Anglo American reconsidering downsize plans
On the back of a recent rally in commodity prices, Anglo American Plc is said to be reconsidering its plan to sell off two-thirds of its mines and lay off about half of its employees, The Australian reported, citing a person familiar with the plan. In December 2015, the company announced a "radical" restructuring program, targeting to slash its assets by 60% and to reduce the number of jobs by 85,000 to around 50,000.
HudBay Minerals Inc. will invest US$346 million between 2017 and 2021 to develop its Constancia copper project in Cusco, Peru, Portal Minero reported, citing daily Gestión.
Indonesia will allow miners to continue exporting mineral concentrates beyond January 2017 if they meet certain conditions, according to Darmin Nasution, the country's coordinating minister for economic affairs. A Reuters report said the conditions include a special mining license, the payment of export taxes and the building of smelters within five years.
* Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. beat its rivals to 42 mining and exploration leases in Western Australia's Pilbara region last financial year by paying the state's Department of Mines and Petroleum for numerous electronic information requests on land parcels before a free, daily public release of data on the leases' availability.
* 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 enquiries.
* HudBay Minerals will merge with two of its subsidiaries, Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. and Hudson Bay Exploration and Development Co. Ltd., effective Jan. 1, 2017, and change its name to Hudbay Minerals Inc.
* After 40 years of secrecy, Chile's controversial Reserved Copper Law, under which state miner Codelco must hand the country's armed forces 10% of its sales, was published in the Official Gazette, daily Pulso reported.
* Codelco informed that it partially suspended operations at its Andina Division for eight days between Dec. 13 and Dec. 21. The unit operated at 40% capacity during the period to conduct maintenance work and solve structural problems, daily Pulso reported.
* Meanwhile, Codelco has developed a plan to continue its Nuevo Nivel Mina project, suspended in 2014 due to geomechanical problems, to expand the lifespan of its El Teniente copper mine in Chile by 50 years. However, chairman Óscar Landerretche acknowledged before Congress that the investment required for the project is still under assessment, daily Pulso reported.
* Chilean national mining company Empresa Nacional de Minera, or Enami, doubled investment to US$700 million to modernize its Paipote foundry, to comply with the new legislation that forces mining companies with smelting operations to capture 95% of emissions beginning in 2018, daily El Mercurio reported.
* Peru President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski expressed his interest in unlocking and bringing forward mining projects that are currently paralyzed or deferred in the South American country, including Southern Copper Corp.'s Tia Maria copper project, daily La República reported.
* Xanadu Mines Ltd. has committed to spending over A$4.5 million on exploration across its advanced porphyry copper-gold projects in the South Gobi porphyry Belt in 2017 to target the discovery of additional copper-gold deposits on its projects at Kharmagtai and Oyut Ulaan.
* PJSC Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant received a mandatory offer from Ural MMC to acquire 2,402,507 shares of the former at 681 Russian rubles apiece. The company will have 75 days to accept or reject Ural MMC's offer.
* Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBC Daily reported that gold miner GV Gold found a partner to fight for the largest undeveloped gold deposit in Sukhoi Log — Rosatom. The parties established a joint venture named BGRK, with Rosatom receiving a 25% stake. This will ensure compliance with the terms of the auction that state presence is required in the capital of applicants with foreign investors. Two other applications for Sukhoi Log have already been filed by the joint venture of Polyus Gold International Ltd. and Rostec and by the consortium of VTB and Ibrahim Palankoev.
* Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. closed the C$4 million acquisition of Sonoro Metals Corp.'s Chipriona gold project in Mexico.
* AuRico Metals Inc. entered into a definitive arrangement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding securities of Kiska Metals Corp., offering 0.0667 of an AuRico common share for every Kiska share held, for a total deal value of about C$9.6 million.
* SEMAFO Inc. was granted the mining permit application for the Natougou gold project in Burkina Faso. The first gold pour from the mine is expected in the second half of 2018.
* IAMGOLD Corp. struck a definitive deal to acquire the remaining shares of its 23%-owned Merrex Gold Inc. The companies have a 50/50 joint venture on the Siribaya gold project in Mali.
* Data from consultancy GlobalData showed that global platinum production is set to increase to 6.7 million ounces by 2020 from 6.4 million ounces in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate of 1.7%, Mining Weekly reported.
* L&M Coal Holdings Ltd. filed legal proceedings in the High Court to force Bathurst Resources Ltd. to make a US$40 million performance payment under a 2010 sale and purchase agreement, through which Bathurst acquired shares in Buller Coal Ltd. Bathurst denies that it is in default.
* Vedomosti and RBC Daily reported that En+ Group Ltd., the energy and metallurgical assets of Oleg Deripaska, is considering an IPO in 2017. The company consulted about the placement in London or Hong Kong.
* Vedomosti reported that Sberbank of Russia postponed the repayment of Mechel PAO's debt of 5 billion Russian rubles for half a year from 2016 to July 2017. The repayment was part of the debt restructuring plan adopted in February this year.
* Malaysia once again extended the ban on bauxite mining for another three months until March 2017 in order to clear stockpiles of the aluminum-making ingredient, Reuters and Metal Bulletin reported, citing the country's Natural Resources and Environment minister, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
* IRC Ltd.'s ramp-up program at the K&S iron ore mine in Russia is making progress, with the ball mills running at 75% of their full capacity. The company expects to resolve some non-crucial issues identified during the ball mill test in time and targets commercial production from K&S by early 2017.
* PT Adaro Energy Tbk approved an interim dividend of US$60.8 million, or 0.19 U.S. cent per share, for its fiscal 2016. The Indonesian coal miner paid a US$35 million cash dividend for 2015.
* OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works signed an agreement with Eurasian Resources Group BV for the supply of more than 30 million tonnes of iron ore from the latter's Sokolovsko-Sarbayskaya mine in Kazakhstan, to MMK through 2020.
* The board of Spanish stainless steelmaker Acerinox approved a plan targeting savings of about €50 million in 2017-2018, Metal Bulletin reported.
* PT Antam (Persero) Tbk signed a cooperation agreement with PT Wijaya Karya Tbk and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. for the construction of a ferronickel plant, Infobank reported.
* Turkey's Ministry of Economy has initiated anti-dumping investigations into steel plate imported from China, Metal Bulletin reported.
* European Lithium Ltd. has struck a cash and scrip deal to sell its Paynes Find gold project in Western Australia to Cervantes Gold Pty. Ltd. for A$1.0 million.
* Stornoway Diamond Corp. achieved commercial production at its Renard diamond mine in north-central Quebec earlier this month.
* Metals Australia Ltd. has completed the acquisition of Quebec Lithium Ltd., allowing the former to proceed with its planned exploration activities at the Lac La Motte lithium project and the Lac Rainy Nord graphite project in Quebec, which are scheduled to start in early 2017.
* According to a recent report from S&P Global Ratings, low commodity prices over the past 24 months have contributed to the deteriorating credit quality of a number of U.S. metals and mining companies, leading several firms to restructure through bankruptcy or asset divestments. S&P said ratings have become increasingly stable over the past quarter, and it expects the trend to continue as companies emerge from bankruptcy with stronger credit measures.
* Indonesia's energy and mining minister said the government is considering allowing miners to negotiate the extensions of their permits five years before expiry. According to Reuters, the country's current rules only allow the negotiation two years before permits expire.
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
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