Mechel completes debt restructuring with state banks
Mechel PAO extended the maturity on 70.2 billion Russian rubles of credit lines with VTB Bank until 2022. Payment on the debt was extended to the first quarter of 2020, with repayment by the first quarter of 2022. Additionally, the company renegotiated the terms of about €45 million in trade financing and extended the deal until April 2022.
Sun Zhaoxue, a former vice chairman of Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., or Chalco, was sentenced by a Chinese court to jail for 16 years for graft, Reuters reported, citing a court statement.
Rostec Corp. CEO Sergei Chemezov said the Russian state-owned group will mull selling a 25% stake in the Sukhoi Log joint venture to partner PJSC Polyus, Reuters reported.
* Glencore Plc and Qatar Investment Authority have jointly spent about US$11.5 billion to grab a 19.5% stake in Russia's state-run oil giant Rosneft, Reuters and Sputnik reported.
* X2 Resources, a fund set up by mining veteran Mick Davis to snap up assets during the commodities downturn, has spent over £11 million on pay, rent and other costs over the past two years, but has yet to secure any deal, The Australian reported.
* PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel inked a deal to buy copper concentrate from Rostec Corp., with an estimated volume of 1.5 million tonnes, containing base and precious metals. The transaction is valued at about 67.5 billion Russian rubles.
* A federal judge in Argentina's San Juan province filed charges against the chairman of Antofagasta Plc's Minera Los Pelambres, Francisco Veloso, over alleged illegal mining tailings deposited at Glencore's El Pachon copper mine in the province, daily Tiempo de San Juan reported.
* The Australian Takeovers Panel has decided not to intervene in a bid by shareholders to stop Kasbah Resources Ltd. from going ahead with a A$3.7 million placement to Pala Investments Ltd. The regulator said that applicants Lois Lane Investments Pty. Ltd. and Bloom Financial Advice Pty. Ltd. did not provide sufficient evidence to justify the panel making further inquiries.
* China's Chihong Zn & Ge will close two zinc smelters, each with an annual capacity of less than 30,000 tonnes, as the company plans to upgrade another small smelter to a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year, Metal Bulletin reported.
* Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said the government will aim at boosting pending mining projects, including Anglo American Plc's Quellaveco, Southern Copper Corp.'s Tia Maria and Galeano, as part of ongoing efforts to increase investment in the country, news agency Andina reported.
* Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. not to sue the government over the closure of the company's Chatree gold mine, noting that the move was just a suspension, The Nation reported.
* Separately, Kingsgate said the final payment against the Akara loan facility of US$6.3 million was made Dec. 23, and the Chatree mine is now debt free. Additionally, the company has received the final payment of A$4.1 million from Silver Mines Ltd., which completes the sale of the remaining 15% of the Bowdens silver project in New South Wales to Silver Mines.
* Manas Resources Ltd. completed the sale of all of its assets in the Kyrgyz Republic to Chinese state-owned Guizhou Geological and Mineral Resources Development Co. Ltd. and Kyrgyz firm NewGeo Technology LLC. The sale includes the Shambesai gold project and Savoyardy gold assets.
* Yamana Gold Inc. closed its offering of purchase rights and related transactions related to taking its Brio Gold Inc. spin off public. The company transferred 17,324,507 common Brio Gold shares priced at C$3.25 apiece for aggregate proceeds of C$56.3 million.
* Separately, Reuters reported that Kuczynski proposed dredging Peru's biggest reservoir and a key source of water for drinking and farming in the northern Piura region to extract as "much more gold" than what the country's biggest gold mine holds. Kuczynski said the reservoir could hold 1 gram of gold per cubic meter in 580 million cubic meters of sediment.
* Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. returned to full production at its unit Shanxi Huaxing Aluminum Co. Ltd.'s alumina plant after a pulp leakage, Metal Bulletin reported, citing a company spokesman. The leakage, caused by an equipment failure at the Shanxi Huaxing refinery, resulted in a loss of 940 tonnes of alumina production.
* South32 Ltd. secured approval for two more 305 meter-wide longwalls at its Dendrobium coal mine in New South Wales, extracting coal from underneath the Metropolitan Special Area created to protect the waters of the Avon, Cataract, Cordeaux and Nepean reservoirs, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The miner noted that the approval, which was made despite incomplete studies, would secure up to 400 jobs.
* OJSC Novolipetsk Steel intends to build a new walking-beam reheating furnace to streamline the slab heating process at NLMK Pennsylvania LLC, a plant with a production capacity of 1.7 million tonnes of hot-rolled steel per year.
* The Korea International Trade Association said North Korea's coal exports to China jumped 112.1% on a yearly basis in November to US$139.4 million, The Korea Herald reported. This was observed ahead of the U.N. Security Council's resolution on Nov. 30 to curb North Korean mineral exports, the organization added.
* Peabody Energy Corp. is one step closer to emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the company filed a plan of reorganization and disclosure statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on Dec. 22, covering a new capital structure that will significantly reduce the company's pre-filing debt levels by more than US$5 billion.
* Industrial and Commercial Bank of China signed three debt-for-equity swaps with Shanxi province's highly indebted state-owned coal and steel firms, Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Co. Ltd., Datong Coal Mine Group Co. Ltd. and Yangquan Coal Industry (Group), to cut their corporate leverage, Reuters reported.
* A worker at the government-owned Singareni Collieries Co.'s Prakasam Khani opencast project-II in the Indian town of Manuguru was killed in an incident involving two vehicles, The Hindu reported.
* The European Commission started a probe into allegations of dumping of grey iron and ductile cast iron by India and China into the EU, The Hindu reported. A complaint was launched by seven EU-based producers in late October, saying that the dumping was harming the local industry.
* The closure or reduced output of several Chinese steel mills, coal-fired power plants and other exhaust-spewing factories this week will be felt across major bulk commodities markets into 2017, Reuters reported citing Paul Bloxham, chief economist for global commodities at HSBC Bank in Sydney.
* Tata Steel Ltd. signed definitive agreements to acquire Brahmani River Pellets Ltd. from Aryan Mining and Trading Corp. Pvt. Ltd. and other owners within the Moorgate Industries Group for a total of 9 billion Indian rupees.
* According to a Financial Times survey of 20 analysts' forecasts, the U.S. steel sector is expected to return to growth in 2017, with output projected to increase on weaker imports and buoyant demand from the construction and energy sectors. The crude steel production will rise by 4.4% in the next year, reversing nearly two years of contraction.
* To balance the domestic steel market, Iran may cut import duties on flat steel by half to 10% on the back of insufficient supplies in the country as well as to support recovering downstream industries, Metal Bulletin reported, citing Deputy Minister of Industries Jafar Sarqeyni.
* Thailand's Iron and Steel Industry Club expects the country's iron and steel industry to grow by 10% in 2017, with around 17.5 million tonnes of iron and steel products being used, Thailand's Manager Daily reported.
* CCX Carvão da Colômbia SA will liquidate its remaining assets in Colombia as commercial output is not viable and that attempting to off-load these assets will be impractical, Business News Americas reported.
* The Vorkuta City Court in Russia suspended operations at all the mines of owned by AO Vorkutaugol, OAO Severstal's coal mining unit, for 90 days beginning Dec. 26, due to alleged violations in the equipment of lock chambers, Kommersant reported. The decision was made at the request of mine safety agency Rostekhnadzor.
* ArcelorMittal's Polish unit invested over 500 million Polish zlotys for the renovation of a blast furnace in Krakow, Poland, this year, Puls Biznesu reported.
* According to some Chilean Corp. of Capital Goods data, mining investment projects for the period 2016 to 2020 would total US$13.06 billion, the lowest since 2008, and representing 22% of the total investment expected nationwide. Codelco would account for 52% of the investment in the sector, daily El Mercurio reported.
* Salary expectations of top first and second level executives in the mining sector have declined. On average, they are willing to change jobs for a 5% raise, according to a study by consultancy firm DNA Human Capital, daily Pulso reported.
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