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Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest aluminum smelter


Essential IR Insights Newsletter - April 2023


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According to Market Intelligence, April 2023


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Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest aluminum smelter


Rio Tinto in early talks to off-load Europe's biggest smelter

Rio Tinto is said to be in early talks with potential buyers for its Dunkerque aluminum smelter in northern France, Europe's biggest aluminum smelter, amid rising prices, Bloomberg News reported. The global mining giant is also considering selling its Iceland-based Reykjavik aluminum smelter and is renewing efforts to off-load its Pacific Aluminium Pty. Ltd. assets in Australia and New Zealand.

Glencore-led Queensland coal terminal offers to repay part of US$3B debt

Glencore Plc and its partners in the Queensland, Australia-based Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal have made a proposal to partially repay US$3 billion of debt to stave off a fast-approaching full repayment deadline, Reuters reported, citing two lenders familiar with the matter.

EU imposes antidumping duties on steel from Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Brazil

In response to complaints from European manufacturers, the European Commission is imposing anti-dumping duties on imports of hot-rolled steel from Brazil, Russia, Iran and Ukraine. A tariff of between €17.60 and €96.50 per tonne will be levied against exports starting Oct. 7, the EU's executive arm said.


* Glencore agreed to acquire a 75% stake in Chevron South African Pty. Ltd. and the entire issued share capital of Chevron Botswana Pty. Ltd. for US$973 million. The purchase price will be subject to adjustment of the debt and working capital of the companies holding the assets at closing that is expected in mid-2018. The purchase price could be below US$500 million if Glencore introduces a partner to assist it with the transaction, Miningmx wrote.

* BHP Billiton Group evacuated its Shenzi and Neptune deepwater oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, Reuters reported.


* Nickel prices tumbled during September and into early October as the rally that had sent prices skyrocketing since June began to peter out. Three-month prices on the London Metal Exchange fell from a recent peak of US$12,380/t Sept. 4 to close at US$10,615/t Oct. 4.

* Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged faster progress to complete a deal with Freeport-McMoRan Inc. regarding the rights to the miner's Grasberg copper mine in the country, Reuters reported, citing officials on Friday.

* Cunico Resources NV reduced ferro-nickel production at its Feni plant in Macedonia for up to a month amid negotiations regarding finances with the government and changes to the plant's management, Metal Bulletin reported, citing sources. The move is not related to the price of nickel, but rather to "a combination of cost cutting, maintenance, management changes and talks with the government over finances and power," a source added.

* Vast Resources Plc is in discussions with metal traders and debt providers to finance a new metallurgical complex planned for its Manaila zinc-lead-copper mine in Romania.

* ASX-listed copper producer Finders Resources Ltd. was handed an unsolicited takeover offer by an Indonesian consortium that values the company at much the same as its current market capitalization of about A$175.0 million. Bidding vehicle Eastern Field Developments Ltd. said its offer is "significantly above" the three-month volume-weighted average price of about 21 cents and the 12-cent price of Finders' last equity raising in November 2016.

* The restart of the Bougainville copper mine on Papua New Guinea's Bougainville Island is running into problems due to a dispute about who will control the mine following a June 2019 vote by the people of Bougainville on independence from Papua New Guinea, Reuters reported. The options are the previous operator, Bougainville Copper Ltd., supported by the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Papua New Guinea government or an Australian consortium of investors backed by the landowners holding the mineral rights.

* A worker at MMG Ltd.'s Las Bambas copper operation in Peru was fatally injured after the haul truck he was driving left the road near the Ferrobamba pit Oct. 3. Hilario Castro was found Oct. 5 following a search-and-rescue operation.


* SNL Metals & Mining Research looked in depth at the cash flows for the 30 gold-producing mines in Western Australia covered by Mine Economics Data to show the likely effect of the proposed increase in the net smelter royalty payment for gold mined in the state from 2.5% to 3.75% from July 2018, should the gold price remain above A$1,200/oz.

* McEwen Mining Inc. closed the acquisition of the Black Fox gold mine in Ontario from Primero Mining Corp. The transaction was completed at US$27.5 million after making certain price adjustments, as compared to the initial purchase price of US$35 million reported when the deal was announced in August.

* New Gold Inc. achieved the initial gold pour at the Rainy River mine in Ontario, yielding about 500 ounces of gold and 600 ounces of silver.

* Lonmin Plc received approval from its lending banks to go ahead with the previously announced acquisition of Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Northam Platinum Ltd.'s stake in the Pandora platinum joint venture in South Africa for 45.6 million rand.

* Meanwhile, Lonmin's lenders agreed to waive the next two debt covenant tests for September just passed and March 2018, on the condition that the miner leaves $200 million untouched in undrawn debt, reported.

* Newcrest Mining Ltd. CEO Sandeep Biswas said the company is reviewing whether a solar farm could be installed at its flagship Cadia East gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, in order to shield the project from soaring electricity prices, The Australian Financial Review reported. The company said in April that it was looking for a cheaper and more reliable source of electricity for the operation.

* Riversgold Ltd. has been admitted to the ASX and will begin trading Oct. 10.


* Germany is inviting ministers and senior officials from leading steel-producing nations to Berlin on Nov. 30 to discuss measures to prevent overcapacity in the global steel industry and ensure fair competition, Reuters reported, citing Matthias Machnig, the state secretary in the German Economy Ministry.

* A tax audit of Metinvest BV's Northern GOK operation by Ukraine's State Fiscal Service revealed the company's underpayment of 1.3 billion hryvnia from 2012 to 2016, reported.

* As part of simplifying its business structure, Adani Enterprises Ltd. plans to demerge its renewable energy business into associate company Adani Green Energy Ltd., Press Trust of India reported.

* The ongoing strike at South32 Ltd.'s Hillside aluminum smelter in South Africa ended after over 600 members of the National Union of Metalworkers accepted the miner's new wage deal, Reuters reported, citing the union.

* Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa SA will allocate about 1.5 billion Polish zloty for replacement and development investments in its coking plants by 2030, Puls Biznesu reported.

* A miner died and another was in a critical condition after an underground gallery caved in at the state-owned Lupeni hard coal mine in Romania, Reuters reported, citing Energy Minister Toma Petcu.


* PJSC Alrosa estimates damage from the accident at the Mir mine in its Mirny Division at between 10 billion and 12 billion Russian rubles, Vedomosti reported, citing President and CEO Sergei Ivanov.

* Russia's Department of State Mining Supervision of the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision conducted an inspection at Alrosa's Udachny, Aikhal, International and Mir mines, and the base warehouse of the Udachninsky GOK. The department found violations in the conduct of underground mining operations, storage and use of explosive materials for industrial use, operation of lifting equipment, boiler inspection facilities, and operation of electrical installations, Vedomosti reported.

* Gemfields Plc generated revenues of US$21.5 million from an auction of high-quality rough emeralds held in Zambia, for an overall average price of US$66.21 per carat that is the second-highest price that the company has ever achieved.

* Magnis Resources Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with German public-private partnership WiN Emscher-Lippe GmbH to develop a 30-GWh lithium-ion battery and an integrated battery recycling plant in North Rhine Westphalia.


* The top 25 mining companies were worth an aggregate US$699.6 billion at the end of September, a 33% increase compared with the corresponding quarter of 2016. S&P Global Market Intelligence calculates the global market value of the industry's listed companies at the end of September as US$1.42 trillion.

* Tanzanian President John Magufuli split the energy and minerals ministry in two, appointed Angellah Kairuki as the new mining minister, and promoted Medard Kalemani from deputy energy and minerals minister to lead the new energy ministry, Reuters reported.

* U.S. nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 33,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 4.2% from 4.4% in the previous month, the U.S. Department of Labor said. The department noted that the net effect of hurricanes Harvey and Irma was to reduce the estimate of total nonfarm payroll employment for September.

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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.