Archive | Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto not interested in any part of Dominion Diamond Mines – by Richard Gleeson (CBC News Canada North – July 6, 2020)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

The company thought to be the most logical to partner with or purchase Dominion Diamond Mines is not interested in the troubled diamond company.

In a recent affidavit, former Dominion CEO and former N.W.T. cabinet minister Brendan Bell says Dominion’s partner in the Diavik diamond mine — Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., a subsidiary of global mining giant Rio Tinto — is the most obvious candidate to purchase Dominion’s 40 per cent stake in the Diavik diamond mine and also to purchase the Ekati mine, which Dominion owns 90 per cent of.

Dominion is in the process of restructuring or being sold, having been granted creditor protection in April. Continue Reading →

A Miner Blew Up Ancient Human History. Now An Industry May Pay – by David Stringer, Matthew Burgess and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – June 30, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Scraping away delicately at the reddish-brown earth of northwestern Australia’s vast Pilbara region, a team of archaeologists uncovered a record of life dating back more 40,000 years.

Buried in natural shelters at the base of a cliff were thousands of stone and wooden tools, the sharpened fibula bone of a kangaroo and braided strands of hair.

They worked quickly inside the Juukan Gorge rock shelters to recover the artefacts — and needed to. The team was a salvage squad, sent in with a tight deadline to excavate a site in the path of an encroaching iron ore mine and approved for destruction. Continue Reading →

Dominion Diamond sues partner in Diavik mine for breach of contract, other allegations – by Sara Minogue (CBC News North – June 16, 2020)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Dominion Diamond Mines has filed a lawsuit accusing Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc. — its 60 per cent partner in the Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories — of managing the mine to the benefit of its majority owner, Rio Tinto, and to the detriment of Dominion.

The civil lawsuit, filed Tuesday with the Supreme Court of British Columbia (where Dominion is incorporated), claims Diavik Diamond Mines (DDMI) has continued to make cash calls from Dominion “knowing that Dominion has no ability to pay for such cash calls.”

Cash calls are basically requests from Dominion’s partner in the mine to cover its share of operating costs or other obligations. Continue Reading →

‘Heritage of all Australians’: Rio Tinto and BHP in damage control after call for mining halt – by Lorena Allam and Calla Wahlquist (The Guardian – June 13, 2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Western Australia’s ‘archaic’ heritage laws are in the spotlight as global outrage grows over the destruction of Aboriginal sites

Calls are growing for an immediate halt to mining operations in the Pilbara that have been approved under Western Australia’s “archaic” Aboriginal heritage laws and the Senate will hold an urgent inquiry, as international outrage from investors pushes big mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP into damage control.

On Thursday, Guardian Australia revealed that BHP Billiton was poised to destroy at least 40 significant Aboriginal sites in the central Pilbara to expand its A$4.5bn South Flank iron-ore mine, even though it was aware the traditional owners are deeply opposed to the move.

By day’s end, following public outcry, the company said it would not go ahead without “further extensive consultation” with the traditional owners, the Banjima people. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto chief says sorry for sacred caves blast; Australia starts inquiry – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – June 11, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques on Friday apologised for distress caused by Rio’s destruction last month of two ancient and sacred Aboriginal caves in Western Australia, pledging full cooperation with an Australian government inquiry.

“We are very sorry for the distress we have caused the PKKP in relation to Juukan Gorge and our first priority remains rebuilding trust with the PKKP,” Jacques said in a statement, referring to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people.

With state government approval, the world’s biggest iron ore miner destroyed two caves at Juukan Gorge that had previously contained evidence of continual human habitation stretching back 46,000 years as part of its Brockman mine expansion in the iron-rich Pilbara region. Continue Reading →

BHP agrees not to damage 40 Aboriginal heritage sites without consulting traditional owners – by Lorena Allam and Calla Wahlquist (The Guardian – June 11, 2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/

BHP has said it will not damage 40 Aboriginal heritage sites which it received ministerial permission to destroy without “further extensive consultation” with traditional owners, after Guardian Australia revealed that traditional owners had been legally prevented from speaking publicly about the sites.

It comes amid a mounting shareholder backlash against mining companies for their destruction of Aboriginal heritage, which began with Rio Tinto’s destruction of a 46,000-year-old heritage site at Juukan Gorge last month and has been compared by shareholder groups to widespread bad conduct in the financial services sector before the banking royal commission.

On Thursday BHP said it was clarifying earlier statements by promising not to destroy any of the 40 sites in the central Pilbara to expand its $4.5bn South Flank iron ore mining operation, without further consultation with the Banjima traditional owners. It received a ministerial consent order to destroy them under WA’s outdated Aboriginal heritage laws on 29 March. Continue Reading →

Iron Ore Blasts Past $100 After Pandemic Forces Brazil Mine Halt – by James Attwood and Krystal Chia (Bloomberg News – June 8, 2020)

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

(Bloomberg) Iron ore futures surged above $100 a ton after Brazil’s Vale SA was ordered to suspend operations that account for about a 10th of its output after workers contracted Covid-19, boosting concerns surging cases will disrupt other mines in the top shipper after Australia.

The ruction is the latest supply shock to hit the global market over the past 18 months, following a dam burst at a Vale mine in 2019 that roiled prices as well as weather-related disruptions this year.

Iron ore could hold above $100 for the next two months, Morgan Stanley said, although it cautioned that a surplus and lower prices were still expected in the final quarter. Higher prices will benefit Australian majors BHP Group, Rio Tinto Group and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto scrambles to curb fallout from heritage site blasts (Financial Times – June 7, 2020)

https://www.ft.com/

Simon Thompson, the chairman of Rio Tinto, has scheduled a series of meetings with UK investors as the group scrambles to contain the fallout from the destruction of a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site.

The world’s biggest iron ore miner blew up two sacred rock caves last month as part of a mine expansion, sparking an international outcry and calls for an overhaul of Australia’s heritage protection laws.

Legal & General, one of the 10 biggest shareholders in Rio, has spoken out against the incident. The first meetings are scheduled for this week. Continue Reading →

Traditional owners say Rio Tinto knew importance of caves razed for mine (Reuters U.K. – June 5, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Rio Tinto Ltd knew the cultural and historical significance of two caves in Western Australia years before it blew them up last month as part of an iron ore mine expansion, traditional owners said on Friday.

However, Rio, which won state government approval to destroy the caves in 2013, has said it believed it had consent from the traditional owners of the caves, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP), because they had not explicitly asked that the site not be mined.

The world’s biggest iron ore miner in late May destroyed the sacred Aboriginal caves in the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara that showed evidence of continual habitation dating back 46,000 years. Continue Reading →

COPPER-SILVER: Rio Tinto preps plans for 2020 at Janice Lake – by Staff (Canadian Mining Journal – May 20, 2020)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

SASKATCHEWAN – Following up on a positive 2019 exploration program, Rio Tinto is planning 2,000 metres of drilling, plus mapping, prospecting and geophysical surveys this year at the Janice Lake copper-silver project in northern Saskatchewan.

The major is earning up to an 80% interest in the project from Forum Energy Metals, which has optioned the property from Transition Metals.

Last year’s program at the sedimentary copper-silver project, located 55 km southeast of Key Lake, included 21 drill holes totalling 5,209 metres. Continue Reading →

Vale after NYC real estate moguls for Simandou compensation – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 19, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Brazil’s Vale (NYSE: VALE), the world’s no. 1 iron ore miner, has launched a legal action in New York to determine whether funds paid to BSG Resources within the framework of their former Simandou partnership in Guinea were used for property investments in the United States.

The Rio de Janeiro-based mining giant alleges that BSGR, diamond tycoon Beny Steinmetz’s mining arm, fraudulently funneled $500 million into Manhattan real estate’s magnates Aby Rosen and René Benko, Africa Intelligence reported.

The case is the latest in a series of efforts Vale has made to have BSGR pay a $1.2 billion arbitration award. The amount was granted to the Brazilian miner on the grounds of “fraud and breaches of warranty” when included in the Simandou iron ore joint venture. Continue Reading →

Iron ore wars: the fall of Vale and the rise of Rio Tinto – by JP Casey (Mining-Technology – May 5, 2020)

https://www.mining-technology.com/

In the wake of the Brumadinho dam tragedy, Vale has lost its position as the world’s top iron ore producer. We consider what contributed to its decline, and how Rio Tinto has taken advantage of its struggles to become the industry’s new iron ore leader.

Vale has finally lost its position as the world’s largest iron miner. The Brazilian mining giant saw its production crater in 2019, as the tragic impacts of a collapsed tailings dam at its Brumadinho operation were felt across the iron ore sector. 300 people were killed or left missing by the disaster, sparking internal investigations and external outrage as Vale’s reputation crumbled.

While the human cost of the disaster is the most significant impact, there have been a number of financial and operational effects for Vale, and few of them positive. The miner’s total iron ore output was 301,972 million tonnes in 2019, 21.5% lower than in 2018, with a decline of 55.2% at its Southern System projects leading the way. Continue Reading →

Rights group calls on Rio Tinto to fix damage from old Papua New Guinea mine – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – April 1, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An Australian human rights group has called on Rio Tinto Ltd to fund a review of health and safety issues it says plagues people near a huge copper mine in Papua New Guinea that the company ran for nearly two decades.

The review would be a starting point for talks around compensation and rehabilitation of the Panguna site that was run by Rio Tinto unit Bougainville Copper (BCL) from the early 1970s to 1990, the Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne said.

Rio Tinto said it acknowledged the concerns of some civil society groups alleging past and current environmental and human rights issues. It said it had not had access to the mine since 1990 after it called back staff due to rising civil unrest and that it had complied with regulations up to that time. Continue Reading →

Rio’s $1bn spend to reach zero emissions “not enough” – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – February 26, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) will spend $1 billion over the next five years to reduce its carbon footprint and have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but some analysts say the announcement is a minor step towards helping the mining industry achieve climate goals.

Delivering full-year results for 2019, in which the company recorded its highest profit in eight years, chief executive officer Jean-Sébastien Jacques said the world has got to a point where it is necessary to sacrifice growth to meet climate targets.

“The challenge for the world, and for the resources industry, is to continue the focus on poverty reduction and wealth creation, while delivering climate action,” Jacques said. “This will require complex trade-offs.” Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto Is Digging Mostly Into Its Pocket – by Clara Ferreira Marques (Bloomberg News – February 26, 2020)

https://business.financialpost.com/

(Bloomberg Opinion) — A combination of hefty dividends and contracting output is turning the world’s second-largest miner into the poster child for a $1.5 trillion industry’s growth quandary.

Rio Tinto Group announced a record $3.7 billion final dividend Wednesday, adding to $11.9 billion of cash returns already paid in 2019. Yet it produced less iron ore, copper and aluminum, leaving market prices to lift underlying earnings by 18%.

Rio’s Pilbara operations stumbled early in the year. Its Mongolian copper mine, a key source of future production and the basis of a greener portfolio, is now not only sorely overdue and over-budget, but also tangled in international tax arbitration. Continue Reading →