Bernstein analyst Paul Gait suggests that incomingRio Tinto chiefJean-Sebastien Jacques has a "once in a career opportunity" to buyFreeport-McMoRanInc.'s troubled Cerro Verde copper project in Peru amid low copperprices as "the need for Freeport to sell in order to fix its own financialdifficulties presents a unique opportunity to acquire assets," The Australian Financial Review reported."For Jacques … an acquisition of Cerro Verde could be career-defining, andfirmly mark the end of the strategically cautious period that Rio Tinto livedthrough under Sam Walsh," Gait added.
Sibanye GoldLtd. confirmed previous reports that South Africa's Association ofMineworkers and Construction Union, or AMCU, served the company with a noticeto start industrialaction from April 6 over the 2015 wage negotiations. Commenting onAMCU's decision, company CEO Neal Froneman said that "the wage increasesimplemented in 2015 are final and the decision taken by the AMCU leadershipwill not yield a different outcome."
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission hasapplied to the Federal Court for the appointment of McGrathNicol's RobertKirman as a liquidator for the ASX-listed Continental Coal Ltd., alleging the coal developer isnot being properly managed, failed to comply with its continuous disclosureobligations and is insolvent.
*The Quiulacocha-Excélsior tailings deposit of Cerro de Pasco Resources SA inPeru's Pasco region holds potential resources of silver, zinc, lead, copper andgold that would amount to several billion dollars, general manager GretaCastillo tolddaily El Comercio. The companyalready has submitted an environmental impact study for an exploration project.
* Bernstein analyst Paul Gait suggests that incomingRio Tinto chiefJean-Sebastien Jacques has a "once in a career opportunity" to buyFreeport-McMoRanInc.'s troubled Cerro Verde copper project in Peru amid low copperprices as "the need for Freeport to sell in order to fix its own financialdifficulties presents a unique opportunity to acquire assets," The Australian Financial Review reported."For Jacques … an acquisition of Cerro Verde could be career-defining, andfirmly mark the end of the strategically cautious period that Rio Tinto livedthrough under Sam Walsh," Gait added.
* CapstoneMining Corp. produced 23,694 tonnes of payable copper 27,985 tonnes ofcopper in the three months to March 31. Silver and gold production, meanwhiletotaled 401,590 ounces and 3,555 ounces, respectively.
* Apreliminary economic assessment on AsiametResources Ltd.'s Beruang Kanan Main copper deposit in Kalimantan,Indonesia, targets annual production of 25,000 tonnes of 99.99% copper metal.The study estimatesan after-tax net present value, discounted at 10%, of US$204.3 million, and anafter-tax internal rate of return of 38.7%. Gross revenue is expected atUS$1.27 billion.
*The goal of KGHM Polska Miedz SA'sSierra Gordacopper project this year is to reduce the cash cost by 10%. The company alsohas had to lay off about 12% of its work force, daily Diario Financiero reported,citing CEO Maciej Sciazko. The cash cost stood at US$2.58 per pound in thesecond half of 2015.
* CaravelMinerals Ltd. completed the maiden mineral resource estimate for the copper project inWestern Australia, with over 74% of the resource in the indicated category.Caravel reported a maiden resource estimate of 251 million tonnes grading 0.34%copper for 844,300 tonnes of copper. The estimate can be broken down intoindicated resources of 187 million tonnes grading 0.34% copper for 626,300 tonnesof copper and inferred resources of 64 million tonnes grading 0.34% copper for218,000 tonnes of copper.
*Amur Minerals Corp.said that the total contained nickel at its Maly Kurumkon/Flangovy deposit has increasedabout 25% to 366,600 tonnes, and the resources suitable for conversion toreserves that can be used in a mine plan have been increased 126% to 285,200nickel tonnes. The global nickel equivalent for the entire project has increasedfrom 831,000 tonnes to 958,000 tonnes, the company added.
*Codelco Chairman ÓscarLanderretche tolddaily Pulso it would be discussingwith new external investors to support the miner's global expansion. Thecompany is working to exploit synergies with private miners as in the case ofits Andina unit with Los Bronces and between Radomiro Tomic division and . He also admitted thatthe company has been assessing the purchase of assets.
*First Colombia GoldCorp. struck a deal to fully acquire Singa Energy Solutions, an energyproduction and consulting company. Effective immediately, First Colombia willstart operating and doing business under the new trade name, Singa EnergySolutions.
* Sibanye GoldLtd. confirmed previous reports that South Africa's Association ofMineworkers and Construction Union, or AMCU, served the company with a noticeto start industrialaction from April 6 over the 2015 wage negotiations. Commenting onAMCU's decision, company CEO Neal Froneman said that "the wage increasesimplemented in 2015 are final and the decision taken by the AMCU leadershipwill not yield a different outcome."
* In the quarter ended March 31, produced 41,281ounces and sold 40,568 ounces from its Aurora gold mine at an average realized price of US$1,196per ounce generating about US$48.5 million in .
* SouthernGold Ltd. secured an option to earn up to a 90% interest over 14 mining tenements,covering about 28.7 square kilometers, comprising the most prospective part ofthe Glandoregold project in Western Australia, from Aruma Resources Ltd. subsidiary Aruma Exploration Pty.Ltd.
* Unity MiningLtd. agreed to a variation of terms of the proposed acquisition byPYBAR Group associate Diversified Minerals Pty. Ltd. to increase total cashpayments to be received by Unity shareholders from 2.9 Australian cents pershare to 3.2 cents per share. Under the revised transaction, DiversifiedMinerals willincrease the scheme consideration per share from 1.9 cents to 2.2 cents.The previously proposed capital return of 1.0 cent per share remains unchanged.
* After 12 months of talks, said it isacquiring the SantaRita project — prospective for silver, lead and zinc mineralization — in Peruthrough a five-year mining option and assignment agreement. The totalconsideration for the project is nearly US$1.8 million, less 2% net smelterreturn royalty.
* Asyndicate of underwriters co-led by BMO Capital Markets and Clarus SecuritiesInc. agreed to buy, on a bought deal basis, 17,250,000 of 's common shares at C$4.35each for gross proceeds of C$75million. Net proceeds will be used for exploration at Mana andNatougou goldproperties in Burkina Faso, to further enhance financial flexibility withrespect to Natougou, for working capital and general corporate purposes.
*Vast Resources PLChas decided notto give consent to the subscription of approximately £1.3 million fromCrede Capital, the second tranche of the financing agreed with Crede. Thecompany denied consent as the subscription would result in Crede beinginterested in over 25% of Vast's share capital, it said.
*Just a few days after achieving commercial production at the mine, temporarily suspendedoperations at its ElLimon-Guajes gold project in Mexico until further notice due to anillegal blockade. The blockade was initiated by three families demandingpayments from the company for alleged environmental damages.
*PT Antam (Persero)Tbk signed a memorandum of understanding with unit PT FreeportIndonesia and PT Smelting for the development of an anode slime processing andprecious metal refinery.
*The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the application to commence a proposedsecurities class action against Eastern Platinum Ltd. filed by a current director andtwo former directors of the company.
* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission hasapplied to the Federal Court for the appointment of McGrathNicol's RobertKirman as a liquidator for the ASX-listed Continental Coal Ltd., alleging the coal developer isnot being properly managed, failed to comply with its continuous disclosureobligations and is insolvent.
* Finnish stainless steelmaker plans to cut up to 600jobs and save €100 million as it targets an operating profit of €500 million bythe end of 2020 at the latest, Reuters reported,citing company CEO Roeland Baan.
* China's Hebei Iron & Steel Group is planning a €46million bid for loss-making state-run Zelezara Smederevo steel plant inSerbia and also pledged to invest US$300 million in expanding production,Reuters reported, citing Serbia's Economy Ministry. The company will not cutany of the plant's workforce of over 5,000.
* MBACFertilizer Corp. said it struck a with Zaff LLC that hasbeen approved by its board. Zaff will acquire all outstanding secured andguaranteed funded debt of the company and its Brazilian units, as well ascertain unsecured debts. Upon completion of all transactions, Zaff will ownnearly 78% of the company.
* After the going into a trading halt this morning,Pilbara Minerals Ltd.expects to announce a placement to raise between A$60 million to A$80 million,and a share purchase plan of up to A$10 million, The West Australian reported.The company will use the raised funds to expand drilling program at itsPilgangooralithium-tantalite project to further increase reserves, as well as to completea definitive feasibility study in the third quarter.
* The founder of commodities trading group Liberty HouseSanjeev Gupta said any plan to buy Tata Steel Ltd.'s lossmaking steel operations at PortTalbot will be aimed at saving thousands of jobs but will shutter the blastfurnace at the operation, London's FinancialTimes wrote.However, Gupta has yet to hold any discussion with the British government orTata Steel.
* Police arrested 57striking workers after a three-week long protest by 160 members ofAssociation of Mine Workers and Construction Union at 's coal mine inSouth Africa turned violent, Reuters reported, citing police spokesperson KwapaMacdonald. Striking union members threatened other workers and also damagedfarms in the area.
*Workers at Anglo AmericanPlc's Callide coal mine in Queensland, Australia, have walkedoff site as they claim to be owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, The Observer reported.
* Atlas IronLtd. will ask shareholdersto vote on its proposed debt restructuring proposal at an April 27 meeting.The company signedagreements with over 75% of lenders and also amended terms of anexisting syndicated facility in December 2015.
* Moody's downgraded Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA's global andnational scale corporate family rating to Ca from Caa1 and to Ca.br fromCaa1.br, respectively, with a stable outlook. The rating agency said that thedowngrade to Ca reflects primarily the standstill agreement that has suspendedprincipal payments of Usiminas' debt and covenant compliance requirements for120 days, starting on March 18. "The ratings continue to incorporate thecontinued deterioration of market fundamentals for steelmakers in Brazil andUsiminas' diminishing ability to generate cash flow from its operations,"Moody's added.
*Ferrexpo Plc's totalpellet production in the first quarter remained steady year over year at 2.9 million tonnes.Production of 65% pellets increased 12.7% year over year to 2.8 million tonnes,while production of 62% pellets dropped 71.4% year over year to 123,800 tonnes.
*Vale SA came close tohalting operations at its Brucutuiron ore mine in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, due to delays in obtaining alicense for its Norte tailings dam. However, the miner received a provisionalapproval on April 1 that prevented the suspension, Notícias de Mineração reported.
* Kommersant reported that Russia's government mayrevise the rules of coal mining in the country. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedevagreed to the proposal of the governor of Kuzbass, Aman Tuleyev, to conduct alarge-scale degassing of ultra-hazardous mines which extract the main amountsof coking coal for the steel industry and to prohibit the production until theend of degassing. The mining industry believes that the substitution of coal byimports can cost up to US$1 billion a year.
*ArcelorMittal'sArcelorMittal USAInc. unit plans to enter into a new, five-year senior securedasset-based revolving credit facility of up to US$1 billion. The is expected toclose in the second quarter.
*Meanwhile, the steelmaker also closed the US$3 billion , which received strongdemand with total subscription rate of 126.9%. ArcelorMittal intends to use thenet proceeds to reduce debt and to strengthen its balance sheet.
*Russian coal and steel group Mechel OAO agreed to sell a 49% stake in its flagship coal mine in Russia tostate-owned Gazprombank for 34.3 billion Russian rubles, in a deal thatprovides the troubled miner and steelmaker with much-needed breathing room fromcreditors as it prepares to refinance its debt pile. According to the company,the deal also gives Gazprombank the right to sell the holdings back to Mechelin the future.
* Separately, Russian lender Sberbank's First Deputy CEOMaxim Poletayev saidthe bank is likely to reach a debt restructuring deal for Mechel withfellow creditor Gazprombank this month, Reuters reported.
*South Korean steelmaker POSCO plans to invest around US$19 million to build a wire rodprocessing plant in Jeffersonville, Ind., TheKorea Herald reported. According to the company, the plant will cover a34,000-square-meter area and will have an annual production capacity of 25,000tonnes of wire rod.
*Potash Corp. of SaskatchewanInc. will cut the low end of its predicted earnings guidance of 90U.S. cents to US$1.20 per share that the company provided in late January,owing to the continued decline in potash prices, the Financial Post reported,citing CIBC World Markets analyst Jacob Bout.
* Dongbei Special Steel Group Co. failed to make the 1.01billion yuan payment on 6% notes due today, Bloomberg News wroteciting a statement posted on Chinamoney's website. This was thesecond default on bonds by the company in two weeks. Chinacoal Group ShanxiHuayu Energy Co. also flagged it may miss a 637.7 million yuan payment on debtdue April 6.
* The British Columbia department of energy and minesgranted 2,453hectares of phosphate-prospective land at Mount Lyne in the Elko region toFertoz Ltd. Theproperty will form part of the company's Fernie phosphate project.
* Japan's crude steel production is expected to drop 2.4%year over year 25.24 million tonnes for the three-month period ending June 30,the lowest output for the period in seven years, Reuters reported,citing estimates from the country's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
*Brazilian environmental regulator Ibama rejected Votorantim unit Sul-Americanade Metais' license application for the Vale do Rio Pardo iron ore project incountry's Minas Gerais state as the planned tailings dam is not environmentallyviable, Business News Americas reported.
*Fitch Ratings downgraded JSWSteel Ltd.'s long-term issuer default rating to BB from BB+. Theoutlook remains negative.
*Pan African ResourcesPlc completed the acquisition of the Uitkomst Colliery from Oakleaf Investment Holdingsand Shanduka Resources Pty. Ltd. for a revised purchase consideration of 176million South African rand.
* RioTinto's plan to consolidate the management of on-sitesubcontractors to reduce costs at its Rossing uranium mine in Namibia may lead to 300employees losing their jobs, New Era reported.
* Fission 3.0Corp. and joint venture partner Canex Energy Corp. revised the terms of the option agreement covering theClearwater Westproperty in Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin. Under the revised terms, theexpenditure required for Canex to earn a 50% interest remains the same, howeverthe staging has been adjusted to reflect market conditions.
* The first deputy chairman of Russian Sberbank's boardMaxim Poletayev said no foreign banks are involved in the proposedprivatization of state-run oil company Bashneft and diamond miner , Reuters reported.
* DiamondCorpPlc solda total of 8,648 carats of diamonds during March quarter, comprising 6,247carats of kimberlite diamonds greater than 1.25 millimeter in diameter and2,401 carats of tailings diamonds and fine diamonds less than 1.25 millimeterin diameter recovered during bulk testing when the plant was configured withfiner bottom screens. The kimberlite diamonds sold for US$1.1 million,representing an average of US$175 per carat, and the tailings and fine diamondssold for US$46,000, representing an average of US$19 per carat.The company marked the first sales of diamonds from the mine in South Africa since1931.
* Anupdated feasibility study on Nemaska Lithium Inc.'s Whabouchi lithium project in Quebec a posttax net presentvalue of C$1.16 billion at a discount rate of 8%, an internal rate of return of30.3% and a payback period of about 2.4 years at a base-case scenario.
*Lithium AmericasCorp. and SociedadQuimica y Minera de Chile SA joint venture at the lithium projectin Jujuy province, could begin construction in early 2017 and start operations24 months later, Lithium Americas CEO Tom Hodgson said, accordingto Economía y Negocios.
*The largest-ever blue diamond will go up for auction in Geneva, Switzerland, AustralianMining reported.The 14.62-carat stone is expected to fetch between US$38 million and US$45million.
*MZI Resources Ltd.Managing Director Trevor Matthews said the company plans to significantly extendthe production capacity of 110,000 tonnes per annum at its flagship mineral sandsproject in Western Australia, The WestAustralian reported.
*Pressure is mounting on the Canadian government to address a host of abusesallegedly committed by Canadian mining corporations in Latin America.Questionable businesspractices in the region by Canadian miners have been alleged foryears, with multiple lawsuits now in play. HudBay Minerals Inc. is accused in the shooting death ofan aboriginal leader in Guatemala, while Tahoe Resources Inc. is under fire in the shooting oftwo protesters at its Escobalsilver-gold-lead-zinc mine in Guatemala.
*Bolivia's exports of zinc, lead, copper, tin, silver, gold, tungsten andantimony dropped 19.5% year over year to US$237 million through February,Business News Americas reported,citing a report from the national statistics institute.
The Daily Dose is updated asof 7 a.m. New York time, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English,Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Someexternal links may require a subscription.