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Barrick Gold gets green light to resume Veladero ops after 19-day suspension

TOP NEWS

Barrick Gold gets green light to resume Veladero operations

After 19 days under a suspension order, Argentine authorities let Barrick Gold Corp. resume normal operations at its Veladero gold mine in San Juan province. Barrick said it would assess the impact to Veladero production, but maintained companywide production guidance between 5 million ounces and 5.5 million ounces of gold for the year at all-in sustaining costs in the range of US$750 per gold ounce to US$790 per gold ounce.

Police clearing protesters at Goldcorp's Penasquito mine

Police started to clear trucks blocking Goldcorp Inc.'s Penasquito gold mine in Zacatecas, Mexico, on Oct. 4, the company confirmed to SNL Metals & Mining. "State government and law enforcement officials commenced the orderly removal of vehicles illegally blocking roadways earlier today," Christine Marks, director of communications, said by email.

Vale's shift to Northern Brazil deposits appeasing investors, upsetting home-state politicians

Vale SA's shift toward new deposits in north Brazil, away from CEO Murilo Ferreira's home state Minas Gerais, has been commended by investors amid prospects of higher earnings as a result of fine ore and lower costs. However, the shift of investment to the north of the country is facing opposition from a group of politicians who are conspiring to oust Ferreira when his term expires in the second quarter of 2017, Bloomberg News reported. Minas Gerais Congressman Newton Cardoso Jr. was cited as saying that Vale needs a CEO who focuses on environmental issues and respects Minas Gerais' investment priorities and job generation needs.

BASE METALS

* Independence Group NL launched a A$20.5 million cash bid for Mark Creasy-backed and fellow ASX-listed Windward Resources Ltd. Creasy has already given his nod to the 19-cent-per-share, off-market offer for the 27.44% stake in Windward that he controls.

* Central Asia Metals Plc posted record quarterly copper production of 4,102 tonnes in the third quarter, up 38% year over year from 2,966 tonnes. Nine-month copper production, meanwhile, increased by 31% year over year to 11,010 tonnes, from 8,410 tonnes.

* Kommersant reported that Russia's Finance Ministry proposes to introduce a flat-rate tax on mineral extraction for rich ores of the Polar Division of PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel. It will increase the tax burden by 7 billion Russian rubles a year, but, since September, the company has benefited from the canceled export duties on platinum group metals, which totaled US$88 million in 2015.

* According to unnamed sources quoted by FastMarkets and Metal Bulletin, the director of nickel marketing at Vale International SA, Nick Williams, left the company after it announced plans to restructure its base metals division to reduce costs. Williams also stepped down from the nickel committee of the London Metal Exchange, the report added.

* Antofagasta Plc reached a 36-month wage deal with unionized supervisors at its Chile-based flagship Los Pelambres copper mine, averting a possible strike. The terms of the wage deal were not disclosed.

* Nevsun Resources Ltd.'s Bisha zinc-copper-gold mine in Eritrea declared commercial production for its zinc expansion, effective Oct. 1, with the successful commissioning of a new zinc flotation plant.

* South Australia's power supplier, Electranet, said the repairs to the transmission lines damaged in a storm last week could be completed by early next week, Reuters reported. The restoration of power will bring BHP Billiton Group's Olympic Dam copper mine back to normal operations. The mining giant is losing an average of 567 tonnes of copper production at a cost of A$2.7 million per day, Reuters estimated.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Centamin Plc's preliminary total gold production for the third quarter from its Sukari gold mine in Egypt totaled 148,674 ounces, a 41% year-over-year jump from 105,413 ounces in the corresponding quarter last year and a 6% increase over the 140,306 ounces produced in the second quarter.

* Sibanye Gold Ltd. confirmed that four of its employees were injured, two of them critically, by unknown assailants on Oct. 4 at the Cooke gold mine in Gauteng, South Africa. The incident is related to an illegal industrial action that started Oct. 3 following a union membership verification dispute between two of South Africa's rival unions. Meanwhile, BDlive wrote that normal operations at the mine had resumed on the morning of Oct. 5.

* Separately, Sibanye Gold CEO Neal Froneman blamed the apartheid-era past for the present government regulations and labor problems confronting South Africa's mining sector, Bloomberg News reported. "We need to critically and honestly acknowledge the role of our industry where it acted against the interests of the vast majority of South Africans if we wish to secure full reconciliation with our broader society," Froneman was quoted as saying.

* On a 100% basis, Caledonia Mining Corp. Plc's third-quarter gold production increased 23% year over year to 13,430 ounces at its 49%-owned Blanket mine in Zimbabwe. The company remains on track to meet full-year 2016 production guidance of 50,000 ounces.

* Keras Resources Plc completed the acquisition of Arcadia Minerals Pty. Ltd. and its Klondyke gold project in Western Australia. The company has also completed an agreement with Haoma Mining NL that gives it the right to mine and option to purchase tenements contiguous to and near the Klondyke project.

* Compañía de Minas Buenaventura SAA CFO Carlos Galvez believes gold is going to continue its run on the back of strong demand from India and China, and the inability of the U.S. to start increasing interest rates, Bloomberg News reported. The company intends to start development at its San Gabriel mine in Peru in 2017.

* Havilah Resources Ltd.'s total gold production at its Portia gold mine recently exceeded 10,000 ounces, 5,000 ounces of which is attributable to the company. The company said it is on track to deliver about half of its 10,000-ounce hedge book at an average price of A$1,618 per ounce.

* Norton Gold Fields Ltd., controlled by China's Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd., is set to wind up production at the Homestead gold mine within the Paddington operations in Western Australia by year's end, which will result in about 50 layoffs.

* Jaguar Mining Inc. entered into an earn-in agreement allowing Avanco Resources Ltd. to earn up to a 100% interest in the former's Gurupi gold project in Brazil.

* Roxgold Inc. produced 32,987 ounces of gold in the third quarter and achieved commercial production "ahead of schedule and under budget" at its Yaramoko gold mine in Burkina Faso, effective Oct. 1. The company sold 34,594 ounces in the three-month period at an average sales price of US$1,334 per ounce.

* Kinross Gold Corp. agreed to a new, three-year collective labor agreement with unionized employees at its Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Vale is looking to expand its market share in China for the supply of iron ore as it is working up distribution deals with smaller Chinese customers in the country's interior, Bloomberg News reported, citing Humberto Freitas, the miner's logistics and mineral exploration executive director. Investec wrote in a note to clients, "This seems a smart move given that some of the biggest casualties of the weakness in iron ore prices over the last five years have been small domestic Chinese iron ore miners — many of whom were tied to steel producers. Seeking to supply such steelmakers seems a good strategy given that domestic iron ore miners are probably damaged beyond repair and cannot compete at current prices."

* U.S. steelmaker Nucor Corp. is looking to tap into new growth opportunities in different products and countries as it benefits from U.S. trade cases that limit low-cost imports from countries such as China, Bloomberg News wrote, citing CEO John Ferriola. Ferriola was cited as saying that the trade cases help the company's profitability, but Nucor's growth plans are not dependent on the success of these trade cases.

* Tata Steel Ltd. raised 10 billion Indian rupees via a private placement of 8.15% unsecured nonconvertible debentures.

* Ferrexpo Plc produced 2.60 million tonnes of iron pellets from its own ore in the third quarter, down 7.8% compared to 2.82 million tonnes in the second quarter. Production for the first nine months of the year totaled 8.30 million tonnes, in line with the same year-ago period.

* The Chamber of Minerals and Energy and the Minerals Council of Australia have launched a new website in its bid to fight against the new iron ore tax proposed by Brendon Grylls, according to The West Australian. The website claims to make people aware of the effects of the new tax.

* The consortium formed by Dutch multinational Trafigura Beheer BV and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala still has not been able to acquire MMX Sudeste, a subsidiary of MMX Mineração e Metálicos SA. The initial plan was to invest 260 million Brazilian reais in the next four years to take over the iron ore operations consisting of the Tico-Tico e Ipê mines in Brazil. However, the mines continue to be under an embargo by the environment ministry of Minas Gerais state, Semad, daily Valor Econômico reported.

* Brazilian administrative tax court CARF decided to maintain a ruling against Gerdau SA unit Gerdau Aços Especiais SA in regard to taxes for the period between December 2006 and December 2007 concerning operations by a subsidiary in Hungary, where profits obtained from other countries were consolidated. Gerdau said it would continue appealing the ruling, daily Valor Econômico reported.

* Kazuo Tanimizu, managing executive officer of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., expressed concern about the tax hike proposal in Western Australia, saying that it would present uncertainty for future investments in the mining sector and could also jeopardize Western Australia's global iron ore competitiveness, The West Australian wrote.

* Resource Generation Ltd. has selected Stefanutti Stocks Mining Services as the preferred mining contractor for the development of its Boikarabelo coal mine in South Africa's Waterberg region.

* Australia's biggest iron ore producers may fail to meet their full-year guidance on the back of lower-than-expected shipments in the past three months, Bloomberg News reported, referring to a note by Macquarie Group Ltd.

* Ukraine's merchant pig iron producer Donetskstal Iron and Steel Works CJSC idled one of its two blast furnaces, which is expected to remain shut until October-end, Metal Bulletin reported, citing industry sources.

SPECIALTY

* Dakota Minerals Ltd. has estimated a maiden resource at the Lynas Find lithium project in Western Australia of 7.3 million tonnes at 1.25% lithium oxide, 85 parts per million tantalum pentoxide, and 0.99% iron(III) oxide in the indicated and inferred category.

* A review by Premier African Minerals Ltd. of immediately available tungsten-rich material at its RHA tungsten operations in Zimbabwe estimated sufficient tonnage in the open pit and underground operations to support an initial three-year operation at 39,000 tonnes per month, upon the installation of the proposed X-ray transmission system for ore sorting at the plant that is expected by the end of November.

* Syrah Resources Ltd. shares have lost more than 20% on Oct. 5 after it emerged that Tolga Kumova resigned as managing director of the graphite miner, The Australian Financial Review wrote. According to the report, Kumova will take on another role after deciding that he does not have the "skill base" to oversee the company's transition from junior explorer to an operating miner.

* Elcora Advanced Materials Corp. made the first shipment of processed graphite from its Ragedara mine, part of the Sakura project in Sri Lanka.

* CGN Mining Co. Ltd. entered into a mining principles agreement with CGNPC, CGNPCURC, National Atomic Co. Kazatomprom JSC and UMP, setting out key principles and terms for the parties' cooperation in fuel and mining projects. This comes after the companies inked a deal to jointly build a nuclear fuel assembly plant and mine uranium deposits in Kazakhstan in December 2015.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* In a bid to avoid court hearings following a deadlock, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma asked Mines Ministry to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with mining companies over the 26% black equity ownership quotas proposed under a new law, Mineweb.com reported, citing Deputy Mines Minister Godfrey Oliphant. Separately, Oliphant was quoted as saying by Bloomberg News that the government wants to finalize the country's mining charter by the end of this month.

* The International Monetary Fund expects metal prices to decline by 2% in 2017, and by 8% in 2016, according to its latest World Economic Outlook. In April, the fund projected a 1% drop in 2017 and a 14% fall in 2016.

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.