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


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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 substantial 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 market manipulation behind recent 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 an 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 that the the dam's closure will not have an additional impact on production.


* Pan Andean Minerals Ltd. entered into an arm's length binding letter of intent for a reverse takeover by North Star Holdings, a producer, processor and distributor of medicinal and adult use cannabis.


* Glencore PLC suspended operations at its McArthur River zinc mine in Australia's Northern Territory ahead of tropical cyclone Trevor, which is expected to make landfall on 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, U.S. 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 the dismissal of several top managers, Fastmarkets MB wrote.

* Jervois Mining Ltd. expects to land a joint venture partner by the end of 2019 for developing its Nico Young nickel-copper project in New South Wales, Australia, and is in discussions with different parties for a 20% to 40% joint venture arrangement, Reuters reported, citing CEO Bryce Crocker.

* The Democratic Republic of the Congo lifted a short-lived export ban on cobalt and copper concentrates that 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.

* 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 to A$1,000 per ounce. The guidance was affected by the delay of the paste aggregate fill circuit, which is now expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 ending June, from the second quarter of the fiscal year initially.

* Barrick Gold Corp. has 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 majority of the workers embarked on a strike in protest of contractor changes being made as part of regular operations. The Peruvian Ministry of Labour, however, has deemed the strike as illegal under current legislation.

* Former Core Gold Inc. CEO Keith Piggott accused the company's board of terminating him in retaliation to 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.

* 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 firms on its tenements in the country.

* Stavely Minerals Ltd.'s Stavely Tasmania Operations Pty. Ltd. unit agreed to purchase the 350,000-tonne-per-annum Beaconsfield gold processing plant, as well as 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.


* 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 anti-dumping duties of up to 20% for five years, starting 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% anti-dumping duty on certain Chinese imports of several other iron and steel products.

* Separately, China will enforce temporary anti-dumping measures on imports of stainless steel billet and hot-rolled stainless steel plate from the European Union, 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. Revenues 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.

* Russian coal and steel producer Mechel PAO saw profit tumble 74% quarter over quarter to 1.63 billion Russian rubles in the last three months of 2018, weighed down by lower earnings from its mining and steel divisions as well as impairments.

* New Hope Corp. Ltd.'s market value has plummeted A$1 billion since March 18 after 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.

* 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.

* Private equity firm Resource Capital Fund, which owns 48% of coking coal developer Riversdale Resources Ltd., rejected an offer from Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd. to fully acquire the company but left the door open for a higher offer, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Macarthur Minerals Ltd. struck a 10-year off-take deal with Glencore's Glencore International AG unit 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 iron ore exporting ports of Port Hedland, Dampier and Ashburton in preparation for severe 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 have surprised CRU Group by stating a preference for synthetic graphite over natural graphite as a route to anode production, but the business intelligence firm encouraged natural graphite hopefuls at the Lithium & Battery Metals Conference in Perth, Western Australia that their product still had a better future.

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

* A prefeasibility 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.


* Greenpeace estimates the value of China's recyclable metals in discarded mobile phones, laptops and desktop computers to jump to 160 billion Chinese yuan by 2030, from 66.4 billion yuan in 2018 and 81 billion yuan projected in 2020, Reuters reported.

* 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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