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Hudbay Minerals in talks to acquire Mantos Copper

TOP NEWS

Hudbay Minerals in talks to acquire Mantos Copper

Hudbay Minerals Inc. has entered discussions to acquire Mantos Copper SA, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Mantos can generate as much as US$780 million in a sale, two of the sources told Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Canadian private equity firm Waterton Global Resource Management, one of Hudbay's largest shareholders, called for a moratorium on any mergers and acquisitions.

Kirkland Lake Gold to continue cheap deal hunt, chairman says

Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. Chairman Eric Sprott says he will continue to look for out-of-favor companies and management teams that would therefore come cheap for merger and investment opportunities, even if such moves receive heavy criticism as they have in the past. Sprott said in his keynote address to the Precious Metals Investment Symposium in Perth, Australia, that it was the case in one of his first investments when he got into gold, when it was about US$250 per ounce, by investing in Goldcorp Inc. with its Red Lake mine.

Jiangxi's crackdown on illegal rare earth mining seen boosting prices

The Chinese province of Jiangxi launched a four-month crackdown on illegal rare earth mining in September, a move that market watchers believe will contribute to boosting the price of rare earth and the number of authorized producers. The latest crackdown is expected to impact about 5,000 tonnes of production, or about 10% of neodymium and praseodymium, or NdPr, supply in the industry, which may lead to an increase of between 5% and 25% for NdPr prices by year-end as stockpiles are depleted, CLSA resources analyst Dylan Kelly told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

DIVERSIFIED

* CENTAR Ltd. will sign contracts with Afghanistan to develop two sites with potentially significant copper and gold deposits. The projects could generate a combined economic impact of around US$1 billion and create nearly 13,000 jobs.

BASE METALS

* Aurania Resources Ltd.'s shares jumped by more than 9% after it announced key copper discoveries at its Lost Cities-Cutucu project in Ecuador.

* Margaux Resources Ltd. terminated its agreement to acquire Apex Resources Inc.'s Jersey-Emerald property in British Columbia.

* New Century Resources Ltd. will begin shipping zinc concentrate produced at its Century zinc mine in Queensland, Australia, in late October, after the successful refurbishment of its transshipment vessel.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Nusantara Resources Ltd. Managing Director Mike Spreadborough has dismissed market concerns that it would struggle to fund its now development-ready Awak Mas open-pit gold project in South Sulawesi due to negative perceptions around Indonesia, saying Australians are notorious for misunderstanding their nearest northern neighbor.

* A panel including Anglo American Platinum Ltd. CEO Chris Griffith and Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. CEO Peter Steenkamp said at the Joburg Indaba mining investment conference in Johannesburg that deep-level gold and platinum mining in South Africa is coming to an end due to factors including safety concerns and high operating costs, Miningmx reported.

* The president of South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Joseph Mathunjwa, sharply criticized mining companies, particularly the platinum industry, over plans to cut thousands of jobs. Calling on the government to intervene, he said, "Revoke licenses, give them to the juniors and give jobs to the people. Take away the license and give it to stakeholders that actually seek to employ, give it to other potential miners." Lonmin PLC and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. recently announced employee layoffs that will collectively see about 20,000 jobs axed.

* Centamin PLC's third-quarter total gold production at its Sukari gold mine in Egypt fell 25% yearly to 117,720 ounces, but represented a 27% increase from second-quarter output of 92,803 ounces due to month-on-month improvements in the open pit and underground operations.

* Evolution Mining Ltd. received regulatory approval from the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment to increase the plant processing rate at its Cowal gold mine by 31% to 9.8 million tonnes per annum.

* Alacer Gold Corp., which owns 80% of the Çöpler gold mine in Turkey, expects to meet the lower end of its production guidance this year of between 160,000 and 230,000 ounces of gold. The company produced 26,160 ounces of gold in the third quarter, bringing its total output for the first three quarters to 89,233 ounces of gold.

* Doray Minerals Ltd. signed a binding agreement to divest its Andy Well gold project in Western Australia to a Galane Gold Ltd. unit for A$10 million in cash and shares. Galane also secured the right to earn into the nearby Gnaweeda gold project through staged expenditure commitments.

* Almaden Minerals Ltd. said a feasibility study for the Ixtaca gold project in Puebla, Mexico, is near completion and is anticipated within this year.

* Searchlight Minerals Corp. secured an option from privately held Diamond Projects Inc. to acquire four claims in Saskatchewan, as well as a right of first refusal on additional claims in the area. The new claims are located near the company's Bootleg Lake gold project.

* The Western Australian government ruled out the possible purchase of two major gold specimens from RNC Minerals' Beta Hunt mine, despite calls to keep them for their significance in the state's mining heritage, The West Australian reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* ThyssenKrupp AG's plans to keep a minority stake of around 30% in proposed company spinoff thyssenKrupp Industrials AG, which may lead to an eventual takeover bid, Reuters reported, citing Tekin Nasikkol, head of the works council at thyssenKrupp Steel Europe and a member of thyssenKrupp's supervisory board.

* Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd. opened the Baby Hope iron ore mine, part of the larger Hope Downs joint venture operation in Western Australia, which is expected to sustain existing capacity at the Hope Downs 1 operation. In addition, the companies agreed to invest towards automating the operation's hauling and drilling processes.

* Bauxite miners in Guinea routinely displaced locals from their lands to build mines and other related infrastructure, Human Rights Watch said in a 146-page report. The report focused on China Hongqiao Group Ltd.'s Societe Miniere de Boké, and the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee SA joint venture of Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corp.

* The demand for automotive aluminum is expected to more than double by 2025 due to its growth in Asia, Reuters reported citing Pierre Labat, vice president of global automotive at Novelis Inc. He added that the company is "projecting to grow from 1.5 million tonnes of aluminum demand this year to 3.5 million tonnes a year in 2025."

* Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Poland's deputy minister of energy, wants coal production in the country to increase by up to 6 million tonnes by 2025 to partially replace coal imports, Puls Biznesu reported.

* Thai Mocambique Logistica SA's plan to develop a US$2.8 billion coal transportation project, which includes a railway line and port, is in jeopardy of collapsing as it has not secured commitments from coal miners that would use the line, Bloomberg News reported.

* Yara International ASA consolidated the ownership of Galvani Indústria, Comércio e Serviços SA for US$70 million in cash over three years, a conditional future payment related to project success, and the transfer of certain assets to the Galvani family. Yara Brazil will wholly own the industrial unit in Paulínia with integrated single super phosphate production and a fertilizer bulk blend facility, and the Serra do Salitre project, with an annual production capacity of about 1.2 million tonnes of phosphate ore and 1.5 million tonnes of finished fertilizer.

SPECIALTY

* Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. priced its Hong Kong listing at the bottom of its marketed range, raising US$421 million, or HK$16.50 per share, Reuters reported, citing a source involved in the deal. The report said the company could raise up to US$448 million if an overallotment option is exercised after shares begin trading on Oct. 11. Ganfeng Lithium aimed to generate up to US$676 million from the planned IPO.

* Chile's antitrust court Tribunal de la Libre Competencia approved an out of court agreement between Chilean antitrust regulator Fiscalía Nacional Económica and Tianqi Lithium Corp. over the latter's US$4.07 billion acquisition of a 24% stake in Chilean lithium producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA.

* Botswana Diamonds PLC concluded an agreement with Vast Resources PLC for developing the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe. The initial shareholdings will be 13.33% and 86.67% for Botswana Diamonds and Vast Resources, respectively, and the latter will contribute up to US$1 million as initial funding. Botswana Diamonds said it will cover the development of other diamond properties outside Marange through separate joint venture agreements.

* Cauldron Energy Ltd. agreed to acquire the Pippingarra and the Marble Bar lithium projects in Western Australia, covering 360 square kilometers in total, from Mercury Resources Group Pty Ltd. for 40 million shares, 40 million options, 60 million performance shares, A$500,000 in cash and a 1% net smelter royalty.

* Almonty Industries Inc. is close to securing US$73 million in project financing from KfW IPEX-Bank for the development of its Sangdong tungsten mine in South Korea.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to create 275,000 more jobs per year, including jobs in the mining sector, as part of efforts to cut back unemployment, Reuters reported.

* South Africa's minister of mineral resources, Gwede Mantashe, dismissed two senior officials of the Department of Mineral Resources, while seven others are being investigated over fraud charges. Mantashe has taken a strong stance against corruption since he took office earlier this year.

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