Archive | BHP Billiton

South32 profit plunges on weak commodity prices; declares special dividend – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – February 12, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s South32 Ltd reported a 80% plunge in half-year profit on Thursday, as a trade war between China and the United States hit prices of its key products, but the miner’s shares rose after it announced a special dividend.

Prices of South32’s top three commodities – metallurgical coal, aluminum and manganese – slumped in 2019 as the bruising Sino-U.S. trade war crimped demand.

However, the miner declared an interim dividend of 1.1 cents per share, down from 5.1 cents per share a year ago, and a special dividend of 1.1 cents per share. “At first glance, the results appear broadly neutral versus our estimates for earnings,” RBC Capital said. Continue Reading →

BHP tries to delay China shipments due to virus – by Sarah Danckert and Nick Toscano (Brisbane Times – February 9, 2020)

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/

BHP Group is starting to feel the impact of the coronavirus on its business with the mining giant in talks with its Chinese customers to delay shipments of copper concentrate as plants are shutdown around the nation.

BHP confirmed on Sunday that it is working with its customers in China to stem the impact of the virus on its exports after importers in China were offered force majeure certificates by the country’s international trade promotion agency.

In response, suppliers are considering giving buyers in China flexibility on deliveries to discourage them from declaring force majeure, offering them a way out of contractual obligations. Continue Reading →

Australian bushfires hit coal output, hazardous conditions to return – by Byron Kaye (Reuters Canada – January 21, 2020)

https://ca.reuters.com/

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Mining giant BHP Group (BHP.AX) said on Tuesday that poor air quality caused by smoke from Australia’s bushfires is hurting coal production, as authorities said a reprieve from hazardous fire conditions would end within days.

The warning from the world’s biggest miner showed how an unusually long bushfire season that has scorched an area one-third the size of Germany is damaging the world’s No. 14 economy.

Australia’s tourism and insurance industries have already foreshadowed they face a A$1 billion ($687 million) hit each from the fires. Scores of fires were still burning on the east coast on Tuesday despite thunderstorms and rain in recent days. Continue Reading →

Green Is The New Black For The World’s Biggest Mining Companies – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – January 14, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

The “greening” of the world’s biggest mining companies is accelerating with a rush into environmentally benign material, such as potash, a high-value fertilizer, matched by an exit from the most polluting of minerals—coal.

Global miner Anglo American flagged its renewed interest in fertilizer with a proposal last week to acquire a troubled British potash-project developer, Sirius Minerals, which is developing the Woodsmith mine in Yorkshire, in the U.K.

If successful, the $500 million takeover would mark a return to fertilizer three years after Anglo American sold a phosphate business as part of a company-wide clean up. Continue Reading →

Apache man moving ‘home’ to protest copper mine in Arizona – by Felicia Fonseca (Washington Post – November 27, 2019)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Wendsler Nosie Sr. is drawn to a mountainous area in central Arizona where he and other Apaches have harvested medicinal plants, held coming-of-age ceremonies and gathered acorns for generations.

On Thursday, he’ll start a three-day journey to make a permanent home in the area known as Chi’chil Bildagoteel, or Oak Flat, in protest of a proposed copper mine made possible by a federal land exchange.

The Resolution Copper mine near Superior would be one of the largest such mines in North America, using techniques known as block-cave mining that call for digging underneath the ore body and setting off explosions to extract it. Continue Reading →

BHP Plans to Increase Its Stake in Ecuador-Focused SolGold – by Thomas Biesheuvel and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – November 25, 2019)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — BHP Group increased its stake in Ecuadorian copper miner SolGold Plc, another sign that the biggest miners are increasing exposure to copper in the hope that the electrification of cities and cars will boost demand.

SolGold shares surged the most since June after Bloomberg earlier reported the companies were in talks. Melbourne-based BHP paid 17.1 million pounds ($22 million) to raise its holding in the company to 14.7%, almost drawing level with top investor Newcrest Mining Ltd.

Brisbane-based SolGold’s interests in Ecuador include the flagship Alpala copper-gold project, which the company estimates has a potential 55-year life and is among the world’s best undeveloped deposits. The company is also studying 13 other priority targets in the nation, according to a presentation this month. Continue Reading →

World’s biggest miner names Canadian as new CEO, raises intrigue about potash ambitions – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – November 14, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Decision could have consequences on whether BHP pushes forward with a massive potash project in Saskatchewan in the coming years

Canadian Mike Henry will be the next chief executive of giant Australian miner BHP Group, a decision that could have consequences on whether it pushes forward with a massive potash project in Saskatchewan in the coming years.

Henry, 53, takes the helm in January, leaving a month or so for him to transition from his current role as head of BHP’s Australian mining operations, where the company’s iron ore mines that account for nearly half its revenue are located.

One item on his eventual to-do list, though not necessarily at the top, will be whether the company will allocate $5 billion to construct the first phase of its Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan. The project would initially add four million tons of potash to the market and as much as four times that over time, which could drastically alter the supply and demand dynamics for existing producers such as Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd. Continue Reading →

Global miner BHP taps Australia head Henry as new CEO – by Sonali Paul and Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – November 13, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – BHP Group Ltd (BHP.AX) (BHPB.L) on Thursday named its Australian head Mike Henry to succeed Andrew Mackenzie as the miner’s chief executive, shunning calls from some investors for fresh blood from outside the Anglo Australian giant.

Mackenzie, 62, will step down on Dec. 31 ending nearly seven years in charge of the biggest global miner, during which time he overhauled the company, spinning off a raft of assets and cutting costs sharply.

Henry, a 53-year-old Canadian who joined BHP in 2003, has led its Australian operations over the past three years, including its biggest earner, iron ore, and the world’s largest metallurgical coal operations. Continue Reading →

Nutrien and other rivals get nervous as BHP Billiton eyes $17-billion potash project in Saskatchewan – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – October 18, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Chuck Magro, chief executive of Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd., remained quiet on Thursday after the Australian-based mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. disclosed its latest plans to build a giant potash mine in his company’s backyard.

BHP announced it would commit an additional US$345 million, on top of roughly $3 billion already spent, to de-risk Jansen, a proposed potash mine east of Saskatoon that could upend the market; and it gave itself until February 2021 to make a final decision on the estimated $17-billion project.

If constructed, Jansen would add about 4.4 million tonnes of potash per year, roughly 7 per cent of the current market, and potentially enough to drive down potash prices and deal a blow to Nutrien, the largest producer in the world. The Saskatoon-based firm’s stock price fell just under a per cent to $64.64 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Continue Reading →

BHP’s London AGM rejects call to quit ‘pro-coal’ associations – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – October 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – BHP (BHP.AX) (BHPB.L) shareholders are poised to reject a motion urging the world’s biggest listed miner to suspend membership of some industry bodies judged to be at odds with goals to tackle climate change, initial voting in London suggested on Thursday.

Ethical investors have called for the suspension, arguing BHP’s membership of some industry organizations funds pro-coal lobbying.

One of BHP’s biggest shareholders, Aberdeen Standard Investments, part of Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA.L), last week spoke out in favor of the resolution, saying lobby groups can be a major obstacle to positive change. Continue Reading →

BHP to decide fate of Jansen potash mine in early 2021 – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – October 17, 2019)

https://www.mining.com/

BHP (ASX, NYSE: BHP), the world’s largest miner, will decide whether to go ahead with its long-delayed $17 billion Jansen potash project in Canada by February 2021, when it reaches 10 years since completing the feasibility study for the operation.

The company has been mulling a final decision on the asset for at least six years, during which it has spent almost $3 billion laying the ground for crop nutrient-producing project.

Two shafts have already been sunk, but BHP will have to invest another $5.3–$5.7 billion to finish phase one construction of the mine, which the company said would take fewer than 5 years to complete. BHP has in the past said it would consider selling a stake in the project to share capital and risk. Continue Reading →

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 →