Sinosteel cautions Oakajee doubters

Original article by Peter Ker, Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 22-Oct-19

Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan says he would welcome any move to proceed with the stalled Oakajee port and rail project, after Sinosteel’s recent deal to acquire Mitsubishi’s interest in it. However, Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan ha expressed doubts regarding the $10bn project’s viability. Stuart Griffiths, the CEO of Sinosteel Midwest, says people should keep "an open mind" on the issue, adding that good quality iron ore will always be in demand.

CORPORATES
SINOSTEEL CORPORATION, SINOSTEEL MIDWEST CORPORATION LIMITED, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

BHP dumps coal for green energy

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 19 : 22-Oct-19

BHP has secured four contracts to supply renewable energy to its Escondida and Spence copper mines in Chile for 15 years. BHP’s 2019-20 half-year accounts will include a $US780m ($1.14bn) provision associated with the cancellation of existing coal supply contracts. The company estimates that the new contracts will displace about three million tonnes of carbon each year from 2022 and reduce energy prices at the two mines by around 20 per cent. BHP recently committed to spending $US400m over five years to minimise climate risks.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, COAL21, AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

China launches $10b push for Oakajee iron ore

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 & 22 : 21-Oct-19

Sinosteel has acquired Mitsubishi’s interests in the long-stalled $9.7 billion Oakajee port and rail project in Western Australia. Sinosteel’s $2 billion Weld Range iron ore project was to be a customer of the Oakejee project, but cost blowouts saw proposed port tariffs increased, leading Sinosteel to conclude that Weld Range would not be viable, and it stopped work on Weld Range in June 2011. Sinosteel’s acquisition of Mitsubishi’s stake in the Oakajee project has sparked hopes that it could be revived, and that a new iron ore export province in WA can be created.

CORPORATES
SINOSTEEL CORPORATION, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Clock ticking on South32 manganese smelter jobs

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 18-Oct-19

Diversified miner South32 has reported that production at its Illawarra metallurgical coal mines increased by 30 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to September, while manganese ore production rose by 10 per cent. South32 has also advised that it is continuing to review the TEMCO manganese alloy smelter in Tasmania, and it will further update the market in the March 2020 quarter. Closure of the smelter would result in the loss of about 250 jobs; other options include selling or mothballing the facility.

CORPORATES
SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, TASMANIAN ELECTRO METALLURGICAL COMPANY PTY LTD

BHP holds out against activist push

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 18-Oct-19

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie has defended its membership of mining industry groups such as the Minerals Council of Australia and associated entities like Coal 21, amid growing pressure from activist groups and shareholders. Meanwhile, BHP has advised that scheduled maintenance work at Port Hedland resulted in its Pilbara iron ore production falling three per cent to 69 million tonnes in the September quarter. BHP has also approved additional expenditure of $US344m on the Jansen potash project in Canada, ahead of a final investment decision in February 2021.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, COAL 21

Rio on track for world iron ore crown

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 17-Oct-19

Rio Tinto shipped 86.1 million tonnes of Pilbara iron ore during the September quarter, and 240 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2019. A strong performance in the fourth quarter could see Rio Tinto’s full-year exports top 330 million tonnes, which is the upper range of its guidance for the calendar year. This would also allow it to surpass Vale as the world’s biggest iron ore exporter, given that the Brazilian company now expects to export about 319 million tonnes for the year. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto has advised that its alumina and bauxite production in 2019 will be below previous guidance.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, VALE SA, TURQUOISE HILL RESOURCES LIMITED

Water’s worth its weight in gold as big producers run dry in the drought

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 24 : 16-Oct-19

The Cowal gold mine in western New South Wales accounted for nearly 40 per cent of Evolution Mining’s total production for the September quarter. However, COO Bob Fulker has warned that production at Cowal may be hit by the end of 2019-20 if the drought in NSW persists and Evolution’s efforts to reduce the mine’s water consumption do not pay off. CEO Jake Klein notes that Evolution now recycles about 50 per cent of the water used at Cowal. The drought may also affect output at Newcrest Mining’s Cadia mine.

CORPORATES
EVOLUTION MINING LIMITED – ASX EVN, NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, GLENCORE PLC, AUSTRALIA. BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY

China has other options for its iron ore

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 11-Oct-19

Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines has stressed the importance of Australia’s trading relationship with China. She has told the in a Melbourne Mining Club that commodities exports to China have been a key contributor to Australia’s economic growth, and warned that China will seek other sources of iron ore if relations between the two nations deteriorates. Gaines noted that Ernst & Young has estimated that iron ore accounted for three per cent of Australia’s GDP in 2018-19.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, THE MELBOURNE MINING CLUB, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, ALUMINIUM CORPORATION OF CHINA LIMITED

BHP green push all about profit

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 9-Oct-19

BHP’s head of external affairs Geoff Healy has told investors in London that embracing social and environmental issues is "good business". He argued that demonstrating a commitment to such causes is essential for mining companies, to ensure that they can both secure the rights to new deposits and retain control of existing projects. Healy says BHP believes that its commitment to social value was a key factor in securing a stake in Mexico’s Trion oil field.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, INVESTOR GROUP ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Doubts about Fortescue’s Simandou bid

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 21 : 9-Oct-19

Lyndon Fagan of JP Morgan has expressed reservations about Fortescue Metals Group’s bid for blocks 1 and 2 of the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea. He says a successful bid may not be welcomed by shareholders, given the sovereign risks associated with the West African nation. He adds that given Simandou’s high-grade iron ore and the fact that it is likely to be developed, Fortescue may be taking the view that it is better to participate in a project that will compete with Fortescue’s own Pilbara operations.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED