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Barrick, Tanzania gov't settle disputes; Evraz to hike annual capex to US$1B


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Barrick, Tanzania gov't settle disputes; Evraz to hike annual capex to US$1B


Barrick Gold to pay US$300M to settle disputes with Tanzania

Barrick Gold Corp. agreed to pay US$300 million to settle all outstanding tax and other disputes with the government of Tanzania, regarding the mining companies formerly operated by Acacia Mining PLC and now managed by Barrick. Other terms of the agreement include the lifting of the concentrate export ban, sharing of future economic benefits on a 50/50 basis, and the establishment of a unique, Africa-focused international dispute resolution framework. In conjunction with the finalization of the agreement, a new operating company called Twiga Minerals Corporation has been formed to manage the Bulyanhulu, North Mara, and Buzwagi mines.

Evraz sees annual capex averaging US$1B from 2020 to 2023

Evraz PLC is considering three major investment projects for 2020 to 2023 to increase sales of finished steel products. Capex is expected to be around US$1.0 billion per annum in those years, and about US$850 million for 2019. In a separate statement, the company said that it acquired a pilot plant and tailing technology for Kachkanarsky ore mining and processing plant in Russia from LLC Rock Capital Partners for 249.1 million rubles, inclusive of 20% VAT.

Talison Lithium expects to double annual lithium concentrate production

Talison Lithium Ltd., co-owned by Albemarle Corp. and Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group Co. Ltd., expects to double its production to about 1.3 million tonnes of lithium concentrate per year as the company opens its new chemical grade processing plant 2 at the Greenbushes lithium project in Western Australia, ABC News reported. The company, meanwhile, plans to bring CGP3 online in the next three to four years, subject to market demand.


* BHP Group leadership faced tough questions at its annual general meeting from shareholders concerned about dust pollution at Port Hedland caused by mining, Mining News reported. Separately, a resolution by some BHP investors urging the company to quit from membership in industry bodies whose lobbying efforts are not aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change was only supported by 22.16% of the votes at the miner's London annual general meeting, which represents 42% of shareholders, Reuters reported. A vote by the remaining 58% of its shareholders will take place Nov. 7 in Australia.


* Aeon Metals Ltd.'s scoping study for the Walford Creek copper-cobalt project in Queensland, Australia showed total contained production of 146,000 tonnes of copper and 22,000 tonnes of cobalt, for a total copper equivalent production of 446,000 tonnes and average annual copper equivalent output of 42,500 tonnes. Posttax net present value, at an 8% discount, is A$431 million, with an internal rate of return of 34% and a payback period of 3.0 years.

* Australian Mines Ltd. estimated a total mineral resource of 14.2 million tonnes grading 0.66% nickel and 0.03% cobalt for the Minnamoolka nickel project in Queensland, Australia.

* A group of farmers is organizing a protest against the Peru-based Zafranal copper project, owned by Teck Resources Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp., reported, citing information from La Republica newspaper. The president of the community council, Nelson Martinez, said that his people are worried about the quality of their resources being affected by the project as the miners are not properly disclosing the impact of their activities on the agricultural land.

* The test of the electric locomotive of the Czech manufacturer Ferrit s.r.o. has been completed at the Polar Division's Komsomolskiy mine of PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. The locomotive allows loading and unloading without the presence of the operator in the cockpit.

* Northfield Capital Corp. and its joint actor Robert Cudney acquired ownership and control of 15,250,000 common shares and 15,250,000 share purchase warrants of Copper Reef Mining Corp.. at C$0.02 per unit, representing about 7.9% of the issued and outstanding shares of the company or about 14.6% on a partially diluted basis assuming exercise of the warrants.

* Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. entered into a testwork cooperation agreement with OZ Minerals Ltd. The testwork will evaluate a processing technology developed by Cobalt Blue to recover cobalt, copper, and gold from a pyrite concentrate. A key aim will be to assess if a high purity cobalt sulfate can be produced from the concentrate.


* Focus Minerals Ltd. will pursue a counter proposal from Horizon Minerals Ltd. on the sale of the Coolgardie gold project in Western Australia. The counter proposal includes a total consideration of A$52 million, extension of the exclusivity period for a further 60 days, and the requirement for Horizon to replace the environmental bonds by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety if required.

* Northern Star Resources Ltd.'s offer to acquire Echo Resources Ltd. at 33 Australian cents per share is final and will not increase.

* Perseus Mining Ltd. produced 65,825 ounces of gold at an all-in site cost of US$922 per ounce during the September quarter. Gold sales totaled 73,561 ounces, while average sales price amounted to US$1,374 per ounce.

* OreCorp Ltd. completed the acquisition of ownership and control of Nyanzaga Mining Company Limited, which has applied for the special mining license over the Nyanzaga gold project in Tanzania.

* At least 15 people died on Saturday when a dam collapsed, flooding an artisanal mining encampment in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Reuters reported. Russian news agency and information services company Interfax said that the miners were part of Siberian privately-held Sibzoloto, which unites several artisanal mining teams.

* The Ebola epidemic is concentrated in the Mandima health zone area in the Biakato mine, a gold mining location in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the World Health Organization, Reuters reported.


* Sinosteel Corp. seeks to revive the long-stalled A$9.7 billion Oakajee mining rail and port project in Western Australia, following its acquisition of Mitsubishi Corp.'s interest, Australian Financial Review reported.

* Iluka Resources Ltd. is under pressure to spin off royalty tied to iron ore production at BHP Group's Area C in Western Australia, in a move that may unlock about A$2 billion for shareholders, Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported.

* By 2023, coal will account for 59% of South Africa's electricity volumes, while 8% would come from hydro, 6% from photovoltaic, 18% from wind, and 1% from gas and diesel, based on the country's Integrated Resource Plan, as mentioned by energy minister Gwede Mantashe, Reuters reported. Coal currently accounts for more than 80% of South Africa’s power generation.


* Moses Mukwada, chairman of Bocha Diamond Trust, said that there had been cases of villagers being rounded up and forced to work in diamond mines in the Marange mining region in Zimbabwe, contrary to the government's claim that there is no forced labor happening in the mines, BBC reported. U.S. has banned imports of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe this month due to forced labor concerns.

* Lynas Corp. Ltd.'s total rare earth oxides production fell to 3,926 tonnes in the first fiscal quarter, from 4,651 tonnes recorded in the previous quarter. The company said that continuing U.S.-China trade tensions, while leading to greater interest in rare earths, continue to have a negative short-term effect on market confidence, particularly in China.

* The Chilean Environmental Impact Assessment Authority has approved Lithium Chile Inc.'s Turi exploration drilling program.

* Syrah Resources Ltd. plans to reduce production and staff at its Balama operation in Mozambique after completing the structural review it started in September in light of a downturn in flake graphite spot prices. The company said that it will produce 120,000 to 150,000 tonnes in 2020, compared to revised guidance of 205,000 to 245,000 tonnes for 2019

* Hastings Technology Metals Ltd. has awarded the engineering, procurement and management contract for the Yangibana rare earths processing plant and associated infrastructure in Western Australia to DRA PACIFIC (PTY) LIMITED. Works under the contract have an estimated value of A$350 million.

* Toro Energy Ltd. estimated a maiden inferred mineral resource of 53.6 million tonnes at 0.0382% vanadium pentoxide for 68.3 million pounds of vanadium pentoxide at the Wiluna uranium project.


* Nigeria-based development finance firm African Finance Corp. plans to double its exposure to mining assets to 20% of its long-term portfolio in the next three to five years, Bloomberg News reported. The company will invest in countries that other companies deem unattractive, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Congo.

* Insolvencies in Australia are likely to rise on the back of a two-year high in the number of companies close to exhausting their cash reserves, according to accounting firm BDO, as junior mining ranks have shrunk to the lowest level in four years, Australian Financial Review reported.

* Zimbabwe's Chamber of Mines CEO Isaac Kwesu said that the country needs to address potential impediments to create an enabling environment for the mining sector in response to the government's announced target to reach a US$12 billion mining industry in the next three years, The Sunday Mail reported. Kwesu said that the three-year period is not too short to reach the targets, but it can be when the country fails to address the fundamentals.

* The Philippines' Department of Finance welcomed the proposal of Albay Representative Joey Salceda to impose a new tax scheme for the mining sector, composed of a 3% royalty tax on large-scale mining operations within a mineral reservation, and a margin-based royalty tax ranging from 1% to 5% on large-scale mining operations outside mining reservation areas, The Philippine Star reported. Salceda is also proposing for the imposition of an additional 2% tax on the gross revenues of mining companies to create the National Resource Trust Tax.

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