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Barrick Gold keeps open option to sell 50% stake in Kalgoorlie Super Pit mine


Barrick Gold keeps open option to sell 50% stake in Kalgoorlie Super Pit mine

Barrick Gold Corp. is keeping open the option to sell its 50% stake in the Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine in Western Australia, as chairman John Thornton told North American investors that the Canadian gold miner is planning to sell its noncore assets, The West Australian reported. The Super Pit mine, which is jointly owned with Newmont Mining Corp. through Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd., was one of three operations in Barrick Gold's portfolio that fell short of its criteria for "tier 1" assets, or mines that can produce at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually, have a mine life exceeding 10 years and are in the best half of the cost curve.

Canada starts talks on steel import safeguards

Canada launched consultations with steelmakers and users as it considers import safeguards amid a trade dispute with the U.S. Finance Minister Bill Morneau, speaking at an ArcelorMittal steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario, said Canada would seek industry input on seven steel product categories as it considers further trade actions to mute the impact of steel tariffs.

Wheaton Precious Metals hikes Q3 dividend after Q2 earnings surge 370.5% YOY

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. declared a third-quarter dividend of 9 U.S. cents per share, representing a 29% increase on a yearly basis, after a nearly fivefold jump in its second-quarter earnings. Net earnings came in at US$318.1 million, or 72 cents per share, soaring 370.5% from US$67.6 million, or 15 cents per share, booked in the prior-year period.


* Chile joined the hunt for new cobalt discoveries, with drilling programs targeting past-producing mining projects formerly run by Germans in World War II in the small town of La Cobaltera, Bloomberg News reported. Cobalt prices are double 2016 levels due to the electric vehicle revolution, with demand set to remain strong for the next five to 10 years, according to CRU Group senior cobalt analyst George Heppel.

* Lead prices came crashing down following global trade disputes and political tensions, but tight supplies and strong demand may turn things around for the metal, Reuters reported.

* Myanmar Metals Ltd. outlined an accelerated redevelopment program for its polymetallic Bawdwin joint venture in Myanmar, leading to the completion of a pre-feasibility study in the first quarter of 2019 and the delivery of a feasibility study in the fourth quarter of 2019.


* Gold Fields Ltd. will cut up to 1,560 jobs at its loss-making South Deep gold mine in South Africa as part of a complex restructuring. Losses at South Deep amounted to 4 billion South African rand over the past five years, and underperformance this year has resulted in a further 4.8 billion rand posttax impairment to a carrying value of 20.7 billion rand, or US$1.5 billion. The company said the impairment will result in a basic loss per share of 45 U.S. cents in the first half, a drop of 743% on a yearly basis.

* South African Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe condemned Gold Fields' move to slash jobs. "We are beginning to notice a worrying trend where some mining companies do not meaningfully engage with the Department [of Mineral Resources] on their restructuring plans, and only brief us as a mere formality or tick-box exercise, ignoring processes outlined in the law which are binding to every mining right-holder," Mantashe said.

* Recent success in Western Australia's historically strong Laverton-Leonora gold region is helping the next generation of explorers who want to get more aggressive with more substantive risk capital, like NTM Gold Ltd.'s new Managing Director Andrew Muir, who is on a mission to get the junior "out of the rut" of frequent small raisings. In an exclusive interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence, Muir conceded that he will have to ask shareholders at some point in the not-too-distant future to suffer some dilution for at least two more substantive equity raisings of more than A$2 million.

* China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd.'s second-quarter net profit plummeted to US$400,000, from US$20.6 million a year ago. The company produced 54,377 ounces of gold and 13,738 tonnes of copper in the period.

* Gold prices sank to as low as US$1,191.35 per ounce in Monday trading, its lowest since January 2017 and resulting in the commodity's year-to-date losses to around 8.4%, due to an ongoing financial crisis in Turkey, Reuters reported.

* Vast Resources PLC acquired an indirect 29.41% interest in the Blueberry gold project in Romania.

* Osisko Mining Inc. agreed to fully acquire Beaufield Resources Inc., which will help in exploring and developing the Windfall Lake gold project in Quebec. Under the agreement terms, Beaufield shareholders will receive 0.0482 Osisko share for each Beaufield share.

* Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corp.'s Vantage Goldfields Ltd. plans to reopen the Lily gold mine in South Africa in February 2019, three years after a pillar collapse killed three workers at the site, Mining Weekly reported.

* Golden Ridge Resources Ltd. discovered a new copper-gold porphyry deposit, drilling 327 meters grading 0.31% copper, 0.35 g/t of gold and 1.94 g/t of silver at the Hank project in British Columbia's Golden Triangle. The company's shares were up 44.44% at market close Aug. 14.

* Sultan Resources Ltd.'s shares were admitted to the ASX following a A$4.8 million IPO. The company is focused on the development and acquisition of tenements prospective for gold and other minerals in Western Australia.

* Columbus Gold Corp. entered into an agreement with IAMGOLD Corp. to acquire up to a 70% interest in the Maripa gold project in French Guiana.

* An updated resource estimate for Otis Gold Corp.'s Kilgore gold project in Idaho showed a 59% increase in indicated resources. At a 0.21 g/t cutoff, the project hosts indicated resources of 825,000 ounces of gold at 0.58 g/t of gold within 44.6 million tonnes of material.

* Engineer Gold Mines Ltd. received an amended permit from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to allow the explorer to conduct work at its namesake Engineer gold project in British Columbia.

* Samco Gold Ltd. intends to undertake a series of capital reorganization transactions, including capital raising and a debt-for-shares swap, to better position itself to take advantage of potential changes in business opportunities.


* Glencore PLC and Japanese utilities finalized an Australian thermal coal import contract for April 2018 to March 2019 at US$110/t, reflecting about a 30% yearly increase, Reuters reported, citing sources. Bilateral talks resulted in the agreement with utilities including Shikoku Electric Power Co Inc, Chugoku Electric Power Co. Inc. and Kansai Electric Power Co., a source said. Japan imports about 115 million tonnes of thermal coal per year, with its utilities buying about 40% of the total exports from Australia.

* Noble Group Ltd.'s net loss for the second quarter shrunk to US$128.3 million from an adjusted loss of US$1.75 billion a year ago, in line with the late-July forecast. Revenue dropped to US$1.12 billion from US$1.52 billion as trading volumes slipped to 14.9 million tonnes from 20.5 Mt on a yearly basis. Additionally, Noble said that over 86% of its existing senior creditors have accepted the restructuring support agreement signed in March. Meanwhile, Iceberg Research said it was arranging a class-action lawsuit against the company on behalf of investors.

* JSW Steel Ltd. emerged as the highest bidder for distressed steelmaker Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd., putting up a revised bid of 197.00 billion Indian rupees to beat out rival bids from Tata Steel Ltd. and Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House Ltd., The Hindu Business Line reported.

* China's National Development and Reform Commission approved the second major urban railway project within days, with the 95 billion Chinese yuan project expected to boost demand for steel and base metals, including copper, aluminum and zinc to be used in wiring, rails and cars, Reuters reported.

* LKAB resumed pellet deliveries after a fire on the railway line linking the miner's Kiruna iron ore mine in Sweden to the Norwegian port of Narvik led to the suspension of shipments, Metal Bulletin reported, citing a company spokesperson.


* Lithium Australia NL managing director Adrian Griffin warned that the A$4 million cap imposed by the Australian federal government on research and development tax funds for smaller players may destroy Australia's chance at becoming a major player in the growing battery supply chain, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

* Mineral Resources Ltd.'s net profit after tax for full fiscal 2018 improved 35% to A$272 million, with revenue up 16% to A$1.71 billion. Direct shipping lithium ore sold from its Wodgina project in Western Australia increased to 3.5 million tonnes, from 2.8 million tonnes in fiscal 2017.

* Indonesian businessman Anthoni Salim's Droxford International Ltd. is expected to approve the A$127 million refurbishment of Atlantic Ltd.'s Windimurra vanadium project in Western Australia, paving the way to begin front-end engineering and design to begin this year and construction to start in April 2019, The West Australian reported.

* Gem Diamonds Ltd. recovered a 138-carat, top white color Type IIa diamond from its 70%-owned Letseng mine in Lesotho, the 12th diamond of over 100 carats recovered this year.

* Sabre Resources Ltd. completed the previously announced acquisition of Kinetic Metals Pty Ltd. which owns the Speewah, Unaly and Balla vanadium projects in Western Australia, for 2.5 million shares and 2.5 million unlisted options.


* Australian mining services company Ausdrill Ltd. agreed to purchase underground hard-rock mining contractor Barminco Holdings Pty Ltd., its 50/50 partner in the in the west Africa- and Tanzania-focused African Underground Mining Services joint venture. Under the deal, Ausdrill will acquire all of the equity and equity-like instruments in Barminco and assume the company's debt in exchange for 150.7 million shares and A$25.4 million in cash. This values the transaction at A$271.5 million and Barminco at A$697.0 million.

* S&P Global Ratings placed Ausdrill's BB- long-term issuer rating, as well as its BB+ and BB- ratings on its senior secured and senior unsecured issues, respectively, on CreditWatch with positive implications after announcing its intent to acquire Barminco. The positive implications reflect the rating agency's view that it would improve Ausdrill's operating scale, and service and commodity diversity. S&P also placed Barminco's B long-term issuer and senior secured debt credit ratings on CreditWatch with positive implications, with the rating agency expecting Barminco to be a core subsidiary of Ausdrill following the takeover's completion.

* South Africa's mining production climbed 2.8% year over year in June, from a 1.8% decline in May, Mining Weekly reported, citing Statistics South Africa. Platinum group metals production rose 28.2% and was the biggest contributor with 5.9 percentage points.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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