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Vale allows use of nearby pit for storing tailings upon Samarco restart

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Vale allows use of nearby pit for storing tailings upon Samarco restart

TOP NEWS

Vale allows use of nearby pit for storing Samarco tailings

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA will allow the use of its nearby Timbopeba pit to deposit Samarco tailings should it resume operations. Vale will transfer the Timbopeba pit to Samarco Mineração SA, the joint venture company with BHP Billiton Group, in exchange for supplying raw run-of-mine ore.

S&P revises issue-level ratings on US metals, mining companies

S&P Global Ratings revised the issue-level ratings on 13 rated debt issues in the U.S. metals and mining downstream and upstream sectors, resulting in five upgrades and eight downgrades. The rating agency reviewed its recovery and issue-level ratings for companies that were under observation. The companies included Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., Westmoreland Coal Co., Stillwater Mining Co. and Hecla Mining Co., as well as Bowie Resource Partners LLC, Allegheny Ludlum Corp. and Century Aluminum Co.

Norway's central bank excludes 15 more coal-related firms from its portfolio

Norway's central bank, which oversees the country's US$869 billion wealth fund, has excluded a further 15 coal-related companies from its portfolio due to coal use or production. According to Reuters, the bank plans more exclusions next year and placed 11 more firms under observation for potential exclusion in the future.

DIVERSIFIED

* Indonesian state miner PT Antam (Persero) Tbk, which earmarked about 2 trillion Indonesian rupiah for CapEx in 2016, plans to allocate relatively the same amount next year, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

BASE METALS

* Adventus Zinc Corp. filed a preliminary prospectus to raise C$3 million in an IPO in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

* Glencore Plc will receive a A$15 million grant from the Queensland, Australia government to extend the life of its Mount Isa copper smelter till 2022, MiningNews reported. "We can only operate the Mount Isa copper smelter for as long as it remains economically viable," Glencore Copper Assets Australia COO Mike Westerman said.

* Zambia's Chamber of Mines said the government's decision to abandon a proposed a 7.5% levy on the imports of semi-processed copper materials is "reassuring" and will help stabilize smelters in the country, Bloomberg News reported.

* Morumbi Resources Inc. completed the previously announced acquisition of the El Mochito zinc-lead-silver mine in Honduras from Nyrstar NV for US$500,000.

* Alecto Minerals Plc plans to acquire the Mowana copper mine, which is on care and maintenance in northeastern Botswana, by acquiring Botswana-based Cradle Arc Investments Pty. Ltd. for about £6.7 million.

* Taseko Mines Ltd. received final approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to proceed with the construction and operation of the phase one test facility at the company's Florence copper project in Arizona.

* Following Donald Trump's U.S. presidential win, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. expects the EPA to allow the company to move forward with its application for the Pebble copper-gold mine in Alaska. The application has been stalled for nearly three years by environmental regulators seeking to protect the world's biggest sockeye salmon fishery, Reuters reported.

* Tinka Resources Ltd. discovered a new zinc prospect at Pucarumi, located several kilometers northwest of its Ayawilca zinc resource and within its existing mining claims in Peru.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Jaguar Mining Inc. is targeting 100,000 ounces to 110,000 ounces of gold output in 2017, about 10% more than its 2016 guidance, at projected all-in sustaining costs of US$900 to US$1,000 per ounce of gold sold.

* Horizon Gold Ltd. began its first day on the ASX trading at 12.5% less than its IPO price of 40 Australian cents. The company, which was spun out of , lit up the boards of the Australian exchange Dec. 21 at 35 cents following a fully underwritten IPO of A$15 million. However, just under 77,000 shares were traded.

* Aurum Mining Plc will seek to divest its existing mining assets over the coming months and focus on moving toward the information and cyber security business.

* KalNorth Gold Mines Ltd. and Keras Resources Plc subsidiary Keras (Gold) Australia Pty. Ltd. have mutually agreed to terminate negotiations regarding the development of the Lindsays gold project in the Western Australian goldfields.

* IDM Mining Ltd. and StrikePoint Gold Inc. signed a nonbinding letter of intent, under which StrikePoint agreed to acquire IDM's portfolio of properties in Canada's Yukon Territory for C$4.0 million in cash and shares. The portfolio consists of 14,078 claims over 27 properties, totaling 282,000 hectares.

* Dacian Gold Ltd. secured a A$150 million debt facility to fund the development of its Mount Morgans gold project in Western Australia.

* Galway Metals Inc. increased its land position at the Clarence Stream gold-antimony property in New Brunswick by 25% to 54,564 hectares.

* Ariana Resources Plc secured a 100% interest in the Salinbas gold project in Turkey from a subsidiary of Eldorado Gold Corp. for a nominal cash payment and a net smelter return royalty of up to 2% on future production, granted to the subsidiary.

* A maiden JORC-compliant mineral resource for the Loma Bonita deposit of Azure Minerals Ltd. Alacrán gold-silver project in Mexico estimates that the deposit hosts indicated and inferred mineral resources of 5.4 million tonnes at 0.9 g/t of gold and 28 g/t of silver for 150,000 ounces of contained gold and 4.8 million ounces of contained silver, using a gold cutoff grade of 0.21 g/t.

* SC Russian Platinum and JSC VTB Bank entered into a strategic partnership for the development of polymetallic assets, including the Chernogorskoye deposit and the southern part of Norilsk-1, in Russia, Kommersant reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. could off-load a significant stake in its Oman unit, Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel LLC, to slash its debt, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

* Alcoa Corp. said its Portland smelter in Victoria has been operating at less than 30% of its capacity after a power outage affected the plant three weeks ago, Reuters wrote.

* Vale's long delayed Río Colorado potash project in Argentina is moving forward after the company hired Canadian engineering firm to conduct a revised pre-feasibility study, aiming to reduce the size of the project to 1.4 million tonnes from the original 4 million tonnes per year, Business News Americas reported.

* A dispute panel of the World Trade Organization largely ruled in favor of Taiwan on the country's complaint over anti-dumping duties imposed by Canada on certain of its steel goods, Reuters reported. The ruling established that Canada had contravened WTO's Anti-Dumping Agreement but that Taiwan had failed to establish some points.

* Indian company Adani Enterprises Ltd., owner of the giant Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Australia, and associated firms are being investigated by Indian authorities over siphoning money offshore and artificially inflating power prices at the expense of Indian consumers, ABC reported.

* Two unions representing workers at Colombian coal rail company Fenoco reached a new wage deal with the company, preventing a strike that could have hampered coal exports, Reuters reported.

* The 114 workers stuck at Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.'s Allan potash mine in Saskatchewan following a fire incident have all been safely evacuated, CBC News reported. The fire has been extinguished and employees are expected to return to work soon.

* South Africa's steel output rose by 3.1% year on year in November, to about 498,000 tonnes, Business Day wrote, citing data from the World Steel Association.

* Mechel PAO struck a one-year deal to supply coal from the Elga mine in Russia to China's Jidong Cement. The Russian group will supply up to 3 million tonnes of steam coal starting this month, with prices to be settled on a monthly basis.

* OM Holdings Ltd. said the first modified furnace at its Sarawak ferro-alloy smelting facility in Malaysia has successfully achieved hot commissioning, with the first tap of silicomanganese occurring Dec. 18.

* A provincial court fined Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.'s idled Wabush iron ore operation in Newfoundland and Labrador C$30,000 for polluting the environment, Mining.com reported.

* The Indonesian Energy Ministry will reduce coal production to 413 million tonnes next year from 419 million tonnes in 2016, Kontan reported, citing Bambang Gatot Ariyono, director general of mineral and coal.

* Atlas Iron Ltd.'s definitive feasibility study for its Corunna Downs iron ore project in Western Australia estimated initial production of 4 million tonnes per annum of direct shipping ore over an initial mine life of 5 to 6 years. CapEx, including contingency, is estimated between A$47 million and A$53 million.

* An independent pre-feasibility study for Metallica Minerals Ltd.'s 50%-owned Urquhart bauxite project in Queensland, Australia, indicates potential to generate revenue of A$295.5 million over its 5.5-year life. The study estimated a posttax net present value, discounted at 10%, of A$53.9 million on sales of 6.5 million dry tonnes of proved and probable reserves and EBITDA of A$81.8 million.

SPECIALTY

* De Beers SA CEO Bruce Cleaver believes U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's policies to increase jobs and lower taxes may result in a higher demand for diamonds, Mint reported. "Lower taxes, more jobs, translates into more disposable income and translates into more diamond purchases," Cleaver said.

* According to a campaign group called Swedwatch, the failure of European jewelry firms to scrutinize supply chains and a faulty diamond certification scheme are driving child labor and sexual abuse in artisanal mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Reuters wrote.

* Sayona Mining Ltd. secured an option from Great Sandy Pty Ltd. to acquire an 80% interest in an 871-square-kilometer package of tenements in Western Australia's Pilgangoora lithium district.

* Lake Resources NL acquired an additional 3,900 hectares of lithium brine leases, increasing the total lease area either granted or under application in the Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina to almost 50,000 hectares.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* According to a local NGO, Democratic Republic of the Congo security forces killed eight civilians and wounded 35 others in the southeastern mining hub of Lubumbashi during protests against President Joseph Kabila, Reuters reported. A government spokesperson, however, said he did not have information on casualties from protests.

* The number of mining-related deaths in Australian mines dropped to six this year, half of the 12 deaths reported in 2015 at the country's mining, and oil and gas operations, MiningNews reported.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence 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.