This Morning in Metals: Copper price rally continues

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copper mine

Gary Whitton/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: the copper price rally is going strong; meanwhile, Rio Tinto released its 2020 Annual Report; and, finally, Norilsk Nickel reported a fatal accident at one of its facilities.

Copper price rally

After a January lull, the copper price rally has resumed in February.

The LME three-month copper price closed Friday at $8,763 per metric ton, up 9.3% from the previous month.

Before the copper price rally, the price dropped to $7,748 per metric ton Feb. 2.

Meanwhile, Stuart Burns delved into the copper price rally earlier today.

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Rio Tinto releases 2020 Annual Report

Miner Rio Tinto released its annual report and Sustainability Fact Book today.

“Our strong performance during 2020 was overshadowed by the destruction of the ancient rock shelters in the Juukan Gorge and I reiterate our unreserved apology to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people,” Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson said. “We fell far short of our values as a company and breached the trust placed in us. It is our responsibility to ensure that the destruction of a site of such exceptional cultural significance never happens again.”

In the 390-page report, the miner reported net earnings of $9.8 billion in 2020, up from $8.0 billion in 2019.

Furthermore, underlying EBITDA from its iron ore segment jumped from $16.1 billion in 2019 to $18.8 billion in 2020.

Meanwhile, on climate, the miner aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“Our 2030 greenhouse gas targets are to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and our absolute emissions by 15%, compared with our 2018 equity baseline,” Rio Tinto said. “These targets are consistent with a 45% reduction in absolute emissions relative to 2010 levels and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) pathways to 1.5°C.”

In addition, Rio Tinto said it intends to invest $1 billion to enhance its “climate resilience” over the next five years.

Norilsk Nickel reports fatal accident

Russia’s Norilsk Nickel reported an accident over the weekend at its Norilsk Concentrator left three dead and five others injured.

“Nornickel is investigating the causes of the incident,” the company said in a release. “According to preliminary information, the accident was due to gross violations of safety rules by the management of Norilsk Concentrator. The general director of the Norilsk Concentrator has been dismissed from his position.”

In addition, the Norilsk Concentrator will continue operating at reduced capacity.

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