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BHP expected to top Rio in 2019; Union mulling strike at Sibanye's platinum ops


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BHP expected to top Rio in 2019; Union mulling strike at Sibanye's platinum ops


BHP expected to top Rio in 2019

Financial analysts from advisory firm Shaw and Partners and investment bank UBS said BHP Group Ltd. will reap the benefits of its share buybacks, increased dividends and a balanced portfolio as the resources experts expect the mining giant to surpass rival Rio Tinto this year, The Australian Financial Review reported. However, Rio may catch up later in the year.

Union may escalate gold strike to Sibanye's platinum operations

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union plans to seek approval to expand its gold strike in South Africa to Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s platinum group metals mines, said union President Joseph Mathunjwa. The move to escalate the strike comes as Sibanye and the union, or AMCU, continue to fight over the legality of the AMCU's walk-off in the gold sector.

Finland eyes raising levy, taxes on miners

The government of Finland is considering raising levies and tax premiums paid by miners as it seeks to tighten mining regulations, The Helsinki Times wrote, citing Minister for Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä's interview with local media. According to the report, the country has a friendly regulatory environment, making it one of the world's top mining destinations, particularly for gold.


* Anglo American PLC outlined plans to divide the management of its global base metals business from its strategy and business development activities, effective March 1. Ruben Fernandes, CEO of Anglo American in Brazil, will succeed Duncan Wanblad as CEO of base metals, and Wilfred Bruijn will take over as CEO of the Brazil operations.

* African Metals Corp. closed the sale of its assets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other movables and real estates to Excellen Minerals SARL. The company plans to use the proceeds to settle its debt, seek business opportunities and complete steps needed to lift its current cease trade order.

* Australian Mines Ltd. mutually agreed with SK Innovation Co. Ltd. to extend the period to finalize the financing package for the SCONI cobalt-nickel-scandium project in Queensland, Australia, to Sept. 19, contradicting earlier speculation from The Australian that the larger off-take deal was up in the air. The base metals explorer reiterated that it is finalizing the tonnage under the cobalt sulfate and nickel sulfate off-take deal and extending to Feb. 20 an option for SK Innovation to subscribe to 669 million shares at 12 Australian cents each.

* NorZinc Ltd. plans to reduce its land holdings and focus on developing its three base metal deposits in Newfoundland amid an expected 80% rise in license costs. NorZinc owns the high-grade Lemarchant, Boomerang-Domino and Long Lake zinc-lead-copper-gold-silver deposits, as well as the historical Tulks East claim block.

* Amerigo Resources Ltd.'s C$1.5 million concentrate regrind mill at its Minera Valle Central copper project in Chile will not be installed within the completion timeline of the site's phase-two expansion. The mill is now expected to be installed by the second quarter.


* Three nonprofit firms filed complaints with the British Columbia Securities Commission against Pan American Silver Corp. and Tahoe Resources Inc. for allegedly hiding risks related to Tahoe's flagship Escobal silver mine in Guatemala, Financial Post reported. The move comes a few days before Pan American shareholders vote Jan. 8 on its proposed US$1.07 billion takeover of Tahoe.

* Detour Gold Corp. appointed Paulson & Co. Inc. nominee Bill Williams as interim CEO to replace Michael Kenyon. Williams is among the five Paulson-backed Detour board members elected at a special Dec. 13, 2018, shareholders meeting requisitioned amid pressure from the activist investor to overhaul the board.

* KEFI Minerals PLC extended an agreement with project equity investor ANS Mining Share Co. to January for the latter to release the first tranche of US$9 million for the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia, due to a delay in the receipt of government consents. KEFI had expected to receive the sum by December 2018.

* Orinoco Gold Ltd.'s Cascavel gold mine in Brazil has seen an operational turnaround in recent weeks that led to monthly gold sales of about 96 ounces in December 2018, the highest since July 2018. Meanwhile, the company completed the final 10 meters of development mining at Mestre level 7, which will allow it to mine expected high-grade mineralization.

* Radius Gold Inc. will focus on increasing its land position at its Amalia gold-silver project in Mexico after poor results from an initial drill program at its Coyote gold project in Nevada.

* The construction of Victoria Gold Corp.'s Eagle gold project, part of its Dublin Gulch property in Canada's Yukon, is more than 60% complete, President and CEO John McConnell told The Northern Miner. After facing environmental challenges, the company is now focused on finishing steel erection and electrical-mechanical work.

* Honey Badger Exploration Inc. secured a three-year exploration permit for its Thunder Bay silver-cobalt project in Ontario. The permit allows the company to explore a newly discovered zone of cobalt mineralization and expand its program to areas beyond the Beaver silver mine.


* Minority shareholders of Flinders Mines Ltd. urged regulators to stop its proposed delisting from the ASX, which they claim is a ploy by majority owner The Todd Corp. Ltd. to kick them out without having to pay premiums associated with a takeover, The West Australian reported.

* Operations were recently suspended after a roof collapse at the underground Donkin coal mine in Nova Scotia, owned and operated by Kameron Collieries ULC, a Cline Group LLC subsidiary.

* At least 120 million Philippine pesos worth of mining equipment owned by Pilipinas Eco-Friendly Mining Corp, or PEMC, was burned down by communist rebel group New People's Army, or NPA, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. The NPA claimed that the operations of PEMC, which supplies silica to cement factories in the province of Cebu, have destroyed about 2,000 hectares of farm lots and rice fields in Negros Oriental.

* A sustainable underground mining project is set to kick off at LKAB's Kiruna iron ore operations in Sweden, Mining Magazine wrote. The project will be testing mine layout and technology, autonomous CO2-free machines and management systems in the site's Konsuln orebody.

* Mosaic Co. acquired the final permit for its Ona phosphate project in Florida. The permit, obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, secured 160.2 million tons of phosphate rock for future mining. Ona is expected to extend the mine life of Mosaic's Four Corners and South Pasture mines.

* Eonmetall Group Berhad completed the incorporation of subsidiary Shaanxi Longxing Steel Co. Ltd. under China. Shaanxi, owned by Eonmetall's Eonmetall China Sdn. Bhd. unit, was registered with a capital of US$20 million. Eonmetall China will finance its investment in Shaanxi through internally generated funds and bank borrowings.

* The Indian government will hold off auctions for commercial coal mining until this year's elections amid threats from Coal India Ltd. unions to launch a strike, The Hindu Business Line reported.


* Lynas Corp. Ltd. filed an appeal against a new precondition imposed by Malaysia's Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change for the permit renewal of its Gebeng rare earths plant. The ministry wants the rare earths producer to export the water leach purification residue out of Malaysia before Sept. 2.

* Sunrise Resources PLC split its NewPerl project area into two for future permitting reasons. It named the northern portion the Jackson Wash project, and the southern area will keep the name NewPerl.


* Mining safety services provider Total Safety U.S. Inc. acquired Alberta-based Pivotal Safety to expand its Canadian business.

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