News Archive


Barrick withdraws from Arakaka JV

Barrick had spent US$7.1 million on exploration at the project, just shy of the $8 million it was required to spend to earn 65% under a March 2016 earn-in agreement.

Alicanto will retain 100% of the project.

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Alicanto said Barrick’s work had identified multiple targets, including a number of higher grade prospects that sat outside Barrick’s size criteria.

The company is seeking to follow-up work at the Gomes prospect, where drilling hit 19.2m at 3.4 grams per tonne gold, including 6m at 6.25gpt gold, and the Purple Heart structure after previous work hit 13.5m at 7.4gpt gold.

Trenching at Eyelash returned 2m at 33.4gpt gold and 0.6m at 68.4gpt gold.

“The company has benefitted from a strong working relationship with Barrick, and with over $7 million spent on exploration over the past two years without diluting our shareholders,” Alicanto managing director Travis Schwertfeger said.

“Alicanto is now well-positioned to follow up on numerous high-grade targets more befitting of a junior mining company.”

Previous explorers at Arakaka, including Newmont Mining, have spent more than $20 million on the project.

Alicanto also owns the Ianna gold project, 25km south-east of Arakaka.

In February, the company said the maiden drill program at Ianna highlighted the potential for a multimillion ounce deposit.

The first 11 holes intersected “substantial gold mineralisation”, with a headline hit of 89m grading 1.02gpt.

Alicanto had A$3.1 million cash at the end of March, including $600,000 received from Barrick for Arakaka exploration.

Shares in Alicanto lost 9% to A7c, after falling as low as 6.7c. The stock peaked at 24c in January.

 

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/discovery/news/1340656/barrick-withdraws-from-arakaka-jv

Arizona on the rise

Arizona’s shares hit an all-time high of C$6.14, just shy of the $6.20 offer price agreed with South32.

Around the globe miners had a better start to the week after Friday’s circa-4% slump by many diversified majors, as trade war fears haven’t worsened. 

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In London, Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) and Anglo American (LSE: AAL) both enjoyed a slight gain yesterday of 0.91%.

In Australian trade though, BHP (ASX: BHP) was about 1% lower this afternoon, while its three-year-old spin-out South32 (ASX: S32) was down about 2.8%.

Back in Toronto, the SP/TSX Composite Index metals and mining sector had closed up 0.24% and Lucara Diamond Corp (TSX: LUC) was up more than 6% higher on no news.

Junior Cornerstone Metals (TSXV: CCC) rose 25% to fresh 52-week high of C$1.15, having last week referred to the new US legislation designed to streamline permitting for strategic minerals projects, which it has said could help fast-track its Carlin vanadium project in Nevada.

Finally, the gold price is up slightly compared with this time yesterday and was trading at just over US$1,281 an ounce on the spot market.

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/capital-markets/news/1340654/arizona-on-the-rise

Head of Volkswagen’s Audi arrested in Germany over diesel scandal

(This version of the story has been refiled to add dropped word “boards” in paragraph one.)

By Edward Taylor and Jan Schwartz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) supervisory boards suspended crisis talks to find a stand-in boss for its Audi brand which were convened after German authorities arrested current Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler as part of a probe into emissions test cheating.

Stadler’s arrest on Monday threw Volkswagen (VW) into turmoil as it struggles to recover from cheating revelations, which emerged after regulators blew the whistle in September 2015 on the carmaker’s use of illegal software.

The directors of Audi and Volkswagen discussed how to run its more profitable division without Stadler, but failed to come to a conclusion, the carmaker said late on Monday.

“The supervisory boards of VW and Audi have not yet reached a decision and continue to assess the situation,” a spokesman for VW said.

The arrest has kicked off a new debate over VW’s governance which could raise tensions on its supervisory board, putting at risk a fragile truce between management, VW’s controlling Piech and Porsche families, as well as representatives from labor and the region of Lower Saxony.

VW has for years said only lower-level managers knew of the emissions cheating, but U.S. authorities filed criminal charges against former VW boss Martin Winterkorn earlier this year, and Munich prosecutors widened their probe into Audi this month.

Munich prosecutors said Stadler was being investigated for suspected fraud and false advertising and for his alleged role in helping to bring cars equipped with illegal software on to the European market.

Following his arrest, Munich prosecutors said Stadler, the most senior active VW official to be remanded in custody since the scandal broke, was being held on fears he might hinder their investigation.

“We need to find a solution for Audi’s leadership for the time when he is not here,” the source familiar with the talks said about Stadler’s position. “We will comment on this later.”

Stadler was given additional responsibilities for group sales in a revamp announced by VW’s new Chief Executive Herbert Diess in April.

On Monday, VW and Audi directors were discussing the leadership crisis in separate meetings, with one source saying Dutchman Bram Schot was the front runner to become interim Audi chief.

Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said VW’s supervisory board had already picked Schot for the job and only needed the formal approval of Audi’s directors. VW denied any such appointment had been made.

VW has set aside around $30 billion to cover fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits since its “dieselgate” scandal broke, and has announced plans to spend billions more on a shift to electric vehicles as it seeks to rebuild its reputation.

PHONE TAP

Whereas group CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned in the days after the cheating was disclosed, Stadler resisted requests to fall on his sword, and instead received backing from the Porsche and Piech families to remain in his post.

Slideshow (4 Images)

“His arrest is another low point in VW’s diesel saga,” said Evercore ISI analysts, who have criticized the group for a slow pace of reform. “Almost three years after the diesel scandal broke, it takes police to take action against the Audi CEO.”

The United States filed criminal charges against Winterkorn in May, but he is unlikely to face U.S. authorities because Germany does not extradite its nationals to countries outside the European Union.

The Munich prosecutors said the move against Stadler was not made at the behest of U.S. authorities. The 55-year-old was arrested at his home in Ingolstadt in the early hours on Monday, they said.

“The arrest warrant was made because of a risk that evidence might be suppressed,” Stephan Necknig, a spokesman for the Munich prosecutor’s office, told Reuters Television.

“During a search last week there were signs that the accused may tamper with evidence. To influence other suspects or witnesses, or people who could provide information to the investigating authorities,” he added.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, citing sources close to the investigation, said prosecutors had tapped Stadler’s phone just before searching his premises last week.

Audi and VW said Stadler was presumed innocent unless proved otherwise. Stadler himself was not immediately available for comment.

VW shares closed down 3 percent at 156.06 euros, one of the biggest falls by a European blue-chip stock .FTEU3.

Asked whether U.S. authorities were also seeking to arrest Stadler, a spokesman for the Department of Justice said: “As a general matter, the department will neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation.”

UNDER FIRE

Stadler has been under fire since Audi admitted in November 2015 – two months after parent VW – that it also installed illegal “defeat device” software to cheat U.S. emissions tests.

Munich prosecutors are investigating whether Stadler acted swiftly enough to stop deliveries of manipulated Audi models in Europe once emissions problems had emerged, a person familiar with the matter has told Reuters.

Stadler has held onto his post mainly thanks to the backing of members of VW’s controlling Porsche-Piech families. Before becoming Audi CEO in 2007, Stadler worked as chief of staff to VW’s former chairman and industry scion Ferdinand Piech.

Earlier this month, Munich prosecutors widened their probe at Audi to include Stadler and another member of Audi’s top management, investigating them for suspected fraud and false advertising.

Most of VW’s emissions problems have been in the United States, where a total of nine people have been charged and two former VW executives have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison terms.

But investigations are continuing elsewhere. Last week, German prosecutors fined VW 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) over the scandal.

Reporting by Jan Schwartz, Ilona Wissenbach, Edward Taylor, Joern Poltz. Irene Preisinger and Nick Carey; Editing by Maria Sheahan, Alexander Ratz and Mark Potter

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/bwoR69xS60k/head-of-volkswagens-audi-arrested-in-germany-over-diesel-scandal-idUSKBN1JE0R3

Asia stocks skid to four-month low as Trump raises stakes in China trade war

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks sank on Tuesday and Shanghai shares plunged to near two-year lows as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on Chinese goods in an escalating tit-for-tat trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

FILE PHOTO: A man looks at an electronic board showing Japan’s Nikkei average outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo, Japan August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

U.S. and European equity markets looked set to follow Asia into the red. SP 500 futures ESc1 were off 1 percent and Dow Jones futures 1YMcv1 were 1.1 percent lower.

Spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE .FTSE to open down 0.3 percent, with Germany’s DAX .GDAXI seen shedding 0.7 percent and France’s CAC .FCHI losing 0.8 percent.

Trump threatened to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting a swift warning from Beijing of retaliation, as the trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies quickly escalated.

It was retaliation, Trump said, for China’s decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods, which came after Trump announced similar tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.

China warned it will take “qualitative” and “quantitative” measures if the U.S. government publishes an additional list of tariffs on its products.

The trade frictions have unnerved financial markets, with investors and businesses increasingly worried that a full-blown trade battle could derail global growth.

“Trump appears to be employing a similar tactic he used with North Korea, by blustering first in order to gain an advantage in negotiations. The problem is, such a tactic is unlikely to work with China,” said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

  • Ex-Japan Asian shares hit four-month low as Sino-U.S. trade tensions escalate

“A U.S.-China trade spat alone won’t hurt global growth. But there is always potential for Trump to keep increasing his threats which could have broader implications. Increasing trade has helped growth in emerging markets and this could be negatively affected.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1.5 percent to its lowest since early February, with losses intensifying through the day as the rout deepened in China.

The Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC slumped nearly 5 percent at one point to its lowest level since mid-2016, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI shed 3 percent.[.SS]

“China’s economy has already been clouded by a sharp slowdown in fixed asset investment growth due to the government’s deleveraging drive, a problematic property sector, a mounting debt burden and rising credit defaults,” economists at Nomura wrote.

“The rising risk of a disruptive trade conflict makes a bad situation tentatively worse.”

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 lost 1.8 percent, South Korea’s KOSPI .KS11 retreated 1.3 percent while Australian stocks bucked the trend and added 0.1 percent helped by a depreciating currency and an overnight bounce in commodity prices.

DOLLAR, YUAN WEAKEN

The dollar fell 0.75 percent to 109.715 yen JPY= following Trump’s tariff comments. The yen is often sought in times of market turmoil and political tensions.

The euro was steady at $1.1622 EUR=.

China’s yuan CNY=CFXS skidded to a five-month low. The Australian dollar AUD=D4, often seen as a proxy to China-related trades, brushed a one-year low of $0.7381.

In commodities, crude oil markets remained volatile ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting at a time when Russia and Saudi Arabia are pushing for higher output.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 0.8 percent to $74.76 a barrel after rallying 2.5 percent overnight, while U.S. light crude futures retreated 0.9 percent to $65.27.[O/R]

Lower-risk assets gained on the latest round of trade threats.

Spot gold XAU= was up 0.35 percent at $1,282.26 an ounce.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield US10YT=RR touched 2.871 percent, its lowest since June 1.

Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jacqueline Wong

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/Od9dR7WeW1k/asia-stocks-skid-to-four-month-low-as-trump-raises-stakes-in-china-trade-war-idUSKBN1JF01V

Trump ratchets up China trade conflict with fresh tariff threat

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting a swift warning from Beijing of retaliation, as the trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies quickly escalated.

Trump’s latest move, as Washington fights trade battles on several fronts, was unexpectedly swift and sharp.

It was retaliation, he said, for China’s decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods, which came after Trump announced similar tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.

“After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced,” Trump said in a statement on Monday.

The news sent global stock markets skidding and weakened both the dollar and the Chinese yuan in Asian trade on Tuesday.[MKTS/GLOB][FRX/]

China’s commerce ministry said Beijing will fight back firmly with “qualitative” and “quantitative” measures if the United States publishes an additional list of tariffs on Chinese goods, accusing Washington of launching a trade war.

“Such a practice of extreme pressure and blackmailing deviates from the consensus reached by both sides on multiple occasions,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The United States has initiated a trade war and violated market regulations, and is harming the interests of not just the people of China and the U.S., but of the world,” it said.

Washington and Beijing appeared increasingly headed toward open trade conflict after several rounds of talks failed to resolve U.S. complaints over Chinese industrial policies, lack of market access in China and a $375 billion U.S. trade deficit.

  • China says will ‘fight back firmly’ if U.S. publishes additional tariffs

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said his office was preparing the proposed tariffs and they would undergo a similar legal process as previous ones, which were subject to a public comment period, a public hearing and some revisions. He did not say when the new target list would be unveiled.

“As China hawks, like Lighthizer and (Peter) Navarro, appear to have gained power within the Trump administration lately, an all-out trade war now seems more inevitable,” said Yasunari Ueno, chief market analyst at Mizuho Securities in Japan.

TIT-FOR-TAT

On Friday, Trump said he was pushing ahead with a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.

Some of those tariffs will be applied from July 6, while the White House is expected to announce restrictions on investments by Chinese companies in the United States by June 30.

“China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology. Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong,” Trump said.

Trump said if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest U.S. move, “we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods.”

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The label of a Washington D.C. sweatshirt bears a U.S. flag but says “Made in China” at a souvenir stand in Washington, DC, U.S., January 14, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo/File Photo

Trump said he has “an excellent relationship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping and they “will continue working together on many issues.”

But, he said, “the United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world.”

ZTE TUMBLES

Shares in Chinese telecommunication equipment maker ZTE Corp, another casualty of U.S.-China tensions, plunged more than 20 percent in Hong Kong after the U.S. Senate’s passage of a defense bill set up a potential battle with Trump over whether ZTE can resume business with its U.S. suppliers.

ZTE was hit in April with a seven-year ban barring U.S. suppliers selling to it after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who conspired to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran and North Korea. At Trump’s urging, ZTE and the U.S. Commerce Department reached agreement on June 7 to lift the ban.

The intensifying trade row is threatening to put more pressure on the already cooling Chinese economy, risking an end to a rare spell of synchronized global expansion.

China’s central bank unexpectedly injected 200 billion yuan ($31 billion) in medium-term funds into the banking system on Tuesday in a move that analysts said reflected concerns about liquidity but also the potential economic drag from a full-blown trade war.

OTHER OPTIONS FOR CHINA

China imported $129.89 billion of U.S. goods last year, while the U.S. purchased $505.47 billion of Chinese products, according to U.S. data.

Slideshow (7 Images)

Derek Scissors, a China scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank, said that means China will soon run out of imports of U.S. goods on which to impose retaliatory tariffs.

He added that China was unlikely to respond to an announcement of tariffs with changes in industrial policies. Those could take a long and painful trade fight.

“As I’ve said from the beginning, China will back off its industrial plans only when U.S. trade measures are large and lasting enough to threaten the influx of foreign exchange. Not due to announcements,” he said.

Reporting by Eric Beech, David Lawder and Beijing newsroom; Additional reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Cynthia Osterman, Sandra Maler Kim Coghill

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/VBDMU6PF1iw/trump-ratchets-up-china-trade-conflict-with-fresh-tariff-threat-idUSKBN1JE2ZQ

ATAC outlines maiden Osiris resource

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Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/resource-definition/news/1340594/atac-outlines-maiden-osiris-resource

Sprott backs Bonterra bid for Metanor

Bonterra said had entered a binding letter of intent, to acquire all of Metanor’s shares for C73c in equity consideration, which represented a 40% premium based on its 30-day volume weighted average price and put the value of the transaction at $78 million (US$59 million).

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/m-amp-a/news/1340592/sprott-backs-bonterra-bid-for-metanor

Roche to pay $2.4 billion to buy rest of Foundation Medicine

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG (ROG.S) has agreed to pay $137 per share to buy the rest of Foundation Medicine (FMI) (FMI.O), a $2.4 billion transaction that values the U.S. genomic profiling group at $5.3 billion, the partners said on Tuesday.

The logo of Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The deal, backed by the boards of both companies, is set to close in the second half of this year, they said in a statement.

The offer price represented a premium of 29 percent to FMI’s closing price on Monday. FMI closed at $106.45, up 4.4 percent.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, FMI is a molecular information company specialized in cancer care. It offers comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) assays to identify molecular alterations in a patient’s cancer and match them with targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials.

“This is important to our personalized healthcare strategy as we believe molecular insights and the broad availability of high quality comprehensive genomic profiling are key enablers for the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments,” Roche pharmaceuticals head Daniel O’Day said.

“We will preserve FMI’s autonomy while supporting them in accelerating their progress.”

Citi (C.N) is acting as financial advisers to Roche and Davis Polk Wardwell LLP is legal counsel to Roche. Goldman Sachs Co (GS.N) is financial adviser to the FMI Special Committee and Goodwin Procter LLP is legal counsel.

Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by John Revill and Stephen Coates

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/F1R9BzyzmHM/roche-to-pay-2-4-billion-to-buy-rest-of-foundation-medicine-idUSKBN1JF0F3

Negotiations underway at Escondida copper mine

Management at the BHP-controlled Escondida mine in northern Chile and the officials from the No.1 Workers Union met for the first time on Monday to discuss a new collective agreement for the union’s 2,500 members.

If a deal is not reached before their existing contract expires at the end of the next month then workers could begin an indefinite strike that would halt production from the giant operation.

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Both sides are keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s 44-day strike, the longest in Chile’s mining industry in several decades.

That protest cost BHP more than US$500 million in lost copper sales while union picketing delayed construction of its new desalination plant which began operations earlier this year.

Meanwhile, workers made no gains after they decided to return under an 18-month extension of their existing contract as permitted under a rarely-used clause in Chile’s labour code.

However, despite the costs of another strike, the two sides have shown little sign of compromise in the opening salvos.

Earlier this month, union officials presented their opening demands to the company, including a 4% pay rise and a signing bonus worth US$39,000.

If met, that would be far the largest pay-out made in a bumper year for pay negotiations at Chilean copper mines. In March, workers at Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres agreed to a US$29,000 bonus plus a 3% pay rise, while earlier in June workers at BHP’s Spence mine accepted a US$21,000 bonus.

But the claim is justified, officials at Escondida say, noting that members have not received a pay rise since 2013. Productivity at the mine is said to have increased by 30% since that time. 

Conditions in the global copper market have also moved in their favour, with the copper price rising almost 25% since the start of last year.

Meanwhile, a new Chilean labour law, which came into force just days after the last strike at Escondida ended, gives unions significant additional powers, such as setting existing terms as the floor for negotiations, introducing a blanket ban on the use of replacement labour and letting unions decide whether non-unionized employees can share in negotiated benefits.

Meanwhile, the company is keen to keep a cap on labour costs which it says could threaten the long-term viability of the business.

“The company has the greatest willingness to discuss to find the way to reach an agreement which meet the interest of the workers and their families as well as the sustainability of the company and its presence in the region for another century or more,” said Minera Escondida’s vice president for corporate affairs Patricio Vilaplana.

The company has dropped its proposal from last year to offer new employees reduced terms compared to existing workers. But it does not want to make significant concessions to workers who are already amongst the best-paid in Chile.

“Our main aim is to reach a reasonable agreement with our workers, in a collective agreement as generous as the current one, which is by far the best in the country’s private mining industry,” the executive said.

There is pressure on both sides to reach a deal. Last year’s strike not only halted Escondida but also saw the Chilean economy suffer its first quarterly contraction since the global financial crisis.

Relations at the mine have been tense since last year’s protest.

 

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/politics/news/1340591/negotiations-underway-at-escondida-copper-mine