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In This List

Samarco urged to stop leaks; Vale refutes fertilizer unit stake sale talks; AMCU suspends planned strike at Sibanye ops

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


Samarco urged to stop leaks; Vale refutes fertilizer unit stake sale talks; AMCU suspends planned strike at Sibanye ops

TOP NEWS

Samarcourged to stop tailings leaks before resuming operations

Unless water leaks are permanently stopped, , a joint venture betweenVale SA and , will not likelyreceive a nod from the Brazilian government to restart operations at its iron ore mine in thecountry's Minas Gerais state, Reuters reported,citing two environmental protection officials.

Vale refutes fertilizer unit stake sale talks

Vale SA rejected a media report which said that the Brazilianmining giant was in talks to sella stake in its fertilizer business to Norway's Yara International ASA. The response came after Braziliandaily Valor Econômico reported that Valemay sell a minority stake in its fertilizer unit later this year, with unnamed sourcesvaluing the deal at US$1.2 billion.

AMCU suspendsplanned strike at Sibanye Gold

Manzini Zungu, a spokesman for South Africa's Association ofMineworkers and Construction Union, or AMCU, said the group has suspendedthe previously announced strike at SibanyeGold Ltd.'s operations to proceed with further discussions with thecompany, Reuters reported. "We are in discussions with AMCU and while theyare taking place they have suspended the strike action," Sibanye spokesmanJames Wellsted confirmed.

DIVERSIFIED

* Vale SArejected a media report which said that the Brazilian mining giant was a stake in its fertilizerbusiness to Norway's Yara InternationalASA. The response came after Brazilian daily Valor Econômico reported that Vale may sell a minority stake in itsfertilizer unit later this year, with unnamed sources valuing the deal at US$1.2billion.

* Proceedingsof Rio Tinto's case againstthe Forge Group have started in the Supreme Court, The West Australian reported.The diversified miner has claimed losses of about A$185 million on two power stationprojects left incomplete by the engineering company after its collapse in 2014.The receiver for Forge, KordaMentha, has filed counter claims against Rio Tintoand is looking to secure the return of bonds worth about A$100 million in total.

BASE METALS

* Theanticipated deficit in the supply of copper by 2020 has made mining giants suchas Anglo American Plcand Glencore Plc reluctantto sell their best copper assets while they continue disposingof iron ore and coal mines as well as agricultural assets to pay down debt amida commodity downturn, Bloomberg News reported. "Copper is the most desirablecommodity … [and] we are looking very hard at global copper projects," commentedMichael Scherb, founder of Appian Capital Advisory LLP.

* Serengeti ResourcesInc. struck a deal with POSCOunit Daewoo Minerals Canada Corp.,whereby POSCO may earnup to a 35% interest in Serengeti's Kwanikacopper-gold project for C$8.2 million. The initial C$1.2 million investment hasbeen paid into the joint venture account from which Serengeti will receive an upfrontcash operating fee of C$400,000.

* Protesters from the Antauta community in Peru have blockedthe way to Minsur SA'sSan Rafael tin minein the region, a move that may affect production at the site, Business News Americasreported.According to local daily Correo, protestersare demanding a 10% share of profits, reparations from the mine's operations andother benefits.

* Ivanhoe MinesLtd. and joint venture partner ZijinMining Group Co. Ltd. are preparing to accelerate a planned infill drilling program at the Kakuladiscovery of their Kamoacopper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo starting in May, Ivanhoe ExecutiveChairman Robert Friedland said.

* Victory MinesLtd. entered into a conditional binding heads of agreement to fullyacquire U.S. sports technologycompany Milestone Sport Ltd. If the acquisition is successful, the company intendsto dispose of its exploration and mining assets.

* Despite uncertainty in commodity prices and fewer opportunities,China Minmetals Corp.Vice President Jerry Jiao said the country will continue acquiringcopper projects abroad in order to secure future supplies, the Financial Times reported. "China isvery short of copper resources … [and] the only way to make stable supply of copperresources?…?going overseas is the only solution," Jiao told attendees at theWorld Copper Conference in Chile.

* Cordoba MineralsCorp. entered a jointventure agreement with High Power Exploration Inc., or HPX, on the SanMatias copper-gold project in Colombia. Under the deal, HPX will earn up to a 65%interest in the project by carrying it to the feasibility stage.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Manzini Zungu, a spokesman of South Africa's Association ofMineworkers and Construction Union, or AMCU, said the union has suspendedthe previously announced strike at SibanyeGold Ltd.'s operations to proceed with further discussions with thecompany, Reuters reported. "We are in discussions with AMCU and while theyare taking place they have suspended the strike action," Sibanye spokesmanJames Wellsted confirmed.

* Orefinders ResourcesInc. filedits Notice of Project Status and updated Project Description for its processingprogram at the Miradogold project in Ontario. The company will then have to file a closure plan withOntario's Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, which will allow the companyto transport, mill and refine the stockpile this year.

* Asanko Gold Inc.has begun commercial production at its Asanko gold mine in Ghana, one quarter ahead of schedule.Gold production will continue to ramp up in the second quarter as mining in themain ore body of the Nkran pit begins, with steady-state operations expected bythe end of the second quarter. A total of 15,337 ounces of gold and 2,860 ouncesof silver has been produced and shippedby March 31. Asanko expects to produce 35,000 ounces to 40,000 ounces in the secondquarter, and 90,000 ounces to 100,000 ounces in the second half of 2016.

* Silver StandardResources Inc.'s takeover target Claude Resources Inc. produced 20,672 ounces of gold duringthe first quarter of 2016. While gold production was consistent from 2015 first-quarter production of 21,067 ouncesof gold, sales were up 21% on a yearly basis to 21,008 ounces. 

* Backed by South African mining entrepreneur Peter Skeat, twoNew York University graduates planto revive the ransacked Blyvooruitzichtgold mine in South Africa's North-West, which they say contains an estimated 9 millionounces of gold, worth almost US$11 billion at current prices, Bloomberg News reported.The mine was closed in 2013. The partners intend to rebuild the mine's processingplant and start mining a single tailings dump next year.

* Endomines ABproduced 1,881 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2016, down from4,221 ounces of gold produced a year earlier as it implements selective mining plans.

* Globex MiningEnterprises Inc. acquireda 100% interest in the Cameron gold property, which consists of 30 cells totaling1,242 hectares and is located in the Desjardins, Franquet and Grevet townships inQuebec.

* Enterprise MetalsLtd. said IndependenceGroup NL has formally withdrawnfrom the Darlotjoint venture agreement, with no retained interest in the tenements save for a 2%net smelter royalty returns on exploration license 37/1031. The Darlot gold projectis located in Western Australia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Former CEO Donald Blankenshiphas received the maximum, one-year penaltyfor his conviction on a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to violate mine safetylaws. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said the situation was a "clearcase of the punishment not fitting the crime." He urged Congress to strengthenmine safety penalties. Blankenship was investigated following the explosion of theUpper Big Branch coal mine that killed 29 coal miners in West Virginia.

* Alcoa Inc.unit Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals securedmultiple bauxite supply contracts valued at more than US$350 million over the nexttwo years covering customers in China, Europe and Brazil. The contractsmore than double Alcoa's third-party bauxite sales in 2016.

* SunCoke EnergyInc. has off-loadedits coal mining business to RevelationEnergy LLC in a transaction that includes all of the company's remainingcoal mining assets, mineral leases, real estate and mining reclamation costs. Underthe terms, Revelation Energy will receive about US$10.3 million from SunCoke totake ownership of the assets and associated costs.

* Hindalco IndustriesLtd. unit Novelis Inc.is said to be in talks with banks to restructureabout US$5.3 billion of loans maturing in 2017. Initially, Novelis is looking torefinance up to US$3.5 billion of outstanding debt with an average term of aboutseven years.

* Tata Steel Ltd.received a nodfrom India's Forest Advisory Committee for the diversion of about 199 hectare offorest land to expand its iron ore mining project in Keonjhar district in the country'sOdisha state, the Press Trust of India reported, citing a senior government official.

* IRC Ltd.said hot commissioning has finished at the crushing and screening facilities atits mainstay Kimkanskoye andSutarskoye project in the Russian Far East, allowing the group to 40%-content "pre-concentrate"ahead of the expected completion of the rest of the plant later this year. Accordingto IRC Chairman Jay Hambro, the product from the crushing plant will not be sold.Instead, the 40% iron content product would be stockpiled for processing into 65.8%iron concentrate once the main processing plant is operational, he confirmed toSNL Metals & Mining.

* Arrium Ltd.has appointed voluntary administrators to overseethe affairs of the company and its various units, following the lenders' rejectionof the company's recapitalization plan.

* The China SecuritiesJournal reported that ChongqingIron and Steel Group will collaboratewith POSCO in two steel joint ventures. The Chinese steelmaker will invest 1.32billion Chinese yuan in a cold-rolling steel project with a 90% stake, while POSCOwill take up the remaining 10% stake for 147 million yuan.

* Iron Road Ltd.signed a cooperation agreementwith a unit of China Railway GroupLtd. and Shandong Iron& Steel Group Co. Ltd. to evaluate commercial and technical meritsto advance the US$4 billion Central Eyre iron ore project, or CEIP, in South Australia,to a final investment decision.

* Fortescue MetalsGroup Ltd. CEO Nev Power said the sale of its blend of iron ore fromits partnership with Vale is expectedto kick off by the second half, speaking at Mines and Money Asia 2016conference in Hong Kong.

* Indonesian coal miner ABM Investama's Cipta Kridatama unitsecureda US$82 million contract from Indomining to work on the latter's 683-hectare coalmine in the country's East Kalimantan region, for the next five years, the Jakarta Globe reported, citing Cipta PresidentDirector Irfan Setiaputra.

* After signing a memorandum of understanding in February, ASX-listedFYI Resources Ltd. andYuntianhua Group Co. Ltd.have agreed to advance project developmenttalks to more formal joint venture discussions for the potash project in Laos.The negotiations will be focused on collaboration for resource development and potentialproduction at the project, which has a processing facility with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes per annum.

SPECIALTY

* agreed toan extensionfor the US$8 million sale of its Botswana operations to allow buyer to finalize a proposedUS$30 million loan financing. Tango Mining has until July 29 to finalize the commitmentwith California-based financial lender Vanderbilt Commercial to finance the of the operations andprovide the capital to restart the idled BK11 kimberlite diamond operations.

* Lincoln MineralsLtd. signed a memorandum of understanding with the district councilof Tumby Bay over the proposed developmentof the Kookaburra Gullygraphite project in South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. The memorandum provides aframework for both parties to work together on the road, power and water infrastructurerequired to bring the project into production.

* Walkabout ResourcesLtd. filed applications for three prospecting licenses in a known lithium-tantalumsetting in Tanzania. The move is a part of the company's strategy to into the fast-developingsupply chain for lithium-ion batteries and complement fast-tracked development ofthe Lindi Jumbographite project.

* Greenland Minerals& Energy Ltd. updated its feasibility study for the rare earth elements-uraniumproject in Greenland, increasingthe net present value from US$1.40 billion to US$1.59 billion, while also increasingthe internal rate of return from 21.8% to 43.4%. Capital costs for the project decreasedfrom US$1.36 billion to US$832 million, while the payback period was reduced fromsix years to five years.

* Talga ResourcesLtd. said wet commissioning of its second phase pilot scale test facilityin Germany has started,which involves processing shaped raw graphite ore from the company's Swedish depositsin slabs of up to 50 kilograms each, up from 10 kilograms in the first phase. Additionalmodified cells have been installed to increase the total capacity of the facilityto 365 kilograms of ore feed at a time.

* Russia's Finance Ministry rejected the Ministry of EconomicDevelopment's proposal to privatize 18.9% of PJSC ALROSA, Vedomostireported.

* GeoMega ResourcesInc. and Innord Inc. signeda technology license agreement under which GeoMega is granted a nonexclusive licenseto build and operate processing and separation facilities using the licensed technology.

* Sotheby's expects to fetchbetween US$28 million and US$38 million from the sale of a 15.38-carat diamond inan auction to be held in Geneva on May 17, the Financial Times reported.  

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Canadian Space Agency is awarding a contract to DeltionInnovations Ltd. to work on a multipurpose device designed for futuremining on the moon and Mars, The Canadian Press reported.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time, and scans newssources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish,Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.