Analysts predict iron ore prices have hit peak

Original article by Cole Latimer
The Age – Page: 25 : 24-Apr-19

UBS has forecast that the iron ore price will average $US83 per tonne in 2019, warning that the steel input’s recent high of around $US93/tonne is not sustainable. The investment bank says recent supply disruptions in Australia and Brazil are unlikely to have a long-term impact on the iron ore price, forecasting that it will fall over the next 12 months. Expectations of a lower iron ore price have also contributed to UBS’s decision to downgrade its recommendation on BHP’s shares from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral’. PhillipCapital expects iron ore to average $US78/tonne in 2019.

CORPORATES
UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, PHILLIP CAPITAL LIMITED, VALE SA, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

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

Whitehaven to roll out driverless trucks

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 21 : 12-Apr-19

Whitehaven Coal has downgraded its sales expectations for 2018-19 to between 20.5 and 21 million tonnes, compared with previous guidance of 21.5 to 22.5 million tonnes. It follows a three per cent fall in production during the March quarter, with output affected by lower yields at its Maules Creek mine in New South Wales. Meanwhile, Whitehaven has advised that it aims to deploy six autonomous haulage trucks at the Maules Creek mine by October. It will be the first time driverless trucks have been used at an Australian coal mine.

CORPORATES
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED

Rio links pay to climate change

Original article by Nick Evans, Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 19 & 22 : 12-Apr-19

Shareholders at Rio Tinto’s annual meeting in London have been told that progress in achieving greenhouse gas emission reduction targets could be included in its performance bonus system. A revised executive incentive scheme will be put to shareholders in 2021, and chairman Simon Thompson said short-term bonus plans could potentially be linked to its emission reduction targets. He has ruled out setting targets for Rio Tinto’s customers to reduce their own carbon emissions. A resolution on the issue will be put to the Australian annual meeting in May.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, CLIMATE ACTION 100+, ALUMINIUM CORPORATION OF CHINA LIMITED, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

Rio uses AGM to pitch eco strategy

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 19 : 11-Apr-19

Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson and CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques have emphasised its focus on environmental sustainability in their presentations to shareholders at the annual meeting in London. Amongst other things, they committed to increased use of renewable energy across Rio Tinto’s mining operations, as well as developing new targets for reducing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions. Thompson also noted that Rio Tinto is the only major mining company that no longer produces fossil fuels.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, GLENCORE PLC, CLIMATE ACTION 100+

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

Lynas caves in over local processing

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 9-Apr-19

Dylan Kelly of CLSA estimates that Lynas Corporation will incur costs of about $100m if it shifts the ‘cracking and leaching’ part of its rare earths processing operation from Malaysia to Australia. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad recently signalled that Lynas will be able to keep its processing plant open provided that early-stage processing is carried out in Australia. Lynas suitor Wesfarmers committed to undertaking this stage of processing in Australia in talks with the Malaysian Government.

CORPORATES
LYNAS CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX LYC, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, MALAYSIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, CLSA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GREENCAPE CAPITAL PTY LTD, JAPAN AUSTRALIA RARE EARTHS, JAPAN OIL GAS AND METALS NATIONAL CORPORATION, SOJITZ CORPORATION

Rio lashed over probe records

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 5-Apr-19

Rio Tinto has admitted that it had failed to provide the US Securities & Exchange Commission with a large number of documents relating to its ill-fated investment in Mozambique-focused coal producer Riversdale Mining. The SEC is investigating the conduct of Rio Tinto executives – including former CEO Tom Albanese – regarding the timing of a write-down of the Riversdale assets. Rio Tinto has blamed "technical problems" for its failure to provide some 25,000 documents to the SEC.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, UNITED STATES. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, RIVERSDALE MINING LIMITED, DISTRICT COURT OF UNITED STATES, GIBSON DUNN AND CRUTCHER LLP, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA