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Rio Tinto declares force majeure on iron ore shipments; Alrosa FY'18 sales up 6%

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Rio Tinto declares force majeure on iron ore shipments; Alrosa FY'18 sales up 6%

TOP NEWS

Rio Tinto declares force majeure on iron ore shipments after fire at Cape Lambert

Rio Tinto declared force majeure on certain iron ore shipments after a fire broke out during a maintenance shutdown at its Cape Lambert terminal in Pilbara, Western Australia, Reuters reported. "Rio Tinto is assessing the full impact of the damage and will do all it can to try and minimize disruption to our customers," a spokesman for the mining giant said in an emailed statement to the newswire.

Alrosa's FY'18 diamond sales up 6% to US$4.51B on high demand, prices

PJSC Alrosa's total diamond sales in 2018 grew 6% year on year to US$4.51 billion, from US$4.27 billion in 2017, driven by high demand for rough diamonds and positive price dynamics in the first half of the year. Rough diamond sales totaled US$4.41 billion, while polished diamond sales stood at US$95.3 million, according to preliminary figures.

Chuck Schumer to force vote on lifting Rusal, En+ sanctions

U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer plans on forcing a vote on a resolution that would disapprove plans for the Trump administration to remove sanctions on United Co. Rusal PLC, its parent En+ Group PLC and EuroSibEnergo PLC, Reuters reported. Schumer said the proposal is "flawed" as it failed to limit Oleg Deripaska’s control and influence of the companies. The news comes after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended his plan to lift the sanctions.

DIVERSIFIED

* Goldman Sachs flagged economic stability concerns, saying gold will breach the psychologically important US$1,300 per ounce mark within three months, even as base metals rose for the week ending Jan. 11 amid hopes of a U.S.-China detente and dovish U.S. Federal Reserve comments.

* Valor Resources Ltd. signed a joint venture option agreement with Kennecott Exploration Co., part of the Rio Tinto group, for the Berenguela copper-silver-manganese project in southeastern Peru, allowing it to take an up to 75% stake.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Acacia Mining PLC produced 130,581 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2018, representing a 12% drop from the prior year due to the transition of the Buzwagi mine to a stockpile processing operation. Full-year 2018 output, meanwhile, totaled 521,980 ounces, exceeding its guidance of between 435,000 ounces and 475,000 ounces.

* Highland Gold Mining Ltd. outlined an ore reserve of 771,569 ounces of gold contained in 9.0 million tonnes grading 2.7 g/t for the Mnogovershinnoye gold mine in Russia, supporting an extension of its mine life to 2029, from the previous forecast of 2022.

* Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s revolving credit facility lenders, comprising 13 South African and international banks, agreed to retain the upper limit of the company's net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio at 3.5x for another 12 months until the end of 2019 on the same terms as the previous agreement. The ratio was due to fall to 2.5x from the end of 2018.

* The contractors' union at Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SAA's Uchucchacua silver mine in Peru launched a strike over "unsuitable working conditions." The union also protested Buenaventura's dismissal of certain contracted workers at the site as the company concluded some contractor-related services.

* Gascoyne Resources Ltd. confirmed that it tapped Macquarie Capital (Australia) Ltd. as its financial adviser amid concerns that the company could face a takeover below its actual value following recent issues at its flagship Dalgaranga gold mine in Western Australia and instability on its board.

* Filo Mining Corp.'s pre-feasibility study on the Filo del Sol gold project in Argentina estimated a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$1.28 billion, and a 23% internal rate of return. The project is expected to annually produce 67,000 tonnes of copper, 159,000 ounces of gold and 8.7 million ounces of silver, based on 12 years of leaching.

* 3D Resources Ltd. said its proposed acquisition of the Grand Bois and Morne Bossa gold projects in Haiti is unlikely to close by March 31 after the vendors disagreed with the process of validating land titles. 3D Resources said it is still continuing to work with its Haitian lawyers and the vendors to complete the deal.

* Sanatana Resources Inc. successfully negotiated a surface access agreement with the local landowners for the company's Tirua copper-gold project in Solomon Islands. The agreement will help Sanatana secure a prospecting license over the 264-square-kilometer project and to begin exploration.

* Titan Minerals Ltd. executed a binding agreement to acquire up to an 85% interest in the Las Antas gold project in southern Peru. The company can earn an initial 60% stake by funding US$2 million of exploration within two years, and an additional 25% interest on completion of certain milestones.

* TomaGold Corp. increased its ownership in the Monster Lake gold property in Quebec to 50% from 45% after agreeing to acquire Quinto Resources Inc.'s 5% stake for C$500,000.

* Orminex Ltd.'s partner, underground mining contractor GBF Mining Pty Ltd., secured a 12-month lease with an option to acquire a 50% stake over the Burbanks gold processing mill in Western Australia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Cline Group LLC's Kameron Collieries ULC laid off 18 workers at the underground Donkin coal mine in Nova Scotia following a recent roof collapse incident at the site during the 2018 holiday break that resulted in the mine's suspension.

* Coal sales from TerraCom Ltd.'s Blair Athol project in Queensland reached 605,423 tonnes for the December 2018 quarter. First-half coal sales for the 2019 financial year totaled 1.2 million tonnes at an average realized price of US$92/t. The company said it is currently on track to achieve its coal sales guidance of 2.5 million tonnes for the fiscal year.

* OCJ Investment, the second largest single shareholder in Flinders Mines Ltd. has joined efforts to stop its proposed delisting from the ASX, The West Australian wrote. The Chinese-backed investor holds an approximately 22% stake in Flinders.

* An indefinite strike forced Coal India Ltd.'s Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. unit to stop operations at its Talcher unit, part of the larger Mahanadi Coalfields operations in India's Odisha state, Odisha Sun Times wrote. Citing a company spokesperson, the report said daily losses are estimated at around 200 million Indian rupees.

* All 21 miners trapped underground after a roof collapse at Baiji Mining Co. Ltd.'s Lijiagou coal mine in China's Shaanxi province were killed, Xinhua News Agency reported.

* Fertoz Ltd. received a trenching and bulk sample permit for its Fernie phosphate mining claims in Alberta, part of the 7,100-hectare Fernie project that extends from British Columbia into Alberta.

* Nan Nan Resources Enterprise Ltd. resumed operations at its Kaiyuan coal mine in China after renewing its mining permit, which is valid from Nov. 3, 2018, to Nov. 3, 2019.

* Jameson Resources Ltd. expanded its Crown Mountain coking coal joint venture in British Columbia by 2,067 hectares after it received four new coal exploration licenses.

SPECIALTY

* Former Dominion Diamond Mines CEO Patrick Evans is launching a company producing lab-grown diamonds, selling gem-quality stones larger than 1 carat for the bridal market, the Financial Times reported. Evans said his company, which aims a listing on the TSX in 2020, targets to offer prices of about 15% to 20% cheaper than the natural diamonds.

* Peninsula Energy Ltd. produced 20,364 pounds of uranium at its Lance project in the December quarter of 2018, missing its guidance range of between 22,500 pounds and 27,500 pounds.

* Syrah Resources Ltd. declared commercial production at its Balama graphite operations in Mozambique. The company's natural graphite production in the fourth quarter of 2018 totaled 33,000 tonnes, while full-year 2018 production stood at 104,000 tonnes, in line with updated guidance.

* Sheffield Resources Ltd. tapped UBS AG to act as its corporate adviser to search for a strategic partner for the funding and development of its Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia.

* Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo, the partnership between Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd., state-owned mining company Endiama and local partner Rosas & Petalas, will offer seven exceptional diamonds from its Lulo mine in the inaugural competitive sale under the country's new diamond marketing policy.

* Noram Ventures Inc. settled its legal claim against Centrestone Resources LLC related to the latter trespassing over the former's Zeus lithium property in Clayton Valley, Nevada.

* Lithium Energy Products Inc. completed its acquisition of the Jackpot Lake lithium property in Nevada. The company agreed with the seller on an immediate transfer for a payment of 759,259 in Lithium Energy shares at the Jan. 10 closing price of 13.5 cents apiece for a total of around C$102,500. The remaining payment of C$102,500 will be made within six months of the project transfer.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The possibility of an El Niño phenomenon in 2019 poses cost risks among miners in Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador who heavily rely on hydroelectric power, Mining.com wrote, citing Fitch Solutions.

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