Lonmin eyes further assets sales to beat South African platinum sector slump
Citing adverse economic conditions and inflationary pressures on the platinum sector in South Africa, Lonmin Plc announced additional measures to generate additional cash flow by selling off selected assets. The company intends to sell excess processing capacity of up to 500,000 platinum ounces per annum. It is also considering selling or introducing partners to its Limpopo and Akanani platinum group metals, or PGM, projects following a review of major development capital requirements and to explore options to introduce funding partners for the MK2 PGM project in South Africa.
Vale denies interest in acquiring CSN's Casa de Pedra iron ore mine
Vale SA refuted a rumor that it was in talks with Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional, or CSN, to purchase its Casa de Pedra iron ore mine in Brazil, adding that there never were any discussions underway to acquire assets from the Brazilian firm. Local newspaper O Globo cited unnamed sources as saying that Vale was studying a partnership that involved purchasing a stake or creating a joint venture with the CSN subsidiary that operates the Casa de Pedra and Engenho e Pires mines in the country, according to RTT News.
Trade union Solidarity said that job losses resulting from Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s retrenchment plan could climb to 10,200 as the miner's Beatrix West and Cooke operations also employ about 2,400 contractors, 365 employees not yet placed as part of an earlier scaling-down process, and about 50 people in management positions affected by an unrelated process due to the separation between Sibanye's South Africa operations and its U.S. interests, fin24 reported.
* Anglo American Plc has seen its productivity rise by 70% over the last four or five years, according to Technical Director Tony O'Neill. The executive said that while the company has always been good at technology development, it has in the past not been so good at applying that technology to its own operations.
* RBC Capital Markets reduced its target price for Glencore Plc stock to £410 per share from £430 per share with 104% in upside potential while maintaining its "outperform" recommendation.
* Top executives of Glencore are sitting on paper profits of over US$782 million from their investments in the group during the commodities downturn, The Australian reported.
* BHP Billiton Group expects annual output from its Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia to more than double on the back of using heap leach technology, which is being tested in a pilot plant, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* Nickel Asia Corp.'s attributable net income rose significantly to 1.54 billion Philippine pesos in the first half, compared to 24.4 million pesos in the same period last year, driven by factors including the company's focus on more shipments of its higher-value saprolite ore, a stronger U.S. dollar and a turnaround in profits from its equity share in its investment in both the Coral Bay and Taganito processing plants.
* Colombia needs a flexible royalty legislation and sharper public policies on mining to develop the industry further and catch up to Chile or Peru in South America, La República reported, citing Ricardo Gaviria, president of South32 Ltd.'s Cerro Matoso nickel mine. The company expects to close the year with an annual production of 40,000 tonnes of ferronickel, mainly led by the output from the new La Esmeralda project in Cordoba, Colombia.
* Rio Tinto unit Rio Tinto Holdings Ltd. and Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. agreed to off-load a collective 17.56% interest in Mason Resources Corp. to Mantos Copper (Bermuda) Ltd. for a total of C$2.7 million.
* Ausmex Mining Group Ltd. inked an option with PNX Metals Ltd. to farm-in eight copper-prospective exploration licenses adjoining or close to its exploration license EL 5881 in South Australia.
* Royal Sapphire Corp. signed a nonbinding agreement to merge with Blue Fin Holdings Co., which owns a 48,000 square foot indoor cannabis growing facility in Longview, Washington. The company will then delist from the TSX Venture Exchange and intends to apply for listing on the Canadian Stock Exchange.
* At least three parties are said to be interested in AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'s Kopanang mine in South Africa, one of the operations that the company plans to shutter, fin24 reported. Kopanang Shaft 9, a company controlled by a 100% black-owned consortium, is reportedly preparing a bid of over 330 million South African rand.
* Nicaragua doubled its gold production and increased seven-fold the extraction of silver between 2006 and 2016 to 267,300 troy ounces and 681,700 troy ounces, respectively, La Prensa reported, citing a study by Nicaraguan mining chamber Caminic.
* St Barbara Ltd. declared a reinstated fully franked dividend of 6 Australian cents per share for the full financial year.
* Gold Road Resources Ltd.'s partnership with Gold Fields Ltd. over the Gruyere gold project in Western Australia has put the company's exploration plans for the broader Yamarna greenstone belt five years ahead, The West Australian reported.
* Firesteel Resources Inc. signed a letter of intent with Pandion Mine Finance LP to secure US$20.6 million in financing via a prepaid forward gold purchase agreement.
* Colorado Resources signed an amending agreement with Seabridge Gold Inc.'s SnipGold Corp. subsidiary to acquire the remaining 49% stake in the KSP gold project in British Columbia by paying C$1 million in cash and issuing 2 million shares to Seabridge Gold.
* PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works posted a 10.7% rise in first half profit to US$538 million. Revenues grew 37.8% to US$3.59 billion, due to average sales prices rising by 47.2% to US$181 per tonne and a strengthened ruble.
* Warrior Met Coal Inc. CEO Walter Scheller is expecting more volatility in metallurgical coal markets and the company is poised to take advantage of a shift to an index-based pricing formula.
* Itochu Corp.'s metals and minerals segment posted net profit attributable to the company of ¥21.1 billion in the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, up from ¥8.38 billion a year ago. The segment's revenues increased to ¥54.8 billion in the quarter that ended June 30, compared to ¥37.16 billion in the year-ago period.
* Rio Tinto is earmarking around A$70 million to upgrade its bulk handling facilities at East Intercourse Island in the Port of Dampier, Western Australia.
* Swiss trader ARG International purchased the remainder of Noble Group Ltd.'s aluminum book in the U.S., Metal Bulletin wrote.
* Coalbank Ltd. said that shareholders approved a name change to AustChina Holdings Ltd. The company will trade under the ticker AUH on the ASX, effective Aug. 10.
* A total of 133 miners have been evacuated from PJSC Alrosa's Mir underground diamond mine in eastern Siberia after water flooded the site Aug. 4, Reuters reported. The search for nine missing miners is underway and no casualties have been reported so far.
* S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Petra Diamonds Ltd. to negative from stable and affirmed its B+ long-term corporate credit rating, after the miner posted lower-than-expected production for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
* Western Mining Co. Ltd. terminated its 1.78 billion Chinese yuan acquisition of Qinghai Lithium Co. Ltd. as it remains unclear if the latter would be able to secure mining licenses for its main operating projects. The company also decided to pay for its previously announced acquisition of lead and zinc producer Daliang Mining Co. Ltd. in cash, instead of issuing 727.74 million yuan in shares.
* W Resources Plc said that Metso Corp. unit Metso Minerals Portugal Lda. was awarded the €1.2 million contract to build the crusher plant for the La Parrilla tungsten-tin project in Spain, part of an expansion that will produce up to 2,700 tonnes per year of tungsten concentrate.
* Lucara Diamond Corp. is considering forming a partnership to sell a tennis ball-sized 1,109-carat rough diamond that it unearthed from the Karowe mine in Botswana about two years ago, if it fails to have a deal in the next six to eight weeks, Reuters reported.
* Force Commodities Ltd. signed a binding heads of agreement with Lithium Age Pty. Ltd. to acquire a 70% interest in the Kitotolo and Kiambi lithium projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
* South Africa's Chamber of Mines and its Department of Mineral Resources reached an agreement in the High Court of Gauteng after Minister Mosebenzi Zwane made a formal statement indicating that he would pull back a proposed moratorium on processing renewals and new applications for mining and prospecting rights.
* The mining boom may have reached its peak a few years ago, but billion-dollar investments will still be needed to maintain production in Australia, according to Diggers & Dealers Forum Chairman Nick Giorgetta.
* The Trump administration took a formal step toward severing U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement on climate change, submitting its intent to withdraw from the deal to the United Nations on Aug. 4.
* The United Nations Security Council approved a resolution that would ban North Korean exports and restrict investment activities in the country. The resolution was passed unanimously Aug. 5.
* The value of mergers and acquisitions across the global mining sector rose 71% year over year in the second quarter to US$14.8 billion, driven by corporate activity in the precious metals sector, according to a new report by EY.
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
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