Debt extinction watch…
We’ll take the cash: Anglo bondholders tender $1.2B. [Bloomberg] Looks like the buyback is one of the gotta-do-it things that come up when your bonds get downgraded to junk. A portion was purchased for less than face value.
Vale looking to sell core assets to reduce debt. [Republic of Mining] The wolf must be getting closer to the door:
Vale is “actively exploring more aggressive actions for this deleveraging, including the sale of core assets,” Mr. Ferreira [CEO] said.
End times: Moody’s threatens to downgrade Exxon. [Bloomberg]
Meanwhile… on a planet far far away from reality, Space mining race heats up. [Reuters]
Space mining, extracting resources from near-earth asteroids, is “not science fiction any more”. With these words, spoken by Jean-Jacques Dordain, the former director general of the European Space Agency, Luxembourg announced its entry into the space-mining race.
The biggest component of operating in space is that of launching rockets from Earth, around $100,000 per kg of material, according to NASA. NASA’s Osiris-Rex mission to the Bennu asteroid, scheduled for launch later this year, will cost $800 million and bring back a maximum two kilogrammes of sample.
Private operators such as Planetary Resources Inc. (PRI) and Deep Space Industries are getting in on the action, chasing the promise by U.S. astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that, “the first trillionaire, in the world, is going to be the person who first mines asteroids”.
You wouldn’t take investment advice from a geophysicist; why would you trust an astrophysicist?
Zinc flips, now leads lead. [Reuters] Bottom line: winter’s over and it wasn’t a bad one. Back off on the battery production. The zinc bulls of course see it differently…
Diamond miners getting ahead of themselves? [Rappaport] Only De Beers seems to be holding back production and stockpiling. Alrosa and Rio need cash and are selling.
New mindset needed for exploration. [Northern Ontario Business] Here’s a bright idea from Douglas Morrison, president and CEO, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation; network director, Ultra-Deep Mining Network in Sudbury:
There is a huge amount of data tied up in large claim holdings around long-closed mines and old mine workings near to operating mines, much of it ignored for many years. In many cases, the corporation has no interest in the data, or does not even know what it has. It should be shared with, or transferred to, provincial agencies to manage access for future study and perhaps new ideas and techniques will initiate a new phase of investigation and discovery.
Got it. Expropriate proprietary data so a government-&-big-boy-funded “centre for excellence” can generate a value-added product for … who? Actually this sounds like an old idea: