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Rio Tinto announces plans to give away shares in firm that owns Pebble Mine project in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska - A major shareholder of a company behind a contentious Alaska mine project is giving its shares away to Alaska charitable organizations, at least one of which is part of a larger group that has come out publicly against the project.

Glencore Xstrata posts $7.4 bn loss for 2013 on massive writedowns

Mining giant Glencore Xstrata plunged deep into the red in 2013 with a net loss of $7.4 billion (5.3 million euros) from a profit of $1 billion a year ago, after booking massive writedowns related to its merger. The group said in an earnings statement Tuesday it took a charge of $7.5 billion during the year to write down goodwill or intangible assets that were now valued at a lower rate than when they changed hands. The impairment charge also included write-downs at various sites amid the "persistent challenging nickel and aluminium market environments".

Mining giant BHP's first-half profit soars 83 percent

Global mining giant BHP Billiton said Tuesday first-half net profit soared 83 percent to US$8.1 billion on the back of spending cuts and strong production across its iron ore and coal businesses. The result for the six months to December 31 was above expectations and compared to US$4.2 billion in the previous corresponding period, with revenues climbing 5.9 percent to US$33.95 billion.

Rio Tinto bounces back with US$3.67 bn annual profit

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto staged a dramatic turnaround in 2013 to report a US$3.67 billion annual net profit Thursday after a major cost-cutting drive that saw thousands of workers sacked and capital spending slashed. Rio's return to the black caps a concerted belt-tightening drive by new chief Sam Walsh, who was brought in with a mission to turn around the firm, which lost US$3.03 billion in 2012 -- its first loss in 18 years -- after US$14.36 billion in writedowns. That disaster claimed the scalp of former boss Tom Albanese.

Cash is king as global miners get set to boost payouts

By Sonali Paul and Silvia Antonioli MELBOURNE/LONDON (Reuters) - Aggressive cost cutting, volume growth and stable commodity prices will drive a rise in half-year profits for the world's biggest miners, paving the way for healthy dividend hikes now and anticipated capital returns in 2015. The latest round of results could tempt investors back into the sector, analysts say, after steering clear amid fears of cooling growth in China and a yet-to-occur slump in iron ore prices.

Rio Tinto to suspend alumina production at Gove

Mining giant Rio Tinto said Friday it will suspend alumina production at its Gove refinery in northern Australia because it is no longer a viable business. Low alumina prices, a high Australian dollar and substantial after-tax losses for the refinery were key factors in the decision, the company said in an announcement, which did not put a figure on job losses. "Our aluminium business is facing challenging market conditions and tough decisions are needed," said Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh.

Rio Tinto seeks U.S. approval for Arizona copper mine

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rio Tinto <RIO.AX><RIO.L> is set to submit a mine plan to U.S. authorities this week for its $6 billion Resolution project in Arizona, which could become the largest copper producer in North America, a spokesman said on Thursday. Resolution, 55 percent owned by Rio Tinto and 45 percent owned by BHP Billiton <BHP.AX><BLT.L>, could produce more than 1 billion pounds of copper a year at its peak, according to Rio Tinto's web site.

Rio Tinto hands mothballed Australian coal mine to Linc Energy

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rio Tinto <RIO.AX> has agreed to give away the Blair Athol coal mine in Australia to Linc Energy <LNC.AX>, which plans to reopen the mine to expand its coal unit ahead of a spin-off, the two companies said on Thursday. Rio Tinto and its partners closed the mine last November as its resource had nearly run out after 30 years of operations and it was losing money amid a coal price slump.

China urges mills to buy more iron ore via spot platforms

QINGDAO, China (Reuters) - Chinese steel mills should buy more iron ore using spot trading platforms to reduce their exposure to index pricing, which Beijing feels is being manipulated, an industry official said on Wednesday. Wang Xiaoqi, vice-chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association, said big miners were reducing volumes sold by long-term tenders in order to push up global index prices.

Ex-Rio Tinto boss joins Vedanta

Miner Vedanta Resources on Monday said that it had chosen Tom Albanese, former chief executive of peer Rio Tinto, to be its chairman. "Vedanta announces that Tom Albanese is joining the group as the chairman of its subsidiary, Vedanta Resources Holdings Ltd," a statement said. Albanese stepped down as boss of Rio Tinto at the start of the year after the Anglo-Australian miner posted its first annual loss in 18 years on hefty writedowns at its Mozambique coal and aluminium businesses.
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