Fortescue rides iron ore boom

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 14-Jul-20

Data from Port Hedland shows that its iron ore export volumes rose to a record 51.8 million in June, and 281 million tonnes in the year to date. This is six per cent higher than the same period in 2019, and Glynn Lawcock of UBS says Fortescue Metals Group may exceed its guidance of 175 to 177 million tonnes for 2019-20. He adds that the strength of the iron ore price and high shipping volumes could see Fortescue announce a final dividend of $0.98 per share, compared with the consensus forecast of $0.80.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Mining heavyweights pass virus test

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 13-Jul-20

Mineral Resources began swab-screening its ‘fly in, fly out’ workforce for COVID-19 in April. It subsequently began offering its services to other mining companies, and has tested employees from firms such as BHP, Northern Star Resources and Ramelius Resources. It operates drive-through testing hubs in Perth, Mandurah, Kalgoorlie and Port Hedland, along with screening centres in Geraldton, Esperance and Busselton. Mineral Resources COO Mike Grey says the company is proud of the role it has played in keeping the Western Australian resources sector operating during the pandemic and protecting the health and jobs of the sector’s employees.

CORPORATES
MINERAL RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX MIN, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX NST, RAMELIUS RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX RMS, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

NZ closure sparks fears for Australian smelters

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 10-Jul-20

The future of Rio Tinto’s loss-making aluminium smelters in Australia is again under scrutiny following the announcement that its Tiwai Point smelter in New Zealand will be shut down. Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques indicated in 2019 that the fate of the smelters in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania is uncertain. The Australian Aluminium Council has warned that smelters will not be viable unless action is taken to reduce energy costs. The future of Alcoa’s government-subsidised Portland smelter in Victoria is also in doubt.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, AUSTRALIAN ALUMINIUM COUNCIL LIMITED, ALCOA OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ALCOA INCORPORATED

Call to strip Rio of global ranking

Original article by Victoria Laurie
The Australian – Page: 5 : 9-Jul-20

Rio Tinto is the highest-ranking mining company on the annual Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, which assesses 200 of the world’s largest listed companies in terms of their human rights record. Indigenous and human rights groups have called for Rio Tinto to be removed from the Benchmark in response to its destruction of ancient rock shelters in the Pilbara. Vale was suspended from the Benchmark in 2019 following a dam collapse in Brazil.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, CORPORATE HUMAN RIGHTS BENCHMARK, VALE SA

Elizabeth Gaines – the driving force behind Fortescue Metals Group

Original article by Rachel Pupazzoni
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 29-Jun-20

Pure-play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group is seeking to diversify its operations under current CEO Elizabeth Gaines, who took the helm in 2018. This could include exploring for minerals such as copper and gold in South America and hydrogen in Western Australia. Gaines grew up in Halls Creek in the Kimberley region of WA, which has a large indigenous population. Her father was a local school headmaster, who actively sought to ensure that indigenous people were integrated into the broader community. Fortescue founder Andrew Forrest adopted a similar policy of full integration at the world’s fourth-biggest iron ore miner, where indigenous people account for 15 per cent of its Pilbara workforce.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Resources exports to turn south

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 29-Jun-20

The federal government expects Australia’s mining and energy export earnings to fall 10 per cent to $263bn in 2020-21, after rising to a record $293bn in the 2019-20 financial year. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources has advised that iron ore export earnings are likely to have met its forecast of $100bn in 2019-20, given the resilience of the steel input’s price during the coronavirus pandemic. The department expects gold export earnings to reach a record $32bn in 2020-21, although revenue from LNG and coal exports is forecast to fall.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

Iron ore exports to China at risk

Original article by Michael Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 26-Jun-20

Chinese research firm MySteel states that China’s demand for steel fell by between five and six per cent in the first half of 2020, but should improve in coming months with more infrastructure projects being initiated. MySteel’s chief information officer Xu Xiangchun says Chinese steel mills might look to alternative sources for iron ore if there is a perception among the Chinese public that Australia is ‘difficult’, while China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute president Li Xinchuang says it is important that China diversifies its iron ore supplies.

CORPORATES
MYSTEEL.COM LIMITED, CHINA METALLURGICAL INDUSTRY PLANNING AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE

‘Gushing cash’: iron ore miners a yield hunter favourite

Original article by William McInnes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 24-Jun-20

The price of iron ore has risen by nearly 40 per cent since the start of 2020, and it peaked at more than $US100 a tonne in May amid supply disruptions in Brazil. Dion Hershan of Yarra Capital Management and Peter Gardner of Plato Investment Management are both bullish about BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group. They cite factors such as the major iron ore producers’ strong cash flows and high dividend yields. However, Romano Sala Tenna of Katana Asset Management says they do not offer compelling value, although he says the sector is still appealing compared with the rest of the market.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, YARRA CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, PLATO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, KATANA ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED

Big miners back a greener future

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 22-Jun-20

The Minerals Council of Australia will release details of a three-year climate action plan on 22 June, as well as endorsing the Paris agreement. The MCA’s climate plan includes the use of renewable energy and electric vehicles at mine sites, and it has been put together in response to a climate change backlash from fund managers and shareholders of MCA member companies. As to the issue of zero net emissions targets, MCA CEO Tania Constable says there is no set sector-wide deadline, with member companies having their own timeframes.

CORPORATES
MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

BHP buy bolsters nickel operation

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 : 22-Jun-20

BHP is believed to have paid Norilsk Nickel almost $US30m for the Honeymoon Well nickel project in Western Australia. The deposit is estimated to contain about 1.2 million tonnes of nickel; the deal demonstrates BHP’s commitment to the commodity and its Nickel West business. BHP will also shortly resume underground mining at its Leinster project. The nickel price has rebounded from a low of around $US11,000 a tonne in March to nearly $US13,000 a tonne.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, NORILSK NICKEL