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In This List

Tata Steel boosts fiscal Q2'19 output at Indian operations

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020

Report Outlooks of Lithium and Cobalt

Essential Metals & Mining Insights July 2020


Tata Steel boosts fiscal Q2'19 output at Indian operations

TOP NEWS

Tata Steel boosts fiscal Q2'19 output at Indian ops; output at European ops decline

Tata Steel Ltd.'s Indian operations produced about 3.27 million tonnes of steel in the second quarter of its fiscal 2019, slightly up from 3.20 million tonnes produced in the year-ago period, driven by better plant availability. Steel output at the company's European operations during the quarter slipped to 2.46 million tonnes from 2.60 million tonnes due to shutdowns and annual maintenance programs.

Glencore asks for return of Project Everest documents from Australian tax office

Glencore PLC has launched an action with the high court of Australia to force the Australian Taxation Office to return its copies of documents that detail how the company moved A$30 billion of resource projects out of the Australian tax net, The Australian Financial Review reported.

Chile sets sights on new copper markets, expansion of lithium industry

Chile plans to enter new copper markets and expand its lithium industry to shield its economy from an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, Reuters reported, citing Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica. The South American country is also considering opening its copper and lithium reserves to foreign investment to take advantage of the demand for both metals from the electric vehicle industry.

BASE METALS

* Chilean state-miner Codelco is said to be in discussions to supply up to 60,000 tonnes of copper per year to China Minmetals Corp. between 2019 and 2021, Reuters reported, citing industry sources.

* Separately, Chile's copper output declined 7% year over year to 462,000 tonnes in August due to lower production at Codelco and BHP Billiton Group's Escondida copper mine in the country, Reuters reported, citing government agency Cochilco.

* Trafigura Beheer BV plans to invest in a project to train, equip and organize artisanal and small-scale cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo into licensed cooperatives, Reuters reported.

* The Federal Service for Supervision of Use of Natural Resources, or Rosprirodnadzor, approved a positive conclusion of the environmental impact assessment of the design documentation of the first stage of the Udokan copper mining and smelting complex in Russia, TASS reported. Earlier in the year, Baikal Mining Co. LLC said it kicked off construction of a mining and metallurgical plant at Udokan.

* Georgian Mining Corp.'s exploration permit application for the Kvemo Bolnisi East copper project was endorsed by George Kobulia, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development in Georgia.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Anglo American Platinum Ltd. will pay 55 million South African rand to compensate two communities in Limpopo, 19 years after they were displaced to make way for the Mogalakwena platinum mine, the African News Agency reported.

* Randgold Resources Ltd. that it secured approval from the Malian government for an agribusiness project designed to replace mining at the Morila gold mine when it closes in two years.

* Avesoro Resources Inc.'s third-quarter gold production dropped 22% quarter on quarter to 47,177 ounces, due to a change in the gold circuit inventory at the New Liberty gold mine in Liberia and lower mined grades the Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso due to a focus on the lower-grade oxide ore zone at the Gassore East pit.

* The World Gold Council said the People's Bank of China is one of the central banks that has added gold to its reserves over the past several years, with the Chinese central bank aiming to diversify its reserve assets and hold the commodity as a form of currency and a store of value, the South China Morning Post reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Ferrexpo PLC's total iron pellet production in the third quarter stood at 2.7 million tonnes, representing a 5.9% quarterly increase, due to the successful completion of the pellet line's refurbishment in the second quarter.

* As U.S. import tariffs and sanctions against United Co. Rusal PLC push companies to change conventional supply routes, Indian aluminum makers such as Vedanta Ltd. are increasing sales to Japan, Reuters reported. Japanese trade data shows that imports of aluminum ingot from India doubled in the first eight months of 2018 compared to a year ago, while imports of alloy increased 11 times from a tiny amount a year ago.

* Rusal's aluminum exports in the first eight months of this year increased 14.8% to 2.12 million tonnes, Vedomosti reported, citing data from the Federal Customs Service of Russia.

* Mineral Resources Ltd. is said to be scouting for BCI Minerals Ltd.'s assets, as the company looks to divest its entire iron ore portfolio, which includes Iron Valley, Kumina, Bungaroo South, the Cape Preston East port rights and a number of other exploration tenements, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported. The binding bids for the assets were due last week. Other potential bidders include BBI Group, Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd. and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.

* Hancock Prospecting unit Redstone Corp. Pty. Ltd. will begin a compulsory acquisition of Atlas Iron Ltd. shares after its voting power in the Australia-listed junior surpassed the 90% threshold.

* Turkey will impose quotas on steel imports, effective Oct. 17, with an additional 25% duty on any imports above the quotas, Reuters reported, citing a filing published by the World Trade Organization.

* NioCorp Developments Ltd. and IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. successfully produced aluminum-scandium master alloy at the Ames Laboratory facility in Iowa.

* Edenville Energy PLC signed a two-year deal to supply 3,500 tonnes of coal per month from the Rukwa project in Tanzania to an industrial group operating in east Africa.

* Russia's VTB will submit an independent bid for Essar Steel India Ltd., The Times of India reported, citing unnamed sources. VTB initially led the Numetal Ltd. consortium in a bid to acquire the debt-laden Indian steelmaker, but decided to go solo after the Indian Supreme Court allowed the company to join the bidding war despite being under U.S. sanctions.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed its BB/B long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on thyssenKrupp AG and assigned a developing outlook after removing the ratings from CreditWatch positive. The move comes on the back of the company's recently announced plans to split its operations into two separate companies.

* Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. redeemed all of its outstanding 5.90% senior notes due March 2020 and 4.80% senior notes due October 2020 with an aggregate outstanding principal amount of US$211 million. The redemption will decrease annualized interest expense by around US$10 million and extend the company's maturity profile.

* Germany's TRIMET Aluminium SE expects aluminum demand to increase in 2019, but a forecast is difficult to provide due to the global impact of U.S. import duties, Reuters reported, citing executive board member Thomas Reuther.

* Moreton Resources Ltd. filed an appeal with the Federal Court of Australia over a decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in September, which affirmed an internal review decision by Innovation and Science Australia that found the company’s activities registered under the Industry Research and Development Act from 2012 to 2014 were not research and development activities.

SPECIALTY

* AVZ Minerals Ltd. will proceed with a feasibility study for the Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, due for completion in the second quarter of 2019, after a scoping study for a 2 million-tonne-per-annum operation outlined a pretax net present value, discounted at 10%, of US$1.6 billion and an internal rate of return of over 90%.

* Meetings by Citic Securities' offshore arm CLSA with key Malaysian ministries, politicians and protest groups reinforced messaging from the highest levels of government that rare earths producer Lynas Corp. Ltd. has "no case to answer" amid a review of its plant's environmental impact.

* An updated resource estimate for Bacanora Lithium Plc's Zinnwald project in Germany posted a 30% increase in measured and indicated resources of 124,974 tonnes of lithium contained in 35.5 million tonnes grading 3,519 parts per million.

* Altura Mining Ltd.'s first shipment of spodumene concentrate produced at its namesake lithium mine in Western Australia has departed Port Hedland.

* Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan believes the state's lithium boom is at risk from a crackdown on company tax rebates introduced by the federal government, The Australian wrote.

* King Island Scheelite Ltd. entered into an agreement to acquire the Portside Links property, which adjoins its Dolphin tungsten mine in Tasmania.

* Boss Resources Ltd. is on track to complete a definitive feasibility study for the restart of the Honeymoon uranium mine in South Australia following positive infill drilling results and the development of its optimization program.

* PJSC Alrosa's JSC Almazy Anabara unit extracted a rare 28.59-carat rough yellow diamond from the Ebelyakh placer deposit, part of the Anabar Division in Russia.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Investment in China President Xi Jinping's flagship Belt and Road Initiative rose to a record $20.1 billion, up 30% from a year ago, despite the country's overall direct overseas investment in 2017 dropping by 19%, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing data from the commerce industry.

* The impact of the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China has yet to surface, various speakers at this year's LME Seminar indicated. Expectations are that the fallout between the world's two largest economies will further intensify in the coming months, posing obvious downside risks to commodities markets. However, China is tipped to take sufficient measures to shield and strengthen its economy, implying ongoing solid demand for most metals.

* PAO Severstal's Severstal Ventures invested in Chrysalix RBV GP Ltd., which has been set up to invest in intelligent systems and automation platforms, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning, as well as the development of new materials and special technologies, enabling digital transformation of large industrial companies. The fund will mainly invest in developing projects in Europe, North America and Asia. Vedomosti cited a source as saying that Severstal invested about US$10 million in the fund.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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