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Albemarle may buy FMC's lithium spinoff if IPO falls through

Greenhouse gas and gold mines Nearly 1 ton of CO2 emitted per ounce of gold produced in 2019

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - September 2020

Essential Metals & Mining Insights - August 2020

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2020


Albemarle may buy FMC's lithium spinoff if IPO falls through

TOP NEWS

Albemarle may buy FMC's lithium spinoff if IPO falls through

Albemarle Corp. may acquire the lithium division of rival FMC Corp., should the planned IPO of the spinoff Livent Corp. fall through, Eric Norris, who heads Albemarle's global lithium business, told investors at an event in June, Reuters reported, citing a source who attended. Norris, meanwhile, noted that a successful IPO by Livent would be good news, as it will show strong investor interest for the commodity.

BHP's purchase of SolGold stake may spark bidding war with Newcrest

BHP Billiton Group's purchase of a 6.1% stake in SolGold Plc may lead to a bidding war with Newcrest Mining Ltd., which owns a 14.5% stake in the Australian copper-gold miner, The Australian Financial Review reported. Meanwhile, BHP has reportedly secured other exploration areas near SolGold's Ecuadorian tenement. According to the report, SolGold CEO Nick Mather said that he was not aware of BHP's plan to purchase the 6.1% stake from Guyana Goldfields Inc.

Caution sounded on Northern Star's 'quality' Alaskan gold mine acquisition

Hartleys sounded caution over Northern Star Resources Ltd.'s first and therefore higher-risk overseas diversification, Alaska's Pogo underground gold mine. The Australian financial services firm called Pogo yet "another transformational acquisition" and acknowledges that Northern Star can, and has, delivered, but the firm maintained its "neutral" recommendation on the miner as operational success has been wholly constrained to Australia, and Pogo "adds some complexity and additional risk."

DIVERSIFIED

* AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV expects its full-year 2018 EBITDA to exceed US$190 million on the back of improving market conditions across its critical materials portfolio. EBITDA in 2017 rose 25% year over year to US$125.5 million.

BASE METALS

* Analysts cast doubt that Lundin Mining Corp. would top a C$1.86 billion all-cash offer by Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. for Nevsun Resources Ltd. and noted Zijin's obvious thirst for Nevsun's assets and Lundin's reticence to pay more than what it sees as fair value. Zijin's offer of C$6 per share trumped a hostile attempt by Lundin, which had bid C$4.75 per share in cash.

* Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc. will not proceed with its previously announced assets spinoff due to delays in obtaining certain approvals. The proposed transaction excluded the company's interests in the Cascabel copper concession in Ecuador and shares of SolGold.

* South African mining entrepreneur Shirley Hayes' Shirley Hayes IPK (Pty) Ltd. plans to develop the Concordia copper mine in South Africa using a "cluster mining model" to retain a small-mining focus while building up run-of-mine production of more than 1.2 million tonnes per year over a three-year period, Miningmx reported.

* Thakadu Battery Materials kicked off construction of a 250-million South African rand nickel sulfate plant at Lonmin PLC's base metals refinery, part of its Marikana operations in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported. The plant is projected to produce 25,000 tonnes per year of high-purity battery-grade nickel sulfate. Commercial production is targeted by the end of the first half of 2019.

* IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. was awarded a contract from a major global manufacturer of commercial satellite systems to produce first article beryllium-aluminum alloy cast demonstration components related to satellite platforms.

* The Philippines will begin implementing rules to limit the land that miners can develop at any one time, as part of new measures to protect the environment, Reuters reported. The restrictions, backed by President Rodrigo Duterte, target 29 of 48 mines operating in the country, which are nickel producers that supply ore to China, the world's leading market.

PRECIOUS METALS

* OreCorp Ltd. entered into an agreement with Acacia Mining PLC to allow its OreCorp Tanzania Ltd. unit to move to 100% ownership of Nyanzaga Mining Co. Ltd., which owns the Nyanzaga gold project in Tanzania.

* DRDGold Ltd. is hedging 50,000 ounces of gold, spread equally over nine months, at between 565,000 South African rand and 609,000 rand per kilogram cash, which will be settled at the end of each month. In fiscal 2019, the company expects to produce 148,000 to 154,000 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost of about 490,000 rand per kilogram from its Ergo operation in South Africa.

* Silver prices have dropped 17% this year, including a 6.9% drop in August, which troubles investors who believe it may flag weakness in the global economy, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* Golden Minerals Co.'s preliminary economic assessment for its El Quevar silver project in Argentina's Salta province defined an after-tax net present value of US$44.9 million, discounted at 5%, and a 17% internal rate of return.

* Western Australia's gold explorers spent A$162 million in the June quarter, which is the highest since reporting began in 1988, The West Australian reported, citing data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

* A mining engineer of Continental Gold Inc. was fatally wounded after being attacked by armed individuals in the Colombian town of Buriticá, where the company's Buritica gold project is located. Another engineer is currently being treated and is in stable condition.

* GoGold Resources Inc. signed a definitive agreement with Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd. to sell its 2% royalty on the Santa Gertrudis gold project in Mexico for US$12 million.

* Reserves at Alamos Gold Inc.'s Island gold mine in Ontario increased 8% to 959,000 ounces of gold contained in 2.8 million tonnes grading 10.7 g/t, after mining depletion. Measured and indicated resources, on the other hand, rose 99% to 221,000 ounces of gold contained in 841,000 tonnes grading 8.18 g/t.

* Centenera Mining Corp. agreed to acquire up to a 100% interest in six precious metals properties in Argentina from an arm's length party, Tres Cerros Exploraciones SRL, through three separate option agreements.

* Indicated and inferred resources at the Bombora gold deposit, part of Breaker Resources NL's Lake Roe property in Western Australia, jumped 74% to 1.08 million ounces contained in 24.6 million tonnes grading 1.4 g/t of gold.

* Tasca Resources Ltd. struck an option deal with the arm's length vendors to acquire the Handcamp property in Newfoundland and Labrador.

* Alliance Resources Ltd. outlined a maiden resource at the Weednanna gold deposit, part of the Wilcherry Hill project in South Australia. Total indicated and inferred resources stood at 181,000 ounces of gold contained in 1.1 million tonnes grading 5.1 g/t.

* Panthera Resources Plc's Bhukia gold-copper joint venture partner, Metals Mining India PVT Ltd., lodged a writ petition and associated stay application with the High Court of Rajasthan, in response to the Indian state's rejection of a prospecting license application for the project.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Norsk Hydro ASA signed two agreements with the state government of Pará to resume normal operations at the Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil. The company noted that the agreements do not establish a timeline to resume full operations at the refinery. However, the move is seen as an important step toward restarting operations and preserving jobs at Alunorte, as well as the Paragominas bauxite mine and Albras aluminum plant.

* Eurasian Resources Group Sàrl, formerly known as ENRC, won a landmark appeal in a London court to keep documents generated during an internal corruption probe from the hands of authorities, Reuters reported. The judgment stemmed from a dispute between the company and Britain's Serious Fraud Office, which in 2013 opened a fraud investigation into ENRC's dealings in Kazakhstan and Africa, over which documents are confidential and protected by professional privilege.

* Alumina production of Alcoa Corp. is likely to take a hit as a result of the ongoing strike at the company's three alumina refineries and two bauxite mines in Western Australia, Reuters reported, citing the Australian Workers' Union National Secretary Daniel Walton. "Fully staffed, refineries should produce about 26,000 tonnes of alumina per day. Currently more than half the operational staff responsible for this work are on strike," Walton said.

* Egyptian steel maker and regional heavyweight Ezz Steel Co. narrowed its first-half net loss yearly to 389 million Egyptian pounds or 72 piastres per share, from 1.07 billion pounds, or 1.97 pounds per share, as consolidated net sales increased 42% year over year to 25.5 billion pounds.

* Russia resumed coal exports via train through North Korea, Kommersant reported, citing Primorye's acting governor Andrei Tarsenko.

* Two miners were rescued after being trapped 160 meters down GFG Alliance's Tahmoor coal mine in Australia, news.com.au reported. The incident was caused by a lift malfunction.

* Senior officials of South Korea's Trade Commission and India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry held talks in New Delhi to explore ways in which both countries would reduce the use of trade remedy measures, as India previously levied 29 import restriction measures on South Korean goods, including petrochemical and steel products, news agency Yonhap reported.

* Sirius Minerals PLC reached two construction contracts for its North Yorkshire potash project in England. The London-listed producer also flagged an increase in stage-two funding requirement by up to US$600 million.

SPECIALTY

* Rio Tinto's 80%-owned Mandena mineral sands operation in Madagascar was found to have polluted local water sources with radioactive substances known as radionuclides, Mining Technology reported, citing a study by the Andrew Lees Trust.

* PJSC Alrosa put 163 gem-quality rough diamonds with total weight of 2,615 carats up for auction in Hong Kong. Auction results will be summed up on Sept. 20.

* VTB Capital analysts said that world diamond sales in the second quarter rose 8% yearly to 37.9 million carats, as Alrosa's sales in July grew 17%, Vedomosti reported.

* Uracan Resources Ltd. secured an option to earn up to a 100% interest in the Huzyk Creek vanadium property in Manitoba. The property consists of a mineral exploration license covering around 216 square kilometers.

* An indicated and inferred resource estimate for byproduct minerals at Piedmont Lithium Ltd.'s namesake Piedmont lithium project in North Carolina stood at 16.2 million tonnes grading 30.1% quartz for 4.88 million tonnes, 43.9% feldspar for 7.11 million tonnes and 4.5% mica for 720,000 tonnes.

* Primary Energy Metals Inc. acquired 199 unpatented lode claims, prospective for vanadium, in Utah's Polar Mesa area from U.S. subsidiary Primary Nirvana Inc. and Green Energy Minerals Ltd. for US$180,000 and 10 million shares.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Chinese mergers and acquisitions activity is likely to fall during the latter half of this year, market watchers say, although they remain divided as to why. Ivan Wong, financial advisory partner at Deloitte China, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that Chinese companies are unlikely to be as aggressive in M&A since they are more likely to be devoting capital on projects they previously purchased.

* Australia remained one of the most attractive countries for the global mining industry in 2017 with US$1.08 billion in nonferrous exploration budgets, keeping the country in second place since 2002. S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows that, with a year-over-year budget increase of more than 19% compared with a 14% global average increase, Australia's exploration sector rebounded quicker in 2017 than many other jurisdictions.

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