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Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest aluminum smelter

Industry Top Trends 2021: Metals and Mining

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


Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest aluminum smelter

TOP NEWS

Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest aluminum smelter

Rio Tinto is said to be in early talks with potential buyers for its Dunkerque aluminum smelter in northern France, Europe's biggest aluminum smelter, amid rising prices, Bloomberg News reported. The global mining giant is also considering selling its Iceland-based Reykjavik aluminum smelter and is renewing efforts to off-load its Pacific Aluminium Pty. Ltd. assets in Australia and New Zealand.

Glencore-led Queensland coal terminal offers to repay part of US$3B debt

Glencore Plc and its partners in the Queensland, Australia-based Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal have made a proposal to partially repay US$3 billion of debt to stave off a fast-approaching full repayment deadline, Reuters reported, citing two lenders familiar with the matter.

EU imposes antidumping duties on steel from Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Brazil

In response to complaints from European manufacturers, the European Commission is imposing anti-dumping duties on imports of hot-rolled steel from Brazil, Russia, Iran and Ukraine. A tariff of between €17.60 and €96.50 per tonne will be levied against exports starting Oct. 7, the EU's executive arm said. For Russia, the highest duty is on PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works at €96.50 per tonne and the lowest is on PAO Severstal at €17.60 per tonne, Kommersant reported.

DIVERSIFIED

* Glencore agreed to acquire a 75% stake in Chevron South African Pty. Ltd. and the entire issued share capital of Chevron Botswana Pty. Ltd. for US$973 million. The purchase price will be subject to adjustment of the debt and working capital of the companies holding the assets at closing that is expected in mid-2018. The purchase price could be below US$500 million if Glencore introduces a partner to assist it with the transaction, Miningmx wrote.

* Glencore will formalize on Oct. 27 its recently announced tender offer for up to 48.19% of Volcan Compañía Minera S.A.A.'s class A common shares, Volcan said, daily Gestión reported.

BASE METALS

* BHP Billiton Group reached a three-year early wage deal with the supervisors' trade union at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, Sindicato No 2, Metal Bulletin reported. The mine's management can now restart contract talks with the worker's trade union, Sindicato No 1.

* Nickel prices tumbled during September and into early October as the rally that had sent prices skyrocketing since June began to peter out. Three-month prices on the London Metal Exchange fell from a recent peak of US$12,380 per tonne Sept. 4 to close at US$10,615 per tonne Oct. 4.

* Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged faster progress to complete a deal with Freeport-McMoRan Inc. regarding the rights to the miner's Grasberg copper mine in the country, Reuters reported, citing officials on Friday.

* Cunico Resources NV reduced ferro-nickel production at its Feni plant in Macedonia for up to a month amid negotiations regarding finances with the government and changes to the plant's management, Metal Bulletin reported, citing sources. The move is not related to the price of nickel, but rather to "a combination of cost cutting, maintenance, management changes and talks with the government over finances and power," a source added.

* A worker at MMG Ltd.'s Las Bambas copper operation in Peru was fatally injured after the haul truck he was driving left the road near the Ferrobamba pit Oct. 3. Hilario Castro was found Oct. 5 following a search-and-rescue operation.

PRECIOUS METALS

* SNL Metals & Mining Research looked in depth at the cash flows for the 30 gold-producing mines in Western Australia covered by Mine Economics Data to show the likely effect of the proposed increase in the net smelter royalty payment for gold mined in the state from 2.5% to 3.75% from July 2018, should the gold price remain above A$1,200/oz.

* Centamin Plc's preliminary results revealed record gold production for the third quarter of 156,533 ounces, which is a 5% increase year over year. The company maintained its full-year production guidance of 540,000 ounces.

* Oryx Management Ltd. agreed to expand its proposed finance facility for KEFI Minerals Plc's Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia to US$140 million, from US$135 million, to allow for an increase in ore processing capacity to 1.9 million tonnes per annum to 2.1 million tonnes per annum, from 1.5 million tonnes per annum to 1.7 million tonnes per annum, with the upper and lower limits depending upon the hardness of the ore.

* Hummingbird Resources Plc's 33.85%-owned Cora Gold Ltd. was admitted to trading on the AIM following a successful fundraise of about £3.5 million at an IPO price of 16.5 British pence per share.

* Dacian Gold Ltd. intersected first gold ore during underground mine development at Beresford, part of the company's Mount Morgans project in Western Australia, four weeks ahead of schedule.

* Enterprise Metals Ltd. entered a deal to fully acquire Calypso Minerals Pty. Ltd., which holds seven tenement applications prospective for gold, copper and zinc in Western Australia. The addition of tenements covering 733 square kilometers will expand the company's Murchison project landholding to 820 square kilometers.

* McEwen Mining Inc. closed the acquisition of the Black Fox gold mine in Ontario from Primero Mining Corp. The transaction was completed at US$27.5 million after making certain price adjustments, as compared to the initial purchase price of US$35 million reported when the deal was announced in August.

* New Gold Inc. achieved the initial gold pour at the Rainy River mine in Ontario, yielding about 500 ounces of gold and 600 ounces of silver.

* Newcrest Mining Ltd. CEO Sandeep Biswas said the company is reviewing whether a solar farm could be installed at its flagship Cadia East gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, in order to shield the project from soaring electricity prices, The Australian Financial Review reported. The company said in April that it was looking for a cheaper and more reliable source of electricity for the operation.

BULK COMMODITIES

* A week-long strike came to an end at South32 Ltd.'s Hillside aluminum smelter in South Africa after over 600 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa accepted the company's latest wage offer, Reuters reported, citing the union.

* Edenville Energy Plc completed the commissioning and testing of the wash plant at the Rukwa coal project in southwest Tanzania. The plant has started producing washed coal for sale, with the company targeting production of at least 10,000 tonnes per month by January 2018.

* Beowulf Mining Plc appointed SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd. to complete a scoping study on its Kallak magnetite iron ore project in Sweden. The study is scheduled to be finished by the end of February 2018.

* An explosion in a furnace at ArcelorMittal's steel plant in Mexico's Michoacan state resulted in six injured workers and no fatal victims. An internal investigation into the incident was opened, daily El Debate reported.

* The Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia granted Aspire Mining Ltd. mining license MV-020941, covering 860.91 hectares of the Nuurstei coking coal project, with a minimum 30-year tenure over the area.

* Crude steel output from China in the first eight months of the year increased 5.6% year over year to 566.41 million tonnes, while the steel price index reached 112.77 in August, a 37.51 point increase from a year ago, China Daily reported.

* Clive Palmer's Mineralogy Pty Ltd. was ordered by the Queensland Supreme Court to pay US$17.6 million to a Singapore-based company for underwater gas survey works, The Australian reported.

* Germany is inviting ministers and senior officials from leading steel-producing nations to Berlin on Nov. 30 to discuss measures to prevent overcapacity in the global steel industry and ensure fair competition, Reuters reported, citing Matthias Machnig, the state secretary in the German Economy Ministry.

* A tax audit of Metinvest BV's Northern GOK operation by Ukraine's State Fiscal Service revealed the company's underpayment of 1.3 billion hryvnia from 2012 to 2016, delo.ua reported.

* As part of simplifying its business structure, Adani Enterprises Ltd. plans to demerge its renewable energy business into associate company Adani Green Energy Ltd., Press Trust of India reported.

* Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa SA will allocate about 1.5 billion Polish zloty for replacement and development investments in its coking plants by 2030, Puls Biznesu reported.

* A miner died and another was in a critical condition after an underground gallery caved in at the state-owned Lupeni hard coal mine in Romania, Reuters reported, citing Energy Minister Toma Petcu.

SPECIALTY

* PJSC Alrosa estimates damage from the accident at the Mir mine in its Mirny Division at between 10 billion and 12 billion Russian rubles, Vedomosti reported, citing President and CEO Sergei Ivanov.

* Russia's Department of State Mining Supervision of the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision conducted an inspection at Alrosa's Udachny, Aikhal, International and Mir mines, and the base warehouse of the Udachninsky GOK. The department found violations in the conduct of underground mining operations, storage and use of explosive materials for industrial use, operation of lifting equipment, boiler inspection facilities, and operation of electrical installations, Vedomosti reported.

* Gemfields Plc generated revenues of US$21.5 million from an auction of high-quality rough emeralds held in Zambia, for an overall average price of US$66.21 per carat that is the second-highest price that the company has ever achieved.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* S&P Global Market Intelligence data reveals that the tide has turned for the Australian resources sector. So far this year, there have been 20 successful IPOs in the industry, with 10 more still aiming to list before the end of 2017. By comparison, just 10 companies that undertook IPOs to list on the ASX made the boards in 2016. In addition, nearly half of the companies that have made their debut on the ASX this year have traded at substantial premiums since listing.

* The top 25 mining companies were worth an aggregate US$699.6 billion at the end of September, a 33% increase compared with the corresponding quarter of 2016. S&P Global Market Intelligence calculates the global market value of the industry's listed companies at the end of September as US$1.42 trillion.

* Tanzanian President John Magufuli split the energy and minerals ministry in two, appointed Angellah Kairuki as the new mining minister and promoted Medard Kalemani from deputy energy and minerals minister to lead the new energy ministry, Reuters reported.

* U.S. nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 33,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 4.2% from 4.4% in the previous month, the U.S. Department of Labor said. The department noted that the net effect of hurricanes Harvey and Irma was to reduce the estimate of total nonfarm payroll employment for September.

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