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Stillwater board under probe for fiduciary duty breaches in sale to Sibanye

TOP NEWS

Stillwater board probed for fiduciary duty breaches in sale to Sibanye

Maryland-based law firm Brower Piven initiated an investigation into possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law by the board of Stillwater Mining Co. over the US$2.2 billion sale of the company to Sibanye Gold Ltd. The law firm is investigating whether Stillwater's board failed to satisfy their duties to shareholders, including whether the board adequately pursued alternatives to the acquisition and sought the best price possible.

Newmont expects up to US$1.2B impairment in Q4 for Yanacocha gold mine closure

Newmont Mining Corp. expects to record a noncash impairment charge of between US$1.0 billion and US$1.2 billion during the fourth quarter of 2016 due to an increase in the estimated future closure costs for its Yanacocha gold mine in Peru.

S&P: 1 in 10 issuers could face downgrade as US interest rate hike looms

Ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates, S&P Global Ratings warned that almost one in 10 corporate debt issuers around the globe could be downgraded if credit spreads return to levels seen during the financial crisis. S&P said that among the sectors in the worst quintile in its stress scenario is the metals and mining industry.

DIVERSIFIED

* Guinea's former mining minister, Mahmoud Thiam, who claimed that Rio Tinto offered him bribes, has been charged in the U.S. with laundering bribes from an unnamed Chinese company, The Australian Financial Review reported.

BASE METALS

* Copper exports from Indonesia are under threat in light of the government's ban on overseas concentrate shipments as of Jan. 11, 2017, Bloomberg News reported. Ministers are rushing to revise the rules, but there is no guarantee the deadline will be met. Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s Grasberg mine in Papua province could also be impacted, even though CEO Richard Adkerson said he is confident the issue will be resolved.

* Nyrstar NV signed share purchase agreements to sell its Contonga zinc-lead-copper mine in Peru, along with other mineral claims in Quebec, to units of Glencore Plc for US$26 million.

* Eramet's Societe Metallurgique Le Nickel unit and Societe des Mines de la Tontouta applied for permits to increase nickel ore exports to China in 2017, as China is in need of new sources after the Philippines halted production at some mines for environmental violations, Reuters wrote, citing four sources familiar with the matter.

* KGHM Polska Miedz SA plans to conduct tests on its international mining assets that may affect the group's 2016 financial results, after some of them suffered losses and required updated financing models, Reuters reported.

* PanAust Ltd. signed an agreement to fully acquire Metro Mining Ltd.'s interest in the Mahar San copper-gold exploration project in Myanmar.

* Codelco announced that it would invest an additional US$633 million between 2016 and 2020 to make its refineries and foundries more profitable, daily Pulso reported.

* ASX-listed Royalco Resources Ltd. finally accepted a hostile takeover bid by Fitzroy River Corp. Ltd. after the latter raised the price of its off-market offer to 20 Australian cents per share, which values Royalco at about A$10.5 million, from the previous offer of 18 cents per share.

* Moody's affirmed Minsur SA's Ba3 corporate family rating and the rating assigned to its US$450 million senior unsecured notes due in 2024. The outlook was changed to positive, from negative.

* A preliminary economic assessment for the development of the Kakula Phase 1 mine at Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.'s Kamoa-Kakula copper deposit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo generated a posttax net present value of US$3.7 billion using an 8% discount rate and an internal rate of return of 38%, with a payback period of 2.3 years. Initial CapEx is estimated at US$1.0 billion.

* On the back of strengthening copper prices, Capstone Mining Corp. is seeking the Yukon Territory government's approval for an amendment to its mining plan for the Minto copper mine and to start a new open pit on the property, which will allow the company to hire back most of the staff it laid off in October, Yukon News reported.

* The operator of the Mount Lyell mine, Copper Mines of Tasmania Pty. Ltd., was fined A$225,000 by a magistrate court for workplace safety failures associated with a December 2013 platform collapse incident at the site that killed two workers, ABC reported.

* Employees at Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile will vote this week on a collective contract proposal the company is expected to present by Dec. 14, Reuters reported, citing a union leader.

* Separately, Codelco CEO Nelson Pizarro said he conservatively expects the price of copper to average US$2.40 per pound in 2017, adding that analysts seeing copper averaging US$2.80 per pound next year are "too optimistic," Business News Americas reported.

* Altius Minerals Corp., together with select strategic investors, is co-founding a new publicly traded company, Adventus Zinc Corp., which will focus on the acquisition and advancement of zinc exploration and development projects. Altius intends to fund a portion of Adventus Zinc's pre-IPO seed capital funding.

* Goldman Sachs revised its previous outlook on copper and now expects to see prices rising to US$6,200 per tonne over the next six months, significantly up from its previous six-month call of US$4,800, The Australian Financial Review reported.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Goldcorp Inc. has mandated that Bank of Nova Scotia sell its Camino Rojo gold-silver project in Mexico, which could fetch about US$200 million, Bloomberg News wrote, citing people familiar with the matter. The bank is also working on the sale of the miner's Los Filos gold mine in Mexico, which is said to be in advanced stages and could close for about US$300 million.

* Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd. is set to undertake a comprehensive review of the Batangas gold project in the Philippines in the first quarter of 2017 and is now in advanced talks with a potential local partner that will handle the permitting process and progressing the project to production. The company also held talks with the Philippine Stock Exchange regarding a potential local listing for its subsidiary.

* A preliminary economic assessment on the U.S. Grant mine within Transatlantic Mining Corp.'s Alder Mountain gold property in Montana generated an after-tax net present value of US$6.9 million and an internal rate of return of 278%, with a payback period of 1.4 years.

* Kerr Mines Inc. will sell 8.0 million common shares of Bonterra Resources Inc. for total gross proceeds of C$2.0 million. Kerr Mines intends to use the proceeds to restart production at its Copperstone gold mine in Arizona.

* Capital Mining Ltd. submitted a new exploration license application for an area surrounding its Mayfield project in southeastern New South Wales, Australia, which will expand the project by about 178 square kilometers. The new area hosts numerous gold and base metal prospects, according to the statement.

* Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. expects to produce between 500,000 ounces and 525,000 ounces of gold in 2017 at all-in sustaining costs per ounce sold of between US$950 and US$1,000. Kirkland is also placing its Holloway mine in northeastern Ontario on care and maintenance due to limited economic viability.

* Atlatsa Resources Corp. said an employee died in a water-related incident Dec. 9 at the Brakfontein shaft of its Bokoni mine in South Africa.

BULK COMMODITIES

* BHP Billiton Group again indicated that its Samarco iron ore joint venture with Vale SA in Brazil could restart operations in 2017 at a reduced capacity. Applications to resume mining have already been lodged, though Samarco also needs debt restructuring to resume operations.

* India's Directorate General of Safeguards, which comes under the finance ministry, will not impose safeguards on some aluminum products, based on a lack of evidence that imports are hurting the profitability of domestic producers, Reuters reported.

* Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG resumed production at its Galmed hot dip galvanizing line in Sagunto, Spain, Metal Bulletin reported. The site was shuttered in 2013 due to a low capacity utilization rate as a result of the economic crisis in southern Europe.

* Billionaire Vladimir Lisin's Fletcher Group Holdings sold 90 million ordinary shares in OJSC Novolipetsk Steel, representing a 1.5% stake in the company, for US$153.1 million, Reuters reported.

* According to market sources, the European Commission's anti-dumping probe into hot dipped galvanized coil imported from China will lead to a shortage in the European market, Metal Bulletin reported.

* The U.K. government said publicly funded infrastructure projects will require about 3 million tonnes of steel over the next three years, Metal Bulletin wrote.

* Argentina's foreign trade commission initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports of Chinese welded and seamless pipes, Metal Bulletin reported.

SPECIALTY

* Paladin Energy Ltd. sold its entire shareholding in Deep Yellow Ltd. for A$2.6 million. The company also divested of a number of noncore exploration assets, which were bought by Uranium Africa Ltd. for A$2.5 million. The asset package includes the Oobagooma project in Western Australia and the Angela/Pamela and Bigrlyi projects in the Northern Territory.

* Core Exploration Ltd. acquired a 574-square-kilometer, lithium-prospective granted exploration license in the Barrow Creek pegmatite field in Australia's Northern Territory.

* Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA filed a claim against the Chilean family business group Grupo Errázuriz before the environmental regulator SMA over the alleged illegal extraction of water in the Llamara salt flat in Chile, daily Pulso reported.

* The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued the final mine area permit for Uranium Energy Corp.'s Burke Hollow in-situ recovery project in South Texas, authorizing over 11,000 acres for mining multiple production sands within two large confirmed production areas.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* A new report by EY found that the mining sector is losing over 20% of its productivity to an integration gap between the mine and production plant and between the maintenance and supply chain.

* India's Mines Ministry has started discussions with stakeholders to develop an action plan for the remediation of mined-out areas and abandoned mines in the country, Mining Weekly said in a news brief.

* South African Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and his Nigerian counterpart, Kayode Fayemi, endorsed a two-year action plan on the countries' cooperation in geology, mining and mineral processing. According to Mining Weekly, both ministers agreed to start the plan's implementation in January 2017.

* Given that Congress in Argentina is discussing a bill that would potentially reinstate tariffs on exports of minerals, the government of Mauricio Macri announced it might decide not to employ the presidential veto if the Senate finally approves it. Meanwhile, governors of mining regions will have to support the financial cost of the project, which would add up to approximately 140,000 pesos, daily Cronista reported.

* Nathan Tinkler's offer to settle the A$553.8 million owed to 14 creditors for A$700,000 is up for vote by the creditors Dec. 21, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The biggest creditors include AET Ltd./Credit Suisse AG with a A$424.4 million claim and the tax office with a A$106 million claim.

* President-elect Donald Trump offered the interior secretary position to coal industry proponent U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, according to a report from Politico. The Trump transition team did not immediately confirm whether it offered the job to Zinke.

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The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.