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Court validates Rio's Oyu Tolgoi deals; Endeavour seeks support for Centamin bid


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Court validates Rio's Oyu Tolgoi deals; Endeavour seeks support for Centamin bid


Mongolian court validates Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi investment deals

The Administrative Court of First Instance in Mongolia validated Rio Tinto's 2015 investment agreements over the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine expansion, contrary to what the mining giant flagged in November, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing a statement from the court's official website. The company had said earlier that reports indicated that the court favored a claim that the government did not follow due process in finalizing the deals.

Endeavour Mining seeking support from Centamin shareholders in takeover bid

Africa-focused gold producer Endeavour Mining Corp. is seeking support from shareholders of London-listed Centamin PLC for its C$2.52 billion takeover offer, which Centamin's board recently shunned, Reuters reported, citing Endeavour Mining CEO Sébastien de Montessus. Endeavour Mining has until Dec. 31 to either build up support, pursue a hostile bid, request an extension or scrap the all-share offer entirely, according to the report. Centamin earlier urged shareholders to take no action on the bid.

Nippon Steel to shut down more furnaces to cut costs

Nippon Steel Corp.'s executive vice president Katsuhiro Miyamoto said that the company may shut down more blast furnaces to cut costs in domestic facilities, due to declining demand and lower steel prices in Asia that are affecting the company's annual profit forecast, Reuters reported. "All of the facilities including blast furnaces are possible targets of consolidations," Miyamoto said. The company is set to shut down two furnaces in Japan by around March 2024.


* Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources forecast that the construction of smelters until 2022 will only reach 52 smelters, missing the target of 68 smelters, Bisnis Indonesia reported. The 52 smelters will comprise 29 for nickel, nine for bauxite, four for steel, four for copper, two for manganese and four for lead and zinc. Reuters reported that Indonesia expects the 29 nickel smelters to have a total input capacity of nearly 70 million tonnes per annum, according to the ministry's minerals director Yunus Saefulhak. The figures are lower than the previous forecast of 37 smelters with total capacity of 91 Mtpa by 2021, the report said. Eleven of the 29 smelters are already operating, with input capacity of nearly 27 Mtpa.

* Torrens Mining Limited is considering listing the highly prospective Laloki copper project in Papua New Guinea in 2020 with additional investment attraction from exploration potential close to the famed Fosterville gold mine in Victoria, Australia.

* Havilah Resources Ltd. is essentially debt free after making the final payment of A$1 million plus interest to Investec Australia Finance Pty Ltd. completing repayments for a A$2.5 million secured standby debt facility.


* Indonesia expects that 29 nickel smelters with a total input capacity of nearly 70 million tonnes per annum will go online by 2022, Reuters reported, citing Yunus Saefulhak, minerals director at the country's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The figures are lower than the previous forecast of 37 smelters with total capacity of 91 mtpa in 2021, the report said. Eleven of the 29 smelters are already operating, with input capacity of nearly 27 mtpa.

* A Swiss court ordered an unnamed whistleblower not to discuss allegations of accounting fraud at zinc producer Nyrstar NV, an affiliate of Trafigura Group Pte. Ltd., with any third parties, according to a Bloomberg News report. The gag order comes after regulatory authorities in Belgium initiated an investigation of Nyrstar in August based on the allegations.

* Australian copper explorer Tiger Resources Ltd. plans to restructure US$246 million in debt owed by subsidiary Société d’Exploitation de Kipoi SA. The proposal may result in the senior lenders exchanging a significant portion of their debt for equity in Tiger Resources.

* Pelican Resources Ltd. completed the settlement of the sale of its subsidiary Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Corp., owner of the Romblon nickel project in the Philippines.


* Amid a flurry of gold sector mergers, acquisitions and proposed deals, industry experts and leaders flagged exploration underinvestment, reserve-replacement pressure and lackluster asset margins as creating challenges and opportunities for miners and investors. "The basic problem is that there is very little of quality to buy out there, and what quality there is, is too expensive," Brent Cook, a partner with Exploration Insights, told S&P Global Market Intelligence in an email.

* Four miners died and one was seriously injured after a rock fell at Village Main Reef Ltd.'s Tau Lekoa gold mine in South Africa, Reuters reported. The mine's spokesperson, James Duncan, said that the rock fell following two seismic events.

* Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said negotiations are underway in parallel with the international arbitration proceedings to address the dispute over the closure of Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd.'s Chatree gold mine, Matichon reported. The prime minister added that the order to close the gold mine is necessary to protect people’s health.

* Policemen in Brazil carried out 85 search warrants in five states as part of an investigation on a smuggling ring that has allegedly exported 1.2 tonnes of gold bought since 2017 from wildcat miners in the frontier region between Brazil and Venezuela, Reuters reported.

* Ibaera Capital Fund LP's shareholding in Azumah Resources Ltd. increased to 83%, under an unconditional all-cash offer to acquire Azumah's outstanding shares for 3.3 Australian cents apiece.


* Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance Ltd. agreed to acquire the Duffel aluminum plant in Belgium from Novelis Inc., in keeping with EU conditions for approving Novelis' US$2.6 billion takeover of Aleris Corp., which previously raised competition concerns, Reuters reported, citing a GFG Alliance statement.

* Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that the country would accept a U.S. proposal regulating steel in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, but only if the regulation would take effect at least five years after the pact's ratification, Reuters reported. U.S. and Mexican negotiators are "very close" to finalizing the USMCA, according to a Washington-based source privy to the matter, Reuters reported.

* Kore Potash PLC completed the purchase of two drill rigs and ancillary equipment from Equity Drilling Ltd to be used for the company's current DX prefeasibility study drilling campaign. The company issued 22.0 million new ordinary shares to the vendor.

* Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau SA signed a fee-based agreement with Swedish bearings maker AB SKF to boost productivity and reduce unplanned downtime at the Charqueadas and Araçariguama steel mills in Brazil.


* PJSC Alrosa's supervisory board is considering to withdraw from the non-state pension fund Almaznaya Osen, which is 99.75%-owned by the diamond producer and counts current and retired Alrosa employees among its customers, as it is far from the company's core business.

* Cougar Metals NL breached the non-disparagement provisions of its agreement with DNI Metals Inc. on the Vohitsara graphite project in Madagascar, according to the decision by an arbitrator.


* Global Tailings Review chair Bruno Oberle said that new global standards should be able to differentiate the requirements for new and existing dams, Reuters reported. The review was launched in response to the fatal disaster that occurred in Vale SA's Feijao iron ore mine in January. The report noted that according to Oberle, new global standards for mining waste should factor in the difficulties of making existing dams compliant.

* Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s founder and Chairman Andrew Forrest is believed to have given in-principle agreement to invest in Sun Brilliance Pty Ltd.'s A$130 million 100-MW solar project in Cunderdin town in Western Australia, ABC News reported. Forrest's investment will reportedly be made through Squadron Energy, a unit of his private investment vehicle Minderoo. The terms were kept confidential, the report said.

* A report on transformation in the South African mining sector has been released by the Mineral Council, which plans to take the government to court in 2020 to challenge economic empowerment requirements in the new Mining Charter, saying it will discourage investment. Member companies have largely met the requirements of the 2010 Mining Charter, which was in effect until 2018, according to the report that was commissioned by the Minerals Council, with CEO Roger Baxter saying there had been "substantial compliance and significant progress" in the industry, and in its efforts to improve.

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