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The Outlook for Copper and its Impact on Credit Ratings


Date: 05/02/2019
Time: 15:30 BST | 10:30 EDT

Fitch Ratings and CRU Group are delighted to invite you to a live webcast on the Outlook for Copper and its Impact on Credit Ratings. The discussion will focus on the conclusions of April’s Global Copper Conference in Santiago de Chile, and on the recent rating actions Fitch has taken in the sector.


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Vale's Outlook Aligns to Fitch Scenario, Credit Still Intact

Robust cash flow, enhanced by higher iron ore prices and a strong balance sheet, should enable Vale to absorb substantial potential fines and reparation costs without breaching Fitch's negative financial triggers. However, identifying and quantifying all unknown contingent liabilities remains difficult due to continued elevated legal and regulatory risks.


rating action

Zhaojin Mining's 'BB' Ratings Placed on Watch Positive

The RWP reflects a review of Fitch's internal assessment of the creditworthiness of the Zhaoyuan municipality, which was prompted by a revision in the criteria that govern the ratings of international local and regional governments. The linkage between Zhaojin Group and the Zhaoyuan municipality remains unchanged. 

Ferrexpo Rating Impact Unlikely From Independent Review Outcome

If the independent review were to conclude that some employees at the charity (an independent organisation) had misappropriated or diverted part of the donations, then this is to a large extent captured by the operating environment constraint that is already factored into the rating.

Fitch + CRU

China's Growing Thermal Coal Supply to Pressure Exporters

Growing Chinese thermal coal supply is likely to lead to further tightening of import controls by the government, putting pressure on seaborne coal prices and adding order uncertainties for exporters. Miners from Australian and Indonesia are the most exposed, but the credit impact is muted thanks to sufficient rating headroom as we have already incorporated a downward pricing trend in our rating assumptions. 

rating action

Mineral Resources First-Time 'BB' Rating; Rates Proposed USD Bonds 'BB(EXP)'

The proposed notes are rated at the same level as the IDR as they will be unconditionally, jointly and severally guaranteed by MIN and its subsidiaries, which represent more than 95% of group consolidated total assets and net income. 

Fitch and CRU

Gold Miners Discover Synergies, Raise Efficiency with JVs

Increased joint venture (JV) agreements in the gold sector will provide companies opportunities to capture synergies and optimize assets. As availability of high-quality assets declines, co-development of properties is more cost efficient, requires less capital, and is therefore positive for credit profiles. 

Zijin's Leverage to Drop on Higher Production, Equity Placement

Zijin Mining Group Co., Ltd's (BBB-/Stable) post-acquisition net leverage will decrease on the back of higher EBITDA generation, driven by volume expansion from increased copper production.

Fitch Ratings Raises Iron Ore Price Assumptions, Cuts for Copper, Aluminium

Iron ore production disruptions and lower projected market deficits for copper and aluminium in 2019-2021 are the main drivers of our updated mid-cycle metals and mining price assumptions.

rating action

Fitch Assigns Rusal IDR of 'BB-'; Stable Outlook

Rusal successfully managed its operations under the US sanctions with limited impact. Due to several extensions granted to the company's grace period by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Rusal did not bear the full impact of the sanctions.

Fitch + CRU

EU Quotas Will Have Limited Impact on EMEA Steelmakers

The EU finalised safeguard measures for steel imports introduced on 2 February will have no material impact on rated steelmakers in EMEA, Fitch Ratings and CRU say. The measures, structured as quotas and tariffs, are marginally supportive for domestic EU steel producers and foreign companies with rolling capacities in the bloc as they could support steel prices in the region

rating action

Fitch Rates Mongolian Mining First-Time 'B'; Outlook Stable; Rates Bonds

MMC's rating is constrained by its small scale, single-product focus and limited cost competitiveness outside of northern China. However, MMC has flexibility in capex, which should give it sufficient buffer to continue generating free cash flows during a coal price downturn. 

Global Miners Focus on Capex, M&A on Back Burner

The chief executives of a number of large miners, including BHP and Anglo American, highlighted at last month's BMO Global Metals and Mining Conference that organic growth is their main focus. While they may be open to M&A in principle, it is unlikely that acquisitions could match the internal rates of return in excess of 20% that are achievable through developing latent capacity at existing sites, or employing technology and innovation to increase production and optimise costs.

Brazil's Ban of all Upstream Dams In line with Vale's Strategy

Vale has already started the process to decommission its 10 inactive upstream tailings dams, which will cost USD1.4 billion and be a three-year process. The total production impact is 40 million metric tons, which includes operations at Vale's Vargem Grande complex and Paraopeba complex in its Southern System. This production cut incorporates 11 million tons of pellet production. 

Fitch + CRU

Aluminum Supply Fears Rise as US-China Trade Issues Linger

Certain global aluminum producers have become increasingly vocal regarding their concerns about excess Chinese aluminum capacity, despite supply reform by the Chinese government and a number of smelters being closed or experiencing ramp-up delays.

Fitch Ratings and CRU Group Partnership

Fitch Ratings and CRU Group have entered into a strategic agreement that incorporates CRU’s expertise and leading market analysis in Metals and Mining into Fitch’s independent and insightful research and credit analytics. Through this partnership Fitch’s credit analysis and research reports will be broader, more frequent and more insightful than contemporary market offerings. 

Read the announcement and more about this strategic partnership

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