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Rio Tinto cuts FY'17 copper output guidance due to Escondida ramp-up delays


Rio Tinto cuts FY'17 copper production guidance due to Escondida ramp-up delays

Rio Tinto revised down its mined copper guidance to between 460,000 tonnes and 480,000 tonnes, from 500,000 tonnes to 550,000 tonnes previously due to the delayed ramp-up of an expansion project at its Escondida operations in Chile and the impact of mine sequencing changes at Rio Tinto Kennecott. The company produced 120,600 tonnes of copper during the third quarter, down 3% on a yearly basis due to lower head grades at Rio Tinto Kennecott and Oyu Tolgoi. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto's Pilbara iron ore shipments and production in the quarter rose 6% and 2% year over year, respectively, to 85.8 million tonnes and 85 million tonnes, reflecting productivity enhancement projects across most sites. The company's full-year guidance for Pilbara shipments remains unchanged at around 330 million tonnes.

Rio Tinto in advance talks with GFG to off-load Australia, New Zealand aluminum assets

Rio Tinto is in advanced talks with Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance to off-load its aluminum assets in Australia and New Zealand, the Financial Times wrote, citing sources. Gupta is flying to Australia this week to continue negotiations but could face competition from Glencore Plc's 47%-owned Century Aluminum, which has also been eyeing Rio Tinto' PacAl operation. PacAl comprises three smelters and a power station in Australia, as well as a plant in New Zealand.

Turquoise Hill's Q3 output declines YOY at Oyu Tolgoi

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. produced 36,900 tonnes of copper in concentrates in the third quarter, lower from 46,600 tonnes of copper in concentrates produced in the year-ago period from the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. Gold and silver in-concentrate production also declined to 31,000 ounces and 239,000 ounces, respectively, compared to figures of 37,000 ounces of gold and 361,000 ounces of silver recorded in the corresponding quarter last year.


* A consortium between Glencore Plc and Qatar Investment Authority finalized negotiations to off-load a 14.16% stake in the Russia's state-owned Rosneft Oil Co. to CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd. for €3.91 billion plus the amount arising from the conversion of US$4.58 billion at a five-day average exchange rate at the payment date.


* Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. expects its attributable net profit for the nine months that ended Sept. 30 to increase by 50% to 70% as compared with the figures in corresponding year-ago period, on the back of higher metal prices.

* Trevali Mining Corp. produced 58.4 million payable pounds of zinc, 12.5 million payable pounds of lead and 433,442 payable ounces of silver in the third quarter, compared to 13.7 million payable pounds of zinc, 6.4 million payable pounds of lead and 221,324 payable ounces of silver posted in the year-ago period.

* Rio Tinto unit Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. declared force majeure on sales of copper and sulfuric acid after a worker died last week at its smelting facility in Utah, Metal Bulletin wrote.

* Over 20 parties are interested in grabbing the US$2 billion Michiquillay copper project in Peru as the country readies to auction off the rights to develop it in December, wrote, citing authorities. The project was originally scheduled to be auctioned off next month, but state bidding agency Proinversión decided to delay the date so that interested companies have more time to submit offers.

* Strategic Minerals Plc agreed to buy the Leigh Creek copper mine in South Australia from Resilience Mining Australia Ltd.


* Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. inked definitive deals with Platinum Group Metals Ltd., JOGMEC, Mnombo Wethu Consultants (Pty.) Ltd. and Waterberg JV Resources Pty. Ltd. to acquire up to a 50.01% stake in the Waterberg platinum project in South Africa. Implats will immediately acquire a 15.0% interest in the project for a total of US$30.0 million, while it secured an option to increase its interest to up to 50.01% and assume control of the property for another US$164.8 million.

* Some of Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s Rustenburg platinum group metals operations in South Africa have avoided the chopping block, after finding enough cost savings to keep the targeted operations going after restructuring and consolidating them with other Rustenburg area assets.

* Polymetal International Plc produced a record 470,000 gold equivalent ounces in the third quarter, jumping 26% year over year on the back of strong contributions from the fully ramped-up Svetloye heap leach operation at the Okhotsk hub and Mayskoye oxide ore processing. Sales in the third quarter increased 17% year over year to US$546 million on higher gold sales and prices.

* Yamana Gold Inc. is evaluating increasing its 2017 gold, silver and copper output guidance after output in the third quarter and the first nine months of the year came in ahead of guidance and budget and amid an expected strong fourth quarter. It produced 257,000 ounces of gold, 1.4 million ounces of silver and 37.1 million pounds of copper in the quarter that ended Sept. 30 and 717,000 ounces of gold, 3.8 million ounces of silver and 92.7 million pounds of copper in the first nine months.

* Sierra Metals Inc.'s silver and copper equivalent production in the third quarter dropped 8% year over year to 2.7 million ounces and 23.5 million pounds, respectively.

* Atlatsa Resources Corp. said its 51%-owned Bokoni platinum mine in South Africa was placed on care and maintenance Oct. 1, as part of an Anglo American Platinum Ltd.-backed restructuring agreement.

* Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters co-led by National Bank Financial Inc., BMO Capital Markets and Desjardins Capital Markets, which agreed to acquire on a bought deal basis convertible senior unsecured debentures of Osisko for a total of C$260 million.

* The Philippine government lifted a suspension order on Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co.'s operations, Reuters reported, citing a company filing. The company outlined plans for a rights offer in July to resume operations at its namesake Lepanto gold-silver-copper property in northern Benguet province.

* Pan African Resources Plc resumed construction at the Elikhulu tailings retreatment project in South Africa, Reuters reported. Work was halted last week due to community protests demanding jobs and business opportunities.

* A feasibility study for Falco Resources Ltd.'s Horne 5 gold project in Quebec estimated the mine's posttax net present value at US$602 million, discounted at 5%, and the internal rate of return at 15.3%, with a payback period of 5.6 years.

* Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. produced 2 million ounces of silver and 13,412 ounces of gold in the third quarter from its San Jose mine in Mexico and the Caylloma mine in Peru, a 4% and 5% year-over-year decrease, respectively. The company expects to produce 8.1 million ounces of silver and 52,400 ounces of gold in the full year.

* Pantoro Ltd. agreed to acquire the Grants Creek gold project in Western Australia for A$50,000.

* ABM Resources NL signed an agreement with Thunderbird Metals Pty. Ltd. for the latter to earn up to a 70% joint venture interest in the former's North Arunta gold project in Australia's Northern Territory.

* Aphrodite Gold Ltd. will book an impairment of about A$15.2 million on its exploration and evaluation assets in its Dec. 31 financial report.

* Avesoro Resources Inc. unit Bea Mountain Mining Corp. entered into equipment finance facility agreements with Mapa Insaat ve Ticaret AS to purchase heavy mining equipment for about US$6.1 million.


* PJSC Novolipetsk Steel's third-quarter steel output increased 8% year over year to 4.4 million tonnes due to a production increase at its Lipetsk operations. The company's sales improved 1% year over year to 4.2 million tonnes on the back of a seasonal increase in demand in the Russian market and improved conditions globally.

* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd.'s commercial coal production and sales in the first nine months of the year rose 3.8% and 13.9% respectively, to 221.3 million tonnes and 328.3 million tonnes.

* T.V. Narendran, Tata Steel Ltd.'s managing director for India and Southeast Asia, said the company and ThyssenKrupp AG have no plans to spin off their pending European steel joint venture within the next two to three years, Reuters reported.

* PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works plans to switch its dividend policy and move to quarterly payouts to shareholders instead of semiannual payments.

* Russian fertilizer producer PJSC Uralkali evacuated its Solikamsk potash mine in Russia's Perm region after smoke was reported coming from mining equipment, the company said in written comments to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Uralkali said there were no casualties and mining operations continue as normal. An investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of the incident.

* The World Steel Association forecast the growth in steel demand to slow to a 1.6% year-over-year rise in 2018 due to sluggish growth in China and reach 1.65 billion tonnes in 2018, Reuters reported.

* Champion Iron Ltd. completed a previously announced nonbrokered sale of a C$31.2 million subordinated unsecured mandatory convertible debenture to Glencore Plc unit Glencore International AG.


* Australian graphite hopeful Triton Minerals Ltd. locked in another conditional agreement to supply a further 25% of production from its flagship Ancuabe graphite project in Mozambique to China.

* Stellar Diamonds Plc signed conditional share purchase agreements to sell its assets in the Republic of Guinea to Gold Knight Ltd. for US$1.3 million.


* Chinese President Xi Jinping could lay the groundwork for deeper reform of state-owned enterprises with debts running at about 115% of GDP in a five-yearly Communist Party Congress in which he aims to consolidate his power ahead of a second term, economists said.

* South African state-owned freight and logistics company Transnet is working to revive its terminal facilities at the Richards Bay port, which is used to ship manganese and chrome to Asia and Europe, Metal Bulletin reported. The KwaZulu-Natal province, where the port is located, was recently hit by severe storms.

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.