Archive | BHP Billiton

BHP to cut over 700 jobs, including in Singapore: Report (Strait Times – April 8, 2019)

https://www.straitstimes.com/

Mining giant plans to axe white-collar jobs as early as next week to streamline operations

MELBOURNE – The world’s biggest miner, BHP Group, is poised to cut over 700 white-collar jobs, The Australian newspaper reported, adding that the process could start as early as next week.

Last week, BHP chief financial officer Peter Beaven revealed plans of cuts of up to 20 per cent to his 900-strong finance team at an internal town hall meeting, the newspaper said.

BHP’s technology group will also face cuts in workforce as part of a restructuring that could see up to 30 per cent of its 2,000-strong Australian and Singapore workforce leave the group, the report said. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Iron ore prices shift structurally higher on Vale woes – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – April 2, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

HONG KONG, April 2 (Reuters) – Iron ore prices in China reached a record high on Tuesday as market participants wrestled two dilemmas, namely the likely temporary weather-related disruptions from Australia and the rather more serious safety outages in Brazil.

A major tropical cyclone hitting the main producing and shipping areas in the world’s largest iron ore miner was always likely to boost prices, and indeed, markets largely responded as expected.

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 4.2 percent on Tuesday to reach 665.5 yuan ($99) a tonne, the most since the contract starting trading in 2013. Continue Reading →

Iron Ore Thunders Higher as Mine Dams Closed, Exports Collapse – by Krystal Chia (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Iron ore’s supply-driven rally picked up pace on Wednesday, with futures topping $90 a ton, amid increasing concern the crisis at Brazil’s Vale SA will be drawn out as regulators ordered dozens of dams to be shut.

Futures for benchmark material rallied as much as 4.1 percent in Singapore, while spot ore climbed to a two-year high and the contract for high-grade ore extended gains above $100 a ton. Barclays Plc raised price forecasts on expectations for a global deficit.

The seaborne market has been roiled this year after top producer Vale suffered a dam breach in January, spurring mine suspensions and concerns there’ll be a shortage. Continue Reading →

Australian miners see some impact from two cyclones, clean up begins – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – March 25, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Mining giants Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals said their Australian operations had suffered some impact after two cyclones hit the country over the weekend, with clean up starting on Monday in the wake of the storms.

Cyclone Veronica has been weakening after battering Australia’s northwest, while further east, Cyclone Trevor was downgraded to a low pressure system on Sunday.

Businesses affected included those in the iron ore export hubs of the Pilbara region, as well as Rio Tinto’s bauxite operations in Weipa to the east. Continue Reading →

Why Rinehart, Forrest, BHP and Newcrest are sweet on Ecuador – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – March 25, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

The mining executive who prepared the ground for a tenement tug-of-war between BHP and Newcrest in Ecuador is convinced a lot more copper and gold will be found in the exploration hot spot.

Malcolm Norris, who secured the Cascabel tenement a decade ago while calling the shots at SolGold, said it was no surprise that Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting had also taken a shine to Ecuador.

Mr Norris, now the chief executive of ASX-listed junior explorer Sunstone Metals and chasing the third major copper-gold discovery of his career, said Cascabel might turn out to be big enough for both BHP and Newcrest. “I think it is a very big system and the resource that have been drilled so far, that’s not the end of the story. There’s more to come, I’m sure,” he said. Continue Reading →

Strong Demand From Farmers For Crop-Boosting Potash Triggers A Mining Rush – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – March 20, 2019)

https://www.forbes.com/

Tim Treadgold has been writing about the mining and oil industries for more than 40 years.

Rising prices for potash, an important fertilizer which boosts crop yields, has sparked a rush in the mining industry as big and small companies look for ways to cash in.

BHP, the world’s biggest miner, has the most ambitious plan as it mulls the best time to start production at its $10 billion Jansen project in Canada. But even in Britain, a country which closed most of its mines decades ago, is working towards starting a $3 billion potash mine in North Yorkshire.

Other potash project developers in locations as far apart as Australia and Eritrea, on the horn of Africa, are hoping to catch strong demand from farmers who use the fertilizer which helps crops retain water while also improving their taste and overall quality. Continue Reading →

Workers put brakes on wrong train in BHP iron ore train derailment – regulator (Reuters U.K. – March 12, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An emergency crew called out to manually apply handbrakes to a 268-car iron ore train in the Australian outback mistakenly put the brakes on the wrong train, according to a preliminary report into a runaway train derailment last year.

In the incident last November, the BHP Group ore train had to be deliberately derailed after it reached speeds of 162 km/hour (101 mph), destroying two locomotives, 245 ore cars and 2 km (1.2 miles) of track. No-one was hurt.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said on Tuesday the train, carrying iron ore to Port Hedland in Australia’s remote northeast, came to a halt after it lost communication between the front locomotive and a monitor at the train’s rear. Continue Reading →

BHP second-quarter iron ore output down 9 percent, flags $600 million negative impact (Reuters U.S. – January 21, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Group said on Tuesday its second-quarter iron ore production fell 9 percent and flagged a $600 million negative impact due to production disruptions at its copper and iron ore operations.

The world’s biggest miner said unplanned production outages at Olympic Dam, Spence and Western Australia Iron Ore are likely to negatively impact productivity and flagged that it would revise guidance at its results on Feb 19.

The miner also raised its 2019 copper production forecast to between about 1.6 million tonne and 1.7 million tonne bolstered by the retention of Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile, after a sale to private equity house EMR Capital fell through. Continue Reading →

Mining’s Biggest Jobs Are Up for Grabs. Here Are the Contenders – by Thomas Biesheuvel, Jack Farchy and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – January 16, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Who will lead BHP, Anglo American and Glencore into the next decade?

Some of the mining world’s top executives are starting to plan their departures, driving speculation about who will lead their companies into the next decade.

The changing of the guard raises the prospect of a strategic shift, as the industry searches for ways to enthuse investors after a belt-tightening era characterized by asset sales and cost control. Here, based on conversations with executives, investors and industry decision makers, are some of the key names to watch.

BHP Group

There has been near-constant speculation for years around the future of BHP Group CEO Andrew Mackenzie. By 2017, the chatter was so loud that the new chairman’s first meeting with the press was preceded by a statement backing his CEO. Continue Reading →

BHP, Southern Innovation develop technology to identify quality of iron ore – by Yolanda Redrup (Australian Financial Review – January 11, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Mining giant BHP has recruited Melbourne-based tech firm Southern Innovation to help it identify the quality of iron ore in real time, with trials of a new device set to begin this year.

The companies have collaborated to develop and commercialise technology that dramatically improves the performance of radiation detectors for the mining industry, based on a complex signal-processing algorithm.

Traditionally during exploration, mining companies use drill rigs to determine how far down to mine for materials such as iron ore. The drills spurt a cloud of dust, which is captured and analysed for ore quality – a process that can take as long as six weeks. Continue Reading →

BHP’s $20 Billion Canadian Potash Dilemma: To Build or Not? – by David Stringer, Thomas Biesheuvel and Jen Skerritt (Bloomberg News – December 13, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

BHP Group may be heading for another clash with investors as the world’s biggest miner gets closer to a decision on whether to build, sell or mothball its $20 billion potash project.

The Jansen mine in Canada is aimed at giving the company exposure to rising global food demand and represents one of its few big growth prospects. BHP has already spent about $2.7 billion on the project, according to an October filing, and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie last month spoke enthusiastically about the outlook for potash, a crop nutrient.

Yet investors and analysts are skeptical. The big-ticket project in the prairie province of Saskatchewan means getting into a new commodity dominated by a small handful of producers. Continue Reading →

BHP prepares for UK legal battle over 2015 Brazil dam failure – by Kirstin Ridley and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – November 22, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Mining giant BHP says it will fight an unprecedented English lawsuit filed by hundreds of thousands of Brazilians for multi-billion pound damages over Brazil’s worst environmental disaster.

SPG Law, a British offshoot of a U.S. litigator, represents 240,000 individuals in Brazil, 24 municipal governments, a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and members of the Krenak indigenous community and has filed three legal claims for unlimited damages over the failure of the Fundao dam in 2015. It looks set to be the largest group action heard in England.

London and Australian-listed BHP, the world’s largest mining company by market value, said it had received correspondence from the law firm but also noted it had so far committed $780 million to the Renova Foundation, an entity created by the miner and its partners to manage reparations and repairs. Continue Reading →

SolGold CEO excited by prospects for Ecuadorian copper-gold – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – November 22, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – SolGold’s coveted Ecuadorian copper-gold prospect may be 20 percent bigger than the mining group said earlier this week, its chief executive Nick Mather said on Thursday.

SolGold, in which Mather has a near 5 percent stake, said on Tuesday that its Alpala project in Ecuador’s Cascabel region was around double the size and grade quality it was known to be in December 2017.

“We think there’s still 20 percent to go,” Mather said, adding he expected it to be around two years before work would start on building a mine at Alpala. Continue Reading →

Ecuador Takes Another Step Out Of The Cold With A Major Copper Discovery – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – November 2018)

https://www.forbes.com/

Tim Treadgold has been writing about the mining and oil industries for more than 40 years.

Ecuador has not been at the top of anyone’s investment list for some time thanks to its aggressive treatment of the U.S. oil major, Chevron, and its provision of a bolt-hole in London for wanted Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, but if recent mineral exploration news is as good as it appears the country could soon be the center of a copper rush.

Ironically, given Assange’s home in Ecuador’s London Embassy, the copper news is appearing first in London where a small explorer called SolGold has its stock exchange listing.

Early yesterday SolGold updated the market on its work at the Alpala project in the north of Ecuador and while investors yawned it was one of the most significant items of exploration news for several years. Continue Reading →

BHP’s ‘measured creep’ of risk appetite – by Matthew Stevens (Australian Financial Review – November 11, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

Ivan Glasenberg wondered recently how it was the BHP had moved into mining frontier of Ecuador when management at Australia’s Smart Thinking resources house was supposedly content to sustain and grow its business around its existing sites. This bemusement is well founded.

Among the themes consistent through Andrew Mackenzie’s evolving reformation of BHP are that it has little or no appetite for investment in frontier opportunities and that the company’s growth aspirations will be best afforded through a laser focus on the Global Australian’s existing six-strong fleet of mega-resource basins.

But that message is in the process of being massaged into something more nuanced, and not just because BHP’s two-stream play to possibly shape Ecuador’s future in copper stands an obvious test of the past house line in emerging mining sovereignties. Continue Reading →