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BHP's Q2 iron ore, copper output up YOY; GFG to consolidate aluminum assets


BHP's Q2'20 iron ore output up 4% YOY on record Jimblebar production

BHP Group's iron ore production in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 totaled 60.40 million tonnes, up 4% from a year earlier. The results were attributed to reflected record production at the Jimblebar mine and the impact of the train derailment in the half year of its fiscal 2019. Iron ore output was down 1% from the previous quarter. Copper production rose 9% from a year ago to 455,000 tonnes for the quarter, while metallurgical coal production rose 6% to 11 Mt.

Gupta to consolidate aluminum businesses in bid to increase transparency

Sanjeev Gupta will consolidate all of the aluminum businesses under the GFG Alliance Ltd. umbrella into a new entity called Alvance Aluminum Group headquartered in Paris, in a bid to increase transparency across the consortium, London's Financial Times reported. The move was made amid scrutiny over the rapid growth pace of the firm and opaque financing of acquisitions throughout the GFG Alliance.

Lack of lithium deposits hindering India's electric vehicle hub ambitions

The lack of access to lithium is emerging as a stumbling block for India's ambitions to become a global hub for manufacturing electric vehicles, Bloomberg News reported. "Indian companies have been involved in trying to prospect for stakes in overseas resources, and possibly on-shoring more raw materials production capacity in India," said Sophie Lu, head of metals and mining for BloombergNEF. "There are very little synergies right now because further up the value chain, battery components manufacturing capacity does not seem to be planned extensively for India," Lu was quoted as saying.


* Vancouver, British Columbia-based Trevali Mining Corp. achieved record zinc production of 417.4 million pounds for 2019, beating annual guidance of 361 million pounds to 401 million pounds. Zinc output in the fourth quarter of 2019 totaled 104.8 million pounds, according to preliminary figures.

* Western Areas Ltd. reached deals with BHP unit BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd. and Jinchuan Co. Ltd. for the off-take of nickel concentrate produced from the Forrestania project in Western Australia. Its agreement with Nickel West is for 10,000 tonnes per annum of nickel in concentrate, capped at 30,000 tonnes, with the Jinchuan deal at 10,000 tonnes per annum for two years.

* The development progress of the Llurimagua copper project in Ecuador, a joint venture between Chile's Codelco and Ecuador state miner Enami EP, has stalled due to disagreements over establishing the operating company, Pulso reported. Sources told the newspaper that political instability in Ecuador and recent reshuffling in the mining ministry also contributed to the delay.

* The Russian government is considering providing support to PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. as it plans to implement a major program aiming to modernize facilities and improve the environment in the city of Norilsk, Kommersant reported.

* Zinc prices increased to a two-month high following a break of key technical levels that triggered a buying spree as the market also worried about historically low inventories, Reuters reported. The price of benchmark zinc on the London Metal Exchange closed at US$2,444 per tonne, up by 0.6%.


* Chesser Resources Ltd. said assay results confirmed a high-grade gold discovery at its flagship Diamba Sud project in Senegal, highlighting drill results including 16 meters grading 8.51 g/t of gold from a depth of 86 meters.

* Palladium has been powering higher for the past few years but "can't go up forever," although tightness isn't going away anytime soon, S&P Global Platts reported, citing a note from Noah Capital Markets.

* Montreal-based Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. paid C$3 million in cash to increase its net smelter royalty on Osisko Mining Inc.'s Windfall gold project in Quebec. Osisko Gold Royalties increased its effective NSR on the project to a range of 2% to 3% from a range of 1% to 1.5% by exercising a right from an August 2015 deal to repurchase six existing royalties.

* Private South African smelter Samancor Chrome Holdings (Pty) Ltd. notified its intention to cut about 599 jobs at its smelting operations and corporate offices, primarily due to low chrome prices, competition from China, electricity supply and increasing power tariffs, Reuters reported.

* Toronto-listed TMAC Resources Inc. launched a strategic review to explore options for its Hope Bay gold mine in Nunavut, Canada. TMAC has engaged CIBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets as financial advisers to seek alternatives for the project, including a possible sale or joint venture.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. is seeking to raise up to some A$196 million via an equity raising to repay a US$130 million finance facility previously secured from Taurus Funds Management Pty Ltd. ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline.

* Revelo Resources Corp. agreed in principle to sell 20 generative net smelter royalty interests over exploration properties to EMX Royalty Corp. for US$1.5 million in cash.

* An updated resource estimate for Classic Minerals Ltd.'s Lady Ada deposit, part of its 80%-owned Forrestania gold project in Western Australia, grew 71% to about 59,700 ounces of gold contained in about 1.4 million tonnes grading 1.38 g/t of gold, using a lower cutoff grade of 0.5 g/t.

* Sultan Resources Ltd. received approvals to conduct a 1,000-meter reverse circulation drilling program at the Lake Grace gold project in Western Australia.


* Thyssenkrupp AG narrowed the list of bidders for its elevator unit, with private equity firm Hillhouse Capital and Brazilian-American investment firm 3G Capital now out of the running, Bloomberg News reported, citing unidentified sources. A consortium including Blackstone Group Inc., Carlyle Group LP and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board as well as an entity backed by Advent International, Cinven Ltd. and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority proceeded to the next round of bids, which also includes a partnership between Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Temasek Holdings. The companies will be competing against Finland's Kone Oyj, which is bidding on a different timeline.

* PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works' finished steel product sales in the fourth quarter of 2019 slid 4.0% against the prior quarter to 2.78 million tonnes. Pig iron output declined 1.7% to 2.60 Mt, crude steel output slipped 3.9% to 3.07 Mt, while iron ore output rose 5% to 678,000 tonnes, and coal concentrate production grew 14.7% to 721,000 tonnes.

* Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu Oyj expects adjusted EBITDA of about €70 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, rising from earlier guidance of about €45 million. The anticipated increase is due to the positive impact of raw materials, including raw material efficiency and hedging. Shares in the company climbed nearly 18% in late afternoon trades in Helsinki after the news.

* U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country would no longer support thermal coal mining or coal power plants abroad as it made no sense for London to cut its emissions while supporting coal-fired projects overseas, Reuters reported. "Not another penny of U.K. taxpayers' money will be directly invested in digging up coal or burning it for electricity," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

* Thermal coal imports in India have dropped for three consecutive months due to economic slowdown decreasing demand from key industrial consumers, Reuters reported, noting it was the longest sustained fall in over two years.

* Hallador Energy Co. unit Sunrise Coal LLC temporarily idled production at its Carlisle coal mine in Sullivan County, Ind., citing weak market conditions that led to oversupply in the domestic market. The move led to the dismissal of 90 full-time employees.

* The Mannheim local court in Germany denied the registration of new shares that were to be issued from Altech Advanced Materials AG's recently completed €2.0 million rights offer. The denial was due to a technical issue.

* Groundbreaking for a US$4 billion integrated steel mill in Misamis Oriental, Philippines, is scheduled to take place in March, Philippine News Agency reported, quoting Phividec Industrial Administration CEO Franklin Quijano.


* The U.S. Department of the Interior launched a 12-month review process for Lithium Americas Corp.'s Thacker Pass project, which could result in final permits to construct by 2021, Reuters reported. Currently, Albemarle Corp. is the only U.S. producer of lithium.

* Deep Yellow Ltd. will move toward the completion of a pre-feasibility study for the Reptile uranium project in Namibia after a positive scoping study for the Tumas deposit.

* Altura Mining Ltd. achieved a record shipment of 24,500 wet tonnes of lithium concentrate produced from its Pilgangoora mine in Western Australia to Chinese off-take partner Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd.


* Global foreign direct investment slightly declined in 2019 as political unrest in Hong Kong and uncertainty surrounding Brexit shooed away investors, but a marginal recovery in 2020 is in the cards, according to a report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

* The Mining Commission in the Chile's Lower House voted in favor of discussing a bill that establishes a new royalty of 3% for copper and lithium mining, Pulso reported. The proposed legislation will be analyzed and adjusted before being formally presented to the floor for a vote.

S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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