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Vale off-loads more Australian coal assets

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


Vale off-loads more Australian coal assets

TOP NEWS

Vale sells Carborough Downs stake and adjacent Queensland coal tenements

Vale SA agreed to sell its stake in the Carborough Downs coal mine as well as several undeveloped adjacent tenements including the Red Hill and Ellensfield coal deposits in Queensland, to Hans Mende's coal vehicle Fitzroy Australia Resources for an undisclosed amount, The Australian Financial Review reported. The deal also includes the Broadlea coal mine, which is currently under care and maintenance.

BSG Resources demands compensation from Rio Tinto over Simandou mining rights

Rio Tinto said the company will defend itself should it face a lawsuit from BSG Resources Ltd. over mining rights in Guinea, Reuters wrote. BSG earlier sent Rio Tinto a letter alleging that the mining major contributed to the loss of its mining rights in the Simandou iron ore tenements. Unless Rio Tinto delivers a satisfactory response by Jan. 3, 2017, and "made proposals to compensate BSGR for the extensive loss and damage suffered," proceedings would be issued.

Australian court blocks Kasbah takeover by Asian Mineral

The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed Kasbah Resources Ltd.'s application to approve the board-recommended planned takeover of the company by Asian Mineral Resources Ltd. In addition to dismissing Kasbah's application, the court ordered the group to pay the reasonable costs of the objecting shareholders.

DIVERSIFIED

* According to Institutional Shareholder Services, South32 Ltd. executives should not have been paid bonuses for the 2016 financial year, during which the company lost billions, suffered a 17% tumble in share price, saw a 64% year-on-year drop in underlying EBIT and had four workers killed in its operations.

BASE METALS

* Chile's environmental regulators approved a proposed expansion of Antofagasta Plc's Centinela copper mine in northern Chile, opening the door for a US$4.35 billion investment, Reuters reported. The expansion will extend the life of mine to 2056 and double its copper output to more than 400,000 tonnes a year.

* Shares in Arizona Mining Inc. tanked as much as 15% in Dec. 12 trading after the Global Mining Observer published claims the company's zinc is mixed with too much manganese, which clogs up smelters, to make their minerals viable for sale, the Financial Post reported. Arizona Mining said the claims made in the report about the company's Hermosa project in Arizona are misleading.

* HudBay Minerals Inc. closed its previously announced note offer of US$1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of senior notes, at US$400 million worth of 7.25% senior notes due 2023 and US$600 million worth of 7.625% senior notes due 2025.

* Goldman Sachs expects the more "bullish" environment for copper to last at least to mid-2017 as the recent improvement in industrial activity supported the metal's supply, demand and cost structure, Reuters wrote, citing a note from Goldman Sachs.

* Independence Group NL shipped the first nickel concentrate from its Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper project in Western Australia to BHP Nickel West's Kambalda concentrator ahead of the schedule outlined in the project's feasibility study, The West Australian wrote.

* Chile's copper output fell 11.0% year over year in October to 443,000 tonnes, the lowest monthly production rate since April, Business News Americas reported, citing state copper commission Cochilco. For the first 10 months of 2016, the country's copper production declined 4.6% on a yearly basis to 4.56 million tonnes.

* Indonesia will regulate the price of mineral ores that cannot be exported, especially low calorie nickel, so they can be absorbed by local smelters, Kontan reported, citing I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan, the director general of metal, machineries, transports, and electronics at the Industry Ministry.

PRECIOUS METALS

* After South African President Jacob Zuma threatened to revoke its mining permit, Lonmin Plc said it is confident of submitting a housing plan that meets criteria set by the government, Reuters reported. The miner had been instructed in September to revise its social and labor plan to improve the living and housing conditions of its employees.

* After striking a US$2.2 billion takeover deal for Stillwater Mining Co., Sibanye Gold Ltd. CEO Neal Froneman said the company would like to grow its gold business more, adding that Sibanye needs to take another step in South Africa, but it will only do it if it can create value for the company, Bloomberg News reported.

* OceanaGold Corp. expects to produce between 550,000 ounces and 610,000 ounces of gold in 2017, representing a 35% increase on a yearly basis, due to incremental output from the Haile gold mine in South Carolina.

* Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. told shareholders that Thailand's new mining bill will not allow operations at its Chatree gold mine to continue beyond the Dec. 31 closure set by the Thai government. According to Mining Weekly, the company said the new law will have to be approved by the king and will only apply to miners that already have a metallurgical license.

* Echo Resources Ltd. extended the closing date of its takeover offer for Metaliko Resources Ltd. until Jan. 10, 2017, from the previous Dec. 23 closing date. As of Dec. 12, Echo has received acceptances for 365,699,788 Metaliko shares, or an interest of 82.81% in the target company.

* WPG Resources Ltd. expects its December output to be substantially lower than initial estimates, forecasting production to come in at about 3,000 ounces of gold compared to the 5,100 ounces produced in the preceding month. The company attributed the lower output forecast to the delayed development of its Challenger gold mine in South Australia, where only lower-grade stoping areas will be available for production in December.

* Gold imports by India rose 10% to 111 tonnes in November, the highest this year, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with provisional Finance Ministry data. Meanwhile, for the 11 months through November, shipments declined 43% year over year to 513.9 tonnes.

* Alistair Hewitt, World Gold Council market intelligence head, said the gold price would finish 2016 up almost 10% from the start of the year, Mining Weekly reported.

* MRG Metals Ltd. exercised its option to acquire a 100% interest in tenements E63/1626 and E28/2338 from TasEx Geological Services Pty. Ltd. for 5,555,556 shares. Following the move, MRG now has a 100% working interest in all tenements dubbed Yardilla.

BULK COMMODITIES

* A Brazilian judge has granted Vale SA another 30 days to deposit a portion of the 1.2 billion Brazilian reais in reparation guarantees for the November 2015 dam accident at its Samarco iron ore joint venture with BHP Billiton Group.

* MHM Metals Ltd. abandoned merger plans with Alliance Mining Commodities Ltd., which owns a 90% interest in the Koumbia bauxite project in Guinea, Mining Weekly reported. The companies did not provide reasons behind the decision.

* Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. and Glencore Plc have settled the January-March premium hard coking coal price at US$285 per tonne FOB Australia, the highest in more than five years, several parties familiar with the negotiations said. The first quarter 2017 price is US$85 per tonne higher than the fourth quarter price of US$200 per tonne FOB Australia.

* India's NTPC Ltd. is looking to mine 2 million tonnes of coal in the 2017-2018 fiscal year from its first coal mine in Jharkhand, where production is planned to gradually increase to 4 million tonnes in the following fiscal year, sxcoal.com wrote, citing a company source.

* Administrator KordaMentha is receiving A$1 million per week, signed off by big banks, to run Arrium Ltd.'s Australian steel assets that have been affected by South Australia's power infrastructure issues, The Australian Financial Review reported. The newspaper said the complexities of the sale process and the state's power grid problems have pushed back the timetable for a potential sale to late February 2017.

* Eramet is selling its manganese chemicals unit ERACHEM to U.S. firm PMHC II Inc. for approximately US$190 million, as part of its asset disposal program. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.

* According to a report by Minerals Council of Australia, the Western Australian Nationals party's proposed A$5-per-tonne tax on iron ore production will not only risk future mining investment and threaten jobs across Western Australia, but also yield next-to-no benefits for the state, Mining Weekly wrote.

* Dwindling coal consumption in China and the U.S., coupled with renewables expansion, is projected to result in a reduced growth in global coal demand over the next five years, Reuters reported, citing the International Energy Agency.

* Amid a recent surge in prices, iron ore exports from Western Australia's Port Hedland rose 9.7% year over year in November, Metal Bulletin wrote.

* China managed to eliminate 45 million tonnes of steel capacity and 250 million tonnes of coal capacity this year, meeting the target set for 2016, China Business News reported, citing a senior official of the National Development & Reform Commission.

* According to a report by China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute, the country's crude steel output is expected to fall by 2.2% to 788 million tonnes in 2017, China Securities Journal wrote. Crude steel output rose by 0.7% to 673 million tonnes in the first 10 months of 2016.

* Indonesia's Energy Ministry suspended 22 firms with licenses to transport and sell coal for failing to submit 2015 activity reports, Kontan reported. The ministry will give the companies time to submit their reports until February 2017 before revoking their licenses.

* Public Joint Stock Co. Acron, Russia's largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer, may delay the start of active investment in its Talitsky potash project, Kommersant and Vedomosti reported, citing Chairman Alexander Popov.

SPECIALTY

* Uranium is expected to be a key driver for economic growth in Namibia in the coming years as the Husab uranium mine starts production, according to research analysis group BMI. Husab is said to be the world's third-largest uranium mine and is expected to start production in the first half of 2017.

* DiamondCorp Plc sold 5,116 carats of diamonds recovered from the Lace mine in South Africa before its Lace Diamond Mines Pty. Ltd. unit went under business rescue in November, Mining Weekly reported. The diamonds were sold for about US$590,744 or approximately US$115.46 per carat.

* Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration Ltd. extended its expected date to start trading on the ASX to Feb. 10, 2017, from Dec. 21 previously.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Top Federal Reserve officials will meet this week amid widespread expectations in financial markets that they plan to lift the U.S. central bank's key interest rate for the first time this year.

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President and COO Gary Cohn will be appointed to direct the National Economic Council, President-elect Donald Trump's transition team confirmed Dec. 12.

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