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Fortescue to develop Eliwana iron ore deposits as Firetail replacement

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Fortescue to develop Eliwana iron ore deposits as Firetail replacement

TOP NEWS

Fortescue to develop Eliwana iron ore deposits

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. seems to have decided to develop its Eliwana iron ore deposits in Western Australia, The West Australian reported. The US$1.5 billion project will replace the company's 27-million-tonne-per-year Firetail iron ore mine.

Antam to exceed FY'16 ferronickel, gold output targets

PT Antam (Persero) Tbk expects full-year 2016 production of ferronickel and gold, its two main commodities, to exceed the company's targets. Ferronickel production reached 20,080 tonnes of nickel contained in ferronickel, as of the beginning of the last week of December, compared to the full-year 2016 target of 18,500 tonnes of nickel contained in ferronickel.

Analysts forecast income gains in 2017 for mining giants

On the back of a recent rally in commodity prices, BHP Billiton Group, Rio Tinto, Vale SA and Glencore Plc may earn a combined US$26 billion in the six months through December, a two-year high and up 40% from the first half, according to forecasts compiled by Bloomberg News. Meanwhile, analysts see more income gains in 2017, which would bolster balance sheets and enable mining companies to pursue acquisitions, increase dividends and reduce debt.

DIVERSIFIED

* The principal owner of iron ore producer AO Holding Co. METALLOINVEST, Alisher Usmanov, said he still considers a proposal to form a Russian metals and mining giant by combining Metalloinvest and PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel, Reuters reported, citing Usmanov's interview with the Rossiya-24 TV network.

BASE METALS

* Codelco's share in the world molybdenum market will decline from 55% to 49% in 2017, although the Chilean state miner would remain a global leader, according to a report by the Chilean Copper Commission, daily Pulso reported.

* Vedanta Resources Plc unit Hindustan Zinc Ltd. was granted environment clearance for a 7.4 billion-Indian-rupee expansion project at its Rajasthan, India-based lead-zinc production facility, as well as the Sindesar Khurd underground zinc-lead-silver mine, India Today reported, citing a senior government official.

* Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. agreed to option a 100% interest in the Fyre Lake copper-gold-cobalt massive sulfide deposit in Canada's Yukon Territory to BMC Minerals (No. 1) Ltd., a Canadian subsidiary of BMC (UK) Ltd.

PRECIOUS METALS

* OceanaGold Corp. said that milling operations have started at its Haile gold mine in South Carolina. The company expects to produce 150,000 ounces to 170,000 ounces of gold at Haile in 2017 at all-in sustaining costs of between US$500 per ounce to US$550 per ounce.

* Barrick Gold Corp. postponed its decision on whether to continue or stop operations at its Lama mine, part of the Pascua Lama project in Argentina's San Juan province until February 2017, sources told Diario del Cuyo.

* Hummingbird Resources Plc appointed Ausdrill Ltd. subsidiary African Mining Services as the mining contractor for its Yanfolila gold project in Mali. Mine construction is underway and first gold pour is expected in 2017.

* Workers of Aruntani SAC have decided to hold a peaceful protest on Jan. 10, 2017, in Puno, Peru, to support their claim for higher wages and other economic benefits, Diario Correo reported.

* Monument Mining Ltd. secured a six-month exclusive option to acquire a 51% stake in the Matala gold project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from Panex Resources Inc.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Rio Tinto awarded a A$50 million contract to Decmil Group for its Amrun bauxite project in Queensland, Australia, The West Australian reported. The contract involves the design, fabrication, supply, delivery, construction, installation, testing and commissioning of the mine infrastructure area at the project.

* Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal Co. Ltd. agreed to acquire a 27% stake in the Baoshan coal project in China from Beijing Jielongda for 129 million Chinese yuan. Upon completion, the company will own a 100% stake in Baoshan. Separately, the company also agreed to sell a 36% stake in the Tongda coal project to Ordos Huijiabao Investment Co. Ltd. for 129 million yuan.

* China Coal Energy Co. Ltd. subsidiary Shanghai Energy Co. entered into an asset transfer agreement with Datun Coal and Electricity, in order to transfer the assets and liabilities of the Longdong coal mine, including the coal preparation plant, to Datun Coal for nearly 237 million Chinese yuan.

* Prophecy Development Corp. signed two coal sales and purchase agreements to sell a total of 16,000 tonnes of coal sourced from its wholly owned Ulaan Ovoo coal mine in Mongolia. The company will sell 10,000 tonnes to Erdenet Mining Corp. and 6,000 tonnes to Selenge Energo Heat Plant.

* Recent reports about a potential reduction in the import duty imposed on flat steel products by Iran has led to a trading halt, Metal Bulletin wrote. The exact date for the regulation to take effect is unclear so potential customers took a wait-and-see position.

* Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade has extended the deadline by two months for its final decision in its safeguarding probe into imports of painted galvanized steel, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Kompania Weglowa SA's Makoszowy coal mine in Poland, which will cease operations this week, sold coal worth 129 million Polish zlotys in 2016 while also receiving 138 million zlotys of budget subsidies for production losses, Puls Biznesu reported, citing information from the Mine Restructuring Co.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* With less than three months until the Western Australian election, it is still unclear as to what the two major political parties will do to bolster the state's resources sector. While the Liberal Party appears to have no clear mandate, the Labor Party has outlined its plan to introduce a Skilled Local Jobs Bill to support the growth of jobs in industries complementary to the resource sector.

* The government of Argentina's Chubut province will conduct a popular consultation process for citizens to decide whether to remove or keep the current ban on open-pit operations under Law 5001, daily El Inversor Energético reported.

* Bolivia's mining exports grew 3.5% year over year between January and November, totaling US$1.68 billion, daily El Diario reported.

* Zambia is withholding 2.4 billion Zambian kwacha of the 5 billion kwacha owed to mining companies in tax refunds, as firms have not provided the correct documentation, Reuters reported, citing the Zambia Revenue Authority.

* The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a final rule, effective April 1, 2017, barring national banks and federal savings associations from dealing or investing in industrial or commercial metals.

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.