Palladium Prices in 2011 to Jump on Car Sales, Russia, Trader Ikemizu Says

Palladium may extend a rally this year as surging car sales in China boost demand, while supply from top exporter Russia drops as stockpiles fall, according to the head of commodity trading in Japan at Standard Bank Plc. Bloomberg News reports:

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Franconia Minerals Shareholders Approve Arrangement With Duluth Metals

Franconia shareholders have approved an agreement whereby Duluth will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Franconia, and Franconia will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duluth. Franconia's assets are expected to be rolled into Twin Metals Minnesota LLC, a Duluth (60%) and Antofagasta plc (40%) joint venture.

Local lawmaker fights for 4-year degrees at CAC

Maricopa native and District 23 lawmaker Frank Pratt is fighting to allow Central Arizona College and Eastern Arizona College to offer four-year baccalaureate degrees in nursing, elementary and secondary education, business and mining technology.

“We have nearly 400,000 people in Pinal County and there is no way for them to get a four-year degree without venturing out of the county or logging onto a computer,” Pratt said.

To bring about the change at the two community colleges, Pratt has introduced HB 2277 in the Arizona Legislature. The bill would allow select four-year degrees at the two community colleges through the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

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Antofagasta to pay 100c per share special dividend

Antofagasta will pay a special dividend of 100 cents a share, the Chilean miner said on Tuesday as it posted a jump in full-year earnings on higher copper prices and production. Earnings per share rose to 106.7 cents, from 67.7 cents, as revenue grew 54.5 percent to $4.58 billion.

Alice Springs traditional owners acquire 51% of Australian Contract Miner of the Year

The Alice Springs-based Lhere Artepe Group has acquired 51% of the CDE Group, taking indigenous ownership of the Australian mining and civil works contracting group to 84%. CDE’s current activities include providing services to Fortescue Metals Group’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine in Western Australia through the Downer EDI contracting group, and to Xstrata for the McArthur River zinc mine in the Northern Territory.

Another Canadian iron ore partnership in the works

Closely following the CAD$4.9 billion Cliffs-Consolidated Thompson deal earlier this year, Canadian iron ore company New Millenium Capital Corp. has teamed up with Tata Steel Ltd. for a huge iron ore project, The Financial Post reported: With a giant Indian steelmaker providing the cash, New Millennium Capital Corp. is preparing to develop what it thinks will be the largest mine in Canadian history. Following months of due diligence, Montreal-based New Millennium unveiled a joint venture with Tata Steel Ltd. on Monday that will guide financing and construction of its mammoth Taconite iron ore project in Labrador and Quebec.

TMX exec pitches stock exchange merger to PDAC

Merging the Toronto and London stock exchanges will give mining companies greater visibility and is necessary for the exchanges to be competitive, says a senior executive at TMX Group. Canadian Press reports: A senior executive at the TMX Group says the merger between the operators of the Toronto and London stock exchanges will give Canadian miners greater visibility on the world stage and more investment opportunities, The Canadian Press reported. Speaking at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's convention, Kevan Cowan, head of equities at TSX Markets, said Monday that consolidation in the exchange industry is necessary to compete.