BHP Billiton's Spin-Off Company to be Named South32
Australian mining company BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), which announced earlier this year it would split its “core” and “noncore” assets into separate companies, has finally announced the name of its new company.
South32 will include a majority of selected assets located in the southern hemisphere with two regional centers in Australia and South Africa. The name, South32, represents BHP’s footprint and its regional approach to managing its operations.
“The naming of South32 is a major step in the setup of our company,” said newly elected Chief Executive Officer, Graham Kerr.
“Our heritage and the places in which we operate are an important part of our identity. While South32 is grounded in the southern hemisphere, we will retain our global reach and ambition as we seek to exceed the expectations of a global shareholder base. The diversity of our employees, commodities, customers and communities will give the new company great strength, which is represented by the woven pattern of our logo.”
With its head office in Perth, the company’s regional head office and global share services center will be located in Johannesburg. South32 will be an Australian incorporated company and is intended to have a primary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange, with a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and a standard listing in London.
“Many of our assets are among the most attractive in their respective commodities and all have benefited from BHP Billiton’s structured approach to improving safety and performance,” said Kerr.
“As we move to a regional model and develop a fit-for-purpose strategy, we have the potential to further improve performance. This would enable South32’s assets to reach their full potential and benefit our shareholders, employees and communities.”
Once all necessary third-party approvals are secured on satisfactory terms, a final Board decision on the proposed demerger will be made. BHP Billiton is expected to release all shareholder documentation with full details by March 2015 with shareholders voting in May.
Lynas revenue jumps 21% as rare earth prices jump
Australian miner Lynas Rare Earths posted a 20.6% rise in revenue in the March quarter as selling prices for the key metals it mines hit record highs amid strong demand, particularly for neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr).
NdPr is used in magnets for electric vehicles and windfarms, in consumer goods like smartphones, and in military equipment such as jet engines and missile guidance systems.
The company said it plans to maintain production at 75% however, as it seeks to continue to meet covid-19 safety protocols and grapples with shipping difficulties. Shares in Lynas fell 6.1% after the results.
“They have faced a few logistics issues, and it would be good to know when they are going to start lifting their utilisation rates a bit,” said portfolio manager Andy Forster of Argo Investments in Sydney.
“Pricing has been pretty strong although it may have peeled back a bit recently. I still think the medium, long-term outlook is pretty good for their suite of products.”
Lynas post ed revenue of A$110mn ($85.37mn) for the three months to the end of March, up from A$91.2mn a year earlier as prices soared.
It said its full product range garnered average selling prices of A$35.5/kg during the March quarter, up from $23.7 in the first half of the financial year. “While the persistence of the covid crisis, especially in Europe, calls for careful forecasts for our business ahead, we see the rare earth market recovering very quickly,” said Lynas, the world’s largest rare earths producer outside China.
Freight demand has spiked during the pandemic, while the blockage of the Suez Canal in March delayed a shipment to April.
Lynas’ output of 4,463 tonnes of rare earth oxide (REO) during the quarter was marginally lower than 4,465 tonnes from a year earlier.