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Mechel completes debt restructuring with state banks

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Mechel completes debt restructuring with state banks

TOP NEWS

Mechel completes debt restructuring with state banks

Mechel PAO extended the maturity on 70.2 billion Russian rubles of credit lines with VTB Bank until 2022. Payment on the debt was extended to the first quarter of 2020, with repayment by the first quarter of 2022. Additionally, the company renegotiated the terms of about €45 million in trade financing and extended the deal until April 2022.

Former Chalco exec jailed for 16 years

Sun Zhaoxue, a former vice chairman of Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., or Chalco, was sentenced by a Chinese court to jail for 16 years for graft, Reuters reported, citing a court statement.

Rostec mulls 25% stake sale in Sukhoi Log JV to Polyus

Rostec Corp. CEO Sergei Chemezov said the Russian state-owned group will mull selling a 25% stake in the Sukhoi Log joint venture to partner PJSC Polyus, Reuters reported.

DIVERSIFIED

* X2 Resources, a fund set up by mining veteran Mick Davis to snap up assets during the commodities downturn, has spent more than £11 million on pay, rent and other costs over the past two years, but has yet to secure any deal, The Australian reported.

BASE METALS

* Union workers at BHP Billiton Group's Minera Escondida Ltda., which operates the Escondida copper mine in Chile, are requesting a bonus of 25 million Chilean pesos for 2017 to 2019, as part of the collective agreement negotiations that began Dec. 27, Diario Financiero reported.

* Copper miner Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi SCM reached an agreement with 27 employees who had been laid off due to an illegal strike, resulting in the payment of 928 million Chilean pesos in compensations and legal costs, daily Pulso reported.

* PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel inked a deal to buy copper concentrate from Rostec Corp., with an estimated volume of 1.5 million tonnes, containing base and precious metals. The transaction is valued at about 67.5 billion Russian rubles.

* A federal judge in Argentina's San Juan province filed charges against the chairman of Antofagasta Plc's Minera Los Pelambres, Francisco Veloso, over alleged illegal mining tailings deposited at Glencore Plc's El Pachon copper mine in the province, Tiempo de San Juan reported.

* China's Chihong Zn & Ge will close two zinc smelters, each with an annual capacity of less than 30,000 tonnes, as the company plans to upgrade another small smelter to a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year, Metal Bulletin reported.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Southern Gold Ltd. and Westgold Resources Ltd. would each receive A$2 million as part of the first profit share distribution from the Cannon gold mine. Southern Gold has applied A$1.5 million of the distribution to the repayment of the working capital facility provided by Westgold.

* Barrick Gold Corp., Southern Copper Corp. and Geotermia Andina will start exploration at the Arroyo Los Amarillos, Marisa and Despoblados sites, in Argentina's San Juan province, according to the Provincial Institute of Mining Explorations and Operations, Mining Press reported.

* Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. not to sue the government over the closure of the company's Chatree gold mine, noting that the move was just a suspension, The Nation reported.

* Separately, Kingsgate said the final payment against the Akara loan facility of US$6.3 million was made Dec. 23, and the Chatree mine is now debt free. Additionally, the company has received the final payment of A$4.1 million from Silver Mines Ltd., which completes the sale of the remaining 15% of the Bowdens silver project in New South Wales to Silver Mines.

* Manas Resources Ltd. completed the sale of all of its assets in the Kyrgyz Republic to Chinese state-owned Guizhou Geological and Mineral Resources Development Co. Ltd. and Kyrgyz firm NewGeo Technology LLC. The sale includes the Shambesai gold project and Savoyardy gold assets.

BULK COMMODITIES

* India's mines ministry is mulling a 5% increase in basic customs duty on the import of primary aluminum products to help take the pressure off of local producers, including Vedanta Ltd., National Aluminium Co. Ltd., and Hindalco Industries Ltd., Live Mint reported.

* Avenira Ltd. expects to reach full nameplate production at its Gadde Bissik Operations Sarl mine plant in the 2017 first quarter. The subsidiary holds the company's Baobab phosphate project in Senegal, which has has produced about 20,000 tonnes of phosphate product currently on the drying pads. The first shipment of product is also expected early in the first quarter of 2017.

* The Fair Work Commission has ruled that sick leaves taken by 81 South32 Ltd. workers at the Appin coal mine during the Nov. 28 to Dec. 11 period were part of a coordinated illegal industrial action, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Aluminum Corp. of China returned to full production at its unit Shanxi Huaxing Aluminum Co., Ltd.'s alumina plant after a pulp leakage, Metal Bulletin reported, citing a company spokesman. The leakage, caused by an equipment failure at the Shanxi Huaxing refinery, resulted in a loss of 940 tonnes of alumina production.

* South32 Ltd. secured approval for two more 305 meter-wide longwalls at its Dendrobium coal mine in New South Wales, extracting coal from underneath the Metropolitan Special Area created to protect the waters of the Avon, Cataract, Cordeaux and Nepean reservoirs, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The miner noted that the approval, which was made despite incomplete studies, would secure up to 400 jobs.

* The Korea International Trade Association said North Korea's coal exports to China jumped 112.1% on a yearly basis in November to US$139.4 million, The Korea Herald reported. This was observed ahead of the U.N. Security Council's resolution on Nov. 30 to curb North Korean mineral exports, the organization added.

* A worker at the government-owned Singareni Collieries Co.'s Prakasam Khani opencast project-II in the Indian town of Manuguru was killed in an incident involving two vehicles, The Hindu reported.

* The European Commission started a probe into allegations of dumping of grey iron and ductile cast iron by India and China into the EU, The Hindu reported. A complaint was launched by seven EU-based producers in late October, saying that the dumping was harming the local industry.

* To balance the domestic steel market, Iran may cut import duties on flat steel by half to 10% on the back of insufficient supplies in the country as well as to support recovering downstream industries, Metal Bulletin reported, citing Deputy Minister of Industries Jafar Sarqeyni.

* Thailand's Iron and Steel Industry Club expects the country's iron and steel industry to grow by 10% in 2017, with around 17.5 million tonnes of iron and steel products being used, Thailand's Manager Daily reported.

* CCX Carvão da Colômbia SA will liquidate its remaining assets in Colombia as commercial output is not viable and that attempting to off-load these assets will be impractical, Business News Americas reported.

* The Vorkuta City Court in Russia suspended operations at all the mines of owned by OAO Severstal's coal mining unit, AO Vorkutaugol, for 90 days starting Dec. 26, due to alleged violations in the equipment of lock chambers, Kommersant reported. The decision was made at the request of mine safety agency Rostekhnadzor.

SPECIALTY

* Enirgi Group Corp. confirmed US$300 million in investments to build a lithium project in the Rincón salt flat in Argentina's Salta province. Meanwhile, Italian investors reportedly approached the government of Jujuy province to develop the Jama, Salinas Grandes and Guayatayoc salt flats, daily Inversor Energético reported.

* Sociedad de Inversiones Oro Blanco SA filed an official complaint against Chilean securities regulator SVS over the leak of sensitive information to potential investors during the failed sale period of its stake of Sociedad de Inversiones Pampa Calichera SA, which in turns holds a 23% stake in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, daily Diario Financiero reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The ASX has been the most active this year for mining IPOs compared to the other major exchanges globally, largely due to a lift in market sentiment but also the sector's preference for the Australian bourse. There have been eight successful IPOs and listings on the ASX this year, compared to two in 2015, according to SNL Metals & Mining data.

* According to some Chilean Corp. of Capital Goods data, mining investment projects for the period 2016 to 2020 would total US$13.06 billion, the lowest since 2008, and representing 22% of the total investment expected nationwide. Codelco would account for 52% of the investment in the sector, daily El Mercurio reported.

* Salary expectations of top first and second level executives in the mining sector have declined. On average, they are willing to change jobs for a 5% raise, according to a study by consultancy firm DNA Human Capital, daily Pulso reported.

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.