Vale, TÜV SÜD employees to be indicted over Feijao tailings dam collapse
A total of 15 to 20 people are expected to be indicted in relation to the early 2019 collapse of the tailings dam at Vale SA's Feijao iron ore mine in Brazil, Reuters reported, citing Andressa de Oliveira Lanchotti, coordinator of a task force of prosecutors. The group expected to be charged includes executives from the mining giant, employees from German inspection company TÜV SÜD AG and the two companies themselves, according to the report.
Anglo American in advanced talks over £386M bid for Sirius Minerals
Mining major Anglo American PLC is in advanced talks to acquire London-listed Sirius Minerals PLC for about 5.5 British pence per share in cash, or about £386 million. Anglo American said that it is eyeing Sirius' North Yorkshire polyhalite project in the U.K., which it believes has the potential to become a low-cost and long-life asset.
U.S. President Donald Trump vowed more sanctions on Iran, with the penalties likely to target key regime figures and the country's metals sector, Bloomberg reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. The sanctions will likely be aimed at Iran's non-oil sectors, under a previously disclosed plan by the administration to cut off the country's other sources of revenue after the U.S. clamped down on its oil exports, according to the source.
* A unit of China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued import quotas for another 26,566 tonnes of high-grade copper scrap, the second batch of import quotas published by the ministry for the year, Reuters reported. Quotas for 7,544 tonnes of aluminum scrap and 3,180 tonnes of steel scrap imports were also awarded.
* Indonesia greenlighted environmental impact studies for battery-grade nickel plants to be built in Morowali Regency, Reuters reported, citing Luhut Pandjaitan, the country's coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs. At least five such plants are being built in the country, including projects by Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. Ltd., GEM Co. Ltd. and Tsingshan Holding Group Co. Ltd.
* Diego Hernandez, president of Chilean mining trade union Sonami, forecast that copper prices are unlikely to bounce back in 2020 even if an ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China subsides, Reuters reported.
* GSP Resource Corp. secured the right to acquire the Alwin project, which includes the past-producing Alwin copper mine, in British Columbia for a total of C$250,000 in cash, 4.5 million common shares, and a 1.8% royalty. GSP has the option to repurchase 0.8% of the royalty for C$1.5 million.
* With a 40% year-over-year increase in its budget for gold exploration to US$114.5 million, Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. was the 10th largest explorer in 2019, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research team. Due to higher than originally planned spending, however, Kirkland had increased its forecast spend for 2019 to US$120 million to US$140 million.
* Rio Tinto unit Rio Tinto Exploration Pty. Ltd. completed the funding of over A$11 million in exploration expenditures at Antipa Minerals Ltd.'s Citadel gold project in Western Australia, thereby earning a 51% stake in the project. Rio Tinto has now assumed the operator role in the Citadel joint venture and has until Jan. 30 to decide whether to sole fund an additional A$14 million of exploration expenditure within three years to increase its stake to 65%.
* Trans-Siberian Gold PLC's mineral resource at its Asacha gold mine in Russia shrunk due to mining depletion and a reanalysis of the estimate model inputs as preliminary internal estimates indicated the existing in situ resource may have been overestimated. The total mineral resource for Asacha decreased to 313,000 ounces of gold and 675,000 ounces of silver as of Dec. 1, 2019, from 553,000 ounces of gold and 1.3 million ounces of silver as of Dec. 31, 2018.
* Sandstorm Gold Ltd. achieved record sales and realized preliminary revenue for full-year 2019, at 63,800 attributable gold equivalent ounces and US$89.4 million, respectively.
* LeaGold Mining Corp. produced a total of 93,982 ounces and sold a total of 92,601 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2019. Full-year gold production, meanwhile, amounted to 375,445 ounces, and full-year gold sales totaled 379,776 ounces.
* Equinox Gold Corp. achieved total production of about 201,000 ounces of gold in full-year 2019, within the company's guidance of 200,000 to 235,000 ounces. The company said its all-in sustaining costs are expected to be within the guidance of between US$940 and US$990 per ounce of gold sold.
* Sierra Metals Inc.’s board of directors approved a plan to return up to US$30 million to shareholders in 2020. The company said that it is now in a position to start returning capital to shareholders as it has entered a new phase as a generator of free cash flow.
* Silver Lake Resources Ltd. moved to take full ownership of Egan Street Resources Ltd. after completing the compulsory acquisition of shares it did not own.
* Kerr Mines Inc. expects to conclude the permitting process for its Copperstone gold project in Arizona shortly. The company awaits the decision of record and the approval of the existing mine plan of operation. All other permits have been secured.
* India's coal minister Pralhad Joshi said that the country will lift restrictions on the use of coal mined locally and ease bidding rules starting March to attract foreign mining companies and reduce imports, Reuters reported.
* Teck Resources Ltd. signed an agreement with Ridley Terminals Inc. allowing it to boost metallurgical coal shipments through the latter's facilities on the West Coast of Canada from 3 million tonnes per year to 6 million tonnes per year starting in January 2021.
* Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. recovered a 117-carat diamond from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola. The gem-quality stone is the 14th over-100-carat diamond recovered from Lulo and the first for 2020.
* The ordinary shares of Ferro-Alloy Resources Ltd. are now listed on the Astana International Exchange in Pakistan.
* Brazil's Agência Nacional de Mineração approved Meridian Mining SE's trial mining license on Jaburi within the Espigão manganese project. The license was approved for the production of 30,000 tonnes of manganese oxide concentrate per annum, and is valid until Sept. 13, 2021.
* The government of Salta Province and its regulatory bodies approved the environmental impact report and the development of the next stage works at Argosy Minerals Ltd.'s Rincon lithium project in Argentina.
* Overall drilling activity metrics decreased month over month in December, continuing a trend seen in December of the previous two years, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research team. The total number of reporting projects drilled declined by 19 to 213, which is still above the year-to-date average of 204, and the number of companies reporting dropped to 198, from 220 in November.
* While most other regions saw decreasing investment in exploration in 2019, Australia's budgets increased for the third consecutive year, by nearly US$200 million over 2018, S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research reported. Explorers allocated just over US$1.5 billion to Australia in 2019, a seven-year high, and Australia's 16% share of the global budget was a 17-year high. The increases were driven by higher allocations for copper and gold by producers.
* BMW became the first company from the automotive sector to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, a program that promotes socially and environmentally responsible mining by providing independent third-party verification and certification for industrial-scale mines, Mining Weekly reported.
* India's Supreme Court ordered the Union government to impose a condition to miners that to secure a mining lease and environment clearance, they have to ensure that they would restore the grass and other vegetation over that particular area, Deccan Herald reported.
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