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Workers begin strike at Glencore mine; Peabody Energy files for bankruptcy; illegal miners control key deposits at AngloGold's Obuasi

CUSIP Identifier Requests for New U.S. Corporate Debt Surge in January

Measuring The Wireline Digital Divide In The US

West Africa Mining By The Numbers

Australian Exploration Budget Trends 2019


Workers begin strike at Glencore mine; Peabody Energy files for bankruptcy; illegal miners control key deposits at AngloGold's Obuasi

TOP NEWS

Workersbegin strike at Glencore's Bolivian mine

Workers at GlencorePlc's Bolivar zinc mine in Bolivia went on hunger strikedemanding the ouster of general manager Juan Carlos Trillo, who allegedly cut backon worker benefits and is allegedly responsible for the death of an employee. BusinessNews Americas reported, citing union leader Germán Chaparro.

Peabody Energy filesfor bankruptcy

PeabodyEnergy Corp. has filedfor Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just weeks after warning it might do so. Thefilings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri includethe majority of Peabody's U.S. entities, though they exclude its Australian operations.Peabody has obtained US$800 million in debtor-in-possession financing via Citigroup,which includes participation from a number of its secured lenders and unsecurednoteholders.

Illegalminers take control of richest deposits at AngloGold's Obuasi mine

Illegal miners have assumed control of areasat AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'sObuasi gold minein Ghana that host the richest deposits, curtailing redevelopment efforts, BloombergNews wrote. If the takeover continues, the company may consider its options as aninvestor.

BASE METALS

* Workers at GlencorePlc's Bolivar zinc mine in Bolivia went on hunger strikedemanding the ouster of general manager Juan Carlos Trillo, who allegedly cut backon worker benefits and is allegedly responsible for a death of an employee. BusinessNews Americas reported, citing union leader Germán Chaparro.

* China's copper imports hita record 570,000 tonnes in March, pushing the country's total copper importsin the first quarter to 1.43 million tonnes — a 30.1% jump from imports in the sameperiod of the preceding year, Reuters wrote.

* Research firm IHS said a quarter of theworld's nickel miners are producing the base metal ata loss to drive out competitors, Bloomberg News reported. "Very few industriescan support that, and yet we've seen a minimal supply-side reaction," saidJason Kaplan, commodities research manager at IHS. "Everybody is looking ateach other hoping that the guy down the street will fail before them."

* A worker was killed and two local employees were injured whileworking around high-pressure vessels at the nickel processing plant at 's nickel joint venture atBasamuk in Papua New Guinea. Operations have been suspended at the plant and an investigation is on the way.

* Talisman MiningLtd. announced a maidenJORC 2012-compliant mineral resource for the Monty copper-gold deposit in WesternAustralia of 1.05 million tonnes grading 9.4% copper and 1.6 g/t of gold for 99,000tonnes of contained copper and 55,000 ounces of contained gold. The Monty projectis part of the company's 30%-owned Springfieldcopper-gold joint venture.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Illegal miners have assumed control ofareas at AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'sObuasi gold minein Ghana that host the richest deposits, curtailing redevelopment efforts, BloombergNews wrote. If the takeover continues, the company may consider its options as aninvestor.

* Sumitomo MetalMining Co. Ltd. unit SumitomoMetal Mining Oceania Pty. Ltd. has increased its stake in the South Yamarna joint venture gold project in WesternAustralia to 50% by completing its commitment of funding A$8 million for explorationin March.

* A total of 18 groups including Chinese gold mining giants andShandong Gold Group Co. Ltd.will participate in Beijing's new yuan-denominated gold benchmark, Reuters reported,citing a source familiar with the matter.

* Compañía de MinasBuenaventura SAA producedabout 293,238 ounces of gold from its Peruvian mines in the first quarter, downfrom 358,785 ounces of gold produced in the comparable 2015 period. The companyalso produced about 6.0 million ounces of silver, up from approximately 5.6 millionounces of silver recorded a year ago.

* Fresnillo Plcrecorded a year-over-year boost of26.3% in its first-quarter production to 229,925 ounces of gold, witha quarterly increase of 6.5%, mainly due to a higher speed of recovery at and at Noche Buena.Silver output was 11.04 million ounces, slightly down from 11.31 million ouncesin the first quarter of 2015 and 11.34 million ounces in the fourth quarter of 2015.

* Anglo Asian MiningPlc is targetinggold production of between 73,000 ounces and 77,000 ounces this year, while thecopper production target for the year is between 1,700 tonnes and 2,100 tonnes.

* CNMC GoldmineHoldings Ltd. restartedthe vat leach facility at its Sokorproject in Malaysia following an upgrade and refurbishment work. With a leachingcapacity of approximately 200,000 tonnes of ore per annum, the upgraded facilityhad its first gold pour, during which it produced 1,363.29 ounces of gold dore bars.

* Marmota EnergyLtd. struck a deal with a private party to acquire three tenements covering800 square kilometers of highly prospective ground around the Challenger gold minein South Australia. The company will issue1 million shares upon completion of the deal.

* Alecto MineralsPlc entered into a vendorfinancing deal with Yantai Xinhai Machinery Co. Ltd. and PenMin (Pty)Ltd. regarding the proposed construction and financing of mining operations at theMatala gold project in Zambia, following the results of a feasibility study thatpegged a net present value of US$28.6 million, at an 8% discount rate, and an internalrate of return of 52%.  

* Melkior ResourcesInc. acquireda mining claim totaling 64 hectares from an arm's length party that adjoins itsCarscallen goldproperty in Ontario.

* A pre-feasibility study on Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd.'s Nueva Esperanza gold project in Chile deliveredpositive economics, witha pretax net present value of US$168 million at a 5% discount rate, an internalrate of return of 25% and a payback period of three years.

* Infill drilling at the Mangazeisky North deposit of 's silver propertyin Russia converted 74% of the inferred resource into the indicated category. Italso led to a 43% increasein the estimated average resource grade at the deposit to 637 g/t of silver.

BULK COMMODITIES

* PeabodyEnergy Corp. has filedfor Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just weeks after warning it might do so. Thefilings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri includethe majority of Peabody's U.S. entities, though they exclude its Australian operations.Peabody has obtained US$800 million in debtor-in-possession financing via Citigroupwhich includes participation from a number of its secured lenders and unsecurednoteholders.

* OJSC PhosAgro'stotal fertilizer production in the first quarter increased 10.2% year over year to 1.91 million tonnes, whilesales volumes rose 8.2% to 1.84 million tonnes.

* Alcoa Inc.struck a new deal with power supplier Bonneville Power Authority to keep 2.5 potlinesopen at its Intalcoaluminum smelter in Washington state, avertingthe facility's shutdown, Reuters reported. 

* Companhia SiderúrgicaNacional Vice President Paulo Caffarelli said the company has soughtBrazilian regulator Cade's permission to appoint a combined three members to 'sboard and financial committee as it is not satisfied with certain directors, Reutersreported.CSN holds a substantial interest in Usiminas.

* Fortescue MetalsGroup Ltd. CEO Nev Power said the company will upholdits existing 30-day payment policy, The Australianreported. "We see it very much as a value-add relationship and we wantto make sure that their businesses are strong and profitable and healthy,"he added.

* Separately, Bloomberg News quoted Fortescue CFO Stephen Pearceas saying that the Australian iron ore major is contemplating"all options" as its war chest for cutting debt increases to US$1.5 billionand iron ore prices recover.

* Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut the credit ratings of three major fertilizer companies,citing projections of a 20% to 30% fall in nitrogen fertilizer prices from 2016to 2018, and significant upcoming spending by the companies on new projects thatcould send the companies' free cash flow into negative territory. The credit agencylowered the ratings of EuroChem Group AG, Germany's K+S AG, as well as Canada-based Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. S&P also placed theratings of a fourth company, Russian potash miner PJSC Uralkali, on "negative" outlook, suggestingits ratings could be cut in the near future.

* An official from Bolivian state-owned Comibol said the company's US$178 million potassium chlorideproject is ontrack to commence output by mid-2018, Business News Americas reported.

* Encanto PotashCorp. and Metals and Minerals Trading Co. of India have the terms of their memorandum ofunderstanding for a substantial off-take agreement. The MOU is now expanded forthe supply of at least 2 million tonnes of potash per year from Encanto's project in Saskatchewan.

* The iron ore rally extended toward the US$60-per-tonne mark,a month-high, buoyed by higher purchases from China's steel mills amid "prettygood" prospects for demand and the Chinese economy, Bloomberg News reported.

* According to Chinese customs data, the country exported 9.98million tonnes of steel products in March, a30% increase from exports a year ago, pushing the country's first-quarter steelimports to 27.83 million tonnes — a 7.9% rise from a year earlier. Reuters addedthat China increased iron ore imports by 6.5% on a yearly basis to 85.77 milliontonnes in March, with total iron ore imports for the quarter rising by the samepercentage to 241.56 million tonnes.

* Adani EnterprisesLtd. is facing another legalchallenge in relation to the development of its Carmichael coal project in Queensland as the Wanganand Jagalingou people have lodged an appeal with the Federal Court, seeking a reviewof the decision to issue mining leases to the project, Mining Weekly wrote.

* Tata Steel Ltd.and ThyssenKrupp AG arein high-level talks regarding the possibility of mergingtheir respective European steel operations under a joint venture, Reuters wrote,citing German daily Rheinische Post. Accordingto the newspaper, the companies are discussing a model that would see each of TataSteel and ThyssenKrupp having shares in the joint venture that are proportionalto the values of the businesses they were contributing. However, the Rheinische Post noted that an agreement isnot imminent and that the parties are also discussing other options apart from ajoint venture.

* Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission,said the Chinese steel industry should be punished with "" if it is found to havebeen dumping on the European market at unfair prices.

* Churchill MiningPlc said Indonesia failedto pay its share of an advance payment, totaling US$200,000, to the InternationalCentre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID, and is in default ofits arbitration obligations. If the country does not respond by April 20, Churchillplans to file an application under Rule 42 of the ICSID arbitration and ask thetribunal to fix a schedule for the completion of the case without Indonesia.

SPECIALTY

* Dominion DiamondCorp. reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of US$34.9 millionin the three months ended Jan. 31, wideningfrom a loss of US$2.2 million posted in the year-ago period. Sales also fell toUS$178.1 million from US$240.6 million a year earlier.

* Alix ResourcesCorp. acquiredthe Jackpot lithium property in Ontario from arm's length vendors in exchange for2.4 million shares as well as expenditures of C$350,000 on the property over a two-yearperiod.

* A special tender of diamonds from Lucara Diamond Corp.'s Karowe mine in Botswana generated gross revenues of US$51.3 million, or US$33,632per carat. The tender consisted of 10 diamonds totaling 1,525 carats.

* Macarthur MineralsLtd. applied for three additional exploration licenses in the Pilbara and Ravensthorpe regionsof Western Australia expanding its potential tenement area to 1,192 square kilometers.One of the two new Ravensthorpe applications has mapped pegmatites with potentialto host lithium mineralization.

* Kidman ResourcesLtd. said it receivedstrong interest from both local and offshore companies in respect to the lithiumand tantalum rights at the Mount Holland gold project in Western Australia.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The Mining Association of Canada released a statement supportingthe adoption of carbon prices to addressclimate change. "A broad-based carbon price is the most effectiveand efficient means to influence the investment and operating decisions that drivereal emission reductions and innovations from all sectors of an economy," theindustry organization said in its newly released "Principles for climate changepolicy design."

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.