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Bhp Billiton Share News (BLT)

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Share News for Bhp Billiton (BLT)

Share Price: 1,245.00Bid: 1,245.00Ask: 1,245.50Change: -10.00 (-0.80%)Faller - Bhp Billiton
Spread: 0.50Spread as %: 0.04%Open: 1,260.00High: 1,266.00Low: 1,242.00Yesterday’s Close: 1,255.00

UPDATE 1-BHP to suspend Australia manganese operation

Thu, 23rd Feb 2012 01:58

SYDNEY, Feb 23 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton will suspend production at its TE
MCO manganese alloy smelter in Tasmania, Australia by early to mid-March and conduct a review of the business, citing stiff international competition and rising operating costs, the company said on Thursday.

'Recently, there has been further erosion of its international competitiveness due to the strong Australian dollar and steady increases in input costs, including in reductants and electricity,' the company said in a statement.

At the same time, manganese alloy markets in Europe and North America have been weak and global prices remain low, it said.

BHP is the world's largest producer of manganese, used to strengthen steel, mining 3.25 million tonnes of ore from operations in Australia and South Africa in the December 2011 half-year period.

The weak market situation for manganese was being exacerbated by a large stockpile of ore at Chinese ports and poor demand for steel long products, according to metals traders.

'While measures have been taken to make the operation as cost effective as possible, these have not been sufficient to counter shifts in the market, increased costs of production, or operating losses,' BHP said.

Over the next three months, BHP said it will review the long-term future of the operation.

Permanent employees of TEMCO will not be immediately affected by the suspension, though the number of outside contractors working at the facility will be cut, BHP said.

The operation began production in 1962 and remains the only manganese ferroalloy plant in Australia. It incorporates four furnaces and a sinter plant and produces high-carbon ferromanganese, silicomanganese and sinter. Production has run as high as a quarter-million tonnes per year.

BHP also mines manganese on the Australian mainland and in South Africa.

Roughly 80 percent of manganese ore production is sold directly to external customers. The remainder is fed to the TEMCO smelter and another facility in Meyerton, South Africa, according to BHP.

BHP earlier this month cited a 22 percent decline in ore prices and a 10 percent decline in alloy prices as a 'major drag on profitability' of its manganese division in the half-year period to December 31, 2011.

Recovery, particularly of the construction industries in Europe and North America, could lead to a firming of manganese ferroalloy prices starting in 2013, according to a report this month by London-based Roskill Information Services.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Michael Urquhart) Keywords: AUSTRALIA BHP/

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Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.

Escondida outcome seen as disaster for BHP as workers return

By Gram Slattery and Fabian CamberoSANTIAGO, March 24 (Reuters) - The end of a historic strike at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world's biggest,
[24 Mar '17 21:07]

Tired but satisfied, Escondida miners pack up after historic strike

By Felipe IturrietaESCONDIDA MINE, Chile, March 24 (Reuters) - With no bonus, and no salary rise, it was not the ending the 2,500 workers at Chile's E
[24 Mar '17 17:34]

UPDATE 3-Escondida workers to end strike as they opt for old contract

(Adds detail on legal provision, comments from worker, analyst)By Felipe IturrietaANTOFAGASTA, Chile, March 23 (Reuters) - The strike at Chile's Escon
[23 Mar '17 17:43]

UPDATE 2-Escondida workers to end strike as they opt for old contract

(Recasts with union decision)By Felipe IturrietaANTOFAGASTA, Chile, March 23 (Reuters) - The strike at Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, wil
[23 Mar '17 16:23]

Workers say Escondida strike to end as they opt to return to old contract

By Felipe IturrietaANTOFAGASTA, March 23 (Reuters) - The strike at Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, will end after workers decided to invok
[23 Mar '17 16:07]

UPDATE 1-BHP's Escondida mine says negotiations dissolved; will return to production

(Adds comments from mine president, background on mine and strike)By Felipe IturrietaANTOFAGASTA, Chile, March 23 (Reuters) - Negotiations between BHP
[23 Mar '17 14:37]

BHP's Escondida mine says negotiations dissolved; will return to production

SANTIAGO, March 23 (Reuters) - The negotiation process between BHP Billiton and striking workers at its Escondida mine in Chile has ended unsuccessful
[23 Mar '17 13:45]

UPDATE 1-Union leaders at BHP's Escondida mine to meet with workers

(New throughout, adds details, union comments; adds byline, changes dateline, previous SANTIAGO)By Felipe IturrietaANTOFAGASTA, Chile, March 22 (Reute
[22 Mar '17 21:23]

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