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Dissident shareholders sue Taseko directors for C$110M; Fresnillo boosts Q1 gold production by 26.3% YOY; Fortescue further slashed costs by 43% YOY for Q3'16

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Australian Exploration Budget Trends 2019


Dissident shareholders sue Taseko directors for C$110M; Fresnillo boosts Q1 gold production by 26.3% YOY; Fortescue further slashed costs by 43% YOY for Q3'16

TOP NEWS

Dissidentshareholders sue 3 Taseko Mines directors for C$110M

A dissident shareholder group, collectivelyknown as Raging River Capital LP, is suingfor C$110 million three directors of TasekoMines Ltd. — Russell Hallbauer, Ronald Thiessen and Robert Dickinson— alleging that they benefited from the acquisition of Curis Resources Ltd. to the detriment of other shareholders,Business in Vancouver reported. "[T]asekoMines' acquisition of the failing Curis — which included assets that proved to beessentially worthless — constituted a related party transaction, and that the failureby Taseko's board of directors to allow shareholders to vote on the acquisitionconstitutes oppressive conduct," Raging River said.

Fresnilloboosts Q1 gold production by 26.3% YOY to 229,925 ounces

FresnilloPlc recordeda year-over-year boost of 26.3% in its first-quarter production to 229,925 ouncesof gold, with a quarterly increase of 6.5%, mainly due to a higher speed of recoveryat Herradura and at Noche Buena. Silver output was 11.05 million ounces, slightlydown from 11.31 million ounces in the first quarter of 2015 and 11.34 million ouncesin the fourth quarter of 2015.

a 6% quarter-over-quarterand 43% year-over-year reduction in its C1 cash cost to US$14.79 per wet tonne inthe third quarter of the 2016 financial year. By comparison, costs in the previousquarter amounted to US$15.80 per wet tonne and in the third quarter of the 2015financial year totaled US$25.90 per wet tonne. Meanwhile, shipments during the thirdquarter rose 4% to 42.0 million tonnes compared to a year earlier, but remainedin line with the prior quarter.

DIVERSIFIED

* and U.S. private equityfirm Apollo are said to be launchinga joint bid for 's niobium andphosphates business in Brazil, Reuters reported, citing three sources familiar withthe matter. Anglo American could receive about US$1 billion for the salefor the assets.

BASE METALS

* A dissident shareholder group, collectivelyknown as Raging River Capital LP, is suingfor C$110 million three directors of TasekoMines Ltd. — Russell Hallbauer, Ronald Thiessen and Robert Dickinson— alleging that they benefited from the acquisition of Curis Resources Ltd. to the detriment of other shareholders,Business in Vancouver reported. "[T]asekoMines' acquisition of the failing Curis — which included assets that proved to beessentially worthless — constituted a related party transaction, and that the failureby Taseko's board of directors to allow shareholders to vote on the acquisitionconstitutes oppressive conduct," Raging River said.

* Research firm IHS said a quarter of theworld's nickel miners are producing the base metal at a loss to driveout competitors, The Australian FinancialReview reported. "Very few industries can support that, and yet we've seena minimal supply-side reaction," said Jason Kaplan, commodities research managerat IHS. "Everybody is looking at each other hoping that the guy down the streetwill fail before them."

* Clive Palmer — who faces up to five yearsof jail after he was found to have siphoned over A$200 million from to his other businessbefore the refinery's collapse — has firedback at FTI Consulting, the administrator of Queensland Nickel, accusing themof corrupting investigation to "secure more funds for their exorbitant fees,"The Australian reported.

* said a workerwas killed and two wereinjured while they were working around high pressure vessels at the nickel plant in Papua New Guinea.

* posted a for itsMonty deposit in Western Australia of 1.05 million tonnes grading 9.4% copper and1.6 g/t of gold for 99,000 tonnes of copper and 55,000 ounces of gold.

* Accordingto the Spence coppermine's union, BHP Billiton Groupwill lay off around 7% of the 1,060 workers at the Chilean project, Reuters . "The company saysthe main reason for this is organizational restructuring and problems due to thedrop in copper prices," said union chief Ronald Salcedo, who added that intotal, 77 employees are being laid off, including 11 supervisors.

* Bluebird MerchantVentures Ltd.'s entire ordinary share capital consisting of 184,963,840ordinary shares has been admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange.

* Brazil'sVotorantim Metais SA increasedits stake to 80.24% in Compañía MineraMilpo SAA by acquiring an additional 20.17% interest in the company,Business News Americas reported.

* will considera proposal to sell offa 0.79% packet of its own shares to Cyprus-based Crispian Investments Ltd., a companycontrolled by business magnate Roman Abramovich and Evraz Plc co-founders Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov.According to Norilsk, Crispian, which already controls 5.5% of Norilsk's shares,approached the board with the proposal to buy 1,250,075 treasury shares for US$158million, or US$12.63 per ADR.

PRECIOUS METALS

* FresnilloPlc recordeda year-over-year boost of 26.3% in its first quarter production to 229,925 ouncesof gold, with a quarterly increase of 6.5%, mainly due to a higher speed of recoveryat Herradura and at Noche Buena. Silver output was 11.05 million ounces, slightlydown from 11.31 million ounces in the first quarter of 2015 and 11.34 million ouncesin the fourth quarter of 2015.

* AlectoMinerals Plc enteredinto a vendor financing deal with Yantai Xinhai Machinery Co. Ltd. and PenMin (Pty)Ltd. regarding the proposed construction and financing of mining operations at theMatala gold project in Zambia, following the results of a feasibility study thatpegged a net present value of US$28.6 million, at an 8% discount rate, and an internalrate of return of 52%.

* Diego Parilla, precious metal expert andco-author of the book 'The Energy World is Flat', said central banks are helpingto create a "perfect storm" and their continuous testing of the limitsof monetary policy credit markets could push gold prices aboveUS$3,000 per ounce within three years, KhaleejTimes reported.

* GoldRoad Resources Ltd. said SumitomoMetal Mining Co. Ltd. subsidiary Sumitomo Metal Mining Oceania Pty. Ltd. has to 50% its interest in the gold joint venturein Western Australia after meeting its A$8 million expenditure commitment.

* 's gold mine in Ontarioproduced 26,589 ouncesof gold in the first quarter — a 147% increase over output in the same period in2015 — pushing the company's total gold production for the quarter to a record 32,369gold ounces. The company also posted record revenues of C$52.6 million in the firstthree months of the year.

* is its Kyrgyz mineral intereststo Socagest SA for US$6million. Socagest will acquire the entire share capital of Kami Associates Ltd. and Tatianna Ltd., both Tengri subsidiaries that hold the company'smineral exploration and development operations in Talas.

* plans torestart operations atits El Limon-Guajesgold project in Mexico on the night shift of April 14. The company suspended operationsat the mine last week due to an illegal blockade, which was initiated by three familiesdemanding payments from the company for alleged environmental damages.

* A rockdrill operator was fatally injured in a fall of ground accident at 's gold mine in SouthAfrica. Drilling and blasting operations at the mine have been stoppedwhile further investigations into the accident are ongoing.

* said the governmentof the Dominican Republic has re-grantedthe La Tachuela concession, to the south and adjacent to the company's mining applicationover its Romero gold-copper deposit.

BULK COMMODITIES

* a 6% quarter-over-quarterand 43% year-over-year reduction in its C1 cash cost to US$14.79 per wet tonne inthe third quarter of the 2016 financial year. By comparison, costs in the previousquarter amounted to US$15.80 per wet tonne and in the third quarter of the 2015financial year totaled US$25.90 per wet tonne. Meanwhile, shipments during the thirdquarter rose 4% to 42.0 million tonnes compared to a year earlier, but remainedin line with the prior quarter.

* The iron ore rally has extendedtowards the US$60 per tonne mark, a month-high, buoyed by higher purchases fromChina's steel mills amid "pretty good" prospects for demand and the Chineseeconomy, Bloomberg reported.

* Brazil'sState Institute of the Environment and CompanhiaSiderúrgica Nacional signed a conduct adjustment agreement, in whichthe steelmaker must complete by September 2017 an investmentof 178 million Brazilian reais in environmental adjustments at its Presidente Vargasplant in Rio de Janeiro, to be completed by September 2017, Exame reported.

* TwoChinese companies are part of short list of investors interested in purchasingOro Blanco's 88.64% stake in PampaCalichera, which in turn owns a 23.03% interest in Chilean fertilizercompany Sociedad Quimica y Minerade Chile SA, sources told El Mercurio.The companies are reportedly reviewing Pampa's financial information.

* will its operations in the U.K. if itis unable to set up a sale of the troubled business by May 28, Financial Times reported, citing an unnamedsource. The deadline may be extended to mid-June. However, on the record the companymaintains that there is no cutoff date to reach a deal, the report added.

* Accordingto a government source, the British government could offer a state loan on commercialterms to help spark buyer interest for Tata Steel's Port Talbot steelworks. Thegovernment loan as part of a deal with other investors is the "" for the purchaseof the asset and that there is only a remote possibility that the government wouldtake an equity share in the steel operations.

* Ownersof New World Resources Plcwere unable to convincethe Czech government to bail out the struggling firm before a debt deadline, BloombergNews reported. The government wants more input from creditors before deciding onany aid, Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis said.

* U.S.steelmakers, including ArcelorMittal USA and two other American companies, lodged anti-dumpingand countervailing duty petitions against cut-to-length carbon-quality steel platemakers from South Korea, Austria, China, Brazil and eight other countries with theU.S. International Trade commission and the Department of Commerce, The Korea Herald wrote. The companies soughtanti-dumping duties of up to 244.1% on imported South Korean steel plates of thetype.

* Accordingto the Financial Times, Tomas Gutierrezat Kallanish Commodities said China's efforts to restrictsupplies of steel has helped buoy prices but will not stop overall steel demandfrom falling.

* SaudiArabia has lifteda ban on steel rebar exports, Reuters reported, citing an industry source.

SPECIALTY

* agreedto acquire 70% interestin the Fox Creek lithium project as well as 100% of private companies Lithium PowerCorp. and Dominica Energy Minerals Inc. in Alberta. The company will pay C$100,000and issue 1,200,000 common shares to two private and one corporate vendors, andpay certain costs and fees not to exceed C$45,000. Empire Rock will invest the firstC$2 million in Fox Creek's development, then share costs on a 70/30 basis with BlizzardFinance Corp., which holds the other 30% and a 2.2% net smelter royalty at the project.

* the TREK project, whichconsists of 12 mineral tenures designed to target gold, copper, zinc and polymetallicprospects, through staking in British Colombia, following its review of a newlyreleased biogeochemical survey by Geoscience BC.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Theinternational Monetary Fund in its "World Economic Outlook" report warnedthat metal prices are likely to drop by 14%in 2016 and 1% in 2017. "Futures prices point to continued low prices, butwith rising uncertainty on account of both demand (especially from China) and strongersupply," the report noted.

* Despitepersistent uncertainty in the mining sector, SNL Metals & Mining data showsthat the Latin American industry's planned capital spending announced since January2015 has risen to roughlyUS$108 billion from US$60.09 billion recorded in late 2015.

* AustralianPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull acknowledged the need for the government to providea secure and attractive investment environment for global resources firms and saidwork is ongoing to reduce regulation and speed up the processing of environmentalapprovals, Mining Weekly wrote.

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