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Anglo in talks to acquire Sirius; court ruling may aid ArcelorMittal's Ilva buy


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Anglo in talks to acquire Sirius; court ruling may aid ArcelorMittal's Ilva buy


Anglo American in advanced talks to acquire Sirius Minerals

Anglo American PLC confirmed that it is in advanced discussions to acquire Sirius Minerals PLC's issued share capital at 5.5 pence per share, valuing the target at approximately £386 million. The acquisition price represents a 34.1% premium to the closing price of 4.10 pence per Sirius share on Jan. 7 and a 46.5% premium to the volume-weighted average price of 3.75 pence per Sirius share since its announcement of a strategic review in September 2019.

Court removes possible hurdle in Ilva deal talks between Italy, ArcelorMittal

An Italian court ruled that one of three blast furnaces at the Ilva International SpA steel plant in the south of the country does not need to be shut down, Reuters reported. The decision may aid the acquisition of Ilva by ArcelorMittal, which recently agreed with state-appointed commissioners managing the plant to extend discussions about the deal until the end of January, according to the report. The new ruling overturns a magisterial order to shut down the plant following the death of a worker, and it sets a 12-month deadline for the commissioners to make the furnace at Ilva compliant with environmental and safety rules.

Independence Group exceeds fiscal H1'20 output guidance at Nova, Tropicana mines

Independence Group NL's preliminary production estimate for the first half of fiscal year 2020 at its Nova and Tropicana mines in Western Australia exceeded its pro-rata guidance. At the Nova mine, the upper ends of its half-year targets of 15,000 tonnes of nickel, 6,250 tonnes of copper and 475 tonnes of cobalt were surpassed with estimated production of 15,236 tonnes of nickel, 6,779 tonnes of copper and 561 tonnes of cobalt. Estimated gold production at the Tropicana mine, on a 100% basis, totaled 257,252 ounces, more than the upper end of its guidance of 250,000 ounces. Independence Group shares increased by as much as 9.4% for a nine-year high, before closing at a 6.3% gain.


* Chile's Codelco issued US$2 billion in bonds to fund its upgrade projects and to refinance debt, reported, citing a company statement. The state copper miner aims to secure funds for its 10-year, US$40 billion mines overhaul as many of its operations have been affected by declining ore grades and increasing costs. "A favorable debt market, with rates at historically low levels, makes it attractive to prefinance our cash needs of 2021," said Codelco's vice president of administration and finance, Alejandro Rivera.

* EMX Royalty Corp.'s subsidiary Eurasia Madencilik Ltd. Sti. is transferring the company's Balya lead-zinc royalty property in Turkey to Esan Eczacibaşi Endüstriyel Hammaddeler San. ve Tic. AŞ from Dedeman Madencilik San Ve Tic AŞ. EMX retains a 4% net smelter return royalty on the property that is uncapped and may not be repurchased.

* Diego Hernandez, president for Chilean mining trade union Sonami, forecasts that copper prices are unlikely to bounce back in 2020 even if an ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China were to subside, Reuters reported.


* Amid heightened tensions in the Middle East after the U.S. killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a Jan. 2 airstrike in Iraq, analysts pointed to possible upside in the price of gold as a safe-haven asset while also advising caution in near-term trading. "Our view ... is to take profits and stand aside to see if things calm down and prices subside," CPM Group Managing Director Jeffrey Christian said in an email.

* Idaho-based Hecla Mining Co. booked a yearly increase in fourth-quarter 2019 silver and gold production and announced the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement at its Lucky Friday silver mine. The company reported a 25% rise in silver production to 3.4 million ounces and a 5% growth in gold production to 74,773 ounces, based on preliminary figures.

* West Africa-focused Teranga Gold Corp. achieved record full-year 2019 gold production of 288,768 ounces, increasing 18% and beating the annual guidance range of 245,000 ounces to 270,000 ounces. The improvement was credited to the newly commissioned Wahgnion mine in Burkina Faso and the Sabodala mine in Senegal, as both exceeded guidance.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. produced a total of 105,293 ounces of gold during the December 2019 quarter, improving by 2,092 ounces from the previous quarter despite the sulfide circuit at the Syama gold mine in Mali being offline for most of the period.

* 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.

* Royal Gold Inc.'s RGLD Gold AG unit sold about 60,000 gold equivalent ounces comprised of about 47,000 gold ounces, 514,000 silver ounces and 2,000 tonnes of copper-related to its streaming agreements during the second quarter of its fiscal 2020.

* Toronto-based Rubicon Minerals Corp. has commenced a feasibility study for its Phoenix gold project in Ontario after reporting a 38% increase in the site's contained gold resources. The property now hosts 811,000 ounces of gold contained within 3.9 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources grading 6.45 g/t of gold, using a 3.0 g/t gold cutoff grade.

* Sable Resources Ltd. received drilling permits for six new targets at its Don Julio gold cluster project in Argentina. The company has also been granted a permit by the community of Huancasancos near its Scorpius project in Peru, and has received government approval for the environmental impact assessment for the project.

* An updated feasibility study and draft environmental impact study for INV Metals Inc.'s Loma Larga gold project in Ecuador is scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter. The update to the study will incorporate the relocation of the processing and tailings facilities to land surface rights associated with the deposit. Preliminary work indicates that the update is not expected to have a material impact on previously estimated costs.

* Goldplay Exploration Ltd. entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire the Plomosas silver project from First Majestic Silver Corp. near Goldplay's San Marcial silver-gold project in Mexico. Goldplay agreed to acquire First Majestic unit and project owner Minera La Rastra SA de CV by paying C$100,000, issuing shares equal to 19.9% of Goldplay, and granting a 2% net smelter royalty that can be halved for US$1 million.

* Decade Resources Ltd. secured an option to acquire up to 55% of Teuton Resources Corp.'s Del Norte gold property in the Stewart area of British Columbia.


* China's top steelmaking province Hebei will further cut its steel production capacity by 14 million tonnes this year amid an ongoing industrial upgrading, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the province's governor Xu Qin. Xu also said Hebei plans to cut 6 million tonnes of coal capacity, 2 million tonnes of carbon coke capacity and 500,000 kW of coal-fired power supply this year.

* India's cabinet is likely to consider an ordinance to amend laws that will open up coal mining to firms other than those in the steel and power industry, The Economic Times of India reported, citing an unnamed government official. The move will pave the way for the first leg of commercial coal auctions within the current fiscal year.

* Blackhawk Mining LLC is idling a metallurgical coal mine in West Virginia due to recent weakness in global coal markets. The company said 65 employees of the underground coal mine in Eskdale will be encouraged to apply for open positions elsewhere in the organization.

* Tata Steel Ltd. unit T S Alloys Ltd. secured a 50-year mining lease for the Saruabil chromite mining block held by Misrilall Mines Pvt. Ltd. in India's Odisha state. The lease was granted after the company emerged as the winning bidder in an e-auction process conducted by the state government in 2019.

* Paringa Resources Ltd. said its subsidiary Hartshorne Mining Group LLC retained FTI Consulting Inc. to review Hartshorne's near-term financial outlook and operational performance, which includes an assessment of additional financing required for operations. Paringa said that its priority is to explore all opportunities to maximize the value of its subsidiary and the Poplar Grove coal mine in Kentucky, either through additional funding to finance the continuation of operations at the project, or by a potential trade sale.

* Gulf Manganese Corp. Ltd. executed a binding term sheet to secure a €52 million structured loan facility, which will be used to complete the construction and commissioning of the company's first two smelting furnaces at the Kupang smelting hub in Indonesia.

* About 75 laid-off employees of Perry County Coal Corp. did not receive their final paychecks, while the remaining maintenance crew of 24 workers and security guards have not yet received their pay since mid-December, according to the company's former general manager David Mullins, the Associated Press reported, citing the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper.


* Mineral Commodities Ltd. decided to increase its stake in the Munglinup graphite project in Western Australia to 90% from 51% following a positive definitive feasibility study on a concentrate-only production scenario at the project. The definitive feasibility study outlined a post-tax net present value, discounted at 7%, of US$111 million, a 30% internal rate of return, and a 2.7-year payback period.

* Livent Corp. revised its full-year 2019 financial guidance to revenue from US$385 million to US$390 million, adjusted EBITDA from US$98 million to US$101 million, and adjusted earnings per share from 40 cents to 42 cents.

* Ioneer Ltd. signed a deal with an environmental group to stop new activities at its Rhyolite Ridge lithium project in Nevada in exchange for the withdrawal of a lawsuit that seeks to protect a rare desert wildflower, the Associated Press reported. After reaching an agreement with Ioneer USA Corp., the Center for Biological Diversity reportedly notified the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas that it was dropping a lawsuit against the Trump administration that had sought to ban all drilling and road-building on federal land at the site.


* Net increases in dividend payments for U.S. domestic common stocks jumped 44.2% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2019 as the amount of dividend cuts shrank by more than half, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

* Environmental activists called for abstention from the 2020 regional elections as a form of protest against the dependency of the regime of Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the mining industry, especially on coal mining, at the expense of local people, The Jakarta Post reported.

* The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries approached India's finance ministry to propose a number of indirect mining tax incentives to revive the country's mining sector, Mining Weekly reported. The group proposed the cancellation of a 30% export tax on iron ore exports applicable for all outward shipments with an iron content of 58% and above, the report said.

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