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Metals and Mining

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  • *Gold miners sell production up to a year forward. *Hochschild, Detour, Petropavlovsk among the hedgers. "I see a short-term hedge as a weapon in the arsenal of a financial director to protect the company and generate some short to medium-term security," said Markus Bachmann, manager of precious metals and global resources funds at Craton Capital.

  • *Acquisition prospects in Asia white cement. ROME, March 14- Italy's Cementir group is looking at acquisition opportunities to strengthen its position in white cement and could finalise a deal within 12 months, possibly in Asia, chief executive Francesco Caltagirone said.

  • LONDON, March 14- Metals markets are nervous that nearly half a million tonnes of hidden zinc may be delivered on the London Metal Exchange next week, shaking a market unsure about the extent of further concealed stocks.

  • *Mechel should repay $1 bln of debt this year. MOSCOW, March 14- Russia may again have to step in to help coal and steel group Mechel after the country's largest private bank asked for the early repayment of a $150 million loan.

  • Investors who believe copper's recent price decline is limited to China are on the "path to ruin", warned Albert Edwards, Societe Generale's uber-bearish strategist.

  • *Mechel shares down 14 pct in Moscow, underperforming index. MOSCOW, March 14- Indebted Russian coal miner and steelmaker Mechel is in talks with lenders on refinancing and early debt repayment, the company said on Friday.

  • MOSCOW, March 14- Russian coal miner and steelmaker Mechel is in talks with Alfa Bank, Russia's largest private bank, on paying off a $150 million debt early, Mechel said on Friday. The company's press-service said in an emailed comment that Alfa Bank had asked for the early repayment and the two sides were in discussions.

  • STOCKS OF RUSSIAN UTILITIES, STEELMAKERS, BANKS FALL SHARPLY ON FRIDAY.

  • SEOUL, March 14- POSCO's new chief executive said the South Korean steelmaker will restructure non-steel businesses and not make any major investment in increasing steelmaking capacity, in a marked break from the strategy of his predecessor.

  • SEOUL, March 14- POSCO's new chief executive said the South Korean steelmaker will sell non-core assets and list some affiliates to shore up its balance sheet, shying away from major new investments in a marked break from his predecessor's strategy.

  • SEOUL, March 14- POSCO's new chief executive said the steelmaker will shy away from expanding manufacturing capacity for the time being, and raise cash by selling non-core assets and by listing some affiliates- a marked break with the strategy set by his predecessor.

  • WINNIPEG, Manitoba, March 13- Two junior potash producers working in unusual locations look set to shake off the most bearish industry conditions in five years and open new mines, helped by their proximity to Brazil and Africa, two of the world's most promising but under-served fertilizer markets.

  • SHANGHAI, March 13- Growing jitters about the financial health of bloated industries in China have prompted many banks to cut lending in these sectors by as much as 20 percent, banking and industry sources with knowledge of the matter said.

  • LONDON, March 13- "We believe commercial shale gas extraction should only go ahead in the United Kingdom if it can be objectively demonstrated that the regulatory framework is fit for purpose," six leading conservation organisations wrote in a report on Thursday.

  • Secretive Chinese funds: a potent force in copper rout Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 8:15 AM ET

    HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI/ SYDNEY, March 13- Chinese funds taking massive short positions played a powerful role in copper's slide to around four-year lows this week, signalling the growing force of the sector in global commodities markets.

  • Nic Brown, head of commodities research at Natixis, says the "fundamentals" in zinc and lead make them a more attractive investment than copper, despite the metal's drop in price.

  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, March 13- Conventional thinking is that iron ore prices have plunged this year because of concerns about China's economic growth outlook, but it's possible the reverse is the case.

  • Australia's iron ore miners hang tough as prices fall Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 | 5:00 PM ET

    PERTH, March 13- If Australian miners are worried about the dramatic decline in iron ore prices, it doesn't show. "Iron ore mining isn't tennis, it's a contact sport," said David Flanagan, chairman of Atlas Iron Ltd. "Sometimes it hurts a bit, like you copped it in the stomach.

  • FRANKFURT, March 12- German potash miner K+ S slashed its 2013 dividend and suspended its long-term payout goal to preserve cash for a new mine it is building in Canada despite a slump in prices of the fertiliser ingredient.

  • *No disruption from political tension in Ukraine. LONDON, March 12- Ukraine- focused iron ore miner Ferrexpo announced its second special dividend in as many years after it posted increased annual profit and said it is on track to boost production this year.