Industry NEWS

17 August 2020

Accident near Russian firm Severstal’s coal mine leaves four dead

Four people died after the collapse of a building they were demolishing near a coal mine owned by Russian steel and mining company Severstal. The incident occurred on 15 August.

Reuters cited Severstal as saying that the workers were hired by a contractor.

Severstal added that a safety rules violation could be the main cause of the accident.
The company noted that the incident did not affect the production of coal at its Vorgashorskaya mine in northwestern Russia.

In February 2016, three explosions of methane gas at the Severstal unit Vorkutaugol’s Severnaya coal mine in Russia claimed the lives of nearly 36 people.

Severstal is an integrated steel mining firm with a majority of its assets in Russia. The company also has investments in other regions.

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14 August 2020

Calibre agrees to acquire 70% of Eastern Borosi property from IAMGOLD

Gold mining and exploration company Calibre Mining has agreed to acquire Canadian miner Iamgold’s 70% interest in the Eastern Borosi gold-silver property. The Eastern Borosi gold-silver property is located in northeastern Nicaragua.

Calibre Mining has surplus processing capacity of about 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) at the company’s Libertad Complex.

The company will be launching technical studies of the gold-silver property in the fourth quarter this year to better understand how material from Eastern Borosi could be processed at Libertad.

Calibre Mining CEO Russell Ball said:  “With the acquisition of Iamgold’s interest in the Eastern Borosi Property, Calibre now controls 100% of a low-sulphidation, epithermal district that hosts numerous high-grade, gold-silver vein systems.

“Our joint-venture relationship with Iamgold has been outstanding and I wanted to thank them for their technical contributions and partnership over the last seven years.  We now welcome them as shareholders of the company.”

Upon the completion of the transaction, Calibre will issue Iamgold 2,253,961 shares in the company, representing a value of $3m.

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14 August 2020

Brazilian miner Vale secures approval for $1.5bn Serra Sul 120 project

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale has received board approval to proceed further with the Serra Sul 120 iron ore mine expansion project, with an estimated multi-year investment of $1.5bn.

The expansion project will increase Vale’s S11D mine-plant capacity by 20Mtpa, bringing the total site capacity to 120Mtpa. The Serra Sul 120 project is located in the municipality of Canaã dos Carajás in Brazil.

The project scope includes the opening of new mining areas, implementation of new processing lines at the plant, the duplication of the long-distance belt conveyor (TCLD), as well as the expansion of storage areas, among many others.

Expected to be completed in the first half of 2024, the Serra Sul 120 is expected to increase Vale’s total production capacity in Northern System to 260Mtpa.

In a press statement, Vale stated: “The investment to duplicate the existing TCLD, in the amount of $385m, in addition to providing flexibility, also aggregates important elements for the reduction of operational risks, adding reliability to the system.

“With the Serra Sul 120 Project’s anticipation and the delay in the execution of projects in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vale informs that it will revise and update, in due course, its investment guidance for 2021, currently at $5bn, and in the period between 2022-2024, with an average of $4.5bn.”

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14 August 2020

Shandong Gold calls on Canada to approve Arctic mine acquisition

Chinese gold miner Shandong Gold Mining said its acquisition of Canadian miner TMAC Resources, which owns the Hope Bay property in Nunavut, should be approved for economic reasons.

In May, Shandong Gold Mining signed an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of TMAC Resources. This deal will see the Chinese firm pay C$1.75 ($1.24) a share in cash to TMAC.

TMAC shareholders approved the deal in June but the deal still requires approval from the Canadian Government, Reuters reported.

The main objective of the Chinese gold miner is to add TAMC’s Hope Bay gold property in the Canadian Arctic, which is a region of ‘growing strategic importance’ as climate change makes resources ‘more accessible’.

According to lawyers and security analysts, the strategic location of the asset could prompt Canada to block the deal.

Hope Bay is a high-grade gold camp which produced 138,510oz last year. It is located approximately 685km north-east of Yellow Knife and 125km south-west of Cambridge Bay, in the western Nunavut territory of Canada. 

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13 August 2020

Russia eyes $1.5bn plan to curb China’s supremacy in rare earths

Russia is planning an investment of around $1.5bn in rare earth minerals, which are “critical” to the defence, telecommunications as well as renewable energy sectors.

The latest move comes as the country strives to become the biggest producer of rare earths after China by the year 2030, Reuters reported citing a top government official.

Russia’s initiative aligns with other countries, such as the US, which are also trying to reduce their reliance on China for rare earths.

Rare earths are used as critical components across several industries, from electric vehicles to smartphones. They are vital for satellites, missile guidance systems, missile defence systems, and more.

China serves as home to 63% of global rare earths production. The country’s dominance on the mineral is very much “established”, that it is so “hard to weaken”.

Russia has reserves of about 12 million tonnes (Mt), which is equivalent to 10% of the “global total”.

Russia’s deputy industry and trade minister Alexei Besprozvannykh said that the country is offering reduced mining taxes to investors in a list of 11 projects.

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13 August 2020

Horizonte secures $325m financing for Araguaia nickel project in Brazil

Nickel development company Horizonte Minerals has secured a $325m syndicated loan to fund the construction and development of its flagship Araguaia nickel mine in Brazil.

A syndicate of five international financial institutions – BNP Paribas, ING Capital, Mizuho Bank, Natixis, and Société Générale – who will serve as the “Mandated Lead Arrangers” for the financing.

Located in the state of Pará in Brazil, the Araguaia nickel project is considered to be one of the world’s biggest undeveloped saprolite nickel resources.

Horizonte chief executive Jeremy Martin said: “The mandating of five international financial institutions, with strong mining and metals track records, for the arrangement of a large senior debt facility is a significant achievement for Horizonte.

“This debt facility will cover a significant portion of the pre-production capex required to complete the Stage 1 construction for Araguaia. We are targeting completion of the project financing package for the Project by the end of 2020, provided that restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic do not cause further delays. We aim to start construction in early 2021.

“The interest of top tier financial institutions further validates Araguaia’s status as a Tier 1 nickel project and will be the first of our two 100%-owned nickel projects to move to the construction phase. This major milestone moves us closer to our goal of becoming a nickel producer.”

Horizonte noted that the debt facility closing is expected by the end of the 2020 calendar year, subject to necessary approvals.

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