Report: Novelis to offer concessions for Aleris deal approval from EU regulators
Hindalco Industries Ltd. unit Novelis Inc. will have to offer concessions to European Union competition authorities by Aug. 9 to secure approval for its US$2.6 billion takeover of Aleris Corp., Reuters reported, citing sources close to the matter. Novelis is willing to increase capacity and add 80 new jobs at the Aleris plant in Belgium to ease regulatory concerns that it may cut capacity to increase prices, according to one of the sources.
Coronado's H1'19 coal output up 7.3% YOY; new Curragh mine plan outlined
Coronado Global Resources Inc.'s first-half run-of-mine coal production climbed 7.3% yearly to 16.7 million tonnes, on the back of operating efficiencies at the Curragh operation in Queensland, Australia. Saleable coal production in the period inched up 1.8% to 10.4 Mt, as sales volumes grew 5.3% to 10.4 Mt. The company aims to deliver 15 Mt of annual saleable coal by 2023 from 12.9 Mt, under a new three-phase mine plan for Curragh.
Papua New Guinea court allows mining to continue at Porgera after lease expires
Papua New Guinea's National Court ruled that Barrick Gold Corp.'s and Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd.'s Porgera gold mine can continue operations after its current special mining lease expires Aug. 16, while the government considers an application for a 20-year extension.
* Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said a cap on Chinese ownership has not prevented the company from launching a share buyback, although he revealed that top shareholder Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd. is in talks with the Australian government over the matter, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* Rio Tinto's head of growth and innovation, Stephen McIntosh, urged other miners to ramp up efforts on making greenfield discoveries as he blamed consolidation in the mining sector for the decline in early-stage development projects, The Australian Financial Review wrote.
* Venturex Resources Ltd. received a term sheet for a US$70 million senior debt facility from global commodity trader Trafigura Pte. Ltd. for the development of the former's wholly owned flagship Sulphur Springs copper-zinc project. The funding package includes a four-year copper and zinc concentrate prepayment facility.
* Peru's President Martin Vizcarra said that if Southern Copper Corp.'s Tia Maria copper mine does not have social consent by inhabitants and authorities in Tambo Valley, then it will not undergo construction, daily La República reported.
* Separately, Vizcarra ordered the army to secure the Matarani Port Terminal, a key mining port, ahead of planned protests against Tia Maria, Reuters reported.
* BHP Group intends to start nickel sulfate production at its Nickel West operation in Western Australia in the second quarter of 2020, targeting the electric vehicle battery market, Reuters reported, citing asset President Eddie Haegel.
* PT Aneka Tambang Tbk reported a 4% yearly fall in second-quarter ferronickel production to 6,486 tonnes of nickel contained in ferronickel amid the successful ramp-up of the Pomalaa plant to stable operating capacity of 27,000 tonnes per annum.
* Mincor Resources NL executed a binding offtake agreement granting BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty. Ltd. the right to process up to 600,000 tonnes per annum of nickel sulfide ore using the concentrator at Mincor's Kambalda nickel mine in Western Australia, which it plans to restart.
* Westgold Resources Ltd. intends to demerge its wholly owned unit, Castile Resources Pty. Ltd., which holds the company's polymetallic assets. Each Westgold shareholder will be entitled to 1 Castile share for 4 shares held. Meanwhile, Castile is purchasing the Rover copper-gold project from Andromeda Metals Ltd. for A$650,000.
* Kingsrose Mining Ltd. resumed operations at its processing plant at the Way Linggo gold project in Indonesia on Aug. 4.
* Golden Rim Resources Ltd. reported exceptional high-grade gold intersections from its reverse circulation drilling program at the Kouri gold project in Burkina Faso. Drilling interesected 7 meters at 121.2 g/t gold from 41 meters, including 1 meter at 783.8 g/t gold from 44 meters and 3 meters at 7.2 g/t gold from 56 meters.
* Sibanye Gold Ltd. challenged a court application by a nonprofit group seeking to halt the company's takeover of Lonmin PLC, the African News Agency reported.
* Arrow Minerals Ltd. threatened to sue Dreadnought Resources Ltd. over the alleged misuse of confidential information regarding Dreadnought's acquisition of the Illaara gold project in Western Australia from Newmont Goldcorp Corp.
* BHP, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., Newcrest Mining Ltd. and SolGold PLC are interested in exploring the La Merced de Buenos Aires area in Ecuador, which the military raided in July to remove illegal gold miners in the area, The Australian reported.
* Vantage Goldfields Ltd., which collapsed into liquidation, accepted Real Win Investment's conditional offer to acquire Vantage Goldfields South Africa, or VGSA, holder of the Lily and Barbrook gold mines in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported. Real Win will now work on reopening the mines, the report said, citing VGSA CEO Mike McChesney.
* Gold Fields Ltd. expects a swing to profit in its first half, forecasting basic EPS of between 8.0 U.S. cents and 10.0 cents, from the year-ago loss per share of 45.0 cents.
* Azumah Resources Ltd.'s scoping study showed that an underground mining operation for the open-pit Bepkong gold deposit may boost the Wa project in Ghana with an estimated 154,000 ounces of contained gold and about US$32 million in post-royalty revenue.
* The government of Sierra Leone revoked several licenses of mining projects in the country, including Shandong Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.'s Tonkolili and Gerald Metals LLC's Marampa iron ore properties, Financial Times reported. Tonkolili, which was placed into receivership earlier this year, challenged the decision in the country's high court, while Gerald Metals temporarily suspended operations.
* Kobe Steel Ltd.'s shares fell over 15% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as the company swung to an attributable net loss in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019 of ¥1.16 billion, from a year-ago net income of ¥12.66 billion. Net sales in the quarter slipped 2.9% year over year to ¥464.46 billion. The company also cut the full-year attributable net income forecast to ¥10.0 billion, from the previous forecast of ¥25.0 billion, compared to a net profit of ¥35.94 billion in fiscal 2018.
* Homeowners of a luxury development in the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Region in Brazil accused Vale SA of producing air and sound pollution from its Vargem Grande pellet plant, Valor International reported. The charges name former Vale CEO Murilo Ferreira and four other ex-employees.
* GWR Group Ltd. executed a term sheet with a private iron ore developer Gold Valley Iron Pty. Ltd. for the latter to mine up to 3 million tonnes of iron ore from the former's John William Doutch deposit at its Wiluna West iron ore project in Western Australia. GWR will receive staged payments totaling up to A$5 million cash plus a production royalty linked to the iron ore price in the range of A$1 to A$2 per tonne.
* Salt Lake Potash Ltd. secured US$180 million in debt financing to advance its Lake Way potash project in Western Australia.
* Marubeni Corp.'s metals segment posted a 34.5% increase year over year in net profit to ¥17.61 billion, from ¥13.09 billion, for the three-month period that ended June 30, driven by the strong performance of its Australian iron ore business.
* Itochu Corp. recorded a rise in fiscal first-quarter net profit for its metals and minerals division to ¥33.97 billion from ¥22.45 billion in the prior year, while revenue for the segment grew to ¥172.87 billion from ¥160.38 billion.
* Arconic Inc. swung to a second-quarter net loss of US$121 million, or 27 cents per share, from a year-ago profit of US$120 million, or 24 cents per share, driven by US$357 million in non-cash impairments.
* Australia's federal government is facing a lawsuit from aboriginal leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu for damages related to mining on indigenous land that covers Rio Tinto's Gove bauxite operation in Northern Territory, ABC News reported.
* Danakali Ltd. secured formal credit approval from Africa Finance Corp. and African Export Import Bank for a US$200 million senior debt facility to fund the development of the Colluli potash project in Eritrea.
* China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. is seeking legal advice after the company and its controlling shareholder, Liu Zhongtian, were charged for evading US$1.8 billion of metal tariffs by smuggling aluminum into the U.S., Reuters reported, citing a company statement.
* A coal miner was killed while working in a Kentucky mine owned by Murray Energy Corp., the fifth fatal coal mine accident recorded by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration this year.
* European Metals Holdings Ltd. was granted an extension until Dec. 31, 2020, to an exploration license at its Cinovec lithium-tin project in the Czech Republic.
* Tibet Summit Resources Co. Ltd. plans to invest US$180 million to build a lithium carbonate plant in the Salar de Diablillos salt flat in Argentina, Mining.com reported. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020, with the plant producing 25,000 tonnes of minerals at the start of operations the following year.
* Debt-ridden Zambia delayed the implementation of a new sales tax opposed by business groups, including the mining sector, to January 2020 from its previous target of September, Bloomberg News reported, citing Finance Minister Bwalya Ng'andu. The recently appointed minister said the delay would help the government look into concerns over a new nonrefundable levy, which is set to replace the existing value-added tax.
* The Australian government established a new Productivity Commission that aims to improve the regulatory process in the resources sector, The Australian reported. The move comes after Adani Enterprises Ltd. waited for nine years to gain approvals for its Carmichael coal project in Queensland.
* Gabon launched a new mining code that will reduce corporate tax and extend the validity of operating licenses to 20 years, Bloomberg News reported, citing Mining Minister Tony Ondo Mba. The country is seeking to attract investors in manganese, gold and iron ore.
* South Africa is expected to receive more tax and royalty revenues from platinum and iron ore miners, whose earnings have been boosted by a rally in metal prices, Bloomberg News reported, citing a Morgan Stanley forecast.
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