Tag Archives: Jakob Stausholm

Mines and Money London looks at Resourcing Tomorrow

Beacon Events has rebranded the Mines and Money London event and come up with three comprehensive tracks that, it says, covers a spectrum of critical topics around the energy transition, ESG, sustainability, circular economy, technology, services and junior mining investment.

New for 2022, Resourcing Tomorrow, brought to you by Mines and Money, is a global forum for the coming together of decision makers, mining leaders, policymakers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators for three days of learning, deal-making and unparalleled networking, the event organisers say.

With an anticipated audience of 2,000 attendees, Resourcing Tomorrow runs from November 29 to December 1, 2022, at the Business Design Exhibition Centre in London.

The three tracks – Resourcing Tomorrow, Reimagining Mining and Mines and Money – will cover 120-plus talks, panel discussions and keynote presentations from 150-plus industry experts. This includes:

  • Jakob Stausholm, Chief Executive, Rio Tinto;
  • Mark Bristow, President & Chief Executive Officer, Barrick;
  • Roy Harvey, Chief Executive Officer, Alcoa;
  • Mikael Staffas, President & Chief Executive Officer, Boliden;
  • Stuart Tonkin, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Star Resources;
  • Rohitesh Dhawan, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Mining and Minerals, ICMM
  • Katy Hebditch, Head of Engagement – Technical and Sustainability, Anglo American;
  • Ellen Lenny-Pessagno, Global Vice President for Government and Community Affairs, Albemarle; and
  • Elaine Dorward-King, Non-executive Director for Sibanye Stillwater, Kenmare Resources and NovaGold.

On the third day, the Mines and Money Outstanding Achievement Awards will take place at the Bloomsbury Big Top to celebrate the very best of the industry through awards from exploration to deal making, from innovation in technology to CEOs who have made a difference, these awards recognise and reward excellence.

International Mining is a media sponsor of the Resourcing Tomorrow event

Rio, TRQ and Mongolia agree on Oyu Tolgoi Underground development path

Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ) and the Government of Mongolia have reached an agreement that, Rio says, will move the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) project forward, resetting the relationship between the partners and increasing the value the project delivers for Mongolia.

As a result, the OT Board, comprised of representatives of Rio Tinto, TRQ and Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi (EOT), the latter of which is wholly owned by the Government of Mongolia, has unanimously approved commencement of underground operations. This step unlocks the most valuable part of the mine and is expected to begin in the coming days, with first sustainable production expected in the first half of 2023, according to Rio Tinto.

As part of a comprehensive package, TRQ will waive the $2.4 billion EOT carry account loan in full, comprising the amount of common share investments in OT LLC funded by TRQ on behalf of EOT to build the project to date, plus accrued interest.

The Parliament of Mongolia has approved a resolution (Resolution 103) that resolves the outstanding issues that have been subject to negotiations with the Government of Mongolia over the last two years in relation to addressing Parliament Resolution 92 (December 2019).

With this approval, the Parliament of Mongolia has required that certain measures be completed in order for Resolution 92 to be considered formally implemented. Among the measures already addressed are improved cooperation with EOT, implementation of measures to monitor OT underground development financing mechanisms and enhance ESG matters and the approval of the Electricity Supply Agreement.

Rio says it is continuing to work with the Government of Mongolia and TRQ to finalise the remaining outstanding measures of Resolution 92, namely the formal termination of the Oyu Tolgoi Mine Development and Financing Plan (UDP) and resolution of the outstanding OT LLC tax arbitration.

An updated funding plan has been agreed to address TRQ’s current estimated remaining funding requirement for the OT Underground Project. Until sustainable underground production is achieved, OT will be funded by cash on hand and rescheduling of existing debt repayments, together with a pre-paid copper concentrate sales agreement with TRQ. This is in line with restrictions on debt financing contained in Resolution 103, passed on December 30, 2021.

Rio Tinto and TRQ have amended the Heads of Agreement signed in April 2021 to ensure they appropriately fund OT. The capital forecast for the project is $6.925 billion, including $175 million of known COVID-19 impacts to the end of 2021. Forecasted remaining underground capital expenditure is approximately $1.8 billion. A reforecast will be undertaken during the first half of this year to determine a revised cost and schedule estimate that will reflect:

  • Any further COVID-19 impacts;
  • Any additional time-based impacts and market price escalation arising from resequencing due to 2021 budget constraints (as a result of the OT Board not approving the capital budget uplift at the time the Definitive Estimate was finalised); and
  • Updated risk ranging reflecting the latest project execution risks.

The key elements under the amended Heads of Agreement include:

  • Pursuing the rescheduling of principal repayments of existing OT project finance to potentially reduce the OT funding requirement by up to $1.7 billion;
  • Seeking to raise up to $500 million of senior supplemental debt at OT from selected international financial institutions which could be put in place after sustainable underground production is achieved;
  • Rio Tinto providing a co-lending project finance facility to OT of up to $750 million to be made available after sustainable underground production is achieved (with up to $300 million of such amount being available under a short-term secured advance directly to TRQ pending such co-lending); and
  • TRQ agreeing to conduct equity or rights offerings of up to $1.5 billion (with an initial offering of at least $650 million by no later than August 31, 2022).

The re-profiling of the existing OT project finance and any additional senior supplemental debt at OT will be subject to availability and terms and conditions being acceptable to Rio Tinto and TRQ, according to the company.

The OT Board has also approved the signing of an Electricity Supply Agreement to provide OT with a long-term source of power from the Mongolian grid, under terms already agreed with the Government of Mongolia. In meeting OT’s commitment to sourcing power domestically, Rio Tinto will work with the Government to support long-term renewable energy generation in support of the Mongolian grid. The Government of Mongolia and OT are in constructive discussions with the Inner Mongolia Power International Cooperation Company (IMPIC) for an extension of current power import arrangements beyond the current agreement of July 2023. IMPIC has indicated its support for an extension and commercial terms are being finalised.

Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene, the Prime Minister of Mongolia, said: “The commencement of Oyu Tolgoi underground mining operations demonstrates to the world that Mongolia can work together with investors in a sustainable manner and become a trusted partner. As part of our ‘New Recovery Policy’, I am happy to express Mongolia’s readiness to work actively and mutually beneficially with global investors and partners.”

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jakob Stausholm, said: “We would like to thank the Government of Mongolia for their commitment to working productively with Rio Tinto and TRQ to reach this crucial agreement that will see one of the world’s largest copper growth projects move forward and firmly establish Mongolia as a global investment destination. This agreement represents a reset of our relationship and resolves historical issues between the OT project partners. We strongly believe in the future of this country and I am personally committed to ensuring that the people of Mongolia benefit strongly from OT along with our shareholders.

“I have visited Mongolia twice in the last few months and I cannot help but be proud of what has been achieved by our workforce, hand-in-hand with communities, suppliers and other partners. I would like to thank the many thousands of people involved for what they have achieved.

“The OT underground development will consolidate Rio Tinto’s position as a leading global supplier of copper at a time when demand is increasing, driven by its role in enabling decarbonisation and electrification in the race to net zero. We will also explore additional opportunities to decarbonise the OT operations, including sourcing renewable power.”

Steve Thibeault, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill Resources, added: “Today is a landmark day for Turquoise Hill and a major milestone in the development of the Oyu Tolgoi underground development project. We are very excited to be starting work on the undercut, which is critical to unlocking the immense potential of this world-class, high-grade deposit for the benefit of all stakeholders. Following the agreements with the Government of Mongolia and the Amended Heads of Agreement with Rio Tinto being put in place, we now have greater certainty and confidence to complete construction of this once-in-a-generation mine that, when finished, is expected to be one of the largest copper producing mines in the world and a generator of vast economic value and employment in Mongolia and of returns for our shareholders for years to come. I want to thank the Government of Mongolia for its commitment to securing a balanced agreement that helps to advance the project while ensuring that all stakeholders including the people of Mongolia truly benefit from the development of this resource. This agreement says a lot about the positive environment for foreign investment in the country.”

By 2030 OT is expected to be the fourth largest copper mine in the world. It is a complex greenfield project comprising an underground block cave mine and copper concentrator as well as an open-pit mine which has been successfully operating for almost 10 years. It is also one of the most modern, safe, sustainable and water-efficient operations globally, with a workforce which is more than 96% Mongolian. Since 2010, OT has spent a total of $13.4 billion in-country, including $3.6 billion of taxes, fees and other payments to the state budget. The size and quality of this Tier 1 asset provides additional expansion options, which could see production sustained for many decades.

At peak production, OT is expected to produce around 500,000 t/y of copper on average from 2028 to 2036 from the open pit and underground, and an average of around 350,000 t for a further five years, compared with 163,000 t in 2021. The underground Ore Reserve has an average copper grade of 1.52%, which is more than three times higher than the open pit reserve, and contains 0.31 g/t Au.

Rio makes Rincon lithium play as part of portfolio decarbonisation plan

Rio Tinto has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the Rincon lithium project in Argentina, an undeveloped brine project that, Rio says, has the potential to have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry and can help deliver on the company’s commitment to decarbonise its portfolio.

The agreement has been signed with Rincon Mining, a company owned by funds managed by the private equity group Sentient Equity Partners, for $825 million.

Rincon is in the heart of the lithium triangle in the Salta Province of Argentina, an emerging hub for greenfield projects. The project is a long life, scaleable resource capable of producing battery-grade lithium carbonate, according to Rio. The direct lithium extraction technology proposed for the project has the potential to significantly increase lithium recoveries as compared with solar evaporation ponds, according to the company. This process uses a resin to adsorb the lithium, with clean water used to wash off the lithium in desorption, and adsorption and desorption conducted with raw brine and water at ambient temperature to significantly reduce the energy consumption, Rincon says.

A pilot plant is currently running at the site and further work will focus on continuing to optimise the process and recoveries.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jakob Stausholm, said: “This acquisition is strongly aligned with our strategy to prioritise growth capital in commodities that support decarbonisation and to continue to deliver attractive returns to shareholders. The Rincon project holds the potential to deliver a significant new supply of battery-grade lithium carbonate, to capture the opportunity offered by the rising demand driven by the global energy transition. It is expected to be a long life, low-cost asset that will continue to build the strength of our Battery Materials portfolio, with our combined lithium assets spanning the US, Europe and South America.”

Once acquired by Rio Tinto, the Rincon project will be subject to the completion of studies to confirm the resource and define an JORC Code compliant resource statement. Work will be undertaken to determine the development strategy and timing, secure updates to existing Environmental Impact Assessment permits to allow development and production, and undertake ongoing engagement with communities, the province of Salta and the Government of Argentina, the company said.

As the project is currently held through an Argentine branch of an Australian company, completion of the transaction is conditional upon approval by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Subject to this FIRB approval, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022.

Rio Tinto investigates Heliogen’s AI-backed solar technology to decarbonise Boron ops

Rio Tinto and renewable energy technology company, Heliogen, have announced an agreement to explore the deployment of Heliogen’s solar technology at Rio Tinto’s borates mine in Boron, California.

Under a memorandum of understanding, Heliogen will deploy its proprietary, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology at the Boron operation, where it will use heat from the sun to generate and store carbon-free energy to power the mine’s industrial processes.

The two companies will begin detailed planning and securing government permits for the project, with the aim of starting operations from 2022. They will also use the Boron installation to begin exploring the potential for deployments of Heliogen’s technology at Rio Tinto’s other operations around the world to supply process heat, which accounted for 14% of Scope 1 & 2 emissions from the group’s managed operations in 2020.

Heliogen’s high-temperature solar technology is designed to cost-effectively replace fossil fuels with sunlight for a range of industrial processes, including those used in mining. At Rio Tinto’s Boron mine, the company’s proprietary technology will use AI to control a network of mirrors that concentrate sunlight to capture energy used to make steam, the companies said. Heliogen’s system will also store the captured energy in the form of heat, allowing it to power night-time operations and provide the same uninterrupted energy stream offered by legacy fuels.

The Boron operation mines and refines borates into products ranging from fertilisers to construction materials and is producing lithium carbonate from a demonstration plant. The site currently generates steam using a natural gas co-generation plant and natural gas fired boilers. Heliogen’s installation will supplement these energy sources by generating up to 35,000 pounds per hour (15.9 t/h) of steam to power operations, with the potential to reduce carbon emissions at the Boron site by around 7% – equivalent to taking more than 5,000 cars off the road. Rio Tinto will also be assessing the potential for larger scale use of the Heliogen technology at Boron to reduce the site’s carbon footprint by up to 24%.

Heliogen’s mission of slashing global carbon emissions by replacing fossil fuels with sunlight, as well as its focus on industrial sectors, made it an ideal partner for Rio Tinto, which is committed to decarbonising its global operations, it said.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jakob Stausholm, said: “This partnership with Heliogen has the potential to significantly reduce our emissions at Boron by using this ground-breaking solar technology, and we look forward to exploring opportunities across our global portfolio.

“Addressing climate change effectively will require businesses, governments and society to work together through partnerships like this one, to explore innovative new solutions throughout the entire value chain. Our work with Heliogen is part of Rio Tinto’s commitment to spend approximately $1 billion on emissions reduction initiatives through to 2025 and our commitment to work with world-leading technology providers to achieve this goal.”

Heliogen CEO and Founder, Bill Gross, said: “Since its founding, Heliogen has been laser-focused on decarbonising industrial sectors, including mining. As a result, this agreement with Rio Tinto is incredibly gratifying.

“We’re pleased to find a partner committed to cutting its contributions to climate change. We’re also pleased that Rio Tinto is exploring our technology to play an important role in helping reach its sustainability goals while dramatically reducing its energy costs. More broadly, we’re excited to take this important step as we pursue Heliogen’s goal of avoiding more than 1 gigaton of CO2 emissions – 5% of the world’s annual total – from the global economy by turning sunlight into an industrial energy source.”

Rio Tinto CFO Jakob Stausholm wins promotion

Rio Tinto has appointed Chief Financial Officer, Jakob Stausholm, as its new Chief Executive, effective January 1, 2021. He replaces outgoing company head Jean-Sébastien Jacques.

Since joining Rio as an Executive Director and CFO in 2018, Stausholm has played a leading role in the group’s strong performance, maintaining capital allocation discipline and delivering significant shareholder returns, while strengthening the balance sheet, Rio said.

Stausholm is an experienced global executive, with 25 years in leadership roles in capital intensive and service industries across Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Prior to joining Rio, he was Group Chief Financial Officer and Strategy & Transformation Officer of A.P. Moeller – Maersk A/S.

Previously, he was Group Chief Financial Officer of the global facility services provider ISS A/S. Before that, he spent two decades with Royal Dutch Shell in numerous financial positions globally and as Chief Internal Auditor for the group.

Rio Tinto Chairman, Simon Thompson, said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jakob as Chief Executive of Rio Tinto. His blend of strategic and commercial expertise, strong values and a collaborative leadership style are the ideal qualities for our next chief executive.

“Jakob has already made a significant contribution to the performance of the group in his role as Chief Financial Officer. He has a proven track record as a senior executive with deep industrial and resources experience spanning strategy development and technology, as well as financial and risk management. He has also demonstrated the ability to build effective relationships and has a strong personal commitment to the role of business in promoting sustainable development.”

Stausholm said: “I am truly delighted and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this tremendous company. Since I joined two years ago, I have spent extensive time at our operations, meeting our excellent people and have also engaged with many of our valued partners.

“Rio Tinto’s purpose is to produce the materials essential to human progress and I remain deeply committed to this after the difficult times we have faced during 2020. I look forward to leading Rio Tinto and working with my colleagues across the business to ensure that we maintain strong safety, operational and financial performance, while progressing our growth, sustainability and technology strategies. I am also acutely aware of the need to restore trust with Traditional Owners and our other stakeholders, which I view as a key priority for the company.”

As a result of Stausholm’s appointment, Peter Cunningham will be appointed interim Chief Financial Officer of Rio Tinto, effective January 1. Cunningham was previously Group Controller for Rio Tinto and has held a number of senior finance and leadership roles across Rio Tinto in a career spanning 27 years with the company.

Given the effective date of Stausholm’s appointment, Jacques will step down from his role as an Executive Director and Chief Executive of Rio with effect from January 1 and will leave the group on March 31, 2021.

Thompson said: “I would like once again to acknowledge J-S’s strong leadership of Rio Tinto since 2016. He leaves the group in an exceptionally strong financial position, having delivered significant shareholder returns, sector-leading profitability and value creation, and an outstanding safety performance. J-S and the team have created a very solid foundation for future success.”