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Pan American mulls US$1B investment in Navidad silver project

TOP NEWS

Pan American mulls US$1B investment in Navidad silver project

Pan American Silver Corp. intends to invest about US$1 billion in the Navidad silver-lead-gold project in Argentina's Chubut province if it reaches an agreement with the provincial government to reopen the shuttered project, Reuters reported. Authorities closed down the project in 2013 as the region imposed a blanket ban over both cyanide and open-pit mining on their territory.

Barrick Gold to look for more Chinese partners

Barrick Gold Corp. will explore further cooperation opportunities with Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. while continuing to search for more Chinese partners, according to Chief Innovation Officer Michelle Ash. Barrick spokesman Andy Lloyd told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the company's deal to sell 50% of its Veladero gold mine to Chinese state-owned Shandong Gold was more than a simple divestment.

Coeur's Q1 production, sales rise YOY

Coeur Mining Inc. produced 3.9 million ounces of silver and 88,218 ounces of gold in the first quarter, improving over the 3.4 million ounces of silver and 78,072 ounces of gold in the corresponding year-ago period.

BASE METALS

* Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and Codelco reportedly reached an agreement to relocate the desalination plant planned for their El Abra joint venture at a lower height than the mine's current location as part of a larger expansion plan for the project, a source told Diario Financiero. Codelco reportedly sold to Freeport the underground mining rights on the property, located 2,400 meters above sea level. The difference in altitude would allow the company to reduce costs in water treatment and pumping to the concentrator plant.

* Vedomosti reported that PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel shareholders nominated 13 candidates for 13 seats on the new board and only Rostec's representative will be replaced. Instead of former CEO of RT-Business Development Sergei Korobov, Sergei Skvortsov — an adviser to the head of Rostec — was nominated. The annual shareholders meeting of Norilsk Nickel will be held June 9.

* RBC Daily reported that an investment group from the United Arab Emirates close to the family of the Emir of Dubai is preparing a proposal for the purchase of Botswana's BCL, which is being sued by Norilsk Nickel for US$271.3 million plus damages resulting from the botched sale of a 50% stake in the Nkomati mine in South Africa.

* Junior Western Australian copper-gold explorer RNI NL has received competing offers for the company and its assets.

* Votorantim SA sunk back in the red after posting a full-year 2016 net loss of 1.25 billion Brazilian reais, compared to the preceding year's net profit of 382 million reais. The company attributed the loss to the temporary suspension of its nickel operations and the total impairments of 2.16 billion reais over the year.

* KGHM Polska Miedz SA CEO Radoslaw Domagalski-Labedzki said the company remains committed to Chile for the long term despite an ongoing review of its international copper assets, including the future of its Canadian assets in British Columbia and Ontario.

* ASX-listed Sandfire Resources NL's feasibility study confirmed the viability of its 70%-owned Monty copper-gold mine to supply high-grade ore to the existing DeGrussa operation in Western Australia. Monty will be developed as an underground satellite mine with a three-year life that will produce total contained metal of 70,000 tonnes of copper, 21,000 ounces of gold and 288,000 ounces of silver.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Mike Hubbard, the CEO of Goldcorp Inc.'s and Teck Resources Ltd.'s US$3.5 billion gold joint venture, NuevaUnion, said he trusts that the project in Chile will receive support from communities in Alto Huasco province, Atacama region, as a result of early community engagement efforts. The communities previously opposed El Morro and managed to get its environmental permit revoked, daily El Mercurio reported.

* Canadian Platinum Corp. terminated a deal to acquire the Copper Hill gold-copper project in Nevada from a private U.S. company.

* South32 Ltd. lowered the output guidance for its Cannington silver-lead-zinc project in Queensland, Australia, following an underground fire that damaged the load-out and shaft haulage infrastructure.

* Employees at Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Kusasalethu gold mine in South Africa have returned to work after the company reached an agreement with union leaders.

* Somboon Yindeeyoungyuen, director-general of Thailand's Department of Primary Industries and Mines, said the shutdown of Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd.'s Chatree gold mine in the country was executed in line with the government's order, aimed at minimizing adverse effects from mining activities in the country, Thai Rath reported.

* El Capitan Precious Metals Inc. said the concentrate processing machine at its namesake polymetallic project in New Mexico is now fully operational at planned capacity.

* An updated mineral resource estimate for Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd.'s Barkerville Mountain deposit at its flagship Cariboo gold project in British Columbia pegged measured and indicated resources of 158,800 ounces of gold contained within 684,900 tonnes grading 7.21 g/t of gold, using a cutoff of 3.50 g/t of gold.

* An updated preliminary feasibility study for Miranda Gold Corp.'s Lucky Shot gold-silver joint venture project, part of the Willow Creek property in Alaska, estimated initial CapEx of US$15.1 million with payback after taxes expected in 1.88 years. Using a 7.5% discount rate, the project has an after-tax net present value of US$7.1 million and offers an internal rate of return of 21.80%.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Magnetite Mines Ltd.'s board signed an agreement with Lodestone Equities Ltd. and lone shareholder Coffee House Group Ltd. for a proposed merger.

* Kommersant reported that the founder and co-owner of the Kolmar Coal Co., Anatoly Mitroshin, sold his 20% stake to partner Sergei Tsivilev, who is now the largest shareholder in the coal miner with a 40% stake. Mitroshin left the business at the peak of prices for coking coal, but Kolmar and partners need about 50 billion Russian rubles to increase production and construction of a port terminal, while a fall in coal prices can make the company unprofitable.

* The Western Australian government has disputed claims that updated iron ore price assumptions were not included in the state's latest economic and fiscal overview delivered this week. According to the Treasury, the iron ore price assumption for the 2016-17 financial year has been revised up by US$3.40 per tonne to US$73.70 per tonne.

* ArcelorMittal unit ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd. is planning to raise 3.5 billion rand through a borrowing-based facility as part of a capital-raising plan, Bloomberg News reported.

* Arconic Inc. is divesting its Fusina aluminum mill in Italy to Slim Aluminium. The company expects to record restructuring-related charges representing the loss on sale of about US$60 million after tax for the first quarter.

* JSW Steel Ltd. may spend nearly US$1 billion this fiscal year on creating new capacity, as well as on acquisitions, as it plans to bid for iron ore and coking coal mines during the upcoming government auctions in India, the company's Joint Managing Director Seshagiri Rao told Reuters.

* The Chinese commerce ministry has expressed concern over the European Union's decision to impose an anti-dumping duty of between 18.1% and 35.9% on the country's hot-rolled steel coil, Reuters reported.

SPECIALTY

* The battle between takeover target Lepidico Ltd. and suitor Lithium Australia NL has stepped up a gear, with the latter hiring a corporate adviser to review an independent expert report prepared for Lepidico by BDO Corporate Finance (WA) Pty. Ltd. Lithium Australia said it has identified areas of concern regarding the analysis and conclusions reached in the report.

* Neometals Ltd. is selling out of the Mount Marion lithium project in Western Australia and has placed its 13.8% stake in project owner Reed Industrial Minerals Pty. Ltd. on the sale block for about US$96.0 million.

* Gem Diamonds Ltd. recovered a 114-carat, D color Type II diamond of exceptional quality from the Letseng mine in Lesotho.

* The Russian Federal Security Service is said to be investigating PJSC Alrosa's Moscow office in relation to the sale of several of the company's noncore assets between 2011 and 2013, Reuters reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived at U.S. President Donald Trump's Florida resort as the two leaders kicked off their first summit, CNN reported. The heads of state are expected to discuss a range of topics, including trade relations and the threat from North Korea.

* Safe haven bonds, gold and oil prices, and the Japanese yen surged as the U.S.'s missile strike in Syria caused stocks to decline and the U.S. dollar to fall by ¥0.5 in value, Reuters reported.

* Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the U.S. central bank will likely begin reducing the size of its balance sheet later this year, Bloomberg News wrote. Williams also said he continues to believe a total of three interest rate hikes will be appropriate this year.

* Australia's Department of Industry forecasts a A$23 billion export revenue windfall in the 2017-18 financial year, on the back of rising iron ore and coking coal prices, The Australian reported. The mineral and energy export income will rise to A$220 billion, up from a record A$215 billion this year.

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.