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Locals file lawsuit as Mosaic's Florida sinkhole reaches aquifer

TOP NEWS

Locals file lawsuit as Mosaic's Florida sinkhole reaches aquifer

Mosaic Co. believes that the 45-feet sinkhole, which opened at its New Wales phosphate fertilizer facility in Florida in late August, has reached the Floridian aquifer, a source of drinking water for the locals, Bloomberg News reported. The leak, which was not publicly disclosed until Sept. 15, is now the basis of a lawsuit filed by three locals who are claiming that the company failed to store the radioactive and chemical waste properly.

Gold juniors set to merge

Echo Resources Ltd. and Metaliko Resources Ltd. are set to announce a merger, sources told The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk. The gold juniors, which are both exploring the Yandal gold belt of Western Australia, entered trading halts ahead of an announcement on a "material transaction."

Russian Platinum unable to secure up to US$1.5B from Vnesheconombank

SC Russian Platinum was unable to secure a loan of US$1.3 billion to US$1.5 billion from Vnesheconombank for the development of the Chernogorskoye mining company and the southern part of the Norilsk-1 deposit, Vedomosti reported. The company has started negotiations with Sberbank for an over-US$1 billion loan.

DIVERSIFIED

* In a bid to regain its investment-grade rating, Teck Resources Ltd. is eager to slash its debt by some US$1.5 billion to US$2 billion, Reuters reported. Such a move, however, will require "some time and improvement in commodity prices and proceeds from asset sales," CFO Ron Millos noted.

* Glencore Plc Chairman Tony Hayward said renewable energy is unlikely to achieve cost parity with fossil fuels until 2051, adding that it would require great technological advances for renewables to become, overall, as cost competitive as fossil fuels before mid-century, Reuters reported.

BASE METALS

* Under an option agreement, Canyon Copper Corp. is earning a 71% interest in ProAm Explorations Corp.'s Sams Lake property in Ontario, a mature exploration project that hosts nickel, copper, cobalt and palladium group metals.

* Bolstered by the Philippine government's announcement of the suspension of 20 more mines as part of its nationwide audit, nickel prices went up 2% to US$10,705 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange, Mining.com reported.

* First-half net earnings at BHP Billiton Group-majority-owned Escondida copper mine in Chile dropped 52% year over year to US$527 million on lower sales revenues, Metal Bulletin reported, citing a statement from operating company Minera Escondida Ltda.

* In order to offer marketing support to its customers and suppliers, Anglo American Plc is planning to set up a copper trading book as many merchants and investment banks are moving away from physical trading, Metal Bulletin reported, citing Alexander Schmitt, the company's marketing executive.

* Chilean environmental regulator approved KGHM Polska Miedz SA's US$19.1 million mitigation plan for Sierra Gorda copper mine in the country after it found nine infractions at the operation, Reuters reported.

* Nyrstar NV CEO Bill Scotting said the company is planning a US$14 million restart of its Middle Tennessee mines, which will enable it to generate additional net positive cash flow on the back of higher zinc prices and improving the quality of the feed book for the Clarksville smelter.

PRECIOUS METALS

* Petropavlovsk PLC swung to a net profit attributable to equity holders of US$9.2 million in the six months to June 30, from a net loss of US$51.8 million a year ago. The company attributed the turnaround to production cost cuts and the weakening of the Russian ruble.

* Mexico environmental regulator Profepa confirmed that an investigation was launched into a cyanide spill that occurred Sept. 22 at the gold mine of Minera Columbia de Mexico SA de CV, a subsidiary of GFM Minería SAPI de CV, in Sonora state, Proceso reported.

* RT Minerals Corp. entered into option agreements to fully acquire, subject to a 2% net smelter royalty, the Norwalk and Dill River gold properties in Ontario.

* Denham Capital will inject US$65 million into Vancouver-based miner JDS Silver Inc., marking its first investment in the Canadian mining sector. The cash will help JDS complete the construction of its Silvertip silver-lead-zinc mine in British Columbia and bring it into production.

* Great Boulder Resources launched an initial public offering to raise up to A$7 million ahead of its planned listing on the ASX. Great Boulder has set a listing date of Oct. 27.

* Despite having denied interest in acquiring Glencore's Vasilkovskoje gold mine in Kazakhstan in June, Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. offered the highest bid for the property, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

* B2Gold Corp. said spokespersons from the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources have informed the company that its Masbate gold project in the country will be given a show-cause order relating to the operations of Filminera Resources Corp. and Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corp. at the project.

* Some members of the National Union of Mineworkers started a strike at Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.'s refinery in South Africa after failing to reach a deal over pay and benefits following five rounds of talks with the platinum producer, Bloomberg News wrote. Impala spokesman Johan Theron said operations continue normally and about 85% of the employees still reported for work.

* A pre-feasibility study on GoldQuest Mining Corp.'s Romero gold-copper project estimated an after-tax net present value of US$202.7 million, using a 5% discount rate, with a 28.2% internal rate of return and a 2.5-year payback period. Romero forms part of the company's Tireo property in the Dominican Republic.

BULK COMMODITIES

* Union workers of Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd.'s Sierra Grande iron ore mine decided to continue the strike started Sept. 19, after the company rejected their demand for a 22% wage increase. The negotiation is scheduled to resume Oct. 6, La Nueva Provincia reported.

* Nine people died while 11 others were left trapped underground following a gas explosion at a coal mine in northwest China, The Associated Press reported. Rescuers are trying to reach the trapped people, and the cause of the explosion is being probed.

* Coal production in six former Soviet countries totaled 232 million tonnes in the first half of the year, the highest output in a six-month period since 1996, according to a report from the Eurasia Development Bank.

* Coal India Ltd.'s planned tender offer to buy back 36.5 billion Indian rupees worth of shares will begin Oct. 3 and close later on Oct. 18. The state-owned company will repurchase up to 10,89,55,223 shares with a face value of 10 rupees each at 335 rupees per equity share of the company.

* The U.K.'s largest steel plate mill, Dalzell, is set to reopen Sept. 28 under new owner Liberty Steel, Reuters reported. Liberty acquired the facility and its sister works at Clydebridge in Glasgow from Tata Steel Ltd. earlier in the year.

* The Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange will begin charging transaction fees for thermal coal contracts that were opened and closed on the same day, Bloomberg News reported, citing a statement made by the bourse on its website.

* The development of GCM Resources Plc's Phulbari mine in Bangladesh will remain unaffected regardless of whether the government decides to allow open-pit mining at the state-owned Barapukuria underground coal mine.

* As part of its exit from the mining sector, Nevada Iron Ltd. will sell its Buena Vista iron ore project in Nevada to New Nevada Resources LLC and Rhodes Investment Ltd. The company also renegotiated terms related to its acquisition of SportsHero Pte. Ltd.

SPECIALTY

* Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. sold a parcel of diamonds for A$5.3 million, bringing the total sales for the year to A$44.1 million. The parcel of 2,209 carats of alluvial diamonds from the Lulo diamond project in Angola fetched an average sale price of A$2,437 per carat.

* Chinese group Hong Kong Scott Minerals is among the investors competing for Sociedad de Inversiones Oro Blanco SA's stake in Sociedad de Inversiones Pampa Calichera SA, which in turn holds a 23% stake in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, El Mercurio reported. The other two interested parties are Tianqi Lithium and Ningbo Shanshan Co. Ltd.

* An expansion study on Boss Resources Ltd.'s Honeymoon uranium project, which indicated low capital outlay of US$7 million for plant restart plus US$57 million for the expansion to 2 million pounds per annum, provided the confidence to advance the project toward a pre-feasibility study, with a decision to mine by the end of 2017.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* Komatsu Ltd. unveiled its Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle at the MINExpo International 2016 in Las Vegas. Komatsu expects the truck to considerably improve productivity at mines where existing unmanned haulage vehicles face difficult situations.

* Illegal gold mining is getting out of hand in South Africa, with Mines Rescue Services Pty. Ltd. recovering a record 24 bodies from abandoned mines, compared to 22 in 2015 and three in 2014, Bloomberg News 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.