Archive | Iron Ore

BHP to meet iron ore commitments despite train derailment: CEO – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – November 8, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Billiton will meet its iron ore commitments to customers despite a supply disruption after it had to derail a runaway ore train in Western Australia, Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said on Thursday.

The miner suspended its rail operations after the incident on Monday that wrecked track and left a locomotive and wagons upturned nearly 120 km (75 miles) south of Australia’s iron ore export hub of Port Hedland.

Asked whether BHP would invoke force majeure, Mackenzie told media after the company’s annual general meeting in South Australia that he did not expect the miner would let down any of its customers. Continue Reading →

BHP Billiton facing £5bn lawsuit from Brazilian victims of dam disaster – by Jonathan Watts (The Guardian – November 6, 2018)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Action launched in Liverpool against Anglo-Australian mining company after 2015 tragedy that killed 19 people

The worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history has triggered one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in a British court.

The Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton is being sued for about £5bn by Brazilian victims of the Samarco dam collapse in Mariana three years ago.

The class action case was filed in the Liverpool high court on Monday by the UK-based SPG Law on behalf of 240,000 individuals, 24 municipal governments, 11,000 businesses, a Catholic archdiocese and the Krenak indigenous community. Continue Reading →

Brazilian Official: Mining Projects Are ‘National Priorities’ – by Neils Christensen (Kitco News – November 5, 2018)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) – While the world continues to react to the election of Brazilian populist president Jair Bolsonaro, some government officials don’t expect this to have much impact on the nation’s plan to develop its national resource.

In an exclusive interview with Kitco News ahead of the October runoff election, Pedro Bruno Barros De Souza, secretary of public policy coordination, said that the government’s Investment Partnership Program (IPP) is bigger than any one political leader. He added that the government, no matter who is in charge, is committed to developing the nation’s natural resources responsibly.

“Brazil has a lot of mineral potential and there are many opportunities for investors and companies who want to work with the government to develop those resources,” he said. “The Brazilian government has been working diligently on its governance to create a stable legal, regulatory framework, so investors will find a positive business environment.” Continue Reading →

BHP derails 268-car Pilbara iron ore train which travelled 92km without driver – by Peter Milne (The West Australian – November 5, 2018)

https://thewest.com.au/

BHP deliberately derailed a runaway Pilbara iron train carrying 268 wagons early today after it travelled 92km across the Pilbara without a driver. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said about 4am the driver of a loaded ore train travelling from Newman to Port Hedland alighted to inspect a wagon.

The bureau said the train, consisting of four locomotives and 268 wagons, started to run away without the driver and with no one on board, travelling for 92km. BHP then stopped the train by deliberately derailing it at a set of points about 120 km from Port Hedland.

A BHP spokeswoman said no one was injured and the Pilbara miner has suspended all train operations. “We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation,” she said. Continue Reading →

China iron ore has worst week since May as demand stutters – by Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – November 2, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s iron ore prices fell for a fourth day on Friday amid expectations that the oncoming winter season will see reduced demand for the steelmaking raw material and as Sino-U.S. trade tensions eased.

The most traded iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for January delivery, tumbled as much as 4.8 percent to a three-week low of 501.50 yuan ($72.76) a tonne in its biggest intra-day dip since June 19.

The contract closed down 3.5 percent at 508.50 yuan, notching a 4 percent loss for the week, its biggest weekly drop since the week ended May 25. Continue Reading →

Breakingviews – China’s Guinea snub sends bearish iron ore signal – by Clara Ferreira-Marques (Reuters U.K. – October 29, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

SINGAPORE (Reuters Breakingviews) – A rare mining snub from China sends a bearish signal on iron ore. State-run giant Chinalco has stepped back from a 2016 deal to take control of the $23 billion-plus Simandou project in Guinea from partner Rio Tinto.

That’s a headache for the Anglo-Australian heavyweight and a blow to West Africa’s mining ambitions. It’s also a hint that even Beijing sees cooler long-term demand ahead for the steel ingredient.

Simandou is perhaps the world’s largest untapped deposit of iron ore. Rio’s portion alone could potentially satisfy nearly 10 percent of Chinese import demand, and it is top-quality material to boot. But it is also the most troubled. The Guinean government confiscated part of the reserve in 2008. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-China’s winter pollution cuts may boost high-grade iron ore – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – October 22, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Oct 22 (Reuters) – With China’s anti-pollution restrictions starting to take effect, one of the conventional market wisdoms is that this will boost demand for high-grade iron ore.

The logic is sound: If steel mills are restricted as to how much they can pollute, they will use the best possible quality iron ore in order to maximise the amount of steel produced relative to the energy consumed.

This means that ore with an iron content of 62 percent or higher should command a greater period during the winter restriction period than those poorer quality grades, such as 58 percent ore. Continue Reading →

Mining is a small part of Minnesota’s economy. So why is it such a big political issue? – by Greta Kaul (Minn Post.com – October 17, 2018)

https://www.minnpost.com/

Visit Iron Range towns like Babbitt, Hibbing, Virginia and Eveleth, Minnesota this election season and it’s not just signs supporting candidates that decorate lawns and businesses.

Signs with slogans like “We Support Mining” are pretty much permanent fixtures in this part of the state, where mining has been an important pillar of the economy for well over a century.

The signs may be numerous, but the number of people actually employed in mining in Minnesota isn’t: Mining is directly responsible for about 0.2 percent of Minnesota’s jobs and less than 3 percent of its economic output, according to state data. Continue Reading →

Brazilian miner Vale will not chase big acquisitions – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – October 16, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

Brazilian mining company Vale will deploy its cash wisely and “does not need” to chase big acquisitions because it has a big opportunity to grow organically in nickel.

Speaking at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, Vale chief executive Fabio Schvartsman said big dealmaking “adventures” were not on his agenda and any acquisitions would be small bolt on deals, probably in iron ore.

“We don’t need to do it given the potential of our nickel business,” he said. Although Vale is best known for its huge iron ore business, it is also the world’s biggest producer of nickel, a metal that will be needed in greater quantities as electric vehicles go mainstream. Continue Reading →

Aussie iron miners struggle to keep pace with Vale – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – October 16, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

Australian iron ore miners have struggled to keep pace with Brazilian miner Vale, with BHP and Fortescue expected to follow in Rio Tinto’s footsteps by reporting softer exports of the steelmaking ingredient in recent months.

Rio confirmed on Tuesday that maintenance disruptions and the death of an employee had contributed to weaker than expected iron ore exports in the three months to September 30, and data from Port Hedland suggests its tenants (BHP, Fortescue, Roy Hill, Mineral Resources and Atlas Iron) exported six per cent less iron ore in the period compared to the previous quarter.

BHP is scheduled to confirm its iron ore exports on Wednesday morning, with RBC predicting its Australian division shipped 72 million tonnes in the three months to September 30. Continue Reading →

Looking up, up north: The territories reap tangible and intangible benefits from their biggest industry – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 5, 2018)

http://resourceclips.com/

Nunavut’s environmental review said no to a mining proposal but Ottawa said yes. What happened? Hoping to finally make a profit at its four-year-old Mary River operation, Baffinland Iron Mines asked permission to boost production from 4.2 million tonnes annually to six million tonnes.

Worried about possible environmental effects, the Nunavut Impact Review Board recommended in late August that the federal government reject the proposal. But it was the NIRB recommendation that got rejected. Five cabinet ministers approved the mine’s request, for the time being anyway.

Swaying the decision was the support of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, whose members “strongly support the Production Increase Proposal as a method of furthering Inuit aspirations in the region,” Ottawa stated. Support also came from Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq, who urged a swift decision in favour. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Brazil’s Vale third-quarter iron ore output hits all-time high (Reuters U.S. – October 15, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Iron ore output at Brazilian miner Vale SA, the world’s largest iron ore producer, reached a record in the third quarter, boosted by the ramp-up of its S11D project in the Amazonian state of Pará.

In a securities filing on Monday, Vale said iron ore output jumped 10.3 percent from the year before to 104.945 million tonnes, while pellet output rose 8.7 percent to 13.878 million tonnes. Ore sales also touched a new high at 84.0 million tonnes. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-China’s winter anti-pollution shift may be good or bad for iron ore – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – October 5, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Unlike the turbulence being experienced by many other commodities, iron ore prices have snoozed through the past seven months, staying locked in a narrow range. A shift in China’s winter pollution abatement strategy could cause iron ore prices to awaken, but it’s far from clear as to which way they may break.

China’s Ministry of Environment and Ecology issued its anti-pollution plan last week, allowing local authorities to adopt measures based on regional emissions levels rather than imposing blanket output curbs on heavy industry.

At first this was seen by the market as a loosening of strict air quality rules, the result being that heavy industries such as steelmaking wouldn’t face output curbs as severe as they did last winter. Continue Reading →

Top Iron Ore Shipper Warns China Is at ‘Peak Steel’ – by Krystal Chia (Bloomberg News – October 2, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The world’s largest steel market is about to go into reverse. Production in China will peak in 2018 and then shrink next year as local demand drops, according to forecasts from the Australian government, which says the shift will add to headwinds for core ingredient iron ore.

Mainland steel production is “forecast to peak in 2018,” the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science said in a quarterly report on Tuesday. After topping out at 886 million metric tons, output is expected to drop to 861 million tons in 2019 and hit 842 million in 2020, the department said. Over the same time frame, local demand is seen contracting by 34 million tons.

China accounts for half global steel output, and trends in its mammoth industry shape the worldwide market. This year, the sector has boomed with local mills — the largest buyers of seaborne iron ore — making record volumes as Beijing’s drive to curb overcapacity and fight pollution aids margins. Continue Reading →

New mining pit in Labrador west extends IOC’s mine operations 50 years (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – September 25, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/

The Moss Pit has officially opened at the Iron Ore Company of Canada’s Labrador City mine. IOC says the $79-million investment is not a massive hole in the ground yet, but as it is scooped out it will allow the company to speed up production and extend the life of the mine by about 50 years — and at a reduced operating cost.

“It’s been a long time coming. A little over five years,” said Clayton Walker, president and CEO of Iron Ore Company of Canada. Walker said it’s the right time to invest, feeling that support is in place from stakeholders, government, employees, local unions and there’s confidence in the market.

“I’ve been really pleased with how everyone has come back, we got back to work, everyone’s working hard,” he said, referencing the labour-management dispute which started at the mine last winter and stretched into spring. Continue Reading →