Barrick confirms sale of Veladero mine stake to Shandong Gold for US$960M
Barrick Gold Corp. confirmed that Chinese miner Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. will acquire 50% of Barrick's Veladero mine in San Juan, Argentina, for US$960 million. The companies will also explore the joint development of the Pascua Lama deposit and evaluate additional investment opportunities in the El Indio Gold Belt on the Argentina-Chile border.
Indonesian export ban costing Freeport close to US$1B in revenue
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. is still waiting on the final terms of a temporary export permit granted by the Indonesian government before it can begin ramping up production at its Grasberg copper mine. CFO Kathleen Quirk told Reuters that the ban on the export of copper concentrate has, so far, cost the U.S. mining heavyweight nearly US$1 billion in revenue.
Glencore declares force majeure on Queensland coal shipments
Glencore Plc declared force majeure on coal shipments from Queensland, Australia, as a result of the damage done to railway lines from the recent tropical cyclone, according to an emailed statement April 6.
* Vale SA's cost-cutting efforts and focus on investing in "world-class" assets have helped the company bridge its competitive gap with its Australian rivals, CFO Luciano Siani said. One current advantage the company has over its rivals is the lower investment it needs to make in the medium term, given the high quality of projects, Siani said, daily Valor Econômico reported.
* Meanwhile, the election of at least one independent member to Vale's board for the 2017-2019 period has become the subject of a heated dispute among minority shareholders, with candidates expected to be nominated by investment fund Geração Futuro L. Par and Aberdeen Asset Management, among others, at the next ordinary general meeting scheduled for June 20, daily Valor Econômico reported.
* Vedanta Resources Plc Chairman Anil Agarwal plans to convince Anglo American Plc to bring its businesses, ranging from fertilizer production to diamond mining, to India, now that his holding company has announced the purchase of an approximately 13% stake in the mining major, Mint reported. Meanwhile, Investec analysts said, "We suspect that Agarwal's intelligence is a bit dated. Anglo has sold its fertilizer business, it is not the largest coal producer [Glencore (thermal) and BHP Billiton (coking) are], it produces manganese, not magnesium. He has at least got the platinum part right, and there have in recent years been reports of sizeable platinum discoveries in India."
* Rio Tinto plans to dispute the amended tax assessments it recently received from the Australian Commissioner of Taxation, which billed the miner A$447 million in additional tax and interest for the calendar years 2010 to 2013.
* South32 Ltd. added a new position of chief technology officer to its management team and appointed Ricus Grimbeek to the role.
* Votorantim SA swung to a net loss of 1.25 billion Brazilian reais in 2016, from a profit of 382 million reais a year ago, mainly due to the temporary suspension of nickel operations and an impairment of 1.83 billion reais on its Brazilian long steel unit, which is up for sale. Total impairments for the year amounted to 2.16 billion reais. The group's consolidated net revenue dropped by 9% on a yearly basis to 26.74 billion reais.
* Codelco CEO Nelson Pizarro is looking for a potential successor to helm the Chilean state miner. Potential candidates include Álvaro Aliaga, vice president of operations at Codelco Norte; Octavio Araneda, who was interim CEO before Pizarro's arrival and is the vice president of Codelco Centro-Sur; Collahuasi copper mine CEO Jorge Gómez; and Ricardo Álvarez, technical manager at Mitsui Mineral Resources Development Latin America, daily Diario Financiero reported.
* KGHM Polska Miedz SA CEO Radoslaw Domagalski-Labedzki said the company remains committed to Chile for the long term despite an ongoing review of its international copper assets, including the future of its Canadian assets in British Columbia and Ontario.
* ASX-listed Sandfire Resources NL's feasibility study confirmed the viability of its 70%-owned Monty copper-gold mine to supply high-grade ore to the existing DeGrussa operation in Western Australia. Monty will be developed as an underground satellite mine with a three-year life that will produce total contained metal of 70,000 tonnes of copper, 21,000 ounces of gold and 288,000 ounces of silver.
* Peru's energy and mines minister said the country intends to increase its copper output to 3.1 million tonnes in 2021, from 2.35 million tonnes expected this year and in 2018, Reuters reported.
* Weatherly International Plc revised the production guidance for its Tschudi project in Namibia to between 14,500 and 15,000 tonnes of copper cathode for the financial year ending in June, as heavy rains prevented the short-term acceleration of mining and stacking.
* According to Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. Chairman Robert Friedland, a global shift toward electric vehicles is going to upset the mining industry, with a surge expected in the demand for copper and platinum, MiningNews wrote.
* TNG Ltd.'s spinoff base metals company, Todd River Resources Ltd., is scheduled to make its ASX debut April 6 under the ticker TRT.
* Barrick Gold CEO Kelvin Dushnisky and the governor of Argentina's San Juan province, Sergio Uñac, did not reach an agreement during a meeting held April 4, official sources told daily Diario de Cuyo. Uñac rejected the company's work plan to resume operations at the Veladero gold mine, which was suspended due to a new cyanide spill reported in late March. A new meeting is scheduled for April 6, sources told local TV channel Canal 13.
* South32 lowered the output guidance for its Cannington silver-lead-zinc project in Queensland, Australia, following an underground fire that damaged the load-out and shaft haulage infrastructure. The company now expects production of 16.5 million ounces of payable silver, 135,000 tonnes of lead and 70,000 tonnes of zinc this year.
* Luna Gold Corp. and JDL Gold Corp. completed their previously announced merger to create Trek Mining Inc., which holds the Aurizona gold project in Brazil as its main asset. As part of their business combination, a nonbrokered private placement financing was completed for C$83.4 million. Sandstorm Gold Ltd. will own 15.77% of Trek Mining.
* Eco Oro Minerals Corp. filed a lawsuit against shareholders Harrington Global Opportunities Fund Ltd., Courtenay Wolfe and Danny Guy in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The company said the group of shareholders published "false, misleading and defamatory" statements about Eco Oro and its board of directors.
* Sibanye Gold Ltd. is looking to finance its US$2.2 billion acquisition of Stillwater Mining Co. through a US$1.3 billion rights offer and a US$1 billion bond, CFO Charl Keyter said at the European Gold Forum in Zurich.
* After six days of the industrial action at Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Kusasalethu mine, the company and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union have reached a settlement and employees are returning to work.
* Gold prices will continue to show strength, supported by miners producing less of the metal and Asian governments building up reserves, panelists said at the Mines and Money Asia conference in Hong Kong. "Output is declining and will continue to decline," Willem Middelkoop, founder of Commodity Discovery Fund said, adding that he expected a supply-demand deficit to support gold prices in the next few years.
* Kula Gold Ltd. directors advised its shareholders to take no action on the proposed off-market takeover offer from Geopacific Resources Ltd. until the board gives a formal recommendation.
* Red Rock Resources Plc reached a settlement with Colombia Milling Ltd. over disputes related to the 2015 sale of the El Limon gold mine in Colombia.
* The tropical cyclone that ravaged Queensland, Australia, recently and damaged the rail network in the region prompted the biggest ever single-day rise in the price of metallurgical coal. S&P Global Platts premium low vol coking coal spiked 32% on April 5 to US$241 per tonne f.o.b. Australia.
* JSW Steel Ltd. may spend nearly US$1 billion this fiscal year on creating new capacity, as well as acquisitions, as it plans to bid for iron ore and coking coal mines during the upcoming government auctions in India, the company's joint Managing Director Seshagiri Rao told Reuters.
* Ferrexpo Plc produced 2.6 million tonnes of pellet in the first quarter, compared to 2.9 million tonnes in the year-ago quarter. The 9.1% year-over-year drop in output was attributed to scheduled pellet line maintenance in January and February as well as a 55-day pellet line refurbishment.
* Bathurst Resources Ltd. secured an off-take agreement for the supply of 65,000 tonnes per annum from its Canterbury coal mine in New Zealand.
* Rio Tinto said development of its new Silvergrass mine and its West Angeles and Yandicoogina mines is expected to support over 1,000 construction jobs in Western Australia.
* Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corp. signed a 10 billion Chinese yuan debt-to-equity swap agreement with Industrial Bank, Reuters wrote.
* Iron ore prices are expected to face downward pressure this year, as about 60 million tonnes in new production will enter the market and coincide with the end of inventory restocking at Chinese steel mills, according to Daniel Meng, a senior analyst with CLSA Materials Research.
* A source told Reuters that the reopening of Aurizon Holdings Ltd.'s Blackwater rail line, which links coking coal mines and export ports in Queensland, will be delayed, as the line suffered more damage than estimated. The line was initially scheduled to reopen later this week.
* German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG's works council chief, Wilhelm Segerath, said he will oppose any further restructuring of the company's European steel operations until there is clarity over a potential merger with Tata Steel Ltd.'s European business, Reuters reported.
* Alcoa Inc.'s mothballed Portovesme smelter in Italy is receiving interest from more interested parties, although there is no official bid yet, Metal Bulletin reported.
* Arconic Inc. announced the launch of three separate cash tender offers by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC for the company's outstanding debt for up to US$1 billion.
* Petra Diamonds Ltd. priced and increased its previously announced offering of senior secured second-lien notes due 2022 to US$650 million, from US$600 million. The notes will accrue interest at 7.25% per annum.
* The Chilean Supreme Court accepted a claim filed by Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA subsidiary SQM Salar SA to prevent the public release of the company's financial data, including client lists and lithium sale prices. The data had been previously deemed public information by the Santiago Court of Appeals and the government's Transparency Council, given that SQM is a company regulated by the state and operates state-owned mining deposits, CIPER reported.
* Australian heavy rare earths developer Northern Minerals Ltd. struck a sales deal with China's Lianyugang Zeyu New Materials Sales Co. Ltd. covering planned production from the Browns Range pilot plant in Western Australia.
* A majority of Federal Reserve officials project that the bank will begin normalizing the size of its balance sheet later this year by ending the policy of reinvesting its maturing assets, according to minutes of the central bank's March policy meeting.
* Mining companies are increasingly adopting technological innovations ranging from remote-controlled haulage systems to data analytics but have made limited progress toward the kind of transformation they say is crucial for survival, Reuters reported.
* The so-called "Trump trade," which turbo-charged stocks at the end of 2016, faded in the first quarter as investors began to doubt the new U.S. president's ability to pass business-friendly legislation, correlations show, but investors are confident that a broader bet on global reflation will fuel another leg up for markets.
* Japanese mining equipment maker Komatsu completed the US$3.7 billion acquisition of Joy Global Inc., Mining.com reported. Joy Global will be renamed Komatsu Mining Corp. and will operate as a subsidiary of Komatsu.
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