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Copper Gains As Industrial China Grows And US Budget Talks Remain In Focus

Kazakhstan's biggest copper producer, Kazakhmys (LSE:KAZ), secured a $1 billion pre-export finance debt facility from lenders including the Bank of China, Deutsche Bank, Societe General and UniCredit. The five-year loan will provide additional liquidity for the company as it develops the Bozshakol and Aktogay copper projects.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) said it will pay a quarterly cash dividend of $0.3125 per share on February 1.

Copper Mountain Mining (TSX:CUM) expects to produce approximately 80 million pounds of copper, 35,000 ounces of gold and 315,000 ounces of silver in 2013.

Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM,TSX:NMC) will receive assistance from the government of Peru to help accelerate projects that have been delayed by community protests, Bloomberg reported, citing a report by local newspaper El Comercio. Meanwhile, Fox Business noted that unionized workers at Southern Copper's Cuajone and Toquepala mines and at the Ilo smelter and refinery in Peru did a two-day walkout this week to back demands for salary increases. A general, indefinite strike could start on January 15 if the company doesn't reach a deal on a new contract with unions.

Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) and Integra Mining (ASX:IGR) received court approval to merge and have lodged the approval with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The merger will occur by January 11.

Junior company news

Discovery Metals (ASX:DML) said it has resumed “normal development” of the Zeta open pit at the Boseto copper project in Botswana after authorities accepted the company's report and lifted temporary restrictions that had prevented deepening of the pit. Discovery is working on lifting mine production and recovering lost development time.

Iron Creek Capital (TSXV:IRN) said that following a cash call by Hochschild Mining (LSE:HOC), to which Iron Creek declined to contribute, its stake in the Victoria joint-venture project in Northern Chile is now 33.88 percent, down from 40 percent. “Although the Victoria property remains highly prospective for both porphyry copper mineralization and precious metals mineralization … current market conditions dictate that Iron Creek must reduce its interest in the project in order to bring future financing commitments to a more manageable level,” Tim Beale, president of Iron Creek, said in a statement.

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