Bad news and more lithium

Anglo Agonistes.   The slo-mo train wreck that is Anglo American might be speeding up:

Moody’s downgrades Anglo’s debt to junk. [Globe & Mail]

Moody’s said it does not expect Anglo American to generate enough operating cash flows to deliver substantial organic debt reduction in the next two years.  “Pending further announcements by the company, the rating agency believes that divestments of non-core assets would be difficult to execute in the current environment, particularly at valuations to allow deleveraging from the current level,” Moody’s said in a statement.  It added that the negative outlook reflected uncertainty that Anglo would be able to execute its restructuring.

Anglo accelerates plans to sell coal and iron ore assets. [Bloomberg]  … along with everybody else.

Sale of niobium and phosphate interests in Brazil “within two months”. [Bloomberg]

De Beers 2015 sales decline -34%; profit by -58%.  [Rappaport]   … but at least this division is still making money.

Times are tough; fire the geologists.  [Australian Mining]

The Australia Institute of Geoscientists recorded an unemployment rate of 18.7 per cent among geoscientists for the December Quarter 2015, as well as the record under-employment rate of 42.1 per cent.  With less than 50 per cent of self-employed geoscientists able to secure more than one quarter of their desired workload, AIG highlighted this equated to a real unemployment rate of 31.1 per cent, around 10 per cent higher than unemployment at the time of the Global Financial Crisis of 2009.

bread line

Lithium’s going to the moon! [Benchmark]  Fair warning here: the only “mineral” these guys seem to blog about is lithium.

The lithium industry is going through its strongest ever period of price increases as both prices of lithium carbonate and hydroxide – the two primary chemicals produced – head north of $10,000/tonne.  According to data collected by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the price of lithium carbonate so far in 2016 is 47% higher than last year’s average and the industry is experiencing some of the widest price ranges ever seen.


Broken business model batters brokers. [Business in Vancouver]  The bottom of the financial food chain for mining exploration is dying off.