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Tata Steel board approves 128B rupee rights issue

TOP NEWS

Tata Steel board approves 128B rupee rights issue

Tata Steel Ltd.'s board approved a rights issue to raise up to 128 billion Indian rupees to fund the expansion of its Kalinganagar plant in India's Odisha state as well as to slash debt, Reuters wrote. The plan involves boosting capacity by 5 million tonnes per annum to 8 mtpa, covering a total investment of 235 billion rupees.

Metinvest posts 36% YOY jump in 9-month revenue

Metinvest BV's consolidated revenues jumped 36% year over year to US$6.22 billion in the first nine months of the year, driven primarily by higher steel and iron ore sale prices. The company's adjusted EBITDA soared 39% to US$1.37 billion on a yearly basis.

Gold Fields, Gold Road's Gruyere gold JV signs A$400M mining contract

Gold Fields Ltd. and Gold Road Resources Ltd.'s Gruyere joint venture entered a five-year, A$400 million mining services contract with Downer EDI Ltd. to mine the Gruyere gold project in Western Australia. Construction of mining infrastructure at the project is scheduled to commence in March 2018 quarter.

BASE METALS

* Minotaur Exploration Ltd. completed the sale of nickel mining rights at West Kambalda in Western Australia, over tenements held by Maximus Resources Ltd. and Corona Minerals Ltd to a private group for an undisclosed amount, as part of the company's ongoing exit of noncore assets.

* ScoZinc Mining Ltd. said an updated preliminary economic assessment for restarting operations at its ScoZinc zinc-lead mine in Nova Scotia pegged a post-tax net present value, discounted at 8%, of C$119.0 million, a 64.8% internal rate of return, and a 2.2-year payback period.

* LeadFX Inc. agreed to sell its mining data associated with the mineral claims owned by its North 67 Inc. subsidiary to Valhalla Mining LLC for C$2 million.

* Red River Resources Ltd. noted an increase in the estimated mine life for the West 45 polymetallic massive sulfide deposit, part of the Thalanga zinc project in central Queensland, Australia, to at least 2019 following an increased ore reserve and resource estimate.

* Albert Mining Inc. will use its proprietary artificial intelligence software to detect copper-zinc-silver mineralization at Falco Resources Ltd.'s properties in Quebec that cover some 67,258 hectares.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. said Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. Ltd. unit Zhaojin International Mining Co. Ltd. agreed to invest approximately C$66.1 million in the company, by subscribing to a private placement of 24,930,000 common Sabina shares at C$2.65 apiece.

* NewCastle Gold Ltd. and Anfield Gold Corp. shareholders approved the plan of arrangement whereby the two businesses will be acquired by Trek Mining Inc. to create Equinox Gold Corp.

* After acquiring a 50% stake in Barrick Gold Corp.'s Cerro Casale gold project in June, Goldcorp Inc. began to gradually return to Chile after leaving the country in 2014 amid social conflicts over its projects and low commodities prices, Pulso reported. The miner reopened its offices in Santiago and Copiapó, and appointed its legal director for Latin America, Mauricio Álvarez, as its new country manager.

* St-Georges Platinum & Base Metals Ltd.'s Kings Of The North Corp. unit signed an option agreement to acquire the gold-prospective Winter House project in Quebec for 6 million Kings Of The North shares and by assuming C$140,000 in current exploration expenses at the property.

* Barra Resources Ltd. completed the acquisition of the issued share capital of Kidman Resources Ltd. unit Coolgardie Mining Co. Pty Ltd, which holds the mining license for the Burbanks gold mine in Western Australia.

* Orex Minerals Inc., Canasil Resources Inc. and Pan American Silver Corp.'s Plata Panamericana SA de CV signed a nonbinding letter of intent contemplating their cooperation in developing the Sandra-Escobar silver project in Mexico.

* Emmerson Resources Ltd. achieved first gold pour at its Edna Beryl mine in Australia's Northern Territory, part of the Tennant Creek Mineral Field joint venture.

* Tower Resources Ltd. entered an option agreement with Goldcorp unit Kaminak Gold Corp. to acquire the Voigtberg gold-copper property in British Columbia for 3 million units and C$1.9 million in exploration spending on the project over three years.

* Beadell Resources Ltd. released updated JORC-compliant ore reserves and resource estimates for its Tucano gold mine in Brazil to help the company's year-end budgeting and life-of-mine scheduling. As of June 30, the project is estimated to host total ore reserves of 25.1 million tonnes at 1.83 g/t of gold for 1.5 million ounces and resources of 63.5 million tonnes at 1.82 g/t of gold for 3.7 million ounces.

* Trade union Solidarity said Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s 5 billion South African rand acquisition of Lonmin Plc would make a positive contribution toward economic growth and stability in the mining sector in the longer term, which in turn would further sustainability, Mining Weekly reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Creditors of insolvent Indian companies are seeking approval from the country's new bankruptcy court to sell the assets of as many as 40 firms, including those of steel producers Bhushan Steel Ltd., Essar Steel India Ltd. and Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd., Bloomberg News reported. People with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that billionaires Lakshmi Mittal and Anil Agarwal are contending for taking over Essar Steel India.

* A senior official for the Trump administration said that a new security strategy may lead to tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in the U.S. to protect the country's economic interests owing to national security concerns, Reuters reported.

* World Coal Association Chairman Mick Buffier said he was 'disappointed' with the way BHP Billiton Group had depicted his organization's agenda, adding that the company misrepresented the climate policies of the association, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Troubled French steelmaker Ascometal SA drew interest from four potential buyers, with commodity group Liberty House and Swiss steel firm Schmolz + Bickenbach confirming their interest, Reuters reported. According to a union official, Spain's Sidenor is also one of the bidders, while French daily Le Monde said that the fourth potential buyer for Ascometal was Italian steel firm Beltrame.

* Italy's Marcegaglia abandoned AM Investco, the ArcelorMittal-led joint venture that was vying to buy Italian steelmaker Ilva International SpA, to avoid potential problems with EU antitrust regulators, Metal Bulletin reported, citing market sources.

* Altech Chemicals Ltd. said German state-owned KfW IPEX-Bank approved a project finance debt package of US$190 million for the company's high-purity alumina project, higher than the US$185 million of project finance initially proposed.

* Poland boosted its coal imports as output from the country's top miner is expected to fall short by about 2 million tonnes from its original 2017 output target of 32 million tonnes, Reuters reported Dec. 19, citing Polska Grupa Górnicza sp. z o.o. CEO Tomasz Rogala.

* Mitsubishi Materials Corp. uncovered more cases of data falsification in its product line as it continues to probe the scandal that has affected over 300 of its customers, Reuters reported. The company found that its Mitsubishi Cable Industries Ltd. unit shipped magnetic wires with possibly fabricated data to five customers.

* Brazilian President Michel Temer approved a bill to raise iron ore royalties to 3.5% from 2% previously despite criticism from the mining sector, Metal Bulletin reported. According to a decree published by the federal government in the official gazette, the royalty increases will be applied retroactively from Nov. 1.

* Starting January 2018, Algeria will end its import licensing system for all products, including steel rebar, Metal Bulletin reported, citing local media reports.

SPECIALTY

* Pilbara Minerals Ltd. entered an off-take agreement to sell at least 1 million tonnes of unprocessed run-of-mine lithium-tantalum material from the Pilgangoora project in Western Australia to Atlas Iron Ltd. on a mine gate sale basis, starting in the June 2018 quarter.

* Kibaran Resources Ltd. inked a binding heads of agreement with ProGraphite GmbH to access technical and commercial knowledge in graphite processing for use in battery product applications.

* Kairos Capital Corp. changed its name to Lithium Chile Inc., effective immediately, and will trade under the LITH ticker on the TSX Venture Exchange.

* Lithium and junior miners secured US$42 million in funding in October, the largest of which was a US$23 million capital raising by Neo Lithium Corp. to fund its Tres Quebradas lithium project in Argentina, Mining.com reported.

* Separately, Western Australian lithium miners racked up gains of as much as 4% on the ASX following a slew of developments for the commodity, including the acquisition of Lithium X Energy Corp. by Tibet Summit Industry Co. Ltd unit Tibet Summit Resources Co. Ltd. and NextView Capital, The West Australian reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The U.S. needs to encourage domestic production of critical minerals for the technology and defense industries, and reduce reliance on China, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said, as he unveiled a report by the U.S. Geological Survey detailing the extent to which the country is dependent upon foreign competitors for its supply of certain minerals, Reuters reported.

* S&P Global Market Intelligence's Pipeline Activity Index was up in November, rising from 91 to 103 as a surge in drilling activity and a healthy increase in significant gold/base metals financings were tempered by declines in the numbers of initial resources and project milestones.

S&P Global Market Intelligence is owned by S&P Global Inc.

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