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Southern Copper workers in Peru threaten to strike

TOP NEWS

Southern Copper workers in Peru threaten to strike

Workers at Grupo México SAB de CV unit Southern Copper Corp.'s Cuajone and Toquepala copper mines and the Ilo smelter in Peru are set to start a strike April 10, Business News Americas reported. The workers are demanding a bigger share of profits, along with better healthcare and working conditions.

Cyclone Debbie disrupts US$3.2B of Australian coal exports

The damaged coal rail links in cyclone-hit Queensland, Australia, are set to disrupt coal exports, and about 15 million to 20 million tonnes of coking coal have failed to leave Australian ports in the past few days. At the March 31 spot price of about US$158 per tonne, the disrupted exports represent up to US$3.2 billion, The Australian reported.

Yanzhou to raise US$1B to fund Yancoal's acquisition of Rio Tinto's coal assets

Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. is moving to raise the over US$1 billion it committed to provide to its subsidiary Yancoal Australia Ltd. for the US$2.45 billion acquisition of Rio Tinto's Australian coal assets, The Australian Financial Review reported. Yanzhou will offer up to 647 million shares via a nonpublic issuance, representing about 13.17% of its Shanghai-listed stock, to raise the amount.

BASE METALS

* Mitsubishi Materials Corp. is targeting production of 177,186 tonnes of refined copper from April to September, up 13% year over year, Reuters reported. The miner will cut its lead production by 1.9% on a yearly basis to 13,728 tonnes in the first half of fiscal 2017-2018.

* Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. forecasts production of 450,000 tonnes of electrolytic copper for its fiscal 2017 ending in March 2018, compared to the prior year's anticipated total of 445,200 tonnes.

* A preliminary economic assessment for Arizona Mining Inc.'s Taylor zinc-lead-silver sulfide deposit, part of the company's Hermosa project in Arizona, estimated an after-tax net present value of US$1.26 billion, using an 8% discount rate, and an internal rate of return of 42%. The study pegged initial CapEx at US$457 million, with payback in 1.7 years.

* Chile's Enami EP expects its copper cathode output for the year to stabilize at about 140,000 tonnes, in line with 2016 output but down over 20% from four years ago, Metal Bulletin reported.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Almaden Minerals Ltd. estimated a posttax net present value, at a discount rate of 5%, of US$310 million and an internal rate of return of 41% in a pre-feasibility study for the Ixtaca precious metals deposit, part of its Tuligtic gold project in Puebla, Mexico. The project will require initial CapEx of US$117 million, and life-of-mine production is estimated at 1.04 million ounces of gold and 70.9 million ounces of silver doré produced on site.

* Tharisa Plc has decided to switch to an owner-mining model from a contract mining model at its Tharisa platinum mine in South Africa. The company will purchase the existing on-site plant and equipment from MCC Contracts Pty. Ltd., the mining contractor for Tharisa.

* Asa Resource Group Plc directors said the new anonymous allegations over the financial management of its 85%-owned Freda Rebecca gold mine in Zimbabwe are "completely mischievous" and "unsubstantiated." The company will initiate a review of the allegations.

* Goldplat Plc rejected Rand Refinery's proposal to settle a dispute over a binding memorandum of understanding to process a batch of silver sulfide material. Goldplat said it will start legal proceedings against Rand Refinery to recover the payment of 13.5 million South African rand.

* Continental Gold Inc. granted Merit Consultants International Inc. the construction management contract for its Buritica gold-silver project in Colombia, while M3 Engineering & Technology Corp. secured the engineering and procurement contract.

* St Barbara Ltd. agreed to subscribe for 16 million shares in Peel Mining Ltd., representing about a 9.5% stake in the company.

* Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. has decided to potentially take the Thai government to arbitration for "measures taken against the Chatree gold mine in violation of the Australia-Thailand free trade agreement." The miner will look for compensation, among other settlements, and has notified Thailand's Prime Minister that it wants to engage in consultations.

* Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. issued an ultimatum to striking workers at the Kusasalethu gold mine in South Africa, urging them to return to work by April 4 or face disciplinary action, after no employees reported for work, ignoring a Labour Court of South Africa order, which declared the ongoing labor action "unprotected."

* Besra Gold Inc. agreed to sell its Vietnamese assets to Paul and David Seton after investors balked at the assets' liabilities and "clear market antipathy" toward the Asian nation.

* Alamos Gold Inc. redeemed US$315 million of its 7.75% senior secured second-lien notes due 2020. The redemption will result in annual interest savings of US$24.4 million for the company.

* A pre-feasibility study on Endeavour Silver Corp.'s Terronera silver-gold project in Mexico estimated a base case net present value of US$78.2 million, using a 5% discount rate, and an after-tax internal rate of return of 21%. Initial CapEx is pegged at US$69.2 million, with payback in 4.3 years.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vale SA said the cargo of 260,000 tonnes of fine iron ore on the South Korean ore carrier that sank in the South Atlantic off the coast of Uruguay was insured, Reuters reported. The cargo was bound for China for storage and blending.

* Steel Authority of India Ltd. recorded its best ever annual sales performance for the year to March 2017, with an 8% year-over-year growth in steel sales of 13.1 million tonnes in the 2017 financial year.

* Stanmore Coal Ltd. agreed to a joint exploration and support agreement with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., or JOGMEC, covering the Isaac Plains East and Isaac Plains coal projects in Queensland, Australia, and the subsequent off-take on the projects' output.

* NSL Consolidated Ltd. entered a memorandum of understanding with China's Shandong Xinhai Mining Technology & Equipment Inc. to secure financing for future beneficiation plants up to a production target of 2.5 million tonnes per annum of iron ore concentrate.

* To make up for the lost coal supply from Australia in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie, China is looking to source its demand from the U.S., Reuters reported.

* Coking coal prices spiked April 3, surging over 15% to A$175.70 per tonne on the back of a major disruption to Australia's coal exports due to the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie, Mining.com reported.

* Peabody Energy Corp. has emerged from a year-long Chapter 11 reorganization after shedding more than US$5 billion in debt.

* India's JSW Steel Ltd. wrote off 52.51 billion Indian rupees in loans it provided to its JSW Steel Holding USA unit, Metal Bulletin reported. The company intends to liquidate the U.S.-based unit and transfer its assets and liabilities to another U.S. subsidiary, Periama Holdings.

* Orbite Technologies Inc. filed a notice of intention to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada, kicking off a 30-day process to renegotiate its debt obligations and raise funds to remedy the equipment issues the company is facing at its high-purity alumina plant in Quebec.

SPECIALTY

* Galaxy Resources Ltd. reached nameplate throughput at its Mount Cattlin lithium project in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia. Over the last seven days, throughput at Mount Cattlin averaged 210 dry tonnes per hour at the monthly average utilization rate of 79%.

* Walkabout Resources Ltd. estimated maiden ore reserves for its high-grade Lindi Jumbo graphite project in southeastern Tanzania of 5 million tonnes at 16.13% total graphitic carbon for 809,081 tonnes of graphite concentrate in the proven and probable category.

* Sheffield Resources Ltd. entered nonbinding memorandums of understanding with two ceramics firms, Ruby Ceramics Pvt. Ltd. of India and CFM Minerales SA of Spain, for the sale of future zircon output from the Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia.

* American Potash Corp. acquired 608 U.S. federal placer mining claims totaling about 12,000 acres in the southeast extension of the Paradox Basin in San Miguel County, Colorado. The acquisition brings the company's lithium claims and leases in the Paradox Basin of Utah and Colorado to about 25,000 acres.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* The best-performing mine in Chile requires 43 man-hours to move 1,000 tonnes of material, compared with the world average of 30 man-hours to transport the same amount. This makes Chilean operations 30% less efficient, according to a study commissioned by the Chilean government that will be presented at the CRU/CESCO mining conference this week, daily El Mercurio reported.

* The European Union passed a new set of rules that would make it more difficult for armed groups to finance their activities via the sale of conflict minerals. The new legislation, which will become binding from January 2021, obliges all member states to identify the source of their metals and mineral imports.

* During the first three and a half months of his presidency, Shavkat Mirziyoyev has encouraged reforms to open up the Uzbek mining sector to foreign investment, the British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Christopher Allan, said during a webinar on trade opportunities. Stating that there are over 1,800 known mineral deposits in Uzbekistan, Lewis said the country has "world-class" gold and uranium resources.

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.