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

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     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... 

Ecuador attracting mining interest, political risks weigh on Latin America outlook

By: Mariaan Webb     12th July 2018 The South American country of Ecuador is attracting interest among foreign mining companies, as a low-risk, high-reward market, where government remains supportive of mining, despite the February referendum restricting mining in protected areas. Market intelligence firm BMI, which publishes a... 

BHP gains green light for long-term Pilbara expansion

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     11th July 2018 The Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority has approved mining major BHP’s long-term mining plan in the Pilbara. BHP is planning to expand its iron-ore operations, with plans to more than double current production to 350-million tonnes a year, with the ultimate objective of... 

BP is front-runner to buy BHP's US shale unit

By: Bloomberg     8th July 2018 BP has emerged as the front-runner to buy BHP Billiton’s onshore oil and gas operations in the US, according to a person familiar with the matter. The London-based oil major has made the highest offer for the assets, which BHP prefers selling in a single package, said the person, who asked to... 

Chilean miner Mantos Copper seeks buyer to help finance expansion

By: Reuters     6th July 2018 Private equity-backed Chilean miner Mantos Copper is looking to find a buyer to help finance the expansion of mines it bought from Anglo American in 2015, it said. The company's owner, a consortium led by British investment company Audley Capital Advisors and Orion Mine Finance Group, bought... 

Company expands South American service offering

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     6th July 2018 As part of its coordinated international strategy, minerals processing specialist Multotec is establishing a joint venture (JV) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, which will enhance its presence in the South American region, says Multotec screening media VP Roy Roche. He tells Mining Weekly that the... 

ICMM welcomes two South American miners

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     6th July 2018 Two South American mining companies, Minera San Cristóbal and Minsur, have joined the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). ICMM CEO Tom Butler notes that both companies have earned their membership of ICMM by complying with the council’s “rigorous” admission procedure, adding that... 

BHP commits $211m to Brazil’s Renova Foundation, Samarco

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     29th June 2018 Mining major BHP on Friday said that it would contribute a total of $211-million to the Renova Foundation and its joint venture with Brazilian major Vale, Samarco, until the end of December this year. The miner said that $158-million of the funds would go towards the Renova Foundation to... 

‘Standout’ Glencore is ‘top pick’

By: Martin Creamer     27th June 2018 In a 150-page analysis of four of the world’s biggest diversified mining majors, Glencore has emerged as the top pick of financial services company Credit Suisse, which has declared the London- and Johannesburg-listed company headed by Ivan Glasenberg as the current “standout” diversified mining... 

Thiess wins A$225m Nickel West contract

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd June 2018 ASX-listed Cimic’s mining services provider Thiess has been awarded a A$225-million contract at the Rocky’s Reward nickel mine, in Western Australia. The 34-month contract with the Nickel West division of mining major BHP, incorporated a further cutback at the Rocky’s Reward pit and works at a... 

Samarco is said to be nearing settlement with Brazil prosecutors

By: Bloomberg     15th June 2018 After a year of back and forth, the owners of the idle Samarco iron-ore mine are close to signing a definitive settlement with Brazilian prosecutors that will clear the way for restart preparations and debt talks to begin, according to people briefed on the matter. Joint venture partners Vale... 

BHP awards contract at newly approved South Flank

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th June 2018 Mining major BHP has awarded a A$260-million mining infrastructure works contract to ASX-listed Cimic, at the newly approved South Flank project, in Western Australia. BHP overnight approved the $3.4-billion South Flank project, which will replace production from the 80-million tonne a year... 

BHP approves $2.9bn capital expenditure for South Flank iron project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th June 2018 BHP has approved capital expenditure of $2.9-billion for the South Flank iron-ore project, in the central Pilbara, Western Australia. The project, in which BHP holds an 85% interest, will cost $3.4-billion to develop and will fully replace production from the 80-million-tonne a year Yandi mine,... 

Danakali CEO resigns; Colluli offtake agreement signed

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     14th June 2018 Potash developer Danakali has reported the resignation of CEO Danny Goeman. Goeman has accepted an offer from a leading Perth-based mining company and is expected to leave Danakali on August 3. He joined Danakali in 2016 as head of marketing, before assuming the role of CEO in 2017.  

Copper giant's cost crusade imperiled by wage largess of peers

By: Bloomberg     13th June 2018 Generous wage concessions made by private-sector copper producers to avoid strikes in Chile are emboldening unions at Codelco, undermining efforts by the state-owned behemoth to contain costs. That’s the view of CEO Nelson Pizarro, whose focus on costs in a five-decade mining career earned him... 

Workers at BHP's Spence copper mine in Chile approve labour contract

By: Reuters     11th June 2018 Unionised workers at BHP Billiton's Spence copper mine in northern Chile have approved a new labor contract, union president Ronald Salcedo said on Monday. Spence is one of the Anglo-Australian miner two mines in Chile. The other, Escondida, the world' largest copper mine, earlier this month... 

Escondida union to copper investors: bet on quick wage deal

By: Bloomberg     8th June 2018 The world’s largest copper mine probably will avoid a repeat of last year’s prolonged strike as the two sides reign in expectations, according to a union leader. The main union at Escondida in Chile presented its demands to owner BHP Billiton on Friday, and the company has until the weekend to... 

Rio Tinto inks exploration agreement with China's Minmetals

By: Reuters     7th June 2018 Global miner Rio Tinto inked a joint venture agreement with China Minmetals Corp on Thursday, as the companies look to explore mineral deposits in China. The 50:50 joint venture with State-owned Minmetals follows a technical agreement signed in November when both parties committed to a... 

Emmerson raises cash for Moroccan potash project

By: Reuters     4th June 2018 Shares in Emmerson jumped more than 60% on their return to trade on Monday after the London-listed miner raised 6-million pounds ($8.04-million) by issuing 200-million new shares. The shares were halted last October when Emmerson became 100% owner of the Khemisset Potash Project in northern Morocco. 

Oz gold production drops in March quarter – Surbiton

28th May 2018 Australian gold production declined by 6 t, or around 7% in the three months to March, compared with the previous period, reaching some 74 t, gold mining consultants Surbiton Association reported. Surbiton director Dr Sandra Close noted that despite the lower March quarter output, the results... 

BHP reaches ‘in-principle’ agreement with Queensland over coal royalties

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     28th May 2018 Mining major BHP and the Queensland Treasury have reportedly reached an out-of-court ‘in principle’ agreement over a A$288-million coal royalty dispute. BHP’s legal representation, John Sheahnan QC, told the Queensland Supreme Court on Monday that an agreement, in principle, had been reached... 

Copper king pushes gender diversity – with an all-male board

By: Bloomberg     28th May 2018 As it battles to remain the world’s biggest copper producer, Codelco just achieved a new, less enviable mantle – the only major mining company with an all-male board and senior management team. On Friday, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera tapped executive Juan Benavides to be chairman of the... 

BHP outlines plan to add 40% to its value

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th May 2018 Mining major BHP is aiming for a 40% increase in its base value by implementing six key strategies, CEO Andrew Mackenzie told delegates at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Metals, Mining and Steel conference, in Florida, this week. The strategies included reducing unit costs by more than... 

Biggest miner says China's shift to quality iron-ore will hold

By: Bloomberg     7th May 2018 BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner, forecasts reforms in China’s steel sector will continue to hand an advantage to suppliers of higher-quality iron-ore and coking coal as consumption of the alloy keeps growing well into the next decade. Steel mills are likely to retain about two-thirds of... 

Aussie mines cashing in as Chinese enviro crackdown shifts demand to high-grade iron-ore

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     4th May 2018 A renewed focus on environmental reforms and the accelerated restructure of its steel industry has resulted in a shift change in China’s iron-ore demand, with high-grade ores being given preferential treatment over their low-grade counterparts. The Australian Department of Industry, Innovation... 

BP said to tap Morgan Stanley as it weighs buying BHP assets

By: Bloomberg     4th May 2018 BP is weighing an acquisition of some of BHP Billiton’s energy assets as the British oil major seeks more US shale, according to people familiar with the matter. The London-based company is working with Morgan Stanley to advise on the plans, said the people, asking not to be identified as the... 

Aussie mines cashing in as Chinese enviro crackdown shifts demand to high-grade iron-ore

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     4th May 2018 A renewed focus on environmental reforms and the accelerated restructure of its steel industry has resulted in a shift change in China’s iron-ore demand, with high-grade ores being given preferential treatment over their low-grade counterparts. The Australian Department of Industry, Innovation... 

War on coal is making the world's top mine owners a lot richer

By: Bloomberg     2nd May 2018 The world’s war on coal is making its biggest producers a lot richer, at least for now. With governments from Asia to Europe setting stricter pollution limits as the climate change debate intensifies, output of the planet’s dirtiest fuel is dropping. Some of the more significant declines are... 

BHP sells Minerva plant to Cooper Energy and partners

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     1st May 2018 ASX-listed Cooper Energy, in joint venture (JV) with AWE and Mitsui E&P Australia, has struck a deal with mining major BHP to acquire that company’s 90% interest in the Minerva gas plant, in Victoria. Cooper Energy, which already holds a 10% interest in the gas plant, would hold a 50% interest... 

Chile copper mine Escondida says no early wage agreement reached

By: Reuters     26th April 2018 Chile's Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, said on Thursday that early contract talks with its workers' union ended without an agreement, setting the stage for legally scheduled negotiations to begin in June. The union representing workers at the mine, which is controlled by BHP told... 

BHP, Vale given a further 66 days to resolve Samarco dam failure dispute

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd April 2018 A Brazilian federal court has given mining giants BHP and Vale an additional 66 days to resolve a multibillion-dollar settlement regarding their joint venture Samarco mine’s tailings dam failure in 2015, that killed 19 people and is billed as the country’s worst environmental disaster. BHP and... 

BHP cuts guidance at Olympic Dam and Pilbara iron-ore ops

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th April 2018 Mining giant BHP has reduced its full-year production expectations for its Pilbara iron-ore operations, as well as the Olympic Dam mine, in South Australia. The miner on Thursday reported a 6% drop in iron-ore production during the three months to March, compared with the previous quarter,... 

BHP to produce nickel sulphate next year, eyeing cobalt on battery boom

By: Reuters     18th April 2018 BHP Billiton is expanding its business as a supplier of battery minerals at its nickel refinery in Western Australia, planning to start producing nickel sulphate next year and looking at cobalt output as well, a company executive said. Cobalt and nickel are both critical ingredients for lithium... 

Woodside plans Pluto LNG expansion

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     18th April 2018 Australian oil and gas major Woodside Petroleum has flagged plans to accelerate the development of the Scarborough gas field through an expansion of the Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. Woodside in March acquired ExxonMobil’s interest in the Scarborough gas field, taking its interest... 

After setbacks, Anglo American counting on turnaround for Minas-Rio mine

By: Reuters     17th April 2018 Two leaks in a month, a 90-day outage and $58-million in fines is not enough to temper Anglo American's ambition for its long-delayed, multi-billion dollar Minas-Rio iron-ore mine in Brazil. Purchased at the height of the commodities boom a decade ago for $5.5-billion, Anglo American was once... 

European Metals appoints new COO

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th April 2018 Exploration and development company European Metals announced on Wednesday the appointment of Neil Meadows as COO.  

World's top iron shipper says China import boom to level off

By: Bloomberg     9th April 2018 The world’s largest iron-ore exporter delivered a mixed message on the outlook, raising near-term price forecasts, but combining that revision with a more somber message that China’s gargantuan imports are set to level off as steel production eases in the coming years. Iron-ore will average... 

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