Why has the South32 (ASX:S32) share price surged another 14% in December?

Here’s what might have helped boost the company’s stock this month.

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A businessman points to and arrow going up on a graph, indicating a share price rise for an ASX company

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The South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) share price seems to have recovered from a rocky November to post a significant gain this month.

Over the course of December so far, the company’s stock has soared 13.88%. That’s despite no price-sensitive news having been released by the company.

At the time of writing, the South32 share price is $4.02 – 9 cents higher than it ended November.

Additionally, it hit a new 52-week high in intraday trade yesterday when it was swapping hands for $4.08.

Let’s take a look at what’s been going on with the mining company this month.

South32 share price surges 14% in December

The South32 share price has had a great month despite no price-sensitive news from the company hitting the market.

However, the company made headlines earlier this month when the NSW Government overturned a previous decision to block a proposed extension of its Dendrobium coal mine.

The mine is a part of the company’s Illawarra Metallurgical Coal operation.

The state’s deputy premier, Paul Toole and planning minister, Rob Stokes declared the mine ‘state significant infrastructure’ on 4 December. Toole stated:

Dendrobium is a critical source of coking coal for the Port Kembla steelworks…

This decision recognises the proposal’s potential economic benefits, with the mine already contributing $1.9 billion to the State’s economy each year, employing 4,500 workers, and supporting another 10,000 jobs across the Illawarra.

In February, the NSW Independent Planning Commission blocked the extension on concerns it risked causing irreversible damage to Sydney’s water supply.

South32 also announced a new revolving credit facility in December.

The new facility is a refinancing of its multi-currency revolving syndicated credit facility. It leaves the company with US$1.4 billion of commitments from lenders for a five-year term.

The facility was established as a sustainability-linked loan. It links to the company’s emissions reduction commitments and energy and water use efficiency.

December’s gains have added to the South32 share price’s strong long-term performance. Right now, it is 60.8% higher than it was at the start of 2021.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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