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In This List

Glencore to shut down Mutanda copper-cobalt mine; Mosaic swings to Q2'19 loss

Mining Exploration Insights December

Mining Exploration Insights: Dip in gold drilling weighs on results

Mining Exploration Insights: Is the exploration sector back on recovery?

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2019


Glencore to shut down Mutanda copper-cobalt mine; Mosaic swings to Q2'19 loss

TOP NEWS

Report: Glencore to shut down Mutanda copper-cobalt mine in DRC

Glencore PLC will shut down the Mutanda copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the end of 2019 due to slumping cobalt prices and rising costs, the Financial Times reported, citing a company letter to employees. Operations at the Mutanda mine will continue until the end of 2019 when it will be placed on care and maintenance, the report said.

Mosaic swings to Q2 loss as wet weather weighs on sales volumes

Mosaic Co. swung to a net loss of US$233.1 million, or a loss of 60 cents per share, for the second quarter, down from a year-ago net profit of US$67.9 million, or 18 cents per share, due to wet weather in the Midwest weighing on its North American spring fertilizer sales volumes and phosphate margins. Mosaic said the "unprecedented" wet weather in the U.S. Midwest should drive strong demand for nutrients into the fall season this year and beyond after relatively weak demand in the spring season.

Rio Tinto leveraging on startups in greenfields exploration

Rio Tinto is talking to technology startups to help it find and develop what it believes to be significant deposits that still exist in Australia, such as the Winu copper discovery. The miner's Growth & Innovation Group Executive Stephen McIntosh told reporters on the sidelines of the Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Australia, that technology will "play a big part" of the Winu project in Western Australia.

DIVERSIFIED

* Financial services company Jefferies rerated Rio Tinto, BHP Group, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Inc. stocks from "buy" to "hold" and cut its iron ore fines price forecast for this year by more than 10% to US$88 per tonne, citing potential fallout from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

BASE METALS

* To strengthen its copper focus, Codelco agreed to sell its 37% stake in the GNL Mejillones natural gas plant in Chile for US$193.5 million to the Ameris Capital AGF fund, Reuters reported.

* Katanga Mining Ltd. lowered its full-year production guidance to 235,000 tonnes of copper and 14,400 tonnes of cobalt, from the previous guidance of 285,000 tonnes of copper and 26,000 tonnes of cobalt, following an operational review aimed at improving the company's prospects. Net loss attributable to shareholders of the company for the second quarter narrowed to US$193.6 million from US$324.5 million a year ago.

* U.S. metal supply and processing companies urged the United States Trade Representative to not enact proposed tariffs on copper as it would increase prices of materials used by domestic automotive, energy and telecommunications sectors, which may lead to layoffs, Reuters reported.

* Revelo Resources Corp. is optioning its 14,000-hectare Arrieros copper project in Chile after it was separated from the original 30,000-hectare Montezuma project, the remainder of which is optioned by BMR Group PLC.

PRECIOUS METALS

* PJSC Polyus' profit in the second quarter surged to US$419 million, from US$114 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue in the quarter climbed 30% to US$897 million mainly on higher gold sales, while operating profit jumped 31% to US$506 million.

* Semafo Inc. swung to an attributable second-quarter net profit of US$15.7 million, or 5 cents per share, from last year's net loss of US$10.4 million, or 3 cents per share, due to a 118% yearly jump in gold output to 99,800 ounces with a 128% surge in sales to 102,700 ounces.

* Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd.'s loss per share in the first half grew to 70.80 South African rand, from 12.40 rand a year ago, due to an increase in cash costs and depreciation, interest charges and higher borrowing costs. Revenue surged 90.6% year over year to 3.16 billion rand. Production of 4E, or palladium, platinum, rhodium and gold, was up 21.1% to 199,200 ounces, and platinum output increased 21.3% to 129,200 ounces on a yearly basis.

* Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. is on the hunt for "cash-hungry development assets" to add to its portfolio of high-grade mines in Australia and Canada, The Australian reported, citing Ian Holland, the company's vice-president of Australian operations.

* Macmahon Holdings Ltd. is taking legal action to seek an increase in rates for the life-of-mine contract at Newcrest Mining Ltd.'s Telfer gold project in Western Australia after the latter changed the mine plan.

* Blue Lagoon Resources Inc. signed a letter of intent to acquire ASIC Mining Inc., holder of an option to purchase the Pellaire gold property in British Columbia.

* Erdene Resource Development Corp. secured the mining license for its Bayan Khundii gold project in Mongolia. The company is now focused on completing a pre-feasibility study and obtaining environmental approvals.

* Toachi Mining Inc. said it delivered the final US$1 million milestone cash payment to acquire a 60% stake in the La Plata gold-copper project in Ecuador.

* Dozens were injured after local residents and workers clashed at Zhong Ji Mining's Solton-Sary gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

* Equinox Gold Corp.'s board approved a 5-to-1 share consolidation as part of a plan to pursue dual listing in the U.S.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vedanta Ltd. aims to double alumina capacity at its refinery in India's Odisha state to 4 million tonnes over the next 2.5 years, Bloomberg News reported, citing CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan. The company also plans to boost aluminum smelter production capability by 30% to 3 million tonnes at an "all-in cost" of less than US$1,500 per tonne.

* Glencore may be forced to sell coal from its Wambo open-cut mine in New South Wales, Australia, only to signatories of the Paris Agreement on climate change under a proposal by the state's independent planning commission, The Guardian reported. The plan was opposed by Glencore and joint venture partner Peabody Energy Corp., the report said.

* Tata Steel Ltd. said that a US$327 million sale of two units to China's HBIS Group Co. Ltd. fell through after the deal was not approved by the Hebei province government.

* Fortescue is poised to boost annual shipments by 22 million tonnes by 2022 after finding space at Port Hedland for its Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported. Meanwhile, the company increased its exploration budget for its fiscal 2020 to A$140 million from A$96 million a year ago as the company focuses on product diversification to bring growth, Mining Weekly reported, citing CEO Elizabeth Gaines.

* The Guinean government extended the deadline to Aug. 19 for companies to request tender documents for blocks 1 and 2 of the Simandou iron ore deposit, a move that the country hopes will boost competition, Reuters reported, citing Sadou Nimaga, the mine ministry’s secretary-general.

* Sirius Minerals PLC decided to suspend its proposed offer of US$500 million senior secured notes due 2027, due to current market conditions. The company announced the offering in July as part of the stage-two financing for its underground Woodsmith potash project in Yorkshire, U.K.

* Universal Coal PLC agreed to sell all of the coal produced at its Ubuntu colliery in South Africa to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the South African power utility provider. The Ubuntu colliery will deliver 1.2 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal to Eskom. The first coal delivery is set for November.

* Metallica Minerals Ltd. withdrew its mining lease application for a proposed haul road to Hey Point, which was to be used to deliver product from the Urquhart bauxite project in Queensland, Australia, as the grant of the lease would have triggered various actions and commitments that are not in its interest unless there is a secure and commercial pathway to gaining use of the Hey Point infrastructure.

* Despite China's longer-term climate goals of cutting coal consumption to reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions, coal mine construction approvals jumped 5x in the first half to 141 million tonnes of new annual coal production capacity, Reuters reported, citing National Energy Administration approval documents.

* Vietnam is considering importing coal from the U.S. to meet its power generation needs, while the country plans on building more core power plants to meet rising demand, Reuters reported citing state-run newspaper Dau Tu. Stepping up imports may also help it narrow a trade surplus with the U.S. and potentially avoid the threat of tariffs by President Donald Trump.

* Cumberland Resources Ltd. founder Richard Gilliam said he will donate US$1 million to workers of bankrupt Blackjewel LLC who are protesting over unpaid wages, Bloomberg Law wrote.

SPECIALTY

* Tronox Holdings PLC slipped into the red to a second-quarter attributable net loss of US$62 million, or 41 cents per share, from a year-ago profit of US$36 million, or 29 cents per share, on US$100 million in charges primarily related to the company's acquisition of the titanium dioxide business of The National Titanium Dioxide Company Ltd., or Cristal.

* For the half-year ended June 30, Galaxy Resources Ltd. flagged a noncash impairment of between US$150 million and US$185 million related to an inventory review and mine development costs at Mt Cattlin, as well as deferred tax losses.

* Livent Corp. reported a 59% yearly fall in second-quarter net income to US$15.5 million, or 11 cents per share, from US$38 million, or 31 cents per share. Revenue rose 6% to US$114.0 million from US$107.9 million.

* Ur-Energy Inc. implemented cost-cutting measures at its Lost Creek uranium facility in Wyoming, citing the recent decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to not impose quotas for domestic uranium production.

* Northern Minerals Ltd. terminated a rare earths carbonate off-take agreement with Lianyugang Zeyu New Materials Sales Co. Ltd. entered in April 2017, saying the purchaser was in breach of the sales agreement. The company is looking for new off-take deals for its Browns Range heavy rare earths project in Western Australia.

* A Sierra Leone High Court judge deferred until the end of September the hearing of a lawsuit seeking US$288 million in damages against OCTÉA Mining Ltd. and related companies for allegedly polluting water resources near the Koidu diamond mine. Octea denied the accusations, the report said.

* Kommersant reported that Polymetal International PLC for the first time publicly declared its interest in the rare earth metals segment and will seek to invest in a Russian project as a minority shareholder. The company's largest shareholder, the IST Group, is developing the Tomtor field together with Rostec, but so far, the project worth about US$560 million is moving slowly.

* China Magnesium Corp. Ltd. is selling its 91.25% interest in Shanxi Yushun Magnesium Co. Ltd., which owns the Pingyao magnesium-lithium plant in China, to Worldcom Parkway International Trade (Tianjin) Co. Ltd.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Peru is preparing to make revisions to its mining laws but it is unlikely to make drastic changes on mining taxes, Reuters reported, citing Finance Minister Carlos Oliva.

* Australia's miners welcomed the federal government's commitment to a 12-month review aimed at streamlining the resources sector's regulation, which they said is "suffocating" them amid calls for industry to "push back."

* The London Metal Exchange plans to double the duration of its closing open-outcry trading sessions for all metals to 10 minutes after volumes increased during a three-month trial, Reuters reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

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