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Western Australia's Liberal Party votes down proposed gold tax increase

TOP NEWS

Western Australia's Liberal Party votes down proposed gold tax increase

The Liberal party of the Western Australia has unanimously voted against a proposed gold royalty increase from 2.5% to 3.75%, which was part of a bid to cut the state's debt, WA Today reported. "The McGowan government did not seek nor receive a mandate to increase gold royalties at the March election," party leader Mike Nahan said.

Vedanta lifts mined metal production at Zinc India by 14% in Q2'18

Vedanta Ltd. increased its mined metal production at its Zinc India operations by 14% for the second quarter of its fiscal 2018. The Indian operations produced 192,000 ounces of refined zinc, 38,000 tonnes of refined lead and 4.5 million ounces of silver in the second quarter, reflecting year-over-year increases of 28%, 24% and 31%, respectively. International zinc production, meanwhile, increased 13% from the year-ago period to 42,000 tonnes.

Elliott renews push for BHP overhaul ahead of AGM

Activist shareholder Elliott has been holding talks with international shareholders of BHP Billiton Group over the last month as it presses ahead with its campaign for an overhaul at the mining heavyweight, Reuters reported, citing sources. Elliott representatives have met with London-, South Africa- and Australia-based investors, outlining the hedge fund's arguments for a shake up ahead of the miner's annual general meeting scheduled for Oct. 19 in London and Nov. 16 in Sydney.

DIVERSIFIED

* BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie is facing uncertainty over his tenure in the group as the company's annual general meeting approaches and as Chairman Ken MacKenzie looks to further shuffle the board, The Daily Telegraph reported.

* Deutsche Bank retained its buy ratings and raised price targets for both BHP Billiton Group and Rio Tinto. BHP's stock was given a target price of A$28.50 per share, while the price target for Rio Tinto was raised to A$77.00 per share, The Motley Fool reported.

* Rio Tinto shares rose to a 44-month high Oct. 9, but a growing number of short-sellers are convinced that the stock is over-valued, The Australian Financial Review wrote. In recent days, short positions in the miner have grown to 9%.

BASE METALS

* Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan estimated that PT Freeport Indonesia is worth US$8 billion, amid talks over the divestment of a majority stake in the Freeport-McMoRan Inc. unit, Reuters wrote. Jonan unveiled the estimate during a parliament hearing, basing the valuation on the parent company's market capitalization of US$20.74 billion and that the Indonesian unit contributes up to 40% to Freeport's profits.

* The Democratic Republic of the Congo ordered Sinohydro Corp. and China Railway Construction Corp.'s Sicomines copper joint venture to halt exports of unprocessed copper and cobalt and instead refine all of its metals within the country, Bloomberg News reported.

* Metalicity Ltd. completed the first stage of the pre-feasibility study for its Admiral Bay zinc project in Western Australia, confirming the project's potential to support a long life and low-cost zinc-lead-silver operation.

* Bluejay Mining plc expanded the Disko-Nuussuaq nickel-copper-platinum project in southwest Greenland by more than 200% to 462.3 square kilometers following the grant of additional exploration licenses by the government of Greenland. The licenses are valid for five years until Dec. 31, 2022.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Sibanye Gold Ltd. and the National Union of Mineworkers will enter into arbitration proceedings Nov. 2 after wage talks at the company's Kroondal platinum operation in South Africa hit a deadlock in the week of Oct. 2, Miningmx reported. According to the union, the company only offered about a third of the wage hike it wanted for category A employees while there was also a wide difference between the demand and offer for category B employees.

* Mexico's Department of Labor and Social Welfare warned First Majestic Silver Corp. in May this year of potential safety hazards involving at least 30 internal processes at its La Encantada silver mine, including the lack of emergency fire control equipment, which may have contributed to the Oct. 1 fire incident that left four workers dead and two injured at the mine, Vanguardia reported.

* Ramelius Resources Ltd. produced 33,150 ounces of gold from its Western Australia operations in the September quarter, exceeding the guidance range of between 28,000 ounces and 32,000 ounces.

* Riversgold Ltd. commenced trading on the ASX after raising about A$6.1 million by issuing 30.6 million shares at 20 Australian cents per share.

* Caledonia Mining Corp. Plc is planning to expand in Zimbabwe, where production at its flagship Blanket gold mine has reached new highs and the country relies on it and other miners to generate currency, Reuters reported.

* Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. unit Akara Resources PCL may be able to restart mining in Thailand as the country's Department of Primary Industries and Mines recently informed the company that a government panel approved a gold mining management plan, Thailand's Prachachat Turakij reported.

* Gold Road Resources Ltd. signed agreements with Cygnus Gold Ltd. to earn a 75% interest in both the Wadderin and Lake Grace projects in Western Australia.

* Dalradian Resources Inc. said that Orion Mine Finance II LP and Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. lifted their respective stakes in the company to 9.75% and 9.1%, respectively, after raising C$84.8 million through a combination of a private placement and warrant exercise.

BULK COMMODITIES

* PAO Severstal's crude steel production in the third quarter increased 4% over the prior quarter to 2.9 million tonnes. Hot metal output in the three months, meanwhile, remained relatively stable quarter over quarter at 2.2 million tonnes.

* Kobe Steel Ltd. said internal checks found that a portion of its aluminum and copper products were falsely labeled to show they met the specifications requested by customers.

* Chinese coke producer Henan Jinma hit the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, trading as high as HK$3.34, or a 11.3% premium to its IPO price, in morning trade local time. The company is seeking to expand in downstream energy operations and to diversify customer base, according to Chairman Yiu Chiu Fai.

* Indian steel manufacturer Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. sold its two oxygen plants in the Indian states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha to SREI Equipment Finance Ltd. for 11.21 billion Indian rupees.

* Tata Steel Ltd. is expected to make a bid for the debt-ridden Essar Steel Ltd's Hazira steel plant in Indian state of Gujarat, LiveMint reported.

* Unionized workers at Shougang Hierro-Peru SA's iron ore operations started an indefinite strike over wage disagreements, Metal Bulletin reported.

* Edenville Energy Plc signed a five-year agreement with Riftcot Ltd. for the offtake of up to 75% of production from the Rukwa coal mine in Tanzania, commencing this month.

* Thailand's Banpu PCL signed a deal to acquire about an 80% stake in 112 wells in the Marcellus shale in northeast Pennsylvania through a deal valued at US$210 million, Reuters reported.

* Steel Authority of India Ltd., or SAIL, signed an agreement with POSCO, which will provide wide-ranging technical services for SAIL's IISCO steel plant in Burnpur, India.

* The government of New South Wales will introduce legislation in parliament to allow the Springvale coal mine to remain open, saying it is vital for employment and provides 15% of the Australian state's energy, ABC reported. The mine was facing a potential closure after the Land and Environment Court ruled that planning authorities applied the wrong test when granting its approval.

SPECIALTY

* Following a similar story of lithium and cobalt, vanadium prices have risen almost five-fold since 2016, to US$11.5/lb on Sept. 28 from only US$2.45/lb at the start of 2016. The mergers and acquisitions activity surrounding vanadium has also shown significant changes over the past two years. So far this year, as of Sept. 28, 11 primary vanadium deals have been announced, which is almost triple the number of deals announced in 2016 and 2015.

* Trans Hex Group Ltd. will lift its interest in West Coast Resources (Pty.) Ltd. to 67.2% by acquiring another 27.2% stake from investment company RAC for 39.1 million South African rand, Mining Weekly reported.

* Bass Metals Ltd. inked a sales agreement for 50% of its forecast stage one flake graphite concentrate production of 6,000 tonnes per annum from the Graphmada project in Madagascar.

* Petra Diamonds Ltd. warned that it is likely to breach a key condition of its banking agreements related to a core earnings ratio for the year that ended June 30, after suffering a series of operational interruptions in Tanzania and South Africa.

* Mustang Resources Ltd. increased its ruby inventory to 352,260 carats ahead of its maiden rough ruby tender in Mauritius later in the month.

* Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. has locked in US$15 million of debt financing to bring the Mothae diamond project in Lesotho into production in 2018.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Mining companies, including BHP, Southern Peru Copper, Barrick Gold Corp. and Hudbay Minerals Inc. filed for 117 mining permits in Peru's Moquegua region so far this year, Correo reported. Since 2012, the total number of licenses applications in the region is 346.

* Peru's mining investment rose 3.8% year over year to US$2.83 billion in the first eight months of the year, Andina reported.

* China's expanded resource tax reform resulted in a 4.2 billion Chinese yuan decrease in taxes by the end of June this year, China Daily reported.

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.