Britain’s Brexit vote causing mining boom
BHP Biliton reported a record loss for the past year, but data from the FTSE 100 shows seven mining companies accounting for close to 5.5 percent of the value of the index.
Jeremy Wrathall, mining team leader at Investec, believes the industry has experienced a “dramatic turnaround” since last year.
“It's now in relatively good shape whereas before we were seeing the likes of Anglo close to relegation."
One reason for the turnaround of fortunes has been the recent Brexit decision following the UK’s referendum vote.
Global mining firms do not make their funds in pounds, allowing them to benefit from the relatively weaker pound since the decision.
Tyler Broda, director of global mining research at RBC Capital Markets told the BBC that the currency markets are playing a big part in the mining industry's success so far in 2016.
"The sector is performing very well this year, they have 100% of revenues in US dollars so the weak pound has helped," he says.
The effect is clear to see. Since the vote on 23 June, share prices of mining companies have risen.
"For a UK investor searching for protection against pound weakness, looking for companies that earn in the dollar is a good idea," says Edward Sterck, metals and mining research analyst at BMO Capital Markets. "They represent a safe haven, but that's not restricted to mining companies."
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Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.