Mining Weekly
Fjordland and CanAlaska to explore north of Vale’s Thompson mine
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 20:32:00 +0200
Exploration companies Fjordland and CanAlaska Uranium have announced a letter of intent (LoI) to explore the North Thompson nickel project – a 16 685 ha claim group located 25 km north of the Thompson mine operated by Vale Canada. TSX-V-listed Fjordland has an option to acquire up to 80% in CanAlaska’s Hunter and Strong properties, part of the North Thompson nickel project.
FTC moves to block Peabody and Arch Coal JV
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 17:41:00 +0200
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday filed an administrative complaint challenging a proposed joint venture (JV) between the two largest coal-mining companies in the US, on concerns that the transaction will eliminate competition. Through the transaction, announced in June 2019, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal plan combine their mining operations in the Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB), located in north-eastern Wyoming. The companies are two major competitors, having produced more than 60% of all SPRB coal mined in 2018.
While $1bn green investment is laudable, Rio Tinto has to do more – Woodmac
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 17:09:00 +0200
Global miner Rio Tinto’s announcement that it will spend $1-billion to reach net zero emissions by 2050 has been hailed as a “small, but significant step in the right direction”, however Wood Mackenzie vice chairperson of metals and mining Julian Kettle said on Wednesday that the iron-ore major had to do more. “Changes need to be far bolder at a corporate, government and societal level,” he said in response to the Rio Tinto announcement, in which the diversified miner set new emission reduction targets for 2030. "Setting Rio Tinto’s $1-billion in context, this represents just 16% of the dividend it distributed in 2019 or just under 5% of its reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $21.2-billion for the same year.
Barrick issues cease and desist notice to AJN over Kibali stake purchase
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 16:39:00 +0200
Barrick Gold, the operator of Congo's biggest gold mine, has issued a cease and desist notice to junior miner AJN Resources as it moves to block its acquisition of a 10% stake in the project, which it says the deal undervalues. Barrick and AngloGold Ashanti, which each own 45% of the Kibali mine, said they had not been consulted about the acquisition even though the stake's owner Societe Miniere de Kilo-Moto (Sokimo) may not transfer or sell its Kibali shares without their approval. The two companies and the chair of State-owned Sokimo say AJN's planned acquisition was prematurely announced to the market, without notifying stakeholders or securing approval from Sokimo's board.
Nornickel sees no major palladium substitution in near term
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 16:17:00 +0200
Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel, expects the palladium market to continue to be in a deficit of about 500 000 oz this year, driven by the continuing increase in loadings in autocatalysts. Underpinning the company’s market forecast for palladium is the rolling out of the China 6 vehicle emissions standard and the introduction of real driving emissions (RDE) tests in Europe to measure pollutants. The miner states that palladium’s substitution with platinum will be limited in 2020, as an “effective technical solution is not available”.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology key to achieving green economy – Plug Power
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 14:55:00 +0200
The only way to achieve a ‘green’ economy, fight climate change and prevent the destruction that the world has seen in recent years is to ensure that conversations turn to the adoption of the hydrogen economy and interest in fuel cell deployment lives beyond the initial hype. That is the view of Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh, whose 20-year-old Nasdaq-listed US company earlier this month launched a 125 kW hydrogen fuel cell zero-emission engine that extends the company’s market reach beyond fuel cell systems for electric forklift trucks to medium-to-heavy trucks, transit buses and various port applications.
Paramount kicks off final phase of Grassy Mountain permitting
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 14:44:00 +0200
NYSE American-listed Paramount Gold Nevada has submitted its plan of operation to the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), outlining its plans to build and operate the proposed Grassy Mountain underground gold mine, in Oregon. The project’s processing facilities and tailing storage would be located on federal land. Over the next 30 days, the BLM will review the plan for completeness and provide the company with comments, if any. Once the application is deemed complete, a notice of intent would be filed in the federal register, initiating the environmental impact statement process under the National Environmental Policy Act. The process is expected to take 12 months to completed.
New pure-play nickel/cobalt company to start trading on TSX-V
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 14:29:00 +0200
The TSX-V has approved the listing of Canada Nickel Company, which will begin trading on the exchange on Friday. Canada Nickel owns the Crawford nickel/cobalt sulphide project, which was spun out of TSX-V-listed Noble Mineral Exploration. Noble announced the transfer of Crawford, in Ontario, to Canada Nickel in November last year. "This is an exciting time to be launching an entirely new pure play nickel/cobalt company as the global demand for electric-vehicle battery components shifts into high gear," said chairperson and CEO Mark Selby.
R16.4bn allocated to cover SAA’s debt and debt costs
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 14:03:00 +0200
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced on Wednesday that R16.4-billion would be allocated to South African Airways over the medium term to “repay the airline’s guaranteed debt and to cover debt-service costs”. Speaking to lawmakers, Mboweni said the “SAA Sword of Damocles has now fallen on us”, referring to the decision, made in December, to place the struggling national carrier into voluntary business rescue as a result of its inability to meet financial obligations.
Gold-backed ETFs have never seen a run of inflows like this
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 12:49:00 +0200
Global investors are stashing more and more assets into gold as the coronavirus outbreak spreads and appetite for risk takes a hit. The global tally of bullion in exchange-traded funds swelled by the most in more than a month on Tuesday as equities sank. That was the twenty-fifth consecutive day of inflows, a record. At 2 624.7 t, the holdings are the largest ever. After surging 18% last year, gold has extended its rally in 2020, with prices hitting the highest since 2013. The haven has been favoured as the virus outbreak has spread beyond China, threatening a pandemic and slower growth.
NMP confident of moving forward with Sandpaper project
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 11:19:00 +0200
Project developer Namibian Marine Phosphate (NMP) is confident of moving ahead with its Sandpiper marine phosphate project as it addresses all environmental recommendations following renewed environmental consultations. The group has been working to correct much of the misinformation it believes surrounds the project, which has been the centre of controversy over its ambitions of trawling the seabed for phosphates.
New Zealand on tenterhooks over Rio Tinto smelter closure risk
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 11:18:00 +0200
Meridian Energy, New Zealand's top power producer, on Wednesday played down market expectations that Rio Tinto would keep its New Zealand Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) open when it decides on the plant's fate in the next month. The global miner's smelter at Tiwai Point is New Zealand's largest power consumer, using around 12% of the country's electricity. A shutdown of the plant would trigger a sharp drop in power prices and deal a hefty blow to the sector. Rio Tinto said last October it would review the plant's future. NZAS said this week all options, including curtailment and closure, were being considered, with an update expected in the first quarter.
Rio CEO says world must sacrifice growth to meet climate goals
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 11:12:00 +0200
Rio Tinto Group’s CEO said the world must be prepared to sacrifice growth to achieve climate goals as the natural resources industry comes under increasing pressure to curb emissions. “The challenge for the world, and for the resources industry, is to continue the focus on poverty reduction and wealth creation, while delivering climate action,” Jean-Sebastien Jacques told investors on Wednesday. “This will require complex trade-offs.” Jacques said consumers, governments and shareholders must all be willing to make sacrifices -- in the form of lower consumption, growth and returns -- if climate targets are to be met. The mining industry, a key pillar of growth in many developing countries, is facing investor demands to cut the scale of emissions created by its products, from thermal coal to iron-ore. Rio reiterated its position on refusing to set any targets for reducing the carbon emissions generated by its customers, taking a firm stance on an issue that’s quickly dividing the natural resources industry.
Harebottle resigns as Kropz CEO
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:50:00 +0200
Ian Harebottle has resigned as CEO of Aim-listed emerging phosphate producer Kropz, effective February 29. He will be succeeded by CFO Mark Summers in the interim.
South Africa surpasses Botswana in attractiveness as a mining investment destination
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:41:00 +0200
South Africa last year surpassed Botswana as the most attractive mining investment destination on the African continent, the Fraser Institute’s latest ‘Annual Survey of Mining Companies’ shows. Guinea topped the list of African countries included in the institute’s Investment Attractiveness Index (IAI), while Tanzania was last in Africa, as well as globally.
Diamcor starts surface diamond mining with heavy equipment in Limpopo
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:37:00 +0200
TSX-V-listed junior diamond miner Diamcor Mining has started using a new, larger fleet of Caterpillar heavy mining equipment at its Krone-Endora at Venetia project, based next to diamond miner De Beers’ Venetia mine, in Limpopo. Diamcor started off by processing tailings material at Krone-Endora.
Guyana Goldfields warns of ore supply gap, explores financing options
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:32:00 +0200
Canadian intermediate gold producer Guyana Goldfields does not have sufficient working capital and cash flow to cover its operating requirements this year, the TSX-listed company announced on Tuesday. The miner, which operates the Aurora gold mine in Guyana, said that it was “actively exploring” alternatives to provide additional balance sheet flexibility. At the same time, it has also started a review of strategic alternatives.
Galway targets new North America gold district
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:13:00 +0200
Toronto-headquartered Galway Metals says the strong drill results rolling in from its project in New Brunswick supports its view that Clarence Stream is an emerging new gold district. On Tuesday, the company reported assay results from drilling south of the Richard zone and between the Richard and Jubilee zones. Hole 87 yielded some of the best intersections in the company’s history, intersecting 10.6 g/t gold over 97 m and 1.2 g/t gold over 32 m.
Fresnillo buys Naranjillo property in Mexico
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 09:59:00 +0200
TSX-V-listed Plata Latina says silver major Fresnillo has exercised its option to purchase its the Naranjillo property, in Mexico. The option stems from a 2017 agreement that provided Fresnillo subsidiary Metalúrgica Reyna with a three-year term in which to conduct exploration and exercise the option. The Naranjillo project is a grassroots epithermal silver/gold discovery made by the company in 2012 and is located in the Mexican Silver Belt, about 35 km southeast of the Guanajuato mining district.
Australia's Woodside Petroleum and BHP Group adjust Scarborough project stakes
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 09:47:00 +0200
Australia's Woodside Petroleum and global miner BHP Group have marginally adjusted their stakes in two Scarborough project titles, Woodside said on Wednesday. Woodside will hold a 73.5% stake in each of the titles, while BHP will hold the remaining 26.5%.