BHP takes Rio’s iron ore heavyweight title

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

BHP has become the world’s lowest-cost iron ore producer, after its average unit cost of production fell to $US11.89 a tonne in the second half of 2018-19. Meanwhile, BHP expects iron ore shipments from the Pilbara to top 286 million tonnes in 2019-20. However, BHP does face some challenges; it recently advised that the iron content of its Jimblebar Fines iron ore product will fall from 61 per cent to 59.5 per cent during 2019-20, while two autonomous haulage trucks at the Jimblebar mine remain out of action following a collision in March.

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

BHP grade issues at Pilbara mines cloud the outlook for iron ore

Original article by Nick Toscano
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 19-Aug-19

BHP recently advised that the iron content of its ‘Jimblebar Fines’ iron ore product will fall from 61 per cent to 59.5 per cent during 2019-20. Jimblebar Fines accounts for around 15 per cent of BHP’s iron ore sales from Western Australia, with most of its Pilbara output being exported to China. Industry observers indicate that the iron content downgrade is partly the result of problems with BHP’s fleet of autonomous trucks, which has required it to mine in pits with lower-quality ore.

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

Fortescue finds port space for magnetite but impasse on royalties

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 7-Aug-19

The Iron Bridge magnetite project will significantly increase Fortescue Metals Group’s shipments from Port Hedland, with production slated to commence in 2022. The pure-play iron ore miner has indicated that its port infrastructure will be able to cope with the increased export volumes. Meanwhile, CEO Elizabeth Gaines says the Western Australian government is resisting Fortescue’s efforts to have royalty relief extended to the Iron Bridge project. The royalty discount applies to CITIC’s Sino Iron magnetite project and Ansteel’s Karara project.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, CITIC LIMITED, ANSHAN IRON AND STEEL COMPANY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET

BHP opts to sell lower-grade iron ore

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 30-Jul-19

BHP intends to maintain production volumes at its Jimblebar iron ore mine over the next year, as it mines a lower-grade section of the deposit. This will have no impact on the mine’s lump iron ore product, but the iron content of the higher-grade Jimblebar Fines product will fall from 61 per cent to 59.5 per cent during 2019-20. BHP has indicated that it will aim to lift the iron content of Jimblebar Fines above 60 per cent again in 2020-21. The price discount for lower-grade iron ore narrowed in 2018-19 due to supply disruptions.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, DALIAN COMMODITY EXCHANGE

Fortescue expands its base in China

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 23 : 26-Jul-19

Fortescue Metals Group has advised that its iron ore shipments totalled 167.7 million tonne in 2018-19, including a record 46.6 million tonnes in the final quarter. Fortescue received an average price of $US65 per tonne during the financial year, an increase of 50 per cent. The pure-play miner has forecast that it will ship between 170 million and 175 million tonnes of iron ore in 2019-20. Meanwhile, Fortescue has opened a new office in China that will allow it to sell smaller volumes of iron ore to customers.

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

Hancock loses stoush over royalties

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 25-Jul-19

The Supreme Court of Western Australia has ruled in Wright Prospecting’s favour in the latest round of its dispute with Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting. The long-running dispute centres on the right to royalties from the Hope Downs iron ore tenements. The court has rejected Hancock’s bid to have Wright Prospecting’s legal action put on hold until the outcome of its appeal against a 2018 court ruling is known.

CORPORATES
HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, WRIGHT PROSPECTING PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, COURT OF APPEAL (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)

BHP flags iron ore output surge

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 18-Jul-19

BHP has forecast that its Pilbara iron ore exports for 2019-20 will be within the range of 273 to 286 million tonnes, despite its scheduled maintenance work at Port Hedland. BHP’s Pilbara shipments totalled 71.1 million tonnes in the final quarter of 2018-19, and 270.5 million tonnes for the full year. BHP has also advised that its 2018-19 production costs were in line with previous forecasts of less than $US15 per tonne. Rio Tinto recently indicated that its iron ore production costs for 2019 will be between $US14 and $US15 per tonne.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Steel mills to the rescue as Rio mines slow

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

Rio Tinto has advised that production at its flagship Pilbara iron ore mines totalled 155.7 million tonnes in the first half of 2019, which is eight per cent lower than previously. Pilbara iron ore shipments also fell by eight per cent, to 154.6 million tonnes. Export volumes were affected by factors such as cyclone activity and a fire at Cape Lambert port during the half-year. Rio Tinto received an average price of $US85.30 per tonne, excluding the cost of freight, an increase of 35 per cent compared with the same period in 2018.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, VALE SA, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED

Gindalbie shareholders approve Ansteel buyout

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 28 : 4-Jul-19

Some 81 per cent of Gindalbie Metals’ shareholders voted in favour of Ansteel’s takeover bid on 3 July. The deal required the support of at least 75 per cent of the struggling iron ore miner’s shareholders. Gindalbie’s key asset is a 48 per cent stake in the loss-making Karara magnetite project in Western Australia, which incurred a blowout in construction and operating costs.

CORPORATES
GINDALBIE METALS LIMITED – ASX GBG, ANSHAN IRON AND STEEL COMPANY, SANDON CAPITAL INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX SNC

Roy Hill bound for record profit despite volume miss

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 2-Jul-19

The Roy Hill iron ore project’s 2018-19 production is expected to be 55 million tonnes, although export volumes are likely to total 53 million tonnes. Recent data from Macquarie suggested that the Gina Rinehart-backed project would export 52.5 million tonnes in 2018-19, after shipping about 50.5 million tonnes in 2017-19. Looking ahead, Roy Hill has applied to increase its annual export capacity to 60 million tonnes in 2020. Roy Hill’s 2018-19 earnings should be boosted by a rally in the iron price in 2018-19, following a $558m profit in the previous financial year.

CORPORATES
ROY HILL HOLDINGS PTY LTD, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG