Anglo American Plc's production in the fourth quarter of 2016 rose 4% on a copper equivalent basis. The company saw increases across all commodities barring copper and export metallurgical coal, on a yearly basis. For full-year 2016, production increased for nickel, platinum and iron ore from Minas Rio, while output of diamonds, copper, export metallurgical and thermal coal, and iron ore from Kumba dropped year over year.
Freeport-McMoran swings to US$292M profit in Q4'16
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. swung to a fourth-quarter 2016 net profit of US$292 million, from a year-ago net loss of US$4.08 billion. Revenue during the quarter rose to US$4.38 billion from US$3.52 billion a year ago, thanks to higher average realized prices for metals. Consolidated copper production in the period rose to 1.20 billion pounds from 1.12 billion pounds produced in the prior year. Meanwhile, CEO Richard Adkerson said the company may have to curtail costs by mid-February at its Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia should the company fail to secure a copper export permit, with large layoffs and CapEx cutbacks in the cards.
DiamondCorp Plc is on the verge of being placed into administration, after business rescue practitioners failed to reach an agreement with secured lenders for the company's Lace Diamond Mines Pty. Ltd. on issues related to a previously announced £1.0 million placing. The company's board delayed the placement and now has until Jan. 30 to resolve outstanding issues to avoid bankruptcy.
* Analysts at Citigroup said Rio Tinto is expected to announce a capital restructuring program, including a potential increase in shareholder returns, when it releases fiscal-year earnings Feb. 8, following the company's US$2.45 billion sale of its Australian coal unit to Yancoal Australia Ltd., The Australian Financial Review reported.
* KAZ Minerals Plc's copper cathode output jumped 73% year over year to 140,000 tonnes in 2016, achieving guidance of 135,000 tonnes to 145,000 tonnes. The new projects, Bozshakol and Aktogay, contributed 63,000 tonnes of new copper cathode equivalent production. Gold bar equivalent output surged to 119,700 ounces in the year, from 34,600 ounces a year ago.
* Heavy rains forced Codelco to stop operations at its Chuquicamata and Radomiro Tomic copper units in Chile, daily El América reported.
* The government's Committee of Ministers approved Codelco's Radomiro Tomic Sulfuros project. With an investment of US$5.3 billion, it is the most expensive structural project undertaken by the state miner, daily Pulso reported.
* Audley Capital Advisors LLP-controlled Mantos Copper SA reached new collective negotiation agreements with its five workers unions, involving 800 workers at its Mantoverde and Mantos Blancos copper mines in northern Chile. The contracts expire in mid-2020, magazine Minería Chilena reported.
* Indonesia's Papua province, which hosts Freeport-McMoRan's Grasberg mine, prevailed in a court battle against the company over 2.51 trillion Indonesian rupiah in outstanding surface water taxes, Reuters reported.
* All conditions related to the US$210 million sale of MMG Ltd.'s Golden Grove polymetallic project in Western Australia are now satisfied. The sale will be completed Feb. 28.
* Adventus Zinc Corp. filed a final prospectus with the securities regulatory authorities in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia for its proposed IPO.
* Lonmin Plc expects sales of between 650,000 platinum ounces and 680,000 platinum ounces in fiscal 2017, with unit costs ranging from 10,800 South African rand to 11,300 rand per platinum group metals ounce. Platinum sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 dropped 10.3% year over year to 134,954 ounces, while PGM sales slipped just 0.2% to 289,962 ounces in the three months.
* Polymetal International Plc's full-year 2016 gold production increased 3% year over year to 890,000 ounces. Silver production declined 9% to 29.2 million ounces, compared to 2015. The company forecast production at 1.40 million gold equivalent ounces in 2017 and 1.55 million gold equivalent ounces in 2018.
* Petropavlovsk Plc produced 416,300 ounces of gold in full-year 2016, compared to 504,100 ounces produced a year ago. In 2017, the company expects gold production of between 420,000 ounces and 460,000 ounces at total cash cost of US$600 per ounce to US$700 per ounce and all-in sustaining cash costs of US$800 per ounce to US$900 per ounce.
* Nord Gold SE's refined gold production in 2016 dropped 9% year over year to 868,800 gold equivalent ounces but was in line with the year's guidance of 840,000 ounces to 880,000 ounces. Gold doré production was down 6% to 870,400 ounces. Revenue for the year dropped 4% on a yearly basis to US$1.08 billion. The company expects fiscal 2017 production in the range of 900,000 ounces to 950,000 ounces.
* Barrick Gold Corp. produced 5.52 million ounces of gold in 2016, hitting the higher end of its guidance range of 5.25 million ounces to 5.55 million ounces but lower than the 6.1 million ounces of gold produced in 2015. Production for the final quarter of 2016 totaled 1.52 million ounces of gold, down year over year from 1.62 million ounces.
* Avocet Mining Plc failed to achieve its gold production guidance for the year of 75,000 ounces to 85,000 ounces, with output totaling 72,485 ounces at a cash cost of US$991 per ounce. The company's operations were negatively affected due to the seizure of its shipments in late October and November 2016.
* India is considering the restart of production from a group of colonial-era mines, which are anticipated to have deposits worth US$2.1 billion, Reuters reported. State-run Mineral Exploration Corp. Ltd. is undertaking exploration in the Kolar Gold Fields in the state of Karnataka.
* South Africa's mineral resources minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, expressed concern over media reports that Sibanye Gold Ltd. and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. are not adhering to the country's mining laws related to the health and safety of workers. According to a statement released by the department of mineral resources, the two companies are responsible for the deaths of 19 mine workers in 2016.
* China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd. expects to produce 218,700 ounces of gold from its CSH and Jiama mines in China this year, up from the 211,301 ounces of gold produced in 2016. The company also aims to produce about 79 million pounds of copper from Jiama in 2017, nearly doubling from the 40.4 million pounds of copper produced last year.
* Compañía de Minas Buenaventura SAA officially started operations at its US$340 million Tambomayo gold mine in Peru's Arequipa region, daily Diario Correo reported.
* Stellar AfricaGold Inc. has acquired the remaining 49% interest in the Balandougou gold project in Guinea.
* Independence Group NL swung to a net profit after tax of A$10.2 million in the second quarter of its fiscal 2017, up from a net loss after tax of A$28.1 million a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter totaled A$128.5 million, up year over year from A$98.4 million.
* Endeavour Silver Corp. expects to produce between 5.2 million ounces and 5.7 million ounces of silver and between 50,000 ounces and 53,000 ounces of gold at its three Mexican mines in 2017.
* MacPhersons Resources Ltd. updated the mineral resource at its Boorara gold project in Western Australia to 5.95 million tonnes grading 1.2 g/t of gold for 232,000 ounces at a 0.4 g/t gold cutoff. This compares to a previous estimate of 10.8 million tonnes at 0.99 g/t of gold for 341,500 ounces, but at a cutoff of 0.3 g/t of gold.
* A National Instruments 43-101-compliant maiden inferred resource estimate for Lumina Gold Corp.'s Cangrejos gold-copper project in Ecuador pegged 191.8 million tonnes grading 0.81 g/t of gold equivalent containing 4 million ounces of gold, 423 million pounds of copper and 4.6 million ounces of silver, at a 0.35 g/t of gold equivalent cutoff.
* Australia's Deputy Prime Minister gave conditional backing to Rio Tinto's sale of its Australian coal unit to Yancoal Australia, saying that even the unions are in support of the deal, The Australian Financial Review reported. The sale is yet to receive approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
* Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. unit Yancoal Australia, which agreed to take over Rio Tinto's Australian coal operation in a US$2.45 billion deal, faces fundraising hurdles as the company asks its Australian investors to pledge a record sum of cash to fund the purchase, The Australian wrote. The parent has already committed US$1 billion to Yancoal, but local investors would still need to deliver up to A$1.9 billion in fresh equity to fund the transaction.
* Shareholders of Adriana Resources Inc. and Sprott Resource Corp. approved the previously announced merger between the companies.
* Shares in Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. rose more than 9% after the company said its headline EPS for the year ending December 2016 is likely to be in the range of 26.36 South African rand to 27.72 rand, between 123% and 125% higher on a yearly basis. It attributed the expected increase to higher iron ore export prices, as well as a 5.98 billion rand impairment booked in 2015. The Anglo American unit will report full-year earnings Feb. 14.
* British Steel is targeting between a 20% and 25% year-over-year improvement in turnover by the end of its financial year on March 31, 2017, on the back of additional cost savings and enhanced product quality and service offering, Metal Bulletin reported. The company is targeting EBITDA of about £100 million by its third year, compared with losses of about £80 million in the 2015-2016 financial year on revenue of about £1.25 billion, the Financial Times reported.
* Separately, The Guardian wrote that the company in June will restore full pay for workers, who had agreed to a 3% salary cut at the time of the takeover to keep operations running.
* BC Iron Ltd. revised its fiscal-2017 EBITDA guidance for its Iron Valley mine in Western Australia to between A$18 million and A$25 million, after posting EBITDA of A$8.1 million for the December-2016 quarter after record iron ore shipments of 2.1 million wet tonnes.
* Tata Steel Ltd. struck a deal to acquire a majority stake in Creative Port Development Private Ltd. to help advance the proposed development of the Subarnarekha Port in Odisha, India.
* China's Ministry of Environmental Protection proposed to suspend about one-fifth of the country's alumina production capacity across three provinces to fight air pollution over the winter season, a move that will create shortages of alumina but will have little impact on aluminum supply, Bloomberg News reported.
* Wood Mackenzie warned that U.S. President Donald Trump's move to exit the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal will have little immediate impact on the country's steel industry, though the long-term effects are likely to be significant, Mining.com reported.
* Arianne Phosphate Inc. signed a project agreement with Rio Tinto with a view to share maritime services. The companies will discuss using ships serving Rio Tinto to transport phosphate concentrate produced at Arianne's Quebec-based Lac a Paul project to international markets.
* SouthGobi Resources Ltd. said the Khan-Uul District Civil Court of First Instance in Mongolia dismissed a lawsuit filed by fuel supplier Magnai Trade LLC over alleged outstanding fuel supply payments, on the basis that the parties should resolve the matter through arbitration.
* Alberta's superior trial court denied an application brought by Syncrude Canada Ltd. for an injunction on activities at Athabasca Minerals Inc.'s Susan Lake, allowing the latter to continue overseeing operations in the public pit.
* A preliminary economic assessment on Graphite One Resources Inc.'s integrated Graphite One manufacturing project indicated a pretax net present value of US$1.04 billion, at a 10% discount rate, and an internal rate of return of 27%. The project will require total CapEx of US$363 million for mining operations, a processing plant, a manufacturing plant and other infrastructure.
* Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd.'s prospectus has been approved ahead of an intended flotation on the London Stock Exchange. The company's focus is the Gakara rare earths project in Burundi, and it has already raised about US$8 million to fast-track the project to production, with first sales of concentrate targeted by the end of the year.
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