Rio Tinto took a major step in the development of its Resolution copper joint venture in Arizona with BHP Group after the U.S. Forest Service released a draft environmental impact statement following a six-year review of the proposed mine. A 90-day public consultation will now commence for a final EIS, after which the company will proceed with the next steps in the permitting process. Resolution is said to have the potential to supply 25% of the United States' copper demand.
The Peruvian government suspended Southern Copper Corp.'s construction permit for its long-delayed Tia Maria copper mine pending a review, Reuters reported, citing Energy and Mines Minister Francisco Ismodes' interview with local broadcaster RPP. The evaluation process, which may take about two to three months, will look into the legality of the permit as well as objections from local communities where the US$1.4 billion project will be built, the report said.
The U.K. government agreed to support British Steel Corp. Ltd. with a financial rescue package of up to £300 million, allowing Turkey's military pension fund to take over the insolvent steelmaker, Sky News reported, citing sources. Ataer Holding reportedly offered a headline price of between £60 million and £70 million for British Steel.
* Rio Tinto is accused of breaching a confidentiality agreement with consultancy firm GFI Blackswan, which helped shape the miner's management and executive succession before it resigned in December 2017, The Australian Financial Review wrote, citing a letter Blackswan sent to former participants of Rio Tinto's programs. Rio Tinto is now reportedly demanding Blackswan to return data gathered from the miner's executives, which Blackswan has resisted.
* Over the past seven years, BHP has contributed A$50 million to non-profit environmental group Conservation International for the preservation and protection of 620,000 hectares of land and 16 critically endangered animals worldwide, the Sydney Morning Herald wrote.
* China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. CEO Li Chaochun said the company is open to making further deals in the electric vehicle battery sector, saying he is "a believer" in the long-term opportunities offered by the sector, Reuters reported. The company recently completed the acquisition of metal-trading business IXM BV, formerly known as Louis Dreyfus Co. Metals BV.
* The Zambian government asked Glencore PLC's Mopani Copper Mines PLC unit to not shut down two shafts at the Nkana mine as talks between the two parties have not yet concluded, Reuters reported, citing Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda, who said the government proposed that local contractors take over the shafts.
* Oyu Tolgoi LLC chief Armando Torres urged Mongolian lawmakers to clarify their stance on the Oyu Tolgoi copper project as it would be difficult to secure additional funds if the project is clouded by uncertainty, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing a Bloomberg News interview.
* The former wife of PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. co-owner Vladimir Potanin filed a lawsuit in the High Court of London demanding £5.8 billion from the Russian oligarch despite having already been divorced in Russia, The Times reported. Natalia Potanina argued that she will be unable to receive fair proceedings in Russia as her ex-husband is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
* Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed legislation outlining state support for the domestic electric vehicle industry in a bid to capitalize on its own resources, Reuters wrote. Separately, the newswire reported that Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said the government has not made a final decision on whether to bring forward an ore export ban, which is due to come into force in January 2022, though Widodo has asked ministers for input on the potential move.
* Europa Metals Ltd. submitted a conceptual plan for review by stakeholders as part of a process to obtain an exploitation license for its wholly owned Toral lead-zinc-silver project in Spain.
* Newcrest Mining Ltd. is expected to confirm that its Cadia gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, raked in more than A$1 billion in earnings for its fiscal year ended June 30, the Australian Financial Review wrote.
* Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. is on track for record annual attributable gold production in 2019 but had to reduce its guidance on silver production due to an illegal blockade that forced a temporary suspension of operations at one mine.
* Lundin Gold Inc. swung to a second-quarter net loss of US$30.8 million, or 14 cents per share, from a year-ago profit of US$19.7 million, or 9 cents per share, driven by a revaluation of its long-term debt and recognition of a foreign exchange loss.
* Avesoro Resources Inc. suspended operations at its Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso after an armed group of artisanal miners entered the site. Sources told Reuters that an illegal miner was killed after being shot by the mine's security guard, an incident that prompted residents to retaliate by burning buildings and vehicles and injuring people in the area.
* The Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho followed through with its threat to sue Midas Gold Corp. in the federal court over the alleged pollution of water resources near its Stibnite gold project. The company said it will defend against the lawsuit, insisting that it was not responsible for the water contamination.
* Gowest Gold Ltd. is accused of defaulting its obligations under a US$17.6 million prepaid forward gold purchase agreement with PGB Timmins Holdings LP over the Bradshaw gold deposit, part of the North Timmins project in Ontario. PGB is demanding an early termination fee of US$25.5 million, which Gowest disputed.
* Sotkamo Silver AB reported a pipe leakage at its namesake silver mine in Finland, causing contaminated water to flow into nearby wetlands. The company already carried out remediation measures, and the incident did not impact the mine's environmental monitoring.
* Steel Authority of India Ltd. reported a net profit of 688.4 million Indian rupees in the first quarter of its fiscal 2020, down from 5.40 billion rupees in the year-ago period. The company, however, noted that this marked the seventh consecutive quarter that it made a profit amid subdued demand during the period caused by volatile market conditions.
* United Co. Rusal PLC's net profit in the second quarter plummeted to US$285 million, from US$408 million a year ago. The news sent the company's shares down almost 5% on the Hong Kong stock exchange by trading close. Revenue increased to US$2.57 billion from US$2.25 billion, while the cost of sales climbed to US$2.13 billion from US$1.58 billion on a yearly basis. Sales of primary aluminum and alloys increased to 1.1 million tonnes, from 783,000 tonnes a year ago.
* Kommersant reported that Rusal and Braidy Industries Inc.'s plan to build the Ashland aluminum plant in Kentucky is in peril because of statements by U.S. politicians who see the enterprise as a threat to national security. Rusal and Braidy already signed binding documents on the project and are planning to launch the plant in 2020, the report said.
* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd. expects its attributable net profit in the first half to rise 5% year on year 24.2 billion Chinese yuan, or 1.2 yuan per share, amid a decline in coal sales.
* Chongqing Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.'s first-half attributable net profit fell 19.19% year on year to 616 million Chinese yuan, or 7 fen per share, according to an exchange filing.
* Aluminum and copper producer Hindalco Industries Ltd. posted a 28% year-on-year decrease in earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 to 10.63 billion Indian rupees, amid lower commodity prices and the global economic slowdown.
* Vale SA plans to spend 450 million Brazilian reais to improve the water catchment systems at the Paraopeba and Rio das Velhas river basins, which supply Minas Gerais state capital Belo Horizonte, BNamericas reported. Water quality at Belo Jorizonte was severely impacted by the Feijao dam disaster in January, the report said.
* Tata Steel Ltd.'s Tata Steel UK Ltd. unit reported an annual loss of £371 million in its fiscal 2019 compared to £222 million in the year-ago period, driven by lower production caused by the maintenance shutdown of one of the two blast furnaces at the Port Talbot steelworks in South Wales, Bloomberg Quint reported.
* About 85,000 retail investors will be impacted if Sirius Minerals PLC fails to secure funding for its Woodsmith potash project in the U.K., Financial Times reported.
* Alliance Resource Partners LP will stop producing coal from its Dotiki mine in Kentucky on Aug. 16 to focus on its lower-cost mines in the Illinois Basin.
* The Shanghai Futures Exchange issued draft rules for its upcoming stainless steel futures contract, with trading to be done in lots of five tonnes of 304-2B stainless steel cold-rolled coil plate, Reuters reported. The draft is open for public comment until Aug. 20, the report said.
* Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he cannot ask Lynas Corp. Ltd. to leave the country even if some people are afraid of the radioactive waste at the Gebeng plant, Reuters reported. "We invite them and then we kick them out. Others will say the country made a promise but, when there is a problem, we kick them out ... we cannot do that," Mohamad said.
* Far Resources Ltd. completed its final payment obligations to fully acquire the Green Bay property, part of its Zoro lithium project in Manitoba.
* BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. joined a group of Australian firms that committed to spend over A$3 billion on indigenous suppliers over the next five years, The Australian Financial Review reported.
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