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Anglo American to acquire Sirius; Glencore may cut jobs at Rustenberg


Anglo American to acquire Sirius in £405M deal

Mining giant Anglo American PLC agreed to acquire London-listed Sirius Minerals PLC for 5.5 British pence per share in cash, valuing the target at about £404.9 million. The deal, which was struck before the Feb. 5 deadline, is expected to close by March 31. Sirius' board intends to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the transaction during a court meeting and a general meeting.

Glencore flags layoffs at unprofitable South African ferrochrome smelter

Mining giant Glencore PLC may slash jobs at its Rustenburg ferrochrome joint venture with Merafe Resources Ltd. in South Africa due to financial losses, Business Day and Mining Weekly reported, citing a Glencore notice to employees at the site. The decision was reportedly prompted by South Africa's electricity issues and tariff increases as well as a difficult trading environment that has led to significant volumes of ferrochrome production being transferred to lower-cost competitors abroad.

Takeovers Panel allows Energy Resources of Australia's A$476M offering

The review panel of the Australian Takeovers Panel canceled the order prohibiting Rio Tinto from compulsorily acquiring shares in Energy Resources of Australia Ltd., noting that the orders "would be unfairly prejudicial to Rio Tinto." The panel added that Energy Resources needs to disclose to its shareholders Rio Tinto's intentions regarding compulsory acquisition if the latter becomes a 90% shareholder, following the former's A$476 million entitlement offer and underwriting agreement.


* Vancouver, British Columbia-based Trevali Mining Corp. achieved record zinc production of 417.4 million pounds for 2019, beating annual guidance of 361 million pounds to 401 million pounds. Zinc output in the fourth quarter of 2019 totaled 104.8 million pounds, according to preliminary figures.

* The Chilean parliament's Mining Commission will launch an investigation against insurance firm Chilena Consolidada, which state copper miner Codelco accused of inflating insurance policies for workers at the Radomiro Tomic and Chuquicamata copper mines, reported.

* London-listed Anglo Pacific Group PLC expects record full-year 2019 royalty portfolio contribution of between £57 million and £59 million, increasing 20% from £49.3 million in 2018.

* China updated the standards for importing high-grade copper scrap and aluminum scrap metal into the country, as it looks to end the import of solid waste by the end of 2020, Reuters reported. Under the new standards, to be effective July 1, the scrap imports meeting the new standard will be categorized as a resource instead of waste.

* African Energy Resources Ltd. signed a power sales agreement with the Zambian subsidiaries of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. for the purchase of 100 megawatts of power delivered to the latter's copper operations in the country for a period of 15 years.

* Joint venture partners Rio Tinto Exploration Pty. Ltd. and Alloy Resources Ltd. plan to launch a drill program at the E45/4807 tenement in Western Australia's Paterson province. The tenement is located 50 kilometers north of Rio Tinto's Winu copper-gold discovery.

* Chengtun Mining Group Co. Ltd. received regulatory approval from China for its proposed acquisition of the issued share capital of Nzuri Copper Ltd.

* Kunming Rongke New Materials was the only bidder for indium stocks formerly held by the defunct Fanya Metal Exchange, Reuters reported. The 3,609.46 tonnes of indium sold to Kunming Rongke for 2.85 billion Chinese yuan are equivalent to several years' worth of global supply for the metal, which is used in flat-panel displays, according to Reuters.

* Independence Group NL confirmed that its takeover bid for Panoramic Resources Ltd. has lapsed. Panoramic shareholders who accepted the offer will have their acceptances cancelled and will be free to deal with their shares as they see fit. Meanwhile, the Australia-listed miner changed its name to IGO Ltd.


* Australia's South32 Ltd. completed the US$30 million voluntary remediation project at the historical Trench mine, which operated more than 50 years ago on the present-day Hermosa silver property in Arizona. Launched in 2017, the project involved converting the tailings storage facility into a dry stack system, minimizing the risk of runoff.

* The price of palladium reached US$2,231 per ounce on Jan. 15, according to London Bullion Market Association data, then increased to over US$2,500 per ounce for the first time on Jan. 17, according to Reuters. "Palladium continues to make new highs as market fundamentals remain tight and we think there is little scope for material easing anytime soon," wrote UBS strategist Joni Teves.

* Meanwhile, platinum is expected to catch up with the surge of palladium as car manufacturers are forced to switch to the metal due to shortage and the high cost of palladium, Forbes reported.

* Toronto-listed TMAC Resources Inc. launched a strategic review to explore options for its Hope Bay gold mine in Nunavut. TMAC has engaged CIBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets as financial advisers to seek alternatives for the project, including a possible sale or joint venture.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. forward sold an additional 37,200 ounces of gold at an average price of US$1,562 per ounce in scheduled monthly deliveries of 1,200 ounces between July and December.


* Buoyed by strong iron ore prices in 2019, analysts are forecasting that shareholders for Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. are poised to receive huge payouts, with an analyst from Macquarie believing that Rio Tinto may pay out US$5.62 per share, topping its record dividend of US$5.50 per share in 2018, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Hallador Energy Co. temporarily idled production at its Carlisle coal mine in Sullivan County, Ind., citing weak market conditions that led to an oversupply of domestic coal. The move resulted in the dismissal of 90 full-time employees. The company will be shifting production to its lower-cost operation in Oaktown, Ind., and slashed its 2020 sales guidance to 7 million tons.

* Russia's PJSC Novolipetsk Steel reported a 13% yearly drop in steel output to 3.8 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2019. Production grew 1% from the previous quarter due to the completion of major repairs at its flagship NLMK Lipetsk steelmaking operation. Full-year 2019 output declined 10% year on year to 15.7 Mt.

* K+S AG sold its waste management group Entsorgung (Schweiz) AG to Switzerland-based Thommen-Furler AG to quickly generate value and reduce indebtedness. The firm did not disclose the exact amount of the transaction, but said that it is in the lower single-digit million euro range.

* Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu Oyj expects adjusted EBITDA of about €70 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, rising from the earlier forecast of about €45 million. The anticipated increase is due to the positive impact of raw materials, including raw material efficiency and hedging. Shares in the company climbed were up nearly 18% in late afternoon trades in Helsinki after the news.

* U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country would no longer support thermal coal mining or coal power plants abroad as it made no sense for London to cut its emissions while supporting coal-fired projects overseas, Reuters reported. "Not another penny of U.K. taxpayers' money will be directly invested in digging up coal or burning it for electricity," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

* India's steel industry is seeking a decrease in basic customs duty on key raw materials such as coking coal, pet coke, limestone and dolomite in the upcoming budget, Press Trust of India reported.

* The Illinois Department of Natural Resources approved one of three permits that would allow Williamson Energy, LLC to discharge polluted water from its Pond Creek coal mine into the Big Muddy River, The Associated Press reported, citing the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan. The company said it needs to pump seep water from the mine to protect the miners, the report said, citing public documents.

* Agrimin Ltd.'s drainable mineral resource for its MacKay project in Western Australia swelled 470% to 123.4 million tonnes of sulfate of potash. The drainable porosity, or specific yield, resource estimate includes 23.5 Mt in the measured and indicated category, and 99.9 Mt in the inferred category. The in-situ mineral resource, based on total porosity, now stands at 1.06 billion tonnes of SOP.


* Shares in ASX-listed Galan Lithium Ltd. jumped nearly 18% by Jan. 20 trading close after China's Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. became a shareholder of the company. Ganfeng joined Galan's register through its GFL International Co. Ltd. unit, a major shareholder of Havelock Mining Investment Ltd.

* Orocobre Ltd. said Toyota Tsusho Corp. secured two contracts to sell 7,200 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate and 2,880 tonnes of micronized battery-grade lithium carbonate produced from the consortium's Salar de Olaroz lithium project in Argentina, beginning in the March quarter.

* Liontown Resources Ltd. said it began a process to seek a joint venture partner or to divest its Toolebuc vanadium project in Queensland, Australia, as it decided to focus on its Kathleen Valley lithium project in Western Australia following a strategic review of its operations and the ongoing drilling success at its lithium properties.


* Australia opened the new Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, which will support the development of the country's critical minerals sector. The office will work with the government and private sector, as well as science and research institutions.

* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ordered a lower court to dismiss a case in which a group of young Americans sought to make federal agencies address and limit the impacts of climate change.

* The London Metal Exchange three-month nickel price moved further above US$14,000/t on the Dec. 13, 2019, announcement of a "phase one" trade deal between the U.S. and China and closed 2019 up 31% higher year over year at US$14,025/t, S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research team reported. The price has remained between US$13,755/t and US$14,190/t during January so far, seemingly yet to be negatively impacted by the surge in LME nickel stocks during December 2019.

* Metals and mining companies saw a median gain of 10.9% over the last year, with precious metals companies booking a median gain of 52.5% overall and occupying 12 ranks among the top 15 performers, based on an analysis of companies with market capitalization exceeding US$500 million at the end of 2019.

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