Cashed-up Fortescue flags higher dividend

Original article by Nick Evans
The Weekend Australian – Page: 27 : 20-Apr-19

Fortescue Metals Group has advised in its production report for the March quarter that its average cost of production is now tipped to between $US13 and $US13.50 a tonne. It had previously advised that its average cost of production would be between $US12 and $US13 a tonne. CEO Elizabeth Gaines said its new 60.1 per cent iron grade West Pilbara Fines product has been well received by customers, while CFO Ian Wells said some of the spare cash generated by its Pilbara iron ore operations could be paid to shareholders in the form of higher dividends.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Iron ore players hit by Vale mine restart

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 26 : 18-Apr-19

Shares in Fortescue Metals Group, BHP and Rio Tinto fell sharply on 17 April, after Vale was cleared to resume production at its Brucutu iron ore mine. News that Vale expects production to resume within days also weighed on the iron ore price. Meanwhile, BHP has advised that its iron ore production costs will rise due to the impact of Cyclone Veronica; full-year production guidance for its Pilbara operations has been reduced to between 265 and 270 million tonnes. BHP’s Pilbara iron ore shipments totalled 64 million tonnes in the March quarter.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, VALE SA, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Rio cuts iron ore production guidance as port problem lingers

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

Rio Tinto has advised that its iron ore production in the Pilbara is likely to be within the range of 333 million to 343 million tonnes in 2019. This compares with previous guidance of 338 million to 350 million tonnes. The downgrade follows disruptions caused by Cyclone Veronica and fires at two separate screening plants. Peter O’Connor of Shaw & Partners says the impact of these disruptions on Rio Tinto’s output should be offset by higher iron ore prices.

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

Rio faces new iron ore output hit after fire

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 10-Apr-19

Rio Tinto’s iron ore shipments from the Pilbara will be further disrupted following a fire at a screening plant on East Intercourse Island. It follows a fire at another iron ore screening plant in early 2019, while Rio Tinto declared force majeure on some of its supply contracts in the wake of Cyclone Veronica in March. The latest incident may affect Rio Tinto’s ability to meet its full-year production guidance of 338 million to 350 million tonnes. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto has advised that it paid $US4.8bn ($6.5bn) in taxes and royalties in Australia in 2018, and $US6.8bn globally.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

BHP’s forecasts blown away by wild weather

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 42 : 3-Apr-19

BHP has advised that Cyclone Veronica did not cause major damage to its iron ore operations in the Pilbara. However, the resources group has warned that its annual output will be reduced by 6-8 million tonnes due to the cyclone. BHP indicated earlier in 2019 that its export volumes had been cut by four million tonnes due to the forced derailment of an iron ore train in late 2018. Rio Tinto also recently downgraded its iron ore production forecast in the wake of Cyclone Veronica.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, INCITEC PIVOT LIMITED – ASX IPL, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Rio closes in on $100 share price

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 2-Apr-19

Shares in Rio Tinto closed 1.7 per cent higher at $99.63 on 1 April, putting the resources giant on track to breach the $100-per-share mark for the first time since mid-2008. Rio Tinto has advised that its iron ore production for 2019 is likely to be at the lower end of its guidance in the wake of Cyclone Veronica and a fire at its Cape Lambert processing plant in January. However, the iron ore price is likely to be bolstered by the recent global supply disruptions. BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Roy Hill in turn should benefit more from any rise in the iron ore price than Rio Tinto, as Cyclone Veronica had less impact on Port Hedland than Cape Lambert.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, ROY HILL HOLDINGS PTY LTD, VALE SA, BANK OF AMERICA AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MERRILL LYNCH (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, MACQUARIE CAPITAL PTY LTD

Fortescue expects China’s ore demand to stay strong

Original article by Michael Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 29-Mar-19

Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines says there are no indications that Chinese steel production is contracting. She adds that the general consensus of Fortescue’s iron ore customers in China is that growth in steel output will to slow to 3-4 per cent in 2019. This follows 12 per cent growth in 2018. Gaines has also indicated that China’s move to restrict Australian coal imports has had no impact on Fortescue’s iron ore shipments. The pure-play miner has resumed shipments from Port Hedland in the wake of Cyclone Veronica.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, BOAO FORUM FOR ASIA, SHANGHAI BAOSTEEL GROUP CORPORATION, FORMOSA GROUP, VALE SA

Fortescue enters the big tech race

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 24 : 22-Mar-19

Pure-play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group will establish a research and development centre for self-driving cars in Karratha. Amongst other things, the research facility will undertake a trial of self-driving light vehicles at the Christmas Creek iron ore mine. Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines expects autonomous vehicles to become widely used in both the mining industry and urban areas. Fortescue already operates more than 100 self-driving iron ore haulage trucks in the Pilbara.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, TESLA INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED

BHP’s epic rail fail: crew on wrong train

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 19 & 22 : 13-Mar-19

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has released its preliminary report into a November 2018 incident in which BHP was forced to deliberately derail an iron ore train in the Pilbara. It has revealed that BHP dispatched a maintenance crew to the train after its emergency braking system failed. However, the maintenance team went to a second train that had been stopped as a precaution, so the manual handbrake on the faulty train was not engaged. BHP contends that it would not have prevented the "roll-away", which is estimated to have cost the company about $300m in lost revenue.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, AUSTRALIAN TRANSPORT SAFETY BUREAU

Gindalbie accepts $39m takeover

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 12-Mar-19

Directors of iron ore junior Gindalbie Metals have recommended that shareholders accept a $39m takeover offer from China-based Ansteel. Gindalbie and Ansteel are joint venture partners in the Karara magnetite mine in the Mid-West region of Western Australia, and Gindalbie wrote down the value of its 48 per cent stake in the project to zero in 2014. Gindalbie also intends to demerge its Coda Minerals subsidiary.

CORPORATES
GINDALBIE METALS LIMITED – ASX GBG, ANSHAN IRON AND STEEL COMPANY, CODA MINERALS LIMITED, ATLAS LEAD GENERATION PTY LTD, BCI MINERALS LIMITED – ASX BCI