May 17, 2020

Rio Tinto Close to Reaching $20B Simandou Deal

Rio Tinto
Sam Walsh
Anglo-Australian
Aluminum Corp of Chi
Admin
2 min
Rio Tinto Close to Reaching $20B Simandou Deal
Dow Jones reported that an agreement to unchain an investment worth tens of billions of dollars. This agreement carries extra significance as it is base...

Dow Jones reported that an agreement to unchain an investment worth tens of billions of dollars. This agreement carries extra significance as it is based in one of Africa’s poorest nations which could therefore have even greater ramifications. Anticipation has recently spiked with the agreement expected to be reached in just a few weeks’ time.

During a speech in Washington, Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh recently reported that “he expects a long-awaited pact between Guinea and a consortium led by the Anglo-Australian mining company to be signed later this month. This has taken some time to bring to fruition, and I think this signing will inject the project with renewed momentum.”

Up through this point, the $US20 billion Simandou iron ore project has been suffering from a significant stall, failing to move forward due to financing. Along with its partners, Rio Tinto, Aluminum Corp of China, or Chalco, and the International Finance, the private sector arm of the World Bank – all partners in this project – have been deep in conversations with the Guinean government. Their talks have all encircled the best way to successfully finance and carry out the immense rail and port development which will be required to transport the mine’s production materials to the marketplace.

“The infrastructure that brings Guinea’s natural resource wealth to global markets can do so much more for the country,” commented Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh. In this, he highlighted that upon achieving fully operational status, the Simandou iron ore project will be capable of contributing an estimated $US7.6 billion to the Guinean economy each year.

The large shadow this amount would cast on the current amount that the country receives in aid payments should help to provide some critical motivation for the Guinean government to facilitate the agreement currently on the table.  

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May 14, 2021

Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%

Copper
Codelco
First Quantum
Freeport-McMoRan
2 min
Following a marginal slump in copper production due to COVID-19, output from top ten companies set to rise up to 3.8% in 2021 reveals GlobalData analysis

Copper production from the world’s top companies is set to increase by up to 3.8% this year, following a fall of 0.2% in 2020, GlobalData analysis reveals. Last year’s marginal slump saw production drop to 11.76 million tonnes (Mt).

Copper

The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mining operations was immense, however, six of the ten largest copper producers succeeded in increasing output last year. In 2021, copper production from the top ten copper companies is expected to bounce back, rising by up to 3.8%, to reach 12.2Mt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. 

First Quantum

The highest increase in copper production was by Canada’s First Quantum, which, despite all the challenges, reported 10.4% growth in 2020. The company’s Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama were key contributors to this growth. While the latter remained under care and maintenance between April and August 2020, it delivered record production levels during the subsequent months.

Copper

Codelco

Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal used in electric vehicles, also bucked the trend.

Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Despite Codelco reporting over 3,400 active cases during July 2020, the company achieved 1.2% growth in its production in 2020. The company implemented a four-phase plan, as part of the COVID-19 measures, to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while also avoiding any significant impact to its copper output.” 

Freeport McMoRan

Although the overall impact was minimal, declines in production were observed from Glencore (8.2%), Antofagasta (4.7%), BHP (3.9%) and Freeport McMoRan (1.3%). Reduced operational workforces due to COVID-19 measures, lower ore grades and production halts due to maintenance were the key disruptors to output during 2020.

Electric Vehicles

The move towards electric vehicles and clean energy from renewables sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has driven the copper price to all-time highs. Copper has been among the best performers over the last month where metals ranging from aluminum to iron ore have surged to their highest prices in years. The rally is being fueled by stimulus measures, near-zero interest rates and signs that economies are recovering from the global pandemic. 

 

 

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