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Sibanye, Lonmin shareholders approve merger; Mosaic resumes Catalao operations

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Sibanye, Lonmin shareholders approve merger; Mosaic resumes Catalao operations

TOP NEWS

Lonmin, Sibanye shareholders approve merger

Shareholders of Sibanye Gold Ltd. and Lonmin PLC approved a merger that valued the latter at £226 million. Under the deal, Sibanye will issue 1 share for every 1 Lonmin share held, which the former said is final and will not be increased. The merger is expected to take effect June 7. Lonmin shareholders had voted in favor of the company acquiring greater diversity, according to CEO Ben Magara. "Both companies will be better off. Sibanye gains refining capability and Lonmin gets access to a diversity of metals," Magara said.

Mosaic resumes Catalao phosphate mine ops

Mosaic Co. resumed operations at its Catalao phosphate mine in Brazil after it was idled for two months while the company worked to bring its tailings dam into compliance with new regulations. Mosaic expects to restart production at Tapira after securing the mine's safety certificate in the third quarter.

Vale says risk of Gongo Soco collapse lower than expected

Vale SA said the unstable embankment at its Gongo Soco iron ore mine in Brazil has a lower chance of collapsing than previously thought, reducing the risk of the nearby Sul Superior tailings dam, Reuters reported. Environment secretary Germano Vieira of Brazil's Minas Gerais state earlier said the dam had up to a 15% chance of collapsing.

DIVERSIFIED

* Rio Tinto shares on May 28 hit their highest closing price on the ASX since 2008 due to firmer iron ore prices amid supply concerns for the steelmaking commodity, Reuters wrote.

BASE METALS

* The International Tin Association is facing a lawsuit from Kerilee Investments Ltd., a majority shareholder in KI3R Minerals Ltd., owner of the Nyamuliro tungsten mine in Uganda, for accusing the company of trading in conflict minerals, Reuters reported.

* Caravel Minerals Ltd.'s scoping study for its namesake Caravel copper project in Western Australia estimated a posttax net present value, discounted at 7%, of A$705 million, with a 20% internal rate of return, a four-year payback period, and a 23-year mine life.

* South32 Ltd. secured an option to acquire an up to 80% stake in Superior Resources Ltd.'s Nicholson Nicholson zinc project in Queensland by spending a total of A$6 million on exploration within five years.

* The Minnesota State Court of Appeals upheld an environmental review for PolyMet Mining Corp.'s NorthMet copper project following a challenge from several groups.

* Searchlight Resources Inc. signed a letter of intent granting Emgold Mining Corp. an option to acquire the New York Canyon copper-molybdenum-gold property in Nevada.

* Afritin Mining Ltd. began the phased commissioning of the processing plant at the Uis tin mine in Namibia, which consists of a four-stage crushing circuit and a three-stage concentrating circuit.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Newcrest Mining Ltd. is buying water in the open market to try to overcome a drought that would affect its Cadia gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported. Newcrest has reportedly been making water purchases in recent weeks at about A$1,000 per megaliter, nearly triple of 2016 prices. Glencore PLC is also facing the same issues at its CSA copper mine in the state, with the company being warned of supply cuts.

* Tanzania will not allow Acacia Mining PLC to manage its mines in the country, reiterating that it will only engage with Barrick Gold Corp. to resolve a long-running dispute, Bloomberg News reported, citing government spokesman Hassan Abbasi.

* A consortium of local businessmen in Zimbabwe submitted a bid for Metallon Corp. Ltd.'s idled Mazowe and Shamva gold mines after B2Gold Corp. CEO Clive Johnson denied interest, The Herald reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the developments. Vara Mining reportedly secured offshore funding to bankroll a US$120 million investment aimed at doubling production at the mines over three years.

* Former Core Gold Inc. CEO and now activist shareholder Keith Piggott said Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. Ltd. is keen to re-enter negotiations over its previously proposed C$100 million investment in Core Gold.

* Authorities from Mexico’s Zacatecas state offered to mediate an agreement to end a two-month blockade by local villagers at Newmont Goldcorp Corp.'s Penasquito gold mine, Reuters reported, citing Zacatecas Secretary General Jehu Salas.

* Polymetal International PLC formed a partnership with Mineral Exploration Network (Finland) Ltd. for the exploration of high-grade, near-surface gold mineralization within an 83-square-kilometer area in Russia's Chaunsk region of Chukotka. The deal will provide feed for the company's Mayskoye processing plant in Russia.

* Eastern Goldfields Ltd. is no longer in administration, and the company's control was passed back to the directors after the recapitalization plan was implemented.

* TriStar Gold Inc. agreed to grant Royal Gold Inc. a 1.5% net smelter royalty and a 1% NSR option on the Castelo de Sonhos gold property in Brazil, as well as 19,640,000 TriStar share warrants, for a total of US$8.0 million.

* Jangada Mines PLC entered into a binding agreement to sell the Pedra Branca platinum group metals project in Brazil to ValOre Metals Corp. in a deal valued at about £4.1 million. The company said that it made the decision because it could not secure sufficient financial support for the project in the U.K. financial markets.

* The TSX Venture Exchange approved Coronado Resources Ltd.'s acquisition of Skyrun Technology Corp. and related change of business. Coronado will rebrand as Interlapse Technologies Corp., which is expected to begin trading on the TSX-V on May 30.

* Hecla Mining Co. is facing a lawsuit from Rosen Law Firm over suspected investor losses related to its alleged misleading statements in which the company claimed that its Nevada operations have positive or self-funding cash flow despite its struggles.

* Tertiary Minerals PLC secured a 20-year lease over a group of nine patented claims, dubbed the Pyramid project, with an option to acquire the property. It also staked an additional 25 unpatented mining claims adjoining the patents to cover potential extensions along strike.

* GoldON Resources Ltd. signed a definitive agreement for its option to acquire Great Bear Resources Ltd.'s West Madsen gold property in Ontario.

* Alamos Gold Inc. obtained the approval of Ontario's environment ministry to proceed with the phase-two expansion of its Island gold mine to 1,200 tonnes per day from the current 1,100 tpd.

* Nexus Gold Corp. agreed to acquire the Gummy Bear copper-gold project from Robert Stares for 4 million shares and a 2% net smelter royalty that can be halved for C$1 million.

* Velocity Minerals Ltd. and Gorubso-Kardzhali AD amended an option agreement over the Makedontsi gold project in Bulgaria. Velocity is now required to deliver a National Instrument 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate to own a 70% stake in the property.

* Moroccan miner Managem recovered 241 kilograms of gold cargo seized by Sudanese authorities over alleged smuggling, Reuters reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Potash producer Nutrien Ltd. is considering expanding its annual production capacity by 5 million tonnes after 2023, around the time that BHP Group is mulling a foray into potash, Reuters reported. The additional capacity would come from expansions to Nutrien's existing Canadian mines, the report said, citing Nutrien CEO Chuck Magro.

* The U.K. government identified potential buyers for British Steel Corp. Ltd., which was placed under liquidation by the high court last week, the official receiver said in a statement.

* Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. may increase alumina imports if prices are suitably low, despite shortages in northern China caused by the shutdown of at least two alumina refineries in the Shanxi province, Reuters reported, citing Li Guangfei, deputy general manager of a Chalco trading unit.

* S&P Global Ratings said Asian steelmakers have sufficient free cash flow to negate the impact of softness in steel prices, with leverage of most companies unlikely to increase over the next 12 to 24 months.

* A Mexican federal judge issued an arrest warrant for former Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV CEO Emilio Lozoya and steelmaker Altos Hornos de México SAB de CV executive Alonso Ancira in Mallorca over allegations of graft and corruption, Reuters reported, citing Mexican news agency Notimex.

* The National Development & Reform Commission of China proposed that miners bring the benchmark grade of coal to below 600 Chinese yuan per tonne in order to lower domestic coal prices to help power producers, Bloomberg wrote, citing people with knowledge of the matter. This comes after six major utilities asked the government for help in reducing their raw material costs to cut to power prices.

SPECIALTY

* JSC National Atomic Co. Kazatomprom's first-quarter net profit attributable to shareholders dropped to 11.37 billion Kazakh tenge, or 44 tenge per share, from 317.99 billion tenge, or 1,226 tenge per share, a year ago.

* China's state planning agency issued a statement that is seen as a veiled threat that the country could restrict the export of its rare earth minerals amid mounting trade tensions with the U.S., Chinese publication Global Times reported. "If any country wants to use products made of China's rare earth exports to contain China's development, the Chinese people would not be happy with that," a spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission was quoted as saying by Global Times.

* Mineral Commodities Ltd. sued environmental activists for defamation over their remarks on the approval of an exploration license for the company's Xolobeni mineral sands project in South Africa, Fin24.com reported.

* BMG Resources Ltd. executed a previously announced deal with Lithium Chile SpA for the joint venture development of the Salar West, Pajonales and Natalie lithium brine projects in Chile.

* Lake Resources NL said recent drilling results at its Cauchari lithium brine project in Argentina highlighted its potential to replicate the success of similar projects in the same basin.

* Premier African Minerals Ltd. canceled a drilling program at its Zulu lithium project in Zimbabwe after it failed to agree on a revised pricing structure for a drilling contract with KME Plant Hire (Pty) Ltd.

* Bluejay Mining PLC reached a deal with Rio Tinto unit Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium Canada Inc. to further analyze ilmenite sourced from the Dundas project in Greenland.

* Core Lithium Ltd. received interest from multiple parties for the potential sale of byproduct fine lithium produced from the Finniss lithium project in Australia's Northern Territory.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Tanzania is aiming to grow its earnings from the minerals sector to 470.9 billion Tanzanian shillings in fiscal 2019/2020, compared to the estimated income of 310.6 billion shillings for the fiscal year ending June 30, as the country plans to increase production and exports, open new mineral trading centers and control smuggling, Bloomberg News reported, citing Mining Minister Doto Biteko.

* Shanghai Futures Exchange aims to launch nonferrous metals futures contracts for foreign investors and expects to give them access roughly within two years, Reuters wrote, citing chairman Jiang Yan. The exchange is also preparing to launch stainless steel and alumina futures and gold options contracts this year.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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