Article by Brad Thompson courtesy of the Australian Financial Review
The boss of the world’s biggest gold multinational credits Australian miners for keeping the domestic economy strong through COVID-19 and showing the rest of the world the way forward.
Newmont president Tom Palmer said the protocols introduced by the Australian industry in March and April were copied and used around the world to get mines back up and running.
Mr Palmer told the virtual International Mining and Resources Conference that Australian industry moved quickly to develop protocols to keep mining and have them signed off by national cabinet.
“Those protocols were lifted and used around the world,” he said.
“We used them in Canada, through Ontario and Quebec, in Mexico, in Peru, in Argentina to work with governments as they were looking to get some industry back up and running to support their economies.”
Mr Palmer was speaking from Western Australia where he has based himself during pandemic-related travels bans and Newmont has two gold mines, Boddington and Tanami, after selling its 50 per cent stake in Kalgoorlie’s Super Pit to Bill Beament-led Northern Star Resources for $US800 million ($1.01 billion) last December.
Newmont put five of its 12 managed operations around the globe into care and maintenance as the pandemic took hold, sometimes based on consultation with first nations communities rather than on government orders.
Mr Palmer, who has made it clear he wants to remain at Newmont amid speculation he is a logical choice to replace ousted Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques, said he was proud of the decision made around the health and safety of first nations communities.
He said the emphasis on health and safety had put Newmont in a very good space with key stakeholders.
Mr Palmer said 2050 was an appropriate target for mining companies to achieve carbon neutrality but there was no clear pathway to achieve that goal.
“You must look beyond the achievable set of targets to targets that are aspirational if you are going to get to carbon neutrality by 2050,” he added.
“We don’t have the pathway today to get there but mining has been around for a long time. We are in the business of exploration… we will get there.”
Newmont has just announced what it hailed as a gold industry leading target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.
Mr Palmer told the IMARC audience the target was achievable and science-based and that for the first time Newmont would look at both absolute emissions and emissions intensity.
Federal resources minister Keith Pitt told the conference the industry was doing a lot of the heavy lifting for the Australian economy including in training, but there was no use training skilled workers if projects “are delayed due to onerous regulations”.
Mr Pitt said the Productivity Commission was expected to deliver the final version of the government-commissioned report on ways to cut the regulatory burden before the end of the year.
He said that in the meantime the government was pushing on with reforms to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
In a blistering attack on the weekend, mining billionaire Gina Rinehart accused the government of failing to take the hard decisions needed to cut tape and taxes to encourage resources investment.
Namrata Thapar, the global head of mining for the World Bank’s private sector arm IFC, said it had already deployed more than half of the funds in an $US8 billion fast-track facility set up in response to the pandemic.
Ms Thapar said most of the funds had been used to keep businesses running and to protect jobs.
She said the ICF funding for new projects would be delayed because it wasn’t possible to meet due diligence requirements under travel restrictions.
Ms Thapar said that in addition to issuing $10 billion in green bonds, the ICF was keen to support minerals projects that contributed to the low carbon energy transition.
She said more than 54 per cent of its mineral portfolio was dedicated to copper and rare earths and the ICF was looking to support lithium and cobalt projects.
BMO Financial Group chief economist and managing director Doug Porter said the initial recovery from the world’s deepest post-war downturn had been faster than many expected.
“We have seen a forceful recovery in consumer spending and housing, which in North America are all the way back to where they were before the pandemic began,” he said.
Mr Porter said the downturn had been unusual in that the services industries had been much harder hit than goods industries and this had helped the mining sector because there was demand for electronics, motor vehicles, housing and other goods.
Article by Salomae Haselgrove courtesy of Australian Mining
Iron ore mining magnate Gina Rinehart has urged the Australian Government to stop holding back industry growth and to cut green and red tapes to facilitate future investment.
Rinehart addressed Australia’s leaders during the National Mining and Related Industries Day’s Mates for Mining morning tea, reflecting on mining’s significant contribution to the nation’s economy.
However, she advised that the industry cannot sit on its laurels, stating that the day is a time to remind the nation that the industry is necessary to maintain living standards of all Australians.
“Please don’t forget it was only a few years ago that our industry was faced with both mineral resource rent and carbon tax, a double whammy which would have deprived our industry of the profits needed for investment and for extending our mines and/or building new mines, indeed would have devastated many in the industry,” Rinehart said.
Despite these challenges, Rinehart has led Roy Hill Holdings majority owner Hancock Prospecting to $4.1 billion in net profit after tax during the 2020 financial year, representing a 50 per cent plus increase to bottom line profitability.
Hancock has also drilled 95,000 metres at the Mulga Downs project, expanding the iron ore resource by 290 million tonnes, securing the company’s future success in producing and exporting Western Australian iron ore.
To secure this growth opportunity, Rinehart said it is necessary for the Australian Government to make the difficult decisions to cut costs and tape to increase investor appeal.
“We cannot look to our government to ensure to future of the industry. The government might mention the word investment but fail year after year to take hard decisions to cutting taxes, to make Australia, our very high-cost country more appealing for investments,” she said.
“Never lose an opportunity to encourage the government to mak the tough decisions and certainly never let the government think it can buy our votes with any form of hand outs, i.e., our tax dollars. We want them to act more responsibly in our industry’s best interests.
“Living in constantly changing times, the best protection for the industry is the ability to be flexible and not be constrained by tape, keeping costs down so we can be internationally cost competitive despite natural challenges.”
Rinehart also acknowledged the hard work of the Australian mining industry, in particular Hancock’s fly-in, fly-out workers, who made personal sacrifices to support their company and industry during the coronavirus pandemic.
Article by Brad Thompson courtesy of the Australian Financial Review
Gina Rinehart has blasted both sides of politics over big government in Australia and warned it is only a matter of time before the resources industry faces new threats like the mining tax and carbon tax in “some foolish form or another”.
Australia’s richest person also took aim at inner city dwellers and “left media”, who she said thought of mining as a dirty word even though it made the biggest contribution to the economy.
Mrs Rinehart said taxes in Australian were too high and there was far too much red tape.
“That huge fat slab of expensive government burdens needs to be cut. Let’s inspire our governments to achieve this,” she said.
The Hancock Prospecting chairman, who topped the Financial Review Rich List with a fortune of $28.9 billion, accused the Morrison government of over spending and pushing debt to record levels that would escalate and leave young Australian with a huge burden.
Mrs Rinehart said the overspending and debt pile would make it all the more hard to deliver the tax cuts and reforms Australia needed.
“Too many in government don’t even recognise that profits are needed so we can reinvest,” she said.
“Sadly, few have even a clue that their tape and tax do nothing to encourage investment in mining, indeed any industry.
“They might mention the word investment, but fail year after year to take the hard decisions that they should, to cut government tape and tax to make Australia, our very high-cost country, more appealing for investment.
“They take the easy road, each party saying, ‘look what we’ve spent, or will spend, to do this or that’. Yes, we know what that is – vote buying.
“And guess whose money they are spending, their own? Of course not, it’s the taxpayers’, each one of yours’, which is why our taxes continue to be too high.”
Mrs Rinehart delivered the blast to politicians of all persuasions in a recorded video package to mark her celebrations for National Mining and Related Industries Day on Sunday.
She appeared wearing a fedora while sitting in an armchair next to a fireplace. There was a cake and coffee cups on a table in front of her in an acknowledgement with “Mates for Mining” morning and afternoon tea events organised for the day.
Mrs Rinehart said the industry couldn’t afford to rest on its laurels after a remarkable year during which mining provided the backbone of the economy through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Please don’t forget it was only a few years ago that our industry was faced with both Mineral Resource Rent and Carbon Tax, a double whammy which would have deprived our industry of the profits needed for investment and for extending our mines and or building new mines, indeed would have devastated many in the industry,” she said.
“Now is the time to remind all those we can, that our industry is necessary to maintain the living standards of Australians, its revenue is necessary to help fund our defence force and police, our hospitals and kindies, to help our elderly, maintain some of our airports, bridges, rail and roads, and provide funds for crises.
“Because we can’t sit on our laurels and think that if we do nothing, the double whammy won’t return in some foolish form or another to devastate our industry, an industry we not only derive our livelihoods from, but should be very proud to be a part of.”
A year to remember
Mrs Rinehart’s private company, Hancock Prospecting, booked a $4.07 billion net profit in the year ended June 30, up 56 per cent from the year-earlier $2.617 billion, buoyed by soaring iron ore prices.
The Hancock accounts confirmed its Roy Hill mine had paid down a $10 billion debt and declared a maiden dividend of $475 million just five years after making its first iron ore shipment out of Port Hedland in Western Australia.
Hancock Prospecting’s success also delivered a windfall for the Tax Office, with fiscal 2020 income tax payments reaching $1.55 billion.
Mrs Rinehart said soaring debt would make it harder to cut taxes but it was not impossible.
“We could still make savings if they took the tough decisions, cut their tape, and overblown government parties, so let’s every one of us, never lose an opportunity to encourage them to make the tough decisions,” she said.
“And certainly never let the government think it can buy our votes with any form of handouts, i.e. our tax dollars. No, we want them to act more responsibly, in our interests.”
Mrs Rinehart said the mining industry faced challenges from competition overseas and alluded to problems with ageing Australian operations.
“Our best protection for our industry is the ability to be flexible, not constrained by tape, and to keep our costs down, so we can be internationally cost-competitive despite natural challenges like reducing ore grades and increasing impurities,” she said.
“And huge challenges from lower-cost countries bringing on higher-grade reserves of minerals in competition to our exports.”
The comments are thought to refer to China’s move to develop high-grade iron ore deposits in Guinea’s Simandou province.Rinehart roasts big-spending, high-taxing MPs
Article by Josh Zimmerman courtesy of the Sunday Times, Perth
AUSTRALIA’S richest woman has warned the nation’s vital resources and agriculture industries are being strangled by red and green tape, threatening the future viability of both.
In a pre-recorded speech to commemorate National Mining Day today, Gina Rinehart emphasised the sector’s contribution to the economy, especially during the upheaval caused by coronavirus.
“Now is the time to remind all those we can that our industry is necessary to maintain the living standards of Australians,” Ms Rinehart said. “Its revenue is necessary to help fund our defence force and police, our hospitals and kindies, to help our elderly . . . and provide funds for crises.” That followed an address yesterday in Queensland on National Agriculture Day, in which Ms Rinehart highlighted that government regulation hampered the ability of farmers to deal with feral animals, bushfires and droughts.
“We all know Asia is the largest growing market for Australia, and often hear that Asian demand for agricultural products is projected to show sustained growth towards the year 2050, providing opportunities for Australian exporters of high quality, clean, agriculture products,” she said.
“But what isn’t so clearly said is that we mustn’t lose this opportunity due to our government holding us back through endless red, green and other tape that isn’t levied on our international competitors, and which drives up the cost of our production and our products.” Ms Rinehart yesterday launched a “Change for Agriculture” website dedicated to gathering examples of “problematic government tape or tax burdens” from those on the frontline, which will be collated into a submission paper.
Ms Rinehart, who has long helmed an iron ore empire and is steadily expanding into beef production, said State and Federal governments did not appreciate “their (red) tape and tax do nothing to encourage investment”.
“Our best protection for our industry is the ability to be flexible, not constrained by tape, and to keep our costs down so we can be internationally cost competitive, despite natural challenges like reducing ore grades and increasing impurities,” she said.
She said “lower cost countries” developing higher grade mineral deposits enjoyed a big competitive advantage over Australian miners, threatening export volumes.
Referencing the short-lived Mineral Resource Rent Tax and carbon tax, Ms Rinehart said governments were too focused on extracting money from primary industries, which hampered job-creating expansion plans.
“Too many in government don’t even recognise that profits are needed so we can reinvest,” she said.
Ms Rinehart also took aim at government “over spending” which she said had contributed to spi ralling debt “leaving huge interest and debt for the young ones” and “making it harder to reduce our tax es to any real degree”.
Article by Matt McKenzie courtesy of Business News
Roy Hill sales hit $6.4 billion in the year to June, with the company reporting payment of more than $900 million in taxes.
Revenue was up 24 per cent, the company said, and profit increased 60 per cent to $2.2 billion.
About $475 million of dividends was paid to parent company Hancock Prospecting , and $400 million of new capital investment committed during the year.
It comes a week after Hancock reported a 56 per cent rise in profit to $4 billion.
Roy Hill executive chairman Gina Rinehart said Roy Hill had repaid all its debt.
“As we look forward, subject to securing government approvals, our growth plans will see us increase from 60 million tonnes per annum to 70mtpa,” Ms Rinehart said.
“This along with continued capital investment and innovation projects, such as our wet high intensity plants and automation project are driving efficiencies across our mining operations, and will see us grow the 2,800 jobs we already provide and continue to generate revenue in tax and royalties for the national and state governments”.
“Mining is an industry we can all be very proud of.
“It’s an industry we shine in internationally, creating many opportunities, and helping to raise living standards.
“Mining contributes more to our nation than any other industry and will be crucial to the country’s economic recovery.
“However, if Australia wants to remain internationally competitive and grow its exports and revenue, we need our government to significantly cut its onerous, investment deterring burdens of government tape and taxes.
“Investment is needed to expand our mines and grow our new mines of the future, so that mining can continue its immense contribution to our country.
Article by Sean Smith courtesy of the West Australian
WA’s biggest iron ore miners have pulled more than $30 billion in profit from the Pilbara over the past year, capitalising on persistently high prices and unrelenting demand.
Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill Holdings, the engine room of the billionaire’s business empire, yesterday rounded out a bumper reporting season for the State’s top-four iron ore producers by confirming a 60 per cent jump in annual earnings to more than $2b.
The result swelled the combined Pilbara iron ore profits of Roy Hill, Rio Tinto, BHP and Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group for the year to June to $33b, with the cumulative revenue exceeding $86b.
The quartet are on target to do better this financial year thanks to unexpectedly high iron ore prices that are drawing strength from Chinese demand for steel to service an infrastructure-led economic recovery after COVID-19.
The steel-making commodity averaged just over $US90 a tonne over 2019-20 but is widely forecast to realise about $US110 this year. Yesterday, it was trading at $US121/t.
The unlisted Roy Hill Holdings, which is majority owned by Mrs Rinehart, said today “increased revenues coupled with a focus on cost control” lifted annual earnings to $2.2b in the year to June 30, from $1.4b previously.
The company owns the Roy Hill mine in the Pilbara, which shipped its first iron ore in late-2015.
As disclosed previously, it paid a maiden dividend of $475m last month after paying down $10b of debt linked to the mine’s development.
Accounts filed with the corporate regulator today show revenue for the year was up 24 per cent at $6.4b as iron ore prices held above $US110 a tonne and Roy Hill shipped more of the steel-making commodity.
“Cash flow from operations increased by 32 per cent year-on-year to $3.7b, reflecting higher sales while net borrowings reduced by $2.7b,” Roy Hill Holdings said in a separate statement.
“During FY20, Roy Hill has fully repaid all (of the) outstanding loan under the original syndicated loan facilities, which were the largest ever secured for a greenfields mainland mining project.”
The company said it continued to reduce costs while sustaining exports at 60 million tonnes a year as it sought government approvals to expand to 70mtpa.
Its “simplification and cost optimisation focus” was “particularly important considering the likely weakening of iron ore prices in the near future with higher production levels resuming in Brazil and the future risk of iron ore deposits coming on stream, such as in Africa”.
The company paid $43m in royalties into WA State coffers during the year, while its tax bill exceeded $900m.
“As we look forward, subject to achieving government approvals, our growth plans will see us increase from 60mtpa to 70mtpa,” Mrs Rinehart said.
“This along with continued capital investment and innovation projects … are driving efficiencies across our mining operations and will see us grow the 2800 jobs we already provide and continue to generate revenue in tax and royalties for the national and State governments.”
Mrs Rinehart’s flagship, Hancock Prospecting, owns 70 per cent of Roy Hill Holdings in partnership with Japan’s Marubeni Corporation (15 per cent), South Korea’s POSCO (12.5 per cent) and China Steel Corporation (2.5 per cent).
Hancock Prospecting’s results last week showed it paid a $710m dividend after posting a $4b profit.
Hancock Prospecting supports WA with recovery campaign
The Hancock Prospecting Group, in the lead up to National Mining and Related Industries Day and National Agriculture and Related Industries Day, has been actively promoting the important role of primary industries in our great State and Country. Please see examples of two of the adverts running across The West Australian, Sunday Times, Perth Now and the West Online.
The CEO Magazine announced this Thursday 12 November the winners of their 2020 Executive of the Year Awards [theceomagazine.com] in a special online version of the event, streamed globally.
These Awards, Australia’s most prestigious in business, returned for their ninth year in 2020. Roy Hill and Atlas Iron along with owners Hancock Prospecting, all performed very well at this year’s awards with multiple winners announced. With 2020 being such a challenging year for the world, the Group is incredibly proud to have our people recognised in such a way, demonstrating the resilience and dedication that are synonymous with our teams and company brands. This year the following members of our Group were recognised:
Winner – Chief Operating Officer of the Year
Gerhard Veldsman, Roy Hill
Runner Up – Chief Executive Officer of the Year
Sanjiv Manchanda, Atlas Iron
Winner – Executive Assistant of the Year
Talitha Ramsay, Hancock Prospecting
Across the Hancock Prospecting Group of companies, led by Executive Chairman Gina Rinehart, who was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at this event last year, and the only person to win the chairman’s award twice, the approach to our people and their safety and health has been nation leading, demonstrated in the fact that none of the businesses have had a single COVID-19 case. The contribution, Gerhard, Sanjiv, Talitha and all of our people are making to help Australia recover is critical to the future of our country.
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners at this year’s event.
To read more about the performances of Hancock Prospecting and its companies you can read here our results for this latest financial year. To celebrate the contribution that mining is making to the economy, please join us in holding a ‘Mates for Mining’ morning tea as part of 2020 National Mining and Related Industries Day – read here for more information.