Anglo closes US$1.5B sale of Brazilian niobium, phosphates assets to China Molybdenum
Anglo American Plc completed the sale of its niobium and phosphates businesses in Brazil for a total of US$1.7 billion in cash to China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. The consideration is comprised of a previously agreed US$1.5 billion in cash for the sale of Anglo's assets and an additional US$187 million of working capital and other adjustments.
Based on the report submitted by mining police in Argentina's San Juan province, Judge Pablo Oritja ruled that Barrick Gold Corp.'s Veladero mine would remain suspended as the repairs were insufficient to reopen the mine, Reuters reported. The court extended the temporary suspension until the company completes additional work at the mine. Operations were suspended at Veladero on Sept. 15 following a cyanide leak.
According to a BHP Billiton Group spokesperson, operations at the company's Olympic Dam remain suspended with no timeline yet confirmed for production to be restarted, Bloomberg News reported. Meanwhile, Arrium Ltd. could face costs of as much as A$40 million following South Australia's statewide power outage caused by storms, which forced suspensions across several operations in the state. Arrium's Whyalla steelworks and the mining of iron ore to feed the mill have been halted since the power failure on Sept. 28. The report also noted that OZ Minerals Ltd.'s Prominent Hill gold-copper mine also remains offline.
* Glencore Plc said in an emailed statement that it is reviewing allegations by U.S. authorities about the decade-long involvement of its key business partner, Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, in bribing government officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bloomberg News wrote. Gertler's Fleurette Properties Ltd. holds a 31% interest in the Mutanda copper-cobalt mine in the DRC, while Glencore owns the majority 69% interest in the project.
* Codelco submitted a US$55 million plan to environmental regulators aimed at keeping the Salvador copper mine in Chile operating through 2021, Reuters reported.
* Rescue operations are ongoing to recover three workers trapped inside the Dudder lead-zinc mine in Lasbela, in Pakistan's Balochistan province, with the rescuers managing to reach 600 meters into the mine to create ventilation in it, Dawn reported. A lift carrying five workers — four Chinese engineers and one Pakistani electrician — fell 1 kilometer deep inside the mine on Sept. 24. Two Chinese engineers have managed to escape, but according to Chief Inspector Mines in Balochistan, Iftikhar Ahmed, there was a slim chance that the three remaining men have survived.
* Golden Cross Resources Ltd. sold its wholly owned Coppervale property at Molong in New South Wales, Australia, for A$368,000. The property was acquired by Hellsten SF Pty. Ltd., a company associated with Golden Cross Chairman Ken Hellsten.
* The board of Yunnan Tin Co. Ltd. approved a plan to apply for up to 3.1 billion Chinese yuan in credit lines from commercial banks.
* In its first-ever ratings action for the company, Moody's assigned a corporate family rating of Ba1 and a probability of default rating of Ba1-PD to Polyus Gold International Ltd., the holding company of Russian PJSC Polyus Gold. The outlook on the ratings is negative.
* Xtract Resources Plc's US$17.5 million sale of the Manica gold project in Mozambique to Nexus Capital Ltd. and Mineral Technologies International Ltd. has lapsed. The company is in discussions with Mineral Technologies to amend the existing joint venture to mine the alluvial gold deposit.
* Bearing Resources Ltd. completed the sale of mineral assets in Canada and Mexico to Commander Resources Ltd. Commander Resources Ltd., in exchange for 12,000,000 common shares and C$15,000 in cash. The deal excludes Bearing's four fully owned properties in the Yukon.
* Silver Mines Ltd. will make a two-part, A$5 million payment to purchase the remaining 15% interest in the Bowdens silver project in New South Wales, Australia, from Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd.
* Vale SA is planning to form a strategic partnership in fertilizers, as the company was unsuccessful in finding a partner or selling the segment in recent years, Reuters wrote. In a recent board meeting, no decision was made on the sale of Vale's fertilizer unit.
* South32 Ltd., which is determined to shed its "CrapCo" image, no longer sees itself as a spinoff of BHP Billiton's lower-quality assets, but as a unique mining house that is actually outperforming its former parent. South32, however, conceded that it needs to improve its safety record following four fatalities in the last financial year. "The one area I feel that we didn’t perform well at all as an organization was on safety," said Ricus Grimbeek, president and COO, Australia.
* Leaked documents obtained by Fairfax Media widened the alleged bribery scandal concerning Australian miner Sundance Resources Ltd. New evidence suggested that the company bribed the Republic of Congo's Mines and Geology Minister as well as the country's President, the Australian Financial Review reported.
* In an effort to streamline its corporate governance, POSCO Engineering & Construction Co. is seeking to lay off about 600 workers under a voluntary retirement scheme, which would account for more than half of its 1,000-man workforce, The Korea Times reported. The company will start accepting resignations from Oct. 4, according to company insiders.
* Fushun Special Steel, 35.22% owned by state-run and unlisted steelmaker Dongbei Special Steel Group Co. Ltd., said a court is reviewing an application from creditors for a bankruptcy restructuring of its parent as part of its business revival plan, Reuters reported.
* Thousands of protesters in Vietnam gathered at a steel plant run by a Formosa Plastics Group unit, demanding the company's exit from the country, more compensation and a better environmental cleanup, Reuters reported. In April, toxins released from the company's US$10.6 billion steel plant caused massive fish deaths along a 200-kilometer stretch of coastline.
* S&P Global Ratings downgraded the corporate credit rating on Compass Minerals International Inc. to BB from BB+, with a stable outlook. The firm also assigned BB+ issue-level rating and 2 recovery rating to the company's new US$450 million term loan due 2021.
* Fitch Ratings has maintained the rating watch evolving on Tata Steel Ltd.'s long-term issuer default rating, which is at BB, and the long-term issuer default rating of Tata Steel UK Holdings Ltd., which is at B.
* Exxaro Resources Ltd. completed the divestment of its iron ore assets in the Republic of the Congo, transferring the ownership of the Mayoko iron ore project to SAPRO SA.
* The board of United Co. RUSAL Plc approved the payment of an interim dividend for the first half of about 1.65 U.S. cents per common share, Kommersant reported. The payment of dividends is subject to approval by creditor banks.
* Cokal Ltd. plans to take its Bumi Barito Mineral, or BBM, coal project in Indonesia through to a pre-feasibility study after it received positive results from a recent scoping study.
* Despite sanctions due to North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, the country's coal exports to China reached a record high of 2.5 million tonnes in August. The coal shipments, the biggest since 1998 when the compilation of related data began, rose as North Korea slashed prices to boost its exports to its strongest ally.
* Kompania Weglowa SA and Mine Restructuring Co. signed an agreement under which the Jas-Mos coal mine owned by JSW will be transferred to the latter, Puls Biznesu reported.
* Separately, Puls Biznesu reported that the tender for the sale of JSW's Sosnica-Makoszowy coal mine in Poland received only one offer, according to the Mine Restructuring Co. The investor's name will be revealed on Oct. 3 and will be invited for negotiations, if the investor meets the formal requirements.
* Iluka Resources Ltd.'s takeover target Sierra Rutile Ltd. posted a 15% year-over-year increase in rutile production to 61,408 tonnes during the first half of 2016, driven by improvements to plant utilization and availability. The miner now expects to produce between 135,000 tonnes and 145,000 tonnes of rutile this year, up from previous expectations of 120,000 to 135,000 tonnes.
* ASX-listed Pilbara Minerals Ltd. has served a notice of dispute to fellow listed firm Mineral Resources Ltd. over the validity of its off-take notice related to the sale of lithium from the Pilgangoora project in Western Australia to General Lithium.
* Wolf Minerals Ltd., which is in talks with lenders for a standstill and restructuring of its £70 million term loan facility and additional funding for working capital, expects to reach a final binding agreement before Oct. 17. The company announced in July that it was in breach of a loan covenant under the senior debt facilities arranged to ramp-up the Drakelands tungsten open-pit mine in the U.K. to commercial production.
* Gemfields Plc 's emerald auction sold 3.3 million carats out of the 4.1 million carats offered, for total sales of US$10.7 million, averaging US$3.28 per carat. Meanwhile, the amethyst auction posted revenues of US$400,000, selling 11.6 million carats out of the 13.6 million offered for an average of 3.73 cents per carat.
* The board of Bacanora Minerals Ltd. rejected an offer from Rare Earth Minerals Plc to acquire the former for between 135 and 141 Rare Earth shares for each Bacanora share held. Rare Earth holds a 19.8% stake in Bacanora.
* Chinese newspaper reports have flagged a slate of debt defaults among state-owned mining companies this year — comprised of two steel producers, a coal miner and a nonferrous metals company — as an indicator that the government is becoming less willing to offer bailouts and may allow debt-laden mining companies to restructure their financial liabilities instead.
* Regina Lopez, the Philippines' Environment and Natural Resources secretary, said that some of the 20 mines facing suspension orders on the back of environmental violations may not have to halt operations if they manage to fix the issues, Reuters reported. Lopez was cited as saying that the mines will be given time to address the problems.
S&P Global Ratings and SNL Metals and Mining, an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence, are both owned by S&P Global Inc.
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