Century Aluminum And Cleveland-Cliffs Selected For DOE Funding; Newmont Sells Akyem Gold Mine And More: Monday's Top Mining Stories

Zinger Key Points
  • The DOE selected Century Aluminum for $500 million in funding to build a new aluminum smelter in the Ohio/Mississippi River Basins.
  • Newmont is selling its Akyem gold mine in Ghana to raise $2 billion, reduce debt and boost gold production.

Top Stories for March 25, 2024:

1. The U.S. Department of Energy selected Century Aluminum Company CENX for award negotiations for up to $500 million in funding to build a new aluminum smelter.

The funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act are earmarked for 33 projects across 20 states and aim to decarbonize energy-intensive industries and bolster the U.S. economy. 

This marks the potential construction of the first U.S. primary aluminum smelter in 45 years, expected to double the current industry size and support the green energy transition through improved domestic supply chains.

Century plans to locate its new smelter in the Ohio/Mississippi River Basins, anticipating over 1,000 full-time jobs and 5,500 construction jobs, with the United Steelworkers union representing the workforce.

2. Cleveland-Cliffs CLF was also selected for award negotiations for up to $575 million in DOE funding for decarbonization projects at its Ohio and Pennsylvania facilities.

The projects aim to significantly cut GHG emissions, lower operating costs and support union jobs. 

The projects include replacing Middletown Works’ blast furnace with a hydrogen-ready Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) plant and Electric Melting Furnaces.

The facility will have fueling flexibility either reducing ironmaking carbon emissions by over 50% with natural gas or reducing them by over 90% with a mix of natural gas and hydrogen, aligning with DOE’s “Hydrogen Earthshot” initiative. 

This upgrade is expected to save $450 million annually and secure 2,500 existing jobs, adding 170 new positions and 1,200 construction jobs.

Also Read: Investors Push For Glencore To Keep Coal Assets Despite Rising Emissions 

3. Newmont Corporation NEM is selling its Akyem gold mine in Ghana due to high gold prices, with Citigroup C handling the sale.

Chinese companies like Shandong Gold Mining and Zijin Mining, Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining and the Australian firm Perseus Mining have all expressed interest. 

This move is part of Newmont’s plan to sell six non-core assets, including four North American mines and one in Australia

The goal is to raise $2 billion post-Newcrest Mining acquisition, reduce debt by $1 billion and achieve $100 million in free cash flow through cost-cutting and integration efforts. 

Newmont is now targeting a gold production increase to 6.7 million ounces by 2028.

4. Ivanhoe Electric IE secured a 60% stake in the Samapleu-Grata Nickel-Copper Project in the Ivory Coast, becoming a 60/40 joint venture with Sama Resources

Forecasting production of copper, nickel and other by-products, this project is expected to have a 16-year lifespan with initial costs estimated at $338 million.

The venture also shows promising economic assessments with a pre-tax net present value of $463 million and internal rate of return of 28.2%. 

Ivanhoe also holds a 22.7% share in Sama Resources, suggesting strong future prospects for copper concentrate production quality and quantity.

Now Read: Gold Rush Begins As Fed Hints At Rate Cuts: 5 Mining Stocks Glitter With Over 30% Rally This Month

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