Archive | BHP Billiton

Top-five BHP investor Aberdeen Standard piles on climate pressure ahead of AGM – by Barbara Lewis and Simon Jessop (Reuters U.S. – October 9, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – One of BHP’s biggest shareholders Aberdeen Standard Investments on Wednesday added to pressure for the world’s leading miner to cut ties with lobby groups it says are at odds with the company’s pledges on climate leadership.

Earlier, the Church of England Pensions Board urged shareholder advisers to review their opposition to a resolution calling on BHP to withdraw from groups that lobby for policies inconsistent with global climate change limitation goals.

Aberdeen Standard Investments, which holds around 3.2% of BHP’s stock, said it was taking the rare step of speaking out ahead of a vote at BHP’s annual shareholder meeting in London on Oct. 17 because of the urgency of tackling climate change, and after its research found the lobby groups were the biggest single obstacle to progress. Continue Reading →

Electric-Car Dreams Could Fall a Nickel Short – by Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal – September 29, 2019)

https://www.wsj.com/

Demand for a form of nickel needed in electric-vehicle batteries is starting to outpace supply

SYDNEY—Global producers of electric cars have big ambitions and a bigger problem: Supplies of a key material are running short.

Nickel sulfate is a brilliantly colored crystalline substance used in electric-vehicle batteries. The ore most commonly used to produce it is mined in only a handful of places—and they include some of the most politically or operationally challenging, such as Russia or Canada’s frozen Northeast.

Nickel sulfate accounts for just a fraction of global nickel sales; about 70% of nickel is used in stainless steel. But auto makers will launch more than 200 new plug-in electric vehicles through 2023, consulting firm AlixPartners estimates—and that isn’t counting hybrids. UBS expects batteries in electric vehicles to account for 12% of global nickel demand by then, up from 3% in 2018. Continue Reading →

OPINION: BHP approach to Anglo CEO signals end of Mackenzie era is nearing – by Stephen Bartholomeusz (Sydney Morning Herald – September 26, 2019)

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

Reports that miner BHP has approached Anglo American’s chief executive to sound him out as Andrew Mackenzie’s successor signals that the end of the BHP chief’s six-year tenure is now close.

Bloomberg has reported that BHP has contacted Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani twice this year but so far has been rejected. Cutifani, an Australian, has been the chief executive of Anglo since 2013 and is credited with a massive turnaround of a group that was in crisis when he was appointed.

BHP doesn’t comment on its succession planning but it has become increasingly apparent that the process – which is a long-term and continuous one – has been intensifying this year. Continue Reading →

BHP Approached Anglo American Chief Mark Cutifani for CEO Role – by Thomas Biesheuvel and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – September 25, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — BHP Group has talked to Anglo American Plc Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani about running for the top job at the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

BHP made the approaches earlier this year and again more recently, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is confidential. Cutifani rebuffed the company’s advances so far, they said. BHP favors an internal hire, but also wants to speak with external candidates, the people said. Spokesmen for Anglo and BHP declined to comment.

Cutifani has said in previous interviews he planned to stay until Anglo finished its $5 billion Peruvian copper project Quellaveco, which may start production in 2022, by which time he will be in his mid-60s. Continue Reading →

BHP boss’ pay cut by almost 25% after worker’s death, runaway train – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – September 18, 2019)

https://www.mining.com/

BHP’s chief executive, Andrew Mackenzie, saw his annual pay shrink by almost a quarter after an unexplained death at one of the company’s Queensland mines and a runaway iron ore train cost him a portion of his short-term bonus.

Mackenzie, 62, had his short-term bonus reduced by more than $1 million from 2018 to $1.3 million. His base salary was kept at $1.7 million, taking his total earnings, including other benefits, to $3.5 million, from $4.6 million in 2018.

According to BHP’s 2019 annual report, the death of a 49-year-old worker at its Saraji coal mine on New Year’s Eve last year, the cause of which it was unable to determine, was the main reason for the pay-cut. It was the first time in more than 15 years that the company had failed to pinpoint the cause of a fatal accident, BHP said. Continue Reading →

BHP invests in bio-tech – by Esmarie Iannucci (MiningWeekly.com – September 12, 2019)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining major BHP has taken a strategic stake in US biotech start-up Cemvita Factory, which is developing bio-engineered pathways that support carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration and utilisation.

Cemvita Factory is developing a portfolio of CO2 conversion microorganisms, including a platform that mimics photosynthesis and other natural processes.

BHP’s chief geoscientist Laura Tyler, said BHP is interested in the potential for biomimetic technology to enhance remediation of mine-impacted soils and water. “Biomimetics have the potential to convert CO2 into useful downstream products such as chemicals and polymers, and it also holds promise for the remediation of mine sites. Continue Reading →

Talks on Guinea’s iron ore advance, BHP nears deal on Nimba-sources – by Saliou Samb and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – August 29, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

CONAKRY/LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Leading miner BHP is near a deal to divest its stake in Guinea’s Nimba iron ore deposit, while three big miners are vying to develop half of the country’s Simandou, the largest known untapped iron ore reserve, sources close to the talks said.

Guinea has struggled for decades to extract money from its iron ore, which has been left undeveloped because of protracted legal disputes and the cost of infrastructure.

BHP has also tried for years to sell its stake in the Nimba prospect, which does not fit the company’s preference for operating in stable, developed economies. Banking sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the price would be insignificant as BHP is keen to seal a deal. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-BHP is sailing between China stimulus breeze and trade war storm: Russell – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – August 20, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Spot the problem. The world’s biggest mining company, BHP Group, reports its highest profits in five years even as its top customer is engaged in a now protracted trade dispute with the world’s largest economy.

BHP on Tuesday posted an annual profit of $9.12 billion, a bumper figure built largely on selling iron ore, coal and copper to China, the world’s largest importer of commodities.

BHP’s results show it has so far managed steer a safe course, with its sails filled with the wind of Chinese stimulus spending, but the stormy seas of the trade war threaten to blow it off course. The underlying profit was slightly below the $9.4 billion forecast by analysts, but was up from the $8.93 billion a year earlier. Continue Reading →

Mining giant BHP pays record dividend, but flags global growth headwinds – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.K. – August 19, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – BHP Group posted its largest annual profit in five years and record full-year dividends, but its share price eased as the world’s biggest miner flagged global economic headwinds that could hit demand for its key commodities, iron ore and copper.

Both profit and dividends slightly undershot expectations as BHP (BHP.AX) kept cash in its coffers in the face of risks to global economic growth such as the Sino-U.S. trade war and as costs rise at some of its operations.

BHP shares edged down 0.4 cents to A$36.10 (20.16 pounds) on Tuesday, while the broader Australian market was up slightly . Continue Reading →

BHP weighs pullout from coal mining as investors grow greener – by Fumi Matsumoto (Nikkei Asian Review – August 21, 2019)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

SYDNEY — BHP Group might sell off coal assets, the mining giant’s chief hinted Tuesday, joining global peers in the move toward environmentally sustainable businesses as retail and institutional investors grow more sensitive to such issues.

“We increasingly have concluded that this is not a business that is going to offer the prospects for growth and would compete for capital … compared to our other businesses,” CEO Andrew Mackenzie said on an earnings call.

And while coal is not going away quickly, “the plentiful supply of energy coal, combined with a somewhat dampening in demand, as it’s going to form a smaller part of the market share going forward, means that this is a less interesting asset than others for us to invest in,” Mackenzie said. Continue Reading →

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 →