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Anglo American flags output jump by 2023; Power crisis shuts South African mines


Anglo American sees up to 25% production growth by 2023

Diversified miner Anglo American PLC expects annual production to grow 20% to 25% in copper-equivalent terms by 2023 as it brings a number of projects online during the next three years. The company raised its medium-term production guidance for copper, platinum and palladium while cutting output targets for diamonds and iron ore relative to 2018 figures.

Power crisis caused by flash floods impacts South African miners

South African miners were forced to halt operations due to power outages caused by flash floods, Reuters reported. Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. called off underground shifts, and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. stopped production at the Rustenburg and Marula platinum mines. Sibanye Gold Ltd. and Petra Diamonds Ltd. shuttered a number of operations. The country suffered power cuts of up to 6,000 MW on Dec. 9 after floods caused the Medupi coal-fired plant to malfunction, the report said.

Indonesia in talks with Chinese companies to build lithium battery plants

Indonesia is in talks with Chinese battery companies GEM Co. Ltd. and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. to build lithium battery plants in the country as it aims to begin producing lithium batteries for electric vehicles in 2023, Reuters reported, citing Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia's coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs. The companies and their partners are already developing a battery-grade chemical plant in the country.


* Vancouver, British Columbia-headquartered base metals miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd.'s shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange increased as much as 5% to their highest since May then closed at a 4.3% gain after Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. announced its purchase of PIM Cupric Holdings Ltd. from Pangaea Investment Management Ltd., First Quantum's largest shareholder with a 17.7% stake, for US$1.12 billion. Rio Tinto has reportedly entered the bidding for First Quantum as Jiangxi Copper is prevented from amassing over a 20% stake in the company under an October standstill agreement.

* Amarc Resources Ltd. will outright purchase the 51% interest in the Pine copper-gold property in British Columbia held by Gold Fields Toodoggone Exploration Corp. by issuing 5.0 million common shares. The company will secure 100% interest in the Pine mineral claims following the deal.

* Northern Fox Resources Inc. signed an earn-in option deal to acquire up to 61% interest in Cadillac Ventures Inc.'s Thierry copper mine property in Ontario.

* Horseshoe Metals Ltd. signed definitive agreements to acquire the Mount Gunson copper and Glenloth gold projects in South Australia.


* Genesis Minerals Ltd. entered into an exploration farm-in and joint venture with Kin Mining NL over the latter's Desdemona South project south of Western Australia's Leonora gold mining center, around which corporate advisor and broker Argonaut sees up to 5 million ounces of "stranded" deposits up for consolidation.

* North American Palladium Ltd. said all of the required regulatory approvals with respect to the takeover of all the company's shares by an affiliate of Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. have been obtained. The transaction is expected to close on or around Dec. 13.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. completed the repairs on the sulfide roaster at its Syama gold mine in Mali on schedule and under budget. Concentrate feed is expected to start in about five days.

* Perseus Mining Ltd. expects to pour first gold from its Yaoure project in Cote d'Ivoire in December 2020, a month ahead of the contracted completion date. The project's construction will cost US$265 million.

* RTG Mining Inc. entered into a binding agreement to acquire 80% of the Mount Kare gold project in Papua New Guinea.

* Jadar Resources Ltd. signed a sale and purchase agreement with Wealth Minerals Ltd. to acquire Minera Wealth Peru S.A.C., holder of the Yanamina gold project in Peru.

* Erris Resources PLC secured an option to acquire 80% of the Loch Tay gold-base metals project in Scotland from Greenore Gold PLC by defining an inferred resource of at least 250,000 gold ounces within four years.


* Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said he would back Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s Carmichael coal mine and any other projects in Queensland that would create jobs locally, The Australian reported. "The fact is that Adani has received its environmental approvals," Albanese said.

* ArcelorMittal agreed to purchase about €318.0 million of 2.875% notes due July 6, 2020, and about €214.5 million of 3.00% notes due April 9, 2021.

* The Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the renewal of the wastewater discharge permit for U.S. Steel Corp.'s Minntac iron ore mine made by the state's Pollution Control Agency, the Associated Press reported. The agency first issued the permit in 1987 and renewed it in 2018, despite a dispute over whether the mine has to comply with a state law intended to protect wild rice beds by limiting sulfate discharge. The court sent the dispute back to the agency for further proceedings.

* The Western Australia State Solicitors Office asked the High Court to reject Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s application for special leave to appeal an unfavorable ruling on a native title case over the company's Solomon Hub iron ore operation, The Australian Financial Review reported. The office said Fortescue's application should be dismissed due to major flaws in the case.

* The Nigerian government is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with a Russian company in January 2020 for the revival of Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd.'s rolling mill, Xinhua reported, citing Nigerian Minister of Mines and Steel Olamilekan Adegbite. The minister said funds are in place for the project and a committee is set up.

* Emmerson PLC's Khemisset potash project in Morocco may be eligible for government subsidies of up to US$40 million or 10% of the total project capital requirements under a formal investment convention the company struck with the government.

* Afarak Group PLC plans to lay off staff at South African units Afarak Mogale (Pty.) Ltd. and Ilitha Mining (Pty.) Ltd. as the company slashes its chrome and ferrochrome production due to a weak market and power outages in the country.

* Bisalloy Steel Group Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Leong Jin (Changzhou) Special Steel Co. Ltd. to collaborate on a broader range of premium wear and structural quenched and tempered steel products to supply the Australian market.

* Applied Minerals Inc. signed a definitive agreement with one of the largest cement manufacturers in the U.S. to supply up to 30,000 tonnes of crushed, unmilled iron oxide per year for two years.

* Unicorn Capital Partners Ltd. accepted a binding offer by Reef Group (Pty.) Ltd. and Calibre Investment Holdings (Pty.) Ltd. to acquire 51% of a new company that will take all of Unicorn's shares in and claims against certain Unicorn subsidiaries. Proceeds will be used for working capital requirements, especially at Unicorn's Nkomati coal mine in South Africa, where production was impacted by a fall-of-ground incident in October.

* Mastermyne Group Ltd. secured an extension to June 30, 2020, for its outbye services contract on South32 Ltd.'s Illawarra metallurgical coal operations in New South Wale, Australia. The extension is forecast to generate revenue of about A$17 million over seven months.

* Kommersant reported that SAFMAR Group JSC plans to create a coal company with annual production of 30 million tonnes based on Russian Coal Co. and Kuzbass Fuel Co., which this year became part of Mikhail Gutseriev's holding. Experts believe that the combined company will be the third-largest in the Russian coal market.


* The European Commission approved up to about €3.2 billion to fund research and innovation in the common European priority area of lithium-ion batteries. Seven of the EC's member states agreed to provide the funding, which is expected to unlock another €5 billion in private investments. The participating member states are Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden.

* PJSC Alrosa's November sales of rough and polished diamonds rose 5% year over year to US$287.8 million, with year-to-date sales reaching US$2.97 billion.

* Lynas Corp. Ltd. is seeking financial and infrastructure support from the Australian government for its proposed A$500 million rare earths processing plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, The West Australian reported.

* If the U.S. government starts buying uranium from domestic producers, it may need to pay substantially more than current spot uranium prices to incentivize an increase in U.S. uranium production, according to some uranium mining experts.

* Novonix Ltd. entered into a conditional agreement to supply lithium-ion battery anode material to SAMSUNG SDI, an international manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries.

* Noble Group Ltd. subsidiary Talaxis Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to work with Chinalco Guangxi Nonferrous Rare Earth Development Co. Ltd. to source, develop and produce rare earths.


* Chile's export revenue dropped 12% year over year to US$5.28 billion in November, Reuters reported, citing data from the country's central bank. Revenue from Chile's copper exports decreased 8.7% during the month to US$2.77 billion, while lithium exports fell nearly 6% to US$67 million.

* Some U.S. states decreased financial support or staffing levels for their own agencies' pollution control programs in 2018 compared to a decade prior even as attorneys general for 28 states stepped up their efforts to slow the pace of environmental regulatory rollbacks under the Trump administration, according to two new reports.

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