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Newmont closes Super Pit stake sale; Alcoa to sell Arkansas facility for US$250M


Newmont completes Super Pit stake sale to Northern Star, updates FY'20 guidance

Newmont Goldcorp Corp. completed the sale of its 50% interest in Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty. Ltd., which owns the Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine in Western Australia, to Northern Star Resources Ltd. in a transaction valued at US$800 million. Following the divestiture, Newmont lowered its attributable gold production guidance to 6.4 million ounces for 2020 and between 6.2 million and 6.7 million ounces through 2024. It lowered attributable sustaining capital guidance to US$950 million for 2020 and between US$900 million and US$1.1 billion through 2024.

Alcoa to sell waste treatment facility in Arkansas for US$250M

Alcoa Corp. agreed to sell its waste treatment facility in Gum Springs, Ark., to Veolia ES Technical Solutions LLC for US$250 million in a transaction that is expected to close in the first quarter. The company will receive US$200 million in cash at closing for the sale of subsidiary Elementary Environmental Solutions, owner of the 1,300-acre hazardous waste treatment business in Gum Springs, and an additional US$50 million on satisfying certain post-closing conditions.

PolarX lines up porphyry majors to replace Lundin on Stellar copper-gold claims

PolarX Ltd. identified 15 midtier and major operators of large base and precious metals mines to potentially replace Lundin Mining Corp. as its partner for the Stellar copper-gold project in Alaska after the latter decided to forgo its right to earn in. PolarX Managing Director Frazer Tabeart believes that the enticements for a partner are stronger now than when Lundin first signed on as the project is more derisked following the six drillholes Lundin funded.


* Myanmar Metals Ltd.'s expansion study for its Bawdwin lead-silver-zinc joint venture in Myanmar delineated two further open pit cutbacks beyond the planned starter pit. According to the study, underground mining at Bawdwin is possible, but the two open pit cutbacks, namely phases two and three, "offer potential for superior outcomes relative to underground mining."

* Excelsior Mining Corp. confirmed that it started operations at the Gunnison copper project in Arizona. The first copper cathode sales from the project are expected in the first quarter.

* New Era Minerals Inc. shareholders Guang Ju Lin and Wei Lin signed binding agreements with Hang Peng, a resident of Hunan, China, for the sale of an aggregate 58,840,932 nondiluted common shares of New Era, representing about 55.03% of the outstanding shares of the company.


* Gold prices rose to nearly a six-year high after a U.S. airstrike in Iraq killed Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian general who headed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, Bloomberg News reported. Bullion rallied as much as 1.4% to US$1,550.43 per ounce in London, the highest since September. Platinum futures reached US$1,000/oz for the first time since early 2018, while silver and other haven assets including the Japanese yen and Treasuries also climbed, the report said.

* India's 2019 gold imports dropped 12% year over year to 831 tonnes, the lowest in three years, amid weak demand from retail buyers following record-high prices in the second half, Reuters reported, citing a government source. Gold imports in December 2019 fell 18% to 60 tonnes, the report added. In value terms, imports were down almost 2% to US$31.22 billion.

* Doré Copper Mining Corp. signed an option agreement with owners Ressources Jessie Inc. and Legault Metals Inc. to acquire the Joe Mann gold mine in Quebec for C$5.3 million in cash and C$4.0 million in shares over three years.

* Trans-Siberian Gold PLC secured low-tariff rates for electrical power in 2020 for its Asacha gold mine in Russia. The company will receive electricity at 4.75 Russian rubles/kWh, slightly higher than the rate of 4.69 rubles/kWh in 2019.

* U.K.-based Caledonia Mining Corp. PLC declared a quarterly dividend of 7.5 U.S. cents, rising 9.1% from the previous dividend of 6.875 cents. The company said the dividend hike was prompted by its improved financial performance on the back of increased production and high gold prices.

* Australia-based Resolute Mining Ltd. forward sold an additional 22,800 ounces of gold at an average price of US$1,553 per ounce between July and December. The company said it took advantage of current market volatility and strong gold prices to extend its U.S. dollar-denominated gold hedge position.

* Canadian junior precious metals explorer Shamrock Enterprises Inc. will change its name to Aurwest Resources Corp. The company will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the AWR ticker, effective Jan. 8.


* Luxembourg-based steel tubes provider Tenaris SA completed the acquisition of IPSCO Tubulars Inc. from PAO TMK for a final cash payment of US$1.1 billion, including about US$220 million in working capital.

* Ferrexpo PLC will pay a special interim dividend of 6.6 U.S. cents, taking total dividends for financial year 2019 to 13.2 cents, or about US$80 million.

* Demand for low-grade coal with lower combustion efficiency is increasing on the back of economic growth in Vietnam and other emerging countries in Asia, adding another obstacle to the global movement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

* Argentina's crude steel production plunged 21.6% year over year in November 2019 to 357,500 tonnes from 456,000 tonnes, Fastmarkets MB reported, citing data from the country's steel association, Acero Argentino.

* Floods in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, may cause logistical issues for steelmakers in the country, Fastmarkets MB wrote, citing an unnamed trader source. The floods have killed at least 43 people and displaced about 400,000 others, the report said.


* Pathfinder Minerals PLC is exploring commercial options for mining concession 4623C, part of its Moebase ilmenite property in Mozambique, as talks to resolve a dispute over the license continue. The company said it is assessing two independent opportunities, with due diligence on their suitability for Pathfinder now at an advanced stage.


* Mining major Rio Tinto donated an additional A$750,000 to support the Australian Red Cross in relief and recovery efforts for the people affected by the bushfire crisis in Australia. This brought the company's total donation to A$1 million. Rio Tinto also granted full leave entitlements to employees involved in firefighting and relief efforts.

* A federal advisory panel that provides scientific guidance to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency raised concerns with some of the Trump administration's efforts to undo or relax environmental regulations affecting the energy sector. The concerns were laid out in several draft reports that the EPA's Science Advisory Board made public ahead of a Jan. 17 meeting on the documents. The draft reports, which were posted Dec. 31, 2019, pertain to the scientific and technical basis for four of the Trump EPA's marquee regulatory reforms.

* Company CEOs and other top business executives around the world are still primarily concerned about the risk of a recession and trade war uncertainties in 2020, a report published by the Conference Board showed.

* The number of job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers surged in 2019 to the highest level in four years and one of the highest of the decade as businesses grappled with trade issues, restructuring and bankruptcies, an outplacement company said in a report. Employers unveiled plans to slash 592,556 jobs during the year, up 10% from 538,695 in 2018, according to data tracked by Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. That was the largest total since the 598,510 cuts announced in 2015.

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