Nov. 19, 2014, 10:22 AM
- Top copper execs say prices could be held down by rising supply from mines in the next couple of years but then could surge due to a lack of large projects and bottlenecks at refineries.
- Copper demand growth of 3%-4% per year over the next five years means 4M-5M metric tons of new supply - the equivalent of 10-12 big mines - would be needed, but the mines do not exist, according to Freeport McMoRan (FCX -1.2%) senior VP Javier Targhetta, saying, "We may see two or three big productions in the next few years but the impact will be diluted by falling production and grades. So I'm extremely optimistic as for where markets will be."
- Southern Copper (SCCO -1.6%) CEO Oscar Gonzalez Rocha sees 2015 copper prices at ~$3.15/lb. but "with quite a lot of upside potential."
- Prices could hit a record $5/lb. over the next 4-5 years, given the lack of major new mines on the horizon and as rising impurities such as arsenic force up costs for miners, Codelco CEO Nelson Pizzaro says.
Nov. 18, 2014, 7:01 PM
- Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) says it expects repairs to its sole U.S. copper smelter, which was shuttered last week after a fire, to last into December.
- The shutdown comes as companies that use copper to make wire and plumbing hammer out terms of next year's supply contracts; a prolonged shutdown would raise concerns about U.S. supplies of refined copper, as Rio Tinto's (NYSE:RIO) big smelter in Utah struggles with low ore grades.
- FCX's Arizona smelter has capacity to produce 180K metric tons/year, ~14% of annual U.S. output.
Nov. 11, 2014, 2:36 PM
- Nearly $17B in energy company debt has been sold in the U.S. so far this month, tapping into debt capital markets despite a rise in borrowing costs as they seek to refinance or pay off existing debt amid a slump in oil prices.
- Just this week, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) offered $4B in six tranches to repay commercial paper, while Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) sold $3B in bonds in part to refinance existing debt; last week's ~$10B of energy bonds sold included a $3B offer by ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) also intended for refinancing purposes.
- Other energy-related deals in the pipeline for the coming days include a new loan facility for C&J Energy Services (NYSE:CJES).
- Energy bonds have been under pressure in the past couple of weeks as oil prices skid; investors are worried that a further drop in oil prices could put pressure on the highly indebted companies in the sector and potentially trigger a wave of debt restructurings.
Oct. 31, 2014, 8:11 AM
- Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) +2.9% premarket after the mine workers union cancels a planned one-month strike at the company's Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia due to start next week.
- Three unions representing nearly 11K workers had agreed to take strike action from Nov. 6 until Dec. 6, demanding management changes following the death of four workers in a Sept. 27 accident.
Oct. 28, 2014, 10:59 AM
- Freeport McMoRan (FCX -4.4%) said in its Q3 earnings report that output is down at its Grasberg copper and gold complex in Indonesia after employees failed to report for work following a fatal accident last month.
- A “large percentage” of Grasberg open-pit operators have not reported to their scheduled shifts, resulting in reduced production during October, FCX said today.
- FCX sold 258M lbs. of copper and 505K oz. of gold from its Indonesian operations in Q3, but a government official says production at Grasberg already may be at only 60%-70% of capacity as a result of stoppages.
Oct. 28, 2014, 8:53 AM
- Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) -1.1% premarket after reporting a 32% Y/Y drop in Q3 earnings, hurt by lower prices for copper, gold and oil, but results beat analyst estimates.
- Q3 sales totaled 1.08B lbs. of copper, 525K oz. of gold and 12.5M boe, compared with year-ago Q3 sales of 1.04B lbs. of copper, 305K oz. of gold and 16.5M boe; average Q3 selling prices fell 4.9% for copper, 8.2% for gold and 15% for oil.
- For full-year 2014, sales are forecast at 3.9B lbs. of copper, 1.2M oz. of gold and 56.2M boe, including forecast Q4 sales of 1B lbs. of copper, 350K oz. of gold and 11.5M boe.
Oct. 28, 2014, 8:06 AM
Oct. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
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Oct. 27, 2014, 8:25 AM
- Workers at Freeport McMoRan's (NYSE:FCX) Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia will hold a one-month strike beginning next week, union officials say, after the company failed to make changes to local management following a fatal accident.
- Three unions are said to have agreed to take strike action from Nov. 6 until Dec. 6.
Oct. 20, 2014, 3:59 PM
- Citigroup upgrades Freeport McMoRan (FCX +1.5%) and three other names in the mining and energy sector, attracted to their valuations after stocks in its coverage area have been hit by the recent correction in the broader market, even as it downgrades Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF +2.2%).
- Analyst Brian Yu raises FCX to Neutral from Sell following the price decline, saying that while the company remains highly leveraged to global growth based on its copper and oil exposure, FCX has been aggressively selling assets to manage the balance sheet.
- Consol Energy (CNX -0.1%), Newmont Mining (NEM +2%) and Alliance Holdings (AHGP +1.9%) are all lifted to Buy from Neutral.
Oct. 13, 2014, 9:57 AM
- Freeport McMoRan's (FCX +1.7%) Indonesian unit can resume open-pit mining at its Grasberg complex after it agreed to improve safety following a fatal accident last month, a senior mines ministry official says.
- Hundreds of protesters blocked access for two days earlier this month to the open-pit area of Grasberg, where production had been halted following the death of four workers on Sept. 27; the area accounts for more than half of the mine's output.
- Open-pit mining remains suspended, Freeport Indonesia CEO Rozik Soetjipto tells Reuters, as the company is still waiting for an official notice.
Oct. 10, 2014, 6:11 PM
- Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) may decide that its best defense against another takeover approach from Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF, OTCPK:GLNCY) is buying the likes of Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) in a "classic kind of defensive move," Bernstein analyst Paul Gait speculates.
- While Rio is saying it’s better off going it alone, a deal for FCX could help it ward off any further advances from Glencore as well as provide a way to lessen its dependence on iron ore at a time when the metal is slumping, Gait says.
- FCX "fits all the criteria of an attractive takeout candidate and would make sense for... anyone looking to increase their copper exposure and getting some very high-margin energy assets at the same time,” BB&T's Garrett Nelson adds.
- FCX shares are now at their cheapest in more than 15 months relative to EBITDA.
Oct. 8, 2014, 6:34 PM
- Aubrey McClendon, the former Chesapeake Energy CEO who is now running American Energy Partners, is exploring a purchase of Freeport McMoRan’s (NYSE:FCX) California oil and gas operations for up to $5B, Bloomberg reports.
- A deal would be the largest acquisition yet for American Energy, which has raised $13B since it was started last April.
- FCX’s onshore operations in California include 16K net acres in the San Joaquin Basin and control of the Arroyo Grande Field, an oil-producing property in San Luis Obispo County.
Oct. 8, 2014, 10:59 AM
- Workers at Freeport McMoRan's (FCX -0.8%) giant Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia are seeking face-to-face talks with local management and may plan a further mine blockade or strike action, a union official says.
- Hundreds of protestors blocked access for two days last week to Grasberg's open-pit area - which accounts for more than half of the mine's output - where production has been halted following the death of four workers on Sept. 27.
- Fresh protests, blockades or strike action could be triggered if workers' safety concerns and other demands are ignored, according to the union official.
Oct. 6, 2014, 4:38 PM
- Franco-Nevada (NYSE:FNV) agrees to acquire a gold and silver stream on production from the Candelaria and Ojos del Salado mines in Chile from Lundin Mining (OTCPK:LUNMF, OTC:LUNCF) upon completion of the acquisition of Candelaria by Lundin from Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX).
- FNV will provide an up-front deposit of $648M to acquire the gold and silver stream and will subscribe for up to C$50M in Lundin's planned subscription receipts financing.
- FNV -0.9% AH.
Oct. 6, 2014, 4:13 PM
- Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) agrees to sell its 80% ownership interest in the Candelaria/Ojos del Salado copper mining operations and supporting infrastructure to Lundin Mining (OTCPK:LUNMF, OTC:LUNCF) for $1.8B in cash plus contingent consideration of up to $200M.
- FCX says the deal is another step in its ongoing debt reduction plan and follows the completion of its $3.1B sale of Eagle Ford shale assets in June; it will continue to invest in Chile through opportunities for a major expansion of the El Abra operation.
- The deal is Lundin's biggest ever and marks its first foray into South America.
- FCX says it expects to record a ~$450M after-tax gain on the transaction.
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