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Mining, generell topic
OldNick
20.11.2012 16:52
#19667

riktig det, Renud.

REE er kanskje det beste eksemplet, men de gjør det og har gjort det i industri etter industri. De vil kontrollere så mye av produksjonskjeden som mulig.

Om de er fattige på mange ressurser, bygger de seg opp nedstrøms, og oppstrøms går de inn med investeringer og gode avtaler i fattige u-land med gode naturressurser for å lokke inne leveringsavtaler til China eller gjennom kanaler de kan kontrollere.

Innenfor metaller/mineraler er Mg, Al, stål andre gode eksempler.
______

Idag ble fusjonen mellom Glencore International og Xstrata vedtatt i respektive generalforsamlinger.

Noe dramatikk var det nok for Xstrata og Xstrata's styre og toppledelse, da fusjonsforslaget med en bonuspakke på ca. 140m til toppledelsen i holdingselskapet og de ulike divisjonene ble nedstemt.

Et sterkt signal fra Xstrata's aksjonærer, men ikke veldig uventet for de som har fulgt med i all turbulensen rundt disse avtalene.

Xstrata Holders Vote for Glencore Offer Excluding Bonuses

By Jesse Riseborough, Firat Kayakiran and Leigh Baldwin
Nov. 20, 2012

Utdrag:
Glencore (GLEN) International Plc's $31 billion takeover of Xstrata Plc (XTA) was approved by investors, leaving clearance by regulators in Europe and China as the remaining hurdles for this year's biggest deal.

Shareholders voted in favor of a resolution to approve Glencore's offer without retention payments for about 70 Xstrata managers and then rejected the bonus packages in a separate ballot, ensuring the deal proceeds, Xstrata said in a statement today.

The votes remove an obstacle to Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg's plan to create the world's fourth- largest mining company by adding Xstrata's coal, nickel, zinc and copper operations to his cotton-to-crude-oil commodities trading empire. While the European Commission is due to rule on the deal within the next two days, this isn't expected to be a major stumbling block, Liberum Capital Ltd. analysts said.

Investors in Glencore, which already owns 34 percent of Xstrata, voted 99.4 percent in favor of the deal earlier today.

Glencore sweetened its all-stock offer in September to 3.05 shares for each one in Xstrata to win support from Qatar Holding LLC, the nation's sovereign wealth fund and holder of a 12 percent stake in the world's largest exporter of power-station coal. Qatar Holding said last week it would vote in favor of the two resolutions on the transaction, while abstaining from giving its view on the bonuses.

Xstrata shareholders voted 67.85 percent in favor of a first resolution, which included the incentive package, falling short of the required 75 percent, the mining company said. A second poll in favor of the deal without incentives was agreed by 78.88 percent of shareholder votes. Shareholders voted 78.43 percent against the retention bonuses, according to the statement.

Glencore Xstrata International Plc, the new name for the company approved by shareholders today, will have interests in about 35 coal mines in Colombia, Africa and Australia, and account for about 10 percent of global seaborne exports of the fuel.

Copper, Zinc

It will be the world's third-biggest producer of mined copper, the largest zinc miner, and the biggest exporter of coal burned by power stations. The combined group will have about 11 percent of the 13 million-ton global zinc market and about 40 percent of the 1.9 million tons of the metal produced in Europe.
tjuagutt
20.11.2012 17:47
#4493

Norges Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU), Nordic Mining gjennom
datterselskapet Nordic Ocean Resources og Statoil har inngått et
samarbeid om mineralressurser på havbunnen.
Partene har i dag inngått en avtale om et forprosjektet som skal
kartlegge status for kunnskap på området og etablere prioriterte
behovsområder for ny forskning og utvikling.

Prosjektet har som målsetning og øke kunnskapsnivået innen marine
mineralressurser og vil fokusere på kartlegging av eksisterende kunnskap
på området, undersøkelsesmetoder, samt fremtidige satsningsområder.
Prosjektet vil vare i ett år og vil i hovedsak bli utført av Institutt
for geologi- og bergteknikk og Institutt for marin teknikk ved NTNU.
Prosjektet har en samlet kostnadsramme på NOK 2 millioner. Som en del av
prosjektet vil NORA finansiere en Professor II stilling innen marine
mineralressurser ved NTNU.

"Norge er verdensledende på undervannsteknologi etter 40 år med olje-og
gassvirksomhet i noen av verdens mest værharde havområder, og oppbygging
av norsk kompetanse har vært et viktig element i norsk
petroleumspolitikk. Norge har i dag en velutviklet og internasjonalt
konkurransedyktig petroleumsindustri. Samarbeidsprosjektet vil kunne
være starten til utvikling av flere teknologiske nyvinninger med
utgangspunkt i norske kunnskapsmiljøer", sier dekanus Ingvald Strømmen
ved NTNU.

"NORAs strategi er å samarbeide med andre for å se på felles
muligheter", sier daglig leder i NORA, professor Fredrik Søreide. "Norge
har både kunnskap og muligheter. Etter kontinentalsokkelutvidelsen i
2009 har Norge store havbunnsområder som det er naturlig å undersøke om
inneholder drivverdige mineral- og metallforekomster av f.eks. kobber,
gull, sølv og kobolt."

Arbeidet er i en tidlig fase og mye forskning og kunnskapsinnhenting
gjenstår før man kan si noe konkret om potensialet i norske
havbunnsområder.
OldNick
21.11.2012 10:08
#19667

re tjuagutt,

interessamt initiativ.
Men, realiteten er at det vi i beste fall ta 10-talls år før vi ser kommersiell gruvedrift på norsk sokkel, om de da ikke skulle finne noen spesielle forekomster med edle (les: verdifulle) metaller/mineraler i høye konsentrasjoner på veldig grundt dyp.

Det er fortsatt alt for mye ressurser på land som nesten alltid vil være billigere å ta ut enn fra havet.

Dette sagt, det er betydelig interesse fra "Asiatiske tigre" for å kartlegge havbunnen og se om det finnes ressurser som kan utvinnes.

For 40 år siden var Mn-noduler i søkelyset, de finnes det nesten uendelige mengder av på store havdyp. Imidlertid finnes det fortsatt altfor mye tilgjengelige av såkalte laterittiske ressurser tilgengelig i tropiske områder hvor mange av de samme metallene kan utvinnes fra. Mn-noduler kan dessverre ikke konkurrere økonomisk med disse (er min oppfatning).

Men, også Mn-noduler studeres det ivrig på nå.

Men, vi ser også aktivitet mot magmatiske forekomster, hvor kanskje australske Nautilus Minerals (NUS.TO) er det mest kjente leteselskapet (det finens også andre). Aksjekursutviklingen forteller deg at markedet blir mer og mer skeptisk til selskapets suksess.
______

China Cuts Rare Earth Mining Rights by Half to Aid Consolidation

By Bloomberg News
Jul. 16, 2012

______

Her er en analytiker som faktisk mener China får et oppsving til neste år, som derfor skal slå ut i en miniboom for råvarer.

Best Metals Forecaster Smirk Sees China Recovering: Commodities

By Phoebe Sedgman and Chanyaporn Chanjaroen, Bloomberg
Nov. 15, 2012

Industrial metals will rally through the middle of next year as the economy strengthens in China, the biggest user of everything from aluminum to zinc, according to the most accurate price forecaster tracked by Bloomberg.

Justin Smirk of Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) in Sydney beat as many as 25 others in predicting metals for two consecutive quarters on a rolling two-year basis, data compiled by Bloomberg Rankings show. He expects copper, nickel and zinc to gain through June and forecasts a 22 percent rise in aluminum.

China will accelerate through the end of September after slowing for seven consecutive quarters, the median of economists' estimates compiled by Bloomberg show. That's boosting prospects for demand as policy makers from Europe to the U.S. to Japan pledge more action to bolster growth. Smirk, 47, says he focuses primarily on economic cycles, central banks and financial markets to make his commodity predictions.

"We do see this point in time as perhaps the worst for the growth cycle," said Smirk, who has worked at Australia's second-largest lender by assets since 1999. "Commodity prices should be moving stronger through this year and into next."

Smirk's average margin of error in the most recent rolling eight-quarter period was 7.4 percent, Bloomberg Rankings data show. That compares with 11.7 percent for his nearest rival, Bart Melek of TD Securities Inc. in Toronto. Prices are often volatile, with nickel surging as much as 24 percent after plunging 31 percent this year.

Energy Prices

Aluminum will advance to $2,380 a metric ton by June because of China's recovery and central-bank actions in Europe and the U.S., Smirk said. That will boost energy prices, which account for about 40 percent of smelters' production costs. Nickel, used in stainless steel, will climb 15 percent to $18,500 a ton, as copper rallies as much as 12 percent to $8,500 a ton and zinc gains 8.6 percent to $2,100 a ton, he says.

Mer på link over

Endret 21.11.2012 10:08 av OldNick
OldNick
20.02.2013 08:58
#19667

Nå er tiden kommet for å avskrive "gamle synder" for gigantene i gruveindustrien.

Synder som stort sett stammer fra tiden før finanskrisen, hvor euforien dominerte og forledet selv garvede ledere som tross alt hadde vært en god stund i gamet.

Noen selskap hadde ledere med kortere erfaring, men mange hadde fartstid fra 80- og 90-tallet, hvor industrien hadde vært i en slags depresjon som burde fortalt dem hvor lavt priser kunne gå og at de skulle se at det nærmet seg toppen og de burde sluttet å kjøpe opp juniors og mellomstore selskap til overpris. Vel, de mest "aggressive" må nå ta konsekvensen og forlate toppjobbene.

En følgekonsekvens av det som nå skjer, er at mørket igjen kan senke seg over junior mining sektoren (igjen), og det kan bli vanskelig å hente penger i markedet via aksjeemisjoner og evt. obligasjoner.

Metal Bulletin Comment: After the writedowns, miners enter an age of austerity

Mark Burton, Metal Bulletin
Feb. 15, 2013

What does Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold miner, have in common with Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest iron ore producer? Quite a lot, as it became clear this week.

On Thursday, Barrick posted a $3 billion loss for the fourth quarter, while while Rio recorded the same loss for the full year, as both suffered writedowns against mining assets they bought at the top of the market.

Rio Tinto's first ever full-year loss came shortly after it announced a $14.4 billion charge against its aluminium and coal businesses, while Barrick's $3.8 billion writedown of its Lumwana copper assets wiped out otherwise strong returns for the year.

With the benefit of hindsight, the valuations look hopelessly toppy, but few people called them that at the time.

Copper prices were just coming down from all-time highs of $10,100 per tonne as Barrick made its bid for Lumwana owner Equinox in April 2011; aluminium prices topped out above $3,200 per tonne a few months after Rio's $38 billion takeover of Alcan closed in November 2007.

Equinox was already struggling with Lumwana's costs at the time, but the mine economics made sense if one was to assume, as many did, that copper prices would hold at those levels.

And while the price tag for Alcan appears steep today, it is worth remembering that Alcoa was ready to pay $33 billion before Rio stepped in as a white-knight bidder.

It is also worth remembering that Rio and Barrick are not alone in facing writedowns: Vale has taken a $4.2 billion hit on its nickel and aluminium assets, while BHP Billiton is expected to make a multibillion-dollar impairment against its aluminium business when it posts full-year results later this month.

On Friday, Anglo American reported a full-year loss of $1.5 billion following a $4 billion writedown on its Minas Rio iron ore assets in Brazil.

And after the writedowns, divestments will follow, as both Barrick and Rio Tinto signalled on Thursday, using identical terminology.

Barrick is focused on 'disciplined capital allocation', while Rio Tinto pledged to reinforce 'capital allocation discipline'. Anglo used the same term on Friday as it sought to move on from its loss.

What this sterile phrase signals is that after years of massive spending chasing equally massive commodity returns, the mining industry is returning to an age of austerity.

Tom Albanese and Aaron Regent - who led Rio and Barrick during the age of abundance - have paid for their excesses with their jobs, as has Anglo chief Cynthia Carroll.

With their departures fresh in the mind, it is not surprising that Rio boss Sam Walsh and Barrick ceo Jamie Sokalsky echoed each other so closely in their pledges to live within their means.

Aside from returning cash to shareholders, capital allocation discipline will mean divesting

Endret 20.02.2013 08:58 av OldNick
OldNick
21.02.2013 09:54
#19667

or mothballing all non-core production assets, while new projects are likely to be scaled back or scrapped altogether. As Sokalsky said on Thursday, as a policy the company will not be building any new large mines.

He calls this strategy a "new paradigm; a new way of running the business", but really there is nothing new in this approach: it is a natural and cyclical function in markets where supply responds to prices in an inelastic way.

Producer discipline is not new to the mining industry, and nor is the chronic underinvestment it inspires. But that's a discussion for a few years' time.
______

Nå har alle de 5 største gruveselskapene skiftet toppleder.

BHP var den siste, Vale (ikke nevnt i artikkelen under) den første (skiftet leder i mai 2011 etter sterkt press fra majoritets- og kontrollerende eier den Brasilianske regjeringen) etter finanskrisen.

Og skiftene (Xstrata unntatt, her var det et oppkjøp/fusjon som var hovedårsak) er gjort etter at de fleste av disse har gjort kjempebrølere, de fleste via oppkjøp av sterkt overprisede, mellomstore selskap innen ressurs-sektorene.

BHP Billiton's Kloppers to retire; Mackenzie to be ceo

February 20, 2013 - 08:25 GMT Location: New York

KEYWORDS: BHP Billiton , Marius Kloppers , retire , Andrew MacKenzie , Jac Nasser

Marius Kloppers will retire as ceo of BHP Billiton, the latest in a line of FTSE-listed mining firms to see a change at the helm. He will be succeeded by the company's non-ferrous head, Andrew Mackenzie.
Kloppers will leave his role on May 10 and retire fully from the group on October 1.

Kloppers leaves the firm "a safer and stronger company", BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser said.

"Marius was appointed ceo just prior to the global financial crisis. Despite an exceptionally difficult economic environment during his tenure, Marius and his team have delivered for shareholders, significantly outperforming our peers in terms of total shareholder returns," Nasser said. "He drove new investments into next-generation opportunities, including US onshore gas and liquids, and created one of the most valuable companies in the world."

The past several months have seen announcements of the planned departures of Rio Tinto ceo Tom Albanese, Xstrata ceo Mick Davies, and Anglo American ceo Cynthia Carroll.

Kloppers said that his decision to retire was a difficult one, and that finding the right time to leave "was never going to be easy".

"However, after almost 20 years with BHP Billiton, 12 as a senior executive and nearly six as ceo, I believe now is the right time to pass the leadership baton," he added.

Mackenzie, who joined London-based BHP Billiton in November 2008, has more than 30 years of experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals. He has held senior positions at London-based BP and Rio Tinto.

Endret 21.02.2013 09:54 av OldNick
OldNick
13.03.2013 01:02
#19667

Ivan Glasenberg, en glitrende råvaretrader som snart sitter som leder for verdens 4de største gruveselskap (målt etter børsverdi) Glencore-Xstrata, gjorde iflg. mange tilhørere en bemerkelsesverdig opptreden på BMO's årlige metall- og gruve-konferanse i Florida for 2 uker siden.

Der overhøvlet han topplederne i alle sine største konkurrenter og anklaget dem for å ha overinvestert i nye gruveanlegg og smelteverk som har ført til overkapasitet og ødelagt avkastning for investorene i gruveselskapene.

Det er lett å være etterpåklok, men resultatet er til en viss grad slik han beskriver.

Et par-tre ting man kan fastslå dersom industrien tar Glasenberg's råd, er:

- Det kan få markedene rasker i balanse og holde prisene bedre oppe,
- dette kan gi oss en ny fase i supersykelen for råvarer, og ikke minst
- det lover dårlig for juniorselskapene i bransjen, kan det bli en ny "istid"?

Commodities 101, with Ivan Glasenberg

Metal Bulletin Weekly
Mar. 4, 2013

Glencore International's ceo Ivan Glasenberg launched a scathing attack on the records of the departing ceos of rival miners at a capital markets conference last week.

Glasenberg - who will take over as ceo of the combined Glencore-Xstrata entity when the deal is concluded, perhaps next month - lamented the "catastrophic" state of the mining business, which had collectively built too much new capacity, instead of keeping supply tight and margins higher for longer.

He hoped mining bosses had "[...] learned their lesson. They built, they didn't get returns for their shareholders. It's time to stop building," the executive was quoted by Bloomberg as telling delegates at the conference in Florida.

The comments come after Glencore's rivals - Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, and Anglo American - all recently switched their ceos, against a background of falling profitability and big writedowns.

Glasenberg has some tips for the new leaders: Sam Walsh at Rio, Andrew Mackenzie at BHP, and Mark Cutifani at Anglo.

Speaking just like the consummate trader he is, Glasenberg said: "What we've got to do, when the markets do get stronger, [is recognise there's] no need to keep building a new asset and let's keep the market tight for a while."

Glasenberg's trader strategies...

There are two main ways to look at this: on the one hand, perhaps miners could benefit by injecting some of the instincts of the trader. If miners were more used to seeking margins here and there, timing deals according to the ebb and flow of markets, perhaps they would be more disciplined in their approach to sustaining value.

They would be more alert to longer-term shifts in supply and demand, and more sensitive to the need for holding back to "keep it tight" and keep the buyers hungry.

On the other hand, Glencore's boss makes it all sound very simple but, well, isn't hindsight wonderful? It wasn't that long ago that miners were kicking themselves - and being kicked by investors - for being too slow to anticipate the explosive growth of Chinese demand.

...may not always ride the supercycle

Suddenly the buzzword for commodities investors was "supercycle". In such circumstances, when the quickest movers on supply are likely to reap the greatest benefit, which single miner is going to resist expansion?

It may sound neat to transfer the ethos of the canny trader to the whole commodities complex.

It's less easy to see how to put it into general practice in a competitive market. (Glasenberg himself dismissed any suggestion that his call to keep things tight could be seen as an attempt to reduce competition or as a call for an OPEC-style cartel.) Competitive markets are cyclical: periods of abundance and overinvestment are followed by periods of discipline and underinvestment.

Two weeks ago, Barrick Gold's ceo said his business had adopted a "new paradigm", in which no big new mines would be built, and cash would be conserved. We pointed out there was re

Endret 13.03.2013 01:02 av OldNick
renud
13.03.2013 01:17
#16664

Dette er i hvert fall ubetinget godt nytt for både NOM-aksjonærer, og Norge som nasjon:

Giske legger fram Norges nye mineralstrategi i morgen (i dag),
som konkluderer med at sjødeponi ikke skal forbys og at det faktisk også er det beste alternativet.

Åpner for sjødeponi. 12.03.2013
Regjeringen kan gå med på at det etableres sjødeponi av gruveavfall.
Dette kommer fram i mineralstrategien som næringsminister Trond Giske legger fram onsdag.
- Regjeringen er åpen for at det kan være sjødeponi. Det er ikke hensiktsmessig med utsettelse i form av et moratorium, slik noen ønsker, sier Trond Giske til Avisenes Nyhetsbyrå (ANB).

Han sier det ikke er aktuelt å innføre forbud mot dumping av mineraler på sjøbunnen.
- Regjeringen har konkludert med at hvert enkelt prosjekt skal vurderes for seg på miljøfaglig grunnlag, sier næringsministeren.

Det er en kjent sak at SV har vært negativ til sjødeponier, men nå har altså regjeringen klart å konkludere i denne vanskelige saken.
OldNick
04.04.2013 19:16
#19667

Hehe, du var litt snar med konklusjonen der, Renud.

Uansett, sentimentet innenfor mining og råvarer gjør at man bør sky junior mining selskaper, dersom det ikke er spesiellt unike assets de sitter på. De er lettest å finne innenfor oljen.

Ingen av de "norske" (såkalte) gruveselskapene har det, dessverre (etter min mening).
______

Kan kinesiske bankregler trigge en alvorlig korreksjon/"nedsmelting" innenfor råvarebransjene?

Denne artikkelen fra Business Insider/Reuters synes å indikere det.
Jeg må si jeg er usikker...

A Chinese Banking Regulator Could Be Behind The Trainwreck In Commodities

Mamta Badkar, BusinessInsider.com

Reuters - Last week, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) announced a crackdown on wealth management products (WMPs).

In a note today, David Lutz of Stifel Nicolaus writes that the selloff in commodities is because of a surge in the dollar, and in part because of this ruling to "remove leverage in the investment system."

Commodities "have been crushed" since the ruling he writes.

WMPs which are part of China's shadow banking sector had surged to 13 trillion yuan ($2.1 trillion) at the end of 2012, up 50 percent year-over-year. Even as traditional bank lending in China is slowing, non-bank lending has been picking up.

A lot of this non-bank lending is channeled towards the construction and property sector and also towards small and medium businesses (SMEs).

"Bottom line, it takes more leverage out of the system," David Lutz told Business Insider in an email. "It could even become destabilizing, if many projects were based on shadow financing, and the withdraw of those funds limits credit."

For commodities like gold however, he points to a bunch of other reasons including low inflation, concerns over gold demand in India, renewed optimism about the U.S. recovery, and ETF outflows, among other factors.

Business Insider's Matthew Boesler put together this chart that shows what a brutal first quarter commodities have had:



Endret 04.04.2013 19:18 av OldNick
OldNick
07.06.2013 08:22
#19667

Lower equity prices could make miners attractive - Jefferies

Metal Bulletin
June 5, 2013

Equities in the UK-listed mining sector could become more attractive from a value perspective after a long period of underperformance, analysts at Jefferies said in a note on Wednesday June 5.

"These equities have been affected by the relatively weak macro environment and negative sentiment towards the sector," they said.

"While we may not be in deep value territory yet, we foresee at least 15% upside to share prices of BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore Xstrata and First Quantum over the next year."

After a longstanding bull market, the macro environment has been challenging for miners, according to the analysts, as slow global growth and an acceleration of supply growth of some key commodities led to a period of balanced markets and marginal cost-based commodity prices.

"High capex spending and lower commodity prices should imply limited free cash flow for the sector before 2015," they said.

"But share prices already reflect a weak outlook - while the consensus earnings downgrade cycle for the UK-listed miners has further to go, the sector has underperformed the broader equity markets over the past two years and is already discounting a weak fundamental outlook."

Even if commodity prices are not likely to be supportive for mining share prices in the near-term, they added, it is possible that some opportunities have emerged that could be significant for investors in the longer-term.

For example, price-to-book (PB) ratios at miners such as Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are very low compared with historic levels.

"However, we would attribute these low PB ratios to a combination of lower returns on equity over the past two years and significant increases in book value over the past decade," the analysts added.

"We are therefore not convinced that these low PB ratios alone fully support the argument that these miners are trading at very inexpensive valuations."

Instead, they said, the PB ratios might be consistent with what the market should expect from a sector coming to the end of a prolonged bull market.

"We continue to recommend that investors buy shares of BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore Xstrata and First Quantum," the analysts said.

"In the case of BHP and Rio, returns on equity should be reasonably high even in a lower commodity price environment, operating risk is low, geopolitical risk is low, and valuations are inexpensive."

In the case of Glencore Xstrata, they added, upside brought about by the merger, free cash flow growth, and dividend growth should be supportive of the share price.

Finally, First Quantum shareholders should see some benefit, as the company continues its programme of large organic growth in copper - one of the analysts' preferred commodities in the long-term.

"Unfortunately for the mining industry, [however], the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated for the sector over the past two years," the analysts said.

Chinese growth slowdown

"Chinese economic growth is decelerating as China's economy is on the verge of transitioning from an investment-driven to a consumer-driven model, and a still-sluggish US economic growth recovery is, perhaps by default, one of the most positive dynamics of the global economic landscape."

Furthermore, a wave of supply growth following major investment spending in new projects is finally emerging, and could lead to a long period of comfortably supplied markets.

In a balanced market, the analysts said, commodity prices ought to be a function of their marginal cost of production.

"Based on our analysis, most commodity markets have already balanced and prices for most commodities already reflect their marginal cost," they said.

Mer på link

Endret 07.06.2013 08:22 av OldNick
OldNick
08.07.2013 12:11
#19667

Etterat Jefferies synset tidligere i Juni, har aksjekursene på miners generelt sinket betydelig (5-10%).

Har spådommen fortsatt gyldighet?
Jeg tror markedet fortsatt leter etter bunnen, og at det ikke haster å ta nye posisjoner.
______

Marc Rich, the controversial commodity trader, dies at the age of 79

It happened two weeksago, June 26, after he suffered a stroke in Switzerland.

Marc Rich has been honored for starting the spot marked in oil trading, thereby breaking 'the seven sisters' monopoly in the global oil market.

Marc Rich started his career as a trader at NY-firm Philipp Brothers, but broke with them to establish his own firm 'Marc Rich & Co' in Zug, Switzerland together with two PhilBro colleagues.

From this humble start, the company evolved into the behemot;

- GlencoreXstrata, the integrated, diverified mining company (4th in the mining sector after BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto)

Marc Rich sold his stake in the company to the management and fellow traders in 1993 (management buyout) after an big gamble in the Zn-market failed miserably. After Rich got out, Ivan Glasenberg was to become the driving force in Glencore's climb to the top of the commodity trading business, and he is now CEO of the combined entity GlencoreXstrata PLC.

A Google-search gives many hits

The best obituary I have seen (so far):

OBITUARY: Marc Rich, pioneer of modern commodity markets

Metal Bulletin
June 28, 2013


According to stories from fellow business partners and others, Marc Rich was extremely secretive about his business. He never gave interviews. Until the swiss business journalist Daniel Ammann a few years ago got permission to interview him to write a kind of an official biography which ended up in the book: 'The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich' (2009, ISBN 0-312-57074-0).

For those of You who don't want to read the book, there's a good 45 min interview with the author by Jim Puplava at Financialsense.com, done July 1, 2010, where highlights of the book and Rich life are discussed.

Ammann's site: The King of Oil
______

UBS Rates Commodities 'Underweight' as Equities Seen Advancing

Maria Kolesnikova, Bloomberg
July 2, 2013

Utdrag:
The commodity supercycle has ended and investors should reduce their holdings in raw materials, especially gold, and buy equities, UBS AG said.

Slow economic growth in the U.S. will boost equities more than commodities and reduced quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve will be negative for gold, Stephane Deo, a strategist at UBS in London, said in a report dated today. Industrial metals are rated "underweight" on increased supply and slower growth in top consumer China.

"Gold will continue to suffer," Deo said in the report. "After a stellar performance during the past decade, industrial metals have underperformed the stock market since the beginning of the current decade."

UBS joined banks from Citigroup Inc. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that have called an end to the commodities supercycle, or longer-than-average period of rising prices. The Standard & Poor's GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials fell 4.5 percent this year after almost quadrupling since 2001.

Endret 08.07.2013 12:13 av OldNick
OldNick
08.07.2013 12:12
#19667

"Commodities are likely to generate positive returns if the cycle improves, but at a much lower rate than before," Deo said.

Mer på link
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JPMorgan Turns Bullish On Commodities, Lukewarm On Gold

By Kitco News
July 2, 2013

For the first time in almost two years commodity analysts at JPMorgan have turned bullish on commodities and are now overweight the entire complex.

"In a number of commodities, prices have fallen far enough for long enough to force involuntary cuts in production and to spur fresh demand," the bank said in the report released Sunday. "Risk is now skewed toward demand growth surprise and production disappointment."

Although the firm's analysts do admit that downside risks remain high, their recommendation in the report has been very clear.

"Our analysis concludes that it is in the best interests of most commodity index investors to buy immediately," they said. "We would rather be premature in our pretend portfolio than you be late in your real portfolio."

The firm is slightly more bullish on energy commodities particularly oil than it is in precious and base metals - the analysts said in the report that their "overweight" view is based on the energy sector, "that dominates most indices."

The analysts laid out ten points to highlight their shift in sentiment:

- Seasonal factors will boost oil prices
- Fresh demand for storable commodities like gold and copper
- Involuntary production cuts due to the recent drop in prices
- Rising inflation in production costs, which they are expecting will filter through the economy
- Tight spare capacity and rising supply risks
- Lagging benefits from interest rate cuts and monetary stimulus measures
- A shift in U.S. export policies
- A shift in Chinese energy policies
- Adecoupling of the U.S. dollar with commodity prices
- A bottoming of global growth and inflation rates

Mer på link
OldNick
12.07.2013 17:52
#19667

Som JPMorgan (i motsetning til Goldman Sachs og Citigroup) så tror heller ikke Societe Generale at råvare supersykelen er over enda.

Begrunnelsen er fortsatt urbanisering i "tidligere u-land" vil drive etterspørselen etter årvarer videre. Det er fortsatt mer enn nok potensielle middelklasse-mennesker som idag er blant de fattige, men som vil ha lyst og muligheter til å klatre på den økonomiske stigen.

SocGen Bearish on Gold Sees Commodity Super Cycle Persisting

Luzi Ann Javier, Bloomberg
July 8, 2013

Utdrag:
Gold will probably extend its decline through 2014, even as the commodity super cycle that's brought longer-than-average rising prices may persist for a further two decades, according to Societe Generale SA.

Bullion may average $1,150 an ounce next year, said the head of commodities research, Michael Haigh, who in April correctly predicted the metal's rout. That would be the lowest annual average since 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Gold is heading for its first yearly loss since 2000 as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it may slow asset purchases this year if the economy continues to improve. While Societe Generale is bearish on bullion, it expects the decade-long bull market in commodities to extend for a further 15 to 20 years, driven by rapid urbanization and growing population in countries including China and India, said Haigh.

"It would take something dreadful to happen to make the super cycle suddenly end," said Haigh, citing risks including a sharp slowdown in China, a scenario the bank doesn't expect. "If you believe that the third super cycle is a function of population and urbanization, you're looking at another 15 to 20 years. But it's not going to be an upward price for all."

Super Cycle

The previous generation-long cycles ran from 1870 to 1913 and from the end of World War II to the early 1970s, Haigh said. The third super cycle began around 2000, he said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. forecast the end of the cycle after prices that more than doubled in 10 years spurred expansions at mines, farms and oil fields. The Standard & Poor's GSCI Spot Index (SPGSCI) of 24 raw materials lost 2 percent this year, while the MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 5.1 percent.

"Prices are going to generally drop down throughout the year," Haigh said at a media briefing in Singapore today. Producers may increase hedging, he said. "They'll start selling into the market, which puts more downward pressure on gold prices."

Gold Selloff

Goldman says bullion will reach $1,050 by the end of 2014 and Credit Suisse Group AG anticipates $1,150 in about 12 months. Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE), the most-accurate gold forecaster tracked by Bloomberg over the past two years, predicts $1,000 in three months. Banks from Morgan Stanley to BNP Paribas SA to UBS AG cut their forecasts last month.

Haigh uses an algorithm called the Principal Component Analysis model to help him predict prices.

A "hard-landing" in China to end the commodity super cycle would mean growth in gross domestic product decelerating to an annual 3 to 4 percent, he said. That has a probability of just 20 percent, he said.

China's GDP may have expanded 7.5 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 31 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of a July 15 release by the statistics bureau. That would be the slowest pace since the three months through September 2012.

Endret 12.07.2013 17:52 av OldNick
OldNick
12.07.2013 17:53
#19667

Trenden i big mining har en tid vært: kostnadsredusjoner "for alle penga".

Og nå slipper heller ikke toppledelsen unna, som både får kuttet grunnlønn og bonus, og gjerne endring av bonusformel, som inkluderer mer insentiv for aksjonæravkastning (utbytte/kursstigning).

Det vil endre fokus på f.eks. "corprate governance", slik at kostnadene kan senkes - betydelig. Her er det mye å hente på kostnadssiden.

Mining Firms Cut Pay for Top Management

Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ.com
July 11, 2013

Sydney - As cutbacks across the mining sector intensify, companies with operations from Brazil to Australia are taking aim at the compensation of their top brass.

Falling commodity prices and soaring costs of extracting raw materials such as coal and gold are shackling resource firms that until recently had been riding what Australian policy makers called a once-in-a-century mining boom. Over the past year, companies have been forced to make deep cuts, from slashing jobs and cutting spending on exploration for mineral deposits, to shutting the spigot on free coffee and snuffing out barbecues for staff.

Now, the ax is falling on wages of management and directors, underscoring how an industry that at its peak was paying truck drivers as much as US$200,000 a year is adjusting to weaker demand from China.

....

Mining companies have vowed to strip billions of dollars in costs from their operations as China, a top buyer of many commodities, attempts to control property speculation and cool its economy. Rio Tinto RIO.LN -1.32% PLC, the world's biggest producer of iron ore, wants to save more than US$5 billion through cost cutting by the end of next year.

In the boom times, cutting executive pay would have been unthinkable; managers with track records of delivering returns to shareholders were as hard to find as the commodities they were looking for.

But even the biggest companies, such as BHP Billiton BHP.AU +1.43% PLC, have been tightening their belts when it comes to executive compensation. Andrew Mackenzie, who became BHP's chief executive in May, agreed to a base salary roughly 25% below that of predecessor Marius Kloppers and accepted a more limited bonus package.

In Australia-the world's biggest exporter of iron ore and coking coal-wages rose sharply as the economy notched 21 years of uninterrupted growth. Base salaries paid to the chief executives at Australia's top 100 companies rose every year in the decade through mid-2012, according to consulting firm Ernst & Young. Median annual increases topped 11% some years, although wage growth slowed when the global financial crisis rattled world markets and companies turned to incentive-weighted compensation plans.

Mer på link
Ypsilon
23.07.2013 07:44
#4015

Kina skapte metallrally i Asia

Tirsdagens handel på børsene i Asia bød opp til gullfest, etter Kina kom med lovnader om å øke investeringene i infrastruktur.
OldNick
17.10.2013 19:31
#19667

China slowdown bare en hildring?

Uansett, vekstlokomotivet har ennå mye å gi kan det se ut som.
Nye rekorder på løpende bånd...


Non-stop building


Slowdown. What slowdown? China's copper, iron ore imports set records

Frik Els, Mining.com
Oct. 13, 2013



Worries about an economic slowdown in China - the world's number commodities consumer - have put a damper on metals and minerals prices this year.

But customs data released in China over the weekend seem to indicate those fears may have overblown.

China forges almost as much steel as the rest of the world combined and to meet the demand for steelmaking raw material China's iron ore imports surged to a fresh record in September.

China imported a new all-time high of 74.58 million tonnes of iron ore during last month September, up 8% from August and up a surprisingly robust 15% compared to las year.

China has continued to produce steel at a record pace, upping the rate by 100,000 tonnes in September to 2.14m tonnes per day (and up close to 8% compare to the first 8 months last year), showing demand in the world's second largest economy is not as slack as many observers believe.

China imports the bulk of its iron ore and that number is growing as the new Chinese leadership opens up the industry to market forces and highly fragmented domestic producers continue to struggle with high mining costs and low quality ore.

Iron ore stockpiles at major Chinese ports have been rising slowly but steadily in recent months but last week declined slightly to reach 73.3m tonnes.

These levels only represent around 60% of monthly consumption by the country's steel industry and are historically near record low levels which averaged around 100 million tonnes during the first half of last year.

The price of iron ore has defied expectations of slump in 2013 and on Friday benchmark CFR import price of 62% fines at China's Tianjin climbed to $133.10 a tonne, up from its 2013 low of $110 a tonne reached in May.

Copper imports, reversed declines suffered earlier in the year rocketing 18% to hit 457,847 tonnes in September, the highest since March 2012, thanks to a decline in high levels of warehouse stocks.

China consumes some 42% of the world's copper trade and bonded warehouse stocks have decline more than 60% since hitting a high of 1 million tonnes at the beginning of 2013.

Total imports of copper in the June-September quarter rose 21.4% over the second quarter to 1.26 million tonnes, according to the customs data.

Copper futures were priced at $3.21 a pound on Friday, down 11.8% since this time last year.

Endret 17.10.2013 19:40 av OldNick
OldNick
16.01.2014 20:14
#19667

Nickel supply cut as Indonesia enforces ban

Leder Metal Bulletin
Jan. 14, 2014

Singapore - Indonesia has gone ahead with a ban on unprocessed mineral exports that threatens a sharp cut in global supplies of nickel ore and bauxite.

The long-planned January 12 ban was signed into law with last-minute modifications to allow shipments of copper concentrates and some other intermediate products for a further three years.

Final details were not yet available, but it looks likely that nickel ore and bauxite shipments will not escape the ban, in a move which will benefit refined nickel producers and prove a headache for Chinese aluminium and stainless steel producers.

"Starting at midnight on January 14, 2014, raw ore cannot be exported," Jero Wacik, energy and mines minister, told local reporters in Indonesia, according to media reports.

President Susilo Bamban Yudhoyono signed a government regulation in the eleventh hour on Saturday January 11 that softens the impact of the ban and allows big mining companies like Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold and Nemont Mining Corp to continue to ship copper concentrates until 2017.

About 66 companies that have plans to process domestically will be allowed to export, Wacik told reporters in Jakarta over the weekend.

Indonesia's finance minister Chatib Basri told reporters last week that the proposed regulation would hurt government revenue by 10 trillion rupiah ($846 million) in 2104 due to losses from royalties and export taxes. "What I heard is the minimum grade for copper is 15% Cu content; that means Freeport and Newmont can continue to export concentrates," Syahrir Abubakar, Indonesian Mining Assn's executive director said.

Spokespersons at Freeport and Newmont were not immediately available for comment.

Details of the regulation and a ministerial decree which would identify minimum processing requirements for each mineral were not public yet, Metal Bulletin understands.

"Nickel and bauxite ore can't be exported," a senior industry participant said from Jakarta, adding that for other minerals there could be a progressive increase in export duties from the initial 20% level.

"The Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has estimated that bauxite production could fall to 1 million tonnes this year from over 47 million tonnes in 2013 and that nickel ore production could decline to 9 million tonnes from more than 47 million tonnes last year," Barclays analysts said in a note to clients on Saturday.

China's stocks of about 24 million tonnes of nickel ore are expected to soften the impact of the Indonesian ban.

Export duty

The mining industry is currently discussing the export duty and plans to lobby the government to take a similar case-by-case approach as it did with the minimum processing requirements for each mineral.

"As of now, the export duty on minerals is 20% and they should change it on minerals and grade," Abubakar said. Executives from the mining industry were meeting this afternoon to discuss plans for a progressive export duty.

The cost structure for each commodity is different and therefore a higher export duty could make exports of certain processed minerals unviable, he said, pointing to the need for looking at each mineral and their cost structures for the progressive export duty.
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Nickel Seen by Macquarie Swinging to Deficit in 2015 on Ore Ban

Bloomberg News
Jan. 14, 2014

The global nickel market may swing into a deficit next year as Indonesia's ore export ban will constrain production of nickel pig iron, a lower-grade alternative to refined metal, said Macquarie Group Ltd.

A surplus may narrow to 35,000 metric tons in 2014 from 150,000 tons in 2013 as NPI output falls 1.5 percent to 475,000 tons, analysts including Jim Lennon said in a

Endret 16.01.2014 20:28 av OldNick
OldNick
16.01.2014 20:15
#19667

report today.

The bank joins Barclays Plc predicting that the rule, which took effect Jan. 12, may push the market into supply shortages in 2015. Indonesia, the biggest mined nickel producer, accounts for 18 percent to 20 percent of global nickel supply, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates. The metal may reach $17,000 a ton this quarter, according to Citigroup Inc. That would mean a 19 percent gain from the current price.

We assume that stocks are adequate to sustain production in 2014, the Macquarie analysts said in the research note. For 2015, the market will swing into a deficit assuming that NPI production starts to get constrained.

Nickel for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 0.4 percent to $14,260 a ton, the highest since Dec. 30, and was at $14,258 at 11:58 a.m. in Shanghai. The metal, used in corrosion resistance in stainless steel, has climbed 2.6 percent this month, the most among the six base metals on the LME. Prices slumped 19 percent in 2013.

Global output will exceed demand by 41,000 tons this year, narrowing from a 181,000-ton surplus in 2013, while the ban may push the global market into deficit in 2015, said Barclays analysts including Gayle Berry this week.

mer på link
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Et spørsmål for et Ni-marked som kan komme i underskudd med pris-oppgang som resultat.

Alle gruvene som har vært i drift i Indonesia, og som nå stopper pga. eksportforbudet, de har sagt opp/vil si opp mange ansatte gruvearbeidere og andre.

De har alledere streiket i Jakarta, vil det bli uro pga. dette?

Vi vet Indonesia er et av verdens mest korrupte land, kan gruvene bestikke seg til fortsatt eksport til China?

Kan selskap/industrien forhandle seg til unntak?

Slike ting kan skje når markedet blri stresset og vi får pris-spikes.
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Better second half expected for mining equities - Citi analysts

Metal Bulletin
Jan. 14, 2014

The mining sector could deliver a strong second half in terms of equity prices, analysts at Citigroup said in a note on Monday January 13.

"While we remain neutral on the metals and mining sector on a six-month view, we think the sector can potentially deliver a strong second-half 2014 performance based on free cash flow, cost cutting and volume growth as the market looks into 2015," they said.

"In 2013 the mining companies changed ceos, cut capex plans and focused on costs but, despite this, the sector underperformed the FTSE 100 by [about] 24%," they added.

Last year was the third year in a row that the sector underperformed, according to the analysts, following 19% underperformance in 2011 and 12% in 2012.

Into 2014, meanwhile, they believe the sector will perform in line with markets during the first half of the year, driven by a near-term slowdown in China and a "muted" commodity price outlook.

In the second half, the analysts said, they believe the sector will benefit from better free cash flow yields and improving balance sheets, thanks to lower capital spending and cost cutting.

"We see 2015 as a potential fillip year for the mining industry and we think that investors should position themselves for this by mid-2014," the analysts said.

"We forecast the sector to deliver a [compound annual growth rate] in earnings of [about] 7% until the end of the decade, driven principally by volume growth and cost cutting rather than by commodity prices," they added.

Importantly, they are predicting free cash flow yield to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.9% until 2020, which is a function of reductions in capital expenditure.

Overall, they estimate that the sector is trading at a price to earnings discount of about 10% against the UK market, and Rio Tinto remains the cheapest name on a relative basis on the London Stock Exchange.

Endret 16.01.2014 20:29 av OldNick
OldNick
03.02.2014 14:35
#19667

MB APEX FULL YEAR 2013 BASE METALS

Chinese influence keeps metals in thrall for 2014 - Meir


Claire Hack, Metal Bulletin
Jan. 29, 2014

China will continue to have the greatest influence on base metals prices in 2014, according to Apex stalwart Edward Meir, who provides metals price research for INTL FCStone.

Meir appeared on no fewer than seven Apex leaderboards for his price predictions overall in 2013, including the top spot for iron ore, with 99.35% accuracy, and narrowly missed out on first place for his base metals predictions, with 92.05%.

"We're going to see China continue to slow down and that will remove a significant part from metals demand," Meir told Metal Bulletin.

"The reform package there is really very anti-growth in the short term. It's good in the longer term, but in the short term, it means higher currency, higher interest rates, a more difficult credit environment and tighter monetary policy."

This will be bearish news for prices over the next three to six months, Meir said, but it could also set the stage for a rebound later in the year.

In the final quarter of 2014, leading into 2015, the likelihood is that at least some supply will be taken out of the market in China on continuing weak prices, and this reduction in availability will eventually push prices back up.

"We will see an acceleration in supply spin-offs, and especially in sectors like aluminium, where the West has been cutting a lot of production, but China hasn't," Meir said.

"We think it will extend to China and they will take some supply out of the market: there will be a recalibration of the supply/demand balance," he added.

This could mean the emergence of a "mini bull market" for base metals at the beginning of 2015, Meir said, although there is still potential for a selloff in the first half of 2014.

The first half will be a period of vulnerability for the market, he said, adding that he believes there is still some ground to cover on the downside.

"We will be testing the 2013 lows for most of the base metals over the next six to eight months," Meir told Metal Bulletin.

"I think the best performing metals will probably be lead and zinc, then tin and copper, and aluminium and nickel are going to bring up the rear," he added.

Indonesian influence

The reason for this, he said, is that he does not believe the Indonesian ban on exports of unrefined mineral ores will necessarily remain in effect in its current form for long, which would have implications for all the base metals.

It is likely that the ban will be modified at least somewhat, according to Meir, which could mean nickel price levels in particular would suffer.

"Metal will need to come out. There's too much [of a risk] of job losses and balance of payments pressures. I don't think they're going to stand their ground," he said.

"It takes time for refineries to get up and running - I think the government will say, 'if you're building, you can export'."

If the Indonesian government decides to remove the export ban altogether, furthermore, this could destroy all the gains the nickel price has made in recent weeks, especially as there are no signs of any production cutbacks.

"It was an artificial boost because of the export ban, but I'm not sure the Indonesian government will have the financial stick-to-itiveness [to keep it]," Meir said.

"If they [keep the ban], it's a different story - the price could go to $17,000, $18,000, even $20,000 by summer."

Lead, on the other hand, will be in the tightest supply/demand balance, he added, and could even see a slight deficit in 2014.

"Tin will be in deficit this year as well, and copper will be in surplus, but less so than what was originally expected," Meir said.

Endret 03.02.2014 14:35 av OldNick
OldNick
03.02.2014 14:35
#19667

"The tighter markets are going to do better. Lead is a very problematic metal - there's a lot of environmental pressure and nobody wants a lead smelter anywhere," he added.

As for aluminium, the major factor affecting prices and premiums will be the huge stockpiles extant globally, which could be up to 10 million tonnes, including off-exchange material.

"We will see what happens in April [when the new LME rules come in] and it will be easier to get metal out," Meir said.

"We'll see if premiums start to crack a bit then, but the spreads are still juicy enough for the financial trade to continue right now. As long as [the spreads] stay where they are, I don't think anything will change, except maybe some material will move off exchange."

Global demand holding firm

Globally, the demand picture looks relatively firm across the base metals, Meir said, as the US economy is likely to continue to grow, while the eurozone is stabilising, along with Japan.

"I think the demand picture is going to be more predictable. On the Chinese side, there will be 6-10% metals demand growth; the US will be a bit stronger this year and Europe a bit stronger as well," he said.

"For the BRIC countries, there will probably be more of the same in 2014, and the UK will be stronger."

US wild card could hit prices

The wild card, however, will be the impact of the Federal Reserve's plans to taper economic stimulus in the USA, he added.

"There's another meeting in [January] and there might be another $10 billion taken off the bond buying programme," Meir said.

It is likely that the US economy will be able to adjust to the changing pressures caused by the tapering programme, but a stronger dollar will almost certainly weaken metals prices.

Year of transition

The result is that 2014 will be a year of transition, after the market scrambles away from the rocky terrain of 2013.

"2013 was really a sideways slog for the most part. We had a few rallies but they all fizzled out," Meir said.

"The Cypriot [debt] crisis threw things off, as well as the Fed saying it was moving from an accommodative stance to a more restrictive stance," he added.

The market also began to come to terms with the idea that China would not continue its meteoric rate of growth indefinitely, and came to realise that its economy is susceptible to slowdowns, according to Meir.

The effect of this, he said, will be felt throughout 2014.

"There will be a sharper slowdown [in China] this year. We've had some numbers and GDP was decent, but these are still pre-tightening numbers - they're not capturing the full impact of the government moves," Meir said.

"There's just so much excess capacity that they need to rein in. It can't continue because there's too much supply in the market, too much debt and too many bad loans."

Because of their sheer scale, economic movements in China will therefore continue to dominate the landscape, overshadowing other potential influences, while the potential bearish impact of a stronger US dollar drifts towards the horizon.

For all Apex results, click here
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Rare earths deposit worth close to global GDP found in North Korea

Metal Bulletin Hotline
Jan. 31, 2014

Private equity group SRE Minerals plans to develop what they say could be the world's largest rare earth elements (REEs) deposit as part of a joint venture with the North Korean government.

SRE estimates that the Jongju deposit in North Korea holds 216 million tonnes of rare earth oxides, which includes about 2.66% of heavy REEs, as well as light REEs and rare earth minerals.

This is double the world stockpile of rare earths, which, according to the US geological survey's most recent estimate, stands at 110 million tonnes.

Endret 03.02.2014 14:40 av OldNick
OldNick
03.02.2014 14:36
#19667

SRE Minerals estimates the value of the resources in the ground at $64.9 trillion, an impressive amount considering North Korea's GDP stands at $12.4 billion and global GDP is $69 trillion.

The joint venture company, operating under the name Pacific Century Rare Earth Minerals (PCL), has a 25-year license to mine the deposit and plans to build a processing plant on site.

"This represents an exciting opportunity for investors to be part of the early stage exploration and subsequence [sic] production of possibly the largest rare earth deposit in the world," SRE Minerals said.

When Molycorp started producing REEs to combat supply risks in a market dominated by China, prices suffered against the effects of new supply. Hotline wonders what a mine containing over 200 million tonnes will do to the market.

But Hotline is also sceptical whether the mine will ever start producing rare earths given their weak prices and the current political climate in North Korea. But then again Metal Bulletin also thought aluminium premiums would fall.

Perhaps it's time for a Metal Bulletin questionnaire. What is more likely to happen in 2014? Suggested options:

- Rare earths are mined in North Korea
- Platinum is mined on asteroids
- Aluminium premiums will fall
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Vinneren av 2013's MB Apex-konkurranse om å spå metallprisene mest nøyaktig, Angus Staines fra UBS blir intervjuet av Alex Harrison, MB.

5 min video på link

VIDEO: Copper prices are on the way down

Alex Harrison, Metal Bulletin
Jan. 30, 2014

UBS analyst Angus Staines, who came top in Metal Bulletin's Apex leaderboard for copper for 2013, talks to Metal Bulletin's Alex Harrison about what underpins his price predictions for copper this year, and when he thinks aluminium premiums will begin to fall.

UBS analyst Angus Staines, who came top in Metal Bulletin's Apex leaderboard for copper for 2013, talks to Metal Bulletin's Alex Harrison about what underpins his price predictions for copper this year, and when he thinks aluminium premiums will begin to fall.
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En kuriositet?

"Storhertugen av Russland", Gregoriy Romanov setter opp eget konsulentselskap i Brussels...

Georgy Romanov leaves Norilsk

Claire Hack, Metal Bulletin
Jan. 28, 2014

Georgy Romanov is no longer working for Norilsk Nickel, Metal Bulletin has been told.

Romanov, who is also the Grand Duke of Russia, is understood to have left his role as president of Switzerland-based Norilsk subsidiary Metal Trade Overseas to set up PR firm Romanoff and Partners in Brussels.

Norilsk has confirmed he will not be replaced, as the post of president no longer exists at Metal Trade Overseas.

Romanov was previously the president of Norilsk Nickel Europe. In December 2012 he took over from Michael Heger at Metal Trade Overseas, which handles the servicing of the nickel producer's contracts and sales.

He is also the possible heir to the defunct Russian imperial throne - known as the pretender tsarevich - although this is disputed by some of the other Romanovs.

Endret 03.02.2014 14:43 av OldNick
OldNick
29.09.2014 08:11
#19667

Forlenget bunn i råvaresyklusen?

Canadian miners struggle amid oversupply, price collapse

Rachelle Younglai, Mining Reporter, Globe and Mail
Sept. 23 2014

For more than a decade, China's growing economy fuelled the bull market in commodities. Mining companies spent billions on acquisitions and new projects around the world, adding waves of new supply to keep the country's steel mills and factories humming.

Then China's economic growth slowed and the good times stopped. Now the mining industry around the globe is suffering amid a price collapse for some key metals.

Iron ore has lost more than half its value since the boom days, trading at $80 (U.S.) a tonne from a high of $190 in 2011.

Metallurgical coal has sunk to $120 a tonne, down from $330 in 2011.

Copper has retreated to $3.03 a pound, compared with a high of $4.50 in 2011.

"It will be a while before we see a boom again," said Fabien Jurdant, chief operating officer with CRU Consulting, a global commodities adviser.

"We are not seeing any kind of major upturn for some time. Unless there was some miracle, if India becomes the new China. But we are not predicting that," Mr. Jurdant added

Now entering the third year of the commodity slump, miners are still adjusting to the harsh realities. Projects have been shelved and jobs have been cut, as the fallout from sharply lower commodity prices is felt around the world.

In Canada, Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Ltd. suspended operations at its mines this summer. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. stopped production at its iron ore pellet plant on Quebec's north shore earlier this year. Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. sharply scaled back its Mary River iron ore project in Nunavut last year.

Also this year, Walter Energy Inc. suspended coal-mining operations and laid off workers in British Columbia, and Teck Resources Ltd. idled its Quintette coal property in the western province. Anglo American PLC will soon halt production at its coal mine in the same province.

China, which has became the world's largest consumer of iron ore, copper and other metals, is growing at a slower pace.

"China is still growing. The question is 'will it materially outpace supply?' The answer is becoming no," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy with Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Weakened Asian demand combined with a surge in production has left a glut of commodities.

According to the CRU's estimates, the iron ore market has a surplus of about 100 million tonnes over demand. The metallurgical coal market has a surplus of about six million to eight million tonnes because projects developed during the commodity boom are now starting to produce.

Over the past decade, production of iron ore, used to make steel, jumped to 1.85 billion tonnes in 2012 from 1.16 billion in 2003, according to the World Steel Association.

Output of metallurgical coal, also used in steel making, has increased to one billion tonnes in 2013 from 661 million tonnes in 2005, according to the International Energy Agency.

Copper, used in construction, electronics and energy, has jumped to 20.9 million tonnes in 2013 from 15.9 million in 2004, according to the International Copper Study Group.

And although the smaller iron ore companies are losing money and laying off workers, the world's biggest producers - Vale SA, Rio Tinto PLC and BHP Billiton Ltd. - have no plans to reduce output.

"They are low-cost producers and they are still generating okay margins," said Jessica Fung, commodity strategist with BMO Nesbitt Burns. "So rather than increase their profit margin per unit, they are going to produce more units," she said.

And more copper is coming onto the market, which will keep prices low for the foreseeable future. Big mines are expecte
OldNick
29.09.2014 13:37
#19667

Kan være den endelige spikeren i kisten for Northland Resources

Supersykelen er over, sier investeringsdirektør Stig Myrseth i Dovre Forvaltning


Odd S. Parr, Hegnar.no
29.09.2014

I sin seneste ukesrapport tar investeringsdirektør Stig Myrseth i Dovre Forvaltning for seg det han kaller høststormen i råvaremarkedene.

Hveteprisen stuper, jernmalmprisen er i fritt fall og Brent-olje handles på det laveste nivået på to år. Hva skyldes det skarpe fallet i mat-, energi- og metallprisene? spør han.

Fra investering til produksjon

Myrseth viser til et gammelt visdomsord som sier at høye råvarepriser er den beste kuren mot høye råvarepriser, og tegner bildet av et råvaremarked som har gått fra en investerings- til en produksjonsdrevet fase.

Det første tiåret etter sekelskiftet var preget av systematisk stigende råvarepriser. Kinas råvarehunger tok produsentene på sengen, og de responderte med å mangedoble investeringene i ny kapasitet.

Ledetiden fra investeringsbeslutninger fattes til produksjonen øker, er ofte lang, spesielt i gruve- og oljeindustrien. Resultatet av det siste tiårets investeringsboom begynner imidlertid nå for alvor å gjøre seg gjeldende, skriver Dovre-direktøren.

Supersykelen er over

At produksjonen av en rekke råvarer har skutt fart, har ifølge Myrseth ført til et trendskifte.

Supersykelen er over, og vi venter flate til fallende råvarepriser resten av dette tiåret, fortsetter han.

For råvareprodusenter som Statoil vil stagnerende priser ifølge investeringsdirektøren delvis utlignes av økte volumer.

Videre vil kontantstrømmen bedres av en mer behersket investeringstakt. Nettoeffekten trenger ikke å være negativ.

For underleverandører til råvareindustrien er imidlertid bildet mer dystert. Det blir mindre å gjøre, og prisen på deres tjenester er dessuten under press, poengterer Myrseth.

Spikeren i kisten for Northland?

Det negativt langsiktige bakteppet har, sammen med flere kortsiktige motvinder, ifølge Dovre-direktøren utløst høststormen i råvaremarkedet.

I kornmarkedet tynger utsiktene til rekordavlinger. På Oslo Børs er de lave matprisene godt nytt for Orkla, men negativt for Yara.

I jernmalm- og metallmarkedet herjer Kina-frykten. Kinesiske boligpriser har falt de fire siste månedene, samtidig som makrotallene skuffer, fortsetter Myrseth.

Han peker videre på at den labre kinesiske malmimporten har sendt bulkratene til bunns, noe som har gitt Golden Ocean-aksjonærene en tung start på høsten.

Dagens lave malmpriser kan også bety den endelige spikeren i kisten for Northland Resources, advarer investeringsdirektøren.

mer på link
OldNick
08.10.2014 12:21
#19667

Glencore fortsetter sin aggressive oppkjøps/restrukturerings strategi.

Som med Xstrata, Glencore lykkes nesten å selge selskapet til VALE for noen år siden, det var rett før finanskrisen, så har de vurdert Anglo American og nå altså Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto/Glencore 2014/15 combination 'unlikely' - J.P.Morgan

"We expect GLEN will retain its M&A opportunism, therefore we conclude RIO should warrant a premium to its current share prices."


Dorothy Kosich, Mineweb
Oct. 7, 2014

RENO - As Rio Tinto (RIO.L) announced Monday that it had rejected a merger approach from Glencore Plc (GLEN.L) last month, J.P.Morgan Cazenove's European Corporate Research analysts Tuesday characterized the merger approach "opportunistic."

The comment was prompted by a story published by Bloomberg Monday quoting "people familiar with the situation", which reported that Glencore is laying the groundwork for a potential merger with Rio Tinto "that would create the world's largest mining company, valued at US$160 billion.

In a note published Tuesday morning, J.P. Morgan analysts advised, "RIO is undervalued " and reiterated its OW on RIO, "our Neutral on GLEN and expect RIO relative outperformance."

"We consider this an opportunistic approach by GLEN that reflects: 1) the spread between RIO's and GLEN's market cap is at its narrowest since mid-2013; 2) a combination would carry strategic merit for GLEN which has negligible iron ore exposure; 3) RIO's EPS is materially undervalued relative to peers in our view, with its 2015E/16E earnings trading at a 40%/43% discount to GLEN on spot commodity prices," said the analysts.

"We believe a future successful offer would require a significant premium to RIO's current share price, therefore we reiterate our OW on RIO and our expectation of outperformance versus GLEN," they added.

Glencore's unsuccessful approach last month was unanimously rejected by Rio Tinto's board of directors in early August "and there has been no further contact between the companies on this matter," said Rio Tinto in a media release published early Tuesday.

Rio Tinto Chairman Jan du Plessis said, "The board believes that the continued successful execution of Rio Tinto's strategy will allow Rio Tinto to increase free cash flow significantly in the near term and materially increase returns to shareholders. Rio Tinto's shareholders stand to benefit from the very considerable value that this will generate."

While J.P.Morgan analysts advised that a combination between Glencore and Rio Tinto is unlikely is 2014/15, they also suggested Glencore's approach was based on "credible strategic rationale."

"GLEN's approach affirms our view that GLEN has strategic appetite to pursue a tie-up with RIO. In our view, GLEN's management are attracted by the physical commodity trading opportunities potentially afforded by RIO's iron ore business, a commodity where GLEN has negligible exposure."

The analysts also suggested that Glencore spot earnings are an obstacle to a transaction. "We estimate GLEN currently carries the largest mark to market EPS downgrades of the diversifieds. The premium required based on current spot commodity prices would result in a loss of GLEN management control that would negative the transaction rationale, in our view."
______

En interessant artikkel i FT om jernmalmindustrien og markedet, som nå ser en lengre bunn i syklusen foran seg pga. massive overinvesteringer i utvidelser og nye gruver.

Det blir en blodig avskalling fra en industri som har et oligopolisk preg pga. de 3 store BHP, Rio Tinto og VALE (+en mindre Fortesque FMG.AX). VALE har sine gruver i Brazil, de tre andre i Australia (Western Australia). Og deres cash cost for å produsere malmen er lav, $20-30 per tonn (62% Fe), med ca. $10/tonn frakt til Kina.

Legger innhele artikkelen da FT er betalingstjeneste.

OldNick
08.10.2014 12:22
#19667

End of the Iron Age

A collapse of ore prices throws miners' strategies into doubt and threatens an industry shakeout


James Wilson, Neil Hume, FT.com
Sept. 29, 2014

Iron is one of the most abundant elements on earth but pulling it out of the ground efficiently can be a daunting undertaking. Snaking through the low, green hills of southern Brazil is a 530km pipeline, the decisive link in Anglo American's $8.2bn Minas-Rio project to extract iron ore in the Brazilian interior and ship it from a new Atlantic port. Way over its original $3.6bn budget and two years late, Minas-Rio is finally close to the point of "first ore on ship".

For years, huge mining projects such as these have formed the backbone of global economic expansion. The world's most important commodity after crude oil, iron ore has been devoured by Chinese steel mills, emerging as the raw material for an infrastructure-led growth spurt.

But Minas-Rio is about to deliver its first ore into a much less welcoming world. The price of iron ore has plunged more than 40 per cent this year, the worst performance across metals and bulk commodities in 2014. From an average price of $135 per tonne last year, the benchmark iron ore contract sank last week to less than $80 for the first time since the global financial crisis.

"The iron ore market is in the midst of a transition without precedent in recent commodity history," says Macquarie, the Australian bank.

Behind the change is a big increase in iron ore exports - and not just the 26.5m tonnes that Minas-Rio will bring to market when fully operational in 2016. Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, the world's dominant three producers, have collectively raised output from below 700m tonnes three years ago to well over 800m tonnes and have plans to push supply past 1bn tonnes within a few years. Fortescue, the number four producer, has gone from 41m to 124m tonnes in the same period and expects to pump out 155m tonnes this year. Hancock Prospecting expects its new 55m tonne per annum Roy Hill mine in Australia to start loading ore next year.

Mark Cutifani, chief executive of Anglo American, says miners have "overbaked the supply pie" in the commodities boom - and iron ore is the most telling example.

The supply tsunami is not the only factor weighing on prices. Concerns about a slowdown in demand from China, the world's biggest steelmaker and consumer of seaborne iron ore, have also taken hold. "Given that two-thirds of traded iron ore ends up in China, Chinese demand for ore and Chinese domestic production are important determinants of the global price," says CRU, a consultancy in London.

A slowdown in China's residential property sector, where the construction boom has saddled many areas with oversupply and falling prices, has led to weakening steel demand. Unlike the big iron ore sell-off in 2012, when government stimulus helped prices rebound, Beijing is unlikely to alter its policy dramatically this time.

"If supply was the driver of iron ore weakness in the first half of the year, demand is now the problem," says Colin Hamilton, head of commodities research at Macquarie.

A recent Goldman Sachs report warned of the potential for a long trend of declining prices. It said 2014 was "an inflection point where new production capacity finally catches up with demand growth, and profit margins begin their reversion to the historical mean . . . the end of the Iron Age is here".

Given that iron ore accounts for between 50 and 90 per cent of profits at the world's three largest miners, a price collapse would be alarming for shareholders clamouring for better returns from the underperforming sector. BHP held off on an expected share buyback in August, citing the deteriorating outlook for commodity prices.

For smaller, emerging producers, the problems are existential and a shakeout, with ownership changes, is on
OldNick
08.10.2014 12:23
#19667

the cards. In west Africa, some of the world's poorest countries have pinned development hopes partly on iron ore. But in Sierra Leone and Liberia, smaller miners including African Minerals and London Mining are scrambling for cash to stave off collapse. Yesterday shares in UK-listed London Mining fell by more than 60 per cent after the miner said it needed more funds and was talking to an investor about a capital injection.

That miners have done so much to bring down prices by pushing supply is, for some, a perfect example of the industry's cyclical ability to aim for the stars only to shoot itself in the foot. Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of Glencore, the largest miner without iron ore mines, says: "Iron ore growth is good but you've got to look at supply. Iron ore is under pressure because everyone is adding growth."

Evy Hambro, head of the natural resources equity team at BlackRock, says: "The majors have been showing greater capital discipline but they need to keep on this path. The iron ore market is already in surplus, so miners need to decide if it is wise to spend more money adding additional tonnes or not."

Bigger producers argue they are acting logically. As the lowest-cost producers running vast operations, they assume they can withstand lower prices while rivals fall out of the market.

Sam Walsh, chief executive of Rio, insists that this is working. Mr Walsh says 85m tonnes of iron ore has already been driven out of the market because it is no longer competitive and he expects 125m tonnes to be withdrawn by the end of the year. "An adjustment is obviously taking place . . . All of that is supply and demand at work," he says. Mr Walsh believes the market presents miners with a prisoners' dilemma. No one company can refrain from production: others will fill the gap and the price will still adjust. Rivals would get a "free kick".

"People very simplistically say, 'If you took off 100m tonnes wouldn't we all be better off?'" he says. "The answer is no. Some of that capacity is going to come straight back on - from other people."

Rio, the lowest-cost producer, "should be the last person taking off capacity".

Miners' actions can also be viewed as an attempt to see off competitors. The trio of companies that dominated the market - Rio, BHP and Vale - have been joined by new producers: Fortescue will this year produce half as much as Vale, from a standing start in 2008.

Nev Power, Fortescue's chief executive, says his company has helped bring "the iron ore price back from unsustainable peaks back to more long-term and sustainable competitive pricing".

An executive at an African iron ore project says the largest miners "opened the door to Fortescue - the last thing they want to do is open the door to producers in west Africa. So they are ramping up the tonnage. They want to kill the other producers and give everyone the fright of their lives so no one builds another iron ore mine".

But so far supply has not left the market as economic logic should dictate. Cuts have come from non-mainstream producers in countries such as Iran, Indonesia and Mexico, as well as high-cost privately owned mines in China itself. But other parts of the Chinese mining and steel industry are controlled by large, state-owned steel companies where jobs, not profits, are the priority.

"The response by high-cost producers . . . has been much slower than certainly what I thought and what most in the industry thought," Mr Power says. "But inevitably that needs to happen . . . so the iron ore price will be low for long enough for that supply to exit the market. That's an economic reality."

Nor does it look as though demand will return to the buoyant levels of the past decade soon. The vice-chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association told a conference last week that China's apparent crude steel consumption - that is excluding net exports - had fallen 1.9 per cent to 61.9m tonnes in

Endret 08.10.2014 12:25 av OldNick
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