China's Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. improved its attributable net profit by 11.12% to 1.84 billion yuan in 2016 compared to the previous year. The Hong Kong-listed miner said that net profit was comparatively moderate despite higher prices and production, mainly because unsettled 2015 hedging contracts were carried forward into the first half of 2016 to hedge the majority of annual production. While group gold production slipped 13.24% year over year to about 6.9 million ounces, mine-produced output climbed 14.5% to about 1.4 million ounces.
South32 Ltd. will return a further US$500 million to shareholders via an on-market share buyback in Australia. South32 said the share buyback, which will be completed over a 12-month period, is not subject to shareholder approval and will be funded from existing cash reserves.
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. CEO Nev Power said India could be the next big source of demand for Australian iron ore, given that the South Asian nation is now the world's fastest-growing economy and it will be needing steel as well as iron ore, The Australian reported. "It is still has a long way to go before it catches up to China, but with 1.4 billion people you can see that the demand for infrastructure and commodities is going to increase," Power stated.
* Moody's upgraded both the long-term and short-term ratings on Glencore International AG and related entities to Baa2/P-2, with all ratings stable. The upgrade reflects the company's debt reduction, strengthened leverage profile and reset financial framework in 2016.
* Energy Resources of Australia Ltd.'s Andrea Sutton intends to resign as CEO and managing director of the company to accept a new role at the parent company, Rio Tinto.
* Ardiden Ltd. secured an option to fully acquire the cobalt-copper-nickel prospective Bold property in Ontario from Benton Resources Inc. for C$10,000 in cash and 200,000 shares.
* Auroch Minerals Ltd. entered into a binding agreement to earn up to a 75% interest in the Alcoutim copper-zinc project in southeastern Portugal.
* China's refined copper exports jumped 306.94% year over year in February to 43,815 tonnes, Metal Bulletin wrote, citing Chinese customs data.
* Hindustan Zinc Ltd. CEO Sunil Duggal said the company may consider accelerating expansion plans as zinc prices near a nine-year high, Bloomberg News reported. "I am very bullish on zinc prices," Duggal added, forecasting more gains over the next three to four months on the back of a depleting supply.
* The Philippine government allowed eight suspended nickel miners to export their stockpiled ore, which may total more than 1 million tonnes, to avoid silt building up in nearby waters, Reuters reported.
* Southern Gold Ltd. executed conditional agreements with Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd. for the latter to farm-in to two of the company's 17 gold projects in South Korea. During the farm-in, Bluebird will undertake initial feasibility studies over a 12-month period, investing US$1 million in its review of the reopening of the Gubong and Taechang gold mines, after which the parties will form a 50/50 joint venture.
* Spitfire Materials Ltd. signed a conditional agreement to acquire unlisted Australian gold explorer Admiral Gold Ltd. in exchange for 59.5 million fully paid ordinary shares. Admiral has secured joint venture agreements over the Alice River gold project in Queensland and the Mulwarrie gold project in Western Australia.
* Barrick Gold Corp. Executive Chairman John Thornton received US$8.5 million in total compensation in 2016, more than 2x the pay package he received in 2015, Bloomberg News reported.
* Ariana Resources Plc completed the first gold-silver doré pour, totaling 5.25 kilograms, from its Kiziltepe mine in Turkey. Production is expected to ramp-up over the coming weeks and through the second quarter of this year.
* Acacia Mining plc has offered to partner with the Tanzanian government for an assessment of the economic potential of building a smelter in the country. The government's ban on the export of gold-copper concentrate from Tanzania is resulting in a daily revenue loss of more than US$1 million.
* Eurasia Mining Plc restarted production work at the Malaya Sosnovka area within the West Kytlim alluvial platinum and gold mine.
* Shareholders of Luna Gold Corp. and JDL Gold Corp. approved the two companies' merger to create a multi-asset mining company named Trek Mining Inc. The transaction is expected to close March 31.
* Carbine Resources Ltd. secured the right to increase its interest in the Mt Morgan Tailings gold-copper project in Queensland, Australia, to 100%, after agreeing to an acquisition price for the remaining 25% stake.
* A worker died at Medusa Mining Ltd.'s Co-O underground gold mine in the Philippines on March 22. Activities in the accident area, level 8 of the mine, have stopped, and an investigation is ongoing.
* Accidents at two neighboring gold mines in China's Henan province on March 24 killed 11 people, Reuters reported, citing Xinhua News Agency.
* Todd Corp. Ltd. and Nyco Pty Ltd.'s jointly owned BBI Group Pty. Ltd. tapped China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd. for the construction of the Balla Balla iron ore project in Western Australia. The cost of building the project and a foundation customer mine is expected to total about A$6 billion.
* The Competition Commission of India has imposed a reduced penalty of 5.91 billion rupees on Coal India Ltd. for fuel supply pacts, from 17.73 billion rupees in its first ruling passed in December 2013, Press Trust of India reported.
* JSW Steel Ltd. Chairman Sajjan Jindal said the company is keen to acquire distressed alloy companies for its expansion, capitalizing on stress in the sector, Press Trust of India reported.
* The Karnataka state government in India has urged ArcelorMittal to consider setting up an industry in the Ballari district to produce employment opportunities for locals, The Hindu reported.
* China needs to eliminate 800 million tonnes of coal capacity within the 13th Five-Year Plan, with about 290 million tonnes of excessive capacity having been phased out last year. But that has yet to shift oversupply in the nation's coal industry, according to a senior official from the National Development & Reform Commission, China Economy reported.
* Shanxi Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group said its online auction platform traded 6,000 tonnes of coal in the 10 days after its March 13 debut, Shanxi Daily reported.
* Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. unveiled a maiden JORC-compliant resource for its 70%-owned Mothae kimberlite diamond project in Lesotho, with indicated and inferred resources estimated at 38.96 million tonnes at a diamond grade of 2.7 carats per 100 tonnes for 1.04 million carats contained in the resource, calculated to a depth of 300 meters.
* Sheffield Resources Ltd. pegged a posttax net present value, at a discount rate of 8%, of A$620.4 million and an internal rate of return of 20.6% in a bankable feasibility study for the Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia.
* Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who served as the No. 2 official under the outgoing chief executive Leung Chun-ying, had been nominated by all 51 electors representing China's top political advisory body and won more than 770 votes from the 1,194-strong Election Committee as Hong Kong's next chief executive. All candidates participating in the vote were approved by Beijing, which assumed control of the territory from the U.K. in 1997.
* Global mining companies' exploration spending could reach US$18 billion by 2025 after sinking to an 11-year low of about US$10 billion last year, said Richard Schodde, managing director of industry adviser MinEx Consulting Pty. Bloomberg News further cited Schodde as saying that China is likely to remain the frontrunner in the hunt for new discoveries.
* Kevin Brady, chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, aims to move a tax bill forward by spring, Reuters reported, citing a Fox News interview.
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.