Sandvik divests exploration business to Drillman
Sandvik has signed an agreement to divest its Exploration business to Drillman, a subsidiary of the M Group of companies, which is 100 percent owned and operated in Australia.
Drillman provide equipment and technical support to the Geotechnical, Mineral Exploration, Horizontal, Directional and Upstream Gas Drilling sectors, among others.
The deal, expected to close in Q4 2020, includes exploration rigs, consumables and production stock, along with selected trademarks and patents. The business is currently reported in Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.
"I am pleased that we have signed an agreement to sell our Exploration business as this is in line with our focus to further improve the efficiency and profitability of our company," says Stefan Widing, President and CEO of Sandvik. "I believe we have found a good home for our Exploration business in Drillman, who will support in the further development of its operations and performance," says Henrik Ager, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.
"We are very excited to acquire Sandvik's Exploration business and look forward to collaborating throughout the transition. The acquisition forms part of our long-term strategy to expand our international footprint and we are eager to introduce our passion for the mining and exploration business into the global market," says Harry Mostert, CEO for M Group of Companies.
The parties did not disclose the price and the closing is subject to relevant regulatory approvals. The Exploration business will remain consolidated in the financial statements of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology until closing of the transaction. In 2019, the Exploration business had revenues of about SEK 450 million and a margin slightly dilutive to Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.
Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%
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).
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.