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16 February 2020
Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has rated miner AngloGold Ashanti’s decision to sell its remaining South Africa operating assets to Harmony Gold Mining Company as credit positive. This is because it reduces the company’s average all-in sustaining cost (AISC) by about 2.4% and allows it to recycle capital into growth projects that have lower cost structures and higher returns on equity, such as the Obuasi development project, in Ghana, Moody’s says.
Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater's share price on the JSE rose by more than 7% on Friday afternoon as the group announced a recovery in its operational and financial performance for the second half of 2019.
Sirius Minerals said on Friday talks with a consortium of financial investors on an alternate debt financing proposal to raise $680-million has fallen through, putting the company at the risk of going under administration or liquidation. "The board confirms that the company has not been able to secure an institutional anchor investor willing to provide sufficient support for the alternative proposal which was part of the consortium's requirements," Sirius said in a statement. The fertiliser company also urged its shareholders to vote in favour of Anglo American's proposal to buy Sirius, as the move to find bank financing to complete its North Yorkshire polyhalite mine, Britain's biggest mining project, failed. Anglo American earlier this year agreed to buy Sirius for £404.9-million in cash.
A record 22% slump in China’s January car sales is threatening to derail the rally in palladium, used to curb emissions from vehicles. The precious metal generated a 59% return for investors last year, the most of any commodity tracked by a DCI BNP Paribas gauge. The rally was fueled by expectations that stricter Chinese environmental standards will spur higher loadings of the material in cars. The bullish sentiment is wavering, with hedge funds paring their bets on higher prices to an eight-month low. On Thursday, the China Passenger Car Association predicted a worsening outlook for the industry, saying sales may drop more than 30% in February. “Suspended operations could create a short-term bottleneck and a temporary dip in demand” for palladium, Suki Cooper, precious metals analyst at Standard Chartered Bank, said. “The key question will be how deeply auto sales are impacted thereafter.”
JSE- and Botswana-listed Gemfields on Friday also started trading on the Aim market of the LSE. At the time of admission, the company’s total issued share capital consisted of 1.2-billion ordinary shares, of which 96-million were held by the company itself. “The Aim listing seeks to provide UK, European and international investors with more expedient entry into the precious coloured gemstone market, to improve share trading liquidity and to widen Gemfields’ current investor base,” said CEO Sean Gilbertson.