U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley is restarting its base metals trading business after pulling out four years ago, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. It will focus on market-making and services for clients such as hedging, and it hired about four people in London, including from rivals, and plans to secure additional staff, the sources said.
Independence Group extends Panoramic Resources takeover offer period
Australian miner and explorer Independence Group NL extended the offer period for its bid to acquire Panoramic Resources Ltd. to Jan. 17, 2020, to allow the company to assess its position on breaches of several defeating conditions of the bid. The prospective buyer said it reserves its rights in relation to the breaches, including whether to use them as a basis to scrap its offer.
Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest sees 9-month adjusted EBITDA plunge 39% YOY
Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest BV's adjusted EBITDA for the first nine months of 2019 plummeted 39% year over year to US$1.23 billion from US$2.02 billion as lower average steel prices weighed on its metallurgical segment. Total revenue from the company's mining and metallurgical segments amounted to US$8.49 billion, down 6% year over year following a 46% surge in the same period of 2018.
* Traka Resources Ltd. agreed to transfer its exclusive rights in the Musgrave copper project in Western Australia to the neighboring West Musgrave nickel project, a joint venture between OZ Minerals Ltd. and Cassini Resources Ltd. The agreement terms include a cash payment of A$250,000 and a 2% net smelter royalty.
* The government of North Macedonia decided to unilaterally terminate the concession agreement for Ilovica 6 with Euromax Resources Ltd. The company said that the decision does not affect the Ilovica 11 concession.
* Raiden Resources Ltd. signed an earn-in and option to purchase agreement for the Iglika copper-gold deposits in southeastern Bulgaria.
* Despite having spent more than US$2 billion on exploration since the founding of the modern Gold Fields Ltd. in 1998 and the discovery of two multimillion-ounce deposits, Johannesburg-based Gold Fields has to date not taken a project from discovery to production, demonstrating how difficult greenfields exploration success can be, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research team.
* The stocks of global gold mining companies are generally trading lower than analysts' mean target prices, implying a median upside potential to investors of 25.9% across the sector, an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis found.
* Barrick Gold Corp. is expecting its Pueblo Viejo power plant in the Dominican Republic to receive its first natural gas in the first quarter of 2020. The company projects that this will result in lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduced costs.
* A unit of Condor Gold PLC agreed to sell the Potrerillos exploration and exploitation concession in Nicaragua to Mako Mining Corp.'s Nicoz Resources SA for US$600,000.
* Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd. officially received an initial 13-year permit to develop the Kochang gold mine in South Korea from the South Gyeonsang Provincial Authority.
* Great Northern Minerals Ltd. received two new exploration permits for its Golden Ant projects, which include the Big Rush, Golden Cup and Camel Creek gold mines, in Northern Queensland, Australia.
* Goldplay Exploration Ltd. inked a letter of intent to acquire Mako Mining Corp.'s subsidiary Marlin Gold Mining Ltd., owner of the Oro Gold de Mexico SA de CV, a Mexican firm that owns the La Trinidad mine facilities, which are currently being decommissioned.
* Alt Resources Ltd. inked a binding terms sheet to acquire tenement E29/991 from Bruce Legendre. The tenement is located adjacent to Alt’s tenement E29/969, and consolidates the company’s holdings in the southern end of the Mount Ida gold project in Western Australia.
* Los Angeles-headquartered Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. agreed to acquire general line and long bar distributor Fry Steel Company, Inc. for an undisclosed amount, with closing expected in early 2020.
* South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe said that the country intends to keep burning coal to produce electricity, while also planning to increase investment in clean coal technologies, Reuters reported.
* There were 14 people killed in an explosion at the Guanglong coal mine in Guizhou province in China, BBC reported. At least 37 fatalities have been reported in five separate mining accidents in China since October.
* Bounty Mining Ltd. has appointed Robert Hutson and Jarrod Villani of KordaMentha as voluntary administrators for the coal miner, effective Dec. 17. The appointment follows a period of depressed coking coal prices and production shortfalls, the company said, and the board has been unable to secure additional funding. This was followed by the company's primary lender appointing receivers and managers from PwC, who are now in control of Bounty's assets, undertakings and operations.
* Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. aims to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its auto and metals recycling operations by 25% and maintain at least 90% carbon-free electricity use by the end of fiscal 2025.
* Tunisian Mining Services is yet to comply with the orders of the Court of Cassation to return Celamin Holdings Ltd.’s interest in the Chaketma phosphate project, as well as pay damages and costs in excess of US$4 million.
* One BHP Group worker was killed and three Rio Tinto employees were injured in a head-on crash near the Marandoo iron ore mine site in Western Australia's Pilbara region, ABC reported.
* Kenmare Resources PLC expects to miss the lower end of its full-year 2019 production guidance range of 900,000 tonnes of ilmenite at the Moma titanium mine in Mozambique due to unplanned production downtime. The explorer subsequently cut its full-year 2019 ilmenite production outlook to between 870,000 and 900,000 tonnes.
* Ioneer Ltd. inked its first binding off-take agreement with Dalian Jinma Boron Technology Group Co.Ltd for the supply of boric acid from the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada. Under the deal, Jinma will purchase 105,000 tonnes per annum of boric acid, representing over 50% of Rhyolite Ridge's expected annual production of more than 170,000 tonnes. The deal is over a period of five years, with initial supply expected in the first quarter of 2023 as the project starts production.
* Hexagon Energy Materials Ltd. started funding the phase-one commercialization of its RapidSX rare earth element separation technology for REE concentrates. The company secured a 49% stake in RapidSX from Innovation Metals Corp.
* Jadar Resources Limited, after revisiting targets, decided to shift the focus of its drilling campaign in Serbia to its Rekovac lithium licenses from the Vranje-South lithium project.
* The United States seeks to strengthen Iran sanctions enforcement now that the country has driven its oil exports down to unprecedented lows, with a plan to increase pressure on global shippers, Chinese state-owned enterprises and exporters of raw materials used for producing metals, Bloomberg News reported, citing two unidentified U.S. officials. The initiative marks the next phase of the Trump administration to squeeze Iran's economy so tight that it has no choice but to negotiate new limits on its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.
* Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry secured ¥45.9 billion in the country's supplementary budget for the current financial year to boost its resource policy, Reuters reported. The ministry plans to use ¥20.9 billion to diversify its sources of rare earths and cobalt, the report said, citing a budget document.
* Orica Ltd. CEO Alberto Calderon said that the company, which offers technology and services, has a bright outlook due to an upswing in the global mining sector, The Australian reported. "Growth in the core engine remains positive. Mining of all major commodities is forecast to increase globally in the coming years," he said. However, Calderon clarified that high domestic prices of gas remain an issue to the company's explosives business.
* Australia-listed explorer Kalia Ltd. had its licenses to operate in the autonomous Bougainville region suspended following the death of a locally born geologist in the northern part of the island, where there is a "known criminal resistance" to mining exploration, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
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