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Anglo American confirms Sirius takeover bid; Glencore may cut jobs at Rustenburg


Anglo American confirms Sirius Minerals takeover bid

The boards of Anglo American PLC and Sirius Minerals PLC reached an agreement for the former to acquire the issued share capital of the latter at 5.50 British pence per share in cash, valuing the fertilizer producer at approximately £404.9 million. The transaction represents a 34.1% premium to the closing price of 4.10 pence per Sirius share on Jan. 7, the last business day prior to the start of the offer period, and a 46.5% premium to the volume-weighted average price of 3.75 pence per Sirius share since its strategic review launched Sept. 17, 2019.

Glencore flags layoffs at unprofitable South African ferrochrome smelter

Mining giant Glencore PLC may slash jobs at its Rustenburg ferrochrome joint venture with Merafe Resources Ltd. in South Africa due to financial losses, Business Day and Mining Weekly reported, citing a Glencore notice to employees at the site. The decision was reportedly prompted by South Africa's electricity issues and tariff increases as well as a difficult trading environment that has led to significant volumes of ferrochrome production being transferred to lower-cost competitors abroad. "Despite significant investment to make the operation more competitive, the Rustenburg smelter has suffered material financial losses, which are expected to continue for the foreseeable future," Glencore was quoted as saying by the news outlets.

Report: De Beers may reduce buyers to improve margins in 'new diamond world'

Anglo American's diamond unit De Beers SA, is considering slashing its roster of handpicked buyers and changing diamond allocations amid customers' struggle to generate profits, Bloomberg News reported. A glut in rough and polished diamond supplies eroded margins at middlemen, while banks also restricted funding for the sector. By decreasing its number of customers, De Beers could help boost the clients it retains, according to the newswire.


* Rio Tinto launched formal feasibility studies on developing its Winu copper-gold discovery in Pilbara, Western Australia, The Australian reported. The company reportedly upgraded the project to the study stage from the advanced exploration stage while increasing spending on an "order of magnitude" study, part of its early stage economic studies on Winu.

* The Chilean parliament's Mining Commission will launch an investigation against insurance firm Chilena Consolidada, which state copper miner Codelco accused of inflating insurance policies for workers at the Radomiro Tomic and Chuquicamata copper mines, reported.

* China updated the standards for importing high-grade copper scrap and aluminum scrap metal into the country, as it looks to end the import of solid waste by the end of 2020, Reuters reported. Under the new standards, to be effective July 1, the scrap imports meeting the new standard will be categorized as a resource instead of waste.

* African Energy Resources Ltd. signed a power sales agreement with the Zambian subsidiaries of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. for the purchase of 100 megawatts of power delivered to the latter's copper operations in the country for a period of 15 years.

* Chengtun Mining Group Co. Ltd. received regulatory approval from China for its proposed acquisition of the issued share capital of Nzuri Copper Ltd.

* Kunming Rongke New Materials won a bid to purchase 3,609.46 tonnes of indium, formerly held by the defunct Fanya Metal Exchange, for 2.85 billion Chinese yuan, Reuters reported.

* Independence Group NL confirmed that its takeover bid for Panoramic Resources Ltd. has lapsed. Panoramic shareholders who accepted the offer will have their acceptances cancelled and will be free to deal with their shares as they see fit. Meanwhile, the Australia-listed miner changed its name to IGO Ltd.


* A newly proposed wilderness area in eastern Canada is presenting a hurdle to ASX-listed St Barbara Ltd.'s plans to use it for water for its Cochrane Hill gold development project and potentially expand operations in the area, a Nova Scotia provincial government spokesperson confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* The price of palladium reached US$2,231 per ounce on Jan. 15, according to London Bullion Market Association data, then increased to over US$2,500 per ounce for the first time on Jan. 17, according to Reuters. "Palladium continues to make new highs as market fundamentals remain tight and we think there is little scope for material easing anytime soon," wrote UBS strategist Joni Teves.

* Meanwhile, platinum is expected to catch-up with the surge of palladium as car manufacturers are forced to switch to the metal due to shortage and the high cost of palladium, Forbes reported.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. forward sold an additional 37,200 ounces of gold at an average price of US$1,562 per ounce in scheduled monthly deliveries of 1,200 ounces between July and December.

* Lucky Minerals Inc. said that it will focus its efforts on gold exploration in 2020, as it seeks a joint venture partner for the advancement of known copper opportunities on its Fortuna project in Ecuador.


* Buoyed by strong iron ore prices in 2019, analysts are forecasting that shareholders for Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. are poised to receive huge payouts, with an analyst from Macquarie believing that Rio Tinto may pay out US$5.62 per share, topping its record dividend of US$5.50 per share in 2018, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Poland plans to transport some coal stocks from mines to a central warehouse to reduce growing stockpiles, Reuters reported, citing Deputy Minister of State Assets Adam Gaweda. A mining union said that the stock pile threatened to choke operations.

* K+S AG sold its waste management group K+S Entsorgung Schweiz AG to Switzerland-based Thommen-Furler AG to quickly generate value and reduce indebtedness. The firm did not disclose the exact amount of the transaction, but said that it is in the lower single-digit million euro range.

* For the fourth straight month, Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. Ltd. will hold its prices for steel bars and H-shaped beams at ¥62,000 per tonne and ¥83,000/t, respectively, as it awaits confirmation that a recovery in steel markets would persist, Reuters reported.

* India's steel industry is seeking a decrease in basic customs duty on key raw materials such as coking coal, pet coke, limestone and dolomite in the upcoming budget, Press Trust of India reported.

* Agrimin Ltd.'s drainable mineral resource for its MacKay project in Western Australia swelled 470% to 123.4 million tonnes of sulfate of potash. The drainable porosity, or specific yield, resource estimate includes 23.5 Mt in the measured and indicated category, and 99.9 Mt in the inferred category. The in-situ mineral resource, based on total porosity, now stands at about 1.10 billion tonnes of SOP.

* The Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety approved FYI Resources Ltd.'s mining proposal for the Cadoux kaolin project, which was required in order to begin works at the operation.

* Emmerson PLC started the full environmental and social impact assessment study for its Khemisset potash project in northern Morocco, a key component for its future permitting processes for the operation.

* Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional initiated a cash tender offer for its outstanding 6.50% senior unsecured guaranteed notes due 2020, with US$433.6 million in principal outstanding. The offer is priced at US$1,020 per US$1,000 in principal and expires Jan. 24 with settlement anticipated within five business days thereafter, the company said.


* The review panel of the Australian Takeovers Panel canceled the order prohibiting Rio Tinto from compulsorily acquiring shares in Energy Resources of Australia Ltd., noting that the orders "would be unfairly prejudicial to Rio Tinto." The panel added that Energy Resources needs to disclose to its shareholders Rio Tinto's intentions regarding compulsory acquisition if the latter becomes a 90% shareholder, following the former's A$476 million entitlement offer and underwriting agreement.

* ASX-listed Lynas Corp. Ltd. is facing legal action in the Malaysian High Court that challenge the government's decision to renew the company's operating license for the Gebeng rare earths plant. The company said the three petitioners who filed the case had their previous court challenges dismissed.

* Galan Lithium Ltd.'s share prices closed with an 18% gain after it announced that Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. acquired an undisclosed amount of shares in the company through its GFL International Co. Ltd. unit.

* Orocobre Ltd. said Toyota Tsusho Corp. secured two contracts to sell 7,200 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate and 2,880 tonnes of micronized battery-grade lithium carbonate produced from the consortium's Salar de Olaroz lithium project in Argentina, beginning in the March quarter.

* Liontown Resources Ltd. said it began a process to seek a joint venture partner or to divest its Toolebuc vanadium project in Queensland, Australia, as it decided to focus on its Kathleen Valley lithium project in Western Australia following a strategic review of its operations and the ongoing drilling success at its lithium properties.

* A maiden estimate for Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd.'s Insheim license, part of its namesake lithium brine project in Germany, outlined indicated resources of 722,000 tonnes of contained lithium carbonate equivalent at a lithium brine grade of 181 milligrams per liter.


* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ordered a lower court to dismiss a case in which a group of young Americans sought to make federal agencies address and limit the impacts of climate change.

* The London Metal Exchange three-month nickel price moved further above US$14,000/t on the Dec. 13, 2019, announcement of a "phase one" trade deal between the U.S. and China and closed 2019 up 31% higher year over year at US$14,025/t, S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research team reported. The price has remained between US$13,755/t and US$14,190/t during January so far, seemingly yet to be negatively impacted by the surge in LME nickel stocks during December 2019.

* Metals and mining companies saw a median gain of 10.9% over the last year, with precious metals companies booking a median gain of 52.5% overall and occupying 12 ranks among the top 15 performers, based on an analysis of companies with market capitalization exceeding US$500 million at the end of 2019.

* A new mining code in Mali will protect companies from fiscal changes for 20 years, down from the previous stability period of 30 years, Reuters reported, citing the country's mines minister Lelenta Hawa Baba Bah.

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