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Agrium, PotashCorp net final regulatory approval for merger


Agrium, PotashCorp net final regulatory approval for merger

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. secured final approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for their proposed merger to create Nutrien. With all regulatory approvals in place, the companies expect to close the transaction Jan. 1.

Kobe Steel hit with 3 class action lawsuits on data falsification allegations

Kobe Steel Ltd. is facing three separate lawsuits in the U.S. on the allegations of repeatedly falsifying data on aluminum, copper, iron and steel products, and knowingly selling products that failed quality control tests. Rosen Law Firm, Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman LLC and Block & Leviton LLP filed class actions against the company and certain of its officers and directors on alleged violation of federal securities laws.

Rio Tinto moves into physical trading for metals and minerals

Rio Tinto moved into physical trading of self-produced metals and minerals in a bid to get better prices, the Financial Times reported, citing the company's CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques. The company is currently trading small volumes of bauxite, alumina and aluminum, "but at some point in time, over the medium and long term, we could increase our trading activities," Jacques said.


* A large group of trade unions in Chile's mining sector is set to start negotiations for new collective labor agreements in 2018. In the case of Codelco, worker groups at the El Teniente, Radomiro Tomic, Headquarters, and Ministro Hales divisions, supervisor unions at Chuquicamata and Andina, and professional associations at the Gabriela Mistral and Ministro Hales units are expected to discuss new deals. Meanwhile, unions at Antofagasta Plc's Lomas Bayas and Los Pelambres projects, and BHP Billiton Group's Escondida and Spence mines are also scheduled to renegotiate, daily Soy Chile reported.

* Codelco awarded an approximately US$20 million contract to Spain's OHL to support the operation and maintenance of the canal for the transport of slurry, tailings and industrial wastewater at the El Teniente copper mine in Chile, International Mining reported.

* An official from Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said that US$5.03 billion has been invested into the construction of nickel smelters by 13 companies in the first 10 months of 2017, the Jakarta Globe reported. A government regulation issued earlier this year required miners to process raw materials locally before exporting them.

* Osisko Metals Inc. entered into a definitive deal to acquire the base metals-prospective Key Anacon claims and surrounding area in New Brunswick's Bathurst Mining Camp from Hunter Brook Holdings Ltd.

* Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. Ltd. set the 2018 benchmark to treat and refine Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s ore at US$82.25 per tonne and 8.225 cents per pound, down 11% from 2017 benchmarks, a source in Tongling Nonferrous told Reuters.


* Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Renova Group sold its stake in gold producer Petropavlovsk Plc, a Renova spokesman Andrey Shtorkh told Reuters, without disclosing the details of the transaction. Meanwhile, Kommersant and Vedomosti reported that Renova is negotiating the sale of the Kamchatka gold project in Russia to OJSC GV Gold.

* Newton Resources Ltd. extended the exclusive period to enter a memorandum of understanding with Suriname Mining Co. for the development of a gold mine in Suriname from ending on Dec. 31 to June 30, 2018.

* Centerra Gold Inc. suspended milling operations at its Mount Milligan copper-gold mine in British Columbia due to insufficient water resources. As a longer-term response to the situation, Centerra is planning a change to the mine's environmental assessment, seeking permission to pump water from the nearby Phillips lake.

* Patagonia Gold Plc entered a definitive agreement for the previously announced acquisition of the Calcatreu deposit from Pan American Silver Corp. for US$15 million. The company intends to advance the Calcatreu project in 2018 by exploring the area immediately around the existing resource.

* Trek Mining Inc., NewCastle Gold Ltd. and Anfield Gold Corp. completed their business combination to create Equinox Gold Corp., which started trading on the TSX Venture Exchange and on the OTC in the U.S. Equinox completed the sale of Mayaniquel SA to International Nickel Supply SA, receiving the remaining US$12.5 million in cash, while also closing the sale of Chapleau Resources Ltd. and its Coringa gold project to Serabi Gold Plc.

* Argentine authorities approved the environmental impact assessment for SSR Mining Inc.'s Chinchillas silver project in the country's Jujuy province. Development activities will now commence, with first ore feed to the Pirquitas mill expected in the second half of 2018.


* Next year, Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA directors will mull an increase in prices for its contract with its 70%-owned hot-dip galvanizing unit, Unigal, Valor International wrote. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., which owns the remaining 30% stake, is against any change in the contract.

* Tian Poh Resources Ltd. said it received support from the Mongolian Ministry of Energy to advance a feasibility study for its proposed coal-to-gas project, in which coal from its Nuurst coal deposit would be gasified to supply residents of Ulaanbaatar.

* China Hanking Holdings Ltd. expects to record a net profit for the year ending Dec. 31, compared to a year-ago loss, based on a preliminary assessment. The swing was attributed to gains of 760 million Chinese yuan from the sale of its unit Hanking Australia Pty. Ltd. A year-over-year surge in iron ore concentrate price and the start of nickel sales also helped drive the revenue increase.

* Tata Steel Ltd. is ramping up production at its Khondbond iron ore mine in Odisha, India, to fuel the recently announced expansion of the Kalinganagar steel plant, Press trust of India reported, citing a company official said.

* Indonesian coal miner PT Toba Bara Sejahtra Tbk plans to issue medium-term notes worth US$250 million to refinance its debt and further expand its businesses, The Jakarta Post reported. The notes, which will be listed in the Singapore Exchange, will mature in five years with a maximum interest rate of 10% per annum.

* Coal exports across the globe increased 1.9% in 2016 to 1.33 billion tonnes, including a 1.5% increase in steam coal exports to 1.01 billion tonnes and a 3.4% increase in coking coal exports to 314.1 million tonnes, according to a report from the International Energy Agency. Mining News wrote that coal demand is expected to remain stable during 2017 and 2022 and is estimated to reach 5.5 billion tonnes coal equivalent by 2022, the same average as the previous five years.


* Brazil's President Michel Temer signed off a bill that will create a new regulatory agency for the mining sector. The new public body, which will replace current watchdog DNPM, is expected to make the licensing approval process more efficient, news agency Senado reported.

* The total value of merger deals in Canada declined 11% to US$243.5 billion through Dec. 26, 2017, compared to US$272.3 billion of deals in 2016, mainly due to a 25% drop in energy deals, Bloomberg News reported. JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s senior country officer in Canada, David Rawlings, expects mergers to decline even further in 2018.

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.