Archive | BHP Billiton

Gold rush-era rules to stop mining pollution are still in use – but they’re failing – by Susan Lawrence and Peter Davies (The Conversation – August 14, 2019)

https://theconversation.com/

Bento Rodrigues, Brazil, 6 November 2015

Wet, orange mud covers everything: streets, houses, cars, animals, trees, fields. The violent force of a torrent of mud has overturned cars and left them hovering on top of buildings. It has torn the roofs off houses and pushed over their walls.

The view of the town from helicopters flying above reveals a desolate landscape: sludge-caked animals struggle to free themselves, and rescue teams search desperately for survivors. Mud dyes the river orange for hundreds of kilometres downstream, and two weeks later it will flow out into the Atlantic in an expanding orange stain.

This devastation is the result of the catastrophic failure of a tailings dam: a vast settling pond built to store the muddy waste from Samarco’s Germano iron ore mine. Continue Reading →

Hyperdrive: There’s One Metal Worrying Tesla and EV Battery Suppliers (David Stringer (Bloomberg News – August 4, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Battery producers and electric automakers, including Tesla Inc., are concerned over longer-term supplies of nickel, a key material in their supply chain that’s forecast to fall into deficit, according to an Australian miner that’s held recent talks with the sector.

The need for the high-purity material used in batteries, known as class-one nickel, is likely to outstrip supply within five years, fueled mainly by rising consumption in the EV industry, according to BloombergNEF.

It’s a concern shared by Tesla, according to Peter Bradford, chief executive officer of nickel producer Independence Group NL, who last week met with a member of the car producer’s battery metals supply chain team. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Where BHP goes on climate change, will others follow? – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – July 29, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 29 (Reuters) – BHP Group may just have set the template for how resource companies are going to deal with the challenge of climate change, even if some of its competitors would prefer a course of more talk and less action.

The world’s biggest miner announced on July 23 that it will invest $400 million over five years to reduce emissions. While this move is both laudable from the perspective of combating climate change and sensible from the point of making BHP a more attractive purchase for ethical investors, the real game-changer is BHP’s move to include emissions beyond what it directly produces.

The Anglo-Australian miner is the world’s largest exporter of coking coal used in steel-making, the third-biggest iron ore miner, and is also a significant producer of copper, crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Continue Reading →

BHP makes $400 million climate-change emissions pledge – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – July 23, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Leading resources company BHP (BHP.AX)(BHPB.L) will invest $400 million over five years to reduce emissions, it said on Tuesday, becoming the first miner to pledge to tackle pollution caused when customers use its products.

BHP is the world’s biggest listed miner and biggest coking coal producer. Combined with iron ore, also mined by BHP, coking coal is used to make steel, producing millions of tonnes of CO2.

CEO Andrew Mackenzie said BHP would develop technology to curb emissions both inside and outside the company. From next year it will set a medium-term, science-based decarbonisation target, he said in a speech at an event organised by the Financial Times. Continue Reading →

BHP Is Latest Giant Miner to Plan Exit From Thermal Coal – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – July 11, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — BHP Group is moving ahead with plans to exit thermal coal, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest move by the world’s biggest miners to retreat from the dirtiest fuel.

BHP is looking at options to divest the business that includes assets in Australia and Colombia, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the development has not been made public. There’s no guarantee the company will go ahead with a sale, the people said.

The decision demonstrates how growing climate-change pressure from investors and regulators is reshaping the future of extractive industries. Continue Reading →

BHP Eyes 11 New Iron Ore Mines Over the Next 50 to 100 Years – by Rebecca Keenan (Bloomberg News – July 11, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

BHP Group, the world’s largest mining company, says it could build up to 11 more iron ore mines over the next 50 to 100 years in the mineral-rich Pilbara region of northern Australia.

The Melbourne-based miner has signed an agreement with Western Australia’s government to streamline environmental approvals for its long-term iron ore plan. Approval time frames for new mines could be cut by up to 50%.

BHP and rivals are benefiting from a booming iron ore market amid strong Chinese demand and supply disruptions from Brazil to Australia. Prices have skyrocketed 65 percent this year, hitting the highest level in more than five years. Benchmark spot ore prices last traded at $119.50, according to Mysteel Global. Continue Reading →

Dozens of Rio tailings dams would be high hazards if they failed – by Darren Gray (Sydney Morning Herald – June 12, 2019)

https://www.smh.com.au/

Dozens of Rio Tinto tailings dams around the world would generate a “high” hazard if they were to fail, according to an audit of the global miner’s tailings dams.

The audit, released late on Wednesday, reveals just over 40 of Rio Tinto’s tailings storage facilities are deemed to have at least a “high” hazard consequence in the event of a failure, including three that were assigned a “very high” rating.

The three deemed “very high” are all outside of Australia, with one in Chile, one in Brazil and the other in Canada. Mining companies have faced intense scrutiny of their approach to tailings dams after the devastating collapse of a dam in January at Vale’s Brumadinho iron ore mine in Brazil. Continue Reading →

Potash producer Nutrien eyes expansion as BHP ponders entry – by Rod Nickel (Reuters Canada – May 28, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canada’s Nutrien Ltd, the world’s biggest producer of potash fertilizer, said on Tuesday that it was evaluating whether to expand its annual production capacity by 5 million tonnes after 2023, around the time that metals miner BHP Billiton is considering a move into potash.

In a presentation to investors in Toronto, Chief Executive Chuck Magro said the additional capacity would consist of expansions to existing Canadian mines during the next decade.

Nutrien currently has some 5 million tonnes of idled potash capacity due to soft prices in recent years. Continue Reading →

Global miner BHP plans to expand nickel output amid battery boom (Reuters U.S. – May 21, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Group on Wednesday said it plans to expand its nickel sulphide operations amid an expected boom in demand for the material in electric vehicle batteries.

But the company is not looking to produce main battery ingredient lithium as it sees such output having slimmer profits.

Speaking at a strategy briefing on long-term asset allocation, BHP Chief Financial Officer Peter Beaven said growth in nickel could come from either exploration or acquisitions. Continue Reading →

BHP admits it ‘over-invested’ in Jansen mine – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – May 15, 2019)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

However, the company’s CEO told investors this week, it still considers the project east of Saskatoon ‘attractive.’

BHP “over-invested” in its massive Jansen potash mine, currently under construction east of Saskatoon, the Anglo-Australian company’s chief executive told investors this week.

However, Andrew Mackenzie said during a mining conference in Barcelona, BHP still considers the project “attractive” even though no final decision about its future has been made.

BHP has committed around US$3.9 billion to the project, but Mackenzie confirmed this week that it remains “uncertain” when the company’s board will make a decision about whether to proceed further. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-BHP to keep Nickel West, Rio looks to Jadar lithium for battery boom (Reuters Africa – May 14, 2019)

https://af.reuters.com/

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – Global miner BHP will hold on to the Australian nickel operations it previously put up for sale, while Rio Tinto is working on copper and lithium projects as the mining industry bets on demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The biggest mining companies say they are well positioned to provide the metals needed for the shift to EV technology, although they acknowledge the political risks and environmental issues in some of the countries where the best supplies are found.

Nickel is in demand to allow cars to travel further on a single charge. Using more nickel also cuts costs by reducing the use of expensive cobalt, a mainstay of current EV batteries. Continue Reading →

Big Four miners languish amid demand, ESG, capex concerns – by Barbara Lewis and Simon Jessop (Reuters U.S. – May 8, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s biggest diversified miners have yet to see their share prices reflect their role as providers of the minerals needed for a shift to a low-carbon economy.

Mining companies provide minerals such as cobalt used in electric vehicle batteries and copper for increased electrification, and the sector’s balance sheets are in rude health.

Still, many investors are wary. Concerns include the demand outlook from China, the world’s biggest consumer of metals; the sector’s history of wasting shareholders’ money on mergers and acquisitions that never deliver returns; and a patchy record on environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) issues. Continue Reading →

Column: Iron ore tugged between Brazilian supply shock, Trump’s trade war – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – May 7, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Iron ore prices look increasingly caught between the bullish reality of lower supply from Brazil and the bearish possibility of weaker demand if President Donald Trump carries out his threat to ramp up his tariff war against China.

The price action in the wake of Trump’s Twitter threat on Sunday to ramp up tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China to 25 percent was indicative of iron ore’s dilemma.

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the most liquid market for the steel-making ingredient, dropped in early trade as investors fretted that the trade talks between the United States and China had been effectively derailed. Continue Reading →

BHP faces $5 billion claim over 2015 Brazil dam failure – by Kirstin Ridley and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – May 7, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP is facing a landmark, $5.0 billion damages claim in England for being “woefully negligent” in the run-up to a 2015 dam failure that led to Brazil’s worst environmental disaster, a lawsuit alleges.

The claim, which will be largest group action to be heard in England, was served on the miner on Tuesday on behalf of 235,000 Brazilian individuals and organizations, including municipal governments, utility companies, indigenous tribes and the Catholic Church, according to law firm SPG Law.

BHP spokesman Neil Burrows said the miner intended to defend itself against the proceedings, brought in the north western English city of Liverpool. Continue Reading →

Vale’s latest legal blow boosts iron ore stocks – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – May 7, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Australia’s booming iron ore stocks are tipped to stay higher for longer in the wake of the latest blow to Brazilian producer Vale’s plan to reopen mines that were shuttered in the wake of the tragic Brumadinho tailings dam collapse.

Vale was forced to suspend work at its 30 million tonne-a-year Brucutu mine on Monday after a Brazilian court overturned an earlier ruling that it could reopen.

The ruling from the higher court came as Vale said it expected sales of iron ore and pellets to be at the low to mid-end of previous guidance of 307 million tonnes to 332 million tonnes in 2019. Continue Reading →