "buy out" the 25 Australian cent lease rental fee imposed on every tonne of iron ore produced, The Australian Financial Review wrote. BHP and Rio collectively owe Western Australia about A$150 million a year in such fees, and that figure would rise to A$4.5 billion if the miners paid 30 years' worth of fees in a lump sum.
* National Aluminium Co. Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with India setting targets for production and revenue for fiscal 2017-18 at an all-time high for the state-owned company. The company is now targeting revenue of 81 billion Indian rupees for the full year, which is 7 billion rupees higher than the previous year. The production targets for bauxite and alumina were set at 6.825 million tonnes and 2.1 million tonnes, respectively.
* Evraz Plc agreed to divest Kadish Ltd., a holding company of Evraz Sukha Balka, to Berklemond Investments Ltd. for US$110 million. Proceeds from the transaction will be used for general corporate purposes, including debt reduction.
* Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. started up its 6 million-tonnes per annum integrated steel plant in India's Odisha state with the commissioning of the blast furnace, Press Trust of India reported. JSPL invested 330 billion Indian rupees into the plant, and it would allow the company to overcome a loss in the wake of a coal block cancellation, Chairman Naveen Jindal said.
* Despite permitting delays, Beowulf Mining Plc is not giving up on its proposed Kallak magnetite-iron ore project in Sweden, Mining Weekly wrote, citing company CEO Kurt Budge.
* Pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine restarted steel output at two seized Metinvest BV units, Metal Bulletin wrote, citing sources. Operations at the group's Yenakiieve Iron & Steel Works and Makiivka wire rod unit have been suspended since late February due to supply disruptions created by illegal blockades.
* Kazakhstan, the world's largest uranium producer, will commence nuclear fuel production for Chinese power plants in 2019 via a joint venture created by the two countries, Reuters reported, citing a senior official at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant.
* The municipal council of Colombian town Támesis, in the Arequipa department, unanimously voted to ban mining in the area, following the footsteps of the city of Cajamarca in the Tolima department and several cities in the Huila department, daily Portafolio reported.
* BMI said Angola's continued dependence on the oil industry will lead to limited development of its mining sector between now and 2021, Mining Weekly reported. The country, however, is expected to continue diversifying into minerals in the longer term, the research firm noted.
The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. London time and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.