Mining & Resources


Mud from Samarco dam burst is toxic, UN says

Samarco issued this photo on Monday showing a clean-up team at work in Barra Long, downstream from the mine location. It has claimed the mud wasn't toxic.

9:34 AM   Mud from the dam that burst at a BHP Billiton joint venture's iron ore mine in Brazil this month is toxic, the United Nations' human rights agency says.

This OPEC member likes lower oil prices

Military ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia: As a country that both consumes and produces, it can provide OPEC with a bridge between the two sides of the oil market, it claims.

8:38 AM   Is Indonesia's joining the oil cartel just another sign OPEC has abandoned its role of defending prices?

How Twiggy got a 'mortgage' discount

Andrew Forrest is chairman of FMG

Peter Ker 7:58 AM   Fortescue Metals Group has lots of debt to repay, but that task just got easier.

Chinese producers ask state to buy surplus

Industrial metals retreated amid mounting concerns about demand in China.

7:53 AM   ​China's aluminium and nickel producers have asked Beijing to buy up surplus metal, the first coordinated effort since 2009 to revive prices.

Copper slides on oversupply, rising $US

Nickel and aluminium prices got a boost from news that Chinese producers have asked Beijing to buy surplus metal.

6:52 AM   Copper prices fell on worries about oversupply, while nickel rebounded ahead of a meeting of Chinese producers on Friday.

Anglo drops after HSBC flags dividend cut

Anglo is the second-worst performer in the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 gauge this year.

Thomas Biesheuvel 5:13 AM   Anglo American slumped in London after HSBC said the producer will continue to burn through its cash even after cutting costs.

FMG seizes on discount debt again

Andrew ''Twiggy'' Forrest and Fortescue Metals Group have repaid debt at a massive discount.

Peter Ker 10:37 PM   Fortescue Metals Group has repaid $US750 million of debt for the cost of just $US618 million.

Iron ore mine closures only a matter of time

The benchmark iron ore price has crashed 55 per cent in 18 months.

Tess Ingram 6:30 PM   The iron ore industry's junior producers have dramatically cut costs to chase down the plummeting price, but according to some analysts, the continued cost reductions are only delaying the inevitable.

If China killed commodities boom, Fed is about to bury it

Janet Yellen's Fed is widely expected to start raising US interest rates in December.

Kevin Crowley 3:13 PM   For commodities, it's like the 21st century never happened. The last time commodity investor returns were this low, Apple's best-selling product was a desktop computer, and you could pay for it with francs and deutsche marks.

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Base metals bounce, but downward path intact

"I think we may already have seen the bounce in copper, zinc and nickel," said Axel Rudolph, technical analyst at Commerzbank in London.

Agnieszka de Sousa and Joe Deaux   Copper and nickel led an industrial-metals rebound on speculation that the slump encouraged some traders to close out bearish bets.

Iron ore drops 1.9pc to $US43.89

The commodity is headed for a third annual retreat, and Tuesday's fall eclipsed the previous low of $US44.59 set in July.

Jasmine Ng and Ranjeetha Pakiam   Iron ore sank to the lowest level in at least six years amid speculation that mills in China are cutting back steel output, hurting demand for the raw material while supplies from the biggest miners expand.

India is one bright spot for Australian iron ore miners

As the iron ore price nears decade lows, former Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese has warned that India's iron ore industry is "complicated" and will take time to rebuild.

Amanda Saunders   Former iron ore heavyweight India is unlikely to emerge as a major exporter any time soon, says ex-Rio boss.

BC Iron looks to gold and salt as iron ore lacks lustre

BC Iron MD Morgan Ball says diversification is a good option for the junior considering volatile iron ore markets.

Tess Ingram   Battered junior iron ore miner BC Iron is preparing to kick off an exploration campaign for gold and base metals across Western Australia.

Mining mud reaches Atlantic in Brazil's worst environmental disaster

People watch the sea on the coast of Espirito Santo, Brazil, after a tailings dam burst in the neighbouring state of Minas Gerais, discharging a torrent of mining mud.

Lia Timson   The mineral sludge that killed 12 people and polluted more than 600 kilometres of rivers, has arrived at the Atlantic Ocean, extending its destruction to a delicate marine environment.

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Worst yet to come for BHP: S&P

BHP chairman Jac Nasser: The company's credit rating and ability to maintain its progressive dividend have been under a cloud in recent months.

Peter Ker   The ratings agency has reaffirmed BHP's credit rating but warned its risk profile was likely to worsen next year.

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Chinese forecaster: $US40 iron ore set in stone

Chinese steel industry heavyweight Li Xinchuang expects iron ore to hover at US$80 a tonne.

Perry Williams   Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group should get used to the price of iron ore trading in a narrow $US40 a tonne range due to declining demand for steel, according to an official Chinese forecaster.

Samarco must prove mitigation steps or face new fines

Two of Samarco's tailings dams in the state of Minas Gerais burst on November 5, sending a wall of water and mining waste into the valley below.

Andrew Willis and Yasmine Batista   BHP's Samarco Mineracao JV must prove it has adopted sufficient environmental protection measures after this month's mining disaster in Brazil or face additional daily fines of $3.7 million.

World's top miners risk $14b of earnings on carbon cost

Queensland and Western Australia have failed to come up with new revenue streams after end of mining boom.

Jesse Riseborough   Vale and BHP Billiton scored best in a study on carbon-regulation readiness, while Glencore was the clear laggard.

Indigenous group says Adani misled on mine jobs

Traditional owners claim Adani has misled the Native Title Tribunal over its Carmichael mine project. Illustration: Michael Mucci

Indian coal giant Adani misled a native title tribunal by making false claims about the economic benefits of its planned $16.5 billion Carmichael mine, an indigenous group says.

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Rio MD goes in reshuffle

Rio Tinto's Australian managing director Phil Edmands has left the mining company.

Peter Ker   Rio Tinto's managing director of Australian operations, Phil Edmands, has left the mining company.

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BHP tipped to cut dividend to keep credit rating

BHP's board will review its dividend in February.

James Thomson   BHP Billiton will be forced to cut its dividend to protect its credit rating if commodity prices remain depressed, UBS analyst Glyn Lawcock says.

Newcrest's Cadia mine resumes operating

Newcrest Mining has escaped from last month's sag mill failure without having to lower its full year guidance

Peter Ker   Newcrest Mining appears to have escaped from a mill failure at its biggest mine without having to lower its gold production guidance, after news on Monday that the mill has resumed operating.

Adani misled Native Title Tribunal, says traditional owners

Traditional owners claim Adani has misled the Native Title Tribunal over its  Carmichael coalmine project.

Tim Elliott   Indian mining giant, Adani, knowingly misled the Native Title Tribunal, says a lawyer for the traditional owners.

Plea to reverse Rio Tinto's 'original sin' on coalmine

Premier Mike Baird visits the town of Bulga with Planning Minister Rob Stokes in April 2015.

Peter Hannam   Premier Mike Baird has been called on to prevent Rio Tinto from destroying endangered woodland that it promised to conserve.

Zinc surges after China smelters promise to cut output

Smelters in China plan to lower refined output by 500,000 metric tons next year.

Agnieszka de Sousa   Zinc rose the most in more than a month as major smelters in China vowed to curtail output, helping to drain a glut that has driven prices to the lowest in six years.

Rio Tinto loses bid to sue Vale

The Guinean government stripped BSG and Vale of their rights over Simandou and the Zogota deposits shortly before Rio Tinto filed its lawsuit last year.

A US judge on Friday dismissed Rio Tinto's lawsuit accusing rival Vale and others of conspiring to misappropriate its mining rights in the Simandou region in Guinea.

If commodity prices stay down, BHP's dividend will go down too

Malcolm Maiden.

Malcolm Maiden   BHP chairman Jac Nasser has recast perceptions of the group's dividend policy, and a dividend cut is now an even money chance.

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Samarco restart likely after dam failure

A farmhouse is buried in mud after the Samarco dam failure.

Peter Ker   BHP Billiton and Vale appear determined to resume mining at the tragic Samarco operations in Brazil, with the companies beginning to discuss a return to business some time in the future.

How FMG dug deep and fought back

Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest.

Peter Ker   Andrew Forrest's mining company is winning the race to cut costs ahead of the falling ore price.

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Ore futures in Dalian sink to record low

Day rates Capesize vessels, so called because they can't get through the Panama Canal's locks, slumped 7.2 per cent to $US4015.

Jasmine Ng   Iron ore contracts in Asia slumped to records amid speculation that mills in China are reining in steel production as they battle losses.