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Vedanta launches arbitration against Zambia; Adani nabs key Carmichael approval

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Vedanta launches arbitration against Zambia; Adani nabs key Carmichael approval

TOP NEWS

Vedanta launches international arbitration against Zambia over Konkola seizure

Vedanta Resources Ltd. launched international arbitration against the Zambian government after Konkola Copper Mines PLC was placed into provisional liquidation. The company's executives have not been allowed to visit the operation. Despite the dispute, Konkola customers told Fastmarkets MB that copper deliveries for May arrived on time and shipments for June are expected to continue normally.

Adani nabs key approval for Carmichael coal mine

Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s plan to protect the endangered black-throated finch at its Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Australia, was approved by the state's Department of the Environment and Science. A decision on the mine's water management plan, the last permit the company needs to start construction at the project, is expected June 13.

Trade war propping up Chinese rare earth shares, commodity prices

Shares of Chinese rare earth companies have surged after the country signaled it may use its dominance in rare earths — a strategic mineral used in goods from phones to guided missiles — as leverage in the ongoing trade war with the U.S. Analysts are predicting that tensions will continue to prop up the prices of such stocks and the underlying commodity.

BASE METALS

* URU Metals Ltd. will write down its 50% interest in the Burgersfort nickel assets in South Africa and instead focus on its Zebediela nickel-platinum group metals project.

* Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. entered into an agreement with Mitsubishi Corp. to conduct market trials for the sale of elemental sulfur produced from the Thackaringa cobalt project in New South Wales, Australia, with a view to negotiate an off-take deal should the trial prove successful.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Fidelity International Ltd., a 3.2% shareholder in Acacia Mining PLC, said Barrick Gold Corp.'s takeover bid for the mining company is about 50% too low, Reuters reported.

* St Barbara Ltd.'s share price slid about 6% as the company slashed its consolidated gold production guidance for fiscal 2019 to about 355,000 ounces, from 365,000 to 375,000 ounces, due to lower production volumes at the Gwalia gold mine in Western Australia.

* The controversial arrest of an opponent to the Cochrane Hill gold project in Nova Scotia at an information session last week was a "setback," Atlantic Gold Corp. said, but would not delay development of unpermitted gold projects in its 12-year Moose River Consolidated mine plan or affect a C$722 million takeover by St. Barbara.

* Voluntary administrators have been appointed to Gascoyne Resources Ltd. amid an expected cash flow shortfall over the next six months caused by lower-than-expected ore grades at its flagship Dalgaranga gold project in Western Australia.

* Goldplat PLC's Kilimapesa gold operations in Kenya were put on care and maintenance as the company looks for external funding required to develop the operations. A number of stakeholders have agreed to not demand payment in the next six months, the company noted.

* Egan Street Resources Ltd. secured approval for the mining proposal and associated closure plan for its Rothsay gold project in Western Australia. EganStreet said the state's mines department is still assessing the company's clearing permit and license and works approval.

* Nelson Resources Ltd. applied for new tenements E63/1971 and E28/2923 located near its Socrates, Grindall and Redmill gold projects in Western Australia, consolidating the historic Woodline project.

* Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SAA dismissed 40 workers at its Orcopampa gold-silver operations in Peru due to lower production, Mining.com reported, citing newspaper La Republica. Local community leaders are planning to retaliate with a strike, the report said.

* Three former directors of failed gold miner Apex Minerals NL are facing a A$74 million lawsuit over an insolvent trading claim, The Australian reported. Defendants Kim Robinson and Brice Mutton declined the newspaper's request for comment, while Ed Eshuys has not responded as of press time.

* Bravura Consortium plans to spend more than US$50 million to explore for platinum in Zimbabwe, Reuters reported, citing the country's mines minister.

* Standard Bank Group Ltd. shareholders approved a resolution requiring the bank to disclose its lending policy on coal-fired power projects and coal mining operations, Mining Weekly reported.

* Gold production increased for the fourth consecutive quarter in the first quarter of 2019, according to the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Pure Gold Mining Inc. launched an up to 12,000-meter diamond drilling program at the Madsen Red Lake gold mine in Ontario, which will focus on converting and growing the resource estimates at the Wedge, Fork and Russet South discoveries. The program is targeted for completion in December.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Bamin, a Eurasian Resources Group SARL unit, signed a memorandum of intentions with China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. and China Railway Group Ltd. for the US$2.6 billion construction of the mine and related infrastructure for the Pedra de Ferro iron ore mine in Brazil's Bahia state, Valor International reported.

* BHP Group may record a US$1.2 billion dollar impairment on its Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan as accounting firm EY starts auditing the mining giant in July, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing Deutsche analyst James Gurry. BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie earlier admitted that the company had overinvested in the US$5.7 billion project.

* India included Japan's Nippon Steel Corp. and Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. Co. Ltd. alongside South Korea's POSCO as a possible joint venture partner of state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd., or SAIL, amid delays in ArcelorMittal's proposed takeover of bankrupt Essar Steel India Ltd., Bloomberg News reported, citing SAIL Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary.

* China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Ltd. will acquire a 51% stake in rival Magang (Group) Holding Company Ltd. and a 45.54% interest in Magang unit Maanshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. at nil consideration. Baowu and Magang were in preliminary takeover talks in September 2018.

* Fragments at the northern slope of the pit at Vale SA's Gongo Soco iron ore mine in Brazil started to slowly disintegrate, reducing concerns about a sudden landslide that could trigger a dam collapse. The company also dismissed speculations that it would relocate residents near its Feijao and Gongo Soco mines to carry out mining exploration activities.

* Unionized workers at Alcoa Corp.'s Baie Comeau aluminum smelter in Quebec ratified a new six-year labor deal, which includes a 16% salary increase, Montreal Gazette reported. Meanwhile, the United Steelworkers authorized local unions representing more than 1,500 workers to launch a strike at the company's facilities in Warrick, Ind.; Massena, N.Y.; Gum Springs, Ark.; Point Comfort, Texas; and Wenatchee, Wash. after failed negotiations.

* S&P Global Ratings revised the outlook for U.S. Steel Corp. to stable from positive due to its plans to increase capital expenditure and a US$300 million share buyback. The rating agency affirmed its rating on the steelmaker at B.

* SouthGobi Resources Ltd.'s shares resumed trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and on the Hong Kong market after the coal miner investigated former senior executives over several fraudulent transactions and took remedial actions.

* IndiOre Ltd. agreed to divest Indian subsidiary NSL India MRI to Benita Industries in exchange for the latter taking over all financial liabilities. Meanwhile, the company signed a binding deal with Gold Valley Iron to purchase the Frances Creek crushing and screening plant for A$2.5 million and to process iron ore on the Ridges iron project in Western Australia.

* PJSC Novolipetsk Steel is biding its time to make "decent" investments in the U.S. in light of 25% tariffs on imports imposed in 2018, according to the Russian steelmaker's controlling shareholder and chairman, Vladimir Lisin, Interfax reported.

* Brazil Minerals Inc. secured rights over a 4,120-acre iron project area in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero in Minas Gerais, Brazil, as iron ore prices continue to climb.

* Gombojav Zandanshatar, chair of the Mongolian Parliament, said upcoming elections and "other factors" could delay the partial listing of state-owned Erdenes-Tavantolgoi JSC, in an interview published by the Nikkei Asian Review.

* China Hongqiao Group Ltd. CEO Zhang Bo will replace his late father as the company's new chairman, effective immediately.

* Thyssenkrupp AG acquired the elevator business of Nashville Machine Company Inc ahead of a planned IPO of its own elevators unit.

* A miner at Rex Coal Co. Inc's CVB No. 1 mine in Kentucky died from injuries sustained in an accident earlier in the month.

SPECIALTY

* Wesfarmers Ltd. remains keen on acquiring Lynas Corp. Ltd. despite a recent surge in the target's share price after China threatened to restrict rare earth exports and the company gained approval to continue its operations in Malaysia, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

* Local environmentalists in Colorado welcomed a recent federal judge decision to end a seven-year ban on uranium mining in the state's West End area as it would allow authorities to assess the environmental impact of the proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill, Telluride Daily Planet reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The U.S. terminated India's designation as a beneficiary developing country effective June 5, canceling the Asian country's preferential access to the U.S. market.

* Zimbabwean Energy Minister Fortune Chasi said mining companies can secure supply of electricity by paying in foreign currency, Reuters reported, as the country's largest hydroelectric plant is expected to halt output in 14 weeks due to falling water levels.

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

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