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ThyssenKrupp CEO offers to step down amid shareholder criticism of Tata JV deal

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COVID-19 Impact & Recovery: Private Equity

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Lithium prices rally cobalt prices correct

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COVID-19 Impact & Recovery: Governments


ThyssenKrupp CEO offers to step down amid shareholder criticism of Tata JV deal

TOP NEWS

ThyssenKrupp CEO offers to step down amid shareholder criticism of Tata JV deal

ThyssenKrupp AG CEO Heinrich Hiesinger offered to step down and requested the company's supervisory board to find a mutual agreement for his decision. The supervisory board will meet July 6 to discuss and decide on Hiesinger's request. ThyssenKrupp recently struck a definitive deal to form a 50/50 European steel joint venture with Tata Steel Ltd. Hiesinger has been facing pressure from major shareholders to secure a more favorable agreement in connection with the merger.

Indian court thumbs down Vedanta's request to reopen Tuticorin copper smelter

An environmental court in India rejected Vedanta Ltd.'s bid to allow for the temporary reopening of its Tuticorin copper smelter in India's Tamil Nadu state, Reuters reported. The Vedanta Resources PLC unit also sought for a permanent injunction against the Tamil Nadu state government from interfering with the operations of its smelter.

St Barbara hits record gold production, beats FY'18 guidance

St Barbara Ltd. produced a record 119,436 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2018, up from 94,226 ounces it produced in the year-ago quarter. Production from the Gwalia mine in Western Australia notched a record 84,537 ounces of gold in the quarter, while the Simberi mine in Papua New Guinea produced 34,899 gold ounces in the three-month period.

DIVERSIFIED

* Law firm Dechert LLP alleged that Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. Ltd.'s senior managers oversaw bribes to senior officials in Africa, flouted sanctions and overpaid during acquisitions of related firms, the Financial Times reported. The miner is suing the law firm and one of its top partners over breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.

* India has directed state-owned National Aluminium Co. Ltd., Hindustan Copper Ltd. and Mineral Exploration Corp. Ltd. to team up as it looks to acquire lithium and cobalt mines abroad, amid increasing demand for minerals used in batteries, The Economic Times of India reported.

BASE METALS

* S&P Global Ratings raised its price assumptions for copper and nickel, from this year to 2020, due to its expectations of supply constraints and strong demand. Copper prices are expected to range between US$6,600 per tonne to US$7,000 per tonne, while nickel prices are assumed to rise to between US$13,000 per tonne and US$14,000 per tonne.

* The workers' union at BHP Billiton Group's Escondida copper mine in Chile and the company are "far from reaching agreement," with less than three weeks to go before a contract negotiations deadline, Reuters reported, citing a union official. The official added that the union was setting up a US$400,000 emergency fund to support workers if they decide to go on strike after BHP offers its final proposal July 24.

* Vedanta Resources' Vedanta Zinc International unit kicked off commissioning activities at its Gamsberg zinc project in South Africa's Northern Cape province, Mining Weekly reported.

* Four unions at Codelco's El Teniente copper mine, representing 95% of its workforce, agreed to bring forward collective bargaining negotiations, ahead of the current agreement's expiry on Oct. 31, La Tercera reported, citing sources.

* Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd. CEO Sam Riggall remains unfazed over a potential US$1.49 billion CapEx for the Clean TeQ Sunrise nickel-cobalt project, saying that the funding would not be difficult, Mining News reported.

* Zambia agreed to give First Quantum Minerals Ltd. more time to complete its analysis of what the company might owe in taxes after the government slapped the miner with a US$7.9 billion tax bill, Bloomberg News reported.

* Symbol Mining Ltd. began mining operations at the Macy zinc project, part of the Imperial joint venture in Nigeria, after receiving final government approval for the mining lease of the project.

* Metropolitan Energy Corp. intends to acquire Bertram Capital Finance Inc., operating under the business name of Cannabis One, in which it will undergo a reverse takeover and subsequently exit the mining sector.

* Red River Resources Ltd. awarded an initial seven-year contract to Pybar Mining Services Pty Ltd. for the underground mining operations at its Far West zinc project, part of its Thalanga operations in Queensland, Australia.

* Tiger Resources Ltd. terminated the sale of its Kipoi, Lupoto and La Patience copper-cobalt assets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after the buyer, Sinomine Fuhai (Hong Kong) Overseas Resource Investment Co. Ltd., failed to satisfy agreement terms.

* Taseko Mines Ltd. entered copper hedging options for 5 million pounds per month, with a strike price of US$2.80, through December, to take advantage of copper prices, which reached a four-year high.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Barrick Gold Corp. majority-owned Acacia Mining PLC's group gold production plummeted 36% year over year to 133,778 ounces in the second quarter, primarily due to reduced operations at Bulyanhulu mine, as well as stockpile processing at the Buzwagi mine.

* Unlike many of its peers that have been unloading assets and cutting spending, Toronto-based Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. has remained focused on growing its production base and investing in its exploration and development projects, S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research unit reported.

* Centerra Gold Inc. said there is a risk that throughput levels at its Mount Milligan copper-gold project in British Columbia may need to be reduced in the fourth quarter, if the company fails to receive regulatory approval to access further groundwater and surface water solutions to meet water needs at the site.

* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. completed the commissioning of a recovery enhancement project at the Sunrise Dam gold mine in Western Australia at the end of June, which is expected to increase production by about 25% to about 300,000 ounces of gold this year.

* China Hanking Holdings Ltd. agreed to sell its shares to Tuochuan Capital Ltd. for a total of 350 million Chinese yuan. The company plans to use the proceeds for the development of an Australian gold project of Primary Gold Ltd., which it recently acquired, as well as to support its working capital.

* Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science's office of the chief economist is forecasting an increase in gold prices to US$1,380 per ounce in 2019 and expects production growth and sustained prices to take its national export value to A$20 billion by 2019 to 2020, The West Australian reported. The commodity forecasting body expects geopolitical tension in the Middle East and political unrest in Europe to cause upward pressure on gold prices.

* American Creek Resources Ltd. granted Tudor Gold Corp. an option to buy out the company's 40% interest in their Electrum gold joint venture in British Columbia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* EU member countries backed measures proposed by the European Commission to curb steel imports into the region, following a U.S. decision to slap import tariffs on European steel and aluminum, Reuters reported.

* Tekin Nasikkol, head of labor at ThyssenKrupp, said he will seek to renegotiate with management the planned layoff of about 4,000 workers agreed under the joint venture deal with Tata Steel, Reuters reported.

* For the first quarter of fiscal 2019, Steel Authority of India Ltd.'s captive mines under its Raw Materials Division produced and dispatched 5.2 million tonnes and 5.1 million tonnes of iron ore, respectively, reflecting year-over-year growth of 15.4% and 16.7%, The Economic Times of India reported.

* China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd. is boosting its hot metal capacity to 4.0 million tonnes and crude steel capacity to 3.6 million tonnes at its Zhanjiang production site in China's Guangdong province, Metal Bulletin reported. The increases come on the back of production cuts at operations in Shanghai and in Jiangsu province.

* Liberty House parent GFG Alliance acquired the freehold and cargo-handling services of Bird Port in South Wales, U.K., Metal Bulletin reported. Bird Port, which will be renamed SIMEC Bird Port following deal closing, handles mainly steel and bulk products.

* More than 350 unionized workers at Compass Minerals International Inc.'s salt mine in Ontario have been on strike for about 10 weeks, seeking negotiations with management for a new contract, CBC News reported.

SPECIALTY

* Eramet's A$1.75-per-share takeover bid for Mineral Deposits Ltd. was declared unconditional, with an aggregate 38.72% in acceptances and existing shareholdings. The offer, which the latter has already asked its shareholders to reject, is the last and final offer and will not be increased if no completing proposal is received.

* Eramet is looking to acquire lithium deposits in Chile, Argentina and Brazil to expand its lithium footprint amid increasing demand of the mineral used in batteries for electric vehicles, Reuters reported. CEO Christel Bories noted that the company's priority is to develop its existing lithium deposit in Argentina.

* Voyageur Minerals Ltd. estimated a NI 43-101-compliant indicated resource of 166,210.20 tonnes at 37.75% barium sulfate for 62,745 tonnes of contained barite. The inferred resource stands at 195,578.10 tonnes at 35.40% barium sulfate for 69,229.80 tonnes of contained barite.

* Azarga Uranium Corp. completed its previously announced acquisition of URZ Energy Corp.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt tendered his resignation amid scandals and associated Congressional and other investigations were stacking up. Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, will assume duties as acting administrator July 9.

* The resources sector in Australia welcomed the federal government's eight-year, three-step plan to overhaul the GST redistribution, Mining Weekly reported. The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies said the proposed changes would reduce the pressure on state and territory budgets, removing the need to adjust royalties and the indirect taxes.

* South African Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said that shuttered mines in the country are bad for the economy and the government is raising the issue with the Minerals Council, Bloomberg News reported. Mantashe was speaking at the opening of Sasol Ltd.'s Secunda colliery in the Mpumalanga province.

* U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S. may eventually impose tariffs on more than US$500 billion of Chinese goods, while confirming that his previously announced tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese goods would become effective at 12:01 a.m. ET today.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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