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In This List

Tata Steel UK's pension scheme deficit could bankrupt steelmaker

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020

Report Outlooks of Lithium and Cobalt

Essential Metals & Mining Insights July 2020


Tata Steel UK's pension scheme deficit could bankrupt steelmaker

TOP NEWS

Tata's pension scheme deficit may drive steelmaker into insolvency

The trustee for Tata Steel UK Ltd.'s pension scheme warned members that the scheme's deficit is set to grow to between £1 billion and £2 billion and could drive the steelmaker into insolvency, Reuters wrote. Meanwhile, ThyssenKrupp AG CEO Heinrich Hiesinger said Tata Steel Ltd. must find a way to first address the pension deficit at its British and Dutch operations before any merger of its steel operations with the German steelmaker.

Magnitogorsk FY'16 crude steel output up 2.5% YOY

OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works' crude steel output for full year 2016 rose 2.5% year over year to 12.5 million tonnes, while finished steel products shipments improved 3.4% to 11.6 million tonnes. Belon coal concentrate and iron ore output increased 1.7% and 1.4%, respectively, to 2.9 million tonnes and 3.3 million tonnes, on a yearly basis.

RUSAL prices debut eurobonds for US$600M

United Co. RUSAL Plc successfully priced five-year eurobonds for US$600 million. The notes will have an annual coupon of 5.125% per annum and proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton Group launched an auction-style online freight platform that is expected to slash the group's shipping costs by making shippers compete to offer the best price to haul commodities to the mining giant's clients, bypassing brokers who traditionally negotiate shipping rates, Reuters reported.

* Doray Minerals Ltd. expects to produce 100,000 ounces to 110,000 ounces of gold and 4,200 tonnes to 4,600 tonnes of copper this year from the Deflector and Andy Well operations in Western Australia.

BASE METALS

* Antofagasta Plc said there would not be a significant effect on the price of copper if workers at BHP Billiton's Escondida copper mine in Chile go on strike, daily Diario Financiero reported, citing CEO Ivan Arriagada.

* Following shareholder approval, Orsu Metals Corp. is proceeding with the sale of its 94.75% interest in GRK MLD LLP, which owns the company's Karchiga copper-gold-zinc project in Kazakhstan, to Karasat Trading FZE for US$7.8 million.

* First Quantum Minerals Ltd. produced 146,101 tonnes of copper in the fourth quarter of 2016, bringing its full-year total to 539,458 tonnes, increasing from the 2015 fourth-quarter output of 115,885 tonnes and full-year production of 411,025 tonnes.

* Freeport-McMoRan Inc. said it paid US$33 million to resolve claims brought against it by Democratic Republic of the Congo state miner Gecamines SARL over the sale of its majority stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper mine to China Molybdenum Co. Ltd.

* Operations at Codelco's Andina District copper mine in Chile were suspended after a worker died in an accident, Reuters reported. Despite a stoppage in mining operations, "critical production processes are still operating," the company noted, adding that a probe into the incident is underway.

* Peru plans to award rights to develop the Michiquillay copper deposit in a public tender in 2017, one of 16 public-private projects worth US$4 billion that the country intends to tender this year, Reuters wrote, citing Alvaro Quijandria, the head of the state bidding agency Proinversion.

PRECIOUS METALS

* A preliminary economic assessment at IAMGOLD Corp.'s Cote gold project in northern Ontario pegged a posttax net present value, discounted at 6%, of US$543 million and a 12.9% posttax internal rate of return. The project would have a 21-year mine life, producing an average of 302,000 ounces of gold per annum.

* Perseus Mining Ltd. forecast production of 166,000 ounces to 186,000 ounces of gold in fiscal 2017. Production in the first half of fiscal 2017 totaled 75,999 ounces. Full-year production costs are expected to be between US$1,050 per ounce and US$1,170 per ounce, and all-in site costs are expected to be between US$1,240 per ounce and US$1,390 per ounce.

* GTI Resources Ltd. optioned the Windarra tailings dams and three gold mining exploration leases from Poseidon Nickel Ltd. in Western Australia. The company plans to build a gold tailings treatment plant to recover gold and other minerals located in the three dams.

* Keras Resources Plc is finalizing plans for a potential listing on the ASX, which will support the company's current listing on the London Stock Exchange.

* An Ontario court imposed a C$55,000 fine on Goldcorp Inc. and C$40,000 on contractor Miller Paving over a worker injury in September 2014, Mining Weekly reported, citing a court bulletin. The contract worker was injured when a hopper containing sand toppled over at the Porcupine mine near Timmins.

* Refuting earlier reports that AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and unions have reached a deal to hold off on proposed layoffs, trade union Solidarity said it would "do everything in its power" to ensure that as few jobs as possible are affected by the company's restructuring plans, adding that negotiations in this regard are ongoing, Mining Weekly reported.

* Rescue operations are underway to recover at least 13 workers trapped underground after a Chinese-owned gold mine collapsed in Tanzania's northeast region, The Associated Press reported, citing a police official.

* The Court of Appeal for British Columbia said a lawsuit against Tahoe Resources Inc., which was filed by seven Guatemalan men alleging they were shot by the miner's private security guards during a 2013 protest outside the Escobal silver mine, can proceed in the Canadian province, Reuters reported. The court reversed a 2015 Supreme Court ruling, saying the company has not established that Guatemala was a more appropriate forum for the case.

* Eskay Mining Corp. signed a letter of intent to option up to a 60% undivided interest in part of the early stage SIB gold property in British Columbia to an unnamed "senior" mining company.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Alcoa Corp. CEO Roy Harvey said the company wants to dramatically ramp up its Western Australian bauxite sales to third parties after receiving authorization from the state government to export 2.5 million tonnes per year for five years, The West Australian reported.

* Russian fertilizer-maker PJSC PhosAgro plans to gradually increase production to 8.5 million tonnes by 2020, as CEO Andrei Guryev expects the global fertilizer market to rebalance itself after falling Chinese exports, which have dropped by 30% since 2015, Reuters reported. "We expect China's inefficient plants to close. And because it will lead to certain shortages, their big enterprises will divert their deliveries towards the domestic market," Guryev said.

* Leris Braga, mayor of Santa Barbara, Brazil, declined to approve a plan for BHP Billiton and Vale SA joint venture Samarco Mineração SA to use water from a nearby river to complete an ongoing environmental study that is required by Minas Gerais state regulators to restart the Samarco mine operations, Bloomberg News reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. Braga is asking for a separate study to test possible disruptions to the river's water flow.

* The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri allowed Peabody Energy Corp. to seek a vote from its creditors on its alternative reorganization plan, Metal Bulletin reported. Peabody disclosed an amendment to its plan of reorganization settling claims related to worker pensions and a letter expressing its concerns with an alternative bankruptcy reorganization plan presented by a committee of creditors.

* Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. director of development and Cokal Ltd. co-founder and nonexecutive chairman Peter Lynch died in a plane crash. Lynch managed the development of Fortescue's core iron ore assets in Australia's Pilbara region and was a driving force in the formation of Cokal and the development of its projects in Indonesia.

* Given recent layoff announcements, the government of Argentina's Río Negro province warned the board of Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd.'s unit, MCC Minera Sierra Grande, that it could terminate its mining concession if the company does not continue operating the Sierra Grande iron ore mine.

* Brockman Mining Ltd. secured port access for Project Maverick for the initial mining operation at its Marillana iron ore deposit in Western Australia. The product is to be trucked on the road train to Utah Point at Port Hedland for further loading onto ocean-going vessels.

* As part of broader reform efforts, the Brazilian government plans to introduce a bill to set a flexible royalty rate for iron ore ranging from 2% to 4% depending on international prices for the commodity, Reuters reported, citing Mines and Energy Minister Fernando Coelho Filho's interview with a local broadcaster. The current iron ore royalty rate is 2%.

* Vietnam plans to penalize four environmental officials over an environmental disaster caused by Formosa Plastics unit Formosa Ha Tinh Steel when its US$11 billion steel plant polluted more than 200 kilometers of coastline in April 2016, Reuters reported. The officials will be transferred to other departments and face administrative action, warnings or rebukes.

SPECIALTY

* Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. sold 49,420 carats of diamonds at about US$127 per carat for US$6.3 million in proceeds in its first diamond sale.

* The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law unanimously rejected the Kyrgyz Republic's objections against its jurisdiction on the dispute in the case, for which Stans Energy Corp. is seeking US$210.0 million in compensation from the Kyrgyz government for terminating the mining licenses for the Kutessay II rare earth and Kalesay beryllium projects.

* Power Metals Corp. agreed to acquire the Alberta lithium brine project, comprising 23 metallic and industrial minerals permits in the Leduc formation in Alberta, from arm's-length parties.

* According to a report by GlobalData, global uranium output is forecast to increase at a compound yearly growth rate of 4.3% to 76,493 tonnes in 2020, Mining Weekly reported. The output increase would be driven by the need to meet upcoming demand from new reactors.

INDUSTRY

* The year 2016 was a mixed bag for initial resource announcements. With only US$105.21 billion in total initial resource value, 8% lower than in 2015, it continued the downturn in resource value that began in 2013. However, the decline was by far the smallest of the year-on-year drops in value since the recent peak in 2012.

* Construction and equipment-maker Caterpillar Inc. swung to a 2016 loss of 11 U.S. cents per share, from a profit of US$4.18 per share a year ago, as sales dropped to US$38.5 billion on a yearly basis from US$47 billion. The company expects lower sales to the resources industry this year as it sees miners' capital spending to be relatively flat year over year after several years of decline.

* Violent demonstrations by workers in the mining sector during collective agreement negotiations have escalated to the point that mining companies are boosting legal actions against unions, daily Diario Financiero reported.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.