Archive | Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto sees rosy future for diamonds despite end of Argyle – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – September 26, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L) is exploring for diamonds in Canada as part of its plans to stay in the sector despite the looming closure of its Argyle mine in Australia, known for extremely rare pink diamonds, the firm’s head of copper and diamonds said.

Demand and prices for the wider market have fallen as concerns mount about the world economy, and laboratory-grown gems have added to supply. Colored or particularly large diamonds, however, have held value, especially pink diamonds, 90% of which are produced by Argyle. That mine, the world’s biggest in carat terms, is expected to cease production by the end of next year.

Arnaud Soirat, Rio’s chief executive for copper and diamonds, said pink diamonds had risen in price by 500% since 2000. He gave no figures for the overall market, but producers have reported lower overall demand and prices. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Stumble Came Just as Prices Surged – by David Stringer, Rebecca Keenan and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – August 1, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Rio Tinto Group didn’t get the full benefits of the dramatic iron ore rally after missteps at key operations in Australia meant the No. 2 producer couldn’t extract its best ore when it was most needed.

Rio was forced to cut production at its flagship Pilbara operations in Western Australia earlier this year after falling behind with mine plans. Essentially, the company was producing too much lower-quality iron ore, forcing it to mine less rather than selling a sub-standard product to customers in China.

“We couldn’t access the right ore at the right time,” Rio Chief Executive Officer Jean-Sebastien Jacques told reporters on a conference call. “It is not acceptable.” Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto to take iron ore crown as Vale struggles – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – July 23, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Rio Tinto is on track to become the world’s biggest iron ore exporter in 2019 after trouble-prone Brazilian miner Vale revealed weaker-than-expected exports over the past three months.

The surprisingly weak performance from Vale came as African iron ore miner Kumba joined the industry trend for reduced export targets, and as Vale reiterated that it could be three years before it resumed shipping at full speed.

Vale was always expected to ship less iron ore this year after the catastrophic dam failures in January that killed hundreds of people and forced the company to halt about 90 million tonnes of annual production capacity. Continue Reading →

Steel mills to the rescue as Rio’s iron mines hit four-year low – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – July 16, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Strong Chinese steel production is papering over cracks in Rio Tinto’s flagship iron ore division, where production over the past six months slumped to the lowest level in four years.

Rio’s Australian iron ore mines provided just 93 per cent of the iron ore shipped by the company in the three months to June 30, forcing Rio to draw down 5.7 million tonnes of stockpiled iron ore. Those stockpiles were worth almost $1 billion based on the $US119.25 per tonne that iron ore was fetching on Monday.

The weak statistics published by Rio’s most important division on Tuesday only bolster expectations that 2019 will be the first year since the turn of the century that Rio’s Australian iron ore exports will fall sequentially. Continue Reading →

Breakingviews – Rio sounds copper warning from Mongolian steppe – by Clara Ferreira-Marques (Reuters U.S. – July 16, 2019)

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HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) – Rio Tinto has sounded a copper warning from the Mongolian steppe. The $104 billion mining giant says its flagship Oyu Tolgoi expansion in the country’s south will be up to 30 months late, and could cost as much as a third more than planned.

That’s a fresh blow to a project that has been battered by local politics and other troubles for years. It’s also a reminder of just how hard it has become to dig up the coveted red metal.

Oyu Tolgoi is critical for Rio’s growth, but also to its shift towards the ingredients for a greener economy. Currently, iron ore constitutes almost three-quarters of group earnings. When this mine’s underground operation is added to the existing pit, it will be one of the world’s largest sources of copper, and account for a gargantuan proportion of Mongolia’s GDP. Continue Reading →

Norway wealth fund allowed to invest again in Walmart, Rio Tinto, others – by Gwladys Fouche (Reuters U.S. – June 25, 2019)

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OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund can invest again in miner Rio Tinto and retailer Walmart after their exclusions from the fund’s investments on ethical grounds were revoked, the board of the central bank said on Tuesday.

The fund can also resume investing in Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s Grupo Carso, U.S. defense company General Dynamics and fertilizer-maker Nutrien, the board added in a statement.

Reinvestments will likely take place “within an appropriately long timeframe,” said the board, without specifying a timeline. The fund is managed by a unit of the central bank. 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 →

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 →

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 →

Column: Rio Tinto warning may rupture mining industry into green and dirty – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – April 16, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

The mining industry is starting to come under more intense pressure
from investors who are demanding sustainable and ethical mining.

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – It’s not quite yet pistols at dawn but Rio Tinto’s polite warning to mining lobby groups that they have to acknowledge the threat of climate change is likely a sign that the industry will inevitably fracture into two camps.

These factions could be described as the “green” miners, who produce the minerals essential for the transition from the age of oil to the age of electricity, and the “dirty” miners who remain trapped in coal and other minerals deemed unnecessary for a carbon constrained future.

Rio Tinto’s carefully worded statement on industry associations, released last week, said that it would only work with groups aligned with its own climate principles. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto to join World Bank’s green mining program (Reuters U.S. – April 9, 2019)

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SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it will join a World Bank initiative intended to help developing countries sustainably mine lithium, cobalt and other minerals critical to the global electrification trend.

Rio’s participation in the program, known as Climate-Smart Mining and set to launch in May, comes as miners face increasing pressure from investors and non-governmental organizations to make supply chains more sustainable while reducing climate impact.

The program “will innovate and deploy financing specifically designed to manage the clean energy transition – responsibly, pragmatically and sustainably,” Arnaud Soirat, Rio’s head of copper and diamonds, said in a Tuesday speech at CRU’s World Copper Conference in Santiago. Continue Reading →

Mongolia lawmakers seek to rewrite Oyu Tolgoi deal – by Munkhchimeg Davaasharav (Reuters U.S. – April 4, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

ULAANBAATAR, April 5 (Reuters) – A group of Mongolian legislators has recommended one of the agreements underpinning Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi copper mine should be scrapped and another changed, adding to the giant project’s political problems.

The Gobi desert copper deposit promises to become one of Rio Tinto’s most lucrative properties, but it has been subject to repeated challenges from politicians who argue the spoils of the country’s mining boom are not being evenly shared.

It has also been at the centre of an anti-corruption investigation that has seen the arrest of two former prime ministers and a former finance minister. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Iron ore prices shift structurally higher on Vale woes – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – April 2, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

HONG KONG, April 2 (Reuters) – Iron ore prices in China reached a record high on Tuesday as market participants wrestled two dilemmas, namely the likely temporary weather-related disruptions from Australia and the rather more serious safety outages in Brazil.

A major tropical cyclone hitting the main producing and shipping areas in the world’s largest iron ore miner was always likely to boost prices, and indeed, markets largely responded as expected.

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 4.2 percent on Tuesday to reach 665.5 yuan ($99) a tonne, the most since the contract starting trading in 2013. Continue Reading →