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Teck to invest US$9B; Vale cuts iron ore supply forecast; Freeport faces strike at Cerro Verde

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Teck to invest US$9B; Vale cuts iron ore supply forecast; Freeport faces strike at Cerro Verde

TOP NEWS

Teckto invest US$9B in next 7 years

Teck ResourcesLtd. plans to invest close to US$9 billion over the next seven yearsin its two major projects — the phase two expansion project for , and feasibilitystudies for its Corridor copper project, a joint venture with Goldcorp Inc. For Quebrada Blanca in particular, the CapExwas cut by US$500 million to US$1 billion to between US$4.5 billion and US$5 billion,daily Diario Financiero reported,citing CEO Donald Lindsay.

Valecuts iron ore supply forecast

Vale SAcut its iron-ore supply forecast for the global market from 1.65 billion tonnesto a range of between 1.59 billion tonnes to 1.62 billion tonnes, down 2% comparedwith the total supply of the commodity in 2015 of 1.61 billion tonnes, Notícias de Mineração reported.

Freeport-McMoRanfaces strike at Cerro Verde

Workers at Freeport-McMoRanInc.'s 53.6%-owned CerroVerde copper mine in Peru will embarkon a 48-hour strike, starting Friday, to protest against the cut in the profit sharingbonus for the year, Peru this Week reported.The company cut the average bonus to US$146 in 2015, from US$9,090 in 2014.

DIVERSIFIED

* The Zimbabwean government is probing Rio Tinto's exit from the country when it its two holdings in June 2015. The mininggiant sold its 78% interest in MurowaDiamonds (Pvt.) Ltd. and its 50% interest in Sengwa Colliery (Pvt.) Ltd. to RZ Murowa Holdings Ltd. The government is seeking to verify"the manner in which the shares changed hands," mines and mining developmentdeputy minister Fred Moyo said during a question and answer session in the NationalAssembly.

BASE METALS

* Workers at Freeport-McMoRanInc.'s 53.6%-owned CerroVerde copper mine in Peru will embarkon a 48-hour strike, starting Friday, to protest against the cut in the profit sharingbonus for the year, Peru this Week reported.The company cut the average bonus to US$146 in 2015, from US$9,090 in 2014.

* Teck ResourcesLtd. plans to invest close to US$9 billion over the next seven yearsin its two major projects — the phase two expansion project for , and feasibilitystudies for its Corridor copper project, a joint venture with Goldcorp Inc. For Quebrada Blanca in particular, the CapExwas cut by US$500 million to US$1 billion to between US$4.5 billion and US$5 billion,daily Diario Financiero reported,citing CEO Donald Lindsay.

* BHP BillitonGroup- and Rio Tinto-owned Escondida copper mine in Chile said it expects a new US$4.2billion concentrator and a US$3 billion water desalination plant to help increaseoutput and offset the falling ore grades in the next few years, Reuters reported.Production of about 1.2 million tonnes of copper is expected in the next decade,the report said, compared to 1.15 million tonnes produced in 2015.

* BHP Billiton unit MineraEscondida Ltda.'s net income totaled US$1.07 billion in 2015, down 56%year over year, daily Diario Financieroreported.

* Chilean state miner Codelcoreduced its number of contract workers to 23,098, down 3,500 compared with 2014,reaching its lowest level in the last five years. Meanwhile, the miner's own employeebase grew by 44 workers to 19,111 last year, daily Pulso reported.

* Puls Biznesu reportedthat later this year, Canadian explorer RathdowneyResources Ltd. will decide whether to build a zinc-lead mine in southernPoland. The project, worth 1 billion Polish zlotys, is on the border of Silesiaand Malopolska. "We have completed 270 wells with a total length of 30 thousandmeters, and the cost reached 100 million zlotys. This allowed us to estimate thesize of this deposit to 25 million tonnes of zinc and lead ores," said RathdowneyPresident Robert Konski.

* The Indonesian group seeking to acquire a controlling stakein Newmont Mining Corp.'soperations in Indonesia secured a US$750 million loan from two state-owned banks tofund the deal, Reuters reported, citing Basis Point.

* Indonesian state-owned tin miner PT Timah (Persero) Tbk expects to quadruple net profit in 2016 to around 400 billion Indonesianrupiah by optimizing downstream production and diversification, The Jakarta Postreported, citing corporate secretary Agung Nugroho.

* According to traders and analysts, China is expected to increase copper exports in the next few months amidrecord high stockpiles of the red metal, Reuters reported. The country's copperexport volumes are usually small, but an increase in shipments — particularly ata time when Chinese demand is historically at its peak — would shake copper producersand investors around the world.

* The New South Wales Supreme Court dismissed the proceedings between Aurelia Metals Ltd. and Glencore Plc over a loan dispute, in accordance with theterms of settlement between the companies.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Coeur MiningInc. produced3.4 million ounces of silver and 78,072 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2016,which compares to 3.8 million ounces of silver and 69,734 ounces of gold producedin the same period a year earlier. The company lowered its forecast silver outputto 14.5 million ounces to 15.8 million ounces, from 14.6 million ounces to 16 millionounces. Gold production guidance remains at 320,000 ounces to 347,000 ounces ofgold.

* Evolution MiningLtd. posted record goldproduction of 208,963 ounces in the third quarter of fiscal 2016, atan all-in sustaining cost of A$1,015 per ounce.

* About 500 residents of the town of Azacualpa, in Honduras'Copan department, blocked access to the San Andres gold-silver mine, claiming the mine's operatorMinerales de Occidente SA de CV,a subsidiary of Aura Minerals Inc.,has not fulfilled the social and economic agreements reached with the local community,daily La Tribuna reported.

* The Australian government's Takeovers Panel has rejectedABM Resources NL's 3-for-5nonrenounceable rights issue to raise a total of about A$8.2 million.

* Keras ResourcesPlc completedhaulage of the first ore parcel to the Paddington Mill from the Anomaly 22 deposit, located in theGrants Patch Gold Tributelease area in Western Australian goldfields. A total of 7,548 tonnes of ore at 1.53g/t grading for 372 contained gold ounces will now be processed under the agreementwith Norton Gold Fields Ltd.subsidiary Paddington Gold Pty. Ltd.

* Probe MetalsInc. and Adventure GoldInc. entered into a definitive agreement for a merger, creating a new gold explorer and developer with propertiesin Quebec and Ontario. Under the terms, Adventure shareholders will receive 0.39of a Probe share for each share held.

* The London Bullion Market Association is assessing proposalsto create a trading and reporting platform for gold trading in London, while theWorld Gold Council is working with the London Metal Exchange to create new futurescontracts, Bloomberg News reported, citing two people with direct knowledge of the venture."It's a pretty big moment for London, and it's time to choose," said MarkO'Byrne, a director in Dublin at brokerage GoldCore Ltd.

* Vantage GoldfieldsLtd. unit MIMCO, which owns the Lily gold mine in South Africa's Mpumalanga province, officiallyentered business rescue, Mining Weekly reported. Three miners have been trapped underground at Lilysince February, and the company continues to focus on their recovery.

* Kodal MineralsPlc will acquireinterests in various gold exploration properties in Mali and Ivory Coast by acquiring100% of Taruga Gold Ltd.'swholly owned subsidiary, InternationalGoldfields (Bermuda) Ltd., which owns the properties.

* Lonmin Plcsaid a rock drill operator diedat its 50% owned Pandoraplatinum joint venture in South Africa's North-West province, following a fall ofground accident.

* According to statistics from the World Gold Council, centralbanks purchased 25 tons of gold in February, down from 41 tons in January, CNBC reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vale SAcut its iron-ore supply forecast for the global market from 1.65 billion tonnesto a range of between 1.59 billion tonnes to 1.62 billion tonnes, down 2% comparedwith the total supply of the commodity in 2015 of 1.61 billion tonnes, Notícias de Mineração reported.

* In the first quarter of 2016, Rio Tinto's and Vale's iron oreshipments increased 10% year over year to 270 million tonnes, BloombergNews wrote citing Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.'s weekly cargo-tracking report.

* Base ResourcesLtd. produced110,760 tonnes of ilmenite, 21,194 tonnes of rutile and 7,865 tonnes of zircon inthe first quarter of 2016, compared to 105,753 tonnes of ilmenite, 16,754 tonnesof rutile and 5,414 tonnes of zircon a year ago. The Kwale operations are expected produce 82,000 tonnesto 86,000 tonnes of rutile, 440,000 tonnes to 455,000 tonnes of Ilmenite and 29,000tonnes to 31,000 tonnes of zircon.

* CONSOL EnergyInc. continued its corporate reorganization with the announcement thatExecutive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer James Grech will from his positions followingthe recent sale of company assets.

* Cancana ResourcesCorp. and its joint venture partner Ferrometals BV, together Brazil Manganese Corp., secured a 4,500-tonne salesorder of high-grade manganese mineral product to a ferro-manganese client inBrazil, scheduled to be delivered during the second quarter of this year.

* Metallica MineralsLtd. has entered into a headsof agreement with the operator of the Hey Point bauxite mine on Queensland'swestern Cape York, assigning the operator to provide shipping access and logisticsservices for the Urquhartbauxite project.

* Pathfinder MineralsPlc said the First Commercial Section of the Judicial Court of the Cityof Maputo, in Mozambique, declinedto hear a challenge brought by its unit, IM Minerals Ltd., to the validity of ashareholder resolution of CompanhiaMineira de Naburi SARL. In doing so, it found that a previous judgement,which ruled that IM Minerals failed to acquire shares in Naburi, is binding.

* A Dominican court accepted the charges filed by the PublicProsecutor's Office against the president and CEO of Falconbridge Dominicana SA, David Soares, and two other topexecutives, accused of violating the country's environmental and health laws overpollution emissions at its operations in the municipality of Haina, in San Cristobalprovince, daily Noticias SIN reported.

* The integrated water use license for Coal of Africa Ltd.'s Makhado project was suspendedfollowing an appeal to the Department of Water and Sanitation submitted by the VhembeMineral Resources Forum and other parties.

* Puls Biznesu reportedthat Chairman of the Metallurgical Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Polishcity of Katowice, Stefan Dzienniak, said, "One of the most significant challengesto the steel mills in Poland is the threat from non-EU countries that use unfairor aggressive competition, particularly China and Belarus." In late March,the European Commission initiated an anti-dumping proceeding concerning importsof Belarusian steel rebar.

* Adani EnterprisesLtd. is under investigation by the Indian Directorate of Revenue Intelligencefor an alleged involvementin a US$4.4 billion pricing scandal related to coal imported from Indonesia. Profitswere alleged to be "siphoned" overseas, as stated in the DRI alert andpower companies used front companies in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai to raisecoal prices in official billing documents, claimed the DRI.

* In a bid to prevent its collapse, the Czech government is taking over unit Industry Minister Jan Mladek,meanwhile, offered the main owners and creditors to sell the company and debt.

* The sale process for TataSteel Ltd.'s loss-making U.K. operations will start April 11 and SanjeevGupta's Liberty House Group is expected to start due diligence with an aim to acquirethe troubled operation, Reuters reported, citing an interview with Gupta. He saidfunding the acquisition will not be a big issue since Liberty House has a turnoverof more than US$6.5 billion, adding that competitive power prices are critical torevive the business.

* Arrium Ltd.'slenders have been urged not to initiate a legal battle to gain control of the administrationprocess, ABC reported.

* China's medium- and -large steel mills have reported a lossof 11.4 billion Chinese yuan in the first two months of this year, Shanghai SecuritiesNews wrote, citing the chairman of the China Iron & Steel Association.CISA member mills have posted a combined loss of 100 billion Chinese yuan in theircore business in the previous year.

SPECIALTY

* Pure Energy MineralsLtd. received an amended notice of intent work permit from the Bureauof Land Management for the next phase of explorationdrilling at its ClaytonValley South lithium brine project in Nevada.

* Perth-based WalkaboutResources Ltd. has filed applicationsfor three prospecting licenses, covering 475 square kilometers, in a known lithium-tantalumsetting in Tanzania.

* GoldON ResourcesLtd. was issuedexploration permit PR-15-10779 for the recently acquired Paterson Lake lithium prospect located in the SeparationRapids Pegmatite Group of northwestern Ontario's Kenora mining division.

* Sociedad Quimicay Minera de Chile SA's US$300 million of bonds due in 2023 returned9.2% this year as the sale of the company stake held by former Chairman Julio Ponce,who was fined US$70 million for market manipulation, gets closer, Bloomberg Newsreported.

* A pre-feasibility study for Hastings Technology Metals Ltd.'s Yangibana rare earths project in Western Australiapegged a pretax net presentvalue of A$700 million to A$750 million, at an 8% discount rate, and an internalrate of return of 40%. Total CapEx is seen to range from A$390 million to A$420million, with payback in 2.5 years.

* Kommersant reported that PJSC ALROSA began consultations with brokers on exchange-tradingin precious stones. A joint project with the Moscow stock exchange may start withinvestment-grade diamonds in a deliverable futures format. ALROSA also plans tolaunch unilateral auctions on one of the Russian stock exchanges for the sale ofrough diamonds and technical stones.

* Iluka ResourcesLtd. said its zircon salesfor the current year might be below initial expectations as it will reduce the zirconreference price for the second quarter by 10% to about US$950 per tonne. The companymay also adjust this year's zircon production of about 350,000 tonnes; however,combined sales of zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile are still expected to exceedthe aggregate production of about 660,000 tonnes.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Renewable energy is gaining popularity as the power solutionfor mines in Chile as the current environmental demands low cost and environment-friendlysolutions, Mining Weekly reported.

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