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Noble completes US$3.45B restructuring; Coal train derails in South Africa

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Noble completes US$3.45B restructuring; Coal train derails in South Africa

TOP NEWS

Noble Group completes US$3.45B restructuring process

Noble Group Ltd. completed its US$3.45 billion restructuring, effective Dec. 20, and sold all of its assets to a new holding company, Noble Group Holdings Ltd. The shares in the new company are owned 70% by a senior creditor special-purpose vehicle, 20% by Noble Group's shareholders and 10% by a management special-purpose vehicle.

200-wagon coal train derails in South Africa

A 200-wagon coal train derailed in South Africa, forcing Transnet to shut down an export line linking mines to the Richards Bay export terminal, Reuters reported. No timeline was provided on the line's restart, but the state-owned firm aims to open as soon as possible one line which was not severely damaged. The crew was unhurt in the incident.

Codelco seals agreements to supply up to 300,000 tonnes of copper to 3 companies

Codelco agreed to sell 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes of copper each to Nexans SA, China Minmetals Corp. and Southwire Co. in rolling deals known as "evergreens" from 2019 to 2021, Reuters reported, citing sources close to the matter. Evergreens are contracts that are extended if both parties agree. Additionally, sources told the newswire that Codelco is negotiating a three-year deal with China Ordins Group Co. Ltd. and has signed a one-year deal with a unit of Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. Codelco is shifting its focus to customers requiring higher volumes, and its new strategy involves selling less to commodity traders.

BASE METALS

* PolyMet Mining Corp.'s Poly Met Mining Inc. unit secured the final state approvals to build and operate the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals project in Minnesota. The company now awaits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision on a wetlands permit, the only remaining federal permit yet to be obtained.

* Over 58% of copper producers in Zambia are expected to lose money if the government proceeds with its plan to increase mining taxes next year, Reuters reported, citing Zambia Chamber of Mines President Goodwell Mateyo.

* A-Cap Energy Ltd. entered into a definitive farm-in and joint venture agreement with Blackham Resources Ltd. to earn a 75% interest in the nickel, cobalt and associated metals of the latter's Wiluna project in Western Australia.

* Hillgrove Resources Ltd. temporarily suspended operations at its Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia after a rockfall occurred in the site's Giant open pit. No one was injured in the incident, and mining has since recommenced. The company is assessing the rockfall's possible impact on future copper production.

* MMG Ltd. entered into a US$10 million agreement with Minmetals North-Europe AB for the sale of about 10,000 dry metric tonnes of zinc concentrate from the company's Dugald River project in Queensland, Australia.

* MOD Resources Ltd. said positive assays from the A4 Dome target, combined with a preliminary conceptual underground mining study, confirmed its expansion potential for the T3 copper project, part of the Botswana property.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Aquila Resources Inc. said the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin dismissed the federal lawsuit brought by the Menominee Indian Tribe in Wisconsin challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' failure to exercise jurisdiction over the company's wetlands permit for its Back Forty gold project in Michigan.

* E2 Metals Ltd. is quitting the Neavesville epithermal gold-silver project in New Zealand due to uncertainty regarding the status of exploration and mining activities in the Thames Coromandel District. The company terminated the share sale agreement with EMX Royalty Corp. and withdrew from the Pakirarahi No. 1B joint venture. Separately, E2 Metals executed a binding deal to acquire Los Domos Pty. Ltd., which holds a 90,000-hectare portfolio of highly prospective gold-silver projects in Argentina's Santa Cruz province.

* Independence Group NL's pre-feasibility study at the Tropicana gold joint venture in Western Australia confirmed underground mining beneath the Boston Shaker open pits as a technically and financially viable option. The joint venture, owned 30% by the company and 70% by AngloGold unit AngloGold Ashanti AU Ltd., will now move to a feasibility study which is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2019.

* Panthera Resources PLC signed a definitive term sheet with Galactic Gold Mines Private Ltd. to form a partnership to advance the Bhukia gold-copper project in India. Galactic will buy a 10% stake in Panthera unit Indo Gold Pty. Ltd. for US$1.3 million, earning an additional stake in the unit by providing support and services to advance the Bhukia project.

* Centerra Gold Inc. secured an option to acquire up to a 70% interest in Mammoth Resources Corp.'s Tenoriba gold property in Mexico. Under the terms, Centerra is required to spend US$9 million in project expenditures for seven years.

* Warrior Gold Inc. expanded its Goodfish-Kirana gold property in Ontario after acquiring a 24-claim package adjacent to the site's northeast portion, in addition to the three contiguous claims it staked.

* Tasca Resources Ltd. granted Canarc Resource Corp. an option to acquire up to an 80% stake in the Princeton gold property in British Columbia. Canarc is required to spend up to C$900,000 on exploration for two years. Tasca will retain a 1% net smelter royalty.

BULK COMMODITIES

* En+ Group PLC will form a new majority independent board at United Co. Rusal PLC under the terms of an agreement to lift sanctions on companies controlled by Kremlin-associate Oleg Deripaska, according to a statement by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

* Citing sources, Bloomberg News reported that Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska will transfer a small portion of his En+ stake to Volnoe Delo, a charity he founded. Glencore PLC and VTB Bank PJSC are also said to be owning a significant interest in En+. Meanwhile, En+ shareholders approved the company's planned transfer from Jersey to Russia.

* ArcelorMittal signed a new US$5.5 billion revolving credit facility that will mature in five years. The facility, subject to two one-year extensions, will be used for general corporate purposes.

* Coal India Ltd.'s Northern Coalfields Ltd. unit plans to invest an additional US$612 million over the next three months to meet its annual production target of 100 million tons, Mining Weekly reported.

* Responding to backlash from top insurance companies, Adani Mining Pty. Ltd. said it is "continuing to get on with creating jobs and the economic benefits" associated with the Carmichael coal mine and rail project in Queensland. The company also denied that the mine would be catastrophic to efforts against climate change as it would produce only 27.5 million tonnes of coal per year, or roughly a half-percent of world thermal coal demand in 2017.

* Yancoal Australia Ltd. raised over HK$13.2 million from the retail component of its 0.05387-for-1 pro rata accelerated renounceable entitlement offer.

* Marubeni Corp. expects aluminum premiums from Japanese buyers to increase to between US$100 per tonne and US$130/t in late 2019 due to a fall in global supplies, even though supplies from Rusal are expected to return to the market following the lifting of sanctions, Reuters wrote.

* Oracle Power PLC's shares in London jumped after it announced it is replacing Sichuan Provincial Investment Group Co. Ltd. with Beijing Jingneng Power Co. Ltd. as one of the consortium partners in the Block VI coal and minemouth power plant project in Pakistan's Thar desert. Beijing Jingneng will take up a 78% equity interest in the project. Oracle Power shares were up nearly 60% in late-morning London trades following the announcement.

* One miner died and 10 are missing after a methane explosion at New World Resources Plc's CSM hard coal mine in the Czech Republic. The blast also injured 10 others and caused damage at some of the underground work areas.

* Incitec Pivot Ltd. may be forced to close its Gibson Island fertilizer plant in Queensland if it fails to find an affordable gas source, The Australian reported.

* CIMIC Group Ltd. companies Sedgman Ltd. and CPB Contractors Pty. Ltd. won a A$184 million contract to design, procure, construct and commission the coal handling and preparation plant at Pembroke Resources Pty. Ltd.'s Olive Downs coking coal project in Queensland.

* Mineral Resources Ltd. made its first cargo shipment of 105,517 tonnes of iron ore fines from the Koolyanobbing mine in Western Australia, The West Australian reported.

SPECIALTY

* Orocobre Ltd. shares slumped Dec. 20 after CEO Richard Seville said lithium prices are unlikely to recover early next year following a sharp price drop in the fourth quarter, Reuters reported.

* Syrah Resources Ltd. signed a binding agreement with Qingdao Langruite Graphite Co. Ltd. to sell at least 48,000 tonnes of natural graphite from the Balama project in Mozambique in 2019 and an additional 12,000 tonnes at Syrah's option.

* W Resources PLC fed first mined ore ahead of its January 2019 target into its newly completed crusher, which is under commissioning at its flagship La Parrilla tungsten-tin project in Spain.

* Global Atomic Corp. secured a two-year extension for all of its exploration permits in the Tim Mersoi basin in Niger.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources published detailed guidelines, including formulas and tables, that mineral rights holders must follow under the country's new mining charter, Business Day reported.

* New Jersey lawmaker Frank Pallone pledged to push forward with his aggressive agenda and said he would "conduct robust oversight of the Trump Administration's ongoing actions to sabotage our healthcare system, exacerbate climate change and weaken consumer protections."

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