Deloitte report outlines top 10 issues facing mining companies

Deloitte publishes main issues and advice to mining companies, which can be summarised as: Cutback, Innovate, Adjust to Markets, Engage with stakeholders, Take whatever money you can get in whatever way it is offered, Spend some money with an accountant sorting out your tax, Buy at the bottom not the top, don’t divest at the bottom (Slap on the wrist BHP, Rio etc.) and spend some more money on Health and Safety.

A sterling effort there from Deloitte and sensible advice, but hardly groundbreaking.  This should be in every CEO’s user manual on how to run a company. However in the good times it is forgotten about and in the bad times it is too late and the first point tends to override all else.

Financial markets and fund managers have to shoulder much of the blame with the CEO’s and boards of companies, for pushing unrealistic expectations of returns and endorsing bad corporate decisions, particularly overpriced and over-hyped mergers.

Source: Deloitte report outlines top 10 issues facing mining companies in 2016 | Deloitte | Press Release

Coal outdone by renewables in UK | Mining Australia

Despite recent reversals in policy from current government, the UK has achieved remarkable growth in renewables thanks to positive incentives by the previous government. Most incentive schemes are now scheduled to be scrapped, including feed in tariffs for home energy generation and onshore wind energy. Incentives continue for offshore wind and nuclear power.

For the first time in history, renewable energy has outweighed coal-fired power in the UK’s electricity generation mix.

Source: Coal outdone by renewables in UK | Mining Australia

Unemployment in Mining Professionals Hits New Highs – The Cycle Continues

In a report below, the unemployment rate among mining professionals in Australia hits new highs going from 1.7% in 2012 to 16.2%. This is reflected across the world as commodities prices hit new lows. When Engineers are getting the boot you know that things are bad! In all seriousness though, it seems nothing has been learned and the industry lives in a perpetual groundhog day moment. The boom bust cycles continue with massive retrenchment and curtailment of  exploration when times are bad and cry’s of skills shortage and unsustainable high salary packages at the peak of the commodity cycle. The very companies that have the resources to “smooth” out these bumps ie. “The Majors”, are active participants in the cycle, showing little restraint in the good times, with over-priced acquisitions and massive capital expenditures based on unrealistic commodity forecasts and then decimating their workforce, writing down their overpriced acquisitions and capital projects and selling “non-core” assets at a pittance.

All we need to know now is when that pesky rodent will stick his head back out of his hole!

The future of clean energy? New, cheap and efficient electrode for splitting water | UNSW Newsroom

Using a cheap nickel iron catalyst coating a nickel “foam” UNSW scientists have made an electrode that has the raised the bar in the race to improve efficiency of water splitting to make Hydrogen for fuel cells.

The future of clean energy? New, cheap and efficient electrode for splitting water | UNSW Newsroom.

Not all iron ore is created equal

Much has been made of the advantages of direct shipping iron ore  over the past few years, but the fall in iron ore pricing has squeezed margins for many. Iron ore products that pay a premium over fines, such as lump ore and pelletised production trade at bigger premiums to the benchmark pricing and particularly in the case of pellets which aim at more specialised end user markets, the drop in pricing has not been as severe.

So much so, that  Grange Resources in Australia has felt compelled to put out a press release to try and differentiate themselves from the general sell off in iron ore stock. <;