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ArcelorMittal to invest US$1.8B to upgrade steel mill; Evraz H1 profit plummets


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Insight Weekly: Path to net-zero; US manufacturing momentum; China's lithium M&A frenzy


Insight Weekly: US recession outlook; mortgage activity slowdown; climate disclosure push

ArcelorMittal to invest US$1.8B to upgrade steel mill; Evraz H1 profit plummets


ArcelorMittal to invest US$1.8B to upgrade Ukrainian steel mill

ArcelorMittal's Ukrainian steel mill, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, will invest US$1.8 billion over the next five years to cut emissions by 50% to 55%. The company also prepared a plan of short-term initiatives to reduce emissions by 10% to 15%.

Evraz cuts interim dividend as H1 net profit plummets 70% YOY

Russian steelmaker Evraz PLC cut its interim dividend to 35 U.S. cents per share, from 40 cents per share a year ago, as net profit in the first half plummeted 70% year over year to US$344 million, or 21 cents per share. The results were impacted by higher costs, a swing to a foreign exchange loss of US$273 million from a US$147 million year-ago profit, and impairments of noncurrent financial assets totaling US$56 million.

Report: Turkish investment group in talks to acquire insolvent British Steel

An investment group owned by Turkey's military pension fund joined the race to acquire British Steel Corp. Ltd., the Financial Times reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter. Ataer Holding is a unit of state military retirement program Oyak, the largest shareholder in steelmaker Erdemir.


* Mitsubishi Materials Corp.'s attributable net income in its fiscal first quarter plummeted 75.6% year over year to ¥2.41 billion. Net sales in the quarter declined 12.8% year over year to ¥366.3 billion. The company said results were impacted by falling copper prices, declining demand in automobile and semiconductor-related sectors, and weaker demand for cement. The company revised the net income forecast for its fiscal first half to ¥5.00 billion from the previous forecast of ¥12.0 billion.

* Vale SA is challenging the decision to suspend its Onca Puma nickel operations in Brazil based on reports from seven experts appointed by the Federal Judge of Redenção. The company said the reports showed that there is no connection between its activities and the alleged contamination of the Cateté River.

* Chilean state copper miner Codelco produced 769,400 tonnes in the first half, a 12.1% drop year over year, Reuters reported, citing the country's copper commission, Cochilco.

* Nickel Mines Ltd. is on its way to entering the S&P/ASX 300 thanks to its profitable partnership with Tsingshan Holding Group Co. Ltd., and the Chinese company's battery material plans in Indonesia could see the ASX-listed company realizing further upside in the electric vehicle supply chain, according to an exclusive S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

* Glencore International AG's claim against Ironbark Zinc Ltd. was dismissed following arbitration. The arbitration started after Ironbark denied that it had a contractual obligation to allow Glencore to nominate a new director to its board.

* The Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources accepted the mining license application by Griffin Mining Ltd.'s Chinese subsidiary, Hebei HuaAo Mining Industry Co. Ltd., for Zone II at the Caijiaying zinc mine in China's Hebei province. A new license is expected to be issued within 40 days.

* The Public Authority for Mining in Oman advised Savannah Resources PLC that it intends to grant mining licenses over the Mahab 4 and Maqail South high-grade copper deposits, part of the Block 5 exploration license. The licenses will be granted after new licensing fees are set under the new mining law and the fees are paid.

* The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources denied a request made by environmental groups to reconsider the mining and dam safety permits issued for PolyMet Mining Corp.'s NorthMet copper project.

* Creditors of Doe Run Peru Srl will meet in September to learn liquidator company Carrizales Infraestructura & Servicios Públicos SCRL's new plan for liquidating the company's La Oroya metallurgical complex and the Cobriza copper mining unit in Peru, daily Gestión reported.

* The Lusaka High Court in Zambia threw out Vedanta Resources Ltd.'s appeal to halt the liquidation of its Konkola Copper Mines PLC unit, Bloomberg News reported. A hearing for a winding-down petition is scheduled for Aug. 27, with preliminary arguments to be heard Aug. 13, the report said.

* Glencore PLC will try to mitigate the impact of its decision to close the Mutanda copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by retaining the local workforce and funding social responsibility projects near the site, Bloomberg News reported.


* Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s second-quarter 2E platinum group metals production from the U.S. operations climbed 18% over the first quarter to 153,874 ounces. 4E PGM production from the South African operations increased 8% to 283,526 ounces, and gold production grew 46% to 155,956 ounces on a quarterly basis.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. forward sold 30,000 ounces of gold at an average price of US$1,519 per ounce in scheduled monthly deliveries of 5,000 ounces between January 2020 and June 2020. The company's total hedge book now consists of 190,000 ounces in monthly deliveries out to June 2020.

* Gold Fields Ltd. reduced its forecast for headline EPS for the six months ended June 30 to 5 U.S. cents, instead of between $6.8 cents and $7.2 cents per share guided a week earlier. The change is due to a restatement of the gain on the disposal of investments, and the remaining guidance is not affected.

* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'s attributable net profit in the first half surged to US$114 million, from US$33 million a year ago. Gold income declined to US$1.79 billion from US$1.92 billion as sales slipped to 1.58 million ounces from 1.65 Moz. Half-year production dropped to 1.55 Moz, from 1.63 Moz in the prior-year half.

* Royal Gold Inc. swung to a profit of US$93.8 million, or US$1.43 per share, for its full fiscal 2019 from a loss of US$113.1 million, or US$1.73 per share, a year earlier. Revenue for the year declined 7.8% to US$423.1 million, and operating cash flow sank 6.2% to US$72.3 million.

* Pan American Silver Corp.'s attributable net income in the second quarter dropped to US$18.4 million, or 9 U.S. cents per share, from US$36.2 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. Mine operating earnings slipped to US$36.1 million from US$54.9 million due to increased production costs and a higher depreciation and amortization charge.

* Franco-Nevada Corp.'s net profit increased 19.4% year over year in the second quarter to US$64.0 million, or 34 U.S. cents per share. Revenues for the quarter increased 5.7% year over year to US$170.5 million. Sales were 107,774 gold-equivalent ounces, compared to 107,333 gold-equivalent ounces a year ago.

* Endeavour Silver Corp.'s second-quarter net loss widened year over year to US$10.1 million from US$5.7 million as revenue sank 24% to US$29.4 million amid a 22% fall in silver and 30% fall in gold output, while all-in sustaining costs grew. The company flagged a rise in second-half production along with lower costs relative to the first half.

* The government of Kyrgyzstan suspended operations at Chinese miner Zhong Ji Mining's Solton-Sary gold mine in the Naryn region for one month after 20 people were injured at violent protests over the site's alleged toxic spillage, Reuters reported, citing the Kyrgyz interior ministry.

* IronRidge Resources Ltd. entered into a binding memorandum of understanding with GeoDrill Ltd. for a drilling-for-equity program of up to US$4 million, or 40,000 meters of drilling, across all of the company's gold and lithium portfolios in Africa.

* Hecla Mining Co. swung to a net loss of US$46.5 million in the second quarter from a net profit of US$12.1 million in the year-ago period, while revenue fell to US$134.2 million from US$147.3 million. The company increased its full-year silver output guidance to 11.7 million ounces from 10 Moz.

* Coeur Mining Inc. swung to a second-quarter net loss of US$36.8 million, or a loss of 18 U.S. cents per share, from a year-ago profit of US$2.9 million, or 2 cents per share, following a noncash write-down of US$11.9 million during the period.

* First Majestic Silver Corp. decided to temporarily suspend mining operations at its La Parrilla silver mine in Mexico toward the end of the year to improve the mine's margins and profitability. The company lowered its annual silver equivalent production guidance to between 24.4 million ounces and 26.0 Moz from between 24.7 Moz and 27.5 Moz previously forecast.

* The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union in South Africa said it has been frustrated by the attitude of large platinum producers that are resisting wage increases despite reporting a rise in profits, according to an exclusive S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

* Centerra Gold Inc. and the government of Kyrgyzstan completed all conditions of a settlement agreement over their dispute on the Kumtor gold project. The parties will now move to cancel the remaining lawsuits affecting the project.


* Clive Palmer's lawyers are trying to get the remaining claims of US$100 million related to Queensland Nickel Pty. Ltd. dismissed after reaching an agreement with the special-purpose liquidators, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Thyssenkrupp AG's attributable net loss in its fiscal third quarter narrowed 29% year over year to €94 million. Net sales in the quarter remained stable year over year at €$10.78 billion. The company lowered its full-year forecast for adjusted EBIT to about €800 million, from the previously forecast €1.1 billion to 1.2 billion, due to weaker-than-expected economic growth and higher raw material costs for iron ore.

* Tata Steel Ltd.'s net profit for its fiscal first quarter plunged to 7.02 billion Indian rupees, or 5.83 rupees per share, from 19.34 billion rupees, or 16.66 rupees per share, a year ago. Tata Steel executed a memorandum of understanding to divest a 70% stake in Tata Steel (Thailand) PCL to Synergy Metals and Mining Fund and form a 70/30 partnership for the business. The deal follows the termination of its earlier agreement with HBIS Group Co. Ltd.

* The Italian government will offer ArcelorMittal temporary and limited legal immunity to prevent the closure of its Ilva International SpA plant, Reuters reported, citing a government source. The steelmaking giant had threatened to shut down the plant Sept. 6 after the government lifted legal protections for managers in case a planned environmental cleanup failed.

* Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau SA reported a 46.5% drop in second-quarter net profit to 372.8 million Brazilian reais as sales volumes were impacted by asset disposals in 2018. The divestments dragged down crude steel production in the June quarter by 14.1% year over year to 3.43 million tonnes. Shipments fell 22.5% to 2.97 Mt, and net sales fell 15.6% to 10.15 billion reais.

* African Export-Import Bank granted credit approval to provide Danakali Ltd.'s preferred power contractor, Inglett & Stubbs International, with a US$42 million guarantee, which will facilitate senior debt funding for the power plant at the Colluli sulfate of potash project in Eritrea.

* Peabody Energy Corp. unveiled a second-quarter cash dividend of 14.5 U.S. cents per share, an increase from the prior quarter's dividend of 14 cents per share. Separately, miners at Peabody Energy's Kayenta coal mine in Arizona are preparing for staff reductions as the operation's sole customer winds down its units.

* The Commonwealth Bank of Australia withdrew its support of thermal coal mining and consumption, although its coal exposure has been minimal, The Australian Financial Review wrote.


* The Association of China Rare Earth Industry said it is willing to support the Chinese government's countermeasures against the import tariffs the U.S. imposed on Chinese products, Reuters reported. "The cost of tariffs imposed by the United States should be borne by the U.S. market and consumers," the association wrote.

* Altura Mining Ltd. agreed to earn a 51% interest in Sayona Mining Ltd.'s 1,806-square-kilometer lithium portfolio in Western Australia's Pilgangoora mining district by spending A$1.5 million on exploration over three years.

* Albemarle Corp. reported net sales rose to US$885.1 million in the recent quarter from US$853.9 million in the 2018 second quarter, an increase of 4%. The rise was attributed to favorable pricing in all of the company's reportable segments and increased volume in sales from its lithium and bromine segments.


* The Colombian Constitutional Court overturned a previous ruling issued by the country's State Council allowing municipal councils to ban oil and mining projects. The court said local and regional authorities cannot veto extractive activities unilaterally, daily Portafolio reported.

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