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Anglo in talks to buy Sirius for £386M; Court ruling may aid Arcelor's Ilva buy


Anglo American in advanced talks over £386M bid for Sirius Minerals

Mining major Anglo American PLC is in advanced talks to potentially acquire London-listed Sirius Minerals PLC for about 5.5 British pence per share in cash, or about £386 million. Anglo American is eyeing Sirius' North Yorkshire polyhalite project in the U.K., which it believes has the potential to become a low-cost and long-life asset.

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 its fiscal 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.

* Indonesia greenlighted environmental impact studies for battery-grade nickel plants to be built in the Morowali regency, Reuters reported, citing Luhut Pandjaitan, the country's coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs. At least five such plants are being built in the country, including projects by Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. Ltd. and partners GEM Co. Ltd. and Tsingshan Holding Group Co. Ltd.

* Vancouver, British Columbia-based EMX Royalty Corp. reported the transfer of the Balya polymetallic property in Turkey, where the company owns a 4% net smelter royalty. New owner Esan Eczacibaşi Endüstriyel Hammaddeler San. ve Tic. AŞ is expected to integrate Balya into its own lead-zinc mine and a flotation mill. EMX said the deal will further enhance its revenue from the royalty, which is uncapped and cannot be repurchased.

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


* Royal Nickel Corp. produced 26,874 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2019 to put its total output in the second half of 2019 at 51,090 ounces of gold and beat the second-half guidance range of 42,000 to 49,000 ounces of gold. Full-year 2019 gold production reached 64,277 ounces.

* 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.

* Gold rose 1.3% to US$1,594.10 per ounce after Iran fired ballistic missiles at Iraqi airbases hosting U.S. military in retaliation for an airstrike that killed a top military commander last week.

* Trans-Siberian Gold PLC's mineral resource at its Asacha gold mine in Russia shrank due to mining depletion and a reanalysis of the estimate model inputs as preliminary internal estimates indicated that the existing in situ resource may have been overestimated.

* Royal Gold Inc.'s RGLD Gold AG unit sold about 60,000 gold equivalent ounces composed 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.

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

* Kerr Mines Inc. expects to conclude the permitting process for its Copperstone gold project in Arizona shortly. The company awaits the decision of record and the approval of the existing mine plan of operation. All other permits have been secured.

* 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.


* 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 provincial 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.

* 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.

* Paringa Resources Ltd. said 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 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 a potential trade sale.

* India's Cabinet amended mining laws to make it easier for global miners to participate in the country's coal sector, Reuters reported, citing Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi. The country plans to float international tenders for coal mining blocks for the first time in March, the report said.

* Gulf Manganese Corp. Ltd. executed a binding term sheet to secure a €52 million structured loan facility it will use 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, and the remaining maintenance crew of 24 workers and security guards has not received pay since mid-December, according to the company's former general manager, David Mullins, the Associated Press reported, citing the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper.


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

* 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 posttax net present value, discounted at 7%, of US$111 million, a 30% internal rate of return and a 2.7-year payback period.

* Ioneer Ltd. said the withdrawal of a lawsuit related to the Rhyolite Ridge lithium project in Nevada will have no impact on its definitive feasibility study, which remains on track for completion in the current quarter, as well as the permitting process and the overall project schedule.

* Vancouver, British Columbia-headquartered Medallion Resources Ltd. tapped engineering company Stantec to evaluate sites in the U.S. for the company's proposed rare earths processing plant, which will use feedstock sourced from the Southeast U.S.


* U.S. businesses and operators of major infrastructure such as power grids and dams could be targeted by Iran after the assassination of the Islamic republic's top military commander, Qassem Soleimani, in what could be corporate America's greatest cybersecurity challenge to date. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued guidance urging companies to review security and emergency preparedness plans, back up critical information and train staff on cybersecurity best practices. The department specifically noted Iran's targeting of finance, telecom and energy and its heightened interest in industrial control systems and operational technology.

* BMW became the first company from the automotive sector to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, a program that promotes socially and environmentally responsible mining by providing independent third-party verification and certification for industrial-scale mines, Mining Weekly reported.

* 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.

S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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