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Italy open to buying Ilva stake; Nippon Steel may close blast furnaces


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Italy open to buying Ilva stake; Nippon Steel may close blast furnaces

Editor's note: Today's edition of the Daily Dose was published late due to technical issues. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Report: Italy willing to buy stake in Ilva steel plant to appease ArcelorMittal

The Italian government is willing to snap up an 18% stake in Ilva International SpA to prevent ArcelorMittal from abandoning a deal to purchase the steel plant, Reuters reported, citing newspaper Il Messaggero. Under the proposal, the government will reportedly offer to take the Ilva stake either through state lender Cassa depositi e prestiti SpA or state-owned investment firm Invitalia SpA and will restore the company's legal shield related to a planned environmental cleanup.

Nippon Steel may shut down more blast furnaces in Japan to reduce costs

Nippon Steel Corp. may shut down more blast furnaces in Japan, in addition to the two furnaces scheduled for closing in March 2024, to save on costs on the back of falling demand and lower steel prices in Asia, according to the company's executive vice president, Katsuhiro Miyamoto, Reuters reported.

Pure Minerals values Townsville nickel-cobalt refinery in Queensland at A$568M

Pure Minerals Ltd.'s pre-feasibility study for the development of the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub in Queensland, Australia, outlined a posttax net present value of A$568 million and a 20.1% internal rate of return. The preproduction capital expenditure for the battery chemicals refinery was estimated at US$300 million, with a US$49 million contingency. Operating expenditure was anticipated to be A$155 million.


* Australian mining giant BHP Group's chief technology officer, Diane Jurgens, will leave the company in early 2020 to return to the U.S. to pursue other opportunities and be closer to family. Rag Udd, vice president for technology global transformation, will be Jurgens' acting replacement, effective Dec. 14.

* Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources forecast that only 52 smelters will be built until 2022, 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.


* Swedish mining and smelting company Boliden AB expects nationwide strikes in Finland to impact its annual operating profit by about €10 million. The company said the strikes affecting its Harjavalta copper-nickel smelter, Kokkola zinc smelter and Kevitsa nickel-copper mine will last until Dec. 12.

* Legend Mining Ltd.'s stock soared as much as 100% after it emerged from a trading halt and announced the discovery of massive nickel-copper sulfides at the Rockford project within its Fraser Range property in Western Australia. The 70.15-meter disseminated sulfide halo that was discovered starts at 76 meters below surface and is open in all directions.

* Western Areas Ltd. noted that most staff at its Forrestania nickel project in Western Australia returned to work over the weekend following repairs after a bush fire. The company said it does not expect any impact on nickel production or cost guidance for fiscal 2020.

* 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.

* New World Cobalt Ltd. will start trading on the ASX as New World Resources Ltd. by Dec. 12. The company will retain its NWC ticker.


* PT. Indika Energy Tbk agreed to invest up to US$40 million in Nusantara Resources Ltd.'s Awak Mas gold project in Indonesia in exchange for up to a 40% interest in Nusantura unit and project owner PT Masmindo Dwi Area. Indika subsidiary PT Petrosea Tbk will be awarded the front-end engineering and design contract for the project.

* Titan Minerals Ltd. sweetened its bid to acquire Core Gold Inc. Titan now proposes to exchange 3.1 shares for each Core Gold share from the previous offer of 2.5 shares per Core Gold share.

* 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. Mine spokesperson James Duncan said the rock fell following two seismic events.

* Police officers in Brazil carried out 85 search warrants in five states as part of an investigation into 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.

* Blue Lagoon Resources Inc. secured an option to acquire 80% of ExGen Resources Inc.'s Gordon Lake gold property in Canada's Northwest Territories.


* 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 had raised competition concerns, Reuters reported, citing a GFG Alliance statement.

* Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said 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.

* Hbis Co. Ltd. will issue a bond offering of up to 1.5 billion Chinese yuan Dec. 11 to repay its loans. The interest rate of the notes will be fixed at between 3.4% and 4.9%, with maturity of the bonds set at five years.

* The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority allowed Swiss billionaire Martin Haefner's BigPoint Holding AG to increase its stake in steelmaker Schmolz + Bickenbach AG as part of a planned capital increase.

* Cadence Minerals PLC struck a deal with Brazil's Amapa state to restore a life-of-mine railway concession between the Amapa iron ore mine and the Santana Port. The deal is one of the major preconditions for Cadence to proceed with its planned acquisition of up to 27% of project owner DEV Mineração SA.

* En+ Group IPJSC reported that its average Level 1 carbon emissions are significantly lower than the global sector average, reflecting its progress toward achieving net-zero emissions. The company owns a majority stake in United Co. Rusal PLC.

* The board of Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority recommended that the minister of environment approve the development of Reward Minerals Ltd.'s Lake Disappointment sulfate of potash project.

* South Africa-based Samancor Chrome Ltd. will slash its chrome ore and ferrochrome production levels in 2020 amid a weak market, depressed prices and higher electricity tariffs, Mining Weekly wrote.


* Lithium Australia NL formally established Soluna Australia Pty. Ltd., a 50/50 joint venture with DLG Power Battery (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. that aims to fill the growing demand for lithium-ion battery products in the energy storage industry.

* Lynas Corp. Ltd. selected a site in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, for a new cracking and leaching plant after completing due diligence. Located near the Australian rare earths producer's Mount Weld mine, the proposed plant will be used to upgrade rare earth concentrate produced from the mine that is now exported to its Malaysian processing facility.

* Uranium Royalty Corp. closed its oversubscribed and upsized C$30 million IPO on the TSX Venture Exchange, issuing 20 million units at C$1.50 apiece.

* Peninsula Mines Ltd.'s previously announced deal with Battery Mineral Resources Ltd. to merge their graphite tenements in South Korea into one company, Korea Graphite Co. Ltd., will not proceed.

* Ioneer Ltd. signed a nonbinding letter of intent contemplating the purchase of up to 250,000 tonnes of sulfur annually from Shell Canada Energy Ltd. for use in the Rhyolite Ridge lithium project in Nevada.

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

* Shefa Gems Ltd. reported a maiden resource for the Kishon Mid-Reach gemstone project in Israel due to the upgrade of the property's Zone 1 and Zone 2 to the inferred category.


* Global Tailings Review chair Bruno Oberle said 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 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.

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