The big news this week is that Newcrest Mining has agreed to merge with Lihir Gold for $8.6bn.

The merger will create a A$25bn ($22.7bn) company which is expected to produce about 2.8 million ounces of gold a year, ranking it the fifth-largest gold producer in the world.

Lihir operates one of the world’s largest gold mines on Lihir Island in Papua New Guinea and has sizable assets in Australia and West Africa.

Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA has signed a $4.9bn deal to buy the majority of Brazilian mining company Vale SA’s aluminium operations.

The deal will give Norsk Hydro control of 60% of the world’s top third bauxite mine, Paragominas, in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Vale has also acquired 51% of Guinea iron ore miner BSG Resources for $2.68bn.

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Abacus Mining & Exploration Corp has entered into a joint-venture with copper producer KGHM to develop its mine at the Afton-Ajax copper-gold project in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s biggest coal producer, has bought a 14.9% stake in Australia’s Centennial Coal gaining exposure to mines in the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel.

Kinross Gold has bought a 9.4% of Red Black Mining for $584.5m.

Red Black Mining expects to mine 485,000 to 525,000oz of gold this year.

Goldcorp said it will sell its Escobal silver deposit in Guatemala to Tahoe Resources for $505m.

After the completion of the transaction, Goldcorp will also hold a 40% stake in Tahoe.

Uranium One has bought more than 9.84 million shares in rival Paladin Energy through its subsidiary Cheetah Resources.