Cyberattack forces Norsk Hydro to partially halt operations
Norwegian aluminum major Norsk Hydro ASA reported an extensive cyberattack affecting several areas and said IT systems are compromised in most divisions. Norsk Hydro closed several metal extrusion plants, which process aluminum ingots, while it aluminum smelters in Norway, Qatar and Brazil are being manually operated.
Brazilian court allows Vale to resume Brucutu ops
A Brazilian court allowed Vale SA to resume operations at its Brucutu iron ore mine and the Laranjeiras tailings dam in Minas Gerais state after production from the mine was suspended and the dam's licenses were canceled in February. The company said the mine remains halted pending compliance from Brazilian environmental regulators. Brucutu is Vale's largest mine in the state and has a yearly capacity of 30 million tonnes.
Antofagasta's FY'18 earnings down on higher mining costs
Antofagasta PLC's earnings attributable to shareholders for 2018 fell to US$543.7 million from US$750.6 million the year before. EBITDA fell 13.9% to US$2.23 billion due to higher unit cash costs, increased exploration and evaluation expenditures, and mine closure provisions.
* BHP Group appointed Ian Cockerill and Susan Kilsby as independent nonexecutive directors, effective April 1, taking the company's total number of directors to 11.
* PT Aneka Tambang Tbk is racing against time to finish its Haltim ferronickel and Mempawah alumina smelters in Indonesia before the relaxation of a ban on ore exports ends in January 2022, The Jakarta Post reported.
* Aeris Resources Ltd. is in late-stage talks to buy Glencore PLC 's CSA copper mine in New South Wales, Australia for about US$575 million, The Australian Financial Review reported. The proposed deal would involve US$300 million in senior debt from Hong Kong-based investment firm PAG and Orion Mine Finance, a US$40 million silver stream provided by Orion, US$50 million in equity issued to Glencore, and US$100 million in equity issued to PAG and Orion. In addition, Aeris will reportedly look to raise up to another US$195 in equity from other investors.
* Glencore suspended operations at its Mopani Copper Mines Plc unit, operator of the Nkana and Mufulira copper mines in Zambia, after two workers died in an accident, Reuters reported. Mopani is Africa's second-largest copper producer with a yearly output of about 100,000 tonnes, according to the newswire.
* BHP signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire up to a 70% stake in Luminex Resources Corp.'s Tarqui 1 and 2 copper mining concessions in Ecuador for up to US$7 million in cash payments and by investing as much as US$75 million in the property. The companies will hold talks over the next three months to sign a binding deal.
* Yunnan Chihong Zinc and Germanium Co. Ltd. posted a 46% year over year drop in its net profit attributable to shareholders for 2018 to 622.8 million Chinese yuan from 1.16 billion yuan a year earlier.
* Chile's Codelco and Ecuador's Enami EP agreed to jointly develop the Llurimagua copper project in Ecuador, Reuters reported, citing Chilean mining minister Baldo Prokurica.
* Codelco expects to lose about US$40 million from the delay of a planned restart of a smelter in Chile due to issues related to construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., which is facing corruption charges in Canada, Reuters reported.
* Antofagasta CEO Iván Arriagada expects the global copper market to have a deficit of between 100,000 tonnes and 300,000 tonnes in 2019, Reuters reported.
* The London Metal Exchange's zinc stocks fell to a new 12-year low of 58,325 tonnes, which is less than two days' worth of global consumption and just slightly above this century's lowest-ever of 58,100 tonnes recorded in October 2007, Reuters reported.
* Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd., which is pursuing a resolution of the four Thackaringa joint venture disputes lodged by Broken Hill Prospecting Ltd. through independent expert determination, said the resolution institute nominated an expert, and the process is underway.
* Hardey Resources Ltd.'s new board is reviewing the company's asset portfolio and will reconsider the acquisitions of Nelly Vanadium Pty. Ltd. and Vanadium Mining Pty. Ltd.
* Polish lawmakers plan to cut copper taxes to allow KGHM Polska Miedź SA to make more investments, Reuters wrote.
* Copper One Inc. will delist from the TSX Venture Exchange as part of a plan to become an investment firm.
* Kinross Gold Corp. will secure a 9.7% stake in Wolfden Resources Corp. with a C$2.5 million investment, which will mainly be used to explore the Pickett Mountain high-grade polymetallic deposit in northeastern Maine.
* Franco-Nevada Corp. swung to a net loss of US$31.3 million, or 17 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2018, from a net profit of US$43.5 million, or 23 cents per share, recorded a year earlier. The loss reflects US$75.4 million in impairment charges associated with KGHM's Sudbury operations in Ontario.
* IAMGOLD Corp. will slash its workforce at the Westwood gold mine in Quebec by 32% following an assessment of production levels and costs amid a revision of a life of mine plan.
* The U.S. government sanctioned Venezuela's state-owned gold company Corporación Venezolana de Guayana Minerven CA and its president, Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata, for allegedly being complicit in the illicit activities of disputed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
* The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union agreed, in principle, to accept a proposed settlement deal advanced by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to end a months-long strike at Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s gold operations in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported.
* Kalamazoo Resources Ltd. will kick off high-tech work in April with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to gain further clarity on expensive diamond drilling in the second half targeting "nothing less than" 10 g/t gold deposits at depth in one of the world's richest alluvial goldfields.
* Chakana Copper Corp. agreed to purchase a 1% net smelter royalty on the Soledad gold-copper-silver project in Peru owned by Condor Resources Inc.'s Minera Vertiente Del Sol SAC unit for US$565,000 in cash and shares.
* Endeavour Mining Corp. poured the first gold from the Ity gold-silver project in Cote d'Ivoire under its initial budget of US$412 million and four months ahead of schedule, yielding about 1,800 ounces of gold.
* SSR Mining Inc. closed its previously announced US$230 million offering of unsecured convertible senior notes due 2039. Net proceeds are intended for the repurchase of about US$150 million of its outstanding $265 million 2.875% convertible senior notes.
* A third-party environmental impact audit has begun on Lydian International Ltd.'s Amulsar gold project in southern Armenia. The country's government called activity to a halt on the site in 2018 over concerns for endangered flora and fauna.
* A proposed takeover by Middle Island Resources Ltd. for Alto Metals Ltd. is not expected to meet its minimum acceptance condition, with three major shareholders of the latter indicating that they do not intend to approve the approximately A$9.4 million deal.
* Renforth Resources Inc. renegotiated the remaining work requirement under an option agreement granting Renforth the right to acquire Globex Mining Enterprises Inc.'s Parbec gold project in Quebec.
* Argent Minerals Ltd. received final approval for the Pine Ridge gold mine drilling program, part of its Kempfield project in Australia, from the New South Wales government.
* Vale secured an injunction allowing it to restart activities at the Guaíba Island Terminal in Mangaratiba in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro. The terminal was closed in March due to an alleged lack of an operating license.
* New Hope Group Co. Ltd. expects to decide on reopening the Burton coal mine in Queensland, Australia, by the end of the year, Reuters reported, citing CEO Shane Stephan. The mine was suspended in December 2016. New Hope bought it from Peabody Energy Corp. in November 2017.
* New Hope warned that it could lay off workers at its New Acland coal mine if the company fails to secure mining leases and a water license for the project's stage-three expansion by the third quarter, The Australian reported.
* Nutrien Ltd. priced an offering of US$750 million of its 4.200% senior notes due 2029 and US$750 million of its 5.000% senior notes due 2049. Net proceeds will be used to repay US$500 million of its 6.500% senior notes due 2019.
* An international arbitration tribunal rejected Churchill Mining Plc's request to annul an earlier decision that dismissed the company's claims against the Indonesian government over the revocation of its licenses at the East Kutai coal project.
* A protest near Vedanta Ltd.'s Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Odisha, India, became violent, leading to injuries and two deaths.
* Ferrexpo PLC expects to release its full-year 2018 results around April 3 after a probe into its donations to a charity uncovered additional discrepancies.
* Evraz PLC's shares opened down 5.7% at 594 pence March 19 in London after the Russian steelmaker's four core shareholders sold a total of 25.4 million shares in an accelerated bookbuild at 595 pence apiece.
* Flinders Mines Ltd. filed a revised application to delist from the ASX. The Australian government's takeovers panel accepted the company's revised plan in February.
* Delays at Chinese ports have forced Australian coal exporters to divert coal ships or offer the shipments to buyers from other countries, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The delays have occurred amid Australia's ban on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and spying accusations against China.
* French lender BNP Paribas' Cardif insurance division laid out new goals to reduce exposure to coal, Reuters wrote. The company will no longer fund power generation companies where coal-fueled generation comprises more than 30% of installed capacity.
* Several state legislatures took up bills aimed at boosting coal during their 2019 sessions, but industry observers said the efforts will do little to turn the tide for the struggling sector. Robert Godby, director of the University of Wyoming's Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy, said much of the pro-coal legislation "has largely been symbolic" and is unlikely to do much more than slightly extend the life of some affected mines or plants.
* Kalium Lakes Ltd. entered into a nonbinding term sheet with German KfW IPEX-Bank for A$102 million of senior debt funding for its Beyondie sulfate of potash mine in Western Australia in addition to the A$74 million debt funding package the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility recently approved.
* First Vanadium Corp. more than doubled the size of its Carlin vanadium property to 3,177 acres from 1,331 acres after staking unpatented lode claims over federal lands near the site.
* Syrah Resources Ltd. said its Balama graphite operation in Mozambique and its logistic supply chain have not been impacted by Cyclone Idai.
* Unidentified gunmen shot dead five workers from an unidentified mining company in Ethiopia, Reuters reported.
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