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Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel discuss revising proposed European JV deal

TOP NEWS

Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel discuss revising proposed European JV deal

ThyssenKrupp AG and Tata Steel Ltd. are said to be discussing changing the terms of their proposed joint venture in Europe in a way that could give the German steelmaker a bigger share of profits, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources. One of the options under consideration is to raise Thyssenkrupp's equity stake in the partnership and keep the voting rights at a 50-50 split. However, nothing has been decided yet. The reported discussions follow weeks of mounting pressure on Thyssenkrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger by activist shareholders and labor representatives to negotiate a better deal.

Eramet sweetens takeover offer to acquire TiZir partner Mineral Deposits to A$344.7M

Eramet upped its proposed off-market takeover offer to acquire all the issued shares of Mineral Deposits Ltd. that it does not already own to A$1.75 per share in an all-cash transaction that values the target at about A$344.7 million. The company previously offered A$1.46 per share, valuing Mineral Deposits at about A$291 million. Mineral Deposits shareholders said the improved offer is stingy and disappointing, according to The Australian Financial Review. Mineral Deposits is Eramet's partner in the TiZir Ltd. joint venture, the operator of an integrated mineral sands business, which owns titanium dioxide and zircon assets in Senegal and Norway, on a 50/50 basis.

Talga's Swedish cobalt spinout could go public within 12 months

Talga Resources Ltd. could float its Swedish cobalt spinout in the near future, the company's COO Martin Phillips told S&P Global Market Intelligence on the sidelines of the Euro Mine Expo in Skellefteå, Sweden. In May, the ASX-listed miner announced that it seeks to off-load its cobalt projects in northern Sweden into a domestic subsidiary to focus on its graphite business. Talga Battery Metals AB will hold the Kiskama, Ahmavuoma, Aitik East and Lautakoski projects, while Talga Graphene AB is holding its graphite assets. Phillips stated that the spinout process has yet to be completed but flagged that an IPO would be the next logical step and is likely to materialize within the next 12 months.

DIVERSIFIED

* Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. 11.6% shareholder SailingStone Capital, the second-biggest after Rio Tinto, said the subsidiary's board was not doing enough to improve performance and governance issues, The Australian reported. The activist shareholder added that Turquoise Hill's Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia was still undervalued.

BASE METALS

* Following the recent deadly protests at the Tuticorin copper smelter in India's Odisha state, Vedanta Resources PLC is faced with another opposition from tribesmen and environmentalists, demanding the closure of the company's alumina plant in the state.

* Mongolia released former finance minister and businessman Bayartsogt Sangajav, who was held since April in connection with an investigation into negotiations on Turquoise Hill's Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, Reuters reported, citing court sources. Mongolia's Independent Agency Against Corruption is probing the suspected misuse of power in connection with a 2009 agreement to develop Oyu Tolgoi.

* OZ Minerals Ltd.'s unconditional takeover offer for Avanco Resources Ltd. received acceptances of 73.9%, with all of Avanco's major shareholders, including Appian Natural Resources, BlackRock Inc., Greenstone Resources and Glencore PLC, accepting the offer.

* Cameo Cobalt Corp. confirmed it is going ahead with the previously announced acquisition of a 456-hectare property in Chile's Carrizal Alto district.

* Under-administration Weatherly International PLC's acquisition of a further 65% stake in China Africa Resources Namibia Ltd. was approved by the Namibian competition commission. The company now holds a 90% interest in China Africa, which wholly owns the Berg Aukas zinc-lead-vanadium project in Namibia.

* Strategic Minerals PLC started the technical assessment of its Leigh Creek copper mine in South Australia and said the proposed work program is expected to lead to the start of copper production around mid-2019.

* Glacier Lake Resources Inc. is acquiring the Colt Mesa copper-cobalt property in Garfield County, Utah, which covers a past-producing copper mine of the same name with associated cobalt-zinc-nickel-molybdenum mineralization.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Nighthawk Gold Corp. said resources at its Colomac gold project in Canada's Northwest Territories grew 24.4% to 2.6 million ounces. Colomac now hosts inferred resources of 50.3 million tonnes grading 1.62 g/t of gold, compared to a 2013 estimate of 39.8 million tonnes grading 1.64 g/t gold for 2.1 million ounces of gold.

* AuStar Gold Ltd. purchased the remaining 51% stake in the Rose of Denmark gold mine in Victoria, Australia, from Shandong Tianye Real Estate Development Group Co. Ltd.

* Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd. executed a formal 50/50 joint venture agreement with Southern Gold Ltd. for the Kochang gold-silver mine in South Korea and started farm-in activities.

* Tharisa PLC acquired a 26.8% shareholding in Karo Mining Holdings Ltd. for US$4.5 million, securing access to Karo's 23,903-hectare property that is prospective for platinum group metals in Zimbabwe's Great Dyke area.

* AlphaGlobal Capital submitted a claim to the High Court in the British Virgin Islands seeking 142.8 million South African rand from Eastern Platinum Ltd. and its subsidiary Eastplats International, Mining Weekly reported. The amount includes sums outstanding and payable by Eastplats under a promissory note agreed upon by the parties in 2007.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe CEO Andreas Goss said the excess steel coming to Europe due to U.S. steel tariffs would have a more serious impact than the tariffs themselves, Reuters reported. The executive said that tariffs would be "painful, but manageable". Meanwhile, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the government would press for quick action by a global steel forum to curb global overcapacity.

* U.S. coal destined for Canada could end up in the crosshairs amid rising tensions between the two allies. About 5.3 million tons of U.S. coal was exported to Canada in 2017, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. The figure represented about 5.5% of U.S. coal exports during the year as increased export demand has buoyed an industry with a domestic customer base in secular decline.

* China will ban new capacity for steel, coke and primary aluminum production in some key areas, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and Yangtze River Delta regions, Reuters reported, citing the State Council. The move came as the government is considering a new three-year plan to address growing public concern about air pollution.

* West Australian Minister for Mines Bill Johnston said the government was "concerned" about state export infrastructure falling into the hands of larger companies, weighing in on the battle between Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., Mineral Resources Ltd. and Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd. over Atlas Iron Ltd.'s control, The Australian wrote. Atlas holds rights to both the existing Utah Point berth at Port Hedland and North West Infrastructure's South West Creek berth.

* Incitec Pivot Ltd. secured a 5.5-year contract to supply explosives to Fortescue's mining operations, paring some of the losses stemming from losing the explosives contract for Roy Hill Holdings Pty Ltd. in February, The West Australian reported.

* PJSC Novolipetsk Steel intends to boost the quality of its coking coal and drive down costs by implementing the stamp-charging process at its JSC Altai-Koks facility in Siberia. The new process involves compacting coal outside the coke oven into a briquette, which is then fed into the oven horizontally as opposed to the conventional top-charging method.

* Adani Enterprises Ltd. is looking for Australian federal approval to increase the size of a dam by 450% and construct a pipeline at its Carmichael coal mine in Queensland without completing an environmental impact statement, The Guardian reported. The Indian miner said in its application to the Environment and Energy Department that previous assessments completed for other parts of the project are sufficient.

* Vimy Resources Ltd. said that Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd. sold down its substantial holding in the company from 8.74% in early May to below 0.1%. The shares have been placed with institutional and retail investors.

* Black Mountain Resources Ltd. said that following completion of its restructuring, it is now mostly debt free and will focus on its Busumbu phosphate project in Uganda and the Crown lithium assets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

* China's Shandong Ruifeng Stainless Steel plans to install a hot-dipped galvanizing line for steel strip at its steel mill in Shandong province in 2019, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Pakistan's National Tariff Commission slapped anti-dumping duties on color-coated coil from China and South Africa, Metal Bulletin reported.

SPECIALTY

* New technologies, sustainability and battery minerals were key themes at this year's Euro Mine Expo in Skellefteå, Sweden. The municipality going by the same name has long been associated with Sweden's traditional mining industry and is thought to be one of the richest in minerals within Europe and the Nordics. However, this year's trade fair and conference marked another important milestone in the history of the region: Skellefteå will soon host Europe's largest lithium-ion battery cell factory. Northvolt AB just kicked off the first phase of construction for the €4 billion gigafactory after receiving a crucial environmental permit.

* Prosper One International Holdings Co. Ltd., not well known as an exploration financier, is making a push to source the metal used in lithium-ion batteries through a potential exploration deal covering a Chilean property held by Lithium Chile Inc. "We're really keen because these guys are aggressive," Lithium Chile President and CEO Steven Cochrane told S&P Global Market Intelligence. Prosper One International entered into a memorandum of understating to an earn in up to 75% interest in Lithium Chile's Pintadas Norte project.

* Petra Diamonds Ltd. shareholders approved a rights issue to raise about US$170 million to help the company's cut its debt, Reuters reported.

* Lithium Corp. regained full control of the San Emidio lithium brine property in Nevada after American Lithium Corp. failed to fulfill its obligations under the option deal.

* The first shipment of graphite from Battery Minerals Ltd.'s Montepuez project in Mozambique is likely to be delayed by at least three months from the June 2019 schedule after the company lost a US$30 million funding package. The company's shares crashed on the ASX following the news. Resource Capital Funds terminated the agreement, saying the graphite market no longer meets its investment criteria.

* Global Geoscience Ltd. is raising A$53 million in a fully underwritten institutional placement to accelerate the development of its Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada.

* Jindalee Resources Ltd. staked 242 placer mineral claims covering about 4,840 acres managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management about 16 kilometers from the town of McDermitt on the Nevada-Oregon border.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* A review of 1,563 companies listed in the Australia, London, New York, Vancouver and Toronto stock exchanges with comparable data shows that the mining industry's aggregate cash holdings decreased almost 7% to US$42.75 billion at the end of the first quarter, from US$45.84 billion at the close of the fourth quarter of 2017. The current iteration of this review excludes a number of large Australia- and London-based mining companies that report cash holdings on a biannual basis.

* Australian Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan released data collected from the world's largest airborne electromagnetic survey from an area bigger than France and Germany combined, in what he called a "Christopher Columbus era" in the country's exploration sector. The data, undertaken as part of the Exploring for the Future program, was from the first phase of the airborne electromagnetic survey. A second survey is planned for later this year west across the Northern Territory and into Western Australia to increase the understanding of the region's resource potential.

* The Australian government urged junior miners to take up the Junior Mineral Exploration Incentive as the country faces a lack of big mineral discoveries, Mining Weekly reported. Resources Minister Matt Canavan said that more exploration was required to ensure a stable resources sector, adding that around 70% of Australia still remained unexplored.

* Analysts believe that miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are left with limited options in the face of the country's new mining rules, Bloomberg News reported. The companies could try to cut individual deals with the government or could challenge the changes at international arbitration, which would then lead to protracted legal battles, the report added.

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