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In This List

Fortescue's Q1'20 iron ore shipments up 5%; POSCO's Q3 profit down 53%

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Fortescue's Q1'20 iron ore shipments up 5%; POSCO's Q3 profit down 53%

TOP NEWS

Fortescue's Q1'20 iron ore shipments rise 5% YOY

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. iron ore shipments in the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 totaled 42.2 million tonnes, representing a 5% rise from the year-ago quarter, while C1 costs inched down 2% to US$12.95 per wet tonne. By the quarter's end, the autonomous truck fleet at the company's Chichester Hub grew to 142 following the conversion of an additional 73 trucks. The full conversion into autonomous hauling operations is on track for completion in mid-2020.

POSCO's Q3 net profit down 53%, revenue declines YOY

South Korean conglomerate POSCO's third-quarter net profit was 497 billion Korean won, down 53% from the 1.058 trillion won posted in the same quarter last year. Revenue also declined year over year, down to 15.988 trillion won from 16.411 trillion won.

Teck's Q3'19 profit plummets YOY on weak commodity prices

Teck Resources Ltd. booked a third-quarter attributable profit of C$369 million, or 66 cents per share, plummeting from the year-ago profit of C$1.28 billion, or C$2.23 per share. Adjusted attributable profit, meanwhile, slipped to C$403 million, or 72 cents per diluted share, from C$466 million, or 80 cents per diluted share. Results in the period were affected by prevailing global economic uncertainties that hit prices for its products, specifically metallurgical coal.

DIVERSIFIED

* KAZ Minerals PLC achieved record copper output of 82,900 tonnes in the third quarter, thanks to robust performance from its Aktogay and Bozshakol operations in Kazakhstan. Gold output, meanwhile, is expected to surpass the top end of its guidance of between 170,000 ounces and 185,000 ounces by about 5%, following output of 58,500 ounces in the three-month period.

* Imperial Metals Corp.'s third-quarter production at the Red Chris copper-gold mine totaled 19.5 million pounds of copper and 8,419 ounces of gold, representing 11% increases quarterly.

BASE METALS

* Freeport-McMoRan Inc. President and CEO Richard Adkerson said that the copper price is "not sustainable" amid strong demand. The Phoenix-based miner reported a net loss of US$131 million, or 9 U.S. cents per share, for the third quarter, swinging year over year from a net profit of US$556 million, or 38 cents per share. Quarterly revenue dropped year over year to US$3.31 billion from US$4.91 billion, and operating cash flows decreased to US$224 million from US$1.25 billion.

* Swedish base metals producer Boliden AB's third-quarter net profit rose to 1.41 billion Swedish kroner, or 5.14 kroner per share, from 1.29 billion kroner, or 4.69 kroner, in the same quarter a year earlier. Planned maintenance shutdowns, compounded by a breakdown at its Harjavalta smelter in Finland, affected revenue during the period, which shrunk to 11.17 billion kroner from 12.51 billion kroner.

* Lundin Mining Corp.'s attributable net earnings in the third quarter totaled US$26.4 million, up 277% from the US$7.0 million posted in the same quarter of the previous year. The miner produced 74,560 tonnes of copper, swelling from 52,770 tonnes in the third quarter of 2018.

* Codelco will resume normal operations at its copper mines after workers' unions agreed to stop a strike following negotiations with the Chilean government, Reuters reported. The state miner earlier shuttered its Andina copper mine and reduced operations at its other divisions as the Chilean state miner felt the impact of a general strike launched by unionized workers amid ongoing protests in the country.

* Solway Investment Group Ltd. subsidiary Pronico questioned the expansion of its Guatemala operations, which followed a July ruling by the country's Constitutional Court that ordered for the suspension of operations at the Fénix nickel mine due to irregularities in its exploitation license granted in 2016, Crónica reported.

* ERAMET SA's Weda Bay nickel plant in Indonesia will start operations ahead of schedule as soon as the first half of 2020. Eramet booked third-quarter sales of €895 million, down 6% year over year, while posting new quarterly production records for manganese ore and nickel ore.

* Papua New Guinea ordered the indefinite closure of Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd.'s majority-owned Ramu nickel cobalt project, which spewed potentially toxic red slurry into the sea, Agence France-Presse reported.

* Galena Mining Ltd. entered into an offtake agreement with IXM for the supply of high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrates from its Abra base metals project in Western Australia.

* Heron Resources Ltd. started export shipments from its Woodlawn zinc-copper project in New South Wales, Australia.

* Centaurus Metals Ltd. received the drilling and clearing license for the Jaguar nickel sulfide project in Brazil.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. hiked its dividend for the third quarter to 17.5 cents per share, from 11 cents apiece a year ago, as quarterly net income surged over fourfold to US$76.7 million or 32 U.S. cents per share, on the back of higher gold sales volumes and realized prices. The Canadian gold miner booked record payable gold production in the quarter of 476,937 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost of US$903 per ounce.

* Polymetal International PLC expects to surpass its full-year gold production guidance of 1.55 million ounces by up to 50,000 ounces, on the back of its continued strong performance at the Kyzyl gold mine in Kazakhstan. Third-quarter gold equivalent output increased 7% yearly to 476,000 ounces, while gold sales increased 21% to 388,000 ounces.

* Arcus Development Group Inc. agreed to sell the Dan Man property, part of its Dawson gold project in Yukon's White Gold District, to Newmont Goldcorp Corp. unit Goldcorp Kaminak Ltd.

* Gold Resource Corp. increased its instituted annual dividend from 2 U.S. cents per common share to 4 cents per common share.

* Majestic Gold Corp.'s subsidiary Majestic China Holdings Corp. entered into three separate non-binding memorandums of understanding with three different groups, to carry out a thorough due diligence review for a possible joint venture, merger or acquisition with each of the parties and/or their assets. The MOUs involve four different gold projects in the Muping-Rushan gold belt in China's Shandong province.

* Thor Explorations Ltd. is developing a project in southwest Nigeria capable of producing 80,000 ounces of gold per year and is aiming to start operations in early 2021, amid the country's effort to persuade investors that it could become a mining destination for metals, Bloomberg News reported. Africa Finance Corporation is investing in the project through a US$78 million dent-equity financing package.

* Spectrum Metals Ltd. estimated a maiden mineral resource for its Penny West project in Western Australia of 799,000 tonnes grading 13.8 g/t gold for 355,500 ounces of gold.

BULK COMMODITIES

* JSW Steel Ltd. posted a consolidated net profit of 25.36 billion Indian rupees for the second quarter of its fiscal 2020, increasing from 20.87 billion rupees in the year-ago period, with results benefiting from the reversal of deferred tax provisions following changes to Indian tax legislation. Its pretax profit slumped to 6.88 billion rupees, from 30.23 billion rupees a year ago. The company slashed its fiscal 2020 capital expenditure guidance to 110 billion rupees from 157.08 billion rupees due to market conditions, which prompted it to delay 47 billion rupees of spending on a number of downstream projects to fiscal 2021.

* Jiangsu Shagang Group Co. Ltd.'s net profit attributable to shareholders for the third quarter dropped 75.4% year over year to 85.4 million Chinese yuan, or 3.87 fen per share. The company attributed its loss in earnings to falling steel prices, increased prices of raw materials including iron ore, and lower production due to maintenance of facilities.

* Schmolz + Bickenbach AG is planning a capital increase of CHF189 million to CHF350 million amid what it called a "steel crisis." The company also said that its 2019 adjusted EBITDA would be lower than €70 million, after it said that it was targeting €70 million to €100 million for the full year in September.

* Bounty Mining Ltd. resumed production at its Cook coal project in Queensland, Australia, following a roof fall incident that disrupted operations.

* Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional will resume operations at its No. 3 blast furnace later this week, after a maintenance outage lasting more than three months, Fastmarkets MB reported.

* Kaiser Aluminum Corp.'s adjusted net income for the third quarter totaled US$29 million, or US$1.82 per diluted share, higher than the US$24 million, or US$1.43 per diluted share, posted in the same quarter of 2018. EBITDA increased year on year to US$57 million from US$47 million. Net sales for the quarter amounted to US$375 million, lower than the US$393 million in the previous year, reflecting decrease in shipments and average selling price.

* Latrobe Magnesium Ltd. signed an agreement with EnergyAustralia Pty. Ltd. to secure ash supply for Latrobe's initial 3,000-tonne-per-annum magnesium plant for the next 10 years.

* Gulf Manganese Corp. Ltd.'s Indonesian subsidiary PT Gulf Mangan Grup agreed to purchase an initial 100 tonnes of high-grade manganese ore and entered a memorandum of understanding for its ongoing supply with PT Arfa Indo Sarana. The initial parcel will be transported to the port of Bau Bau in Sulawesi in November and then shipped to the Port of Tenau in Kupang.

* Activists against Adani Enterprises Ltd. are targeting contractors, which may make it hard for the company to complete its Carmichael coal project in Queensland, Australia, ABC News reported.

SPECIALTY

* In the third quarter, Base Resources Ltd. achieved mining rates equivalent to 19.6 million tonnes per annum at the Kwale mineral sands operation in Kenya, surpassing its 18 mtpa plan. Ilmenite production for the three months, however, fell to 73,808 tonnes from 118,265 tonnes.

* Galaxy Resources Ltd. expects to cut mining rates at its Mount Cattlin lithium mine in Western Australia by 40% in 2020 as it looks to reduce costs amid low lithium prices. The company is currently undertaking a review of Mount Cattlin operations to determine the optimal scale of operations. Galaxy's shipments during the third quarter totaled 58,278 dry tonnes of lithium concentrate, below the guidance range of 60,000 dry tonnes to 70,000 dry tonnes.

* Lepidico Ltd. received patent protection for its proprietary lithium chemicals recovery method, L-Max, in the U.S.

* Infinity Lithium Corp. Ltd.'s initial application to access EU funding through the European Battery Alliance's appointed private investment company InnoEnergy has been approved.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Several mining experts noted a lack of diversity in the global mining industry and highlighted the importance of attracting talented millennials to the workforce during the Future of Mining Americas conference in Denver. Namely, speakers said the younger generations care more about the impact companies have on communities, society and the planet than they do about simply making money.

* Chinese non-ferrous scrap imports will come to a standstill in the next four months as major buyers have used up their import quotas for this year, and new quotas are unlikely to be granted before the lunar new year in late January, Fastmarkets MB reported, citing industry sources.

* U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota's 4th Congressional district has led the charge for a new environmental review on how mining for copper, nickel and other precious metals could affect the Rainy River watershed, which drains into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Minnpost reported.

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