Resource and mining companies making news include BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) all posting an increase in iron ore production, with BHP reporting record annual and quarterly figures.
June quarter production reports
Higher output from mines, China’s engineered economic slow-down and a strong Australian dollar are some of the major factors that have hit the commodities and resources sector, with most commodities down more than 20 per cent from last year’s highs. Global iron ore miners BHP and Rio are re-diverting cash flows into investment to maintain their bottom lines.
BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) says it has achieved a robust operating performance in a challenging environment, posting an annual production record across ten operations. The global miners Western Australia iron ore shipments hit their twelfth consecutive record, rising to an annualised rate of 179 million tonnes. BHP achieved record results for the June quarter, producing 40.8 million tonnes of iron ore, above its forecast of 37 million tonnes. The miner maintains a positive outlook and expects a 5 per cent rise in 2013 iron ore production.
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) has posted lower than expected second quarter iron ore sales but maintained its full year production guidance for the steel making commodity that generates 75 per cent of its profits. In the first half of its financial year the global miner achieves record production for iron ore, copper, bauxite, alumina, coking coal and titanium dioxide. Rio says while global economic conditions and sentiment dropped markedly in the second quarter its investment program and projects remain robust.
Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) has achieved record fourth quarter shipments but warned its expansion will cost $US600 million more than expected. The West Australian iron ore miner met its goal of exporting 55 million tonnes per annum but says its planned ramp up to 155 million tonnes by next year will now cost $US9 billion.
Downgrades FY forecast
Mining and materials group Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI), who recently changed its name from OneSteel, has forecast its full year net profit will fall by up to 74 per cent, partly reflecting its restructuring costs.
Updates production guidance
Endeavour Mining Corporation (ASX:EVR) has boosted its full year production guidance by 8 per cent. The Africa focussed miner says it has been able to update its forecast on the back of a solid performance in the first half of the year.
Acquires shale gas project
Shares in Leyshon Resources Limited (ASX:LRL) surged on news the China-focussed explorer has inked a deal to acquire a shale gas project near the Ordos Basin in China.
New Oakleigh mine to close
New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) says it will close down its New Oakleigh mine near Ipswich in Queensland early next year. Production at the mine has been declining and the coal miner says it has now reached the end of its production life.
Awards Meekatharra contracts
Reed Resources Limited (ASX:RDR) has executed two key contracts to advance its wholly owned Meekatharra Gold Project in Western Australia. GR Engineering Services Limited (ASX:GNG) and Pacific Energy Limited (ASX:PEA) were both granted contracts. Meekatharra is expected to be in production in the December quarter 2012.
Takeover wins approval
Viterra (ASX:VTA) says Glencore International has received Canadian regulatory approval for its $5.8 billion takeover offer for the dual listed grain handler. Further approval is required by China’s Ministry of Commerce. Australian regulators approved the proposed acquisition last month.