Rio Tinto to fight BSG Resources over Simandou mining rights
Rio Tinto plans to challenge any legal action initiated by BSG Resources Ltd. regarding the mining rights for the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, Reuters wrote. BSG has accused Rio Tinto of contributing to the loss of its mining rights for the Simandou project and is demanding compensation from the company.
Vale SA agreed to sell its stake in the Carborough Downs coal mine, as well as several undeveloped adjacent tenements including the Red Hill and Ellensfield coal deposits in Queensland, to Hans Mende's coal vehicle Fitzroy Australia Resources for an undisclosed amount, The Australian Financial Review reported. The deal also includes the Broadlea coal mine, which is currently under care and maintenance.
The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed Kasbah Resources Ltd.'s application to approve the board-recommended planned takeover of the company by Asian Mineral Resources Ltd. In addition to dismissing Kasbah's application, the court ordered the group to pay the reasonable costs of the objecting shareholders.
* Analysts at Morgan Stanley have increased their price target for BHP Billiton Group by 9% to A$30 and for Rio Tinto by 19% to A$71 per share, The Australian reported. "Better than expected cashflow leading to debt reduction and increased returns should drive momentum," analyst Brendan Fitzpatrick said.
* In the event that tariffs on mining exports are reinstated in Argentina, the Alumbrera copper mine in Catamarca province would close operations by mid-2017, instead of the end of 2018 as originally planned, causing the loss of 1,700 direct jobs, daily Elancasti reported. The mine is owned by Glencore Plc, Goldcorp Inc., and Yamana Gold Inc.
* The Australian Supreme Court ordered CITIC Ltd. to pay US$21.4 million to Clive Palmer in their case regarding royalty payments at the Sino-Iron magnetite project in the Pilbara, The West Australian reported. The court will retain half of the money, while the rest will go to Palmer's privately owned resource company, Mineralogy Pty Ltd.
* KAZ Minerals PLC secured a new US$300 million credit facility with the Development Bank of Kazakhstan JSC, which will fund the completion of the Aktogay copper project. The company also secured an increased commitment for an additional US$50 million from ING Bank NV in a pre-export finance facility.
* Bushveld Minerals Ltd. unit Greenhills Resources Ltd. agreed to terms to acquire a 49% interest in Dawnmin Africa Investments Ltd., which is the 85% owner of the Uis tin project in Namibia.
* Chile's environmental regulators approved a proposed expansion of Antofagasta Plc's Centinela copper mine in northern Chile, opening the door for a US$4.35 billion investment, Reuters reported. The expansion will extend the life of mine to 2056 and double its copper output to more than 400,000 tonnes a year.
* Shares in Arizona Mining Inc. tanked as much as 15% in Dec. 12 trading after the Global Mining Observer published claims the company's zinc is mixed with too much manganese, which clogs up smelters, to make their minerals viable for sale, the Financial Post reported. Arizona Mining said the claims made in the report about the company's Hermosa project in Arizona are misleading.
* HudBay Minerals Inc. closed its previously announced note offer of US$1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of senior notes, at US$400 million worth of 7.25% senior notes due 2023 and US$600 million worth of 7.625% senior notes due 2025.
* Goldman Sachs expects the more "bullish" environment for copper to last at least to mid-2017 as the recent improvement in industrial activity supported the metal's supply, demand and cost structure, Reuters wrote, citing a note from Goldman Sachs.
* Indonesia will regulate the price of mineral ores that cannot be exported, especially low calorie nickel, so they can be absorbed by local smelters, Kontan reported, citing I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan, the director general of metal, machineries, transports and electronics at the Industry Ministry.
* OceanaGold Corp. expects to produce between 550,000 and 610,000 ounces of gold in 2017, representing a 35% increase on a yearly basis, due to incremental output from the Haile gold mine in South Carolina.
* The results of a scoping study on Egan Street Resources Ltd.'s Rothsay gold project in Western Australia indicate it will be a technically and financially viable operation, expected to produce 101,000 ounces of gold over an initial 3.75 years for a capital outlay of around A$20.4 million. The board has now given its approval to go ahead with a feasibility study, which is due for completion in the second half of 2017.
* Eureka Resources Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in three noncontiguous claim blocks dubbed the Luxor project in the heart of the Klondike gold fields in Canada's Yukon Territory.
* The top 20 gold-producing companies hold more than 766 million ounces of gold reserves, sufficient for 16 years of production at 2015 rates, according to SNL Metals & Mining data. The companies accomplished this while increasing their aggregate production 7% over the previous 10 years, from 39.7 million ounces in 2006 to 42.5 million ounces in 2015, and producing a total of 403 million ounces of gold.
* After South African President Jacob Zuma threatened to revoke its mining permit, Lonmin Plc said it was confident of submitting a housing plan that meets criteria set by the government, Reuters reported. The miner had been instructed in September to revise its social and labor plan to improve the living and housing conditions of its employees.
* After striking a US$2.2 billion takeover deal for Stillwater Mining Co., Sibanye Gold Ltd. CEO Neal Froneman said the company would like to grow its gold business more, adding that Sibanye needs to take another step in South Africa, but will only do it if it can create value for the company, Bloomberg News reported.
* Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. told shareholders that Thailand's new mining bill will not allow operations at its Chatree gold mine to continue beyond the Dec. 31 closure date set by the Thai government. According to Mining Weekly, the company said the new law will have to be approved by the king and will only apply to miners that already have a metallurgical license.
* BHP Billiton Group and Vale SA's Brazilian iron ore joint venture Samarco Mineração SA would lose 4.4 billion Brazilian reais next year, or 368 million reais per month, if it does not resume operations soon, according to calculations made by consulting company Tendências Consultoria at the request of BHP Billiton. Also, 19,100 jobs would be lost, Notícias de Mineração reported.
* Teck Resources Ltd. settled a benchmark price with major customers for the first quarter of 2017 for its highest quality coals of US$285 per tonne. Meanwhile, unionized employees at the company's Fording River and Elkview steelmaking coal mines in British Columbia ratified new five-year collective agreements expiring April 30, 2021, and October 31, 2020, respectively. Teck now expects to incur a one-time, after-tax charge to profit in the fourth quarter of C$35 million.
* The Queensland Greens have asked Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to reject a A$1 billion taxpayer-funded loan to Adani Enterprises Ltd. for the rail line at its Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald wrote.
* A Brazilian judge has granted Vale another 30 days to deposit a portion of the 1.2 billion Brazilian reais in reparation guarantees for the November 2015 dam accident at its Samarco iron ore joint venture with BHP Billiton.
* MHM Metals Ltd. abandoned merger plans with Alliance Mining Commodities Ltd., which owns a 90% interest in the Koumbia bauxite project in Guinea, Mining Weekly reported. The companies did not provide reasons for the decision.
* Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. and Glencore have settled the January-March premium hard coking coal price at US$285 per tonne FOB Australia, the highest in more than five years, several parties familiar with the negotiations said. The first-quarter 2017 price is US$85 per tonne higher than the fourth-quarter price of US$200 per tonne FOB Australia.
* Eramet is selling its manganese chemicals unit ERACHEM to U.S. company PMHC II Inc. for about US$190 million, as part of its asset disposal program. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.
* According to a report by the Minerals Council of Australia, the Western Australian National party's proposed A$5-per-tonne tax on iron ore production will not only risk future mining investment and threaten jobs across Western Australia, but also yield next-to-no benefits for the state, Mining Weekly wrote.
* Public Joint Stock Co. Acron, Russia's largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer, may delay the start of active investment in its Talitsky potash project, Kommersant and Vedomosti reported, citing Chairman Alexander Popov.
* Emerging strategic metals company TNG Ltd. signed a key memorandum of understanding with Sumitomo Electric Industries and Energy Made Clean, a subsidiary of Carnegie Clean Energy, to collaborate on the promotion, development and growth of Australia's Vanadium Redox Flow Battery market.
* Uranium is expected to be a key driver for economic growth in Namibia in the coming years as the Husab uranium mine starts production, according to research analysis group BMI. Husab is said to be the world's third-largest uranium mine and is expected to start production in the first half of 2017.
* Donald Trump has picked Rex Tillerson to be the next secretary of state, according to The New York Times.
* Top Federal Reserve officials will meet this week amid widespread expectations in financial markets that they plan to lift the U.S. central bank's key interest rate for the first time this year.
* Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President and COO Gary Cohn will be appointed to direct the National Economic Council, President-elect Donald Trump's transition team confirmed Dec. 12.
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