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In This List

Morgan Stanley restarts base metals business; Independence extends Panoramic bid

Mining Exploration Insights December

Mining Exploration Insights: Dip in gold drilling weighs on results

Mining Exploration Insights: Is the exploration sector back on recovery?

State of the Market: Mining Q2-2019


Morgan Stanley restarts base metals business; Independence extends Panoramic bid

TOP NEWS

Report: Morgan Stanley restarting base metals trading business

U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley is restarting its base metals trading business after withdrawing four years ago, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The revived business will focus on market-making and services for clients such as hedging, and it hired about four people in London, including from rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. and trading house Trafigura Pte. Ltd., with plans to secure additional staff, according to the sources.

Independence Group extends Panoramic takeover offer period

Independence Group NL extended the offer to acquire the remaining shares in Panoramic Resources Ltd. it does not already own to Jan. 17, 2020. The extension was made in order to assess the independent expert's report commissioned by the latter, which is expected to be finalized on or around Dec. 23. Further, Independence Group will review if the breaches of several defeating conditions of the offer may lead it to pulling out of the deal.

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.

BASE METALS

* BHP Group has reportedly tapped Yuna Chang, formerly with mid-sized base metals trading house Concord Resources, to help manage a base metals book in Singapore as the mining giant seeks to boost returns and manage transaction risk, Reuters reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

* Cassini Resources Ltd.'s wholly owned subsidiary Wirraway Metals and Mining Pty. Ltd. will acquire the exclusive rights to all of Traka Resources Ltd.'s Musgrave tenements in Western Australia. Traka has agreed to transfer all of its rights in the tenements to the West Musgrave nickel-copper project, Cassini's joint venture with OZ Minerals Ltd., for A$250,000. Traka will maintain a 2% net smelter royalty over the tenements.

* The government of North Macedonia decided to unilaterally terminate the concession agreement for Ilovica 6 with Euromax Resources Ltd. The explorer said that the decision does not affect the Ilovica 11 concession.

* Blackstone Minerals Ltd. identified a near-surface higher grade zone of nickel sulfide mineralization that it named King Cobra, part of the Ta Khoa project in northern Vietnam.

* Zenith Energy Ltd. began supplying power to Independence Group 's Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine in Western Australia's Fraser Range via a hybrid solar-diesel plant.

* Raiden Resources Ltd. signed an earn-in and option to purchase agreement for the Iglika copper-gold deposits in southeastern Bulgaria.

PRECIOUS METALS

* 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.

* Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SAA CEO Victor Gobitz said the construction restart of the Conga gold project in Peru's Cajamarca region — owned by Buenaventura and Newmont Goldcorp Corp. joint venture Minera Yanacocha S.R.L. — is not planned at the moment, but it continues to be part of Yanacocha's portfolio, Energiminas reported.

* 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 miner forecasts that this will result in lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduced costs.

* Capricorn Metals Ltd executed a previously announced A$100 million in debt and guarantee facilities with Macquarie Bank Ltd., which will be used to fund the development of the Karlawinda gold project in Western Australia. Meanwhile, the plant design for the operation is progressing, based on a change to the three-stage crushing and single ball mill design, which will result in increased throughput of up to 4.0 million tonnes per annum, from the previous forecast of 3.0 mtpa.

* Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. plans to launch a debt-for-equity swap program for replacement of debt worth 1.5 billion Chinese yuan to reduce its corporate leverage.

* 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 Oro Gold de Mexico S.A. de C.V., a Mexican firm that owns the La Trinidad mine facilities, which are being decommissioned.

* Austral Gold Ltd. entered the North American mining sector as its Austral Gold North America unit acquired an approximately 22.5% stake in Rawhide Acquisition Holding LLC, which indirectly owns the Rawhide gold-silver mine in Nevada, for about US$4.0 million.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. reached a binding deal with Aggreko PLC for the development and construction of a hybrid modular power station at the Syama gold mine in Mali.

* The resource estimate for Classic Minerals Ltd.'s Lady Magdalene deposit, within the Forrestania gold project in Western Australia, was expanded to 251,350 ounces of gold contained in 5.92 million tonnes grading 1.32 g/t gold.

* Cora Gold Ltd. completed the various work streams for the scoping study of the Sanankoro gold project in Mali. The results of the study are expected to be released in early January 2020.

* 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.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vale SA looks to increase the size of its Fazendão iron ore project in Brazil's Minas Gerais state by expanding the area around the São Luiz mine and joining the Almas and Tamandua mines, with the miner planning to begin the licensing process in January 2020, Notícias de Mineração reported.

* PAO TMK received U.S. Department of Justice approval for its US$1.2 billion sale of Texas-based IPSCO Tubulars Inc. to Luxembourg's Tenaris SA.

* 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.

* Ncondezi Energy Ltd. received a letter of interest from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to provide debt financing for its namesake Ncondezi coal mine to power project in Mozambique. The company is targeting a minimum debt financing of 70% of the project's capital cost.

* Fourteen people were 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.

* 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.

* The management of Aluminij d.d. Mostar resigned after the only investor that was interested to help Bosnia's lone aluminum smelter resume production submitted an inadequate offer, Reuters reported.

* 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 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 News reported.

SPECIALTY

* Anglo American PLC unit De Beers SA's provisional sales in the 10th and final cycle of 2019 totaled US$425 million, a decline from year-ago actual sales of US$544 million. The figure represented an increase from actual sales of US$400 million in the ninth sales cycle.

* 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.

* Renascor Resources Ltd. entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding with Sicona Battery Technologies for the joint development of next-generation battery anode material.

* Jadar Resources Ltd., 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.

* Eclipse Metals Ltd. successfully concluded Aboriginal land right agreement negotiations, paving the way for exploration and subsequent mining activity at the Devil's Elbow prospect, part of the Liverpool uranium project in Australia's Northern Territory.

* ScandiVanadium Ltd. outlined a maiden indicated and inferred resource estimate for the Hörby target, part of the Skåne vanadium project in Sweden, of 116.9 million tonnes at 0.39% vanadium pentoxide.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* 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.

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