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Amplats mulls selling 2 platinum mines; US, Mexico, Canada to end tariffs

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Amplats mulls selling 2 platinum mines; US, Mexico, Canada to end tariffs

TOP NEWS

Amplats mulls selling Twickenham, Bokoni platinum mines to focus on Mogalakwena

Anglo American Platinum Ltd., or Amplats, is considering selling its Bokoni and Twickenham platinum mines in South Africa as part of its divestment strategy, Reuters reported, citing CEO Chris Griffith. The Anglo American PLC unit will shift focus to its flagship Mogalakwena mine, Griffith said, adding that the company could pay higher dividends in 2020.

US, Mexico, Canada outline plan to end steel, aluminum tariffs

The trade dispute between the U.S., Mexico and Canada over aluminum and steel tariffs is set to end as the countries agreed to drop duties within two days. The U.S. and Canada also agreed to end pending litigation over the tariffs at the World Trade Organization. Canadian steelmaker Stelco Holdings Inc. said it will actively pursue deals using extra cash it expects to generate from the move, Bloomberg News reported, citing CEO Alan Kestenbaum.

Competition court dismisses union's appeal of Sibanye Gold/Lonmin merger

The Competition Appeal Court of South Africa dismissed an appeal by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union to halt the merger between Sibanye Gold Ltd. and Lonmin PLC. The deal is expected to become effective June 7. South Africa's Public Investor Corp. has a 30% interest in Lonmin and may present another hurdle for the merger with concerns about the deal's value decreasing due to a drop in Sibanye's stock price, Bloomberg News reported, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter.

BASE METALS

* Zambian President Edgar Lungu said his government filed a notification of plans to take over Vedanta Resources PLC's domestic copper assets. The announcement came after the president threatened to "divorce" the local copper units of Vedanta and Glencore PLC amid an increase in mining taxes that sparked tensions with the mining sector, Bloomberg News reported. Amos Chanda, Lungu's spokesman, had clarified that the government will not unlawfully seize private assets and said the president was referring to other investors' interest in the mines.

* Glencore's Kazzinc Ltd. took a US$96.5 million impairment on a US$237 million loan it provided in 2013 to Astana Property Management, the private equity vehicle of Kazakhstan's former dictator, Bulat Utemuratov, The Sunday Times reported. The loan was reportedly used to build luxury apartments and a hotel that have performed poorly.

* Bezant Resources PLC was granted approvals for the updated environmental impact assessment for its Eureka project in Argentina. The approvals provide for a two-year exploration period to May 3, 2021.

* Sabre Resources Ltd. received two-year renewals of exploration prospecting licenses 3540 and 3542 in Namibia. The company plan to restart exploration on the licenses with a focus on base metals and vanadium.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Sibanye Gold ended media speculation by confirming that the terms of its increased offer for Lonmin are final and will not be increased.

* SolGold PLC's preliminary economic assessment for the Alpala copper-gold-silver deposit, part of its 85%-owned Cascabel project in Ecuador, outlined a net present value of US$4.1 billion to US$4.5 billion, discounted at 8%, and an internal rate of return of 24.8% to 26.5%. The preproduction capital expenditure is estimated at US$2.45 billion to US$2.85 billion with a payback of 3.5 to 3.8 years.

* Venezuela managed to avoid U.S. economic sanctions by selling about 13.7 tons of gold worth about US$570 million from its central bank reserves during the last two weeks, bringing its total reserves to a 29-year low of US$7.9 billion, Bloomberg wrote, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

* Matsa Resources Ltd. agreed to sell ore for up to five years from its Red October gold mine in Western Australia. The ore will be treated at the Sunrise Dam gold mine, owned by AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. unit AngloGold Ashanti AU Ltd. The terms of the agreement were confidential.

* Anglo American Platinum dismissed about 50% of its underground workforce at the Mototolo platinum mine in South Africa following an unprotected strike that began May 12.

* Red 5 Ltd. updated the mineral resource estimate for its King of the Hills gold project in Western Australia to 66.0 million tonnes at 1.5 g/t gold containing 3.11 million gold ounces, for a 65% increase in contained gold.

* Crater Gold Mining Ltd. was granted EPM 26749 in Queensland, Australia, for five years, effective April 11. The company applied for the 115.2-square-kilometer tenement to cover possible extensions of the SGH soil anomalies identified at its A2 polymetallic project area.

* Syndicated Metals Ltd. exercised its option to purchase the right to farm-in to 85% of the Newfield gold project in Western Australia from Newfield Resources Ltd.

* Polymetal International PLC plans to use dry stacking at all new projects, depending on viability, including the under-construction Nezhda and POX-2 projects. The dry-stacking technology reduces the probability of dam failure, minimizes potential damages in case of an accident, and eliminates tailings runoff.

* A gold hunter in Western Australia found a 1.4-kilogram gold nugget worth about A$100,000, The West Australian reported.

* Pan African Resources PLC's gold output for the nine months ended March 31 rose 51.4% year over year to 123,771 ounces from 81,729 ounces on the robust performance of its Barberton complex and Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant in South Africa.

* DynaResource Inc. intends to appeal a recent court decision that favored Goldgroup Mining Inc. in a dispute over the San Jose de Gracia gold project in Mexico.

* Residents near Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd.'s Chatree gold mine in Thailand are in favor of the mine's restart to boost the local economy, Manager Daily reported, citing a survey conducted by government officials. The mine is under arbitration after the government shut it down in 2016 due to environmental concerns.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Gulf Manganese Corp. Ltd.'s Indonesian unit, PT Gulf Mangan Grup, secured a direct-shipping-ore license allowing it to export 103,162 tonnes of high-grade manganese ore per year. Mining operations will kick off in June. The subsidiary expects to initially export 1,000 tonnes per month, ramping up to 10,000 tonnes per month within six months.

* Incitec Pivot Ltd. expects EBIT in the second half of between A$370 million and A$415 million, including a A$209 million impact from nonrecurring events. In the first half, the company recorded EBIT of A$119 million, including a loss of A$141 million from nonrecurring events, compared to year-ago EBIT of A$240 million. EPS in the half totaled 2.6 Australian cents, compared to 8.8 cents in the first half of 2018.

* Kommersant reported that Amurstal, the only plant in the Far East of Russia that uses electric steel-smelting technologies, is considering an investment of 7.5 billion Russian rubles to enable the use of new primary raw materials including hot briquetted iron, according to CEO Sergey Kuznetsov. The plant is looking for an alternative to scrap metal, which is lacking in the Far East.

* BHP Group was using improbable projections for the price of potash to justify the economics of its US$5.7 billion Jansen project in Saskatchewan, The Australian Financial Review reported. The mining giant is reportedly banking on a price increase of 24% compared to current prices to deliver a project return of up to 15%. Mosaic Co. CEO Joe O'Rourke said that is unlikely as there is little need for new supply. Nutrien Ltd. CEO Charles Magro also said BHP could not gain profit quickly as greenfield potash projects generally have difficulties creating long-term shareholder value.

* The reelection of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison could boost approvals for Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s long-delayed Carmichael coal project in Queensland, Reuters reported, citing Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable.

* Clive Palmer threatened to sue Citic Ltd. for "substantial damages" if Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan changes a state agreement removing the need for approval from Palmer's Mineralogy Pty. Ltd. for the Sino-Iron expansion project, The Australian Financial Review wrote.

SPECIALTY

* Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. agreed to a strategic investment in Bacanora Lithium PLC and its 70%-owned Sonora lithium project in Mexico. The company will secure a 29.99% interest in Bacanora and up to a 50% interest in the project. The investment funds will be used to build an initial 17,500-tonne-per-annum lithium carbonate operation at Sonora.

* JSC National Atomic Co. Kazatomprom agreed to sell 75% of its KazPV project, which includes Astana Solar LLP, LLP Kazakhstan Solar Silicon and KazSilicon MC LLP. The company is selling its noncore subsidiaries as part of its complex privatization plan for 2016 to 2020.

* Lynas Corp. Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Blue Line Corp. to build a rare earths separation facility in Texas. The proposed joint venture, to be majority-owned by Lynas, will initially focus on heavy rare earths before dealing with light rare earths. Lynas is considering building new facilities amid regulatory issues related to removing radioactive waste from its Gebeng rare earths plant in Malaysia.

* Galan Lithium Ltd. received permits for a fresh round of drilling at its Candelas brine project in Argentina. It is now looking to start production during what has been tipped as a major supply shortage looming within the next five years. Managing Director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said at the Latin America Down Under conference in Perth, Australia, that a maiden resource is now "in sight," likely in the third quarter.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Chinese scrap-metal imports are expected to slump this month due to uncertainty surrounding new restrictions on copper, aluminum and steel scraps, Reuters reported. Malaysian miners are coming together to take advantage of the situation by promoting their scrap-processing business as clean to improve public perception in order to become a center for the nonferrous industry in Southeast Asia, the newswire wrote separately.

* The Canadian government will invest more than C$325,000 in the Mining Association of Canada for a project that will develop best practices and guidance for the mining sector on climate change risks and adaptation measures.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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