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Lundin Law probing BHP; Yanzhou Coal profit plummets; Tata to sell UK steel ops


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Insight Weekly: US stock market downturn; Chinese bank earnings; Europe's big tech bills


Gold - Geopolitical tensions and inflation remain key drivers


Lithium and Cobalt - Softer demand weighs on prices

Lundin Law probing BHP; Yanzhou Coal profit plummets; Tata to sell UK steel ops


BHP Billiton probedfor alleged violations of federal securities laws

LundinLaw PC said it is investigating claims against BHP Billiton Group's BHPBilliton Ltd. regarding possible violations of federal securities laws.The investigation isrelated to allegations that certain statements issued by the mining giant were falseand misleading and/or failed to disclose material information regarding the company'sfinancial performance.

YanzhouCoal's 2015 profit slumps YOY to 164.5 million yuan

's netincome attributable to equity holders of the company for the year ended Dec. 31,2015, tumbledto about 164.5 million Chinese yuan from 766.2 million yuan a year ago while thegroup's sales income decreased to 36.40 billion yuan from 60.37 billion yuan.

Tata Steel to putlossmaking U.K. business up for sale

BBC Newsquoted union sources as saying that TataSteel Ltd. isexpected to announce the sale of its lossmaking steel business in the U.K., jeopardizing thousands of jobsin the country.


* LundinLaw PC said it is investigating claims against BHP Billiton Group's BHPBilliton Ltd. regarding possible violations of federal securities laws.The investigation isrelated to allegations that certain statements issued by the mining giant were falseand misleading and/or failed to disclose material information regarding the company'sfinancial performance.


* 'snet profit attributable to shareholders of the company for 2015 rose 21.11% yearover year to 4.80 billion Chinese yuan. The company also recognized an impairmentcharge of US$105 million, equivalent to about 656 million yuan, on its nickel-cobalt projectin Papua New Guinea, due to low prices for both commodities in the internationalmarket. The impairment wipedabout 440 million yuan from the company's 2015 net profit attributable to the parent.

* Pulso wrote that Codelco decided to cut investment for the Rajo Inca copperproject in Chile, designed to extendoperations at the Salvadorunit, to US$600 million, 80% lower than original projections. The project is currentlyin a pre-feasibility study stage and will be implemented only if Salvador reversesfour years of losses and presents blue numbers in 2016.

* awarded toSwick Mining Services Ltd. underground diamond drilling contracts for its nickel-copperand Jaguar zinc-copper-silvermines in Australia, Australian Mining reported.


* returnedto profit in 2015, booking net earnings of US$221 million, compared with the US$210million net loss the previous year. The Russia-focused miner's revenue 15% year over year to US$1.44billion, due to the average realized gold and silver prices decreasing by 8% and17%, respectively.

* announced thefinal results and settlementof its offer to purchase for cash an aggregate combined principal amount of up toUS$500.0 million of its 5.125% senior notes due 2019, 6.250% senior notes due 2039,3.500% senior notes due 2022 and 5.875% notes due 2035.

* TheMorila gold minein Mali, owned by Randgold ResourcesLtd., AngloGold AshantiLtd. and the local government, will shut in 2019, six years later thanoriginally planned, after its reserves were found to be larger than initially estimated,Reuters reported,citing the mines ministry.

* China'sZijin Mining Group Co. Ltd.reinforced its eagerness to acquire foreign mining assets by allocating 8 billionChinese yuan to 10 billion yuan for overseas M&A deals this year, with President Wang Jianhua sayinglate last year that the company's next deal could be "as big as US$5 billion."

* BMOCapital Markets analyst Andrew Kaip expects that the economic studies on 's gold mine in Mauritania— scheduled to be released today — will demonstrate a "constructivestep forward" for the mine, while "balancing the size and timing offuture capital commitments," the FinancialPost reported.

* won its in the Full Court of the FederalCourt of Australia covering the re-granting of certain tenements to the company'sSt Ives Gold Mining Co. Pty. Ltd. subsidiary, which owns the St Ives gold mine in Western Australia.

* Separately,Gold Fields concluded a tax and royalties deal with Ghana for both the and mines, reducing the company'scorporate tax rate from 35% to 32.5%, effective March 17, and revising the mines'royalty rate from a flat 5% of revenues to a sliding scale royalty based on goldprices, effective Jan. 1, 2017. The dealmay save about 2,000 jobs at the Damang mine, but company spokesman Sven Lunschesaid Gold Fields had not yet decided whether to inject more cash into Damang orsuspend the mine's operations.

* Renaissance MineralsLtd. executed a joint venture agreement with Emerald Resources NL, allowing the latter to up to a 51% interest in Renaissance'sCambodian gold projects.

* signed an agreementwith Coeur Capital Inc. to acquire its 2.5% net smelter return royalty on futureproduction from Northair Silver Corp.'sLa Cigarra silver-gold-leadproject in Mexico's Chihuahua state.

* extended itstakeover offer to acquire MoroccanMinerals Ltd. until April 15. Aurasian has receivedacceptances representing 89.99% of the outstanding shares of Moroccan.

* said is from the gold joint venture inNew South Wales, Australia, effective April 22.

* Galane Gold Ltd.and its Galaxy Gold Mining Ltd. unit entered into a full and final settlement with Traxys Europe SA,Mine2Market Sàrl and certain others with respect to various outstanding claims arisingfrom the time period when the parties operated Galaxy's mining operations.

* said it presentlyexpects to achieve thelower range of its overall production forecast for 2016. Production in 2016 at thecompany's Eagle Riveroperation in Ontario was forecast to range between 54,000 ounces and 60,000 ouncesof gold.

* said it expectsto produce 10.4 millionto 12.8 million silver equivalent ounces in 2016.

* said a scopingstudy for the Mount Carringtongold-silver project in New South Wales, Australia, indicated a pretax net present value of A$60.6 million, usinga 10% discount rate, and an internal rate of return of 103%.

* said the updatedresource inventory outlined in the Guiro gold vein at its Guiro-Diouga project in Burkina Faso an estimated 440,000 tonnesat an average grade of 6.2 g/t of gold in the measured and indicated categories,or 88,300 ounces of contained gold, and 502,000 tonnes at an average grade of 3.3g/t, or 53,400 ounces of contained gold, in the inferred category.

* signedan agreement to acquire a 100% interest in 1,400 contiguous claim units known asthe East Block in the Sandy Lake district of northwestern Ontario from , for Lago shares.

* White Cliff MineralsLtd. said the Kyrgyz State Agency for Geology and Mineral Resourcesformally approved thecompany's 2016-2020 Aucugold project exploration programs after receiving statutory approvals from the relevantstate authorities and the Jalal Abad regional government.

* entered intoan agreement with its strategic partner, American Mining and Tunneling LLC and AmericanDrilling Corp. LLC, for US$5 million in underground mine development, drilling andmining services. The dealcovers, but is not limited to, the company's construction of an underground explorationportal, mining infrastructure and development of its Lucerne and Dayton gold projectsat its namesake operationin Nevada.

* China'snet imports of gold from Hong Kong in February balloonedto 42.9 tonnes from 17.6 tonnes in January, Bloomberg News reported, citing datafrom the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department.


* 's netincome attributable to equity holders of the company for the year ended Dec. 31,2015, tumbledto about 164.5 million Chinese yuan from 766.2 million yuan a year ago while thegroup's sales income decreased to 36.40 billion yuan from 60.37 billion yuan.

* Separately,Yanzhou Coal agreed to acquireYankuang Group's 65% equity interest in Yankuang Group Finance for about 1.24 billionChinese yuan.

* Accordingto The Guardian, officials of the U.K.-basedCommunity union met with senior representatives of Tata Steel Ltd. in Mumbai, India, ahead of a March 29 boardmeeting in a bid to secure the jobs of thousands of U.K. steelworkers, especiallyat the Port Talbot plant in south Wales. More than 35,000 people have signed anopen letter to Tata Steel Chairman Cyrus Mistry insupport of the U.K. steelworkers and a spokesman for Community said the meetingwas open and constructive but did not disclose whether a resolution was reachedwith the company officials.

* Separately,BBC News quoted union sources as saying that Tata Steel is expected to announcethe sale of its lossmaking steel business in the U.K., jeopardizing thousands of jobsin the country.

* postednet profit of 2.37 billion Brazilian reais for the fourth quarter of 2015, comparedto a loss of 533 million reais posted in the corresponding quarter of the previousyear. The company attributed the reversal to the completion of a strategic alliancewith its partners in the Namisairon ore venture in Brazil's Minas Gerais state, which resulted in an accounting gain of 2.9 billion reais.

* 's majority-owned ZululandAnthracite Colliery in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, said its operationshave been "plagued by criminal activities," the last of which occurredMarch 23, resulting in one employee sustaining serious burn wounds to his left handand an office block being burnt to the ground. According to Reuters, the arsonattacks have forced the closure of the colliery and Zululand Anthracite managingdirector Niels Kristensen could not confirm for how long the operations would besuspended.

* plans to offer a 30-year guaranteeon its Hunter Valley coal haulage operations in Australia to lure infrastructureinvestors into the upcoming auction for the business. The proposal involves an initial 15-year contract, which wouldsee the Swiss mining major obtain coal from the Hunter Valley mines to the Portof Newcastle, with exclusive rights for an additional 15 years.

* ViceChairman Ling Wen said the company may export between 5 million tons and 10 milliontons of thermal coal in 2016 to South Korea and Japan. The mining major 1.2 million tons in 2015.

* Separately,the Hong Kong Economic Times quoted ChinaShenhua President Han Jianguo as saying that the company will cut 2016 CapExto 20 billion Chinese yuan from 35.4 billion yuan in 2015. The company will alsosuspend or slow the construction of some projects with poor efficiency, and morethan 80% of its power plants under plan will see slower construction.

* Iron MountainMining Ltd. secured an option to acquire 50% equity in private company Au Capital Mining Pty.Ltd. from the latter's shareholders. Au Capital agreed to partner with Iron Mountainto explore and potentially develop its two wholly owned prospecting licenses inthe Solomon Islands, prospective for bauxite.

* Owingto opposition from villagers, the Expert Appraisal Committee of India's Forest andEnvironment Ministry has deferred taking any decision on the proposal for a 10 million-tonne-per-annumcoal washery project in the country's Odisha state submitted by unit Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd., Mining Weekly reported,citing a senior government official.

* Separately,The Hindu quoted an industry officialas saying that Coal India is poised to close the fiscal year with a total coal outputof some 540 million tonnes, compared to the target of 550 million tonnes, representinga year-over-year riseof 9%.

* unit ArcelorMittalKryviy Rih opened its own steel warehouse in Lviv, making it the company's sixthstorage facility in Ukraine, reported.

* plans to expand its globalbusiness and maximize profits through its premium automotive steel sheet products,which have 10% higher profitability than standard products, The Korea Herald wrote.

* recovered overA$2.5 million in satisfaction of the judgmentdebt owed by Beijing Joseph Investment Co. Ltd. and Joseph InvestmentInternational Ltd.

* Despitesecuring a road haulage deal with logistics group Qube, Brockman Mining Ltd. CEO Colin Paterson told The Australian Financial Review that thecompany will continue to pursue access to FortescueMetals Group Ltd.'s rail networks as it is still "the bigger picture"for Brockman. Meanwhile, Brockman's deal with Qube will see the logistics group'strucks moving up to 2.5 million tonnes of iron ore from Brockman's Pilbara mine in WesternAustralia to Port Hedland annually, starting2017. The haulage deal is subject to a new heads of agreement between the minerand Qube.

* Chairman ChrisCleverly assured investors that the company will receive a delayed payment against the shipment of 20,000 tonnes ofurea fertilizer stock to a Zambian buyer in full.

* China'sbiggest coal region, Shanxi, touted a plan to increase coal exports to slash thesupply glut in the country, an alternative disapproved by analysts citing woes relatedto the global glut and weak coal prices. "China increasing exports would comeat the exact wrong time — that's the lastthing the market needs," Andrew Cosgrove, an analyst with BloombergIntelligence, said.

* Thousandsof Polish locals supported a draft civil bill designed to guarantee free coal allowancesfrom the state budget for all mining retirees, Puls Biznesu reported.On March 29, representatives of the Trade Union of Miners of Poland will submitthe list of signatures to parliament.


* Codelcowould enter the lithium business after 2022 and only if the company identifies technicaland economically viable projects, Eduardo Bitran, executive vice president of Chileandevelopment agency Corfo, said in a hearing before the Commission on Mining andEnergy in Congress, Pulso reported.Codelco also plans to start the tender process for the lithium concessions it holdsin the Maricunga and Pedernales salt flats in northern Chile in the third quarter,once the state miner makes a complete assessment of the deposits found in the area.

* ElcoraAdvanced Materials Corp., NorthernGraphite Corp., NouveauMonde Mining Enterprises Inc., Metalsof Africa Ltd., Coulometrics LLC and a private industry partner saidthey are jointly acquiringa micronizing and spheronizing mill to produce spherical graphite.

* Caeneus MineralsLtd. entered into a binding heads of agreement with Nevada Metals Pty.Ltd. to fully acquirethe Muddy Mountain and Lida Valley lithium projects in Nevada.

* said an integratedstudy of mineral chemistry and surface textures of kimberlite indicators recoveredfrom soil samples at the MTS Grid within the company's Malatswae project in Botswana has been completed,resulting in the recoveryof 174 kimberlitic garnets and three kimberlitic picroilmenites from the samples.

* Followinga review of in-house data, CanterraMinerals Corp. acquired four metallic and industrial covering two separate areasof interest near its BuffaloHills diamonds joint venture project in Alberta with and Encana Corp.


* Accordingto The West Australian, Hughes Drilling'sJSW unit won a contractto continue providing blast hole drilling services to BHP Billiton spinoff South32 Ltd.'s Boddingtonbauxite mine in Western Australia for 18 months and a separate contract for gradecontrol drilling services at RameliusResources Ltd.'s MountMagnet gold mine in the same state.

* SeanL'Estrange will replace Bill Marmion as Western Australia's minister for mines andpetroleum, with Marmion now set to be the minister for state development, amid areshuffle of the Western Australian Cabinet, Mining Weekly wrote.

* TheMinerals Council of Australia welcomed the findings of the paper "Growing theAustralian Economy with a Competitive Company Tax," which suggested a reductionin the country's company tax rate to stimulate new foreign investment, as Australiacurrently has the fourth-highest effective tax rate among the 34 Organisation forEconomic Co-operation and Development countries that were studied in the report,Mining Weekly wrotein a news brief.

* Withsome commodity prices hitting bottom, U.K.-based fund Lanstead Investors said itis the perfect time to buy junior miners and explorers, The Australian Financial Review wrote."There are a lot of good projects out there that are mothballed today becausethey just can't attract the capital on commercial terms," Lanstead's Sydney-baseddirector Andrew Sparke said. "Funding is probably still the key issue for alot of the junior companies … and obviously the other one is undoubtedly pricing."

* TheAssociation of Mining and Exploration Companies criticized the proposal to privatizethe Port Hedland Utah Point bulk handling facility, saying that it would create"considerable uncertainty" for junior miners currently using the portsuch as Atlas Iron Ltd.,Mineral Resources Ltd.and Consolidated Minerals Ltd.,Australian Mining reported.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time, and scans newssources published in Chinese, English, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish,Thai and Ukrainian. Some external links may require a subscription.