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Anglo American said to keep Queensland coal mines as prices improve

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Anglo American said to keep Queensland coal mines as prices improve

TOP NEWS

Report: Anglo American to keep Queensland coal mines as prices improve

The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk speculates that there will not be a deal for the sale of Anglo American Plc's Grosvenor and Moranbah coal projects in Queensland, as the company did not mention the mines in its recently released quarterly production report. According to the newspaper, it is understood that the company is figuring out how to operate the assets, as metallurgical coal price improved last year.

BHP Billiton's Escondida copper mine workers starting to vote on possible strike

More than 2,500 union workers at BHP Billiton Group's Escondida copper mine in Chile started voting Jan. 27 on whether to go on strike. The voting process will last until Jan. 31. If workers decide to strike, the company can request for a five-day extension period to negotiate a last proposal, daily El Mercurio de Antofagasta reported.

Newcrest books higher H1 gold, copper output on Lihir improvement

Newcrest Mining Ltd. improved its gold and copper output in the first half of the 2017 financial year following increased throughput at the Lihir Island mine in Papua New Guinea and the Cadia East mine in New South Wales, Australia. Copper output climbed to 48,899 tonnes in the first half of the fiscal year, from 38,918 tonnes a year earlier, while gold production slightly increased from 1.20 million ounces to 1.23 million ounces.

DIVERSIFIED

* Northern Shield Resources Inc. staked a new property, containing 88 claims, in Labrador Trough, Quebec, which will be primarily explored for copper-nickel-platinum group elements mineralization.

BASE METALS

* Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd.'s MCC Sierra Grande formally began the dismissal of 220 workers and the cessation of operations at its iron ore mine in Chile's Rio Negro province. The company will keep 40 workers for maintenance purposes, daily Clarin reported.

* Fitzroy River Corp. Ltd.'s A$10.5 million off-market takeover bid for Royalco Resources Ltd. has become unconditional. The company said it will accelerate payment of the 20-cent-per-share cash consideration to Royalco shareholders that have accepted its offer.

* Canadian explorer Copper One Inc. plans to fight a decision by the Quebec Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to suspend the company's claims at the Riviere Dore copper project.

* OZ Minerals Ltd. achieved its full-year copper output guidance, producing 29,758 tonnes of copper in the fourth quarter of 2016, bringing full-year 2016 production to 116,882 copper tonnes and hitting the lower end of the 115,000 tonnes to 125,000 tonnes forecast.

* According to BMI Research, tin prices will likely gradually surge to US$22,500 per tonne by 2021, amid a sustained market deficit starting in 2018 and depleting inventories, Mining Weekly reported.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Thanks to higher spot gold prices, Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. expects to be back in the black for the six months that ended Dec. 31, 2016, with EPS expected to range from 24 U.S. cents to 26 cents compared to the 7-cent loss per share posted in the previous comparable period.

* Teranga Gold Corp. expects to produce 205,000 ounces to 225,000 ounces of gold in 2017 at all-in sustaining costs of US$1,000 per ounce to US$1,075 per ounce, after beating output guidance and achieving record production of 216,735 gold ounces in 2016.

* New Gold Inc. expects gold production to rise to between 380,000 ounces and 430,000 ounces this year at all-in sustaining costs of US$825 per ounce to US$865 per ounce. The company's 2016 output hit 381,663 ounces of gold at record low all-in sustaining costs of US$692 per ounce.

* Vast Resources PLC signed a conditional agreement for the partial disposal of a noncontrolling interest in its Pickstone Peerless and Giant gold projects in Zimbabwe.

* OceanaGold Corp. produced 416,741 ounces of gold and 21,123 tonnes of copper for full-year 2016, achieving guidance for gold and beating it for copper. For this year, the company expects to produce 550,000 ounces to 610,000 ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of US$600 per ounce to US$650 per ounce sold.

* Plata Panamericana SA de CV officially inaugurated the US$150 million expansion project of its La Colorada gold-silver mine in Mexico, which is expected to increase production to 1,800 tonnes of gold, silver, lead and zinc concentrates, daily El Sol de Zacatecas reported.

* Kommersant reported that Nord Gold SE, owned over 90% by Alexei Mordashov, may buy minority shareholders stakes or delist from the London Stock Exchange. The company feels that it is undervalued and there is no rotation among key minority shareholders, which would increase the liquidity of its securities. If delisted, Nord Gold may return to the market between 2018 and 2019. The free-float of the company is estimated at US$125 million.

* Randgold Resources Ltd.'s Loulo-Gounkoto gold mining complex in Mali is expected to report a production record for the fourth quarter of 2016, CEO Mark Bristow said. According to Bristow, the company was on track to beat its 2016 production guidance of 670,000 ounces of gold. Meanwhile, negotiations are underway to resolve an illegal sit-in at the company's Tongon mine in Ivory Coast, which was started Jan. 26 by some employees demanding annual ex gratia payments.

* Geopacific Resources Ltd. completed the agreement to earn up to an 80% stake in Kula Gold Ltd.'s Woodlark Island gold project in Papua New Guinea.

* Alliance Mining Corp. secured an option to acquire property in Manitoba's Bissett gold camp from Tiberius Gold Corp. Alliance can earn a 100% stake in the property by paying C$1.3 million in cash or shares over a four-year period.

* ECR Minerals Plc decided to restart on-the-ground activities to advance the Sierra de las Minas gold project in Argentina.

* An Ontario court imposed a C$55,000 fine on Goldcorp Inc. and C$40,000 on contractor Miller Paving over a worker injury in September 2014, Mining Weekly reported, citing a court bulletin. The contract worker was injured when a hopper containing sand toppled at the Porcupine mine near Timmins.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Leris Braga, mayor of Brazil's Santa Barbara city, declined to approve a plan for BHP Billiton Group and Vale SA joint venture Samarco Mineração SA to use water from a nearby river to complete an ongoing environmental study that is required by Minas Gerais state regulators to restart the Samarco mine operations, Bloomberg News reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. Braga is asking for a separate study to test possible disruptions to the river's water flow.

* Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. secured a five-year coal linkage of 500,000 tonnes per annum for its sponge iron units through Coal India Ltd.'s recently concluded coal linkage auction, the Press Trust of India reported.

* Glencore Plc's planned maintenance work at its Dunkirk manganese alloys plant in France from mid-February will take about 26,000 tonnes of ferromanganese production out of the market, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Coal of Africa Ltd. secured the South African Department of Mineral Resources' approval for the stream diversion and associated infrastructure development at its Vele colliery and now awaits the integrated water use license, which is the final approval needed for the stream diversion of the plant's modification project, Fin24 reported.

* Wood Mackenzie believes that the executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump to leave the Trans-Pacific Partnership may result in higher steel costs for U.S. manufacturers and a reduction in high-value exports, CNBC reported. The reversal of the TPP is not an entirely positive outcome for the U.S. steel industry, analysts wrote.

* The former executive chairman of Waratah Resources Ltd., Benjamin Kirkpatrick, was convicted of misleading the market and causing the Australian iron ore and coal miner to breach its continuous disclosure obligations. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission claimed that Waratah Resources announced Oct. 14, 2013, that it had established a A$100 million trade finance facility with the Bank of China when no such facility had been established or agreed upon.

* Universal Coal Plc begun open pit mining at its New Clydesdale operation in South Africa after securing a five-year, 650,000-tonne-per-annum export contract.

* Prophecy Development Corp. signed a definitive agreement to acquire Randsburg International Gold Corp.'s 20% interest in the Titan vanadium-titanium-iron project in Ontario. Prophecy currently holds an 80% stake in Titan.

* Delo.ua reported that Wigmore Street Investments No. 3 plans to sell the remainder of its shares of Ferrexpo Plc, the U.K. iron ore company with major assets in Ukraine, and completely go out of that business. It will sell 78 million shares, or 13% of Ferrexpo capital, with the securities to be placed with institutional investors.

* According to analysts, ArcelorMittal's EBITDA will surge by 17.86% year on year, Metal Bulletin reported. The company's EBITDA is expected to clock in at US$6.16 billion for 2016, compared to US$5.23 billion in 2015.

* The EU has imposed definitive anti-dumping duties of 30.7% and 64.9% on Chinese imports of stainless steel tubes for five years. China's Commerce Ministry said it had "serious doubts" about the decision, which had severely damaged the interests of Chinese exporters and violated World Trade Organization rules.

SPECIALTY

* PJSC ALROSA's diamond production in 2016 totaled 37.4 million carats, 2% lower than output from the preceding year, on the back of a downward revision in production plans for its alluvial deposits in the second and third quarters of the year. Indicatively, the company sold 40.1 million carats of diamonds, and its revenues are expected to reach at least US$4.3 billion in 2016.

* Thor Mining PLC applied for an additional exploration license area to secure prospective ground contiguous to its Molyhil tungsten project in Australia's Northern Territory after encouraging results from the company's 2016 exploration drilling program at the project.

* Botswana's state-owned Okavango Diamond Co. posted an 80% jump in 2016 sales to US$547 million, while sales volumes surged 115% to 3.44 million carats, Okavango Deputy Managing Director Marcus ter Haar told Reuters.

* A group of shareholders collectively owning a 6.57% stake in West Africa-focused lithium and gold explorer Birimian Ltd. have called for a general meeting to vote on the removal of two of the company's directors. The shareholders want Chairman Winton Willesee and director Hugh Bresser voted off the board and Michael Langford and James McKay appointed as directors.

* Richland Resources Ltd. produced 839,898 carats of gemstones in the fourth quarter of 2016, beating the quarter's target of 800,000 carats, at a total operating cost of 79 U.S. cents per carat.

* A fire that broke out at AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV's Mibra tantalum mine in Brazil on Jan. 19 will not have any material financial impact to the company and its lithium output. The company noted that it is insured for both the damage sustained to the concentrator and losses attributable to the company as a result of a production interruption.

* The Supreme Court of Western Australia granted Kidman Resources Ltd.'s request to separate any determination of damages in the proceedings commenced by Marindi Metals Ltd. in November 2016. The trial, set for May 29, will deal exclusively with the issue of whether or not an agreement existed between the companies over lithium rights to the Mount Holland project in Western Australia and will only proceed to determine damages payable to Marindi later if the action is successful.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* A majority of Australian fund managers tracked by the JP Morgan Fund Manager Radar increased exposure to the materials sector in December 2016, reflecting their bullish outlook on commodity prices, The Sydney Morning Herald wrote.

* Philippine Environment Secretary Regina Lopez said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources "meticulously observed" due process in auditing the country's metallic mines and noted that the results will promote social justice and the common good, ahead of the release of the audit's results Feb. 2, Business Mirror wrote. Larger players in the mining sector have criticized Lopez for focusing on larger companies while having a lenient stance toward illegal small-scale miners.

* The Australian government earmarked about A$1.9 million to fund four new mining research projects in New South Wales and Queensland to bolster the minerals sector, Mining Weekly reported.

* Brazilian former billionaire Eike Batista will return to Rio de Janeiro to face charges of paying about US$16 million in bribes to former Governor Sergio Cabral, Reuters reported.

* India's Ministry of Mines looks to auction mineral blocks overseas, Mining Weekly reported, citing an official from the ministry. The government will begin redrafting legislation to auction the mineral resources in the next two months, the source noted.

* Macmahon Holdings effectively rejected a A$174 million takeover offer from mining contractor CIMIC Group, advising the former's shareholders to take no action on the former's unconditional cash bid worth 14.5 cents, The Australian reported.

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