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Ferrous Metals News

Fortescue’s rating upgraded after debt reduction

By: Mariaan Webb     24th June 2016 Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service on Friday upgraded the outlook of Australian iron-ore company Fortescue Metals’ corporate family rating to stable and affirmed the rating at Ba3. According to a Fortescue statement, Moody’s said that the company’s recent efforts to reduce its debt had... 

Embracing technology key to success of the mine of the future

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th June 2016 For mining to be part of the twenty-first century, it has to create a range of benefits as part of the business model, have access to realistic commodity pricing models and must embrace technology, says University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Mining Institute director Professor Fred Cawood says.... 

Embracing technology key to success of the mine of the future
Photo by Bloomberg
FUTURE MINE The trends around key mining industry issues could lead to possible futures characterised by an African mining boom

The MSA Group

     24th June 2016 Local mining consultancy The MSA Group provides exploration, geology, mineral resource, mining and environmental consulting solutions to a client base that includes some of the world’s largest multinational mining companies, as well as private equity and sovereign wealth funds, banks, governments... 

The MSA Group

Fortescue reduces debt by further $500m

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd June 2016 Iron-ore mining company Fortescue Metals said on Thursday it had issued a further $500-million repayment notice for the 2019 senior secured debt term, bringing its total debt repayments for the 2016 financial year to $2.9-billion. The latest repayment would generate an interest saving of... 

Samarco bonds tumble on possible debt talks

By: Reuters     21st June 2016 Bonds issued by Samarco fell four points on Tuesday following news that the Brazilian mining company has hired banks to approach creditors about possible debt negotiations. The company's 2023s and 2024s were being quoted at around 42 to 44 on Tuesday after trading on Monday at around 47,... 

Fortescue appoints CFO to board

By: Mariaan Webb     21st June 2016 Iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals has appointed CFO Stephen Pearce to its board as an executive director. Pearce had been an integral part of the executive management team since his appointment as CFO in March 2010, group chairperson Andrew Forrest said in a statement on Tuesday. 

BHP flags ‘another 10 years’ as iron-ore adjusts after boom

By: Bloomberg     21st June 2016 The iron-ore market will take longer to balance out than other commodities as excess supply may take years to be absorbed after a boom, according to BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie, who flagged his company’s low production costs as a lure for hedge-fund investors. “There are some commodities,... 

BHP flags ‘another 10 years’ as iron-ore adjusts after boom
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Rio Tinto iron-ore mine still offline after fatality

By: Reuters     21st June 2016 Operations remain suspended at the Channar iron-ore mine in Australia following a fatality late on Sunday, with the slack in production being picked up by other mines, majority owner Rio Tinto said on Tuesday. The fatality involved a 32-year-old man who was working on a drill rig at the time, a... 

Seeking gold amid rubble of a mine tragedy in job-starved Brazil

By: Bloomberg     21st June 2016 In the red-dirt hills of Minas Gerais, a part of Brazil named for the mines that provided livelihoods for generations, the country’s worst-ever environmental disaster has unearthed a new opportunity for locals stung by recession and job losses – panning for gold. Wildcat mining is on the rise in... 

Brazil's Samarco, owners hire banks for debt talks – source

By: Reuters     21st June 2016 Brazilian mining company Samarco Mineração and owners Vale and BHP Billiton have hired banks to sound out creditors on a potential renegotiation of $3.8-billion in debt, after a deadly dam spill led to the shutdown of a key mine, a source with direct knowledge of the plan said on Monday.... 

Indian provinces to auction 20 iron-ore blocks

By: Ajoy K Das     20th June 2016 Undeterred by poor investors’ response, a production glut and the large number of mines that remained closed, India’s Mines Ministry was hopeful that provinces would be able to auction another 20 iron-ore mines before end of current financial year in March 2017. According to a Mines Ministry... 

Turnbull pledges A$49m for new equipment for Arrium

By: Mariaan Webb     20th June 2016 Troubled mining and steel group Arrium Mining and Materials has been promised a A$49.2-million injection, if the Malcolm Turnbull coalition government is re-elected in the July 2 federal election. The lifeline would allow Arrium to remain competitive and would save about 2 700 jobs at the... 

Turnbull pledges A$49m for new equipment for Arrium
The government loan will allow Arrium to process low-grade ore to export quality and increase the supply of lump ore feed to Whyallla.

Rio suspends work at Channar iron-ore mine after death

By: Reuters     20th June 2016 Rio Tinto has suspended operations at its Channar iron-ore mine in Australia after a worker was killed overnight, the company said on Monday. "Operations have been suspended," a Rio Tinto spokesman said, adding that the company was working with investigators on the cause of the incident. He did... 

Rio suspends work at Channar iron-ore mine after death

NRW awarded $30m contract at Rio Tinto mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th June 2016 Diversified mining company Rio Tinto has awarded civil and mining contractor NRW Holdings a $30-million contract for bulk earthworks and civil works for the Yandi Oxbow project at the Yandicoogina mine, in the Pilbara. 

World’s biggest robots delay dims zeal to automate mine trains

By: Bloomberg     17th June 2016 Creating the world’s largest moving robots to transport iron-ore across the vast Australian Outback is proving more complex and time-consuming than expected for Rio Tinto, fuelling doubts the technology can deliver promised returns as major rivals defer similar investments. Rio, which gets more... 

World’s biggest robots delay dims zeal to automate mine trains

Best metal bond gets even better as Cliffs cashes in on rally

By: Bloomberg     17th June 2016 Cliffs Natural Resources’ borrowing costs fell to the lowest in almost two years as it capitalised on the best stock rally among iron miners to raise money and declared itself out of the woods after a price rout. The Cleveland-based company’s notes due 2018 rallied Thursday, pushing down its... 

Best metal bond gets even better as Cliffs cashes in on rally

Vale will not support Samarco if unable to resume operations

By: Reuters     16th June 2016 Brazilian mining company Vale will not financially support Samarco, a joint venture with BHP Billiton, if the company is not able to resume operations, Vale's head of investor relations said on Thursday. Rogerio Nogueira told analysts at an event in Sao Paulo that he did not believe Samarco... 

Mount Gibson settles A$86m property damage insurance claim

By: Mariaan Webb     16th June 2016 ASX-listed Mount Gibson has reached a A$86-million settlement with its insurers for the property damage component of its insurance claim relating to the 2014 failure of the Koolan Island Main Pit seawall. The settlement amount included the A$1.85-million interim payment received in mid-2015,... 

Iron Road raises capital to progress Central Eyre iron project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th June 2016 ASX-listed Iron Road on Thursday announced it would aim to raise at least $9.23-million from an entitlement offer and institutional placements to advance the Central Eyre iron project, in South Australia, to a final investment decision. Iron Road announced a one for nine renounceable entitlement... 

Vale-BHP's Samarco no longer sees operations resuming this year

By: Reuters     16th June 2016 Brazilian miner Samarco, a joint venture between Vale SA and BHP Billiton, no longer expects to resume mining operations this year, Benedito Waldson, the company's head of human resources told Reuters on Wednesday. The lack of clarity of when the company would receive the necessary licences to... 

Peruvian mining volumes continue to grow as new president takes helm

By: Simon Rees     15th June 2016 The Peruvian mining industry is expected to spur renewed growth in the country as output grows, prices stabilise and revive, several speakers told a recent Peruvian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce economic outlook seminar. The recent Peruvian election was so close that the winner Pedro Pablo... 

Peruvian mining volumes continue to grow as new president takes helm
Photo by Reuters
Incoming Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

Brazil judge dismisses $5.7bn civil suit against Samarco – Vale

By: Reuters     14th June 2016 Brazilian iron-ore miner Vale SA said on Monday that a 20-billion reais ($5.7-billion) civil suit over last year's Samarco mine disaster has been dismissed, the company said in a securities filing. The mine is operated by Samarco Mineração SA, a joint venture between Vale and the world's largest... 

Brazil judge dismisses $5.7bn civil suit against Samarco – Vale

Tharisa sees H1 drop in profit, revenue amid volatile commodity prices

By: Anine Kilian     13th June 2016 Dual-listed platinum-group metals (PGMs) and chrome producer Tharisa delivered a “solid” financial and operational performance in the six months ended March 31, despite volatile commodity prices, says its CEO. “While revenues for the first half of the year were impacted by the 27% drop in PGM... 

New way to mine hard rock impresses veteran researcher 

By: Martin Creamer     13th June 2016 A new way of breaking rock in Southern Africa’s narrow-reef mines is seen as safety and production enhancing. Veteran researcher Rod Pickering, who spent 20 years at the Chamber of Mines Research Organisation (Comro) running the stoping technology laboratory, says he has yet to come across a... 

New way to mine hard rock impresses veteran researcher
Photo by Creamer
Pickering & Associates Rod Pickering

Big boost for South African mining as old Comro reopens  

By: Martin Creamer     13th June 2016 The revitalisation of the South African mining industry through the resuscitation of research and development (R&D) is under way as an outcome of the Mining Phakisa, a strategy forged by 120 government, company, union and nongovernmental participants, who last year spent five weeks working... 

Big boost for South African mining as old Comro reopens
Photo by Creamer Media
CSIR mining manager Navin Singh

Sable Mining CEO says Liberia indictment 'politically motivated'

By: Reuters     13th June 2016 Sable Mining CEO Andrew Groves said on Friday that his indictment this week by a grand jury in Liberia in relation to a corruption investigation was politically motivated. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last month ordered an inquiry into London AIM-listed Sable's unsuccessful attempt to acquire... 

Legal discretion dogging mine safety inquiries – Webber Wentzel 

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2016 The only certainty about current enforcement of South Africa’s Mine Health and Safety Act is consistent uncertainty, says Webber Wentzel partner Kate Collier. Addressing a seminar on the way the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) approaches senior mine management in the aftermath of serious... 

Legal discretion dogging mine safety inquiries – Webber Wentzel
Photo by Duane Daws
Webber Wentzel partner Kate Collier

Mining still a key pillar of SA economy despite weak commodity prices

By: Dylan Slater     10th June 2016 With an estimated $2.5-trillion worth of proven mineral reserves, South Africa’s mining sector remains a major player in the country’s economy, despite weak commodity prices, making a direct contribution of around 8% to gross domestic product and providing 14% of total employment, according to... 

Cliffs to restart United Taconite plant 2 months early, lifts guidance

By: Henry Lazenby     9th June 2016 US-focused iron-ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources on Thursday announced that it would be restarting its United Taconite mining facility (UTAC), in Minnesota, two months ahead earlier than previously thought, after it last week announced a ten-year iron-ore pellet supply agreement with... 

South Australia throws A$50m lifeline to Whyalla

By: Mariaan Webb     9th June 2016 The South Australian government on Thursday committed A$50-million to support the new owner of the loss-making Whyalla steelworks, which is up for sale after mining and steel group Arrium entered into administration earlier this year. Premier Jay Weatherhill had also asked the leaders of both... 

South Australia throws A$50m lifeline to Whyalla

Todd says offer price for Flinders will not increase

By: Mariaan Webb     9th June 2016 New Zealand’s Todd Corporation said on Thursday that it had no intention to increase the offer price of 2.5 c a share for Flinders Mines. The company denied speculation that, shortly after the close of its takeover bid for Flinders, it intended to undertake a further process to acquire any... 

BHP sets sights on a new iron-mine to replace ageing one

By: Reuters     9th June 2016 BHP Billiton is studying an option to develop a massive new iron-ore deposit in Australia to replace lost tonnes as operations age and reserves decline, according to the company and documents filed with environmental regulators. The deposit is called South Flank and lies 10 km south of BHP's... 

BHP sets sights on a new iron-mine to replace ageing one
The new mine will be designed to replace almost a third of BHP's current production from the Yandi mine.

Preliminary licence granted for Horizonte’s Araguaia nickel mine, beneficiation plant

By: Henry Lazenby     8th June 2016 Nickel development company Horizonte Minerals has received a preliminary environmental licence (LP) for the planned Araguaia nickel mine and beneficiation plant from the Brazilian Pará State Environmental Agency (SEMAS). According to the Aim and TSX-listed company, which brought the project from... 

TFR moves record 1.05Mt of manganese in May

     8th June 2016 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) moved a record 1.05-million tons of manganese in May – a new monthly record – as a result of an improvement in operational efficiencies and an upturn in market conditions. “The record-breaking performance is due to a significant improvement in efficiencies across the... 

RMG inks share price agreement to raise $2m for Chile property

By: Samantha Herbst     8th June 2016 ASX-listed junior RMG has entered into a share subscription agreement with cornerstone investor Epoch Bliss to raise $2-million, before expenses, to fun ongoing activities at RMG’s Chile property and to review other potential opportunities within the resources sector. The agreement, through which... 

Fortescue sees next wave of growth forming to support ore demand

By: Bloomberg     8th June 2016 Fortescue Metals Group, the world’s fourth-largest iron-ore exporter, is starting to see signs of the next wave of global economic growth that may help support demand for the steelmaking ingredient. “I have just come back from a major trip through Europe and North America and Asia and I’m not... 

Fortescue sees next wave of growth forming to support ore demand
Fortescue chairperson Andrew Forrest

Brazil's Vale back in market after long hiatus

By: Reuters     7th June 2016 Brazilian miner Vale returned to the international markets for the first time in over three years on Tuesday when it announced a new five-year bond. The iron-ore miner hit the screens on another positive day for the region's debt markets, amid higher oil prices and hopes that the Fed will... 

Zimbabwe sets Tuesday deadline for chrome miner to cede half its claims

By: Reuters     7th June 2016 Zimbabwe's second largest ferrochrome producer Zimbabwe Alloys has been given until the close of business on Tuesday to hand over half its chrome mining claims or risk having them seized, according to a letter from the government seen by Reuters. The Southern African nation holds the world's... 

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