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Fortescue's Q1'20 iron ore shipments up 5%; Freeport swings to Q3'19 loss


Fortescue's Q1'20 iron ore shipments up 5% YOY

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. shipped 42.2 million tonnes of iron ore in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, up 5% year over year from 40.2 Mt, while ore processed improved by the same percentage to 45.1 Mt. The company's C1 cost for the quarter was US$12.95 per wet tonne, 2% lower from US$13.19 per wet tonne in the same quarter last year.

Freeport-McMoRan CEO says copper price is 'not sustainable' amid strong demand; swings to loss in Q3'19

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. President and CEO Richard Adkerson said that the copper price is "not sustainable" amid strong demand. The company reported a net loss of US$131 million, or 9 U.S. cents per share, for the third quarter, swinging year over year from a net profit of US$556 million, or 38 cents per share. Quarterly revenue dropped year over year to US$3.31 billion from US$4.91 billion, and operating cash flows decreased to US$224 million from US$1.25 billion.

Codelco closes Andina as copper operations disrupted by general strike in Chile

Codelco shuttered its Andina copper mine and reduced operations at its other divisions as the Chilean state miner felt the impact of a general strike launched by unionized workers amid ongoing protests in the country, Reuters reported Oct. 23, citing a company statement. The workforce at the company's Ventanas copper smelter was decreased to ensure the security of the facilities, while the Salvador division was operating partially. Six of Codelco's eight divisions were carrying on with the majority of their operations, the report said.


* Lundin Mining Corp. generated attributable net earnings of US$26.4 million in the third quarter, higher than the US$7.0 million posted in the same period of the previous year, as revenue also increased to US$538.7 million from US$379.7 million. The company produced 74,560 tonnes of copper, up from 52,770 tonnes in the third quarter of 2018.

* Antofagasta PLC flagged lower copper production in 2020, as it expects grades to decline at its Centinela operation in Chile, before rising in 2021. It guided 2020 output at 725,000 to 755,000 tonnes, compared to its 2019 forecast of 750,000 to 790,000 tonnes. Its 2019 forecast includes a possible loss of about 5,000 tonnes of copper as ongoing protests in Chile may disrupt supply deliveries and workers' transport to its operations.

* Taseko Mines Ltd. intends to seek a listing on the London Stock Exchange's main market by the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals.

* ERAMET S.A.'s Weda Bay nickel plant in Indonesia will start operations ahead of schedule in the first half of 2020, Reuters reported.

* Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd.'s majority-owned Ramu nickel cobalt project in Papua New Guinea is to close imminently pending an environmental investigation, the region's minister for mining Johnson Tuke confirmed, Fastmarkets MB reported.

* Galena Mining Ltd. entered into an offtake agreement with IXM for the supply of high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrates from its Abra base metals project in Western Australia.

* Heron Resources Ltd. started export shipments from its Woodlawn zinc-copper project in New South Wales, Australia. The company's first shipment of 5,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate departed from Port Kemla bound for China.

* Centaurus Metals Ltd. received the drilling and clearing license for the Jaguar nickel sulfide project in Brazil.


* Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. reported a net income of US$76.7 million or 32 U.S. cents per share in the third quarter, more than four times higher than the net income of US$17.1 million, or 7 U.S. cents per share, in the same quarter of 2018. The company booked record payable gold production of 476,937 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost of US$903 per ounce during the period. The company raised its gold production guidance for full-year 2019 to between 1.77 million ounces and 1.78 million ounces, from the previous 1.75 million ounces.

* Fresnillo PLC's output for the full year is likely to hit the lower end of guidance of 55 million ounces to 58 Moz of silver, including silverstream, and 880,000 to 910,000 ounces of gold. Total silver output in the third quarter, including silverstream, dipped 14.5% yearly to 13.28 million ounces, mainly due to lower ore grades at the Saucito, Fresnillo and San Julian mines, while gold production dropped 6.9% to 209,752 ounces.

* Centamin PLC's Sukari gold mine in Egypt produced 98,045 ounces of gold in the third quarter, a 17% drop on a yearly basis, while year-to-date production decreased by 1% to 332,141 ounces. Gold sold from the operation during the quarter inched up 2% year over year to 108,826 ounces, while sales for the first nine months of the year decreased 1% to 332,955 ounces.

* Arcus Development Group Inc. agreed to sell the Dan Man property, part of its Dawson gold project in Yukon's White Gold District, to Newmont Goldcorp Corp. unit Goldcorp Kaminak Ltd.

* Gold Resource Corp. increased its instituted annual dividend from 2 U.S. cents per common share to 4 cents per common share.

* Majestic Gold Corp.'s subsidiary Majestic China Holdings Corp. entered into three separate non-binding memorandums of understanding with three different groups, to carry out a thorough due diligence review for a possible joint venture, merger or acquisition with each of the parties and/or their assets. The MOUs involve four different gold projects in the Muping-Rushan gold belt in Shandong Province, China.

* Thor Explorations Ltd. is developing a project in southwest Nigeria capable of producing 80,000 ounces of gold per year and is aiming to start operations in early 2021, amid the country's effort to persuade investors that it could become a mining destination for metals, Bloomberg News reported. Africa Finance Corporation is investing in the project through a US$78 million dent-equity financing package.

* Spectrum Metals Ltd. estimated a maiden mineral resource of 799,000 tonnes grading 13.8 g/t gold for 355,500 ounces of gold for its Penny West project in Western Australia.


* JSW Steel Ltd. posted a consolidated net profit of 25.36 billion Indian rupees for the second quarter of its fiscal 2020, increasing from 20.87 billion rupees in the year-ago period, with results benefiting from the reversal of deferred tax provisions following changes to Indian tax legislation. Its pretax profit slumped to 6.88 billion rupees, from 30.23 billion rupees a year ago. The company slashed its fiscal 2020 capital expenditure guidance to 110 billion rupees from 157.08 billion rupees due to market conditions, which prompted it to delay 47 billion rupees of spending on a number of downstream projects to fiscal 2021.

* Norsk Hydro ASA swung to a third-quarter loss of 1.39 billion Norwegian kroner, or 62 øre per share, against a year-ago profit of 925 million kroner, or 37 øre per share, as the company's realized alumina prices fell by a third and aluminum prices were down 19%. Underlying earnings plummeted 64% to 606 million kroner, or 33 øre per share, as revenue slipped 6% to 37.52 billion kroner. The results mainly reflected a decrease in product prices, partly offset by lower raw material costs and positive effects from higher production in Brazil following the lifting of the production embargo in May, the company said.

* Schmolz + Bickenbach AG is planning a capital increase of CHF189 million to CHF350 million amid what it called a "steel crisis." The company also said that its 2019 adjusted EBITDA would be lower than €70 million, after it said that it was targeting €70 million to €100 million for the full year in September.

* As Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. cut capital expenditure guidance, the iron ore miner's net income fell 79.2% year over year in the third quarter to US$90.9 million, or 33 U.S. cents per share, from US$437.8 million, or US$1.41 per share.

* Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional will resume operations at its No. 3 blast furnace later this week, after a maintenance outage lasting more than three months, Fastmarkets MB reported.

* Kaiser Aluminum Corp.'s adjusted net income for the third quarter totaled US$29 million, or US$1.82 per diluted share, higher than the US$24 million, or US$1.43 per diluted share, posted in the same quarter of 2018. EBITDA increased year on year to US$57 million from US$47 million. Net sales for the quarter amounted to US$375 million, lower than the US$393 million in the previous year, reflecting decrease in shipments and average selling price.

* Latrobe Magnesium Ltd. signed an agreement with EnergyAustralia Pty. Ltd. to secure ash supply for Latrob'’s initial 3,000-tonne-per-annum magnesium plant for the next 10 years.

* Activists against Adani Enterprises Ltd. are targeting contractors, which may make it hard for the company to complete its Carmichael coal project in Queensland, Australia, ABC reported.

* Japan's crude steel output in July to September fell to its lowest in 10 years to 24.6 million tonnes, down 4.3% from the same period a year ago and the fifth consecutive quarterly drop, Reuters reported.


* Galaxy Resources Ltd. has joined the list of battery minerals producers scaling back their mines as the company said that work at its Mt Cattlin lithium mine in Western Australia would reduce by 40% in 2020, The Australian Financial Review reported. The cutbacks are designed to stem the company's cash burn amid slumping lithium prices.

* Infinity Lithium Corp. Ltd.'s initial application to access EU funding through the European Battery Alliance's appointed private investment company InnoEnergy has been approved.


* Several mining experts noted a lack of diversity in the global mining industry and highlighted the importance of attracting talented millennials to the workforce during the Future of Mining Americas conference in Denver. Namely, speakers said the younger generations care more about the impact companies have on communities, society and the planet than they do about simply making money.

* Chinese non-ferrous scrap imports will come to a standstill in the next four months as major buyers have used up their import quotas for this year, and new quotas are unlikely to be granted before the lunar new year in late January, Fastmarkets MB reported, citing industry sources.

* U.S. Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota's 4th Congressional district has led the charge for a new environmental review on how mining for copper, nickel and other precious metals could affect the Rainy River watershed, which drains into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Minnpost reported.

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