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Fresnillo's FY'17 earnings surge 32% as San Julian ramps up

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Insight Weekly: US stock performance; banks' M&A risk; COVID-19 vaccine makers' earnings

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Essential Metals Mining Insights November 2021

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[Infographic]: 2021 World Exploration Trends


Fresnillo's FY'17 earnings surge 32% as San Julian ramps up

TOP NEWS

Fresnillo's FY'17 earnings surge 32% as San Julian silver mine ramps up

Fresnillo Plc's net profit increased 32% to US$560.8 million, or 76.1 cents per share, for full-year 2017, from US$425.0 million, or 57.9 cents per share, in 2016, partly due to the production ramp up at the San Julian silver mine in Mexico. Meanwhile, the company's directors recommended a final dividend of 29.8 cents per share.

Clive Palmer seeks A$2.7B from CITIC over royalty payment delays

Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer's Mineralogy Pty. Ltd. is seeking A$2.7 billion in damages from Citic Ltd. in a suit filed in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported. The suit contends that the liquidation of Palmer's petroleum business may have been averted if CITIC had paid royalties from the Sino-Iron project earlier.

Norsk Hydro to buy Rio Tinto aluminum assets for US$345M

Norsk Hydro ASA signed a binding agreement to acquire Rio Tinto's Icelandic aluminum plant, Rio Tinto Iceland Ltd., its 53.3% stake in Dutch anode facility Aluminium & Chemie Rotterdam BV and its 50% stake in Swedish aluminum fluoride plant Alufluor AB for US$345 million. The deal is expected to be finalized in the second quarter.

BASE METALS

* Freeport-McMoRan Inc. has no plans to sell its cobalt projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo even though several parties are interested, Reuters reported, citing Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson. The prices offered were not enough to prompt a sale, but the miner plans to explore other options, including a joint venture, to develop the project.

* A preliminary economic assessment for Deep-South Resources Inc.'s Haib copper project in Namibia estimated a posttax net present value, discounted at 7.5%, of US$463.1 million, an internal rate of return of 23% and a 5.7-year payback period based on a copper price of US$3.00 per pound.

* Strategic Minerals Plc completed all prerequisite conditions to close the acquisition of the Leigh Creek copper mine in South Australia.

* Amid negotiations with smelters, Teck Resources Ltd. President and CEO Donald Lindsay sees zinc treatment charges falling further. "I couldn't say by how much," he said, speaking at the BMO Global Metals & Mining conference.

* Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. CEO Sean Boyd told Bloomberg TV that the miner is reviewing its cobalt assets in Canada after receiving five or six inquiries amid surging demand for the rechargeable-battery ingredient.

* Mitsubishi Corp. is in talks with Anglo American Plc on potentially increasing its stake in the Quellaveco copper project in Peru to about 30% from the current 18.1%, Kanji Nishiura, the Japanese group's head of metals and coal, told Bloomberg News. Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani said the company is willing to sell about a 30% interest in the project to prospective partners.

* Southern Copper Corp. President and CEO Óscar Gonzalez Rocha said that the company will be able to operate both the Michiquillay and Quellaveco copper projects in Peru simultaneously, El Comercio reported. The company also trusts that construction of the Tia Maria copper project will be authorized by the Peruvian authorities in the first half.

* Heron Resources Ltd. awarded the underground mining contract for the Woodlawn zinc-copper project in New South Wales, Australia, to PYBAR Mining Services.

* Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. unveiled a 50% surge in indicated resources at the Kakula deposit, part of the larger Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company said the update results in the project ranking the world's fourth-largest copper discovery.

* The Namibian government granted a two year renewal for Golden Deeps Ltd. Exclusive Prospecting License 3543, prospective for copper, lead, zinc, silver and vanadium, and part of the Grootfontein project.

* Titan Mining Corp. concluded an off-take agreement to supply 100% of the zinc concentrate from its Empire State project in New York to Glencore Plc.

* Northisle Copper & Gold Inc. entered into a joint venture agreement, granting Freeport-McMoRan unit Freeport-McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada Inc. a right to acquire up to 65% interest in the Pemberton Hills copper property in British Columbia.

* Globex Mining Enterprises Inc. sold its Certac copper-zinc-gold-silver property in Quebec to Osisko Mining Inc.

PRECIOUS METALS

* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said the company reached out to the Tanzanian government over changes to the country's mining laws that the company intends to challenge through arbitration, Bloomberg News reported. The chief executive also added that the gold miner may opt to sell more assets at the right price, and is open to partnerships at its Obuasi gold mine in Ghana, which the company will reopen after receiving government approval for its redevelopment plans.

* A preliminary economic assessment and revamped plan for Coeur Mining Inc.'s Rochester silver-gold project in Nevada more than doubled the project's net present value, at a 5% discount, to US$609 million from US$280 million and extended the mine life to 2038 from 2031.

* Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. posted a 21% increase in proven and probable mineral reserves at its Eagle River gold mine in Ontario to 416,000 ounces at 12.2 g/t of gold compared to the December 2016 estimate.

* A federal court in Mexico ratified a protection claim filed by indigenous communities against exploration works at Almaden Minerals Ltd.'s Cerró Grande and Cerró Grande II gold-silver concessions in Ixtacamaxtitlán, in Mexico's Puebla state, magazine Contralinea reported. The court argued that Almaden had not complied with the necessary consultations with indigenous communities during its licensing process, inline with the International Labor Organization's Convention 169.

* The Supreme Court of British Columbia gave a final order approving GFG Resources Inc.'s acquisition of Rapier Gold Inc.'s issued share capital.

* Torex Gold Resources Inc. denied reports that suggested the company's land access agreement with the Real Del Limon Ejido was terminated. It said it is working on compliance with the terms of the lease and a small group of families in the Ejido with the apparent support of the Los Mineros Union is trying to extort the company by camping near the El Limon crusher facility to interrupt mining at the pit.

* Beadell Resources Ltd. secured a US$60 million senior credit facility from Sprott Private Resource Lending LP to fund the development of its Tucano gold mine in Brazil, for the retirement of an existing loan facility and for general corporate purposes.

* Algold Resources Ltd. updated the mineral resource estimate at its Tijirit gold property in Mauritania to indicated resources of 94,250 ounces of gold at 4.08 g/t gold and inferred resources of 394,690 ounces of gold at 4.07 g/t gold. The property previously hosted inferred resources of 357,920 ounces of gold at 4.18 g/t gold.

* S2 Resources Ltd. completed the sale of its Polar Metals Pty. Ltd. unit, which holds 100% of the Polar Bear and Norcott gold projects and an 80% joint venture interest in the Eundynie gold project in Western Australia, to Westgold Resources Ltd. for A$9 million.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Warrior Met Coal Inc. is offering US$125 million of 8.00% senior secured notes due 2024 in a private offering. The net proceeds, together with cash on hand, will be used to pay a special cash dividend of up to US$350 million.

* Ferroglobe Plc turned in a net profit of US$32.2 million, or 19 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2017, from a year-ago net loss of US$242.0 million, or US$1.41 per share. For full year 2017, the silicon and manganese producer swung to a profit of US$25.2 million, from a net loss of US$338.4 million a year earlier. The results for the quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2017, included a benefit of US$30.9 million resulting from U.S. tax reforms.

* Grupo Simec SAB de CV sold 2.093 million tonnes of steel products in 2017, slightly higher than the 2.085 million tonnes of steel products produced in the prior year.

* Norsk Hydro was ordered by the secretariat of environment and sustainability in Brazil's Para state to cut production by 50% at its Alunorte refinery as a result of its non-compliance to a resolution to achieve a 1 meter freeboard in the DRS1 bauxite residue deposit, as well as suspend the operations at a tailings dam of the Paragominas bauxite mine. The resolutions were made following heavy rainfall Feb. 16 to Feb. 17 that resulted flooding in the region.

* India has set a 2019 deadline to complete the auction of coal assets to private investors, Mining Weekly reported.

* Former Union Minister and Indian National Congress leader Srikant Jena proposed that India's Odisha state should set up its own bauxite refinery, instead of using Vedanta Ltd.'s Lanjigarh refinery, The Economic Times of India reported.

* U.S. President Donald Trump said he wants to revive the American steel industry even if that requires applying tariffs to imports from other countries, Reuters reported. The White House, however, said he has not made a final decision on the issue.

* Kommersant reported that Evraz Plc won VEB's competition for the management of coking coal miner Sibuglemet. Evraz has managed the asset from 2015, and the contract will be on the same terms as previously. Sources say that this will give the company an opportunity to enter into the capital of Sibuglemet, which has an annual output of about 5 million tonnes of coking coal.

SPECIALTY

* Iluka Resources Ltd. posted a net loss of A$171.6 million for full year 2017, narrowing from a year-ago net loss of A$224 million. The company's mineral sands revenue soared 40% year over year to about A$1.02 billion, with sales volumes of zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile increasing 27% to 889,000 tonnes.

* FMC Corp. is planning a US$500 million initial public offering of about 15% of its lithium business on the NYSE late in the third quarter or early fourth quarter, Reuters reported, citing CFO Paul Graves.

* Argosy Minerals Ltd. increased its stake in the Rincon lithium project in Argentina to 77.5% after completing the second stage of its agreement to earn up to a 90% interest in the project.

* W Resources Plc secured land access and all necessary approvals to proceed towards the first stage development of the Regua tungsten mine in Portugal.

* Gupta family-owned Shiva uranium mine, part of Oakbay Resources and Energy Ltd.'s Dominion operations in South Africa, failed to pay salaries for the week to Feb. 23, an employee told Business Day Live.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Miners in Papua New Guinea, including Barrick Gold Corp. and Ok Tedi Mining Ltd., reported damage to its infrastructure in the wake of a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in the country, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, K92 Mining Inc. said its operations were not impacted as a result of the earthquake.

* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma in the position, appointed Gwede Mantashe as the country's new mines minister, Miningmx reported. Mantashe is a former general-secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, and replaced Mosebenzi Zwane in the role. The appointment was welcomed by the Chamber of Mines.

* The ease of doing business in the U.S., given decreasing regulations as well as flexible labor and more abundant energy, is "a major change in our business," Freeport-McMoRan President and CEO Richard Adkerson said at the BMO Global Metals & Mining conference. He also pointed to an improved regulatory environment in the U.S. as decreasing the burden from environmental issues and boosting the ease of opening or expanding mines in the country.

* There is a strong policy to promote and stimulate the Indian mining industry, but even as the sector develops, government bureaucracy remains a significant barrier to foreign companies seeking to invest, Panthera Resources Plc CEO Geoff Stanley said said in an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* A decree regulating mining activity in Venezuela's Bolivar state has failed, as mineral extraction in the area has increased and is being conducted in a disorderly manner, Mining.com reported.

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.