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BHP expected to set record dividends; BlueScope approves US$700M mill expansion


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BHP expected to set record dividends; BlueScope approves US$700M mill expansion


BHP expected to set record dividends in fiscal H2, FY'19

BHP Group is expected to set two record dividends as the mining giant reports on Aug. 20 what is believed to be its biggest annual earnings in five years thanks to strong iron ore prices, The Australian Financial Review reported. For the second half of BHP's fiscal year, analysts at Citi and UBS forecast the highest final dividend in company history of 79 U.S. cents and 82 U.S. cents per share, respectively. Citi and UBS projected total dividends for the year ended June 30 of US$2.36 and US$2.39 per share, respectively, which would eclipse BHP's previous full-year dividend record of US$1.24 per share.

BlueScope approves US$700M Ohio mill expansion; FY'19 profit drops 35%

BlueScope Steel Ltd. approved a US$700 million investment to add 850,000 tonnes per annum of capacity at the North Star BlueScope Steel LLC steel mill in Ohio. Commissioning is targeted in the middle of fiscal 2022, with full ramp-up expected about 18 months later. The company reported a 35% drop in fiscal 2019 net profit to A$1.02 billion, or 1.90 cents per share, from A$1.57 billion, or 2.82 cents per share, posted a year ago, amid some softening in commodity steel spreads and domestic volumes in the second half.

Turkish army pension fund in exclusive talks to buy British Steel

The U.K. government's Official Receiver confirmed that it is in exclusive talks with Ataer Holding, a subsidiary of Turkish military pension fund Oyak Yatirim Ortakligi AS, for the takeover of British Steel Corp. Ltd., which was placed in compulsory liquidation earlier this year, putting 4,000 jobs directly at risk. Oyak said its priority for British Steel will be to increase capacity and to invest in clean steel production.


* CITIC Ltd. completed its previously announced C$612 million investment in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. to increase its stake in the company to 29.4%.

* PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. is soliciting pitches from Russian and international banks to participate in an IPO of its Bystrinsky copper project in Russia's Far East, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

* Pala Investments Ltd.'s C$501 million takeover offer for Cobalt 27 Capital Corp. undervalues the target company, The Northern Miner wrote, citing Anson Funds.

* Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. Ltd.'s overseas unit, Huayou International Mining, decided to terminate a 2017 deal to invest US$66.3 million for a 51% stake in Lucky Resources Holdings Co. Ltd., Reuters reported.

* SR Languyan Mining Corp., the Philippines' top exporter of high-grade nickel ore, is "most likely" to close its mining operations in Tawi-Tawi later this year as ore deposits have almost been depleted, Reuters reported, citing Jaynul Ali Sambarani, head of mines and geoscience services at the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry.

* NorZinc Ltd. secured draft permits from Parks Canada for an all-season road to the company's Prairie Creek zinc project in Canada's Northwest Territories. After a review process, the final permits are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.

* Antler Gold Inc. closed its purchase of the Crescent Lake/KM61 molybdenum-copper-silver project in Ontario from Sona Nanotech Inc.


* Shortly after receiving government approval, Acacia Mining PLC resumed gold exports from the North Mara mine in Tanzania after starting to receive export permits from the minerals ministry's mining commission. However, all gold production remains suspended at the processing plant under a prohibition notice issued by the Tanzanian National Environment Management Council in July, which prevents it from using its tailings storage facility due to the mine's failure to prevent seepage.

* Shares in Toronto-listed Lydian International Ltd. rose almost 11% by market close Aug. 16 after it won a court ruling that required Armenian prosecutors to initiate criminal proceedings against protesters at the company's Amulsar gold project.

* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. unit Minera de Cobre Quebradona is facing an administrative claim from Colombia's Autonomous Regional Corp. Corantioquia over the miner's alleged law breaches related to the construction of a mining platform at the Quebradona copper-gold property, reported, citing Caracol Radio.

* Newcrest Mining Ltd. started the process to divest a 26% stake in its 75%-owned Gosowong gold mine in Indonesia. JPMorgan is running the auction, which is expected to be completed by early next year, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Amani Gold Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire the Gada gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo from La Societe Miniere de Kilo-Moto SA. The original MOU that Amani signed with Bon Génie N. Mining (BN Mining) Sarl was terminated after due diligence inquiries.

* Newmont Goldcorp Corp. is soliciting consents for its outstanding US$600 million in 5.875% notes due 2035.

* Avesoro Resources Inc. regained control of the Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso after operations were recently suspended due to a security breach.

* Coeur Mining Inc. will pay US$534,500 in fines as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over illegal mine water discharges from the Kensington gold mine in Alaska, The Cordova Times reported.

* West Wits Mining Ltd. signed a heads of agreement to give a 54% stake in its Derewo River gold project in Indonesia to TME Group Pte. Ltd., which will facilitate the ongoing maintenance and development at the operation.

* Terraco Gold Corp. received approval from the Supreme Court of British Columbia for Sailfish Royalty Corp.'s planned all-scrip takeover.

* Magna Gold Corp. completed its acquisition of the Las Marias and Las Cabanas properties near its Mercedes gold project in Mexico for C$250,000 and 1 million shares.

* Gladiator Resources Ltd. was granted exploration license E52/3104, which covers its Marymia gold project in Western Australia's Murchison Goldfield.

* SLAM Exploration Ltd. secured an option to acquire the Mount Uniacke gold property in Nova Scotia for C$450,000 and a 3% net smelter royalty.

* Fremont Gold Ltd. agreed to sell its option to acquire Ely Gold Royalties Inc.'s Gold Canyon project in Nevada to McEwen Mining Inc. for 300,000 McEwen shares.


* Russian power-to-aluminum conglomerate En+ Group PLC's second-quarter group profit inched up 4.6% yearly to US$387 million, with revenue up 12% to US$3.02 billion. The net income for the company's metals segment fell 30.1% year on year to US$285 million, while revenue increased 13.9% to US$2.57 billion.

* BHP informed Asian customers that some of its iron ore shipments from Pilbara, Western Australia had lower-than-expected quality as the company was forced to mine in lower-grade areas of its key deposits due to issues related to its fleet of autonomous trucks, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing industry sources. Separately, BHP opened an expanded accommodation village with a capacity of 2,500 people for the workers of the South Flank iron ore project in Western Australia.

* Rail service provider Genesee & Wyoming Australia declined to provide coal-hauling services for Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s Carmichael mine in Queensland, Australia, dealing another blow to the controversial development, ABC News reported.

* Andromeda Metals Ltd. signed nonbinding letters of intent with Chinese and Japanese customers for the offtake of 405,000 tonnes per annum of direct shipping ore halloysite‐kaolin product from the Poochera joint venture with Minotaur Exploration Ltd. in South Australia.

* Bayer AG subsidiary P4 Production secured federal approval for the Caldwell Canyon phosphate project in Idaho, which includes environmental safeguards to prevent a previous pollution incident caused by historical mining in the area, Associated Press reported.

* Champion Iron Ltd. unit Québec Iron Ore Inc. completed a deal with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for a preferred share offering of C$185 million and a fully underwritten US$200 million credit facility with The Bank of Nova Scotia and Societe Generale. The company also closed its purchase of Ressources Québec Inc.'s 36.8% stake in Quebec Iron for C$211 million, which will increase Champion's interest in the Bloom Lake iron ore project in Quebec to 100%.

* PJSC Novolipetsk Steel will launch online sales for the European and American markets in 2020, Vedomosti reported, citing a representative for the steelmaker.

* China's northern Shanxi province selected 10 coal mines to test environment-friendly technology in coal mining before expanding it to the rest of the province, Xinhua News Agency reported.

* Potential suitors for thyssenkrupp AG's elevators division are under pressure to lodge firm offers as the German conglomerate mulls listing the unit, Reuters reported, citing CEO Guido Kerkhoff's interview with Der Spiegel magazine. KONE Oyj, as well as private equity investors KKR & Co., CVC and Advent, have reportedly approached thyssenkrupp about a possible deal.

* U.K.-based Lehram suspended operations at the Gramoteyevskaya coal mine in Siberia, Russia, after a belt-type conveyor caught fire, Russian News Agency TASS reported. There were reportedly 48 miners in the mine at the time of the incident, with 43 of them evacuated and five of them staying to check the site's sustainment systems. No one was injured.

* To reduce reliance on diesel generation in remote areas, Canada's federal government will contribute more than C$6.8 million to help build an electric transmission line that will connect Nalcor Energy's Menihek hydro station with Tata Steel Ltd. unit Tata Steel Minerals Canada's processing facility near the border of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec, where the company mines for iron ore.


* Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. closed a US$160 million deal to increase its stake in its Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine joint venture with Lithium Americas Corp. in Argentina to 50% from 37.5%, Reuters reported.

* Kibaran Resources Ltd. is working to reach a final investment decision for its proposed battery graphite production facility in Western Australia's Kwinana Industrial Area in the first half of 2020.

* The Kunming court in China plans to auction two batches of rare earths with a market value of about US$41.5 million as well as antimony valued at about US$97 million, which were formerly held by the Fanya Metal Exchange, Reuters wrote. Fanya collapsed in 2015, and proceeds from the sales will be used to pay off creditors, who were owed close to 40 billion Chinese yuan.

* Tango Mining Ltd. terminated a services agreement with Cooperativa Mineira Do Moquita, SCRL for mining and marketing of diamonds from the Moquita alluvial diamond project in Angola.

* Continental Precious Minerals Inc. signed a definitive agreement to acquire Metamaterial Technologies Inc. through a reverse merger.


* Greenland politicians scoffed at U.S. President Donald Trump's idea to buy the world's largest island, which he reportedly eyes due to its strategic location and natural resources, Reuters reported.

* The Turkish Ministry of Energy postponed tenders for 1,102 mine sites, including the site of Merih Mining Co.'s gold project on the Gökçeada island that drew opposition from environmentalists and locals, until further notice, Ahval News reported.

* In his state of the union address, Indonesia President Joko Widodo discussed further development of downstream processing for commodities, including bauxite, nickel and coal, Reuters reported.

* Zambian Copperbelt Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe urged South African businessmen to invest more in the region, which he said has a lot of potential in mining, energy, agriculture, forestry, tourism, infrastructure and other sectors, Mining Weekly reported.

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