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Sumitomo moves ahead with Hillalong coal joint venture in Queensland

Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo and Bowen Coking Coal (BCB) have announced that they will proceed with an earn-in at the Hillalong joint venture, in Queensland.

BCB has received a further A$1.2m ($0.76m) through its farm-in agreement with Sumitomo.

The Japanese firm will gain a 10% interest in the Hillalong Coking Coal project. In exchange, Bowen is receiving A$2.5m ($1.6m) to fund phase one exploration at Hillalong.

According to BCB, the latest A$1.2m payment completes the first tranche of the agreement and the two companies can now proceed with the joint venture (JV) to complete phase one exploration at Hillalong.

The joint venture will be managed by Bowen Coking Coal.

Sumitomo first signed a formal farm-in agreement in November last year with Bowen, under which it would earn an initial 10% interest in the project, with the right to earn an additional 10% by further funding A$5m ($3.2m).

Commenting on the latest developments, Bowen Coking Coal managing director Gerhard Redelinghuys said: “We are extremely pleased with the move towards a Joint Venture with a very capable partner like Sumitomo.

“Not only does it demonstrate confidence in Hillalong’s potential, but it also formalises the relationship to achieve the future milestones in the development of the project.”

Bowen Coking Coal said that it would very soon provide an update on the first phase of exploration programme at Hillalong.

The Sumitomo Group is one of the Japan’s largest conglomerates. It was initially founded in 1615 and now encompasses a diverse list of businesses operating in the mining and materials.

In August 2017, Sumitomo Metal Mining was set to exit the nickel exploration project in the Solomon Islands due to falling nickel prices and unfavourable business conditions.

Byrnecut and OZ Minerals to trial Sandvik drill tele-remote operation

Contract miner Byrnecut Australia and mining firm OZ Minerals have successfully upgraded automation for Sandvik development drills, despite challenges due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Byrnecut Australia has become the first underground operator to use a new automation and tele-remote package for Sandvik development drills.

Silvercorp agrees to acquire Guyana Goldfields in cash and stock deal

Canadian precious metals producer Silvercorp Metals has signed a definitive agreement to buy all of the issued and outstanding shares of Guyana Goldfields in a cash and stock deal valued at C$105m ($75m).

Under the terms of the agreement, Silvercorp will give Guyana’s shareholders the option to receive C$0.60 ($0.42) a share in cash or 0.1195 of a share in the company, to a maximum cash consideration of C$33.2m ($24m).

Rio Tinto signs earn-in on Midnight Sun’s Solwezi licences in Zambia

Global mining giant Rio Tinto has signed an earn-in and joint venture agreement with Vancouver-headquartered Midnight Sun Mining.

Under the agreement, Rio Tinto can buy up to a 75% interest in the Solwezi licences in Zambia for a total of $51m.

Empire Metals to acquire Pilbara palladium deposit from Artemis Resources

UK-headquartered resource exploration and development company Empire Metals has today announced that it has agreed with Artemis Resources to acquire a 41% interest in the Munni Munni palladium project in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia and has first right of refusal on a further 29% interest in the project.

Europe’s metals & mining industry sees a drop of 20.6% in deal activity in Q1 2020

Europe’s metals & mining industry saw a drop of 20.6% in overall deal activity during Q1 2020, when compared to the four-quarter average, according to GlobalData’s deals database.

A total of 27 deals worth $159.99m were announced for the region during Q1 2020, against the last four-quarter average of 34 deals.

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