Archive | Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto posts jump in iron ore output, flags stronger 2018 (Reuters U.S. – July 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner Rio Tinto said on Tuesday that its second-quarter iron ore shipments from Australia rose 14 percent and indicated its annual production would be at the upper end of its guidance.

The miner said it expected iron ore shipments for the year to be at the upper end of its range of 330 million to 340 million tonnes, driven by productivity improvements and fewer weather-related disruptions compared with the same quarter last year.

It had said earlier it did not expect tensions over a global trade war to materially affect steel demand. Each of the four big iron ore miners are expected to log record production in the second quarter, given a ramp up in China’s steel demand in the quarter, Shipbroker Clarksons Platou Securities said. Continue Reading →

Indonesia mine nationalization shakes top copper producer – by Jun Suzuki (Nikkei Asian Review – July 18, 2018)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s nationalization of a major copper and gold mine formerly run by U.S. metals company Freeport-McMoRan is a win for Indonesian President Joko Widodo who has been calling for the reclamation of strategic resources. But the lack of agreement over future investments puts one of the world’s biggest sources of the red metal on shaky grounds.

According to the basic agreement reached on Thursday, Freeport and Anglo-Australian peer Rio Tinto will sell their shares in the local joint venture that runs the Grasberg mine to state-owned resources company Indonesia Asahan Aluminum, or Inalum.

Inalum will pay a combined $3.85 billion to the two companies to acquire all of Rio Tinto’s interest and lift its overall stake to 51%. Freeport will hold onto the remaining 49% stake in the operator of the mine in eastern Indonesia’s Papua province. A final deal is expected this year. Continue Reading →

Guinea’s mining minister says there will be Simandou deal, talks go on (Reuters U.K. – July 17, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) – Guinea is in constant talks with Rio Tinto and Chinalco to finalise a deal on the Simandou iron ore project, its mining minister said on Tuesday, adding he was confident an agreement would be reached.

Rio Tinto said in October 2016 said it had signed an outline agreement to sell its major stake in Simandou to Chinalco, a move many hoped would revive the long-stalled scheme.

Mines Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba said he was confident a deal would be achieved. He gave no indication of how much more time was needed, but said that as soon as the parties had agreed, the project would be relaunched. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto, BHP, Vale tipped to report strongest ever quarterly iron ore exports – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – July 15, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

The world’s three biggest iron ore miners are expected to confirm the industry’s strongest ever quarterly export figures this week, helping to explain recent weakness in prices for the bulk commodity.

Big miners have exercised restraint in both supply and rhetoric in recent years in a bid to calm fears the iron ore market could be flooded with supply, but port statistics suggest the miners’ inexorable export growth reached new heights in the three months to June 30.

Brazilian miner Vale is expected to announce record quarterly production of 96.3 million tonnes when it kicks off reporting season early on Tuesday morning Australian time, and Rio Tinto is expected to report strong numbers of its own several hours later. Continue Reading →

When Rio Tinto Met China’s Iron Hand – by Kit Chellel, Franz Wild and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – July 13, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

In 2010, four employees of the mining giant were jailed and accused of stealing commercial secrets. Today, the company is more reliant on China than ever.

For eight years, Stern Hu rose every morning at 6 a.m. in Qingpu Prison near Shanghai. He and the dozen men who shared his cell would blearily pull on their blue-and-white-striped uniforms and line up in front of their bunks for the day’s first duty: greeting the guards. “Good morning, officer!” they’d shout. “Thank you for taking care of us, officer!”

Everyone in Brigade No. 8, the foreign prisoners unit, knew Hu. The quiet 61-year-old stood a head taller than the rest. Chinese-born, with an Australian passport and a shock of white hair, he’d been a star at Rio Tinto Group, one of the world’s largest mining companies, before being sent to prison in 2010 for stealing trade secrets and taking bribes. The Chinese government said his actions had cost the country’s steel industry as much as $100 billion.

To the members of Eight Brigade, Hu was also the guy who ran the library. After a breakfast of rice gruel with a spoonful of pickled vegetables, he’d take his post at a small desk next to some bookshelves at one end of the common room. Continue Reading →

Indonesia to pay $3.85 billion for majority stake in Freeport’s Grasberg copper mine – by Wilda Asmarini and Bernadette Christina Munthe (Reuters U.S. – July 11, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia on Thursday struck an agreement with Freeport-McMoRan Inc and Rio Tinto to buy a controlling stake in the world’s second-biggest copper mine via a series of transactions valued at $3.85 billion.

The heads of agreement establishes a structure for Indonesia, through its state-owned mining holding company PT Inalum, to gain control of the Grasberg mine located in the country’s eastern province of Papua. The deal should cap years of wrangling over the rights for the site as Jakarta seeks to gain greater control over its mineral wealth.

Last August, the two sides agreed to let Freeport (FCX.N) keep operating the mine possibly until 2041 while ceding control over its local unit, PT Freeport Indonesia. Continue Reading →

Rio and BHP to win from China’s blue-sky wars – by Matthew Stevens(Australian Financial Review – July 5, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

China has moved to further embed pollution controls across a broader sweep of its industrial landscape in a move that reinforces the shared view of Australia’s biggest miners that price premiums being earned by quality iron ore and coal are now enrichingly structural.

A new three-year action plan announced on the official government website more than doubles the number of major cities targeted for pollution with the migration of the regime south beyond the provinces that surround Beijing to the Yangtze delta and Shanghai.

Confirmation of reforms that were first flagged towards the end of last winter’s successful blue-skies campaign acts as reinforcement of BHP’s planned changes to the Pilbara product mix and of Rio Tinto’s pursuit of mining capacity flexibility that will allow it to best respond to China’s increasingly seasonal raw-materials demand pull. Continue Reading →

Stern Hu release: Here’s why the former mining executive was convicted in China (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 4, 2018)

http://www.abc.net.au/

Australian citizen and former Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu has been released from jail after nine years in detention in China. It’s a long time since the former head of the mining company’s iron ore team in Shanghai was convicted, so here’s a refresher on the case.

When was Mr Hu arrested and convicted?

Mr Hu and three of his Chinese colleagues were arrested in 2009 during contentious iron-ore contract talks between top mining companies and the steel industry in China. The next year, they were convicted of accepting bribes totalling about $14 million and stealing trade secrets. Mr Hu was given a 10-year sentence, which was reduced for good behaviour.

What did we find out during the case? Continue Reading →

Jean-Sebastien Jacques is redesigning Rio Tinto for the new world order – by Matthew Stevens (Australian Financial Review – July 1, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

Jean-Sebastien Jacques is a leader well-suited to the now routine tempests of the Trump era. If there is a theme consistent through the fluid narrative of his opening years as Rio Tinto chief executive it is that the practices of the past are now no guide to the needs of the present and future.

Jacques is not prepared to take anything for granted – free trade, social licence, the way we work, trust in sovereigns or the relationships between corporations and the social orders it inhabits.

Rio’s boss was at his free-speaking, free-thinking entertaining best before an audience gathered for that annual oddity, the Melbourne Mining Club’s London dinner. Jacques subsequently garnered headlines by once again warning that miners faced a return of double-digit inflation. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto ready to splash out on copper – by Barbara Lewis and Clara Denina (Reuters U.S. – June 29, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto wants copper, and it’s ready to pay top-dollar. The global miner would be willing to fork out a large premium over market value to secure a prime asset as it tries to reduce its reliance on iron ore, company and banking sources told Reuters.

If it can’t land a big copper project, it is weighing the cumulative power of a series of more modest acquisitions to increase its exposure to a metal expected to be in high demand from the electric vehicle and renewable energy industries, the sources said.

The approach under CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques marks a shift for Rio Tinto, known for its cautious strategy since it was badly burned in the commodity price crash earlier this decade after a series of damaging acquisitions. Continue Reading →

Trump’s Trade War Looms Over a Canadian Town Built to Supply America – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – June 28, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Arvida, Quebec, is part of a cross-border ecosystem responsible for the metal in three out of four American cars.

If ever a town embodied U.S.-Canadian symbiosis, it’s Arvida, Quebec. Built by Americans, its giant smelter supplied most of the Allied forces’ aluminum in World War II and today makes metal used in Budweiser beer cans, Tesla and Ford cars and in AR15 rifles, part of the 2.5 million metric tons that Canada sends over the border each year.

But now this corner of French-speaking Canada is in America’s cross hairs after the Trump administration’s shock move to tax metal from its closest ally under the pretext of national security.

“When you want to kill your dog, you will say he has rabies,” Mayor Josee Neron said in an interview. “To see one person destroy all that in just a blink of an eye, I think it’s too bad.” Continue Reading →

Miners’ big spend shows commodities optimism – by Robert Guy (Australian Financial Review – June 18, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

A $2 billion acquisition spree by South32 and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has underscored the more upbeat outlook on commodity prices among industry heavyweights, with the scramble to buy or develop world class assets and infrastructure heating up as the world’s largest miners emerge from years of austerity.

Australia’s largest miners have moved aggressively to stamp their dominance in key commodity markets amid expectations of strong Asian economic growth over the next decade, with South32’s $1.7 billion bid for Arizona Mining heralding its intent to be a bigger player in base metals, while Hancock Prospecting’s bold $390 million bid for Atlas Iron could position Australia’s wealthiest woman as a bigger player in iron ore shipments from Port Hedland.

The big miners are slowly opening their wallets after many years of cost cutting and a focus on improving shareholder returns, as management teams look to replace aging mines, maintain production and lay the foundation for future earnings growth. Continue Reading →

Rio spending $2.2bn on iron-ore supply – by Esmarie Swanepoel (MiningWeekly.com – June 18, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Rio Tinto on Monday revealed that it will be spending some $2.2-billion over the next three years on replacement mines for its iron-ore operations in the Pilbara, including initial spending on the proposed Koodaideri, West Angelas and Robe Valley developments.

Rio’s iron-ore CEO Chris Salisbury told investors and analysts that the company’s strategy was to optimise its Pilbara assets to deliver value for shareholders.

“Our iron-ore business delivered $7.3-billion of free cash flow in 2017 and we will continue to maximise free cash flow by pursuing a value-over-volume approach, built on a portfolio of world-class assets that deliver our premium iron ore product, the Pilbara Blend. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto moves into cleaner resources to chase electric vehicles – by Kaori Takahashi (June 9, 2018)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

Global miner shifts focus to lithium after exit from coal

TOKYO — Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto is realigning its business structure in the wake of the global resources boom, after completing its exit from the coal industry earlier this year, with an eye on electric vehicle-related battery materials.

Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques, in a wide-ranging interview with Nikkei in Tokyo this week, laid out the company’s focus on new minerals, particularly lithium, technology partnerships in Asia, and divestment in coal.

Rio Tinto is shifting tack to respond to China’s demands, but its own operational needs and relationships with Asian customers are changing. On Thursday, Rio Tinto finalized a joint venture with China Minmetals to explore for minerals in the country. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto about to offload stake in Grasberg mine for $3.5 billion – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 23, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

World’s No.2 miner Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) confirmed Wednesday is ready to sell its stake in the giant Grasberg mine, the world’s second largest copper operation, to Indonesia’s state mining holding company Inalum for $3.5 billion.

The move could mark the end to a long-drawn-out, three-way dispute over the mine, which has been centered on bringing local ownership of Grasberg up to 51%, a main requisite set by the Indonesian government to allow Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) to keep operating in the country.

Discussions with PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, known as Inalum, and Freeport — the other two companies engaged in talks — were ongoing, Rio said, “including as to price,” noting that no agreement had been reached. Continue Reading →