The damaged coal rail links in cyclone-hit Queensland, Australia, are set to disrupt coal exports, with coal hauler Aurizon Holdings Ltd. saying the repairs may take up to five weeks. About 15 million to 20 million tonnes of Asia-bound coking coal have failed to leave Australian ports in the past few days. At the March 31 spot price of around US$158 per tonne, the disrupted exports represent an amount of up to US$3.2 billion, The Australian reported.
Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. is moving to raise over US$1 billion it committed to provide to its subsidiary Yancoal Australia Ltd. for the US$2.45 billion acquisition of Rio Tinto's Australian coal assets, The Australian Financial Review reported. Yanzhou will offer up to 647 million shares via a nonpublic issuance, representing about 13.17% of its Shanghai-listed stock, to raise about 7 billion Chinese yuan.
The production of U3O8 continues to be dominated by a small group of mining companies, with the top five producers accounting for 67% of 2016 global production and the top 10 accounting for 85%. The supply is sourced from relatively few mines around the world, with the 10 largest operations contributing 57% of total production.
* Mitsubishi Materials Corp. is targeting producing 177,186 tonnes of refined copper during April to September, up 13% year over year, Reuters reported. The miner will cut its lead production by 1.9% on a yearly basis to 13,728 tonnes in the first fiscal half.
* Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. forecasts production of 450,000 tonnes of electrolytic copper for its fiscal 2017 ending in March 2018, higher compared to the prior year's anticipated total of 445,200 tonnes. The company also expects to produce 62,800 tonnes of electrolytic nickel and 14,100 tonnes of ferronickel in the full year.
* Rio Tinto's CEO for copper and diamonds, Arnaud Soirat, sees the copper market going into a small deficit this year due to price-related cutbacks of up to 800,000 tonnes over the past 18 months as well as a lack of new supply entering the market, Reuters reported, citing excerpts of a speech the executive will deliver at CRU World Copper Conference on April 4.
* PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel agreed to sell its stake in the company that owns the Legion TI Business Center to RCP Investments Ltd. for about US$100 million. The deal is expected to close by April 10.
* A preliminary economic assessment for Arizona Mining Inc.'s Taylor zinc-lead-silver sulfide deposit, part of the company's Hermosa project in Arizona, estimated an after-tax net present value of US$1.26 billion, using an 8% discount rate, and internal rate of return of 42%. The study pegged initial CapEx at US$457 million with payback in 1.7 years.
* Chile's Enami EP expects its copper cathode output for 2017 to stabilize at around 140,000 tonnes, in line with 2016 output, Metal Bulletin reported.
* Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. has decided to potentially take the Thai government to arbitration for "measures taken against the Chatree gold mine in violation of the Australia-Thailand free trade agreement." The miner will look for compensation, among other settlements, and has notified Thailand's Prime Minister that it wants to engage in consultations.
* Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. issued an ultimatum to striking workers at the Kusasalethu gold mine in South Africa, urging them to return to work by April 4 or face disciplinary action, after no employees reported for work, ignoring a Labour Court of South Africa order, which declared the ongoing labor action "unprotected."
* Banro Corp. reported gold production of 50,449 ounces for the fourth quarter of 2016, up year over year from 30,440 ounces of gold. All-in sustaining costs increased to US$973 per ounce, compared to US$745 per ounce a year earlier.
* Sandstorm Gold Ltd. said its attributable first-quarter 2017 sales were about 15,500 gold equivalent ounces, which is a record for the company.
* Besra Gold Inc. agreed to sell its Vietnamese assets to Paul and David Seton after investors balked at the assets' liabilities and "clear market antipathy" towards the Asian nation.
* Colibri Resource Corp. inked a definitive agreement to acquire private firm Canadian Gold Resources Ltd. from Ontop Capital Ltd.
* Endurance Gold Corp. secured an option from a private vendor to acquire the Trout and Wolverine properties, located northeast of its early stage Elephant Mountain gold project in Alaska.
* Chesser Resources Ltd. executed a binding term sheet to acquire Boya Gold Pty. Ltd. and MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd. unit Erin Mineral Resources Pty. Ltd. The two companies own five gold-prospective projects in Senegal.
* Silver Spruce Resources Inc. staked 400 additional acres of unpatented claims at the past-producing Kay mine in Arizona, increasing its land position in the area to more than 470 acres of unpatented and patented claims. The Kay property is prospective for gold-silver-copper-lead-zinc mineralization.
* Alamos Gold Inc. redeemed US$315 million of its 7.75% senior secured second-lien notes due 2020. The redemption will result in annual interest savings of US$24.4 million for the company.
* A pre-feasibility study on Endeavour Silver Corp.'s Terronera silver-gold project in Mexico estimated a base case net present value of US$78.2 million, using a 5% discount rate, and an after-tax internal rate of return of 21%. Initial CapEx is pegged at US$69.2 million, with payback in 4.3 years.
* De Grey Mining Ltd. announced an updated resource estimate for its Indee gold project in Western Australia, which now hosts measured, indicated and inferred resources totaling 9.15 million tonnes at 1.8 g/t of gold for 538,400 ounces of gold.
* Thomson Reuters said in a latest report that despite the volatility in the near-term, gold prices are expected to reach an average of US$1,259 per ounce this year, Mining Weekly reported.
* Yanzhou Coal Mining proposed a final cash dividend of 12 Chinese fen per share for 2016, compared to just 1 fen per share in 2015, after its net income attributable to shareholders jumped by 903% to 1.65 billion yuan for the year, up from 164.5 million yuan in 2015.
* Damage caused to rail infrastructure from the recent cyclone in Queensland, Australia, and potential extended shipping queues may impact Stanmore Coal Ltd.'s April and May sales. The Isaac Plains coal mine was operational April 3, and the port was expected to be operational later the same day. However, the availability of rail infrastructure is less certain given damage incurred to areas of the Goonyella network.
* Although operations resumed at Peabody Energy Corp.'s coal mines in Queensland, outages at the rail system are preventing coal shipments from mine to port after damage caused by Cyclone Debbie, Metal Bulletin reported, citing a company statement. The company added that it was not yet possible to assess the impact of the cyclone on its volumes.
* Peabody Energy has emerged from a year-long Chapter 11 reorganization after shedding more than US$5 billion in debt.
* Coking coal prices spiked April 3, surging over 15% to US$175.70 per tonne on the back of a major disruption to Australia's coal exports due to the devastation caused by cyclone Debbie, Mining.com reported.
* Vale SA confirmed that a very large Korean ore carrier that went missing in the South Atlantic was carrying iron ore produced by the mining major in Brazil, Metal Bulletin wrote. The 22 crew members are still unaccounted for, Reuters reported.
* India's JSW Steel Ltd. wrote off 52.51 billion Indian rupees in loans it provided to its JSW Steel Holding USA unit, Metal Bulletin reported. The company intends to liquidate the US-based unit and transfer its assets and liabilities to another US subsidiary, Periama Holdings.
* Orbite Technologies Inc. filed notice of intention to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada, kicking off a 30-day process to renegotiate its debt obligations and raise funds to remedy the equipment issues the company is facing at its high-purity alumina plant in Quebec.
* BlueScope Steel Ltd. has agreed to sell 100% of its shares in its Taharoa export iron sands business in New Zealand to Taharoa Mining Investments Ltd., a majority owned subsidiary of Taharoa C Block Inc.
* Brazil's iron ore export rose by 20.02% year over year in March to 36.39 million tonnes, while revenues surged to US$2.33 billion, Metal Bulletin reported, citing national foreign trade ministry MDIC.
* DiamondCorp Plc will retrench all employees, effective April 3, after discussions with the Association of Mining & Construction Union over placing the Lace mine on care and maintenance failed. The company's board notified the Industrial Development Corp. of South Africa that unless funding is secured by mid-May, it will be placed into administration.
* LiCo Energy Metals Inc. entered into a definitive option deal with Durus Copper Chile SPA to earn up to a 60% stake in the 160-hectare Purickuta lithium exploitation concession in Chile's Salar de Atacama.
* American Potash Corp. acquired 608 U.S. Federal placer mining claims, totaling about 12,000 acres, in the southeast extension of the Paradox Basin in San Miguel County, southwest Colorado. The acquisition brings the company's lithium claims and leases in the Paradox Basin of Utah and Colorado to about 25,000 acres.
* Avira Energy Ltd. will not proceed with the proposed joint venture with Paladin Energy Ltd. over the Manyingee uranium leases in Western Australia, as Avira's investors withdrew from its capital raising due to the challenging conditions in the uranium market.
* The European Union passed a new set of rules that would make it more difficult for armed groups to finance their activities via the sale of conflict minerals. The new legislation, which will become binding from January 2021, obliges all member states to identify the source of their metals and mineral imports.
* During the first three and a half months of his presidency, Shavkat Mirziyoyev has encouraged reforms to open up the Uzbek mining sector to foreign investment, the British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Christopher Allan, said during a webinar on trade opportunities. Stating that there are over 1,800 known mineral deposits in Uzbekistan, Lewis said the country had "world-class" gold and uranium resources.
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.