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Anglo American considering bundling South African assets for sale

TOP NEWS

Report: Anglo American considering bundling South African assets for sale

Anglo American Plc, which is seeking to offload its iron ore, coal and manganese operations in South Africa in a bid to reduce debt, is leaning toward grouping the assets into one listed entity instead of selling them off piecemeal, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The diversified miner, however, plans to retain the Venetia diamond mine and some platinum mines including Mogalakwena.

Sibanye Gold to buy Stillwater Mining for US$2.2B

Sibanye Gold Ltd. has entered an agreement for a US$2.2 billion purchase of Stillwater Mining Co. at US$18.00 per share. Stillwater's board has unanimously approved the transaction, but it still has to secure approval from shareholders of both companies.

SAIL, Jindal Steel post losses in Q2

Steel Authority of India Ltd. posted a loss of 7.3 billion Indian rupees in the second quarter, its sixth straight quarterly loss, compared to a loss of 11.1 billion rupees in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. posted a loss after tax of 7.47 billion rupees for the second fiscal quarter for 2017, an improvement over the year-ago loss after tax of 9.86 billion rupees.

DIVERSIFIED

* Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said the company intends to focus on its diamond business and improve the quality of its portfolio, Bloomberg News reported. "I would love to have more diamonds to be very explicit. That's a priority area," Jacques said.

* The company named Vera Kirikova to be its human resources group executive and Simone Niven to be its corporate relations group executive, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

BASE METALS

* Contractor workers of Anglo American's Los Bronces copper mine in Chile filed a legal claim against the company over alleged anti-union practices. Union leaders also said that new protests similar to the one Nov. 26 may emerge if the company failed to respond to their labor demands, news radio Bio Bio Chile reported.

* A large number of migrating snow geese died in Montana after about 25,000 birds landed in the acidic wastewater of the Berkeley Pit copper mine, which is currently on care and maintenance and controlled by Montana Resources Inc., BBC reported.

* A report into the latest blackout revealed that the Australian Energy Market Operator ordered transmission group ElectraNet to cut the power supply to BHP Billiton Group's Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia to stabilize the system, The Australian Financial Review reported. The decision follows a protocol agreed in 2015 between AEMO and BHP for such events.

* China's copper imports rose by 31% in November to 380,000 tonnes, as traders stockpiled more metal, given the robust construction demand, Reuters wrote citing customs data.

PRECIOUS METALS

* China Hanking Holdings is going to the Perth Warden's Court to get its Western Australian gold mines cleared for sale. The company is fighting 139 applications alleging it did not fulfill its spending requirements on the tenements, The West Australian wrote.

* Condor Gold Plc reached a settlement with B2Gold Corp. and Royal Gold Inc. over a disputed net smelter return royalty over part of Condor's La India gold project in Nicaragua. The settlement clears the way for the project to advance towards the construction of a 1Mtpa processing plant.

* MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. entered into an option and joint venture agreement to advance exploration on Noble Mineral Exploration Inc.'s Wawa-Holdsworth gold-silver project in Ontario. MacDonald Mines will have the right to earn up to an undivided 75% interest in the project.

* West African Resources Ltd. received environmental approval for its 100%-owned Tanlouka gold project in Burkina Faso, and expects a mining license before the end of the first quarter of 2017.

* Navigator Resources Ltd. has acquired the Violet gold project in Western Australia.

* Gold Road Resources Ltd. confirmed that all conditions precedents related to a 50/50 joint venture with Gold Fields Ltd. to develop and operate the Gruyere gold project in Western Australia have been met, and the completion of the sale of the Gruyere stake to Gold Fields is expected to close by Dec. 13.

* Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. made a discretionary payment against the Chatree loan facility of US$5.2 million and intends to make another payment of about US$5 million by Dec. 9, bringing down the total debt down to about A$13 million from A$72 million at September-end. The company plans to fully repay the Chatree gold mine-related debt by year-end.

* Zimbabwe has again deferred a 15% tax on exports of unbeneficiated platinum to 2018 so that miners can boost their efforts on developing refinery projects, Miningmx reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* U.S. Steel Corp. CEO Mario Longhi was referring to the whole U.S. steel industry, and not just the company, when he spoke about potentially restoring up to 10,000 jobs in the U.S.

* S&P Global Ratings expects U.S. steel companies' improving capital structures and liquidity profiles to lead to stable credit quality in 2017, according to a report. The rating agency also noted that U.S. Steel Corp. and AK Steel Holding Corp. will have a "good year" after taking advantage of the quick run-up in steel prices over the recent months.

* Following a meteoric rise in metallurgical coal prices, market observers wonder whether demand growth will step in to sustain high prices beyond a few quarters. Speaking at the 15th annual Coal Trading Conference in New York, Doyle Trading Consultants CEO Hans Daniels expressed doubt that fundamentals will sustain such high prices.

* As negotiations for first-quarter aluminum term contracts are under way between producers and Japanese buyers, there are concerns in the market following the recent power outage at Alcoa Corp.'s Portland aluminum smelter in Victoria, Australia, that the company will not be able to meet demand, which may impact first-quarter main Japanese ports numbers, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Fletcher Group Holdings, controlled by Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin, is selling around a 1.5% stake in OJSC Novolipetsk Steel, Reuters reported. Following the closing of the sale, Fletcher will control 84% of NLMK.

* Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG said the miner has become a target of a "massive cyber attack" in which technical trade secrets were stolen from the steel production and manufacturing plant design divisions earlier this year, Reuters reported.

* Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd. received notice that Antipodes Gold Ltd. plans to make a full takeover offer for the company. The offer is slated to open Dec. 23 and will remain so until Jan. 31, 2017, unless extended.

* Iron ore miners in India are urging the government to lower export taxes ahead of the national budget announcement Feb. 1, 2017, Mining Weekly said in a news brief.

* China's imports in November grew 6.7% year over year, the fastest in over two years, boosted by increased demand for commodities such as coal and iron ore, Reuters wrote.

* Separately, Reuters reported that China booked its third-largest monthly iron ore import on record, as 91.98 million tonnes of the ore passed customs in November, an increase of 13.8% compared to the previous month.

SPECIALTY

* Premier African Minerals Ltd. has elected not to exercise its option to acquire up to 30% in Casa Mining Ltd.

* Metron Capital Corp. secured a right to acquire 100% of the South Big Smoky property in Nevada from Ultra Lithium Inc. The property consists of 100 mineral claims and is subject to a 3% net smelter return royalty.

* Lucara Diamond Corp. said the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana yielded 1.8 million carats, generating revenue of C$1.02 billion at an average price of C$566 per carat since the start of production in June 2012.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* In the midst of the Argentinean Lower House approval of a bill that reinstates taxes on mining exports, the Minister of Energy and Mining, Juan José Aranguren, defended the earlier removal of these tariffs by the Macri Administration. Meanwhile, Argentinean mining chamber CAEM warned that restoring these charges would endanger more than 12,000 direct jobs and affect exports valued at US$1.3 billion, daily Cronista reported.

* Mining increased its aggregate value in the Dominican GDP by 285.18% between July 2010 and July 2016, from 13.6 billion Dominican pesos to 52.4 billion pesos, according to Ministry of Energy and Mines figures, daily Listín Diario reported.

* Planned changes to Papua New Guinea's mining laws, which include shortening mine leases to 25 years from 40 years, among others, are creating uncertainty ahead of an upcoming election, despite strong interest by investors in the country's mining and energy projects, Reuters reported.

* South Africa's mining output unexpectedly dropped by 2.9% in October from a year earlier, falling short of estimates to grow by 2.6% and reversing the 4.7% uplift in September, Business Day reported.

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. 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.