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Vale appoints new CEO, completes Moatize coal mine sale to Mitsui

TOP NEWS

Vale appoints new CEO, completes Moatize coal mine sale to Mitsui

Vale SA's board appointed Fabio Schvartsman as its new CEO, replacing Murilo Ferreira. Schvartsman was CEO of Telemar Participações and of San Antonio International and has been the CEO of paper producer Klabin since 2011. Vale also completed the sale of its interest in the Moatize coal mine and in the Nacala Logistics Corridor to Mitsui & Co. Ltd. for US$770 million, with US$733 million received.

Workers resume activities at BHP Billiton's Escondida copper mine

Workers have resumed activities at BHP Billiton Group's Escondida copper mine in Chile after a 44-day strike in which "neither workers nor the company won," said mine president Marcelo Castillo in a statement reported by La Tercera. Castillo said the stoppage would force the company to review its operational plan and labor structure.

Dominion Diamond reviewing options after US$1.1B takeover offer

Dominion Diamond Corp. is reviewing its options, including the sale of the company or other strategic transactions, after recently receiving an unsolicited US$1.1 billion takeover offer from The Washington Companies.

BASE METALS

* China Hanking Holdings Ltd. abandoned a plan to self-finance the construction of a 60,000 tonne capacity nickel processing plant in Indonesia, but is still in talks with interested parties to finance the project, said company President and CEO Pan Guocheng in an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Gestión reported that striking workers at Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s Cerro Verde copper mine in Peru will resume negotiations with the company on March 29 in a meeting brokered by the Ministry of Labor, union leader Rommel Arenas told Bloomberg.

* Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. recorded net income attributable to owners of US$210.6 million, or 10 cents per share, for full-year 2016, down from the net income of US$313.3 million, or 16 cents per share, reported in the previous year.

* Resolve Ventures Inc. acquired the Connell Mountain copper porphyry prospect in New Brunswick for 3.5 million shares, subject to TSX approval.

* Altair Resources Inc. acquired an additional mining license that doubles the current land position on the Crepulje zinc-lead-silver property in Kosovo.

* The South Korean government granted Peninsula Mines Ltd. three key tenements covering the 828-hectare Chilbo high-grade zinc target on the Ubeong zinc project in the country.

PRECIOUS METALS

* IronRidge Resources Ltd. signed a joint venture agreement with Major Star SARL which grants IronRidge exclusive rights over an extensive portfolio and associated gold exploration targets in the Ivory Coast, following the completion of due diligence.

* St Barbara Ltd. approved a proposed A$100 million expansion of its Gwalia gold mine in Western Australia. The project involves a ventilation upgrade and paste aggregate fill and is expected to take up to three years to complete.

* Golden Share Mining Corp. acquired an additional 5% stake in the 15-unit mining claim that hosts the past-producing Berens River mine in Ontario, taking its total interest in the claim to 80%. The company also agreed to sell 1% of its royalties in the Malartic Lake Shore and Forsan properties in Quebec to Khalkos Exploration Inc. for 750,000 shares and C$5,000 in cash.

* Sunvest Minerals Corp. acquired the McKinnon Hemlo West property in Ontario from an undisclosed seller in exchange for C$150,000 in cash and 1,333,329 shares over a three-year period.

* Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. will raise around US$220 million through the issuance of 5,003,412 common Agnico shares to an institutional investor at US$43.97 apiece. Proceeds are earmarked for general corporate purposes. The offering is expected to close on or around March 31.

* GGX Gold Corp. entered into an option agreement with private company Munroe Materials Inc. to acquire the latter's assets, which include a processing plant.

* Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. entered a deal with Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. to sell an additional 0.75% net smelter royalty on the Cariboo gold project in British Columbia for C$12.5 million. Upon completion of the transaction, Osisko's NSR on Cariboo will total 2.25%.

* Endeavour Silver Corp. said a preliminary economic assessment on its El Compas silver-gold project in Mexico's Zacatecas state estimated initial CapEx of US$10 million, with payback in 2.1 years. Sustaining capital is estimated at US$1.8 million.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Attorneys for Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. are expected to file a claim this week to overturn the decision by Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais S.A.'s board of directors that appointed Sergio Leite as CEO in replacement of Rômel Erwin de Souza, Reuters reported. Nippon Steel argues that Leite's election violates Usiminas' shareholders' agreement.

* Paringa Resources Ltd.'s expanded bankable feasibility study for the Buck Creek coal mining complex in Kentucky confirmed a net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$655 million after incorporating a second coal seam at the Poplar Grove mine.

* According to Tian Hui, vice chairman of China's National Coal Association, the coal price will be acceptable for coal miners, power plants and governments if it stays in the range of 500 to 600 yuan per tonne, Securities Times reported. China still faces excessive coal capacity and the challenge of phasing out all excessive capacity before 2020.

SPECIALTY

* Talga Resources Ltd. signed a joint development agreement with BASF Coatings Division unit Chemetall to co-develop and commercialize graphene-enhanced metal surface coatings.

* Uranium Resources Inc. said its Lithium Holdings Nevada LLC subsidiary secured a one-year option to acquire a 100% undivided interest in a block of unpatented placer mining claims covering about 3,040 acres in Esmeralda County, Nevada.

* Total carats at Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd.'s 40%-owned Lulo diamond mine in Angola dropped to 48,200 carats as of Jan. 31, down from the initial estimate of 51,000 carats as of Oct. 31, 2015.

* Mineral Deposits Ltd. said that TiZir Titanium & Iron completed its first shipment of chloride titanium slag following the successful restart of the furnace in January. Shipments were previously expected to commence in early April.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Airobotics, which recently announced South32 Ltd. as its first Australian customer, has become the first company worldwide to be given authorization to fly fully automated drones without a pilot.

* With the strike at Escondida as a precedent, the Chilean mining sector will pay close attention to forthcoming collective agreement negotiations this year, especially the one between workers and management at Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi SCM, which is set to begin Oct. 31. The company's contract with workers signed in 2013 was reached following a 32-day strike that included violent confrontations, daily La Segunda reported.

* The consequences of the referendum that banned mining in the Cajamarca municipality of Tolima, Colombia, does not legally affect concessions and licenses for exploration and production that are currently active in the South American country, said Mines and Energy Minister German Arce in a report by daily Portafolio. Therefore, those titles should still be developed.

* The U.S. received exploration allocations totaling US$499.9 million in 2016, a 30% drop from US$717 million in 2015. While the decline was distributed across 20 states in varying magnitudes, Nevada increased its majority share of the total budget to 47% from 42% in 2015.

* The Australian government said it successfully passed a new diverted profits tax, which will prevent multinationals from shifting profits made in Australia offshore to avoid paying tax. The new legislation will take effect July 1.

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.