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Glencore, partners win reprieve on US$3.2B Australian coal port debt

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Glencore, partners win reprieve on US$3.2B Australian coal port debt

TOP NEWS

Glencore, partners win reprieve on US$3.2B Australian coal port debt

A US$3.2 billion debt refinancing plan for the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal in Queensland, Australia, received court approval, delaying the start of repayments by the remaining five of its original eight consortium members, Reuters reported. The maturity of US$2.58 billion of senior debt, which was due Sept. 30, has now been extended until September 2026. The 40% Glencore PLC-owned export terminal also owes A$383 million in junior debt and A$575 million in a shareholder loan, which will mature in 2020 and 2046, respectively. In exchange for the extension, the consortium will make repayments at a higher rate.

Report: Rusal may be forced to slash aluminum output on US sanctions

United Co. Rusal PLC could be forced to scale back production in 2019 and close some product lines unless it reaches a resolution over the sanctions with the U.S. Treasury this month, Bloomberg News reported. Oleg Deripaska's representatives are said to be in constant contact with Treasury officials. However, sources said there is no indication of when a deal might be reached to lift the sanctions, which may keep Rusal locked out of annual contract negotiations that will kick off this week in Berlin.

Nevada Copper pegs US$927M value for open-pit option at Pumpkin Hollow project

Nevada Copper Corp.'s preliminary economic assessment outlined the economics to develop an independent open-pit project at its Pumpkin Hollow copper property in Nevada as an alternative to the previously studied integrated open-pit and underground operation. The PEA estimated a posttax net present value, discounted at 7.5%, of US$927 million and a 19% internal rate of return. The initial CapEx is estimated at US$592 million with a mine design and plant processing rate of 37,000 tons per day.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton Group CEO Andrew Mackenzie has no plans to leave the company in the near future and said he has various new ideas to transform the company, Financial Times reported. MacKenzie said he is "very excited" about further streamlining the company's operations, adding that "it's not unreasonable to think I am the right guy to lead it." The company narrowed its focus to 13 operated assets focused on just four commodities — copper, iron ore, coking coal and offshore oil — down from an interest in 41 projects when Mackenzie took charge in 2013.

BASE METALS

* Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin returned a 2% interest in PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. to fellow billionaire Roman Abramovich and his partners, Reuters reported, citing sources. In March, Potanin bought the 2% stake for about US$800 million from Abramovich, but Rusal, which owns a 28% stake in Norilsk, challenged the transaction in a London court.

* Titan Minerals Ltd. canceled its purchase of the Mirador copper-gold processing plant in Chimbote, Peru, and six mineral concessions. The parties failed to agree on the key commercial terms of the transaction following recent developments that resulted in a revision of the Titan technical team's assessment of the properties. Titan subsequently requested a six-month extension for the option, but the request was declined.

* Pilot-level metallurgical testing confirmed the arsenic removal process to produce a clean cobalt concentrate from eCobalt Solutions Inc.'s Idaho Cobalt Project using rotary kiln roasting methods. The company plans to send the pilot test samples to interested parties to confirm commercial off-take terms and finalize agreements.

* Peruvian Energy and Mines Minister Francisco Ismodes affirmed that Minsur SA's Mina Justa copper project will result in the creation of approximately 4,000 jobs during its construction stage, with operations requiring between 3,000 and 3,500 employees, news agency Andina reported.

* Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. and CuDeco Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to determine the commercial potential of cobalt-pyrite mineralization at the latter's Rocklands copper project in Queensland, Australia.

* Aura Minerals Inc. said it has all the necessary permits to start building a new tailings disposal system at its Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico.

* Syndicated Metals Ltd. agreed to relinquish its royalty entitlement over the Barbara copper project in north Queensland, Australia, to its former joint venture partner, Round Oak Minerals Pty. Ltd., for A$460,000 in cash.

* Metalicity Ltd. completed the sale of its Admiral Bay and Lennard Shelf zinc projects in Western Australia to newly created Canadian subsidiary Kimberley Mining Ltd.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Tahoe Resources Inc. CEO Jim Voorhees said the company will work closely with Guatemalan officials and locals to resolve a dispute and restart the flagship Escobal silver mine in the country, Reuters reported. Voorhees said the recent court ruling that upheld the suspension of Escobal licenses was "disappointing."

* Viceroy Research hammered away at Pretium Resources Inc. in an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence. The firm said the miner's production figures are hard to believe, and the Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia, its main asset, is not as gold-rich as the company claims.

* Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. said its test mine at Bonanza Ledge, part of the Cariboo gold project in British Columbia, achieved an average head grade of 7.05 g/t, higher than the planned 6.5 g/t. Milled recovery totaled 91.6%, compared to the expected 92%. The test mining data will be used for the project's feasibility study, scheduled for release in 2019.

* Newcrest Mining Ltd. unit Newcrest Resources Inc. secured an option to earn up to a 75% stake in the Rattlesnake Hills gold project in Wyoming from GFG Resources Inc.

* RNC Minerals' Beta Hunt gold mine in Western Australia is attracting a "tidal wave of interest" from prospective buyers following the company's recent major discovery at the site, The West Australian wrote, citing CEO Mark Selby.

* Matsa Resources Ltd. started mining at its Red Dog gold mine in Western Australia. The first blast is scheduled for this week.

* In an update on global gold production in the June quarter, the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence reiterated that production was expected to climb this year. The data shows stable production in the June quarter compared with the March quarter and about a 2% increase over the year-ago quarter.

* Anaconda Mining Inc. secured an option to acquire the Cape Spencer gold property in New Brunswick for C$445,000 in a combination of cash and shares, a C$400,000 exploration commitment over the deal's first four years and a 2% net smelter return royalty.

* Pelangio Exploration Inc. agreed to acquire the mineral rights to all, or a portion of, 24 patented claims in Ontario from the Kean Group and 2522962 Ontario Inc.

* Kingston Resources Ltd. increased its stake in the Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea to 70% from 49% after completing the expenditure requirements under a joint venture

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vedanta Resources PLC Executive Chairman Anil Agarwal said in a tweet that iron ore mining in Goa needs to be restarted "urgently" citing India's rising imports of natural resources. He also called for a resolution to the suspension at Sterlite Copper's Tuticorin copper smelter in the state of Tamil Nadu in order to arrest the slide in the Indian rupee's value, touting benefits to the wider economy.

* ArcelorMittal increased its bid for bankrupt Essar Steel India Ltd. to 420 billion Indian rupees, Mint reported, citing a source. The company also committed to pay 70 billion rupees to settle the debt of Uttam Galva Steels Ltd. and KSS Petron, in which it is considered a promoter. ArcelorMittal confirmed it filed a revised offer for Essar Steel but did not disclose the terms.

* S&P Global Ratings upgraded its outlook on Constellium NV from stable to positive while affirming its B- long-term issuer credit rating and issue rating on its senior unsecured notes. This reflects the faster-than-expected improvement of the aluminum producer's credit metrics this year as a result of strong half-year results and the completion of a €200 million divestment.

* Intra Energy Corp. Ltd. unit Tancoal Energy Ltd. received a chamber summons and a petition for administration order from contractor Caspian Ltd., which seeks to place the Intra Energy unit under administration for two years.

* Russia's Ministry of Economy expects Rusal to complete a process to redomicile at either the Russky or Oktyabrsky Islands special administrative regions in October, Kommersant reported.

* Brazilian pension fund Previ could sell a small portion of its stake in Vale SA as part of its efforts to raise cash to pay for benefits, Reuters reported, citing Previ CEO José Mauricio Coelho. The executive, however, said the pension fund is not in a rush to off-load the stake, and it still sees some upside potential for Vale's shares.

* Vale is targeting increasing the number of autonomous trucks at its Brucutu iron ore mine in Brazil to 13 by 2019 from the current seven, International Mining reported.

* China is considering a move to allow its northern provinces to enact their own restrictions on production by heavy industries during the winter season, eschewing a previous plan to enact a one-size-fits-all policy for all provinces, Reuters reported, citing sources.

* Tangshan Guofeng Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. and Hebei Xinjin Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. have started tearing down its steel mills in the city of Tangshan as part of measures imposed by China's Hebei province to crack down on polluting mills in the region, Reuters reported.

* Meridian Mining SE secured a trial production license to extract 6,000 tonnes of manganese oxide per annum for its Espigão project in Brazil.

* South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources approved the environmental authorization for MC Mining Ltd.'s Makhado hard coking coal and thermal coal project.

* Vietnam shipped about 1.7 million tonnes of coal in the first eight months of the year, with cargoes going mainly to Japan, South Korea and India, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The country is aiming to produce more than 41.5 million tonnes of coal this year, up 9.2% on a yearly basis.

* U.S. coal producers idled production at 66 coal mines in the first half that were responsible for producing 3.0 million tonnes of coal in the 12 months that ended June 30, primarily in the Central Appalachia region.

SPECIALTY

* Anglo American PLC unit De Beers SA's revenue from rough diamond sales in the seventh sales cycle this year fell to US$505 million from US$507 million in the year-ago sales cycle.

* Tango Mining Ltd. agreed to acquire from West Mining Ltd. an 80% unencumbered interest in the Mano River project in Liberia. The property consists of one recently granted diamond mineral exploration license covering 104.3 square kilometers.

* International Lithium Corp. agreed to acquire from a third party 55 additional claims adjacent to its Raleigh Lake lithium project in Ontario, nearly doubling the property's size to 1,976 hectares.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* South Africa and China launched a joint research center on developing and using mineral resources, South Africa's national mineral research organization, Mintek, said. A consortium led by Mintek in South Africa and the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in China will run the research center.

* The Democratic Republic of the Congo's revenues from its mining sector in the first half nearly tripled on a yearly basis to US$864.61 million, Reuters reported, citing the country's finance ministry.

* Over the coming years, renewable energy is seen playing a vital role in powering mining operations globally, helped by a reduction in renewable energy costs and an increasingly favorable regulatory environment in key markets, Mining Weekly wrote, citing a report from Fitch Solutions Macro Research.

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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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