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Chinese lithium giant agrees three-year pact to supply Tesla

By: Bloomberg     21st September 2018 China’s top producer of lithium, a metal used in electric-vehicle batteries, said it’s agreed a deal with Tesla Inc. to supply a fifth of its production to the vehicle maker, highlighting the push for supply pacts. Tesla will designate its battery suppliers to buy lithium-hydroxide products from... 

Top miner sees US-China trade tensions limiting global growth

By: Bloomberg     18th September 2018 Rising US-China trade tensions threaten to curb consumer purchasing power, crimp productivity growth and limit global economic expansion, according to the world’s biggest mining company. The confrontation between the world’s top two economies, “along with an increasingly unpredictable policy... 

Kidman, SQM may have to forfeit lithium mine after Australian govt ruling

By: Reuters     13th September 2018 Australia's Kidman Resources and Chilean partner SQM may lose their right to develop the Mount Holland lithium project after a recommendation by a unit of the West Australian government that regulates mining leases. Kidman had asked the Western Australia Department of Mines for an exemption to... 

Alcoa braces for alumina strike vote in Western Australia

By: Reuters     4th September 2018 A vote by striking workers at Alcoa's giant west Australian operations will close on Thursday, with the union anticipating a strong "no" vote that could prolong the four-week old strike. Around 1 500 workers at three alumina refineries and two bauxite mines in Western Australia state walked out... 

Victoria sets exploration targets with new strategy

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     28th August 2018 The Victorian state government has launched a new mineral resources strategy to ensure continued growth in the resources sector. Resources Minister Tim Pallas on Tuesday launched the State of Discovery strategy, setting out targets of total exploration investment of A$220-million by June 2023... 

Australia faces increased blackout risks this summer as coal plants age

By: Reuters     24th August 2018 The risk of blackouts in Australia's upcoming summer has grown from last year as ageing coal-fired power plants have become less reliable, the nation's energy market operator said on Friday, calling for more power investment in the next few years. The Australian Energy Market Operator's (AEMO)... 

Michael Quinert

By: Martin Creamer     24th August 2018 This week Mining Weekly features Michael Quinert, the executive chairperson of the ASX-listed West Wits Mining Limited gold exploration and production company, active on South AFrica's West Rand 

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... 

Australian mining industry wins public support

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     3rd August 2018 New research undertaken on behalf of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has shown that public opinion towards the Australian mining sector was at its highest level in six years, after hitting a low in 2016. Public opinion research conducted in May this year has shown that views towards coal... 

Rio Tinto concerned about trade war, but suffered no impact so far – CEO

By: Reuters     1st August 2018 Global miner Rio Tinto is concerned about an escalating trade war between the United States and China but has yet to feel any impact from it, CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques said on Wednesday. "To date it has had limited to no impact on Rio Tinto," Jacques told reporters. Rio has had no issues with... 

Ecobalt investors call for sale, new management on delays

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Two large shareholders in Canada's Ecobalt Solutions are calling for a change in senior management or the launch of a sales process, saying ongoing mine development delays are wasting a windfall from high battery sector demand. Australian hedge fund Tribeca Investment Partners, which said it... 

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... 

Mining offers private equity opportunities despite recovery - Denham

By: Reuters     11th July 2018 Private equity still has significant opportunities to invest in mining as companies cut debt and rebuild their balance sheets even as the sector recovers, mining specialist Denham Capital said. Denham, which closed a new $550-million mining fund sooner than expected on Monday, has already... 

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... 

Mineral Deposits investor says won't take Eramet bid as market eyes better offer

By: Reuters     8th June 2018 The second-largest investor in Australia's Mineral Deposits said it would not accept a takeover bid by Eramet SA, as Mineral Deposits' shares surged, signalling investors expect the French miner to make a higher offer. Eramet made an all-cash takeover bid for its joint venture partner in a mine... 

Threat of cobalt supply shock is top risk for electric vehicles

By: Bloomberg     21st May 2018 A burgeoning risk of a supply crunch in cobalt – a key battery metal that’s more than tripled in price in two years – poses one of the biggest threats to forecasts for rising electric vehicle adoption. Major investment in mines is required to avoid price spikes that could see cost reductions for... 

Australia East Coast gas prices seen rising as cheap gas supply dwindles

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th May 2018 Australia’s East Coast gas prices are forecast to rise up to 30% to between A$10/GJ and A$13/GJ by the mid-2020s, as cheap gas supply continues to decline, advisory firm Wood Mackenzie has reported. Speaking at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) conference,... 

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... 

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... 

Weir Minerals Africa to tackle mine dewatering using new model

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     4th May 2018 Mine dewatering equipment supplier Weir Minerals Africa is exploring enhanced holistic measures to tackle mine dewatering in Africa. The company, a subsidiary of Scottish engineering company Weir Group PLC, has long provided the global and local mining and industrial sectors with sustainable and... 

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... 

China's shrinking steel stockpiles seen giving iron-ore a boost

By: Bloomberg     24th April 2018 Falling steel inventories in China point to an improving outlook for iron-ore through the rest of this half, according to one of the world’s top exporters of the raw material. While demand for iron ore has been slower to rebound after Lunar New Year celebrations than in recent years, steel... 

Rio Tinto flags changes to 2018 aluminium output after US sanctions

By: Reuters     18th April 2018 Global miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday flagged possible changes to its 2018 aluminium output following US sanctions on its Russian partner Rusal earlier this month. Rio, which reported a 5% rise in first-quarter iron ore shipments in the March quarter, has declared force majeure on some customer... 

Rio Tinto stands to win from Rusal sanctions, US consumers to lose

By: Reuters     9th April 2018 Rio Tinto will be among the biggest winners from the US sanctions imposed on Russian aluminium giant United Company Rusal as the penalties further shake up the global metals trade and boost costs for US consumers, industry sources said on Monday. The United States on Friday imposed the sanctions... 

Rio sees $5bn copper expansion on track amid Swiss probe

By: Bloomberg     26th March 2018 Rio Tinto Group has yet to be contacted by Swiss authorities over a bribery investigation related to Mongolia’s giant Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine and the site’s $5.3-billion expansion remains on track, according to the producer’s top executive. The attorney general of Switzerland is... 

Lithium miner eyes even greater riches in piles of battery waste

By: Bloomberg     23rd March 2018 Recycling lithium material from used electric vehicle batteries promises to be even more profitable than mining the increasingly valuable metal, according to an Australian producer building a test facility in Canada. Perth-based Neometals is working to recover raw materials including lithium,... 

The lithium sector surge is poised to ignite a deals bonanza

By: Bloomberg     21st March 2018 The tripling in lithium prices over three years is poised to fuel a multi-billion dollar rush of deals as major players jostle for dominance to supply the metal needed for the electric vehicle battery revolution. China’s expected to lead a mergers and acquisition bonanza as companies seek to... 

Rio Tinto fears impact of trade war concerns despite tariff exemptions

By: Reuters     20th March 2018 Global miner Rio Tinto sees fears of a trade war between the US and China weighing on its shares, even after the company won an exemption from US tariffs for its Canadian aluminium exports. Nearly a third of all aluminium consumed by the US is supplied by Rio Tinto from Canada. 

Battery makers descend on Australia, Canada cobalt developers

By: Reuters     19th March 2018 Nervous Asian battery makers are turning to early-stage cobalt projects in Australia and Canada to lock in supplies of the critical battery ingredient ahead of expected shortages as demand for electric vehicles revs up. Mine developers say interest from Japanese and Korean firms is particularly... 

Rio Tinto's last two coal mines set to attract bids over $2.5bn

By: Reuters     9th March 2018 At least three bidders are expected to submit final offers for global miner Rio Tinto's Hail Creek and Kestrel coal mines in Australia, which could fetch up to $2.5-billion, people familiar with the process said. The Anglo-Australian mining company made a strategic decision in 2017 to exit coal... 

Australia's gold production may rise to record - report

By: Reuters     7th March 2018 Gold output from Australia, the world’s second-largest producer, may rise to a record as a stream of new projects comes on line, Australian mining consultancy Surbiton Associates said on Sunday. Australian gold miners, among the lowest cost globally, have enjoyed high margins in recent years,... 

Miners report some infrastructure damage after Papua quake

By: Reuters     27th February 2018 Miners in northwest Papua New Guinea reported some damage to infrastructure following a powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake on the weekend, as projects in the resource-rich region assess the impact on their operations. Barrick Gold said a power station that supplies its Porgera gold mine had been... 

Major quake cuts communications, halts oil and gas operations in Papua New Guinea

By: Reuters     26th February 2018 At least one company began evacuating non-essential personnel after a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Papua New Guinea's energy-rich interior on Monday, causing landslides, damaging buildings and closing oil and gas operations. The tremor hit in the rugged, heavily forested Southern... 

Newcrest eyes Ecuador gold project with $250m stake in Lundin

By: Mariaan Webb     26th February 2018 Australia’s largest gold miner Newcrest Mining is buying a 27.1% interest for $250-million in Canada-listed Lundin Gold, which is building the Fruta del Norte gold mine, in Ecuador. The investment, announced on Monday, is part of a $400-million equity private placement by Lundin for the... 

The EV future is here and already boosting earnings for miners

By: Bloomberg     23rd February 2018 The booming electric vehicle revolution is flowing through to the bottom line of a growing list of global miners, who are reaping higher profits from rising demand for battery raw materials. Orocobre reported Friday that net income rose 11% in the December half and forecast lithium prices to... 

OceanaGold shares rise on record output, revenues, profit

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd February 2018 TSX- and ASX-listed gold producer OceanaGold has reported record profit for 2017, as record output and subsequent record revenues lifted the bottom line. The Melbourne, Australia-based company reported a full-year net profit of $172-million, or $0.28 a share, up 26% year-on-year from... 

BHP won't move Singapore marketing hub even if Australia cuts tax – CEO

By: Reuters     22nd February 2018 BHP Billiton will not move its low tax-paying Singapore marketing hub even if Australia goes ahead with plans to cut corporate taxes, CE Andrew Mackenzie said on Thursday. BHP's Singapore office is the focus of a long-running fight with Australia's tax office, which argues the company is... 

Australian Mines shares surge 60% on offtake deal

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 Shares of battery and technology metals developer Australian Mines Ltd surged on Tuesday after the company signed an offtake agreement with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation for nickel and cobalt from its Sconi project. The commodity off-take agreement, which is for an initial period of... 

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