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Codelco to halt Chuquicamata copper smelter to complete upgrade

TOP NEWS

Codelco to halt Chuquicamata copper smelter to complete upgrade

Codelco will place its Chuquicamata copper smelter on hold amid struggles to finish an ongoing overhaul at the operation prior to the enactment of stringent emission standards in Chile, Bloomberg News reported. In an emailed statement to the newswire, the Chilean state miner said it is facing difficulties installing equipment while the smelter is operating, resulting in some processes potentially facing delays of about 80 days.

Vale to focus on shareholder returns after meeting 50% debt-reduction target

Vale SA CEO Fabio Schvartsman said he achieved the target of halving the company's net debt to US$10 billion and will now focus on boosting shareholder returns, the Financial Times reported. "There is nothing more than can or should be done," he said, adding that share buybacks were the best investment the company could make at this time.

Chilean court halts SQM stake sale to Tianqi to hear lawsuit

Chile's Constitutional Court suspended a planned stake sale in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA to China's Tianqi Lithium Corp., Reuters reported. The move comes after Pampa Group, SQM's controlling shareholder, filed a lawsuit to block the transaction, claiming an antitrust court did not give the shareholders sufficient time to review a settlement between the Chilean National Economic Prosecutor Office and Tianqi.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton Group's shares saw their highest spike on the ASX in two years as the share price jumped as high as 6.1% late Oct. 12 after the company executed a buy order on Chi-X Australia Pty. Ltd.'s venue. However, the surge was short-lived, and the net gain before closing was only 1.3%.

BASE METALS

* Trafigura Beheer BV-backed Atalaya Mining PLC confirmed it is conducting a review of strategic options in response to media reports that said the copper miner tapped Bank of Montreal to aid in a potential sale process.

* Miners including Glencore PLC and Randgold Resources Ltd. are seeking concessions under the Democratic Republic of the Congo's new industry code, Bloomberg reported. With arbitration as an alternative, the companies are still trying to get the government to negotiate but have so far not received a response.

* China's unwrought copper imports increased 24% to 521,000 tonnes in September from the previous month, Reuters reported, citing customs data. The figures indicate the highest monthly copper imports for the country since March 2016, according to the report.

* Pelican Resources Ltd. entered into a new memorandum of understanding to sell its Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Corp. unit to Dynamo Atlantic Ltd. for A$3.6 million. Sibuyan is the beneficial owner of the Romblon nickel project in the Philippines.

* Golden Arrow Resources Corp. signed agreements to consolidate and acquire the Atlantida copper-gold project, which consists of two land packages in Chile totaling about 3,450 hectares.

* Voltaic Minerals Corp. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire L2 Cobalt Inc. for 4.8 million shares.

* Sandfire Resources NL completed the acquisition of Talisman Mining Ltd.'s 30% interest in the Springfield copper-gold joint venture in Western Australia.

* RTG Mining Inc. secured a two-year exploration permit renewal from the Philippines' Mines and Geosciences Bureau for the Mabilo copper project.

PRECIOUS METALS

* B2Gold Corp.'s consolidated gold production in the third quarter jumped 78% year over year to a quarterly record of 242,040 ounces, from 135,628 ounces a year ago.

* SSR Mining Inc. saw its strongest quarter of the year after third-quarter gold production at its Marigold mine in Nevada and Seabee mine in Saskatchewan surged about 18% compared to the second quarter.

* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. will issue up to 4.5 billion Chinese yuan of debt Oct. 16 to increase its cash flow.

* An upgraded resource for Corazon Mining Ltd.'s Lynn Lake project in Manitoba showed more than a 60% increase in total tonnes and a 35% increase in nickel and copper metal to 110,300 tonnes and 51,400 tonnes, respectively, compared to the previous resource estimate released in 2015.

* Endeavour Silver Corp.'s third-quarter silver production increased 13% year over year to 1.4 million ounces, while gold production decreased 5% to 12,968 ounces.

* Aurelia Metals Ltd. produced 35,499 ounces of gold in the September quarter, lower than the 54,746 ounces of gold in the previous quarter, based on preliminary figures.

* Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported third-quarter production of 2.2 million ounces of silver, up 11% year over year, while gold output declined 6% to 12,542 ounces.

* Heavy seasonal rains caused a contingency pond to overflow at the dry stack tailings facility of Fortuna Silver Mines' San Jose silver mine in Mexico. The overflow continued for about two hours and led to the spill of about 1,500 cubic meters of water carrying sediment and minor amounts of fine tailings from the facility's drainage system into the nearby Coyote Creek.

* McEwen Mining Inc. produced 33,806 ounces of gold and 745,172 ounces of silver in the third quarter, bringing its nine-month gold and silver output to 105,834 ounces and 2.2 million ounces, respectively.

* Rusoro Mining Ltd. and Venezuela agreed to terms of a US$1.28 billion settlement over the acquisition of the company's mining data and for the release of an arbitral award. The Toronto-listed company's shares were up more than 80% in midafternoon trading Oct. 11.

* Hawkeye Gold & Diamond Inc. struck a deal to acquire a 1,360-hectare property contiguous to the eastern boundary of its McBride project in British Columbia's Golden Triangle region.

* An updated ore reserve for the Cosalá and Galena deposits of Americas Silver Corp.'s Galena Complex in Idaho resulted in a 9% decrease in silver inventory to 25.6 million ounces contained in 4.2 million tonnes grading 191 g/t.

BULK COMMODITIES

* ArcelorMittal received a binding offer from Liberty House Ltd. for the acquisition of the former's Czech Republic, Romanian, Macedonian and Italian units. The four assets are part of a divestment package ArcelorMittal agreed with the European Commission during its antitrust investigation into the company's acquisition of Ilva International SpA.

* Alf Barrios, head of Rio Tinto's aluminum business, said increasing raw materials prices would affect the company's earnings by US$400 million this year against the year-ago total, the Financial Times reported. According to the report, Rio Tinto expects to take a US$178 million hit to its profits from old alumina supply contracts in the first half. It added that there had been a further negative impact totaling US$130 million in the third quarter.

* BHP Billiton Group reported an 80% decrease in incidents involving haul trucks at its Jimblebar iron ore mine in Western Australia since investing in a fully autonomous truck fleet in 2013.

* Hesteel Co. Ltd. expects its net profit attributable to shareholders for the quarter ended Sept. 30 to range between 1.48 billion Chinese yuan and 1.68 billion yuan, from 944.3 million yuan reported a year earlier.

* Canada will introduce new quotas and tariffs on imports of seven categories of steel, a measure aimed to head off a potential rise in imports due to the U.S. government's tariffs, Reuters reported, citing the Canadian government. In a separate Reuters report, the Mexican government said it will take action to protect its exporters from the Canadian tariffs.

* Peabody Energy Corp. said it plans to permanently seal the area of high methane concentration following a fire in its North Goonyella coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

* Moody's downgraded Westmoreland Coal Co.'s probability of default rating and withdrew all of its ratings for the coal producer after Westmoreland and its master limited partnership, Westmoreland Resource Partners LP, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

* European Electric Metals Inc. agreed to acquire Gerold Sh.pk., owner of the past-producing Skroska iron-nickel mine in Albania, for €5.4 million in cash and shares.

* China's unwrought aluminum and aluminum product exports increased 37% yearly to 507,000 tonnes in September but represented a slight decrease from 510,000 tonnes in August, Reuters reported, citing customs data. A separate Reuters report said the country's iron ore imports rose to 93.08 million tonnes, their highest level in four months.

* The Russian Steel Association sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov requesting not to support a Russian Railways initiative to set an 8% markup on tariffs for export freight in 2019, Vedomosti reported.

SPECIALTY

* Lynas Corp. Ltd. shares were up nearly 10% on Oct. 12 on the ASX as Malaysian media reported that long-time opponent Fuziah Salleh resigned as chair of the committee reviewing the environmental impact of Lynas' Gebeng rare earths processing plant in Malaysia, which one analyst said is a sign the government is staying true to its pledge of full transparency and independence.

* FMC Corp. spinoff Livent Corp.'s shares fell over 5% in the company's market debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 11 before recovering, trading down 2.4% in the afternoon, Reuters reported. Livent CEO Paul Graves dismissed lithium oversupply concerns, saying demand will continue to grow.

* Deer Horn Capital Inc. signed a binding letter of intent to purchase the Colorado Klondike tellurium property in Colorado from Colorado Klondike LLC. The terms were not disclosed.

* Core Exploration Ltd. said a JORC 2012-compliant inferred resource estimate for the Napperby uranium project in Australia's Northern Territory stood at 8.03 million pounds of uranium contained in 9.5 million tonnes grading 382 parts per million U3O8. The estimate used a cutoff of 200 ppm U3O8.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* A survey by Western Australia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that 54% of surveyed companies believed that the state's economy would improve over the next 12 months, owing to confidence being driven by the mining sector, The West Australian reported.

* Colombia's constitutional court ruled that local referendums that prevent mining and oil extraction cannot stop energy projects, Reuters reported.

* An ad launched by a group of U.S. businesses said trade tariffs introduced by President Donald Trump are costing local businesses and customers about US$1.4 billion per month, Reuters reported.

* Investor appetite for emerging market assets suffered as trade wars and concerns about global growth helped to stoke a general market rout, analysts said.

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