Archive | Iron Ore

Global mining panel looks to boost accountability after Brazil disaster – by Christian Plumb (Reuters U.S. – September 11, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Reuters) – New safety standards being drawn up by a global mining industry panel will include rules to better define management accountability after Vale SA’s (VALE3.SA) January tailings dam disaster, a top industry official said on Wednesday.

The governance standards would help ensure independent reviews of dams and adequate disclosure of risks, said Tom Butler, president of the International Council on Mining and Metals.

“The engineers know what they’re doing with these things but the implementation and the management and the change management, that all involves humans,” Butler told Reuters in an interview in Brazil. Continue Reading →

Billionaire Friedland Wins Rights to Iron Ore Project in Guinea – by Thomas Biesheuvel and Ougna Camara (Bloomberg News – September 6, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Billionaire mining investor Robert Friedland has won the rights to develop an iron ore deposit in Guinea that owners including BHP Group have left undeveloped for years.

Friedland has been in talks with BHP, Newmont Goldcorp Corp. and Orano for months to secure the right to develop the Nimba deposit on Guinea’s border with Liberia. Guinean president Alpha Conde attended a signing ceremony in the capital, Conakry, on Thursday to agree to Friedland’s High Power Exploration group buying 95% of the project.

While Guinea has some of the world’s richest iron ore deposits, including the fabled Simandou mine that Rio Tinto Group, Vale SA and billionaire Beny Steinmetz have fought over for years, it has never exported a ton. Continue Reading →

Talks on Guinea’s iron ore advance, BHP nears deal on Nimba-sources – by Saliou Samb and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – August 29, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

CONAKRY/LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Leading miner BHP is near a deal to divest its stake in Guinea’s Nimba iron ore deposit, while three big miners are vying to develop half of the country’s Simandou, the largest known untapped iron ore reserve, sources close to the talks said.

Guinea has struggled for decades to extract money from its iron ore, which has been left undeveloped because of protracted legal disputes and the cost of infrastructure.

BHP has also tried for years to sell its stake in the Nimba prospect, which does not fit the company’s preference for operating in stable, developed economies. Banking sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the price would be insignificant as BHP is keen to seal a deal. Continue Reading →

Spread between seaborne, port iron ore prices widens on shipment surge (Reuters U.K. – August 27, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

BEIJING (Reuters) – The spread between seaborne iron ore heading to China and iron ore at China’s ports has widened to the highest in at least two years, following an increase in shipments from Australia and Brazil as disrupted mines gradually come back on track.

The average for the month of August so far of the price difference between seaborne iron ore with 62% iron content and supplies at Chinese ports was $9.42 a tonne as of Monday, S&P Global Platts data showed. That is the highest monthly average spread since the price reporting agency began publishing iron ore prices for China’s ports in August 2017.

The widening spread between seaborne iron ore prices and port prices indicates that more cargoes are underway and mills are wary to make offers given the uncertainties in macro-economy, said four sources with knowledge of the market. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Iron ore’s balloon is popped, but prices may have deflated too much – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – August 22, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Iron ore’s bubble has burst in the last month with prices down by a third, but just as the market got ahead of itself during the rally it may also be overcooking the decline.

Benchmark 62% iron ore for delivery to China MT-IO-QIN62=ARG, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, ended at $83.75 a tonne on Wednesday, down 33% from its peak so far this year of $125.20 on July 3.

It’s also worth noting that the steel-making ingredient is now only just above the $75.50 a tonne close on Jan. 24, the day before a tailings dam disaster at a mine operated by Brazil’s Vale killed more than 200 people and upended the supply-demand balance. Continue Reading →

TÜV SÜD pulls out of dam safety checks after Brazil disaster – by Alexander Hübner (Reuters U.S. – August 19, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

MUNICH (Reuters) – Germany’s TÜV SÜD has pulled out of conducting safety assessments of dams after the collapse of a Brazilian dam it had vetted killed almost 250 people in January, the industrial inspection firm’s chief executive told Reuters.

The collapse of the tailings dam, which was operated by Brazilian mining company Vale SA, flooded the town of Brumadinho with mining waste water only four months after TÜV SÜD had vouched for the safety of the structure.

“So far nobody knows the cause of the accident. And we do not know in particular what happened between September 2018 and January 2019 – if, for example, heavy equipment was being operated nearby or if there had been detonations,” Axel Stepken said in an interview. Continue Reading →

A dam collapse in Brazil has some worried about PolyMet’s plans. Why the DNR says it won’t happen here – by Walker Orenstein (MinnPost.com – August 13, 2019)

https://www.minnpost.com/

In January, the tailings dam at a Brazilian iron ore mine collapsed, killing nearly 250 people. The wave of toxic waste and mud also wrecked two dozen buildings and polluted water for five miles.

In Minnesota, the disaster raised eyebrows among opponents of a copper-nickel mine planned near Hoyt Lakes. That’s because the design of the dam in Brumadinho was similar to one PolyMet Mining hopes to build. In fact, the Vale mining company had used a method to judge dam safety created by a PolyMet adviser.

And the tragedy in Brazil embodied the worst fears of some Minnesota environmental activists and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, who warn PolyMet could pollute the St. Louis River. Continue Reading →

Geneva prosecutors indict billionaire Steinmetz in Guinea corruption case (Reuters U.S. – August 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

GENEVA (Reuters) – A Swiss prosecutor said on Monday he was seeking prison terms for Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and two associates over the alleged payment of bribes linked to the allocation of mining licences in Guinea between 2005 and 2010.

Geneva prosecutor Claudio Mascotto said in a statement the three were accused of “having promised in 2005 and then paid or had bribes paid to one of the wives of former Guinean President Lansana Conte” so as to have mining rights in Guinea’s Simandou region allocated to Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR).

BSGR walked away from Guinea’s massive Simandou iron ore project as part of a settlement announced in February which ended a long-running dispute with the West African nation, the company and Guinea’s government said at the time. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Vale dam disasters trigger $2 billion in fresh writedowns – by Christian Plumb (Reuters U.S. – July 31, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale SA (VALE3.SA) on Wednesday said it swung to a quarterly loss as the company announced more than $2 billion in fresh writedowns related to two deadly dam bursts suffered by the company over a period of less than four years.

In late January, the collapse of a Vale tailings dam storing muddy mining waste near the town of Brumadinho killed nearly 250 people, less than four years after a deadly disaster at the company’s Samarco joint venture with BHP Group (BHP.AX).

The world’s largest iron ore exporter has since been grappling with the fallout, which has forced it to shake up its board, replace its CEO and made it the target of various criminal and regulatory probes. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Stumble Came Just as Prices Surged – by David Stringer, Rebecca Keenan and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – August 1, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Rio Tinto Group didn’t get the full benefits of the dramatic iron ore rally after missteps at key operations in Australia meant the No. 2 producer couldn’t extract its best ore when it was most needed.

Rio was forced to cut production at its flagship Pilbara operations in Western Australia earlier this year after falling behind with mine plans. Essentially, the company was producing too much lower-quality iron ore, forcing it to mine less rather than selling a sub-standard product to customers in China.

“We couldn’t access the right ore at the right time,” Rio Chief Executive Officer Jean-Sebastien Jacques told reporters on a conference call. “It is not acceptable.” Continue Reading →

Anglo Plans $1 Billion Buyback After Bumper Iron Ore Profit – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – July 25, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Anglo American Plc plans to buy back up to $1 billion of shares after the diversified miner reaped bumper profits from its iron ore business, more than offsetting declines in diamond and copper.

Anglo is the first to report earnings among the handful of giant miners that produce iron ore and investors have been preparing for big windfalls. The steelmaking ingredient surged to the highest in more than five years after a deadly Brazilian dam collapse and operational setbacks in Australian caused a supply shock.

The buyback represents a shift for Anglo, which has been focused on repairing its bruised balance sheet and investing in growth while the world’s biggest producers handed massive amounts of money back to shareholders in recent years. The company’s net debt stands at $3.4 billion. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto to take iron ore crown as Vale struggles – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – July 23, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Rio Tinto is on track to become the world’s biggest iron ore exporter in 2019 after trouble-prone Brazilian miner Vale revealed weaker-than-expected exports over the past three months.

The surprisingly weak performance from Vale came as African iron ore miner Kumba joined the industry trend for reduced export targets, and as Vale reiterated that it could be three years before it resumed shipping at full speed.

Vale was always expected to ship less iron ore this year after the catastrophic dam failures in January that killed hundreds of people and forced the company to halt about 90 million tonnes of annual production capacity. Continue Reading →

BHP makes $400 million climate-change emissions pledge – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – July 23, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Leading resources company BHP (BHP.AX)(BHPB.L) will invest $400 million over five years to reduce emissions, it said on Tuesday, becoming the first miner to pledge to tackle pollution caused when customers use its products.

BHP is the world’s biggest listed miner and biggest coking coal producer. Combined with iron ore, also mined by BHP, coking coal is used to make steel, producing millions of tonnes of CO2.

CEO Andrew Mackenzie said BHP would develop technology to curb emissions both inside and outside the company. From next year it will set a medium-term, science-based decarbonisation target, he said in a speech at an event organised by the Financial Times. Continue Reading →

[Ontario Mining History] The noise, the glow, the rush of sparks – by Susanna McLeod (Kingston Whig Standard – July 19, 2019)

https://www.thewhig.com/

An ocean away, discussions about iron mining and processing in Upper Canada progressed. Kingston’s Royal Naval Dockyards needed a local supply of iron to augment security after the War of 1812. Initial negotiations with a local merchant in 1816 fell through, but Charles Hayes in Ireland was interested.

Before Hayes came to Ontario, he had been in touch with Maj. George Hillier, civil secretary to governor general Peregrine Maitland. Delaying his voyage until a determination on timber duties was reached, Hayes and his wife sailed for North America in autumn 1820.

“Upon his arrival he went to York [Toronto] to petition the governor for land on which to establish his works,” wrote Rita Michael in “Ironworking in Upper Canada: Charles Hayes and the Marmora Works” (Report to Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1982). Continue Reading →

BHP Eyes 11 New Iron Ore Mines Over the Next 50 to 100 Years – by Rebecca Keenan (Bloomberg News – July 11, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

BHP Group, the world’s largest mining company, says it could build up to 11 more iron ore mines over the next 50 to 100 years in the mineral-rich Pilbara region of northern Australia.

The Melbourne-based miner has signed an agreement with Western Australia’s government to streamline environmental approvals for its long-term iron ore plan. Approval time frames for new mines could be cut by up to 50%.

BHP and rivals are benefiting from a booming iron ore market amid strong Chinese demand and supply disruptions from Brazil to Australia. Prices have skyrocketed 65 percent this year, hitting the highest level in more than five years. Benchmark spot ore prices last traded at $119.50, according to Mysteel Global. Continue Reading →