May 17, 2020

Philippine mining operations under review

Philippine mining
Regina Lopez'
Department of Environment
Dale Benton
2 min
Philippine mining operations under review
All mine operations in the Philippines are to be completely reviewed, as the new mining minister has vowed to determine whether the industry is hurting...

All mine operations in the Philippines are to be completely reviewed, as the new mining minister has vowed to determine whether the industry is hurting the Southeast Asian nation.

Regina Lopez's appointment to head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has sent shockwaves through the mining sector, which fears a nationwide crackdown

"I'm not against the mining industry but I'm against suffering," Lopez told reporters on her first day in office as part of the administration of Rodrigo Duterte.

"I do want to evaluate if the country is safe from mining," she told a briefing where videos were aired showing environmental harm from mining along with testimonies from farmers and fishermen opposed to the industry.

Lopez said the review would take a month.

Her stance suggests a tough regulatory road ahead for Philippine miners, whose nickel ore producers are the biggest suppliers to China.

Read: Philippine environmental minister to be slams open-pit mining as ‘madness’

A mining industry lawyer said he was worried a ban on new mining development permits in place since 2012 may not be lifted if the minister's review drags on.

"Our concern is that if Secretary Lopez's initiative to review all mining operations will take another four years, and no new mining permits are issued, that will effectively kill the industry," said Ronald Recidoro of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.

President Duterte has warned that he could cancel projects causing environmental harm, though he told business leaders last week that he was not against mining per se.

The country's mining sector, one of the world's largest in the 1970s, has since struggled partly due to environmental rules and policy flip flops, missing much of the mining boom in recent decades and now facing much lower commodity prices.

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Apr 21, 2021

Rio Tinto’s iron ore output falls 2% year-on-year

RioTinto
ironore
Pilbara
covid-19
2 min
World's biggest iron ore producer reports lower quarterly output due to labour shortages and weather issues
Rio Tinto reported lower quarterly iron ore output as wet weather and labour shortages impacted its mine and port operations in Western Australia.
 
Above average wet weather in the mines and workforce availability disrupted maintenance during the quarter, Rio said, while Tropical Cyclone Seroja impacted operations in April, reports Reuters.

 

Iron Ore
 
Production for the quarter stood at 76.4 million tonnes, down 2% from the same period last year.
 
“You’d have to suggest that its a pretty average result. They have not delivered iron ore into a solid pricing environment,” said David Lennox at Fat Prophets in Sydney.
 
“There’s nothing that they can do about wet weather – it may be that they are going to have to live with changing environmental conditions. What will save them is the fact that they have got higher commodity prices generally, especially iron ore and copper.”
 
The world’s biggest iron ore producer shipped 77.8 million tonnes (mt) of the commodity in the quarter ended March 31, up 7% compared with 72.9 mt last year. It maintained its forecast of shipping between 325mt and 340mt of iron ore in 2021.

 

Pilbara
 
Rio has benefited from strong demand for its higher quality Pilbara blend products due to solid margins at China steelmakers as construction activity and steel demand in the first quarter eclipsed 2020 and 2019 levels.
 
China’s renewed focus on cutting steelmaking emissions will likely restrain steel exports in 2021, supporting margins globally, it said.
 
Copper production fell 16% on year ago levels after covid-19 prevention measures limited labour availability in Escondida in Chile.
 
Its Oyu Tolgoi copper shipments have been impacted by Chinese boarder restrictions due to increased cases of covid-19.
 
“We declared force majeure on shipments from 30 March and continue to work closely with authorities and our customers to manage the risk of supply chain disruptions,” it said.
 
“Rio has resumed cross-border concentrate shipments into China on 15 April however, the situation is very fluid with the covid-19 resurgence in Mongolia.”

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