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Australian miners embracing automation in quest for improved safety, efficiency

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd November 2018 While the phrase ‘automation’ might evoke visions of a Schwarzenegger-esque future in which machines rise up to take over the world, it has come to have a distinctly different connotation in Australia. From drones being used to safely map, survey and explore mining operations to autonomous trains... 

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer says relationships are crucial in the supply chain

30th October 2018 While average realised prices have been strong for the most recent fiscal year, BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Arnoud Balhuizen has warned to not get too caught up with the numbers alone. “Prices have generally benefited disciplined owner-operators with high quality assets, particularly those... 

Investors doubling their capital injection at IMARC this year

29th October 2018 In only its fifth year, the International Mining and Resources Conference has grown to be one of the largest events of its kind attracting the industry’s biggest operators and investors alike. The most up-to-date numbers show that investors with a staggering $5.4 trillion in assets under... 

Innovation reflects Victoria’s standing in world mining

18th October 2018 Carlton is better known for its boutique retail and dining than the production of niche mining equipment, but a locally owned and operated business is forging ahead in the earth resources sector, and it’s getting noticed. Leveraging localised design, development and production, Southern... 

Samarco could begin partial production in 2020 after dam burst – Vale CEO

By: Reuters     17th October 2018 Samarco, a joint mining venture between Brazil's Vale and BHP Billiton, could resume production at a third of its capacity at the beginning of 2020, Vale's CEO said on Tuesday. Samarco halted operations in late 2015 after one of its dams collapsed, killing 19 people and causing one of Brazil's... 

BHP doubles stake in Ecuador copper project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th October 2018 Mining major BHP has subscribed for a further £45-million worth of shares in copper developer SolGold, which is the majority owner and operator of the Cascabel porphyry copper-gold project, in Ecuador. BHP will be issued an additional 100-million shares, at a price of 45p each, taking its... 

Thiess wins A$1.2bn mining contract

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2018 Mining major BHP has awarded project house Cimic’s global mining services provider, Thiess, with a A$1.2-billion contract at the Mt Arthur coal operation, in the Hunter Valley. The new five-year contract builds on Thiess’ existing agreement, and expands the scope of the contract to include... 

Chinese delegation to witness proudly South African logging system 

By: Martin Creamer     8th October 2018 The high-ranking delegation from China, which is due to arrive in South Africa next Monday to undertake a three-week study of South Africa’s globally recognised mineral reporting codes, will be given insight during their visit into a South African borehole logging system that is poised to go... 

2019 Samarco restart unlikely despite deal with prosecutors – BHP

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th October 2018 Diversified giant BHP on Thursday confirmed that it had reached an agreement with the State Prosecutor of Mariana in Minas Gerais, in relation to compensation for the impact of the Samarco dam failure in 2015. However, the miner said that operations were unlikely to restart next year. The... 

Latest BDO report shows exploration expenditure continues to trend upwards, with 15% increase on previous quarter

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd October 2018 BDO’s report on the cash position of Australian-listed explorers for the June 2018 quarter (based on quarterly Appendix 5B reports lodged with the ASX) indicates that the natural resources sector in Australia is continuing to build momentum, with both investors and exploration companies... 

SolGold CEO: High grades deliver independence

By: Mariaan Webb     28th September 2018 High copper and gold grades of the Alpala deposit are providing dual-listed SolGold with a level of independence in the development of the larger Cascabel project, in Ecuador, CEO Nicholas Mather said on Friday. Responding to critics saying that Brisbane-based SolGold is too small to fund a... 

Australian miners spearheading disruptive technology movement – Fitch

By: Nadine James     21st September 2018 Australia’s strong information communications technology and energy infrastructure, highly skilled labour force and government support ensures that its miners will continue to be the frontrunners in implementing technology to cut costs, enhance efficiency and increase mine safety, the latest... 

Poseidon signs Black Swan ore tolling agreements

By: Mariaan Webb     21st September 2018 Base metals firm Poseidon Nickel has found two potential sources of third-party feed for its Black Swan concentrator, which the company is touting as an alternative processing facility for stranded nickel miners following the closure of BHP Billiton’s Nickel West Kambalda concentrator. Private... 

How Anglo quietly built a commodity trader in Glencore's shadow

By: Bloomberg     17th September 2018 Anglo American has quietly become a commodities trader. In just five years, the century-old miner assembled marketing operations that now sell more metals than the company produces. Yet the trading business gets barely a mention at presentations by Anglo executives or in analyst reports, taking... 

Thiess wins Nickel West contract

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2018 Mining services provider Thiess has been awarded a A$190-million underground mining contract for the Leinster project, in Western Australia, from BHP’s Nickel West division. The contract would span a minimum of 24 months, and will include the provision of a full range of underground mining... 

Collins added to South32 lead team

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th September 2018 Diversified miner South32 has appointed Simon Collins as chief development officer, accountable for exploration, portfolio strategy, business development, and acquisitions and divestments. Collins will also continue to oversee the study phase of the Hermosa base metals project, in the US. 

Copper deal day hits with a flurry of M&A for the hottest metal

By: Bloomberg     5th September 2018 "Everyone loves copper and everyone wants to buy it” has been this year’s mining mantra. Today the ball started rolling. China’s Zijin Mining Group swooped on a huge undeveloped copper mine in Serbia, acting as a white knight to beat out an earlier hostile bid from a Canadian rival. At the same... 

BHP buys into Ecuador copper project with SolGold stake

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2018 Diversified miner BHP has struck a deal with TSX-listed Guyana Goldfields (GGI) to acquire its 6.1% interest in SolGold, which is the majority owner and operator of the Cascabel porphyry copper/gold project, in Ecuador. Under the terms of the agreement, BHP will acquire GGI's entire stake of... 

In Chilean desert, global thirst for lithium is fueling a 'water war'

By: Reuters     29th August 2018 On Chilean water regulator Oscar Cristi's desk, a small white espresso cup teeters atop piles of documents and loose folders that appear on the point of collapse, perhaps an apt metaphor for the growing water crisis in parts of the Andean country. Sitting in his eighth-floor office adjacent the... 

Chile says to clamp down on water rights in lithium-rich Salar de Atacama

By: Reuters     24th August 2018 Chile is preparing major new restrictions on the extraction of water from the lithium-rich Salar de Atacama salt flats, home to top lithium miners Albemarle and SQM, the head of the country’s water authority told Reuters on Thursday. Water authority chief Oscar Cristi said in an exclusive... 

Workers at Chile's Escondida, world's top copper mine, ink contract

By: Reuters     18th August 2018 The union representing workers of Chilean copper mine Escondida signed a new collective labor contract on Friday, ending the risk of a strike that could have paralyzed the world's biggest copper mine. Mine operator BHP had said earlier in the week that terms had been reached but the union needed... 

Chile's Escondida says deal reached with union on new contract

By: Reuters     16th August 2018 Management at the world's largest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, said it struck a deal on Wednesday on a new labour contract with the union representing most of its workers. Union officials could not be reached for immediate comment on the agreement, which could signal labor peace after last... 

Antofagasta's H1 earnings fall, trade tensions cloud demand outlook

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 Chilean copper producer Antofagasta said first-half core earnings fell 16.2% from a year earlier, citing weaker ore quality, and said trade tensions clouded the broader market outlook in the short term. Its share price was down by 5.4% by 09:13 GMT, while the broader sector was 0.8% lower. 

BHP, union extend labor talks at mammoth Chile copper mine

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 The union at the world's largest copper mine, Escondida in Chile, has called off a strike planned to start on Tuesday after agreeing to extend talks with operator BHP for another day. The announcement early on Tuesday comes amid fears of a repeat of last year's strike at Escondida, which jolted... 

Copper shorts exposed to supply shock as giant mine faces strike

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2018 Copper bears could get caught wrong-footed as a strike looms at the world’s biggest mine. In the US, hedge funds’ bearish bets outnumber bullish wagers by the most since 2016, latest government data show. The top brokers on the Shanghai Futures Exchange boosted their net-short position by more... 

Most unions at Chile's El Teniente copper mine accept contract

By: Reuters     10th August 2018 Four of the five labor unions representing workers at the El Teniente copper mine in Chile have accepted the latest contract offer from state mining company Codelco, union leaders told Reuters. "The contract was approved by an ample margin after the company improved its offer," said Guillermo... 

BHP reaches $50m settlement in US lawsuit

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th August 2018 Mining major BHP has reached a $50-million settlement on a class action filed in the US District Court in New York regarding the Samarco dam failure, in 2015. The settlement comes with no admission of liability from the miner, and was still subject to approval by the District Court. 

Union at Caserones mine in Chile says no deal in labour talks, strike imminent

By: Reuters     9th August 2018 The main union at Chile's Caserones copper mine said on Wednesday that a last round of labor negotiations with mine operator Lumina Copper had broken down and that a strike was imminent. The 300-member worker's union said Lumina, which is controlled by a partnership of JX Holding and Mitsui... 

Humiliated for years, women are fighting back in mines of Chile

By: Bloomberg     8th August 2018 he first time Karen Requena entered the cafeteria at BHP Billiton’s massive Escondida mining operation in northern Chile, she couldn’t help feeling countless eyes fixed on her body as she walked across the vast hall. “It can’t get worse than that,” she thought. Then as Requena looked for a place... 

BHP asks for government mediation in talks at Chile's Escondida

By: Reuters     7th August 2018 Miner BHP said on Monday that it had formally requested a period of government mediation with the union at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, prompting the union to postpone the start of a strike approved by workers. The two parties will meet, together with a government... 

Miners set to spend $11bn in search of the next jackpot

By: Bloomberg     7th August 2018 Miners and investors are poring over satellite images, tracking drilling rigs and quizzing company executives for clues on whether the sector’s heavyweights are close to a new jackpot discovery. As Rio Tinto Group searches Australia’s Great Sandy Desert for copper and Anglo American scours a 19... 

Gas industry pushes for further easing of restrictions to boost supply

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd August 2018 The resources industry has called for a further easing of restrictions on the gas industry to ensure the development of more supply, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) latest Gas Market Inquiry report. The ACCC said on Thursday that while conditions on the... 

Chilean workers vote to strike at world's biggest copper mine

By: Reuters     2nd August 2018 Workers at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's biggest copper mine, have voted to reject a company wage offer and go on strike, according to a communique sent to Reuters on Thursday. A total of 2 330 members voted on strike action, with 1 955 supporting it and 370 accepting the... 

Escondida mine workers reject labour offer, to vote on strike

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Workers at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, have rejected the company's final contract offer and agreed to vote on whether to go on strike, according to an internal union document seen by Reuters on Friday. After several meetings in recent days, the workers at the mine owned... 

Will BHP's CEO follow top miner's shale unit out of the door?

By: Bloomberg     27th July 2018 BHP Billiton’s $10.8-billion of deals to exit its troubled US shale unit will allow CEO Andrew Mackenzie to shower investors with returns. It may also be a chance for him to bow out on top. Mackenzie, 61, who’s held his post since 2013, has delivered on plans to simplify BHP around a tighter... 

Only a 'cataclysm' could hit top quality ore demand – Vale CEO

By: Reuters     26th July 2018 Brazil's Vale, the world's top iron-ore producer, forecast steady prices for the mineral and rising premiums for its top quality ore, thanks to strong demand from China and despite global trade tensions. Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman said a scarcity of Vale's trademark top quality ore protects the... 

BHP beats production expectations; warns of $650m Samarco charge

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th July 2018 Diversified giant BHP on Wednesday announced that the company had met or exceeded the production expectations for its commodities during the 2018 financial year, but warned of a $650-million financial impact related to the Samarco dam failure, in Brazil. “We have delivered a strong finish to the... 

The world's biggest miners want more copper but nobody's selling

By: Bloomberg     17th July 2018 It’s the mining world’s biggest dilemma: everyone’s hunting for copper deals, but even the richest producers just can’t pull the trigger. The largest miners all say they’re bullish on copper and looking for growth in the metal that’s forecast to be in ever-greater demand as cities expand and... 

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