Vale back in black with US$1.78B Q1 profit
Vale SAbounced back in the black,posting a net income of US$1.78 billion in the first quarter compared to a net lossof US$3.12 billion in the same period of 2015. Net operating revenues fell by 5.5%to US$5.72 billion as a result of seasonally lower sales volume of iron ore fines,base metals and fertilizers, which were partially offset by higher sales pricesfor iron ore fines. Underlying earnings for the period totaled US$514 million, or10 cents per share, compared to an underlying loss of US$679 million last year.However, the company's total net debt for the quarter rose by 1.7% to US$27.66 billiondue to forex impacts and negative free cash flow in the quarter.
First Quantum Minerals swings to Q1 profit, achieves record output
First Quantum MineralsLtd. booked net earnings attributable to shareholders of US$49 millionfor the first quarter, swingingfrom a loss of US$78 million posted a year ago. The company's sales revenues roseto US$720 million from US$602 million a year ago. This quarter also saw First Quantumachieve the highest quarterly copper production and sales for continuing operationsof 119,287 tonnes and 131,267 tonnes, respectively.
Agnico Eagle Q1 net income slides YOY, but revenue, production increase
Agnico Eagle MinesLtd. posted first-quarter net income of US$27.8 million, from net income of US$28.7million reported a year ago. Revenue from mining operations, meanwhile, rose toUS$490.5 million from US$483.6 million last year. For the quarter ended March 31,payable production amounted to about 411,336 ounces of gold compared to 404,210ounces recorded a year ago.
* Vale SAbounced back in the black,posting a net income of US$1.78 billion in the first quarter compared to a net lossof US$3.12 billion in the same period of 2015. Net operating revenues fell by 5.5%to US$5.72 billion as a result of seasonally lower sales volume of iron ore fines,base metals and fertilizers, which were partially offset by higher sales pricesfor iron ore fines. Underlying earnings for the period totaled US$514 million, or10 cents per share, compared to an underlying loss of US$679 million last year.However, the company's total net debt for the quarter rose by 1.7% to US$27.66 billiondue to forex impacts and negative free cash flow in the quarter.
* Anglo AmericanPlc agreed to sellits niobium and phosphates businesses in Brazil to China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. for a total cash considerationof US$1.5 billion. According to Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani, the company willuse the proceeds of the transaction to help reduce the company's net debt to itstarget level of below US$10 billion by the end of the year.
* Under Rio Tinto'splan to reduce gross debt through the early repayment of some near-term maturingdebt, Rio Tinto Finance (USA) has agreed to buyback US$1.36 billion in debt under its planned US$1.5 billion debt buyback. Under the any and alloffer comprising the 2017 bonds, the company will purchase US$339 million in aggregateprincipal amount of its 2% notes due 2017 at a price of US$1,006.91 per US$1,000 principal amount of notes,and US$1.02 billion in aggregate principal amount of its 1.625% notes due 2017 ata price of US$1,005.85 per US$1,000 principal amount of notes.
* First QuantumMinerals Ltd. booked net earnings attributable to shareholders of US$49million for the first quarter, swingingfrom a loss of US$78 million posted a year ago. The company's sales revenues roseto US$720 million from US$602 million a year ago. This quarter also saw First Quantumachieve the highest quarterly copper production and sales for continuing operationsof 119,287 tonnes and 131,267 tonnes, respectively.
* Southern CopperCorp. posted net income of US$185.1 million in the first quarter, from US$282.4 millionrecorded in the same quarter in 2015, due to lower metal prices. The company hita record copper output of 221,661 tonnes in the first quarter, up 24.8% from 177,616tonnes produced in the previous year, mainly due to a 67.6% increase in the outputof the Buenavistamine in Mexico to 43,898 tonnes. The company's board halved the first-quarter dividendyear over year to 5 cents per share, due to the drop in net income.
* Jiangxi CopperCo. Ltd. reported net profit attributable to shareholders of 201.4 millionChinese yuan in the first quarter, representing a 49.27% increaseon a yearly basis. Operating revenue also rose 19.66% year over year to 38.85 billionyuan.
* Mines and metals processor Industrias Peñoles SAB de CV reported net profit of 404 millionMexican pesos in the first quarter, a 65% dropyear over year, on the back of higher costs on the options it owns, which more thantripled to 1.5 billion pesos, Reuters reported. Revenue, meanwhile, increased 25%to 19.4 billion pesos, driven by higher sales volumes and a stronger U.S. dollar.
* China Molybdenum's first-quarter net profit attributable toits shareholders plunged53.67% year over year to 141.1 million Chinese yuan, while operating income alsodeclined 2.28% year over year to 1.16 billion yuan.
* Shenzhen ZhongjinLingnan Nonfemet Co. Ltd. recorded a net loss attributable to shareholders of 52.9 million Chineseyuan, or 2 fen per share, in the first quarter, in line with the company's guidanceof a loss of between 45 million yuan and 55 million yuan and compared to a net profitof 58.2 million yuan, or 3 fen per share, posted in the same quarter of 2015.
* HudBay MineralsInc.'s copper production in the quarter ended March 31 150% year over year to 38,879 tonnes.The company also produced 27,245 ounces of gold and 722,916 ounces of silver duringthe period, up from 23,676 ounces of gold and 310,867 ounces of silver, respectively,last year. Meanwhile, HudBay narrowed its loss for the quarter to US$15.8 millionfrom US$19.8 million a year earlier.
* Sumitomo MetalMining Co. Ltd. will establishoperations for the recovery of scandium at its nickel plant with aninvestment of about ¥4 billion and has concluded a long-term sales agreement ofscandium oxide with a major U.S.-based fuel cell manufacturer.
* Rio Tinto appears readyto approve the US$4 billion expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia as earlyas next week, The Australian wrote, citingthe company's earlier statement that it is on track for a June-quarter decision.According to analysts, the approval of the expansion could add US$4.7 billion ofvalue to the company.
* Union workers at Freeport-McMoRanInc.'s 51%-owned Chile-based copper mine El Abra accepted the company's wage deal offer,Reuters reported,citing union President Juana Mejias.
* Meanwhile, Freeport-McMoRan informed some Chinese smeltersthat it will halvethe volume of copper concentrate deliveries under long-term contracts in 2017 onthe back of an expected fall in the company's attributable output from certain U.S.and South American mines, Metal Bulletinwrote, citing two of Freeport's Chinese customers.
* Herencia ResourcesPlc is running out ofworking capital, after its proposed joint venture partner Next Mineralsdropped out of an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in the copper project in Chile.Herencia has withheld a US$290,000 option payment due on the Picachos license butwill only have sufficient working capital to survive until early or end of May,depending on whether or not it will renew the Picachos option.
* The board of PJSCMMC Norilsk Nickel proposed a dividendpayment of 230.14 Russian rubles per common share for its fiscal 2015,a drop of about 65.7% from the dividend of 670.04 rubles per ordinary share recommendedfor fiscal year 2014.
* KAZ MineralsPLC produced 21,500 tonnes of copper cathode equivalent in the firstquarter, with output on trackto achieve this year's guidance. Copper cathode sales for the quarter was reportedat 23,000 tonnes.
* Agnico EagleMines Ltd. posted first-quarter net income of US$27.8 million, from net income of US$28.7million reported a year ago. Revenue from mining operations, meanwhile, rose toUS$490.5 million from US$483.6 million last year. For the quarter ended March 31,payable production amounted to about 411,336 ounces of gold compared to 404,210ounces recorded a year ago.
* Russian gold producer PetropavlovskPLC booked a net loss attributable to equity holders of US$241.9 millionin 2015, narrowing froma loss of US$318.1 million reported in 2014, on the back of slightly lower costsstemming from the devaluation of the Russian ruble. The company also signed a dealto acquire Amur Zoloto — a gold mining company with assets in Russia's far easternKhabarovsk region — for US$144 million in new Petropavlovsk shares.
* Avocet MiningPlc expects the Inatagold mine in Burkina Faso to producebetween 75,000 ounces and 85,000 ounces this year. The guidance range was higherthan the 74,755 ounces produced in 2015. In the first quarter, Inata produced 20,528ounces of gold at a cash cost of US$925 per ounce, improving from the fourth quarterof 2015 when the mine produced 17,379 ounces at a cash cost of US$1,094 per ounce.
* IndependenceGroup NL witnessed a slumpin gold output from its jointly owned Tropicanagold mine in Western Australia during the March quarter, slipping to 101,038 ouncesduring the quarter from 122,319 ounces in the same quarter of 2015. Independence's30% share of production amounted to 30,311 ounces.
* OceanaGold Corp.achieved consolidatedgold production of 122,782 ounces in the first quarter from 119,500 ounces in theprevious quarter, with record quarterly gold production of 46,811 ounces at theDidipio operation in the Philippines.
* B2Gold Corp.produced 127,844 ounces of gold in the first quarter, up 10% year over year and beating the company's target by8,966 ounces. The company expects consolidated gold production for the year to bebetween 510,000 ounces and 550,000 ounces at cash operating costs of between US$560to US$595 per ounce, compared to US$616 per ounce in 2015.
* Goldcorp Inc.became the latest victim of a hack attack, confirming a data breach of 14.8 gigabytes of uncompressed employee data,Christine Marks, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an emailed statement. Thestolen data included worker login IDs and passwords, salary and budget documents,and other sensitive information.
* The Kyrgyz Republic General Prosecutors Office and other statelaw enforcement agencies conducted a search at Centerra Gold Inc. unit Kumtor Gold Co.'s Bishkek-based offices to gather documentsrelating to a criminal case regarding alleged financial violations by the unit. Mine operations, however,remain unaffected, the company added.
* First MiningFinance Corp. completed the acquisitionof the Pitt goldproperty in Quebec from Brionor ResourcesInc.
* Atlantic GoldCorp.'s DDV Gold Ltd. unit has securedan option to purchase partner MooseRiver Resources Inc.'s stake in the Touquoy gold deposit in Nova Scotia.
* Cliffs NaturalResources Inc. posted first-quarter net income attributable to shareholdersof US$108 million, swinging from aloss of US$772.6 million in 2015. Consolidated revenues, meanwhile,fell 32% year over year to US$306 million as cost of goods sold decreased by 25%to US$275 million. Total U.S. iron ore production volume was 3.0 million long tons,down from 5.4 million long tons recorded a year ago.
* Potash Corp.of Saskatchewan Inc. cut its full-year earnings forecast to between60 U.S. cents and 80 cents per share from 90 cents to US$1.20 per share previouslyafter its first-quarter net earnings slumpedto US$75 million from US$370 million booked a year ago. In response to weaker demand,it curtailed production and lowered expectations for 2016 potash sales volumes toa range of 8.3 million tonnes to 8.8 million tonnes from earlier sales volumes expectationsof between 8.3 million tonnes to 9.1 million tonnes.
* For the quarter ended March 31, Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd.'s profit attributable to ownersof the parent slumped60% year over year to 19.2 million Chinese yuan. Meanwhile, revenue declined 23.81%on a yearly basis to 20.87 billion yuan.
* Nippon Steel& Sumitomo Metal Corp.'s profit attributable to owners of parentdropped to ¥145.42 billionin fiscal 2015, down 32.1% from ¥214.29 billion the year before. Despite the lowerprofit, the company announced a dividend of ¥15 per share at the end of the fiscalyear, a major improvement from ¥3.50 per share announced at the end of the previousfiscal year.
* Australian BauxiteLtd.'s maiden shipmentof 5,557 tonnes of cement-grade bauxite has left Bell Bay Port in northern Tasmania,Australia, concluding the first sale of bauxite from the company's Bald Hill mine.
* Alcoa Inc.'sAlcoa of Australia Ltd.venture saw its net profit in 2015 nearly triple to A$645.5 million from A$215.7million on the back of its heavy cost cutting and decision to mothball the troubledPort Henry aluminum smelter, The West Australianwrote.
* Kenmare ResourcesPlc and chemicals trader King Ally Holdings Ltd. entered into a conditionalsubscription and relationship agreementin which King Ally will invest US$100 million in the company in exchange for notmore than 29.9% of Kenmare's enlarged issued share capital following the completionof a capital restructuring. The restructuring involves an equity fundraising ofnot less than US$275 million, of which a significant portion would be used to reducedebt.
* Brazilian mining major Vale's CEO Murilo Ferreira said theglobal iron ore market is in a "better condition than expected," helpedby improving Chinese demand, Reuters reported.
* Tata Steel Ltd.unit Tata Steel U.K. CEO Bimlendra Jha said the British government will probablyhave to domore to help find a buyer for the Tata operations in the country, Reuters reported.In a separate news brief, the newswire cited Jha as saying that Tata Steel is notprepared to splitup its main British assets to secure a buyer for its U.K. operations, but thecompany might consider selling off small independent assets individually.
* U.K. Business Secretary Sajid Javid highlighted the difficultsituation that the government faces with regard to securing a bidder for Tata Steel'stroubled U.K. operations, saying that pension liabilities are repulsing buyers,Reuters reported."If this pension fund liability is not taken care of, there is no buyer sittingout there to buy this business," Javid added.
* Russia's Ministry of Economy continues to insist on the possibilityof privatizing 18.9% of PJSC ALROSA'sshares, valued at more than 100 billion Russian rubles, Kommersant reported.This is the maximum packet size that the government may sell without losing control.The Finance Ministry, however, refuses to consider the proposal to sell more than10.9% of the diamond company.
* Xiamen TungstenCo. Ltd.'s net profit attributable to shareholders year over year to 20.7 millionChinese yuan, or 1.91 fen per share, in the first quarter.
* According to an exclusive report by SNL Metals & Mining, gold acquisitions wereup in 2015, while base metals transactions slumped. Overall transaction value wasdown slightly; however, gold and base metals proportions switched places from 2014— gold deals jumped by half in value and base deals dropped by half. Gold acquisitionsaccounted for 65% of the total price paid last year, compared with 39% in 2014.
* An interim report from a Senateselect committee has associated the re-emergence of black lung disease among thecoal miners in Queensland, Australia, to regulatory failure and indifference fromthe mining industry, The Guardian wrote.
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