Aug 19, 2020

BHP Group signals intention to shed coal, oil & gas assets

BHP
bhp group
bhp mitsui coal
Coal
Jonathan Campion
2 min
The Australian mining corporation is broadening plans to reshape its portfolio for a low-emissions future under new CEO Mike Henry
The Australian mining corporation is broadening plans to reshape its portfolio for a low-emissions future under new CEO Mike Henry...

The priority for BHP is to sell off its coal enterprises. It is aiming to sell its 80% share in BHP Mitsui Coal, which owns two coking coal plants in Australia. The company is also planning to cast off its thermal coal mines, and some of its oil and gas operations.

These plans are not borne from economic necessity: BHP Group announced steady annual profits of $9.1bn on 18 August, supported by higher prices for iron ore. Rather, they signal a change of strategy under Mike Henry, who became CEO in January. Henry is laying the ground to transform BHP Group into a company focussed on copper and nickel, the demand for which is expected to grow in demand in the next decade, due to their use in the renewable energy sector and in the electrification of transport.

A company statement on 18 August read: “The world is rapidly changing with decarbonisation of energy sources, population growth and the drive for higher living standards in the developing world. It will require us to continue to be active portfolio managers”.

BHP has already received offers for its Mt Arthur thermal coal mine, in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, and its one-third stake in the Cerrejon mine in Colombia, but did not accept them. BHP Group is considering options for trade sales, or for the mines to be demerged into separate listed entities.

The company also announced its intention to sell its 50% stake in the Bass Strait oil and gas joint venture with Exxon Mobil off the coast of Tasmania.

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

Vale
Nickel
Manitoba
battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

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.

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