Leaner Anglo boosts earnings, but miner’s share rally stalls -by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – February 22, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Anglo American said on Thursday annual earnings rose 45 percent and net debt halved as the miner rebounded from a commodities slump and said it had become a fundamentally different business focused on productivity.

All the major miners have reported a recovery from the 2015-16 crash in commodities prices, announcing increased returns for shareholders and lower debt, while promising to avoid the spending sprees that piled on supplies and helped to end the last boom.

Anglo American and Glencore, which on Wednesday said its results were the strongest yet, saw their shares fall the furthest in the downturn and have rallied the most as commodity markets have recovered. Continue Reading →

Deal Wizard of South African Gold Mining Is Scaring Investors – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – February 23, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Investors might be running out of patience with Sibanye Gold Ltd.’s colorful chief executive, Neal Froneman. The South African miner’s stock plunged by a record 16 percent Thursday after the company warned it may consider selling assets, metals streams and — only as a last resort — new shares, if the recent strength in the rand persists.

Sibanye is under pressure to reduce debt after a rapid-fire series of deals that transformed the company from a staid and steady gold producer to a diversified precious-metals miner with both southern African and U.S. assets. The company’s net debt is 2.6 times underlying earnings and almost as high as its current market value.

So far, investors have given Froneman, an industry veteran who earned himself the the nickname ‘Mr Fix-It’ for turnaround successes in the 1990s, the benefit of the doubt. But Thursday’s plunge suggests that might not continue forever. Continue Reading →

Cobalt price: Supply scramble heats up with Canadian deal – by Frik Els (Mining.com – February 22, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

Investors piled into Cobalt 27 Capital Corp (TSX-V:KBLT) and RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX) on Thursday after the companies entered into a royalty deal on all future nickel and cobalt production at RNC Minerals’ Dumont project in Quebec in a deal worth $70 million.

Shares in Toronto-based Cobalt 27 gained as much as 6% in lunchtime trade lifting its market cap to C$440m ($350m) . Investors who bought into the battery metals story when Cobalt 27 listed in June are now enjoying a 45% appreciation in the value of the stock since then. Cobalt 27 stockpiles the metal, holds options on cobalt juniors and enters into streaming and royalty deals in an effort to be a pure play on the cobalt price.

RNC Minerals stock popped 12% shortly after the open on the TSX affording the company a market value C$90m before cooling off in later trade. The Toronto-based firm which changed its name from Royal Nickel Corp in 2016 owns 50% of the Dumont project in the Abitibi mining camp in a joint venture with Waterton, a private equity investor. RNC Minerals is up 43% year to date. Continue Reading →

Barrick Vows Not to Grow for Growth’s Sake – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 22, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. managed to cling to the title of world’s largest miner in 2017, but Executive Chairman John Thornton made it clear he won’t be pressuring the troops to repeat that this year.

With rival Newmont Mining Corp. breathing down its neck, Barrick won’t be giving in to the temptation of seeking growth for growth’s sake. Thornton said Barrick looked at a “number of external opportunities” in 2017 and passed on all of them.

In mining, history shows that when times are good, companies overpay for “mediocre assets and invest in projects with low returns,” he said Thursday at the company’s Investor Day in Toronto. “At Barrick, this will not happen.” Continue Reading →

Newmont Mining poised for growth in gold sector – by Susan Taylor (Reuters U.S. – February 22, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

TORONTO (Reuters) – Newmont Mining Corp (NEM.N) laid out plans on Thursday for new projects to grow gold production and cut costs, while reporting market-beating profits and output forecasts that position it to take the title of world’s largest bullion producer in 2018.

Newmont, whose 2017 production slightly lagged industry leader Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), boosted its 2018 capital budget by $300 million, to $1.2-$1.3 billion, after approving a power project at an Australian mine and expansion of a joint venture mine in Nevada.

Chief Executive Gary Goldberg said Newmont’s efforts to attract a broader investor base, by sweetening its dividend and focusing on shareholder returns, is drawing increased interest from generalist investors. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold focuses on discipline after merger misstep – by Niall McGhee (Globe and Mail – February 23, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

As it continues to deal with repercussions from an ill-fated copper deal in Africa, don’t expect Barrick Gold Corp. to rush into any major mergers and acquisitions deals any time soon.

“When times are good, companies overpay for mediocre assets and invest in projects with low returns,” said executive chairman John Thornton in a webcast to investors on Thursday.

“At Barrick, this will not happen. We are putting in place the discipline to make certain this is the case.” Mr. Thornton said that Barrick had examined a number of external M&A opportunities last year, but passed. Continue Reading →

Mount Isa community reflects on 95 years as Australia’s ‘kindergarten of mining’ – by Harriet Tatham (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – February 22, 2018)

http://www.abc.net.au/

Founded on land belonging to the Kalkadoon people, one of Queensland’s longest-running mining towns has today turned 95. Known for its soaring plumes, spinifex, red dirt and heatwaves, mining is the lifeblood of Mount Isa — a fact the remote community steadfastly defends.

“Mount Isa really was the enduring strength of the mining industry,” long-time resident and former mayor of 18 years Ron McCulloch said. In an era of environmental consciousness, Mr McCulloch said the city could attract some criticism in 2018, but he did not believe the spirit had been lost.

“Nowadays I think people are much more motivated by wealth and looking after themselves more than looking after the city, so I think there’s been a little bit of a downturn in the affection people have for the mining industry and the city itself.” Continue Reading →

Finland takes top spot for mining-friendly investment – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – February 23, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Finland has ousted Saskatchewan as the top international jurisdiction for mining investment, Canada’s Fraser Institute announced on Thursday.

Canada’s leading independent think-tank, the Fraser Institute, administers its Annual Survey of Mining Companies and ranks jurisdictions around the world based on a combination of their geological attractiveness for minerals and metals and their policy attractiveness.

“Rich mineral reserves, competitive taxes, efficient permitting procedures and certainty around environmental regulations will still attract significant investment – even with slumping commodity prices,” said senior director of energy and natural resource studies Kenneth Green. Continue Reading →

Commentary: For cobalt buyers, is artisanal mining the problem or the solution? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – February 22, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – One reason the cobalt price has gone supernova over the last year is the realisation that not only does most of the available supply come from just one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but a good part of it comes from artisanal mines.

In the case of cobalt, however, artisanal mining may in fact be part of the solution to securing long-term supplies of the “hot” metal used for lithium-ion batteries key to the electric vehicle revolution. The real problem in the DRC is less this mining itself, but more the lawlessness that surrounds it and makes much of the cobalt from the region effectively a “conflict mineral”.

For as Apple has already found out and automotive companies are learning, it’s tricky enough selling yourself as a pioneer of 21st century technology if one of your key raw materials conjures up images of impoverished children wheeling barrows laden with ore or being lowered into rickety tunnels. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Kazakh mining company ERG looks to spin off and list assets – sources – by Clara Denina and Dasha Afanasieva (Reuters U.s. – February 22, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Kazakh mining company Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), formerly known as ENRC, is working on a plan to eventually spin off and list some of its assets to help repay debt, three banking sources said.

The company, then called Eurasian National Resources Corporation (ENRC), was taken private by its three founders and the Kazakh government in 2013 in a $4.5 billion buyout, six years after listing on the London stock exchange.

While listed in London, the company was dogged by boardroom battles, weak commodity prices and an investigation into fraud and bribery at some of its subsidiaries. Continue Reading →

[Northern Superior Resources] A tale of two exploration projects – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – February 21, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

President, CEO and director of Northern Superior Resources gives overview of challenges of exploration on Ontario and Quebec properties

If there’s one piece of advice Tom Morris can give to mineral exploration companies, it’s let nature tell the story.

After more than 35 years in prospecting, exploration and mining, the president of Northern Superior Resources brought a message to the Sudbury Prospectors and Developers Association. Pay close attention to the findings, even if they aren’t what they are looking for, to determine what kind of resources are really in the ground.

Morris spoke on Jan. 20 about what he learned from two properties: TPK in the Far North, near the Ring Fire, and Croteau Est in Quebec. Very different locations, infrastructure needs, and histories. Both are showing great promise as potential gold mines. Continue Reading →

Harte Gold triples resource at Sugar project in Ontario – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – February 16, 208)

http://www.northernminer.com/

In its first real update since 2012, Harte Gold (TSX: HRT; US-OTC: HRTFF) has tripled the resource at its Sugar deposit about 80 km east of the Hemlo camp in northern Ontario.

The new 1.5 million ounce resource is based largely on Harte’s 2017 drill program (138,000 metres) and about 50% is classified as indicated and situated in the upper 500 metres of the deposit.

The Sugar zone (including the Middle Zone) now contains an estimated 2.61 million indicated tonnes grading 8.52 grams gold per tonne for 714,200 ounces of contained gold and another 3.59 million inferred tonnes (to a depth of 1,000 metres) grading 6.59 grams gold for 760,800 oz. contained gold. The resource used a 3.0 gram gold cut-off. Continue Reading →

Australian miners ramp up investment in electric-vehicle metals – by Kaori Takahashi (Nikkei Asian Review – February 22, 2018)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

Copper and lithium among targets for spending as demand and prices climb

SYDNEY — Australia’s mining companies are shelling out more to find copper and other materials used in electric vehicles as demand for the next-generation automobiles grows.

Anglo-Australian mining group BHP Billiton looks to invest $6.9 billion in plants and exploration in the year through June, up 32% from the previous fiscal year’s $5.22 billion.

The aim is to improve productivity at the company’s core coal and iron ore operations, and to develop its copper business. BHP in February completed a $350 million facilities upgrade at the Olympic Dam copper mine, where it plans to raise output 25-35% on the year. Continue Reading →

Mining equipment company develops global reach: RDH Mining Equipment acquired by German-based SMT Scharf Corp. – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – February 21, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

RDH Mining Equipment has joined a larger family, which its management says will mean more opportunities to grow as a company and more markets to expand into. The mining equipment producer announced in a news release Feb. 7 it was acquired by German-based company SMT Scharf for $8 million.

“We were approached by Scharf and they said they were interested in making a deal,” said Neil Edward, chief financial officer for RDH Mining Equipment. “We had visited them in Germany to continue discussions back in October to discuss our two businesses.”

The company is located in Alban, about an hour southeast of Sudbury and supplies mines with mobile equipment. SMT Scharf produces rail transport systems for the mining industry. Continue Reading →

[Ontario Mining] Digging into mining investment growth – by Kenneth Green and Ashley Stedman (Troy Media – February 22, 2018)

http://troymedia.com/

Kenneth Green and Ashley Stedman are the co-authors of the Fraser Institute’s 2017 Survey of Mining Companies.

Ontario has received some good news from mining investors. Those investors now see the province as one of the top 10 most attractive regions for mining investment worldwide, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining companies.

Every year, the institute surveys miners around the world to determine which jurisdictions are attractive – or unattractive – for investment, based on policies and geology. The survey spotlights policies (taxes, duplicative regulations, availability of labour and skills, etc.) that govern the mining industry and impact the investment attractiveness of jurisdictions.

This year, Ontario sits seventh in the world rankings, up from 18th last year. What’s behind Ontario’s rise? Less uncertainty around disputed land claims and protected areas. Continue Reading →