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BHP sees India to offset China plateau; First Quantum mulls US$1B copper spend


BHP expects India's steel production to offset China's 'plateau'

BHP Group expects India's steel production to grow 7% per year over the 2020s, which will fill the looming demand gap for metallurgical coal, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. According to BHP vice president for market analysis Huw McKay, China is now in a "plateau" phase, while demand in other top steel markets such as Japan and South Korea was also subdued. India is predicting that its metallurgical coal demand will more than double in 10 years with its planned increase in crude steel production to 300 million tonnes by 2030.

Report: First Quantum eyeing US$1B investment in Africa's largest copper mine

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is considering investing about US$1 billion to add another decade of production to the largest copper mine in Africa, Reuters reported, citing company documents. The Canadian mining company would reportedly increase annual production from the Kansanshi mine in Zambia from a projected 235,000 tonnes in 2019 to 300,000 tonnes over time with the investment. Any investment may be complicated by issues stemming from taxes and assets.

Report: Glencore considered Fortescue takeover in 2016

Glencore PLC considered a potential acquisition of Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. during a period of depressed prices for iron ore in 2016 to gain exposure to the commodity, The Australian reported, citing unnamed sources close to both companies. However, the Swiss commodities trader opted not to pursue a potential deal as controlling shareholder Andrew Forrest was not inclined to divest his 35% stake in Fortescue, sources cited by the news outlet said.


* Panoramic Resources Ltd. produced 1,042 tonnes of nickel, 695 tonnes of copper and 55 tonnes of cobalt in concentrate during the December 2019 quarter, down by 22% for nickel and by 19% for copper from the previous quarter.

* Metminco Ltd. expects to close the sale of its noncore Mollacas copper project in Chile in the next few weeks, including requirements for the repatriation of the US$1 million in sale proceeds.


* A preliminary economic assessment for Generation Mining Ltd.'s Marathon palladium-copper project in Ontario outlined a posttax net present value, discounted at 5%, of C$871 million, a 30% internal rate of return, and a 2.5-year payback period.

* Panoramic Resources entered a definitive agreement to sell its Thunder Bay North platinum group metals project in Ontario to Regency Gold Corp. The company will terminate its previously agreed letter agreement for the sale of Thunder Bay North to Benton Resources Inc.

* Avesoro Jersey Ltd. completed the compulsory acquisition of all remaining common shares of Avesoro Resources Inc. following its previously announced successful takeover bid. Avesoro Resources has applied to delist its common shares from the TSX and the LSE's AIM.

* In a bid to expand its landholding at the Pickle Lake gold project in Ontario, Ardiden Ltd. entered an earn-in agreement for Exiro Minerals Corp.'s New Patricia gold prospect, which extends over 30 kilometers of prospective geological setting directly along strike from the Golden Patricia mine and adjoins Ardiden's Dorothy Dobie gold prospect at Pickle Lake.

* ANS Mining Share Co. executed the subscription agreement into Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Co., the project company for the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia, and will transfer the first funding tranche of US$9.5 million in January. The existing shareholders, KEFI Minerals PLC and the Ethiopian government, approved the issue of Tulu Kapi Gold Mines shares to ANS Mining.

* Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd. common shares have been approved for listing on the NYSE American, and are expected to begin trading when the market opens on Jan. 8 under the ticker symbol MTA.


* NRW Holdings Ltd. unit BGC Contracting Pty. Ltd. secured a A$138 million contract, which will support the development of a 143-kilometer railway for Fortescue Metals Group's Eliwana iron ore project in Western Australia's Pilbara region. The project is expected to be completed in late 2020.

* Anglo American PLC is facing pressure from certain investors to keep its thermal coal mining business amid growing concerns over climate change, The Sunday Times reported. CEO Mark Cutifani has said that Anglo American will quit thermal coal mining, but he did not specify when.

* The proposed green deal by the European Commission on reducing emissions to net zero by 2050 could transform demand for metals used in technology and green applications, U.K.-based outlet Argus Media reported.

* Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said in an interview with The Sunday Times that the company "can't have a situation where India keeps funding the losses" at the steelworks in Port Talbot, U.K., which according to the chairman, needs to be self-sustaining.


* Rio Grande Resources Corp. informed New Mexico regulators of its plan to cease mining at the Mount Taylor uranium mine and begin implementing closure plans.

* The remote village of Covas do Barroso in northern Portugal has been divided over plans by the government to establish the country as a European lithium hub, with some villagers expressing their dismay over the potential environment impact from mining activity, including the nearby Mina do Barroso operation owned by Savannah Resources PLC, the Financial Times reported.

* Lithium Australia NL's subsidiary VSPC Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing Saideli Technology Inc. Co. Ltd. to commercialize production of its lithium-ferro-phosphate, or LFP, cathode product. The companies plan to establish a supply chain for VSPC customers in China and a joint feasibility study for LFP production and supply outside China using VSPC proprietary process technology.

* Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. recovered 9,837 carats from its Mothae mine in Lesotho and 4,170 carats from its Lulo mine in Angola during the fourth quarter of 2019, for a total of 14,007 carats. The record results for the quarter contributed to record annual group production of 49,120 carats and combined sales of US$55.0 million for 2019.


* Australian Industrial Transformation Institute Professor Goran Roos said that industries will shift to a metal-based economy to a higher extent in the future from a coal-and-petroleum based economy, on the back for the global push for decarbonization, ABC reported.

* Imdex Ltd. completed the acquisition of Flexidrill and its patented drilling productivity technologies after paying NZ$3 million in cash.

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