|Metall-rally, er Nikkel & Kobolt et alternativ ?
|Vi leser alle om fokuset på det gule metallet - Gull.
Dette er den delen av metallbransjen som er best kjent og mest fokusert.
Innen råvarebransjen er Ni og Co 2 metall med gode fremtidsutsikter de neste 2-3 årene.
Ni handles nå på nyåret i området USD 3,5 - 3,6 pr. lb Ni, mens Co ligger i området USD 7-8 pr. lb Co.
Ni-markedet er spådd å ligge i underskudd både i år, neste år og 2005. Dette hovedsaklig p.g.a. sterk utbygging av rustfritt stål produsere samt at det ikke er tilsvarende utvidelsesprosjekt eller nye gruver på Ni råstoffsiden.
Co-markedet har vært sterkt preget av at markedet for jetmotorer (for fly) har "klappet sammen". Det har ført til at Co produsentsiden har redusert, slik at markedet er bedre i balanse.
De 2 viktigste selskapene for disse metallene er:
INCO Ltd, Canada for Ni. Det reneste Ni-caset, verdens nest største innen Ni (kun Norilsk, Russland er større).
De har drøyt 200.000 tonn/år (totalt Ni-marked ca. 1.1 mill t/år) kapasitet, dessuten produserer de noe Cu (150.000 T/år), Co (2.000 T/år) og edelmetaller.
Aksjen kan handles på NYSE (N) og i Toronto (TSE:N)
INCO har 2 betydelige Ni-prosjekter på beddingen.
Voiceys Bay i Canada, ca. 40-60.000 t/år. Vil bli satt igang i løpet av 2004. INCO er eneeier av dette.
GORO i N.Caledonia, ca. 55-60.000 t/år. De rapporterte før jul om en betydelig økning i kostnadskalkylen, og har stoppet videreutvikling av dette. Selskapet har brukt ca. USD 350 mill, og forpliktet ca. 300 mill. til (nytt kap.overslag ca. 2.000 mill USD). INCO eier dette 75%.
INCO har steget støtt og sikkert de siste månedene, men har fortsatt et potensial.
OM Group Inc, er det reneste Co-caset. De er verdens største Co-produsent (ca. 10.000 T/år, marked er snaut 40.000 T/år), men har en betydelig Ni-produksjon også (ca. 60.000 T/år).
OM Group handles på NYSE:OMG.
OM Group kom med en profitwarning, og tok en betydelig nedskrivning i oktober. Da falt aksjen >80%, og har kun tatt seg ubetydelig opp igjen. Det kan være risiko for mer neskrivning.
OMG oppvider et rally idag, opp ca. 15% i skrivende stund.
For begge disse må valutaelementet taes i betrakning, USD for OMG og CAN$ for INCO.
|Hvor finnes informasjon om Nickel og Cobalt ?
Cobalt er et lite marked (drøyt 50.000 t/år - fra primær-kilde/malm), og det er ingen børshandel på LME i dette metallet.
Metal Bulletin lister priser på Cobalt, men er dessverre en betalingstjeneste.
For Nickel kan man finne priser og lagervolum på LME på: http://www.lme.co.uk/nickel.asp
Nickel News Watch
Ellers finnes det en rekke linker med nyheter for gruve- og metallindustrien (åde generelle og metall-spesifikke).
http://www.resourceinvestor.com/ er eksempel på en slik.
[Endret 27.01.07 13:31 av OldNick]
|OMG går videre idag - + 13%.
Innen Ni er det Falconbridge (TSE:FL) og Sherritt (TSE:S) som går idag - + 4 og 6%, INCO er opp litt over 1% bare.
[Endret 13.01.03 21:48 av OldNick]
|Ni-prisen ved motstandsnivå.
Prisene vipper rundt USD 4/lb. Ni, dette er en meget god pris for Ni-produsentene. De beste har cash cost i området USD 1,3 - 1,8 / lb. Ni, dvs. driftsmarginen er over 2 $ per. lb.
UPDATE - Nickel price hits highs, shortages bite
Wednesday February 26, 5:42 am ET
By Martin Hayes
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Nickel jumped above $9,000 a tonne on Wednesday for the first time since June 2000, whipped higher by rapidly falling inventories and increased production of stainless steel -- the metal's main end-use.
On the London Metal Exchange (LME), three months prices (MNI3) hit $9,045, settling at $9,000/9,030 at 0910 GMT, up from Tuesday's kerb close of $8,940.
"On a technical basis, although still some way short, a break out above $9,200 could possibly see a massive rally...providing this morning's activity is not just a false dawn," broker IFX said.
Nickel has gained nearly $1,900 since the start of the year against a background of remorseless falls in warehouse stocks. Metal in LME warehouses fell 162 tonnes to 14,544 tonnes on Wednesday, their lowest since late-June 2001, having been virtually halved from September 2002's 2-1/2 year peak of 29,130.
Cancelled warrants, which denote metal earmarked for warehouse removal, are substantial also at 3,504 tonnes.
Sentiment has strengthened since the start of the year, with the market predicted to fall into deficit in 2003.
"Nickel is notorious for price volatility and though we are uncomfortable with the runaway price, what is not at issue is that there is very little idled nickel capacity," J P Morgan base metals analyst Nick Moore said in a daily report.
"As such, nickel is a metal where the supply side cannot speedily deliver metal to meet the squeeze."
Labour problems at number one producer Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.RTS) helped the rally last month, although analysts said that was now a side issue.
Trade union leaders at the Russian metals giant decided last Friday to end a hunger strike over pay that had lasted since February 6.
Traders are also eyeing the start of formal talks in March for a new three-year labour contract at Inco's (Toronto:N.TO - News) Canadian Sudbury plant -- the western world's biggest nickel producer.
Nickel prices spiked over $10,000 three years ago when the last contract was being negotiated.
FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT, STAINLESS SCRAP TIGHT
In recent years there has also been a fundamental industry shift in the market that has accentuated tightness.
Leaching and laterite operations have underperformed at the same time that there has been underinvestment in the more traditional sulphide ore exploitations.
New production from low-cost laterite-based producers failed to live up to expectations, with three Australian miners plagued by start-up problems and low output.
Meanwhile, there is tightness of stainless steel scrap. Nickel's main end-use -- in excess of 60 percent -- is in stainless steel production.
The tightness in scrap availability has boosted nickel consumption as some processors are mixing nickel cathodes and nickel alloy with ferrous scrap.
The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) noted in its latest report that severe weather hit Europe at the end of 2002 and the start of 2003, slowing down flows from eastern Europe.
Also, new stainless steel production coming on stream in Europe, North America and South Korea will add an extra 7.2 million tonnes to world output this year.
"This strong rise has been prompted by the expansion of the production capacity of new plants put into place last year. A further drive has been given by an increase in service centre stocks, reversing the de-stocking phase of the previous year," the BIR said.
|Canada nickel shares shine as metal tops $10,000
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2003 3:20 PM - Reuters U.S. Company News
(Figures in U.S. dollars unless noted)
By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Shares of Canadian nickel miners rose on Wednesday as the metal's price finally broke above the $10,000 a tonne level, underlining the positive price outlook for nickel and producers of it.
Small miners and exploration firms showed the biggest gains, reflecting their greater leverage to the nickel price.
But the world's biggest producers also climbed, circling year highs reached in recent weeks as one investment bank after another has raised their nickel price forecasts amid signs of robust demand and limited supply over the next three years.
"The nickel price is solid. Inco has been quite clear that the nickel market remains tight and will continue to for the next couple of years," said David Davidson, an analyst with Paradigm Capital in Toronto.
Inco Ltd. (CA:N) , the world No. 2 nickel producer, said last week 55,000 tonnes of new nickel supply would be needed each year this decade to fill expected demand -- a tall order unlikely to be met.
On the London Metal Exchange nickel pierced technical resistance at $10,000 a tonne on Wednesday, the first time since May 2000, on speculative buying by investment funds.
In Toronto, Inco's share price rose 40 Canadian cents to C$37.20 by Wednesday afternoon, within striking distance of its six-year high of C$37.72. Rival Falconbridge Ltd. (CA:FL) , the world's third biggest nickel producer, rose 22 Canadian cents to C$22.02.
JUNIORS LEAD GAINS
But the best performer was nickel junior, Canico Resource Corp. (CA:CNI) , which jumped more than 8 percent to a six-year high of C$13 on a heavier than usual volume of 650,000 shares.
Canico has been one of the best performing mining stocks in the world this year, gaining over 300 percent as its Onca-Puma nickel laterite deposit in Brazil has caught investors' attention at a time when large nickel projects are scarce.
Canico director Jonathan Rubenstein told Reuters he did not know of any reason other than the stronger nickel price that could be behind Wednesday's price jump.
Davidson said the stock's rise was helped by its lack of liquidity, which forced investors keen on it to bid harder. Inco owns some 18 percent of Canico, which it got as payment for selling it Onca-Puma. Canico management own more than 10 percent, meaning a third of the stock is fairly tied up.
Onca-Puma is regarded as one of the world's highest grade undeveloped nickel laterite deposits. At a cut-off nickel grade of 1.5 percent, the deposit is estimated to hold an inferred resource of 104.4 million tonnes, grading 2.15 percent nickel and 0.105 percent cobalt.
An inferred resource is an early stage estimate based on limited drilling.
Among other Canadian nickel stocks, FNX Mining Co. (CA:FNX) , which is active in the Sudbury, Ontario, area, rose 5 Canadian cents to C$6.60. Lionore Mining (CA:LIM) also gained 5 Canadian cents to C$6.80 and junior Jaguar Nickel (CA:JNI) , exploring in Guatemala, rose 3 Canadian cents to 93 Canadian cents.
Alle de store Ni-produsentene har nå fått opp dampen.
INCO, Falconbridge - Canada, har begge gått 60-80%, WMC, BHP - Australia - ca. 50%, andre venter på at Norilsk skal bli notert (ADR) på NYSE, de er suverent størst, og høyest priset.
På Moskva-børsen har Norilsk mer enn 10-doblet seg siden krisen i 1998.
Innen kobolt har vi OMG (Nyse), de har 4-doblet siden bunnen i 2002, men er fortsatt kun verdt ca. 20% av toppnoteringen. De har bedrevet restrukturering siste 2 år.
USD 10.000 pr. tonn nikkel (4,50 pr lb) er en psykologisk barriere. Når den brytes, vil også selskaps-prisingen dras mot nye høyder. Tipper INCO når 45-50 og Falconbridge 30 C$ i løpet av vinteren/våren.
[Endret 18.09.03 01:41 av OldNick]
|Nickel price set to attack 13-year high -analysts
Thursday September 18, 12:27 pm ET
By Richard Ayton
LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - A global nickel shortfall means prices for the base metal will probably attack 13-year highs above $10,500 a tonne in the next six months, analysts said on Thursday.
Three-months futures prices (MNI3) rallied through $10,000 a tonne on Wednesday and rose still further to end open outcry kerb trading on the London Metal Exchange at $10,100 a tonne on Thursday -- the highest close since May 2000.
The metal's important role in booming stainless steel production and limited new supply meant analysts saw prices heading up further through the January 1995 level of $10,500.
"I'd be very surprised if it didn't get to ($10,500) in the final quarter of the year or early next year," said Angus MacMillan, strategist at Prudential Bache International.
Wednesday's move marked the third nickel rally to breach $10,000 a tonne since a 1990 peak of $11,350.
"There's a combination of factors: Chinese demand seems pretty much insatiable... and the Western world's (steel) production is also on the increase," said MacMillan. "But there's little new nickel capacity."
Imports of nickel by China's burgeoning stainless steel industry have mushroomed from around 8,000 tonnes in 2000 to 65,000 this year, said Martin Squires of investment bank JP Morgan. China now lags only Japan in demand for nickel.
"China's the key growth area across the board," he said. "There's been a huge increase there and there's no sign of projects to fill this supply gap soon."
The world needs 55,000 tonnes of extra supply each year in this decade, Peter Jones, chief operating officer of the western world's largest nickel producer Inco Ltd, said last week.
But there will be little new metal to meet this demand.
"Several smaller deposits will likely come on-stream in the next few years but we expect that they will simply offset the depletion of existing mines," he told a mining conference this month.
Toronto-based Inco (Toronto:N.TO - News) is the owner of the world's two biggest new nickel projects -- Goro in the South Pacific and Voisey's Bay in Eastern Canada. But both are only expected on-stream in 2006.
"There really is not the ability to expand capacity greatly very quickly," said Prudential Bache's MacMillan. "I'd be looking for prices beyond $10,500."
UPDATE - Nickel prices destined to rise on supply pinch
Monday September 29, 4:33 am ET
By James Regan
SYDNEY, Sept 29 (Reuters) - World prices for nickel, already up 45 percent this year, are destined to rise further as demand from steelmakers and other users outpaces new supplies, commodities analysts and industry executives said on Monday.
China was leading the world in consumption growth for the metal, widely used as an alloy to make stainless steel shine, though demand in other countries was also strong.
However, a shortfall in new mines, forecast by Macquarie Bank to cause a supply deficit of about 60,000 tonnes in calendar 2004, suggests little relief through the middle of the decade as world consumption rises above one million tonnes a year.
Macquarie commodity strategist Jim Lennon said financing for new mine projects over the last several years had been an "absolute disaster", leaving the world markets hungry for nickel.
Projects proposed by Canda's Inco Ltd (Toronto:N.TO - News) and Falconbridge Ltd (Toronto:FL.TO - News) costing more than $1 billion each in nickel-rich New Caledonia have been delayed, as has been development of one of the world's largest known deposits, Inco's Voisey's Bay in Canada.
Compounding the supply pinch is a looming partial shutdown of the giant Doniambo smelter in New Caledonia to allow for expansion work later next year.
John O'Shea of Nickel Australasia said buildup of the inventory of about 5,000 tonnes was needed to maintain deliveries to the Doniambo smelter's customers in the first half of 2004.
The smelter, 60 percent-owned by France's Eramet SA (Paris:ERMT.PA - News), 30 percent by local group STCPI and 10 percent by Nisshin Steel (Tokyo:5407.T - News), is being expanded to produce around 75,000 tonnes of nickel from 62,000 tonnes at a cost of $220 million dollars.
Nickel prices have more than doubled on the London Metal Exchange since 2001 to about $4.60 a pound and in 2004 should trade above $5 a pound in 2004, according to Macquarie's Lennon.
The world market this year only averted a supply deficit after world number one producer Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.RTS) injected 60,000 tonnes of metal from its stockpile.
"But that cushion no longer exists," Lennon told the industry conference.
Steelmakers were now scouring commodities markets for supplies of the metal and in some instances have tacked surcharges onto steel prices to cover the higher cost of nickel.
"Nickel is certainly having its run," said Kerry Harmanis, Managing Director of Australia's Jubilee Mines Ltd (Australia:JBM.AX - News).
Harmanis said Jubilee was scouting for new growth opportunities, while extending the life of its existing Cosmos mine by tapping new underground veins.
Fellow Australians Mincor Resources NL (Australia:MCR.AX - News) and Titan Resources Ltd also are racing to bring on new supplies.
Leaps in global stainless steel production, growing an average 4.7 percent over the past 10 years, has the potential to double nickel prices to as much as $9.00 a pound by the end of this decade, Lennon said.
Much of the growth will come from China where stainless steel output has grown an average 17 percent over the past 10 years.
Consumption of nickel in China is forecast to rise to between 150,000 to 160,000 tonnes in 2005, from 115,700 tonnes this year, Xu Aidong, an analyst for Beijing-based Antaike Information Development Co, said
By 2006, China's primary nickel output will have risen to 110,000 tonnes a year, from 65,000 tonnes at present, Xu said.
"Although productivity has been expanded, it is still hard to meet domestic demand," Xu said.
|MISSISSAUGA - Inco CEO sees world nickel demand up
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2003 12:16 PM
- Reuters U.S. Company News
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Oct 3 (Reuters) - World nickel demand will rise about 7 percent this year, and could rise that much again in 2004, the chief executive of Inco Ltd. (CA:N) said on Friday.
"We see demand up something like 7 percent this year... there is no reason why the rise should not be the same (next year)," Scott Hand told reporters.
Hand made his comments in Mississauga, Ontario where the company was unveiled a test facility for refining technology that will be used in association with its Voisey's Bay mining project in Newfoundland.
|Russia fund eyes metals, telecoms
Norilsk Nickel, Vimpelcom are Foreign & Colonial picks
Norilsk Nickel (NILSY: news, chart, profile) and Severstal are two of the mining companies that F&C likes. "We're positive on commodity cycle," Crone said, noting that China's growth has bolstered demand worldwide for metals.
In addition, Mobile Telesystems (MBT) and Vimpelcom (VIP), both mobile-phone operators, are also favorites of the fund. "Both are a liquid way of accessing the consumer story," he said, further observing that it's "the only way of touching it."
Höjt kreditbetyg för Ryssland
Moodys höjde på onsdagen kreditbetyget för Ryssland med två steg från Ba2 till Baa3, vilket innebär att landets euroobligationer får investment grade i stället för skräpstatus.
Moodys höjning av kreditbetyget för Ryssland, från skräpstatus till investment grade, på onsdagen gav en skjuts åt aktiekurserna i Moskva.
RTS-index var upp 2,6 procent till 625,8 vid 15.40-tiden. Bäst gick det för oljebolaget Surgutneftegas och Norilsk Nickel som steg 5,9 respektive 7,8 procent på beskedet.
Se opphentingen av Norilsk-kursen siden Asia-krisen i 1998. Norilsk - 2 år kursdiagram (NILSY.PK). Norilsk er forventet å bli notert som ADR på NYSE senere, men kan visstnok handles på OTC.
[Endret 09.10.03 09:54 av OldNick]
|Metallrallyet fortsetter, da spesiellt kraftig for nikkel og kobolt (også sammenlignet med gull, som alle følger ser det ut som).
Det er ikke usannsynlig at vi når USD 6/lb. Ni allerede før jul, en pris man må over 15 år tilbake for å finne (nominellt).
Innen bransjen er det superoptimisme, men det skal sies at mange trenger disse prisene for å fylle opp kassen etter alle disse magre årene.
Det er ennå ikke for sent å bli med på ferden, og da er det ikke dumt å følge ledersauene, så som INCO, WMC, Falconbridge etc. Men de spektakulære reprisingene finner du, som i andre deler av metallbransjen blant "juniorene". Noen av dem har jeg pekt ut lenger oppe.
UPDATE 1-Inco sees nickel prices peaking in next two years
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 05, 2003 1:00 PM
- Reuters U.S. Company News
VANCOUVER, British Columbia , Dec 5 (Reuters) - Against the backdrop of surging global nickel prices, world No. 2 nickel producer, Inco Ltd. (CA:N) , said on Friday it expects prices to top out over the next two years.
"We believe 2004 and 2005 will be the market peak," Inco marketing head Peter Goudie.
Despite a 75 percent price surge already this year, Goudie said the metal would continue upward as an economic recovery in the West stimulated demand, Chinese appetite remained robust and a dearth of fresh supply persisted.
Goudie was addressing analysts in Toronto. The presentation was posted on Inco's Web site.
Nickel was unchanged at $12,740 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange on Friday. Goudie said the metal, used to make stainless steel, was more than $5,000 a tonne firmer than when he spoke to the same group of analysts a year ago.
He said many analysts' nickel price forecasts for 2004 were still below current market levels and he urged them to up their estimates. "My advice is: be the one ahead of the market, don't just follow it."
[Endret 05.12.03 19:50 av OldNick]
|Nikkelprisen har idag snust på USD 6,50 per lb., ca. 14.300 USD/tonn.
Det er bl.a. de forventede kontraktsforhandlinger Falconbridge skal gjennomføre i løpet av januar som presser. Frontene er harde, og aktørene har en 3 mnd. streik hos INCO i friskt minne.
Disse prisene begynner dessverre å bli usunne, da smelteverkenes kunder kan bli presset til å redusere/stoppe p.g.a. av manglende muligheter til å hente inn kostnadene hos sine avtagere (les: rustfritt stål).
En del vil lete desperat etter alternativer, dvs. substitutter og/eller redusert Ni-innhold i stål.
Ha i minne at laveste Nikkelpris på 90-tallet var ca. USD 1,70 per lb, og snittpris var ca. USD 3 (nominelt).
Det er ikke mer enn tre år siden vi var under USD 2 per lb.
|Copper passerte dollaren i dag.
|Forecast'ene på Ni-pris blir stadig luftigere og luftigere. Siste mann ut:
Nickel at US$10/lb in sight: Macquarie
Monday, December 15, 2003
MAQUARIE Bank analysts Jim Lennon and Adam Rowley say there is "absolutely no prospect" of the nickel shortage easing until 2006, and there is real potential for the metal to reach US$10/lb as early as next year.
The bullish prognosis comes with the nickel price breaking through the US$6/lb mark on Friday and hitting a 14-year high before closing at US$13,520/t.
The analysts say latest numbers suggest a deficit of supply over demand next year of 46,000t, and that speculation of a strike at Falconbridge's 60,000t per annum Sudbury operations in Canada is "almost impossible to contemplate".
The labour contract at these operations expires at the end of 2004, with "speculation of a strike growing".
Macquarie's upgraded 2004 nickel price is US$6.75/lb, up from US$6/lb.
"If there is a strike at Falconbridge (and even if there isn't), we quite frankly believe that 2004 average prices may yet be higher than our new forecast," Lennon and Rowley said.
"Is US$10/lb possible over the next year? Absolutely."
Prisen har nå passert 15.000 USD/tonn, og vi begynner å nærme oss all time high, som stammer fra vinteren 1988 - da var prisen opp i over USD 8 pr. lb, men kun veldig få dager.
Gjentar historien seg nå, eller får vi et lengre bullmarked ?
Lägre metallpriser nästa år
Ryska Norilsk Nickel spår att metallpriserna kommer att sjunka under nästa år, efter att ha nått de högsta nivåerna på över ett decennium under 2003.
Priserna på platina, som bland annat används i juveler och avgasreningssystem till bilar, har stigit 35 procent i år till den högsta nivån på 23 år. Nickelpriserna har samtidigt mer än fördubblats i år och nått den högsta nivån på 14 år.
"De rådande prisnivåerna på platina är oroande för både producenter och användare. Nickelpriserna har snarare drivits av investerare än av branschen i sig", säger Anton Berlin, marknadschef hos Norilsk Nickel, till Bloomberg News.
Norilsk Nickel bryter en femtedel av världens nickel, och står för två tredjedelar av Rysslands platinautvinning. Bolaget har också en framstående ställning när det gäller palladium, men priserna på den metallen har minskat med över 70 procent sedan 2000 i takt med att investerarna bytt till billigare material som platina
"Om inte platinapriserna börjar korrigeras under de närmaste månaderna kan det bli problem. De rådande prisnivåerna kan tvinga juvelerare att använda andra material. Vi såg en liknande situation med palladium, nu hatar alla i branschen dessa metaller", säger Anton Berlin.
Platina noterades 8 dollar högre på 807 per uns på LME i London.
|Stor fare for streik hos Falconbridge i Sudbury, Canada.
Falconbridge union rejects offer, shutdown looms
FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2004 2:30 PM
- Reuters U.S. Company News
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The union at Falconbridge Ltd.'s (CA:FL) Sudbury, Ontario nickel site said on Friday it has rejected a contract offer from the world's third-biggest nickel producer and was not hopeful of a settlement before a contract deadline at midnight on Saturday.
"We told them flat out that their offer is not even close. We're on two different planets," said Tom Datillo, an official with local 598 of the Canadian Auto Workers. "We're waiting to see if they will come back with another offer but we're not too optimistic," he told Reuters.
Streiken starter i såfall søndag 1 febr.
[Endret 30.01.04 22:20 av trader.nr1]
Falconbridge fails to reach contract settlement with CAW at Sudbury nickel operations
SUDBURY, ON, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - Following two months of negotiations for a new collective agreement, Falconbridge Limited announces that it was unable to reach terms for settlement with the Sudbury Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 598 (CAW) at its Sudbury nickel operations. As a result, the union has initiated work action against the Company, as the existing collective agreement expired at midnight on January 31, 2004.
Falconbridge has begun implementing contingency plans at its Sudbury operations. These plans include idling production at its four mines and mill in a safe and orderly manner, as well as operating its Sudbury smelter at a reduced production rate.
Detailed information on the Sudbury labour negotiations, including the final offer for settlement, will be posted to the Company's website - www.falconbridge.com, and click on -Sudbury Labour Negotiations 2004.
Falconbridge Sudbury operations are part of the Company's Integrated Nickel Operations (INO). The operations employ over 1,500 people and consist of four underground mines, a mill and a smelter. Approximately 1,050 production and maintenance workers are represented by Sudbury Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 598 (CAW).
Falconbridge Limited is a leading producer of nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals. Its common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FL. Falconbridge is owned by Noranda Inc. of Toronto (59.5%) and by other investors (40.5%).
Siste streik varte ca. 7 mnd, tror kanskje denne blir kortere, men markedet er allerede short mer enn LME-lager. Ikke-organisert mannskap vil kjøre smelteverket på redusert produksjon, hvilket antakelig vil innebære ca. 50% av vanlig produksjonsrate.
Nå vil Ni-prisen få et nytt puff, og kanskje nå all-time high (USD 19.000 pr tonn).
Kjøp f.eks. INCO eller WMC.
|Falconbridge cuts metals output as strike bites
Monday February 2, 2:27 pm ET
By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER, British Columbia , Feb 2 (Reuters) - The strike at Falconbridge Ltd.'s (Toronto:FL.TO - News) big Sudbury, Ontario, operations will slash its nickel output by 2,000 tonnes a month, the world's No.3 producer said on Monday, but it expects to have enough stock to supply customers until next month.
A day after workers walked off the job at the crucial operation in the company's supply chain, Falconbridge officials said there were no immediate plans to declare force majeure as the firm had enough nickel stocks to meet supply commitments for the next four to six weeks.
Firms declare force majeure when they cannot meet supply contracts due to unforeseen circumstances. Falconbridge rival, Inco Ltd (Toronto:N.TO - News) , did so two days after workers went on strike at its Sudbury unit last June.
Falconbridge's Sudbury smelter normally processes about 5 percent of the world's nickel each year, and the company said it hoped to keep the running at 50 percent capacity -- a relief to metal markets at a time of a serious shortage of nickel.
"We don't plan to announce anything (on force majeure) for at least this month," a Falconbridge official told a conference call.
The strike started at midnight on Saturday, at the expiry of a three-year labor contract, after management and workers failed to agree a new package of wages, benefits and job protection, and the northern Ontario unit's mine and mills were shut down on Sunday and smelter output cut.
Nickel prices (MNI3), which initially rose early on Monday on news of the strike, fell back to $14,750 a tonne from $15,200 after the immediate threat of force majeure faded.
Falconbridge said it was optimistic that non-unionized workers could keep the smelter running, as happened during the last strike in 2000. It said nickel feed would continue to flow from the firm's Raglan mines in Quebec although the Sudbury mines were expected to stay shut down.
"Our nickel production will be reduced by approximately 2,000 tonnes per month. We intend to run the smelter at reduced capacity at the rate of 40-50 percent," Aaron Regent, Falconbridge's chief executive, said.
Copper output from the northern Ontario operation is expected to drop by 2,500 tonnes per month while cobalt production will ease by 50 tonnes per month. Both are mined as by-products of nickel.
Analysts expect a nickel supply deficit of 30,000 tonnes this year and in 2005 due to a lack of new production at a time of insatiable demand, especially from China.
Nickel is mostly used to make stainless steel, which is widely used in the construction industry. As it doesn't rust or melt, stainless steel is also popular for products in the home such as pots and pans, cutlery and kitchen sinks.
Falconbridge stock was down 30 Canadian cents at C$31.50 on the Toronto stock exchange on Monday. Lower production will reduce its earnings.
|INCO rapporterte for 4 kv., 2003 (utdrag):
Inco reports results for fourth quarter and full year 2003
(All dollar amounts are expressed in United States currency)
TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - Inco Limited today reported adjusted net earnings(1) of $118 million, or 62 cents per share (57 cents per share on a diluted basis(2)), for the fourth quarter of 2003, compared with adjusted net earnings of $25 million, or ten cents per share (ten cents per share on a diluted basis), for the fourth quarter of 2002. The principal adjustments made in arriving at adjusted net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2003 reflected the exclusion of (1) a net unfavourable adjustment of $32 million, or 17 cents per share, covering certain tax charges and the accrued tax associated with currency translation adjustments relating principally to long-term debt, (2) unfavourable non-cash currency translation adjustments relating to changes in the Canadian-U.S. dollar exchange rate of $21 million, or 11 cents per share, (3) after-tax income of $22 million, or 12 cents per share, representing a milestone payment received as part of the terms of the sale of a non-core exploration property in 1998, and (4) an after-tax charge of $15 million, or eight cents per share, for estimated remediation costs for certain former industrial sites in the United States we retained relating to a business sold in 1983. For the fourth quarter of 2003, net earnings, in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles ("Canadian GAAP"), were $74 million, or 39 cents per share (36 cents per share on a diluted basis), compared with a net loss of $2 million, or five cents per share (five cents per share on a diluted basis), in accordance with Canadian GAAP for the fourth quarter of 2002. Adjusted net earnings for 2003 were $260 million, or $1.33 per share ($1.29 per share on a diluted basis), compared with adjusted net earnings of $167 million, or 75 cents per share (75 cents per share on a diluted basis), in 2002. Net earnings for 2003, in accordance with Canadian GAAP, were $137 million, or 59 cents per share (58 cents per share on a diluted basis), compared with a net loss of $1,482 million, or $8.27 per share ($8.27 per share on a diluted basis), in the corresponding period. All of the adjustments made in arriving at adjusted net earnings for the fourth quarters and years 2003 and 2002 are set forth under "Reconciliation Between Adjusted Net Earnings and Net Earnings in Accordance with Canadian GAAP" below.
Chief Executive Officer's Message
Inco ended 2003 on a strongly upbeat note, with nickel prices hitting 14-year highs and our share price up significantly since the beginning of 2003. For 2004, we intend to make the most of a strong nickel market, with plans to produce every pound of nickel we can to meet our customers' needs. We will also continue to work aggressively to reduce our controllable costs and enhance margins. Longer term, we expect our leading nickel development projects at Voisey's Bay and Goro will position us to benefit from future growth in nickel demand.
Nickel prices rose dramatically in the fourth quarter of 2003, hitting 14-year highs by December and finishing the year up 135 per cent from the end of 2002. Our fourth quarter 2003 results also bene*****d from higher prices for copper and cobalt.
The strong nickel prices were driven by tight supply and increasing demand, particularly as a result of ongoing growth in Asian stainless steel production and demand and the lack of new sources of supply. The boom in the Asian market validates Inco's strategy over many years of building a strong presence on the ground across Asia and particularly in China. About 66 per cent of our 2003 sales were in Asia, as opposed to approximately 40 per cent ten years ago.
Our current outlook is for the nickel markets to remain strong through 2004, with continued robust demand from Asia and increased demand in the traditional markets of the United States and Europe.
INCO's resultat er ikke tilfredstillendepå bakgrunn av de rådende markedsforhold. De oppnådde snittpriser på 5,64 USD/lb for Ni og 0,94 USD/lb for Cu.
Sammen med økt produksjon i dette kvartalet og en Ni-pris ca. 1 USD høyere, samt Cu-prisen kanskje 15 % høyere, burde det gi > 100 mill. økt cashflow i 1 kv., 2004.
Noe økte cashcost-tall veier på den negative siden. Den finansielle evalueringen og avgjørelse om evt. videre utvikling av GORO vil komme i 2 kv.
Streiken hos Falconbridge vil mest sannsynlig vare hele 1 kv., og vil derfor være en støtte for Ni-prisen.
|Goldman's "First Take" on earnings
1) BEATING 4Q03 ESTS. Inco reported oper. EPS of $0.57 vs. our $.35 est and consensus at $0.33 due to lower than expected taxes and minority interests. EBITDA of $241 m.
was in-line with our forecast as higher than expected ' other income' in connection to metal derivative positions offset higher SG& A and overhead costs. 2) COST PRESSURES: Inco's 4Q03 nickel production cash costs at $2.44/lb. was above guidance of $2.20- $2.25/lb. due to a more severe impact of higher nickel price on third party purchases. 3) RAISING PRODUCTION/COST GUIDANCE: Inco increased production guidance by 6-8% to 500- 510 mn lbs for 2004 and may be potentially higher as it runs above capacity to meet customer demand. Inco expects cash cost $2.35-2.40 per lb in 04' which is above our current est. range of $1.60-1.90. 4) MORE DATA POINTS ON CONF CALL. highlights should be: nickel market update, progress on projects, new cost reduction/production maximization initiatives. 5) REMAIN POSITIVE DESPITE HIGHER COST. Use any weakness as a buying opportunity (OP/A)
4Q03: NEGATIVE SURPRISES. 1) Higher than guidance costs in 4Q03 at $2.44/lb (previous guidance was in the range of $2.20-2.25/lb); 2) Higher cost guidance for 2004 in the range of $2.35-$2.40/lb; 3) lower revenues as PGM sales volumes were lower than expected; and 4) higher than expected SG&A due to the increase of share price appreciation rights expense to $25 million in 4Q03.
OPERATING IMPROVEMENTS AT PT INCO. Inco's total production in 4Q03 increased to 120 million lbs from 108 last year and 79 million last quarter, as PT Inco is currently operating at above its name plate capacity of 150 million lbs per year due to the use of higher costs thermoelectric facilities in addition to its low-cost hydroelectric plant. Inco expects to continue to push for higher than nominal capacity at PT Inco in 2004.
BULLISH ON NICKEL MARKET. Inco stated new data points in their press release confirming continued strength in the Asian markets and increased demand in Europe and the US. We increased on Monday our nickel price forecast to $6.50/lb from $5.75/lb in 2004 and to $7.00/lb from $6.50 in 2005.
|Idag kom Falconbridge's regnskap for 4 kv. 2003:
Falconbridge 2003 net earnings increase to $194 million
Thursday February 5, 6:02 am ET
Fourth quarter earnings total $94 million
ALL NUMBERS IN U.S. DOLLARS ---------------------------
TORONTO, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - Falconbridge Limited (TSX: FL - News) today reported consolidated earnings of $194 million or $1.05 per common share ($1.04 per share on a diluted basis) for 2003. This compares with earnings of $50 million ($0.24 per common share on a basic and diluted basis) for 2002.
Earnings of $94 million ($0.52 per common share or $0.51 per share on a diluted basis) were reported for the fourth quarter 2003, compared to $23 million ($0.12 per common share on a basic and diluted basis) for the fourth quarter 2002.
Det er en del bedre enn INCO's, men bekymringene for streiken vil holde denne aksjen tilbake en periode.
Surging nickel prices also prompted J.P. Morgan to revise its earning forecasts for Inco (N: news, chart, profile) and Falconbridge.
J.P. Morgan said nickel has been the best performing base metal on the London Metals Exchange in terms of price gains, due to strong growth in demand from the increased consumption of stainless steel in Asia combined with a lack of sufficient new nickel supplies to match the demand.
"Based on our commodity research team's new 2004 nickel price forecast of $7 a pound, (from $5.65), we are raising our 2004 EPS estimates for Inco to $5.08 from $3.35," Morgan said.
For 2005, J.P. Morgan said Inco is projected to earn $5.68 compared with a previous forecast of $3.55, on nickel prices estimated at $7.25 a pound, revised upward from an initial forecast of $5.75.
Shares of Inco were up 65 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $36.22.
J.P. Morgan also raised its 2004 and 2005 EPS estimate for Toronto-based Falconbridge (CA:FL: news, chart, profile) to $3.07 and $3.79, respectively, compared with previous forecasts of $1.74 and $2.09.
The broker said its 2004 estimate included a first quarter penalty of $40 million to reflect current labor unrest at one of its sites.
Lehman Brothers analyst Ward raised his rating on Phelps Dodge (PD: news, chart, profile) to "overweight" from "equal weight," after the brokerage lifted its copper price forecast for 2004 to $1.15 a pound and to $1.35 a pound in 2005.
"With its high degree of copper price leverage, we forecast Phelps Dodge will earn $10 per share in 2005," Ward said.
The Thomson First Call mean estimate for Phelps Dodge is for 2005 earnings of $7.60 a share.
Ward said stronger fundamentals and the company's improving balance sheet, will lead to the Phelps board reinstating its dividend in 2004.
Phelps raised his price target on the company to $110, up from $85.
Shares of Phelps Dodge rose $2.02, or 2.6 percent, at $79.82
|Minker på kopperreservene. Med denne speeden er det tomt ut på høsten og en av verdens største gruver har store problemer etter ras.
Long GRZ: 500.000 mt kopper og 10 mill oz gull i bakken. Børsverdi 120 mill USD. Røkke & co holder på med feasability studie.
Hvorfor ikke satse på en av de ledende selskapene som har gående gruve-produksjon.
Denne boom'en er ikke de junior'ene plassert riktig for, men det kan (og vil sannsynligvis) føre til at finansieringsklimaet bedres. Det er nåværende gruveeiere som blir de umiddelbare vinnerne (og forsåvidt er det allerede).
Phelps Dodge er kanskje den reneste Cu-produsenten blant de store (børsnoterte - Codelco er den suverene lederen, statseid Chile), men BHP Billiton er et diversivisert selskap som skårer stort innen flere commodities, jernmalm, stål, Cu, Ni, olje/gass.
Noranda, Canada er interessant fordi de kan komme "i spill". Hovedeier Brascan uttalte nettopp av de kunne tenke å selge sin 40% eierandel. Cu er Noranda's viktigste metall. De er også store innen Zn, Ni og edelmetaller. Teck Cominco, Canada er størst innen Zn, men også store innen kobber.
Norilsk Nickel er størst innen Ni, men dominerer også edelmetaller (Pd), og er store innen Cu og gull også. De er dog ikke notert på NYSE ennå, men har gjort mer enn 50-gangen siden krisen i 1998 (rubel).
[Endret 17.02.04 21:05 av OldNick]
|Jeg er litt mer av en gambler. De store er litt for opplagt og gevinsten er kanskje sikrere men mindre. Andre store kopper produsenter er Rio Tinto og Freeport Mcmoran, sistnevnte er selskapet som jeg omtalte i forrige innlegg.
|Hvis du sikter på kortsiktige gevinster, kan de mindre gi større potensiale.
I dette bullmarkedet gjelder det å plukke riktig selskap, og sitte. Da må du ha gjort hjemmeleksa på forhånd.
Nå begynner også drittselskapene å gå også, men ved den minste motstand, klapper de sammen. Industrien kan gå 20, 30 og 50 %, mens vinnerne går flere 100%, det tar litt tid, men retningen kjenner vi.
De største som Rio T, BHP og andre går ikke nye 100%, men de vil gi en anstendig avkastning. De beste, mellomstore kan gi den store gevinsten.
Disse markedsutsiktene sammen med begrensede nye prosjekt jgør at det vil bli mange fusjoner og oppkjøp, der de store sluker de litt mindre. Vi har sett det spesiellt innen gull tidligere, men innen Ni vil vi trolig se et eller to av de store blir kjøpt opp/fusjonert.
Innen Cu blir det flere (da industrien er vesentlig større).
|To store selskaper som fusjonerer er ikke interessant. I gull sekoren har jeg holdt meg til små og mellomstore selskaper hele tiden og har gjort det bedre enn de store som f.eks Newmont. Mitt favoritt metall er forøvrig sølv.
|Små selskaper er ikke nødvendigvis drittselskaper bare fordi de er små, de kan være undervurdert. Det er hele tiden mitt mål å finne undervurderte selskaper.
|I bullmarked går jo både hummer og kanari.
Man bør jo allikevel sjele litt til risiko.
De mellomstore med sunne, gående forretninger er de sikreste kandidatene, synes jeg.
Dessuten bør man ikke satse store summer på små nisjeselskap uten spesiell info. Faren for manipulering er påtrengende. Likviditet i aksjen er alfa og omega, at man hver dag kan kvitte seg med innehav.
Jeg har sett at neon av de du har sett på har omsetning på noen 10-tusen aksjer, de utelukker jeg umiddelbart.
|Å satse på små selskap på andre siden av jordkloden, i en tro på at de er undervurdert, synes jeg er mer risikabelt enn å spille på lotto. Har du spesielle kunnskaper om metall- og gruvebransjen siden du satser slik ?
Og hvorfor sølv, har sølvmarkedet har bedret seg signifikant ?
|Nei det er ikke lurt å bruke for mye penger på et lite dritt selskap. Selskaper som blir manipulert holder jeg meg unna, som regel er det stor aktivitet på diskusjonsider og unormale pris spiker i historien. Det selskapet som jeg nevnte her har en børsverdi på linje med Kenor og Crew og det er ok. Et selskap er ikke nødvendigvis enklere å analysere i Norge enn i USA /Canada. Ofte mer informasjon der borte. Det er også så veldig mange selskaper der at noen rett og slett blir glemt fordi ingen analytikere følger det. Det skjer også her i landet. Eks JIN (som lå på stedet hvil rundt 1 krone lenge etter at bulkratene begynte å stige.) og PAN i 1999 som leverte kjemperesultater uten at børsen reagerte. Når selskapet blir oppdaget stiger omsetningen etterhvert som børsverdien øker. Jeg har ingen spesielle kjennskaper til metaller eller gruvedrift annet enn det jeg har lest meg til opp gjennom årene på internett.
Sølv er interessant fordi det er et industrimetall som tar del i et økonomisk oppsving i likhet med andre metaller men vil også være et investeringsinstrument i likhet med gull. Forbruket av sølv har vært større enn produksjon i mange år. På de sølvprisene vi har hatt de siste årene er det blitt stengt ned mange gruver og det har vært laber leteaktivitet.
|Sølvmarkedet eller prisen har vært laber lenge, faktisk over en 10-års periode.
For en 6-7 år siden var W.Buffet aktiv og kjøpte en stor del av markedet. Prisen fikk en topp over 7 USD, men falt tilbake. Jeg vet ikke om Buffet sitter på sølv-kontraktene sine lenger, antageligvis ikke.
Det var nok en dårlig forretning.
Jeg har den forståelsen av sølvmarkedet at mange selskaper har lave eller ingen marginer slik det har vært. En prisoppgang på 20-30 % gir derfor en mulighet for at noen av de store, solide selskapene med høy produksjon kan få en resultatsmessig "høy gearing", og kursen derfor kan mangedobles. Det har skjedd bl.a. for Coeur d'Alene og Hecla. Men jeg har min kompetanse i andre deler av gruveindustrien, og foretrekker derfor å investere pengene mine der (foreløpig). Det er eller har vært et utrolig potensiale i de fleste områdene i denne industrien, og det fortsetter nok et stykke til, selv om fremtiden blir litt mer ruglete enn 2003.
|Både Hecla og CDE var på konkursens rand for et par år siden, børsverdier på et par titalls millioner, så de var ikke akkurat solide, men gearingen var på plass, det er det som er så spennende med commodity og feks shipping. Såvidt jeg vet sitter Berkshire Hathaway fremdeles på sølvet de kjøpte.
|Ikke dårlig fra en "major".
BHP har hatt en noe broget fortid, med en rekke katastrofale prosjekt de har tapt mange mrd. USD på. Det ser ut som om dette er fortid. Nå satser de mindre på produksjonsteknologi, og mer på ressursbasen.
De er ikke minst riktig posisjonert i.f.t. Kina, med jernmalm, olje/gass, kull, Ni og Cu fra Australia, Cu og Ni fra Sør-amerika.
BHP er ikke billig lenger, men dette er selskapene som tjener direkte på boomen de nærmeste årene.
Dow Jones Business News
UPDATE:Base Metals Emerge As BHP Billiton Profit Drivers
Thursday February 19, 7:11 am ET
By Eric Johnston
MELBOURNE -(Dow Jones)- Citing resurgent base metal prices and a hungry Chinese economy, BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP - News) Thursday said first half net profit jumped 47%, its strongest performance since the Anglo-Australian resource giant's US$28 billion merger almost three years ago.
The world's biggest diversified resources company remained bullish on the outlook for its key products, raising the prospect of a synchronized recovery in the global economy at a time when mineral supplies are tight.
BHP Billiton, which has listings in Australia and London, said net profit for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2003, rose to US$1.34 billion from US$912 million a year earlier. Sales increased 36.2% to US$10.97 billion.
After stripping out US$126 million in one-off gains mostly related to the settlement of a five year-old legal claim on a faulty underwater oil pipeline, net profit rose 30.3% to US$1.21 billion. This easily beat an average of market estimates lumped around US$1.07 billion.
"It's the strongest set of results we've had really since the merger, but it's probably fair to say it's the strongest results we've ever had," chief executive Chip Goodyear said on a telephone hookup from London. Australian-based BHP and London's Billiton PLC merged in 2001.
Investors backed the profit hike, sending the stock up 19.75 pence, or 4.1%, to 499.25 pence in London around 1150 GMT.
"It was a great result, it came in above market and our expectations. It was very positive in terms of a platform going forward," said ABN AMRO analyst Heath Jansen, who rates the stock as an Add.
All of BHP Billiton's businesses are now well positioned to capture ongoing demand from Japan and China while benefiting from commodity price improvements, Jansen said.
"Earnings growth is exponential from here, with the commissioning of new projects increasing production in an environment of rising prices," said Macquarie Equities, which has an Outperform rating on BHP Billiton's shares.
The dominance of China on BHP Billiton's financial statements continues to grow with sales to the world's sixth-biggest economy now representing around 10% of annual turnover, up from just 5% at last year's interim result.
"We expect China growth to continue," Goodyear told reporters. "We continue to see quite strong demand across the board for products that we move into China".
At BHP Billiton's London presentation Thursday, Goodyear listed the key products the company is selling into China are bauxite/alumina, iron ore, nickel, petroleum and liquefied natural gas.
There is no doubt the U.S. economy is in a recovery, Goodyear said.
But with the U.S. heavily dominated by the service industry it is not a direct consumer of raw materials, however it does influence indirect demand for mining products.
Japan is having the best economic activity in the last 15 years, benefitting from increased demand in China, Goodyear said.
"We're seeing commodity markets are quite tight, raw material stocks for many of our commodities are in decline."
Across-the-board price rises boosted pretax earnings by just over US$1 billion, with key commodities copper, nickel and oil dominating gains.
During the half, average realized copper prices of 96 US cents per pound were up 41% from the previous corresponding period, while average nickel prices of US$4.72 per pound increased 49%.
Both commodities have pushed even higher since the start of the year.
"If I stood up in front of you last year and said we'd be standing here today talking about US$1.20 (per pound) copper US$7.00 (per pound) nickel, and a 28% increase in coking coal - you probably thought you'd gone to an Alice in Wonderland presentation," Goodyear told analysts.
Offsetting price gains was a weaker U.S. dollar which sliced around US$455 million from pretax earnings.
Sharp rises over the past year in the Australian dollar and South African rand increased operating costs across its major production assets.
For BHP Billiton, which operates under a U.S. balance sheet, every one U.S. cent move against the Australian dollar translates to a US$30 million impact on earnings. Likewise, every one U.S. cent move against the South African rand has a US$100 million impact.
Petroleum continues to be BHP Billiton's dominant business, although earnings during the half fell 8.8% to US$660 million largely due to lower liquids production and U.S. currency weakness.
Earnings from the base metals business more than tripled, rising to US$333 million from US$83 million in the previous corresponding half, backed by higher prices and an 8% increase in copper production following the commissioning in the phase four expansion of the giant Escondida mine in Chile.
Nickel also was another standout, with the company's stainless steel materials unit returning earnings of US$193 million, up from US$61 million.
Earnings from iron ore and coking coal mining operations were flat at US$505 million, as the benefit of higher production and iron ore prices were eroded as unfavorable exchange rate movements increased operating costs.
Currency movements also hurt energy coal, or steaming coal, earnings which fell to 31.5% over the half to US$85 million.
Improved pricing helped aluminum earnings increase 15.4% to US$307 million, while smelter expansions at Mozal
|Falconbridge employees ratify new three-year collective agreement
SUDBURY, ON, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Falconbridge Limited announced today that its employees, members of the Sudbury Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 598 (CAW) voted 93.5% in favour of ratifying a new three-year collective agreement.
The new collective agreement expires on January 31, 2007 and includes the following:
- Wage increase of 40 cents in the first year plus cost of living allowance in each of the three years
- Pension improvements from $50 per month per year of service to $53
- Language that clarifies the Company's use of contractors for capital work and the transition of employees into new projects. The parties agreed that the commitments on Nickel Rim South and Fraser Morgan Projects would extend for six years and would not have to be renegotiated during collective bargaining in 2007.
- Commitment from the Union to work co-operatively with the Company on benefit cost containment projects initiated by the Company
- Agreement from senior union officials to meet with senior officials of the Company throughout the life of the collective agreement to review and discuss existing business challenges, contracting out and future business growth opportunities.
- A $1,000 ramp-up production bonus to be paid out to employees provided that budgeted tonnes and grade targets are achieved over the 12 week start up period after the return to work process is completed.
- Settlement bonus of $2,000
"We are pleased with the results of the ratification vote and look forward to having our employees back to work as soon as possible," stated Allen Hayward, Vice-President Mining, Falconbridge. "We believe the new agreement reached a good balance between the Company's need to maintain costs and flexibility in a global marketplace, while providing our employees with a very competitive settlement."
A return to work agreement has been established for an orderly and safe resumption of operations over the next two weeks. Falconbridge estimates that it will take approximately three to four weeks to return mine production to normal operating levels. Smelter production will resume normal operating levels almost immediately.
Falconbridge Sudbury operations are part of the Company's Integrated Nickel Operations (INO). The operations employ over 1,500 people and consist of four underground mines, a mill and a smelter. Approximately 1,050 production and maintenance workers are represented by Sudbury Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 598 (CAW).
Falconbridge Limited is a leading producer of nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals. Its common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FL. Falconbridge is owned by Noranda Inc. of Toronto (59.2%) and by other investors (40.8%).
Asia Metals-Nickel seen tight despite Falconbridge deal
Monday February 23, 2:48 am ET
By Robin Paxton
SINGAPORE, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Nickel markets on Monday breathed a sigh of relief as workers voted to end a three-week strike at the main production unit of the world's third-largest producer of the metal, Canada's Falconbridge Ltd (Toronto:FL.TO - News), traders and analysts said.
But they said dwindling stocks were compounding a global shortage of the metal, used mainly in the production of stainless steel. This would keep prices close to double their levels a year ago and close to a 14-1/2-year peak reached last month, they said.
"The nickel market can't withstand too many more of these supply disruptions. LME stocks have already fallen lower than they did during the Inco three-month strike last year," John Barkas, head of research at Sydney-based AME Mineral Economics, said.
Global stocks in the London Metal Exchange's (LME) approved warehouses fell 102 tonnes on Friday to 14,550 tonnes. LME stocks were just below 19,000 tonnes at end-August 2003, when Falconbridge's rival Inco Ltd (Toronto:N.TO - News) struck a deal to end a 13-week strike at its Sudbury mining and processing unit.
Striking workers at Falconbridge's main operation, which is also in Sudbury, Ontario and supplies five percent of the world's nickel, voted to accept a new contract on Sunday.
The strike had paralysed the company's four Sudbury mines for three weeks and cut smelting capacity in half, or by around 2,000 tonnes a month.
"It was never considered to be a long strike. The price of nickel is too high at the moment for management at Falconbridge to want a protracted strike," said a metal futures trader in Sydney.
NEW NICKEL CAPACITY
Benchmark three-month LME nickel (MNI3) fell to $14,400/14,600 a tonne in Asian trade by 0730 GMT on Monday, from $15,100 at Friday's market close in London.
Though the end of the Falconbridge strike was a factor, traders said the fall was linked mainly to the strength of the U.S. dollar, which stormed to a three-month high against the yen of 109.40 yen (JPY=).
Industry analysts expect the global shortage of nickel to continue until at least 2006, when new capacity is scheduled to come on stream in Canada and New Caledonia.
"Actual consumption this year will not be sufficient to meet underlying demand for nickel, especially from booming stainless steel production in China," AME's Barkas said.
Inco is expected to decide later this year whether to proceed with its Goro Nickel project in New Caledonia, which would produce 54,000 tonnes a year of nickel and 4,500 tonnes of cobalt.
"A decision will take place at the end of July," Christian Bonnel, community relations officer for Goro Nickel, told Reuters.
If Inco were to approve the project, he said commissioning would take place at the end of 2006 or early 2007.
Also in New Caledonia, Falconbridge is studying the development of a possible 60,000 tonne-per-year project at Koniambo with its partner Societe Miniere du Sud Pacifique, an arm of the government of New Caledonia's northern province.
"The current state of the market makes it very likely that the development of these projects will proceed but we're not seeing any rush to fast-track them," Barkas said.
|Fallet i Copper inventory på LME er i ferd med å eskalere. Minket 5000 tonn siste døgn. 250000 igjen.
Utdrag fra en rapport fra et internasjonalt analyseinstitutt.....
A significant global market deficit is forecast for this year
While there can be little doubt that copper prices are presently trading above fair value, our metal supply/demand balances point to an ongoing decline in stocks throughout this year and well into 2005. And, while we believe that present prices are vulnerable to some form of correction, it seems to us that all this will do is provide further strong buying opportunities. Our numbers suggest that while the current deficit is mainly supply driven, rising global copper demand will become a more significant factor in keeping the market in deficit in coming months. We believe that the cumulative metal shortfall for this year and next will be over 900kt Cu. Our latest price forecasts have thus been revised upwards in recognition these extremely strong fundamentals to $2655/t ($1.20/lb) in 2004 and $2750/t ($1.25/lb) in 2005.
De fortsetter med supply/demand-balanse (estimat) som summerer seg opp til:
2003: ÷368.000 tonn Cu
2004: ÷588.000 tonn Cu
2005: ÷335.000 tonn Cu
Litt Kina-tall her også: Deres forbruk av "raffnert Cu" er nå over 3 mill tonn årlig. Verdensproduksjonen ligger på 15,5 mill. tonn, Kina er derfor verden største enkeltforbrukende nasjon, langt foran USA, Japan og Tyskland på de neste plassene.
[Endret 21.03.04 18:57 av OldNick]
|Fra en annen rapport:
Is a copper supply shortfall likely in the future?
The possibility of a copper supply shortfall in the future has been discussed in a previous issue of Copper studies (August 2002, Volume 30, No. 2). In a more recent article (November 2003, Volume 31, No. 5), it was pointed out that the copper mining industry has experienced a sharp fall in investment exploration activity since 1997. Although in this article we have not taken into account expansions at existing mines or the possibility of discoveries of hitherto unknown deposits, comparison of new projects between the 2000s and 1990s appears to point to a fall in new production capacity by the end of this decade. We expect a series of major mine closures (for example Highland Valley and Ok Tedi) at the end of the 2000s and into the following decade will also exacerbate the situation.
Although, the discovery of a yet unknown large-scale deposit cannot entirely be ruled out, there does not appear to be another Escondida (1,2 mill tpy Cu) or Grasberg (0,69 mill tpy Cu) on the horizon. Even if a new Escondida was discovered today, it could take around 10 years to reach production. The possibility of a copper supply shortfall should not therefore be ignored.
World demand needs big new nickel mines -analyst
Friday April 2, 12:19 pm ET
(In U.S. dollars unless noted)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia , April 2 (Reuters) - Unless a swathe of giant nickel deposits are developed into mines over the next six years, a shortfall in supply of the key stainless steel ingredient this year could balloon into a yawning chasm by decade's end, according to an analyst's report.
Greg Barnes, an analyst at Canaccord Capital, said in a report this week that demand could outstrip supply by 180,000 tonnes, or 10 percent, by 2010 unless big nickel finds such as the Goro and Koniambo sites in New Caledonia and the Onca-Puma project in Brazil are developed into mines.
|En artikkel fra Bloomberg, hovedsklig om Cu, men inneholder prisforecast for andre metall også - gjelder 2 kv.
Copper to Stay Close to 8-Year High, Survey Shows
The following table gives analysts' forecasts for average metal prices for the second quarter. Prices are in dollars per metric ton. Some estimates were converted from dollars or cents per pound:
Second-Quarter Average Price
Company Copper Aluminum Nickel Tin Lead Zinc
Standard Bank 2,600 1,625 14,000 7,000 800 1,050
Barclays Capital 3,200 1,750 15,000 9,000 850 1,200
Prudential-Bache 3,100 1,600 13,000 7,500 775 1,050
Credit Lyonnais 2,650 1,675 13,500 725 1,075
Societe Generale 2,975 1,600 15,875 7,715 840 1,115
Metal Bulletin 2,950 1,585 13,500 7,230 880 1,050
Macquarie Bank 3,086 1,808 15,432 8,598 904 1,146
Goldman Sachs 2,777 1,654 13,382 1,014
Mitsui 2,950 1,705 14,200 8,250 1,120
Median 2,950 1,654 14,000 7,715 840 1,075
|Et litt bearish syn på commodities.
|United States Steel Corp
Mulig brudd opp her snart.
|Falconbridge har rapportert 1 kv., som førstemann blant metallselskapene i Ni-bransjen. De gjorde en nettogevinst i 1 kv. 2004 som var nesten lik netto for hele 2003.
FALCONBRIDGE REPORTS RECORD FIRST QUARTER
EARNINGS OF US$184 MILLION
TORONTO, Ontario April 16, 2004 -- Falconbridge Limited (TSX: FL) today reported consolidated earnings of $184 million or $1.02 per common share ($1.01 per share on a diluted basis) for the first quarter of 2004. This compares with earnings of $38 million or $0.21 per common share on a basic and diluted basis for the first quarter of 2003.
First quarter 2003 earnings have been restated to reflect the adoption of new CICA standards to account for asset retirement obligations.
First Quarter 2004 Highlights
• Significantly increased over first quarter 2003 - nickel, copper, zinc and cobalt were 80%, 55%, 33% and 201% higher, respectively
• Exceeded most targets despite strike impact in Sudbury, Ontario and an eight-day planned shutdown to facilitate the transition and expansion of Collahuasi mine in
• Secured additional long-term zinc feed for Kidd, which will enable the zinc refinery to run at full capacity and with improved margins
• Annualized return on shareholders’ equity of 36%
• Cash flow increased to $262 million from $106 million a year ago
• Improved net debt to net debt plus equity ratio at the end of March 2004 to 32% from 37% at year-end 2003
• Reinforced ability to fund projects and grow the businesses resources
• Increased Nickel Rim South inferred resource to 13.2 million tonnes
• Signed letter of intent for joint venture with Barrick Gold Corporation in Tanzania
"We are pleased with our financial results, which established a new quarterly record. We had solid production despite the strike in Sudbury and as a result of our initiatives to control costs, we were able to take full advantage of the substantial increase in metal prices," said Aaron Regent, President and Chief Executive Officer of Falconbridge. "The outlook continues to be very positive with high metal prices expected for the balance of the year. We are becoming increasingly optimistic that we will be able to make up a large portion of the nickel production lost during the Sudbury strike and our copper production is expected to exceed last year’s level by 10%. We are in an excellent position to continue to benefit from the positive metal price environment."
Dette skyldes primært den ekstraordinært høye Ni-prisen, de oppnådde 6,88 $/lb i gj.snitt.
Nå i begynnelsen av 2 kv. ha Ni-prisen falt noe tilbake, og er i øyeblikket rett under 6$.
Aksjen steg 4% ved god omsetning på meldingen. Andre kanadiske metallselskap som INCO, Noranda, Sherritt og Teck hadde også en bra dag idag.
|Så kom INCO med sitt resultat, også det tidenes beste kvartalsreultat. Og INCO øker produksjonen i år, ikke ubetydelig heller. Dette burde gi aksjen støtte, det er fortsatt meglerhus som har kursmål mellom 50 og 60 USD.
INCO hadde en realisert Ni-pris på ca. 6,70 USD/lb. Deres produksjon av sndre metall, Cu, Co og PGM er relativt ubetydelig, så de lever stort sett kun av Ni-markedet.
Fra Globe and Mail:
Inco profit soars
Inco Ltd. said Tuesday first-quarter profit and sales soared on the back of higher nickel prices and improved nickel production.
Toronto-based Inco, the world's second-biggest nickel producer, earned $255-million (U.S.) or $1.26 a share in the three months ended in March, compared with $33-million or 5 cents a year ago.
"Adjusted earnings," which exclude certain tax and currency adjustments and other one-time items, rose to $229-million or $1.13 a diluted share from $64-million or 30 cents.
Per share profit was expected to be $1.04 a share, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson First Call.
First-quarter sales almost doubled to $1.09-million from $593-million.
Inco's chief executive officer said nickel production jumped 15 per cent in the quarter while Inco-sourced nickel deliveries grew 19 per cent from year-earlier levels.
“We are on track to hit our highest annual nickel production levels in nearly 30 years,” said Scott Hand. “With strong nickel markets currently expected to continue for the foreseeable future, we anticipate that 2004 will be an excellent year for Inco.”
Nickel prices have soared in the past year on strong demand from China and a supply shortage. Nickel is used primarily to make stainless steel.
Inco forecast production of 59,000 tonnes of nickel and 30,000 tonnes of copper in the second quarter.
Inco shares slipped 44 cents to close at $44.96 prior to the release of the report. The stock has climbed 58 per cent in the last 12 months, though it has dropped 13 per cent so far this year.
|Fra et kjent analysebyrå - utdrag fra mai-rapporten:
Prices continued to fall in April on fund long liquidation…
The price correction in nickel, as well as for the other metals on the LME, continued last month, taking the 3-month nickel price to a low of $10,650/tonne on 28 April. At the time of writing it appears that prices have found some solid support at $11,000/tonne, having averaged around this level in early May. We believe that this is a fair price for nickel units given the current tight fundamentals in the market, with consumers of nickel apparently in agreement as they continue to buy strongly as prices break down to new lower levels.
Chinese nickel and stainless destocking…
The Chinese overstocking noted last month has continued and we expect that it will continue for another month or two at least, as the extent of overstocking in both stainless steel and nickel has been greater than previously estimated. However, the underlying demand for stainless in particular remains strong in China, as the government’s efforts to rein in economic growth have yet to bear fruit, at least in published
On the other hand, statistics for Q1 2004 underline the strength of the reversal in Chinese demand, as refined nickel exports rose by over 250% year-on-year to almost 5,000 tonnes in the quarter.
It is important to stress that we do not believe this destocking to be the herald of a sharp correction in China’s economic growth. Rather this is a consolidation phase, which admittedly is lasting longer than initially expected, but is still only a necessary pause in the long-term rise of the new economic powerhouse that is China.
|Cobalt demand rockets as user-industries recover
THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2004 5:08 PM
- Reuters U.S. Company News
(All figures in U.S. dollars)
By Rachelle Younglai
TORONTO, May 19 (Reuters) - Cobalt consumption is expected to reach a record high over the next two years as demand picks up in the aerospace and rechargeable battery industries, cobalt experts said on Thursday.
Stephen English, a trader with SFP Metals in London, sees cobalt demand growing between 5 and 8 percent next year as traditional cobalt-using industries like aerospace recover and demand for rechargeable batteries and development in gas-to-liquid applications increase.
"Demand in the first three months of this year was higher than the first three months of 2003. One would anticipate, barring any global scenarios, that the demand will be a record high this year," English said.
Peter Searle with CRU Strategies, which supplies analysis to the metals industry, said cobalt consumption increased about 8 percent to 43,000 tonnes in 2003 from 2002, and could reach 57,000 tonnes by 2010 if current demand continues.
OM Group (OMG:NYSE) er det ultimate Co-selskap (med Ni som bi-produkt). De er også største leverandør til batteriindustrien. Alle typer oppladbare batterier til forbrukerelektronikk inneholder Co (i større og mindre grad)
|INCO (Nyse:N, Toronto: N) har kommet med en oppdatering på sitt GORO-prosjekt på New Caledonia.
Leserne må studere pressemeldingen fra INCO, hvor man kan finne at de har store problemer med dette prosjektet. Den optimistiske ytre tonen i pressemeldingen "overdøves" av pessimismen man kan lese mellom linjene.
Prosjektet har en skjør økonomi med elendige nøkkeltall, og selv om det trolig blir startet, tror jeg ikke INCO er særlig fornøyd med saken.
De prøver å bedre økonomien ved å øke kapasiteten marginalt. Det gjør ikke prosjektet noe bedre, men bidrar til økt risiko. Det er dessverre lite sustansiell informasjon i oppdateringen fra INCO.
De må også ta en vanvittig stor avskrivning (opptil $210 mill.) p.g.a manglende prosjektstyring i den påstartede utbyggingen i 2002.
Hvis dette skal være benchmark'en for andre laterittprosjekter, ser det dessverre mørkt ut for disses fremtid. Nå har man jo andre prosjekter som kanskje kan vise vei, men det er ikke akkurat noen REMA-varianter de heller. Som eks. er Raventhorpe Australia (BHP), USD 1,4 mrd. i kapital.
Det ser dog lysere for de eksisterende produsentene, som kan se frem til et godt marked desto lenger frem i dette 10-året.
[Endret 26.05.04 09:28 av OldNick]
|Oppkjøp av Noranda ?
Noranda stock leaps on CVRD acquisition talk
Wednesday June 16, 10:16 am ET
(In U.S. dollars unless noted)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia , June 16 (Reuters) - Shares in Noranda Inc. (Toronto:NRD.TO - News) leapt nearly 8 percent early on Wednesday after sources said Brazil's Cia Vale do Rio Doce (Sao Paolo:VALE5.SA - News; NYSE:RIO - News) was negotiating to buy a controlling stake in the copper and nickel miner.
Shares in the Toronto-based company powered up C$1.71 or 7.7 percent to C$23.70 in brisk trade of more than a million shares.
A Rio de Janeiro-based source close to the deal told Reuters that the transaction price could reach $3 billion and that a deal would have "fantastic" growth potential for miner CVRD.
Greg Barnes, an analyst at Canaccord Capital in Toronto, said in a morning note that the idea that CVRD could be interested in Noranda was not new.
He said that Brascan, which owns more than 40 percent of Noranda, had suggested recently that CVRD was a potential purchaser of the stake.
"CVRD has stated that it is looking for an acquisition -- the company has been pursuing copper and nickel production in Brazil," Barnes said.
"Noranda's South American focused copper production and its world number three nickel exposure through Falconbridge Ltd. (Toronto:FL.TO - News) could satisfy CVRD's ambitions," Barnes said.
(Noranda eier snaut 60% av Falconbridge. Begge aksjene er opp ca. 10% i Toronto i formiddag)
Bringing You Up To Speed
By Peter Grandich, June 21, 2004
Base Metals – It is here that I believe that the best opportunities lie. The world does not have a clear grasp of the potential real shortages that are in store for several base metals. Between the lack of significant exploration for several years and the fact that, for the first time in a couple of decades, every single major economy worldwide is either stable or growing strongly, we have been set up for the single-best supply-and-demand play in our lifetime. I believe that many metals such as nickel, cobalt and uranium can experience parabolic rises before this cycle ends.
Special Note on Uranium – It took skyrocketing gasoline prices (and $100+ dollars for SUV owners to fill up) for most Americans to pay even the slightest attention to the energy crisis that I have spoken about ever since renewing publication of The Grandich Letter. Unfortunately, these folks still have no idea on how bad our energy infrastructure has become. As time goes on, it will become apparent – but only after blackouts and brownouts become common and $2 regular gasoline is a bargain. Here in the U.S., and in many other countries, the realization is that nuclear energy will become a necessary potential evil - especially if we want to have the power to run all the gadgets that we now believe are not optional to live without in the 21st century.
The market for uranium appears to have already recognized that by hitting highs not seen in years (and staying at them unlike most other metals). Unlike most other metals, very few companies have been exploring and/or developing uranium deposits. Therefore, I believe that when the world wakes up and realizes this, those few companies could witness dramatic price increases in their share price. I have personally speculated on this by participating in two private placements of Strathmore Minerals (STM, TSX-V $.50). I have not sold a share despite the shares becoming free trading or the stock hitting a buck. The key reason for this was the appointment of one of the smartest, shrewdest mining people I ever met, joining STM’s board - Robert Quartermain. I first met Robert back in the early 1990’s during a Paris/London presentation in which we both participated. Ever since then, I have watched him become a driving force in the mining industry via his astute handling of Silver Standard Resources (SSO-TSX-V $15.33). By accumulating silver assets, when almost no one else wanted them, Robert built SSO into what it is today. That method is what STM has been doing of late and I am optimistic that Robert will be right-again.
Eneste selskapet som har alle disse tre produktene fra primærkilder (les:gruver), er WMC Resources (NYSE: WMC). Nickel og Uranium er nøkkelprodukter (sammen med Cu). Co er et biprodukt fra Ni.
De er 3 størst på Ni, og nr. 2 innen uran. Deres Ni-gruver ligger i West Australia, fra Kalgoorlie og nordover. Uran produserer de ved Olympic Dam, nord for Adelaide langt inne i den Australske ørkenen. Der har de en fantastisk forekomst, Cu og U er hovedproduktene.
Olympic Dam er verdens 8 største Cu-forekomst, og samme malm inneholder verdens største kjente forekomst av uran. Estimert Cu-mengde er ca. 40 mill. tonn, nok til 150 års produksjon med dagens rate, men fortsatt >50 års varighet med fremtidige planer (sannsynligvis).
Dagens 225.000 tpa Cu er planlagt økt til ca. 500.000 tpa innen ca. 10 år. WMC har hatt relativt store problemer med sitt forrige utvidelsesprosjekt ('80 - '200 tpa), og det tok lenger tid og overskridelser før de fikk alt til å fungere greit.
WMC har gode kontakter til Kina og Jin Chuan (Ni,Cu-produsent). De har vært teknologi-leverandør, og inngikk i fjor og forreige år en langtids leveringskontrakt for Ni (Ni-matte, et mellomprodukt fra Kalgoorlie som må raffineres). Innen denne skal de levere inntil 120.000 t Ni de neste 8-10 årene.
WMC er en klar oppkjøpskandidat etetr at de splittet selskapet (WMC Ltd) for et par år siden. Alumina Ltd, som var et JV med Alcoa, eier 40% av Aloca's alumina business, og dette ble utdelt til WMC tidligere aksjonærer. Rest WMC ble til "WMC Resources", og omfatter 3 Ni-gruveområder (Kambalda, Leinster og Mt.Keith), Kalgoorlie smelter og Kwinana Ni-raffineri. Cu og U produseres fra Olympic Dam, i tillegg har de en liten gjødselvirksomhet.
|CVRD front runner in Noranda bid
By ANDREW WILLIS AND WENDY STUECK
Globe and Mail Update
Four international mining companies are still in the bidding for Noranda Inc., Canada's biggest miner, but Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce is the front runner for a deal that could be unveiled within about two weeks.
Sources in the investment community say CVRD and Brascan Corp., the Toronto-based conglomerate that controls about 43 per cent of Noranda, are still haggling over price. But the Brazilian company has made it clear it wants to acquire Noranda, or at least Brascan's stake.
The other companies have not been identified, but analysts have suggested potential bidders could include Australian mining conglomerate BHP Billiton, London-listed Anglo American PLC and American copper giant Phelps Dodge Corp.
If a deal is reached, it would bring an end to a process that got rolling in February and has been in the works for much longer.
Industry sources say Brascan in February sent a letter to 10 potential buyers, outlining Noranda's operations and asking for expressions of interest.
But analysts and other observers say Noranda unofficially has been on the block for much longer, as Brascan has said for several years the mining giant does not fit in with its focus now on property, power generation and asset management.
“Noranda has more fingerprints on it than any other company in Canada,” said one observer in the investment banking community. “Every major mining company has looked at these assets.”
Up to now, analysts say, potential bidders may have been put off by Noranda's exposure to Noranda's smelting activities, the side of the business that processes the raw metals and has generally been less profitable in recent years. That is still a concern for some potential acquisitors.
As well, the mining sector is on a tear, with commodity prices surging and demand for metals such as copper increasing by the month — meaning that a potential buyer would be bidding for the company at the top of the cycle, when the price is likely at its peak.
Those factors are still in play, but can work in favour of a transaction as well — if, for example, a company wants to close a deal using its stock to help, or while strong commodities markets make it easier to raise money from financial backers.
Speculation about a deal for Noranda broke out last month, when CVRD, the world's biggest iron ore exporter, was reported to be preparing to bid for a stake in Noranda.
Following those reports, Noranda said it had launched a review after receiving several expressions of interest from potential acquisitors.
CVRD subsequently declined to comment on the rumours. A representative for the company, based in Rio de Janeiro, was not immediately available for comment on Monday.
CVRD, which last week opened its first copper mine, a $413-million (U.S.) project in Brazil's Amazon region, is said to be eager to expand outside of Brazil and become a bigger player in copper.
Talk about CVRD's plans increased last week, when CVRD sold a steel venture to European steel titan Arcelor SA for $415.1-million, triggering speculation that the company was raising money for a bid for Noranda.
Current speculation is focused on how a potential deal would be structured. Some financiers say CVRD would find the potential acquisition easier to finance if it bid for all of Noranda, rather than for only Brascan's stake.
A bid for the entire company would be worth more than $7-billion (Canadian), while Brascan's holding would require a $2.9-billion cheque.
If CVRD were to acquire all of Noranda, it would likely sell some assets that don't fit with its growth strategy and would want those agreements lined up before closing a deal.
That could make a deal more time-consuming and complex to arrange. As well, observers say, Brascan does not have an urgent need for cash as it failed in its recent bid to acquire Canary Wharf. Brascan wants to divest its holdings in Noranda, the thinking goes, but is not likely to be rushed into a deal.
In a July 1 research note, Bear Stearns analyst Daniel Altman questioned the strategic value of CVRD bidding for Noranda. Potential negatives, he wrote, include CVRD's lack of experience in running a large international acquisition, dilution of its high-quality Brazil asset base and more volatile earnings.
But while he questioned the strategic rationale, Mr. Altman said the acquisition could be immediately accretive to CVRD and that the Brazilian company could handle additional debt.
Mr. Altman said there is widespread speculation that CVRD would limit its bid to a 51-per-cent stake in Noranda, thereby avoiding the need to issue new shares.
Noranda is Canada's biggest mining company by revenue, with sales of $4.6-billion (U.S.) last year and assets of $8.2-billion in 2003. The company is one of the world's largest producers of zinc and nickel and also produces copper, primary and fabricated aluminum, lead, silver, gold, sulphuric acid, and cobalt.
If CVRD were to sell Noranda units to raise cash and focus the company's operations on specific metals, it might put the Canadian company's aluminum fabrication operation on the block. Foil and sheet aluminum accounted for 15 per cent of Noranda's revenues last year, or about $690-million in sales.
Noranda shares fell 22 cents (Canadian) to $22.80 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Monday.
|En betimelig advarsel fra WMC (synes jeg osgå):
WMC Wary Of Surging Nickel; Fears"Too Much Hype"
Dow Jones Equity News, Thursday, July 15, 2004 at 00:55
SYDNEY (Dow Jones)--The head of Australia's WMC Resources Ltd. (WMC) reiterated his concerns about historically high nickel prices Thursday, saying the market is experiencing"too much hype"and customer demand isn't as strong as it may seem."I again get worried when it goes over $6 (a pound), that it's not a sustainable number,"Andrew Michelmore, chief executive officer of the world's third largest nickel producer, told analysts on a conference call following the company's second quarter production report.
Michelmore, who has warned several times in the past year that high prices could lead stainless steel producers and other customers to substitute away from nickel, said the $4 to $6 per pound range is a reasonable one for both suppliers and customers.
The price of nickel, based on the London Metal Exchange's benchmark three-month contract, swelled to a 15-year high of $17,700 a ton in early January, which equates to just over $8/lb.
Nickel sagged to below $10,500/ton in mid-May on substitution and increased scrap supply concerns, but has since recouped most of those losses.
|2.kv. resultat fra INCO er kommet i ettermiddag. De har et lite underskudd etter en stor (varslet) avskrivning på USD 191 mill. (p.g.a. GORO-prosjektet). De har økt produksjonen (+), men sliter med (ekstraordinære ?) kostnader (÷ ÷). Oppsummert er ikke dette resultatet noe INCO kan skryte av. Aksjen har reagert svakt ned.
Inco reports results for second quarter of 2004
Tuesday July 20, 11:39 am ET
Canadian GAAP second quarter loss of $14 million includes previously announced $191 million after-tax non-cash charge for scope changes to the Goro Project
|Så kom 2 kv. for Falconbridge. Resultatet er relativt sett bedre enn INCO's, men FL hadde problemer med produksjon (og streik), men opplever ikke samme problem med engangskostnader som INCO. Markedet har straffet INCO relativt hardt etter sitt resultat (ca. ÷ 10% på 3 dgr), mens FL faller 3% idag. Nikkelprisen har hatt et kraftig fall idag, ned ca. 5%. Dette spiller nok hovedrollen for dagens kraftige fall for begge.
Etter 1 h., 2004, har FL et overskudd på ca. 1.8 USD/aksje.
Fortsetter metall prisene å holde seg rimelig høye, vil nok selskapet kunne tjene >3 USD/aksje, og med det få en P/E på < 8 (på dagens kurs ca. C$32, tilsv. ca. USD 24/aksje).
Falconbridge Reports Second Quarter Earnings Of US$139 Million. Up 256% Year Over Year
Friday July 23, 9:20 am ET
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 23, 2004--ALL NUMBERS IN U.S. DOLLARS
Falconbridge Limited (TSX:FL - News) today reported consolidated earnings of $139 million, or $0.77 per common share on a basic basis and $0.76 on a diluted basis, for the second quarter of 2004. This compares with earnings of $39 million or $0.21 per common share on a basic and diluted basis for the second quarter of 2003. Second quarter 2004 net earnings were negatively affected by a non-cash $13 million pre-tax mark-to-market loss on interest rate swaps, or $9 million after tax ($0.05 per common share) - a non-operating item not expected to reoccur in subsequent quarters. The earnings were also adversely affected by the advanced shutdown of the Kidd metallurgical operations. Operating income in the second quarter was $189 million compared to $50 million for the same period in 2003. Cash generated from operating activities before working capital changes totalled $216 million compared to $95 million for the corresponding quarter in 2003. All of these increases result primarily from the higher average realized nickel, copper and zinc prices, which were up 49%, 64% and 31%, respectively. The benefit of higher prices was partially offset by lower nickel and copper sales volumes and the impact of the Canadian dollar exchange rate on Canadian operating costs, which was 5% stronger compared to the second quarter of 2003.
[Endret 23.07.04 17:18 av OldNick]
|Stor uenighet fra industriledere om utviklingingen i Ni-pris på lengre sikt - fra en Kalgoorlie-konferanse:
Nickel price highs 'won't last'
By David King
NICKEL producers warned yesterday that the high price of the metal was unsustainable, with an adjustment expected in the next two years.
|WMC kom med 1/2-års resultat onsdag 11/8.
Her er publiserte rapporter og presentasjoner.
Skal kommentere det noe senere.
|Norislk Nickel 1/2-års resultat, sakset fra KitcoMetals:
RBC, 13.08.2004, Moscow 17:37:43.The net profit of Norilsk Nickel under the Russian accounting standards grew by 23.5 percent to RUR23.15bn ($790.64m) over the first six months of 2004, compared to that in the corresponding period of 2003, a report by the company reads. The profit before tax increased by 27.6 percent to RUR32.02bn ($1.09bn) over that period, and the sales profit rose by 11.7 percent to RUR33.91bn ($1.16bn). The revenue increased by 17.4 percent to RUR72.1bn ($2.46bn), and the gross profit grew by 21.2 percent to RUR40.53bn ($1.38bn). The production cost increased by 12.9 percent to RUR31.57bn ($1.08bn) over the first six months of 2004.
|Copper prices hammered
Interessant utvikling i kopper markedet i går.
|Noranda i eksklusive forhandlinger med China MinMetals
Noranda says gets takeover offer from China Minmetals (NRD, CA:NRD, BNN) By August Cole
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Noranda Inc. (NRD) , a Canadian copper and nickel specialist, said Friday morning that it is in takeover talks after getting an offer from China Minmetals. The companies said that Brascan Corp. (BNN) is also involved in the negotiations. The bid is at a "small premium to the recent trading levels" of Noranda stock, which was last halted on the New York Stock Exchange.
|Fra Globe&Mail, Toronto:
Minmetals in talks to buy Noranda
Friday, September 24, 2004
State-owned Chinese mining and trading company China Minmetals Corp. is in exclusive negotiations to buy Noranda Inc., Canada's largest mining company, the companies said Friday.
Noranda and Brascan Corp, which owns 42 per cent of the miner, said that after receiving a number of proposals over the past several months, they are now negotiating solely with China Minmetals while it completes its due diligence.
The Chinese company's offer reflects a small premium to the recent trading level of Noranda's common shares, the press release from Noranda and China Minmetals said. The offer consists "substantially" of cash, as well as the distribution to shareholders of some Noranda holdings, mainly its aluminum business.
Shares of Noranda slipped 46 cents or 2.04 per cent to $22.14 in Toronto Friday, giving the company a value of about $6.68-billion. The stock has risen 10 per cent since the start of the year. Shares of Brascan, up 48.3 per cent year-to-date, fell 27 cents or 0.7 per cent to $39 in Toronto.
|Minmetals may wait to make Falconbridge bid-analysts
Tue Sep 28, 2004 01:14 PM ET
By Franco Pingue
TORONTO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - China Minmetals Corp. is set to buy mining giant Noranda Inc. (NRD.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) but may wait for metal prices to ease before making the move to take on the rest of Falconbridge Ltd. (FL.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) , analysts said on Tuesday.
Noranda, which owns 58.9 percent of Falconbridge, has shaved its list of suitors down to state-owned Minmetals, which wants to buy all of the world's No. 3 zinc and No. 9 copper producer in a mostly cash deal that could be worth more than C$6.5 billion ($5 billion).
The two companies announced on Friday that they had entered exclusive talks on a takeover that could help China's industrialization-driven hunger for metals. Falconbridge mines copper in Chile and Canada and is a large producer of nickel.
Research Capital analyst Barry Allan, who has a "buy" rating on Falconbridge shares with a C$40.00 target price, said Minmetals may eventually bid for the remaining Falconbridge stake simply to free itself from disclosure requirements.
"From disclosure and minority shareholder rights limiting the flexibility of what you can do with the assets, ultimately it probably will make some sense for Falconbridge to disappear into a private entity," said Allan.
"It really will be a function of metal prices, that will probably be the primary determinant of when it will happen."
Shares of Falconbridge, which have jumped about 18 percent since early August on the back of strong nickel and copper prices, were up 94 Canadian cents, or nearly 3 percent, at C$33.90 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Les mer her
|Goldman sees metals boom going on
Worries about China construction slowdown 'overblown'
By Leslie Wines, CBS.Marketwatch.com
Last Update: 6:41 PM ET Sept. 29, 2004
NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- China's building boom is spurring an extended positive cycle for the metals industry, Goldman Sachs said Wednesday, adding that worries about a construction slowdown in 2005 there are overblown.
Following a recent visit to China, Goldman analysts say they believe the metals industry is not due for a frequently predicted hard landing, but instead will see an extension of its current positive cycle.
Les mer her
|Zink og Nickel opp 5%, Aluminium 2%, sølv 3%. Hei hvor det går. Er kineserenes oppkjøp av Noranda en måte å få kontroll over større ressurser uten å presse opp prisen på underliggende metall for mye?
|"Hiccup" i metallprisene - the China factors hit the markets...
Copper Leads Plunge in Metals Prices as China Growth May Slow
Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Copper plunged the most in eight years, leading a decline for base metals, on concern that a slowing economy in China will erode demand growth that led to a 15-year high in prices last week.
Consumption of copper in China, the world's biggest buyer, fell 21 percent in July from a year earlier, leading a global decline of 3.3 percent, the Lisbon-based International Copper Study Group said yesterday. Aluminum prices in London today had their biggest drop in 16 years after inventories rose the most since July 2003. Zinc, lead and tin also fell.
``At some point, and who knows when, there's going to be a hiccup in China, and the huge demand everybody's expecting for the next six months or a year is not going to be so huge,'' said Ron Fisher, a basic-materials analyst in New York at Stein Roe Investment Counsel, which sold its copper holdings in March. ``The China factor is very big in the metals.''
`Low Growth Rate'
China's demand from January to August rose 4 percent, compared with gains of 15 percent last year and 23 percent in 2002, Charles Bradford, an analyst at Bradford Research in New York, said. Copper reached a 15-year high last week on signals demand would outpace supplies from mines and scrap yards.
|INCO's 3 kv. resultat
Produksjonen er fortsatt sterk, de forventer å overgå 500 mill. lb for 2004, det er rundt samme produksjon som Norilsk oppnår. Spesiellt er veksten ved deres deleide datterselskap PT INCO (lateritt, Indonesia) imponerende. De er nå på drøyt 70.000 t/år Ni, og planlegger å øke til ca. 90.000 t/år innen 4-5 år. Cash-cost er også lavere enn andre INCO-operasjoner.
Selv om plages med høye produksjonskostnader, bedrer de sin finasielle posisjon med kraftig økning i kasse-beholdning, samt økt egenkapitalandel. Det treng imidlertid, for INCO's investeringer vil øke fremover. Neste år bygges Voiseys Bay gruve og oppredningsanlegg ferdig (for prod. av Ni-Cu-konsentrat som skipes opp til Sudbury for smelting og raffinering). Neste år, men spesiellt 2006 (og delvis 2007) vil se de største utleggene for GORO-prosjektet. Fortsetter de starke markedene for Ni og Cu ser det ut til at selskapet ikke vil ha noen problemer med å finansiere prosjektene gjennom cash flow og lånekapital.
Investorene var ikke fornøyd med resultatet, INCO var ned nesten 2% idag. De har hatt for vane å falle etter resultatfremleggelse de siste kvartalene, men falt mindre idag enn tidligere.
INCO sendte også ut en egen pressemelding på GORO-status idag
INCO stadfestet det de har sagt tidligere, at kapitalen for prosjektet vil være ca. USD 1,9 mrd, og kapasiteten 60.000 t/år Ni (samt ca. 5.000 t/år Co).
I dette tallet inngår ikke avskrivninger INCO gjorde tidligere i år på bortimot USD 200 mill. for verdiløse infrastruktur og utstyrskjøp de har gjort på det foregående konseptet for GORO.
Inkluderes dette, får man 2,1 mrd, og basert på 60.000 t/år kapasitet, gir det en nøkkeltall på USD 2.100.000 x 0,45/ 60.000 = ca. 16 USD/lb Ni årskapasitet.
Dette er meget høyt tall, og vil kreve vesentlig høyere langsiktig Ni-pris enn INCO tidligere har sagt de har basert sine investeringer på (USD 3,25/lb Ni).
Selv om sjefen Scott Hand uttaler ....
"We are happy to report that all of the critical elements we required to proceed with Goro have all come together through our review process, giving us the confidence to make this positive decision," said Inco CEO Scott Hand.
"Our review has been successfully completed and we have the right project going forward: We're on our way," he said.
så kan ikke det skygge for at prosjektet fortsatt er å anse som en liten "katastrofe" for INCO.
Ikke av samme størrelsesorden som Murrin Murrin i Australia, men slett ikke den benchmark'en som industrien håpet det skulle bli.
Konklusjonen er at HPAL-teknologien fortsatt ikke er noen moden, "state of the art" teknologi.
[Endret 20.10.04 00:47 av OldNick]
|UPDATE 3-Canada PM welcomes resources investment by China
Thu Oct 21, 2004 07:44 PM ET
(Figures in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated)
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Paul Martin welcomed on Thursday the idea of Chinese investments in Canada's natural resource sector but his comments angered legislators who said Canadian sovereignty could be at risk.
Noranda Inc. (NRD.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) (NRD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , the country's biggest mining firm by sales, is in talks with Chinese state firm Minmetals on selling 100 percent of the copper, nickel and zinc miner for what analysts estimate could be $5 billion.
China's foreign minister told the Globe and Mail newspaper that Beijing was encouraging firms to put money into the Canadian resource sector.
Asked if the prospect of China investing heavily in Canadian natural resources firms worried him, Martin said: "I think this is something that has to be judged on a case-by-case basis ... but fundamentally I think that this is a good thing."
If Minmetals did make a bid it would have to be approved by Ottawa. Opposition legislators, citing what they say is the threat to Canadian jobs and also China's poor human rights record, are threatening to delay the deal.
The House of Commons Industry committee agreed in principle late on Thursday to review the two-decade-old Investment Canada Act, New Democratic Party legislator Brian Masse told Reuters.
That means if Minmetals formally applies for regulatory approval to acquire Noranda, the committee could have a say in the acquisition, Masse said.
The committee could include the bid as a component of the review.
The left-leaning New Democrats, who are helping keep Martin's minority government in power, are particularly angry.
"I find it unacceptable ... that the prime minister isn't standing up and telling us what his plan is to deal with (the fact) that our resource industries are being bought up by foreign governments and foreign investors," New Democrat leader Jack Layton told Parliament.
"How can Canadian communities and workers know they're going to be protected?"
One metals industry analyst said the political fallout from the proposed deal could delay other bids by Chinese firms for Canadian resource companies.
Martin said Canada was investing heavily in China and said the proposed Noranda deal was a sign of China's increasing economic growth and maturity.
"It's a very, very important market for us and so anything we can do to really strengthen the links between our two countries is a good thing," he told reporters.
"But there are issues, there are obviously issues. In the case of China (there is) the whole question of human rights and these are issues which we obviously -- in any discussion -- will take into account."
Federal Industry Minister David Emerson said last week that Ottawa would consider China's human rights record when it examined the planned Noranda deal.
Analysts said speculation about further Chinese takeovers could be a reason behind Thursday's strong gains by metals stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Shares in Teck Cominco Ltd. (TEKb.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) climbed 5.5 percent to C$29.05, Inco Ltd. (N.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 2.3 percent at C$43.70 and Noranda gained 2.6 percent to C$20.75.
Lawrence Smith, a mining analyst at TD Newcrest, said the only other possible takeover candidates in Canada for metals-hungry Chinese firms would be Inco, the world No. 2 nickel miner, or Teck Cominco, the world's largest zinc producer.
But he added: "If you're talking about further Chinese takeovers in the Canadian market, they're running into fairly significant political flak just talking about Noranda.
"For them to do the likes of a Teck Cominco any time in the next few years would certainly raise the hackles of people."
|Falconbridge Q3 profit soars to US$155M from US$19M on high nickel price
TORONTO (CP) - Falconbridge Ltd. will benefit from a takeover of its parent company by a state-owned Chinese firm as the Asian country's demand for metals dominates the market over the next decade, the nickel giant's chief executive said Friday.
In a conference call to discuss Falconbridge's big third-quarter profit jump to $155 million US, Aaron Regent said a proposed $7-billion takeover of parent firm Noranda Inc. by China Minmetals Corp. should prove "advantageous" for the nickel, copper and zinc producer.
While little would change in the short term after the proposed transaction, "I believe that having a relationship like this with the Chinese will be advantageous in the long term in developing the strategy" of Falconbridge, Regent said Friday.
"China has been, and will continue to be, a major, if not the major, determinant for metals supply consumption over the next 10 to 20 years, and Falconbridge will be better positioned than most companies to benefit."
Falconbridge (TSX:FL) is a publicly traded company but nearly 59 per cent of its shares are owned by Noranda. Toronto-based Noranda is a major metals producer and recycler which, in turn, is controlled by the Brascan Corp. conglomerate.
The Brascan conglomerate put Noranda up for sale earlier this year as part of its plan to focus on the real estate, financial services and power generation businesses in its portfolio of companies.
China Minmetals, a state-owned company controlled by China's Communist government, announced its friendly bid for Noranda on Sept. 24. China is seeking investments in Canadian raw materials producers as a broader strategy to find wider sources of metals, wood products and oil and gas for its rapdily growing economy.
While Brascan and Minmetals negotiate a final deal, Falconbridge is making "good progress" in its growth strategy, which includes increasing nickel production by up to 65 per cent and copper production by 35 per cent over the next five to seven years, the company said.
Regent does not think Falconbridge's expansion plans would be disrupted by China Minmetals.
Falconbridge følger tett på INCO med nok et rekordresultat.
Første 3 kv. har selskapet et akkumulert resultat på ca. 480 mill. USD, og et tilsvarende bra 4. kv., burde resultatet overgå USD 650 mill., det tilsvarer en P/E på ca. 7,2 (med dagens kurser).
|Is the Nickel Price Party Winding Down?
Monday October 25, 2:38 pm ET
By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - After two years of buoyant nickel prices, there is doubt about how much longer the party for producers can continue.
Inco (Toronto:N.TO - News) -- the world's second-biggest nickel miner after Russia's Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.RTS) -- is sounding less festive than it has for some time about the market for this vital stainless steel ingredient, said Canaccord Capital analyst Greg Barnes.
And on Friday, world No. 3 producer, Falconbridge (Toronto:FL.TO - News), cut its global nickel deficit forecast for this year and next.
Nickel has been in short supply for the past two years.
"The tone of management's view on the nickel market certainly changed from previous quarters -- the tone was somewhat subdued," Barnes said after Inco Ltd. (Toronto:N.TO - News) provided its market outlook last week.
Since early last year, the earnings, cash flow and share prices of Inco and Falconbridge, which together produce about 25 percent of the world's nickel, have surged on the back of the best prices in more than a decade as demand, mostly from booming China, has outstripped supply.
But last week Inco's marketing head, Peter Goudie, had this warning for the market: "Do not mistake today's temporary high prices -- due mainly to underinvestment in nickel capacity in the 1990s -- for the long-term environment."
On Monday, London Metal Exchange nickel was trading at $5.90 a pound, well above the $2-$4 band of much of the 1990s.
SUBSTITUTION, SCRAP LIMIT DEMAND
About two-thirds of nickel goes into making stainless steel, which is then fashioned into kitchen sinks, appliances, building materials and cutlery -- items that China has been furiously churning out as its population urbanizes.
Because of this demand and little new supply, prices for nickel, which makes stainless steel rust-proof and tougher, have doubled since early last year to hit as high as $8 a pound.
While a boon for producers, the price rally has put stainless steel manufacturers in a bind and has forced them to replace expensive nickel with cheaper substitutes in lower-quality products. Nickel-bearing stainless steel scrap has become more valuable and made its way back into the production cycle.
As a result, Falconbridge now expects more moderate nickel demand. On Friday it slashed its 2004 global deficit prediction to 5,000 tons from the 25,000 tons it suggested in July.
It also cut its 2005 shortage to 9,000 tons from 18,000.
In a small market such as nickel, where supply is only about 1.3 million tons a year, the amounts can be significant.
Inco kept its 2004 deficit forecast unchanged at 19,000 tons and did not give a prediction for 2005. But Canard's Barnes said he "detected a more cautious tone creeping into Inco's outlook for the market as we head into 2005."
MORE SUPPLY ON THE WAY
On the supply side, Falconbridge expects world output to rise by 55,000 tons in 2005 as various miners expand output.
But the biggest production increases will come in 2006 and onward when Inco's Voice's Bay project in Labrador on Canada's East Coast starts up, followed 18 months later by its Goo venture on the Pacific island of New Caledonia.
Analysts are concerned that these big projects will turn today's shortage into tomorrow's glut, especially if Falconbridge gives the green light early next year to its very big Koniambo project, which is also located in New Caledonia.
Falconbridge chief executive Aaron Regent indicated on Friday that he was alive to these worries and that a decision on Koniambo will "take into account" the Goro project.
Det kan være at rallyet snart er over for denne gang. Hvis så kan peridoen frem til 4 kv. fremleggelse (slutten av jan '05) gi salgs-muligheter for folk som sitter på Ni-aksjer (som meg). Normalt er høsten/forvinteren beste markedet for Ni-produsenter, da er vedlikeholds-stoppene ferdige, og produksjonslinjene fylles opp igjen med materiale.
|WMC ser ut til å være i spill. Dagens melding har kommet etter samtaler med mange mulige beilere, og av de har Xtrata synes å være mest villig. De har budt AU$6,35, men kursen endte rett under 7 på Sydney-børsen, det sier hva investorene tror om dette.
Uheldigvis har jeg solgt mine WMC-aksjer - tidligere i høst.
Jeg hadde en mistanke om at WMC kunne være et attraktivt mål etter at de splittet av alumina-operasjonen (i Alumina Ltd) for 3 år siden. De har noen av de beste Ni-ressursene, og en kjempeforekomst som de driver på v/Olympic Dam (Cu+Uran).
Press reports forced WMC's hand
Oct 28 15:28
WMC Resources chief executive Andrew Michelmore today said a takeover bid from XStrata had been rejected earlier this week and only made public today in response to media speculation.
Mr Michelmore said XStrata made the $6.35 a share bid "very recently" and WMC responded earlier this week. "It was conditional and it was rejected ... there was nothing to declare," he said.
He said WMC Resources had spoken to many companies about its assets but would not elaborate.
"We didn't tell shareholders earlier ... then the rumour ran and it became clear and our need to let the market know today," he said. Mr Michelmore said the board did not believe the bid was high enough to warrant it telling shareholders.
"We believe there is significant additional value in our operation at the moment, and the potential and also any synergies with other interested parties," he said.
He said WMC would be willing to continue discussions with XStrata but the ball was in their court now.
Meanwhile, the company was focussing on getting the most out of its assets.
Alternative processing technology and regional project development would drive WMC's growth in nickel production, he told the Australian-British Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne today.
He said the company had opportunities to increase nickel production by 25,000 tonnes a year from 2008/09.
"The extra production will come from the development of a new processing route to treat current and future stockpiles of talc and low grade ores at Mt Keith," Mr Michelmore said.
"A new milling circuit will be combined with the application of low-pressure leach technology to treat over 110,000 tonnes of nickel already in stockpiles."
Product from the new technology at Mt Keith would be refined at WMC's Kwinana refinery or sold as a high-value intermediate product, he said.
Capital cost of the nickel leach plant is forecast at $US7 to &US8 per annual pound of nickel production.
Mr Michelmore said planned development of the Yakabindie deposit and integrated processing at Mt Keith was set to replace production from the Kambalda region by the end of the decade.
He said the company was also continuing with exploration in the Leinster to Mt Keith nickel sulphide belt, using new, in-house electromagnetic survey technology to search for deeper deposits.
|Ambitious miner Xstrata foiled in $5.5 bln WMC bid
Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:20 PM ET
By Ben Harding and Wendy Pugh
LONDON/MELBOURNE, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Acquisitive miner Xstrata (XTA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) was rebuffed in a bold $5.5 billion bid for Australian nickel and copper miner WMC Resources (WMR.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday, but both firms left the door open for another bid.
Australian analysts said Xstrata, which has expanded aggressively since it listed in London in 2002, was likely to return with a higher offer -- as much as A$7 a share -- after its initial A$6.35 bid was rejected by WMC as too low.
An acquisition would create the world's fifth biggest miner, worth a third more than before at around $15 billion, add nickel and uranium to its product mix and double its copper output.
Despite the Swiss-based company pitching its offer at a 24 percent premium to WMC's closing price on Wednesday, the Australian's shares still soared 36 percent to A$6.97 as the market bet on another offer following WMC's rejection.
In contrast, the London market wiped 6.6 percent off Xstrata's market value as it and other major diversified miners reeled from the surprise news that China was increasing interest rates.
China has been the roaring engine driving metals demand in recent years and the rate rise reinforced nervousness that the metals boom could have peaked and Xstrata's move was ill-timed.
"Xstrata's strategy now flies in the face of what we're seeing other diversified miners do," said Nick Wilson, analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.
He added that other producers were targeting organic growth and said bulk commodities -- coal and iron ore -- were the best bets should the 3-year metals boom end, rather than base metals such as copper and nickel.
"They must have a different view of the market," he said.
Xtrata's hovedeier er sveitsiske "Glenocore", et privat partnerskap-eid selskap. De har bygget seg opp som metall-tradere, men har de siste årene begynt å kjøpe opp produksjons-anlegg og selskaper
Den velkjente Marc Rich, som "lurte" Norsk Hydro for en god del penger tidlig på 90-tallet (Al-trading), var en av de opprinnelige eierne, men han røk uklar med de andre og ble kjøpt ut fo rmange år siden.
[Endret 28.10.04 20:54 av OldNick]
|RBC, 12.11.2004, Moscow 18:14:53.Norilsk Nickel reported net income of RUR39.89bn (about USD1.375bn) for the first nine months of this year, up 47.8 percent from the corresponding period of 2003. Revenues amounted to RUR117.233bn (about USD4bn), up 20.3 percent from a year earlier. Production costs advanced 0.36 percent to RUR47.603 (about USD1.641bn). In the third quarter of this year the company acquired 98.467m common shares of Gold Fields Limited worth RUR36.349bn (about USD1.253bn), or 11.87 percent of the equity of the company.
Dette er et godkjent resultat, skyhøyt over konkurrentene. Hva skal de med alle pengene ? Jo, en god del går, og skal gå til å bygge om en del av anleggene i Norilsk, og bygge ut nye gruveanlegg. Men, Potanin vil også investere ute, det skal bli interessant å se om det blir mer konsolidering inne bransjen.
[Endret 12.11.04 22:42 av OldNick]
|WMC er en perle innen Ni og Cu-industrien, det kunne være fristende å ta et nytt spek her dersom kursen svekker seg noe de nærmeste dagene.
WMC links to Chinese nickel
Mischa Merz, Herald Sun
IN the midst of rumours that hungry miners were circling WMC Resources, the company yesterday announced a joint venture with the Chinese Jinchuan Group.
The joint venture will explore for nickel and copper targets in Gansu and other provinces in the west of the People's Republic of China. WMC chief executive officer Andrew Michelmore and Jinchuan chairman and president Li Yong-jun signed the agreement in Beijing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of WMC's and Jinchuan's relationship.
"Our two companies have already shown the benefits of Chinese-Australian technical co-operation in nickel smelting, and have built on this with agreement on a major nickel supply contract," Mr Michelmore and Mr Li said in a statement.
"We now have the opportunity to replicate those achievements and secure the benefits through joint minerals exploration in China."
The formation of the new company follows the signing of an exploration cooperation agreement in July.
The joint venture company will have an exploration budget of $US6 million ($A7.7 million).
It is owned and funded on a 50-50 basis, with WMC and Jinchuan sharing the cost of any agreed exploration programs.
"This joint venture company is the next step in a growing relationship between Jinchuan and WMC," Mr Michelmore said.
Mr Li said the companies believed Gansu and other provinces in West China had excellent potential for new minerals discovery.
Jinchuan's nickel output accounts for 90 per cent of Chinese production.
WMC Resources shares came under pressure on Wednesday after the Australian Stock Exchange forced the group to hose down speculation that gripped the stock on Tuesday, when three of the world's biggest miners were rumoured to be about to counter Xstrata's
$7.4 billion takeover approach.
The ASX called on WMC to respond to the speculation, which had BHP Billiton bidding $7.35 a share after the close of trade.
Failing that, Rio Tinto was rumoured to be walking in with a $7.55 offer and, if that did not see the light of day, Brazil's CVRD would come in with a bid of $7.85 a share.
The speculation all proved to be groundless, at least for now.
WMC previously disclosed that the board had rejected an approach from Swiss-based Xstrata, which sought its blessing for a $6.35 a share takeover bid.
WMC shares closed yesterday down 8 at $7.01.
|Brazil's CVRD seeks global opportunities
Ganske detaljert gjennomgang av CVRD's utvikling innen alle forretningsområder. Bra!
|Chinese firms express interest in $1-billion rehab of Philnico
By Niel V. Mugas, Reporter
Two Chinese companies are looking at the possibility of entering a joint venture for the $1-billion rehabilitation of the mothballed Philnico Mining Corp. in Surigao City, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Monday.
Trade and Industry Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said Chinese firms Jinchuan Nonferrous Metals Corp. and Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. are currently under negotiations with Philnico for the latter’s much anticipated rehabilitation program.
If the Philnico rehabilitation project is completed, the company will generate around $350 million in nickel exports annually. This would also lead to the direct and indirect employment of 4,500 workers.
Philnico Mining Corp., formerly Nonoc Mining and Industrial Corp., is a nickel processing plant in Nonoc Island, Surigao City, which started operation in 1975 but was forced to cease operation in 1986 because of technical difficulties.
China agrees to invest in Cuba ferro-nickel
Mon Nov 22, 2004 09:28 PM ET
(Adds signing, details, other nickel-related agreements)
HAVANA, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Chinese companies signed agreements on Monday to invest in the production of Cuban ferro-nickel and form a joint venture to explore nickel reserves, in a major move into the the island's nickel industry.
State-owned Minmetals Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow Cuba to start up the unfinished Las Camariocas plant in eastern Holguin province, which has been mothballed since the demise of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago.
State-run nickel monopoly Cubaniquel will own 51 percent of the plant and Minmetals 49 percent. The venture will produce 22,500 tonnes of ferro-nickel, with financing coming from the China Development Bank and guarantees from Sinosure, the Chinese Export and Credit Insurance Corp.
State-owned China International Trust and Investment Corp (CITIC) signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture that will explore nickel reserves in central Camaguey province at San Felipe.
[Endret 23.11.04 08:26 av OldNick]
|Ganske hett i russisk næringsliv i det siste. Nå er det en lang rekke store selskap som må svare for sine synder overfor skattefuten, og han er ikke nådig. Dommen er ofte "dødelig" (les: Yukos).
Kremlin attacks Norilsk's Gold Fields deal
By: John Helmer
Posted: '09-DEC-04 11:00' GMT © Mineweb 1997-2004
MOSCOW (Mineweb.com) -- Amid signs that the Kremlin is behind the growing pressure of large back-tax claims that have been lodged against oligarch-owned businesses in Moscow, Norilsk Nickel has issued a $750 million share buyback offer, which has convinced Moscow brokers that it is a cash-out scheme to put at least half a billion dollars into the offshore pockets of the company's controlling shareholders, Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov.
One implication is that, if the two of them are feeling the heat and in a hurry to expatriate cash, prolongation of the fight in South Africa between Gold Fields and Harmony could accelerate their disposal of their 20% Gold Fields stake, and the unravelling of the October 16 pledge Potanin and Prokhorov gave Harmony Gold to support its takeover.
A summary of pending tax claims indicates the rising temperature in Moscow at the moment. The tax authorities have already descended on Roman Abramovich, Mikhail Fridman, Victor Vekselberg and the steelmaker, Mechel Sibneft, control of which has returned to Abramovich after the Russian courts nullified the Yukos takeover of last year. It has been charged with a back tax claim for Rb 21 billion, or $733 million. The Tax Ministry has confirmed the claim, but said it is considering the company's objections.
Fridman and Vekselberg are two of the three original owners of Tyumen Oil Company (TNK); the third owner was Len Blavatnik. At the beginning of 2003 this trio sold TNK to British Petroleum (BP) on terms that deferred BP's payments over several years, and indemnified BP in the event the Kremlin hit the oligarchs for back-taxes and other claims. Last month, it was disclosed that the first back-tax claim against TNK, for $89 million, had been delivered. TNK's response was that "we do not regard this as a back-tax claim. We regard it as a preliminary assessment, and we are in negotiations [with the tax authorities]." BP's reaction was a little different. It said it was "too early to tell" what would happen in the tax negotiations, but that whatever outcome, BP was relying on the indemnity.
This week, Vimpelcom, a New York-listed mobile telecommunications operator controlled by Fridman, was served with a $158 million tax claim for 2001. The company's stock lost more than a quarter of its value, and the Russian stock index dropped 5.5% on market sentiment that the move was aimed by the government at the oligarch, and that other claims would follow. Vimpelcom responded publicly by saying that it would appeal against the claim. Privately, it fostered the interpretation that the claim was revenge by members of the government, led by Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, whom Alfa has attacked in a court battle in the British Virgin Islands, where the two are fighting over a stake in another Russian telecommunications operator. Responding to the Alfa attack, Reiman said last month: "Blackmailing officials is the way Alfa got used to doing business in the 1990s. It should realize time has moved on."
Official corruption and commercial rivalry were also claimed this week by the Russian steel and coal group, Mechel, as the reason for a weekend raid on its offices in Moscow by Interior Ministry officers purportedly pursuing a tax audit.
In September, the federal Tax Ministry wrote to the cabinet that Russian metals exporters were under-paying tax by large amounts, using transfer pricing, regional registration and tolling schemes. Mechel was not named in the report, which identified below-norm tax payment rates for the three largest mills, Magnitogorsk, Severstal and Novolipetsk.
In its prospectus for a share offering on the New York Stock Exchange in October, Mechel warned US investors that it may face "significant losses" if the Russian tax authorities "challenge our prices and propose adjustments". The warning is contained in the F-1 registration statement, presented on October 4 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to consolidated financial data presented in the prospectus, the Mechel group paid income taxes of $74 million in the first half of 2004, reflecting a rate of 4.5 percent of revenues totaling $1.6 billion. In 2003, according to the US data release, the income tax payment rate was 2.3 percent and, in 2002, 0.2 percent.
In a listing of risk factors associated with the offer of the group's shares, Mechel says that Russian transfer pricing rules, which took effect in 1999, empower the tax authorities to impose additional tax on companies when transfer pricing between related entities, or in foreign trade transactions, is found to differ from market pricing by more than 20 percent. The rules, according to Mechel, "are vaguely drafted, leaving wide scope for interpretation by Russian tax authorities." Acknowledging the risk of a challenge, the prospectus says that "if such price adjustments are upheld by the Russian courts and implemented, our future financial results could be adversely affected. In addition, we could face significant losses associated with the assessed amount of prior tax under-paid and related interest and penalties."
According to the prospectus, "widespread tax evasion" is noted as a general factor in Russia's economic instability. But Mechel also suggested that the Tax Ministry's "crackdown on certain Russian companies' use of tax optimization schemes" may be "selective".
This week, Mechel claimed the weekend tax raid was intended to scare the company out of the bidding for the state stake in Magnitogorsk Metal Combine, Russia's largest steelmaker. The 17.8% shareholding will be auctioned on December 22. Magnitogorsk's management, which already controls a majority of the shares, is favoured to win. But if Mechel is deter
|Det ser ut til at Coral Bay-prosjektet til Sumitomo ble ferdigstillt på tiden. Det skal produseres Ni/Co-sulfid, som skipes til Japan for videreraffinering i Sumitomo's 40.000 t Ni-raffineri der. Dette er det første HPAL-anlegg siden Murrin Murrin ble ferdigstilt i 1999. Neste ut er kanskje BHP's Ravensthorpe i Australia før INCO's Goro-prosjekt på N.Caledonia. Da snakker vi kanskje 2009.
Nickel maker Coral Bay to make first shipment
SINGAPORE -- A new Japanese-owned nickel plant in the Philippines aims to make its first shipment to parent company Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. by March, an official involved in the project yesterday said.
Coral Bay Nickel Corp. will deliver nickel powder to Sumitomo Metal Mining's Niihama refinery in Japan, where it will be processed into the metal that is used to add strength and sheen to stainless steel for the auto and household appliance sectors.
Nickel prices, up more than 7% in the last month, are supported by demand from Asia's booming stainless steel sector and a global shortage of the anti-corrosive metal, although analysts see the supply deficit shrinking in 2005.
Coral Bay, on Palawan island in the western Philippines, has been carrying out test runs since the fourth quarter of last year, said the official for the joint venture.
"Within a couple of months, we will be in commercial production," he said.
To date, the plant has produced and stockpiled a small amount of nickel and cobalt powder, he said.
It uses a hydrometallurgical process to make nickel and cobalt in a mixed sulphide powder, an intermediary product that is processed into metal in Japan.
Coral Bay has capacity to produce 10,000 tons of nickel and 700 to 800 tons of cobalt, the official said -- a level of production it is aiming to reach by 2006 at the earliest.
"For 2005, we're still in the stage of ramping up, so we can't expect such numbers," he said, adding Coral Bay had not yet forecast this year's output.
World output of refined nickel was forecast at 1.25 million tons in 2004, rising to 1.32 million tons this year, the International Nickel Study Group said in October.
The Netherlands-based group calculated nickel consumption at 1.26 million tons in 2004, rising this year to 1.32 million tons -- roughly in balance with supply, and a marked turnaround from a 40,000-ton deficit in 2003.
Nickel for three-month delivery on the benchmark London Metal Exchange was trading around $14,250 a ton on Thursday -- below the 15-year peak of $17,720 hit about a year ago, but almost double its value two years ago.
Cobalt is used for industrial and military applications, such as cutting tools and the production of superalloys for the aerospace sector. It is also used in the chemical industry and to make batteries.
Sumitomo Metal Mining owns 54% of Coral Bay. Its Japanese partners, Mitsui and Co. and Sojitz Corp., each have an 18% stake.
Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp., with 10%, is the Philippine partner in the project. The company has been mining nickel ore on Palawan for more than 20 years. -- Reuters
|Ni-gigantene har begynt resultat-fremleggelsen.
Først ute er Falconbridge Ltd, med et rekordresultat.
FALCONBRIDGE REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS OF US$672 MILLION IN 2004
Fourth quarter earnings total US$194 million
February 1, 2005 TORONTO, Ontario -- Falconbridge Limited (TSX: FL) today reported consolidated earnings of $672 million (basic earnings per share of $3.71 and diluted earnings share of $3.69) for 2004. This compares with earnings of $191 million (basic earnings per share of $1.03 and diluted earnings per share of $1.02) for 2003.
Earnings of $194 million ($1.07 per common share on a basic and diluted basis) were reported for the fourth quarter 2004, compared to $95 million (basic earnings per share of $0.52 and diluted earnings per share of $0.51) for the fourth quarter 2003.
“We had a solid fourth quarter, capping an excellent year. Overall, we achieved strong operating results, which allowed us to maximize the benefits from high metal prices and realize record earnings,” said Aaron Regent, President and Chief Executive Officer of Falconbridge. “The market fundamentals for nickel and copper continue to be very positive into 2005, with demand remaining strong and supply being constrained by the lack of new projects. With new production records anticipated for both nickel and copper, as a result of investments completed last year, Falconbridge is well positioned to continue to benefit from high prices. In addition, our attractive pipeline of new projects will further support continued growth. With a strong balance sheet and over $1 billion of liquidity, we have the financial capacity to fund our operations and growth initiatives.”
• Significantly increased over 2003 – nickel, copper, cobalt and zinc were 45%, 61%, 139% and 24% higher, respectively
• Produced 100,900 tonnes of refined nickel and ferronickel and a record 340,900 tonnes of mined copper
• Achieved record production at Raglan, Collahuasi and Lomas Bayas
• Improved safety performance with lost-time injury frequency improvement of 11% over 2003 and 20% since 2002
• Completed 64 Six Sigma projects in 2004, generating savings of $29 million
• Successful exploration programs at Raglan and Sudbury added 4.3 million tonnes of mineral resources
• Resources at Fraser Morgan zones 8,9,10 and 11 increased 700,000 tonnes to measured and indicated resources of 4.9 million tonnes and inferred resources of 2.1 million tonnes Financial Position
• 2004 return on shareholders’ equity of 31%
• Cash flow increased to $1,067 million, from $445 million in 2003
• Improved net-debt-to-total-capitalization ratio to 24% from 37% at Dec. 31, 2003, with liquidity in excess of $1 billion
Projects and Other Developments
• Completed construction of Montcalm nickel project, near Timmins, Ontario and Ujina-Rosario transition and expansion project at Collahuasi, ahead of schedule and under budget
• Advanced Phase I of Raglan Optimization program
• Scoping studies underway for expansions at Falcondo and Lomas Bayas, and further expansion at Collahuasi
• Lomas Bayas crusher expansion completed ahead of schedule and under budget
• Completed bankable feasibility study for Koniambo ferronickel project in New Caledonia
The BFS has increased the level of project definition, with engineering increasing from approximately 10% to 25%. Substantial analysis has been completed on many aspects of the project and included extensive third-party reviews. The project scope has remained essentially unchanged, with the work performed in the pre-feasibility study validated through the completion of the BFS. The costs of the inputs have increased as a result of changes in foreign currency exchange rates, and increased service and raw materials costs. As a result, the estimated capital cost of the project has increased to $2.2 billion. Working capital, cost escalation from 2004 to start-up, financing and arrangement fees and interest costs, for a total of approximately $500 million of other costs, are not included in the $2.2 billion. This cost estimate compares with a pre-feasibility estimate of $1.6 billion (in 2002 dollars).
Estimated operating costs have increased to $1.65/lb., from $1.27/lb. The capital cost of $2.2 billion includes the construction of a $600 million power station with an installed generating capacity of 390 MW. The remaining $1.6 billion relates to the metallurgical plant, mine development, and other infrastructure such as the port and road facilities.
With the bankable feasibility study completed, the Company with its partner SMSP and the French government are focused on finalizing the financing structure for this project. The implementation approach to this project continues to be assessed, with earliest possible start-up of 2009.
(Kommentar: I fjor høst var det INCO. De fant en tilsvarende økning i estimert kapital for sitt GORO-prosjekt. De valgte å omdefinere prosjektet, og endre på de teknologiske løsningene, og kunne - på papiret, senke estimert kapital fra 2,2 mrd ned til ca. 1,9. Nå har altså Falconbridge opplevd det samme. Jeg tror dette vil sende et kraftig signal til selskap som har prosjekt på vent. Det er kanskje ikke så sannsynlig at man vil kunne bygge nye lateritt-prosjekt til 8-10 USD/lb. Ni-kapasitet som mange fortsatt tror. INCO og Falconbridge ligger nå i området ca. 16 USD/lb Ni-kap. Og disse selskapene har altså en lang erfaring i å bygge gruver og produksjon-kapasitet for Ni-produksjon, det er ikke oppstartselskap med en god ide. Tror mange av disse skal gjennom en laaang periode med dyr voksenopplæring innen faget Ni-produksjon.)
[Endret 03.02.05 06:32 av OldNick]
|Xstrata ups offer for WMC Resources
By Osamu Tsukimori, MarketWatch
Last Update: 3:54 AM ET Feb. 2, 2005
TOKYO (MarketWatch) - Swiss-based Xstrata Plc. on Wednesday increased its takeover offer for Australian miner WMC Resources Ltd.
Xstrata (UK:XTA: news, chart, profile) (XSRAF: news, chart, profile) said in a statement on that it raised its offer to A$7.2 ($5.58) a share from A$6.35, valuing WMC at more than A$8.4 billion.
The closing date for the offer is Feb. 28.
Xstrata will not consider any further increase to the offer unless a superior proposal is announced by WMC or another bidder, the company said.
"It is important to highlight that, while we continue to believe that the merger of WMC and Xstrata would create a powerful global mining entity, WMC is only one of a number of attractive strategic growth options available to Xstrata," said Xstata CEO Mick Davis.
The increased offer was within the WMC's independent expert's value range of A$7.17 and A$8.24, Xstrata said.
Xstata first made a cash offer to WMC in October and its shareholders approved the acquisition of WMC at an extraordinary general meeting on Jan. 13.
Shares of WMC (AU:WMR: news, chart, profile) (WMC: news, chart, profile) were up 6 percent at A$7.63 in Sydney. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.4 percent.
In London trade, Xstrata shares declined 0.5 percent to 959 pence. The mining sector also dropped back, following strong gains on Tuesday.
Det foregår nå 2 oppkjøp blant Ni-gigantene. WMC, verdens 3 største, og Falconbridge (via moderselskapet Noranda), verdens 4 største. Med de resultatene de presenterer disse dagene bør derfor kursene styrke seg.
|WMC Second-Half Profit Rises Fourfold on Metal Prices
Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- WMC Resources Ltd., which is battling an A$8.4 billion ($6.4 billion) takeover bid from Xstrata Plc, reported a fourfold jump in second-half profit and said demand for its commodities remains strong.
Net income rose to A$812 million, or 69 cents a share, in the six months ended Dec. 31, from A$198.6 million, or 17.5 cents a year earlier, Melbourne-based WMC, the world's fifth-largest nickel metal producer, said today in a statement.
WMC plans to boost nickel, uranium and fertilizer output this year after China's 9.5 percent economic growth fueled global commodity demand in 2004 and sent prices to their highest in more than a decade. The company's stock has traded above Xstrata's offer as Chief Executive Andrew Michelmore seeks other bidders.
``They are trying to create as much value for shareholders as possible so that they will be taken out at the best possible price,'' said Ric Ronge, who helps manage $13 billion at Invesco Asset Management in Melbourne. ``The results are in line with what they have highlighted earlier.''
The company had released its profit forecasts and dividend plans in the past two months as part of its attempt to fight off the bid from Zug, Switzerland-based Xstrata, the world's biggest exporter of coal burned by power plants.
Full-year net income rose to A$1.33 billion, or A$1.14 a share, from A$246 million, or 22 cents a share a year earlier. That matches the company's own forecast, and compares with the A$1.32 billion median estimate of Bloomberg's survey.
``Buoyant commodity markets have continued into 2005,'' the company said in a statement. ``Exchange stocks of both nickel and copper remain tight, and demand for our output has been strong.''
China may consume between 140,000 and 145,000 tons of nickel this year, compared with 120,000 and 125,000 tons last year, Michelmore said, reiterating an October forecast today during a conference call with analysts and investors.
Nickel prices may stay at the upper end of a $4-to-$6 a pound range over the next three to five year, he said. Nickel prices have averaged $6.32 a pound over the past six months on the London Metal Exchange.
WMC shares fell 4 cents, or 0.5 percent, to A$7.48 today and have traded above the A$7.20-a-share bid made by Xstrata on Feb. 2 because of speculation about a counter offer by rivals including Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton.
Government Reviews Offer
Capital Group Companies Inc., which controlled 8.2 percent of WMC's stock at the end of November, said today in a filing it only owned 4.58 percent of the stock as of Feb. 7.
``The market is just waiting for the next move, whether it's other parties making a bid, or a government decision on Xstrata,'' said Jamie Spiteri, a trader at Shaw Stockbroking in Sydney. ``Given that, it's no surprise that the share price will drift a bit.''
Australian Treasurer Peter Costello must approve any takeover bid by a foreign company and the Foreign Investment Review Board is reviewing the bid and will make a recommendation to Costello. Trade Minister Mark Vaile opposes the bid, the Australian Financial Review said today, citing the minister.
WMC declared a dividend of 37 cents a share for the full year, compared with 6 cents a year ago. It will provide a 30 cents-a-share capital return. Sales rose 29 percent to A$3.8 billion.
Xstrata on Feb. 2 raised its bid for WMC by 13 percent, after its November offer won less than 1 percent of acceptances from shareholders.
To fend off the takeover, WMC invited potential partners to visit the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia as it studies a A$5 billion expansion. WMC's board said it plans to ask other companies to bid, and refused to endorse Xstrata's latest offer.
WMC said today it will release in March details of an initial study on expanding Olympic Dam. The full study will be ready in early 2006.
``They're trying to get something out as soon as possible, to back up their talk on possible production increases,'' said Gavin Wendt, an analyst at Intersuisse Ltd., in Sydney.
Partners who wanted to bid for the Olympic Dam must submit proposals that reflect WMC's current share price, given that the mine represent about 60 percent of WMC's valuation, Michelmore said today.
Grant Samuel & Associates Pty, a privately owned corporate advisory group hired by WMC for an independent audit, valued the company at A$7.17-to-A$8.24 a share.
|BHP Billiton First-Half Profit Surges
02.15.2005, 09:31 PM
Anglo-Australian resources company BHP Billiton Ltd. said Wednesday that surging demand for its products helped it to more than double its first-half net profit to US$2.81 billion (euro2.16 billion) from US$1.34 billion (euro1.03 billion) a year earlier.
China's rapid industrialization has made the world's most populous nation a major market for BHP Billiton. The company said it expects China to remain "a large and sustainable" consumer of raw materials and resources because its government is committed to long-term growth.
Sales for the six months to Dec. 31 soared to US$15.52 billion (euro11.92 billion) from US$10.96 billion (euro8.42 billion) in the same period a year earlier.
Despite signs of a slowing global economy, the mining giant was upbeat about future demand for resources.
"Overall, while the pace of global economic growth may have slowed in recent months, we remain of the view that the cycle is extendable and the global economy will continue to experience an above-trend growth rate in the coming year," BHP Billiton said in a statement.
For some commodities, inventory levels are already at or close to historically low levels, the company said.
As a result, with demand continuing to grow, it is likely that for many commodities "supply will continue to fall short of demand over the coming year," BHP Billiton said.
The company, headquartered in the southern city of Melbourne, said it remains alert "for opportunistic, value-adding acquisitions."
It said it is "possible that it will enter new production regions, new markets with new customers and into new products where these add value and are in line with out strategic direction."
The comments come amid speculation that BHP or global mining rival Rio Tinto PLC could launch a counter-bid for takeover target WMC Resources Ltd.
Swiss mining company Xstrata PLC has offered 8.4 billion Australian dollars (US$6.6 billion; euro5.1 billion) or A$7.20 (US$5.63; euro4.37) per share for WMC, a base metals and uranium miner.
Meget bra fra BHP. De ville være et mye bedre valg for WMC enn Xstrata/Glencore. W.Australia har en av de beste prospektene for sulfidiske Ni-reserver, og er fortsatt lite utforsket (relativ sett).
Og Olympic Dam er en fantastisk Cu/U-reserve, og mer og mer av WMC's høye prising er p.g.a. denne forekomsten.
|Nickel shares shine as producers talk of shortages
Wed Feb 16, 2005 04:50 PM ET
By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Shares in nickel miners shone on Wednesday after Inco Ltd. (N.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) forecast a third year of shortages for the vital stainless steel ingredient that several analysts had expected would find a balance between demand and supply in 2005.
Inco, the world's second biggest nickel producer, joined its voice to that of No. 3 Falconbridge Ltd. (FL.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) in predicting that another deficit is in the offing as new supply remains scarce and demand from the Chinese stainless steel sector stays healthy.
Inco and Falconbridge, both based in Toronto, together supply a quarter of the world's nickel, which is fashioned into stainless steel to make kitchen sinks and fridges. It also has a myriad of industrial uses because it doesn't rust.
"The market has over the course of the last week become more buoyant on the price of nickel," said Ted Mayers, chief financial officer of LionOre Mining (LIM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) a smaller Toronto-based nickel miner.
"Both (Inco and Falconbridge) have been right in their optimistic views on the nickel price in recent years. They have a lot of credibility," Mayers told Reuters as LionOre's stock surged almost 8 percent, or 50 Canadian cents, to C$7 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
On Tuesday, Inco forecast a global nickel shortfall of 16,000 tonnes in 2005 but said it would be even deeper if a shortage of supply did not put a lid on demand.
"The bloom is not off the rose by any means," said Scott Hand, chairman and chief executive of Inco, which, like other nickel miners, has been enjoying the best prices for the metal in 16 years.
A few weeks ago Falconbridge estimated the world shortage at 10,000 tonnes.
By comparison, bodies like the International Nickel Study Group, an intergovernmental organization of mostly European nickel producing, consuming and trading countries, expects supply to match demand of 1.32 million tonnes.
Inco's stock surged C$2.85, or 6.5 percent, to C$46.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Falconbridge jumped C$1.55, or 4.7 percent, to C$34.60.
|Dynatec Madagascar Nickel Mine May Cost $2.25 Bln
Thu February 24, 2005 2:20 PM GMT-05:00
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - It could cost $2.25 billion to develop Dynatec Corp.'s large nickel and cobalt deposit in Madagascar into a mine and processing plant, the small Canadian-based miner said on Thursday as it released an independent study into the project.
Dynatec said the Ambatovy venture is expected to have the capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of nickel metal and 5,600 tonnes of cobalt a year for 27 years according to a study by engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.
Stainless steel is the key end-use of nickel, which has been in short supply for the past two years. But at least four projects about the size of Ambatovy are expected to start up over the next four years.
The project should produce nickel at a cash operating cost of 67 cents a pound after credits for by-products, making it one of the world's lowest-cost producers, according to minerals consulting firm Brook Hunt.
Dynatec last month agreed to buy Phelps Dodge Corp.'s stake in Ambatovy, which is located about 80 km (50 miles) east of Antananarivo, the capital of the Indian Ocean island country. In exchange, U.S. copper giant Phelps took an equity interest in the company, which is based just outside Toronto.
"We are now advancing discussions with base metal producers and nickel consumers to add an equity partner or partners in the project," Dynatec chief executive Bruce Walter said.
The capital cost includes $330 million for a refinery and another $287 million for infrastructure improvements.
Dynatec's stock was unchanged at C$1 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon.
Dynatec består bl.a. av Sherritt Int. gamle teknologi-divisjon, og de har vært teknologileverandør til de fleste autoklav-anvendelser i f.eks. Ni- og Au-industrien. Denne måtte skilles fra Sherritt, da de dannet JV med Moa Bay tidlig på 90-tallet. Dengang ble Sherritt's produkter eksludert solgt på US-markedet, og Sherritt's management nektet innreisetillatelse til USA. Senere har Sherritt utviklet seg til et veldig lønnsomt selskap, og er høyt verdsatt, og Moa Bay-JV ble et vendepunkt for Sherritt. Moa Bay har med begrensede investeringer doblet produksjonen de siste 10 år.
Denne offentliggjørelsen stadfester det nye investeringsnivået for HPAL-prosjekt. Utelukkes infrastruktur, får man: Ca. 2.000 mill. USD / (60 x 2,2 mill. års-lb. Ni) = ca. 15 USD/lb. Ni prod-kapasitet.
Som INCO's GORO- og Falconbridge's Koniambo-prosjekt, skal Dynatech's Ambatovy-prosjekt også produsere ferdig-produkt (metaller).
[Endret 25.02.05 00:29 av OldNick]
[Endret 25.02.05 00:30 av OldNick]
|BHP Billiton says may buy stake in WMC
Mon Mar 7, 2005 02:42 PM GMT
By Santosh Menon and Mark Potter
LONDON (Reuters) - The world's biggest miner, BHP Billiton (BLT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) , says it may buy a stake in Australia's WMC Resources (WMR.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) , threatening rival Xstrata's A$8.2 billion (3.4 billion pound) hostile bid for WMC.
"Following market speculation, BHP Billiton confirms that it has appointed Deutsche Bank AG to assess the feasibility of acquiring a stake in WMC Resources Ltd.," BHP (BHP.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) said in a brief statement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday.
Analysts said BHP's interest could flush out other potential bidders for WMC, kick-starting a bid battle for the Australian firm which is sitting on the world's largest known deposit of uranium.
"It might encourage Rio Tinto to take another look," said Seymour Pierce analyst Charles Kernot in London, suggesting the world's second-biggest miner might also consider a move for WMC.
BHP and Rio (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) (RIO.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) declined to comment. Xstrata (XTA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and WMC were not immediately available.
At 2 p.m., BHP shares were down 1.7 percent at 744 pence, Xstrata shares were down 2.6 percent at 1,045-1/2p and Rio shares up 0.2 percent at 1,842p. WMC closed at A$7.46.
Analysts have long been expecting a bid battle for WMC, which also mines copper, nickel and uranium, after Anglo-Swiss group Xstrata launched what many saw as a low-ball offer for the Australian firm in October.
Last week Xstrata stepped up its battle for WMC, dropping the conditions on its A$7.00 a share offer.
WMC said at that time its shareholders should not be rushed into a deal and its shares have been trading well above Xstrata's offer, suggesting investors expect a better price, either from the Anglo-Swiss firm or a rival suitor.
"Xstrata were hoping that everything would be certainly completed relatively quickly and easily. Clearly that's not now going to be the case," said Seymour Pierce's Kernot.
WMC mines in the western Australian outback and is particularly prized for its Olympic Dam project in southern Australia, one of the world's largest copper mines which also includes around 38 percent of the world's known uranium.
Last month, French nuclear energy firm Areva (CEPFi.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) said it was in non-binding talks to buy Olympic Dam, in the first open challenge to Xstrata's plans.
BHP, whose commodity portfolio ranges from copper and iron ore to oil, reported last month that its first-half profits more than doubled as demand from Chinese burgeoning economy drove metals prices higher.
"Being biased, since we're bulls of Billiton, we hope it doesn't pay too much but it's got a good record and can afford to make an acquisition," said John Smith, investment director at investment managers Brown Shipley.
Analysts have also suggested the world's biggest uranium producer Cameco (CCO.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) , Anglo American (AGLJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research) (AAL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (VALE5.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) (RIO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) as potential buyers for WMC.
Her er selskapet som har nok muskler, og vil eie de aller beste ressursene, som WMC har både i Cu/U og Ni. Dette vil i såfall eliminere "gribbene" i Xtrata.
|Rask og effektivt. Nå, se opp for andre oppkjøpskandidater :-). Markedets reaksjon på oppkjøpet i cash var at BHP stiger 1%, dette har vært Ni-industriens beste selskap de siste årene.
UPDATE 5-BHP Billiton bids US$7.3 bln for Australia's WMC
Tuesday March 8, 2005, 8:18 pm
By Wendy Pugh and Santosh Menon
MELBOURNE/LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) - Global mining firm BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc (ASX: BHP.ax) made a A$9.2 billion ($7.3 billion) cash bid for Australia's WMC Resources Ltd. (ASX: WMR.ax) on Tuesday, topping a hostile offer from rival Xstrata Plc XTA.L.
Anglo-Swiss Xstrata said it would not raise its $8.2 billion offer for WMC, which controls 38 percent of the world's known uranium at its Olympic Dam mine in southern Australia and is the world's fifth-largest nickel producer.
BHP Billiton BLT.L, which would boost its nickel and copper assets and add uranium to its portfolio, said WMC had recommended its A$7.85 a share bid in the absence of a higher offer.
But some analysts said BHP Billiton could still face a battle to win over WMC's shareholders. Other potential bidders for WMC may include Rio Tinto Ltd./Plc. (ASX: RIO.ax) RIO.L, uranium producer Cameco Corp. CCO.TO and Anglo American AGLJ.J AAL.L.
"Potentially, we'll be seeing more activity because WMC is a prized asset, which hasn't been managed to its full potential over the last few years," said Paul Xiradis, managing director of fund manager Ausbil Dexia, which has stakes in both WMC and BHP Billiton. "There's a lot of value to be had by an acquirer."
BHP Billiton Chief Executive Chip Goodyear said acquiring WMC Resources would create the world's second-largest copper producer -- after Chile's state-owned Codelco -- and the third-largest nickel producer after Russia's Norilsk Nickel GMKN.RTS and Canada's Inco Ltd. N.TO.
"The opportunity to acquire tier-one assets in low-risk regions, and ideally geographically suited to the growing Asian market, does not come around very often," he told reporters.
"It gives us significant long-term development options, it enables us to benefit from the continued strength in the global commodity markets and it further positions us to take the opportunity to benefit from an extended commodity cycle," he said.
At 0912 GMT, BHP shares were 1.1 percent higher at 758 pence in London after closing down 2.3 percent at A$18.85 in Australia. Trading in WMC shares was suspended as talks between the companies continued.
Xstrata shares were up 2.1 percent at 10.61 pounds, the biggest riser on London's benchmark FTSE-100 index .FTSE, on relief it would not get sucked into a bidding battle.
"Xstrata confirms it will not be increasing its unconditional offer of A$7 per share due to close on March 24," the Swiss-based copper and coal miner said in a statement.
BHP's bid is at the upper end of a dividend-adjusted A$6.97 to A$8.04 valuation range in an expert's report commissioned by WMC, and about 12 percent above Xstrata's A$7.00 per share offer.
Some analysts said this should be enough to secure victory.
"The level of the bid, the agreement... it probably means it's all over, I think," said Peter Hitchens, an industry analyst at Credit Agricole Indosuez Cheuvreux.
But others said investors could be reluctant to sell into the initial BHP Billiton offer as it appeared the takeover battle was just hotting up.
"We actually think both BHP and Rio could bid up to A$8.00 and that makes pretty good economic sense," said Peter Harris, an analyst at Commonwealth Securities.
"We actually think Rio needs WMC more than BHP which is why we are pretty confident that Rio will join the fray in terms of making a bid," Harris added.
A spokeswoman at Rio Tinto declined to comment. Its shares were down 0.2 percent at 18.48 pounds in London after closing down 1.1 percent at A$46.89.
BHP said it would finance its bid from new and existing debt facilities and added that the acquisition would boost earnings in fiscal 2006.
WMC, the world's number-six uranium miner, traded for less than A$5 a share before Xstrata proposed buying it in late October, initially for A$6.35 a share.
French nuclear equipment firm Areva CEPFi.PA said last month it was in non-binding talks with WMC over the possible purchase of the Olympic Dam mine, which also contains the world's fourth-largest deposit of copper.
|Hett i gruveindustrien for tiden.
I Toronto ble handelen i Falconbridge og Noranda stoppet i ettermiddag (Canada tid).
Etter børs, kom denne pressemeldingen ut:
Noranda and Falconbridge to Issue Press Release
Tuesday March 8, 3:37 pm ET
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 8, 2005--Noranda Inc. (TSX:NRD - News; NYSE:NRD - News) and Falconbridge Limited (TSX:FL - News) announced that each of the companies will issue a press release at 6:00 a.m. EST tomorrow, Wednesday, March 9, 2005.
Noranda Inc. is a leading copper and nickel company with investments in fully-integrated zinc and aluminum assets. The Company's primary focus is the identification and development of world-class copper and nickel mining deposits. It employs 16,000 people at its operations and offices in 18 countries and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange (NRD). The Company's website can be found at www.noranda.com.
Falconbridge Limited is a leading producer of nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals. Its common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FL. Falconbridge is owned by Noranda Inc. of Toronto (58.8%) and by other investors (41.2%). The Company's website can be found at www.falconbridge.com.
Falconbridge Limited (TSX:FL - News)
Noranda Inc. (TSX:NRD - News; NYSE:NRD - News)
Det spekuleres på om Noranda byr på de 41,2% de ikke eier i Falconbridge. FL steg 6%, NRD 2% før handelen ble stoppet, omsetningen var relativt høy.
|Falconbridge and Noranda Agree to Combine
Wednesday March 9, 6:05 am ET
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 9, 2005--Falconbridge Limited (TSX:FL - News) -
A conference call to discuss the proposed merger will be held today, Wednesday, March 9, 2005 at 8:30 a.m. EST. To participate, dial (416) 641-6449 for local and overseas and 1-888-740-1975 toll-free in North America. To participate in the live broadcast on the internet, sign on to www.falconbridge.com.
Falconbridge Limited ("Falconbridge") (TSX:FL - News) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to combine (the "Merger") with its major shareholder, Noranda Inc. (TSX:NRD, NYSE:NRD) ("Noranda"). After the Merger, Noranda will be renamed NorandaFalconbridge. The Merger will create one of North America's largest base-metals companies.
The Merger will be completed by way of a share exchange take-over bid under which Falconbridge common shareholders (other than Noranda) will be offered 1.77 Noranda common shares for each Falconbridge common share (the "Offer").
- The Boards of Noranda and Falconbridge have unanimously agreed to combine the two companies by way of a share exchange.
- Each Falconbridge shareholder will receive 1.77 Noranda shares for each Falconbridge share, which represents a 15% premium to the 20-day average share price.
- Prior to the Merger, Noranda will repurchase approximately 63.4 million of its common shares in exchange for three series of junior preferred shares with an aggregate stated value of US$1.25 billion (the "Issuer Bid").
- Brascan, the owner of approximately 41% of Noranda common shares, has indicated that it will tender its common shares to the Issuer Bid. On completion of the Merger and Issuer Bid, Brascan's ownership position will decline to between 16% and 26% of the new entity.
- The merger of the companies by way of a share exchange will allow Falconbridge shareholders to continue to participate in the new entity. Falconbridge shareholders, other than Noranda, currently own approximately 41% of Falconbridge. After completion of the two transactions, they will own approximately 36% of the combined company.
- The transaction simplifies the ownership structure and Falconbridge shareholders will benefit from an increase in the new company's public float and share liquidity.
- The increased size, diversification and financial capability of the new combined company will facilitate future growth.
- The larger market capitalization and simplified corporate ownership structure is expected to attract a greater institutional investor base for the combined company.
Noranda currently owns approximately 59% of the outstanding Falconbridge common shares
|BHP king hit knocks rivals out of the ring
By Bryan Frith
March 09, 2005
BHP Billiton's recommended cash bid of $7.85 a share for WMC Resources is aimed as much at Rio Tinto, or any other potential bidder, as at the existing bidder Xstrata.
BHP Billiton won't want to risk getting into a debilitating, value-destroying price war with Rio, which could see the purchase price soar into the stratosphere.
Hence an offer price so far above the existing Xsrata offer price – an additional 85c a share, or 12 per cent.
It's a knockout strategy, designed not only to blow Xstrata out of the water, but also Rio Tinto and any other possible contender. The first hurdle has already been cleared with Xstrata last night bowing out, by declaring that it won't increase its $7 a share bid.
But just in case, BHP Billiton has an agreement that WMC will pay it a break fee of $92 million ($US73 million) if there is a successful competing bid. It must be a great relief for WMC which appears to have been taken by surprise.
|Noranda Setback Won't Stop China Metals Hunt
Thu March 10, 2005 7:22 AM GMT-05:00
By Polly Yam and Robin Paxton
HONG KONG/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China Minmetals Corp. will scour the world for raw materials to feed sizzling industrial growth at home, but may scale back its ambitions while metal prices remain at multi-year highs.
China's biggest trading company has dropped a plan to buy Canadian miner Noranda Inc., valued at nearly $6 billion, but an official for the state-owned firm said on Thursday it may take a small stake in its former target.
"We have revised the plan," said He Jianbo, chief of the president's office at Beijing-based Minmetals.
"We have not ruled out taking a stake in the merged company."
Minmetals' bid for Noranda, Canada's biggest mining company in sales, ended on Wednesday, when Noranda made a $2.5 billion stock-swap bid for all the shares in subsidiary Falconbridge Ltd. it does not already own.
Noranda is the world's third-largest zinc and eighth-largest copper producer, while China consumes about one-fifth of global supply of both metals.
Falconbridge is the world's number-three nickel producer.
Industry analysts in China said Minmetals would still secure the raw materials it seeks by taking a stake in the merged NorandaFalconbridge, which would have operations in 18 countries.
The Chinese trader did not have the experience or manpower to run Noranda, they said, while copper prices that streaked to an all-time high this week had helped push up the value of mining assets worldwide, making Noranda a more expensive target.
A Shanghai-based researcher for Chinese fund Prime Capital Management said: "Minmetals must have its own estimate in cost and benefits. (Noranda's) assets may be overvalued now."
Since official talks began in September, copper has risen 20 percent in value and zinc more than 40 percent as funds flocked to red-hot commodities from lower-yielding bonds and equities.
"Minmetals had been a target of criticism for (considering) purchasing at such a high price. Seven billion dollars is not small money," said Heng Kun, an analyst at Everbright Securities in Shanghai, referring to Noranda's approximate value in Canadian dollars.
Minmetals -- which already has alumina assets in the United States and is studying a nickel project in Cuba -- might now follow the Japanese model of investment in overseas mining resources, by taking a small stake in a larger company, he said.
"When the (raw) material price becomes more acceptable, you can increase your stake gradually."
Jeco Corp. offers an example of the Japanese model. It is an affiliate of Mitsubishi Corp. with a 10 percent stake in Chile's Escondida, the world's largest copper mine. BHP Billiton owns 57.5 percent and Rio Tinto 30 percent.
Analysts said opposition within Canada to a state-owned Chinese company acquiring key mining assets had also been a stumbling block in the Noranda bid.
"China still wants to buy a stake ... it was the Canadian side that didn't want Minmetals to buy the (full) stake," said an analyst for an international bank, who asked not to be named.
Minmetals and Noranda were now studying a "strategic alliance," both companies have said.
Minmetals' He did not comment on whether the company would submit a bid for the shares owned by Brascan Corp., which will tender its 122.6 million shares, or about 41 percent of Noranda.
"They may want to buy a small part or have some type of offtake type arrangements," Derek Pannell, Noranda's chief executive and the probable CEO of the merged company, said on Wednesday.
The researcher at Prime Capital Management said Minmetals might choose to play to its trading strengths by signing long-term contracts with overseas mining companies to meet China's domestic needs.
|UPDATE 1-Minmetals may seek partners to buy Noranda -source
Mon Mar 14, 2005 05:05 AM ET
By Charlie Zhu
SINGAPORE, March 14 (Reuters) - China Minmetals Corp. may form a domestic partnership to acquire Canadian miner Noranda Inc. (NRD.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) , a source close to the plan said on Monday, after abandoning a solo bid for the $6 billion company last week.
|Det begynner å skje litt på junior-siden innenfor lateritt. Ikke overraskende at kineserne er agressive (Ramu/Highland P.), men at INCO vil rote seg borti australsk lateritter (Kalgoorlie Nickel/HERON) er vanskeligere å forstå, de burde nok ha mer enn nok allerede med GORO og Voiceys Bay, som har vanvittig store investeringer foran seg. Det blir fortsatt lite utbytte til INCO's tålmodige aksjonærer fremover, men litt vekst i aksjekursen kan det bli som plaster på såret. INCO's involvering i Heron kan dog være en strategisk avtale for å hindre andre tilgang.
INCO TO FORM JV WITH HERON
Heron Resources has signed a letter of intent to enter into a joint venture with Inco to develop its Kalgoorlie Nickel Project (KNP).
Under the terms of the deal, Inco will fund the remainder of the cost of the KNP pre-feasibility study, 100% of the cost of any bankable feasibility study, procure all debt project financing required for the project and provide 95.5% of any equity funding required for the project.
Upon all milestones being met and the KNP being commissioned, Inco will earn a 60% interest in the project with Heron retaining a 40% interest. Inco will also be entitled to purchase 100% of the KNP off-take on commercial terms.
Heron Managing Director Ian Buchhorn said finding a suitable joint venture partner completed one of the major milestones for the project.
“We are now in the fortunate position to have teamed up with one of the world's leading nickel producers in Inco to develop one of the world's largest nickel resources,” Mr Buchhorn said.
The KNP has an estimated JORC compliant resource of 903 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.74% nickel and 0.05% cobalt.
Inco is the second largest producer of primary nickel in the world, with a current market capitalisation of approximately US$8 billion. The company has significant expertise in developing major nickel projects to production, with over 100 years of nickel development, mining and processing experience.
Nick Sheard, Inco Vice President Exploration said Inco looked forward to working with Heron on the feasibility studies to advance the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project.
“Finding a project of this scale with established infrastructure in a politically attractive location is extremely difficult,” Mr Sheard said.
Mr Buchhorn said Heron has long viewed Inco as an ideal partner.
“We are delighted to welcome Inco. Their expertise, capital resources and desire to develop the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project is second to none,” Mr Buchhorn said.
“Inco's involvement delivers Heron and its shareholders a clearly defined and properly funded pathway to advance the KNP towards the target of being a major global nickel producing operation.”
The July 2004 order of magnitude Scoping Study prepared by independent engineers Sinclair Knight Mertz indicated the KNP has a geared, post tax NPV of approximately A$607 million. The capital expenditure for the KNP was estimated at A$1.4 billion.
Inco has also agreed to negotiate with Heron a separate regional nickel sulphide joint venture. Further details on this joint venture are expected in the near term.
“Having Inco as both the nickel laterite and nickel sulphide partner means Heron's nickel assets are now positioned to be developed to their full potential,” Mr Buchhorn said.
31 March 2005
Ramu Agreement with China Metallurgical Construction (Group) Corporation Signed
Last night the Master Agreement for the development of the Ramu nickel/cobalt project was signed by China Metallurgical Construction (Group) Corporation (MCC), Ramu Nickel Limited (a subsidiary of Highlands Pacific) and Mineral Resources Ramu Limited (a subsidiary of Mineral Resources Development Company) at a ceremony hosted by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon Sir Michael Somare at Parliament House in Port Moresby.
MCC is a major State owned Chinese engineering and construction company which has been involved in the development of major projects, including mining, in Asia and Africa.
The signing of the Agreements was witnessed by the Honourable Sir Michael Somare, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Chairman Yang Changheng and Vice Chairman Ma Yanli, from MCC, Mr Zhang Junsai Deputy Director-General, Department of North American and Oceania Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Li Zhengjun and senior government ministers plus senior representatives from several banks from the Peoples Republic of China as well as senior representatives from nickel users in China.
The signing of the Master Agreement is the culmination of 12-months of negotiations and technical review of the project by MCC after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in February 2004.
Highlands Pacific and MRDC have been advised by Mr Jonathan Beardsworth from Standard Bank London Mining and Metals Advisory in undertaking the transaction with MCC.
The Master Agreement sets out the commercial terms and conditions for the development of the Ramu nickel/cobalt project and includes the Joint Venture Agreement. Under this agreement MCC has a 180-day exclusive right period to take up an 85% equity interest in the project. During the 180-days MCC will incorporate its PNG company for the development of the project, and finalise its structure in Papua New Guinea.
[Endret 01.04.05 20:19 av OldNick]
|Under the Master Agreement MCC has the right to an 85% interest in the project. Highlands Pacific will have an initial 8.56% carried interest in Ramu, increasing to 11.30% at no cost to the Company after the debt for the financing of the project has been repaid. At this time Highlands will also have the option to purchase an additional 9.25% in Ramu at market value, which if exercised would take Highlands Pacific’s total interest to 20.55%.
MCC are responsible for financing 100% of the project including Highlands Pacific’s equity (on a free carry basis) and arranging the debt. This means that the development of Ramu will be non-recourse to the Company.
MCC will manage the project and have the right to purchase 100% of the nickel and cobalt produced on an arms length basis.
Mr Ian Holzberger, Managing Director, said that the signing of the Agreement was a major milestone in the development of Ramu and for the Papua New Guinea economy. It will represent the first significant mining investment by a company from the Peoples Republic of China outside of the country. He added that he looked forward to looking at further investment opportunities with Chinese companies in Papua New Guinea.
Ramu is a large “wet tropical” laterite nickel/cobalt project located in the Madang Province of PNG. The project is fully permitted. The resource at Ramu is estimated at 143 million tonnes at 1.01% nickel and 0.10% cobalt which gives a mine life in excess of 20 years based on forecast annual production of 33,000 tonnes of contained nickel per annum. A copy Highlands Pacific’s Chairman’s speech delivered at the signing ceremony is attached.
[Endret 01.04.05 20:20 av OldNick]
|UPDATE: BHP Buys Heron Stake, May Clash With Inco
Friday April 8, 4:26 AM EDT
PERTH -(Dow Jones)- BHP Billiton (BHP) said Friday that it bought 11.2% of Western Australian nickel group Heron Resources Ltd. (HRR.AU), putting it on a collision course with Canada's Inco Ltd. (N.T).
The world's biggest miner paid A$5.6 million for the stake, just a few days after Inco agreed to a US$68 million joint venture deal with Heron over its Kalgoorlie nickel project.
Sudden interest in Heron - which has been promoting and exploring its Kalgoorlie project for seven years - has fueled speculation of a bidding war. Heron shares closed up 48% at 61.5 Australian cents, valuing the Kalgoorlie- based company at A$87 million.
The stock has more than doubled in price in less than two weeks.
BHP bought 15.9 million Heron shares on Thursday from U.S.-based OM Group Inc. (OMG) at 35 cents each.
|Sumitomo Metal and Mitsui to Invest in Inco's Caledonia Mine
April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and Mitsui & Co. decided yesterday to invest in a mine in New Caledonia owned by Inco Ltd., the Japanese companies said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Inco, the world's second-biggest nickel producer, said in October it will build a new mine in New Caledonia that will cost $1.878 billion. The Goro mine, where Inco halted work in 2002 because of rising costs, will produce a maximum 60,000 metric tons of nickel annually by 2009 in the French overseas territory, the Toronto-based company said.
Sumitomo Metal, Japan's third-largest copper producer, and Mitsui, Japan's second-biggest trading company, will set up a company in the Netherlands called Sumic Nickel Netherlands b.v. to purchase a 21 percent stake in the mine, the release to the Tokyo Stock Exchange said today.
Sumitomo will own 52.4 percent of the new company and Mitsui will own the remaining 47.6 percent, according to the release. The companies will receive mining rights in the same proportions for nickel and cobalt produced from the mine, the release said.
Sumitomo Metal, Mitsui Buy 21 Percent of Inco Project (Update1)
April 11 (Bloomberg) -- Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Japan's third-largest copper producer, and trading company Mitsui & Co. bought a 21 percent stake in Inco Ltd.'s Goro nickel project in New Caledonia for about $150 million.
Sumic Nickel Netherlands, a venture formed by Sumitomo and Mitsui, will get a share of the project's nickel and cobalt production, Toronto-based Inco said today in a statement. Inco holds 69 percent of Goro, and New Caledonia owns the remaining 10 percent.
Da er det bare den formelle finansieringen av INCO's andel som mangler, så blir utbyggingen av INCO Goro satt igang.
[Endret 12.04.05 06:10 av OldNick]
[Endret 12.04.05 06:10 av OldNick]
|Inco grabs 10pc of Heron
By Robin Bromby
April 16, 2005
CANADIAN nickel giant Inco has come in over the top of potential rival BHP Billiton by buying a 10.4percent stake in emerging junior Heron Resources.
BHP set Heron shares ablaze last week when it bought 15.9 million shares, or an 11.2 per cent stake, signalling it could be eyeing the junior's laterite nickel resource around Kalgoorlie. That sent the stock from 41.5c to a high this week of 79c, although Heron has come back in line with the market, losing another 4.5c yesterday to close at 68.5c.
Speculation raged mainly because the ink had hardly dried on Inco's joint venture with Heron before the local giant pounced, indicating a potential struggle between the two for control. But the issue of 16.5 million new shares to Inco means that BHP will dilute to 9.98 per cent - not enough to block compulsory acquisition in a takeover bid for Heron.
The only compensation for BHP yesterday was it paid 35c a share against Inco's 75c - the latter having to top the huge price rise after BHP entered Heron's register.
But Heron itself is pleased. Managing director Ian Buchhorn said discussions on the placement with Inco started weeks ago but the Canadians ended up paying a much higher price than planned - which meant the $12.37 million included a big windfall element for Heron.
"This placement cements Heron's partnership with Inco," he said.
Mr Buchhorn said both he and Inco were still speculating about BHP's motives. But analysts see it as BHP looking to become a dominant nickel player once it swallows nickel powerhouse WMC Resources and gets into production with its own Ravensthorpe laterite project in Western Australia.
There has also been speculation BHP wanted to stop the Canadian company getting a foot in what it considers its own backyard. The Inco money will be for exploration.
Heron is effectively handing over the development planning to Inco which, under the joint venture, has to come up with the $1.4 billion to get the nickel project in production.
Mr Buchhorn said the placement money would be used to re-start exploration.
Any finds would be offered to the joint venture with Inco.
While the Kalgoorlie project is for laterite, the company will be looking for sulphide nickel in its ground.
And there would be drilling of various laterite deposits, not part of the 903-million tonne resource.
|Inco reports results for first quarter of 2005 Canadian GAAP quarterly net earnings of $313 million reflect another strong quarter Inco reinstates common share quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share
TORONTO, April 19, 2005 – Inco Limited today reported adjusted net earnings(1) of $238 million, or $1.26 per share ($1.09 per share on a diluted basis(2)), for the first quarter of 2005, compared with adjusted net earnings(1) of $227 million, or $1.22 per share ($1.08 per share on a diluted basis(2)), for the first quarter of 2004. The adjustments made in arriving at adjusted net earnings(1) for the first quarter of 2005 reflected primarily (1) the exclusion of net tax benefits totalling $45 million concerning principally a favourable settlement of outstanding tax claims applicable to certain prior periods, (2) the exclusion of a $25 million favourable adjustment relating to minority interest for the Goro project company, Goro Nickel S.A.S. (“Goro Nickel”), and (3) the exclusion of favourable non-cash currency translation adjustments relating to changes in the Canadian-U.S. dollar exchange rate of $5 million. The adjustments made in arriving at adjusted net earnings(1) for the first quarter of 2004, as previously reported, are set forth under “Reconciliation Between Adjusted Net Earnings and Net Earnings in Accordance with Canadian GAAP” below.
Inco CEO says nickel demand will stay strong, cites China
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
TORONTO (CP) - Inco Ltd. believes the booming demand for nickel, which recently pushed prices to their highest level in 16 years, won't end in the near future.
China's nickel consumption has grown by more than 20 per cent in each of the past five years and it's showing no sign of slowing, CEO Scott Hand told shareholders at the company's annual meeting Wednesday in Toronto.
The Asian country has continued gobbling up nickel this year, with demand during the first two months more than double that of January and February 2004, Hand said.
China isn't the only major factor in nickel consumption. The market for high-nickel alloys - used in aerospace applications, oil and gas processing and land-based gas turbines for energy - has recovered, Hand said.
And the CEO said hybrid-electric vehicles - which use nickel-based batteries - are no longer a fringe product, with worldwide production expected to grow from 200,000 units today to more than one million by 2010.
[Endret 20.04.05 23:00 av OldNick]
|APRIL 19, 2005 - 14:25:43 ET
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 19, 2005) - All currency amounts in United States dollars
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX)(LSE:BGD)(SWX:ABX)(BOURSE:ABX) and Falconbridge Limited (TSX:FL) announced today that they have finalized a joint-venture agreement regarding the Kabanga nickel deposit in Tanzania and related concessions. Under the terms of the agreement, Falconbridge has acquired a 50% indirect joint venture interest in respect of the Kabanga Project for $15 million and will be the operator of the joint venture.
Over the next several years, Falconbridge will fund and conduct a further $50-million work plan that will include additional exploration and infill drilling, and technical work to update the resource model for Kabanga. Falconbridge will draw upon its nickel processing, project development and engineering expertise to bring the project towards feasibility. It will establish a dedicated team in Tanzania to coordinate and advance the work plan. Upon conclusion of the work plan, Falconbridge will fund the next $95 million of any project development expenditures to advance the Kabanga project. Thereafter, Falconbridge and Barrick will share equally joint-venture revenues and expenditures.
Since acquiring the Kabanga Nickel Project as part of the acquisition of Sutton Resources in 1999, Barrick has significantly enhanced the value of Kabanga by increasing the known resource estimate. The current estimated inferred resource is 26.4 (1) million tonnes grading 2.6% nickel. The Project is located in northwestern Tanzania, west of Barrick's Bulyanhulu gold mine and northwest of its Tulawaka gold mine, which commenced production in March 2005. Barrick and Falconbridge contemplate that the Kabanga project, when put into production, would comprise an underground mining operation and associated surface infrastructure and concentrator. Contingent upon the results of the Falconbridge drilling program, the partners expect that the operation would mine approximately two million tonnes of ore per year, capable of producing approximately 30 thousand to 35 thousand tonnes of nickel in concentrates per year. The nickel concentrates would be marketed by Falconbridge and at least 50% of the nickel concentrates would be processed at Falconbridge's Sudbury nickel smelter and Norwegian nickel refinery on behalf of the joint venture.
|FALCONBRIDGE REPORTS RECORD QUARTERLY EARNINGS OF US$221 MILLION IN Q1 2005
April 21, 2005 TORONTO, Ontario -- Falconbridge Limited (TSX: FL) today reported consolidated earnings of $221 million (basic earnings per share of $1.22 and diluted earnings per share of $1.21) for the first quarter 2005. This compares with earnings of $184 million (basic earnings per share of $1.02 and diluted earnings per share of $1.01) for the first quarter of 2004.
“We have had a solid start to the year, increasing year over year production at most of our facilities, which enabled us to take full advantage of high metals prices and generate record earnings,” said Aaron Regent, President and Chief Executive Officer of Falconbridge. “In addition, the proposed merger with Noranda will simplify our ownership structure, provide a larger shareholder float and increase our critical mass, which will aid our ability to advance new large scale projects. As one of the world’s largest base metals companies, we will be well positioned to benefit from the expected continuation in high metal prices. With a high quality pipeline of growth initiatives in copper and nickel, the company is positioned to broaden its appeal to large institutions and further expand its shareholder base.”
Q1 2005 Highlights
• Noranda and Falconbridge agreed to merge on a share exchange basis
• Nickel, copper and zinc were 2%, 24%, 21% higher, respectively, versus Q1, 2004
• Nikkelverk achieved record nickel and cobalt production of 21,456 and 1,330 tonnes, respectively
• Refined nickel production, including ferronickel, was 27,930 tonnes and mined copper
production was 83,012 tonnes
• Annual production target for refined nickel remains unchanged at 113,000 tonnes; target for mined copper lowered by 9,000 tonnes to 351,000 tonnes, as a result of a shutdown of SAG mill #3 at Collahuasi
• Completed 13 Six Sigma projects, generating savings of $7.7 million
• Sudbury exploration team received the “2005 Bill Dennis Prospector of the Year” Award (PDAC) for their discovery of the Nickel Rim South deposit Financial Position
• Return on shareholders’ equity of 35%
• Cash flow increased to $313 million, from $263 million in Q1 2004
• Improved net-debt-to-total-capitalization ratio to 19% from 24% at Dec. 31, 2004, with liquidity in excess of $1.2 billion Projects and Other Developments
• Finalized joint-venture agreement with Barrick Gold for the Kabanga nickel deposit in Tanzania
• Advanced Phase I of Raglan Optimization program
• Began vent shaft sinking at Nickel Rim South in March 2005
• Appointed new President of the Koniambo ferronickel project in New Caledonia
|UPDATE 3-Falconbridge investor seeks to delay Noranda bid
Tue May 3, 2005 05:50 PM ET
(Adds OSC receipt of filing, more details. In U.S. dollars unless noted)
By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 3 (Reuters) - A U.S.-based hedge fund made a last-minute appeal to regulators on Tuesday to delay a $2.4 billion takeover of nickel miner Falconbridge Ltd. (FL.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) by Noranda Inc. (NRD.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) .
Citing "significant" but unspecified concerns with the deal, Wisconsin-based Stark Investments asked Canada's main financial markets watchdog to put the brakes on Noranda's plan to buy the 41 percent of subsidiary Falconbridge that it doesn't already own.
The fund filed an application with the Ontario Securities Commission asking that Falconbridge and its directors get a new opinion on the fairness of the share-swap bid, which was unveiled on March 9.
The transaction, which will create one of the biggest base metals producers in the Americas, is due to close on Thursday and analysts had expected it to go through easily.
A source close to the takeover said Stark wanted Noranda to raise its bid for Falconbridge, of which the fund manager owns about 5 million shares or nearly 3 percent.
In a statement Falconbridge said Stark had a short position in Noranda's stock. Short-sellers borrow instruments like shares and sell them, hoping their prices will fall so that they can buy them back more cheaply and pocket the difference.
In its application to the OSC, Stark said it had raised a "number of significant concerns" about the directors' circular issued by Falconbridge and the fairness opinion in it. The fairness opinion was drawn up by TD Securities.
Rob Barnard, a principal at Stark, declined to say what his firm's concerns are. Barnard said Stark has more than $6 billion under management.
Falconbridge said a special committee of its board had reviewed Stark's concerns, which the company had received on Friday, and concluded that they don't point to any breaches of Ontario securities laws.
"Accordingly, the concerns raised by Stark are without merit," Falconbridge said in a statement.
Noranda og Falconbridge har falt en del de siste ukene (ca. 10-12%). Siste par dagene kraftigere enn andre miningselskap. Det kan ha vært denne shortingen som har aksellerert fallet. Tror ikke de vinner gjennom med forhøyet bud fra Noranda, men det vil bli en liten utsettelse.
|Canada watchdog won't delay Falconbridge bid
Wednesday, May 4, 2005 17:05 EDT
By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The Ontario Securities Commission on Wednesday slapped down an 11th hour attempt by a U.S. hedge fund to delay Noranda Inc.'s proposed $2.4 billion takeover of Falconbridge Ltd. .
Canada's leading securities watchdog said it was not in the interest of other Falconbridge shareholders nor the public that that it hold a hearing into last minute concerns by Stark Investments about the deal that will create one of the biggest base metals producers in the Americas.
"It's neither fair nor appropriate to disrupt a bid so late in the process for matters that could have been raised much earlier," OSC spokeswoman Wendy Dey told Reuters.
"Based on the information, we are not satisfied that there are fair and pressing reasons to interfere with the bid at this stage," she said.
|Noranda Bid Receives 78% Support from Falconbridge Shareholders
Friday May 6, 7:00 am ET
Noranda to Take Up Remaining Falconbridge Common Shares
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 6, 2005-- Noranda Inc. ("Noranda") (TSX:NRD.LV, NYSE:NRD) and Falconbridge Limited ("Falconbridge") (TSX:FL) today reported the results of the offer to acquire the common shares of Falconbridge not already owned by Noranda (the "Offer"), the second step of an all-encompassing plan to combine Noranda and Falconbridge and create one of North America's leading base-metals companies.
Noranda confirmed that 58,476,589 Falconbridge common shares were validly deposited under the Offer, representing 78% of the shares held by minority shareholders. Noranda confirmed that all conditions to the Offer have been met and that it will take up all shares validly deposited, increasing its ownership to 164,235,689, or approximately 91%, of the outstanding Falconbridge Common Shares.
Noranda ownership before the Offer: 105,759,100, 58.5%
Noranda ownership after the Offer: 164,235,689, 90.8%
Noranda intends to proceed to acquire any remaining Common Shares not tendered to the Offer. Noranda expects this process to be completed by the end of August, 2005.
Upon final completion of Noranda's combination with Falconbridge, Brascan will own 74,423,504 common shares of NorandaFalconbridge, reducing its position to approximately 20%.