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Severstal posts QOQ rise in Q3'19 profit; St Barbara cuts Gwalia output guidance


Severstal Q3'19 profit improves QOQ on lower costs

Russian steelmaker PAO Severstal's third quarter profit climbed 3.2% over the second quarter to US$490 million. Revenue slid 3.0% to US$2.11 billion due to adverse price dynamics for steel and raw materials, while EBITDA increased 4.5% to US$787 million on the back of lower sales costs. The board recommended a dividend of 27.47 Russian rubles per share for the third quarter.

St Barbara shares drop after slashing Gwalia's FY'20 gold output guidance

St Barbara Ltd.'s shares dropped over 8% in late afternoon ASX trade after the company announced cuts to its gold production guidance for fiscal 2020. The company expects its Gwalia mine in Western Australia to produce 175,000 ounces and 190,000 ounces in the full year, down from 200,000 ounces to 210,000 ounces previously. All-in sustaining costs at Gwalia are expected to increase to A$1,390 per ounce to A$1,450/oz, compared to A$1,230/oz to A$1,290/oz previously.

Jiangxi-backed Pangaea Investments ups First Quantum stake

Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd.-backed Pangaea Investment Ltd. said it acquired 6 million shares of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. for C$59.3 million to bring its stake in the company to 10.8%, as well as an option to buy a further 5.8% interest. Paradigm Capital analyst David Davidson said it was hard to gauge whether Pangaea's move was a precursor to a full-scale bid for First Quantum, which started producing copper at Cobre Panama this year.


* BHP Group leadership faced tough questions from shareholders at the annual general meeting concerned about dust pollution at Port Hedland caused by mining, Mining News reported. Separately, a resolution by some BHP investors urging the company to quit its membership of industry bodies whose lobbying efforts are not aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement was only supported by 22.16% of the votes at the miner's London annual general meeting, which represents 42% of shareholders, Reuters reported. A vote by the remaining 58% its shareholders, will take place on Nov. 7 in Australia.

* A total of seven under-construction mining projects in Peru are set to begin operations in 2020, including the expansion of Arias Group's Santa María gold mine, Minsur SA's Mina Justa, and Newmont Goldcorp Corp. and Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SAA's Quecher Main oxide expansion at the Yanacocha gold project, according to projections by the Ministry of Energy and Mines. The projects are expected to boost Peru's copper and gold output in the next three years, magazine Energiminas reported.


* Codelco will drop its plan to produce green copper and start working on a broader initiative to employ more sustainable methods of production, which analysts said could encourage industry-wide sustainability standards for copper production, Reuters reported. The company's previous plan included producing copper using renewable energy and recycled water, and was intended to be sold at a premium price.

* An application for an environmental license by BHP's Cerro Colorado operational continuity copper project was partially delayed by Chilean regulator SEA as it conducts a new assessment of the project. The decision complies with a February court ruling that partly annulled the project's environmental qualification resolution over concerns about the impact of water pumping on the recovery timing of a local aquifer and the wetland it sustains. Cerro Colorado said the ruling only pertains to water extraction from the aquifer and the rest of the project will proceed normally, daily Soy Chile reported.

* Estrella Resources Ltd. estimated a maiden resource at its Spargoville nickel project in Western Australia of 127,000 tonnes at 1.9% nickel and 0.15% copper.

* Altius Minerals Corp. reported total attributable revenue of about C$19.1 million for the third quarter, rising from C$17.1 million a year ago.

* The China Smelters Purchase Team raised fourth-quarter copper treatment and refining charges by 20% from the previous quarter to US$66 per tonne and 6.6 U.S. cents per pound, respectively, Reuters reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. The charges were down from a floor of US$90/t and 9 cents per pound set in the same quarter a year earlier.

* Cerro de Pasco Resources Inc. secured rights of use over 77.54 hectares held by the Quiulacocha Rural Community to develop the Quiulacocha project as well as a social license to develop exploration and reuse activities within the Quiulacocha Tailings in Peru.


* Barrick Gold Corp.'s third-quarter gold output rose to 1.31 million ounces, from 1.15 Moz in 2018, and sales climbed to 1.32 Moz from 1.20 Moz, according to preliminary figures. Copper production increased year over year to 111 million pounds from 106 million pounds, while sales fell to 64 million pounds from 114 million pounds due to a major refurbishment at a third-party smelter that processes some of the concentrate produced from the Lumwana mine in Zambia.

* The administrative court of Armenia ruled in favor of Lydian International Ltd.'s local subsidiary and upheld the company's appeal against an August 2018 directive by a government entity preventing any mining related activities at the company's Amulsar gold project.

* Spectrum Metals Ltd. said it will look to expedite the court proceedings initiated by Venus Metals Corp. Ltd. get the trial listed no later than the first quarter of 2020. The company noted that it is considering a counterclaim against Venus, which started proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia after Spectrum's acquisition of the Penny West gold project in December 2018.

* ActivEX Ltd. finalized a farm-in and joint venture agreement over its Pentland gold tenement in North-east Queensland with unlisted company Rockland Resources Pty. Ltd.

* Tempus Resources Ltd. completed its acquisition of the Zamora gold projects in Ecuador, with initial drilling planned for the first quarter of 2020.

* Northern Star Resources Ltd. produced 211,553 oz of gold in the first quarter of its fiscal 2020, decreasing from the 229,136 oz produced a year ago.

* Getchell Gold Corp. secured an option to acquire Canarc Resource Corp.'s Fondaway Canyon and Dixie-Comstock gold properties in Nevada for US$4 million in cash and shares over four years.

* Puma Exploration Inc. signed a purchase agreement to acquire the Jonpol gold project in the Murray Brook area in New Brunswick.


* China's largest steel producer China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Ltd. entered multiple cooperation agreements with Vale SA over steelmaking, logistics, base metals, technology research and development, Reuters reported.

* Russian fertilizer producer PJSC Acron took applications on Oct. 16 for a placement of 10 billion rubles worth of 3.5-year bonds, set for Oct. 25, Interfax reported and the company confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Acron's total debt has fallen 3.2% since the start of 2019 to 81.78 billion rubles, or about US$1.27 billion, at the end of the first half, but net debt has been ratcheting up as its cash reserves drain away.

* Adani Enterprises Ltd. awarded a more than A$100 million rail contract for its Carmichael coal project in Queensland, Australia, to Martinus Rail.

* Vedomosti reported that Montenegro's authorities claimed victory in a €600 million international arbitration dispute initiated by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, according to the press service of the Ministry of Economy. Deripaska, referring to a 1995 agreement between Russia and Yugoslavia, demanded several hundred million euros in compensation for the lost investment in the Podgorica Aluminum Combine.

* Vedomosti wrote that in the summer, Mechel PAO sent a letter to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak requesting assistance with regaining half the funds invested by the company in the Donetsk plant, which it lost amid armed conflict in the east of Ukraine. In addition, the company asked for a restructuring of loans.

* VRX Silica Ltd.'s bankable feasibility study for its Muchea silica sand project in Western Australia outlined a posttax net present value of A$337.9 million, with an internal rate return of 96% and a payback period of 2.3 years, based on 25 years life of mine.

* Mechel signed a contract to supply coal to South Korea's STX Corp. The deal covers the supply of up to 1.2 million tonnes of coking and thermal coal from Mechel's Southern Yakutia facilities and PCI product from its Southern Kuzbass Coal Co. unit in 2020.

* Whitehaven Coal Ltd. warned that a drought may impact future production at its flagship Maules Creek coal mine in New South Wales, Australia.

* Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s Chichester Hub iron ore operations in Western Australia will be powered by renewable energy under a landmark agreement with Alinta Energy Finance Pty. Ltd.


* Syrah Resources Ltd. completed the structural review it started in September in light of a downturn in flake graphite spot prices during the third quarter, and said it plans to produce 120,000 tonnes to 150,000 tonnes in 2020, compared to a guidance of 205,000 tonnes to 245,000 tonnes for 2019. It expects annualized saving of about US$22 million at its Balama operation in Mozambique and is laying off 30% of the staff at the mine, among other measures.

* TNT Mines Ltd. entered a formal binding agreement to sell its tin-tungsten assets in northeastern Tasmania, Australia, to private Canadian company TinOne Resources Ltd. for A$1.2 million in staged payments.

* PJSC Alrosa produced 12.1 million carats of diamonds in the third quarter, rising 15% year over year from 10.5 million carats, according to preliminary figures released by the company.

* Rosatom is pursuing its goal of applying lithium ion battery technology in the Russian economy by positioning itself to join Canadian corporation Wealth Minerals Ltd.'s lithium greenfield project in Chile, Wealth Minerals' president, Tim McCutcheon, told S&P Global Platts.


* Nigeria-based development-finance firm African Finance Corp. plans to double its exposure to mining assets to 20% of its long-term portfolio in the next three to five years, Bloomberg News reported. The company will invest in countries that other companies deem unattractive, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Congo.

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