China's East Hope studying US$10B investment in UAE
Chinese conglomerate East Hope Group Co. Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to explore a possible US$10 billion investment in the United Arab Emirates. The potential investment at the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi includes the development of an alumina facility, a red mud research center and recycling project, and large-scale upstream and downstream non-ferrous metal processing facilities.
Vedanta eyes legal challenge to Zambian copper unit liquidation
Vedanta Resources PLC's CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said the company remains open to discuss a "mutually agreeable solution" with the Zambian government, Reuters reported. It plans to "fully defend its legal rights" and oppose an application by ZCCM Investments Holdings PLC to liquidate Konkola Copper Mines PLC, asking the Zambian high court to allow it to join as an interested party.
Strike at Codelco's Chuquicamata mine imminent as workers rebuff labor deal
A strike at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile is imminent as unionized workers rebuffed the miner's final contract offer, which included a US$14,150 bonus per worker and a 1.2% salary raise, Reuters reported. A walk-off would require the approval of more than half of the mine's 3,200 unionized workers during a vote slated this week. Workers may strike the week of June 3.
* Separately, Codelco denied media reports that forecast production at Chuquicamata would drop 40% over two years because of a US$4.88 billion project to convert the open-cast mine into an underground operation, Mining.com reported, citing a company statement.
* The underperformance of the Nifty copper mine Metals X Ltd. bought in 2016 has shredded the company's value to its lowest ebb this year, but it believes the asset is well on its way to being cash positive on the back of a recently announced reset plan.
* The Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates that global mined nickel production rose by 6.6% to 539,000 tonnes in the March quarter compared with the 505,000 tonnes produced during the same period in 2018. Mined zinc production increased globally by 3.9% to 3.1 million tonnes in the March quarter, from 3.0 Mt in the same period of 2018.
* After striking a recapitalization deal with Trafigura Group Pte. Ltd., Nyrstar NV reported a full-year 2018 loss of €618 million from a profit of €47 million in 2017. The decline was attributed to the large income tax expense related to the partial de-recognition of deferred tax assets, impairment of the carrying value of the Langlois and Myra Falls zinc mines, restructuring costs and operating loss incurred during the year.
* Africa's zinc production is expected to rise to 5% of global output from the current 3.4% thanks to Vedanta's US$400 million investment in the Gamsberg zinc project, Mining Weekly reported, citing CNN.
* In order to finance potential acquisitions, Saudi Arabian Mining Co. is planning a rights offering to raise up to US$5 billion, anticipated to happen later this year, unnamed people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. The offering's size is not final and may end up being less. Shares fell up to 10% following the report on May 27.
* The Minerals Council of Australia slammed a proposed 2.75% gold tax by the government of Victoria, Australia, saying that it would threaten hundreds of jobs and undermine confidence in the state as a mining jurisdiction.
* B2Gold Corp. CEO Clive Johnson denied that the company was considering buying Metallon Corp. Ltd.'s inactive Shamva gold mine in Zimbabwe, Miningmx.com reported.
* Barrick Gold Corp. CEO Mark Bristow told Reuters that the mining giant's buyout offer for Acacia Mining PLC was fair considering the risks associated with Acacia, which is embroiled in a tax dispute with the Tanzanian government. Bristow also said the offer was genuine and not used to exploit Acacia's situation.
* Following the completion of its acquisition of Randgold Resources, Barrick was once again the largest gold producer in the first quarter — a position it yielded in 2017 facing declining production, the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence said.
* A magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit northern Peru, where Barrick's Lagunas Norte open pit mine and Newmont Goldcorp Corp.'s Yanacocha mine are located, Bloomberg News reported.
* Angkor Gold Corp. retained full ownership of the Oyadao South gold property in Cambodia after JOGMEC abandoned its 51% earn-in option on the project. JOGMEC was primarily interested in copper, and the copper system at the Halo copper porphyry system was not large enough for JOGMEC to proceed with more exploration.
* Titan Minerals Ltd. shares climbed 20% during afternoon trading on the ASX May 27 as its unit Vista Gold SAC secured a permit to operate its Vista gold plant in Peru to operate at up to 350 tonnes per day. The company will kick off operations at 80 tons per day and anticipates producing 700 ounces of gold during initial trials and commissioning.
* Core Gold Inc. former CEO Keith Piggott brought up further allegations against Titan Minerals, saying the latter could be responsible for about C$45 million in costs for toxic waste removal and cleanup of cyanide tailings within the Tulin gold plant area in Peru.
* According to gold mining consultants Surbiton Associates, Australia achieved its highest March quarter of gold output since 1998, with production reaching 78 tonnes, Australian Mining reported.
* Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. raised its stake in Royal Road Minerals Ltd. to 19.9% from 9.43% after acquiring an additional 26,133,158 shares through a private placement for about C$5.2 million or 20 Canadian cents apiece.
* The resource estimate at Focus Minerals Ltd.'s Karridale deposit, part of the Laverton gold project in Western Australia, grew 25% to 15.7 million tonnes at 1.3 g/t gold containing 672,000 ounces, at a 0.6 g/t gold cut-off.
* Carawine Resources Ltd. is targeting the release of the first resource estimate for the Hill 800 deposit, part of the Jamieson gold project in Victoria, Australia, by the second half, which will incorporate results from its latest drilling program.
* JSW Steel Ltd. posted a 48% slump in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings year over year as costs widened, steel prices decreased and production ticked down 3%.
* Indian crude steel production for April remained nearly flat year on year at 8.662 million tonnes, the Press Trust of India wrote, citing government figures.
* ArcelorMittal intends to keep its pledge of investing US$1 billion in its Mittal Steel Lazaro Cardenas SA de CV unit in Mexico over three years amid Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's threat to scrap a 10-year extension of special economic zone tax breaks, Reuters reported, citing Victor Cairo, CEO of ArcelorMittal's Mexican operations.
* SRG Global secured a A$60 million asset services contract to carry out engineered access work at South32 Ltd.'s Worsley alumina refinery in Western Australia, The West Australian reported.
* Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, revealed that it has a 3.3% stake in Sirius Minerals PLC after the London-listed firm issued US$425 million worth of new shares in April, the Financial Times wrote. Sirius is aiming to raise US$3.8 billion to finish the second-stage development of its Woodsmith potash project in the U.K.
* Iron ore prices, recently topping US$100/t for the first time in five years, look set to remain strong this year, analysts say, though some see a pullback on the horizon.
* Chinese imports of U.S. coking coal grew over five-fold in April to 308,789 tonnes as compared to a month ago, Reuters reported citing Chinese customs data.
* An independent expert report by advisory firm BDO backed Angang Group Hong Kong (Holdings) Ltd.'s A$25 million offer to acquire the remaining shares in Gindalbie Metals Ltd. for complete ownership of the Karara Magnetite project in Western Australia, by saying it has been priced at a premium, The West Australian reported.
* Henan Shenhuo Coal & Power Co.Ltd. said its aluminum unit in China's Henan province caught fire, due to which it had to halt output capacity of 250,000 tonnes, Reuters wrote.
* Peabody Energy Corp. will begin its ventilation of the first segment of the North Goonyella coal mine in Queensland, Australia, in consultation with the Queensland Mine Inspectorate, as part of the mine's expected longwall production in 2020.
* Turkey will not impose tariffs on Brazilian steel imports after concluding a probe into a dispute between the two countries, Reuters reported, citing Brazil's Economy Ministry and Foreign Ministry.
* Amid the Sino-U.S. trade war, MP Materials said its Mountain Pass mine in California, the sole operating rare earths mine in the country, will start its own processing operation by the end of 2020, after China more than doubled an import duty on concentrates to 25%, the South China Morning Post reported.
* Galaxy Resources Ltd. has a preferred position to take up a stake in Alliance Mineral Assets Ltd. spinoff Cowan Lithium through its previous investments in Alliance, as well as the former Tawana Resources NL, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* Rafaella Resources Ltd. signed a conditional binding heads of agreement to acquire Galicia Tin & Tungsten S.L. and its Santa Comba tungsten-tin project in Spain for 17.5 million shares at 20 Australian cents apiece.
* Image Resources NL secured sales agreements for all of its current heavy mineral concentrate, or HMC, inventory, including production through May, from its wholly owned Boonanarring mineral sands project in Western Australia.
* South Africa's long-stalled carbon tax policy has been signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa, which will tax emissions-heavy companies 120 South African rand per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent in the first phase from June 1, 2022, to December 2022, Reuters reported.
* Matt Canavan was reappointed as the minister of resources and Northern Australia, under the leadership of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
* The resignation of Theresa May as leader of the Conservative party potentially opens the way for a more hardline Brexiter to take over, but whomever replaces her still faces a parliament divided on how to implement the U.K.'s departure from the European Union.
* Operations at Ecuador's oil and mining infrastructure were not disrupted by an 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the country, Reuters reported, citing Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner.
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