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Vale to offload 20% to 40% stake in New Caledonia nickel ops

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Vale to offload 20% to 40% stake in New Caledonia nickel ops

TOP NEWS

Vale to offload 20% to 40% stake in New Caledonia nickel ops

Vale SA CEO Fabio Schvartsman said that company plans to offload between 20% and 40% stake in its New Caledonia nickel operation, with the sale targeted for completion by 2018. Several parties are in negotiations for the potential stake sale, including Chinese groups, but if the company fails to find a buyer, Vale will move to mothball the mine.

Glencore reaches labor deals at 13 Australian coal mines

Glencore Plc signed new enterprise work agreements with workers of its Hunter Valley coal mines in New South Wales, Australia, ending months of negotiations and repeated industrial actions, Reuters reported. While the deals, which involve workers of all 13 Glencore sites at the Mangoola, Ravensworth, Mount Owen, Liddell and Bulga operations, are being finalized, about 190 workers remain locked out of the company's Oaky Creek coal mine in Queensland.

BHP studying potential coking coal production increase at Queensland mines

As coking coal prices rise in the last months of the year, BHP Billiton Group is studying a potential increase in its coking coal production from its Queensland mines, The Australian reported. BHP's Minerals Australia boss Mike Henry described medium-term guidance that its share of Queensland coking coal production will increase to about 48 million tonnes per year as "light."

BASE METALS

* Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP and Groia & Co. Professional Corp. filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Lundin Mining Corp. and some of its officers and directors in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The legal action seeks US$175 million in damages, alleging that the defendants failed to disclose the instability, evacuation and subsequent rock slide at the company's Candelaria copper mine in Chile.

* The Bougainville government of Papua New Guinea is holding talks to determine if Bougainville Copper Ltd. will retain an exploration license for the Panguna mine, which it was forced to relinquish in 1989, ABC News reported. Meanwhile, a rival consortium backed by RTG Mining Inc. is putting up an opposing bid and says it has backing from the property's landowners.

* The Mongolian Supreme Court blocked the government's attempt to nationalize a 49% stake in Mongolian Copper Corp. LLC's Erdenet copper mine in the country, Reuters reported, citing sources. The court ruling restored Mongolian Copper's stake in the mine that it purchased from the Russian government for US$400 million in 2016.

* OZ Minerals Ltd. awarded an around A$312 million contract to Downer EDI and its joint venture partner Ausenco for work on the company's Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia.

* Zinc explorer Erris Resources is eyeing to list on London's AIM market before the end of the year, The Sunday Times reported. The company has yet to confirm the amount of capital it will seek to raise. Erris has six licenses to explore a site in Ireland that was the site of a lead mine in the 1950s, and has entered into a strategic alliance with Centerra Gold Inc. to prospect an area of interest in Sweden for gold.

* Alta Zinc Ltd. posted an updated resource estimate for the Colonna Zorzone deposit at its feasibility-stage Gorno property in Italy, with contained zinc increasing by 3,000 tonnes. Gorno hosts indicated and inferred resources totaling 3.3 million tonnes grading 4.9% zinc, 1.3% lead and 27.2 parts per million of silver for 163,000 tonnes of zinc, 43,000 tonnes of lead and 2.9 million ounces of silver.

PRECIOUS METALS

* The World Bank's Compliance Adviser Ombudsman will investigate Lonmin Plc after a complaint was filed by women in the Marikana community saying that the platinum miner has failed to comply with social and labor plans, fin24 reported.

* Arete Capital Partners, led by former Western Mining CEO Hugh Morgan, agreed to acquire the mothballed Stawell gold mine in Victoria, Australia, from Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. for an undisclosed sum, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Western Australia-focused gold explorer Nelson Resources Ltd. made its debut on the ASX through a A$5 million IPO, Mining Weekly reported.

* Goldplat Plc's Goldplat Recovery (Pty) Ltd. subsidiary agreed to an arbitration process with Rand Refinery Pty. Ltd. to be conducted in June 2018 to recover amounts owed by the latter to the company.

* An updated resource at Landore Resources Ltd.'s BAM East gold deposit, part of the Junior Lake property in Ontario, estimated indicated resources of 326,000 ounces of gold contained in 7.4 million tonnes grading 1.37 g/t gold. The inferred resource, meanwhile, came in at 74,000 ounces of gold contained in approximately 1.7 million tonnes grading 1.39 g/t gold.

* Serabi Gold Plc updated its mineral reserve estimates for its Palito and Sao Chico gold mining operations in Brazil. The Palito mine hosts proven and probable reserves of 157,000 ounces of gold and 2,295 tonnes of copper contained in 613,000 tonnes grading 7.99 g/t gold and 0.37% copper. The Sao Chico mine, meanwhile, hosts proven and probable reserves of 24,000 ounces of gold contained in 90,000 tonnes grading 8.43 g/t gold.

* Patagonia Gold Plc will exercise an option to acquire the Calcatreu deposit from Pan American Silver Corp. for US$15 million.

* Jangada Mines Plc received government approval for a pilot scale production at its Pedra Branca platinum project in northeastern Brazil.

* Gascoyne Resources Ltd. executed a power purchase agreement with Zenith Energy Ltd. to build, own and operate a 15-MW gas-fired power station for the company's preproduction-stage Dalgaranga gold property in Western Australia.

* Metanor Resources Inc. was found not guilty on charges of criminal negligence in relation to an accident which occurred in October 2009 at the Bachelor gold mine in Quebec, that resulted in three fatalities. The civil claims brought by the families of the workers in relation to the accident were settled in 2013.

BULK COMMODITIES

* ThyssenKrupp AG tabled a new offer on commitments on jobs and investments to secure support from worker unions for the proposed merger with Tata Steel Ltd.'s European steel operations, Reuters reported, citing people close to the IG Metall labor union. Details of the offer will be discussed at a meeting of management and labor representatives on Dec. 12.

* Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman said that it is impossible to say when the miner would be able to resume operations at its Samarco iron ore project in Brazil, a joint venture with BHP, saying that the companies have no control over the release of licenses by the authorities, RTTNews reported.

* China has eliminated over 115 million tonnes of steel capacity over the last two years, as it moves toward the target of phasing out 150 million tonnes of steel capacity between 2015 and 2020, the 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing a senior official of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Meanwhile, the government is drafting new documents on capacity replacement to cover loopholes in current measures.

* Israel Chemicals Ltd. completed the sale of a 50% stake in desalination and water treatment company IDE Technologies for around US$167 million, as part of its strategy to divest noncore businesses. The company expects to record a capital gain of around US$40 million in the fourth quarter from the sale.

* Noble Group Ltd. plans to terminate the deal to offload its US-based Noble Americas South Bend Ethanol LLC subsidiary and sell it to Mercuria Energy America Inc. unit Mercuria Investments US Inc. for US$15.5 million.

* Norsk Hydro ASA unit Hydro Extruded Solutions AS agreed to acquire two extrusion plants in Utinga and Tubarão in southern Brazil from Arconic Inc. for US$10 million.

* Arianne Phosphate Inc. amended and extended its current US$19.5 million secured credit facility to until Jan. 15, 2019, from maturity of Dec. 31, 2017.

* Resource Generation Ltd.'s Ledjadja Coal (Pty) Ltd subsidiary entered an agreement with Noble Group unit Noble Resources International Pte Ltd. for the supply of additional uncontracted coal from the Boikarabelo mine in South Africa.

* Brazil's full year primary aluminum export volumes are on track to reach the lowest level on record at least since 1989, Metal Bulletin reported. Shipments of the unwrought metal totaled 190,712 tonnes from January through November, down year over year from 297,639 tonnes, according to the country's foreign trade ministry, MDIC.

SPECIALTY

* Mineral Resources Ltd. proposed to acquire oil and gas producer AWE Ltd. at 80 Australian cents per share, structured as 1 new Mineral Resources share for each 22.325 AWE shares held, to be effected via a scheme of arrangement. AWE recommended its shareholders to not take any action until the board evaluates both the Mineral Resources proposal and the takeover offer from China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group Australia, and provides a recommendation.

* Paladin Energy Ltd. directors Phil Bailey, Don Shumka, Peter Donkin and Wendong Zhang stepped down from the company's board after creditors voted in favor of a recapitalization plan and executed an agreement with the company's administrators. The recapitalization deal is expected to be completed before the end of January 2018 and will see existing shareholders giving up 98% of their shares as part of a debt-for-equity swap with creditors.

* An optimized pre-feasibility study for Sayona Mining Ltd.'s Authier lithium project in Quebec estimated a pretax net present value, discounted at 8%, of C$221 million, an internal rate of return of 56% and a 2.5-year payback. The study incorporated an expanded ore reserve of 120,098 tonnes of lithium oxide contained in 11.7 million tonnes grading 1.03% lithium oxide and an upgraded mineral resource of 186,953 tonnes lithium oxide contained in 18.4 million tonnes grading 1.02% lithium oxide in the combined measured, indicated and inferred categories.

* Cadence Minerals Plc signed binding agreements with Lithium Technologies Pty Ltd. and Lithium Supplies Pty Ltd. for an option to acquire up to 100% interest in six prospective hard rock lithium assets in Argentina, covering over 55,773 hectares.

* To avoid further delay to its European lithium development strategy, Novo Lítio Ltd. decided to increase its focus on its other projects as it continues to advance legal action in connection with the Sepeda lithium project in Portugal.

* Namibia Rare Earths Inc. is seeking exchange and regulatory approvals to complete the previously announced acquisition of a majority interest in a Namibia-based portfolio of properties from Gecko Namibia (Pty) Ltd.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* A report by BIS Oxford Economics forecasts Australia's mining production growth to reach 5.5% in fiscal 2017-2018, up from 2.5% in the last fiscal year, with strong growth predicted for the rest of the decade, The Australian Financial Review reported. The report, however, adds that Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland is unlikely to proceed as the company struggles to close financing.

* Australian miners — including Evolution Mining Ltd. and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. — saw increases of up to 1.7% on the ASX as a result of better than expected Chinese trade data, Financial Times reported.

* The world's top 25 mining companies had a combined worth of US$709 billion at the end of November; one year ago, the same 25 companies were worth less than US$580 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's Metals and Mining Research. However, eight out of the top 10 companies recorded a decline in their market capitalization, and it was a mixed month for many other global mining companies.

* On the back of rising environmental concerns, China's far western Xinjiang region suspended mining in one of its big nature reserves, Reuters reported, citing the official Xinhua News Agency. The move impacts 69 mining projects in the Altun national nature reserve.

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.