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Argentina court extends Barrick Gold's Veladero mine suspension

TOP NEWS

Argentina court extends suspension of Barrick Gold's Veladero mine

Based on the report submitted by mining police in Argentina's San Juan province, Judge Pablo Oritja ruled that Barrick Gold Corp.'s Veladero mine would remain suspended, as the the repairs were insufficient to reopen the mine, Reuters reported. The court extended the temporary suspension until the company completes additional work at the mine. Operations were suspended at Veladero on Sept. 15 following a cyanide leak.

OZ Minerals may miss gold production guidance due to power outage

OZ Minerals Ltd. may miss its gold production guidance of 125,000 ounces and 135,000 ounces in 2016 at its Prominent Hill mine due to the power outage in South Australia. Copper production is expected to remain within the guidance of 115,000 ounces to 125,000 tonnes.

Anglo closes US$1.5B sale of Brazilian niobium, phosphates assets to China Molybdenum

Anglo American Plc completed the sale of its niobium and phosphates businesses in Brazil for a total of US$1.7 billion in cash to China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. The consideration comprises a previously agreed upon US$1.5 billion in cash for the sale of Anglo's assets and an additional US$187 million of working capital and other adjustments.

DIVERSIFIED

* According to a BHP Billiton Group spokesperson, operations at the company's Olympic Dam remain suspended with no timeline yet confirmed for production to be restarted, Bloomberg News reported. Meanwhile, Arrium Ltd. could face costs of as much as A$40 million following South Australia's statewide power outage caused by storms, which forced suspensions across several operations in the state. Arrium's Whyalla steelworks and the mining of iron ore to feed the mill have been halted since the power failure on Sept. 28.

BASE METALS

* Global nickel prices are expected to jump 25% to about US$6 per pound by the end of next year following the recent bans on miners in the Philippines, Bloomberg News reported, citing USB Group AG.

* Vast Resources PLC has started full-scale commercial zinc production at its Manaila polymetallic mine in Romania, adding a second commodity and revenue stream for the company in addition to copper. The company is targeting production of 150 tonnes per month of zinc from this month onward.

* Horizonte Minerals Plc's new pre-feasibility study at its Araguaia nickel project in northern Brazil estimated a posttax net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$581 million and a posttax internal rate of return of 26.4%, at a nickel price of US$14,000 per tonne. Production is estimated at about 14,500 tonnes per year with a 28-year life of mine.

* New World Resources Plc shareholder State Street Nominees Ltd. requested that the company's directors call a general meeting for shareholders to vote on placing New World into liquidation and to appoint liquidators.

* The Public Prosecutor's Office of Peru closed the investigation into the disappearance and death of three workers of Rio Blanco Copper SA, a subsidiary partially owned by China's Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. The workers went missing in July 2015 while doing exploration work in Piura region, in northern Peru, and no explanation as to the cause of their deaths was found, daily Correo reported.

* Glencore Plc is reviewing the allegations by U.S. authorities of the decade-long involvement of its key business partner, Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, in bribing government officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gertler's Fleurette Properties Ltd. holds a 31% interest in the Mutanda copper-cobalt mine in the DRC, while Glencore owns the majority 69% interest in the project.

* Codelco submitted a US$55 million plan to environmental regulators aimed at keeping the Salvador copper mine in Chile operating through 2021.

* Rescue operations are ongoing to recover three workers trapped inside the Dudder lead-zinc mine in Lasbela, in Pakistan's Balochistan province, with the rescuers managing to reach 600 meters into the mine to create ventilation, Dawn reported. A lift carrying five workers — four Chinese engineers and one Pakistani electrician — fell 1 kilometer inside the mine Sept. 24. Two Chinese engineers have managed to escape, but, according to Chief Inspector Mines in Balochistan Iftikhar Ahmed, there was a slim chance that the three remaining men have survived.

PRECIOUS METALS

* White Rivers Exploration Pty Ltd. is considering another gold partnership in South Africa. "We are talking to a number of other large South African producers," Executive Chairman Neil Warburton told SNL Metals & Mining.

* Brixton Metals Corp. has struck a deal with Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. to acquire its landholding of additional property adjoining the former’s Langis silver project in Ontario.

* Wesizwe Platinum Ltd. decided to reduce the scope of engineering and construction works for the Bakubung platinum project in South Africa’s North West province due to commercial imperatives.

* For its first-ever ratings action for the company, Moody's assigned a corporate family rating of Ba1 and a probability of default rating of Ba1-PD to Polyus Gold International Ltd., the holding company of Russian PJSC Polyus Gold. The outlook on the ratings is negative.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Kommersant and Vedomosti reported that Sual Partners, owned by Viktor Vekselberg and his partners, intends to close a deal by the end of October to buy 17.02% of United Co. RUSAL Plc, owned by Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim, according to Vekselberg's interview with Bloomberg. If Sual Partners completes the transaction, it will own 32.8% of the aluminum company.

* RUSAL's board approved a payment of interim dividends for the first half in the amount of about 1.65 U.S. cents per common share, Kommersant reported. The payment of dividends is subject to approval by the creditor banks.

* New evidence suggests that, not only did Sundance Resources Ltd. bribe the family of the president of the Republic of Congo, but it also bribed the country's mines and geology minister. Fairfax Media obtained leaked documents showing that Sundance gave millions of dollars worth of shares to a company, Cominvest, which was founded and directed by the brother of Republic of Congo mining minister Pierre Oba.

* RBC Daily reported that the auction for the right to develop Sukhoi Log, with 28% of the gold reserves of Russia, could take place at the end of the year. Only companies with state participation of not less than 25% will be allowed to take part in the auction.

* Vedomosti reported that MMK will not sell its Turkish subsidiary, MMK Metalurji Sanayi Ticaret ve Liman Isletmeciligi AS. The main owner of MMK, Viktor Rashnikov, believes it can be profitable.

* In an effort to streamline its corporate governance, POSCO Engineering & Construction Co. is seeking to lay off about 600 workers under a voluntary retirement scheme, which accounts for more than half of its 1,000-man workforce, The Korea Times reported. The company will start accepting resignations from Oct. 4, according to company insiders.

* Fushun Special Steel, which is 35.22% owned by state-run, unlisted steelmaker Dongbei Special Steel Group Co Ltd., said a court is reviewing an application from creditors for a bankruptcy restructuring of its parent as part of its business revival plan, Reuters reported.

* Thousands of protesters in Vietnam gathered at a steel plant run by a Formosa Plastics Group unit, demanding the exit of the company from the country, more compensation and better environmental cleanup, Reuters reported. In April, toxins released from the company's US$10.6 billion steel plant caused massive fish deaths along a 200-kilometer stretch of coastline.

* S&P Global Ratings downgraded the corporate credit rating on Compass Minerals International Inc. to BB from BB+, with a stable outlook. The firm also assigned a BB+ issue-level rating and 2 recovery rating to the company's new US$450 million term loan due 2021.

* Fitch Ratings has maintained the rating watch evolving on the Tata Steel Ltd.'s long-term issuer default rating, which is at BB, and long-term issuer default rating of Tata Steel UK Holdings Ltd., which is at B.

* Exxaro Resources Ltd. completed the divestment of its iron ore assets in the Republic of Congo, transferring the ownership of the Mayoko iron ore project to SAPRO SA.

SPECIALTY

* Saint Jean Carbon Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire a large block comprising 27 mineral claims that cover 1,458 hectares in Quebec's James Bay region. The new claims are contiguous to the company's Whabouchi lithium project and increase its lithium holding to 109 claims in the area.

* Lobbyists from Russia met with Chilean government officials to discuss collaboration on lithium projects, Reuters reported.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Colombia’s bid to end more than five decades of armed conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, has failed, with Colombians voting against a peace deal. The voting was expected to end in favor of ending the conflict, but 50.25% of votes were cast against the agreement.

* Regina Lopez, the Philippines' Environment and Natural Resources secretary, said some of the 20 mines facing suspension orders on the back of environmental violations may not have to halt operations if they manage to fix the issues, Reuters reported. Lopez was cited as saying that the mines will be given time to address the problems.

S&P Global Ratings and SNL Metals and Mining, an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence, are both owned by S&P Global Inc.

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.