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ICL, India agree on potash supply deal; Sibanye starts talks for Cooke 4 job cuts; Citigroup bullish on commodities in 2017

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Essential Metals & Mining Insights - January 2021

Industry Top Trends 2021: Metals and Mining


ICL, India agree on potash supply deal; Sibanye starts talks for Cooke 4 job cuts; Citigroup bullish on commodities in 2017

TOP NEWS

ICL agreesto sell potash to India at decade-low prices

Two sources told Reuters that will sell600,000 tonnes of potash to Indian Potash Ltd. at US$227 per tonne, the samedecade-low price the Indian firm was able to secure for its supply deal withJSC Belarusian Potash Co. According to the newswire, ICL's move could pressureother producers such as PJSCUralkali, and MosaicCo., AgriumInc. and Potash Corp.of Saskatchewan Inc.'s Canpotex Ltd. unit into considering offering similarprices.

SibanyeGold starts consultations for possible job cuts at Cooke 4

Sibanye GoldLtd. has initiateda Section 189A consultation process with organized labor and other stakeholdersfor possible job cuts at its Cooke 4 gold operations in South Africa as the companyconsiders all options and alternatives to closing the loss-making project, Mining Weekly wrote.

Citigroupbullish on commodities in 2017

In a recently released note, Citigroup Inc. said it is bullishon the outlook for commodities in 2017 citing the fading Brexit impact andgrowing global raw material demand, bolstered by the U.S. and China, BloombergNews reported.

DIVERSIFIED

* ValeSA reducedinvestment in environmental projects from US$1.01 billion in 2013 to US$864.8million in 2014 and US$572 million in 2015, according to the company'sSustainability Report for 2015, daily OGlobo reported.

* BHP BillitonGroup CFO Peter Beaven said the mining major is finding it hard toland opportunities to acquiretier-one copper and petroleum assets given pricing issues, The Australian Financial Review wrote.

BASE METALS

* VotorantimMetais SA unit Compañía Minera Milpo SAA's copper-molybdenum-silver project in Peru's Ancash region hasnot received its environmental license yet because authorities continuereviewing the observations made in 2015 to the project's environmental impactreport, the Ministry of Energy and Mines said in reply to an inquiry by daily Bolognesi Noticias.

* YunnanChihong Zinc and Germanium Co. Ltd. is 4.70 billion Chinese yuan byissuing up to 556,557,121 shares at a price of 8.45 yuan per share under aprivate placement. Some 3.70 billion yuan will be used to repay bank loans,while the remaining will fund exploration projects as well as construction of alead recycling facility.

* ChinaMolybdenum Co. Ltd.'s international CEO Kalidas Madhavpeddi saidthe company remainsinterested in distressed mining assets following several acquisitionsincluding the Northparkes copper mine in New South Wales, withAustralia continuing to be on its radar, TheAustralian reported.

* VedantaResources Plc Chairman Anil Agarwal said the company a total of US$1billion on its Gamsberg zinc project in South Africa over the nextthree years, the Press Trust of India wrote.

* ImperialMetals Corp. filed a lawsuitin the Supreme Court of British Columbia against engineering firms KnightPiesold and AMEC over damages related to the 2014 breach of the tailingsstorage facility at its wholly owned Mount Polley copper-gold-silver mine, The Canadian Pressreported. The company claims negligence and breach of contract.

* After failing to reach an agreement in contractdiscussions, workers have downedtools at Anglo AmericanPlc's Chile-based El Soldado copper mine, Reuters reported, citing unionhead Jaime Munoz.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Hecla MiningCo.'s preliminary second-quarter silver output to about 4.2 million ouncesfrom approximately 2.5 million ounces in the same period last year, while goldproduction surged by 40.9% year on year to 62,965 ounces. The company increasedits 2016 output guidance to 15.75 million ounces of silver and 233,000 ouncesof gold.

* EndeavourSilver Corp.'s silver production in the second quarter year on year toabout 1.6 million ounces from the 1.8 million ounces produced in the samequarter of 2015, while its gold output increased by 17% to 15,649 ounces. Thecompany raised its output guidance this year, expecting to produce 5.5 millionounces to 6 million ounces of silver and 49,000 ounces to 54,000 ounces of gold.

* According to the SouthChina Morning Post, ZijinMining Group Co. Ltd.'s shares surged on July 11 afterannouncing a plan to raise up to 4.8 billion Chinese yuan for thedevelopment of the Kolwezi copper project in the Democratic Republic ofCongo.

* According to an SNL Metals & Mining exclusive, marketcaps for the top 25 mining companies, as of June quarter-end, by an aggregate 13% on aquarterly basis. The most notable shifts in the rankings can be attributed togold-focused companies, which have benefited greatly from rising gold prices,declining mining costs, and most recently, global economic uncertainty as aresult of the U.K.'s Brexit vote in June.

* According to TheAustralian Financial Review, Metals X Ltd. said it will considerselling its Rover gold project in the Northern Territory after it receivedseveral expressions of interest for the project.

* Mali's national statistics institute said the country exported arecord 70.2 tonnes of gold in 2015, up from the 53.2 tonnes exported in thepreceding year, Reuters reported.

* PanoramicResources Ltd. expects to filethe prospectus for the proposed spin-off of certain gold assets bySeptember.

* GeopacificResources Ltd. has secured an option to earn up to a 75% interest in the goldproject in Papua New Guinea from Kula Gold Ltd. by spending A$18.7 million over 3.5 years.

* Gold output from Independence Group NL's jointly owned gold mine in WesternAustralia fell to448,485 ounces for the year ended June, down from the 496,413 produced in 2015.

* The Colombian government will intervene in the domesticgold market to curbillegal mining in the country, daily ElTiempo wrote, citing Environment Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo. Colombiawill also eliminate the use of mercury in legal mining starting in 2018 incompliance with the Minamata Convention.

* CaledoniaMining Corp. Plc produced about 12,509 ounces of gold in the secondquarter this year from its 49%-owned Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe. Quarterly production was up20% year over year, and 16% compared to the first quarter. The company isaiming to produce about 50,000 ounces of gold in the full year.

* Barrick GoldCorp.'s President Kelvin Dushnisky said the gold major cantrim down its debt to US$5 billion in next three years and could eliminatetotal debt within a decade thanks to gold-price gains, cost cuts and assetsales, Bloomberg News reported.

* RandRefinery Pty. Ltd. has disputedan amount owed to GoldplatPlc's 74%-owned subsidiary GoldplatRecovery (Pty.) Ltd. in relation to a binding memorandum ofunderstanding for processing a batch of silver sulfide material. GoldplatRecovery has issued a demand letter to Rand Refinery for unpaid invoices forabout 13.5 million South African rand.

* Russia's Far East Development Fund and state-ownedChina National Gold GroupCorp. are in talks toestablish a new joint investment fund focused on financing gold projects ineastern Russia, Sputnik News reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Data from the Pilbara Ports Authority showed that iron oreexports through Port Hedland totaled 454.2 million tonnes in the fiscal yearended June 30, a3% increase from a year ago, The WestAustralian reported.

* Tata SteelLtd. is in preliminary discussions with potential partners,including Germany's ThyssenKruppAG, to explore thepossibility of a joint venture for its European operation. Thecompany decided to temporarily halt the sale of its major U.K. assets due touncertainty following the Brexit vote and pension fund liabilities.

* However, Liberty House Group said it will still continueto negotiate the possible acquisition of parts of Tata Steel's U.K.business, Reuters reported.

* A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reutersthat Nippon Steel & SumitomoMetal Corp. couldask a Brazilian court to name a new CEO for if the shareholder meeting scheduled July 11 fails to produce a bettersolution. Nippon opposed the appointment of Usiminas' current CEO and the MinasGerais state court ordered the meeting for Usiminas shareholders to try toagree on the company's management.

* Sources confirmed that liquidator Korda Mentha is lookingto finalize the 2015 agreement for the sale of 's iron ore project inthe Northern Territory to a buyer which is believed to be Al Rawda ResourcesAustralia, The Sydney Morning Heraldwrote.

* Beijing is requiring companies that are owned by thecentral government and not specializing in the coal sector to , as part ofits nationwide capacity reduction program, according to a statement released bythe State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

* Wuhan Iron& Steel Co. Ltd. said production at the city of Wuhan, Hubeiprovince, was notaffected by the floods along China's Yangtze River, noting that itsproduction facilities are "under control and remain stable." Thestatement was made in response to media reports stating that the companysuspended production lines due to heavy rains.

* Russia's ONEXIM Group soldits 20% stake in the potash producer PJSC Uralkali to Belarusian businessman Dmitri Lobyak,Reuters reported. The market value of the stake is said to be US$2 billion.

* Essar Steel has placed its unit into chapter11 bankruptcy protection after a state regulator moved to cancel its leasesto mine taconite iron, The Wall StreetJournal reported.

* GT GroupHoldings Ltd. expects to book a consolidated net loss for the six months ended June 30,compared to a net profit of about HK$1.07 billion a year ago.

SPECIALTY

* The Russian government has the shares for selling its 10.9%stake in diamond miner PJSCALROSA at 65 Russian rubles per share or US$1.02 apiece, whichwould raise about US$820 million, Reuters reported, citing a source close tothe placement.

* TawanaResources NL has acquired Mount Belches Pty. Ltd., which owns fivelithium prospective tenements in two project areas, Cowan and Yallari, inWestern Australia.

* Unionized employees at Cameco Corp.'s Port Hope conversion facility have votedto accept a newcollective bargaining agreement, agreeing to a 7% wage increase over athree-year term.

* NemaskaLithium Inc. raised C$69.0 million through its previously announcedpublic offering to fund engineering fees in relation to the Whabouchi lithium project and concentrator andthe Shawinigan hydromet plant, make down payments for long lead items,drilling, and for general working capital purposes.

* Ardiden Ltd.has exercised its option to purchase 100% of Landore Resources Ltd.'s Root Lake lithium property in northwesternOntario.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The number of trade union organizations in the miningsector in Chile has increased,many of them by contractor workers who seek to match their benefits and laborconditions with that of full-time employees, daily El Mercurio reported.

* Caterpillar Inc.'s consultancy branch, Caterpillar SafetyServices, has partneredwith a tech company, Seeing Machines, to install fatigue-detection software inmining trucks, which will scan for "characteristics of microsleep in adriver," The Huffington Post wrote.

* Samsung C&T is cuttingdown its mining business after it lost A$1 billion in its first miningproject, Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore project in Australia, the Financial Times reported. The SouthKorean company is also involved in lawsuits with contractors seeking paymentfor unpaid work.

The Daily Dose isupdated as of 7 a.m. New York time, and scans news sources published inChinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai andUkrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.