Anglo American granted operating license for Minas Rio tailings facility in Brazil
Anglo American PLC received the next phase of its operating license for the tailings facility at its Minas Rio iron ore operation in Brazil. The company's bulk commodities CEO, Seamus French, said Minas Rio is expected to produce 23 million tonnes in 2019 at a free on board unit cost of about US$24 per tonne. The tailings dam uses a downstream construction design and is an embankment dam structure.
AngloGold, IAMGOLD to sell Sadiola Hill mine for US$105 million
AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and IAMGOLD Corp. agreed to sell their stakes in a Malian joint venture which holds the Sadiola Hill mine for a total of US$105 million in stages to Allied Gold Corp. The companies each own a 41% stake in the mine, with the government of Mali owning the remaining 18%. The conditions for the deal to close, which include Malian government approval, are expected to be met by the end of April 2020. Prior to closing, AngloGold and IAMGOLD will receive a cash dividend of US$6.2 million each from the mine's holding company, while the government will receive US$2.7 million.
Coronado idles metallurgical coal mine in Virginia, furloughs over 600 miners
Coronado Global Resources Inc. furloughed over 600 employees at its Buchanan No. 1 mine in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy was informed on Dec. 16 that employees at the metallurgical coal mine would be "furloughed until a trade deal was reached between the U.S. and China on coal exports," an official with the agency told S&P Global Market Intelligence on Dec. 23. The agency was informed Dec. 23 that the mine would return to full production on Jan. 1, 2020.
* Prosecutors from the Democratic Republic of Congo are investigating a €200 million line of credit issued to state-owned Gécamines SA by Ventora Development, formerly Fleurette Mumi, which is owned by Israel billionaire Dan Gertler who is under U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported. The investigation is focused on a possible money laundering and fraud related to a loan issued by Gertler's company in October 2017.
* Val-d'Or Mining Corp. sold 10 of its exploration properties prospective for precious and base metals, located in Quebec, to privately owned Progenitor Metals for a consideration of C$1.1 million, 80% of which will go to Val-d'Or and 20% will go to Golden Valley Mines Ltd. Val-d'Or acquired the properties from Golden Valley Mines.
* Northfield Capital Corp. acquired ownership and control of 6,680,000 common shares and 6,680,000 share purchase warrants, representing 10.3% of the issued and outstanding shares of Murchison Minerals Ltd.
* Panoramic Resources Ltd.'s shares were up 5% by Dec. 23 ASX trading close after independent experts from KPMG appointed by the company determined that the takeover offer from Independence Group NL was fair and reasonable in the absence of a superior proposal. The company recommended shareholders take no action until the board completes its review and comes up with a response, expected in January 2020.
* OceanaGold Corp.'s partly owned Locrian Resources Inc. entered into a deal to explore ArcWest Exploration Inc.'s oxide peak property in northern British Columbia. Locrian can earn an initial 60% stake in the property by funding over a three-year period cumulative exploration expenditures of C$2.4 million and staged cash payments of C$55,000.
* NorZinc Ltd. closed the sale of a 1% net smelter return royalty over the company's Prairie Creek zinc-lead-silver mine in the Northwest Territories for C$8 million.
* Troy Resources Ltd.'s ASX stock fell over 12% by Dec. 23 trading close upon the company emerging from a lengthy voluntary suspension to announce the restart of operations at its Karouni gold mine in Guyana, where authorities ordered a halt in October after a worker died, and securing about A$15 million in funding.
* The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers granted Centamin PLCs request to extend the deadline by which Endeavour Mining Corp. is required to announce a firm intention to make a takeover offer to Centamin. The deadline is extended to Jan. 14, 2020, from the original Dec. 31. Centamin's board said that it continues to believe that the possible offer materially undervalues the company and advises shareholders to take no action.
* RNC Minerals estimated a maiden gold proven and probable reserve of 310,000 ounces within 3.4 million tonnes grading 2.8 g/t gold for the Beta Hunt gold project in Western Australia.
* AIC Mines Ltd. said that Vulcan Copper Ltd. breached its obligation to pay the first installment of the deferred consideration of US$1.0 million regarding the Kitumba sale agreement inked in September 2018.
* First Au Ltd. decided to withdraw from the Emu Creek joint venture with Atlas Iron Pty Ltd. and will now prioritize funding and resources towards the Gimlet gold project in Western Australia.
* Arcus Development Group Inc. completed the sale of its Dan Man property to Newmont Goldcorp Corp.'s subsidiary Kaminak Gold Corp.
* Explor Resources Inc. completed its merger with Galleon Gold Corp.
* Indonesian state-owned PT Bukit Asam Tbk seeks to increase coal production to 30 million tonnes in 2020, compared to the 28.5 Mt anticipated this year, Reuters reported, citing company officials. About 60% of Bukit Asam's 2020 production will go to an Indonesian state-run power utility, while 30% will be exported, mostly to India, according to Adib Ubaidillah, the company's director of commerce.
* ArcelorMittal agreed to sell a 50% stake in its wholly owned shipping business, Global Chartering Ltd., to DryLog Ltd. and form a 50/50 shipping joint venture. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2019. The stake sale and joint venture will impact ArcelorMittal's net debt by US$530 million.
* The Canadian government will launch a strategic assessment that will look into how new thermal coal mine projects in the future will be examined under the government’s Impact Assessment Act, International Mining reported. The assessment will include, but not be limited to, environmental and health impacts of thermal coal mining, market analysis of projected demand for thermal coal, and the use of thermal coal mining including its impact on the country’s international commitments and initiatives.
* Pacific Bauxite Ltd. went into voluntary administration after its failure to attract support along with unsuccessful negotiations to sell its bauxite deposits in the Solomon Islands.
* African Energy Resources Ltd. entered a power sales term sheet with Sinosteel Corp. unit Zimasco (Pvt) Ltd. for the purchase of 150 MW of power for 15 years. Meanwhile, an agreement for purchase of 100 MW of power for First Quantum Minerals Ltd.'s Zambian copper operations for 15 years is in the final stages of approval.
* Danakali Ltd.'s 50%-owned Colluli Mining Share Co. executed definitive documentation for a US$200 million senior debt facility to fund development and construction of the Colluli potash project in Eritrea.
* Moody's downgraded the corporate family rating of Tianqi Lithium Corp. to B1 from Ba3, citing weak measures to lower its leverage that increased on the back of its acquisition of Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA. "The ratings downgrade mainly reflects the materially smaller-than-expected proceeds from Tianqi Lithium's rights issue. Such a situation will result in the company's slower-than-expected deleveraging and tighter-than-expected liquidity," said Gerwin Ho, vice president and senior credit officer at Moody's.
* Ucore Rare Metals Inc. and Materion Corp. said that they will form a consortium to apply for U.S. military funding of a rare earths processing plant, Reuters reported.
* Nemaska Lithium Inc. filed for protection from creditors to give the company sufficient time to settle its refinancing efforts, to allow for the completion of the construction of its Whabouchi lithium project in Quebec.
* Regency Mines PLC executed a memorandum of understanding with ion Ventures Ltd. to identify and prioritize the former's most commercially attractive projects, secure funding and then move to first cash flow. Regency said it expects ion Ventures to become a long-term strategic partner and support the development of its energy storage business in the U.K.
* Gibb River Diamonds Ltd. acquired leases over the Ellendale diamond mine and project area in Western Australia.
* Global miners are searching for new techniques to handle mining waste following deadly spills in Brazil in recent years, but have concluded that a number of promising options are not proven at large scale, The Wall Street Journal reported. Techniques being looked into by mining companies include waste stacked in big, dry mounds; applying new additives to thicken waste to make it more stable; and experimenting with high-powered magnets that can sort ore without water. The report noted that many companies are betting on precision mining to unlock narrow veins of metals with little or no waste.
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