BHP Billiton may be facinganother lawsuit
BHPBilliton Group's BHP BillitonLtd. may be facing anotherlawsuit as Lundin Law PC investigates claims concerning the company'spossible violations of federal securities laws — namely on allegations that certainstatements issued by BHP Billiton Ltd. were false and misleading, and that the companyfailed to disclose material information regarding its financial performance. Specifically,the investigation will focus on a Feb. 23 report that Brazilian police are pursuinga court order to arrest certain SamarcoMineração SA executives.
Newmont completes US$500M debt buyback
agreed to US$273.6 million worthof its 5.125% senior notes due 2019 and US$226.4 million worth of its 6.25% seniornotes due 2039 under its recently announced debt tender offer. The gold miner launchedthe debt buyback at the end of February for up to US$500 million worth of its notes.
Tata Steel looks to sellUK plants
TataSteel Ltd. is investigating the potentialsale of all of its U.K. plants as part of a restructuring of the troubledbusiness. BBC News reported that the Indian steelmaker told its European parentto "explore all options for restructuring," including a partial or fullsale of the U.K. operations. According to Sky News, the U.K. business employs atleast 15,000 workers that could find themselves out of a job if a full sale goesahead.
* BHPBilliton Group's BHP BillitonLtd. may be facing anotherlawsuit as Lundin Law PC investigates claims concerning the company'spossible violations of federal securities laws — namely on allegations that certainstatements issued by BHP Billiton Ltd. were false and misleading, and that the companyfailed to disclose material information regarding its financial performance. Specifically,the investigation will focus on a Feb. 23 report that Brazilian police are pursuinga court order to arrest certain SamarcoMineração SA executives.
* 'snet profit attributable to shareholders of the company for 2015 rose 21.11% yearover year to 4.80 billion Chinese yuan. The company also recognized an impairmentcharge of US$105 million, equivalent to about 656 million yuan, on its nickel-cobalt projectin Papua New Guinea, due to low prices for both commodities in the internationalmarket. The impairment wipedabout 440 million yuan from the company's 2015 net profit attributable to the parent.
* expects a reductionof 100,000 tonnes per year in its copper smelting capacity following its planneddisposal of its 66% stake in Xinjiang Wuxin Copper Industry Co. Ltd.
* agreed to US$273.6 million worthof its 5.125% senior notes due 2019 and US$226.4 million worth of its 6.25% seniornotes due 2039 under its recently announced debt tender offer. The gold miner launchedthe debt buyback at the end of February for up to US$500 million worth of its notes.
* with American Mining and TunnelingLLC and American Drilling Corp. LLC, collectively known as the American Group, forUS$5 million on underground mine development, drilling and mining services in connectionwith its Lucerne and Dayton projects.
* TheMines Ministry of Mali said that the Morilagold mine will now be closedin 2019 — instead of 2017 — after its reserves were found to be larger than initiallyestimated, Reuters reported. Morila — owned by Randgold Resources Ltd., AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and the local government — was initiallyprojected to close in 2013, but the closing date was later moved back to 2017.
* China'sZijin Mining Group Co. Ltd.reinforced its eagerness to acquire foreign mining assets by allocating 8 billionChinese yuan to 10 billion yuan for overseas M&A deals this year, with President Wang Jianhua sayinglate last year that the company's next deal could be "as big as US$5 billion."
* BMOCapital Markets analyst Andrew Kaip expects that the economic studies on 's gold mine in Mauritania— scheduled to be released today — will demonstrate a "constructivestep forward" for the mine, while "balancing the size and timing offuture capital commitments," the FinancialPost reported.
* won its in the Full Court of the FederalCourt of Australia covering the re-granting of certain tenements to the company'sSt Ives Gold Mining Co. Pty. Ltd. subsidiary, which owns the St Ives gold mine in Western Australia.
* Separately,Gold Fields concluded a tax and royalties deal with Ghana for both the and mines, reducing the company'scorporate tax rate from 35% to 32.5%, effective March 17, and revising the mines'royalty rate from a flat 5% of revenues to a sliding scale royalty based on goldprices, effective Jan. 1, 2017. The dealmay save about 2,000 jobs at the Damang mine, but company spokesman Sven Lunschesaid Gold Fields had not yet decided whether to inject more cash into Damang orsuspend the mine's operations.
* executeda joint venture agreement with EmeraldResources NL, allowing the latter to earn up to a 51% interest in Renaissance's Cambodian goldprojects.
* signed an agreementwith Coeur Capital Inc. to acquire its 2.5% net smelter return royalty on futureproduction from Northair Silver Corp.'sLa Cigarra silver-gold-leadproject in Mexico's Chihuahua state.
* and its Galaxy GoldMining Ltd. unit entered into a full and final settlement agreement with Traxys Europe SA, Mine2Market Sàrl and certainothers with respect to various outstanding claims arising from the time period whenthe parties operated Galaxy's mining operations.
* said it presentlyexpects to achieve thelower range of its overall production forecast for 2016. Production in 2016 at thecompany's Eagle Riveroperation in Ontario was forecast to range between 54,000 ounces and 60,000 ouncesof gold.
* said it expectsto produce 10.4 millionto 12.8 million silver equivalent ounces in 2016.
* signedan agreement to acquire a 100% interest in 1,400 contiguous claim units known asthe East Block in the Sandy Lake district of northwestern Ontario from , for Lago shares.
* said theKyrgyz State Agency for Geology and Mineral Resources formally approved the company's 2016-2020 gold project exploration programsafter receiving statutory approvals from the relevant state authorities and theJalal Abad regional government.
* TataSteel Ltd. is investigating the potentialsale of all of its U.K. plants as part of a restructuring of the troubledbusiness. BBC News reported that the Indian steelmaker told its European parentto "explore all options for restructuring," including a partial or fullsale of the U.K. operations. According to Sky News, the U.K. business employs atleast 15,000 workers that could find themselves out of a job if a full sale goesahead.
* is still tryingto secure a forbearanceagreement with its lenders and has been unable to make an interest payment on itsUS$600 million 8.875% senior notes due 2017. The coal producer was due to pay accruedsemiannual interests totaling US$26.6 million a day earlier, but it has been unableto make the payment or secure any waiver or forbearance from the noteholders.
* 's netincome attributable to shareholders slippedto 164.5 million Chinese yuan in 2015, from 766.2 million yuan a year earlier, mainlydue to the continued decline of coal prices and Chinese imports due to an oversupply.As a result of the lower profit, the company halved its dividend payment to 1 fenper share for 2015, according to the March 29 report.
* is askinga judge for permission to rejectagreements with its union labor force to help it survive the "historic collapseof the domestic coal industry." In a motion filed with the U.S. BankruptcyCourt for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alpha said it has no choice but to endthe agreements in order to keep certain assets operating as going concerns and helpavoid the "otherwise piecemeal liquidation of their assets, all for the benefitof all stakeholders."
* TheBench Marks Foundation accusedMineral Commodities Ltd.Chairman Mark Caruso of inciting violence in the Xolobeni area in South Africa'sWild Coast, an area where an anti-mining activist was killed in a manner "reminiscentof apartheid-style death squads," BusinessDay reported. Caruso denied thatthe company was linked to the murder.
* UBSanalysts saidFortescue Metals Group Ltd.has both the means and desire to continue to lower its debt burden, and hit its40% internal gearing target by the end of 2019, citing the company's increased rateof debt repurchases amid a slump in iron ore prices, The Australian Financial Review wrote.
* In light of the November 2015 dam collapseat the Samarco ironore mine, the Brazilian Public Prosecutor's Office advised the National Departmentof Mineral Production to only approve iron ore projects that have an appropriatePlan for Economic Exploitation that addresses an environmentally sound disposalof mine waste, O Globo reported.
* 's majority-owned in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, said its operations have been "plagued by criminalactivities," the last of which occurred March 23, resulting in one employeesustaining serious burn wounds to his left hand and an office block being burntto the ground. According to Reuters, the arsonattacks have forced the closure of the colliery and Zululand Anthracite managingdirector Niels Kristensen could not confirm for how long the operations would besuspended.
* ViceChairman Ling Wen said the company may export between 5 million tons and 10 milliontons of thermal coal in 2016 to South Korea and Japan. The mining major 1.2 million tons in 2015.
* securedan option to acquire50% equity in private company Au Capital Mining Pty. Ltd. from the latter's shareholders.Au Capital agreed to partner with Iron Mountain to explore and potentially developits two wholly owned prospecting licenses in the Solomon Islands, prospective forbauxite.
* Owingto opposition from villagers, the Expert Appraisal Committee of India's Forest andEnvironment Ministry has deferred taking any decision on the proposal for a 10 million-tonne-per-annumcoal washery project in the country's Odisha state submitted by unit Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd., Mining Weekly reported,citing a senior government official.
* Separately,The Hindu quoted an industry officialas saying that Coal India is poised to close the fiscal year with a total coal outputof some 540 million tonnes, compared to the target of 550 million tonnes, representinga year-over-year riseof 9%.
* unit ArcelorMittalKryviy Rih opened its own steel warehouse in Lviv, making it the company's sixthstorage facility in Ukraine, Delo.ua reported.
* Chairman ChrisCleverly assured investors that the company will receive a delayed payment against the shipment of 20,000 tonnes ofurea fertilizer stock to a Zambian buyer in full.
* China'sbiggest coal region, Shanxi, touted a plan to increase coal exports to slash thesupply glut in the country, an alternative disapproved by analysts citing woes relatedto the global glut and weak coal prices. "China increasing exports would comeat the exact wrong time — that's the lastthing the market needs," Andrew Cosgrove, an analyst with BloombergIntelligence, said.
* ElcoraAdvanced Materials Corp., NorthernGraphite Corp., NouveauMonde Mining Enterprises Inc., Metalsof Africa Ltd., Coulometrics LLC and a private industry partner saidthey are jointly acquiringa micronizing and spheronizing mill to produce spherical graphite.
* entered intoa binding heads of agreement with Nevada Metals Pty. Ltd. to the Muddy Mountain and LidaValley lithium projects in Nevada.
* Followinga review of in-house data, CanterraMinerals Corp. acquired four metallic and industrial covering two separate areasof interest near its BuffaloHills diamonds joint venture project in Alberta with and Encana Corp.
* Barclays Plc said the price of commoditiesincluding oil and copper may fallsteeply as investors rush to liquidate due to the absence of any "concertedfundamental improvements," The AustralianFinancial Review reported.
* Large insurance companies in Brazil suchas AIG and Allianz are choosing to excludetailings dams from coverage as a result of the tailings spill at the Samarco ironore mine, Notícias de Mineração reported, citing insurance broker and risk analysisfirm Marsh.
* Fatal accidents in the mining sector inPeru totaledeight victims in the first quarter this year, down 27% compared with the same periodin 2015, Rumbo Minero reported, citing the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
* SeanL'Estrange will replace Bill Marmion as Western Australia's minister for mines andpetroleum, with Marmion now set to be the minister for state development, amid areshuffle of the Western Australian Cabinet, Mining Weekly wrote.
* TheMinerals Council of Australia welcomed the findings of the paper "Growing theAustralian Economy with a Competitive Company Tax," which suggested a reductionin the country's company tax rate to stimulate new foreign investment, as Australiacurrently has the fourth-highest effective tax rate among the 34 Organisation forEconomic Co-operation and Development countries that were studied in the report,Mining Weekly wrotein a news brief.
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