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B2Gold eyeing African assets new Barrick may sell

TOP NEWS

B2Gold eyeing African assets new Barrick may sell

B2Gold Corp. is keen to acquire any West African assets that Barrick Gold Corp. may off-load following the latter's takeover of Randgold Resources Ltd., Reuters reported, citing B2Gold CEO Clive Johnson. B2Gold is interested in projects it can develop to produce about 200,000 ounces of gold annually for at least 10 years, as opposed to already-built mines, he said. Barrick and Randgold, which both want to focus on their best assets and may consider selling others, have properties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia.

Optimism as Lynas opponent resigns from Malaysian plant review committee

Lynas Corp. Ltd. shares were up nearly 10% on Oct. 12 on the ASX as Malaysian media reported that long-time opponent Fuziah Salleh resigned as chair of the committee reviewing the environmental impact of Lynas' Gebeng rare earths processing plant in Malaysia, which one analyst said is a sign the government is staying true to its pledge of full transparency and independence.

Majors breathe life into junior financing in September

The US$1.26 billion raised by junior and intermediate companies in September was the second-highest amount raised in 2018 to date, according to the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence. It also marked the fifth month in the past year that companies succeeded in raising over US$1 billion.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton Group's shares saw their highest spike on the ASX in two years as the share price jumped as high as 6.1% late Oct. 12 after the company executed a buy order on Chi-X Australia Pty. Ltd.'s venue. However, the surge was short-lived, and the net gain before closing was only 1.3%.

* Two BHP petroleum units sued to compel EXCO Resources, Inc. to turn over US$9.3 million in production proceeds the latter allegedly wants to use to satisfy the claims of other creditors, Reuters reported.

BASE METALS

* Vedanta Ltd.'s mined metal output from its Indian zinc operations grew 6% year on year to 232,000 tonnes in the second quarter of fiscal 2019. The improvement was driven by a 44% yearly surge in underground production.

* Miners including Glencore PLC and Randgold are seeking concessions under the Democratic Republic of the Congo's new industry code, Bloomberg reported. With arbitration as an alternative, the companies are still trying to get the government to negotiate but have so far not received a response.

* Rio Tinto may cut the interest rates on the loans it makes over the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing Mongolian media. The state owns 34% of the mine, but relies on loans from Rio Tinto to cover its share of construction costs.

* Pure Minerals Ltd. agreed to acquire Queensland Pacific Metals Pty. Ltd., an Australian company seeking to develop a nickel-cobalt processing plant in Townsville and holds an ore supply agreement to purchase high grade nickel-cobalt ore from New Caledonian mining firms Societe des Mines de la Tontouta and Societe Miniere Georges Montagnat SARL.

* China's unwrought copper imports increased 24% to 521,000 tonnes in September from the previous month, Reuters reported, citing customs data. The figures indicate the highest monthly copper imports for the country since March 2016, according to the report.

* Sandfire Resources NL completed the acquisition of Talisman Mining Ltd.'s 30% interest in the Springfield copper-gold joint venture in Western Australia.

* BCM Resources Corp. completed a previously announced option agreement to purchase up to a 60% interest in the Thompson Knolls copper-gold project in Utah from Inland Explorations Ltd.

* RTG Mining Inc. secured a two-year exploration permit renewal from the Philippines' Mines and Geosciences Bureau for the Mabilo copper project.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Chile's environmental court ordered Barrick to close the Chilean side of its Pascua-Lama gold project, Reuters reported. The company was also fined US$11.5 million. The mine has been put on hold since 2013 due to environmental issues, political opposition, labor unrest and development costs that ballooned to US$8.5 billion.

* Gold Fields Ltd. CEO Nick Holland told investors not to lose hope over the disappointing performance of the South Deep gold project in South Africa, where output targets have been repeatedly missed, Bloomberg News reported. He said a new plan on the property will be announced in February. The company has spent almost 31 billion South African rand on the project.

* Detour Gold Corp. said activist shareholder Paulson & Co. Inc. rejected the company's settlement offer to end their dispute. Detour Gold offered Paulson a number of concessions, including a spot on the board, but ruled out a sale. In a separate statement, Paulson countered that the alternatives it provided were outright turned down by Detour Gold.

* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. will issue up to 4.5 billion Chinese yuan of debt Oct. 16 to increase its cash flow.

* Centerra Gold Inc. sold its Mongolian assets, including the Boroo gold mine and processing facility as well as the Gatsuurt gold project, to privately held OZD ASIA PTE. Ltd. for US$35 million.

* Marindi Metals Ltd. acquired a highly prospective tenement covering historical high-grade gold workings in the southern Forrestania greenstone belt in Western Australia from Bar None Exploration Pty. Ltd. for A$20,000 and 3 million shares. The property complements the extensive gold potential of its Forrestania gold-lithium project.

* Aurelia Metals Ltd. produced 35,499 ounces of gold in the September quarter, lower than the 54,746 ounces of gold in the previous quarter, based on preliminary figures.

* Canada's environmental assessment agency is seeking public feedback on Atlantic Gold Corp.'s proposed gold mine in Nova Scotia, CBC News reported. The mine would operate for six years, with construction slated to start in 2021. The company estimates it will extract 400,000 ounces of gold from the site.

* GT Gold Corp.'s share price caught fire after it released a series of drillholes pointing to a new copper-gold discovery in British Columbia at a target called Saddle North on its Tatogga property. Drilling highlights included an interval of 904 meters grading 0.51 g/t gold, 0.30% copper and 0.93 g/t silver from 15 meters. Drilling at the deposit continues, said Amandip Singh, GT Gold's director of corporate development.

BULK COMMODITIES

* While rivals have been selling coal assets, Glencore has established itself as the world's largest producer and exporter of seaborne thermal coal, Forbes.com reported, citing Australian investment bank Macquarie.

* Unionized workers at Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.'s Tilden and Empire mines in Michigan, and United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite mines in Minnesota ratified a new four-year labor contract. The new deal covers approximately 1,800 workers.

* Hesteel Co. Ltd. expects its net profit attributable to shareholders for the quarter ended Sept. 30 to range between 1.48 billion Chinese yuan and 1.68 billion yuan, from 944.3 million yuan reported a year earlier.

* The U.S. Department of the Treasury set a new deadline of Dec. 12, from Nov. 12 previously, to wind down dealings with sanctions-hit companies En+ Group PLC and United Co. Rusal PLC.

* J.P. Morgan Cazenove reassessed its stance on the European steel sector, marking ArcelorMittal, SSAB A/B and Aperam SA as "overweight" while tagging shares of Voestalpine AG, thyssenKrupp AG and Outokumpu Oyj as "neutral." The bank said the sector at large remains under pressure amid ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty that has impacted demand for steel.

* GFG Alliance founder and Chairman Sanjeev Gupta is targeting an initial listing of either his steel or energy assets in Australia next year, Reuters wrote.

* China's unwrought aluminum and aluminum product exports increased 37% yearly to 507,000 tonnes in September but represented a slight decrease from 510,000 tonnes in August, Reuters reported, citing customs data. A separate Reuters report said the country's iron ore imports rose to 93.08 million tonnes, their highest level in four months.

* Some 500,000 tonnes of Thai steel products have been exempted from the Trump administration's Section 232 tariffs and quotas on steel and aluminum imports, Post Today reported, citing Adul Chotinisakorn, director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade.

* RWE AG may axe jobs at its Hambach mine, which employs 4,600 people, following a court order that halted the company's plan to clear a forest to expand its coal operations, Reuters reported, citing newspaper Rheinische Post.

* Tsingshan Holding Group Co. Ltd., the world's top stainless steelmaker, is ready to offer fixed-priced long-term contracts that have no alloy surcharge, Reuters reported, citing Markus Moll, managing director of steel consultancy SMR.

* Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. finalized the transfer of employees, assets and liabilities of the shuttered Thabazimbi iron ore mine to ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd., effective Nov. 1.

* Iron ore prices are expected to remain elevated throughout the December quarter and to average approximately US$70 per tonne into 2019, according to the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Mexico is persuading Canada to exclude Mexican steel from new import tariffs on the metal the latter would impose, Reuters reported, citing Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo. A US$200 million impact on Mexican steel exporters is estimated as a result of the Canadian measures, Guajardo said.

* Mission Coal will close its Pinnacle mine in Wyoming County in West Virginia, displacing about 400 workers, the Associated Press reported.

* Coal miner Exxaro Resources Ltd. is looking to ink a short-term supply contract with state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which has been hit by supply shortages, Reuters reported, citing Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo.

SPECIALTY

* Core Exploration Ltd. said a JORC 2012-compliant inferred resource estimate for the Napperby uranium project in Australia's Northern Territory stood at 8.03 million pounds of uranium contained in 9.5 million tonnes grading 382 parts per million U3O8. The estimate used a cutoff of 200 ppm U3O8.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* A survey by Western Australia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that 54% of surveyed companies believed that the state's economy would improve over the next 12 months, owing to confidence being driven by the mining sector, The West Australian reported.

* Colombia's constitutional court ruled that local referendums that prevent mining and oil extraction cannot stop energy projects, Reuters reported.

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