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BHP expected to set record dividends; PNG wants bigger stake in Porgera mine


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BHP expected to set record dividends; PNG wants bigger stake in Porgera mine


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

BHP Group is expected to set two record dividends as the mining giant will report 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 the company's history of 79 U.S. cents and 82 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.

Papua New Guinea government wants bigger share in Porgera gold mine

Papua New Guinea is seeking a larger stake in the Porgera gold mine as part of talks with Barrick Gold Corp. and Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. to renew the project's lease, Reuters reported, citing Wera Mori, the country's commerce minister. Under the current structure, Barrick and Zijin Mining each own 47.5% of the Porgera mine, while landowner group Mineral Resources Enga holds the remaining 5%. The operation is expected to produce between 240,000 and 260,000 ounces of gold this year.

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

BlueScope Steel Ltd.'s fiscal 2019 net profit sagged 35% to A$1.02 billion, or 1.90 cents Australian per share, sending shares in the Australian steel major down about 9% in midday trading on the ASX. The drop resulted from unbooked tax losses and U.S. tax reform in its fiscal 2018, impairments at its Thailand building products segment and higher restructuring costs in its fiscal 2019. Meanwhile, BlueScope 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 for the middle of fiscal 2022, with full ramp-up expected about 18 months later.


* CITIC Ltd. completed its 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.

* Atalaya Mining PLC's expansion project to 15 million tonnes per annum at its Proyecto de Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain reached full mechanical completion, and the startup of the expanded plant will reach the nameplate capacity by December. The additional electricity supply for the expansion is expected to come on stream during the third quarter.

* Afritin Mining Ltd. produced first tin concentrate at its flagship Uis mine in Namibia. The company will now focus on ramping up the plant to its design capacity of 500,000 tonnes of ore per annum. Afritin also entered into a one-year tin off-take agreement with Thailand Smelting & Refining Co. Ltd.

* 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.


* Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd. plans to start paying a dividend equal to 20% to 40% of net profit starting in fiscal 2020, subject to the company reaching and maintaining a minimum cash balance of A$150 million. In fiscal 2019, the company's net profit climbed 22% to A$92.5 million. Revenue climbed 9% to A$555.6 million as gold sales increased to 350,904 ounces, from 317,675 ounces a year ago. All-in sustaining costs dropped to A$1,030 per ounce from A$1,139/oz.

* Rubicon Minerals Corp.'s preliminary economic assessment outlined a posttax net present value of C$135.2 million, discounted at 5%, an internal rate of return of 40.2% and a payback period of 3.9 years for its Phoenix gold project in Ontario.

* Chalice Gold Mines Ltd.'s shares were approved for trading on the OTCQB venture market in the U.S. The company will not issue new securities as part of the listing.

* 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.

* Gandel Metals Pty. Ltd. issued an off-market takeover bid to acquire all the shares of Alliance Resources Ltd. at 14 Australian cents each in cash, valuing the target at A$21.4 million.

* Tempus Resources Ltd. entered into a binding heads of agreement to acquire Sona Resources Corp., which holds the Blackdome-Elizabeth gold project in southern British Columbia.

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

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

* 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.

* Rokmaster Resources Corp. executed a nonbinding indicative term sheet with Huakan International Mining Inc. to secure an option to acquire a 100% interest in the J & L gold project in British Columbia.

* 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.


* BHP informed Asian customers that issues related to its autonomous truck fleet resulted in some of its iron ore shipments from Western Australia having lower-than-expected quality, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing industry sources. Sources close to the mining giant, however, disputed the notion of the issue with autonomous trucks, saying mining activity was being conducted in an area with lower-grade ore.

* Chinese financial institutions issued over US$1 billion in green financing to 13 coal-related projects during the first half, Reuters reported, citing financial data provider Wind. The projects included power plants fueled by coal or coalbed methane as well as coal-to-chemical projects, the newswire added.

* Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC emerged as the winning bidder for substantially all of Cloud Peak Energy's assets, following a competitive auction as part of Cloud Peak's Chapter 11 process.

* Vedomosti reported that profits of Russian metallurgists declined due to the trade war between the U.S. and China. First-half results from the largest Russian steel producers showed a drop in revenue, EBITDA and free cash flow, which are typically tied to dividend payments.

* Andromeda Metals Ltd. signed nonbinding letters of intent with Chinese and Japanese customers for the off-take 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 pollution incidents that have plagued 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%.

* China's northern Shanxi province selected 10 coal mines to test environmentally 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 considers listing the unit, Reuters reported, citing CEO Guido Kerkhoff's interview with Der Spiegel magazine. KONE Oyj and 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 after a belt-type conveyor caught fire, Russian News Agency TASS reported. 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.


* Mineral Commodities Ltd. won a grant to develop an environmentally sustainable, commercial-scale graphite purification process to potentially be used at Japanese energy giant Iwatani Corp. subsidiary Doral Fused Materials Pty. Ltd.'s West Australian plant.

* Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. completed its US$160 million investment into Minera Exar SA, its joint venture with Lithium Americas Corp., to increase its stake to 50% from 37.5%. Minera Exar holds the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Argentina.

* Nova Minerals Ltd.'s majority-owned Snow Lake Resources Ltd. started preliminary discussions with Arctic Gateway Group, the owners of Hudson Bay Railway, for future capacity to the Tanco mine as part of the company's initial logistics assessment for its Thompson Brothers lithium project in Manitoba.

* Tango Mining Ltd. terminated a services agreement with Cooperativa Mineira Do Moquita SCRL for mining and marketing 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 is eyeing due to its strategic location and natural resources, Reuters reported.

* The Turkish Ministry of Energy postponed tenders until further notice 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, Ahval News reported.

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