Daily Archives: November 20, 2009

William MacNamara

On Energy Source:

Rio Tinto and Codelco’s pragmatic cooperation


Chinese refiners agree 12 per cent rise in Saudi oil imports, topping 1m barrels per day (Reuters)

Duke’s Jim Rogers slags off coal, reiterates support for nuclear (WSJ)

Entertaining review of the Chevy Volt hybrid (NY Times)

Oil prices fall for a second day (Bloomberg)

Green Londoners can recharge their electric cars at Sainsbury’s (Treehugger)

Scotland turns on wave energy device (BBC)

William MacNamara

A technology agreement between Rio Tinto and Codelco – two of the world’s biggest copper mining companies – raises the prospect that large resource companies might pool tech R&D, jointly funding and jointly benefiting from new ways of uncovering more geologically difficult deposits.

Rio and Codelco’s “Rio de Cobre” alliance, announced last week, allows both companies absolute rights to ‘peer over the fence’ at each other’s copper-extracting technologies, said John McGagh, head of innovation at Rio, when talking to the FT yesterday. Rio has a greater expertise in surface mining technology. Codelco, experienced in Chile’s mature mines, has unrivalled expertise in underground copper mining. It is expertise Rio can use if it is to go underground at new projects like Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia.

The idea would have been unheard-of not long ago, with proprietary mining technology a target more for industrial espionage than cooperation. After all, these are two of the world’s biggest companies and both have large R&D and tech budgets. The idea made sense, said Mr McGagh, because of the increasing complexity of prospective mineral deposits and the clear advantage of extracting metal as soon as possible from these complex deposits.

James Fontanella-Khan

Lex: Commodity prices
In spite of analysts’ buy calls, oil, copper and cotton price halved (FT)

CNPC, Sudan sign oil refining agreement
China’s largest oil company to expand a refinery in Khartoum and swap assets (Bloomberg)

CIC buys 20% stake in solar operator
Chinese group bought GCL-Poly Energ for $705 (FT)

Russia’s Putin says Ukraine gas deals ensure supplies
Neighbours on freindlier terms (Reuters)

Statoil says US drops bribery probe into Iran case
Horton case brought down previous Statoil executives (Reuters)

New California rules to make TVs greener
State sets US first energy-efficiency standard for TVs (WSJ)

Regal’s fine puts focus on Aim regulation
Spotlight on to London’s junior stock market (FT)

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