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Barrick confirms sale of Veladero mine stake to Shandong Gold for US$960M

TOP NEWS

Barrick confirms sale of Veladero mine stake to Shandong Gold for US$960M

Barrick Gold Corp.'s nearly US$1 billion deal to sell 50% of its Veladero gold mine to Chinese state-owned Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. is more than a simple divestment, argued spokesman Andy Lloyd in an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence. For Barrick, it is part of a strategic pivot to cozy up to China and its growing global influence.The companies will also explore the joint development of the Pascua Lama deposit and evaluate additional investment opportunities in the El Indio Gold Belt on the Argentina-Chile border.

Coeur's Q1 production, sales rise YOY

Coeur Mining Inc. produced 3.9 million ounces of silver and 88,218 ounces of gold in the first quarter, up from 3.4 million ounces of silver and 78,072 ounces of gold in the corresponding year-ago period. Sales totaled 4.5 million ounces of silver and 110,874 ounces of gold in the period, an increase over 3.5 million tonnes of silver and 79,901 ounces of gold in the first quarter 2016.

Russian authorities probe Alrosa's Moscow office

The Russian Federal Security Service is said to be investigating PJSC ALROSA's Moscow office in relation to sale of several of the company's noncore assets between 2011 and 2013, Reuters reported, citing a source.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP Billiton Group held talks with firms, including Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., over policies to boost female recruitment and retention as the mining major eyes a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 and the promotion of women into top executive position, Bloomberg News reported, citing Laura Tyler, BHP Billiton's chief of staff and head of geoscience.

* Vale SA's cost-cutting efforts and focus on investing in "world-class" assets have helped the company bridge its competitive gap with its Australian rivals, CFO Luciano Siani said. One current advantage the company has over its rivals is the lower investment it needs to make in the medium term, given the high quality of projects, Siani said, daily Valor Econômico reported.

* Meanwhile, the election of at least one independent member to Vale's board for the 2017-2019 period has become the subject of a heated dispute among minority shareholders, with candidates expected to be nominated by investment fund Geração Futuro L. Par and Aberdeen Asset Management, among others, at the next ordinary general meeting scheduled for June 20, daily Valor Econômico reported.

BASE METALS

* Votorantim SA sunk back in the red after posting a full-year 2016 net loss of 1.25 billion Brazilian reais, compared to the preceding year's net profit of 382 million reais. The company attributed the loss to the temporary suspension of its nickel operations and the total impairments of 2.16 billion reais in the year.

* KGHM Polska Miedz SA CEO Radoslaw Domagalski-Labedzki said the company remains committed to Chile for the long term despite an ongoing review of its international copper assets, including the future of its Canadian assets in British Columbia and Ontario.

* ASX-listed Sandfire Resources NL's feasibility study confirmed the viability of its 70%-owned Monty copper-gold mine to supply high-grade ore to the existing DeGrussa operation in Western Australia. Monty will be developed as an underground satellite mine with a three-year life that will produce total contained metal of 70,000 tonnes of copper, 21,000 ounces of gold and 288,000 ounces of silver.

* Peru's energy and mines minister said the country intends to increase its copper output to 3.1 million tonnes in 2021, from 2.35 million tonnes expected this year and in 2018, Reuters reported.

* Weatherly International Plc revised the production guidance for its Tschudi project in Namibia to between 14,500 tonnes and 15,000 tonnes of copper cathode for the financial year ending in June, as heavy rains prevented the short-term acceleration of mining and stacking.

* According to Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. Chairman Robert Friedland, a global shift toward electric vehicles is going to upset the mining industry, with a surge expected in the demand for copper and platinum, MiningNews wrote.

* Midland Exploration Inc. acquired the Nachicapau property, by map designation, a new project in Quebec with strong zinc-copper potential.

* Uranium Equities Ltd. signed an option and joint venture agreement with Antasitua Chile SPA to earn up to an 80% interest in the Plateado cobalt project in Chile.

PRECIOUS METALS

* South32 Ltd. lowered the output guidance for its Cannington silver-lead-zinc project in Queensland, Australia, following an underground fire that damaged the load-out and shaft haulage infrastructure. The company now expects production of 16.5 million ounces of payable silver, 135,000 tonnes of lead and 70,000 tonnes of zinc this year.

* Pan American Silver Corp. is "optimistic" that it can negotiate the restart of its Navidad silver-lead-gold project in Argentina's Chubut province, and plans to invest US$1 billion if the officials green-light the reopening, Reuters reported. Authorities closed down the project in 2013 as the region banned both cyanide and open-pit mining on their territory.

* Employees at Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Kusasalethu gold mine in South Africa have returned to work after the company reached an agreement with union leaders.

* Eco Oro Minerals Corp. filed a lawsuit against shareholders Harrington Global Opportunities Fund Ltd., Courtenay Wolfe and Danny Guy in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The company said the group of shareholders published "false, misleading and defamatory" statements about Eco Oro and its board of directors.

* Somboon Yindeeyoungyuen, director-general of Thailand's Department of Primary Industries and Mines, said the shutdown of Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd.'s Chatree gold mine in the country was executed in line with the government's order, aimed at minimizing adverse effects from mining activities in the country, Thai Rath reported.

* Gold prices will continue to show strength, supported by miners producing less of the metal and Asian governments building up reserves, panelists said at the Mines and Money Asia conference in Hong Kong. "Output is declining and will continue to decline," Willem Middelkoop, founder of Commodity Discovery Fund said, adding that he expected a supply-demand deficit to support gold prices in the next few years.

* 3D Resources Ltd. intends to acquire a controlling interest in two companies in Haiti that hold advanced gold projects in the country.

* Beadell Resources Ltd. entered into a binding agreement with Brazilian firm Mineracao Vale dos Reis Ltda. to consolidate the Tucano land package in Brazil.

* Group Ten Metals Inc. acquired an undivided 100% interest in five mining claims at its Black Lake-Drayton gold project in northwestern Ontario, via staking. The 928-hectare land package increases the company's total land position in the highly prospective region to about 8,900 hectares.

* Eureka Resources Inc. secured an option to acquire a 100% interest in the 1,356-hectare CKN property in British Columbia.

* El Capitan Precious Metals Inc. said the concentrate processing machine at its namesake polymetallic project in New Mexico is now fully operational at planned capacity.

* An updated the mineral resource estimate for Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd.'s Barkerville Mountain deposit at its flagship Cariboo gold project in British Columbia pegged measured and indicated resources of 158,800 ounces of gold contained within 684,900 tonnes grading 7.21 g/t of gold, using a cutoff of 3.50 g/t of gold.

* An updated preliminary feasibility study for Miranda Gold Corp.'s Lucky Shot gold-silver joint venture project, part of the Willow Creek property in Alaska, estimated initial CapEx of US$15.1 million with payback after taxes expected in 1.88 years. Using a 7.5% discount rate, the project has an after-tax net present value of US$7.1 million and offers an internal rate of return of 21.80%.

BULK COMMODITIES

* ArcelorMittal unit ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd. is planning to raise 3.5 billion South African rand through a borrowing based facility as part of a capital raising plan, Bloomberg News reported, citing an emailed statement from the steelmaker.

* Arconic Inc. is divesting its Fusina aluminum mill in Italy to Slim Aluminium. The company expects to record restructuring-related charges representing the loss on sale of about US$60 million after tax for the first quarter of 2017, mainly related to impairment of the net book value of the business as well as the injection of US$10 million in cash into the business prior to its sale.

* The tropical cyclone that ravaged Queensland, Australia, recently and damaged the rail network in the region prompted the biggest ever single-day rise in the price of metallurgical coal. S&P Global Platts premium low vol coking coal spiked 32% on April 5 to US$241 per tonne f.o.b. Australia.

* JSW Steel Ltd. may spend nearly US$1 billion this fiscal year on creating new capacity, as well as acquisitions, as it plans to bid for iron ore and coking coal mines during the upcoming government auctions in India, the company's joint Managing Director Seshagiri Rao told Reuters.

* Ferrexpo Plc produced 2.6 million tonnes of pellet in the first quarter, compared to 2.9 million tonnes in the year-ago quarter. The 9.1% year-over-year drop in output was attributed to scheduled pellet line maintenance in January and February as well as a 55-day pellet line refurbishment.

* The Chinese commerce ministry has expressed concern over the European Union's decision to impose an anti-dumping duty of between 18.1% and 35.9% on the country's hot-rolled steel coil, urging the EU to "correct its mistake" and that it would take "necessary measures" to protect the rights of Chinese firms, Reuters reported.

* Bathurst Resources Ltd. secured an off-take agreement for the supply of 65,000 tonnes per annum from its Canterbury coal mine in New Zealand.

* Rio Tinto said development of its new Silvergrass mine and its West Angeles and Yandicoogina mines is expected to support over 1,000 construction jobs in Western Australia.

* Iron ore prices are expected to face downward pressure this year, as about 60 million tonnes in new production will enter the market and coincide with the end of inventory restocking at Chinese steel mills, according to Daniel Meng, a senior analyst with CLSA Materials Research.

SPECIALTY

* Petra Diamonds Ltd. priced and increased its previously announced offering of senior secured second-lien notes due 2022 to US$650 million, from US$600 million. The notes will accrue interest at 7.25% per annum.

* Bushveld Minerals Ltd. unit Bushveld Vametco Ltd. completed the acquisition of Evraz Group SA's 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corp. NL for US$16.5 million. Strategic Minerals owns the Vametco vanadium mine and plant in South Africa.

* Australian heavy rare earths developer Northern Minerals Ltd. struck a sales deal with China's Lianyugang Zeyu New Materials Sales Co. Ltd. covering planned production from the Browns Range pilot plant in Western Australia.

* Genius Properties Ltd. struck a definitive deal to acquire full stakes in the Sakami and Kuujjuaq properties in Quebec by issuing 6 million and 6.5 million common shares, respectively.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the U.S. central bank will likely begin reducing the size of its balance sheet later this year, Bloomberg News wrote. Williams also said that he continues to project a total of three interest rate hikes will be appropriate this year.

* The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, or EITI, has become the international standard for transparency and accountability in the mining sector. To provide credibility, over 50 developing countries have adopted the initiative since 2003, and these countries attracted US$1.6 billion in corporate exploration expenditure in 2016, accounting for almost 24% of the global total.

* Mining companies are increasingly adopting technological innovations ranging from remote-controlled haulage systems to data analytics but have made limited progress toward the kind of transformation they say is crucial for survival, Reuters reported.

* Australia's Department of Industry forecasts a A$23 billion export revenue windfall in the next financial year, on the back of increasing iron ore and coking coal prices, The Australian reported. The mineral and energy export income will rise to A$220 billion in fiscal 2017-18, up from a record A$215 billion this year.

* The Australian Taxation Office raised about A$2.9 billion in tax liabilities against a group of seven multinational companies. According to the ATO, at least seven major multinational audits are expected to come to a head before June 30, four in e-commerce and three in the energy and resource industries.

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