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Gecamines threatens to block Lundin's planned Tenke Fungurume exit

TOP NEWS

Gecamines threatens to block Lundin's planned Tenke Fungurume exit

Any move by Lundin Mining Corp. to off-load its stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper mine could jeopardize Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s planned sale of its interest in the property to China Molybdenum Co. Ltd., Bloomberg News reported, citing Democratic Republic of Congo state-run miner Gecamines SARL. Sources said Lundin seeks to exit the venture and has held discussions with China Molybdenum and other parties about its stake. Simultaneous exits by Lundin and Freeport without gaining Gecamines' approval would further violate the latter's rights, Chairman Albert Yuma said, adding that the state-controlled miner must be allowed to match any offers for Lundin's stake or it could block the deal.

Rio Tinto sacks 5 Richards Bay workers for inciting protests

Rio Tinto has fired five workers, including the general manager for community and corporate liaison, at its Richards Bay ilmenite mine in South Africa for allegedly inciting community protests over jobs and contracts, City Press reported.

China makes major lead and zinc discovery

China has made its largest local lead and zinc mine discovery in the far-western region of Xinjiang, with the site hosting nearly 19 million tonnes of lead and zinc reserves, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Xinjiang Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton Group has been named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed by a former gate guard over the alleged underpayment of security workers at the mining giant's shale oil operation in Texas after their employment status was changed to independent contractors, The Australian Financial Review reported.

BASE METALS

* Freeport-McMoRan is in talks with Chinese copper smelters in Hong Kong related to the processing of its 2017 long-term contractual volumes, but no agreement has been reached, Metal Bulletin reported, citing market participants. The smelters are represented by Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. and Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. Ltd.

* Skeena Resources Ltd. completed the previously announced acquisition of Mount Rainey Silver Inc. in an all-share deal valued at C$4.5 million.

PRECIOUS METAL

* RG Gold, the Kazakh gold miner controlled by private equity group Verny Capital JSC, is planning to boost output by 50%, to 1.5 tonnes per year, by 2018, CEO Serik Syzdykov said. The company is ramping up production at its Raigorodok mine 190 kilometers northwest of Astana, the Kazakh capital.

* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. will stick to its "going global" strategy and expects overseas operations to account for more than 50% of its total profit in five years' time, according to Chairman Chen Jinghe. Chen told delegates at the China Mining Congress and Expo 2016 in Tianjin, China, that the company is seeking to become a global mining group by 2030, with more expansion plans expected in coming years.

* Industry restructuring, construction of environmentally friendly mines, mining automation and globalization are four key growth drivers for Chinese gold producers in the next decade, Weng Zhanbin, vice chairman of Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. Ltd., said at a panel discussion at China Mining 2016.

* Focus Minerals Ltd. is holding talks with multiple interested parties for the possible sale of its Jasper Hill gold project, which is part of the Laverton operation in Western Australia, The West Australian reported. The Jasper Hill project encompasses four mining leases and has been deemed as a low priority by the company.

* Eastern Goldfields Ltd. tapped GR Engineering Services Ltd. to refurbish its Davyhurst gold processing plant in Western Australia. The work is expected to cost about A$12.6 million and is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2017.

* Alliance Resources Ltd. is acquiring a 51% equity stake in Tyranna Resources Ltd.'s Wilcherry gold project in South Australia for A$2 million.

* Kibo Mining Plc will consolidate its Tanzanian gold interests that will involve the Imweru and Lubando projects. The new deal will see the reverse takeover of London-listed Opera Investment Plc and the business, which will be holding these assets, will be renamed Katoro Gold Mining Plc.

* An employee was killed Sept. 23 at Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Phakisa gold mine in South Africa, in a rail-bound equipment accident.

* Gryphon Minerals Ltd.'s shareholders approved the planned takeover of the company by Teranga Gold Corp. The deal is expected to close in mid-October, pending statutory approvals.

* A large gold mine hosting about 100 tons of gold and 120 tons of silver deposits, with estimated life-of-mine of more than 80 years, has been discovered in China's Henan province, Global Times reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vale SA's board has not made a decision on the sale of a stake in the company's fertilizer unit and is still looking for a partner, Reuters reported, citing a securities filing from Vale. This comes after the company's shares jumped by more than 6% on Sept. 21, on speculation that the Brazilian mining giant was about to announce the partial sale of its fertilizers business to Mosaic Co.

* Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu Oyj completed the closure of its Nirosta cold-rolling mill in western Germany and transferred operations to its nearby Krefeld site. The transfer of production capacity from Benrath to Krefeld follows the completion of a €108 million production ramp-up at Krefeld that kicked off in 2014 and has now reached a steady state.

* The explosion and subsequent closure of PAO Severstal's Severnaya mine in February has cost the company US$21 million, or 1% of EBITDA, but reduced its self-reliance in coal to 60% to 70%, forcing it to buy supplies from third parties at market rates, Interfax reported, citing Severstal CEO Alexey Mordashov.

* Beowulf Mining Plc confirmed further delays at its Kallak iron ore project in northern Sweden, after the company said it lodged a revised exploitation concession application with the Mining Inspectorate, taking into account a recent court ruling that found miners must consider the environmental effects of their activities over a wider area than was previously the case.

* After an emergency meeting called by the Chinese government, the National Development and Reform Commission approved an increase in thermal coal production for 74 major miners, partially reversing the capacity reduction that resulted in a price hike and depleted domestic stockpiles, Reuters reported. However, the commission rejected the steel industry's appeals for a ramp-up in coking coal output, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the meeting's proceedings.

* While many Chinese steel majors are lowering their respective forecasts for China's production and consumption of crude steel, Paul Butterworth, research manager at the CRU International, expects China's crude steel output to peak in the next decade on the back of the country's approaching replacements of old buildings.

* IPO managers for ASX-aspirant Moly-Cop are pursuing renowned cornerstone investors including Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and Canada's biggest pension fund manager CPPIB, sources told The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk.

* U.S. environmentalist Tom Clarke's Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. is set to restart operations at the Brule metallurgical coal mine in British Columbia, Mining.com reported. The Wolverine mine is expected to be back online in 2017, while no timeline is available for the Willow Creek mine.

* According a Coal India Ltd. official, the company is planning to again approach the Mozambique government for the allotment of a new coal block. It comes a month after the government formalized the exit from developing coal blocks in the country after a previous coal block was found to have negligible content, Mining Weekly reported.

* Italian steelmaker Ilva International S.p.A.'s galvanizing line is expected to achieve full production of 450,000 tonnes per year in early 2017, Metal Bulletin reported, citing an industry source. The new line started its production in June and is currently producing at a rate of approximately 25,000 tonnes per annum.

* TerraCom Ltd. subsidiary Orion Mining Pty. Ltd. signed a binding deal to acquire the Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland, Australia, from the Blair Athol joint venture.

* Despite opposition from trade unions, the Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa S.A.-owned Krupinski coal mine in Poland is expected to be transferred to the Mine Restructuring Co., Puls Biznesu reported.

SPECIALTY

* Shanghai-listed Shenghe Resources Holding Ltd. will acquire a 12.5% stake in Greenland Minerals & Energy Ltd. and also agreed to help the ASX-listed company advance the Kvanefjeld rare earth elements project in Greenland.

* Mineral Deposits Ltd. restarted operations at its damaged TiZir titanium and iron ilmenite upgrading facility in Norway, while indicating the possibility of further downtime. The facility, together with the Grande Cote property in Senegal, forms part of a joint venture with France's Eramet.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Jonathan Hobbs, international network director for the extractives sector at World Wildlife Fund told delegates at the China Mining 2016 that a total of at least 35 mega development corridors in Africa, with an estimated length of more than 53,000 kilometers in total, could increase risks of habitat loss, open up remote and pristine areas to illegal or legal exploration, as well as downgrade and downsize protected areas. These resource-based corridors aim to synchronize infrastructure developments in a bid to provide better transportation among industrial sites, mostly mines, according to Hobbs.

* Gross non-performing loans in Indonesia's mining and quarrying sector rose to about 6.77% of total loans in July, compared to 3.82% a year earlier, as miners faced sluggish demand, Reuters reported.

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