BHP expected to set record dividends in fiscal H2, FY'19
BHP Group is expected to set two record dividends as the mining giant reports Aug. 20 what is believed to be its biggest annual earnings in five years thanks to strong iron ore prices, The Australian Financial Review reported. For the second half of BHP's fiscal year, analysts at Citi and UBS forecast the highest final dividend in the company's history of 79 U.S. cents and 82 cents per share, respectively. Citi and UBS projected total dividends for the year ended June 30 of US$2.36 and US$2.39 per share, respectively, which would eclipse BHP's previous full-year dividend record of US$1.24 per share.
The Papua New Guinea government wants to secure a bigger share in the Porgera gold mine from joint venture partners Barrick Gold Corp. and Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd., which each hold a 47.5% stake, Reuters reported, citing the country's minister for commerce and industry, Wera Mori. The final ownership will be determined after negotiations, with Mori saying that the mine will be structured to have "a lot more national interest in it."
BlueScope approves US$700M Ohio mill expansion; FY'19 profit drops 35%
BlueScope Steel Ltd.'s fiscal 2019 net profit sagged 35% to A$1.02 billion, or 1.90 cents per share, sending shares in the Australian steel major down about 9% in midday trading on the ASX. The drop resulted from unbooked tax losses and U.S. tax reform in its fiscal 2018, impairments at its Thailand building products segment and higher restructuring costs in its fiscal 2019. Meanwhile, BlueScope approved a US$700 million investment to add 850,000-tonnes-per-annum of capacity at the North Star BlueScope Steel LLC steel mill in Ohio. Commissioning is targeted in the middle of fiscal 2022, with full ramp-up expected about 18 months later.
* CITIC Ltd. completed its previously announced C$612 million investment in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. to increase its stake in the company to 29.4%.
* PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. is soliciting pitches from Russian and international banks to participate in an IPO of its Bystrinsky copper project in Russia's Far East, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
* Pala Investments Ltd.'s C$501 million takeover offer for Cobalt 27 Capital Corp. undervalues the target company, The Northern Miner wrote, citing Anson Funds.
* Atalaya Mining PLC's expansion project to 15 million tonnes per annum at its Proyecto de Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain reached full mechanical completion, and the start-up of the expanded plant will reach the nameplate capacity by December. The additional electricity supply for the expansion is expected to come on stream during the third quarter.
* Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. Ltd.'s overseas unit, Huayou International Mining, decided to terminate a 2017 deal to invest US$66.3 million for a 51% stake in Lucky Resources Holdings Co. Ltd., Reuters reported.
* Afritin Mining Ltd. produced first tin concentrate at its flagship Uis mine in Namibia. The company will now focus on ramping up the plant to its design capacity of 500,000 tonnes of ore per annum. AfriTin also entered a one-year tin off-take agreement with Thailand Smelting & Refining Co. Ltd.
* SR Languyan Mining Corp., the Philippines' top exporter of high-grade nickel ore, is "most likely" to close its mining operations in Tawi-Tawi later this year as ore deposits have almost been depleted, Reuters reported, citing Jaynul Ali Sambarani, head of mines and geoscience services at the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry.
* NorZinc Ltd. secured draft permits from Parks Canada for an all-season road to the company's Prairie Creek zinc project in Canada's Northwest Territories. After a review process, the final permits are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.
* Antler Gold Inc. closed its purchase of the Crescent Lake/KM61 molybdenum-copper-silver project in Ontario from Sona Nanotech Inc.
* Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd. plans to start paying a dividend equal to 20% to 40% of net profit starting fiscal 2020, subject to the company reaching and maintaining a minimum cash balance of A$150 million. In fiscal 2019, the company's net profit climbed 22% to A$92.5 million. Revenue climbed 9% to A$555.6 million as gold sales increased to 350,904 ounces, from 317,675 ounces a year ago. All-in sustaining costs reduced to A$1,030/oz, from A$1,139/oz.
* Chalice Gold Mines Ltd.'s shares were approved for trading on the OTCQB venture market in the U.S. The company will not issue new securities as part the listing.
* Shares in Toronto-listed Lydian International Ltd. rose almost 11% by market close Aug. 16 after it won a court ruling that required Armenian prosecutors to initiate criminal proceedings against protesters at the company's Amulsar gold project.
* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. unit Minera de Cobre Quebradona is facing an administrative claim from Colombia's Autonomous Regional Corp. Corantioquia over the miner's alleged law breaches related to the construction of a mining platform at the Quebradona copper-gold property, Mining.com reported, citing Caracol Radio.
* Newcrest Mining Ltd. started the process to divest a 26% stake in its 75%-owned Gosowong gold mine in Indonesia.
* Amani Gold Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire the Gada gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo from La Societe Miniere de Kilo-Moto SA. The original MOU that Amani signed with Bon Génie N. Mining (BN Mining) Sarl was terminated after due diligence inquiries.
* Avesoro Resources Inc. regained control of the Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso after operations were recently suspended due to a security breach.
* Magna Gold Corp. completed its acquisition of the Las Marias and Las Cabanas properties near its Mercedes gold project in Mexico for C$250,000 and 1 million shares.
* SLAM Exploration Ltd. secured an option to acquire the Mount Uniacke gold property in Nova Scotia for C$450,000 and a 3% net smelter royalty.
* Fremont Gold Ltd. agreed to sell its option to acquire Ely Gold Royalties Inc.'s Gold Canyon project in Nevada to McEwen Mining Inc. for 300,000 McEwen shares.
* BHP informed Asian customers that issues related to its autonomous truck fleet resulted in some of its iron ore shipments from Western Australia having lower-than-expected quality, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing industry sources. Sources close to the mining giant, however, refuted the notion of the issue with autonomous trucks, saying that mining activity was being conducted in an area with lower grade ore.
* Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC emerged as the winning bidder for substantially all of Cloud Peak Energy's assets, following a competitive auction as part of its Chapter 11 process.
* Vedomosti reported that profits of Russian metallurgists declined due to the trade war between the U.S. and China. First-half results from the largest Russian steel producers showed a drop in revenue, EBITDA and free cash flow, which are typically tied to dividend payments.
* The U.K. government's Official Receiver confirmed that it is in exclusive talks with Ataer Holding, a subsidiary of Turkish military pension fund Oyak Yatirim Ortakligi AS, for the takeover of British Steel Corp. Ltd., which was placed in compulsory liquidation earlier this year, putting 4,000 jobs directly at risk. Oyak said its priority for British Steel will be to increase capacity and to invest in clean steel production.
* Andromeda Metals Ltd. signed nonbinding letters of intent with Chinese and Japanese customers for the offtake of 405,000 tonnes per annum of direct shipping ore halloysite‐kaolin product from the Poochera joint venture with Minotaur Exploration Ltd. in South Australia.
* Bayer AG subsidiary P4 Production secured federal approval for the Caldwell Canyon phosphate project in Idaho, which includes environmental safeguards to prevent pollution incidents that have plagued historical mining in the area, Associated Press reported.
* Champion Iron Ltd. unit Québec Iron Ore Inc. completed a deal with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for a preferred share offering of C$185 million and a fully underwritten US$200 million credit facility with The Bank of Nova Scotia and Société Générale. The company also closed its purchase of Ressources Québec Inc.'s 36.8% stake in Quebec Iron for C$211 million, which will increase Champion's interest in the Bloom Lake iron ore project in Quebec to 100%.
* China's northern Shanxi province selected 10 coal mines to test environment-friendly technology in coal mining before expanding it to the rest of the province, Xinhua News Agency reported.
* Potential suitors for thyssenkrupp AG's elevators division are under pressure to lodge firm offers as the German conglomerate mulls listing the unit, Reuters reported, citing CEO Guido Kerkhoff's interview with Der Spiegel magazine. KONE Oyj, as well as private equity investors KKR & Co., CVC and Advent, have reportedly approached thyssenkrupp about a possible deal.
* U.K.-based Lehram suspended operations at the Gramoteyevskaya coal mine in Siberia, Russia, after a belt-type conveyor caught fire, Russian News Agency TASS reported. No one was injured.
* To reduce reliance on diesel generation in remote areas, Canada's federal government will contribute more than C$6.8 million to help build an electric transmission line that will connect Nalcor Energy's Menihek hydro station with Tata Steel Ltd. unit Tata Steel Minerals Canada's processing facility near the border of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec, where the company mines for iron ore.
* Mineral Commodities Ltd. won a grant to develop an environmentally sustainable and commercial-scale graphite purification process to potentially be used at Japanese energy giant Iwatani Corp. subsidiary Doral Fused Materials Pty Ltd.'s West Australian plant.
* Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. completed its US$160 million investment into Minera Exar SA, its joint venture with Lithium Americas Corp., to increase its stake to 50% from 37.5%. Exar holds the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Argentina.
* Nova Minerals Ltd.'s majority-owned Snow Lake Resources Ltd. entered preliminary discussions with the Arctic Gateway Group, the owners of Hudson Bay Railway, for future capacity to the Tanco mine as part of the company's initial logistics assessment for its Thompson Brothers lithium project in Manitoba.
* Tango Mining Ltd. terminated a services agreement with Cooperativa Mineira Do Moquita SCRL for mining and marketing of diamonds from the Moquita alluvial diamond project in Angola.
* Continental Precious Minerals Inc. signed a definitive agreement to acquire Metamaterial Technologies Inc. through a reverse merger.
* Greenland politicians dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump's idea to buy the world's largest island, which he wants for its strategic location and natural resources, Reuters reported.
* The Turkish Ministry of Energy postponed tenders for 1,102 mine sites, including the site of Merih Mining Co.'s gold project on the Gökçeada island that drew opposition from environmentalists and locals, until further notice, Ahval News reported.
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