Barrick confirms sale of Veladero mine stake to Shandong Gold for US$960M
Barrick Gold Corp. confirmed that Chinese miner Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. will acquire 50% of Barrick's Veladero mine in San Juan, Argentina, for US$960 million. The companies will also explore the joint development of the Pascua Lama deposit and evaluate additional investment opportunities in the El Indio Gold Belt on the Argentina-Chile border.
Freeport: Losses from Indonesia export ban reach nearly US$1B
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. is still waiting on the final terms of a temporary export permit granted by the Indonesian government before it can begin ramping up production at its Grasberg copper mine. CFO Kathleen Quirk told Reuters that the ban on the export of copper concentrate has, so far, cost the U.S. mining heavyweight nearly US$1 billion in revenue.
BHP Billiton Group declared force majeure on coal produced at its operations in Queensland, Australia, as a result of damage caused by Cyclone Debbie to Aurizon Holdings Ltd.'s rail infrastructure. The mining giant said it is looking at options to move the coal from mine sites to ports for shipping. Glencore Plc also declared force majeure on coal shipments from Queensland.
* Vale SA's cost-cutting efforts and focus on investing in "world-class" assets have helped the company bridge its competitive gap with its Australian rivals, CFO Luciano Siani said. One current advantage the company has over its rivals is the lower investment it needs to make in the medium term, given the high quality of projects, Siani said, daily Valor Econômico reported.
* Meanwhile, the election of at least one independent member on Vale's board for the 2017-2019 period has become the subject of a heated dispute among minority shareholders, with candidates expected to be nominated by investment fund Geração Futuro L. Par and Aberdeen Asset Management, among others, at the next ordinary general meeting scheduled for June 20, daily Valor Econômico reported.
* Vedanta Resources Plc Chairman Anil Agarwal plans to convince Anglo American Plc to bring its businesses, ranging from fertilizer production to diamond mining, to India, now that Vedanta has secured about a 13% stake in the mining major, Mint reported.
* Vedanta Resources announced plans to redeem for cash all of its outstanding 9.5% notes due July 18, 2018. The settlement is expected to occur May 4 and will see the company reducing its near-term gross debt by US$379 million.
* Rio Tinto plans to dispute the amended tax assessments it recently received from the Australian Commissioner of Taxation, which billed the miner A$447 million in additional tax and interest for the calendar years 2010 to 2013.
* South32 Ltd. added a new position of chief technology officer to its management team and appointed Ricus Grimbeek to the role.
* Codelco CEO Nelson Pizarro is looking for a potential successor to helm the Chilean state miner. Potential candidates include Álvaro Aliaga, vice president of operations at Codelco Norte; Octavio Araneda, who was interim CEO before Pizarro's arrival and is the current vice president of Codelco Centro-Sur; Collahuasi copper mine CEO Jorge Gómez; and Ricardo Álvarez, technical manager at Mitsui Mineral Resources Development Latin America, daily Diario Financiero reported.
* Peru's energy and mines minister said the country intends to increase its copper output to 3.1 million tonnes in 2021, from 2.35 million tonnes expected this year and in 2018, Reuters reported.
* Weatherly International Plc revised the production guidance for its Tschudi project in Namibia to between 14,500 and 15,000 tonnes of copper cathode for the financial year ending in June, as heavy rains prevented the short-term acceleration of mining and stacking.
* According to Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. Chairman Robert Friedland, a global shift toward electric vehicles is going to upset the mining industry, with a surge expected in demand for copper and platinum, MiningNews wrote.
* TNG Ltd.'s spinoff base metals company, Todd River Resources Ltd., is scheduled to make its ASX debut April 6 under the ticker TRT.
* PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel issued US$1 billion of eurobonds at 4.1% with a six-year term, Interfax wrote, citing sources in the Russian banking industry.
* Barrick Gold CEO Kelvin Dushnisky and the governor of Argentina's San Juan province, Sergio Uñac, did not reach an agreement during a meeting held April 4, official sources told daily Diario de Cuyo. Uñac rejected the company's work plan to resume operations at the Veladero gold mine, which was suspended due to a new cyanide spill reported in late March. A new meeting is scheduled for April 6, sources told local TV channel Canal 13.
* Eco Oro Minerals Corp. filed a lawsuit against shareholders Harrington Global Opportunities Fund Ltd., Courtenay Wolfe and Danny Guy in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The company said the group of shareholders published "false, misleading and defamatory" statements about Eco Oro and its board of directors.
* Sibanye Gold Ltd. is looking to finance its US$2.2 billion acquisition of Stillwater Mining Co. through a US$1.3 billion rights offer and a US$1 billion bond, CFO Charl Keyter said at the European Gold Forum in Zurich.
* The strike at Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Kusasalethu gold mine in South Africa is still ongoing, even though an ultimatum set by the company expired the evening of April 4, a spokeswoman for the company told S&P Global Market Intelligence.
* Kula Gold Ltd. directors advised its shareholders to take no action on the proposed off-market takeover offer from Geopacific Resources Ltd. until the board makes a formal recommendation.
* Red Rock Resources Plc reached a settlement with Colombia Milling Ltd. over disputes related to the 2015 sale of the El Limon gold mine in Colombia.
* The tropical cyclone that ravaged Queensland, Australia, recently and damaged the rail network in the region has prompted the biggest ever single-day rise in the price of metallurgical coal. S&P Global Platts premium low vol coking coal spiked 32% on April 5 to US$241 per tonne f.o.b. Australia.
* Ferrexpo Plc produced 2.6 million tonnes of pellet in the first quarter, compared to 2.9 million tonnes in the year-ago quarter. The 9.1% year-over-year drop in output was attributed to scheduled pellet line maintenance in January and February as well as a 55-day pellet line refurbishment.
* South32 lowered the output guidance for its Cannington project following an underground fire that damaged the load-out and shaft haulage infrastructure. The company now expects production of 16.5 million ounces of payable silver, 135,000 tonnes of lead and 70,000 tonnes of zinc this year.
* Bathurst Resources Ltd. has secured an offtake agreement for the supply of 65,000 tonnes per annum from its Canterbury coal mine in New Zealand.
* Rio Tinto said the development of its Silvergrass mine and its West Angeles and Yandicoogina iron ore mines are expected to support over 1,000 construction jobs in Western Australia.
* Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corp. signed a 10 billion Chinese yuan debt-to-equity swap agreement with Industrial Bank, Reuters wrote.
* A source told Reuters that the reopening of Aurizon Holdings' Blackwater rail line, which links coking coal mines and export ports in Queensland, will be delayed, as the line suffered more damage than estimated. The line was initially scheduled to reopen later this week.
* German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG's works council chief Wilhelm Segerath said he will oppose any further restructuring of the company's European steel operations until there is clarity over a potential merger with Tata Steel Ltd.'s European business, Reuters reported.
* Alcoa Inc.'s mothballed Portovesme smelter in Italy is receiving interest from more interested parties, although there is no official bid yet, Metal Bulletin reported.
* Arconic Inc. announced the launch of three separate cash tender offers by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC for the company's outstanding debt for up to US$1 billion.
* Petra Diamonds Ltd. increased its offering of senior secured second-lien notes due 2022 to US$650 million, from US$600 million, and announced the pricing. The notes will accrue interest at 7.25% per annum, payable semiannually in arrears.
* The Chilean Supreme Court accepted a claim filed by Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA subsidiary SQM Salar SA to prevent the public release of the company's financial data, including client lists and lithium sale prices. The data had been previously deemed public information by the Santiago Court of Appeals and the government's Transparency Council, given that SQM is a company regulated by the state and operates state-owned mining deposits, CIPER reported.
* A majority of Federal Reserve officials project that the bank will begin normalizing the size of its balance sheet later this year by ending the policy of reinvesting its maturing assets, according to minutes of the central bank's March policy meeting.
* The so-called "Trump trade," which turbo-charged stocks at the end of 2016, faded in the first quarter as investors began to doubt the new U.S. president's ability to pass business-friendly legislation, correlations show, but investors are confident that a broader bet on global reflation will fuel another leg up for markets.
* While mining companies' primary motivation for raising money was to pay down debts and sort out balance sheets in 2016, the market will see more cash-backed deals this year, supported by a recovery in commodity prices, according to panelists at the Mines and Money Asia conference in Hong Kong.
* Japanese mining equipment maker Komatsu has completed the US$3.7 billion acquisition of Joy Global Inc., Mining.com reported. Joy Global will be renamed Komatsu Mining Corp. and will operate as a subsidiary of Komatsu.
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