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S&P revises issue-level ratings on US metals, mining companies

S&P Global Ratings on Dec. 20 revised the issue-level ratings on 13 rated debt issues in the U.S. metals and mining downstream and upstream sectors, resulting in five upgrades and eight downgrades.

The rating agency reviewed its recovery and issue-level ratings for companies that were under observation. The companies included Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., Westmoreland Coal Co., Stillwater Mining Co. and Hecla Mining Co., as well as Bowie Resource Partners LLC, Allegheny Ludlum Corp. and Century Aluminum Co.

"In each case, the revision to the issue-level rating resulted from a revision to the recovery rating on the debt instrument," S&P noted.

In addition, the recovery ratings were revised to 3 from 4 on three rated debt instruments under S&P's new criteria for speculative-grade corporate issuers.

"These rating actions stem solely from the application of our revised recovery criteria and do not reflect any change in our assessment of the corporate credit ratings for issuers of the affected debt issues," S&P said.

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