This Morning in Metals: Automakers Await Trump’s Section 232 Auto Tariff Decision

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Steven Husk/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, the world is waiting on the Trump administration’s Section 232 auto tariff decision, an Indian Supreme Court ruling opens the door for ArcelorMittal to finally acquire the bankrupt Essar Steel and Rio Tinto plans to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the Ranger uranium mine in Australia.

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Section 232 Auto Tariff Decision Expected Soon

In May 2018, the Trump administration launched a Section 232 investigation related to the national security impacts of imports of automobiles and automotive parts.

The administration had already delayed the decision earlier this year, as talks with major exporters — including the E.U. and Japan — continue. The latest self-imposed deadline fell Thursday, Nov. 14.

A decision has yet to be announced, although E.U. officials have previously expressed confidence Trump would delay the decision once again.

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of ArcelorMittal’s Essar Acquisition Effort

ArcelorMittal’s bid to acquire the bankrupt Essar Steel has dragged on through the courts over the last two years, including a challenge of a National Company Law Tribunal order earlier this year.

According to Reuters, the Indian Supreme Court has approved ArcelorMittal’s resolution plan for the distressed steel firm, overturning a previous appellate court ruling regarding the claims of financial creditors versus those of operational creditors.

Rio Tinto to Invest in Ranger Rehabilitation Project

Rio Tinto plans to assist Energy Resource of Australia Limited (ERA) — of which Rio Tinto is a 68.4% shareholder — in efforts to raise money toward the rehabilitation of the Ranger Project Area in Australia, the company announced Friday.

The Ranger uranium mine is located in Australia’s Northern Territory.

“As a 68.4 per cent shareholder in ERA, Rio Tinto will subscribe to its full entitlement of approximately $221 million (A$326 million),” Rio Tinto said in a release. “Given ERA’s inability to secure third-party underwriting support, Rio Tinto has also agreed to fully underwrite the offer to ensure ERA has the funds it needs to meet its current rehabilitation obligations.”

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According to Rio Tinto, ERA is “required to end mining and processing activities at Ranger by January 2021 and complete final rehabilitation by January 2026.”

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