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Vale to lift iron ore pellet output, cut nickel production in 2018

TOP NEWS

Vale to lift iron ore pellet output, cut nickel production in 2018

Vale SA will lift its iron ore pellet output but reduce its nickel production next year. Metal Bulletin, citing executive director ferrous minerals and coal Peter Poppinga, reported that the company will boost iron ore pellet production by 10% to around 55 million tonnes in 2018, higher from 50 million tonnes this year, on the back of strong market demand. Meanwhile, the company reduced its nickel production forecast by 15% to 263,000 tonnes in 2018, Reuters reported, citing Jennifer Maki, executive director of Vale's base metals unit, at an annual investor presentation.

Newmont outlines improved FY'18, long-term production, cost guidance

Newmont Mining Corp. released improved gold production and all-in sustaining cost guidance for 2018 to 2020. For 2018, the company expects attributable gold production to increase to between 4.9 million and 5.4 million ounces and all-in sustaining costs of between US$965/oz and US$1,025/oz, compared to to previous guidance of between 4.7 million and 5.2 million ounces and all-in sustaining costs of between US$950/oz and US$1,050/oz. Production is expected to remain between 4.9 million and 5.4 million ounces in 2019, and stabilize at between 4.6 million and 5.1 million ounces per year through 2022, excluding development projects which have yet to be approved.

Harmony to tap shareholders to raise US$100M for Moab Khotsong acquisition

Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. intends to raise about US$100 million via a private share placement or a rights issue to refinance part of the bridging finance for the acquisition of the Moab Khotsong gold-uranium mine in South Africa from AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. The other half of the US$200 million bridging finance facility will be refinanced from internal cash resources, the company said.

DIVERSIFIED

* Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman, in an interview with Valor International, said that the company's compliance to transition into the Novo Mercado segment of the B3 made it a true corporation after 20 years of privatization. Schvartsman said that the company faced a difficult process of adapting to the bourse's stringent requirements, which included a voluntary conversion of shares.

* Glencore Plc appointed Gill Marcus, former governor of the South African Reserve Bank, as an independent non-executive director, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

BASE METALS

* The Peruvian government secured the support of the Michiquillay and La Encañada communities in the country's Cajamarca region for the stalled US$2-billion Michiquillay copper-gold-silver-molybdenum project, to avoid a repeat of the previous social conflicts over the project's development, Business News Americas reported.

* Shares of St. George Mining Ltd. plummeted by 29.7% to close at 26 Australian cents per share on the ASX following subpar drilling results from the Mount Alexander nickel project in Western Australia, The West Australian reported.

* Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. released an initial resource estimate for the Seal zinc deposit, which forms part of its namesake property in Nunavut territory, Canada, along with the Storm copper deposit 30 kilometers to the east. Seal hosts inferred resources of 1 million tonnes grading 10.24% zinc and 46.5 g/t of silver, or 11.44% zinc equivalent, for 103,061 tonnes of zinc and 1.5 million ounces of silver.

* The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority indefinitely suspended train services, including copper transportation, after unionized employees in Zambia went on strike, demanding payment of salaries for October and November, Reuters reported. Separately, the Zambian government lifted the ban on night driving for truckers after mining companies said the measure affected their commercial activities. According to Reuters, the ban, which was imposed in 2016, will remain enforced for public transport.

* Rockcliff Metals Corp. released an updated resource estimate for its Talbot copper deposit in central Manitoba, for inferred resources of 4.2 million tonnes at 3.4% copper equivalent.

PRECIOUS METALS

* AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. unit AngloGold Ashanti AU Ltd. and Independence Group NL, partners in the Tropicana gold joint venture, have approved phase one of the Long Island mining strategy, which comprises mining of the Havana South pit and a cutback of the Boston Shaker pit for increased production in the medium term. The full strategy adds 2.1 million ounces to Tropicana's business plan and extends mine life by about seven years to 2027.

* Wishbone Gold Plc resumed construction work on its processing plant in Honduras following the end of the Caribbean hurricane season. Equipment at the plant was previously installed, but commissioning was halted due to the inability to finish the buildings on time prior to inclement weather conditions.

* Belo Sun Mining Corp. said that a Brazilian Federal Court of Appeals in the federal capital of Brasilia upheld the suspension of the construction license for the company's Volta Grande gold property, with the publication of written details pending.

* Lundin Gold Inc. drew an additional US$40 million from the gold prepay credit facility with the Orion Mine Finance Group and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities to fund the development of the Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador.

* OJSC GV Gold may buy the Kamchatka gold mine in Russia from Renova Group for an estimated US$500 million, Vedomosti reported.

* Xtract Resources Plc unit Explorator Ltd. negotiated significantly enhanced terms for the western portion of the alluvial concession under the existing mining contractor agreement for the exploitation of alluvial gold deposits at its Manica mining concession in Mozambique.

* Squire Mining Ltd. said that the owner of the early-stage Star gold-prospective property in central British Columbia, agreed to extend an option to acquire a 51% interest in the property for one year. The company failed to carry out exploration work this year due to forest fire closures and wildfires near the site.

* Canadian Platinum Corp. terminated an agreement to sell its Peter Lake gold property in northern Saskatchewan to American Energy Metals Corp. The company said that American Energy was unable to complete its corporate structuring and failed to meet its initial obligations in the agreed timeframe.

* Vector Resources Ltd. signed agreements with Société Minière de Kilo-Moto SARL to form joint ventures for the development of the Kibali South and Nizi gold projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

* Noble Metals Ltd. said that US$2.5 million was misappropriated from the accounts of its GPS Metals Lab subsidiary by former managing director Miguel Palomino, who resigned in October due to health and personal reasons.

BULK COMMODITIES

* ArcelorMittal restarted operations at the blast furnace No. 2 at its steelmaking plant in Bremen, Germany, after two months of modernization, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Israel Chemicals Ltd. agreed to sell its fire safety and oil additives business units to private investment firm SK Capital for a total of about US$1 billion. The sale of the divisions, which have low synergies with the company's core mineral chains, is expected to close in the first half of 2018.

* Constellium NV strengthened its long-term partnership with Audi as the primary supplier of aluminum automotive body sheet and structural components for the Audi A7 Sportback.

* Brazilian steelmaker Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA, which has suspended its Cubatão plant since January 2016 due to a financial crisis, is rethinking its laminated sheets production as market demand starts to pick up, Estadão reported. According to sources, there is criticism within the company on the decision to suspend the facility, as it would take at least five years for Cubatão to reach full capacity again.

* Kobe Steel Ltd.'s data falsification scandal may lead to its sale or merger with a rival company due to the potential high cost over compensations to affected customers, Bloomberg News reported.

* National Mineral Development Corp. Ltd. is planning to increase its iron ore mining capacity by 19% to 67 million tonnes by 2022, The Hindu reported, citing Managing Director N. Baijendra Kumar. He added that the company was likely to ink a memorandum of understanding with Masan Resources January 2018 to acquire a minority stake in a tungsten mine in Vietnam.

* Ferrexpo Plc declared a special dividend of 3.3 U.S. cents per share, as the company continued to trade strongly after it announced positive first-half results and its cash flows further reduced net debt and funded CapEx.

* Griffin Coal and the union representing the maintenance staff of the company's Collie coal mine in Western Australia supported a recommendation from the Fair Work Commission to cut the workers' salaries but retained certain work-hour related stipulations, The West Australian reported.

* The U.S. Commerce Department announced plans to impose import duties on certain steel products from Vietnam that originate from China, to curb evasion of existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on corrosion-resistant and certain cold-rolled steel products.

* Additionally, the department increased antidumping duties on South Korean steel imports to 40.8%, from the 10.09% announced in October, after adjusting the South Korean won to U.S. dollar exchange rate, The Korea Times reported.

SPECIALTY

* Boss Resources Ltd. agreed to acquire all of the shares in Wattle Mining Pty Ltd. to take its ownership in the Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia to 100%. Wattle holds the remaining 20% of the shares in Boss Energy Pty Ltd, the holding company for Boss Uranium Pty Ltd and the Honeymoon project, which is currently placed on care and maintenance. The completion of the transaction is expected in February 2018.

* Diamond Fields International Ltd. rebranded as Diamond Fields Resources Inc. and will trade under the ticker DFR on the TSX Venture Exchange.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Barrick Gold Corp. is looking to hire artificial intelligence experts to manage projects that use technology for various activities, from exploration to robot-controlled mining, Reuters reported.

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