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In This List

Albemarle slashes US$1.5B capex from 5-year plan; Barrick mulls Tongon mine sale

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


Albemarle slashes US$1.5B capex from 5-year plan; Barrick mulls Tongon mine sale

TOP NEWS

Albemarle slashes US$1.5B capex from 5-year plan amid price slump

Amid a slump in lithium prices, Albemarle Corp. slashed capital expenditure plans by US$1.5 billion over the next five years, delaying construction of projects that would have brought about 125,000 tonnes more lithium carbonate equivalent to market. President and CEO Luke Kissam said the company is focused on becoming free cash flow positive in 2021 and will not build capacity when it is difficult to pin down pricing in the longer term.

Report: Barrick mulls sale of Tongon gold mine in Cote d'Ivoire

Barrick Gold Corp. is considering selling part or all of its stake in the Tongon gold mine in Cote d'Ivoire, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The gold major is said to have tapped Bank of Nova Scotia for the sale process, which it plans to start shortly. The report noted that deliberations are at an early stage, and the company may eventually decide against selling the mine.

Rusal shares slip as Q2'19 net profit plummets YOY

United Co. Rusal PLC's net profit in the second quarter plummeted to US$285 million, from US$408 million a year ago. The news sent the company's shares down almost 5% on the Hong Kong stock exchange by trading close. Revenue increased to US$2.57 billion from US$2.25 billion, while the cost of sales climbed to US$2.13 billion from US$1.58 billion on a yearly basis. Sales of primary aluminum and alloys increased to 1.1 million tonnes, from 783,000 tonnes a year ago.

BASE METALS

* China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. CEO Li Chaochun said the company is open to making further deals in the electric vehicle battery sector, saying he is "a believer" in the long-term opportunities offered by the sector, Reuters reported. The company recently completed the acquisition of metal-trading business IXM BV, formerly known as Louis Dreyfus Co. Metals BV.

* Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed legislation outlining state support for the domestic electric vehicle industry in a bid to capitalize on its own resources, Reuters wrote. "The business strategy can be designed in this country so that we can get ahead of others in building an inexpensive electric car industry, which is competitive because the raw materials are here," Widodo said.

* Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said the government has not made a final decision on whether to bring forward an ore export ban, which is due to come into force in January 2022, though President Joko Widodo has asked ministers for input on the potential move, Reuters reported. "From a trading point of view, if this export is restricted sooner, it will disrupt exports of around $4 billion in ore," Lukita said.

* Glencore PLC unit Mopani Copper Mines PLC shut down the Mindola north and central shafts at its Nkana copper mine in Zambia in a move announced in mid-May, Reuters reported, citing a company statement. A Mopani spokesperson said the company can now channel funds toward completing other expansion projects. Zambian Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda said he had written to the company asking it to not close the shafts as it has not concluded talks with the government, Reuters reported. Among other proposals, Chanda suggested Mopani could allow local contractors to operate the shafts.

* Ero Copper Corp. increased its full-year copper production guidance to between 38,000 and 40,000 tonnes of copper, from 36,000 to 38,000 tonnes, after second-quarter output surged to 10,473 tonnes of copper, from 5,684 tonnes produced a year ago.

* Protests against copper mines in Peru have stalled about US$400 million in copper exports since July 18, Reuters reported, citing Gabriel Monge, manager of port operator Terminal Internacional del Sur. Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s Cerro Verde, MMG Ltd.'s Las Bambas, Glencore's Antapaccay, and Hudbay Minerals Inc.'s Constancia have been unable to ship copper concentrates from Matarani to Asia and Europe.

* Rambler Metals & Mining PLC's salable metal production in the second quarter reached 1,417 tonnes of copper and 1,321 ounces of gold, compared to 978 tonnes of copper and 1,199 ounces of gold produced a year ago.

* Europa Metals Ltd. submitted a conceptual plan for review by stakeholders as part of a process to obtain an exploitation license for its wholly owned Toral lead-zinc-silver project in Spain.

* Aurubis AG's pretax earnings in its fiscal third quarter plummeted 72% year over year to €22 million from €78 million driven by a maintenance shutdown at its site in Pirdop, Bulgaria, and costs related to terminating the Future Complex Metallurgy project.

* Hudbay Minerals produced 30,363 tonnes of copper concentrates in the second quarter, down from 37,625 tonnes in the year-ago period. The company swung to a net loss of US$54.1 million, or a loss of 21 U.S. cents per share, from a profit of US$24.7 million, or 9 cents per share, following a US$26 million write-down related to its acquisition of United Copper & Moly LLC's 7.95% interest in the Rosemont project in Arizona.

* For the second quarter of its fiscal 2019, Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. Ltd. lowered its attributable net earnings forecast to ¥3.0 billion from ¥9.0 billion due to an expected sales decline in metal powder used for copper foil and electronic materials for smartphones.

PRECIOUS METALS

* New Gold Inc. is raising C$150 million via a bought-deal financing under which underwriters will purchase 93,750,000 common shares at C$1.60 apiece. The company will use the funds to enhance financial flexibility, strengthen the balance sheet including debt repayment, and for general corporate purposes.

* Yamana Gold Inc. accepted about US$415.0 million in principal amount of notes under a buyback offer launched in July to reduce outstanding debt.

* Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. swung to a second-quarter net loss of US$124.7 million from a year-ago profit of US$318.1 million due to a noncash impairment of US$166 million related to a deal it struck in 2018 with Vale SA to buy cobalt from the Voisey's Bay mine in Canada.

* The surging price of gold, which breached US$1,500 per ounce in recent trading, will help spur asset sales by majors this year, Franco-Nevada Corp. President and COO Paul Brink said on an earnings call as he signaled that the company's coming deals will likely be in the precious metals space.

* Osisko Mining Inc. is about 2,000 meters into a drillhole at the Windfall Lake gold project in Quebec that it hopes will set a Canadian record for length as it gambles on the potential for deep discovery, according to an exclusive S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

* Goldrich Mining Co.'s 50/50 Goldrich NyacAU Placer LLC joint venture with NyacAU LLC over the Chandalar gold project in Alaska was dissolved because it failed to meet minimum production requirements.

* Torex Gold Resources Inc. achieved record gold production of 113,645 ounces and sales of 113,419 ounces in the second quarter from its Morelos gold property in Mexico.

* Evolution Mining Ltd. Executive Chairman Jake Klein sounded caution on M&A activity amid what fellow ASX-listed midtier gold miner Northern Star Resources Ltd. CEO Stuart Tonkin believes will be an improving price environment. Klein told the Diggers & Dealers conference that history shows it is better to invest counter-cyclically, as opposed to doing so when the price is going up, and risking impairments when it falls.

* A worker was killed in a locomotive accident at shaft one of Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.'s Rustenburg operation in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Aluminum and copper producer Hindalco Industries Ltd.'s consolidated profit for the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 dropped 28% year over year to 10.63 billion Indian rupees. Revenue declined to 299.72 billion rupees, from 310.78 billion rupees a year ago, while EBITDA slipped 13% to 37.70 billion rupees. Results fell due to lower commodity prices and a global economic slowdown.

* Steel Authority of India Ltd. Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary survived an assault by four unknown men who rammed his car as he was driving home.

* Thyssenkrupp AG is weighing a sale of its elevator business amid "clear interest from investors" alongside plans to list a partial stake in the unit, the German company said while outlining another cut to its fiscal 2018/19 profit forecast. Adjusted EBIT for the 12 months ending Sept. 30 is expected to be just €800 million, down from the previous forecast of €1.1 billion to €1.2 billion. Adjusted EBIT in the previous fiscal year totaled about €1.4 billion.

* Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques told Bloomberg TV that the recent slump in iron ore prices will not impact the mining major's ability to reward shareholders thanks to the quality of its asset portfolio, which he called a "cash machine."

SPECIALTY

* Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he cannot ask Lynas Corp. Ltd. to leave the country even if some people are afraid of the radioactive waste at the Gebeng plant, Reuters reported. "We invite them and then we kick them out. Others will say the country made a promise but, when there is a problem, we kick them out ... we cannot do that," Mohamad said.

* Lucara Diamond Corp. upgraded its full-year carat recoveries guidance to between 375,000 and 420,000 carats from between 300,000 and 330,000 carats due to record performance of its processing plant over consecutive quarters. However, second-quarter net income slid to US$700,000 from US$19.7 million in the year-ago period.

* SRG Mining Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding with a U.S.-based industrial company for developing its flagship Lola graphite joint venture in Guinea with Sama Resources Inc.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Canadian government will invest C$1.5 million in a research project that aims to create a more efficient method for rock fragmentation for underground mining and tunneling projects, Mining Weekly reported.

* Glencore is working to restart operations at a shuttered electronic scrap metals facility in Arkansas formerly owned by BlueOak Resources Inc., E-Scrap News reported.

* South Korea blocked the entry of scrap metal cargoes from Japan over the past two weeks after the former sought certificates to prove radiation levels, sources told Fastmarkets MB.

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