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In This List

BHP slashes FY'19 copper output forecast on lower Olympic Dam, Spence volumes

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


BHP slashes FY'19 copper output forecast on lower Olympic Dam, Spence volumes

TOP NEWS

BHP slashes FY'19 copper output forecast on lower volumes at Olympic Dam, Spence

BHP Billiton Group slashed its fiscal 2019 copper production guidance to between 1.62 million tonnes and 1.71 Mt from between 1.68 Mt and 1.77 Mt due to lower output volumes at the Olympic Dam mine in Australia and the Spence mine in Chile following unplanned outages. Iron ore output for the first quarter of the fiscal year grew 10% year on year to 61.39 Mt as its Western Australian operations saw higher volumes supported by record production from the Jimblebar mine and improved reliability across the company's rail network and port operations.

Hochschild reports lower Q3 silver-gold output YOY, ups full-year guidance

Hochschild Mining PLC raised its full-year production guidance to 520,000 gold equivalent ounces while cutting all-in sustaining cost guidance after record results for the first nine months of the year. Third-quarter attributable silver equivalent production slipped to 9.7 million ounces from 10.3 Moz a year ago.

Vale CEO says no big acquisition on agenda, sees partial Samarco restart by 2020

Vale SA CEO Fabio Schvartsman said the company does not plan to chase big acquisitions given its opportunity to grow organically in nickel, the Financial Times reported. Schvartsman said big dealmaking "adventures" were not part of his agenda, and any acquisitions would be small bolt-on deals, possibly in iron ore. In a separate, same-day report by Reuters, Schvartsman said the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil could restart production at a third of its capacity by early 2020, and there is indication that "all issues will be overcome" by then.

BASE METALS

* Codelco submitted an environmental impact assessment for its plan to increase production at the Salvador copper mine to 90,000 tonnes of copper and extend its life by 40 years, Reuters reported.

* Greenfields Exploration Ltd. abandoned its plans to undertake Australia's first retail equity crowdfunding for a miner and to list on the ASX in early 2019 after Independence Group NL agreed to fund initial regional exploration work in Greenland. Independence Group's project generation and evaluation team "rapidly identified" two new belt-scale opportunities: Greenfields' Frontier project and its own 100%-owned Raptor project in Northern Territory.

* OZ Minerals Ltd.'s third-quarter production totaled 31,919 tonnes of copper and 36,601 ounces of gold, improving from the year-ago output of 28,880 tonnes of copper and 29,264 ounces of gold. The company's Prominent Hill mine in South Australia is on track to meet the top end of its full-year copper production forecast of between 100,000 and 110,000 tonnes.

* Average annual zinc ore grade at producing mines slumped from 6.8% in 2000 to 4.3% in 2017, primarily due to falling grades at larger mines and increased output from China, according to an estimate by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Excelsior Mining Corp.'s Gunnison copper project in Arizona is "fully permitted" after regulators gave it the all-clear after an appeals process was resolved. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lifted a stay on the operating permit that was in place during an appeals process Excelsior Mining settled in early October.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Barrick Gold Corp. is likely to divest gold assets with a total net present value of US$2.6 billion after its merger with Randgold Resources Ltd., according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The new group may also hold on to its copper business, which has an NPV of US$2.3 billion.

* Alkane Resources Ltd. took up an approximately 8.8% stake in Calidus Resources Ltd. on an undiluted basis through a A$3.7 million share subscription. Keras Resources PLC's Calidus stake will be reduced from 35% to 32.3%.

* Thundelarra Ltd. signed a binding deal to acquire the Abbotts gold exploration project in Western Australia from Doray Minerals Ltd. for 11 million shares.

* Troy Resources Ltd. suspended and deferred mining at the Smarts 3 pit of the Karouni mine in Guyana after the operation sustained a geotechnical event, which resulted in the pit's northern wall failing.

* Open pit mining started at Blackham Resources Ltd.'s Wiluna gold mine in Western Australia with free milling ore from the surface. Meanwhile, total indicated and inferred resources for the mine increased to 1.5 million ounces of gold contained in 18.6 million tonnes grading 2.52 g/t.

* IDM Mining Ltd. started drilling at its Red Mountain gold mine, with an estimated 7,600 meters in over 30 holes planned for the exploration program, which aims to test four areas, Mining Weekly reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* After paying off most of its debts, Jindal Stainless Ltd. is aiming to exit an Indian central-bank mandated restructuring program by March and plans to increase its capacity to 2.4 million tonnes by 2021 from 1.6 Mt currently, Bloomberg News reported, citing Managing Director Abhyuday Jindal.

* Most of debt-laden Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd's creditors selected JSW Steel Ltd.'s 196 billion Indian rupee bid for its sale, beating rival bids from Tata Steel Ltd. and Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House Ltd., Bloomberg reported.

* U.S. Steel Corp. workers negotiated a wage increase of 14% over four years, making it the highest wage increase in about six years, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with details of the talks.

* BlueScope Steel Ltd. unit New Zealand Steel Ltd. acquired about a 15.8% stake in Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd. for A$42.3 million.

* Gulf Manganese Corp. Ltd. lost a A$10.8 million cornerstone investment for its Kupang smelting development after the new governor of East Nusa Tenggara told local reporters he would ban mining.

* Anglo American PLC plans to restart the suspended Minas Rio iron ore mine in Brazil in November or December but delayed a planned ramp-up to 26.5 million tonnes per year to 2021 from 2020, Reuters reported, citing Ruben Fernandes, the company's Brazil chief.

SPECIALTY

* Spain is set to block the required permits for Berkeley Energia Ltd.'s Salamanca uranium mine, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources. Berkeley secured preliminary approval for Salamanca in 2013 but has faced local opposition since then. "The government will wait for the ongoing proceedings to go through but it will say no," an anonymous government source said. Berkeley said it had received no official notice from the country's Nuclear Safety Council nor any other government department regarding its plans to open the mine and had contacted the Spanish authorities to seek clarification.

* Rwanda will host the world's first blockchain project to track tantalum from the pit face to the refinery in an effort to attract investors seeking a conflict-free source of minerals, Reuters reported, citing Francis Gatare, chief executive of Rwanda's Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

* Drilling at Sheffield Resources Ltd.'s Dampier project in Western Australia identified three new mineral sands discoveries near the Thunderbird deposit.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The White House announced additional sanctions against Iranian companies, including the country's top steel manufacturer, Esfahan's Mobarakeh Steel Co., and Iran's Zinc Mines Development Co., a zinc and lead mining and processing company. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the sanctions, part of the Trump administration's wider campaign against Tehran and designated Iranian banks.

* The Association of Zambian Mineral Exploration Companies said Zambia's proposed mining tax hikes will not help the growth of the country's mining industry, Reuters reported.

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