ArcelorMittal strikes deal with Italian steel unions for Ilva takeover
ArcelorMittal reached an agreement with Italian steel unions over its planned acquisition of Ilva International SpA. Ilva's workers will vote on the agreement before it is formally ratified, with the closing date expected on Nov. 1. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said he would no longer oppose the takeover despite previously claiming the tender for the sale was invalid, Reuters reported.
Philippines to implement measures limiting production area for nickel miners
The Philippines is implementing rules to limit the land miners can develop at any one time as part of new measures to protect the environment, Reuters reported. Under the regulation, mines that produce up to 1 million tonnes of nickel ore per annum will be limited to a 50-hectare production area at any one time, while mines that produce 9 million tonnes and above will be given areas ranging up to 100 hectares. Projects with a processing plant will be allowed up to 162 hectares. The restrictions, backed by President Rodrigo Duterte, target 29 of 48 mines operating in the country, which are nickel producers that supply ore to China.
Cypress Development pegs US$1.45B value for Clayton Valley lithium project
Cypress Development Corp.'s preliminary economic assessment for the Clayton Valley lithium project in Nevada pegged a net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$1.45 billion, an internal rate of return of 32.7% and a 2.7-year payback period. Initial CapEx was pegged at US$482 million over two years, with preproduction and operating expenses pegged at US$3,983/t of lithium carbonate equivalent. Average production is targeted at 24,042 tonnes per year.
* Lundin Mining Corp. has no plans to amend its hostile takeover bid for Nevsun Resources Ltd., which has accepted a richer C$1.86 billion offer from China's Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd.
* Citic Ltd. unit CITIC Metal Co. Ltd.'s C$723 million investment in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. will close on Sept. 19 after securing necessary Chinese regulatory approvals. The deal will see CITIC Metal acquiring a 19.9% interest in the company, becoming Ivanhoe's largest single shareholder.
* Barrick Gold Corp. is looking to team up with at least one Chinese company to pursue growth in its copper business, Metal Bulletin reported, citing Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton.
* BHP Billiton Group tapped Finland-based Konecranes PLC to replace aging cranes at its Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia. The new cranes have advanced features that will help BHP further reduce downtime and production losses at the site, according to Scott Montgomerie, BHP supervisor of the floats maintenance execution at Olympic Dam. The crane replacement is part of the company's A$600-million spend during BHP's 2018 financial year to prolong the mine's life.
* Pretium Resources Inc. hit back against Viceroy Research, which shorted the company's stock after releasing a scathing report calling into question its production numbers. The firm said Pretium under-reported how many tonnes of rock it moved at the Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia. "We stand by all our numbers," said Joseph Ovsenek, Pretium President and CEO. The mine has courted controversy over the years, given the highly variable nature of gold mineralization in the deposit.
* OreCorp Ltd. received approval from the Tanzanian Fair Competition Commission to increase its interest in the Nyanzaga gold project to 51%. It also entered into a completion agreement with Acacia Mining PLC to allow the company to move to 100% ownership by making a further payment of US$7 million. The acquisition still remains conditional on approval by the Mining Commission.
* Geopacific Resources Ltd.'s ASX stock fell by as much as 11.5% after Pacific Road Capital sold its 6% stake in the Papua New Guinea-focused gold junior. Geopacific Managing Director Ron Heeks said he is happy to see the back of all that private equity, which he did not want more of in his share register. Heeks told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the specific fund was due to end its 10-year life, and Geopacific was the last holding the fund needed to exit before closing. He said it had been something of a burden as it was an overhang from Geopacific's takeover of Kula Gold Ltd., its partner in the Woodlark joint venture of which Geopacific recently acquired 51%.
* R.J.K. Explorations Ltd. optioned the drill-ready Rolling Pond property, located within the Moosehead gold belt in Newfoundland. It will be R.J.K.'s newest acquisition in the Moosehead gold belt after the Moosehead Gold District and the Moosehead Extension property.
* Following positive results from ongoing drilling at the Royal Sheba deposit, part of the Barberton gold operations in South Africa, Pan African Resources PLC CEO Cobus Loots said the company will finalize a definitive feasibility study on the project with a view of starting project development in the near term. The mineral resources at Royal Sheba grew 150% to 899,000 ounces contained in 8.56 million tonnes at 3.27 g/t of gold.
* Coolgardie Minerals Ltd. agreed to sell its first 100,000 tonnes of oxide ore produced from the Geko gold mine at a fixed gold price of A$1,650 per ounce to Northern Star Resources Ltd.
* Western Australia's gold explorers spent A$162 million in the June quarter, which is the highest since reporting began in 1988, The West Australian reported, citing data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
* Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. entered into a second amended and restated royalty purchase agreement with Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd., which will acquire a 1.75% net smelter royalty on its Cariboo gold mine in British Columbia for C$20 million.
* Panthera Resources PLC's joint venture partner in India, Metals Mining India Pvt. Ltd., filed a writ petition and a stay application with the High Court of Rajasthan in Jodhpur, India, after the government rejected a prospecting license application for the Bhukia gold-copper joint venture.
* Newcrest Mining Ltd. awarded a four-year contract to TOTAL SA for the supply of 14 million liters of lubricants to the former's Lihir gold mine in Papua New Guinea, International Mining reported.
* Newmont Mining Corp. will use Cambridge Energy Partners' redeployable Nomad solar photovoltaic tracker at its Akyem gold mine in Ghana to save electricity costs and reduce carbon emissions.
* Alliance Resources Ltd. outlined a maiden resource at the Weednanna gold deposit, part of the Wilcherry Hill project in South Australia, of 181,000 ounces of gold contained in 1.1 million tonnes grading 5.1 g/t.
* The Queensland government in Australia is seeking public comment on Pembroke Resources Pty. Ltd.'s proposed A$1-billion Olive Downs coal mine, Mining Weekly reported. The project would create around 500 jobs a year during construction, and could maintain an average of 1,000 jobs and produce up to 15 million tonnes of coal per year once the mine is running, said Cameron Dick, Queensland's minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.
* Sirius Minerals PLC's shares slumped 11% after flagging a funds increase of up to US$600 million for the completion of its North Yorkshire potash project in England.
* Egyptian steelmaker and regional heavyweight Ezz Steel Co.'s net loss after tax and minority interests in the first half shrunk to 389.3 million Egyptian pounds, compared to a year-ago loss of 1.07 billion pounds. Consolidated net sales for the half increased 42% year over year to 25.5 billion pounds mainly due to a more than 50% jump in long sales and a 19% increase in flat sales on a yearly basis.
* South African iron ore and manganese miner Assore Ltd. hiked the interim dividend 67% year over year to 10 South African rand per share after recording a profit attributable to shareholders of 2.45 billion rand per share for the first half, up from 2.21 billion rand recorded a year ago. Revenue in the period surged to 3.84 billion rand, compared to 3.28 billion rand in the prior-year half.
* European customers will avoid deals with United Co. Rusal PLC, hit by U.S. sanctions, in an upcoming industry event in Berlin called the "mating season", where 2019 metal supply agreements will be sealed, Reuters reported, citing three anonymous sources. "Customers will be reluctant to negotiate with them this year. We can't take risks with our supply chain, we have to find alternative sources," an aluminum consumer told the newswire.
* Polish coal miner Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa SA, or JSW, is considering a takeover of Prairie Mining Ltd., which has been developing the Jan Karski and Debiensko coking coal mines in Poland, Reuters reported, citing two anonymous sources.
* MC Mining Ltd. struck a deal with China Railway International Group Co. Ltd. for the engineering, procurement and construction contract at the former's Makhado hard coking and thermal coal project in South Africa.
* Kazakh uranium producer National Atomic Co. Kazatomprom JSC will maintain its "value over volume" plan as it is duty-bound to act "responsibly" and not flood the market with more uranium, the Financial Times reported, citing Chairman Galymzhan Pirmatov. Going forward, the company will revise its production levels to meet forecasts and will also assess the earlier shutdown of some of its mines.
* VTB Capital analysts said world diamond sales in the second quarter rose 8% yearly to 37.9 million carats as Alrosa's sales in July grew 17%, Vedomosti reported.
* Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. fetched US$26.9 million in revenues from its seventh diamond sale of the year. The company sold 411,317 carats at an average realized price of US$65 per carat.
* Piedmont Lithium Ltd. completed a resource estimate for byproduct minerals at its namesake Piedmont lithium project in North Carolina. Indicated and inferred byproduct resources total 16.2 million tonnes grading 30.1% quartz, 43.9% feldspar and 4.5% mica, representing 4.9 million tonnes of quartz, 7.1 million tonnes of feldspar and 720,000 tonnes of mica.
* Peru's Energy and Mines Minister Francisco Ismodes proposed to make a temporary tax benefit for mining companies permanent, Reuters reported. Miners in Peru have enjoyed refunds on an 18% value-added tax rate for around two decades. However, the tax refund, which is set to expire, has drawn flak from opposition lawmakers, who seek to end it this year after the government returned about US$3.63 billion to mining companies in 2016 and 2017.
* President Donald Trump's pick, J. Steven Gardner, has withdrawn his name from consideration to lead the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the government agency responsible for protecting the public from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations. Gardner cited uncertainty around his confirmation, reversals on conditions provided by the Office of Government Ethics, unknown financial implications and other factors as the reasons behind his pullout.
* Chinese mergers and acquisitions activity is likely to fall during the latter half of this year, market watchers said, although they remain divided as to why. Ivan Wong, financial advisory partner at Deloitte China, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that Chinese companies are unlikely to be as aggressive in M&A since they are more likely to devote capital to projects they have already purchased.
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