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Copper's big meh shows Chile's commodity crown is slipping

By: Bloomberg     21st November 2017 There was a time when a sneeze in Santiago would cause the global copper market to catch a cold. Not any more. The first round of Chilean presidential elections Sunday delivered a surprisingly weak result to frontrunner Sebastian Pinera, a conservative billionaire running on a fiscal... 

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... 

Rio is said to hold talks with Indonesia on Grasberg mine exit

By: Bloomberg     20th October 2017 Rio Tinto Group has held talks with Indonesian groups, including State-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, about a possible exit from its interest in the giant Grasberg copper and gold operation, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Executives at Rio held meetings in recent weeks,... 

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... 

Next Fortescue CEO to lead push beyond iron-ore cash machine

By: Bloomberg     15th September 2017 Nev Power’s successor as Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.’s top executive will be charged with leading the world’s fourth-largest iron ore exporter’s drive into new businesses. “We are going to look for and consider other opportunities, where other investors can join us,” chairperson and founder... 

Proxy advisers ISS, Glass Lewis support Washington Companies’ $1.2bn Dominion buy

By: Henry Lazenby     9th September 2017 TSX- and NYSE-listed Dominion Diamond Corp announced late on Thursday that proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co have both recommended that Dominion shareholders vote in favour of suitor The Washington Companies’ $1.2-billion acquisition.... 

World's richest mines slipping from hands of multinationals

By: Bloomberg     5th September 2017 Outnumbered and outflanked, Freeport-McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson made an about-face. Only months before, Adkerson had dismissed the idea of selling a majority stake in the Phoenix-based company’s flagship Indonesian copper-and-gold mine to local investors. But, seated beside government officials... 

Iron-ore's kings spend again as China just can't stop buying

By: Bloomberg     30th August 2017 The biggest iron ore producers in Australia are spending as much as $10-billion on mines so they can keep pumping out shipments to China as demand in their biggest customer shows little sign of easing. Led by Rio Tinto Group, the nation’s top three exporters plan to add about 170-million metric... 

Freeport stock slides on Indonesian Grasberg copper/gold mine divestment plan

By: Henry Lazenby     29th August 2017 The world’s largest publicly traded copper miner Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) has agreed, in principle, to divest its flagship asset, giving Indonesia a 51% stake of the massive Grasberg copper/gold mine. The Phoenix, Arizona-based miner's announcement sent the company’s NYSE-listed stock falling... 

A cosmic theory and two-inch lump of gold drive Novo's 500% surge

By: Bloomberg     21st August 2017 Quinton Todd Hennigh has spent 13 years scouring the Earth for clues to back a hunch: that the world’s biggest gold resource has lost siblings elsewhere on the planet. Now the president of Novo Resources Corp thinks he may have found a counterpart of South Africa’s Witwatersrand in the ancient... 

Funds to go for BHP's jugular if miner doesn't deliver goods

By: Bloomberg     21st August 2017 BHP Billiton’s truce with activist investors led by billionaire Paul Singer won’t last long if the world’s biggest mining company doesn’t pump up returns and deliver on strategic reform in the wake of its expected bumper profit report this week. The naming in June of BHP’s youngest director Ken... 

There's a key to lithium's future inside a shipping container

By: Bloomberg     11th August 2017 The world’s biggest miners’ determination to muscle into the burgeoning  battery market stepped up a notch with  Rio Tinto Group reporting breakthroughs in cracking the technology needed to unlock its giant lithium project in Serbia that could meet 10% of global demand. Tests at a research... 

Mining companies built on wildcat culture now want to share risk

By: Bloomberg     11th August 2017 Swashbuckling gamblers abound in the mining business, where billions are spent searching for mother lodes in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet. But a prolonged slump in metals and big losses on earlier solo projects are turning top producers into risk-avoiding wallflowers. “The... 

Washington picks new CEO to run $1.2bn Dominion Diamond

By: Bloomberg     10th August 2017 Montana-billionaire Dennis Washington has hired Patrick Evans to run Dominion Diamond Corp. after he agreed to buy the business for $1.2-billion last month. “We are pleased that Patrick will become CEO of Dominion Diamond Corp. upon closing of the transaction," said Lawrence Simkins, president of... 

Vale opening door to stock-market return after nine-year hiatus

By: Bloomberg     4th August 2017 The world’s biggest iron-ore miner is getting closer to snapping an equity-market drought that has stretched nine years. If its voluntary share-conversion is successful, Vale SA will be able to tap the stock market to fund investments rather than relying on debt, Chief Financial Officer Luciano... 

Glencore asks Australia to focus on economy before climate deal

By: Bloomberg     2nd August 2017 Australia may need to consider delaying its goals to combat global climate change in order to prioritise energy security and economic prosperity, according to a senior executive at Glencore. The country’s emerging energy crisis, in conjunction with government-imposed clean-energy targets, has... 

Goldman's now bullish on iron-ore this year but warns on 2018

By: Bloomberg     27th July 2017 Goldman Sachs Group boosted its iron-ore forecasts after better-than-expected demand in China raised prices, but combined the revised outlook with a warning that it remains bearish on next year on prospects for plentiful mine supplies and a worldwide glut. The three-month forecast was raised to... 

Rio's quest to add more diamonds takes hunt to Canadian forest

By: Bloomberg     18th July 2017 Rio Tinto Group’s pursuit of new diamond output to tap rising demand in Asia is focusing on an unheralded exploration project in the Canadian forest. The world’s second-biggest miner on Tuesday added the Fort a la Corne joint venture, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Prince Albert in... 

Top mining nation readying fresh investment wave as prices rally

By: Bloomberg     17th July 2017 Mining companies in Australia, the world’s biggest exporter of iron-ore and coal, are poised to approve fresh investments in projects, driven by rallying commodity prices and the need to replace depleting deposits, according to global equipment supply giant Komatsu. “They’re looking at new... 

Dominion is said to seek sweeter deal from Montana billionaire

By: Bloomberg     15th July 2017 Canada’s Dominion Diamond Corp is hoping Montana billionaire Dennis Washington will cough up a little more cash to buy the world’s third-largest producer of rough diamonds by value. However, the company – which has put itself on the block twice in the past two years – says there’s no guarantee a... 

One-billion tons of iron-ore are headed to China's mills in 2017

By: Bloomberg     13th July 2017 Iron-ore imports by China this year are on course to exceed one-billion metric tons by a comfortable margin, breaking 2016’s record, after figures for the first half showed another jump in cargoes and highlighted the ability of the largest steelmaker to absorb rising seaborne supplies. Shipments... 

Glencore's long hunt for Rio Tinto's coal mines slips away

By: Bloomberg     27th June 2017 Glencore’s years-long pursuit for a bigger Australian coal business was delivered another setback on Monday after Rio Tinto Group passed on the company’s offer for a second time. Now the mining giant run by a former coal trader is running out of time to come back with a better offer or lose out... 

Aluminium giants stop short of backing Trump import crackdown

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 As the calls for restrictions on cheap Chinese imports reach a fever pitch in Washington, some of the biggest North American aluminium producers are advocating a softer touch. Alcoa Corp. urged the US to directly engage with China to ensure overproduction no longer spills out to the rest of the... 

Iron seen in low-$40s by Citi as supply grows, demand peaks

By: Bloomberg     20th June 2017 Iron-ore may extend a slump into the low-$40s as supplies swell and demand reaches a short-term peak amid steel mill restarts and ramp-ups in China, according to Citigroup, which cut its forecasts by as much as 20% over the next year. The nadir in prices may occur in six to eight months, analysts... 

Glencore doubles down on coal as mining rivals head for the exit

By: Bloomberg     12th June 2017 Glencore is doubling down on coal, even as rivals BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group move away from the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel. The company, run by former coal trader Ivan Glasenberg, made a surprise eleventh-hour $3.5-billion bid for a huge patch of thermal coal-rich ground on Australia’s... 

Robot ghost ships to extend miner's technology drive to seas

By: Bloomberg     7th June 2017 BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, is studying the introduction of giant, automated cargo ships to carry everything from iron-ore to coal as part of a strategic shift that may disrupt the $334-billion global shipping industry. “Safe and efficient autonomous vessels carrying BHP... 

Tribeca planning to target overhaul of BHP board directors

By: Bloomberg     6th June 2017 BHP Billiton’s board is being targeted for a sweeping overhaul by Tribeca Global Natural Resources Fund, opening a potential new front in the burgeoning activist campaign against the world’s biggest mining company. The Sydney-based hedge fund, which last month joined billionaire Paul Singer’s... 

Billionaire Steinmetz recovers from setback in Simandou battle

By: Bloomberg     2nd June 2017 Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz recovered from a setback in a long-running legal battle over an iron-ore project in Guinea, when one of his employees defied the advice of lawyers and gave hours of testimony to a Paris arbitration court denying allegations of bribery. Asher Avidan was the top... 

Steinmetz said to skip $1.2bn Vale hearing, risking loss

By: Bloomberg     19th May 2017 Billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s mining company may be asked to pay as much as $1.2-billion to former partner Vale after choosing not to attend an arbitration hearing in London in a dispute over one of the world’s richest mineral assets, two people with knowledge of the case said. The decision by... 

China's economy shaping up for positive 2018, Rio Tinto says

By: Bloomberg     4th May 2017 Latest indicators on China’s economy point to continued growth through 2018, according to mining giant Rio Tinto Group, which counts the world’s No. 2 economy as its biggest customer. “Are we concerned about the Chinese economic health? The answer is no,” CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques told... 

Banker turned Guinea Minister says money was loan, not bribe

By: Bloomberg     3rd May 2017 A Guinea-born former Wall Street banker denied betraying his homeland’s natural wealth for $8.5-million in bribes, telling a New York jury the money was a loan he took to address a "desperate situation" in his personal and business affairs. Mahmoud Thiam served as the West African nation’s mining... 

First Quantum swings to Q1 loss on increased tax charge

By: Henry Lazenby     28th April 2017 Base metals producer First Quantum Minerals has swung to an adjusted loss of $29-million, or $0.04 a share, during the first quarter ended March 31, as no tax credit was recognised regarding losses realised under a sales hedge programme. Headline earnings fell short of analyst forecasts calling... 

Hermes plans to vote against Rio chair on diversity failings

By: Bloomberg     11th April 2017 Hermes Investment Management will vote against the re-election of Jan du Plessis, the chairperson of Rio Tinto Group, because of the company’s policy on boardroom diversity. The London-based money manager, which has said it will be focusing on diversity issues and climate change during this... 

Iron slumps into bear market as Barclays sees further losses

By: Bloomberg     10th April 2017 Iron-ore’s descent into bear-market territory may herald further weakness, with Barclays pinning the blame for the slide on lower steel demand in China driving a shift from mills toward lower-quality ore and raising the prospect of a drop into the $50s. Ore with 62% content in Qingdao fell 1%... 

Fortescue moves on growing markets outside steel giant China

By: Bloomberg     7th April 2017 Fortescue Metals Group is making iron-ore marketing forays to steel-producing nations outside China to tap forecast increases in demand from burgeoning infrastructure projects across the region. The world’s fourth-biggest exporter’s mines in northwestern Australia are well-positioned to take... 

Rio Tinto sees bumpy ride for aluminum as China poses puzzle

By: Bloomberg     5th April 2017 Rio Tinto Group’s aluminum boss sees prices for the lightweight metal heading for an “extremely” volatile period, with uncertainty over when China will curb production helping to keep investors on edge. “That’s really where the uncertainty is at the moment,” Alfredo Barrios said in an interview... 

Diamond industry’s famous hungry crocodile doesn't cut it

By: Bloomberg     28th March 2017 The diamond industry’s most famous chart is the hungry crocodile, the ancient reptile’s jaws wide open, reflecting both a predicted shortage of gems and the inevitable price rises that will come with it. Not only has this chart, which has been an industry staple for more than a decade and... 

Miners regain mojo to spark $18bn in exploration hunt

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2017 A rebound in exploration by global miners could see spending hit $18-billion by 2025 with China the front runner in the search for a new generation of giant discoveries. Exploration budgets are rising after they plunged to an 11-year low of about $10-billion last year as mining companies slashed... 

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