Email Facebook Twitter

Stock Market news at - RSS News Feeds

Bhp Billiton Share News (BLT)

Share News for Bhp Billiton (BLT)

Share Price: 1,470.00Bid: 1,470.00Ask: 1,470.50Change: -3.50 (-0.24%)Faller - Bhp Billiton
Spread: 0.50Spread as %: 0.03%Open: 1,480.00High: 1,483.50Low: 1,445.00Yesterday’s Close: 1,473.50

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/

( 9373-1814)(Reuters Messaging:

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.

Related Shares: Bhp Billiton Plc (BLT) 

COLUMN-The decline and fall of South American aluminium production: Andy Home

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)* Brazil production graphic:* Brazil, US
[6 Hours Ago]

UPDATE 1-Australia state defers royalties to help iron ore miners survive

* Iron ore plunge leaves Australian mining state hurting* Forced to give royalty relief to help miners survive* State insists royalty deferral not a h
[12 Hours Ago]

Australia's BC Iron gets royalty break as iron ore hits new lows

By James ReganSYDNEY, April 1 (Reuters) - Australia's BC Iron said on Wednesday it will be able to defer A$8-A$12 million ($6.11-$9.16 million) in ro
[16 Hours Ago]

Former Xstrata CEO under pressure to make new mining deals

* Dealmaker reputation helps him attract $5.6 bln funding* X2 approached most mining majors in last year* Davis' sight now on South32, Anglo American-
[Yesterday 15:28]

Xstrata founder under pressure to make new mining deals

* Dealmaker reputation helps him attract $5.6 bln funding* X2 approached most mining majors in last year* Davis' sight now on South32, Anglo American-
[Yesterday 14:15]

Australia shares tumble as commodities decline weighs on resources

* Oil, iron ore, copper, gold down* Chevron Caltex sale drags index* Little upbeat economic data (Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)SYDNEY/W
[Mon 03:03]

RPT-COLUMN-Forrest's iron ore cap "harebrained" or clever tactics?: Russell

(Repeats with no changes to text)--Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.--By Clyde RussellLAUNCESTON, Australia, Marc
[Fri 12:00]

UPDATE 2-Iron ore slump set to shrink China's mining capacity

* About 75 pct of China iron ore mining capacity loss-making* Utilisation rate at small mines as low as 20 pct last year* Around 80 pct of Hebei's min
[Fri 07:26]

Sign up for Live Prices
Home  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Careers  |  Advertise with Us  |  Sitemap  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Cookies  |  Privacy

Datafeed and UK data supplied by NBTrader and Digital Look. While London South East do their best to maintain the high quality of the information displayed on this site,
we cannot be held responsible for any loss due to incorrect information found here. All information is provided free of charge, 'as-is', and you use it at your own risk.
The contents of all 'Chat' messages should not be construed as advice and represent the opinions of the authors, not those of London South East Limited, or its affiliates.
London South East does not authorise or approve this content, and reserves the right to remove items at its discretion.