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Goldcorp resumes Penasquito mine ops after illegal blockade removed

TOP NEWS

Goldcorp resumes Penasquito mine ops after illegal blockade removed

Goldcorp Inc. started ramping up mining operations at the Penasquito gold-silver mine in Mexico after the removal of an illegal blockade that started Sept. 26. The protest, which forced Goldcorp to temporarily shutter the mine on Oct. 3, dragged on for almost two weeks over issues including trucking, water quality and access, and the perceived unfulfilled company promises in the local communities.

Mali shuts down Randgold offices, seizes bank accounts over US$80M in unpaid taxes

According to Mohamed Lamine Samake, an adviser to Mali's economy ministry, the government has closed offices of firms controlled by Randgold Resources Ltd. and seized their bank accounts, alleging that they owed about US$80 million in unpaid taxes, Reuters reported. The company has been granted a 10-day compliance period, following which Mali plans to take further action.

Botswana applies to place BCL Mine under provisional liquidation

The Botswana government has applied to the high court to place BCL Mine Ltd., its largest copper and nickel producer, under provisional liquidation due to nonprofitability, as the state is unable to afford costs of about US$713 million required to keep operations running, Reuters reported, citing Mineral Resources Minister Sadique Kebonang. The government will continue to pay the salaries of 5,000 workers until the liquidator decides to either shut down or restructure the operations.

DIVERSIFIED

* Deutsche Bank AG opened the week to Oct. 7 with a series of upgrades, raising its ratings on Barrick Gold Corp., Freeport-McMoRan Inc., Pan American Silver Corp., Teck Resources Ltd., Coeur Mining Inc., Goldcorp Inc. and AK Steel Holding Corp.

BASE METALS

* Strong winds in South Australia are hindering maintenance workers who are trying to fix transmission towers, with the restoration of the first damaged power circuit pushed back a day, The Australian Financial Review reported. Power provider ElectraNet told BHP Billiton Group that it can expect power back at its Olympic Dam copper mine in about five to six days.

* Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said it will take 10 years for any of the stakeholders to receive a dividend from the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia.

* Rio Tinto, meanwhile, has organized a trip for analysts and investors to the Oyu Tolgoi mine scheduled for this month, as Jacques is facing increased pressure to justify the development of US$12 billion project, which shareholders fear could turn out to be a financial disaster, The Times reported.

* Kosovo's parliament voted to give the government control of a huge mining complex, Trepca, making it the guarantor of the company's debt, despite strong objections from Serbia, which claims it owns the business, Reuters reported. The Trepca operations are operating at minimum capacity, with creditor claims standing at €1.4 billion.

PRECIOUS METALS

* The sale of Barrick Gold's 50% stake in the Kalgoorlie gold mine in Western Australia is said to have attracted interest from Kinross Gold Corp. and Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. among others, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 6, citing "people with knowledge of the matter."

* According to Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. CEO Peter Steenkamp, the company is focused on bringing its debt down to strengthen its balance sheets and find the "right assets" to add to its portfolio, MiningMx reported. Steenkamp added that Harmony Gold is not throwing its hat in the process for Barrick Gold's 64% stake in Acacia Mining plc.

* Lonmin Plc CEO Ben Magara said that, since there has been a decline in work stoppages at its platinum shafts by South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources in the fourth quarter, he is optimistic the company would meet its production target of 700,000 ounces, MiningMx reported.

* Aura Energy Ltd. Executive Chairman Peter Reeve believes the company's recently acquired gold deposit next to its Tiris uranium project in Mauritania could boost Aura's revenue while it finishes the feasibility study on the main mine, The Telegraph reported.

* The Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted its final order approving Nord Gold SE 's all-share takeover of Northquest Ltd. after Northquest shareholders voted in favor of the arrangement at a special meeting Sept. 28. The deal is expected to close in the coming days.

* Lowell Copper Ltd., Gold Mountain Mining Corp. and Anthem United Inc. completed their previously planned business combination to form JDL Gold Corp., a new company focused on gold and copper.

* Ramelius Resources Ltd. posted record gold production of 36,179 ounces of gold from its operations in Western Australia in the September quarter, exceeding the guidance of between 31,000 ounces of gold and 35,000 ounces of gold.

* South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union President Joseph Mathunjwa said the latest wage talks with the country's platinum miners are not as hostile as they were in 2013, when failed negotiations resulted in a five-month strike, Bloomberg News reported. "There's a sense of understanding where the unions are coming from and also there's a realization in terms of the price of platinum," Mathunjwa said.

* Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Mathunjwa as saying that the wage negotiations are at a critical stage between AMCU and Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Lonmin . However, Mathunjwa did not say whether the union is backing down from its original demand of a nearly 50% pay increase.

* Orinoco Gold Ltd. said the first gold is on its way for refining and sale from its Cascavel 41029 gold mine in central Brazil.

* Spitfire Materials Ltd. executed a conditional agreement to acquire the granted Western Australian gold exploration license E38/2869, known as the England gold project.

* Mariana Resources Ltd. is looking to expand into Ivory Coast by acquiring a stake in a gold-focused private miner. The company entered a binding term sheet to acquire an 80% interest in Awalé Resources SARL.

BULK COMMODITIES

* The International Finance Corp., the private lending arm of the World Bank, is looking to complete a US$2.7 billion debt refinancing for the Nacala Corridor railway project in Mozambique in the first quarter of 2017, Reuters reported, citing the International Finance Corp.'s principal investment officer for infrastructure and natural resources, Marcel Bruhwiler. The funding arrangement will help ease balance sheet pressure on Vale SA , which is developing infrastructure for the Moatize coal mine in the African country.

* Mozambique's government is in negotiations with mining major Vale's Mozambique unit to restart the transport of coal mined at the company's Moatize operations through the Sena railway in the country, Macauhub reported, citing Carlos Mesquita, the minister of Transport and Communications.

* BHP Billiton expects to complete repairs on the tailings dam at its Samarco iron ore joint venture in Brazil by the end of the year. The mine is operated by Samarco Mineração SA, which is jointly owned by BHP Billiton and Vale.

* Anglo American Plc declared force majeure on fourth-quarter shipments of coking coal from the German Creek underground operation in Queensland, Australia, S&P Global Platts reported, citing Asian steel mill sources that received the notification. The force majeure, effective Oct. 3, will apply on the fourth-quarter loading periods for a few long-term customers.

* Early bidders for Anglo American's Dawson coal mine in Queensland, Australia, including Australian Pacific Coal Ltd. and Stanmore Coal Ltd., are set to visit the mine this week, The Australian Financial Review reported. The final bids will be submitted following the site visits, while the sale is expected to occur before Christmas.

* According to the company's latest accounts, Tata Steel Ltd.'s U.K. operations incurred a pretax loss of £599 million in the year to March 31, reflecting the deficit widening nearly two-fifths as compared to the previous financial year after adjusting for disposals, the Financial Times reported.

* Fertilizer producers Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. plan to hold separate shareholder meetings Nov. 3 to vote on their proposed merger. The deal requires two-thirds approval by shareholders of each company to proceed.

* In a bid to fast track the remaining approvals for the project, the Queensland government has declared Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s A$21 billion Carmichael coal mine to be "critical infrastructure," ABC reported, citing State Development Minister Anthony Lynham.

* The European Commission set provisional import duties of up to 73.7% on hot-rolled coil and heavy plate coming into the bloc from China, Bloomberg News reported. Meanwhile, the Chinese Commerce Ministry expressed concern and regret following the decision, calling the commission's probe methods "unfair and unreasonable," Reuters reported.

* Mexico has again extended a 15% tariff against imports of slab, hot-rolled coil, heavy plate, cold-rolled coil and wire rod from the countries with which it does not have free trade agreements, Metal Bulletin reported. The levy will be valid for a further six-month period starting Oct. 8.

* BMI Research shows that India is set to outstrip the U.S. as the world's second-largest coal producer after China, citing the country's global production share increasing to 12.7% by 2020 from 9.8% in 2016, Bloomberg News reported.

* Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional's Portuguese flat steel subsidiary, Lusosider, plans to increase the capacity of its continuous galvanizing line by 20,000 tonnes per annum to about 250,000 tonnes per year, Metal Bulletin reported. The capacity expansion follows a revamp of the horizontal furnace at its plant in southern Portugal.

* About 70 million tonnes of minerals have been extracted using illegal mining in Poland, which is equal to the country's annual coal production, Puls Biznesu reported. The value of illegally mined minerals is about 1 billion Polish zlotys, Chief National Geologist Mariusz Orion Jedrysek said.

* Thailand's Central Bankruptcy Court will mull a rehabilitation plan for domestic steelmaker Sahaviriya Steel Industries on Nov. 9, Metal Bulletin reported.

SPECIALTY

* AREVA SA is in discussions with Kazakhstan over a possible investment in the French nuclear giant, Reuters reported, citing a spokeswoman for the French industry ministry. According to the report, a delegation from Kazakh miner National Atomic Co. Kazatomprom JSC met with French officials, and would probably focus on buying out AREVA's 51% stake in Katco, a joint venture with Kazatomprom.

* Rio Tinto is displaying in London the rarest pink, red and violet diamonds recovered from the Argyle mine at this time as part of a global showcase. The tender comprises 57 pink diamonds, two violet diamonds and four red diamonds and weighs 58.24 carats. The bids for the diamonds are set to close Oct. 12.

* Agave Silver Corp. entered into an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the Kootenay lithium project, which comprises three groups of mineral claims covering 4,050 hectares in British Columbia.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Market caps for the top 25 companies rose by an aggregate 10% on a quarterly basis, as of the September quarter-end, and the same group saw their value improve 32% year on year, according to an SNL Metals & Mining research report. Debt reduction initiatives have played a central role in companies improving their standing among investors.

S&P Global Platts and SNL Metals & Mining are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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