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South African union may expand strike to Sibanye platinum operations


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South African union may expand strike to Sibanye platinum operations


Union may escalate gold strike to Sibanye's platinum operations

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union plans to seek approval to expand its gold strike in South Africa to Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s platinum group metals mines, union President Joseph Mathunjwa said. The move to escalate the strike comes as Sibanye and the union continue to fight over the legality of the union's walk-off in the gold sector.

Finland eyes raising levies, tax premiums on miners

The government of Finland is considering raising levies and tax premiums paid by miners as it seeks to tighten mining regulations, The Helsinki Times reported, citing Minister for Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. According to the report, the country has a friendly regulatory environment, making it one of the world's top mining destinations, particularly for gold.

Nonprofits question Pan American Silver's US$1.07B takeover of Tahoe

Three nonprofit organizations filed complaints with the British Columbia Securities Commission against Pan American Silver Corp. and Tahoe Resources Inc. for allegedly concealing risks related to the latter's flagship Escobal silver mine in Guatemala, Financial Post reported. According to the report, the complainants — Breaking the Silence Network, Earthworks, and MiningWatch Canada — said the miners are overly optimistic in their timeline for reopening the troubled mine and failed to disclose all conflicts with the community surrounding the operation. The move comes days before Pan American shareholders vote Jan. 8 on its proposed US$1.07 billion takeover of Tahoe.


* Anglo American PLC outlined plans to divide the management of its global base metals business from its strategy and business development activities, effective March 1. Ruben Fernandes, CEO of Anglo American in Brazil, will succeed Duncan Wanblad as CEO of base metals, and Wilfred Bruijn will take over as CEO of the Brazil operations.

* Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. entered into an agreement with Yantai Guofeng Investment Holdings Co. Ltd. to acquire a 65% equity interest in the latter's wholly owned Yantai Guoxing Copper Co. Ltd. for 325 million Chinese yuan. After the transaction, Yantai Guofeng will hold a 35% stake in Guoxing Copper.

* African Metals Corp. completed the sale of all of its assets, but the deal will not result in a change of business or reverse takeover. The company will use sale proceeds to reinstate its corporate standing, bring its books and records back to good order, hold an annual general shareholders meeting and apply to have a cease-trade order revoked.

* Elementos Ltd. achieved interim completion for its acquisition of Eurotin Inc. unit Minas de Eurotin Estano de Espana SLU, which holds a 96% interest in the Oropesa tin project in Spain. The deal's final completion requires approval from the Spanish Regional Mining Authority.

* NorZinc Ltd. plans to reduce its landholdings and focus on developing its three base metal deposits in Newfoundland amid an expected 80% rise in license costs. NorZinc owns the high-grade Lemarchant, Boomerang-Domino and Long Lake zinc-lead-copper-gold-silver deposits as well as the historical Tulks East claim block.

* Amerigo Resources Ltd.'s C$1.5 million concentrate regrind mill at its Minera Valle Central copper project in Chile will not be installed within the completion timeline of the site's phase-two expansion. The mill is now expected to be installed by the second quarter.

* Central Asia Metals PLC increased an existing US$120 million facility from off-take partner Traxys SA, of which the company has repaid US$36 million, to US$151 million to refinance its debt and consolidate its borrowings under one facility.


* Gold prices spiked to above US$1,300 per ounce, the highest since June 2018, as investors flock to the precious metal as a safe haven amid a bleak economy, Bloomberg News reported.

* Detour Gold Corp. appointed Paulson & Co. Inc. nominee Bill Williams as interim CEO to replace Michael Kenyon. Williams is among the five Paulson-backed Detour board members elected at a special Dec. 13, 2018, shareholders meeting requisitioned amid pressure from the activist investor to overhaul the board.

* Radius Gold Inc. will focus on increasing its land position at its Amalia gold-silver project in Mexico after poor results from an initial drill program at its Coyote gold project in Nevada.

* The construction of Victoria Gold Corp.'s Eagle gold project, part of its Dublin Gulch property in Canada's Yukon Territory, is more than 60% complete, President and CEO John McConnell told The Northern Miner. After facing environmental challenges, the company is now focused on finishing steel erection and electrical-mechanical work.

* Honey Badger Exploration Inc. secured a three-year exploration permit for its Thunder Bay silver-cobalt project in Ontario. The permit allows the company to explore a newly discovered zone of cobalt mineralization and expand its program to areas beyond the Beaver silver mine.

* Metals Exploration PLC confirmed that major shareholders MTL (Luxembourg) SARL Ltd. and Runruno Holdings Ltd. approved an extension until Jan. 31 for Metals Exploration to meet the conditions of a US$6.6 million short-term loan. The company went into default after failing to meet the Dec. 31, 2018, deadline of completing a previously announced mezzanine debt facility.


* Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono urged South Korea to take immediate steps to avoid measures that are unfair to Japanese companies, Reuters reported. The move comes after an October 2018 ruling by a South Korean court, which ordered Japanese steel producer Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay four South Koreans 100 million won each to compensate for forced labor during World War II.

* Minority shareholders of Flinders Mines Ltd. urged regulators to stop the company's proposed delisting from the ASX, which they claim is a ploy by majority owner The Todd Corp. Ltd. to kick them out without having to pay premiums associated with a takeover, The West Australian reported.

* Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane is confident that the Labor party will quash a proposed bill that would ban coal mining in Queensland's Galilee Basin, the site of Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s controversial Carmichael coal mine, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Operations were suspended after a roof collapse at the underground Donkin coal mine in Nova Scotia, owned and operated by Kameron Collieries ULC, a Cline Group LLC subsidiary.

* Shares of India's National Mineral Development Corp. Ltd. slid 3% on the Bombay Stock Exchange after announcing price cuts for iron ore fines by 300 Indian rupees per tonne and lumps by 350 rupees per tonne, representing nine-month lows, The Economic Times of India reported.

* Renewable energy sources accounted for over 40% of Germany's electricity production, supplanting coal as the country's primary source. Germany is aiming to exit nuclear power by 2022 and is planning a long-term exit from coal, Reuters reported, citing the Fraunhofer organization of applied science.

* At least 120 million Philippine pesos worth of mining equipment owned by Pilipinas Eco-Friendly Mining Corp. was burned down by communist rebel group New People's Army, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. The NPA claimed that the operations of the company, which supplies silica to cement factories in the province of Cebu, have destroyed about 2,000 hectares of farm lots and rice fields in Negros Oriental.

* A sustainable underground mining project is set to kick off at LKAB's Kiruna iron ore operations in Sweden, Mining Magazine wrote. The project will test mine layout and technology, autonomous carbon dioxide-free machines and management systems in the site's Konsuln orebody.

* Mosaic Co. received the final permit for its Ona phosphate project in Hardee County, Fla., from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, allowing it to mine 160.2 million tons of phosphate rock. The western extent of the project will extend the life of Mosaic's Four Corners mine by 14 years, while the eastern extent will allow future mining at the South Pasture mine once production resumes at that facility.

* Eonmetall Group Berhad subsidiary Shaanxi Longxing Steel Co. Ltd. was incorporated as a limited liability company in China in October 2018 as part of its strategy to directly invest and participate in downstream steel production activities in the country. The subsidiary, which will start operations with initial capital of US$20 million, deals in production, sales, import and export of steel products, machinery and equipment.

* The Indian government will hold off on auctions for commercial coal mining until this year's elections amid threats from Coal India Ltd. unions to launch a strike, The Hindu Business Line reported.

* Gensource Potash Corp. increased the measured and indicated resources at its Vanguard potash project in Saskatchewan by 65% and 68%, respectively. The company pegged the total measured resource at 154.2 million tonnes of potash and the total indicated resource at 106.8 million tonnes.

* China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology unveiled new guidelines laying out national efforts to prohibit illegal mining and recycling of rare earth materials and ensure that unauthorized facilities are eliminated, Reuters reported. China is responsible for more than 90% of the global supply of rare earth elements.


* Northern Uranium Corp. agreed to cede the company's control to resource-focused investment company Palisade Global Investments Ltd., which intends to use Northern Uranium as a vehicle to continue exploration on the Northwest Manitoba uranium project and other assets.

* PepinNini Lithium Ltd. restated the resource estimate for its Pular lithium project after terminating the exploration purchase option over the lithium-prospective Patilla Mina in Argentina's Salar de Pular. Pular now hosts a measured resource of 91,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent and an inferred resource of 82,000 tonnes LCE.


* Mining safety services provider Total Safety U.S. Inc. acquired Alberta-based Pivotal Safety to expand its Canadian business.

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