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Glencore swings to profit in H1 on rising commodity prices

TOP NEWS

Glencore swings to profit in H1 on rising commodity prices

Glencore Plc swung to a net income attributable to equity holders in the first half of US$2.45 billion, or 17 cents per share, from a US$369 million loss in the comparable year-ago period, due to rising prices in key commodities. Revenues rose to US$100.29 billion, from US$69.43 billion in the year-ago half. The company raised its full-year guidance for its marketing earnings by US$100 million to between US$2.4 billion and US$2.7 billion.

First Quantum to suspend Ravensthorpe nickel ops

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. intends to place the Ravensthorpe nickel project in Western Australia on care and maintenance beginning in September, due to low nickel prices. The company estimates US$10 million in initial costs to place the mine on care and maintenance, with subsequent annual costs of US$5 million. Restarting operations will also cost about US$10 million.

Hong Kong hedge fund seeks to block Yancoal's US$2.35B capital raising

Hong Kong-based Senrigan Capital Management Ltd. lodged an application with Australia's Takeovers Panel requesting to block Yancoal Australia Ltd.'s proposed US$2.35 billion renounceable entitlement offer. Earlier in August, Yancoal's 13.2% shareholder Noble Group Ltd. was also planning to challenge the equity raising, with plans to lodge an objection with the panel.

BASE METALS

* Vale SA unit PT Vale Indonesia Tbk. said the recent policy change in Indonesia to allow ore exports is helping to keep global nickel prices low but is complicating efforts to create or maintain partnerships for smelter investments, Reuters reported. Vale Indonesia CEO Nico Kanter said partners have told the company they were pulling the plug or delaying decisions amid pricing and regulatory uncertainties.

* Chinese lead and zinc producers near Jiuzhaigou in the north of China's Sichuan province, where a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred on the night of Aug. 8, had to evacuate employees due to safety concerns, Shanghai Nonferrous Metals reported, citing unnamed sources. The impact on production is unclear. The earthquake left nine confirmed dead and 164 injured as of Aug. 9, according to a separate Xinhua News Agency report.

* Santiago Chamber of Commerce's arbitration and mediation center ruled in favor of Codelco over a dispute with Minera Escondida Ltda over the theft of copper concentrates valued at more than US$80 million from 2011 to 2014 by a transport company that drove trucks from Codelco's El Salvador project to Escondida, El Mercurio reported. As a result, the BHP Billiton Group subsidiary must return 136 trucks of copper concentrate on top of other compensations.

* PT Merdeka Copper Gold Tbk., which spent the last 18 months bringing the Tujuh Bukit copper project in Indonesia into production, would be interested in a secondary listing, most likely in Australia, as it moves to fund a second phase of the project within the next few years, The Australian Financial Review wrote.

* Zeta Resources Ltd.'s Zeta Energy Pte. Ltd. unit intends to acquire up to 43.19% of New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd.'s shares it does not own at 72 Australian cents per share in a partial takeover. The company holds approximately 17.5% of the target.

* Altair Resources Inc. signed an asset purchase agreement with Atlas Precious Metals Inc for the acquisition of a solvent extraction plant, which was initially offered to the miner in April when it acquired the Pan American zinc mine and Caselton mill in Nevada.

PRECIOUS METALS

* IAMGOLD Corp. swung to net earnings of US$506.5 million in the second quarter from a US$12.2 million net loss posted a year ago, driven by impairment charge reversals at its Cote project in Ontario and Rosebel mine in Suriname. Attributable gold production was up 13% year over year to 223,000 ounces.

* Pan American Silver Corp. produced 6.30 million ounces of silver and 37,700 ounces of gold in the second quarter, compared to 6.33 million ounces of silver and 48,400 ounces of gold in the year-ago quarter. Net earnings in the period rose to US$36.0 million from US$34.2 million, while revenue was up 5% at US$201.3 million.

* Royal Gold Inc.'s fourth-quarter attributable net income was nearly flat on a yearly basis at US$20 million, while revenue in the period climbed to US$108.9 million from US$94.1 million a year ago.

* B2Gold Corp. swung to a net income of US$19.3 million, from a net loss of US$11.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The miner lowered its full-year consolidated production guidance by 4% to between 530,000 and 570,000 ounces of gold.

* SSR Mining Inc.'s second-quarter net income jumped 202% year over year to US$37.7 million, due to the life-of-mine extension of the Pirquitas plant that resulted in the reversal of an impairment of US$24.4 million.

* Newmont Mining Corp. is considering raising its dividend to attract a broader shareholder base, which will also make the miner stand out as the gold sector is still recovering and pursuing mine expansions to replace depleting reserves, Reuters reported.

* Utah is requesting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to pay US$1.9 billion in damages to account for the cleanup costs and long-term maintenance of the San Juan river, which was contaminated by the 2015 Gold King mine spill, and Lake Powell, where most of the sludge was deposited, among other areas affected by the accident, Mining.com reported

* KEFI Minerals Plc reduced the funding requirement for the Tulu Kapi gold project to US$24 million, based on refinements to planned capital expenditure and contingency provisions.

* Colibri Resource Corp. completed the acquisition of Canadian Gold Resources Ltd., which indirectly owns the Pilar and Sun gold projects in Mexico through Minera Bestep SA de CV, in an all-stock deal valuing the target at C$4 million. In a same-day statement, Colibri said John Schiavi acquired 29.19% of the company at 16.5 Canadian cents per share.

* Endeavour Mining Corp. agreed to sell its 90% stake in the Nzema gold mine in Ghana to BCM International Ltd. for total cash consideration of up to US$65 million, calling the operation a noncore property.

* Jubilee Platinum Plc shares rose by over 11% in early morning trade Aug. 9, after the company announced it executed a US$50 million project funding agreement to support its metals recovery business.

* Semafo Inc. produced 47,600 ounces of gold in the second quarter, down 22% on a yearly basis. The decrease in gold ounces produced was due to lower head grade, partially offset by higher throughput. All-in sustaining costs during the quarter also increased 45% to US$1,074 per ounce sold.

* Galane Gold Ltd. terminated a letter of intent to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Vantage Goldfields Ltd.

* American Creek Resources Ltd.'s joint venture partner, Tudor Gold Corp., discovered a new gold zone at the Treaty Creek gold project in British Columbia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Evraz Plc's net profit in the first half of 2017 rose to US$86 million, or 4 U.S. cents per share, from US$7 million in the year ago period, due to strong coal and steel prices, as well as cost cutting. Profit from operations increased 149.5% year over year to US$831 million, while consolidated revenue went up 44.1% to US$5.11 billion.

* Glencore received the mining leases for its A$7 billion Wandoan coal project in Queensland, Australia, years after the miner shelved the project due to low commodity prices at the time and a global movement to fight climate change.

* Agrium Inc.'s second-quarter net income dropped to US$558 million from US$565 million in the year-ago period due to weaker nitrogen and phosphate benchmark prices, which were partially offset by stronger retail earnings, strong potash results and lower fixed costs across its wholesale business.

* Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau SA's second-quarter net income fell 5.1% year over year to 75 million Brazilian reais. The company's crude steel production was down 5% on a yearly basis to 4.09 million tonnes, while shipments fell by 12.6% to approximately 3.71 million tonnes.

* OAO Metalloinvest partially repaid a US$100 million debt ahead of the scheduled maturity date.

* Vale concluded the sale of two very large ore carriers of 400,000 tonnes to Bank of Communications Finance Leasing Co. Ltd. for approximately US$178 million. The mining major is also negotiating the sale of its remaining two vessels.

* Verdant Minerals Ltd. entered an agreement with Australian water technology company Aqua Guardian Group Ltd. to earn up to a 40% interest in the Karinga Lakes sulfate of potash project in Australia's Northern Territory, valued at A$3 million.

SPECIALTY

* Platina Resources Ltd. said the higher-grade scandium resource at its Owendale scandium-cobalt project in New South Wales, Australia, increased by 127% in an updated estimate, while the lower-grade resource increased 21%.

* Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. sold 215,000 carats for a total of C$27.6 million in the second quarter of 2017. The company swung to net income of C$7.6 million in the second quarter, from a net loss of C$352,000 a year ago.

* Northern Minerals Ltd. said the rise in dysprosium oxide prices, from 1,250 Chinese yuan per kilogram to 1,500 yuan per kilogram, is attributable to the Chinese government's crackdown on illegal mining, which is hampering supply of the commodity.

* Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. intends to raise C$10 million for working capital and general corporate purposes.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Argentinean statistics institute Indec is conducting a nationwide mining census for the next 90 days, beginning Aug. 7, to record data on all mining projects present in the country, Cronista reported.

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