Maryland-based law firm Brower Piven initiated an investigation into possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law by the board of Stillwater Mining Co. over the US$2.2 billion sale of the company to Sibanye Gold Ltd. The law firm is investigating whether Stillwater's board failed to satisfy their duties to shareholders, including whether the board adequately pursued alternatives to the acquisition and sought the best price possible.
Newmont Mining Corp. expects to record a noncash impairment charge of between US$1.0 billion and US$1.2 billion during the fourth quarter of 2016 due to an increase in the estimated future closure costs for its Yanacocha gold mine in Peru.
Liberty House plans to increase its U.K. steel output to 5 million tonnes in five years, with the company weighing up its options to develop new furnaces in Scotland and the Midlands to help meet the target, Reuters reported, citing Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta. Gupta added that due diligence on the £100 million deal for Tata Steel Ltd.'s specialty steel business should be completed by February-end.
* Mahmoud Thiam, Guinea's former mining minister, who claimed that Rio Tinto offered him bribes, has been charged in the U.S. with laundering bribes from an unnamed Chinese company, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* Rio Tinto-backed Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. said concentrate shipments from its Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia have resumed. After discussions with Chinese and Mongolian authorities, Oyu Tolgoi will follow a new joint coal and concentrate crossing route at the Chinese-Mongolian border.
* A district court fined Clive Palmer's former company Queensland Nickel Inc. A$50,000 for overflows of contaminated water from its tailings dam near Townsville, Queensland, in April 2014, ABC News reported.
* Copper exports from Indonesia are under threat in light of the government's ban on overseas concentrate shipments as of Jan. 11, 2017, Bloomberg News reported. Ministers are rushing to revise the rules, but there is no guarantee the deadline will be met. Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s Grasberg mine in Papua province could also be impacted, even though CEO Richard Adkerson said he is confident the issue will be resolved.
* Nyrstar N.V. signed share purchase agreements to sell its Contonga zinc-lead-copper mine in Peru, along with other mineral claims in Quebec, to units of Glencore Plc for US$26 million.
* Eramet's Societe Metallurgique Le Nickel unit and Societe des Mines de la Tontouta applied for permits to increase nickel ore exports to China in 2017, as China is in need of new sources after the Philippines halted production at some mines for environmental violations, Reuters wrote, citing four sources familiar with the matter.
* PanAust Ltd. signed an agreement to fully acquire Metro Mining Ltd.'s interest in the Mahar San copper-gold exploration project in Myanmar.
* ASX-listed Royalco Resources Ltd. finally accepted a hostile takeover bid by Fitzroy River Corp. Ltd. after the latter raised the price of its off-market offer to 20 Australian cents per share, which values Royalco at about A$10.5 million, from the previous offer of 18 cents per share.
* CME Group Inc., Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and the London Metal Exchange are planning new contracts to compete with the London Bullion Market Association as it unveils trade reporting for its members and a new trading platform in the first half of next year, Bloomberg News reported.
* Goldcorp Inc. has mandated that Bank of Nova Scotia sell its Camino Rojo gold-silver project in Mexico, which could fetch about US$200 million, Bloomberg News wrote, citing people familiar with the matter. The bank is also working on the sale of the miner's Los Filos gold mine in Mexico, which is said to be in advanced stages and could close for about US$300 million.
* Kingsrose Mining Ltd.'s board appointed Michael Ryan and Ian Francis of FTI Consulting as voluntary administrators as part of the continued efforts to restructure the company.
* Human rights groups have welcomed Thailand's announcement to suspend all gold mining operations in the country from Jan. 1, due to the effect on locals and the environment, Mining Weekly wrote. No new mining licenses would be issued, according to the country's government.
* Meanwhile, Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. CEO Greg Foulis acknowledged the decision but added that the company's Chatree gold operations in Thailand never damaged the environment or the health of villagers.
* Sibanye is expected to launch its West Rand Tailings Retreatment project in the next six months, Mining Weekly wrote. The project aims to recover 11 million ounces of gold and 170 million pounds of uranium from 1.3 billion tonnes of tailings and could potentially generate thousands of jobs.
* Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd. is set to undertake a comprehensive review of the Batangas gold project in the Philippines in the first quarter of 2017 and is now in advanced talks with a potential local partner that will handle the permitting process and progressing the project to production. The company also held talks with the Philippine Stock Exchange regarding a potential local listing for its subsidiary.
* Capital Mining Ltd. submitted a new exploration license application for an area surrounding its Mayfield project in southeastern New South Wales, Australia, which will expand the project by about 178 square kilometers. The new area hosts numerous gold and base metal prospects, according to the statement.
* Abdoulaye Pona, president of Mali's Chamber of Mines, said the country's informal mining sector could produce as much gold as the big industrial companies if organized, Reuters reported. According to an estimate by chamber, over a million artisanal miners work at about 350 sites, producing between 10 tonnes and 15 tonnes of gold a year.
* Precipitate Gold Corp. secured a 100% interest in the Juan de Herrera gold project in the Dominican Republic after making a final option payment totaling C$75,000 and 1.0 million common shares to the vendor, 0945044 BC Ltd.
* An Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. unit agreed to acquire Sonoro Metals Corp.'s Chipriona gold project in Mexico for C$4 million plus a 1% net smelter returns royalty.
* BHP Billiton Group again indicated that its Samarco iron ore joint venture with Vale SA in Brazil could restart operations in 2017 at a reduced capacity. Applications to resume mining have already been lodged, though Samarco also needs debt restructuring to resume operations.
* India's Directorate General of Safeguards, which comes under the finance ministry, will not impose safeguards on some aluminum products, based on a lack of evidence that imports are hurting the profitability of domestic producers, Reuters reported.
* Strike Resources Ltd. entered into a deal with a subsidiary of Zhongrong Xinda Group Co. Ltd. to sell its Apurimac and Cusco iron ore projects in Peru for US$10 million.
* The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ordered Venezuela to pay Tenaris SA US$162 million for expropriating its investments in Tubos de Acero de Venezuela SA and Complejo Siderurgico de Guayana, Reuters reported.
* Indonesian coal miner Dian Swastatika Sentosa, a unit of Sinar Mas Group, will spend US$150 million in CapEx in 2017 to expand coal-fired power plants, The Jakarta Globe reported.
* Gabon is seeking financial and technical Chinese partners for the large-scale Belinga project, where iron reserves are estimated at more than 1 billion tonnes, Mining.com reported. Meanwhile, a consortium comprising Gabon and Eramet is targeting Chinese partners to help accelerate operations at the Maboumine polymetallic project.
* North China's Henan province plans to shut down 158 coal mines within next two years, involving a total of 39.63 million tonnes of excessive capacity, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing data from the province's development & reform commission. Local authorities would also grant a reward of 2.5 million Chinese yuan for each mine that is closed next year and 2 million for the mines to be shut down in 2018.
* PJSC ALROSA repaid a US$370 million bank loan to JSC UniCredit Bank received in April 2014, bringing down the company's debt to US$2.3 billion.
* Paladin Energy Ltd. sold its entire shareholding in Deep Yellow Ltd. for A$2.6 million. The company also divested of a number of noncore exploration assets, which were bought by Uranium Africa Ltd. for A$2.5 million. The asset package includes the Oobagooma project in Western Australia and the Angela/Pamela and Bigrlyi projects in the Northern Territory.
* Core Exploration Ltd. acquired a 574-square-kilometer, lithium-prospective granted exploration license in the Barrow Creek pegmatite field in Australia's Northern Territory.
* Top Federal Reserve officials announced that they raised the target range of the U.S. central bank's key interest rate by 25 basis points after their final monetary policy meeting of 2016.
* Ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates, S&P Global Ratings warned that almost one in 10 corporate debt issuers around the globe could be downgraded if credit spreads return to levels seen during the financial crisis. S&P said that among the sectors in the worst quintile in its stress scenario is the metals and mining industry.
* A report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development about South Africa's gold misinvoicing was "flawed" and "empirically incorrect," according to a study commissioned by South Africa's Chamber of Mines, Mining Weekly reported.
* A new report by EY found that the mining sector is losing over 20% of its productivity to an integration gap between the mine and production plant and between the maintenance and supply chain.
* India's Mines Ministry has started discussions with stakeholders to develop an action plan for the remediation of mined-out areas and abandoned mines in the country, Mining Weekly said in a news brief.
* South African Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and his Nigerian counterpart, Kayode Fayemi, endorsed a two-year action plan on the countries' cooperation in geology, mining and mineral processing. According to Mining Weekly, both ministers agreed to start the plan's implementation in January 2017.
* Nathan Tinkler's offer to settle the A$553.8 million owed to 14 creditors for A$700,000 is up for vote by the creditors Dec. 21, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The biggest creditors include AET Ltd./Credit Suisse AG with a A$424.4 million claim and the tax office with a A$106 million claim.
S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Ratings are owned by S&P Global Inc.
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.