Flinders’ plan to delist angers small holders

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 29 : 14-Dec-18

Shares in Flinders Mines were placed in a trading halt on 13 December, after the iron ore producer flagged plans to delist. Chairman Neil Warburton says Flinders’ board considered a number of options for its iron ore project in the Pilbara and felt that going private is the best strategy, as it will allow the company to gain funding from private equity firms and other funds that invest in such projects. The delisting proposal has the support of its major shareholder, Todd Corporation.

CORPORATES
FLINDERS MINES LIMITED – ASX FMS, TODD CORPORATION, BBI INVESTMENT GROUP

Merged miners see more gold deals on horizon

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 24 : 12-Dec-18

Gold miner Horizon Minerals will have a market capitalisation of around $64m and will be headed by Intermin Resources MD Jon Price. Horizon has been formed via a merger between Intermin and MacPhersons Resources, and Price says the new company already has its sights on potential gold acquisitions in Western Australia. Other recent deals in Australia’s gold sector include the merger between Silver Lake Resources and Doray Minerals.

CORPORATES
HORIZON MINERALS LIMITED, INTERMIN RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX IRC, MACPHERSONS RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX MRP, SILVER LAKE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX SLR, DORAY MINERALS LIMITED – ASX DRM, BARDOC GOLD LIMITED – ASX BDC, EXCELSIOR GOLD LIMITED

Rio head says the public does not trust miners

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 10-Dec-18

Chris Salisbury, the head of Rio Tinto’s iron ore division, notes that many Australians do not trust the mining sector, while many are not aware of Rio Tinto’s contribution to the domestic economy. He says the resources group contributed $42.7 billion to GDP in 2017 and paid some $5bn in taxes and royalties. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto expects to meet its deadline of 31 December to fully implement its AutoHaul project in Western Australia.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MINING CLUB, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION, HITACHI LIMITED, ANSALDO STS, ERNST AND YOUNG

BHP retreats from contract mining

Original article by Matthew Stevens
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 30 : 6-Dec-18

The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance abandoned the direct employment model for workers at its Queensland coal mines in 2015. Contract labour now accounts for about 60 per cent of the work undertaken at BMA’s coal mines. However, the BHP Group-led joint venture has advised that it will directly employ 350 workers at the Daunia and Cavel Ridge mines in the Bowen Basin. BMA’s move may indicate that union influence at its Queensland coal mines is declining, and the new model is likely to be rolled out at BMA’s other mines in the state.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, BM ALLIANCE COAL OPERATIONS PTY LTD, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION, DOWNER EDI LIMITED – ASX DOW, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, WORKPAC PTY LTD, CHANDLER MACLEOD GROUP LIMITED, HAYS PERSONNEL SERVICES (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, CORE STAFF, LINKED GROUP, MONADELPHOUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX MND, ONE KEY RESOURCES PTY LTD

Rio approves $3.5bn Pilbara iron ore mine

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 21 : 30-Nov-18

Rio Tinto has advised that annual production at its new Koodaideri mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara will be 43 million tonnes, compared with previous expectations of 40 million tonnes. There is also scope to increase output by 27 million tonnes in the second phase of the project. The cost of developing Koodaideri has risen by $US400m to $US2.6bn ($A3.5bn) since the initial feasibility study estimate was released two years ago. Production is slated to commence in 20201.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Sentiment turns for Fortescue

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 19 : 29-Nov-18

Fortescue Metals Group expects to benefit from the recent decline in Chinese steel producers’ margins. Danny Goeman, the pure-play iron ore miner’s director of sales and marketing, notes that lower margins in the sector tend to boost demand for lower-grade iron ore, adding that this trend has occurred in recent days. The renewed demand for lower-grade ore has coincided with the first shipment of Fortescue’s higher-grade West Pilbara fines product, which is slated for December.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Rio cuts Iran ties, flags sovereign risks

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 27-Nov-18

Rio Tinto has advised that its 68.8 per cent stake in the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia will be sold to China National Uranium Corporation for between $US6.5 million and $US106.5 million. The Iranian Foreign Investments Company owns 15.29 per cent of Rossing; its ownership has caused discomfort for Rio, given that the US and other western nations have imposed sanctions on Iran in recent years. Rio CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques says its investments in the developing world are still presenting challenges, including the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, CHINA NATIONAL URANIUM CORPORATION, IRANIAN FOREIGN INVESTMENTS COMPANY

Twiggy’s hydrogen kickstart

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 23-Nov-18

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest says the iron ore miner is keen to be involved in the development of hydrogen as a low-emissions fuel. Fortescue and the CSIRO have signed a $20 million agreement to develop and commercialise CSIRO technology that extracts pure hydrogen from ammonia. Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota are all developing hydrogen-powered cars. Forrest has described hydrogen fuel as an "energy revolution".

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, CSIRO, MERCEDES-BENZ AG, HONDA MOTOR CORPORATION, HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY LIMITED, TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION, TESLA INCORPORATED

BHP weighs options in pursuit of growth

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 22-Nov-18

BHP’s CFO Peter Beaven has told investors that the resources group has made changes to its capital allocation policy over the last five years, after several ill-fated investments. He added that BHP is ready to start investing again and stressed the need to ensure a balance between over-investing and under-investing, as both can destroy shareholder value. Beaven also indicated that BHP is looking at a number of growth options for its existing portfolio.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Rio find could spark a copper rush

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 18 : 19-Nov-18

The mining sector’s interest in the Paterson Range region of Western Australia has increased in the wake of speculation of a major copper find by Rio Tinto. Although Rio Tinto has yet to comment, it has established a mining camp in the region and taken up a number of exploration leases. WA Mines Minister Bill Johnston says he has had no talks with Rio Tinto with regard to its presence in the Paterson Range. Fortescue Metals Group, Metalicity and Carawine Resources are among the companies to have acquired mining leases in the region in the wake of the Rio Tinto speculation.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF MINES, INDUSTRY REGULATION AND SAFETY, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, METALICITY LIMTED – ASX MCT, CARAWINE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX CWX, INDEPENDENCE GROUP NL – ASX IGO, ENCOUNTER RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX ENR, ASSOCIATION OF MINING AND EXPLORATION COMPANIES, SOLGOLD PLC, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, WEST WITS MINING LIMITED – ASX WWI