Russian steelmaker Evraz PLC plans to lift annual capital expenditure to an average of US$1 billion from 2020 to 2023 as it seeks to diversify and grow output, according to a company presentation. Of the US$1 billion earmarked, half would go toward maintenance, while the majority of the development funds would be used for three major projects at a cost of about US$335 million per annum.
Yara International ASA plans to buy back shares worth 800 million Norwegian kroner by the end of the year after the company's third-quarter EBITDA grew to US$591 million, from US$427 million in 2018. The company said the results reflect lower energy costs, higher production and strong premium product deliveries. Attributable net profit fell to US$74 million from US$98 million year over year.
St Barbara shares drop after Gwalia's FY'20 gold output guidance slashed
St Barbara Ltd.'s shares dropped over 8% in late-afternoon ASX trade after the company announced cuts to its gold production guidance for fiscal 2020. The company expects its Gwalia mine in Western Australia to produce between 175,000 and 190,000 ounces in the full year, down from between 200,000 and 210,000 ounces. All-in sustaining costs at Gwalia are expected to increase to between A$1,390 per ounce and A$1,450/oz from between A$1,230/oz and A$1,290/oz.
* BHP Group leadership faced tough questions at its annual general meeting from shareholders concerned about dust pollution at Port Hedland caused by mining, Mining News reported. Separately, a resolution by some BHP investors urging the company to quit its membership in industry bodies whose lobbying efforts are not aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change was only supported by 22.16% of the votes at the miner's London annual general meeting, which represents 42% of shareholders, Reuters reported. A vote by the remaining 58% of its shareholders will take place Nov. 7 in Australia.
* BHP Chairman Ken MacKenzie said the board is reviewing internal candidates who could replace CEO Andrew Mackenzie, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Mackenzie is rumored to be leaving as early as 2020 after working as BHP's top executive for nearly seven years. BHP CFO Peter Beaven and the head of Australian operations, Mike Henry, were reportedly tipped as frontrunners.
* Seven under-construction mining projects in Peru are set to begin operations in 2020, including the expansion of Arias Group's Santa María gold mine, Minsur SA's Mina Justa, and Newmont Goldcorp Corp. and Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SAA's Quecher Main oxide expansion at the Yanacocha gold project, according to projections by the Ministry of Energy and Mines. The projects are expected to boost Peru's copper and gold output in the next three years, magazine Energiminas reported.
* An application for an environmental license by BHP's Cerro Colorado operational continuity copper project was partially delayed by Chilean regulator SEA as it conducts a new assessment of the project. The decision complies with a February court ruling that partly annulled the project's environmental qualification resolution over concerns about the impact that water pumping has on the recovery timing of a local aquifer and the wetland it sustains. Cerro Colorado said the ruling only pertains to water extraction from the aquifer, and the rest of the project will proceed normally, daily Soy Chile reported.
* Anglo American PLC aims to cut carbon emissions at its Los Bronces copper mine in Chile by 30% over the next 10 years, Mining Weekly wrote, citing a presentation by Patricio Chacana, the mine's general manager. The company is also looking to slash the mine's water abstraction by 50% and energy use by 30%.
* During the Australian Nickel Conference in Perth, Australia, outgoing Panoramic Resources Ltd. Managing Director Peter Harold was frank about bad decisions around the company's flagship Savannah project in Western Australia, but broker Hartleys still believes that Panoramic's share price could more than double with the potential of the newer Savannah North ore body.
* Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd.-backed Pangaea Investment Ltd. said it acquired 6 million shares of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. for C$59.3 million to bring its stake in the company to 10.8% and acquired an option to buy a further 5.8% interest. Paradigm Capital analyst David Davidson said it was hard to gauge whether Pangaea's move was a precursor to a full-scale bid for First Quantum, which started producing copper at Cobre Panama this year.
* Based on the results of a survey of companies that use refined tin, the International Tin Association expects demand to decline this year due to an unstable macroeconomic environment, Mining Weekly reported.
* China's Yunnan Tin Co. Ltd. will suspend its Ausmelt tin smelter starting Oct. 21 for scheduled maintenance that will last for no more than 50 days, the International Tin Association wrote. The company had slashed its full-year production by 10% due to tight material supply.
* Chase Mining Corp. Ltd. is looking to introduce a joint venture partner for the gold program at the historical Lorraine nickel-copper-gold mine in Quebec, where it has reported significant grades.
* Estrella Resources Ltd. estimated a maiden resource at its Spargoville nickel project in Western Australia of 127,000 tonnes at 1.9% nickel and 0.15% copper.
* Cerro de Pasco Resources Inc. secured rights of use over 77.54 hectares held by the Quiulacocha Rural Community to develop the Quiulacocha project as well as a social license to develop exploration and reuse activities within the Quiulacocha Tailings in Peru.
* Northern Star Resources Ltd. said its offer to acquire Echo Resources Ltd. for 33 Australian cents per share is final and will not be increased and is expected to close Oct. 28.
* Asanko Gold Inc. achieved record gold production of 62,440 ounces from its namesake mine in Ghana. The company said it is on track to meet its annual production guidance of 225,000 to 245,000 ounces.
* Spectrum Metals Ltd. said it will look to expedite the court proceedings initiated by Venus Metals Corp. Ltd. and get the trial listed no later than the first quarter of 2020. The company noted that it is considering a counterclaim against Venus, which started proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia after Spectrum's acquisition of the Penny West gold project in December 2018.
* Getchell Gold Corp. secured an option to acquire Canarc Resource Corp.'s Fondaway Canyon and Dixie-Comstock gold properties in Nevada for US$4 million in cash and shares over four years.
* Petratherm Ltd. will acquire the 256-square-kilometer Comet gold prospect in Gawler Craton, South Australia, after winning a competitive bid process managed by the state government.
* China's largest steel producer, China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd., entered into multiple cooperation agreements with Vale SA over steelmaking, logistics, base metals, technology research and development, Reuters reported.
* Russian steelmaker PAO Severstal's third-quarter profit climbed 3.2% over the second quarter to US$490 million. Revenue slid 3.0% to US$2.11 billion due to adverse price dynamics for steel and raw materials, but EBITDA increased 4.5% to US$787 million on the back of lower cost of sales. The board recommended a dividend of 27.47 Russian rubles per share for the third quarter.
* Russian fertilizer producer PJSC Acron took applications Oct. 16 for a placement of 10 billion rubles of 3.5-year bonds, set for Oct. 25, Interfax reported and the company confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Acron's total debt has fallen 3.2% since the start of 2019 to 81.78 billion rubles, or about US$1.27 billion, at the end of the first half, but net debt has been ratcheting up as its cash reserves drain away.
* China's monthly crude steel output in September dropped 5.4% to 82.77 million tonnes from 87.25 Mt in August, the lowest in six months, as mills were impacted by anti-pollution curbs ahead of the country's National Day on Oct. 1, Reuters reported, citing China's National Bureau of Statistics.
* Australia's Federal Court dismissed Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s appeal on a 2017 ruling granting the Yindjibarndi people exclusive rights to the land occupied by the company's Solomon Hub iron ore mine in Western Australia, The Australian reported. The company is studying its next steps, including lodging an appeal to the High Court, the report said.
* Fortescue signed an agreement with Alinta Energy Finance Pty. Ltd. to supply the mining company's Chichester Hub iron ore operations in Western Australia with renewable energy.
* Ord Minnett analysts said Alcoa Corp. may opt to shut down its Portland aluminum smelter in Victoria, Australia, amid a global asset review, The Australian reported. The facility has reportedly struggled to turn a profit company as the expiration of government power subsidies in 2021 approaches. Closing it may trigger US$100 million in rehabilitation costs for the company.
* BHP will implement measures to improve safety conditions across its operations after the mining giant failed to identify the cause of a worker's death at its Saraji coal joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp. in late December 2018, Australian Mining wrote.
* DeepGreen Metals Inc. is in talks with a number of parties to colocate its planned processing plant with manganese alloy producers near hydropower, having successfully derived an alloy of base metals from polymetallic nodules on the Pacific Ocean floor.
* Vedomosti reported that Montenegro's authorities won a €600 million international arbitration dispute initiated by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, according to the press service of the Ministry of Economy. Deripaska, referring to a 1995 agreement between Russia and Yugoslavia, demanded several hundred million euros in compensation for the lost investment in the Podgorica Aluminum Combine.
* Vedomosti wrote that in the summer, Mechel PAO sent a letter to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak requesting assistance with regaining half the funds the company invested in the Donetsk plant, which it lost amid armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. In addition, the company asked for a loan restructuring.
* VRX Silica Ltd.'s bankable feasibility study for its Muchea silica sand project in Western Australia outlined a posttax net present value of A$337.9 million, with an internal rate return of 96% and a payback period of 2.3 years, based on a 25-year mine life.
* Whitehaven Coal Ltd. warned that a drought may impact future production at its flagship Maules Creek coal mine in New South Wales, Australia.
* Syrah Resources Ltd. completed the structural review it started in September in light of a downturn in flake graphite spot prices during the third quarter and said it plans to produce 120,000 to 150,000 tonnes in 2020, compared to guidance of 205,000 to 245,000 tonnes for 2019. It expects annualized saving of about US$22 million at its Balama operation in Mozambique and is laying off 30% of the staff at the mine, among other measures.
* TNT Mines Ltd. entered into a formal binding agreement to sell its tin-tungsten assets in northeastern Tasmania, Australia, to private Canadian company TinOne Resources Ltd. for A$1.2 million in staged payments.
* Rosatom is pursuing its goal of applying lithium-ion battery technology in the Russian economy by positioning itself to join Canadian corporation Wealth Minerals Ltd.'s lithium greenfield project in Chile, Wealth Minerals President Tim McCutcheon told S&P Global Platts.
* The melting of Russia's vast permafrost region, which is impacting sectors including mining, oil and gas, is expected to result in economic losses of 50 billion Russian rubles to 150 billion rubles per year, Bloomberg News wrote, citing Alexander Krutikov, deputy minister for the Far East and Arctic development. The area is home to miners including PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co., which noted the instability of some buildings as the permafrost warmed, the report said. PJSC Alrosa is also monitoring the situation and has a team dedicated to supervising the permafrost.
* U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced his resignation later this year. Perry, who was expected to announce his resignation from the Trump administration by the end of November, was subpoenaed Oct. 10 by House Democrats as part of a congressional impeachment inquiry regarding the president.
* Mining equipment company Sandvik AB booked a third-quarter net profit of 2.04 billion Swedish kronor, slumping 46% year over year from 3.77 billion kronor amid a 1% decline in order intakes and a 10% jump in the cost of sales and services to 15.52 billion kronor.
* Nigeria-based development finance firm African Finance Corp. plans to double its exposure to mining assets to 20% of its long-term portfolio in the next three to five years, Bloomberg News reported. The company will invest in countries that other companies deem unattractive, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Congo.
S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
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