Global Wrap: Barrick, Ivanhoe and more

IN Global Wrap: Barrick builds stake in junior; Ivanhoe talks up copper; DeepGreen progresses seafloor plans; and funding for Emmerson.
Global Wrap: Barrick, Ivanhoe and more Global Wrap: Barrick, Ivanhoe and more Global Wrap: Barrick, Ivanhoe and more Global Wrap: Barrick, Ivanhoe and more Global Wrap: Barrick, Ivanhoe and more

Staff reporter

Barrick Gold and Paulson & Co will participate in Midas Gold Corp's C$19.9 million raising.

Barrick acquired 7.2 million shares for $4.4 million to increase its stake from 19.6% to 19.9%.

Midas owns the Stibnite development project in Idaho.

Ivanhoe Mines has described copper as the king of the "green metals" in its second annual sustainability report, released this week.

"When it comes to solving the world's most pressing environmental problems, almost every single solution drives you to copper - solar power, wind power, hydro power, and pure electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles," founder and executive co-chairman Robert Friedland said in a joint statement with non-executive co-chairman Yufeng "Miles" Sun.

Ivanhoe expects its Kamoa-Kakula joint venture in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is on track to start production in 2021, to become the world's second-largest copper mine.

In light of Vale's fatal tailings dam failure in Brazil earlier this year, Ivanhoe said it was conducting additional independent, engineering audits of its planned TSFs to further safeguard employees and neighbouring communities.

"We really are just getting started on our transformation from a mineral explorer to a leading producer, and we are excited about the significant, positive impact we will have on the areas that matter most to our stakeholders," Friedland said.

The company is also developing its Kipushi zinc project in the DRC and the Platreef platinum, palladium, nickel, copper, gold and rhodium project in South Africa.

Seafloor mining hopeful DeepGreen Metals has formed an alliance with Allseas Group, as part of a US$150 million investment round.

Allseas will be a lead strategic investor in the financing, led by Macquarie Capital and Fearnley Securities, and will contribute its offshore engineering expertise.

"Our partnership with Allseas will ultimately help us open up a new, disruptive source of battery metals for the green revolution and transform the mining industry as we know it," DeepGreen chairman and CEO Gerard Barron said.

"Extracting battery metals like nickel and cobalt from terrestrial mines is facing many challenges, and the environmental, CO2 and social costs are simply too high. Seafloor polymetallic nodules contain more than enough base metals that the world needs to get to a clean energy economy, and they require no blasting, drilling or digging. 

"Indeed, our life cycle sustainability analysis shows that, with regards to NMC batteries with copper connectors for electric vehicles, ocean nodules generate at least 75% less CO2 when compared to producing these metals from land ores."  

Operations will occur in international waters and are to be governed by the first-of-its-kind regulatory framework currently being developed through the UN International Seabed Authority.

Finally, London-listed Emmerson has received formal indication from an unnamed major European commercial bank that it will receive debt financing of up to US$230 million for its Khemisset potash project in Morocco.

The company said the debt sizing was based on conservative, bank-case pricing of $235 per tonne CFR Brazil muriate of potash price flat over the project's life - about a 35% discount to current spot prices. The company said there was strong potential to increase debt capacity if it could negotiate customer floor prices above the base case.

CEO Hayden Locke said it was an endorsement of Khemisset's economic strength to be approached by a major commercial bank with an early indication of debt financing capacity of such significant size, despite using low potash price assumptions.

"The scoping study, which was delivered in November 2018, highlighted Khemisset's industry leading capital intensity, but also showed that, even in the downside price scenarios, the project exhibited very robust cashflow generation," he said.

"The board and management believed this would underpin a significant debt financing package from credible institutions, a view that has been strongly endorsed by this indicative proposal."