Archive | BHP Billiton

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 →

BHP to meet iron ore commitments despite train derailment: CEO – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – November 8, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Billiton will meet its iron ore commitments to customers despite a supply disruption after it had to derail a runaway ore train in Western Australia, Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said on Thursday.

The miner suspended its rail operations after the incident on Monday that wrecked track and left a locomotive and wagons upturned nearly 120 km (75 miles) south of Australia’s iron ore export hub of Port Hedland.

Asked whether BHP would invoke force majeure, Mackenzie told media after the company’s annual general meeting in South Australia that he did not expect the miner would let down any of its customers. Continue Reading →

BHP Billiton facing £5bn lawsuit from Brazilian victims of dam disaster – by Jonathan Watts (The Guardian – November 6, 2018)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Action launched in Liverpool against Anglo-Australian mining company after 2015 tragedy that killed 19 people

The worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history has triggered one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in a British court.

The Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton is being sued for about £5bn by Brazilian victims of the Samarco dam collapse in Mariana three years ago.

The class action case was filed in the Liverpool high court on Monday by the UK-based SPG Law on behalf of 240,000 individuals, 24 municipal governments, 11,000 businesses, a Catholic archdiocese and the Krenak indigenous community. Continue Reading →

BHP derails 268-car Pilbara iron ore train which travelled 92km without driver – by Peter Milne (The West Australian – November 5, 2018)

https://thewest.com.au/

BHP deliberately derailed a runaway Pilbara iron train carrying 268 wagons early today after it travelled 92km across the Pilbara without a driver. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said about 4am the driver of a loaded ore train travelling from Newman to Port Hedland alighted to inspect a wagon.

The bureau said the train, consisting of four locomotives and 268 wagons, started to run away without the driver and with no one on board, travelling for 92km. BHP then stopped the train by deliberately derailing it at a set of points about 120 km from Port Hedland.

A BHP spokeswoman said no one was injured and the Pilbara miner has suspended all train operations. “We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation,” she said. Continue Reading →

Even the World’s Biggest Miners Are Switching to Electric Vehicles – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – October 29, 2018)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — BHP Billiton Ltd.’s giant Olympic Dam mine in Australia’s Outback is a labyrinth of 450 kilometers of tunnels and roads — an ideal testing ground for the industry’s burgeoning shift toward cleaner power.

Taking about 30 minutes to drive from top to bottom, there’s ample opportunity for the world’s biggest miner to test electric SUVs in a bid to cut both costs and pollution, including potentially harmful diesel emissions. BHP will make a decision by the middle of next year whether to extend the program across a 240-strong fleet of light vehicles at the South Australia operation.

“Getting mines to be completely diesel free is our end goal,” said Andrew Draffin, a project manager at Voltra, a supplier that’s provided BHP with adapted Toyota LandCruiser models fitted with an electric motor and lithium-ion batteries. “We’ve started with light vehicles because that’s the easiest for companies to prove the electric concept.” Continue Reading →

World’s Top Miner Embracing the Boom in Electric Car Batteries – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – October 16, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

BHP Billiton Ltd. is boosting sales of the top-quality nickel that’s needed for electric vehicle batteries, another sign the world’s biggest miner is targeting more opportunities in the booming sector.

Sales of refined nickel, a category that includes the premium products used for battery production, jumped 18 percent in the three months to Sept. 30 from a year earlier, according to a statement Wednesday. The company has begun offering more detailed data on nickel and cobalt production amid investor interest in its exposure to the rise of EVs.

BHP’s Nickel West operation in Western Australia aims to sell 90% of output to the battery sector by the end of 2019, switching away from a traditional customer base in the stainless-steel market. Continue Reading →

Aussie iron miners struggle to keep pace with Vale – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – October 16, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

Australian iron ore miners have struggled to keep pace with Brazilian miner Vale, with BHP and Fortescue expected to follow in Rio Tinto’s footsteps by reporting softer exports of the steelmaking ingredient in recent months.

Rio confirmed on Tuesday that maintenance disruptions and the death of an employee had contributed to weaker than expected iron ore exports in the three months to September 30, and data from Port Hedland suggests its tenants (BHP, Fortescue, Roy Hill, Mineral Resources and Atlas Iron) exported six per cent less iron ore in the period compared to the previous quarter.

BHP is scheduled to confirm its iron ore exports on Wednesday morning, with RBC predicting its Australian division shipped 72 million tonnes in the three months to September 30. Continue Reading →

BHP doubles stake in promising Ecuador copper project – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.K. – October 15, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE – (Reuters) – The world’s biggest miner BHP on Tuesday nearly doubled its stake in SolGold Plc, bolstering its position against top shareholder Newcrest Mining as it eyes SolGold’s promising Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador.

BHP, which bought in to SolGold just six weeks ago, has paid almost $60 million (£45.6 million) to increase its holding to 11.2 percent, not far off the 14.5 percent stake held by Newcrest, Australia’s biggest listed gold miner.

The mining giant has described Cascabel as a high-quality copper exploration project, while Ecuador is seen as a highly perspective region with geology similar to top copper producer Chile. Continue Reading →

BHP sees major copper demand boost from China’s widening belt and road – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – October 3, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – China’s overseas expansion will spread over land that is home to more than half the world’s population, potentially boosting copper use by 1.6 million tonnes, or roughly 7 percent of annual demand, major miner BHP said on Thursday.

BHP has analysed the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a network of overseas construction projects, on commodity demand on the basis of a database it constantly updates.

It said China’s overseas expansion plan covered 115 partners across Eurasia, parts of Africa, Latin American and Oceania, up from 68 countries or regions it cited in a previous blog post in September last year. Continue Reading →

BHP ditching ‘Billiton’ from its name, trims CEO pay rise – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – September 18, 2018)

 

http://www.mining.com/

World’s largest miner BHP Billiton (ASX, NYSE:BHP) (LON:BLT) is rolling out the second phase of a $10 million rebranding campaign launched last year, which may see it become dropping “Billiton” from its name an attempt to emphasize its Australian roots.

Documents released Tuesday to the Australian Securities Exchange, show the miner will ask shareholders at the annual meeting in October to vote to rename the company as BHP Group.

The rebranding, the first since BHP used the late actor Bill Hunter 30 years ago in its “Big Australian” promotion, can also be seen as an effort to regain public trust after the damage to the firm’s image caused by the November 2015 dam burst at its Samarco joint-venture in Brazil. Continue Reading →

Andrew Mackenzie is keen for the long haul at BHP Billiton (Financial Times – September 10, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

After BHP Billiton announced results last month, its chief executive Andrew Mackenzie paused to reflect. “We have made BHP a much simpler, stunningly simple company,” he said as the miner declared a record final dividend.

Once the Anglo-Australian group completes the sale of its onshore US oil business later this year, Mr Mackenzie will preside over a company focused on just four commodities — copper, iron ore, coking coal and offshore oil — and 13 operated assets.

That’s very different from the company he took charge of in 2013, which had interests in 41 projects across 13 countries and six continents. But any suggestion that now might be a good time to step down is quickly dismissed by the Scotland-born geologist, who says he has many more ideas to improve the company. Continue Reading →