Fortescue challenges oil and gas over emissions

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 13-Jun-19

Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines says the pure-play iron ore miner supports the Paris climate agreement and Australia’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions. However, she adds that Fortescue opposes any move to make it accountable for the scope 3 emissions of customers such as Chinese steel mills. Oil and gas producers have lobbied Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority to take into account scope 3 assessments when approving resources projects.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AUTHORITY, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, CHEVRON CORPORATION, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Belts tighten across exploration sector: BDO

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 : 11-Jun-19

ASX-listed companies spent $363 million on exploration for minerals, oil and gas in the first three months of 2019, according to accounting firm BDO Global. It was the lowest quarterly exploration expenditure since the three months to June 2017, when just $338 million was outlayed. BDO also found that the average cash balance among exploration companies had declined from $5.79 million to $5.62 million, while the number of exploration companies listed on the ASX is on the decline.

CORPORATES
BDO GLOBAL, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Rio’s additional drilling adds to hype over copper find

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 7-Jun-19

Rio Tinto has advised that drilling results from its Winu copper-gold discovery in Western Australia continue to show promise. However, Rio stated that it is not yet in a position to determine the possible size and quality of the mineralisation, or to give an estimate of a mineral resource. Winu is located in the Paterson Range, and Rio is investigating whether its acreage there is big enough to support a number of copper mines.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Dacian downturn bodes ill for WA gold producers

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 19 : 6-Jun-19

Dacian Gold has advised that it now expects production at its Mount Morgans mine to be within the range of 36,000 to 38,000 ounces in the June quarter, compared with previous guidance of 50,000 to 55,000 ounces. Dacian has also warned that longer-term production at the mine will also fail to meet expectations, at an of average 160,000 to 180,000 ounces annually over a five-year period. Shares in Dacian closed 67.5 per cent lower at $0.515 on 5 June.

CORPORATES
DACIAN GOLD LIMITED – ASX DCN, GASCOYNE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GCY, MILLENNIUM MINERALS LIMITED – ASX MOY, ST BARBARA LIMITED – ASX SBM, NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX NST, ATLANTIC GOLD CORPORATION, NORGES BANK

No bargains from gold mergers: PwC

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 5-Jun-19

The Super Pit gold mine in Western Australia is among the assets that could potentially be offered for sale in the wake of the latest round of mergers in the gold sector. Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are among the Australian gold producers that acquired assets at a discount during the previous spate of mergers in the sector. However, Chris Dodd of PwC says potential buyers cannot expect a significant discount this time around.

CORPORATES
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX NST, EVOLUTION MINING LIMITED – ASX EVN, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, NEWMONT MINING CORPORATION, GOLDCORP INCORPORATED, BARRICK GOLD CORPORATION, RANDGOLD RESOURCES LIMITED, ST BARBARA LIMITED – ASX SBM, ATLANTIC GOLD CORPORATION

Miners soar as new dividend heroes on ASX

Original article by William McInnes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 30-May-19

Australia’s three major iron ore producers are widely tipped to continue to return excess cash to shareholders via dividends or share buybacks. The surging price of the steel input has bolstered the balance sheets of BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group, and Michael Slack of Martin Currie says cash flows appear to be at or near their peak. However, he adds that the miners will eventually need to begin reinvesting in their businesses.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHPRIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIOFORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMGMARTIN CURRIE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITEDEPOCH INVESTMENT PARTNERS INCORPORATEDVALE SA

Bullish iron ore could give budget $4b boost

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 29-May-19

The iron ore price reached a five-year high of $US108 per tonne on 28 May, prompting strong gains in the share prices of Australia’s three major producers. The federal government’s April 2019 Budget had forecast that the iron ore price would average $US88/tonne in 2019-20; Nicki Hutley of Deloitte Access Economics says government revenue could increase by $4bn if the price remains at its current level over this period. Goldman Sachs does not expect iron ore to remain above $US100 for long; it has issued a revised price forecast for 2019 of $US91.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, VALE SA, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MOUNT GIBSON IRON LIMITED – ASX MGX, ROY HILL HOLDINGS PTY LTD, MINERAL RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX MIN, GRANGE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GRR

Iron ore’s wild run threatens fragile balance

Original article by Nick Evans
The Weekend Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 25-May-19

The iron ore price recently rose to a five-year high of more than $US100 per tonne. While the price surge will boost the earnings of Australian iron ore producers, BHP and Rio Tinto in particular would prefer a sustained price of around $US70 per tonne. The current elevated price of the steel input provides an incentive for other mining companies to develop iron ore projects and emerge as rival exporters to Asian steel mills. Countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and India could potentially resume iron ore shipments to China, while strong growth in China’s scrap steel market looms as another possible threat to Australian producers.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, ROY HILL HOLDINGS PTY LTD, ATLAS IRON LIMITED, VALE SA

BHP puts foot down on robotic truck drive

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-May-19

BHP may ramp up its deployment of autonomous haulage truck at its iron ore and coal mines in Australia. BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue now operate about 250 automated trucks at their iron ore mines in the Pilbara, and BHP recently said that most of its fleet could potentially be automated by 2023. Its fleet at the Jimblebar mine has been fully automated since 2017, and BHP executive Rag Udd notes that this has resulted in significant safety and productivity improvements. He stresses that such factors are driving the automation push, rather than job cuts, adding that many former truck drivers have been redeployed.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Fortescue approves $417m Queens mine as analysts tip dividend top-up

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 23-May-19

Pure-play iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group will develop the Queens Valley mine in the Pilbara, with the project slated to cost $US287m ($417m). Paul Hissey of RBC Capital Markets says the recent rise in the iron ore price could significantly boost Fortescue’s earnings in the June quarter. This could in turn prompt another dividend payout when Fortescue releases its full-year results.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS