Through Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire investor Warren Buffettâ€™s acquisitions have included Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $26 billion in 2009 and Lubrzol Corp. for $9 billion just this month.
Now Buffett is looking for more big companies to buy with $38 billion in Berkshire Hathaway mad money, according to a Reuters story this week. Buffet serves as chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate holding company that manages numerous subsidiary companies.
â€œIn Berkshireâ€™s annual report, Buffett said he is on the lookout for possible acquisitions â€” making references to going big-game hunting with an elephant gun,â€ the story said.
By the end off the year, that Berkshire Hathaway cash cache will grow to more than $50 billion, Reuters said.
So what does this have to do with Cliffs Natural Resources?
Cliffs made a list of companies, compiled by Reuters, that met Buffettâ€™s usual criteria for acquisition:
â€”Itâ€™s a growth industry.
â€”Itâ€™s an industry leader with a strong balance sheet.
â€”It has a history of profitability.
â€”It has little debt.
â€”Itâ€™s available on the cheap.
Other companies that made the list include Rolls-Royce Group, ITW, Eaton and AkzoNobel. One informed source quoted in the story believes a Buffett acquisition bigger than Burlington Northern is coming this year.
The Essar Steel plant in Nashwauk will receive a $1.4 million grant to bring water and sewer service to the site.
The grant from the Economic Development Administration will help lay the foundation for the new slab steel mill that is estimated to create up to 2,000 construction jobs and cost $1.6 billion, according to a news release from Rep. Jim Oberstar.
Mining deaths fell to an all-time low in 2009, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Adminstration.
Deaths at metal and nonmetal mine deaths registered at 16 and coal mines had 18 deaths. A total of 34 people lost their lives in 2009, a drop from 52 last year.
This stat is somewhat misleading, for instance, because most of the Iron Range’s mines sat idle 2009. I’m sure there were similar cases across the U.S.
“This decline in numbers is a testament to the commitment of miners, mine operators, MSHA, the Department of Labor and other members of the mining community in making safety and health our top concern,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “At the same time, we are ever mindful that these numbers represent a tragic loss to the families and friends of the 34 victims. We will not rest until we reach zero fatalities in mining.”
According to Main, a key factor contributing to the record low number of deaths include enforcement of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (which succeeded the 1969 Mine Act) and continued implementation of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act, enacted by Congress in 2006.
In 2009, MSHA assessed 173,000 civil penalties for violations of mine safety and health legal requirements. The dollar amount of assessed penalties totaled $140.7 million in 2009. Twenty-five flagrant violations were assessed at a total of $3.4 million.
Canadian press is reporting frenzied interest in Duluth Metals after an updated estimate of higher grade areas the company hopes to mine in Northeastern Minnesota suggested greater payback of capital investment.
With company officials touting the Nokomis property in Northeastern Minnesota as “one of the largest valuable mineral assets in the world,” its stock shot up nearly 70 percent on Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.
Shares trading was described as frenzied with nearly 7,900,000 shares trading hands, and Duluth Metals stock closing at $1.79, up 73 cents, the Free Press reported.
Duluth Metal is seeking to develop an underground mine near Ely to harvest mineral deposits of copper, nickel, palladium and other precious metals. Company officials have said test drilling has indicated the deposits are more than 20 percent greater than previously thought.