Anglo American Plc's full-year 2017 profit attributable to shareholders increased 99% to US$3.17 billion, or US$2.48 per basic share, from US$1.59 billion, or US$1.24 per share, in the previous year, as revenue improved to US$26.24 billion from US$21.38 billion. The company's board proposed a final dividend of 54 cents per share, bringing total dividends paid for 2017 to US$1.02 per share, compared to no dividends paid to shareholders in 2016.
Chad restructures over US$1B debt with Glencore
Chad agreed to restructure more than US$1 billion in debt with Glencore Plc, extending the loan's maturity to 12 years with the country receiving a two-year grace period, Bloomberg News reported. Under the revised agreement, the interest rate is also reduced to the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate interest rate plus 2%, compared to LIBOR plus 7.5% previously. Glencore, in its part, will guarantee the oil supply for the country's local refining requirements in the contract's duration, according to the report.
Brazil's miners ramp up vaccination campaigns amid yellow fever outbreak
Minas Gerais, the southeastern Brazilian state hosting most mining operations in the country, continues to battle a severe yellow fever outbreak that led authorities to declare a state of emergency in January. Mining operations in the Minas Gerais area have so far not been affected, companies including Vale SA, Kinross Gold Corp., AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV, Nexa Resources SA and Alcoa Corp. told S&P Global Market Intelligence. However, many introduced protective measures and are vigilant.
* Glencore said it has not been paying royalties to Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler since he was sanctioned by the U.S. government, the Financial Times reported. According to the report, Glencore owes around US$200 million in royalties from its mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Gertler-affiliated firms over the next two years. The company added that it has yet to figure out a way to fulfill its obligation.
* Cobalt has been the standout commodity over the past 12 months, and analysts at RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle, Western Australia believe it will continue to attract risk capital with more floats expected on the ASX in 2018. However, despite the major need for cobalt, Patersons Securities' senior resources analyst Simon Tonkin warned Australian investors that while some of Australia's cobalt players have significant value in their share prices, "investors should be cautious because cobalt can sometimes be difficult to recover."
* Southern Copper Corp., which won an auction to develop the Michiquillay copper mine in Peru, estimates a capital investment of about US$2.5 billion for the project. Michiquillay is expected to produce 225,000 tons of copper per year, for an initial mine life of more than 25 years, with production expected to begin in 2025.
* Apple Inc. is seeking contracts to directly buy long-term supplies of cobalt from miners for the first time, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The company is said to be in talks to secure several thousand tonnes of cobalt per year from miners for five years or longer, in a bid to ensure sufficient supplies for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries used in its iPhone and iPad devices.
* KAZ Minerals PLC's net profit attributable to shareholders for full-year 2017 increased 153% to US$447 million, or US$1.00 per share, from US$177 million, or 40 cents per share, in 2016. Revenue marked a 117% increase to US$1.66 billion, while operating profit rose 228% to US$715 million. Meanwhile, the copper miner expects to produce between 270,000 tonnes and 300,000 tonnes for full-year 2018, as a result of higher throughput, offset by slightly lower average copper grades.
* OZ Minerals Ltd.'s net profit for full-year 2017 jumped 114% year over year to A$231.1 million, driven by strong operational performance that allowed the company to take advantage of improved copper prices. OZ Minerals' revenue also climbed 24% to A$1.02 billion.
* Hudbay Minerals Inc. posted a net profit of US$99.7 million and US$163.9 million for the fourth quarter and full year 2017, swinging from year-ago net losses of US$47.3 million and US$35.2 million, respectively.
* IAMGOLD Corp.'s net loss attributable to shareholders in the fourth quarter of 2017 widened to US$17.7 million, or 4 U.S. cents apiece, from a net loss of US$5.3 million, or 1 cent apiece, in the year-ago quarter mainly due to a US$30.3 million tax charge in the quarter. For the full year, net earnings attributable to shareholders surged to US$501.6 million, or US$1.08 per share, from net earnings in 2016 of US$52.6 million or 13 cents per share, mainly due to US$524.1 million of impairment reversals at the Cote gold project in Ontario and the Rosebel mine in Suriname.
* Randgold Resources Ltd. CEO Mark Bristow told Reuters that the company is targeting its first acquisition outside of Africa in a bid to diversify its asset holdings. Should the company fail to find an asset that falls in line with its appetite, it will continue to give the money back to shareholders, Bristow added.
* Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd.'s fourth-quarter 2017 net income totaled US$41.0 million, jumping from US$3.1 million reported a year ago. The quarterly results were driven by higher earnings from continuing operations, reflecting increased revenue and improved unit costs thanks to a full quarter of production from the Fosterville mine in Victoria, Australia.
* OceanaGold Corp. posted record net profit of US$88.6 million and US$171.7 million in the fourth quarter and full year 2017, respectively, as a result of record full-year output. The company's revenue also reached record highs of US$246.1 million in the fourth quarter and US$724.4 million for full year 2017.
* Sibanye Gold Ltd. flagged a 2017 attributable loss of 4.44 billion South African rand, swinging from a 2016 profit of 3.47 billion rand, mainly due to heavy losses booked in the first half of 2017 amid factors including impairment losses, provisions for healthcare claims and restructuring costs.
* New Dimension Resources Ltd. struck a deal to acquire the advanced-stage Las Calandrias, Los Cisnes, and Sierra Blanca gold-silver projects in Argentina's Santa Cruz province from Sandstorm Gold Ltd.
* Hochschild Mining Plc is looking to diversify into other metals, including copper, zinc and minerals linked to electronics and batteries, but assured that gold and silver will remain the miner's top priority for the foreseeable future, Reuters reported, citing CEO Ignacio Bustamante.
* Bulletin Resources Ltd., through its unit Gekogold Pty Ltd., signed a heads of agreement with Coolgardie Minerals Ltd. to gain a royalty from gold production and a 30% profit share from the sale of minerals from the Geko gold project in Western Australia after Coolgardie earns the first A$9 million in profit, at no cost to Bulletin, to settle a legal dispute between the two companies and immediately start mining activities at Geko.
* Primary Gold Ltd. shares jumped over 28% on the ASX on Feb. 21 after the company agreed to a conditional takeover offer from China Hanking Holdings Ltd., which already has about an 8.4% stake in the company.
* Carbine Resources Ltd. decided to minimize expenditure at its Mount Morgan gold-copper project in Queensland, Australia, after an economic review estimated all-in sustaining costs to increase to A$862 per ounce, from A$549 per ounce estimated in the December 2016 feasibility study.
* Genesis Minerals Ltd. posted a 55% jump in contained gold at its Ulysses deposit in Western Australia, with the average grade increasing 31% as compared to the previous estimate completed May 2017. Ulysses now hosts measured, indicated and inferred resources totaling 3.3 million tonnes at an average 3.0 g/t of gold for 320,700 ounces.
* Glencore Plc CEO Ivan Glasenberg dismissed concerns that a proposed deal to acquire a 49% stake in Yancoal Australia Ltd.'s Hunter Valley Operations will lead to an excessive consolidation of coal supply, as a regulatory approval from the Japan Fair Trade Commission remains as the last hurdle to close the deal, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* Alumina Ltd. hiked its final dividend for 2017 by 200% year over year to 9.3 U.S. cents apiece after swinging to a net profit of US$339.8 million for full-year 2017, from a year-ago net loss of US$30.2 million. This brings the company's total 2017 dividend to 13.5 cents, up 125% year over year.
* Kaiser Aluminum Corp. swung to a fourth-quarter 2017 net loss of US$15 million, or 90 cents per share, from a net income of US$25 million, or US$1.37 per share, in the same period of 2016, due to an incremental US$37 million non-cash tax expense related to the revised U.S. tax legislation. For full-year 2017, the company recorded a net income of US$45 million, or US$2.63 per share, down from US$92 million, or US$5.09 per share, in 2016.
* Adani Enterprises Ltd. abandoned its March deadline to complete the funding for the first stage of its proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland after a government loan for the project was completely taken off the table in late 2017. "It's no longer the timeline," an Adani Australia spokeswoman told The Australian Financial Review, adding that the company remains fully committed to the project.
* Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. launched an offer to purchase for cash up to US$1.40 billion in the aggregate principal amount of its 9.750% senior secured notes due 2022.
* Chinese steelmakers are forecasted to gradually ramp up output at its mills in the coming months, as the country's supply curbs in the winter months are set to expire, Bloomberg News reported, citing BHP Billiton Group Chief Commercial Officer Arnoud Balhuizen.
* Wesfarmers Ltd. said it is continuing the strategic review of its remaining coal asset, a 40% interest in the Bengalla mine in New South Wales, Australia, and plans to complete the sale of its Curragh coal mine in Queensland in the second half, Mining Weekly reported.
* Triton Minerals Ltd. will acquire full ownership of Grafex Ltda. and its graphite assets in Mozambique after entering into an agreement to acquire Gregory James Sheffield's 20% interest in the company for US$1.5 million.
* Mining floats on the ASX are set to surge to levels not seen in 20 years, with the window wide open for capital raisings and miners jumping at the chance with some A$360 million in raisings already underway, analysts say. Patersons Securities' senior resources analyst Simon Tonkin predicted between 30 to 60 new floats in 2018 after initial public offerings soared from seven in 2016 to 25 in 2017. "Investors are looking for the next big commodity. Cobalt has been the latest one but there are others like vanadium, as risk capital has returned to the small cap space," said Tonkin at the RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle, Western Australia.
* Citigroup, a major lender to mining companies and commodity traders, created a new position to manage its corporate banking activities in natural resources across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Financial Times reported. The firm tapped Marie-Christine Olive for the role.
* South Africa's parliament plans to investigate allegations of influence peddling against the country's mines minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, Reuters reported.
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