Archive | United States Mining

Barrick confirms weighing bid for Newmont Mining in no-premium deal – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 23, 2019)

A hostile bid for Newmont Mining Corp. may force its shareholders into a tough decision: proceed with plans to acquire and turn around an industry laggard, or be swallowed by a long-standing rival.

Barrick Gold Corp. confirmed Friday that it has examined an all-stock takeover offer to acquire Colorado-based Newmont. Toronto-based Barrick said the bid it was contemplating would not contain a takeover premium, but the news sent Newmont shares 3 per cent higher, indicating some investors believe a formal offer will come.

The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that Barrick is mulling a US$19-billion takeover of Newmont that would involve the company flipping some Newmont assets to another company, possibly Australia’s Newcrest Mining. Bloomberg also reported Thursday night that Barrick had studied a bid. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Barrick may have to pay fat premium for Newmont – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – February 23, 2019)

The marriage of Toronto’s Barrick Gold and Denver’s Newmont Mining, the two big beasts of the gold world, should have happened a long time ago. The theoretical deal made perfect sense because combining their properties in Nevada could save fortunes, all the better to reward shareholders.

And since the top mining companies tend to be run by egomaniacs obsessed with size, the union would come with bragging rights. Barrick-Newmont would bury the competition.

Mark Bristow, the new chief executive of Barrick, has revived the idea of a blockbuster Barrick-Newmont merger. If there is any executive in the mining industry who could pull off such a stunt, it is him. He has the chutzpah and his track record of superb value creation at his old haunt – Randgold Resources, which Barrick bought last year – might ensure the support of investors. Continue Reading →

Barrick-Newmont ‘makes no sense’: Pierre Lassonde blasts deal chatter – by Noah Zivitz (BNN Bloomberg News – February 22, 2019)

One of the most prominent names in the mining industry is blasting the mere possibility of Barrick Gold Corp., calling its potential hostile takeover bid for Newmont Mining Corp. “stupid.”

“Someone is having fun with the press,” said Pierre Lassonde, chairman of Franco-Nevada Corp. (), in an emailed statement to BNN Bloomberg. “A hostile bid in this environment is stupid. [Barrick’s] stock would get crushed.”

Barrick () confirmed in a short press release Friday morning that it has “reviewed the opportunity” to merge with Newmont () in what the company said would be an all-stock, no premium offer. Barrick added it hasn’t decided how it will proceed. Continue Reading →

Barrick eyes hostile bid as Newmont set to become No. 1 gold producer – by Niall McGee and Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – February 21, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp. is mulling a takeover bid for Newmont Mining Corp., a transaction that would represent one of the largest mining deals ever and solidify the Toronto-based company’s position as the world’s largest gold producer.

Barrick is actively working on a plan for a two-step deal that would see it take over Colorado-based Newmont for about US$19-billion in stock, then flip some of Newmont’s assets to Australia’s Newcrest Mining, according to industry sources familiar with the situation.

The sources, who were granted anonymity by The Globe because they were not authorized by their employers to speak publicly, cautioned that there are still a number of hurdles. One of those obstacles is winning support from shareholders of Newmont. The company is attempting to close its own US$10-billion acquisition of Vancouver miner Goldcorp Inc., which was only announced last month. Continue Reading →

Every day, U.S. mining sites dump 189-million litres of untreated water tainted with arsenic, lead, other toxins – by Matthew Brown (Associated Press/Globe and Mail – Feburary 21, 2019)

Every day, many millions of litres of water loaded with arsenic, lead and other toxic metals flow from some of the most contaminated mining sites in the U.S. and into surrounding streams and ponds without being treated, The Associated Press has found. That torrent is poisoning aquatic life and tainting drinking water sources in Montana, California, Colorado, Oklahoma and at least five other states.

The pollution is a legacy of how the mining industry was allowed to operate in the U.S. for more than a century. Companies that built mines for silver, lead, gold and other “hardrock” minerals could move on once they were no longer profitable, leaving behind tainted water that still leaks out of the mines or is cleaned up at taxpayer expense.

Using data from public records requests and independent researchers, the AP examined 43 mining sites under federal oversight, some containing dozens or even hundreds of individual mines. Continue Reading →

The United States’ aluminum tariff wall is crumbling – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 19, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – It is almost a year since the United States imposed duties on imports of aluminum and steel on national security grounds. If the aim of the so-called “Section 232” tariffs was to lift domestic production, President Donald Trump’s administration can claim a degree of success.

U.S. output of primary aluminum has started rising sharply thanks to restarts of idled capacity, although not all of them have been directly down to the 10-percent import tariff.

If, however, the aim was also to tackle rising import penetration, particularly by Chinese aluminum producers, tariffs may already have passed peak effectiveness. Ever more gaps are appearing in the aluminum trade wall as the number of exclusions granted for specific products lengthens. Continue Reading →

Canada won’t ratify new NAFTA until steel and aluminum tariffs lifted, warns key U.S. Senator – by Naomi Powell (Financial Post – February 14, 2019)

Canada and Mexico won’t consider ratifying the revised North American Free Trade Agreement unless the United States lifts its tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said Tuesday.

Grassley, who held meetings with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena Coquilast week, said the levies are now the “biggest impediment” to approving the deal.

“The Senate in Mexico is not going to take it up until the tariffs are off,” Grassley said during a call with reporters. “The House of Commons in Canada’s not going to take it up if it’s not there soon after March 1 and it’s not going to be there unless the tariffs are off. And even Republicans and Democrats in the Congress of the United States say those tariffs have to go off.” Continue Reading →

OPINION: Trump’s metal tariffs end up favoring China’s steel and aluminum over Canada’s – by Erin Dunne (Washington Examiner – February 11, 2019)

President Trump has many justifications for his tariffs: national security, pushing back on unfair trade deals, and protecting American manufacturing. Not on the list: playing favorites with Chinese imports over those from neighboring Canada. But through the convoluted exclusions process of U.S. tariffs, that’s exactly what has happened.

As the CBC reported, about 40 percent of U.S. imports of Chinese steel have been excluded from the 25 percent tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and 86 percent of imports of Chinese aluminum, otherwise subject to a 10 percent tariff, have been excluded.

For comparison, only 2 percent of U.S. imports of Canadian steel are free from tariffs and less than 1 percent of aluminum. So how did this happen? Continue Reading →

Goldman and Its Biggest Critic Agree on Iron Ore Outlook – by Luzi-Ann Javier and Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – February 8, 2019)

It took massive output cuts from the world’s largest iron ore producer to get Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts and their biggest critic to agree on their outlook for the steelmaking ingredient.

Just two months ago, Cleveland-Cliffs Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves wasn’t shy about calling out Goldman analysts for their iron ore price forecast.

“Let me refresh your minds,” Goncalves said in a presentation at the bank’s metals conference in November. “Last year, Goldman Sachs’s Jeff Currie said that I don’t know where prices go — $65, three months later will be $60, then it will be $55 then $50. It went $65, $70, $75 then $70 then $75 so you are wrong, I was right.” Continue Reading →

A toxic crisis in America’s coal country – by Gareth Evans (BBC News – February 11, 2019)

Wyoming County, West Virginia – In the shadow of some of America’s most controversial coal mines, where companies use huge amounts of explosives to blow the tops off mountains, isolated communities say their water has been poisoned.

Now, they must decide if they will fight back against an industry they have relied upon for generations. Casey (not her real name) wears a one-dollar wedding ring now. She bought the blue plastic band after her original ring was ruined by the toxic water that has been pumping into her home for more than a decade.

“I just needed something there,” she says, as she holds the replacement ring up to the light. “I felt empty without it.” She places her original wedding band, now discoloured and corroded, in her palm. Her skin, especially on her hands, has become coarse and sore. Continue Reading →

[Michigan Mining] Can Brazilian tailings dam disaster happen here? – by Al Gedicks (La Crosse Tribune – February 8, 2019)

The recent collapse of a mine tailings dam in southeastern Brazil has already resulted in 134 fatalities, leaving an estimated 300 people still missing, according to rescue workers.

The spill flooded nearby homes, submerging cars and buses under a river of reddish-brown sludge. This environmental disaster should raise red flags for Michigan regulators and the communities downstream from Aquila Resources’ proposed open-pit metallic sulfide mine and tailings dam next to the Menominee River on the Wisconsin-Michigan border.

On Jan. 25, a 40-year-old, 280-foot high tailings dam failed in Brumadinho, Brazil, releasing almost 12 million cubic meters of mine waste. Continue Reading →

China could be a big winner if Donald Trump restricts US uranium imports, experts say (South China Morning Post – February 8, 2019)

China could be a big winner if the Trump administration demands that 25 per cent of United States’ uranium demand is supplied by American mines, experts say.

Currently both the US and China import more than 90 per cent of the uranium they consume. The US is, however, considering a 25 per cent domestic production quota for national security reasons.

This would make an extra 4.5 million kilogram of uranium available on the global market, at a time when Chinese uranium buyers are scouring the globe for more purchases. Continue Reading →

Brazil Dam Catastrophe Sounds Alarm for U.S. Waste Ponds (Bloomberg Environment – February 4, 2019)

A mining dam failure similar to the one that killed more than 100 people in Brazil could happen in the U.S., according to a mine engineer who consults with the government.

At the root of the risk is a quilt of differing state regulations, sloppy dam construction, lax maintenance, neglect of decades-old dams that are wrongly assumed to be stable, and stronger storms dumping water into dams that weren’t designed to handle the weight, said James Kuipers, who consults with the Environmental Protection Agency and state governments on tailings dams, which hold mining waste.

“It can happen here,” Kuipers told Bloomberg Environment. But the industry says tailings dams in the U.S. are safer than they’ve ever been, thanks to advances in technology and design. Continue Reading →

David Garofalo to leave Goldcorp after company merger, Newmont CEO says – by David Milstead (Globe and Mail – January 31, 2019)

Goldcorp Inc. chief executive David Garofalo will leave once the company completes its merger with Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp., says the man who engineered the deal.

Mr. Garofalo’s fate had been a question mark ever since Newmont and Vancouver-based Goldcorp announced their US$10-billion union on Jan. 14. But in an interview with The Globe and Mail, Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg confirmed there is no role planned for the Goldcorp boss once the merger, which will create the world’s largest gold miner, is done.

“David will not continue with us,” said Mr. Goldberg, who will run the new company, to be called Newmont Goldcorp. “He’s been supportive, and the whole [Goldcorp] team has been really great to work with as we work through this process.” Continue Reading →

How the US lost the plot on rare earths – by Rick Rule ( – January 2019)

On Wednesday morning, a rocket blasted off from Blue Origin’s West Texas facility in West Texas, carrying eight NASA experiments into space with it. Climbing past an altitude of 350,000 feet (over 100 kilometers), the New Shepard rocket launched its capsule, from which the company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to conduct space tourism. Blue Origin tweeted that it plans to begin flying humans to space next year.

Those watching Wednesday’s launch probably assume that the parts for American rockets are made in the United States. While that may be true for space-travel companies like Space X, Blue Origin and Virgin, it isn’t for rockets sent skyward for national security missions, through something called the United Launch Alliance. These rockets are powered by Russian engines. Yes, you read that right.

Our Cold War enemy for 30-odd years, which ironically started the space race with the 1957 launch of Sputnik, all use RD-180 engines made by NPO Energomash, a Russian state-owned company. Continue Reading →