Big banks accused of climate hypocrisy

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 8-Jul-20

Market Forces estimates that Australia’s four major banks have provided a combined $35.5bn worth of loans for fossil fuel projects since 2016. The activist group, which is affiliated with Friends of the Earth, contends that this is inconsistent with their commitment to the Paris climate agreement. National Australia Bank’s chief risk officer Shaun Dooley recently stated that the bank aims to assist business customers to transition away from fossil fuels, due to the economic impact of a complete and rapid withdrawal from the sector.

CORPORATES
MARKET FORCES, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

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

‘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

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

BHP taps CSL’s Lamont for Beaven role

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 18-Jun-20

BHP has advised that David Lamont will succeed Peter Beaven as chief financial officer in December. Lamont has been CFO of listed biotechnology group CSL since 2016, and he was previously the CFO of mining company MMG. Beaven will remain at BHP until early 2021 during a transition phase. Macquarie Group notes that BHP generally appoints internal candidates to senior executive roles. Macquarie has retained its ‘outperform’ rating on BHP.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL, MMG LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Fortescue fast-tracks carbon-cutting plan

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 : 17-Jun-20

Fortescue Metals Group has announced a revised target of 2040 to achieve net-zero operational carbon emissions. The pure-play iron ore miner also aims to reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions from existing operations by 26 per cent over the next decade. However, Fortescue has not set any emission reduction targets for its Iron Bridge magnetite project, advising that it will outline separate targets for the project when it becomes operational in mid-2022. Fortescue continues to resist setting scope 3 emission reduction targets.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Rio set indigenous precedent at Argyle

Original article by Victoria Laurie
The Australian – Page: 5 : 16-Jun-20

Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh of Griffith University says a clause in Rio Tinto’s agreement with traditional owners regarding the Argyle diamond mine could be used to protect heritage sites in the Pilbara. The agreement signed in 2005 ensures that Rio Tinto cannot use section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act to destroy sites that are of cultural significance to indigenous people. Rio Tinto’s recent blasting that destroyed ancient rock caves at its Brockman mine had been approved under section 18 in 2013.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY

Heritage site row forces BHP to hold fire on $5b project

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 12-Jun-20

BHP has halted plans to destroy indigenous heritage sites as part of its development of the US3.6 billion ($5.2 billion) South Flank iron ore mine in Western Australia. The mine is slated to produce 80 million tonnes of ore per annum, with the WA government having given BHP permission to proceed with destruction of the sites in May. BHP has indicated that it will not disturb any of the sites in question until it has had more talks with the Banjima people. The traditional owners had welcomed the opportunities afforded by the development of the South Flank mine when a comprehensive agreement on its development was signed in 2015.

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

BHP to destroy at least 40 Aboriginal sites, up to 15,000 years old, to expand Pilbara mine

Original article by Lorena Allam, Calla Wahlquist
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 11-Jun-20

A proposed expansion of BHP’s South Flank iron ore mine that will result in the destruction of rock shelters and other significant indigenous sites was approved by the Western Australian government on 29 May. This was just days after Rio Tinto attracted global criticism for destroying ancient rock shelters during blasting at its Brockman iron ore mine. WA’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt has urged BHP to work with the traditional owners to protect the heritage sites.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

Iron ore surge a $100b elixir for coronavirus

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 21 : 9-Jun-20

The rally in the price of iron ore to more than $US100 a tonne will boost federal government revenue by about $2.3bn. The 2019-20 Budget forecasts were based on the iron ore price averaging about $US62 when shipping costs are included, but it is currently averaging more than $80 a tonne. Australia’s export revenue from iron ore is set to top $100bn in 2019-20, eclipsing the previous annual record of $76bn in 2018-19. Meanwhile, shares in Australia’s three major iron ore producers have rallied since the end of March, and investors are set to receive big dividend payouts for the financial year.

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