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US Steel to restart Minn. plant in March 2017

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US Steel to restart Minn. plant in March 2017

TOP NEWS

US Steel to restart Minn. plant in March 2017

U.S. Steel Corp. said it will restart the Keetac plant in Minnesota, which has been idled since May 2015. Employee callbacks at Keetac will start in early January 2017, while production is anticipated to begin in March next year. The move comes as the company seeks to adjust its pellet production after signing agreements to supply iron ore pellets to third-party customers.

China to cut up to 200 million tonnes in coal capacity for 2017

China's coal capacity-cut target for 2017 is expected to range between 150 million tonnes and 200 million tonnes, despite the Chinese central government's move to ease production controls in the second half, analysts told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

MMG selling Golden Grove polymetallic project for US$210M

MMG Ltd. conditionally agreed to sell the Golden Grove polymetallic project in Western Australia to EMR Golden Grove Holdings Pty. Ltd. for US$210 million. MMG Australia Ltd. will continue to provide services to Golden Grove for an agreed-upon period following the completion of the transaction.

DIVERSIFIED

* Xanadu Mines Ltd.'s Ulaanbaatar-based managing director, Andrew Stewart, told The Australian that the company hosted five visits in the past two months from cashed-up midtier Australian gold producers among the host of mining firms that were interested in learning about its early-stage copper and gold projects. The renewed interest is attributable to a shortage of new discoveries, an improving appetite for acquisitions and recent policy stability in Mongolia, the report added.

BASE METALS

* The government of French-controlled New Caledonia allowed three mining companies to annually export up to 2 million tonnes of low-grade nickel ore shipments to China, Reuters reported, citing a statement posted on the government's website. The permission was granted to Eramet's Société Le Nickel unit, Societe des Mines de Tontouta and Societe Mai Kouaoua Mines.

* North Mining Shares Co. Ltd. plans to purchase an aggregate of 65% of the entire issued share capital of Wealth Pioneer Group Ltd., which holds a 60% equity interest in the potassium feldspar mine in Shangluo city in China's Shaanxi Province, for HK$900 million.

* Chilean environmental authority SMA imposed a fine of 2.8 billion Chilean pesos on Lundin Mining Corp.'s Candelaria copper-gold-silver mine over a set of offenses including the failure to reduce the use of fresh water in operations, daily Pulso reported.

* Serbian state-owned miner RTB Bor, owner of the Bor Basin copper mine, is looking for a new management team to prepare the mine and smelter for privatization and repay up to US$1.05 billion of debt, Reuters reported. The country entered a €1.2 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund in 2015, which requires it to dispose of its remaining and mainly loss-making state enterprises.

* Due to decreasing supply and rising demand, Chilean Copper Commission, or Cochilco, expects molybdenum prices to increase over the next two years, averaging at US$7 per pound through 2018, compared to US$6.60 per pound this year, S&P Global Platts reported. The expected increase in prices will be driven by demand growth in China, as well as the global oil and gas sectors. Global demand may increase 4.2% in 2017 to 289,000 tonnes, compared to a 1.1% decline in 2016.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Metals X Ltd. gold spinoff Westgold Resources Ltd. started the development of a second underground mine at its Central Murchison gold project in Western Australia. The Comet underground mine hosts reserves of 1.4 million tonnes at 3.43 g/t of gold containing 166,000 ounces, while underground mine resources total 2.85 million tonnes at 3.52 g/t of gold containing 323,000 ounces.

* Aquila Resources Inc. secured two final permits from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for its Back Forty gold-zinc project. The company will now focus on completing its feasibility study, finalizing two remaining permits, and raising the capital to fund the project through to commercial production.

* Para Resources Inc. and its wholly owned Brazilian subsidiary Angra Metals Mineracao Ltda. terminated a September 2014 agreement to acquire the Cumaru-Gradaus gold project in Brazil's Para state. The company will issue about 1.3 million shares to relieve itself from all obligations under the agreement.

BULK COMMODITIES

* The collapse of mine waste at the Lalmatia coal mine, part of Coal India Ltd.'s Eastern Coalfields operations in Jharkhand, India, killed nine people and nearly two dozen are missing, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the police.

* Chinese group Guangdong Hoshion Industrial Aluminium Co. Ltd. plans to raise 294 million Chinese yuan through an IPO of up to 30 million shares at 9.80 yuan each on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Reuters reported, citing a company statement.

* An analyst at PT Sinarmas Sekuritas forecast that PT Adaro Energy Tbk will see 27% and 47% year-over-year increases in its 2017 net profit and revenue, respectively, thanks to rising coal prices and the miner's cost-cutting measures, Bloomberg News reported. Meanwhile, a Bloomberg survey of analysts predict that the company will post a 32% increase in net profit and 15% growth in revenues next year.

* The cash sale of Vale SA's 251,000 deadweight-tonne, very large iron ore carrier, or VLOC, fell through, SteelOrbis wrote, citing GMS, the cash buyer of ships intended for recycling. The VLOC will be put up for sale again.

* Russia's OJSC Novolipetsk Steel will reduce its pig iron export volumes from January 2017 due to its own increasing need for raw materials, Metal Bulletin reported, citing a company spokesperson.

* Metallica Minerals Ltd. said there is potential to increase the pretax net present value of the Urquhart bauxite project in Queensland, Australia, to A$86.9 million from A$53.9 million through mining the inferred resource inventory and screening stockpiled transitional lower-grade material.

* The Urban and Rural Overall Development Co. agreed to exempt Chongqing Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. from its debt of 450 million Chinese yuan. The company was also granted a special fund of 21.1 million Chinese yuan by the Finance Bureau of the Management Committee of the Changshou Economic and Technological Development Zone for industrial development.

* NSL Consolidated Ltd. has no outstanding debt after Resources First agreed to convert the US$2.5 million principal amount of notes into fully paid ordinary shares of the company.

* Egypt's Ministry of Industry and Trade initiated an anti-dumping probe into imports of rebar and wire rod from Ukraine, Turkey and China last week at the request of Egyptian steel producers Ezz Steel and Suez Steel, Metal Bulletin wrote.

* Bahrain steelmaker Universal Rolling will resume rebar production in January 2017 after a production halt of about two years, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Despite claims by the Indian government regarding the rise in demand for the fossil fuel, the supply of coal to the power sector by state-owned Coal India dropped 6% to 33.7 million tonnes in November, The Hindu reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* In order to protect the vulnerable greater sage grouse habitat in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming, the U.S. government under President Barack Obama laid out five proposals aimed at limiting mining activity on the federal land, the Associated Press reported. The proposals include up to a 20-year ban on mining in about a 15,000 square-mile area. However, already running or approved mining and exploration projects will remain unaffected.

* A new report released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in December revealed that an increasing number of mining companies went out of business in the 2016 financial year because of inadequate cash flow or poor business management. The number of insolvency reports filed increased to 193, compared to 166 in the 2015 financial year. Both represent about 2.0% of the total number of insolvency reports filed each year.

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.