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In This List

Arconic Q4'16 loss widens to US$1.25B after Alcoa split

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020

Report Outlooks of Lithium and Cobalt

Essential Metals & Mining Insights July 2020


Arconic Q4'16 loss widens to US$1.25B after Alcoa split

TOP NEWS

Arconic Q4'16 loss widens to US$1.25B after Alcoa split

Arconic Inc. reported a US$1.25 billion in net loss in the fourth quarter of 2016, widening from a loss of US$701 million recorded in the year-ago period, primarily due to its separation from Alcoa Corp. as well as restructuring and other costs. The company's revenue was roughly flat at US$2.97 billion during the period, as strong volume growth across segments was offset by the company’s ramp down from the North American packaging business at its Tennessee operations.

U.S. Steel narrows Q4, FY'16 net loss

U.S. Steel Corp. booked a net loss attributable to the company of US$105 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, narrowing from a year-ago net loss of US$1.13 billion. Net sales, meanwhile, totaled US$2.65 billion, up from US$2.57 billion a year earlier. For the full-year 2016, the company posted a net loss of US$440 million, narrowing from a net loss of US$1.64 billion in 2015.

Glencore eyes Implats' chrome interest in South Africa

Glencore Plc is mulling over bidding for Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.'s 65% stake in Impala Chrome Pty. Ltd., Bloomberg News reported, citing "two people familiar with the matter." The operation produces over 200,000 tonnes of chrome concentrate annually from tailings.

BASE METALS

* PJSC Mining and Metallurgical Co. Norilsk Nickel posted quarter-over-quarter increases in its fourth-quarter 2016 production of nickel and copper, while platinum group metals output declined. Consolidated nickel production increased 5% on a quarterly basis to 58,392 tonnes, while output from the company's Russian feed rose 16% to 52,604 tonnes and copper production also rose 11% on a quarterly basis, to 96,188 tonnes.

* Polymetal International Plc has taken full control of the Tarutinskoye copper deposit in Russia after consolidating its 75% interest in license holder LLC "Vostochny Basis" and pushing it to 100%. The company will issue 893,575 new shares for a total consideration of US$10 million to Gerosena Trading Ltd. to purchase the 25% stake.

* Bearing Resources Ltd. and Li3 Energy Inc. entered a definitive agreement to merge, with Li3 Energy to become a wholly owned Bearing subsidiary. The Bearing shares to be received by Li3 Energy stockholders will represent 43% of the issued and outstanding shares of the combined company upon completion of the merger.

* Sherritt International Corp. produced 75,033 ounces of nickel in 2016 to slightly exceed the top end of its guidance. The company also produced 6,967 tonnes of cobalt during the period, which is within its guidance of between 6,200 tonnes to 7,100 tonnes. For 2017, the Sherritt plans to produce 81,000 tonnes to 86,000 tonnes of nickel and 7,300 tonnes to 7,900 tonnes of cobalt.

* PolyMet Mining Corp. is now facing a second lawsuit from an environmental group, which claims that the federal land swap agreement signed by the company to secure 6,650 acres for its NorthMet copper-nickel mine in Minnesota heavily undervalued the land, Minneapolis' StarTribune reported.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Zimplats Holdings Ltd. is engaging with the Zimbabwean government regarding President Robert Mugabe's plan to seize over 28,000 hectares of land from the miner, Fin24 reported. According to the miner, it was given 30 days from Jan. 13 to lodge an objection to the proposed compulsory acquisition.

* RBC Daily reported that Said Kerimov's PJSC Polyus, which recently received a license to develop Russia's largest gold deposit, Sukhoi Log, has warned investors about the risk of losing it due to the new Western sanctions against Rostec, its partner in the project.

* Artemis Resources Ltd. placed an order for a 150-tonne-per-hour trial gold recovery plant for its Nickol River gold project in Western Australia.

* Laconia Resources Ltd. entered into a binding agreement to acquire Kraaipan Founders Pty. Ltd. and all its subsidiaries, which hold 100% of the Kraaipan gold-nickel-copper-platinum group metals project in Botswana.

* Kalamazoo Resources Ltd. signed an ore sale and purchase agreement with Minjar Gold Pty Ltd. to fund the drilling, feasibility study and development of the company's A-Zone project at the Snake Well gold mine in Western Australia.

* Northern Abitibi Mining Corp. sold its 1.5% net smelter royalty on the Douay Northwest gold project in Quebec to Aurvista Gold Corp. for C$325,000 in cash.

* Two workers at Hochschild Mining Plc's Inmaculada gold and silver mine in southern Peru were killed due to a tunnel cave-in, Reuters reported, citing a local police chief.

* The Solomon Islands government is looking to reopen the Gold Ridge project in the country, negotiating with landowners and Australian-based Chinese property developer AXF Group, ABC reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* CONSOL Energy Inc. is considering the sale of its coal business or a spinoff to shareholders after the company posted a US$321.2 million loss from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2016, or US$1.42 per share, swinging from a profit of US$45.3 million a year ago, Reuters reported.

* Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. still has no plans to bring its Iron Bridge project in Western Australia into production anytime soon. "We're very confident in that project longer term," CEO Neville Power said during a Jan. 31 conference call. "Right now we just don't see that the conditions support bringing that into the market, but we're continuing to assess that." Meanwhile, Power did not rule out a share buyback as the company eyes its capital options amid increasing cash flows, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Power said he sees the company maintaining its payout ratio, which will be reviewed during the upcoming board meeting.

* Japan's JFE Holdings Inc. is on track to build a steel plant in Mexico with its American partner, Nucor, though the Japanese firm continues to keep a close eye on U.S. policy after President Donald Trump threatened to pull out from the North American Free Trade Agreement, which binds Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, Reuters reported.

* Coal exports from South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal fell by 3.7% in 2016 to 72.6 million tonnes, Reuters reported.

* India's National Mineral Development Corp. Ltd. is calling for the government to award new mining leases to the company under a specific regulation that would exempt NMDC from following the mandatory auction route to secure new leases. According to Mining Weekly, the miner's hunt for new leases comes as it aims to hit its ramp-up target of producing 75 million tonnes of iron ore per year from its current 30 million-tonne annual production.

* Interfax reported that BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset management firm, built up 5.68% of shares in Ferrexpo Plc with assets in Ukraine.

* Puls Biznesu reported that a Polish court acquitted of corruption charges former heads of Katowice Coal Holding and former directors of the company's mines. Prosecutors had accused them of accepting bribes for awarding contracts in the mining industry.

* Deutsche Bank has decided not to finance any greenfield thermal coal mining and new coal-fired power plant construction. The German bank revised its coal financing guidelines and will also gradually reduce its existing exposure to the thermal coal mining sector.

* Central state-owned enterprises are required to eliminate 24.7 million tonnes of coal this year, according to Xiao Yaqing, head of China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, China Economy reported. Central authorities also pledged to step up efforts in shutting down so-called "zombie companies" in the coal industry.

SPECIALTY

* Iluka Resources Ltd. decided to permanently close its ilmenite operations in the U.S. Tom O'Leary, managing director and CEO, said the Australian mineral sands producer is no longer contemplating resuming mining in Virginia or going ahead with the development of the Hickory project in Virginia or the Aurelian Springs project in North Carolina. Iluka is also unlikely to sell as it does not believe the assets will fetch a decent price.

* Separately, Iluka's costs following the acquisition of Sierra Rutile Ltd. are forecast to be much higher in 2017 than the Australian mineral sands producer expected at the time it acquired the company. Following a review of its operations, Iluka revealed that it is now expecting total costs of US$87 million this year, higher than its three-year average guidance of between US$75 million and US$85 million.

* Rio Tinto unit Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. expects uranium production for 2017 to be between 2,000 tonnes and 2,400 tonnes, with sales to be broadly in line with production. Meanwhile, the company decided not to declare a final dividend for the 2016 financial year due to challenging market conditions.

* Birimian Ltd. started a pre-feasibility study on its Bougouni lithium project in southern Mali after a scoping study confirmed its "outstanding potential." The scoping study outlined the development of an open pit at the Goulamina deposit in two phases, with annual production of 190,000 tonnes of 6% lithium oxide concentrate over an initial 13-year mine life at an average cash cost of US$326 per tonne.

* Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. entered agreements with the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho to acquire a 70% interest in Mothae Diamonds Pty. Ltd., which holds the Mothae kimberlite diamond project in northeast Lesotho.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The ASX tumbled Jan. 31, following Wall Street, which saw its biggest sell-off since the U.S. presidential election as investors dumped stocks that could be affected by the Trump administration's isolationist policies, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Dow Jones' MarketWatch wrote that Wall Street's fear index was at its highest in three months following the executive order tightening U.S. immigration rules, according to FactSet data.

* Two senior U.S. lawmakers are planning to abolish a rule that required publicly traded mining, oil and gas companies to disclose payments they make to foreign governments, arguing that the regulation hampers U.S. companies' ability to compete, Reuters wrote.

* A recent report from Research and Markets estimated that the global mining equipment market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 8.3% over the next 10 years, reaching approximately US$198.3 billion by 2025.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.