Barrick, Newmont forming Nevada JV to end bitter takeover bid
Bringing a bitter hostile takeover attempt to an end, Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. struck an implementation agreement to form a joint venture comprising core gold mining assets in Nevada. The major gold miners outlined the combination of respective Nevada operations into a single unit producing around 4 million ounces gold per year, to be 61.5%-owned by Barrick and 38.5%-owned by Newmont.
BHP rail crew locked down wrong train in November 2018 derailment
The preliminary report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau over the November 2018 derailment of BHP Group's iron ore train in Western Australia found that the mining giant's rail crews mistakenly applied handbrakes to an empty iron ore train and not to the runaway ore train. A spokesman for the miner said that applying manual brakes to the right train would not have been enough to stop the rollaway event, The West Australian reported.
Vale fined 30M reais over pollution, licensing issues at Ilha da Guaiba terminal
The town of Mangaratiba in Brazil's Rio De Janeiro state slapped a 30 million Brazilian reais fine on Vale SA and closed the company's Ilha da Guaiba iron ore port terminal, citing pollution and licensing problems, Reuters reported. In a statement to the newswire, Vale said that it had all necessary licenses to operate the terminal, adding that it will work to resume the port's operations.
* Pakistan's military is taking a key role in the development of the Reko Diq copper mine, owned by Antofagasta PLC and Barrick, which has been stalled after failing to secure the necessary lease to continue operating, Reuters reported.
* Sandfire Resources America Inc. moved closer to securing a final environmental impact statement for its Black Butte copper project after Montana's Department of Environmental Quality released an EIS draft that triggered the start of a 60-day public comment period. A record of decision and mine operating permit could be released as early as the third quarter.
* MMG Ltd. flagged possible shipment delays if a road blockade by a community displaced in favor of the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru continues, Reuters reported.
* Heron Resources Ltd. expects to ship first concentrates from its Woodlawn zinc-copper project in May following work delays by CIMIC Group Ltd. unit Sedgman Pty. Ltd.
* Mining activities at Metals X Ltd.'s Nifty copper operations in Western Australia resumed after a temporary power outage was resolved. The power outage and legacy issues relating to Nifty infrastructure will impact production in the March quarter, which is now expected to range between 4,000 and 4,200 tonnes of copper in concentrate.
* S&P Global Ratings views the proposed Nevada gold joint venture between Barrick and Newmont as a credit strength for both parties and may contribute to a future ratings upside, as it will enhance their respective cost positions and reduce financial and operating risk associated with developing the region.
* As part of the Nevada joint venture deal between Barrick and Newmont, the two companies agreed to hold off buying each other's shares and not enter into any hostilities for the next two years, Bloomberg News reported, citing Barrick CEO Mark Bristow. The only way a full merger could happen during that period would be if it were friendly, he added.
* Goldcorp Inc., an acquisition target of Newmont, threw its support behind the Barrick-Newmont Nevada joint venture and welcomed Barrick's decision to drop its hostile takeover bid for Newmont. Meanwhile, the company was criticized by gold research firm Shareholders' Gold Council over its decision to give Chairman Ian Telfer an additional payment following its proposed merger with Newmont.
* Newcrest Mining Ltd. reached a deal with Greatland Gold PLC to earn up to a 70% joint venture interest over the latter's Havieron gold tenement in Western Australia's Paterson province by spending a total of US$65 million over a six-year period.
* Polymetal International PLC expects improved efficiency following recent asset sales to boost the company's yearly earnings, but there will "definitely not be another [50%]" profit growth in 2019, the Financial Times reported, citing CEO Vitaly Nesis. "We forecast a decline in output due to the asset disposal, but one [should not] forget those assets had the highest cost," Nesis said, adding that the company expects "a noticeable decline in production cost, which will allow us to maintain positive profit dynamics."
* Sierra Metals Inc. entered into a new six-year senior secured corporate credit facility with Banco de Credito del Peru for funding of up to US$100 million. The facility will provide flexibility to fund Sierra Metals' future capital projects in Mexico, as well as to finance corporate working capital requirements.
* Semafo Inc. struck a definitive deal to acquire Savary Gold Corp., which holds about a 75.2% stake in the Karankasso gold project joint venture in Burkina Faso. Semafo currently owns about a 15.5% interest in Savary.
* Monterey Minerals Inc. signed a letter of intent to acquire Perth, Australia-based CTTR Mining Tenements Pty. Ltd. in exchange for 7 million common shares, with a definitive deal targeted in the second quarter.
* Desert Gold Ventures Inc. intends to acquire Ashanti Gold Corp. by exchanging 0.2857 Desert Gold share for each Ashanti share in a deal valued at C$3.8 million, or 5.14 cents per Ashanti share.
* Lydian International Ltd. threatened to file an international arbitration case against the Armenian government over its Amulsar gold project.
* Berkut Minerals Ltd. agreed to acquire Diatreme Resources Ltd.'s stake in the Tick Hill gold project in Queensland, Australia, as well as Carnaby Resources Ltd., which owns an 82.5% stake in the Southern Hub tenement package that surrounds the project.
* Argent Minerals Ltd. secured ministerial consent for its 800-meter diamond drilling program for the historic Pine Ridge gold mine, part of its Kempfield project in New South Wales. The company needs to secure one standard permit to commence drilling preparations.
* Tietto Minerals Ltd. intersected 1 meter grading 103.17 g/t gold in an ongoing 30,000-meter drilling program at its Abujar-Gludehi deposit in Ivory Coast.
* Encounter Resources Ltd.'s joint venture area with Newcrest Mining Ltd. increased more than 30% to 5,900 square kilometers after securing an additional 1,400 square kilometers of exploration tenure at its Selby and Aileron projects in Western Australia.
* Emirates Global Aluminium's Guinea Alumina Corp. SA unit is nearing a financing deal of between US$700 million and US$750 million for its US$1.4 billion bauxite project in Guinea, Reuters reported, citing CFO Danny Dweik.
* Hbis Co. Ltd., or Hesteel, plans to raise up to 8 billion Chinese yuan through a placement of up to 3,185,582,355 shares, with proceeds to be used to refinance debt.
* Canada unveiled C$100 million in funding for small- and medium-sized steel and aluminum manufacturers, as the federal government looks to support local producers in the wake of U.S. tariffs, CBC News reported.
* Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. issued a short-term debt offering of 3 billion Chinese yuan, with the interest rate of the notes fixed at 2.9% and maturity at 180 days. Proceeds raised will be used to refinance debt.
* Queensland's Department of Environment and Science granted an application to amend the environmental authority for the stage-three project of New Hope Corp. Ltd.'s New Acland coal mine.
* Universal Rolling WLL increased its rebar production capacity to 275,000 tonnes per year from 175,000 t/y after launching a new unit, Fastmarkets MB reported.
* Archer Exploration Ltd. successfully processed graphite material from the Campoona deposit at the Eyre Peninsula project in South Australia into spherical graphite through a small-scale mechanical mill. The company will now test the suitability of the material in lithium-ion batteries to enable downstream screening and qualification of potential off-take partners and end users.
* Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd. said Tianqi Lithium Corp. and Chengtun Mining Group Co. Ltd. will acquire 3% stakes in its lithium battery arm Xiamen Tungsten New Energy Material Co. Ltd. for 49.9 million yuan each.
* The 201 projects reporting drill results in February was the lowest number in 22 months, according to the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence. Gold projects had the most significant month-over-month drop at 47, followed by copper projects at 11. Nickel, cobalt and lithium projects increased during the month.
* President Donald Trump's fiscal-year 2020 budget request includes funds to further an effort to consolidate coal and metal/nonmetal divisions of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
* Brokers are opposing the London Metal Exchange's new trading system that will make "pre-trade" transactions transparent, fearing that the platform could pressure their revenues, Reuters reported.
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