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Newmont cuts 120 at Carlin; BHP autonomous train driver sues over dismissal

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Newmont cuts 120 at Carlin; BHP autonomous train driver sues over dismissal

TOP NEWS

Newmont cuts 120 workers from Carlin gold operations

Newmont Mining Corp. is reducing the life span of the Emigrant mine, from the original 14 years, and is suspending part of operations at the Gold Quarry open-pit mine due to a wall slide, both part of the Carlin gold mining operation in Nevada, Reuters reported. The move will result in slashing of 120 jobs at Carlin, Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara said.

BHP driver files unfair dismissal claim over autonomous train derailment

BHP Group Ltd. is facing an unfair dismissal claim from the driver involved in last year's iron ore train derailment in Western Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. BHP declined to comment on the claim, but confirmed that the driver is no longer a BHP employee. The driver's lawyer, Tim Kucera, said the company should also take responsibility as there were also issues with the systems over which the driver had no control.

Barrick to continue investments along Chile-Argentina border

Barrick Gold Corp. CEO Mark Bristow told Bloomberg News that the company is still keen to invest in mineral-rich deposits along the Chile-Argentina border despite the permanent shutdown of the Chilean side of the Pascua-Lama gold-silver mine.

DIVERSIFIED

* Vale SA will be developing and monitoring artificial intelligence initiatives across its units through its newly launched Artificial Intelligence Center in Brazil. For its iron ore business, Vale expects cost reduction by 50 US cents per tonne until 2023 through its digital transformation program.

* Glencore PLC lost its exclusive marketing rights for two of Libya's main crude oil export grades, sources told Reuters. The company had gained the rights to the Sarir and Messla grades in 2015 when it was one of the few foreign firms willing to deal with the war-torn country.

BASE METALS

* Murchison Minerals Ltd. tripled its mineral rights holdings at its Brabant zinc-copper-silver VMS project in central Saskatchewan by staking 14,807 hectares of mineral claims contiguous to its current land holdings.

* Anglo American PLC expects South America to be its main growth area for base metals in the coming years, Reuters wrote, citing the company's head of operations in Brazil, Ruben Fernandes, who is soon to become the global head of base metals.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Trans-Siberian Gold PLC expects to slightly exceed the upper end of it 2018 gold production guidance of 36,000 ounces to 40,000 ounces on the back of improving gold grades in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, construction of permanent underground de-watering pumping facilities at its Asacha gold mine in Russia is expected to complete by May 2019.

* Tharisa PLC produced 33,600 ounces of 6E platinum group metals and 305,400 tonnes of chrome concentrates in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019, down from year-ago output of 38,800 ounces and 365,800 tonnes, respectively. Production guidance for this year was revised to 150,000 to 160,000 ounces of 6E PGMs and 1.4 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes of chrome concentrates.

* Vector Resources Ltd. completed the purchase of a 60% joint venture interest in the Adidi-Kanga gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The joint venture with Mongbwalu Goldfields Investment Ltd. has all approvals to start site development and undertake a definitive feasibility study for the project.

* Georgian Mining Corp. expects its exploration permit to be approved by the Georgian government. The company owns 50% of the Bolnisi copper-gold project in Georgia, and Caucasian Mining Group Ltd holds the remaining stake.

* Capricorn Metals Ltd. shareholders with an at least 5% collective stake in the company requisitioned a general meeting to remove three directors of the company Debra Bakker, Geoffrey Rogers and Peter Benjamin, and appointed Timothy Kestell, Peter Pynes and Douglas Jendry instead.

* Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corp. is starting a 30,000-meter, three-phase drilling program at its Buckreef gold project in Tanzania.

* Acacia Mining PLC's North Mara gold mine received an environmental protection order to pay a fine of 300 million Tanzanian shillings, equivalent to about US$130,000, over alleged environmental breaches. The company said operations at the mine are unaffected, and it is reviewing the technical basis of the allegations.

* Sibanye Gold Ltd. lowered its 2018 gold production guidance to about 1.1 million ounces due to the ongoing strike at its South African operations by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union. The company had expected to produce 1.13 Moz to 1.16 Moz in the year.

* Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported record production of 354,000 ounces of gold for 2018, with 348,000 ounces sold. The company added that gold production is expected to be higher in the second half than in the first half.

* Semafo Inc. achieved record quarterly production of 95,200 ounces of gold for the fourth quarter of 2018, with full-year production of 244,600 ounces falling within guidance.

* Alacer Gold Corp. reported full-year production of 170,865 ounces of gold in 2018, in line with its production guidance.

* The World Gold Council expects gold to be increasingly attractive as a hedge this year as a result of increased market uncertainty and expansion of protectionist economic policies. Structural economic reforms are also expected to spark demand for gold in jewelry, technology and as means of savings in the year.

* In light of recent drilling results, Integra Resources Corp. decided to defer drilling at other areas of its DeLamar gold-silver project in Idaho to focus on the Sullivan Gulch deposit, aiming to drive further resource expansion.

* DRA Global secured an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Dargues gold mine in New South Wales, Australia. The construction of a 355,000-tonne-per-annum gold processing facility and mine backfill plant will start in February, and first ore is expected to be processed in early 2020.

BULK COMMODITIES

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the department will be "vigilant" in ensuring that United Co. Rusal PLC, En+ Group PLC and JSC EuroSibEnergo, majority-owned or controlled by Oleg Deripaska, comply with the commitments previously agreed as part of the deal to lift sanctions.

* Wollongong Coal Ltd. is facing a protected industrial action from workers at its Wongawilli colliery in New South Wales, Australia, from Jan. 14 to Jan. 20. The industrial action is related to a proposed enterprise agreement between the labor hire contractor and its employees.

* Puls Biznesu reported that almost 200 trade unionists from Polish coal miner Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa SA gathered in front of the company's headquarters in Jastrzębie-Zdrój, awaiting the meeting of the company's supervisory board. Unions are protesting against the possible dismissal of their President Daniel Ozon.

* Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is working to put pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump to drop the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed in May 2017, Reuters reported.

* BHP has hired Southern Innovation, a Melbourne-based tech firm which developed a device called Drillscan, which can detect the quality of iron ore in real time, The Australian Financial Review reported. Trials of the device, which can be attached to BHP's drill rigs, are expected to start in July.

* Some investors are unconvinced by thyssenkrupp AG's restructuring plan, which faces risks this year ranging from economic uncertainty to cartel fines, Reuters reported.

* U.K.'s minister for communities and local government, James Brokenshire, was urged by several groups to reject The Banks Group Ltd.'s proposed Highthorn coal project at Druridge Bay, The Guardian reported. If approved, the project will outlast the government's 2025 deadline for phasing out coal.

* China will ban the expansion of new iron and steel projects this year, Reuters reported, citing Xinhua's interview with Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology. The ban will also apply to the cement and flat-glass industries, while the country will continue its strict control on additional primary aluminum capacity.

* Despite warnings from the automotive industry over the impact of tougher import rules, India's steel ministry continued to push carmakers to partner with steel firms to use locally made steel, sources told Reuters.

* The Australian government's Takeovers Panel received an application from minority shareholder Brendon Dunstan to stop Flinders Mines Ltd. from going ahead with its proposed delisting from the ASX. The takeovers panel also received another application from OCJ Investment, which holds about 21.98% of Flinders, to stop the delisting.

SPECIALTY

* China Northern Rare Earth (Group) High-Tech Co. Ltd. expects to record a year-over-year growth of between 37% and 60%, or 150 million Chinese yuan to 240 million yuan, for its net profit attributable to shareholders in 2018. The company reported a net profit of 401.3 million yuan a year earlier.

* The Spanish Nuclear Safety Council endorsed Berkeley Energia Ltd.'s safety studies for the Salamanca uranium mine, a source told Reuters. But Berkeley still needs a broader approval from the nuclear watchdog and government stakeholders to commence work. Berkeley said it has not received any formal notice regarding the matter.

* Lucara Diamond Corp. unearthed a 127-carat white gem diamond from its Karowe diamond mine in Botswana.

* Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd. issued a short-term bond offering of 600 million Chinese yuan with a maturity of 260 days.

* An updated resource estimate for Sigma Lithium Resources Corp.'s Grota do Cirilo lithium project in Brazil defined measured and indicated resources of 45.7 million tonnes grading 1.38% lithium oxide, a 254% increase in tonnage over a March 2018 technical report.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Barrick CFO Graham Shuttleworth said it is too early to tell how the victory of opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo presidential elections will affect the country's contentious mining code, Bloomberg News reported. Although Tshisekedi had called the new tax and royalty rates "anti-investment," his powers to relax rules are likely to be constrained initially, consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft said.

* Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are expected to sign an agreement this month for an investment of more than US$10 billion in Pakistan's oil refining, petrochemicals, renewable energy and mining sectors, Dawn reported.

* As the partial federal government shutdown over President Donald Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall stretches on, the rulemaking process at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ground to a halt. And that could imperil some of the Trump administration's signature energy-related rulemakings, according to former top EPA officials with expertise on the policy process.

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