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Barrick offers to fully acquire Acacia; Stelco eyes more than US$500M in deals

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Barrick offers to fully acquire Acacia; Stelco eyes more than US$500M in deals

TOP NEWS

Barrick Gold moves to fully acquire Acacia Mining

Barrick Gold Corp. offered to buy all the shares it does not already own in Acacia Mining PLC through a share-for-share exchange of 0.153 of a Barrick share for each Acacia share, implying a US$787 million value for Acacia and total consideration of US$285 million for the minority shareholders. Barrick currently owns a 63.95% stake in Acacia, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Barrick said it made the offer after the Tanzanian government stated that it was not willing to settle its disputes directly with Acacia.

Stelco eyes more than US$500M in deals in North America

Stelco Holdings Inc. is eyeing deals in North America worth more than US$500 million after the U.S. lifted steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, Bloomberg News reported, citing Executive Chairman Alan Kestenbaum. The deals could include scrap-centric mini-mills that are benefiting Nucor Corp. and Steel Dynamics Inc., the report said. Galvanized steel, cold-rolled steel and slab steel are also areas of interest, Kestenbaum said.

Tailings dam at Vale's Gongo Soco has up to 15% chance of bursting

The environment secretary of Minas Gerais, Brazil said the tailings dam at Vale SA's Gongo Soco iron ore mine has a 15% chance of bursting, Reuters reported. Vale earlier said it started building a concrete structure downstream of the dam to contain most of the tailings.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Group expects the market for thermal coal to decline over time amid a rise in demand for renewables, CFO Peter Beaven said in a presentation. Beaven also said an abundant supply of lithium and substitution of cobalt would reduce BHP's interest in these battery metals.

BASE METALS

* The Zambian High Court appointed law firm Lungu Simwanza & Co. as a provisional liquidator of Vedanta Resources PLC's Konkola Copper Mines PLC unit shortly after Zambian President Edgar Lungu revealed government plans to take over the unit's copper assets in the country and bring in a new investor, Reuters reported, citing a court document.

* Law firm Baker McKenzie started a new probe into the US$5.3 billion expansion of Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia to focus on significant claims made by a former employee, described as a whistleblower, regarding challenges the company experienced with the expansion, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* The Fuerabamba community in Peru set up a new blockade at MMG Ltd.'s Las Bambas copper mine after failed talks with the company over compensation for road access, Reuters reported. The community had blocked the site for more than two months before reaching a deal with MMG in April.

* Hudbay Minerals Inc. started interviewing potential advisers about divesting a 30% stake in the Rosemont copper project in Arizona, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources, who also said the sale process is expected to begin shortly. Financial bidders such as private equity firms could be interested, although Hudbay may also decide to keep the stake, the report said. In March, Hudbay bought United Copper & Moly LLC's 7.95% project interest for US$75 million.

* Glencore PLC's Glencore AG unit signed a memorandum of understanding to supply cobalt feedstock and finance the recommissioning of First Cobalt Corp.'s namesake refinery in Ontario.

* Nickel Mines Ltd. secured an A$80 million funding package from Decent Investment International Private Ltd., an associate of the Nickel Mines' operating partner Shanghai Decent Investment (Group) Co., Ltd., to fund its US$121.4 million purchase of an additional stake in the Ranger nickel project in Indonesia.

* Vedanta Ltd. won bids for the Thanewasna and Dubarpeth copper licenses spanning 1,584.9 hectares in Maharashtra, India. Exploration will commence in due course.

* Kazakhstan's refined copper output rose 8.8% year over year to 149,499 tonnes in the first four months of 2019. Refined zinc production fell 1.5% to 108,184 tonnes, and crude steel output dipped 0.2% to about 1.5 million tonnes, Reuters reported, citing Statistics Committee data.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Fresnillo PLC warned shareholders that it expects 2019 to be a more challenging year than 2018, with a number of industry variables potentially working against the miner.

* Northern Shield Resources Inc. unit Seabourne Resources Inc. secured an option to acquire the Root and Cellar gold project in Newfoundland, Canada by spending C$2.2 million on exploration, paying C$165,000 and issuing 3 million shares within four years.

* East Africa Metals Inc. received approval for mining licenses over the Mato Bula gold-copper and Da Tambuk gold deposits, part of the Adyabo project in Ethiopia.

* Canarc Resource Corp. received a government land-use permit for exploration on the Hard Cash gold property in Nunavut, Canada, until June 29, 2024.

* Amani Gold Ltd. is planning to acquire a majority interest in 10 gold exploration permits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, collectively known as the Gada project.

BULK COMMODITIES

* British Steel Corp. Ltd. may go under and about 5,000 jobs are on the line unless the U.K. government agrees to grant a £30 million emergency loan May 21, Reuters reported, citing a source close to the situation. Administrators EY may be appointed as early as May 22 should the company fail to secure the loan. Unions representing British steelworkers demanded that the U.K. government extend the loan. In a separate Reuters report, the company said funding negotiations are still ongoing.

* Norsk Hydro ASA ramped up production at its Albras aluminum joint venture with Nippon Amazon Aluminium CO., Ltd. after being cleared to restore normal output at its Alunorte refinery. Full operations at Albras are expected in the second half.

* Alcoa Corp. and U.K.-based charity Eden Project will invest A$150 million to turn the defunct Anglesea coal mine in Victoria, Australia, into an ecotourism attraction, Reuters reported.

* Tata Steel Ltd. and Tata Motors Ltd. has a combined debt of about US$27 billion, or more than half of the Tata Group's total debt, Bloomberg News wrote. This excludes a US$9 billion debt for Tata Steel BSL Ltd. and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd., which are under restructuring.

* Thyssenkrupp AG's supervisory board unanimously approved CEO Guido Kerkhoff's realignment strategy, including the listing of the company's elevators business.

* Russian aluminum producer United Co. Rusal PLC obtained a license to develop a nepheline mine near its largest refinery, Achinsk, in southern Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia.

* Sirius Minerals PLC's open offer, part of a previously announced capital raising of about US$425 million, was oversubscribed.

* Votorantim SA unit Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio is planning a 300 million Brazilian real investment to dry-process tailings from its Aluminio alumina plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Valor International reported. Development will start this year, and the project is expected to be operational by 2020.

* Cadence Minerals PLC signed a nonbinding heads of terms with IndoSino Pte. Ltd. to acquire up to 27% of DEV Mineração SA's Amapa iron ore project in Brazil. A binding investment agreement is expected shortly.

* The Western Australian Supreme Court ruled in favor of Clive Palmer, dismissing an appeal from Citic Ltd. against the validity of an iron ore royalty agreement over the Sino-Iron project, The Australian reported. The Chinese company pays about US$10 per tonne to Palmer's Mineralogy Pty. Ltd. for the ore shipped under the deal, which totals about A$1 million per day.

* Manganese sulfate hopeful Pilbara Metals Group found a shell to backdoor list on the ASX this year, after having held off its initial IPO planned for the first quarter, Managing Director Rob Mandanici told S&P Global Market Intelligence. This would allow the company to raise between A$4.5 million and A$6 million.

* The Queensland government in Australia canceled a A$12,190 fine on Adani Enterprises Ltd. affiliate Abbot Point Operations Pty. Ltd. over the unauthorized release of sediment water during Cyclone Debbie in 2017, The Australian reported. The development comes amid mounting pressure for the Queensland government to approve Adani's long-delayed Carmichael coal project.

* Mining experts in New Zealand entered the shuttered Pike River coal mine to investigate a 2010 accident involving a series of explosions that killed 29 people, Reuters reported, citing Justice Minister Andrew Little, who is responsible for the reentry operation. The experts will also look to retrieve the remains of the victims from the Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd.-owned mine.

* Kommersant reported that the lobbying association of metallurgists, Russian Steel, asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia to simplify the issue of emissions permits for those expiring this year, including for Evraz PLC's Raspadskaya coal mine. Russian Steel believes that companies will not have time to obtain new permits due to a sudden change in legislation. The companies will have to pay fines or stop production if the permits expire.

SPECIALTY

* Anglo American PLC unit De Beers SA's provisional rough-diamond sales in the fourth cycle of 2019 fell to US$415 million from actual sales of US$554 million in the year-ago cycle due to macroeconomic uncertainty and a seasonally slower period for the industry as Indian factories are temporarily closing for the traditional holiday period.

* A gauge of 38 Chinese rare earth companies' shares rose 6.7% after President Xi Jinping visited one of the country's major rare earths facilities, bringing the industry into the spotlight and highlighting its strategic importance to the U.S., the South China Morning Post wrote.

* First ore was fed to W Resources PLC's newly commissioned jig and mill Plant at its La Parrilla tungsten mine in Spain. Construction of a new large-scale concentrator plant is expected to be complete in June, with commissioning in July.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* President Donald Trump's decision to remove tariffs on imports of Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum marks a major step toward the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but it could embolden Democrats to make more demands on labor rules to pass the trade deal.

* BHP Group revised its estimates for the low end of electric vehicles' penetration in the global light-vehicle fleet to a minimum of 7% from 5% for 2035 and to 27% from 21% for 2050.

* More than 450 companies participated in the 22nd Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair in North Korea, Reuters reported, citing North Korean state news agency KCNA. Among the products showcased by vendors were metal, electronics, machinery, building materials, transport, public health, light industry and food and consumer goods.

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