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Paulson rebuffs Newmont's Goldcorp buy; Pretium probe finds market manipulation


Paulson rebuffs Newmont's US$10B offer to buy Goldcorp

Paulson & Co. Inc., a significant shareholder in Newmont Mining Corp. with 14.2 million shares, said it will not support the miner's proposed US$10 billion acquisition of Goldcorp Inc. in its current form. However, Paulson said it would back a revised deal where Goldcorp shareholders would receive a maximum of 0.254 of a Newmont share per Goldcorp share. Newmont intends to acquire each Goldcorp share for 0.3280 of a share under the current terms.

Pretium finds evidence of market manipulation behind January share price drop

Gold producer Pretium Resources Inc. said an investigation by independent legal counsel into unusual trading activity, which led to an 11.1% drop in share price in January, discovered no proof of information leak by the company but found evidence of market manipulation by outside parties.

Brazilian court orders Vale to close Dique III dam at Vargem Grande complex

A Brazilian court ordered Vale SA to close its Dique III dam, part of the Vargem Grande iron ore complex in Minas Gerais state, Reuters reported, citing a document from a court in the city of Nova Lima. The miner said it was not formally notified of the decision and will take appropriate measures on the latest order in due course, adding thatthe dam's closure will not have an additional impact on production.


* The Kunming Intermediate People's Court of China fined the company behind the collapsed Fanya Nonferrous Metals Exchange 1 billion Chinese yuan for illegal fundraising and causing investors losses. The court sentenced the founder, Shan Jiuliang, to 18 years in prison for crimes including embezzlement, Reuters reported, citing the official Xinhua news agency.


* Glencore PLC suspended operations at its McArthur River zinc mine in Australia's Northern Territory ahead of Tropical Cyclone Trevor, expected to make landfall March 23, Reuters reported.

* Woomera Mining Ltd. will resume 100% control of the Musgrave Alcurra-Tieyon nickel-copper-cobalt project in South Australia after OZ Minerals Ltd.'s OZ Exploration Pty. Ltd. decided to end its participation in the project.

* Hudbay Minerals Inc. completed the permitting process for its Rosemont copper project in Arizona after obtaining the mine plan of operations from the U.S. Forest Service.

* Jubilee Metals Group PLC agreed to acquire the Sable zinc refinery in Zambia from two Glencore PLC subsidiaries for £9.2 million and completed £17.2 million in fundraising as it moves to ramp up implementation of the Kabwe Tailings project.

* Deliveries of copper concentrates from the state-owned Erdenet copper mine in Mongolia were delayed in early March due to a government-ordered restructuring that led to several top managers being dismissed, Fastmarkets MB wrote.

* The Democratic Republic of the Congo lifted a short-lived export ban on cobalt and copper concentrates it imposed in February, Fastmarkets MB reported, citing a letter addressed to the National Federation of Enterprises. However, the government, which adopted a new mining code in 2018, will reportedly review every six months if it should re-enact the ban.

* Philex Mining Corp. said the start of production at its Silangan copper-gold mine in the Philippines will be delayed by four years until 2022 due to a national ban on new open pit mining, Reuters wrote.

* Amur Minerals Corp. extended the maturity date of its US$10 million convertible loan facility with Riverfort Global Opportunities PCC Ltd. to March 20, 2020, and will draw down a further US$500,000.


* St Barbara Ltd.'s shares fell almost 30% as the company cut the production forecast for its Gwalia Mass Extraction gold project in Western Australia to 235,000 to 240,000 ounces in fiscal 2019, from 245,000 to 255,000 ounces previously, at all-in sustaining costs of A$980 per ounce to A$1,000/oz.

* Barrick Gold Corp. stopped new underground development at the Golden Sunlight gold-silver mine in Montana and will conduct the final mill run to process gold ore in May.

* Sierra Metals Inc. suspended all mining and milling operations at its Yauricocha silver mine in Peru after a majority of the workers started a strike in protest of contractor changes being made as part of regular operations. The Peruvian Ministry of Labour deemed the strike illegal under current legislation.

* Former Core Gold Inc. CEO Keith Piggott accused the company's board of terminating him in retaliation for his opposition against a proposed merger with Titan Minerals Ltd. Piggott claimed that directors and advisers of Core Gold explicitly threatened to terminate him unless he agreed to vote in favor of the Titan merger.

* A majority of Doray Minerals Ltd.'s shareholders voted in favor of the company's merger with Silver Lake Resources Ltd.

* Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. terminated option agreements for the TL zinc and Mariposa gold projects in Canada, without providing any details.

* A U.S. judge allowed the interim government of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to present arguments in a legal dispute with Crystallex International Corp., Reuters reported. Crystallex is going after Venezuelan state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela SA unit CITGO Petroleum Corp. to collect on a US$1.4 billion award over the nationalization of its Las Cristinas gold project.

* Vital Metals Ltd. suspended exploration activities in Burkina Faso, where its Nahouri gold project is located, due to security concerns. The company said it received interest from other companies on its tenements in the country.

* Stavely Minerals Ltd. unit Stavely Tasmania Operations Pty. Ltd. agreed to purchase the 350,000-tonne-per-annum Beaconsfield gold processing plant and related infrastructure and leases in Tasmania, Australia, from BCD Resources NL for A$2 million.

* Access to Lupaka Gold Corp.'s Invicta gold project in Peru is restricted again after the local Paran community abandoned negotiations and resumed an illegal blockade.


* Aluminum giant China Hongqiao Group Ltd. reported a 5.4% increase in net profit attributable to shareholders for 2018 to about 5.41 billion Chinese yuan, while revenue for the year fell 7.9% to about 90.19 billion yuan. The company proposed a final dividend of 24 Hong Kong cents, a 20% rise from the 2017 payout.

* Evraz PLC unit PJSC Raspadskaya's board decided not to recommend any dividends for 2018 even though the coal miner recorded a 40% year-over-year jump in net profit to US$448 million. The board highlighted the need to conserve financial reserves in the face of coal price volatility.

* Tata Steel Ltd. is expected to partially sell its European packaging steel assets to gain regulatory approval for its planned joint venture with thyssenkrupp AG, Reuters reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.

* Indonesia imposed antidumping duties of up to 20% for five years, starting in early April, on several flat-rolled iron and steel products from China, Russia, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Reuters reported. The Southeast Asian country also applied an 11.9% antidumping duty on certain Chinese imports of several other iron and steel products.

* Separately, China will enforce temporary antidumping measures on imports of stainless steel billet and hot-rolled stainless steel plate from the EU, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, including deposits of 18.1% to 103.1% from companies, Reuters reported.

* Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest BV reported a net profit of US$1.19 billion for 2018, up 93% from US$617 million in 2017, driven in part by higher revenues. Revenue jumped 33% to US$11.88 billion as the group benefited from higher steel and iron ore prices, stronger demand for its products and an increase in the volume of goods resold.

* New Hope Corp. Ltd.'s market value has plummeted by A$1 billion since March 18. Its share price fell from A$4.40 to A$3.20 at market close March 21, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. An unnamed analyst blamed the drop on the delays in Australian coal shipments in Chinese ports and the company's recently released earnings result, which missed market expectations.

* Exxaro Resources Ltd.'s executive head of projects and technology, Johan Meyer, said about 750 contract workers will be affected by the company recently terminating its agreement with Group Five Construction Pty. Ltd over the Grootegeluk coal mine in South Africa, Miningmx reported.

* Peabody Energy Corp. laid off about 40 employees at its Kayenta coal mine in Arizona, whose sole customer is a power plant that will close at the end of the year.

* Macarthur Minerals Ltd. struck a 10-year off-take deal with Glencore unit Glencore International AG to supply 4 million tonnes per annum of iron ore to be produced from the Lake Giles project in Western Australia.

* Pilbara Ports is clearing anchorages and berths from the iron ore exporting ports of Port Hedland, Dampier and Ashburton in preparation for Tropical Cyclone Veronica. Rio Tinto is the main exporter at Dampier, while BHP Group and Fortescue ship from Port Hedland, according to Reuters.


* Chinese graphite downstream players surprised CRU Group by stating a preference for synthetic graphite over natural graphite as a route to anode production. The business intelligence firm encouraged natural graphite hopefuls at the Lithium & Battery Metals Conference in Perth, Western Australia, that its product still had a better future.

* Bacanora Lithium PLC CEO Peter Secker said investor appetite for lithium is back following months of price uncertainty and fears of oversupply, Bloomberg News wrote. Secker said the company will look at the equity markets to raise funds needed to build the Sonora lithium project in Mexico.

* A pre-feasibility study of Neo Lithium Corp.'s Tres Quebradas lithium brine project in Argentina estimated a posttax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of US$1.14 billion with a 49.9% internal rate of return.

* Delrey Metals Corp. secured an option to acquire an 80% interest in the 5,157-hectare Four Corners vanadium-iron-titanium project in Newfoundland from Four Corners Mining Corp. and Triple Nine Resources Ltd.


* Industry insiders at the 121 Mining Investment Hong Kong conference believe that an agreement to end the trade disputes between China and the U.S. will lift market confidence and stimulate demand for various metals.

* Guinea is set to adopt a proposal that would relocate and compensate people displaced by mines and dams, Reuters wrote. However, civil society groups urged the government not to adopt the measure as it would only lead to more conflict. Currently, companies can claim rural lands as state property as few rural Guineans have legal land titles.

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