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Cyclones hit miners in Australia; Vale orders evacuation near inactive dam


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Cyclones hit miners in Australia; Vale orders evacuation near inactive dam


Cyclones hit miners in Australia

Mining giants are forced to halt operations in Australia as cyclones Trevor and Veronica batter the country's north and western parts, according to reports. In Northern Territory, Glencore PLC suspended operations at its McArthur River zinc mine, while South32 Ltd. halted its GEMCO manganese operations. In Western Australia, Rio Tinto closed rail operations in Pilbara as well as its Robe Valley iron ore mine, while BHP Group suspended output at the Pyrenees oil project. Iron ore export terminals Port Hedland, Cape Lambert and Dampier were all shut down.

Vale orders evacuation as Sul Superior dam in critical condition

Vale SA evacuated communities in the Barão de Cocais municipality in Minas Gerais state after independent auditors warned that the inactive Sul Superior dam at its Gongo Soco iron ore mine is in critical condition and could collapse any time. The company raised the warning to level three as a preventive measure. About 500 people were evacuated near the area in February.

Another major investor opposes Newmont-Goldcorp deal

British Columbia Investment Management Corp. joined Paulson & Co. Inc. in opposing Newmont Mining Corp.'s proposed US$10 billion acquisition of Goldcorp Inc. mainly due to the "egregious payout" worth US$12 million Goldcorp Chairman Ian Telfer stands to get once the deal is sealed.


* Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques told CNBC that he sees "lots of opportunities" in China despite its slowing economic growth. “The more iron ore you need, high quality iron ore, the more bauxite, the more copper, the better it is for Rio Tinto," he said.

* Sunstone Metals Ltd. CEO Malcolm Norris believes that Ecuador will be home to several copper and gold discoveries over the next 10 years. "It is highly prospective and it just hasn't seen the level of exploration of neighboring countries," he told the Australian Financial Review.

* The Kunming Intermediate People's Court of China fined the company behind the collapsed Fanya Nonferrous Metals Exchange 1 billion Chinese yuan for illegal fundraising and causing investors losses. The court sentenced the founder, Shan Jiuliang, to 18 years in prison for crimes including embezzlement, Reuters reported, citing the official Xinhua news agency.

* Ionic Brands Corp., formerly known as Zara Resources Inc., closed its previously announced acquisition of Washington state-based cannabis company Blacklist Holdings Inc. via a reverse takeover.


* Antofagasta PLC is nearing a deal with BHP to jointly secure water supply for the future development of the Zaldivar copper mine in Chile, Reuters reported, citing Chilean daily La Tercera. Zaldivar, a joint venture between Antofagasta and Barrick Gold Corp., is located near BHP's Escondida copper mine.

* China Metal Resources Utilization Ltd flagged a decrease of over 50% in its 2018 full-year net profit due to the significant fluctuation of metal prices in the second half of that year.

* Peruvian police arrested the leader and two lawyers of an indigenous community for allegedly trying to extort MMG Ltd. by blocking road access to the Las Bambas copper mine, Reuters reported.

* Plaintiffs of class-action lawsuits accusing Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. of fraud over its Pebble copper-gold project in Alaska are expected to file an appeal of the case's previous dismissal by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

* Rumble Resources Ltd. exercised its option to acquire the Munarra Gully copper-gold project in Western Australia. The company also acquired a highly prospective tenement north of the project for 400,000 shares.

* Woomera Mining Ltd. will resume 100% control of the Musgrave Alcurra-Tieyon nickel-copper-cobalt project in South Australia after OZ Minerals Ltd.'s OZ Exploration Pty. Ltd. decided to end its participation in the project.

* Philex Mining Corp. expects the start of production at its Silangan copper-gold mine in the Philippines to be delayed by four years to 2022 amid a national ban on new open pit mining, Reuters reported.

* PolyMet Mining Corp. unit Poly Met Mining, Inc. completed the permitting process for its NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals mine and processing plant in Minnesota.

* Havilah Resources Ltd. took down information about its projects, including the Kalkaroo and Mutooroo copper projects in South Australia, from its website after the Australian Securities Exchange flagged them as misleading.

* White Rock Minerals Ltd. granted Sandfire Resources NL an option to acquire up to 70% of the Red Mountain zinc-silver-lead-gold-copper project in Alaska by spending A$30 million on exploration over six years.

* Arc Exploration Ltd. agreed to acquire Cyprium Australia Pty. Ltd., which owns an option to acquire an 80% interest in the Cue copper project in Western Australia from Musgrave Minerals Ltd., for 5,750,000 shares. As part of the deal, Arc must also issue Musgrave A$250,000 worth of shares.


* St Barbara Ltd.'s shares dropped nearly 30% in March 22 trading on the ASX after the company cut its fiscal 2019 gold output guidance for the Gwalia mine in Western Australia to between 235,000 and 240,000 ounces, from 245,000 to 255,000 ounces. The company attributed the output reduction to a delay in the operations start of the mine's paste aggregate fill circuit from the December 2018 quarter to the June 2019 quarter.

* Dacian Gold Ltd. slashed its full-year 2019 gold production guidance to between 150,000 and 160,000 ounces, from 180,000 ounces previously, due to the reduced availability of underground equipment at its Mt Morgans gold project in Western Australia that affected output in the March quarter.

* OceanaGold Corp. terminated its option agreements over Mirasol Resources Ltd.'s La Curva and Claudia gold projects in Argentina after exploration results did not meet OceanaGold's expectations.

* A majority of Doray Minerals Ltd.'s shareholders voted in favor of the company's merger with Silver Lake Resources Ltd.


* China is facing a possible five-year U.S. tariff on steel wheels after the U.S. Department of Commerce found that China unfairly subsidized exports to the U.S. and sold them at prices below fair value, Reuters reported.

* China's Hebei province, one of the nation's top steel-producing regions, plans to phase out 28 coal mines this year that have a total combined capacity of 10.0 million tonnes, according to a statement posted on the provincial government's website.

* Luxembourg's Tenaris S.A. agreed to acquire PAO TMK's Texas-based IPSCO Tubulars Inc. for US$1.2 billion. The deal covers a U.S. steel bar production facility in Koppel, Pa., a seamless production facility in Ambridge, Pa., and other welded, heat treatment and finishing facilities.

* Vale is working to clean the Paraopeba river after a series of laboratory tests confirmed that the tailings that contaminated the river after the fatal Feijao dam breach are non-hazardous.

* Aluminum giant China Hongqiao Group Ltd. reported a 5.4% yearly increase in net profit attributable to shareholders for 2018 to about 5.41 billion yuan, mainly due to a significant fall in impairment losses.

* Evraz PLC unit PJSC Raspadskaya's board decided not to recommend any dividends for 2018 despite the coal miner recording a 40% year-over-year climb in net profit for the year to US$448 million. The board highlighted the need to conserve financial reserves in the face of coal price volatility.

* Indonesia imposed antidumping duties of up to 20% for five years, starting in early April, on several flat-rolled iron and steel products from China, Russia, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Reuters reported. The Southeast Asian country also applied an 11.9% antidumping duty on certain Chinese imports of several other iron and steel products.

* Separately, China will enforce temporary antidumping measures on imports of stainless steel billet and hot-rolled stainless steel plate from the EU, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, including deposits of 18.1% to 103.1% from companies, Reuters reported.


* Lithium Consolidated Ltd. secured two lithium exploration licenses in Mozambique to become the first ASX-listed company to enter the country to explore for hard rock lithium.

* PJSC Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov was elected as chairman of the new Russia-Angola Business Council, which aims to strengthen business ties between the two countries.

* Marenica Energy Ltd. secured the Koppies uranium license in Namibia. Exploration is targeted in the second quarter.


* Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has found that the Donald Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to Attorney General William Barr's summary of the report released on March 24.

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