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Metals & Mining

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BHP Group on Tuesday reported its best first-half profit in seven years and declared a record interim dividend, as top metals user China’s strong appetite for iron ore to support its infrastructure push kept prices elevated.

China’s reliance on commodity-intensive stimulus measures to sustain economic growth has sent prices of the steel making ingredient to multi-year highs, while the COVID-19 vaccination push has brightened outlook for global trade this year.


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The pandemic aid and spending package signed by U.S. President Donald Trump last Sunday includes more than $800 million to fund rare earths and strategic minerals research, spending that mining companies say will help counteract China’s dominance over the sector.

The $2.3 trillion, 5,593-page bill essentially codifies Trump’s executive orders on rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used to make magnets for electric vehicles, other green technologies and weapons.


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Rio Tinto will look to a handful of external candidates in a narrowing field for its new chief executive, as the miner tries to win back investors dismayed by the blasting of an ancient Australian rock shelter, bankers and investors say.

The top priority for a new CEO will be strong stakeholder management skills, as the world’s biggest iron ore miner begins to repair its relationships with Aboriginal groups and navigates a host of government issues elsewhere, they said.

Some major mining executives have ruled themselves out, and there is not a long list of acceptable candidates with the skill set and appetite for the top job, according to interviews with a dozen investors and analysts.


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ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, reported third-quarter core profit above expectations on Thursday as the easing of COVID-19 lockdowns led to improved demand in all regions.

The company, which makes around 5% of the world’s steel, said core profit (EBITDA) fell 15% from a year earlier to $901 million, compared with an average expectation of $838 million in a company-compiled poll.

CEO Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement that steel markets had recovered from a very challenging second quarter, with particular improvement in profits in Brazil and its unit grouping South Africa, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.


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Miner Rio Tinto said on Friday its chief executive and two senior executives will step down amid mounting shareholder criticism of its destruction of historically significant Aboriginal rockshelters and the way it managed its response.

A process to identify a successor to CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques was under way and he will continue in the role until a replacement is found or March 31 next year, whichever is earlier, the company said.