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Newmont to boost dividend by 79%; First Quantum builds up takeover defenses


Newmont changes name, boosts quarterly dividend

Major gold miner Newmont Goldcorp Corp. plans to boost its quarterly dividend by 79% from 14 U.S. cents per share to 25 cents per share. Newmont Goldcorp said it expects to declare the dividend, which is subject to final approval, in April, and is continuing a US$1 billion share buyback announced in early December 2019. The company also outlined a corporate rebranding and name change to Newmont Corp.

First Quantum builds up takeover defenses with shareholder rights plan

Copper miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd. launched a shareholder rights plan that allows shareholders to buy more First Quantum shares at a "substantial" discount if any investor acquires 20% or more of the company. In adopting the shareholder rights plan, First Quantum said it wants to ensure shareholders "are treated fairly in connection with any takeover bid for the company." Under the plan, shareholders get one share-purchase right for each issued and outstanding share of First Quantum they own. The rights do not apply to the investor or group of related investors with a 20% or more stake, First Quantum said.

Chile leaves Codelco to fund US$20B investment program on its own

Chile's Codelco, already weighed down by US$19.4 billion of debt, is left to fund a US$20 billion program to boost copper output on its own, or else see its production slump as copper grades decline, Bloomberg reported. The country's Finance Minister Ignacio Briones said that the state has no plan for capital injection into Codelco, as Chile aims to spend US$3 billion this year to support the economy and help counteract the impact of more than two months of social unrest.


* Metminco Ltd. expects to close the sale of its noncore Mollacas copper project in Chile in the next few weeks, including requirements for repatriating the US$1 million in sale proceeds.

* Surge Exploration Inc. sold its Trapper Lake copper-gold mineral claims in British Columbia to Brixton Metals Corp. for 350,000 shares of Brixton. The Trapper Lake property adjoins Brixton's Thorn gold project.

* Atlantic Nickel and Appian Capital Advisory LLP said that 11,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate has been produced from the Santa Rita nickel mine in Brazil since the resumption of blasting activities in July 2019. Delivery of the first shipment is expected this month.


* Toronto-based gold miner Barrick Gold Corp. had the world's fourth-largest exploration budget overall in 2019 and the second-largest budget for gold behind rival and partner Newmont Goldcorp, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research team.

* A preliminary economic assessment for Generation Mining Ltd.'s Marathon palladium-copper project in Ontario outlined a posttax net present value, discounted at 5%, of C$871 million, a 30% internal rate of return, and a 2.5-year payback period.

* Panoramic Resources Ltd. entered a definitive agreement to sell its Thunder Bay North platinum group metals project in Ontario to Regency Gold Corp. The company will terminate its previously agreed letter agreement for the sale of Thunder Bay North to Benton Resources Inc.

* Great Panther Mining Ltd. entered into a US$11.3 million gold dore prepayment agreement with Samsung C&T Corp.'s subsidiary Samsung C&T U.K. Ltd. The deal involves the delivery and sale of about 3,000 ounces of gold contained in dore per month over a two-year period from Great Panther's Tucano gold mine in Brazil.

* Tanzania's earnings from exporting gold increased 42% year on year to US$2.14 billion in the year 2019 to November, from US$1.51 billion in the comparative period in 2018, Reuters reported.

* In a bid to expand its landholding at the Pickle Lake gold project in Ontario, Ardiden Ltd. entered an earn-in agreement for Exiro Minerals Corp.'s New Patricia gold prospect, which extends over 30 kilometers of prospective geological setting directly along strike from the Golden Patricia mine and adjoins Ardiden's Dorothy Dobie gold prospect at Pickle Lake.

* Golden Arrow Resources Corp. renegotiated the terms of its option agreement with Minería Activa SpA on the Indiana gold project in Chile. Golden Arrow now has the right to earn 100% of the project over a 74-month period, expiring in December 2024, with an unchanged total cost of US$15.1 million.

* Sunstone Metals Ltd. increased its stake in the Bramaderos gold-copper project in Ecuador to 87.5%, after an amendment to the earn-in joint venture.

* Dampier Gold Ltd. completed its due diligence on the Credo Well gold project in Western Australia. The company notified Torian Resources Ltd. that it wishes to proceed to earn a farm-in interest in the project.

* ANS Mining Share Co. executed the subscription agreement into Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Co., the project company for the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia, and will transfer the first funding tranche of US$9.5 million in January. The existing shareholders, KEFI Minerals PLC and the Ethiopian government, approved the issue of Tulu Kapi Gold Mines shares to ANS Mining.


* While the fires in Australia are reportedly not expected to die down anytime soon, Wood Mackenzie does not expect a significant impact on the massive coal-exporting nation's supply chain. Should Australian producers reduce or halt production, they could likely meet their export needs with stockpiles at the mine or port and refill output over time.

* China's steel purchasing managers' index, or PMI, fell by 2.3 basis points from November to 43.1 in December due to weaker steel market conditions, according to data from index compiler CFLP Steel Logistics Professional Committee, S&P Global Platts reported.

* Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has marginally lifted its forecasts for iron ore prices for the next couple of years while cutting back the expected price of metallurgical coal, S&P Global Platts reported. In its December 2019 edition of the Resources and Energy Quarterly, the Canberra-based unit pegged the average iron ore price for 2020 at A$61.70 per tonne, which is 3% higher than the A$60-per-tonne forecast it gave in its September edition.

* The imposition of 25% duties on imported steel by the Trump administration has failed to save jobs in the steel sector in the U.S. and has made American companies and consumers pay almost the full cost of the tariffs, Bloomberg reported, citing a paper circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

* Worthington Industries Inc. acquired a majority stake of 63% in Worthington Samuel Coil Processing LLC, the company's joint venture with Samuel Son & Co. Ltd.

* Nutrien Ltd. entered a definitive agreement to acquire Agrosema Comercial Agricola Ltda., a retailer in the southern Brazil crop input market with annual sales of about US$60 million.

* Creditors of Beijing-based Wintime Energy Co. Ltd proposed that the coal conglomerate file for bankruptcy after it defaulted on about US$2 billion of bonds, Reuters reported, citing a relevant document. Under a proposed restructuring plan, Wintime Energy will pay back a portion of its unsecured debts amounting to US$4.20 billion through asset disposals and debt-to-equity swaps, according to the report.

* The concept study into Jupiter Mines Ltd.'s Tshipi Borwa manganese mine expansion has been completed. A comprehensive feasibility study based on a production profile of 4.5 million tonnes will commence shortly.

* Protesters against Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Australia, are targeting their protests on Siemens Mobility Australia, the company which will manufacture a signaling system for the railway that will transport coal from the mine to the coast, The Australian reported.


* Global Advanced Metals USA, Inc. said that it is ensuring a stable, uninterrupted supply of tantalum to the U.S. market, in advance compliance with the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2020 that prohibits the U.S. Department of Defense from acquiring tantalum from non-allied foreign nations, specifically Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

* Havilah Resources Ltd. said that elevated levels of rare earth elements were found in re-assaying the drill samples from the company’s Kalkaroo copper-gold-cobalt deposit and the Croziers copper prospect in South Australia. Studies to investigate the potential for economic recovery of a rare-earth-elements concentrate as a byproduct at Kalkaroo have already started.


* Since 2010 more than 600 environmental, social and governance-related resolutions likely would have never advanced under a newly proposed rule by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to data the Sustainable Investments Institute, or Si2, shared with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Thailand’s Department of Primary Industries and Mines said some 130 mining licenses were granted in 2019, covering 39,000 rai or 6,240 hectares of land plots, with a total mineral value of more than 200 billion Thai baht over the 25-year concession period, Matichon reported. The Thai authorities normally issued less than 100 licenses each year prior to the enforcement of the country’s new mineral law in 2017.

S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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