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Gold Fields to restart South Deep ops; Paulson & Co. shakes up Detour board

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Gold Fields to restart South Deep ops; Paulson & Co. shakes up Detour board

TOP NEWS

Gold Fields to restart operations at South Deep; production to resume in 2019

Gold Fields Ltd. will restart operations at its South Deep gold mine in South Africa after the National Union of Mineworkers called off a six-week strike, Reuters wrote, citing a company spokesperson. Although some teams are returning to work, output is expected to be negligible until 2019 due to a break for the Christmas holiday, training and checks to ensure mine safety.

Paulson & Co. shakes up Detour Gold's board, wins most seats in proxy battle

Detour Gold Corp.'s shareholders largely sided with Paulson & Co. Inc. in a bitter contest for control of the Detour board, electing five Paulson & Co. nominees to a nine-member board at a special shareholders meeting.

Chinese battery firm stops 3-year cobalt purchase deal with Glencore

China-based battery firm GEM halted the purchase of cobalt from Glencore PLC, as the price of the mineral dropped below what was agreed in a three-year deal between the companies, Reuters reported, citing sources. In March, GEM said that it will buy 52,800 tonnes of cobalt between 2018 and 2020 from Glencore, but did not reveal the price.

BASE METALS

* Codelco's Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile was operating normally after employees blocked access to the site overnight, Reuters reported, citing the company. The workers, who have been protesting for a month over the company's plan to transform the open pit into an underground mine, said that Codelco failed to properly include workers in the redesign, and cited continuing issues with healthcare provisions.

* Silkroad Nickel unit PT Teknik Alum Service entered into a long-term offtake agreement with PT TBR to supply 15 million tonnes of nickel ore over a five to eight year period, beginning March 2020, Mining.com reported. The total contract value of the agreement is estimated to be over US$290 million.

* Orion Minerals Ltd. COO Walter Shamu said the company is targeting to start production at the Prieska zinc-copper mine in South Africa by 2021, Mining Weekly reported.

* Cuba's nickel plus cobalt sulfide production is set to top 50,000 tonnes in 2018, Reuters reported, citing Eder Manuel Olivero Garcel, the head of the country's state monopoly Cubaniquel.

* Magmatic Resources Ltd. purchased the existing net smelter royalties granted to Clancy Exploration Ltd. on the company's Myall, Wellington North, Parkes East and Moorefield projects. The royalties ranged from 2.0% to 2.5%, payable out of the gross revenue from the company's East Lachlan projects.

PRECIOUS METALS

* PJSC Polyus, PJSC Alrosa and the Republic of Sakha signed a cooperation agreement for the potential development of the Far Eastern Russian republic's electrical power infrastructure, and exploring further development of the Srednebotuobinskoye oil and gas field and the Svetlinksaya hydropower plant. The agreement is aimed at exploring reliable energy supply for promising investment projects in the Bodaybo district of the Irkutsk region, including Russia's largest untapped gold deposit.

* Sibanye Gold Ltd. extended the wage deal it reached with the National Union of Mineworkers to all employees at its South African gold operations. Responding to Sibanye's offer, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said the miner has resorted to further "underhanded tactics" to discredit the legal and protected status of its strike, Mining Weekly reported.

* Cash-strapped Gabriel Resources Ltd. plans to raise up to US$20 million in a nonbrokered private placement to help fund its international arbitration fight with the Romanian government over the Rosia Montana gold project.

* Alamos Gold Inc. slowed down development activities and spending at its Kirazli project in Turkey until its operating license is granted. The company is in discussions with the Department of Energy and Natural Resources over the delay and expects to ramp up major construction and earthworks activities in the spring of 2019, pending receipt of the license.

* The Loei Provincial Court in Thailand ordered gold mine operator Tungkum Ltd. to pay compensation to 149 local families affected by the company's mining activities and to restore the environment, Thailand's Matichon reported.

* Roxgold Inc. completed the plant expansion at the Bagassi South gold project in Burkina Faso on schedule and about US$2.8 million under budget, increasing capacity at the plant by nearly 50% to 400,000 tonnes per annum.

* Refinitiv is projecting a 2.2% year-over-year increase in gold supply in 2018, led by mine production, Mining Weekly reported.

* Matsa Resources Ltd. signed an agreement with GME Resources Ltd. to acquire the Devon gold project and the surrounding project area in Western Australia.

* Capricorn Metals Ltd. secured a A$107 million funding package from Macquarie Bank to fund most of the construction costs for the Karlawinda gold project in Western Australia.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Steelmaker Evraz PLC, coal miner Kuzbassrazrezugol - Vzryvprom OOO and the investment arm of CJSC Sinara Group are discussing the potential financing of JSC Russian Railways' planned high-speed rail link between Moscow and Kazan, Russian RBC Daily reported, citing two anonymous sources.

* Andrew Cosgrove, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said Vale SA's purchase of technology firm New Steel SA makes its case stronger for the possible acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in Samarco iron ore joint venture held by BHP Group Ltd.

* BHP may run into a conflict with its investors as it decides on what to do with its US$20 billion Jansen potash project in Canada, Bloomberg reported. Brenton Saunders, an analyst for Pendal Group which holds BHP shares, was of the opinion that the project does not deserve "serious consideration," and that "it should [either] be shelved or sold."

* Macarthur Minerals Ltd. revised its production strategy and cost estimates for the Moonshine magnetite and Ularring hematite projects in Western Australia, to align the developments with market conditions, capital markets and regional infrastructure availability.

* Flinders Mines Ltd. applied to the ASX to delist its shares on the bourse, citing various challenges in progressing its Pilbara iron ore project in Western Australia.

* Mount Gibson Iron Ltd. said it is on track to restart the Koolan Island iron ore project in Western Australia and begin ore sales by the end of March 2019. Initial waste mining has started.

SPECIALTY

* Westwater Resources Inc. filed for arbitration with the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes against Turkey over the country's seizure of its Temrezli and Şefaatli uranium projects in June.

* Zimbabwean Mining Minister Winston Chitando said that De Beers SA and Vast Resources PLC will be permitted to explore for diamonds in the country, which will make them the first listed companies to mine in that sector for two years, Reuters reported. De Beers said that it was not mining in Zimbabwe and had no intentions, while Vast did not provide comments, the newswire added.

* Bacanora Lithium PLC Chairman Mark Hohnen said the company is in talks with financial advisers over listing its Deutsche Lithium GmbH unit on "at least one public market in 2019."

* Gemfields Group Ltd. CEO Sean Gilbertson said in an interview that the company is keen on acquiring new sapphire assets in Africa, with the potential deals to be unveiled in the third quarter of 2019. Gilbertson also said the miner is eager to increase both its emerald and ruby footprint.

* A definitive feasibility study for Platina Resources Ltd.'s namesake Platina scandium project in New South Wales, Australia, estimated a posttax net present value, at an 8% discount, of US$166 million with an internal rate of return of 29%.

* Savannah Resources PLC successfully produced salable quartz and feldspar co-products during ongoing metallurgical test work at its Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal. The company said the co-products offer a significant possible upside to project economics. Savannah is planning further testing to assess their viability by generating samples for client assessment. Additionally, producing quartz and feldspar products could allow the company to lower waste generation, minimizing Mina do Barroso's potential environmental footprint.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* November did not see a lot of movement in consensus price expectations month over month as the year draws to a close. Yet, looking forward to 2019, expectations for nearly all metals are for a meaningful price recovery from the depressed price levels seen in the second half, the Metals and Mining Research team at S&P Global Market Intelligence wrote.

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