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Goldcorp, Barrick agree to form Chilean gold joint venture

TOP NEWS

Goldcorp, Barrick agree to form Chilean gold joint venture

Goldcorp Inc. agreed to acquire a 50% stake in the Cerro Casale gold project in Chile by buying a 25% interest from both Barrick Gold Corp. and Kinross Gold Corp., the companies said. Barrick holds a 75% stake in the project while Kinross owns 25%. Goldcorp and Barrick will own a 50/50 joint venture to jointly advance Cerro Casale. The Kinross deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Anglo American to spend US$968.9M on debt buybacks

Anglo American Plc will accept for repurchase up to US$968.9 million worth of notes under its cash tender offer launched earlier this month, under which it offered to repurchase outstanding notes for up to US$1.25 billion and up to US$250.0 million of securities.

BHP eyeing improved gender diversity to boost productivity

BHP Billiton Group is looking to improve gender diversity as a way to boost safety, productivity and cost-savings, said Yvonne Tan, human resources business partner with the company, at the Mining Investment Asia conference in Singapore. As part of a gender diversity initiative within the group, BHP is aiming for a 50% female workforce by 2025, while now women account for less than 20% of its employees and contractors.

DIVERSIFIED

* Glencore Plc, which off-loaded 50% of its agriculture business last year to two Canadian investment funds, does not expect further consolidation in agricultural commodities as straightforward and regards a U.S. acquisition as less crucial than in the past, Reuters wrote, citing Glencore Agriculture CEO Chris Mahoney.

BASE METALS

* Boliden AB CEO Lennart Evrell expects U.S. President Donald Trump's planned infrastructure spending to have less impact on the prices of base metals, as projects in the U.S. and other developed countries will not use enough zinc or copper to have any significant impact on prices, Bloomberg News wrote. He added that less developed countries use much more of these metals when they develop infrastructure and so have a bigger impact on zinc and copper prices.

* China Hanking Holdings Ltd. abandoned a plan to self-finance the construction of a 60,000-tonne-capacity nickel processing plant in Indonesia, but is still in talks with interested parties to finance the project, said company President and CEO Pan Guocheng in an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Grupo México SAB de CV's transport unit agreed to acquire Florida East Coast Railway for US$2.1 billion, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the company. The transaction will be financed with US$1.75 billion in debt and US$350 million in capital.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. completed the sale of its interest in the El Gachi silver property in Sonora, Mexico, to First Majestic Silver Corp. for a total of US$2.5 million plus value-added tax.

* King's Bay Gold Corp. agreed to sell its early stage Menary gold project in Ontario to newly formed private company Destroismaison CLM Holdings Corp.

* Iberian Minerals Ltd. said its Mineworx Technologies subsidiary entered into a binding letter of intent to form a joint venture with Coronet Metals Inc. to process gold-bearing historical tailings and mine dumps at the latter's White Caps gold project in Nevada.

* Randgold Resources Ltd. confirmed that it intends to increase its dividend for 2016 by 52% year over year to US$1.00 per share, to be paid in cash.

* Resolute Mining Ltd. has invited locals to take shelter at its Ravenswood gold mine in Queensland, concerned that Cyclone Debbie will still be a category two system when it passes over the town, Australian Associated Press wrote. Meanwhile, Evolution Mining Ltd. evacuated all staff from its Mount Carlton gold mine in the same state, which lies within in the storm's predicted path.

* Stonewall Resources Ltd.'s JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate at its Beta hard rock mine increased to 4.72 million tonnes at 6.61 g/t for 1.00 million ounces of gold, a 42% increase in contained ounces. Beta forms part of the company's Transvaal Gold Mining Estates in South Africa.

* IronRidge Resources Ltd. signed a joint venture agreement with Major Star SARL, which grants IronRidge exclusive rights over an extensive portfolio and associated gold exploration targets in Ivory Coast following the completion of due diligence.

* Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corp. Executive Chairman James Sinclair said the company is "not part" of the Tanzanian government's ban on gold concentrate exports. Acacia Mining plc, meanwhile, refuted claims that it was seeking to export gold and copper concentrates despite the ban, Reuters reported.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said he is not concerned about the general health of the Chinese economy and that the country is also taking steps to rationalize its steel industry, from restructuring state-owned enterprises to shutting down small, polluting blast furnaces and concentrating production in facilities with new blast furnaces that require higher grades of iron ore.

* Russian fertilizer producer PJSC PhosAgro said it expects EBITDA to rise by US$150 million once its new urea and ammonia plants come online later this year. Overall, the company intends to boost sales in Europe by 20% and by 50% in Latin America by 2020.

* Former Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA CEO Patricio Contesse Gonzalez has agreed to terminate the labor lawsuit he filed against the company in exchange for a severance payment. The miner did not disclose the amount but said it is less than the amount Contesse sued for.

* United Co. RUSAL Plc launched a Properzi rolling mill into operation at its Kandalaksha aluminum smelter in Russia as part of the company's modernization project at the smelter, which is expected to total US$19.8 million.

* Paringa Resources Ltd.'s expanded bankable feasibility study for the Buck Creek coal mining complex in Kentucky confirmed a net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$655 million after incorporating a second coal seam at the Poplar Grove mine.

* Sirius Minerals Plc is planning to move its ordinary shares to the main market of the London Stock Exchange from its current listing on the AIM segment. The news saw its shares rise 10% in late afternoon trading.

* Regency Mines Plc acquired a 20% interest in the Black Creek coal property in Alabama, for a nominal consideration.

* African Energy Resources Ltd. said the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security of Botswana granted a coal mining license for its Sese joint venture project.

SPECIALTY

* Azincourt Uranium Inc. entered an agreement with Skyharbour Resources Ltd. and its joint venture partner on the Preston Lake uranium property in Saskatchewan, Clean Commodities Corp., for an earn-in option to acquire a 70% stake on the eastern portion of the property.

* Pistol Bay Mining Inc. and Rio Tinto unit Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc. amended the option agreement over Pistol Bay's C4, C5 and C6 uranium properties in Saskatchewan. Rio Tinto has earned a 75% interest in the assets and, under the amended terms, can acquire the remaining 25% interest by paying Pistol Bay an initial C$750,000 by April 17. It will also be required to pay either C$1.5 million by Dec. 31, C$2 million by Dec. 31, 2018, or C$2.3 million by Dec. 31, 2019.

* Australia's Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration Ltd. has debuted on the ASX, with shares trading at a 10% premium to the company's IPO price just after the start of the March 28 session.

* Lepidico Ltd.'s board unanimously recommended that shareholders reject the takeover offer from Lithium Australia NL and said the merger "makes no strategic sense and may lead to a significant deterioration" in the company's value.

* PJSC ALROSA Sergey Ivanov said the Russian diamond miner is not vying to acquire Toronto-listed Dominion Diamond Corp. at this stage, Reuters reported, citing an emailed response from the CEO.

* Talga Resources Ltd. signed a joint development agreement with BASF Coatings Division unit Chemetall to co-develop and commercialize graphene-enhanced metal surface coatings.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* In tackling the question of U.S. dependence on foreign sources for some critical metals, a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources focused on slow U.S. mine permitting. Several witnesses who gave statements and took questions during the hearing agreed that the U.S. was at a competitive disadvantage relative to countries such as Canada and Australia, where permitting timelines and regulatory certainty are better for miners while providing a similar level of environmental scrutiny.

* Mining majors flush with cash from the run-up in iron ore and metallurgical coal prices are unlikely to shift their near-term focus to trendier pursuits, such as lithium and cobalt exploration, according to executives speaking at an industry conference in Switzerland. Lithium and cobalt, which are key elements in the production of lithium-ion batteries, have grabbed headlines and dominated chatter in commodities circles of late as the electric car segment has hit its stride and overall demand for such batteries continues to grow.

* A so-called "hard" Brexit from the EU could actually benefit companies with operations in London, Glencore Chairman Tony Hayward said at the Financial Times Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland. He also noted that the end result could be the implementation of a "much more forgiving" U.K. tax scheme in an effort to prevent businesses from considering a move to Europe.

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.