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In This List

BHP's Q2'20 iron ore output up 4% YOY; Anglo American to acquire Sirius

A Decade of Underperformance for Gold Discoveries

State of the Market: Mining Q1-2020

Mining Exploration Insights - April 2020

Mining Exploration Insights December


BHP's Q2'20 iron ore output up 4% YOY; Anglo American to acquire Sirius

TOP NEWS

BHP's fiscal Q2'20 iron ore output up 4% YOY on Jimblebar record production

BHP Group's iron ore production during the December 2019 quarter totaled 60 million tonnes, up by 4% year over year from 57.8 million tonnes. The company said higher volumes reflected record production at the Jimblebar mine and the impact of the train derailment in the December 2018 half year. This was partly offset by a major car dumper maintenance campaign that was completed last October.

Anglo American to acquire Sirius in £405M deal

Mining giant Anglo American PLC agreed to acquire London-listed Sirius Minerals PLC for 5.5 British pence per share in cash, valuing the target at about £404.9 million. The deal was struck before a Feb. 5 deadline, and is expected to close by March 31. Sirius' board intends to unanimously recommend shareholders vote in favor of the transaction during a court meeting and a general meeting.

NLMK's Q4'19 sales, output rise QOQ as repairs finished; VTB downgrades company

Crude steel output from Russian steelmaker PJSC Novolipetsk Steel, or NLMK, rose 1% quarter over quarter to 3.8 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2019, while decreasing by 13% year over year from 4.4 Mt. As a result, full-year output shrank 10% to 15.7 Mt from 17.5 Mt in 2018 as major repairs at NLMK Lipetsk's blast furnace and steelmaking operations took their toll. VTB Capital downgraded the stock to "sell" from "hold," citing 9% lower-than-expected crude steel output, while maintaining its 12-month price target of US$18.50 per global depository receipt.

BASE METALS

* Vancouver, Canada-based Trevali Mining Corp. achieved record zinc production of 417.4 million pounds for 2019, beating annual guidance of 361 million pounds to 401 million pounds. Zinc output in the fourth quarter of 2019 totaled 104.8 million pounds, according to preliminary figures.

* The Russian government is considering providing support to PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. as it plans to implement a major program aiming to modernize facilities and improve the environment in the city of Norilsk, Kommersant reported.

* London-listed Anglo Pacific Group PLC expects record full-year 2019 royalty portfolio contributions of between £57 million and £59 million, increasing 20% from £49.3 million in 2018.

* Zinc prices increased to a two-month high following a break of key technical levels that triggered a buying spree as the market also worried about historically low inventories, Reuters reported. The price of benchmark zinc on the London Metal Exchange closed at US$2,444 per tonne, up by 0.6%.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Chesser Resources Ltd. said assay results confirmed a high-grade gold discovery at its flagship Diamba Sud project in Senegal, highlighting drill results including 16 meters grading 8.51 g/t of gold from a depth of 86 meters.

* Palladium has been powering higher for the past few years but "can't go up forever," although tightness isn't going away anytime soon, S&P Global Platts reported, citing a note from Noah Capital Markets.

* Montreal-based Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. paid C$3 million in cash to increase its net smelter royalty on Osisko Mining Inc.'s Windfall gold project in Quebec. Osisko Gold Royalties increased its effective NSR on the project to a range of 2% to 3% from a range of 1% to 1.5% by exercising a right from an August 2015 deal to repurchase six existing royalties.

* Toronto-listed TMAC Resources Inc. launched a strategic review to explore options for its Hope Bay gold mine in Nunavut, Canada. TMAC has engaged CIBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets as financial advisers to seek alternatives for the project, including a possible sale or joint venture.

* Revelo Resources Corp. agreed in principle to sell 20 generative net smelter royalty interests over exploration properties to EMX Royalty Corp. for US$1.5 million in cash.

BULK COMMODITIES

Thyssenkrupp AG narrowed the list of bidders for its elevator unit, Bloomberg News reported, citing unidentified sources. Private equity firm Hillhouse Capital and Brazilian-American investment firm 3G Capital are out of the running, according to the report.

* The review panel of the Australian Takeovers Panel canceled the order prohibiting Rio Tinto from compulsorily acquiring shares in Energy Resources of Australia Ltd., noting that the orders "would be unfairly prejudicial to Rio Tinto." The panel added that Energy Resources needs to disclose to its shareholders Rio Tinto's intentions regarding compulsory acquisition if the latter becomes a 90% shareholder, following the former's A$476 million entitlement offer and underwriting agreement.

* Buoyed by strong iron ore prices in 2019, analysts are forecasting that shareholders of Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. will receive huge payouts, with an analyst from Macquarie estimating that Rio Tinto may pay out US$5.62 per share, topping its record dividend of US$5.50 per share in 2018, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu Oyj expects adjusted EBITDA of about €70 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, rising from earlier guidance of about €45 million. The anticipated increase is due to the positive impact of raw materials, including raw material efficiency and hedging. Shares in the company climbed nearly 18% in late afternoon trades in Helsinki after the news.

* U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country would no longer support thermal coal mining or coal power plants abroad as it made no sense for London to cut its emissions while supporting coal-fired projects overseas, Reuters reported. "Not another penny of U.K. taxpayers' money will be directly invested in digging up coal or burning it for electricity," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

* Thermal coal imports in India have dropped for three consecutive months due to economic slowdown decreasing demand from key industrial consumers, Reuters reported, noting it was the longest sustained fall in over two years.

* Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co.Ltd. plans to keep prices of its steel products the same for a fourth straight month in February as it waits for confirmation of a continued recovery in steel markets in Japan and overseas, Reuters reported. "Steelmakers want to raise prices of products to reflect rising costs such as transportation and secondary materials, but we are keeping our product prices steady as we want to make sure markets have completely bottomed out," Tokyo Steel Managing Director Kiyoshi Imamura was quoted as saying.

* Hallador Energy Co. unit Sunrise Coal LLC temporarily idled production at its Carlisle coal mine in Sullivan County, Ind., citing weak market conditions that led to oversupply in the domestic market. The move led to the dismissal of 90 full-time employees.

* The Mannheim local court in Germany denied the registration of new shares that were to be issued from Altech Advanced Materials AG's recently completed €2.0 million rights offer. The denial was due to a technical issue.

* Drainable mineral resources at Agrimin Ltd.'s MacKay project in Western Australia swelled 470% to 123.4 million tonnes of sulfate of potash, or SOP. The drainable porosity, or specific yield, resource estimate includes 23.5 Mt in the measured and indicated category, and 99.9 Mt in the inferred category.

* There will be a groundbreaking of a US$4 billion integrated steel mill in Misamis Oriental, Philippines, in March, Philippine News Agency reported, quoting Phividec Industrial Administration CEO Franklin Quijano.

SPECIALTY

* Shares in ASX-listed Galan Lithium Ltd. jumped nearly 18% by Jan. 20 trading close after China's Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. became a shareholder of the company. Ganfeng joined Galan's register through its GFL International Co. Ltd., a major shareholder of Havelock Mining Investment Ltd.

* The U.S. Department of the Interior launched a 12-month review process for Lithium Americas Corp.'s Thacker Pass project, which could result in final permits to construct by 2021, Reuters reported. Currently, Albemarle Corp. is the only U.S. producer of lithium.

* Orocobre Ltd. said Toyota Tsusho Corp. secured two contracts to sell 7,200 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate and 2,880 tonnes of micronized battery-grade lithium carbonate produced from the consortium's Salar de Olaroz lithium project in Argentina, beginning in the March quarter.

* Liontown Resources Ltd. said it began a process to seek a joint venture partner or to divest its Toolebuc vanadium project in Queensland, Australia, as it decided to focus on its Kathleen Valley lithium project in Western Australia following a strategic review of its operations and the ongoing drilling success at its lithium properties.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The ASX fell from a decade-high in 2018 to a four-year low in metals and mining IPO capital raisings in 2019, but still outperformed both the Toronto and London exchanges in overall sector raisings thanks to healthy gold M&A activity. ASX Listings Business Development Manager Josh Collard said metals and mining saw A$6.6 billion raised in for 2019 in the follow-in market, which saw A$51.6 billion raised across all sectors, taking the exchange's total capital raised for both IPOs and follow-ons to a total of A$58.5 billion.

* Global foreign direct investment slightly declined in 2019 as political unrest in Hong Kong and uncertainty surrounding Brexit shooed away investors, but a marginal recovery in 2020 is in the cards, according to a report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

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