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.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.