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Anglo to soon confirm Sirius bid; Resolute to sell Ravenswood for up to A$300M


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Anglo to soon confirm Sirius bid; Resolute to sell Ravenswood for up to A$300M


Anglo American to confirm bid to buy Sirius prior to February deadline

Anglo American PLC is expected to confirm a deal to acquire fertilizer company Sirius Minerals PLC for more than US$500 million excluding debt, ahead of the deadline for finalizing the offer, Reuters reported, citing three unnamed sources. The diversified mining major has until Feb. 5 to make a firm bid for Sirius. The two parties have engaged in talks over the last nine months, with Anglo American unlikely to improve its offer, the sources added.

Resolute to sell Ravenswood gold mine to EMR consortium for up to A$300M

Resolute Mining Ltd. signed definitive agreements for the sale of the Ravenswood gold mine in Queensland, Australia, to a consortium composed of EMR Capital Pty. Ltd. and Golden Energy and Resources Ltd. for up to A$300 million. The company plans to use the sale proceeds to reduce debt and strengthen the company's balance sheet. Completion of the sale is targeted before March 31.

Lithium producers' shares up on expected electric car sales rebound in China

Share prices for lithium producers Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., Tianqi Lithium Corp., and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA rose on their respective exchanges on investors' expectation of a rebound in sales for electric cars in China, the Financial Times reported. Miao Wei, China's minister for industry and information technology, recently said that subsidies for electric vehicle purchases will not be further reduced this summer, resulting in the positive forecast from investors. JPMorgan analysts cited by the Financial Times are forecasting that electric vehicle sales in China will reach 2.3 million by 2023, from 1.2 million in 2019.


* Vale SA is in discussions on increasing its 55% stake in Aliança Energia SA, an energy generation and trading joint venture with Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais, Reuters reported, citing the Valor Econômico newspaper. In a filing, Vale said that there is no decision related to raising its interest in Aliança Energia.

* Separately, Vale's shares recovered all of their value that was lost as a result of the tailings dam burst at its Feijao iron ore mine in Brazil, which killed over 250 people, Bloomberg News reported. The company's shares traded up to 56.35 Brazilian reais on Jan. 14, compared to the closing price of 56.15 reais on Jan. 24, the day before the incident.

* Erris Resources PLC completed its due diligence and decided to start exploration work to acquire 80% of Greenore Gold PLC's gold- and base metals-prospective Loch Tay project in central Scotland. The company can earn the stake by defining an inferred resource of at least 250,000 gold ounces within four years.


* Africa-focused gold producer Endeavour Mining Corp. dropped its planned takeover of Toronto- and London-listed Centamin PLC, the companies said separately. Centamin said it did not pursue a further extension to the Jan. 14 deadline for Endeavour to make a firm offer after determining that the potential bid "materially undervalued" Centamin. Endeavour said the information it received from Centamin during the due diligence process was not enough for it to be confident to make an offer. Centamin earlier expressed disappointment with Endeavour's refusal to engage during the merger talks.

* Chile's Codelco filed a lawsuit over an alleged insurance contracts scam drawn up by unions for workers at the Chuquicamata and Radomiro Tomic mines, Reuters reported. Inflated premiums for life and personal accident insurance has cost US$22 million between 2005 and 2018. Half of the costs for the scam were borne by the company, with the other half by its workers.

* Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. opened a new office in Shanghai, China, to support the company's relationships with its existing and new customers, partners and suppliers in the country. The new office will include activities of the company's wholly owned Chinese sales entity, FMG Trading Shanghai Co. Ltd., which was established in mid-2019.

* Jinduicheng Molybdenum Co. Ltd.'s net profit attributable to shareholders for full year 2019 rose 47.6% to 562.9 million Chinese yuan, from 381.4 million yuan a year ago, on the back of improved molybdenum production, sales volume and increased product prices over the period. The company's total operating revenue in 2019 increased by 4.3% to 9.15 billion yuan from 8.78 billion yuan.

* Indiana Resources Ltd. served a notice to Tanzanian President John Magufuli, the Tanzanian solicitor general and the Tanzanian ministry of energy and minerals, claiming that Tanzania breached international agreements by canceling the company's retention license over the Ntaka Hill nickel project and transferring the rights to the government. The company may initiate arbitration if a resolution with the government cannot be reached within six months.

* AVZ Minerals Ltd.'s unit AVZ Power SAU signed a memorandum of understanding with Congo's Ministry of Hydraulic Resources and Energy to investigate refurbishment of the Mpiana-Mwanga hydro-electric power station, which can potentially provide 54 MW of electricity to the company's Manono lithium-tin project and the nearby Manono town site.

* A preliminary economic assessment for Ascendant Resources Inc.'s Lagoa Salgada zinc project in Portugal defined a posttax net present value of US$106 million and a 31% internal rate of return, at an 8% discount.

* Scientists from Bigelow Lab for Ocean Sciences issued a warning that mining the sea floor for metals such as zinc and cobalt could result in irreversible damage to marine ecosystems, Daily Mail Online reported. The demand for battery-powered devices such as electric vehicles has created a drive for seabed mining, but promising sites are also often areas of globally important microbial processes and unusual animal communities.


* Johannesburg-based AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., allocated US$201.3 million for exploration last year, up 28% from US$157.3 million budgeted in 2018, as an increase in late-stage allocations for Colombia was offset by a decline in planned minesite expenditures, S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research team reported.

* Hochschild Mining PLC's full-year 2019 attributable gold equivalent production declined to 477,400 ounces from 503,640 ounces, but the company achieved record production at its Inmaculada mine in Peru at 260,126 gold equivalent ounces and at its San Jose mine in Argentina at 15.4 million silver equivalent ounces. Hochschild expects production in 2020 of 422,000 gold equivalent ounces at all-in sustaining costs of US$1,040 to $1,080 per gold equivalent ounce.

* Eldorado Gold Corp. produced 395,331 ounces of gold in 2019, according to preliminary figures, up from 349,147 ounces in 2018. Output in the fourth quarter jumped to 118,955 ounces, from 75,887 ounces a year ago.

* Novo Resources Corp. will hold an about 8.17% stake in Kalamazoo Resources Ltd. after completion of a subscription of 10 million units in the company at 40 Australian cents each. Eric Sprott, a director of Novo, also subscribed for an identical amount.

* Middle Island Resources Ltd. kicked off drilling as part of a 17,000-meter, major exploration and resource definition drilling campaign at its Sandstone gold project in Western Australia, which will target about 17 identified prospects and deposits within the existing Sandstone tenure.

* Core Gold Inc. shareholders tendered 54.2% of the company's shares to Titan Minerals Ltd., meeting the minimum tender condition of the improved takeover offer. All conditions of the offer, which expired Jan. 14, are now met and Titan will own a 56.7% interest in Core Gold following take up of the tendered shares.

* Independent advisory firms ISS and Glass Lewis recommended shareholders of Continental Gold Inc. vote in favor of a takeover bid from China's Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd.

* Canada's Torex Gold Resources Inc. expects to produce between 420,000 and 480,000 ounces of gold in 2020 at all-in sustaining cost of US$900 per ounce to US$960/oz.

* Paramount Gold Nevada Corp. secured a water permit for its Grassy Mountain gold project in Oregon.

* Roxgold Inc. achieved record gold production of 41,162 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2019 and record full-year 2019 gold output of 142,204 ounces. The company expects to produce 120,000 to 130,000 ounces of gold per annum from its Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso for the next three years.


* Compañía Minera Autlán SAB de CV's operational halt at its ferroalloys plant in Gomez Palacio, Mexico, has extended into January as difficult domestic steel market conditions continue, Reuters reported, citing the company. Autlan will continue serving its customers through its Teziutlan and Tamos plants.

* The Indian Supreme Court allowed Vedanta Ltd.'s foreign units to participate in the tenders for the surplus alumina of state-run National Aluminium Co. Ltd., or Nalco, Bloomberg News reported. The top court's decision affirmed an earlier ruling by the High Court of Odisha state, which Nalco challenged as its tenders were meant for exports. Nalco exports its surplus mostly to customers in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China, the news agency said.

* Kaiser Aluminum Corp. declared a quarterly cash dividend of 67 U.S. cents per share, representing a 12% increase from the previous quarter's dividend. The dividend will be payable on Feb. 14.

* Elmore Ltd. executed an agreement with Trendsheer Holdings to process iron ore and gold from the Frances Creek project in Australia's Northern Territory. Elmore said it is preparing to move its mobile crushing and screening plant to the site in February.

* Australia-based Stanmore Coal Ltd.'s run-of-mine coal production in the December 2019 quarter rose 8% year over year to 864,000 tonnes while salable coal output dipped 5% to 609,000 tonnes. The company narrowed its half-year underlying EBITDA guidance to A$50 million to A$52 million, from up to A$56 million, due to a recent decline in coking coal prices and delayed sales and increased full-year cost guidance to A$107 per tonne, excluding royalty.

* Chinese demand for high-grade iron ore is expected to fall during the winter season as steel mills are allowed to use lower and cheaper grades of the steelmaking raw material to cut costs, Reuters reported. Demand for high-grade ore usually increases during winter when the country forces smokestack industries to curb output and use cleaner raw materials to reduce air pollution.


* SRG Mining Inc. signed four off-take agreements to supply 89,000 tonnes of graphite to be produced from its Lola graphite project in Guinea over three years. The deals represent about 60% of the company's anticipated production during that period.

* Australian Vanadium Ltd. signed a letter of intent with Hebei Yanshan Vanadium and Titanium Industry Technology Research Co. Ltd. to negotiate and sign a binding technical services and purchase agreement for the former's vanadium products.


* BlackRock Inc. Chairman and CEO Larry Fink urged chief executives around the globe to put climate consideration at the forefront of their operations ahead of what he described in his 2020 annual letter as a "fundamental reshaping of finance." The company will quickly distance itself from much of the thermal coal sector, Fink said in his annual letter to CEOs.

* European Commission budget commissioner Johannes Hahn told Reuters that the European Union needs to invest dedicated funds to avert a "climate crash." The European Commission executive arm estimates that cutting carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030 will require €260 billion of investment per year in the energy, transport and construction sectors.

* The sanctions imposed by the U.S. on 17 metal producers and mining companies in Iran will not heavily impact global supply as the Middle Eastern country is not a major producer, Reuters reported, quoting Capital Economics senior commodities analyst Caroline Bain.

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