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Endeavour drops Centamin takeover; Anglo American to soon confirm Sirius bid


Endeavour, Centamin end takeover talks

Africa-focused gold producer Endeavour Mining Corp. dropped its planned takeover of Toronto- and London-listed Centamin PLC, the companies said separately. Centamin said it did not pursue a further extension to the Jan. 14 deadline for Endeavour to make a firm offer after determining that the potential bid "materially undervalued" Centamin. Endeavour said the information it received from Centamin during the due diligence process was not enough for it to be confident to make an offer. Centamin earlier expressed disappointment with Endeavour's refusal to engage during the merger talks.

Report: Anglo American to confirm bid to acquire Sirius ahead of February deadline

Anglo American PLC is likely to confirm a deal to acquire fertilizer company Sirius Minerals PLC for more than US$500 million excluding debt, ahead of the early February deadline to finalize the offer, Reuters reported, citing unidentified sources. The company has until Feb. 5 to make a firm bid, but the sources said that the offer is likely to be made in the coming days.

Lithium producers' shares up on expected electric car sales rebound in China

Shares of lithium producers Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., Tianqi Lithium Corp., and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA booked gains on their respective exchanges after Miao Wei, China’s minister for industry and information technology, recently said that subsidies for electric vehicle purchases will not be further reduced this summer, resulting in investors expecting a rebound in sales in the country, the Financial Times reported. Sales of electric cars in China fell by 4% in 2019 to 1.2 million units after government subsidies were slashed by more than half in June 2019. Lithium is a critical component of the batteries in electric vehicles.


* BHP Group director Lindsay Maxsted will not stand for reelection at the company's 2020 annual general meeting. He will remain a member of the risk and audit committee until retirement, the company said.

* Vale SA is in discussions on increasing its 55% stake in Aliança Energia SA, an energy generation and trading joint venture with Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais, Reuters reported, citing the Valor Econômico newspaper. In a filing, Vale said that there is no decision related to raising its interest in Aliança Energia.


* Chile’s Codelco filed a lawsuit over an alleged insurance contracts scam, which had inflated premiums for life and personal accident insurance costing US$22 million between 2005 and 2018, drawn up by unions for workers at the Chuquicamata and Radomiro Tomic mines, Reuters reported.

* A preliminary economic assessment for Ascendant Resources Inc.'s Lagoa Salgada zinc project in Portugal defined a posttax net present value of US$106 million and a 31% internal rate of return, at an 8% discount.

* Indonesia approved environmental impact studies for at least five factories to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals in Morowali, Pacific Rim Cobalt Corp. said, citing coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan. Spending on new nickel processing plants in Indonesia is expected to total US$20 billion by 2024, the company noted.

* Scientists from Bigelow Lab for Ocean Sciences issued a warning that mining the sea floor for metals such as zinc and cobalt could result in irreversible damage to marine ecosystems, Daily Mail Online reported. The demand for battery-powered devices such as electric vehicles has created a drive for seabed mining, but promising sites are also often areas of globally important microbial processes and unusual animal communities.

* PolyMet Mining Corp. is exploring all options for the NorthMet copper project, which includes filing a petition for review to the Minnesota Supreme Court regarding the Minnesota Court of Appeals' decision to remand the company's permit to mine and dam safety permits back to the Department of Natural Resources for a contested case hearing.


* The world's third-largest gold producer in 2019, Johannesburg-based AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., allocated US$201.3 million for exploration last year, up 28% from US$157.3 million budgeted in 2018, as an increase in late-stage allocations for Colombia was offset by a decline in planned minesite expenditures, S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research team reported.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. entered into definitive agreements for the sale of its Ravenswood gold mine in Queensland, Australia, for up to A$300 million to a consortium composed of EMR Capital Pty. Ltd. and Golden Energy and Resources Ltd.

* Titan Minerals Ltd. satisfied the minimum tender conditions to purchase all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Core Gold Inc. Once Titan has taken up the Core Gold shares tendered, Titan will own 56.7% of Core Gold's issued and outstanding shares.

* Independent advisory firms ISS and Glass Lewis recommended shareholders of Continental Gold Inc. vote in favor of a takeover bid from China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd.

* Canada's Torex Gold Resources Inc. expects to produce between 420,000 and 480,000 ounces of gold in 2020 at all-in sustaining cost of US$900 per ounce to US$960/oz.

* Anglo Asian Mining PLC expects record revenues in excess of US$90 million for fiscal year 2019, the Azerbaijani precious and base metal producer said in an operational update, even as it reported a 3% fall in gold equivalent output in the fourth quarter of the year. For the full year, gold output shrank 4% to 70,098 ounces while silver production plummeted 24% to 159,356 ounces and copper output rose 34% to 2,210 tonnes.

* Paramount Gold Nevada Corp. secured a water permit for its Grassy Mountain gold project in Oregon.

* Hummingbird Resources PLC's gold production in 2019 was 115,649 ounces, meeting full-year guidance of 110,000 to 125,000 ounces. Output in 2018 totaled 91,620 ounces.

* Roxgold Inc. achieved record gold production of 41,162 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2019 and record full-year 2019 gold output of 142,204 ounces. The company expects to produce 120,000 to 130,000 ounces of gold per annum from its Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso for the next three years.

* Dixie Gold Inc. purchased a total of 197 mining claims covering about 4,011 hectares of additional exploration rights, all of which are contiguous to the Red Lake gold project in Ontario.

* Quebec Precious Metals Corp. is expecting to complete its 25,000-meter drilling program at its flagship Sakami gold project in Quebec this year.


* The Indian Supreme Court allowed Vedanta Ltd.'s foreign units to participate in the tenders for the surplus alumina of state-run National Aluminium Co. Ltd., or Nalco, Bloomberg News reported. The top court's decision affirmed an earlier ruling by the High Court of Odisha state, which Nalco challenged as its tenders were meant for exports. Nalco exports its surplus mostly to customers in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China, the news agency said.

* Kaiser Aluminum Corp. declared a quarterly cash dividend of 67 U.S. cents per share, representing a 12% increase from the previous quarter's dividend. The dividend will be payable on Feb. 14.

* Elmore Ltd. executed an agreement with Trendsheer Holdings to process iron ore and gold from the Frances Creek project in Australia's Northern Territory. Elmore said it is preparing to move its mobile crushing and screening plant to the site in February.

* Australia-based Stanmore Coal Ltd.'s run-of-mine coal production in the December 2019 quarter rose 8% year over year to 864,000 tonnes while salable coal output dipped 5% to 609,000 tonnes. The company narrowed its half-year underlying EBITDA guidance to A$50 million to A$52 million, from up to A$56 million, due to a recent decline in coking coal prices and delayed sales and increased full-year cost guidance to A$107 per tonne, excluding royalty.

* Emmerson PLC said the construction of access roads will be the only required preproduction capital expenditure for the entire logistics solutions of its Khemisset potash project in Morocco. Total estimated cost for the road connection to an existing highway is about US$2 million, including a 15% contingency.

* China's total 2019 iron ore imports rose 0.47% yearly to 1.069 billion tonnes, just below the 2017 all-time record of 1.075 billion tonnes, Reuters reported, citing customs data.

* Meanwhile, Chinese demand for high-grade iron ore is expected to fall during the winter season as steel mills are allowed to use lower and cheaper grades of the steelmaking raw material to cut costs, Reuters reported. Demand for high-grade ore usually increases during winter when the country forces smokestack industries to curb output and use cleaner raw materials to reduce air pollution, the report said.

* Climate activists in Switzerland dumped coal inside a UBS bank branch to protest against its funding of fossil fuel projects, Reuters reported.


* SRG Mining Inc. signed four off-take agreements to supply 89,000 tonnes of graphite to be produced from its Lola graphite project in Guinea over three years. The deals represent about 60% of the company's anticipated production during that period.

* Savannah Resources PLC unit Mutamba Mineral Sands SA was granted a mining license in Mozambique, completing the grant of the three core, contiguous concessions of the Mutamba heavy mineral sands project held under a joint venture with Rio Tinto. The license covers 11,807 hectares and is valid to September 2044, with a potential 25-year extension.

* China exported 3,657 tonnes of rare earths in December 2019, up 39% from November as purchases increased ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday starting Jan. 24, Reuters reported. Rare earth shipments in the full year, however, were at the lowest since 2015 at 46,330 tonnes in 2019 due to weak demand from global manufacturing.

* Galan Lithium Ltd. is expecting to deliver the maiden resource estimate for the Western Tenements of the Hombre Muerto lithium project in the first quarter, using drilling data from the Rana de Sal and Pata Pila licenses.


* BlackRock Inc. Chairman and CEO Larry Fink urged chief executives around the globe to put climate consideration at the forefront of their operations ahead of what he described in his 2020 annual letter as a "fundamental reshaping of finance." The company will quickly distance itself from much of the thermal coal sector, Fink said in his annual letter to CEOs.

* European Commission budget commissioner Johannes Hahn told Reuters that the European Union needs to invest dedicated funds to avert a "climate crash." The European Commission executive arm estimates that cutting carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030 will require €260 billion of investment per year in the energy, transport and construction sectors.

* The sanctions imposed by the U.S. on 17 metal producers and mining companies in Iran will not heavily impact global supply as the Middle Eastern country is not a major producer, Reuters reported, quoting Capital Economics senior commodities analyst Caroline Bain.

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