trending Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/QNzSD_39cQzaLiSm6SHXNw2 content esgSubNav
In This List

BHP faces new lawsuit over Samarco; AMCU calls off strike at Sibanye; creditors approve Glencore coal mine sale

Blog

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - October 2021

Blog

Post-webinar Q&A: Global Credit Risk Trends 2021 and Beyond

Video

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2021

Blog

Lithium and Cobalt CBS September 2021 — Lithium price surges, cobalt range-bound


BHP faces new lawsuit over Samarco; AMCU calls off strike at Sibanye; creditors approve Glencore coal mine sale

TOP NEWS

California-based Khang & Khang LLP filed a class-action lawsuitagainst BHP Billiton Groupas the company allegedly issued misleading statements covering its implementationof safety precautionsdespite knowing the dangerous condition of the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil.

AMCUtakes wage deal, calls off strike at Sibanye

South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union,or AMCU, called off the strike at SibanyeGold Ltd.'s operations after agreeing to take the company's new wageoffer, Reuters reported.The union hopes to sign an agreement this week.

Creditor's approve Glencore's Optimum coal mine sale

A majority of creditors approved Glencore Plc's 2.15 billionSouth African rand saleof the loss-making Optimumcoal mine to Tegeta Exploration & Resources Ltd., according to Piers Marsden,administrator of the business rescue proceedings. Investec Plc, FirstRand Ltd.'sRand Merchant Bank unit and Nedbank Ltd., which collectively hold about 2.7 billionrand in Optimum debt, voted in favor of the sale through an agent. However, themine will remain in business rescue until Tegeta can demonstrate how it will returnthe business to profit while holding company Optimum Coal Holdings Ltd. will be released.

DIVERSIFIED

* California-based Khang & Khang LLP filed a class-actionlawsuit against BHP Billiton Groupas the company allegedly issued misleading statements covering its implementationof safety precautionsdespite knowing the dangerous condition of the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil.

* Rio TintoCEO Sam Walsh has notified the company's suppliers around the world of a for their services,pushing payment terms to 90 days from 45, a blow to many contractors already strugglingwith low prices and margin pressures.

BASE METALS

* Production at Freeport-McMoRanInc.'s 53.6%-owned CerroVerde copper mine in Peru was "partially affected"due to a 48-hour strike by workers as they protested a reduced profit-sharing bonus,Reuters reported, citing a labor union representative.

* OZ Minerals Ltd.is aiming to save anotherA$25 million in addition to the A$20 million savings already achieved under itscost-cutting drive, now focusing more on supplier contracts and internal productivity.The initial cost-saving program was focused on supplier and corporate contract renegotiations,operational production efficiency and a 2016 salary freeze for the board, executivesand all employees across the business.

* The BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto-owned Escondida copper mine in Chile said it expectsa new US$4.2 billion concentrator and a US$3 billion water desalination plant tohelp increase output andoffset falling ore grades in the next few years. Production of about 1.2 milliontonnes of copper is expected in the next decade, compared to 1.15 million tonnesproduced in 2015.

* BHP Billiton unit MineraEscondida Ltda.'s net income totaled US$1.07 billion in 2015, down 56%year over year, daily Diario Financieroreported.

* Chilean state miner Codelcoreduced its number of contract workers to 23,098, down 3,500 compared with 2014,reaching its lowestlevel in the last five years. Meanwhile, the miner's own employee base grewby 44 workers to 19,111 last year, daily Pulsoreported.

* Separately, Codelco decided that resources from the Rajo Incacopper deposit will no longer be extracted separately but through the current open-pitexploitation of its Salvadormine, daily Diario Financiero reported.The change would require a lower-than-estimated investment of approximately US$600million, rather than the US$3 billion originally planned.

* Members of the Antauta community in Peru's Puno region, whohave been protesting in the area since March 31, lifteda roadblock to Minsur SA'sSan Rafael tin minein the country, Business News America reported.

PRECIOUS METALS

* South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and ConstructionUnion, or AMCU, called off the strike at SibanyeGold Ltd.'s operations after agreeing to take the company's new wageoffer, Reuters reported.The union hopes to sign an agreement this week.

* Endeavour SilverCorp.'s first-quarter silver equivalent production , coming in at 2.71 millionounces, down 8% year over year. Meanwhile, quarterly sales were also down 19% and3% to 1.51 million ounces of silver and 15,255 ounces of gold, respectively.

* Evolution MiningLtd. posted record goldproduction of 208,963 ounces in the third quarter of fiscal 2016, atan all-in sustaining cost of A$1,015 per ounce. Evolution noted that it has reducedits total debt to A$400.0 million with A$80.0 million in early debt repayments madeduring the quarter.

* Maya Gold &Silver Inc.'s Zgoundersilver mine in Morocco produced46,522 ounces of silver ingots in March from a total 4,935 tonnes at 389 g/t ofsilver.

* AthabascaNuclear Corp. acquiredthe Hat Au-Cu East property in the Sheslay region of British Columbia by staking.The company initially plans to identify gold-copper porphyry targets at the property.

* Euromax ResourcesLtd. enteredinto a term sheet with CC Mining SA under which the latter will provide fundingof US$30 million to Euromax for the development of the Ilovica gold project in Macedonia.    

* Integra GoldCorp. will make a C$6 million investmentin Eastmain Resources Inc.via a private placement of flow-through common shares and units, a move that willsee Integra become a 9.9% owner of Eastmain.

* Oban Mining Corp.completed the acquisitionof the mining claims comprising part of the DeSantis gold property in Ontario from Excellon Resources Inc. by issuing 620,400 common shares.Oban expects to issue a further 229,600 common shares upon completion of the transferof the mining leases.

* Keras ResourcesPlc completed haulageof the first ore parcel to the PaddingtonMill from the Anomaly 22 deposit, located in the Grants Patch Gold Tributelease area in the Western Australian goldfields. A total of 7,548 tonnes of oreat 1.53 g/t grading for 372 contained gold ounces will now be processed under theagreement with Norton Gold FieldsLtd. subsidiary Paddington Gold Pty. Ltd.

* Avala ResourcesLtd. and controlling shareholder Dundee Precious Metals Inc. completed a plan of arrangementunder which Dundee, through a wholly owned subsidiary, acquired all Avala shares that it does not already own.

* Rugby MiningLtd. acquiredPelican Resources Ltd.'sresidual royalty interest in the Mabuhaygold-copper project in the Philippines for A$10,000.

* was a gold and silver prospectingright in the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. The company intends to conducta three-phase exploration program, comprising an initial desktop study, field workto locate the major shear zone and drilling of targets.

* amendedthe terms to buy backits shares from Commander ResourcesLtd., which currently holds a 25.4% stake in the company. Maritime willnow identify third parties to purchase an initial 2.0 million shares at 14 Canadiancents per share on or before Aug. 31, of which 1.0 million shares must be purchasedbefore April 30.

* A maiden mineral resource estimate for the Vickers gold zonewithin Northquest Ltd.'sPistol Bay projectin eastern Nunavut, Canada, estimatedan inferred resource of 7.8 million tonnes at 2.95 g/t of gold for 739,000 ounces.

BULK COMMODITIES

* A majority of creditors approved Glencore Plc's 2.15 billionSouth African rand saleof the loss-making Optimumcoal mine to Tegeta Exploration & Resources Ltd., according to Piers Marsden,administrator of the business rescue proceedings. Investec Plc, FirstRand Ltd.'sRand Merchant Bank unit and Nedbank Ltd., which collectively hold about 2.7 billionrand in Optimum debt, voted in favor of the sale through an agent. However, themine will remain in business rescue until Tegeta can demonstrate how it will returnthe business to profit while holding company Optimum Coal Holdings Ltd. will be released.

* Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation & Sciencesaid in its quarterly outlook that iron ore prices will riseto US$64.70 per tonne in 2021 after rising to US$56 per tonne next year and to US$61.40per tonne in 2018 as high-cost miners will be wiped out by low-cost producers, BloombergNews reported. The department estimates that iron ore prices will average US$45per tonne this year, while Australian shipments are expected to total 846 milliontonnes this year, 881 million tonnes next year and may reach 926 million tonnesby 2021.

* Britain's Serious Fraud Office started a criminal investigation into Tata Steel Ltd.'s Yorkshire steelmaking operations over allegationsthat staff may have fabricated certificates detailing the composition of productsbefore they were sold. The probe reportedly came after the company referred itselfto the regulator after an internal audit, while about 500 customers are said tohave been affected by the forged documents. A trading standards investigation isalso going on at the steelmaking operation, while it is unclear whether the twoprobes are linked.

* Amid consolidation talks between Tata Steel and , the IG Metall engineeringunion is seeking job protection for workers, Reuters reported."Guarantees for jobs, locations and co decision-making rights are at the topof our list; they are prerequisites for any type of partnership," IG Metall'sregional head in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Knut Giesler, toldthe Rheinische Post newspaper.

* Indian state-owned iron ore major National Mineral Development Corp. Ltd.'s iron ore productionfor fiscal year 2015-2016 fellto 28.32 million tonnes from 30.44 million tonnes booked in the previous year, thePress Trust of India reported. Sales also dropped to 28.87 million tonnes from 30million tonnes a year ago.

* Vale SAand ICBC Financial Leasing Co. Ltd. signedContracts of Affreightment for cooperation under which ICBC will transport about16 million tonnes of iron ore for Vale per year, as of the first half of 2018.

* POSCOtold a green court in India that it would be unable to set up a US$12 billion steelplant in the country's Odisha state by July 2017 due to regulatory hurdles, Reutersreported.

* Nippon Steel& Sumitomo Metal Corp. units Nippon Steel & Sumikin Fine TechnologyCo. Ltd. and Nippon Tubular Products Co. Ltd. agreed to merge to form Nippon Steel & Sumikin Precision MachiningCo. Ltd.

* According to a studyreleased by Western Sahara Resource Watch, PotashCorp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and AgriumInc. imported a combined 916,000 tonnes of phosphate from the WesternSahara in 2015, which accounts for 64.5% of all purchases from the disputed territorylast year, the Financial Post reported.

* China's MaanshanIron & Steel Co. Ltd. plans to cut its steel production capacity by 20% over the next threeyears. According to Maanshan Steel General Manager Qian Haifan, the firm plans toslash capacity by 4.2 million tonnes, down from current capacity of 22 million tonnes."We will stick to our export strategy of selling about 10% to 15% of our productionabroad," Qian said, adding that "steel mills have to become more international"amid a global supply glut and slowing economic growth. The company also plans toincrease its overseas units from four to seven next year. 

* In order to empty stockpiles and prevent contamination, theMalaysian government has extendedits bauxite mining ban for another three months, starting April 15, Reuters reported,citing Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Malaysia's natural resources and environment minister.

* Moody's upgradedBlueScope Steel Ltd.'scredit rating to Ba2 from Ba3, with the ratings outlook changed to stable from positive.The upgrade reflects the company's strengthening financial profile in the past twoto three years as it benefits from its production of branded value-added products,and from low raw material costs relative to the price of its finished products."The company is also now reaping the benefits of restructuring and cost-cuttinginitiatives. … These positive factors are offsetting the effects of a difficultglobal environment for steel producers," commented Matthew Moore, a Moody'svice president and senior credit officer.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed the long-term issuer default ratingof Metinvest BV at RD,as well as the company's outstanding notes at C/recovery rating RR6.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia and three other banks may loseover 50 cents on each dollar lent to ArriumLtd. after lenders rejected a US$927 million recapitalization plan byGSO Capital Partners and the company was handed to administrators April 7, BloombergNews reported,citing Watermark Funds Management analyst Omkar Joshi. "It's a negative forthe four big banks given they are unsecured creditors … because it looks like thebanks wouldn't even get the 50-55 cents on the dollar that was expected under theGSO proposal," the analyst added.

* Arrium administrator Grant Thornton LLP said the priority isto work with the South Australian government's steel taskforce to review the restructuringoptions for Whyalla and its related mining operations, The Australian reported.

* Pathfinder MineralsPlc said the First Commercial Section of the Judicial Court of the Cityof Maputo in Mozambique declinedto hear a challenge brought by its unit, IM Minerals Ltd., to the validity of ashareholder resolution of CompanhiaMineira de Naburi SARL. In doing so, it found that a previous judgement,which ruled that IM Minerals failed to acquire shares in Naburi, binding.

* The integrated water use license for Coal of Africa Ltd.'s Makhado project was suspendedfollowing an appeal to the Department of Water and Sanitation submitted by the VhembeMineral Resources Forum and other parties.

* Russia may proceed with closing the most dangerous coal minesand sites, although this will affect consumption of material, Vedomosti reported,citing Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

* Trade unions in Poland protestedagainst the liquidation of the KatowickiHolding Weglowy SA's Wujekcoal mine in the country, Puls Biznesureported, while Katowicki Holding said no such decision has been taken.

SPECIALTY

* UraniumResources Inc. signed a definitive agreement to sell subsidiary HydroResources Inc. to LaramideResources Ltd. Hydro Resources holds Uranium Resources' and Crownpoint uranium properties in New Mexico. 

* The Press Trust of India, citing Indian Mines Secretary BalvinderKumar, reported that the government plans to invite tenders for the first-ever auctionof a diamond mine in the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh state. 

* Medallion ResourcesLtd. is now prepared to moveforward with pilot plant-scale tests of its monazite-based rare-earthextraction process, subject to securing sufficient funding. The new tests wouldbe the last major technical confirmation prior to building a continuous-flow integratedpilot plant.

* Base ResourcesLtd. produced110,760 tonnes of ilmenite, 21,194 tonnes of rutile and 7,865 tonnes of zircon inthe first quarter of 2016, compared to 105,753 tonnes of ilmenite, 16,754 tonnesof rutile and 5,414 tonnes of zircon a year ago. The Kwale operations are expected to produce 82,000tonnes to 86,000 tonnes of rutile, 440,000 tonnes to 455,000 tonnes of ilmenite,and 29,000 tonnes to 31,000 tonnes of zircon.

* A pre-feasibility study for Hastings Technology Metals Ltd.'s Yangibana rare earths project in Western Australiapegged a pretax net presentvalue of A$700 million to A$750 million, at an 8% discount rate, and an internalrate of return of 40%. Total CapEx is seen to range from A$390 million to A$420million, with payback in 2.5 years.

* PJSC ALROSAbegan consultations with brokers on exchange trading in precious stones, Kommersant reported. A joint project with the Moscowstock exchange may start with investment-grade diamonds in a deliverable futuresformat. ALROSA also plans to launch unilateral auctions on one of the Russian stockexchanges for the sale of rough diamonds and technical stones.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The final version of Canada's Extractive Sector TransparencyMeasures Act requiresall publicly listed local miners to report payments including taxes, royalties,fees and production entitlements of C$100,000 or more to governments both at homeand abroad. 

* Renewable energy is gaining popularity as the power solutionfor mines in Chile given the high demand for energy combined with the need for operationalsavings and the need to address challenges posed by the environment and social aspects,Mining Weekly reported.

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