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Barrick in Acacia takeover bid; Fortescue OKs US$287M Queens Valley development

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Barrick in Acacia takeover bid; Fortescue OKs US$287M Queens Valley development

TOP NEWS

Barrick Gold offers to acquire remaining Acacia Mining shares

Barrick Gold Corp. offered to buy all the shares it does not already own in Acacia Mining PLC through an exchange of 0.153 of a Barrick share for each Acacia share. The deal implies a US$787 million value for Acacia and total consideration of US$285 million for minority shareholders. The company said it made the offer after the Tanzanian government stated that it was not willing to settle its disputes directly with Acacia. The target advised its shareholders to take no action on the proposal from Barrick while it reviews the offer, noting that it continues to be excluded from the discussions between Barrick and the Tanzanian government.

Fortescue greenlights US$287M development of Solomon Hub's Queens Valley

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s shares were down 8.2% in May 22 afternoon trading on the ASX as the company approved the US$287 million development of the Queens Valley mining area at its Solomon Hub iron ore operations in Western Australia's Pilbara region. The development of the Queens Valley mining area, which is estimated to have a life of 10 to 15 years, will allow the company to maintain production of the low-alumina Kings Fines product.

Stelco targeting asset acquisitions of over US$500M in North America

Stelco Holdings Inc. is targeting deals in North America valued over 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 may include scrap-centric mini-mills that are benefiting Nucor Corp. and Steel Dynamics Inc., as long as it will complement the steelmaker's profile. Kestenbaum said galvanized steel, cold-rolled steel and slab steel assets in either U.S. or Canada are also seen as areas of interest.

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

* Hudbay Minerals Inc. is planning to sell a 30% stake in the Rosemont copper project in Arizona, which could attract interest from private equity firms and other financial suitors, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Pressed by activist shareholder Waterton Global Resource Management, the base metal miner plans to review its portfolio and is looking for an adviser for the planned stake sale.

* URU Metals Ltd. intends to apply to extend its mineral rights at its Zebediela nickel project in South Africa for a further 30 years. The company will conduct an environmental impact assessment as part of the application process, and the mining right will allow the project to advance towards production.

* 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.

* Glencore PLC unit Glencore AG 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.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law exempting small-scale gold miners from excise and income taxes for gold sales to the country's central bank in a bid to strengthen its international reserves. The law will look to address the 99% drop in domestic gold purchases by the central bank to 10,000 fine troy ounces in 2019, from 900,000 fine troy ounces in 2010.

* Precious and base metals focused Stuhini Exploration Ltd. completed its IPO of 4,083,000 common shares at 20 Canadian cents per share for total proceeds of C$816,000. The net proceeds will be mainly used to fund the first phase of exploration and other expenditures at its Metla gold-silver-base metals property in British Columbia.

* Eldorado Gold Corp. priced its offering of US$300 million aggregate principal amount of 9.5% senior secured second lien notes due 2024, which will be offered at 98% of par. The proceeds, along with a recent US$450 million senior secured credit facility, will be used to redeem its outstanding US$600 million 6.125% senior notes due December 2020.

* Boliden AB signed a long-term electricity supply agreement with a wind power developer for annual electricity deliveries of 240 GWh in Sweden and 175 GWh in Finland. Production will take place in wind farms located close to mining operations in the Boliden area and the Kokkola smelting operations in Finland.

* Eastern Goldfields Ltd. received binding commitments for a total of A$30 million for its offer of convertible notes of A$22.4 million and 1-for-1 nonrenounceable entitlement offer of A$7.6 million. The capital raising was a condition for a previously announced recapitalization transaction under an agreement with creditors to settle its debt through a cash repayment or the issue of new equity.

* An updated estimate for Viva Gold Corp.'s Tonopah project in Nevada increased contained gold in the measured and indicated categories by 41% to 262,000 ounces within 8.8 million tonnes grading 0.93 g/t gold, at a 0.25 g/t cutoff grade.

* Newcrest Mining Ltd. unit Newcrest Operations Ltd. started drilling at Greatland Gold PLC's Havieron gold-copper project in Western Australia as part its 75% earn-in agreement. The initial drill program of about 10,000 meters will look to define the extent of the mineralization along strike and at depth, testing to 1,000 meters below surface.

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

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

BULK COMMODITIES

* British Steel Corp. Ltd.'s official receiver said that the company was forced into liquidation, but it will continue trading and fulfilling its supply agreements, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Hunter Kelly, Sam Woodward and Alan Hudson of EY were appointed by the High Court of England and Wales as special managers to assist the official receiver.

* China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd. is mulling moving blast furnaces to Cambodia, from Xinjiang in China, in late 2019 in a bid to maintain output levels by shifting excess capacity outside of China, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the company's plans. The company is looking to relocate two blast furnaces with a combined capacity of 3.1 million tonnes, and two converters to turn iron into steel.

* Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has asked Adani Enterprises Ltd. to work with the state regulator to come up with a timeline to secure approvals for its long-delayed Carmichael coal mine, Reuters reported. Palaszczuk said she wants all parties to agree to a timeline by May 24.

* Norsk Hydro ASA is ramping 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. have a combined debt of about US$27 billion, or over half of 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.

* 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.

SPECIALTY

* Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. is believed to have found its biggest diamond to date of over 100 carats from its Mothae mine in Lesotho, The Australian reported. The company went into a trading halt on May 22 "pending the announcement of a significant diamond recovery.

* Neometals Ltd.'s updated definitive feasibility study for its Barrambie vanadium-titanium-magnetite project in Western Australia outlined a posttax net present value, discounted at 10%, of A$199 million, a 15% internal rate of return and a 5.1-year payback period. The operation requires an initial capex of A$692 million, including contingency, and sustaining capex was pegged at A$123 million.

* Technology Metals Australia Ltd. executed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding with CNMC Ningxia Orient Group Co. Ltd. for vanadium off-take from the company's Gabanintha project in Western Australia. CNMC will initially purchase 2,000 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide per year on a take-or-pay basis.

* Lithium Australia NL estimated a maiden inferred resource of 185 Mt at 0.33% vanadium pentoxide at its Youanmi complex in ththe e midwest region of Western Australia.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Responding to speculations of the acquisition of BGC Contracting Pty Ltd., NRW Holdings Ltd. said it is not pursuing, or in advanced talks for, any acquisitions to the value speculated in the media reports. The Australian recently reported that NRW is in advanced talks to acquire BGC in a deal of up to A$600 million.

* 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 U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but it could embolden Democrats to make more demands on labor rules to pass the trade deal.

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