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Anglo American to push ahead with South African asset sales despite price rally

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Anglo American to push ahead with South African asset sales despite price rally

TOP NEWS

Anglo to push ahead with South African asset disposals despite price rally

Despite the recent rally in commodities prices, Anglo American Plc will push ahead with the proposed South African asset disposals as part of its business reorganization plan announced in February. The rebound in prices for iron ore, as well as coking and thermal coal, will enable the mining giant to get better prices for the assets, Bloomberg News reported, citing the company's deputy chairman of South African operations, Norman Mbazima.

Canadian court allows labor case against Nevsun to proceed in BC

A lawsuit filed by six Eritreans against Nevsun Resources Ltd. over forced labor at the company's Bisha mine can proceed in British Columbia, but they would have to file separate cases, Reuters reported, citing a Canadian court. The miner called for the dismissal of the case, arguing that any lawsuit should be heard in Eritrea, but this was rejected by the court.

Tata Steel's Q2'17 steel output, sales rise YOY

Tata Steel Ltd.'s hot metal and crude steel output rose 17% and 13% year over year, respectively, to 3.12 million tonnes and 2.82 million tonnes in its fiscal second quarter of 2017. The Indian steelmaker's salable steel output for the quarter increased by 11% to 2.73 million tonnes, while sales were slightly up on a yearly basis, to 2.62 million tonnes from 2.33 million tonnes. Separately, the steel major raised 10 billion Indian rupees through a private placement of 8.15% unsecured, nonconvertible debentures.

BASE METALS

* Unionized workers downed tools at Amerigo Resources Ltd.'s Minera Valle Central copper operation in Chile, after the 216-member union decided to reject the company's final wage offer.

* Boliden AB agreed to sell its Noralf aluminum fluoride operations at the Odda zinc smelter in Norway to Italian firm Fluorsid SpA for €12.5 million. The divestment is in line with Boliden's strategy of increasing its focus on core zinc operations at Odda, and expanding zinc output to 200,000 tonnes per annum from the second quarter of 2017.

* According to ABC, Independence Group NL's A$20.5 million takeover bid for Windward Resources Ltd. is nearly complete as the former picked up 14.13 million Windward shares for about A$2.7 million the same day it extended the offer.

* Cruz Capital Corp. off-loaded one of its cobalt assets, divesting its stake in an Idaho cobalt firm to Scientific Metals Corp. in exchange for 2 million shares.

* The Philippine government will make a final decision on further mine suspensions by the end of this month, Bloomberg News wrote, citing Environment Undersecretary Leo Jasareno. Officials are informing mining companies of proposed suspensions, leaving them a week to respond and another week for the department to review their replies before reaching a final decision, Jasareno added.

* Australia's Takeovers Panel will not investigate Jervois Mining Ltd.'s claims that shareholder Scandium Development International Pty. Ltd. formed an alliance with other shareholders in an attempt to overthrow the board.

* In the period from January to September, L'sea Resources International Holdings Ltd.'s Renison tin project in Tasmania, Australia, produced a total of 4,547 tonnes of tin in concentrates, down 7.7% on a yearly basis.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Goldcorp Inc. said negotiations with protesters blockading the Penasquito gold mine in Zacatecas, Mexico, continue, while it remains unclear if access — or how much access — to the mine site has been regained. Hector Alvarado, a spokesman for Zacatecas Gov. Alejandro Tello, said workers could leave the mine, in response to questions from SNL Metals & Mining about the state of the blockade. Goldcorp spokeswoman Christine Marks, however, said via email that "the situation is dynamic," and the company "will provide an update when there is material news."

* Since the 50% devaluation of the ruble after 2014, Russian gold miners have been the most profitable and lowest-cost in the world, but market valuations have not reflected this yet, according to Boris Yatsenko, head of metals and mining in Russia at EY.

* Coeur Mining Inc.'s third-quarter silver output totaled 3.5 million ounces while gold production came in at 84,871 ounces. The company also lifted its 2016 production guidance to 34.4 million to 37.0 million silver equivalent ounces.

* Central Rand Gold Ltd. entered an agreement to acquire mine waste dump material located near its metallurgical plant in South Africa, which started processing operations in late July. The company signed the agreement after confirming that the first-phase mine waste dump contains 2.3 million tonnes of gold-bearing material, with an average in situ grade of 0.7 g/t of gold.

* Alamos Gold Inc.'s environmental impact assessment for the initial phase of its La Yaqui gold project secured final approval from Mexico's federal environmental agency, SEMARNAT.

* Tethyan Resources Plc has decided to pull out of its joint venture with Balkan Mineral Corporate d.o.o. over the latter's Cadinje polymetallic project in Serbia after recent drill results returned low gold assays and did not improve on historical assays from area.

* Silver Standard Resources Inc. signed a four-year option agreement with Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. to acquire up to an 80% interest in the early-stage Fisher gold project in Saskatchewan.

* Lindian Resources Ltd. has executed a binding deal to acquire the Uyowa and Kahama gold projects in Tanzania through the purchase of Tangold Pty. Ltd., which owns the projects through its Tanzanian subsidiary, Hapa Gold Ltd.

* Evolution Mining Ltd. Chairman Jake Klein expects gold prices to remain strong amid geopolitical and fiscal uncertainty, despite the prospects of a U.S. interest rate hike later this year, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Klein advised Australian miners to spend more time and money exploring and extending the lives of mines to attract foreign investment, The Sydney Morning Herald wrote.

* St Barbara Ltd. witnessed a slight quarter-over-quarter increase in gold ounces produced during the first quarter of the 2017 financial year to 92,547 ounces, compared to 92,033 ounces in the final quarter of the last financial year.

* South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers said one of its members died after succumbing to injuries, African News Agency reported. The Sibanye Gold Ltd. employee was assaulted Oct. 4 at the company's Cooke gold project.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Russian fertilizer producer PJSC Uralkali's potassium chloride production reached 2.8 million tonnes in the third quarter, down from 3 million tonnes produced a year ago. The company's output reached 7.9 million tonnes in the first nine months of the year, compared to 8.7 million tonnes recorded a year earlier.

* Japanese aluminum buyers will be required to pay a premium of US$75 per tonne over the London Metal Exchange cash price for their shipments in the fourth quarter, Reuters reported. The new settlement will set the benchmark for Asian physical aluminum markets, and represents a 20% decrease from the previous quarterly per tonne premium of between US$90 and US$93.

* Workers ended a strike at Shougang Hierro Perú's operations after three weeks, following a wage increase, Metal Bulletin reported. The workers restarted activities at the iron ore operations after the agreement, General Manager Raúl Vera La Torre added.

* The Industrial Development Corp. approved a 244.1 million South African rand funding package for Ironveld Plc's high purity iron-vanadium-titanium project in South Africa's Bushveld Complex, and entered a supply deal for its high purity iron powder.

* IRC Ltd.'s K&S iron ore mine in Russia sold all the remaining material produced during previous trial production. The iron ore concentrates produced and sold during trial production amounted to about 23,000 tonnes.

* A Brazilian regional court accepted Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.'s request to invalidate the May 25 board decision to appoint Sergio Leite as CEO of Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA. Nippon Steel, a significant shareholder in Usiminas, said the board did not consult the Japanese firm when it appointed Leite.

* Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board has approved TerraCom Ltd.'s A$1 acquisition of the Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland, Australia, from the Blair Athol coal joint venture, Mining Weekly reported.

* The former executive director of Atlas Iron Ltd. and current CEO of Pilbara Minerals Ltd., Ken Brinsden, has called for a public debate over the historic rental agreements between Western Australia, BHP Billiton Group and Rio Tinto, as the aging deals are creating an uneven playing field for other miners, The Australian Financial Review reported. Brinsden was cited as saying that both mining majors had enjoyed enormous support to help them grow, massively discounted royalties and incredibly supportive conditions in their state agreements.

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has extended the timeline for the sale of Glencore Plc's coal haulage operations, GRail, in Hunter Valley, New South Wales, to Dec. 15. The regulator said a third competitor, in addition to Aurizon and Pacific National, is needed to enter the market to break the status quo, the Australian Associated Press reported.

* Katowicki Holding Weglowy SA and bondholders agreed on the terms for bonds totaling more than 1 billion Polish zlotys, with a standstill agreement set to be signed Oct. 7, Puls Biznesu reported.

* Kommersant reported that Alexey Mordashov, the 79.2% owner and head of the board of directors of PAO Severstal, asked the Russian government to "take measures" to make sure that domestic consumers purchase fittings and other metal products at "the old, higher prices" in letters to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, and Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Igor Artemyev.

* Kommersant also reported that stocks of coal enterprises of the Kemerovo region exceeded the norm by 1.8-fold, reaching 16 million tonnes. Coal producers have proposed slowing the write-off of old railway carriages to avoid any deficiency. Russian Railways vows to accept all applications but notes that an increase in production is the reason for coal oversupply in warehouses, despite a promise not to do it.

SPECIALTY

* According to a report by BMI Research, the Chinese government is expected to ramp up rare earth element exports, in an effort to regain control over pricing policy, reversing its previous export-restrictive strategy, Mining Weekly reported.

* Firestone Diamonds Plc has started mining activities at its 75%-owned Liqhobong diamond mine in Lesotho after completing construction work. Commissioning of the processing plant is now in the final stages, and commercial production is expected to start this quarter.

* Dakota Minerals Ltd. agreed to sell its Lynas Find lithium project in Western Australia to Pilbara Minerals Ltd., a day after releasing a maiden resource estimate.

* Merlin Diamonds Ltd. restarted operations at its Merlin diamond mine in the Northern Territory, Australia, and the first production of diamonds from the concentrate generated by the DMS plant is expected by mid-October.

* Kimberley Diamonds Ltd. secured a six-month supply agreement for diamonds from its Lerala diamond mine in Botswana.

* PJSC ALROSA called for the simplification of diamond exports as individuals cannot take them abroad if their value is more than US$25,000, Vedomosti reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Fred Cawood, director of the Mining Institute at Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand, said South Africa is developing drones for the mining industry to be utilized for inspections in potentially unsafe areas underground, Reuters reported.

* Chile's environmental evaluation service approved seven mining-related projects in the previous month, with planned investment totaling US$581 million, Business News Americas 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.