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Lonmin investors back Sibanye bid; Barrick eyes US$1B Pueblo Viejo expansion


Gold - Geopolitical tensions and inflation remain key drivers


Lithium and Cobalt - Softer demand weighs on prices


Insight Weekly: Ukraine war impact on mining; US bank growth slowdown; cloud computing headwinds


Insight Weekly: Cryptocurrency's growth; green bond market outlook; coal investors' windfall

Lonmin investors back Sibanye bid; Barrick eyes US$1B Pueblo Viejo expansion


Lonmin shareholders approve Sibanye offer

At a meeting in London, Lonmin PLC shareholders overwhelmingly approved an increased takeover bid from Sibanye Gold Ltd. The latter's shareholders approved the deal earlier.

Barrick Gold pegs at least US$1B capex for Pueblo Viejo expansion

Barrick Gold Corp.'s proposed expansion of the processing plant and tailings capacity of the Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic is estimated to require initial capital expenditure of at least US$1 billion. The expansion may extend the operation's life to beyond 2030. A feasibility study is expected in 2020.

Report: ArcelorMittal, Resurgent studying joint bid for Essar Power plant

ArcelorMittal is in preliminary talks with Resurgent Power Ventures to jointly bid for Essar Power Ltd.'s 1,200-MW plant in Madhya Pradesh, India, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources. The report said ArcelorMittal made a nonbinding offer of 48 billion Indian rupees in February. The power plant supplies electricity to ArcelorMittal's takeover target, Essar Steel India Ltd.


* Rio Tinto shares on May 28 hit their highest closing price on the ASX since 2008 due to firmer iron ore prices amid supply concerns for the steelmaking commodity, Reuters wrote.


* The market for refined zinc is expected to remain tight this year amid low output from Chinese smelters as smaller metal producers continue to face bottlenecks due to capacity constraints, Reuters wrote, citing metals strategist David Wilson at Freepoint Commodities. However, some analysts expect higher output of the metal in the second half as mines have been producing increasing amounts of concentrates.

* Codelco CEO Nelson Pizarro said in a presentation that new environmental regulations in Chile are only adding to the problems of the country's mining industry, Reuters reported, citing local daily La Tercera. Pizarro also criticized the low productivity of Chilean mine workers due to labor policies in the country, the report said.

* On top of daunting engineering issues, low cobalt prices are holding back the development and commercialization of lower-cobalt electric vehicle batteries, according to an exclusive S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

* Kerilee Investments Limited, a majority shareholder in the Nyamuliro tungsten mine in Uganda, is suing the International Tin Association for defamation, claiming it wrongly accused the company of trading in conflict minerals, Reuters reported, citing court documents.

* Auroch Minerals Ltd. agreed to acquire the Saints and Leinster nickel projects in Western Australia from Minotaur Exploration Ltd. for A$1.4 million in shares and A$100,000 in cash.

* Afritin Mining Ltd. started commissioning the processing plant at the Uis tin mine in Namibia. Production ramp-up at the operation is expected to take place over four months.


* Eldorado Gold Corp.'s shares climbed by up to 14.6% on optimism that a snap poll called by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras could result in the election of a new business-friendly party and help the company resolve permitting issues at its Skouries gold project, Reuters reported.

* Gold Fields Ltd. completed its previously announced buyback of US$250 million of its outstanding 4.875% notes due 2020 at 102% of par value.

* Eastern Goldfields Ltd. is no longer in administration, and the company's control was passed back to the directors after the recapitalization plan was implemented.

* Jangada Mines PLC reached a binding agreement to sell the Pedra Branca platinum group metals project in Brazil to ValOre Metals Corp. for 25 million shares and C$3 million in cash. At the deal's closing, Jangada will hold a 33% stake in ValOre and have the right to nominate a director to the latter's board.

* Polymetal International PLC formed a partnership with Mineral Exploration Network (Finland) Ltd. to explore high-grade, near-surface gold mineralization to feed the Mayskoye processing plant in Russia.

* Vara Mining, a consortium of Zimbabwean business interests, bid for Metallon Corp.'s mothballed Mazowe and Shamva gold mines in Zimbabwe after B2Gold Corp. CEO Clive Johnson denied interest, The Herald of Zimbabwe reported, citing sources familiar with the developments. The consortium plans to invest up to US$120 million over three years in expansion to double production.

* At least nine illegal gold miners were killed after they blasted explosives underground at Metallon's Mazowe mine, which has been on care and maintenance since September 2018, Reuters reported.

* Tertiary Minerals PLC secured a 20-year lease over a group of nine patented claims, dubbed the Pyramid project, with an option to acquire the property. It also staked an additional 25 unpatented mining claims adjoining the patents to cover potential extensions along strike.

* Eloro Resources Ltd. said opponents of a proposed drill campaign at the San Markito target, part of its La Victoria gold-silver project in Peru, are now in favor of renting the land covering the prospect.


* Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. may increase alumina imports if prices are suitably low, despite shortages in northern China caused by the shutdown of at least two alumina refineries in the Shanxi province, Reuters reported, citing Li Guangfei, deputy general manager of a Chalco trading unit.

* State-owned Polish utility TAURON Polska Energia SA is pondering the sale of its Janina coal mine to reduce carbon emissions, Reuters reported.

* S&P Global Ratings upgraded the long-term issuer credit rating for Swedish steelmaker SSAB to BB+ from BB, with a stable outlook. The revision was driven by the company's strong results in the first quarter on the back of an improvement in the product mix toward specialty steel and a reduction in operating costs. The rating agency expects SSAB to generate EBITDA of 9 billion to 10 billion Swedish kronor this year and use the majority of its cash flow to reduce debt.

* Mexico's finance ministry froze the bank accounts of steelmaker Altos Hornos de México SAB de CV and a former top executive at state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV for allegedly operating its businesses using money sourced from "illegal" activities and corruption, Reuters reported.

* S&P Global Ratings said Asian steelmakers have sufficient free cash flow to negate the impact of softness in steel prices, with leverage of most companies unlikely to increase over the next 12 to 24 months.

* Nutrien Ltd.'s board approved an increase to the quarterly dividend to 45 U.S. cents per share from 43 cents per share, starting at the end of the third quarter.

* Thyssenkrupp AG is in talks with steel unit CEO Andreas Goss about ending his contract following its failed European steel joint venture with Tata Steel Ltd., Reuters reported.

* The National Development & Reform Commission of China proposed that miners bring the benchmark grade of coal to below 600 Chinese yuan per tonne in order to lower domestic coal prices to help power producers, Bloomberg wrote, citing people with knowledge of the matter. This comes after six major utilities asked the government for help in reducing their raw material costs to cut to power prices.

* VTB Capital analysts projected that PAO Severstal and PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works will be the main beneficiaries of increased demand in the local steel market through the implementation of national projects, Kommersant reported.

* Evraz PLC started developing its Kachkanar iron ore project in Russia, Vedomosti reported. The company is expected to invest 6.4 billion Russian rubles in the first stage of field development, where 13 million tonnes are projected to be mined in 2024.

* The Australian government, COAL21 and BHP Group will jointly fund the Otway stage-three project to develop low-cost, low-environmental-footprint carbon storage monitoring.

* Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. issued 3 billion Chinese yuan in short term bonds. The interest rate was fixed at 3.27%, and the maturity was set at 180 days.


* JSC National Atomic Co. Kazatomprom's attributable net profit in the first quarter dropped to 11.37 billion Kazakhstani tenge, or 44 tenge per share, from 317.99 billion tenge, or 1,226 tenge per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue slipped to 57.22 billion tenge from 58.96 billion tenge.

* Berkeley Energia Ltd. said it has no new information to explain the May 28 jump in its share price on the ASX in reaction to developments on its uranium project in Spain, while noting a change in local government at the mine's location, Reuters reported.

* Australian Vanadium Ltd. produced high-purity vanadium pentoxide from ongoing prepilot test work at its namesake project in Western Australia with quality comparable to that from existing global producers.

* Following a strategic review, Leading Edge Materials Corp. will spin out its Woxna Graphite AB unit into a freestanding company and is considering listing the company in the Swedish public market.

* BMG Resources Ltd. executed a previously announced deal with Lithium Chile SpA for the joint venture development of the Salar West, Pajonales and Natalie lithium brine projects in Chile.

* Bluejay Mining PLC reached a deal with Rio Tinto unit Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium Canada Inc. to further analyze ilmenite sourced from the Dundas project in Greenland.

* China's ferrovanadium exports in April fell 53.5% year over year to about 344 tonnes on weak demand caused by the wide price gap between the Chinese and European markets during the month, Fastmarkets MB wrote.

* Sayona Mining Ltd. tapped engineering consultancy BBA to review the mining plan and definitive feasibility study for the Authier lithium project in Quebec, part of the company's environmental impact assessment for the operation.

* Core Lithium Ltd. received interest from multiple parties for the potential sale of byproduct fine lithium produced from the Finniss lithium project in Australia's Northern Territory.


* Tanzania is aiming to grow its earnings from the minerals sector to 470.9 billion Tanzanian shillings in fiscal 2019/2020, compared to the estimated income of 310.6 billion shillings for the fiscal year ending June 30, as the country plans to increase production and exports, open new mineral trading centers and control smuggling, Bloomberg reported, citing Mining Minister Doto Biteko.

* The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries is seeking a 10-year extension for 288 mining leases that will expire in March 2020 due to expected delays in holding new auctions for the mines, Mining Weekly reported.

* Spain called on the EU to assess a potential carbon tax on power imports that would shield the union's interest and help reach environment targets, Reuters reported.

* Shanghai Futures Exchange aims to launch nonferrous metals futures contracts for foreign investors and expects to give them access roughly within two years, Reuters wrote, citing chairman Jiang Yan. The exchange is also preparing to launch stainless steel and alumina futures and gold options contracts this year.

* Protesters from 10 anti-mining groups tried to disrupt the New Zealand Minerals Forum in the city of Dunedin by preventing delegates from entering the venue, Radio New Zealand reported. The forum will discuss a number of mining projects, including the formerly state-owned Stockton mine.

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