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New lawsuit over Samarco; Chinese copper exports could rattle markets; London looking at new gold trading platform

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New lawsuit over Samarco; Chinese copper exports could rattle markets; London looking at new gold trading platform

TOP NEWS

BHP in new lawsuit over Samarco

Lundin Law PC filed a class-action lawsuit against BHPBilliton Group's ASX-listed entity BHP Billiton Ltd., following the firm's relating to alleged false andmisleading statements issued by the company despite knowledge of the "dangerouscondition" at the Samarcoiron ore mine in Brazil.

Chinese copperexports could rattle producers globally

According to traders and analysts, China is expected to increase copperexports in the next few months amid record high stockpiles of the red metal,Reuters reported. The country's copper export volumes are usually small, but anincrease in shipments — particularly at a time when Chinese demand is historicallyat its peak — would shake copper producers and investors around the world.

Londonlooking at new gold trading platform

The London Bullion Market Association is assessing proposalsto create a trading and reporting platform for gold trading in London, while theWorld Gold Council is working with the London Metal Exchange to create new futurescontracts, Bloomberg News reported,citing two people with direct knowledge of the venture. "It's a pretty bigmoment for London, and it's time to choose," said Mark O'Byrne, a directorin Dublin at brokerage GoldCore Ltd.

DIVERSIFIED

* Lundin Law PC filed a class action lawsuit against BHPBilliton Group's ASX-listed entity BHP Billiton Ltd., following the firm's relating to alleged false andmisleading statements issued by the company despite knowledge of the "dangerouscondition" at the Samarcoiron ore mine in Brazil.

* The Zimbabwean government is conducting an investigation intoRio Tinto's sale of itstwo holdings in the country in June 2015, TheHerald reported,citing a senior government official. The mining giant sold its 78% stake in the Murowa diamond mine and its 50% interest in coal mine to The governmentis seeking to verify "the manner in which the shares changed hands."

* slashed its planned CapExfor 2016 to US$5.5 billion from the previously announced US$6.2 billion and alsolowered compensation for top management and board members by 9.8% year over yearto US$24 million. Meanwhile, the company will continue noncore asset sales thisyear, targeting aboutUS$4 billion to US$5.5 billion in proceeds, while it will evaluate transactionsinvolving core assets with an aim to reduce net debt by US$10 billion by 2017.

* Valerejected a media reportwhich said the Brazilian mining giant was in talks to sell a stake in its fertilizerbusiness to Norway's Yara InternationalASA. The response came after Brazilian daily Valor Econômico reported that Vale may sell a minority stake in itsfertilizer unit later this year, with unnamed sources valuing the deal at US$1.2billion.

BASE METALS

* Pasinex ResourcesLtd. completed two separate lotsales of high-grade direct shipping zinc mineral material from its zinc mine in Turkey.

* unit said employees will be notified of the closure of its Santa Rita nickel mine on April 7 despite the company'sagreement with the state of Bahia for a refund of part of the ICMS transfer of goodsand services tax aimed at helping the mine to continue running, Notícias de Mineração reported.

* Salazar ResourcesLtd. announced a recapitalizationplan that includes a private placement of units to raise US$1.1 million,a sale of 2% net smelter returns royalty on the Curipamba copper project in Ecuador for US$4.8 million anddebt conversion with creditors. The proceeds will be used to advance the Curipambacopper project.

* According to traders and analysts, China is expected to increase copperexports in the next few months amid record high stockpiles of the red metal,Reuters reported. The country's copper export volumes are usually small, but anincrease in shipments — particularly at a time when Chinese demand is historicallyat its peak — would shake copper producers and investors around the world.

* purchased a62.25% interest in Compañia MineraRaura SA from Great YellowstoneCorp., increasing its ownership of the zinc, lead and copper concentrateminer to 99.91%, daily Gestión reported.

* Theworkers union SMCV at the Peruvian copper miner Cerro Verde announced a strike onApril 8 demanding a share in company profits for the current year for its workers,daily La República reported,citing secretary general Zenon Mujica.

* 's productionof copper increased36.5% year over year to 3,207 tonnes in the first quarter from its dump leach, solvent extractionand electro-winning copper recovery plant in Kazakhstan. Copper sales during thequarter were up 14% year over year to 2,550 tonnes.

* Philippinesnickel miner Marcventures HoldingsInc. is mulling over constructionof a processing plant and acquiring a mining company in the Philippines to increaseoutput and exports, Reuters reported.

* NewCaledonia, a South Pacific French territory, will permit two companies to exportup to 700,000 tonnes of low-grade nickel ore to China over a period of 12 monthsto 18 months, Reuters wrote.The ban was put in place to support local smelters.

* Owingto the higher output from newly operationalized projects in the country, Peru'scopper production surged 70% to 169,114 tonnes in February, from a year ago, BusinessNews Americas reported.

* struck adeal with POSCO unit , wherebyPOSCO may earn up to a 35% interestin Serengeti's Kwanikacopper-gold project for C$8.2 million. The initial C$1.2 million investment hasbeen paid into the joint venture account from which Serengeti will receive an upfrontcash operating fee of C$400,000.

* Protestersfrom the Antauta community in Peru have blockedthe way to Minsur SA'sSan Rafael tin minein the region, a move that may affect production at the site, Business News Americasreported. According to local daily Correo, protesters are demanding a 10% shareof profits, reparations from the mine's operations and other benefits.

PRECIOUS METALS

* The London Bullion Market Association is assessing proposalsto create a trading and reporting platform for gold trading in London, while theWorld Gold Council is working with the London Metal Exchange to create new futurescontracts, Bloomberg News reported,citing two people with direct knowledge of the venture. "It's a pretty bigmoment for London, and it's time to choose," said Mark O'Byrne, a directorin Dublin at brokerage GoldCore Ltd.

* said a rock drill operatorhasdied at its Pandorajoint venture following a fall of ground accident April 6. An investigation intothe incident has begun.

* SouthAfrica's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union suspended a planned wage strike at Sibanye Gold Ltd. to allow further talks to take place, Reutersreported.

* Sandstorm GoldLtd. soldits AuRico Metals Inc.shares at 69 U.S. cents each for net proceeds of over US$10 million. The proceedswill be used to reduce the balance on the company's revolving credit facility toUS$66 million. The disposal price was a gain of 21% since the companyacquired the shares in July 2015.

* Coeur MiningInc. produced 3.4 million ounces of silver and 78,072 in the first quarter of 2016,which compares to 3.8 million ounces of silver and 69,734 ounces of gold producedin the same period a year earlier.

* Golden Dawn MineralsInc.'s updated preliminary economic assessment on the gold project in southcentral British Columbia has indicateda positive underground mining project at near current gold prices. At a gold-priceof US$1,250 per ounce and copper price of US$3.00 per pound, using an exchange rateof C$1.00 equal 82 U.S. cents per share, the project will generate an after-taxnet present value of C$23.3 million at a 6% discount rate, and yield an internalrate of return of 61.5%. Initial capital costs are expected at C$9.6 million andtotal life of mine capital is estimated to be C$33.5 million.

* Moody'sdowngraded to B3/B1.mxfrom B2/Ba1.mx the ratings of MineraFrisco SAB de CV. The ratings outlook is stable.

* produced 125,268 ouncesof gold from its Sukarigold mine in Egypt in the first quarter, upfrom the 108,233 ounces produced a year ago. The company maintained the full yearproduction guidance of 470,000 ounces.

* filed itsNotice of Project Status and updated Project Description for its at the gold project in Ontario.The company will then have to file a closure plan with Ontario's Ministry of NorthernDevelopment and Mines, which will allow the company to transport, mill and refinethe stockpile this year.

* 's 49% ownedsubsidiary, the Blanket Minemine in Zimbabwe, produced about 10,822 ounces of gold in the first quarter, representingan 8.7%year-over-year increase. The mine is targeting total production of about 50,000ounces of gold this year, unchanged from previous guidance.

* 's drillingon its gold licenses in Inishowen,County Donegal, returnedintercepts of 3.05 meters grading at 5.8 g/t of gold including a 0.65 meter intervalat 11.31 g/t of gold and 0.39 meter at 26.07 g/t of gold. The initial drill resultsconfirmed the presence of significant grades of gold in a multi-vein system withinthe Dalradian rocks of Inishowen.

BULK COMMODITIES

* In the first quarter of 2016, Rio Tinto's and Vale's iron oreshipments increased 10% year over year to 270 million tonnes, Bloomberg News wroteciting Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.'s weekly cargo-tracking report.

* U.S. Steel Corp.is laying off a quarter of its salaried nonunion workforce in North America, equivalentto about 750 jobs as the embattled steelmaker struggles with weak demand and lowprices, The Associated Press reported.

* The sale process for Tata Steel Ltd.'sloss-making U.K. operations willstart April 11 and Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House Group is expected to startdue diligence with an aim to acquire the troubled operation, Reuters reported, citingan interview with Gupta. He said funding the acquisition will not be a big issuesince Liberty House has a turnover of more than US$6.5 billion, adding that competitivepower prices are critical to revive the business.

* TataSteel received a nodfrom India's Forest Advisory Committee for the diversion of about 199 hectares offorest land to expand its iron ore mining project in Keonjhar district in the country'sOdisha state, the Press Trust of India reported, citing a senior government official.

* Rio Tinto's modernized US$4.8 billion aluminum smelter inBritish Columbia has achieved full production capacity of 420,000 tonnes per annum,which is almost double from the plant's original smelting lines, Vancouver Sun reported,citing aluminum division executive Alf Barrios. The executive said the rebuilt smelteris one of the lowest-cost and most efficient in the world and operates on a hydroelectricpower source.

* Brazil's Minas Gerais state environmental agency Semad willnot authorize the resumption of operations at Samarco Mineração SA's namesake iron ore mine the tailings leaks are stopped,Reuters reported, citing environmental protection officials.

* A Braziliancourt approved an injunction by the state of Minas Gerais requesting to adopt urgentmeasures to fully contain the seepage from its Germano tailings dam or pay a dailyfine of 1 million Brazilian reais. Materials continue to seep through the dam despiteworks in the wake of the collapse of the Fundão tailings dam on Nov. 5, 2015, thestate Public Prosecutor's Office said.

*Samarco Mineração CEO Roberto Carvalho said some loss of lives could have been preventedin the Mariana dams collapse on Nov. 5, 2015, had the company's current emergencyplan been operative in 2015, daily Valor Econômicoreported.

* In order to help ease pressure on China's loss-making coalminers, the State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission, or SASAC,has urged state-owned power plants to cooperateand secure long-term coal supply contracts, Reuters reported, citing a draftdocument sent to coal buyers and producers.

* Afarak GroupOyj entered into three-year agreement with a developer and manufacturerof products made from advanced stainless steel and special alloys. Afarak willsupply low-carbon ferrochrome produced at its Elektrowerk Weisweiler plant in Germany.

* Gensource PotashCorp. struck a dealwith Yancoal Canada Resources Co.Ltd., which includes acquisition of two potash exploration permits andan off-take term sheet for the sale of potash, starting immediately.

*Arrium Ltd. appointedSaid Jahani, Paul Andrew Billingham, Michael Gerard McCann and Matthew James Byrnesof Grant Thornton as administratorsof the group. The announcement followed the rejection of Arrium creditors of a US$927million recapitalization proposal from U.S.-based GSO Capital Partners LP.

*Despite Nippon Steel & SumitomoMetal Corp.'s reluctance to separate Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA into two units, ifthis does happen, controlling shareholder TerniumSA is reportedly planning to bring steel sheets produced in Argentinato be processed at Usiminas' plant in Cubatão via the company's private port inBaixada Santista, sources toldDCI Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços.

*CAP SA Chairman Robertode Andraca said the current year will be the most difficult in nearly two decadesfor the commodities industry, daily El Mercurioreported.

*According to Tim Buckley, a director at the Institute of Energy Economics and FinancialAnalysis, Wollongong Coal Ltd.'sproposal to mine further into the Sydney drinking water catchment seems to be "totallystranded" by the findings of the Planning Assessment Commission, ABC reported.

*The U.S. International Trade Commission starteda probe into the trade of aluminum in the U.S. as well as globally, to investigatethe impact of lower cost imports on local smelters, Reuters reported.

*Alcoa Inc. unit AlcoaWorld Alumina and Chemicals secured multiple bauxite supply contracts valued at more than US$350 million overthe next two years covering customers in China, Europe and Brazil. The contractsmore than double Alcoa's third-party bauxite sales in 2016.

*SunCoke Energy Inc. hasoff-loaded its coal miningbusiness to Revelation Energy LLCin a transaction that includes all of the company's remaining coal mining assets,mineral leases, real estate and mining reclamation costs. Under the terms, RevelationEnergy will receive about US$10.3 million from SunCoke to take ownership of theassets and associated costs.

*Hindalco Industries Ltd.unit Novelis Inc. is saidto be in talks with banks to restructureabout US$5.3 billion of loans maturing in 2017. Initially, Novelis is looking torefinance up to US$3.5 billion of outstanding debt with an average term of aboutseven years.

*The China Securities Journal reportedthat Chongqing Iron and Steel Groupwill collaborate with POSCOin two steeljoint ventures. The Chinese steelmaker will invest 1.32 billion Chinese yuanin a cold-rolling steel project with a 90% stake, while POSCO will take up the remaining10% stake for 147 million yuan.

*Indonesian coal miner ABM Investama's Cipta Kridatama unit securedan US$82 million contract from Indomining to work on the latter's 683-hectare coalmine in the country's East Kalimantan region, for the next five years, the Jakarta Globe reported, citing Cipta PresidentDirector Irfan Setiaputra.

SPECIALTY

* Iluka ResourcesLtd. said its zircon sales for the current year might be below initialexpectations as it will reduce the zircon reference price for the second quarterby 10% to about US$950 per tonne. The company may also adjust this year's zircon production of about 350,000 tonnes;however, combined sales of zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile are still expectedto exceed the aggregate production of about 660,000 tonnes.

* Commerce ResourcesCorp. entered into a memorandum of understanding with NorFalco Sales,a division of Glencore Plcunit Glencore Canada Corp.Under the terms, NorFalco will providesulfuric acid required for the Ashramlanthanides project in Quebec, at highly competitive market rates and terms. Theagreement is binding and is subject to an initial five-year term and can be re-negotiatedafterward.

* Following an update of the mineral resource estimate for 's mineral sands project inVictoria, Australia, the total resource was nowestimated at 5.71 billion tonnes of sand at an average grade of 3.2%heavy minerals, at a 1% heavy mineral cut-off.

*Walkabout Resources Ltd.filed applications for three prospecting licenses in a known lithium-tantalum settingin Tanzania. The move is a part of the company's strategy to diversify into the fast-developing supply chain for lithium-ionbatteries and complement fast-tracked development of the Lindi Jumbo graphite project.

*Sotheby's expects tofetch between US$28 million and US$38 million from the sale of a 15.38-caratdiamond in an auction to be held in Geneva on May 17, the Financial Times reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The current downturn is expectedto allow different players, and particularly private equity funds , Dean Braunsteiner,a partner at accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, said during a panel discussionat the Mines and Money Asia 2016 in Hong Kong. "There were plenty of dealshappening in the private market but you just didn't hear about them," he said."I think the next step for private equity funds is to move to the public marketwhere the big opportunities are." Private equity is expected to help fill inthe gap left by the public market, according to Braunsteiner.

* ABCwrotethat two mining-related businessmen from Australia have been linked to companieswhich have mining deals with North Korea, uncovered by the Panama Papers leak. Thereis a ban on dealing with certain North Korean companies by the United Nations.

*The Canadian Space Agency is awarding a contract to Deltion Innovations Ltd. towork on a multipurpose device designedfor future mining on the moon and Mars, The Canadian Press reported.

The Daily Dose isupdated as of 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.