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The newly forged iron ore-to-copper empire Glencore Xstrata was forced to slash the value of its assets by $8.5bn (£5.4bn) in the first set of results since the merger that created it.

Falling prices and high costs hit BHP Billiton's profits

BHP Billiton, the world's biggestmining company, saw profits fall by 57 per cent in the six months to December, as falling commodity prices and high operational costs took their toll.

The Week Ahead: Commodities slide puts BHP Billiton in a hole

It was a monumental week for the big miners as Rio Tinto sold assets, it admitted that it may have to turn to shareholders for extra capital, and talks emerged over a multi-billion investment by Chinalco, while Xstrata said it was to raise £4.1bn in a heavily discounted issue. This was against a background of weaker commodity prices which saw the sector drag down the FTSE 100 at the end of the week.

Is Argus set to tunnel his way out of mining giant BHP Billiton?

Speculation is rife that Don Argus, the long-time chairman of mining giant BHP Billiton, could announce his departure as early as this week.

Rio mulls rights issue to pay down $10bn debt

Mining giant aims to slice a quarter off its $40bn debt and still considers job cuts

Rio struggles to sell assets to cut debt burden

Rio Tinto, the miner struggling with a $40 bn debt mountain of which about a quarter is due to be paid back in October, has shortlisted companies including buyout firms Apollo and Bain to buy its borates and talc business, which it is trying to sell for as much as $1 bn. The firms are among five on the list, including one more buyout firm, a Chinese bidder and a European company, which are undertaking due diligence and plan to make firm bids for the unit at the end of February, said sources familiar with the matter. The sale of its talc and borates business is one of several auctions the company is conducting. The London and Sydney-based miner put its engineered products and packaging units up for sale early last year. But neither has yet been sold as both processes have stalled.

Jeremy Warner: Unfinished business at Rio for Skinner

Outlook The oil giant BP has spent months wooing Paul Skinner to take over from Peter Sutherland as chairman, and finally it seems to have bagged its man, with news yesterday that Mr Skinner will be quitting as chairman of Rio Tinto in April. With an accomplished history in the oil industry, albeit with BP's big rival Shell, Mr Skinner ought to fit the position hand in glove. Yet first, he must deal with a little unfinished business.

Rio Tinto boss steps down amid talk of move to BP

Paul Skinner, the chairman of the mining group Rio Tinto, is to step down amid speculation that he is set to take the same role at the oil giant BP.

Market update - 30 December

The London market continued to rally this morning, with the FTSE 100 rising to 4352.12, up 32.77 points, and the FTSE 250 advancing by 34.55 points to 6385.11 at 11:35 am. Volumes dwindled, however, with a mere 253 million shares changing hands in early trading.

Banking giants hit by M&A collapse

Investment bankers working on mergers and acquisitions, must be hoping the restructurings and forced disposals anticipated next year come on tap soon after a one-third fall in M&A in 2008.

The Market in 2008: Year of turmoil brought City grandees low

With two and a half trading days to go before Christmas, this week, instead of looking ahead, we are peering over our shoulders to work out who fared the best and was left behind in the London market in 2008.

Market update - 15 December

The FTSE 100 was up 32.17 points at 4312.52 while the FTSE 250 climbed to 6233.08, up 60.1 points, at 11.49am.

Rio Tinto to cut 14,000 jobs in the face of $40bn debt

Rio Tinto is cutting 14,000 jobs and slicing more than $5bn (£3.4bn) out of its capital expenditure plans for next year as plunging commodities prices and a collapsing share price raise rumours of a rights issue.

Jeremy Warner: Rio Tinto hunkers down

Outlook It seems like only yesterday that the mining finance houses were still riding the crest of the wave, with booming demand, commodity prices at record levels, deal making galore and talk of a twenty year "supercycle". And indeed it was virtually. In little more than six months, the industry's dreams have turned to dust, and share prices with them.

Market update - 10 December

The FTSE 100 was up 8.11 points at 4389.37 while the FTSE climbed to 6251.08, up 99.45 points, at noon.

Rio Tinto to axe 14,000 jobs

Mining giant Rio Tinto said today it planned to axe 14,000 jobs as part of its response to weakening global demand.

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