BHP flags long China coal ban

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 21-Jul-21

BHP has advised that it produced a record 284.1 million tonnes of iron ore in the Pilbara region of Western Australia during 2020-21. The resources group shipped 283.9 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara, compared with 283.3 million tonnes for the previous financial year. BHP expects to produce 278 to 288 million tonnes of iron ore in the Pilbara in 2021-22, while the group has warned that China’s ban on Australian coal imports is likely to remain in place for some time.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Rio feels pinch as labour hit slows exports

Original article by Nick Evans
The Weekend Australian – Page: 25 : 17-Jul-21

Rio Tinto’s iron ore shipments fell 12 per cent to 76.3 million tonnes in the June quarter, while its half-year shipments were down three per cent to 154.1 million tonnes. Rio cited a range of factors for the fall in shipments, including labour shortages and the need to revamp mine plans around Pilbara heritage sites. Rio’s previous full year guidance for shipments was between 325 to 340 million tonnes, and it now expects shipments to be at the lower end of its forecast. However, to even achieve that will require it to ship 171 million tonnes in the second half of 2021

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

BHP to overtake Rio in premium iron ore

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 7-Jun-21

BHP could soon become Australia’s biggest exporter of ‘lump’ iron ore following the recent start of production at its new South Flank mine in the Pilbara. Lump iron ore is a premium product that attracts a higher price than ‘fines’, which is Australia’s biggest iron ore export. Lump iron ore can be used in steel-making without first undergoing the sintering process, which is both energy-intensive and generates carbon emissions. The South Flank mine will increase the proportion of lump in BHP’s iron ore exports to 30-33 per cent, compared with 24-25 per cent in recent years.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

BHP hiring as it faces critical lack of drivers

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 27-May-21

BHP plans to hire an additional 200 train drivers for its iron ore operations in the Pilbara, in response to what has been described as a ‘critical’ shortage in the sector. BHP’s iron ore asset president Brandon Craig says the new trainees will have "rewarding careers" at the resources group, which suggests that BHP will not follow Rio Tinto in shifting to driverless trains. BHP uses automated trucks at its Jimblebar iron ore mine, while the Gina Rinehart-backed Roy Hill aims to fully automate its fleet of trucks by 2023.

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

Super quick payback looms on BHP’s South Flank mine

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 21-May-21

BHP commenced production at its new South Flank iron ore mine on 20 May, less than three years after the $US3.6bn project was approved. South Flank is slated to produce about 40 million tonnes of iron ore in fiscal 2022, and the mine is scheduled to reach full capacity of 80 million tonnes in its third year of operation. The iron ore price is currently trading above $US210 per tonne, compared with just $US66 per tonne when BHP’s board approved the project in June 2018.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Record production in sight for BHP

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 16 : 22-Apr-21

BHP’s quarterly activities report shows that it shipped 66 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara in the March quarter. This compares with 70.8 million tonnes in the December quarter and 68.5 million tonnes during the first three months of 2020. However, the fall in export volumes had been flagged by BHP in early 2021. The resources giant will only need to ship 73.1 million tonnes in the June quarter to exceed its 2019-20 export total of 283.3 million tonnes. BHP’s full-year profits will be boosted by the continued strength of the iron ore price, which has reached a 10-year high of $US189.61 a tonne.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Transport costs pivotal to API’s iron ore project

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 7-Apr-21

Chinese steel giant Baowu bought its stake in the Australian Premium Iron project in 2014, when iron ore was fetching around $US100 per tonne. Analysts say the proposed West Pilbara iron ore project should be viable if, as expected, the price of the steel input falls back to this level in coming years. Lachlan Shaw of National Australia Bank adds that the long-delayed project is more likely to proceed if its backers can secure access to other miners’ rail and port infrastructure.

CORPORATES
CHINA BAOWU STEEL GROUP CORPORATION LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

CITIC ruling a bonanza for Palmer

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 1-Apr-21

The Supreme Court of Western Australia has issued draft orders outlining the terms for CITIC to acquire Balmoral, an entity controlled by Clive Palmer which holds the mining rights to an iron ore deposit in the Pilbara. This will give CITIC access to an additional one billion tonnes of iron ore. Palmer receives about $523m a year in royalties from CITIC’s existing iron ore operations in WA.

CORPORATES
CITIC LIMITED, SUPREME COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Fortescue to stem pipeline cash flow

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 16 : 1-Mar-21

Fortescue Metals Group recently stated that it is likely to release a final cost figure for its troubled Iron Bridge magnetite project within three months. The pure-play iron ore miner advised that preliminary figures show that the project will cost about $US3bn, compared with initial estimates of $US2.6bn. Fortescue is also believed to be considering a ‘build-own-operate-transfer’ model for water infrastructure associated with the Iron Bridge project, whereby other companies would bear the cost of building the water network and eventually sell it back to Fortescue.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

$834m in blowouts spur Fortescue exits

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 & 18 : 17-Feb-21

Fortescue Metals Group has advised that chief operating officer Greg Lilleyman has left the pure-play iron ore miner in the wake of a sharp rise in the cost of its Iron Bridge magnetite project. Fortescue’s director of projects Don Hyma and Iron Bridge project manager Manie McDonald also recently stepped down. The Iron Bridge project was initially slated to cost $US2.6bn, but this is believed to have blown out by about $US650m. CEO Elizabeth Gaines and CFO Ian Wells will forgo their annual bonuses for 2020-21 due to the cost blowout.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG