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In This List

Kobe Steel sinks further after confirming potential mislabeling of more products

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


Kobe Steel sinks further after confirming potential mislabeling of more products

TOP NEWS

Kobe Steel sinks further after confirming potential mislabeling of more products

Kobe Steel Ltd. confirmed reports from Japanese newspapers that data fabrication for its products may have implicated its iron powder products too, apart from the previously announced mislabeling of aluminum and copper products. According to Reuters, the company started a probe into Kobelco Research Institute Inc., which tests its products, and is examining other possible data falsifications dating back 10 years. Japan's third-largest steelmaker's shares closed down 18% at 878 yen per share on the Tokyo stock exchange, taking its two-day loss to almost 36% after its admission, which has flagged quality concerns across the Japanese manufacturing industry.

Votorantim unit targeting up to US$651M in New York, Toronto IPO

Nexa Resources SA, formerly Votorantim Metais Holding SA, and its controlling shareholder are targeting to raise between US$576 million and US$651 million in an IPO in New York and Toronto, Reuters reported. Parent company Votorantim SA will sell 10.5 million common shares, while Nexa will sell about 20.5 million new shares, according to an SEC filing.

Latest US sanctions could harm investment in Russian metals and mining sector

Fresh U.S. sanctions announced in August could damage foreign investment in the Russian metals and mining sector, Christopher Weafer, senior partner at Macro-Advisory Ltd., told S&P Global Market Intelligence on the sidelines of the MINEX Russia conference in Moscow. Weafer said the latest move by the U.S. government has "raised a red flag" for industry players and there is the potential for escalation.

BASE METALS

* Capstone Mining Corp. expects to hit the lower end of its 2017 production guidance of 94,000 tonnes of copper, after reporting a third-quarter copper output of 22,000 tonnes and 67,000 tonnes for the first nine months of the year.

* Chile's copper exports reached a three-year high of US$3.18 billion in September, Reuters reported, citing the Central Bank.

* Red River Resources Ltd. delivered the first zinc concentrate from its Thalanga mine in Queensland, Australia, one month after the start of concentrate production.

* Orsu Metals Corp. completed the sale of a 94.75% interest in GRK MLD LLP, which owns the Karchiga copper-gold-zinc project in Kazakhstan, for US$6 million to CMSS Global Supply and Trading FZC.

* SLAM Exploration Ltd. staked three claims comprising 86 units adjacent to its Ramsay Brook cobalt property in New Brunswick, that expanded the size of the property to 2,436 hectares.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Kingsrose Mining Ltd. decided to suspend underground operations at its Talang Santo mine, part of the Way Linggo gold project in Indonesia, from mid-October after rendering the mine uneconomic. The company noted that production at the site continued to be adversely impacted by the inflow of groundwater into the mine and poor ground conditions.

* Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd.'s consolidated gold production totaled 139,100 gold ounces, a 4% year-over-year increase. The company said it remains on track to meet its full-year production guidance of between 570,000 ounces and 590,000 ounces of gold.

* Ore reserves at Polymetal International Plc's Komar gold deposit in Kazakhstan increased 60% in terms of tonnage and 57% in terms of contained gold as of June 1. Proven and probable reserves at Komar contain 1.4 million ounces within 24.1 million tonnes of ore grading 1.8 g/t gold. The increase in reserves will extend the mine life of its Varvara hub by three years until 2032, the company noted.

* Highland Gold Mining Ltd. produced 71,767 ounces of gold and gold equivalent from its mines in the third quarter, up 14.6% as compared to 62,601 ounces in the year-ago period.

* A preliminary economic assessment for Eros Resources Corp.'s Bell Mountain gold project in Nevada pegged a posttax net present value of US$9.3 million at a discount rate of 5%, a 24.7% internal rate of return and a 2.7 year payback period. Preproduction capital cost is estimated at US$18.5 million, including a US$1.7 million contingency.

* Gold Fields Ltd.'s indirect wholly owned subsidiary Corporate International Holdings BV purchased 8,279,729 shares, representing around 2.4% of the outstanding ordinary shares, and 5 million listed options to purchase Cardinal Resources Ltd. shares at 75 Australian cents apiece and 60 cents per listed option for total of A$9.2 million.

* Atlantic Gold Corp. officially opened the Moose River Consolidated gold mine in Nova Scotia and achieved first gold pour at the site.

* Khalkos Exploration Inc. entered into agreements to acquire the Courville gold project in Quebec. The transaction covers 390 claims and various exploration projects, which will be secured via the acquisition of their holders, Abitibi Norex Corp. and Pershimex Inc.

* Durango Resources Inc. agreed to acquire the 520-hectare Baby-Baby property in Ontario from two arm's-length vendors.

* B2Gold Corp.'s Fekola gold mine in Mali poured its first gold Oct. 7, about three months ahead of schedule. The company expects the mine to produce between 50,000 and 55,000 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter and help increase B2Gold's 2018 output by over 70% to between 400,000 and 410,000 ounces of gold.

* Greatland Gold Plc identified multiple gold targets over 60 kilometers of strike at the Ernest Giles East block of its larger Ernest Giles gold project in Western Australia after completing surface geochemistry and ground gravity surveys in the area.

* Avesoro Resources Inc. cut its annual production guidance to 70,000 to 80,000 ounces of gold at an operating cash cost of US$900 per ounce to US$950 per ounce due to a lack of grade continuity in the mineralization within the Marvoe pit at the New Liberty gold mine in Liberia.

* Altus Strategies Plc signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Legend Gold Corp. in an all-share deal that values the target at C$5.7 million. Legend Gold holds a portfolio of gold prospects in Mali.

* Montezuma Mining Co. Ltd. agreed to divest its exploration license E38/2889, part of the Yamarna project in Western Australia to Gold Road (North Yamarna) Pty. Ltd. after deeming it a noncore asset.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vale SA, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton Group and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., the "Big 4" iron ore miners, have recently executed large-scale expansion investments in response to increases in iron ore demand from China. Vale is increasing its nameplate capacity to 400 Mt/y to 450 Mt/y by 2020, with Rio Tinto targeting 360 Mt/y; BHP targeting 290 Mt/y; and Fortescue, or FMG, targeting 160 Mt/y to 170 Mt/y. The latter three capacities are this year's targets, although the expansions for Rio Tinto and BHP were delayed in 2017.

* Metinvest BV's net profit for the first half of the year dropped 20% to US$72 million from US$90 million the year before, after losing control over several facilities in eastern Ukraine due to takeovers by separatist groups. Metinvest produced 3.9 million tonnes of crude steel, 13.6 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate and 1.4 million tonnes of coking coal concentrate, registering decreases of 6%, 14% and 8%, respectively.

* Whitehaven Coal Ltd.'s run-of-mine coal production in September quarter rose 5% year over year to 5.7 million tonnes while salable coal output rose 14% to 5.9 million tonnes.

* As part of China's campaign against air pollution, Shanxi Coking Coal Group Co. Ltd. will slash 900,000 tonnes of coke production and 360,000 tonnes of chemicals from production for the six months between Oct. 1 and March 31, 2018, Reuters reported. The move is anticipated to decrease the miner's total sales over the fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year by 2.8 billion Chinese yuan.

* Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s Abbot Point coal terminal is set to launch a prospectus for a US$500 million bond issue to help refinance the debt of the port, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk wrote. While local banks were reluctant to get involved in the bond issue due to the backlash against the company's giant Carmichael coal mine, sources said several U.S. banks, including JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, also passed on the mandate.

* Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk rejected calls for the government to ban political donations from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union after union members protesting at Glencore Plc's Oaky North coal mine in the state were caught on tape allegedly threatening other mine workers, The Australian wrote.

* PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works' crude steel production in the third quarter rose 4.4% quarter over quarter to 3.3 million tonnes due to an increase in electronic arc furnace capacity utilization amid higher demand. Total finished steel product shipments jumped 10.2% quarter over quarter to 3.2 million tonnes due to the seasonal recovery of demand for metal in the Russian market.

* Bowen Coking Coal Ltd. started trading on the ASX following the completion of a reverse takeover of Cabral Resources Ltd. by Cape Coal Pty Ltd. The company raised A$4.6 million for a market capitalization of about A$10.8 million.

* Domestic steel consumption in India is expected to accelerate from 2020 to 2030 amid a spike in infrastructure building that is projected to more than double the capacity of the country's mills, Bloomberg News reported, citing the country's steel secretary, Aruna Sharma.

SPECIALTY

* On the back of falling uranium prices, France's Areva NewCo flagged job cuts and output reduction at its Somair and Cominak uranium mines in Niger, Reuters reported. Around 190 jobs will be eliminated at Somair and a freeze will be placed on contracts for 500 contractors, while severe restrictions would be placed at Cominak, a union head said. Areva NewCo split off from state-owned integrated nuclear group Areva SA earlier this year.

* PJSC Alrosa's sales of rough and polished diamonds totaled US$3.36 billion from January to September, including US$3.29 billion of rough diamond sales and US$68.1 million of polished diamonds. In September, the company sold US$309.7 million worth of rough and polished diamonds, including US$305.8 million of rough diamonds and US$3.9 million polished diamonds.

* Kenmare Resources Plc announced another record ilmenite production in the third quarter, at 277,800 tonnes this year compared with 265,700 tonnes in the same period a year earlier, keeping the group on track for the highest annual production of the titanium feedstock.

* Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan introduced legislation to vary the Mineral Sands (Cooljarloo) Mining and Processing Agreement Act of 1988, which would allow Tronox Ltd. subsidiary Tronox Management Pty Ltd. to sustain its operations and pursue new deposits. The variation will allow the company to pursue new sources of feedstock for its Muchea and Kwinana processing facilities from tenements not covered by the agreement.

* Plymouth Minerals Ltd. completed the first stage of a 2016 agreement to earn up to a 75% interest in the historical San Jose lithium-tin project in Spain from Saycr Vallehormoso SA unit Valoriza Mineria SLU.

* Pure Energy Minerals Ltd. signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding that will see Tenova Advanced Technologies Ltd., TAKRAF USA Inc. and their technology partners design, build and operate a pilot plant for Pure Energy's Clayton Valley lithium brine project in Nevada.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Hassan Abbasi, a spokesman for the Tanzanian government, refuted speculation that new laws in the country are a move toward the nationalization of mines, saying that President John Magufuli demands fair and equal treatment.

* Chinese commercial banks saw a deterioration in asset quality for mining-related loans in 2016, while the regions of Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, Fujian, Shanxi and Jilin reported the highest nonperforming loan ratios, according to China Banking Regulatory Commission data.

* BlueScope Steel Ltd. CEO Paul O'Malley called for the Australian government to enact a 10-year energy transition policy to address issues on energy prices and reliability, The Australian reported. "Australia can't afford to focus only on future initiatives and possibilities, — the Finkel recommendations, renewables-only, the future smart technologies — because they aren't here yet," O'Malley said.

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