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Noble Group to sell energy unit for US$1.05B, completes US$2B fundraising spree

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Noble Group to sell energy unit for US$1.05B, completes US$2B fundraising spree

TOP NEWS

Noble Group to sell American energy unit for US$1.05B, completes US$2B fundraising drive

Noble Group Ltd. has agreed to sell its Noble Americas Energy Solutions LLC unit to Calpine Corp. for a total of US$1.05 billion, comprising US$800 million plus the repayment of Noble Americas' working capital, amounting to US$248 million. The sale is expected to close in December and will complete Noble Group's US$2 billion capital raising initiative announced in June.

Fortescue acquires BC Iron's 75% stake in Nullagine for A$1.00

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. has agreed to acquire BC Iron Ltd.'s 75% interest in the Nullagine iron ore joint venture in Western Australia for A$1.00, and will now evaluate the feasibility of restarting operations in the current market.

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 owe about US$80 million in unpaid taxes, Reuters reported. The company said the closure does not affect the operations of its three mines in the country.

DIVERSIFIED

* Vedanta Resources Plc's second-quarter production for fiscal year 2017 at its Zinc India operations fell annually across three commodities — refined zinc by 29% to 150,000 tonnes, refined lead by 24% to 31,000 tonnes and silver by 4% to 3.5 million ounces. International zinc production, meanwhile, was down 38% year over year to 39,000 tonnes after the closure of the Lisheen mine in Ireland, which was partially offset by a 37% increase to 23,000 tonnes in production at the Skorpion mine in Namibia.

BASE METALS

* Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s operations at the Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia have returned to normal after the company resolved a 10-day labor dispute with a worker union at the mine, Reuters wrote.

* The environmental permit of Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp.'s nickel mine in the Philippines will be canceled just months after it started operations, Reuters reported, citing the environmental and natural resources secretary Regina Lopez. The suspension was not prompted by the country's mining audit but because it sits between a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a marine protected area.

* Independence Group NL has made its Windward Resources Ltd. takeover bid unconditional after Windward announced that Eastern Goldfields Ltd. has withdrawn from the funding agreement. Independence has already acquired a 19.9% interest in Windward.

* Vale SA is cutting jobs in its Swiss nickel marketing and sales operations as the company restructures its base metals business and consolidates its global presence to Toronto and Singapore, Bloomberg News reported, citing spokesman Cory McPhee.

* The government of Bolivia's President Evo Morales was unable to improve operations at the Karachipampa metallurgical plant and the Huanuni mining company since it came to power 10 years ago due to structural problems, according to state miner Comibol adviser José Pimentel, Página Siete reported.

* A worker died Oct. 6 after falling into a conveyor belt in the grinding area at the Coronel copper mine, operated by Minera Frisco SAB de CV, said the Mexican Office of the Attorney General, Jornada reported.

* Australian Mines Ltd. is acquiring the Flemington scandium-cobalt project in New South Wales, Australia, from Jervois Mining Ltd. and the Sconi scandium-cobalt project in Queensland from Metallica Minerals Ltd.

* 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, according to Mineral Resources Minister Sadique Kebonang.

* Rio Tinto has organized a trip for analysts and investors to the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, scheduled for this month, as CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques is facing increased pressure to justify the development of the 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 lead-zinc-silver complex is operating at minimum capacity, with creditor claims standing at €1.4 billion.

PRECIOUS METALS

* SolGold Plc has rejected a proposal by BHP Billiton Group, which offered US$30 million for a 10% stake in the company and a director position at its boards. BHP also suggested an earn-in arrangement over the Cascabel copper project in Ecuador, under which it would spend US$275 million to acquire a 70% stake out of SolGold's 85% interest in the company that holds the Cascabel tenements. SolGold's board determined that the BHP proposal is not in the best interest of the company and its shareholders, and still prefers the US$33 million financing deal with Maxit Capital LP and Newcrest Mining Ltd.

* Torian Resources Ltd. has launched an off-market takeover offer to acquire all of the shares in Cascade Resources Ltd. for a total of A$8.4 million.

* The Perth Mint and the ASX are working to launch a new gold futures contract. Richard Hayes, CEO of The Perth Mint in Western Australia, told SNL Metals & Mining on the sidelines of the Precious Metals Investment Symposium in Sydney, Australia, that the collaboration will allow customers to take physical delivery of gold.

* The royalties paid by gold producers to the New South Wales government in Australia rose by 12.5% in the 2016 financial year to about A$54 million, state Industry, Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts told delegates on the first day of the Precious Metals Investment Symposium.

* Avocet Mining Plc entered into a conditional joint venture deal, in which a subsidiary of Managem SA will acquire up to a 70% stake in the company's Tri-K gold project in Guinea for a total investment of at least US$14.0 million. Should the ore reserve defined in the bankable feasibility study be less than 1 million ounces, Managem's ownership will be limited to 60%.

* PJSC Polyus Gold is planning to pay semiannual dividends equal to 30% of its EBITDA, provided that the ratio between net debt and adjusted EBITDA is lower than 2.5x.

* BWR Exploration Inc. executed a definitive acquisition agreement to fully acquire Puma Exploration Inc.'s Little Stull Lake gold project in northern Manitoba.

* Primary Gold Ltd. completed the formal acquisition of the Coolgardie gold project in Western Australia from MacPhersons Resources Ltd.

* 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 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.

* 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.

* 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 and 35,000 ounces of gold.

BULK COMMODITIES

* 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 troubled Welsh steel industry will get a windfall of nearly £20 million over the next five years as Wales cuts business rates, The Daily Mail reported.

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

* Early bidders for Anglo American Plc's Dawson coal mine in Queensland, including Australian Pacific Coal Ltd. and Stanmore Coal Ltd., are set to visit the mine this week, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk 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.

* Tata Steel is understood to be in talks with the U.K.'s Pension Protection Fund and the pensions regulator, and is said to be close to a restructuring deal that would pave the way for the proposed merger of Tata Steel's U.K. business with ThyssenKrupp AG, according to The Sunday Times.

* 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 months 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

* An estimate for Global Geoscience Ltd. pegged the maiden mineral resource at the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada at 393 million tonnes at 0.9% lithium carbonate, 2.9% boric acid and 1.7% potassium sulfate.

* 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.

* 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

* India's Mines Ministry is assessing funding options to support exploration activities of government-owned and -operated mining firms in a bid to increase the sector's contribution to the country's gross domestic product to 2% from 1%, according to Mining Weekly.

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.