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BHP Billiton faces more shareholder activism

TOP NEWS

BHP Billiton faces another activist shareholder calling for board overhaul

Tribeca Global Natural Resources Fund looks to start talks with BHP Billiton Group to push for the replacement of five to six people out of the miner's 11 board members, Bloomberg News wrote. The hedge fund, which previously called for the board overhaul in May, also urged the miner to spin off its onshore assets, in line with the earlier suggestion of its fellow activist shareholder Elliott Management to spin off about US$22 billion of its U.S. oil assets.

South Africa's mining charter to soon be enforced as law

South African Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said the country's mining charter will be enforced as law next week, Reuters wrote. The new law, outlining targets for black ownership and participation in the sector, comes despite complaints about a lack of consulting with the mining industry regarding the revisions.

Adani grants final approval to US$16.5B Carmichael coal mine

Adani Enterprises Ltd. board granted the final approval to the US$16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Australia, which is expected to have an initial capacity of 20 million tonnes per annum with an eventual expansion to 60 million tonnes per annum, The Australian Financial Review wrote. The company still has to secure half of the A$5 billion of funding required for the first phase of the project.

DIVERSIFIED

* Rio Tinto's cash tender offer to purchase up to about US$781 million of outstanding securities was oversubscribed on June 5 even though it was only supposed to expire June 19.

* Rio Tinto priced the cash tender offers announced in May as part of a plan to reduce gross debt by up to US$2.5 billion. The early settlement right has been exercised, the offer will now close June 7.

* Rio Tinto and Chinese state-owned China Minmetals Corp. struck a heads of agreement to explore opportunities for potential collaboration in mineral exploration both inside and outside China.

BASE METALS

* Zambia's copper production will jump 4% to a record 800,000 tonnes this year as operators near a resolution with government over power prices, Bloomberg News reported, citing Nathan Chishimba, president of the Zambia Chamber of Mines. In 2016, the figure stood at 770,600 tonnes.

* Era Resources Inc. secured shareholder approval for its proposal to go private, and expects the transaction to close by June 14.

* Explor Resources Inc. acquired an additional mining claim comprising eight units and covering 128 hectares in Ontario's Wark Township, which brings the company's land position in the area to 2,934.7 hectares.

PRECIOUS METALS

* IAMGOLD Corp. agreed to form a joint venture with Japan's Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. on the Cote gold project in Ontario. Sumitomo will pay US$195 million to take a 30% stake in the project, which will have an after-tax net asset value of US$703 million.

* The total paid, and the unit valuations, for primary gold assets fell sharply in 2016. The total price paid during the year as a percentage of the total in situ value of all metals acquired in reserves and resources fell to only 3.4% from 4.3% in 2015, well below the 10-year median, which was also 4.3%.

* Ortac Resources Ltd. said it will focus on speeding up the development of its African investments in the near term.

* Endeavour Silver Corp. acquired two small but prospective mineral property groups called Calicanto and Veta Grande in the historic silver mining district of Zacatecas in the Mexican state of the same name.

* Corvus Gold Inc. agreed to acquire the Mother Lode gold property in Nevada from Goldcorp Inc.

* Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. is investing C$9.8 million in Candelaria Mining Corp. through a private placement.

* Hochschild Mining Plc secured an option to earn a 100% stake in Revelo Resources Corp.'s Loro gold-silver project in northern Chile.

* Secova Metals Corp. is acquiring privately held 1106541 B.C. Ltd., which owns a sole asset called Osisterra in Quebec's Windfall Lake district. The Osisterra project is adjacent to Secova's Eagle River gold project and brings the company's total contiguous land position at Eagle River to 21,472 hectares.

* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. unit AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd. agreed to purchase and treat all the ore from trial mining at Matsa Resources Ltd.'s Fortitude gold deposit, part of the company's Lake Carey project in Western Australia.

* Artemis Resources Ltd.'s wet gravity separation plant has been successfully commissioned at its Nickol River gold project in Western Australia.

* MiningNews wrote that Anova Metals Ltd. and Exterra Resources Ltd. are set to merge businesses and went into a trading halt at the same time, citing a "scheme of arrangement."

* Ausgold Ltd. struck an all-scrip deal to acquire the Dumbleyung gold project in Western Australia from Chalice Gold Mines Ltd.

* Middle Island Resources Ltd. unit Sandstone Operations Pty. Ltd. signed an option to acquire the Wirraminna gold project.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Norsk Hydro ASA's Qatalum aluminum plant in Qatar is working to find alternative shipment routes after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off transportation links and severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.

* Meanwhile, Norway's Yara International ASA said fertilizer exports from its 25%-owned Qafco unit in Qatar are unaffected by the diplomatic row in the Middle East, Reuters wrote.

* Italian Industry Minister Carlo Calenda signed a decree backing ArcelorMittal and Marcegaglia's joint €1.8 billion bid for Ilva International SpA, according to Reuters. The move comes after a JSW Steel Ltd.-led consortium increased its bid for Ilva to challenge the offer put forward by ArcelorMittal and Marcegaglia.

* Following the go-ahead for the Carmichael mine, activists will ramp up the anti-Adani campaign to discourage a potential Australian government loan of up to A$1 billion to the Indian conglomerate, The Australian reported.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Russia-based fertilizer producer PJSC PhosAgro's long-term corporate credit rating at BBB-, with a negative outlook.

* Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA's mining arm Mineração Usiminas, reached an agreement with the Sudeste port in Brazil to end a dispute over an iron ore shipping contract signed in 2011, Metal Bulletin reported. Sudeste agreed to pay US$62.5 million to the miner and both parties will waive the rights they may retain regarding the contract, which was terminated by Usiminas in 2015.

* Aspire Mining Ltd.'s Northern Railways LLC unit signed a deal with China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd. to advance the Erdenet-to-Ovoot railways project as part of the Northern Rail Corridor. The development of Aspire's Ovoot Coking coal project in Mongolia hinges on the progress of the Erdenet-to-Ovoot railways project, which forms part of China's "One Belt, One Road" trade initiative.

* Brazilian iron ore export volumes to China in May increased by 7.55% year over year to 21.09 million tonnes, Metal Bulletin reported, citing the country's foreign trade ministry MDIC. Meanwhile, the country's steel import volumes in the same month more than doubled to 121,575 tonnes on a yearly basis on Chinese and Russian shipments.

SPECIALTY

* Frontier Lithium Inc. signed an exploration agreement with the North Spirit Lake First Nation to enable continued mineral exploration at its PAK lithium project in the Red Lake mining district of northwestern Ontario.

* Premier African Minerals Ltd. estimated a maiden resource for its Zulu lithium-tantalum project in Zimbabwe of 20.1 million tonnes at 1.06% lithium oxide containing 526,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent and 1,025 tonnes of tantalum pentoxide.

* Bushveld Minerals Ltd. agreed with Barak Fund SPC Ltd. to restructure the US$11 million bridge loan facility that it secured in late March to acquire Evraz Group SA's 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corp. N.L. for US$16.5 million.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Australia's Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said he will reconsider scrapping the tax-based Exploration Development Incentive to help cash-strapped firms launch drilling programs if he finds proof that the industry is using the perk, The West Australian reported.

* Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that mineral exploration expenditures in the country dropped 16.2% to A$337.6 million in the first quarter, Mining Weekly reported.

* About 1,500 members of the Rustenburg community marched to the offices of Chamber of Mines offices in South Africa to issue a memorandum of demands, Mining Weekly wrote. "We are marching as a community to say that the mines in the platinum belt are not delivering what they have promised in terms of procurement opportunities, employment and social and labour plans," community leader Godfrey Masuge said. He added that around 4,000 people will march to the Department of Mineral Resources offices June 7 to protest the granting of mining licenses to firms that haven't been doing enough to benefit the surrounding communities.

* Research firm Pedersen & Partners sees growth this year in M&A activity among smaller players in the mining industry, while majors are likely to increase sales to focus on core commodities, Mining Weekly reported.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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