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Court rules in favor of Gecamines, appoints administrator to run Tenke Fungurume

TOP NEWS

Court rules in favor of Gecamines, appoints administrator to run Tenke Fungurume mine

A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo appointed an administrator to run the Tenke Fungurume copper project after accepting a petition from Gecamines SARL, which had been trying to block the sale of Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s stake in the mine. Bloomberg News cited court documents sent by a person who asked not to be identified. The management of Tenke Fungurume said the implementation of the ruling was suspended and that it is pursuing legal actions to enforce its rights.

Timis' Pan African Minerals may seek up to US$4B for Tambao's halted development

Timis Mining Corp. Ltd.'s Pan African Minerals Ltd. unit said it may seek up to US$4 billion in damages from the government of Burkina Faso, claiming it was forced to stop the development of the Tambao manganese deposit. The group petitioned the International Court of Arbitration in Paris to protect its permit over the project, which has been "completely suspended" since June 2015.

Sibanye Gold to buy Stillwater Mining for US$2.2B

Sibanye Gold Ltd. has entered an agreement for the US$2.2 billion purchase of Stillwater Mining Co. at US$18 per share. Stillwater's board has unanimously approved the transaction, but it still has to secure approval from shareholders of both companies.

DIVERSIFIED

* Anglo American Plc, which is seeking to offload its iron ore, coal and manganese operations in South Africa to reduce debt, is leaning toward grouping the assets into one listed entity instead of selling them off piecemeal, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The miner plans to retain the Venetia diamond mine and some platinum mines including Mogalakwena.

BASE METALS

* Contract workers of Anglo American's Los Bronces copper mine in Chile filed a legal claim against the company over alleged anti-union practices. Union leaders also said new protests similar to the one Nov. 26 may emerge if the company failed to respond to their labor demands, news radio Bio Bio Chile reported.

* A report into the latest blackout revealed that the Australian Energy Market Operator ordered transmission group ElectraNet to cut the power supply to BHP Billiton Group's Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia to stabilize the system, The Australian Financial Review reported. The decision followed a protocol agreed in 2015 between AEMO and BHP for such events.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Hebei Zhongheng Tianda Platinum Co. Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Eastern Platinum Ltd. in the British Columbia Supreme Court, alleging that the latter breached a share purchase agreement for the sale of the Crocodile River platinum mine to the Chinese group.

* Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. is selling its 65% stake in Impala Chrome Pty. Ltd., which produces 200,000 tonnes of chrome concentrate per annum, through a tender, Mining Weekly wrote citing the company.

* China Hanking Holdings is going to the Perth Warden's Court to get its Western Australian gold mines cleared for sale, where it is fighting 139 applications alleging the company did not fulfill its spending requirements on the tenements, The West Australian wrote.

* Condor Gold Plc reached a settlement with B2Gold Corp. and Royal Gold Inc. over a disputed net smelter return royalty over part of Condor's La India gold project in Nicaragua. The settlement clears the way for the project to advance towards the construction of a 1Mtpa processing plant.

* MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. entered into an option and joint venture agreement to advance exploration on Noble Mineral Exploration Inc.'s Wawa-Holdsworth gold-silver project in Ontario. MacDonald Mines will have the right to earn up to 75% in the project.

* West African Resources Ltd. received environmental approval for its Tanlouka gold project in Burkina Faso, and expects a mining license before the end of the first quarter of 2017.

* Navigator Resources Ltd. has acquired the Violet gold project in Western Australia.

* Gold Road Resources Ltd. confirmed that all conditions precedent related to a 50/50 joint venture with Gold Fields Ltd. to develop and operate the Gruyere gold project in Western Australia have been met, and the sale of the Gruyere stake to Gold Fields is expected to close around Dec. 13.

* Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. made a discretionary payment against the Chatree loan facility of US$5.2 million and intends to make another payment of about US$5 million by Dec. 9, bringing down the total debt to about A$13 million from A$72 million at the end of September. The company plans to fully repay the Chatree-related debt by year-end.

* Zimbabwe has again deferred a 15% tax on exports of unbeneficiated platinum to 2018 so that miners can boost their efforts on developing refinery projects, Miningmx reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* About 300 miners from South32 Ltd.'s Illawarra coal operations in New South Wales rallied for the second time in a week, protesting against wage cuts for contractors, ABC reported.

* Bank of China and five other local banks signed a debt restructuring deal with troubled steelmaker Sinosteel Corp., Reuters reported citing Bank of China.

* South32 has invested 74 million South African rand in a seawater desalination plant to produce cooling process water for its Hillside aluminum smelter in Richards Bay and ensure sustainable operations in the drought-stricken area, Mining Weekly reported.

* The European Union launched a new probe into cheap Chinese steel imports, this time looking into whether Chinese producers of certain corrosion-resistant steel products are selling at unfairly low prices, after receiving a complaint from EU steel makers association Eurofer, Reuters said in a news brief.

* Steel Authority of India Ltd. posted a loss of 7.32 billion Indian rupees in the second quarter, its sixth straight quarterly loss, compared to a loss of 11.08 billion rupees in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. posted a loss after tax of 7.47 billion rupees for the second fiscal quarter for 2017, an improvement over the year-ago loss after tax totaling 9.86 billion rupees.

* U.S. Steel Corp. CEO Mario Longhi was referring to the whole U.S. steel industry, and not just the company, when he spoke about potentially restoring up to 10,000 jobs in the U.S.

* Following a strong rise in metallurgical coal prices, market observers wonder whether demand growth will step in to sustain high prices beyond a few quarters. Speaking at the 15th Annual Coal Trading Conference in New York, Doyle Trading Consultants CEO Hans Daniels expressed doubt that fundamentals will sustain such high prices.

* As negotiations for first-quarter aluminum term contracts are under way between producers and Japanese buyers, there are concerns in the market following the recent power outage at Alcoa Corp.'s Portland aluminum smelter in Victoria, Australia, that the company will not be able to meet demand, which may impact first-quarter main Japanese ports numbers, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Fletcher Group Holdings, controlled by Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin, is selling around 1.5% of OJSC Novolipetsk Steel, Reuters reported. Following closing of the sale, Fletcher will control 84% of the company.

* German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG became the target of a "massive cyber attack" in which technical trade secrets were stolen from the steel production and manufacturing plant design divisions earlier this year, Reuters reported, citing the group.

* Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd. received notice that Antipodes Gold Ltd. plans to make a full takeover offer for the company. The offer is slated to open Dec. 23 and will remain so until Jan. 31, 2017, unless extended.

SPECIALTY

* The African News Agency reported that at least 450 miners at the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana will be laid off next week after Lucara Diamond Corp. decided to prematurely terminate a mining services contracts with Eqstra on the back of a dispute over differences in the volumes of diamond ore that was mined by the contractor. The report said the dispute is likely to evolve into a legal matter, with Eqstra warning that it would seek damages from the termination of the contract, which is supposed to expire in 2020.

* Meanwhile, the Karowe diamond mine yielded 1.8 million carats, generating revenue of C$1.02 billion at an average price of C$566 per carat since the start of production in June 2012.

* Premier African Minerals Ltd. has elected not to exercise its option to acquire up to 30% in Casa Mining Ltd.

* Metron Capital Corp. secured a right to acquire the South Big Smoky property in Nevada from Ultra Lithium Inc. The property consists of 100 mineral claims and is subject to a 3% net smelter return royalty.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Philippines' Mines and Geosciences Bureau may complete the audit on the remaining 31 mines in the country after about five months if "the whole process is done in accordance to schedule," BusinessWorld reported citing Danilo Uykieng, the bureau's officer-in-charge assistant director.

* A survey by Business South Australia found that the state is likely to suffer more power outages as summer approaches, as the business community expressed serious concerns that consecutive days of extreme temperatures may place additional pressure on interconnectors and lead to rolling power outages, Reuters wrote. Among the businesses affected by the power issues in the state is BHP Billiton Group's Olympic Dam copper mine.

* New research from Deloitte Access Economics revealed that the Australian minerals industry suffered an effective tax rate of 54.3% in 2014/2015, the highest in almost a decade, Mining Weekly reported.

* In the midst of the Argentinean Lower House approval of a bill that reinstates taxes on mining exports, the Minister of Energy and Mining Juan José Aranguren defended the earlier removal of these tariffs by the Macri Administration. Meanwhile, Argentinean mining chamber CAEM warned that restoring these charges would endanger more than 12,000 direct jobs and affect exports valued at US$1.3 billion, daily Cronista reported.

* Mining increased its aggregate value in the Dominican Republic's GDP by 285.18% between July 2010 and July 2016, from 13.6 billion Dominican pesos to 52.4 billion pesos, according to Ministry of Energy and Mines figures, daily Listín Diario reported.

* Planned changes to Papua New Guinea's mining laws, which include shortening mine leases to 25 years from 40 years, among others, are creating uncertainty ahead of an upcoming election, despite strong interest by investors in the country's mining and energy projects, Reuters reported.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET, and scans news sources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.