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MMG boosts Q4, FY'16 copper output with Las Bambas mine

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MMG boosts Q4, FY'16 copper output with Las Bambas mine

TOP NEWS

MMG boosts Q4, FY'16 copper output with Las Bambas mine

MMG Ltd.'s output of copper contained in concentrate in the fourth quarter of 2016 jumped 1,537% year over year to 110,097 tonnes, with the Las Bambas mine in Peru contributing 105,491 tonnes. On an annualized basis, MMG's total copper production, including copper cathode and copper in concentrate, also jumped to 503,510 tonnes in 2016, exceeding the guidance range of 415,000 tonnes to 477,000 tonnes.

LME chief retiring

The London Metal Exchange's Chief Executive Garry Jones is stepping down from his role and will serve as an adviser until the end of the year. He will also retire as the executive director of the LME and LME Clear. LME's COO Matthew Chamberlain has been appointed interim chief executive, effective immediately, while Andrew Dodsworth, LME's head of market operations, has been appointed interim COO.

China Molybdenum to support BHR's purchase of Lundin's Tenke Fungurume stake

China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. signed a deal with Chinese private equity firm BHR to support the latter's acquisition of Lundin Mining Corp.'s 24% indirect stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

DIVERSIFIED

* Rio Tinto Chairman Jan du Plessis defended the company's move to sack two senior executives over the Simandou bribery case, saying the decision followed a "thorough review of the comprehensive internal investigation, supported by external counsel," The Australian reported. The response came after Guinean President Alpha Conde claimed that CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques authorized the terminations to settle scores and "get rid" of Alan Davies.

BASE METALS

* Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co. Ltd. expects its net loss for 2016 to drop to between 1.9 billion Chinese yuan and 2.2 billion yuan, compared to the 2.87 billion yuan loss posted for 2015, mainly due to asset impairments as well as increased finance costs resulting from overdue debts.

* Pasinex Resources Ltd. completed the first sale of lead mineral product from its Pinargozu zinc mining operation in Turkey, comprising 392.9 dry tonnes at a provisional assay of 61.5% lead and 400 g/t of silver, at a provisional value of about US$1,250 per tonne.

* ZincOx Resources Plc decided to jointly develop a recycling plant to treat up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of the waste dust in Vietnam with Korea Zinc Co. Ltd. Korea Zinc will fund 100% of a definitive development study, expected to cost about US$2.5 million, and will own a 51% stake in a special-purpose company established to develop the plant.

* Rescue workers in Peru's Arequipa region recovered the body of one miner from the Las Gemelas copper mine, where six miners are still trapped after a landslide, caused by heavy rains, blocked access to the tunnel, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. said BHP unit BHP Billiton Ltd. intends to formally terminate an option agreement to earn a 75% interest in Aston Bay's Storm copper project in Nunavut in northern Canada.

* MMG agreed with Dundas Mining Pty. Ltd. to extend the deadline for Dundas to complete the payment for the acquisition of MMG's Avebury nickel project in Tasmania, Australia, to March 31 after Dundas failed to pay the A$23.5 million balance by the initial deadline in December 2016.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Endeavour Mining Corp. is aiming to produce between 600,000 ounces to 640,000 ounces of gold in 2017 at all-in sustaining costs of US$860 to US$905 per ounce. The company's gold production totaled 583,712 ounces in 2016, up 13% on a yearly basis, with all-in sustaining costs of US$895 per ounce.

* Royal Road Minerals Ltd. launched a formal offer to acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of Caza Gold Corp. at 0.16 of a Royal Road share to each Caza share held. Caza's directors unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer.

* Hochschild Mining Plc resolved a dispute with a local community at its Pallancata mine in Peru, and the mine will restart operations by Jan. 25. Pallancata's 2017 production forecast is not affected, the company said.

* WPG Resources Ltd. said it trucked the first ore from its Tarcoola gold mine in South Australia to the Challenger project for treatment. The company was previously aiming to transport first ore from Tarcoola in mid-December 2016.

* Serabi Gold Plc's full-year production in 2016 beat guidance after achieving a 19% year-over-year increase to 39,390 ounces. For 2017, the company expects an output of 40,000 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of between US$950 per ounce and US$975 per ounce.

* Centamin Plc is not participating in Egypt's auction of the rights to five gold concession areas because the terms are not commercially viable, Reuters reported, citing the company's chairman, Josef El-Raghy. Centamin operates the Sukari gold mine Egypt, which is the only commercial gold operation in the country.

* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. Chairman Sipho Pityana said the company will prioritize spending to extract more metal out of its existing mines, instead of going for M&A deals to expand.

* Red Rock Resources Plc submitted a request for arbitration to the International Chamber of Commerce after Colombia Milling Ltd. failed to acknowledge Red Rock's exercise of the conversion of a US$1.0 million Colombia Milling promissory note and failed to rectify a gold royalty calculation formula.

* Eastern Goldfields Ltd. signed an agreement with Heron Resources Ltd. and its spinoff, Ardea Resources Ltd., to acquire mining tenements and gold rights to tenements in Siberia.

* Blackham Resources Ltd. is considering installation of an additional 1.5 million-tonnes-per-annum crushing and grinding circuit at its Matilda/Wiluna gold operation in Western Australia in a bid to increase production to over 200,000 ounces per year.

* Australian gold and nickel explorer Blackstone Minerals Ltd. closed its first day on the ASX up 2.5% at 20.5 cents.

* Miranda Gold Corp. signed letters of intent to acquire two significant district-scale epithermal vein systems in Colombia dubbed Mallama and San Lucas.

* Transatlantic Mining Corp. made the first shipment of 19.1 tonnes of low-grade gold/silver concentrate to a third party for processing from its Alder Mountain gold operation in Montana.

BULK COMMODITIES

* The Western Australian government struck a state agreement for the construction of a new A$5.6 billion iron ore export facility in the Pilbara region. The Balla Balla Infrastructure Group, which is 90%-owned by New Zealand's Todd Corp. Ltd., plans to build a port between Karratha and Port Hedland, with a 162-kilometer railway linking it to iron ore deposits in the central Pilbara region, The West Australian reported.

* Based on preliminary calculations, Kinetic Mines & Energy Ltd. expects to report a pretax profit of over 100 million Chinese yuan for 2016, swinging from a loss of 2.6 million yuan booked in 2015. The swing to profit was attributed to higher gross profit margin due to the increase in coal prices during the second half of 2016.

* Moody's considers Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.'s forecast of an expected increase of over 770% in consolidated net profit for 2016 from 1.0 billion Chinese yuan a year ago, to be credit positive.

* An integrated bankable feasibility study for Kibo Mining Plc's Mbeya coal-to-power project in Tanzania reduced total CapEx by 21% from the March 2015 integrated pre-feasibility study.

* China Coal Energy Co. Ltd. is expecting to book a net profit attributable to shareholders of between 1.80 billion Chinese yuan and 2.20 billion yuan for 2016, swinging from a year-ago loss of 2.52 billion yuan, thanks to improved coal prices, optimized production and cost controls.

* Beny Steinmetz, the owner of BSG Resources Ltd., will be questioned by Swiss prosecutors by the end of this month regarding allegations that he paid bribes in Guinea for his company to earn a stake in the Simandou iron ore project, Bloomberg News reported. Steinmetz rejects the bribery allegations.

* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd.'s coal output in 2016 rose 3.2% year over year to 289.8 million tonnes, while coal sales increased 6.6% to 394.9 million tonnes.

* Cline Group LLC's Canada-based Donkin underground coal mine will start operation before the end of this month and will aim at producing mostly metallurgical coal, along with a smaller amount of steam coal, Coal Age reported.

SPECIALTY

* Petra Diamonds Ltd.'s diamond production in the first half of fiscal 2017 jumped 24% year over year to more than 2 million carats due to increased contribution from undiluted run-of-mine ore leading to improved grades, and additional tailings production from Kimberley Ekapa mining.

* Birimian Ltd.'s A$107.5 million potential sale of its wholly owned Bougouni lithium project in Mali to Shandong Mingrui Group fell through.

* Codelco opened a process to select partners to jointly develop two lithium projects in Chile's Atacama region, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Edenville Energy Plc selected Sinohydro Corp. of China as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for its Rukwa coal-to-power project in Tanzania.

* Manhattan Corp. Ltd. estimated maiden mineral resources for three deposits at its flagship Ponton project in Western Australia. The deposits host inferred resources of 21.5 million tonnes at 137 parts per million to 151 ppm uranium for 6.97 million pounds of uranium.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The mining companies with the 20 largest exploration budgets in 2016 allocated US$2.16 billion for exploration during the year, accounting for 31% of the US$6.89 billion worldwide exploration total.

* Africa remains one of the world's top mining hot spots, accounting for 13% of the global exploration budget in 2016 with a budget of US$916 billion. However, the 2016 budget was 24% lower than in 2015, nudging the region to fourth place worldwide from third place in 2015.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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.