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Barrick's FY'16 gold output near upper end of guidance

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Barrick's FY'16 gold output near upper end of guidance

TOP NEWS

Barrick's FY'16 gold output near upper end of guidance

Barrick Gold Corp. said it produced 5.52 million ounces of gold in 2016, according to preliminary figures, in line with the high end of its output forecast for the year. Fourth-quarter 2016 output was 1.52 million ounces, down from 1.62 million ounces a year ago. Full-year output was down from 6.12 million ounces booked in 2015. All-in sustaining costs for 2016 are expected to be at or slightly lower than the guidance range of US$740 to US$775 per ounce.

BHP Billiton cuts copper guidance due to power outage, repairs at Olympic Dam

BHP Billiton Group revised its 2017 financial year production guidance for copper down 2% to 1.6 million tonnes due to the negative impact of a statewide power outage and unplanned maintenance at the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia. Copper output in the December-2016 quarter was down 7% year over year to 357,000 tonnes. Western Australian iron ore production rose 9% to about 60.0 million tonnes.

Kumba shares up on expected jump in FY'16 earnings

Shares in Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. rose more than 9% after the company said its headline EPS for the year ending December 2016 is likely to be in the range of 26.36 South African rand to 27.72 rand, between 123% and 125% higher on a yearly basis. It attributed the expected increase to higher iron ore export prices, as well as a 5.98 billion rand impairment booked in 2015. The Anglo American Plc unit will report full-year earnings Feb. 14.

DIVERSIFIED

* Analysts at Citigroup said Rio Tinto is expected to announce a capital restructuring program including a potential increase in shareholder returns when it releases fiscal year earnings Feb. 8, following the company's US$2.45 billion sale of its Australian coal unit to Yancoal Australia Ltd., The Australian Financial Review reported. However, UBS analysts believe that the global mining giant will reserve the cash, considering the uncertain outlook, and step up dividends in 2018.

BASE METALS

* Antofagasta Plc posted a 12.5% increase in copper production in 2016, to 709,400 tonnes, and a 26.6% jump in gold production to 270,900 ounces, on a yearly basis. The company expects to produce 685,000 tonnes to 720,000 tonnes of copper, 185,000 ounces to 205,000 ounces of gold, and 8,500 tonnes to 9,500 tonnes of molybdenum in 2017.

* Vedanta Resources Plc priced its offering of US$1.0 billion in bonds due 2022 at 6.375%. Proceeds will fund its cash buyback of up to US$1.95 billion in outstanding notes, which received valid offers totaling about US$795.9 million.

* Centerra Gold Inc. hedged about 51% of its expected 2017 copper production from its Mount Milligan mine in northern British Columbia, net of copper streaming arrangements with Royal Gold Inc. The company also entered into zero-cost collars for 8.3 million pounds of copper with settlements dates in the February to December period at a minimum price of US$2.25 per pound and a maximum price of US$3.21 per pound of copper.

* PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel approved the sale of up to a 39.32% stake in the Bystrinskoye copper project to a Russia-focused natural resources fund, CIS Natural Resources Fund, established by Interros Group and ESN Group. The project is being valued at US$730 million for the transaction.

* All conditions related to the US$210 million sale of MMG Ltd.'s Golden Grove polymetallic project in Western Australia are now satisfied. The sale will be completed Feb. 28.

* Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. expects its net profit attributable to shareholders to increase by 40% to 60% in 2016, compared to the year-ago net profit that totaled 637.2 million Chinese yuan.

* Rambler Metals & Mining Plc expects to produce 5,100 tonnes to 5,800 tonnes of copper and 4,400 ounces to 5,100 ounces of gold in full-year 2017. In 2016, the company produced 4,174 tonnes of copper and 6,132 ounces of gold.

* Regulus Resources Inc.'s wholly owned Peruvian subsidiary, Southern Legacy Peru SAC, executed a definitive agreement with Compañía de Minas Buenaventura SAA unit Compania Minera Coimolache SA to jointly explore the AntaKori copper-gold project in northern Peru.

* CobalTech Mining Inc. acquired additional interests by purchasing eight new cobalt properties covering 1,535 hectares in Quebec.

* Unionized workers at the BHP Billiton-majority-owned Escondida copper mine in Chile rejected the company's latest wage offer and asked its workers to vote for a strike and prepare for an extended conflict, Reuters reported.

* China Nonferrous Mining Corp. Ltd. expects to book a decrease of about US$270 million in its loss attributable to company owners and may post a profit for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016. The company booked a loss of US$279.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2015.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Endeavour Silver Corp.'s 2017 silver production is expected to be in the range of 5.2 million to 5.7 million ounces, while gold output will be between 50,000 ounces and 53,000 ounces. All-in sustaining costs, net of gold byproduct credits, are estimated at US$14 per ounce to US$15 per ounce of silver.

* Northern Star Resources Ltd. produced 124,871 ounces of gold in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, up from 109,995 ounces produced in the previous quarter. All-in sustaining costs for the second fiscal quarter totaled A$1,063 per ounce, compared to A$1,091 per ounce in the previous quarter. Revenue for the quarter totaled A$197.5 million, an improvement from A$183.2 million reported in the previous quarter.

* Fresnillo Plc expects silver production of 58 million ounces to 61 million ounces, including 4 million ounces from Silverstream in 2017. Gold production is expected at between 870,000 ounces and 900,000 ounces, mainly due to the stabilization of production at Herradura mine in Mexico, following the reduction in inventories.

* Evolution Mining Ltd. is on track to meet its fiscal 2017 gold production guidance after posting record output of 217,812 ounces in the December-2016 quarter.

* Pan American Silver Corp.'s corporate affairs director, Ricardo Zarandon, denied earlier media reports that said the company was abandoning its Navidad silver-lead-gold project in Argentina's Chubut province, and insisted that there is still interest in developing the project, daily Tiempo de San Juan reported.

* Lundin Gold Inc. will start construction of its Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador in July, the company's vice president of business sustainability, Nathan Monash, said. The average annual production, at full capacity, would total 340,000 ounces of gold, daily El Universo reported.

* Victoria Gold Corp. is looking to arrange up to US$220 million of senior secured project debt to fund its Eagle gold project in Canada's Yukon Territory through construction and into production.

* MacPhersons Resources Ltd. updated the mineral resource at its Boorara gold project in Western Australia to 5.95 million tonnes grading 1.2 g/t of gold for 232,000 ounces of gold at a 0.4 g/t of gold cutoff. This compares to a previous estimate of 10.8 million tonnes at 0.99 g/t of gold for 341,500 ounces, but at a cutoff of 0.3 g/t of gold.

* De Grey Mining Ltd. announced a 227% increase in the mineral resource at the Mount Berghaus gold prospect, part of the Turner River project in Western Australia.

* Peru's environmental regulator, OEFA, fined Aruntani SAC and its Arasi gold project, in the Puno region, more than 1 million Peruvian soles over environmental infractions recorded between 2010 and 2016 that affected the mine's area of influence in the Pucara basin, news radio RPP reported.

* An arbitration tribunal dismissed a claim against Avesoro Resources Inc. regarding the termination of International Construction & Engineering's civil and earthworks contract for the New Liberty gold mine in Liberia.

* An initial National Instruments 43-101-compliant resource estimate for Aton Resources Inc.'s Hamama West deposit, part of the company's Abu Marawat gold-silver concession in Egypt, estimated indicated resources containing 88,000 ounces of gold and 3.4 million ounces of silver within 3.8 million tonnes grading 0.72 g/t of gold and 27.6 g/t of silver.

BULK COMMODITIES

* China's Ministry of Environmental Protection proposed to suspend about a fifth of the country's alumina production capacity across three provinces to fight air pollution over the winter season, a move that will create shortages of alumina but will have little impact on aluminum supply, Bloomberg News reported. The targeted period in the draft policy runs from November to March, when pollution increases due to coal-fired heating.

* Alcoa Corp. has improved its bottom line since being split into two companies, reducing its net loss to US$125 million, or 68 cents per share, in the final quarter of 2016, from US$826 million, or US$4.52 per share, a year earlier. The company upped its "return-seeking capital" to US$150 million from US$100 million to support its goal of growing its bauxite business.

* POSCO swung to a net profit of 1.048 trillion South Korean won for full-year 2016, compared to the year-ago loss of 96 billion won. Revenue for the company dropped to 53.084 trillion won in the year, from 58.192 trillion won in 2015.

* Arianne Phosphate Inc. signed a project agreement with Rio Tinto to review sharing maritime services. The companies will discuss using ships serving Rio Tinto to deliver phosphate concentrate produced at Arianne's Quebec-based Lac a Paul project to international markets.

* Meanwhile, Alcoa is waiting for a clearer picture on U.S. President Donald Trump's planned tax reform before deciding if a restart of its idled aluminum smelters could be a possibility.

* BC Iron Ltd. revised its fiscal-2017 EBITDA guidance for its Iron Valley mine in Western Australia to between A$18 million and A$25 million, after posting EBITDA of A$8.1 million for the December-2016 quarter after record iron ore shipments of 2.1 million wet tonnes.

* Murray Energy Corp. founder and CEO Robert Murray is convinced that the newly installed President Donald Trump will revive the country's coal industry within three months, Bloomberg News reported.

* Tata Steel Ltd. struck a deal to acquire a majority stake in Creative Port Development Private Ltd. to help advance the proposed development of the Subarnarekha Port at Chaumukh village of Balasore district in Odisha, India.

* Wuhan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. expected to swing to a net profit attributable to shareholders of about 406 million Chinese yuan in 2016, from a net loss of 7.51 billion yuan posted a year earlier.

* AK Steel Holding Corp. posted a net loss of US$62.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, narrowing from a net loss of US$145.4 million a year earlier. The company returned to positive EBITDA of US$44.6 million, from negative EBITDA of US$13.8 million recorded in the year-ago period.

* Russian fertilizer producer PJSC Acron's total commercial output for mineral fertilizers in 2016 jumped 19.8% year over year to about 5.3 million tonnes. Total commercial output for industrial products, however, dropped 8.3% year over year to 869,000 tonnes.

* SouthGobi Resources Ltd. said the Khan-Uul District Civil Court of First Instance in Mongolia dismissed the US$8.9 million lawsuit filed by a fuel supplier over alleged outstanding fuel supply payments. The issue will now be settled through talks, failing which the parties will seek arbitration.

* Brazil's flat steel sales declined 4% year over year to 3.04 million tonnes in 2016, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Thailand's Ministry of Commerce decided to impose import duties on H-beam steel products of 31.43% in 2017 and 31.05% in 2018, in an effort to safeguard domestic steel product manufacturers after imports increased sharply, Thailand's Daily News reported.

SPECIALTY

* Great Lakes Graphite Inc. received an order for 20 tonnes of synthetic graphite from a Middle East-based customer.

* FinnAust Mining Plc engaged Titanium Industry Global Advisory Pte. Ltd., or TIGA, as a marketing adviser for the company. TIGA specializes in providing strategic and commercial direction to the mineral sands industry with a focus on titanium dioxide feedstocks.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* President Donald Trump's team released a priority Emergency & National Security Projects list of 50 initial infrastructure developments in the pipeline, with an investment cost of US$137.5 billion, according to a report by The Kansas City Star. Trump's team has proposed that public-private partnerships, on a 50/50 basis, will provide funding for the planned projects.

* Fourteen mining projects had their environmental impact assessment reports approved by the Peruvian authorities. The projects account for US$16.08 billion, one-third of the total investment portfolio estimated in the country, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Approved mining projects include Ollachea, Quellaveco, Conga, Crespo, Shauindo, Shouxin and Tambomayo, news radio RPP reported.

* A former minister of mines in Guinea, Mahmoud Thiam, pleaded not guilty to U.S. charges that he laundered US$8.5 million in bribes from a Chinese conglomerate to help the latter secure mining rights in the West African country, Reuters reported.

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.