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Vale secures operating license for S11D iron ore project in Brazil

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 secures operating license for S11D iron ore project in Brazil

TOP NEWS

Vale secures operating license for S11D iron ore project in Brazil

Vale SA was granted the operating license for the S11D mine and plant operations by Brazil's federal environmental agency IBAMA. The S11D start-up is expected by the end of the year, with the first commercial shipment expected in January 2017.

Centerra suspends quarterly dividends as cash flow tightens

Centerra Gold Inc. suspended its third-quarter and future quarterly dividends due to the financial restrictions imposed by Kyrgyzstan on funds held at its key subsidiary, Kumtor Gold Co. CJSC, operator of the Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan. The board would reassess the decision after the issue with Kyrgyzstan is resolved, the company noted.

Sibanye Gold to buy Stillwater Mining for US$2.2B in cash

Stillwater Mining Co. signed an agreement with Sibanye Gold Ltd., under which a U.S. Sibanye unit will acquire Stillwater's entire share capital for US$18.00 in cash per share, putting the deal value at US$2.2 billion.

DIVERSIFIED

* According to sources, despite China's new import tax and transport restrictions after the Dalai Lama visited Mongolia, Chinese smelters are still receiving some scheduled deliveries of copper-gold concentrates from Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, Metal Bulletin reported.

* However, a report by Al-Jazeera claims that hundreds of truck drivers transporting goods for Rio Tinto are stuck at the Gants Mod crossing in southeastern Mongolia in freezing temperatures after Chinese authorities closed a key border crossing in response to the Dalai Lama's visit. China has also canceled talks over a loan that Mongolia was seeking to ease its acute financial troubles.

BASE METALS

* A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo appointed an administrator to run the Tenke Fungurume copper project after accepting a petition from Gecamines SARL, which had been trying to block the sale of Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s stake in the mine. Bloomberg News reported. The management of Tenke Fungurume said the implementation of the ruling was suspended and that it is pursuing legal action to enforce its rights.

PRECIOUS METALS

* China's Hebei Zhongheng Tianda Platinum Co. Ltd. filed a claim against Eastern Platinum Ltd. in the British Columbia Supreme Court, alleging that the latter breached a share purchase agreement for the sale of the Crocodile River platinum mine to the Chinese group.

* A few weeks before the scheduled closure of Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd.'s Chatree gold mine in Thailand, the Thai parliament has passed a mineral bill, allowing gold mines to operate legally in the country, Bangkok's The Nation newspaper wrote. The new law, awaiting the signature of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, no longer requires mining companies to have metallurgy licenses.

* Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. is selling its 65% stake in Impala Chrome Pty. Ltd., which produces 200,000 tonnes of chrome concentrate per annum, through a tender, Mining Weekly wrote, citing the company.

* Condor Gold Plc has settled a royalty dispute with B2Gold Corp. and Royal Gold Inc. over part of its flagship La India gold project in Nicaragua. The settlement clears the way for the project to advance toward the construction of a 1-million-tonnes-per-annum processing plant with a production capacity of 100,000 ounces of gold per annum from a single open pit.

* Premier African Minerals Ltd. has elected not to exercise its option to acquire up to 30% in Casa Mining Ltd.

BULK COMMODITIES

* According to data compiled by The Australian, more than 135 million tonnes of iron ore production capacity, representing over A$7 billion in new investments, is set to either start construction or come under consideration in 2017 as Australia's iron ore industry gears up to replace aging mines, on the back of a recent surge in the commodity prices.

* Resources Minister Matthew Canavan has hit out at BHP Billiton Group and Mitsubishi Corp.'s decision to staff the Daunia and Caval Ridge coal mines near Moranbah, Queensland, with fly-in fly-out workers, saying that some existing 100% FIFO mines in the state were "a bad look" given their proximity to communities, the Australian Financial Review reported.

* Rio Tinto offered a A$10,000 bonus to workers at its Hail Creek coal mine in Queensland if they support an enterprise agreement that the company will take to a three-day ballot next weekend, in a bid to bring nearly three-year-long negotiations to an end and replace a 2011 agreement that expired about two and a half years ago, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Timis Mining Corp. Ltd.'s Pan African Minerals Ltd. unit said it may seek up to US$4 billion in damages from the government of Burkina Faso, claiming it was forced to stop the development of the Tambao manganese deposit. The group petitioned the International Court of Arbitration in Paris to protect its permit over the project, which has been "completely suspended" since June 2015.

* About 300 miners from South32 Ltd.'s Illawarra coal operations in New South Wales rallied for the second time in a week, protesting against wage cuts for contractors, ABC reported.

* South32 has invested 74 million South African rand in a seawater desalination plant to produce cooling process water for its Hillside aluminum smelter in Richards Bay and ensure sustainable operations in the drought-stricken area, Mining Weekly reported.

* After the adoption of U.N. Security Council resolution 2321, China has suspended coal imports from North Korea for three weeks in line with the new sanctions, AFP reported. The three-week suspension starts Dec. 11 and ends Dec. 31.

* Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. recorded consolidated loss after tax for the second quarter of fiscal 2017 of 7.47 billion Indian rupees, compared to a loss after tax of 9.86 billion rupees in the same year-ago quarter.

* Steel Authority of India Ltd. posted a loss after tax of 7.32 billion Indian rupees in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, compared to a loss of 11.08 billion rupees a year ago. The company recorded a loss in the period despite best-ever sales of 3.6 million tonnes in the second fiscal quarter, a 32% year-over-year jump.

* The European Union launched a new probe into cheap Chinese steel imports, this time looking into whether Chinese producers of certain corrosion-resistant steel products are selling at unfairly low prices, after receiving a complaint from EU steelmakers association Eurofer, Reuters said in a news brief.

* Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. CEO Lourenco Goncalves said the company expects to generate "a lot" of cash, with which it will pay down debt, Bloomberg News reported. Goncalves attributed the expectations to President-elect Donald Trump's focus on infrastructure building and a crackdown on unfair trade.

* Paramjit Kahlon, CEO of ArcelorMittal's Kryviy Rih iron ore operations in Ukraine, said Ukrainian law enforcement agencies had interrogated management at the business, bringing risks and instability, Reuters reported. Kahlon added that the company has sent a complaint to prosecutors regarding the matter.

* Chinese authorities have detained 10 people on suspicion of illegal mining and negligence, including the chairman of Baoma Coal Supplies Co. Ltd., in connection with a recent coal mine disaster in Inner Mongolia that killed 32 people, Reuters reported. Baoma Coal was the operator of the mine.

* Bank of China and five other local lenders signed a debt restructuring deal with troubled steelmaker Sinosteel Corp., Reuters reported, citing Bank of China.

* India's Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said the country's steel industry should not take the government's protectionist measures for granted and needs to raise its efficiency to narrow down the cost of production and sale price to compete with foreign companies, Reuters reported.

* Eastern China's Anhui province has eliminated 620,000 tonnes of pig iron and 1.1 million tonnes of crude steel capacity so far, China Securities Journal wrote. The province aims to phase out 3.84 million tonnes of pig iron capacity and 5.06 million tonnes of crude steel capacity between 2016 and 2020, and downsize 29,000 workers in the steel sector by the end of 2018.

* China's Shanxi Coking Coal Group Co. Ltd. signed a framework debt-to-equity swap agreement with China Construction Bank, under which the parties will set up two funds worth 25 billion yuan, China Securities Journal reported. One of the funds will focus on lowering the coal miner's debt ratio, while the other will help the company to improve its competitiveness.

SPECIALTY

* French miner Eramet agreed to sell its Eurotungstene business to Umicore as part of its asset disposal program. Umicore plans to integrate Eurotungstene with its cobalt and specialty materials division, Metal Bulletin wrote.

* The African News Agency reported that at least 450 miners at the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana will be laid off next week after Lucara Diamond Corp. decided to prematurely terminate a mining services contracts with Eqstra on the back of a dispute over differences in the volumes of diamond ore that was mined by the contractor. The report said the dispute is likely to evolve into a legal matter, with Eqstra warning that it would seek damages from the termination of the contract, which is supposed to expire in 2020.

* Rio Tinto plans to improve the quality of its portfolio and highlighted its diamond business as a focus for expansion, Bloomberg News reported, citing the company's CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques. Jacques said the diamond business was a priority area for the company and he "would love to have more diamonds."

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Philippines' Mines and Geosciences Bureau may complete the audit on the remaining 31 mines in the country in about five months if "the whole process is done in accordance to schedule," BusinessWorld reported citing Danilo Uykieng, the bureau's officer-in-charge assistant director.

* A survey by Business South Australia found that the state is likely to suffer more power outages as summer approaches, as the business community expressed serious concerns that consecutive days of extreme temperatures may place additional pressure on interconnectors and lead to rolling power outages, Reuters wrote. Among the businesses affected by the power issues in the state is BHP Billiton Group's Olympic Dam copper mine.

* New research from Deloitte Access Economics revealed that the Australian minerals industry suffered an effective tax rate of 54.3% in 2014-2015, the highest in almost a decade, Mining Weekly reported.

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.