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Union at Colombia's Cerrejon to hear wage offer before possible strike vote

By: Reuters     19th January 2018 The largest union at Cerrejon, Colombia's top thermal coal mine, was set to meet with the company on Friday to hear a new salary and benefits offer before deciding whether to hold a vote on a possible strike. A work stoppage at the Cerrejon mine, which belongs in equal parts to BHP Billiton,... 

Top China nickel producer joins BHP in prepping for EV boom

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2018 China’s top nickel supplier aims to boost output of a material used in car batteries by 40% this year, joining the ranks of global producers ramping up operations to meet demand from electric vehicles. Jinchuan Group Co expects to raise production of nickel sulphate to 70 000 metric tons from 50... 

Output at Chile's Escondida copper mine falls 7.8% in 2017

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 Output at BHP Billiton's Escondida mine, in Chile, the largest copper mine in the world, fell 7.8% in 2017 compared to the prior year due to a prolonged strike, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The decline to 903 000 t came despite the start of operations at a new wing. 

Vale could be 'natural' owner for Samarco, in talks with BHP

By: Reuters     17th January 2018 Brazil's Vale is in talks with BHP Billiton on options for their joint venture Samarco, and it may be easier for Vale to resolve that miner's problems as sole owner, a director of the Brazilian mining company said on Wednesday. "Maybe Vale would be a natural owner of Samarco, maybe it could make... 

India’s draft national mineral policy proposes exploration incentives

By: Ajoy K Das     15th January 2018 India’s Mines Ministry has unveiled the draft National Mineral Policy (NMP) 2018, which proposes to offer mineral exploration companies the right of first refusal at the auction of any area explored by them. The draft NMP, which is now open for feedback from industry and stakeholders, maintains... 

Rio is said to drop chase for $5bn lithium miner stake

By: Bloomberg     11th January 2018 Rio Tinto Group has dropped out of the bidding for a stake in Soc. Quimica & Minera de Chile SA, one of the world’s top lithium producers, as it pursues other ways to capitalise on the electric-car boom, people familiar with the matter said. Rio decided not to proceed with an offer for Nutrien’s... 

Output and exports from Colombia's Cerrejon coal mine fell in 2017

By: Reuters     10th January 2018 Production and exports at Cerrejon, Colombia's largest thermal coal mine, fell in 2017 for the third straight year as heavy rainfall affected operations, the mine's owners said on Wednesday. Output reached 31.9-million tonnes in 2017, 0.3% below the previous year. Exports totalled 31.7-million... 

Workers at Colombia's Cerrejon coal mine say they could strike over wages

By: Reuters     10th January 2018 Union workers at Colombia's largest coal mine, Cerrejon, could strike if disagreements at negotiations for wages and benefits are not resolved by January 19, the main union's president said on Tuesday. A strike at the Cerrejon mine, which produces 32-million tonnes of coal a year, or about 37%... 

Top iron-ore port ships half billion tons as bears call time

By: Bloomberg     9th January 2018 Iron-ore cargoes from Australia’s Port Hedland, the world’s biggest bulk export terminal, jumped to an all-time high of almost half a billion metric tons last year, offering fresh evidence of burgeoning global supply at a time when bearish forecasts for the commodity are stacking up. Exports... 

Australia shares finish higher; NZ hits another record

By: Henry Lazenby     5th January 2018 Australian shares ended higher on Friday, hitting a fresh decade-peak and completing its first weekly session of gains in the new year. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7%, or 45.2 points to 6 122.3 at the close of trade. The benchmark closed slightly up in the previous session. 

Vale is negotiating BHP exit from Samarco venture – source‍​

By: Reuters     3rd January 2018 Vale is in talks with BHP Billiton over the future of their joint venture, Samarco Mineração, and one alternative is for the Brazilian miner to buy out its partner, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. A price has not been yet established for any buyout, according to the... 

Australia shares end higher; NZ starts 2018 on strong note

By: Reuters     3rd January 2018 Australian shares closed higher on Wednesday, supported by gains in material stocks on the back of a rally in metal prices. 

BHP says likely to quit global coal lobby group

By: Reuters     19th December 2017 Global miner BHP Billiton said on Tuesday it has taken a preliminary decision to quit the World Coal Association citing disagreement over climate change, and might also withdraw from the US Chamber of Commerce over mining industry rules. BHP, which has largely quit mining coal for power plants... 

Brazil's Samarco wins waste permits in small step toward resuming operations

By: Reuters     12th December 2017 Samarco Mineração, a joint venture between Brazilian miner Vale and Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton, on Monday received two waste system permits in a small step toward resuming operations halted after a November 2015 tailings mine dam collapsed, killing 19 people. The permits issued by Minas Gerais... 

Forecast price drop influenced by Chinese economic refocusing

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th December 2017 Maintaining its iron-ore price forecast at an average of $70/t for the year and $50/t for 2018, research firm BMI says its predicted price drop is influenced by China’s economic refocusing away from heavy industry. “This will dampen demand for iron-ore,” the firm says, adding that, when combined... 

Global iron-ore growth to be modest

     8th December 2017 Global iron-ore production will grow modestly, with mine restarts and expansions predicted in Brazil and India, boosting production, predicts international market research firm BMI Research. However, output growth in China will decline on the back of falling ore grades and high production costs,... 

World's No 1 miner sees bigger role for carbon-capture systems

By: Bloomberg     7th December 2017 BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, said wider use of systems that trap carbon emissions will be needed to meet international climate goals, even as investments in the technology stall. “We have knowledge of geology, markets and economics, so there’s probably something we can bring... 

Iron-ore enters bull market as China's curbs supercharge steel

By: Bloomberg     4th December 2017 Iron-ore has rallied back into a bull market. Prices are surging as China’s crackdown on steel output this winter runs down inventories, helping mills’ profitability and stoking demand for high-grade ore even as investors discount signs of ample supply. Spot ore with 62% iron content jumped 3.7%... 

Rio picks Thompson for chairperson as investors target discipline

By: Bloomberg     4th December 2017 Rio Tinto named industry veteran Simon Thompson as chairman after shareholders rejected a plan to install a renowned dealmaker -- reinforcing an industry-wide investor drive for higher returns and caution over project spending. Thompson, 58, a Rio director since 2014 and previously an executive... 

BROKEN HEARTED PEOPLE

By: Martin Creamer     1st December 2017 BHP Billiton has come under pressure from activist shareholders, including fund manager Elliot, which has demanded strategic changes to set the company on a more rewarding course. Other critical shareholders have denigrated the first three letters of the acronym for Broken Hill Proprietary, the... 

Australian industry prepares for possible summer power cuts

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 Some of Australia's biggest power users, including mining giant BHP, are taking steps to curb the impact of any repeat of crippling blackouts that hit last summer, worried about a grid that increasingly relies on wind power and old coal-fired plants. Their back-up strategies come despite... 

Robots will run mines within the next decade, Anglo says

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2017 Some mines in the next decade will run without humans and instead rely on robots, virtual models and sensors, according to Anglo American. Anglo is betting on technology, such as computerized drills with "chiseling ability as good as a human" to increase productivity, cut costs and reduce... 

Mining players employing strategic moves 

     29th November 2017 South32 has okayed a R4.3-billion project at Klipspruit and is looking to set up its energy coal business as a standalone entity, while De Beers has placed its Voerspoed diamond mine on the market and BHP Billiton has committed to exiting its US onshore oil and gas. Mining Weekly editor Martin... 

Tertiary director, former BHP exec David Whitehead passes away

By: Mariaan Webb     29th November 2017 Mining geologist David Whitehead has passed away at the age of 74, Aim-listed Tertiary Minerals reported on Wednesday. Whitehead was a nonexecutive director of the company at the time of his passing. 

BHP targets cost cuts; sees upside in copper, steel prices

By: Reuters     28th November 2017 Top global miner BHP Billiton said on Tuesday it will drive further cost cuts across its Australian business, and forecast strong price support from China for steelmaking raw materials. BHP will target $1.6-billion in productivity gains at its Australia iron-ore, copper and coal units over the... 

BHP, Goldman hunt for energy fix amid remote banana plantations

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2017 The world’s biggest miner and Wall Street’s top-ranked merger firm are among the high-profile backers of a remote solar project nestled among banana crops in Australia’s far tropical northeast. For BHP Billiton, it’s a chance to unlock renewable technology for the global mining sector. As... 

Metals billionaire to win whether electric cars boom or bust

By: Bloomberg     22nd November 2017 There are two major reasons mining billionaire Vladimir Potanin is within a hair’s breadth of regaining his ranking as Russia’s richest tycoon this year. One is higher prices for nickel used in batteries as metals traders bet electric vehicles are the future of transportation. The other is a... 

BHP-Vale deal distances Brazil mine from $53bn in lawsuits

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2017 It came down to the wire, but BHP Billiton, Vale SA and their Samarco joint venture managed to close a deal with prosecutors that distances the companies from 175-billion reais ($53-billion) in lawsuits. Their lawyers filed documents late Thursday requesting that the presiding judge suspend two... 

Forecast iron-ore price drop influenced by Chinese economic refocusing

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th November 2017 Maintaining its iron-ore price forecast at an average of $70/t for the year and $50/t for 2018, research firm BMI says its predicted price drop is influenced by China’s economic refocusing away from heavy industry. “This will dampen demand for iron-ore,” said the firm on Wednesday, adding that,... 

One of the world's biggest miners is about to go coal free

By: Bloomberg     10th November 2017 Just five years ago it would have been almost unthinkable that one of the world’s biggest mining companies would not dig any coal. It’s now likely to become a reality. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-largest miner, has been steadily backtracking from coal to focus on better assets. It’s now... 

Zambian chamber lauds Chile as model of what mining can achieve with the right policies

By: Ilan Solomons     10th November 2017 A two-person team from Chile’s mining industry recently visited Zambia and met with the Zambian Chamber of Mines (ZCM), the Presidency, the Zambia Revenue Authority’s Mineral Value Chain Monitoring Project and Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings. The ZCM believes that Zambia can... 

Nickel surges to best since 2015 on promise of electric-car boom

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2017 Nickel rocketed to a two-year high in London and climbed by the daily limit in Shanghai, as investors bet on a long-term boost to demand from the rise of electric cars. Prices advanced as much as 3.9% to $12,780 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the highest since June 2015, before... 

Inside one billionaire's fight against global iron-ore glut

By: Bloomberg     24th October 2017 The global iron-ore market may be oversupplied for as long as half a decade, keeping prices under pressure, according to billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta, which plans to fight back by raising the quality of its output amid a global shift toward higher-grade material being driven by China’s... 

South32 is said to study bid for $1.6bn Rio coal portfolio

By: Bloomberg     20th October 2017 South32 is studying a potential bid for Rio Tinto Group’s A$2-billion ($1.6-billion) coking coal portfolio, people familiar with the matter said, as it seeks to take advantage of surging prices for the steelmaking ingredient. The Perth-based company is working with an adviser as it weighs an... 

BHP's chairperson holds first annual meeting, plans to review board

By: Bloomberg     19th October 2017 In  Ken MacKenzie’s first annual shareholder meeting at BHP Billiton, he emphasised that while the company will listen to investors, it is the board that makes decisions. For most companies, that’s a pretty unremarkable statement, but it carries extra weight at BHP, which is under pressure by... 

BHP told bending to activists poses risks for debt investors

By: Bloomberg     19th October 2017 BHP Billiton’s new chairman Ken MacKenzie is grappling with a simmering campaign by activist shareholders -- moving too far to appease them could risk unsettling debt investors who own the world’s biggest miner’s $24-billion of bonds. The campaign by funds including billionaire Paul Singer’s... 

BHP on track for 7% volume growth in FY18; guidance intact

By: Henry Lazenby     18th October 2017 The world’s largest mining house BHP Billiton said on Wednesday it remained on track for a 7% volume growth in the 2018 financial year, leaving its full-year 2018 guidance unaltered. The Melbourne, Australia-based miner reported its operating results for the three months ended September 30,... 

Iron-ore rallies as China imports bust 100Mt level

By: Bloomberg     13th October 2017 Iron-ore imports by China surged above 100-million metric tons to a record, smashing the previous high set in 2015, as the country’s concerted push to clean up the environment stoked demand for higher-grade material from overseas while hurting local mine supply. Prices rallied. 

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