Trump calls off Brazilian steel tariffs
U.S. President Donald Trump will no longer impose tariffs on steel from Brazil, a reversal from his previous pronouncement of reinstating tariffs on steel products coming from Brazil and Argentina, Reuters reported. "I had a phone conversation a few moments ago with Donald Trump ... He was convinced by my arguments and decided to tell all Brazilians that our steel and aluminum will not be hit by additional tariffs," Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said in a Facebook video session.
Panoramic Resources Ltd.'s shares climbed over 5% in afternoon trading on the ASX as independent experts appointed by the company determined that the takeover offer from Independence Group NL was fair and reasonable in the absence of a superior proposal. Previously, the target's board unanimously recommended its shareholders to reject the off-market offer. Panoramic said shareholders should take no action until the board completes its review.
Charity finds high lead, uranium in water near Rio Tinto's mine in Madagascar
A study commissioned by Madagascar-focused British environmental charity The Andrew Lees Trust found high concentrations of uranium and lead in water downstream of Rio Tinto's 80%-owned QMM ilmenite mine in Madagascar, Reuters reported. The water, which is used by local residents for drinking, contained 350 times higher concentrations of uranium and 9.8 times higher concentrations of lead downstream of the mine than upstream.
* Andrew Mackenzie will retire from BHP Group on March 31, 2020, three months earlier than the previously announced date of June 30, 2020, as the CEO transition is said to be "proceeding well and ahead of schedule." Mike Henry will still assume the role of CEO beginning Jan. 1, 2020, after Mackenzie steps down on Dec. 31.
* Katanga Mining Ltd.'s majority-owned Kamoto Copper Co. SARL agreed to purchase property around its existing mining concessions in Congo from Gécamines SA for up to US$250 million. The Glencore PLC unit holds a 75% stake in the Kamoto copper-cobalt joint venture, while state-owned Gécamines owns the remaining 25%.
* Codelco will cancel a contract it awarded in November to a consortium led by Japan's Marubeni Corp. to construct a desalination plant, Reuters reported, quoting a company statement. A new tender will take place within the next 24 months, after Codelco makes adjustments to the project.
* Three workers were reported missing at Doe Run Peru Srl's Cobriza copper project in Huancavelica, Peru, presumably as a result of a tailings spill inside the mine. Peruvian energy and mining regulator Osinergmin is investigating the incident, daily Gestión reported.
* New Century Resources Ltd. executed a binding term sheet to expand its existing working capital facilities with Värde Partners to a total of A$100 million, from A$60 million.
* A bill requiring a federal report to include the effects of sulfide-ore copper mining on international waters was signed into law in the U.S., under the 2020 federal package, Duluth News Tribune reported.
* ICBC Standard Bank scrapped its plan to close its base metals business and will instead merge it with its precious metals unit to slash costs, Reuters reported, citing an emailed statement from the bank.
* Aeris Resources Ltd. said that construction of about 20 kilometers of water pipeline from the Nyngan-Cobar pipeline to the company's Tritton copper operations in New South Wales is 50% complete. The pipeline is on target to become operational in mid-to-late January 2020.
* Ramelius Resources Ltd. estimated a 226% increase in resource at its Eridanus deposit, within the Mount Magnet gold project in Western Australia, to 12 million tonnes grading 1.3 g/t gold containing 490,000 ounces of gold.
* China's Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. has used the advantage of cash purchases to help expand its global footprint, including a recent offer to buy what it said could be the largest independent gold mine in Colombia when it starts operating in 2020.
* First Au Ltd. decided to withdraw from the Emu Creek joint venture with Atlas Iron Pty Ltd., and will now prioritize funding and resources towards the Gimlet gold project in Western Australia.
* Several Muslim nations, namely Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar, are mulling trading among themselves using gold through a barter system, as protection against any economic sanctions in the future, Channel News Asia reported, quoting Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at an Islamic summit.
* Tribune Resources Ltd. started proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia against EKJV Management Pty. Ltd., Northern Star Resources Ltd., and Gilt-Edged Mining Pty. Ltd. in relation to the East Kundana gold joint venture agreement, in which the company holds a 49% stake.
* Troy Resources Ltd. said that all matters needed to restart operations at its Karouni gold mine in Guyana, including financing and working capital, have been put into place. This includes the transfer of mining tenements and licenses in respect of Ohio Creek and the reissuance of the importation permit conforming to the previously agreed Karouni mineral agreement between the company and the government of the Republic of Guyana.
* Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. said a security contractor died following an armed attack at the Kalgold gold mine in South Africa. No gold was stolen, and the attack is being investigated by the South African police.
* China launched its maiden gold options contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, amid high prices for the precious metal, Reuters reported.
* Resolute Mining Ltd. said that the Stage 1 of the Ravenwood Expansion project at the Ravenswood gold mine in Queensland, Australia, has been completed. Stage 1 covers the recommissioning of the third grinding mill at the Nolans processing plant, which allows a return to a processing rate of 5 million tonnes per annum.
* Macarthur Minerals Ltd. inked an agreement to pay A$250,000 in cash and A$250,000 in shares to access a small portion of Arrow Minerals Ltd.'s Strickland gold project in Western Australia, necessary for infrastructure of Macarthur's Moonshine magnetite project.
* Anglo American PLC received the next phase of its operating license for the tailings facility at its Minas Rio iron ore operation in Brazil. Bulk Commodities CEO Seamus French said Minas Rio is expected to produce 23 million tonnes in 2019, with a free on board unit cost of about US$24 per tonne.
* Vale SA increased its shareholding in unit Minerações Brasileiras Reunidas SA to 98.3% by buying back 3.31 billion Brazilian reais worth of shares from Banco Bradesco BBI SA. The unit produced about 59 million tonnes of iron ore in 2018.
* ArcelorMittal signed a nonbinding agreement with the commissioners of Italy's Ilva International SpA to continue negotiations on a new industrial plan for the troubled steel plant, including a possible equity investment by a government-controlled entity. The new plan would consider investments in green technology, including through a new company financed by public and private investors. Negotiations are seen running into January 2020.
* Separately, ArcelorMittal agreed to sell a 50% stake in its wholly owned shipping business, Global Chartering Ltd., to DryLog Ltd. and form a 50/50 shipping joint venture. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2019. The stake sale and joint venture will impact ArcelorMittal's net debt by US$530 million.
* Australia's Construction, Forestry, Maritime Mining and Energy Union will appeal the Fair Work Commission's approval of two labor agreements covering BHP's in-house labor hires at its Operations Services coal workforce in Queensland and New South Wales, The Australian reported. The two deals contained conditions that are worse than current union-negotiated agreements covering directly employed BHP coal workers, the report said, citing Tony Maher, the union's mining division national president.
* African Energy Resources Ltd. entered a power sales term sheet with Sinosteel Corp. unit Zimasco (Pvt) Ltd. for the purchase of 150 MW of power for 15 years. Meanwhile, an agreement for purchase of 100 MW of power for First Quantum Minerals Ltd.'s Zambian copper operations for 15 years is in the final stages of approval.
* Danakali Ltd.'s 50%-owned Colluli Mining Share Co. executed definitive documentation for a US$200 million senior debt facility to fund development and construction of the Colluli potash project in Eritrea.
* India's steel production may be affected by a severe shortage of manganese and chrome ore, with the demand-supply imbalance expected to lead to job losses in the long-term, Mining Weekly reported, citing the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries.
* The Hong Kong Stock Exchange censured Ding He Mining Holdings Ltd. and three of its directors, including Chairman Wang Song Ling, for breaching listing rules and failing to cooperate with the exchange's investigation. Due to the directors' conduct in the case, the exchange concluded that their tenure in the company is prejudicial to investors.
* CIMIC Group Ltd. unit CPB Contractors Pty Ltd. won three contracts worth A$150 million to carry out work at Rio Tinto's Robe River iron ore operation in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
* Ncondezi Energy Ltd. said its namesake coal-fired power project and coal mine in Mozambique was selected as a priority project under a cooperation agreement between the African nation and China.
* BCI Minerals Ltd. expects a final investment decision for the Mardie salt and potash project in Western Australia by the third quarter of 2020, with start of construction targeted in early 2021.
* The U.S. military is seeking proposals to stockpile rare earth magnets that are vital to manufacturing certain weapons, including missiles and fighter jets, Reuters reported, citing a government document. Critics said the plan will not help boost the domestic supply chain, which local producers are hoping for amid China's dominance of the sector.
* Arafura Resources Ltd. agreed to send the heavy rare earth concentrate from its Nolans Bore neodymium-praseodymium project in Northern Territory, Australia, for processing to USA Rare Earth LLC's Colorado pilot plant. The companies will execute a definitive agreement in the first quarter next year.
* Regency Mines PLC executed a memorandum of understanding with ion Ventures Ltd. to identify and prioritize the former's most commercially attractive projects, secure funding and then move to first cash flow. Regency said it expects ion Ventures to become a long-term strategic partner and support the development of its energy storage business in the U.K.
* Gibb River Diamonds Ltd. acquired leases over the Ellendale diamond mine and project area in Western Australia.
* Speciality Metals International Ltd., through its joint venture with CRONIMET Australia Pty. Ltd., successfully completed the cold commissioning at the Mount Carbine plant in Queensland, Australia. The company started has started hot commissioning and concentrate production.
* Lithium Australia NL's subsidiary Envirostream Australia Pty. Ltd. made the first shipment of mixed metal dust containing cobalt, nickel, lithium and graphite, from its upgraded battery recycling plant in Campbellfield, Victoria.
* Mining companies have been trying to come up with a new method to store waste after the deadly spills in Brazil. However, the techniques being investigated, including high-powered magnets to sort ore without water, adding material to thicken waste, or storing waste in dry mounds, have not proven to be successful at large scales, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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