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Monday, November 17, 2008.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
Investment bank Macquarie said it had cut its 2009 forecasts for base metals, coal and iron-ore by up to 60%. This reflects the deteriorating global economic outlook.
It joins a growing number of research houses that have lowered their outlook for the commodities sector. The sector had enjoyed a strong performance until the first half of this year before sharply correcting in recent months. This is as the credit crisis has threatened to reduce demand for oil, metals, coal, iron ore and grains.
Macquuarie had delayed the issuing of new forecasts for about a month so that it could better assess the changing dynamics of global growth and the prospects for recovery. The company said in a report that it was more pessimistic than it was a month ago and so were the numbers.
It lowered 2009 contract prices of Australian iron-ore fines by 20%, which would mark a first annual decline in seven years as steel makers reduce production amid growing fears over a looming global economic recession.
Miner Rio Tinto has started the sale of its market-leading borates and talcs businesses. It picked investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort to run the process.
A sale of the two units, estimated to be worth up to 1,2-billion dollars, would be a small step towards Rio's plans to sell 15-billion dollars of assets to repay debt. Rio is also countering an unsolicited takeover bid worth some 60-billion dollars from rival BHP Billiton.
The Anglo-Australian miner had planned to sell 10-billion dollars of assets this year but said in October it was reviewing that timeline given challenging financial markets.
This sale is at an early stage and is likely to draw interest from both industry rivals and financial investors.
Also making headlines:
Rio Tinto's Tom Albanese says the effects of the Chinese fiscal stimulation can be anticipated ‘sometime in 2009'.
Denver-based Geovic Mining delays its Cameroon cobalt mine.
Ontario extends the consultation period for the mining law review.
And, TSX- and JSE-listed Anooraq Resources Corporation will delay its empowerment transaction with platinum producer Anglo Platinum.
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit miningweekly.com.