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Glencore, Anglo warned over dust level breaches at Australian coal mines

TOP NEWS

Glencore, Anglo American warned over dust level breaches at coal mines

Glencore Plc and Anglo American Plc have been warned by the Australian state of Queensland over possible breaches of dust levels at four coal mines, the Australian Associated Press reported. The operations include Glencore's Oaky Creek and Oaky No. 1 mine and Anglo's Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines.

Wheaton Precious ups Q2 dividend by 43%; earnings jump 12% YOY

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. boosted its second-quarter dividend by 43% quarter over quarter to 10 U.S. cents apiece. The company's second-quarter attributable silver output fell 5% to 7.19 million ounces, while gold output rose 10% to 78,100 ounces of gold. Net earnings climbed 12% year over year to US$67.6 million. The company struck a nonbinding deal with Desert Star Resources Ltd. to acquire up to 100% of the payable silver and gold production from the latter's Kutcho project in British Columbia for US$65 million.

Defying massive Q2, H1 losses, Noble Group share surge 20%

Noble Group Ltd. shares surged by as much as 20% even as the company recorded massive second-quarter net losses and on news that it turned down a takeover offer from a London-based fund, according to a report in The Straits Times. The shares rose despite a widening of losses in the first six months of the year to US$1.88 billion, from a loss of US$14.4 million a year ago, because the results failed to provide fresh causes for concern for the embattled company, the report said. Separately, the Financial Times reported that the commodities trader turned down a takeover offer from Centricus, a London-based fund, citing "three people close to the deal."

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton Group had the third-largest reserves replacement growth from 2007 to 2016 at 23 million tonnes, leveraging its long-life, "tier 1" operations to maintain overall reserves in a cost-effective manner.

* Unnamed sources told The Australian that BHP's institutional investors in Australia, which reportedly hold up to 40% of the company's Australian shares, sounded opposition to Origin Energy Managing Director Grant King's appointment to the mining giant's board.

* A majority of Vale SA's preferred shareholders agreed to swap their stock into common shares of the company as about 1.42 billion preferred shares, equivalent to 72.2% of the total preferred shares in circulation, have been tendered as of Aug. 10, exceeding the minimum 54.09% threshold set for voluntary conversion. The conversion offer is expected to close today.

* Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said the company is always looking for potential acquisition opportunities, The Australian wrote. "If opportunities come, like the Hunter Valley assets came and they were available, then we look to buy them," he added.

BASE METALS

* BHP selected a consortium of Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Grupo Cobra for exclusive talks to build an US$800 million desalination plant at the Spence copper mine in Chile, Reuters reported, citing two sources with knowledge of the process. The news also indicates the mining giant is pressing ahead with its proposed US$2.5 billion expansion of the Spence project, which has been suspended for years.

* BHP Nickel West Asset President Eddy Haegel said the company is studying whether it can use gold for processing at the Kambalda nickel concentrator in Western Australia, as keeping the operation running has been challenging due to lack of feed, Miningnews.net reported. The company has less than a year to find a solution to avoid closure.

* Codelco will renegotiate collective bargaining contracts with 19 workers' unions, comprising of 57% of the company's workforce, in 2018, Pulso reported. This year, the company renegotiated deals with unions comprising of 8.2% of its total employees.

* Trevali Mining Corp.'s second-quarter consolidated zinc production totaled 29.9 million pounds, lead output reached 9.9 million pounds, and silver output totaled 385,505 ounces, up from zinc output of 15.16 million pounds, 5.58 million pounds of lead and 222,121 ounces of silver in the year-ago period. Revenue in the period rose 110% year over year to US$47 million.

* Castillo Copper Ltd. completed the acquisition of Total Minerals Pty. Ltd., which owns three cobalt-copper-zinc prospective properties in Australia, namely the Jackaderry South and Total Minerals projects in New South Wales and Hill of Grace project in Queensland.

PRECIOUS METALS

* PJSC Polyus' second-quarter gold output increased 7% year over year to 488,000 ounces on the back of higher production at the Olimpiada and Verninskoye projects. CEO Pavel Grachev said Polyus was on track to meet its 2017 production guidance of between 2.075 million and 2.125 million ounces of gold. The Russian gold miner also increased guidance for 2018 and 2019.

* Compañía de Minas Buenaventura SAA CEO Victor Gobitz said the company does not have any plans to restart its US$5 billion Conga gold project in Peru anytime soon, Reuters wrote.

* Economic shifts and larger mines have led to lower capital intensities for new primary gold mines in recent years — a trend that is expected to continue through this year and in 2018, based on mines now in development.

* Oro Verde Ltd. resumed total control of exploration at the El Topacio gold project in southeastern Nicaragua as Newcrest Mining Ltd. withdrew from the project.

* Lingbao Gold Group Co. Ltd. will sell a 60% stake in unit Lingbao Wason, which is engaged in copper foil manufacturing, to Beijing Zhongxing Zehui Investment Co. Ltd. for 637.2 million Chinese yuan.

* State-owned China National Gold Group Corp. is interested in SC Russian Platinum's projects in Russia and Kyrgyzstan, Kommersant reported, citing a source familiar with the situation.

BULK COMMODITIES

* The China Iron and Steel Association warned that steel futures prices were not driven by higher expected demand or supply disruptions but due to misinterpretation of Chinese capacity cuts and the government's crackdown on pollution, The Australian reported. The association also blamed some traders for driving up prices for their own benefit by making exaggerated claims that steel prices will increase in the final six months of 2017.

* Bristol, Tenn.-based coal miner Contura Energy Inc. withdrew an IPO, as current market conditions would undervalue the company. The company was offering 6 million shares at an anticipated initial offering price of between US$23 per share and US$27 per share

* Indian state-owned company National Aluminium Co. Ltd. produced 1.9 million tonnes of bauxite, 526,000 tonnes of alumina hydrate and 100,695 tonnes of aluminum in the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, representing year-over-year increases of 10.4%, 0.4% and 6.6%, respectively.

* Moody's placed Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd.'s B2 corporate family rating and senior unsecured rating under review for a potential upgrade as a result of Yanzhou Coal's 78%-owned subsidiary Yancoal Australia Ltd.'s plans to raise US$2.5 billion in equity to fund the acquisition of Coal & Allied Industries Ltd. from Rio Tinto.

* S&P Global Ratings removed the Greater China regional scale long-term issuer credit rating on Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. and China Hongqiao Group Ltd., from A-, A+ and B+, respectively.

* The government of India's Odisha state is expected to recover US$3.17 billion through fines on mining companies involved in illegal extraction of iron ore and manganese in the state and environmental violations, Mining Weekly reported, citing a senior government official. The move came after a recent Supreme Court verdict that decided mining companies will have to pay back 100% of the price of minerals extracted illegally.

* Israel Chemicals Ltd. signed several contracts for the supply of an aggregate 750,000 tonnes of potash, including options, to be shipped between August 2017 and July 2018 to customers in India. The selling price was US$13 per tonne above previous contracts and similar to the prices announced recently by other potash manufacturers for sales to the Indian market.

* Queensland, Australia's Environment and Heritage Protection department fined Adani Enterprises Ltd. A$12,190 for breaching conditions of a temporary emissions license at its Abbot Point coal terminal during Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March.

* ThyssenKrupp AG CFO Guido Kerkhoff said the German steelmaker will not be rushed into any deal with Tata Steel Ltd. for a merger of their European steel businesses, Reuters reported. Thyssenkrupp, meanwhile, would not oppose an IPO of a steel joint venture that could emerge from ongoing talks with Tata, Kerkhoff added.

* Mikhail Prokhorov sold 1,063,511,040 shares of United Co. Rusal Plc, representing approximately 7% of the company. According to Vedomosti, the stake was sold for about US$500 million, a premium of about 33%.

* CAP SA reported net earnings of US$50.9 million in the first half, compared with a net loss of US$2.8 million recorded in the same period in 2016, Diario Financiero reported, citing a company statement.

* Evraz Plc decided to retain one of its Ukrainian assets, the Dniprovsky metallurgical plant, after it was assessed as being stable and effective, Vedomosti reported.

* China Vanadium Titano-Magnetite Mining Co. Ltd. expects to narrow its first-half net loss to no more than 120 million Chinese yuan, compared to a year-ago net loss of about 217.5 million yuan.

* Pacific American Coal Ltd. will focus on the exploration and development of its 100%-owned assets, particularly the Elko coking coal project in British Columbia, following a strategic review of its portfolio.

SPECIALTY

* China's vanadium output is expected to fall 35% in August as producers in Sichuan province have been ordered to curb production over the summer, Metal Bulletin wrote.

* Hong Kong customs officers seized HK$5.5 million worth of diamonds hidden in the glove compartment of a car bound for Shenzhen, China, in an anti-smuggling operation, the South China Morning Post reported.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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