Gold Fields to ax up to 1,560 jobs amid South Deep restructuring
Gold Fields Ltd. will cut up to 1,560 jobs at its loss-making South Deep gold mine in South Africa as part of a complex restructuring. Losses at South Deep amounted to 4 billion South African rand over the past five years, and underperformance in 2018 has resulted in a further 4.8 billion rand posttax impairment to a carrying value of 20.7 billion rand, or US$1.5 billion. The company said the impairment will result in a basic loss per share of 45 U.S. cents in the first half, a drop of 743% on a yearly basis.
Canada starts talks on steel import safeguards
Canada launched consultations with steelmakers and users as it considers import safeguards amid a trade dispute with the U.S. Finance Minister Bill Morneau, speaking at an ArcelorMittal steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario, said Canada would seek industry input on seven steel product categories as it considers further trade actions to mute the impact of steel tariffs.
Noble narrows Q2 loss; Iceberg Research flags lawsuit
Noble Group Ltd.'s net loss for the second quarter shrunk to US$128.3 million from an adjusted loss of US$1.75 billion a year ago, in line with the late-July forecast. Revenue dropped to US$1.12 billion from US$1.52 billion as trading volumes slipped to 14.9 million tonnes from 20.5 Mt on a yearly basis. Additionally, Noble said that over 86% of its existing senior creditors have accepted the restructuring support agreement signed in March. Meanwhile, Iceberg Research said it was arranging a class-action lawsuit against the company on behalf of investors.
* Vale SA shareholder Bradespar SA is raising 2.4 billion Brazilian reais through a commercial paper sale, with the proceeds said to be used for a 4 billion reais court award following a 10-year-old dispute with Vale shareholder Elétron SA, Reuters reported, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. Elétron sued Bradespar and Litel Participações SA, another significant Vale shareholder, over an option to purchase an additional stake in Vale.
* Aeris Resources Ltd. is back from the brink after over five years of repair, and Executive Chairman Andre Labuschagne believes that it is finally in the position to successfully hunt majors' noncore copper assets to better compete as a midtier producer.
* Antofagasta PLC's first-half net profit dropped to US$194.3 million from US$290.5 million in the year-ago period. Group revenue increased 3.6% yearly to US$2.12 billion, with revenue from copper concentrate and copper cathode sales increasing 2.3% to US$1.77 billion as higher realized prices offset an 8.6% decline in copper sales volumes to 283,300 tonnes. The Chile-focused miner declared an interim dividend of 6.8 U.S. cents per share, down from 10.3 cents per share a year ago.
* The union at the Escondida copper mine in Chile agreed to extend government-led talks with BHP Billiton Group and Rio Tinto over wage negotiations, delaying a potential strike, Reuters reported.
* The central union at JX Nippon Mining Metals Corp. and Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. Ltd.'s Caserones copper mine in Chile said the parties agreed to extend government mediation of labor talks until Aug. 16, Reuters reported, citing the union representative. The move will postpone a labor action approved by around 98.5% of workers. Minera Lumina Copper Chile SA is the operator of the mine.
* Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.'s net earnings surged 370.5% year over year to US$318.1 million in the second quarter, which included a US$246 million gain on the disposal of the San Dimas silver stream. Revenues inched up 6.4% to US$212.4 million. The company declared a third-quarter dividend of 9 cents per share, which represents a 29% increase on a yearly basis.
* South African Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe condemned Gold Fields's move to slash jobs. "We are beginning to notice a worrying trend where some mining companies do not meaningfully engage with the Department [of Mineral Resources] on their restructuring plans, and only brief us as a mere formality or tick-box exercise, ignoring processes outlined in the law which are binding to every mining right-holder," Mantashe said.
* Osisko Mining Inc. struck a definitive deal to acquire all the shares it does not already own in Beaufield Resources Inc. Beaufield shareholders will receive 0.0482 of a Osisko share for each share held.
* Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corp.'s Vantage Goldfields Ltd. plans to reopen the Lily gold mine in South Africa in February 2019, three years after a pillar collapse killed three workers at the site, Mining Weekly reported.
* Golden Ridge Resources Ltd. discovered a new copper-gold porphyry deposit, drilling 327 meters grading 0.31% copper, 0.35 g/t of gold and 1.94 g/t of silver at the Hank project in British Columbia's Golden Triangle. The company's shares were up 44.44% at market close Aug. 14.
* Sultan Resources Ltd.'s shares were admitted to the ASX on Aug. 14 following a A$4.8 million IPO. The company is focused on the development and acquisition of tenements prospective for gold and other minerals in Western Australia.
* KEFI Minerals PLC said recent political developments in Ethiopia are "another positive factor" for its Tulu Kapi gold project in the country's Oromia region. The federal government and the Oromia Liberation Front recently signed a reconciliation agreement, ending a long-running dispute.
* Columbus Gold Corp. entered into an agreement with IAMGOLD Corp. to acquire up to a 70% interest in the Maripa gold project in French Guiana.
* Gander Exploration Inc. completed a plan of arrangement with GreenBank Capital Inc. Gander owns the Cripple Creek, Dudder Lake and Blue Wind properties in Newfoundland.
* An updated resource estimate for Otis Gold Corp.'s Kilgore gold project in Idaho showed a 59% increase in indicated resources. At a 0.21 g/t cutoff, the project hosts indicated resources of 825,000 ounces of gold at 0.58 g/t of gold within 44.6 million tonnes of material.
* Glencore PLC and Japanese utilities finalized an Australian thermal coal import contract for April 2018 to March 2019 at US$110/t, reflecting around a 30% yearly increase, Reuters reported, citing sources. Bilateral talks resulted in the agreement with utilities including Shikoku Electric Power Co. Inc., Chugoku Electric Power Co. Inc. and Kansai Electric Power Co., a source said. Japan imports about 115 million tonnes of thermal coal per year, with its utilities buying about 40% of the total exports from Australia.
* K+S AG swung to second-quarter net loss of €31.9 million from a profit of €38.3 million a year ago. Revenue increased to €811.9 million from €742.0 million. The company expects full-year EBITDA from the salt segment to remain steady year over year, compared to the previous forecast of a moderate increase, despite higher volumes. Additionally, K+S said production disruptions at its Werra potash plant in Germany after September cannot be ruled out "if the extremely dry weather conditions persist," which are causing low water flow in the Werra river.
* Whitehaven CEO and Managing Director Paul Flynn said the company may announce an additional special dividend in a year on the back of strong cash flows, low CapEx and a possible stake sale in the Vickery coal project in New South Wales, Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* SouthGobi Resources Ltd.'s total coal sales in the second quarter declined to 580,000 tonnes from 1.5 million tonnes a year earlier due to the continued delay in the customs clearance process at China's border with Mongolia. Raw coal output also slipped to 980,000 tonnes from 1.9 million tonnes. The company's net loss widened to US$26.6 million from US$6.9 million in the year-ago period, while revenues also fell to US$17.4 million from US$34.7 million.
* China's National Development and Reform Commission approved the second major urban railway project within days, with the 95 billion Chinese yuan project expected to boost demand for steel and base metals, including copper, aluminum and zinc to be used in wiring, rails and cars, Reuters reported.
* China's crude steel output in July increased 7.2% year over year to 81.2 million tonnes, setting a record high on a monthly basis, Reuters reported, citing data from the statistics bureau. Primary aluminum output climbed 12% yearly to 2.9 million tonnes, equaling its monthly record. Coal output dropped 2% yearly to 281.5 million tonnes, its lowest output since September 2016.
* Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA expects blast furnace three at its Ipatinga facility in Minas Gerais, Brazil, to resume operations Aug. 15, days after a gas tank explosion that left 34 workers injured.
* LKAB resumed pellet deliveries after a fire on the railway line linking the miner's Kiruna iron ore mine in Sweden to the Norwegian port of Narvik led to the suspension of shipments, Metal Bulletin reported, citing a company spokesperson.
* Bounty Mining Ltd. completed a A$2 million upgrade of the Koorilgah rail loop, which services the Cook colliery in Queensland, Australia.
* Eastern China's Jiangsu province intends to cap the region's crude steel capacity below 115 million tonnes, as part of its efforts to eliminate 17.5 million tonnes of steel capacity during the 13th five-year period, ccmn.cn reported, citing a circular issued by provincial authorities.
* Advantage Lithium Corp.'s preliminary economic assessment for a 20,000-tonne-per-annum, stand-alone lithium carbonate operation at its Cauchari lithium joint venture in Argentina pegged a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$827 million and an internal rate of return of 24.3%.
* Image Resources NL is on track to begin first production at its Boonanarring mineral sands project, part of its North Perth Basin project in Western Australia, in the fourth quarter as construction reached 50% completion as of June.
* BlackEarth Minerals NL outlined a maiden resource estimate for the Razafy deposit, part of the Maniry graphite project in southern Madagascar. Indicated and inferred resource stood at 795,200 tonnes of graphite contained in 11.2 million tonnes grading 7.1% total graphitic carbon.
* Analysts believe the increasing number of companies racing to produce lithium, a key component for electric vehicle batteries, would not have an impact on the potash market, Mining.com reported. Several lithium mines produce potash as by-product, which could significantly boost the supply.
* Ausdrill Ltd. agreed to purchase underground hard-rock mining contractor Barminco Holdings Pty. Ltd. Ausdrill will acquire all of the equity and equity-like instruments in Barminco and assume the company's debt in exchange for 150.7 million shares and A$25.4 million in cash.
* South Africa's mining production climbed 2.8% year over year in June, from a 1.8% decline in May, Mining Weekly reported, citing Statistics South Africa. Platinum group metals production rose 28.2% and was the biggest contributor with 5.9 percentage points.
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