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Workers at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine vote to strike


Workers at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine vote to strike

BHP Billiton Group's Escondida copper mine in Chile, the biggest copper mine in the world, is set to face a strike after workers voted to reject the wage deal offered by the company, Reuters reported. BHP Billiton will likely ask for government mediation to resolve the matter, which will delay the strike by a week.

Freeport Indonesia receives temporary exemption from Indonesia's new mining rules

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. unit PT Freeport Indonesia will be temporarily exempted from some new mining rules while the Indonesian government processes the company's application for new mining rights, Reuters reported, citing Coal and Minerals Director General Bambang Gatot.

Glencore eyes Implats' chrome interest in South Africa

Glencore Plc is mulling a bidding for Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.'s 65% stake in Impala Chrome Pty. Ltd., Bloomberg News reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. The operation produces more than 200,000 tonnes of chrome concentrate annually from tailings.


* Antofagasta Plc's Los Pelambres copper mine in Argentina finished removing the tires that had been discarded as mining waste on an alleged illegal tailings dam located inside Glencore Plc's El Pachon copper mine in San Juan province in a confusing situation that has led to a legal dispute between the miners before an Argentine court, daily Once Diario reported.

* Strategic Minerals Plc's access to the Cobre magnetite stockpile in New Mexico, owned by Freeport-McMoran Inc., has been extended by 12 months to Feb. 28, 2018.

* TNG Ltd.'s new company that will own its base metals assets in Australia's Northern Territory has filed a A$6 million IPO to list on the ASX. Todd River Resources Ltd. is offering 30 million shares at 20 cents apiece to raise the cash and list on the ASX on March 24.

* China Africa Resources plc will acquire a 48.88% shareholding in Global Exploration Technologies (Pty) Ltd., a private Australian company holding five exploration licenses in the Kalahari copper belt in Botswana.

* Archer Exploration Ltd. terminated the farm-in and joint venture agreement with Cobalt Bull Pty Ltd. after the latter failed to meet the final conditions. Archer will retain 100% of the tenements, including the Ketchowla cobalt-manganese project in South Australia.

* PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel posted quarter-over-quarter increases in its fourth-quarter 2016 production of nickel and copper, while platinum group metals output declined. Consolidated nickel production increased 5% on a quarterly basis to 58,392 tonnes, while output from the company's Russian feed rose 16% to 52,604 tonnes and copper production also rose 11% on a quarterly basis, to 96,188 tonnes.

* Sherritt International Corp. produced 75,033 ounces of nickel in 2016, slightly exceeding the top end of its guidance. The company also produced 6,967 tonnes of cobalt during the period, staying within its guidance of between 6,200 and 7,100 tonnes. For 2017, the Sherritt plans to produce 81,000 to 86,000 tonnes of nickel and 7,300 to 7,900 tonnes of cobalt.


* Centamin Plc surpassed its production guidance for full-year 2016 with a 26% year-over-year increase in output to 551,036 ounces of gold, while the company's basic earnings per share surged 313% to 18.61 U.S. cents. For this year, the company forecasts production of 540,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of US$580 per ounce and all-in sustaining costs of US$790 per ounce.

* Residents of the Cocula municipality in Mexico's Guerrero state blocked access to Torex Gold Resources Inc.'s Media Luna gold mine in Mexico, demanding compensation over environmental pollution allegedly caused by the operation, daily El Sol de Zacatecas reported.

* A total of 47 families, which are residents of the Chalchihuites municipality and former workers of Pan American Silver Corp.'s La Colorada silver-gold mine in Mexico's Zacatecas state, claimed that the mining company illegally evicted them from their homes after two years of harassment, daily Jornada reported.

* Anova Metals Ltd. has secured the final approvals required to start mining at its Big Springs gold project in Nevada.

* Talga Resources Ltd. granted GBM Investments No 1 Pty. Ltd. an exclusive three-month option to purchase its wholly owned Bullfinch gold project in Western Australia.

* Zimplats Holdings Ltd. is engaging with the Zimbabwean government regarding President Robert Mugabe's plan to seize more than 28,000 hectares of land from the miner, Fin24 reported. According to the miner, it was given 30 days from Jan. 13 to lodge an objection to the proposed compulsory acquisition.

* Kalamazoo Resources Ltd. signed an ore sale and purchase agreement with Minjar Gold Pty. Ltd. to fund the drilling, feasibility study and development of the company's A-Zone project at the Snake Well gold mine in Western Australia.

* Two workers at Hochschild Mining Plc's Inmaculada gold and silver mine in southern Peru were killed due to a tunnel cave-in, Reuters reported, citing a local police chief.


* Arconic Inc. CEO Klaus Kleinfeld admitted that the U.S.-based aerospace and automotive component manufacturer "got it wrong" with respect to the Firth Rixson business and needs to do better. "Overall we got it wrong on the non-aero side and our outlook is substantially reduced for this market," Kleinfeld said. Arconic reported a US$1.25 billion net loss in the fourth quarter of 2016, widening from a loss of US$701 million in the year-ago period, primarily due to its separation from Alcoa Corp. as well as restructuring and other costs.

* The Danakali Ltd. and Eritrean National Mining Corp. 50/50 joint venture Colluli Mining Share Co., which wholly owns the Colluli potash project, entered into a mining agreement with the Eritrean ministry of energy and mines covering about 100 square kilometers, including the entire Colluli resource. The joint venture secured exclusive exploitation rights of all mineral resources within the agreement area, an exclusive right to apply mining licenses within the area, and the exclusive right of land use over the life of the resource.

* Prairie Mining Ltd. estimated a maiden coal resource estimate of 301 million tonnes of hard coking coal at its wholly owned Debiensko hard coking coal project in Poland.

* U.S. Steel Corp. booked a net loss attributable to the company of US$105 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, narrowing from a year-ago net loss of US$1.13 billion. Net sales, meanwhile, totaled US$2.65 billion, up from US$2.57 billion a year earlier. For the full year 2016, the company posted a net loss of US$440 million, narrowing from a net loss of US$1.64 billion in 2015.

* CONSOL Energy Inc. is considering the sale of its coal business or a spin off to shareholders after the company posted a US$321.2 million loss from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2016, or US$1.42 per share, swinging from a profit of US$45.3 million a year ago, Reuters reported.

* Japan's JFE Holdings Inc. is on track to build a steel plant in Mexico with its American partner, Nucor, though the Japanese company continues to keep a close eye on U.S. policy after President Donald Trump threatened to pull out from the North American Free Trade Agreement, which binds Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, Reuters reported.

* India's National Mineral Development Corp. Ltd. is calling for the government to award new mining leases to the company under a specific regulation that would exempt NMDC from following the mandatory auction route to secure new leases. According to Mining Weekly, the miner's hunt for new leases comes as it aims to hit its ramp-up target of producing 75 million tonnes of iron ore per year from its current 30 million-tonne annual production.

* Puls Biznesu reported that a Polish court acquitted of corruption charges former heads of Katowice Coal Holding and former directors of the company's mines. Prosecutors had accused them of accepting bribes for awarding contracts in the mining industry.

* Deutsche Bank has decided not to finance any greenfield thermal coal mining and new coal-fired power plant construction. The German bank revised its coal financing guidelines and will also gradually reduce its existing exposure to the thermal coal mining sector.


* Bearing Resources Ltd. and Li3 Energy Inc. entered a definitive agreement to merge, with Li3 Energy to become a wholly owned Bearing subsidiary. Li3 Energy's main assets include the Maricunga lithium property in Chile. Upon completion of the merger, Bearing will have an undivided 17.7% interest in the project.

* Mineral Deposits Ltd. kicked off chloride titanium slag and high purity pig iron production at its TiZir titanium-iron ilmenite upgrading facility in Norway using ilmenite from the Grande Cote mineral sands operation in Senegal.


* Exploration budgets allocated to Canada in 2016 totaled US$971 million — US$214 million less than in 2015. This represented a fall of 18%; however, the decline was less than the global average decline of 21%. The 2016 total budget was a 12-year low for the country, down 70% from the 2012 high of US$3.24 billion. There were 400 companies budgeting for exploration in Canada in 2016 — 14% less than the 464 companies with budgets in the previous year.

* About 500 union workers blocked access to federal highways in Zacatecas state, Mexico, in protest against a new state environmental tax aimed at mining companies that became effective Jan. 1, daily El Universal reported.

* The ASX tumbled Jan. 31, following Wall Street, which saw its biggest sell-off since the U.S. presidential election as investors dumped stocks that could be affected by the Trump administration's isolationist policies, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Dow Jones' MarketWatch wrote that Wall Street's fear index was at its highest in three months following the executive order tightening U.S. immigration rules, according to FactSet data.

* Meanwhile, the Toronto Stock Exchange fell to a one-month low on the back of a drop in heavyweight financial shares, partially offset by gold stocks, Reuters reported.

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.