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Fri, Jan. 15, 9:29 AM
Thu, Jan. 14, 1:12 PM
- Brazil's Federal Police accuse seven people and three companies, including miner Vale (VALE +8.7%) and its Samarco joint venture with BHP Billiton (BHP +6.5%), of environmental crimes in response to November's major dam collapse.
- The move, which has no exact equivalent in the U.S. legal system, will trigger the start of a deeper investigation by police and typically represents a step toward formal charges, which in Brazil can be filed only by prosecutors.
- Vale says it received news of the accusations "with surprise," and has insisted that Samarco was solely responsible for the collapse of the tailings dam; unlike BHP, Vale had been depositing tailings from one of its own iron ore mines into the Funda reservoir that burst, leading prosecutors to deem it liable as a "direct polluter."
Tue, Jan. 12, 9:52 AM
- Vale (VALE -0.8%) says it has drawn down $3B of its $5B revolving credit line to help pay off bonds due this quarter and cover potential costs until it manages to close asset sales.
- Vale says the disbursement will “increase liquidity and bridge potential cash flow needs” as it attempts to finish some costly projects and conclude asset sales, particularly the sale of a stake in its Mozambique coal operations the company has been working on since 2014.
- Vale has been slammed by the collapse in iron ore prices, and analysts expect the company to be cash flow negative in 2016.
Mon, Jan. 11, 8:59 AM
- BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) shares sink to decade lows on the Australian Stock Exchange as copper prices plummet to their lowest in six years, after muted Chinese inflation and more equity losses in Shanghai increase concern that demand from the country will slow.
- "China gobbles up about one-half of global demand for anything from aluminum to copper, zinc, tin or coal," says an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit. "More downward pressure on the price of commodities and on commodity firms’ valuations can be expected.”
- Metals have lost most of the modest gains they made toward the end of last year, with the LME Index falling last week by the the most since May.
- Related tickers: RIO, VALE, FCX, JJC, CPER, CUPM
Fri, Jan. 8, 11:45 AM
- Iron ore shipments to China through Australia's Port Hedland rose 1% in December to 32.17M metric tons, despite the spot price falling to its lowest on record and a gloomy outlook heading into the new year.
- For all of 2015, shipments to China rose to 377.88M metric tons from 343.41M metric tons in 2014, up 10% Y/Y.
- Port Hedland, the world's largest port for exporting iron ore, is used by major suppliers to the sea-traded market such as BHP Billiton (BHP -1.1%), which plans to raise production by a respective 6% to 247M metric tons by next July, and Fortescue Metals (OTCQX:FSUMF), whose output is running at an annual rate of 165M metric tons, making them the third and fourth largest producers worldwide after Vale (VALE -0.5%) and Rio Tinto (RIO -1.9%).
- "The prospects for iron ore are looking darker than ever, but still more keeps coming out of the ground. It's self-defeating," says a Sydney-based mining analyst.
Fri, Jan. 8, 4:57 AM
- Much less sludge was spilled than first estimated from a dam burst at a Brazilian iron ore mine last November which killed 17 people and left hundreds homeless.
- Satellite assessments showed about 32M cubic meters of sludge was released into the Rio Doce river, co-owner BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) said, citing information from mine operator Samarco, its joint venture with Vale (NYSE:VALE).
- "The amount of tailings released is therefore significantly less than some initial estimates which were in excess of 50M cubic meters."
- Previously: Death toll from BHP's dam burst rises (Dec. 22 2015)
- Previously: Vale shares responsibility for dam break, Brazilian judge rules (Dec. 21 2015)
Thu, Jan. 7, 9:15 AM
- Gainers: INVT +35%. DVAX +27%. QURE +14%. HMY +9%.
- Losers: TLOG -75%. EPZM -20%. GALE -19%. FINL -17%. SUNE -14%. AKBA -11%. RLYP -8%. FRO -8%. OTIC -8%. CIG -7%. SYN -7%. ATNM -7%. JKS -7%. KBH -7%. SAGE -7%. CEMP -7%. DNR -6%. ATML -6%. WLL -6%. SDRL -6%. ADMS -6%. BHP -6%. BBL -5%. AEZS -5%. VALE -5%. GGB -5%.
Wed, Jan. 6, 9:18 AM
Dec. 23, 2015, 5:44 PM
Dec. 23, 2015, 9:19 AM
- Mining stocks look to be headed for a strong day, following a rebound in metal prices after China earlier this week raised hopes that demand may strengthen next year when it unveiled plans for more flexible fiscal and monetary policies.
- Prices for industrial commodities including copper, zinc, lead and aluminum are up at least 1%.
- Anglo American (OTCPK:AAUKF, OTCPK:AAUKY) +8.1%, Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF, OTCPK:GLNCY) +6.7% in London.
- MT +10.2%, RIO +5.4%, VALE +4.8%, BHP +4.5% in U.S. premarket.
Dec. 22, 2015, 11:58 AM
- Australia’s Department of Industry & Science cuts its 2016 iron ore price forecast by 19%, now expecting prices to average $41.30/metric ton next year compared to $51.20 just three months ago, according to its latest quarterly report.
- Iron ore lost 43% this year as low-cost miners including Rio Tinto (RIO +1.4%), BHP Billiton (BHP +0.3%) and Vale (VALE +1.1%) continued to expand to defend market share, and the government forecasts exports of Australian iron ore will expand another 13% next year after rising ~7% this year.
- Goldman Sachs predicted last week that iron ore would remain under $40 for the next three years as China’s slowdown forces the global industry into a long period of hibernation.
- Spot ore with 62% content delivered to Qingdao, China, rose 0.8% to $40.80/ton today, after bottoming at $38.30 on Dec. 11.
Dec. 22, 2015, 10:59 AM
- Vale (VALE +0.5%) and BHP Billiton (BHP +0.2%) are increasingly likely to need to inject capital in their Samarco iron joint venture as Brazil steps up efforts to guarantee payment of $5B in damages from last month's dam collapse, BTG Pactual analysts say.
- Vale says its mines are operating normally, but a ban on asset sales in Brazil could unfold into a multi-year judicial dispute, BTG says; the court gave Samarco and its owners 30 days to put up an initial 2B reais as part of 20B reais in damages sought by the government over 10 years.
- BTG expects Vale will need to temporarily suspend dividend payments in 2016, while the stakes are lower for BHP since it does not have any other direct holdings in Brazil.
Dec. 22, 2015, 4:59 AM
- BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) has raised the death toll from its catastrophic dam burst in Brazil last month to 17, pledging to release the findings from an external investigation into the cause of the disaster.
- However, two people who were working on the dams are still missing.
- Yesterday, a Brazilian judge ruled that iron-ore producer Vale (NYSE:VALE) shares responsibility for the dam breach because it was using the facility to store its own mine waste.
- Previously: FT: BHP Billiton eyes acquisitions, leans toward dividend cut (Dec. 21 2015)
Dec. 21, 2015, 4:59 PM
- A Brazilian judge rules that Vale (NYSE:VALE) shares responsibility for last month's catastrophic dam break at its Samarco joint venture with BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) because it was using the facility to store its own mine waste.
- Both Vale and BHP have tried to play down their responsibility, characterizing Samarco as an independently run, limited liability company in which their participation took place only at the board level, but the judge rules that Vale's contract to discard waste from its Alegria iron ore mine into the Fundão tailings reservoir operated by Samarco is sufficient to claim that "Vale should be considered a direct polluter and... responsible for the environmental damage."
- The judge orders Samarco to pay 2B reais in the next 30 days to fund initial cleanup and relief efforts or pay a daily fine of 1.5M reais, as well as several additional measures to mitigate the disaster, and prohibits the three companies from selling or transferring any of their licenses or mining rights in Brazil during the course of the government's lawsuit.
- Earlier: Judge blocks Brazilian assets of BHP, Vale (Dec. 20)
Dec. 20, 2015, 9:08 AM
- Brazil's state of Minas Gerais has frozen the Brazilian assets of BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) and Vale (NYSE:VALE) after determining their joint venture Samarco was unable to pay for damage caused by the bursting of a dam at its mine last month.
- The ruling comes as BHP steps up its hunt for acquisitions, hoping to take advantage of distressed prices at a low point in the commodity cycle, while increasing the likelihood it will make a dividend cut next year.
- Previously: BHP on review for downgrade at Moody's (Dec. 18 2015)
Dec. 15, 2015, 9:18 AM
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