BHP and Vale settle $5.28bn lawsuit over Samarco dam failure

BHP and Vale signed an agreement with the Brazilian authorities to settle the R$20bn ($5.28bn) civil lawsuit related to a tailings dam failure at the Samarco iron ore mine in the state of Minas Gerais in 2015.

The settlement needs to be signed by the Federal Government of Brazil and ratified by the 12th Federal Court of Minas Gerais.

The dam failure resulted in flooding due to the release of mine tailings, which claimed the lives of at least 17 people and caused significant environmental damage.

Communities within the Bento Rodrigues area were particularly affected by the incident.

Glencore writes-off $5.6bn of debt to resolve DRC legal dispute

Glencore, through its subsidiary Katanga Mining, entered a deal to write-off $5.6bn of debt to settle a legal dispute and continue its joint venture (JV) operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with the state-owned firm Gécamines.

The Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) in the DRC is 75% owned by Katanga Mining with Gécamines holding the remaining 25%.

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Gécamines approached the Kolwezi Commercial Court in April seeking to dissolve the JV company KCC and regain control of its mining licences as a result of mounting debt.

Russia’s Polymetal brings Kyzyl mine on stream in Kazakhstan

Russian miner Polymetal International commenced production at its new Kyzyl mine in Kazakhstan after the completion of all construction and commissioning activities.

The production of the first gold concentrate from the Kyzyl mine was originally slated for next month as per the company’s updated January 2018 plan.

The capital expenditure for the project is anticipated to be around 3% lower than the previously announced $325m budget, including 62 million tonnes (Mt) worth of pre-stripping works.

Alrosa to revise production plan at International diamond mine

Russian mining company Alrosa unveiled a revised production plan for the International underground diamond mine as part of a tougher approach to health and safety management.

Alrosa’s production plan for this year remains unchanged at 36.6 million carats despite the revised output plan.

However, production at International is expected to fall by 500,000-800,000 carats per year between 2019 and 2022.

Vale signs $690m deals to sell cobalt from Voisey’s Bay mine

Brazilian metals and mining firm Vale reached agreements to sell the future cobalt production from its Voisey’s Bay mine, located in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to Wheaton Precious Metals and Cobalt 27 Capital for around $690m.

The deals will give the buyers access to 75% of the cobalt stream from the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine, where cobalt is mined as a by-product.

Cobalt is included as an ingredient in the batteries used to power electric vehicles.

Vale is expected to use the proceeds from the deals to fund the Voisey’s Bay underground mine expansion project (VBME).

CITIC Metal to acquire 19.9% stake in Ivanhoe Mines for $556.87m

Chinese conglomerate CITIC’s subsidiary reached a deal to acquire a 19.9% stake in Canadian mining firm Ivanhoe Mines for around C$723m ($556.87m).

According to the terms of the deal, CITIC Metal will buy 196,602,037 common shares in Ivanhoe at a price of C$3.68 a share via a private placement, thereby becoming the largest shareholder in the company.

Ivanhoe’s other Chinese investor, Zijin Mining, will have the option of exercising its anti-dilution rights in order to maintain a 9.9% stake in the company.

Kinross to go ahead with Fort Knox mine expansion in Alaska

Kinross Gold will continue with the initial Gilmore expansion project at its Fort Knox mine, located in Alaska, US.

The company aims to extend the life of the Fort Knox mine by six years to 2027, and leaching to 2030, through the expansion project.

Kinross will initially invest around $100m in the Gilmore project, which is expected to increase life-of-mine production by the equivalent of 1.5 million ounces of gold.

Mitsubishi to acquire additional stake in Quellaveco for $600m

Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi signed a Heads of Agreement to acquire an additional 21.9% equity interest in Anglo American’s Quellaveco project (AAQSA) for a sum of $600m.

AAQSA owns the Quellaveco copper project in Peru.

Mitsubishi already holds an 18.1% interest in the project via its stake in AAQSA and the latest acquisition will increase its total holding to 40%.

South32 to buy remaining interest in Arizona Mining for $1.3bn

South32 signed an agreement to acquire the remaining 83% of the issued and outstanding shares in Canadian mineral exploration company Arizona Mining as part of an all-cash deal valued at $1.3bn.

Arizona Mining owns the Hermosa project, which is located 80km southeast of Tucson, Arizona, and contains the high-grade base metals Taylor deposit.

South32 will offer C$6.20 ($4.69) per share to Arizona Mining under the deal, whose directors have backed the proposed transaction and recommended that their shareholders accept the offer.

South Africa’s draft mining charter proposes 30% black ownership

South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources published a draft Mining Charter that seeks to raise black ownership of mining companies operating in the country to 30% from the existing 26% within five years.

The new draft charter follows negotiations with mining communities and organisations across the country.

The ministry has invited members of the public to submit their responses to the draft charter before 27th July.

A finalised draft will then be subjected to the government’s Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) before submission to the Cabinet for approval.