MELBOURNE, March 8 (Reuters) - Metals at risk of a tariff on U.S. imports largely recovered from steep falls on Thursday after an official said certain key partners could be exempt from duties allaying concerns over demand. FUNDAMENTALS: * TARIFFS: Concerns that the U.S. could slap down import tariffs on steel, impacting zinc, used in galvanised steel and nickel, used in stainless steel, as well as aluminium have dragged those metals in the past week. * TRUMP: U.S. President Donald Trump plans to offer Canada and Mexico a 30-day exemption from planned tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, which could be extended based on progress in NAFTA talks, a White House official said on Wednesday night. * PRICES: Prices of aluminium and zinc that were sold down on Wednesday recovered by more than half a percent. LME nickel slipped half a percent, having fallen less severely in the previous session. * COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper traded flat at $6,947 a tonne by 0254 GMT, after falling 0.8 percent in the previous session. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper traded down 0.6 percent at 52,370 yuan ($8,275) a tonne. * JAPAN ECONOMY: Japan's economy expanded more than initially estimated in October-December due to an upward revision of capital expenditure and inventory data, confirming an eighth consecutive quarter of growth. * DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila will soon sign into law a new mining code, the government and the country's mining companies said on Wednesday. The code has been vigorously opposed by the miners. * ERG: Debt-laden Kazakh miner Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) has revived efforts to sell its Frontier copper mine in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite a drop in valuation to about $400 million, two banking sources said. * U.S. ECONOMY: When Donald Trump became president last year he vowed to make American manufacturing giants, such as Harley-Davidson and Caterpillar great again. But a year later, the two companies stand to take a hit from his policies.