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In This List

Rio Tinto, BHP hit milestone at Resolution; Tia Maria permit suspended

Mining Exploration Insights - April 2020

Mining Exploration Insights December

Mining Exploration Insights: Dip in gold drilling weighs on results

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2019


Rio Tinto, BHP hit milestone at Resolution; Tia Maria permit suspended

TOP NEWS

Rio Tinto, BHP achieve permitting milestone for Resolution copper JV

Rio Tinto hit a key permitting milestone at its Resolution copper joint venture in Arizona with BHP Group after the U.S. Forest Service released a draft environmental impact statement, or EIS, following a six-year review that started in 2013. A 90-day public consultation will now commence for a final EIS. Resolution is said to have the potential to supply 25% of U.S. copper demand.

Peru suspends Southern Copper's construction permit for Tia Maria copper mine

The Peruvian government suspended Southern Copper Corp.'s construction permit for its long-delayed Tia Maria copper mine pending a review, Reuters reported, citing Energy and Mines Minister Francisco Ismodes' interview with local broadcaster RPP. The evaluation process, which may take about two to three months, will look into the legality of the permit as well as objections from local communities where the US$1.4 billion project will be built, the report said.

Report: Turkish group on cusp of British Steel deal, looks to invest £900M

A Turkish investment group tipped as the preferred bidder for British Steel Corp. Ltd. is preparing to invest around £900 million into the insolvent steelmaker, Sky News reported, citing unnamed sources. A separate report also said the U.K. government has agreed to support British Steel with a financial rescue package of up to £300 million, allowing the group to take over the steelmaker, citing sources familiar with the matter.

DIVERSIFIED

* Rio Tinto is accused of breaching a confidentiality agreement with consultancy firm GFI Blackswan, which helped shape the miner's management and executive succession before it resigned in December 2017, The Australian Financial Review wrote, citing a letter Blackswan sent to former participants of Rio Tinto's programs. Rio Tinto is now reportedly demanding Blackswan to return data gathered from the miner's executives, which Blackswan has resisted.

* Over the past seven years, BHP has contributed A$50 million to nonprofit environmental group Conservation International for the preservation and protection of 620,000 hectares of land and 16 critically endangered animals worldwide, The Sydney Morning Herald wrote.

BASE METALS

* Oyu Tolgoi LLC chief Armando Torres urged Mongolian lawmakers to clarify their stance on the Oyu Tolgoi copper project as it would be difficult to secure additional funds if the project is clouded by uncertainty, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing a Bloomberg News interview.

* Rafaella Resources Ltd. shareholders approved the purchase of the Santa Comba tin-tungsten project in northwest Spain, through the acquisition of the issued share capital of private Spanish company Galicia Tin & Tungsten SL.

* The former wife of PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. co-owner Vladimir Potanin filed a lawsuit in the High Court of London demanding £5.8 billion from the Russian oligarch despite having already been divorced in Russia, The Times reported. Natalia Potanina argued that she will be unable to receive fair proceedings in Russia as her ex-husband is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Acacia Mining PLC received authorization from Tanzania's mining commission to resume gold exports from the North Mara gold mine, following a recent inspection at the operation.

* Newcrest Mining Ltd. is expected to confirm that its Cadia gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, raked in more than A$1 billion in earnings for its fiscal year ended June 30, The Australian Financial Review wrote.

* Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. is on track for record annual attributable gold production this year but had to reduce its guidance on silver production due to an illegal blockade that forced a temporary suspension of operations at one mine.

* Lundin Gold Inc. swung to a second-quarter net loss of US$30.8 million, or 14 cents per share, from a year-ago profit of US$19.7 million, or 9 cents per share, driven by a revaluation of its long-term debt and recognition of a foreign exchange loss.

* Avesoro Resources Inc. suspended operations at its Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso after an armed group of artisanal miners entered the site. Sources told Reuters that an illegal miner was killed after being shot by a security guard at the mine, an incident that prompted residents to retaliate by burning buildings and vehicles and injuring people in the area.

* The Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho followed through with its threat to sue Midas Gold Corp. in the federal court over the alleged pollution of water resources near its Stibnite gold project.

* PCF Capital Group Pty. Ltd. and Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. Ltd. signed a deal to form the Golden Gateway joint venture in Western Australia, under which Zhaojin intends to invest in the state's gold mining sector.

* Gowest Gold Ltd. is accused of defaulting its obligations under a US$17.6 million prepaid forward gold purchase agreement with PGB Timmins Holdings LP over the Bradshaw gold deposit, part of the North Timmins project in Ontario. PGB is demanding an early termination fee of US$25.5 million, which Gowest disputed.

* White Cliff Minerals Ltd. granted Lorikeet Resources (WCM) Pty. Ltd. an option to earn up to a 50% stake in E38/2693, covering the Ironstone gold project in Western Australia.

* Sotkamo Silver AB reported a pipe leakage at its namesake silver mine in Finland, causing contaminated water to flow into nearby wetlands. The company already carried out remediation measures, and the incident did not impact the mine's environmental monitoring.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Steel Authority of India Ltd. reported a net profit of 688.4 million Indian rupees in the first quarter of its fiscal 2020, down from 5.40 billion rupees in the year-ago period. The steelmaker, however, noted that this marked the seventh consecutive quarterly profit amid subdued demand.

* United Co. Rusal PLC and Braidy Industries Inc.'s plan to build the Ashland aluminum plant in Kentucky is in peril because of statements by U.S. politicians who view the enterprise as a threat to national security, Kommersant reported. Rusal and Braidy already signed binding documents on the project and are planning to launch the plant in 2020, the report said.

* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd. expects its first-half attributable net profit to decrease 1% year on year to 24.2 billion Chinese yuan, or 1.2 yuan per share, amid a decline in coal sales.

* Chongqing Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.'s first-half attributable net profit fell 19.19% year on year to 616 million Chinese yuan, or 7 fen per share.

* Aluminum and copper producer Hindalco Industries Ltd. posted a 28% year-on-year decrease in earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 to 10.63 billion Indian rupees, amid lower commodity prices and the global economic slowdown.

* Tata Steel Ltd.'s Tata Steel UK Ltd. unit reported an annual loss of £371 million in its fiscal 2019 compared to £222 million in the year-ago period, driven by lower production caused by the maintenance shutdown of one of the two blast furnaces at the Port Talbot steelworks in South Wales, Bloomberg Quint reported.

* About 85,000 retail investors will be impacted if Sirius Minerals PLC fails to secure funding for its Woodsmith potash project in the U.K., Financial Times reported.

* Ironveld PLC entered into confidentiality agreements with parties interested in acquiring all or part of its assets, including its high-purity iron, vanadium and titanium project in South Africa.

* Stanmore Coal Ltd. executed a process deed allowing Winfield Group Investments Pty. Ltd. to conduct due diligence over a proposed A$442 million acquisition of the Australian coal miner.

* Western Australia's state treasurer Ben Wyatt predicted that the state's windfall from high iron ore prices is due to end and fall in line with its US$73.50 per tonne projection, as prices have slumped closer to US$93/t from a peak of US$121/t in July, The West Australian reported.

* Alliance Resource Partners LP will stop producing coal from its Dotiki mine in Kentucky on Aug. 16 to focus on its lower-cost mines in the Illinois Basin.

* The Shanghai Futures Exchange issued draft rules for its upcoming stainless steel futures contract, with trading to be done in lots of five tonnes of 304-2B stainless steel cold-rolled coil plate, Reuters reported. The draft is open for public comment until Aug. 20, the report said.

SPECIALTY

* Red Mountain Mining Ltd. agreed to acquire up to a 100% interest the Mount Mansbridge rare earths project in Western Australia from Unearthed Resources Pty. Ltd.

* Zenith Minerals Ltd. increased its land position at the Burro Creek East lithium project in Arizona by 250%.

* Northern Minerals Ltd. inked an off-take deal with thyssenkrupp AG unit thyssenkrupp Materials Trading GmbH for the sale of all heavy rare earth carbonate produced from the pilot plant at the Browns Range project in Western Australia.

* Bluejay Mining PLC secured an export permit for the shipment of 40,000 tonnes of run-of-mine bulk sample material from its Dundas ilmenite project in Greenland, to be processed at its pilot processing plant in Quebec.

* Far Resources Ltd. completed its final payment obligations to fully acquire the Green Bay property, part of its Zoro lithium project in Manitoba.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. joined a group of Australian firms that committed to spend over A$3 billion on indigenous suppliers over the next five years, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said no mining concession will be granted until his term expires in 2024, El Financiero reported. López Obrador said, for the past 36 years, land equivalent to 40% of the national territory was awarded to concessions, and accused companies of using the licenses primarily for financial speculation.

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