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Barrick eyes US$240M savings from Nevada JV; jail terms sought for Simandou case


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Barrick eyes US$240M savings from Nevada JV; jail terms sought for Simandou case


Barrick eyes US$240M in short-term savings from Nevada joint venture

Barrick Gold Corp. has started to see savings flow from its Nevada joint venture with Newmont Goldcorp Corp. that combined the two companies' major assets in the state and closed July 1, Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow said on an earnings call. Bristow said that in the short term, Barrick has identified US$240 million in annualized savings. Synergies include more efficient trucking routes across previously separate properties and renegotiated contracts on consumables for the combined operations.

Swiss prosecutor eyeing jail terms for Steinmetz, 2 others in Simandou case

A Swiss prosecutor is seeking prison terms of up to 10 years for Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and two associates for alleged illegal payments of about US$10 million related to the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, Reuters reported. Prosecutor Claudio Mascotto, who launched the investigation in 2013, said the three people in question were identified as having promised in 2005 and then paid or had bribes paid to one of the wives of former Guinean President Lansana Conte to secure mining rights over the deposits. The other two defendants were not named.

Northam expects FY'19 earnings to soar

Northam Platinum Ltd. expects normalized headline earnings for its fiscal 2019 to exceed 1.3 billion South African rand, up more than 220% from the previous year amid record PGM production and soaring sales.


* Eurasian Resources Group SARL launched new legal action against the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office after the agency suspended an internal inquiry into its own conduct in June, Financial Times reported.


* Nyrstar NV once again shut down its Port Pirie lead smelter in South Australia, nearly two weeks after the operation restarted, Reuters reported.

* The governor of Peru's Moquegua region, Zenon Cuevas, expressed his support for the community protest that started Aug. 12 against the construction of Anglo American PLC's Quellaveco copper project, saying the miner failed to comply with the 26 agreements reached with the residents seven years ago, Gestión reported. In response, Anglo American said the Quellaveco operation is in compliance with all agreements, with workers from Moquegua region accounting for 96% of the total unskilled labor force for the project.

* Southern Copper Corp. will defend the granted construction license for its Tia Maria copper project in Peru on legal grounds, Gestión reported, citing a company statement. The government suspended the construction permit for Tia Maria pending a review that will look into the legality of the permit and objections from the local community where the US$1.4 billion project will be built.

* Inca Minerals Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 90% stake in the Frewena Fable iron ore-copper-gold project in Australia's Northern Territory.

* Horizonte Minerals PLC outlined a maiden measured and indicated resource estimate for the Serra do Tapa deposit, part of the Araguaia nickel project in Brazil, of 70.3 million tonnes grading 1.22% nickel at a cutoff grade of 0.9% nickel.

* Filo Mining Corp. received total commitments of C$40 million through a C$20 million bought-deal offering of 7,275,000 shares and a C$20 million commitment from a Lundin family-related trust.

* The electric vehicle industry will need over 250% more copper in 2030 compared to this year to support more than 20 million EV charging points estimated to be built by then, reported, citing Wood Mackenzie.


* Barrick CEO Mark Bristow claimed that Northern Star Resources Ltd. is a prime candidate to potentially acquire the company's 50% stake in the Kalgoorlie Super Pit joint venture with Newmont Goldcorp Corp. in Western Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported. In a separate Reuters report, Bristow denied that the miner is considering selling its Tongon mine in Cote d'Ivoire and the Massawa project in Senegal but said Barrick is open to various options for both properties.

* Capricorn Metals Ltd. shareholders Paradice Investment Management Pty. Ltd. and Hawke's Point Holdings I Ltd. took part in a A$65 million share placement that will fund the accelerated development of the Karlawinda gold project in Western Australia.

* The recent surge in gold prices amid global trade tensions has driven a sharp rise in illegal mining activity, particularly in fragile and remote environments such as indigenous lands in Brazil, given the potential for higher rewards from the activity, Bloomberg wrote. Operating outside of the legal system, illegal miners have in the past been responsible for harming the environment with their mercury use in Brazil and other countries, and their operations commonly fuel drug trafficking and organized crime.

* IMC Exploration Group PLC was awarded two additional prospecting licenses to expands its North Wexford gold project in Ireland.

* Sandstorm Gold Ltd.'s second-quarter net income increased to US$2.4 million from US$700,000 a year ago on the back of a 13% yearly rise in gold equivalent ounces sold to a record 16,356 ounces.

* Guyana Goldfields Inc. tapped advisers at Royal Bank of Canada and Maxit Capital to explore options for the miner, including a potential sale of the business, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The company has been under pressure from investors as its market cap has fallen by more than US$1 billion since June 2016.

* Armenian gold project developer Lydian International Ltd. reported a loss of nearly US$69 million for the first half as it warned of the possibility of further events of defaults. A sustained blockade of the company's unpopular Amulsar project in southern Armenia by local environmental activists has scuppered Lydian's attempts to develop the site since mid-2018, straining agreements with its creditors.

* Westgold Resources Ltd. forward sold a further 42,500 ounces of gold from January to June 2021.

* Zeta Resources Ltd. received 9,363,115 shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd. at the close of the latter's A$38.2 million acquisition of Bligh Resources Ltd.

* VDM Group Ltd. secured an option to acquire a 55.25% stake in the gold-prospective Cage Bengo project in Angola.

* U.S-China trade tensions and other concerns about the global economy have driven the price of gold above six-year highs as gold miners look to take advantage against a backdrop of limited supply, according to an exclusive S&P Global Market Intelligence report.


* Australia pledged A$500 million to help its neighbors in the Pacific Islands build renewable energy projects and prepare for the impact of climate change, Reuters reported. Pacific Island leaders have criticized Australia for refusing to strengthen emission targets, with the former country preferring to protect its coal mining industry, the report said. Leaders from the Pacific Island states have called for the immediate ban on opening or building new coal mines and called for the introduction of a carbon tax by developed nations, The Australian reported.

* Clive Palmer's Mineralogy Pty. Ltd. was forced to forfeit its exploration license in an iron ore tenement in Pilbara, Western Australia, after it failed to spend A$50,000 on exploration to meet lease conditions, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

* Contrary to an earlier report, China Hongqiao Group Ltd. said its aluminum plants in Shandong province were operating normally despite severe flooding caused by Typhoon Lekima that battered eastern China, Reuters reported.

* Fitch Solutions raised its iron ore price forecast to US$90/tonne from US$80/t on the back of supply disruptions and strong demand that pulled prices up in the second quarter, Mining Weekly reported. "While iron-ore prices will see a 'correction' in the coming months, we do not expect a strong collapse. Economic stimulus provided by the Chinese government to stabilize growth will keep steel production strong in 2019 and 2020, especially with the re-escalation of the trade war with the US, boosting demand for iron-ore," the news source quoted Fitch Solutions as saying.

* Monadelphous Group Ltd. secured a three-year, A$60 million contract to provide maintenance services for Rio Tinto's iron ore railway network in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

* Rogue Resources Inc. agreed to acquire the Orillia and Bobcaygeon limestone quarries in Ontario as part of a plan to enter the landscape stone business in the Canadian province.

* Anglo American unit Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. reached a 2 billion South African rand deal with drilling specialist Rosond (Pty.) Ltd. to implement a next-generation drilling contract, part of the miner's initiative to modernize its geosciences operations and extend the mine life of its Kolomela and Sishen mines in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported.

* Australian Pacific Coal Ltd. is considering options for its mothballed Dartbrook thermal coal mine in New South Wales after a regulator denied plans for a five-year mine-life extension. The miner said it received approval from the Independent Planning Commission for some elements of its application to modify the consent for the Dartbrook operation.

* Metalsearch Ltd. reached a binding agreement to buy the Abercorn high-purity alumina project in Queensland, Australia, through the acquisition of the issued share capital of Abercorn Kaolin Pty. Ltd.

* The queue for aluminum at Istim's Port Klang warehouses in Malaysia was reduced to 33 days at the end of July from 87 days at the end of June following consistent deliveries, Fastmarkets MB wrote.


* A preliminary economic assessment on NRG Metals Inc.'s Hombre Muerto North lithium project in Argentina generated a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of C$217 million, with a 28% internal rate of return and a 2.67-year payback period.

* Mineral Commodities Ltd. successfully secured funding through the Cooperative Research Centers Projects grants program to develop and demonstrate an industrial-scale hydrometallurgical purification process at its Munglinup graphite project in Western Australia.


* Indonesia plans to accelerate the implementation of a ban on mineral ore exports now scheduled to come into force in 2022, Reuters reported, citing news website, which quoted Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan.

* Brazil's National Mining Agency extended the deadline to shut down large upstream dams until 2025 or 2027, from 2023, Reuters reported. The deadline for smaller dams was postponed to 2022. The mining regulator did not explain the reason behind the move, the report said.

* The London Metal Exchange will extend the duration of its final open-outcry trading sessions for all metals to 10 minutes following a successful three-month trial for zinc, Reuters reported.

* A measure by the Trump administration to significantly weaken the U.S. Endangered Species Act allows for the fast-tracking of oil, gas and coal production on federal land. State attorneys general and conservation groups are threatening legal action over the move, Reuters reported.

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