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  • SINGAPORE, Dec 13- London copper was set to close higher for the third week in four on Friday as a shortage of refined metal in the physical market underpinned prices, but prospects the Federal Reserve could soon trim its commodity-friendly stimulus dragged.

  • JOHANNESBURG, Dec 12- South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers said on Thursday it had agreed a two-year wage deal for pay increases of 7.5 to 8.5 percent with Anglo American Platinum, the world's top producer of the precious metal.

  • *SPDR Gold Trust holdings drop, investment demand lags. NEW YORK/ LONDON, Dec 12- Gold prices fell 2 percent on Thursday as upbeat U.S. retail sales data boosted the dollar and stoked expectations that the Federal Reserve could reduce its bond-buying stimulus soon. Silver slid 4 percent, while platinum group metals also fell sharply.

  • Dec 12- North American liquids production is expected to rise by more than 40 percent between 2010 and 2040, driven by technological advancements that enable increased output from sources such as oil sands, Exxon Mobil Corp said.

  • *Avocet, London Mining and IMIC have signed loan deals. In West Africa, banks such as Togo- based Ecobank and Ivory Coast's Banque Atlantique are moving in on mining projects, emboldened by the expert local knowledge gained from their extensive branch networks.

  • LONDON, Dec 12- Investors in major gold miners say a return to hedging future production after a slump in gold prices would be a sign of financial weakness in companies and could rob them of the chance to reap the rewards of any price rebound. John Thornton, a former senior executive at Goldman Sachs, said he would seriously consider hedging.

  • LONDON, Dec 12- Copper and nickel climbed to five-week peaks on Thursday on fears that a planned Indonesian ban on ore exports next month could crimp exports from the world's fifth-biggest copper mine and nickel suppliers. U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper& Gold warned that Indonesia's plan would cut output at its Grasberg mine by 60 percent next year.

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 12- London copper struck its highest in a month on Thursday, extending its winning streak into a fifth session as worries about an export halt from the world's fifth biggest copper mine in Indonesia fuelled supply concerns.

  • *To cost Indonesia $1.6 bln in lost revenue, or 0.6 pct of GDP growth next year. JAKARTA, Dec 12- Freeport McMoRan Copper& Gold warned that Indonesia's plan to ban mineral exports from next month would cut the firm's revenues in the country by 65 percent, costing Southeast Asia's biggest economy $1.6 billion in lost revenue next year.

  • David McAlvany, CEO of the McAlvany Financial Group, says gold may recover soon with $1,200 being the lows put in this year.

  • LONDON/ SINGAPORE, Dec 11- Recent declines in European and Asian steel prices are not likely to derail a modest market recovery over the past five months, but instead these prices are expected to rise to narrow the gap with higher U.S. levels.

  • Dec 11- Mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc forecast 2014 earnings below analysts' estimates after reporting a quarterly profit that fell short of expectations as miners cut spending. Coal miners, who account for about two-thirds of Joy Global's revenue, have cut back on buying equipment as they struggle with a supply glut and weak prices.

  • *Gold rally fades after move to cover short positions. LONDON, Dec 11- Gold prices slipped on Wednesday, after three days of gains as short-sellers rushed to cover bets on sharp price falls, as a tentative U.S. budget deal returned the focus to prospects for the Federal Reserve to curb monetary stimulus.

  • Joy Global profit slumps as mining equipment orders fall Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 | 6:21 AM ET

    Dec 11- Mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc reported an 87 percent fall in quarterly profit as it took a big charge and coal miners cut spending due to a supply glut and weak prices. Joy Global derives about two-thirds of its revenue from sales to coal miners. Excluding these items, Joy Global earned $1.11 per share.

  • HONG KONG, Dec 11- China shares sank to their lowest in more than a week early Wednesday, weighing on Hong Kong markets, as coal producers slid after the country's top economic planner said its use will be curbed to combat pollution.

  • *Gold eases after 3- day rally. SINGAPORE, Dec 11- Gold snapped a three-day winning streak on Wednesday but was well-supported near a three-week high, boosted by short-covering and weakness in the dollar. However, it depends on whether it can hold support at $1,250 and the Fed meeting next week, "said a Hong Kong- based precious metals trader.

  • Paul Trainor, Senior Portfolio Manager at Macquarie Private Portfolio Management says investors should be careful before jumping into the stock, despite a 30% fall over the past two days.

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 11- London copper was buoyed near one month highs on Wednesday, stretching gains into a fourth session, underpinned by a weaker dollar against the euro and steady buying from top consumer China.

  • *To focus spending on Australia, US, Trinidad and Tobago. LONDON, Dec 10- BHP Billiton, the world's largest miner and a top investor in U.S. onshore oil and gas, said on Tuesday its U.S. shale business should generate cash from 2016, contributing almost $3 billion a year to the group by the end of the decade.

  • Rio Tinto puts off plans for Paraguay aluminum plant Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 | 2:11 PM ET

    ASUNCION, Dec 10- Giant global mining company Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it postponed studies related to a proposed $4 billion aluminum plant in Paraguay due to bad market conditions, putting what would be the country's biggest-ever foreign investment in jeopardy.

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