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Former Rio Tinto execs to be grilled by SEC in Australia over Mozambique fraud

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Former Rio Tinto execs to be grilled by SEC in Australia over Mozambique fraud

TOP NEWS

Former Rio Tinto execs to be grilled in Australia over Mozambique fraud case

Three former Rio Tinto executives will be grilled under oath in Australia by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about fraud charges against former CEO Thomas Albanese and former CFO Guy Elliott, who are both accused of inflating the value of the company's coal assets acquired in Mozambique for US$3.7 billion, The Australian reported. Former Rio board audit committee member Mike Fitzpatrick, ex-Rio coal chief Doug Ritchie and former Rio coal chief development officer Matt Coulter are scheduled for depositions between January and March.

Evolution Mining to produce about 700,000 ounces of gold in next 3 years

Evolution Mining Ltd. expects to produce approximately 700,000 ounces of gold for the next three years, and sees all-in sustaining costs to remain relatively flat between A$850 per ounce of gold to A$920/oz of gold throughout the period.

Lonmin's major shareholder to back Sibanye takeover offer

South Africa’s Public Investment Corp., which holds a 29.2% stake in struggling miner Lonmin PLC, said it will support the takeover offer by Sibanye Gold Ltd., Reuters reported. It was previously reported that three of Sibanye's top shareholders will likely vote in favor of its proposed all-share acquisition, which values Lonmin at about £285 million.

BASE METALS

* Codelco halted operation of three furnaces at its Ventanas copper foundry after the detection of high levels of sulfur dioxide, Reuters reported, citing a company statement.

* Nickel Mines Ltd. increased its stake in Hengjaya Holdings Private Ltd. by 35% for US$70 million to increase its interest in the two-line rotary kiln electric furnace plant currently under construction within the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park to 60%.

* Minotaur Exploration Ltd. and OZ Minerals Ltd. expanded the scope of drilling at its Eloise copper joint venture in Queensland, Australia, to include similarly defined nearby electromagnetic targets.

* Mineral exploration expenditures in Australia surged 28.4% year on year in the June quarter to A$563.4 million, mainly driven by a 38.1% increase in expenditures on selected base metals, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

* Altus Strategies PLC signed a letter of intent with ASX-hopeful Raptor Resources Ltd., granting the latter an option to acquire Aterian Resources Ltd. subsidiary Atlantic Resources Ltd., which is advancing four copper and base metal projects in Morocco.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Kin Mining NL has revealed the reasons for its successive upheavals and outlined a new operating strategy for its Leonora gold project in Western Australia as it works on an optimized definitive feasibility study ahead of a resource upgrade expected in the next fortnight. At Kin's general meeting in Perth, Australia, Managing Director Andrew Munckton said that the Cardinia plant was suspended due to cost over-runs, the mining plan focused on near-surface oxide ores as the deposits were not drilled to depth, power and water supply was uncertain and high risk, and mining approvals were not secured.

* The Constitutional Court of Guatemala reversed a Supreme Court decision to reinstate the mining license for the Escobal silver mine, held by Tahoe Resources Inc. unit Minera San Rafael SA.

* Metallon Corp. Ltd. gave a three-month notice for dismissal to hundreds of workers at the Mazowe mine in Zimbabwe after it was placed on care and maintenance, the African News Agency reported.

* ECR Minerals PLC's shares rose by as much as 21% to 1.02 British pence after announcing that its Blue Moon gold project in Victoria, Australia, has potential for a significant gold discovery with deeper drilling. In addition, the company identified two new gold prospective targets named Red Moon and Yellow Moon.

* An updated resource estimate for Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd.'s Tulkubash gold deposit, part of its namesake Chaarat project in Kyrgyzstan, stood at 1.4 million ounces of gold contained in 32.7 million tonnes grading 1.35 g/t, reflecting a 46% increase in contained ounces and 57% increase in gold grade.

* KEFI Minerals PLC received approval from the Ethiopian central bank for the banking arrangements for the Tulu Kapi gold project.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Ahead of its planned listing on the ASX in November, Coronado Coal LLC was valued by Credit Suisse at between US$2.5 billion and US$3.1 billion, The Australian reported. Goldman Sachs analysts, meanwhile, valued Coronado at between US$2.1 billion and US$2.8 billion. Goldman also forecast that the company will report an EBITDA of US$659 million and free cash flow of US$377 million in 2019.

* Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. is looking to split its steel, power and international business into three separate entities as part of a restructuring that aims to cut its debt worth 420 billion Indian rupees, Bloomberg News reported, citing Chairman Naveen Jindal. He said that the steel unit would include the coal mines, while the international business would include the Oman steel plant.

* Glencore PLC is said to remain focused on its thermal coal operations, especially as prices for the commodity reached US$115 per tonne, a yearly increase of 21%, Miningmx reported.

* Coal India Ltd.'s output grew 12% in the first five months of its fiscal year after producing 216.2 million tonnes of coal in the period, The Hindu reported. The improvement mostly came from its subsidiaries, namely Eastern Coalfields Ltd., Northern Coalfields Ltd., South Eastern Coalfields Ltd. and North Eastern Coalfields.

* Canyon Coal (Pty) Ltd.'s investment in new mines over the next four years will double the 1.5 billion South African rand it has invested in South Africa to build capacity of about 10 million tonnes per year, Miningmx reported.

* India's exports of steel items to the U.S., affected by the latter's sanctions on the metal, dropped 42% in the June quarter, Mint reported. Overall, the country's steel exports to the U.S. fell 5.7% to US$468 million during the period, while aluminum exports rose 54% to US$181 million.

* Kalium Lakes Ltd. recorded a 150% increase in measured and indicated resources at the Beyondie sulfate of potash project in Western Australia. Measured resources stood at 1.7 million tonnes grading 11,488 milligrams per liter of sulfate of potash, while indicated resources were at 9.2 million tonnes grading 12,459 milligrams per liter of sulfate of potash.

* GMR Infrastructure Ltd. divested to PT Golden Energy Mines Tbk. its stake in four Indonesian coal mining firms, namely PTBSL Group entities PT Barasentosa Lestari, PT Duta Sarana Internusa, PT Dwikarya Sejati Utama and PT UNSOCO, through its step down companies, Press Trust of India reported.

* A JORC-2012-compliant indicated and inferred resource estimate for Canyon Resources Ltd.'s Minim Martap bauxite project in Cameroon stood at 550 million tonnes grading 45.5% aluminum oxide.

* The U.S. included 19 Indonesian steel products, including carbon and alloy and stainless steels, from its list of commodities exempted from 25% import tariffs, The Jakarta Post reported.

* JSW Steel Ltd. plans to expand the production capacity of its Vijayanagar plant in India's Karnataka to 18 million tonnes per year, Press Trust of India reported. The facility has a current capacity of 12 Mt/y. The company in June revealed plans to invest 75 billion Indian rupees to boost the capacity to 13 Mt/y by March 2020.

SPECIALTY

* Amid a weak low-end diamond market, De Beers SA will allow diamond buyers to reject some lower-quality stones at its sale this week, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources. The diamond miner, known for requiring buyers to to take what is offered, also made the move in 2016, when India's ban on high-value currency notes crippled demand.

* Syrah Resources Ltd. intends to raise A$94 million through an institutional placement to complete the ramp-up of the Balama graphite operation in Mozambique through to positive cash flow.

* Volt Resources Ltd.'s Volt Graphite Tanzania Ltd. unit received the Environmental Impact Assessment Certificate for its Bunyu graphite project from the National Environment Management Council of Tanzania.

* Talga Resources Ltd. inked a deal with Biomer Technology Ltd. for the joint development of graphene-enhanced thermoplastics for potential commercialization in the healthcare and coating markets.

* A maiden resource estimate, in the measured, indicated and inferred categories, at the Corner and Mt Mann deposits of Liontown Resources Ltd.'s Kathleen Valley lithium project in Western Australia stood at 21.2 million tonnes grading 1.4% lithium oxide and 170 parts per million tantalum pentoxide, using a 0.5% lithium oxide cut-off.

* Work to complete an updated preliminary feasibility study for European Metals Holdings Ltd.'s Cinovec lithium-tin project in the Czech Republic has started. The study, which will model the production of higher value lithium hydroxide, will be finalized over the coming two months.

* BlueRock Diamonds PLC started kimberlite processing from KV1, the second kimberlite pipe in the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa.

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