Caving in from outcry from suppliers andpolitical pressure, Rio Tintodroppedits plan to extend the length of payment terms on up to A$24 billion of supply contractsto 90 days from 45 days, The Australian FinancialReview reported.
Top Chinese banks, miners tobe part of China's 18-member gold benchmark
Beijing's new yuan-denominated gold benchmarkwill be controlled by18 members including top Chinese banks, foreign banks, gold miners and the world'sbiggest jewelry retailer, Reuters reported, citing a "source familiar withthe matter." The Chinese banks named as those joining the benchmark-settingprocess were the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China,Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications.
Sources said BHP Billiton Group, Rio Tinto, Glencore and private equityfirm Apollo Global Management have signed nondisclosure agreements as part of thesaleprocess, now entering its second round, of Anglo American Plc's Moranbah and Grosvenorcoal assets in Australia, The Australian FinancialReview reported. The assets could be valued at US$1.5 billion.
* Caving in from outcry from suppliers andpolitical pressure, Rio Tintodroppedits plan to extend the length of payment terms on up to A$24 billion of supply contractsto 90 days from 45 days, The Australian FinancialReview reported.
* said Raging RiverCapital LP's C$110 million lawsuit is "withoutmerit" and just another "proxy contest tactic," and thatit will vigorously defend itself from the suit. The dissident shareholder grouphas sued three Taseko directors — Russell Hallbauer, Ronald Thiessen and RobertDickinson — of benefiting from the 2014 acquisition of Curis Resources Ltd. to the detriment of other shareholders.
* Chairman Jean PaulLuksic expectslow copper prices this year amid the unlikely improvement in the macroeconomic scenario,Diario Financiero reported. Luksic expectsa rebound in copper prices by late 2017.
* Workersat Glencore Plc's Bolivarzinc mine in Bolivia went on hunger strikedemanding the ouster of general manager Juan Carlos Trillo, who allegedly cut backon worker benefits and is allegedly responsible for a death of an employee. BusinessNews Americas reported, citing union leader Germán Chaparro.
* Beijing's new yuan-denominated gold benchmarkwill be controlled by18 members including top Chinese banks, foreign banks, gold miners and the world'sbiggest jewelry retailer, Reuters reported, citing a "source familiar withthe matter." The Chinese banks named as those joining the benchmark-settingprocess were the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China,Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications.
* Nord Gold NV'smineral resources and ore reserves update for the year ended Dec. 31, 2015, sawan 8% rise in ore reserves to 14.0 million gold ounces, attributableto additions at Bissa, Lefa, Zun-Holba, Neryungri and Suzdal mines. Measured andindicated gold resources increased by 1%, or 252,000 ounces, to 22.0 million ouncesdespite depletion of 1.1 million ounces.
* MarmotaEnergy Ltd. will acquirea 100% interest in three gold-prospective tenements, covering over 800 square kilometers,around the Challengergold mine in South Australia. The company will issue 1 million shares to a privateparty to acquire EL 5087, 5088, and 5527.
* KingsgateConsolidated Ltd. decided to advanceits Nueva Esperanzagold-silver project in Chile to the feasibility and permitting stage after receivingpositive economics from a pre-feasibility study. The study placed the net presentvalue of the project at US$168 million and the internal rate of return at 25% basedon a US$1,200 per ounce gold price and US$19 per ounce silver price.
* Illegal miners have assumedcontrol of areas at AngloGoldAshanti Ltd.'s Obuasigold mine in Ghana that host the richest deposits, curtailing redevelopment efforts,Bloomberg News wrote. If the takeover continues, the company may consider its optionsas an investor.
* a mining claim totaling64 hectares from an arm's length party that adjoins its Carscallen gold property in Ontario.
* Infilldrilling at the Mangazeisky North deposit of Silver Bear Resources Inc.'s Mangazeisky silver property in Russia converted74% of the inferred resource into the indicated category. It also to a 43% increase in the estimated averageresource grade at the deposit to 637 g/t of silver.
* Sources said BHP Billiton Group, Rio Tinto, Glencore and private equityfirm Apollo Global Management have signed nondisclosure agreements as part of thesaleprocess, now entering its second round, of Anglo American Plc's Moranbah and Grosvenorcoal assets in Australia, The Australian FinancialReview reported. The assets could be valued at US$1.5 billion.
* continues torampup output amid depressed coal prices as it battles to remain profitable andits major rivals look increasingly troubled, The Australian Financial Review reported. Managed run-of-mine and saleablecoal output rose year over year by 21% and 28%, respectively, to 5.7 million tonnesand 5.3 million tonnes.
* its fertilizer production and salesin the first quarter by 10.2% and 8.2%, respectively, compared to the same perioda year ago as a result of modernization and debottlenecking projects implementedin 2015.
* Protestersliftedthe blockade affecting Vale's railway service Estrada de Ferro Vitoria a Minas inBrazil's Minas Gerais state. About 50 residents were protesting against the environmentalproblems caused by Samarco MineraçãoSA's Fundão tailings dams spill in November 2015 to communities in theRio Doce region, Notícias de Mineração reported.
* Brazil'selectricity regulatory agency Aneel denieda request by Samarco Mineração to reduce contract costs that involve the use ofthe power transmission system by the company in Mariana, Minas Gerais state. Theinitial agreement states Samarco would demand 189,000 kW, but due to the iron ore mine tailingscollapse, the required energy would only reach 22,000 kW, Notícias de Mineraçãoreported.
* Valeand Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'sbulk trials of blended ore with Chinese mills could start within a month, with thetwo companies still negotiating the terms of the proposed joint venture, The West Australian wrote.
* FortescueCEO Nev Power said the company will upholdits existing 30-day payment policy, The Australianreported. "We see it very much as a value-add relationship and we wantto make sure that their businesses are strong and profitable and healthy,"he added.
* Separately,Bloomberg News quoted Fortescue CFO Stephen Pearce as saying that the Australianiron ore major is contemplating"all options" as its war chest for cutting debt increases to US$1.5 billionand iron ore prices recover.
* PeabodyEnergy Corp. has filedfor Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just weeks after warning it might do so. Thefilings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri includethe majority of Peabody's U.S. entities, though they exclude its Australian operations.Peabody has obtained US$800 million in debtor-in-possession financing via Citigroupwhich includes participation from a number of its secured lenders and unsecurednoteholders.
* The national president of the Construction,Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Tony Maher expressedconcerns that the bankruptcy of Peabody Energy could see some of the company'sAustralian mines sold off and result in job losses, ABC News reported.
* struck a new deal withpower supplier Bonneville Power Authority to keep 2.5 potlines open at its aluminum smelter inWashington state, avertingthe facility's shutdown, Reuters reported.
* VicePresident Paulo Caffarelli said the company has sought Brazilian regulator Cade'spermission to appoint a combined three members to Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA's board and financialcommittee as it is not satisfied with certain directors, Reuters reported.CSN holds a substantial interest in Usiminas.
* Standard& Poor's Ratings Services cutthe credit ratings of three major fertilizer companies, citing projectionsof a 20% to 30% fall in nitrogen fertilizer prices from 2016 to 2018, and significantupcoming spending by the companies on new projects that could send the companies'free cash flow into negative territory. The credit agency lowered the ratings ofEuroChem Group AG, Germany's K+S AG,as well as Canada-based Potash Corp.of Saskatchewan Inc. S&P also placed the ratings of a fourth company,Russian potash miner PJSC Uralkali,on "negative" outlook, suggesting its ratings could be cut in the nearfuture.
* Anofficial from Bolivian state-owned Comibolsaid the company's US$178 million potassium chloride project is ontrack to commence output by mid-2018, Business News Americas reported.
* and Metals andMinerals Trading Co. of India have finalizedthe terms of their memorandum of understanding for a substantial off-take agreement.The MOU is now expanded for the supply of at least 2 million tonnes of potash peryear from Encanto's Muskowekwanproject in Saskatchewan.
* is facinganother legalchallenge in relation to the development of its Carmichael coal project in Queensland as the Wanganand Jagalingou people have lodged an appeal with the Federal Court, seeking a reviewof the decision to issue mining leases to the project, Mining Weekly wrote.
* Jean-ClaudeJuncker, president of the European Commission, said the Chinese steel industry shouldbe punished with "other measures"if it is found to have been dumping on the European market at unfair prices.
* said Indonesiafailed to pay its shareof an advance payment, totaling US$200,000, to the International Centre for theSettlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID, and is in default of its arbitrationobligations. If the country does not respond by April 20, Churchill plans to filean application under Rule 42 of the ICSID arbitration and ask the tribunal to fixa schedule for the completion of the case without Indonesia.
* TheWorld Steel Association is forecastingglobal steel demand to continue falling this year before it picks up slightly in2017, Reuters reported.
* The global lithium-ion battery market willgeneraterevenue of US$46.21 billion in 2022 amid rising demand in electric/hybrid vehicles,according to an Allied Market Research report.
* for three additional explorationlicenses in the Pilbara and Ravensthorpe regions of Western Australia, expandingits potential tenement area to 1,192 square kilometers.
* A specialtender of diamonds from Lucara DiamondCorp.'s Karowemine in Botswana generatedgross revenues of US$51.3 million, or US$33,632 per carat. The tender consistedof 10 diamonds totaling 1,525 carats.
* reported anet loss attributable to shareholders of US$34.9 million in the three months endedJan. 31, widening froma loss of US$2.2 million posted in the year-ago period. Sales also fell to US$178.1million from US$240.6 million a year earlier.
* the Jackpot lithium property inOntario from arm's length vendors in exchange for 2.4 million shares as well asexpenditures of C$350,000 on the property over a two-year period.
* William Shorten, Leader of the AustralianLabor Party, revealeda six-point plan that would provide subsidies for local steel producers, but wouldleave foreign suppliers to meet the burden of red tape on their own, The Australian reported. "This willensure that safety and quality is never compromised on federally-funded projects,while maintaining Australia's compliance with our international trade agreements,"according to the policy document.
* Russia's Ministry of Natural Resourcesis offering a range of state benefitsfor mining, providing alloying raw materials to Russian steelmakers in order toreduce their dependence on imports, estimated at over US$500 million per year, Kommersant reported. The Ministry proposesto nullify severance tax for new projects.
* TheMining Association of Canada released a statement supporting the adoption of carbonprices to address climate change."A broad-based carbon price is the most effective and efficient means to influencethe investment and operating decisions that drive real emission reductions and innovationsfrom all sectors of an economy," the industry organization said in its newlyreleased "Principles for climate change policy design."
S&P Ratings and SNL Metals& Mining are owned by McGraw Hill Financial Inc.
The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. London time, and scans newssources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish,Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.