Revised plan for mining Mary River iron – by Rose Ragsdale (North of 60 Mining News – June 2, 2023)

Six months after the Canadian government rejected a plan to double approved output from the Mary River iron mine on Nunavut’s Baffin Island, the mine’s operator, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., is working to get the green light to move ahead with a different proposal.

The new plan, which the company calls a “Sustaining Operations Proposal,” surfaced in December, about a month after federal Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal rejected the earlier plan Nov. 16 to expand operations and double approved shipping output from the mine to 12 million metric tons of iron ore annually.

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Top Stock Fund Wagers BHP, Rio Tinto Will Weather Iron-Ore Slump – by Georgina McKay (Bloomberg News – May 17, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — A top equities fund manager is backing BHP Group Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd., betting they can withstand softer iron-ore prices and will benefit as China’s reopening boosts demand for the commodity.

Australian producers are attractive as they have relatively low operating costs and high exposure to the mainland, the world’s largest consumer of the steel-making ingredient, according to David Wilson, who oversees the equivalent of $5.3 billion at Australia-focused First Sentier Wholesale Geared Share Fund. The fund has returned 10% this year, beating more than 90% of its peers.

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Inside the mines and megamachines of the Iron Range – by Eric Roper (Star Tribune – May 12, 2023)

A family’s question about large machines resulted in a Curious Minnesota field trip to the mighty Mesabi, a place that has fueled America’s success story.

KEEWATIN — The deep pits of the Iron Range feel quite otherworldly in a state known for its flat topography. Here, trucks the size of houses traverse vast canyons that have been carved away over decades by explosives and excavators. It is a constantly evolving landscape.

The Munson family of St. Louis Park asked Curious Minnesota, the Star Tribune’s reader-fueled reporting project, to find the state’s largest machine — inspired by 9-year-old Julien’s new Transformers toy. Our hunt for answers in January revealed many candidates in the iron mines of northern Minnesota.

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Why magnetite matters more to Fortescue in the green iron era – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – May 7, 2023)

Andrew Forrest gave a big green tick to Fortescue producing a high-grade magnetite at Iron Bridge.

Andrew Forrest says there’s a graveyard somewhere full of failed magnetite projects, but his will be different. Fortescue Metals Group’s Iron Bridge magnetite mine reached a first production milestone last week after surviving its own near-death experience in early 2021. The Fortescue founder and chairman breathed a great sigh of relief on May 1 when Iron Bridge started churning out magnetite with an iron content greater than 68 per cent.

It has taken other projects years to achieve target grades and some have never got there. The breakthrough for Fortescue comes at a time when high-grade product from the iron ore industry is seen as the quickest path to greener iron and therefore greener steel. And in a green iron world, magnetite projects make more sense than they did in the past.

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Baffinland requests further production increase at Nunavut iron ore mine (Canadian Press/CTV News – April 25, 2023)

POND INLET, NUNAVUT – The owner of an iron ore mine on the tip of Baffin Island says it needs to again increase production to prevent job losses, and several federal cabinet ministers are calling on a Nunavut environmental assessment agency to prioritize the request.

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. wants to increase the amount of ore it’s allowed to truck and ship from its Mary River mine to six-million tonnes, from 4.2 million, for both 2023 and 2024. It says the increase is needed to ensure a stable supply of iron ore to customers and that if it’s not granted, it will have to scale back operations, including reducing employment.

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Remembering Attilio. He was good for a blast (Soo Today – April 16, 2023)

Attilio Berdusco was recognized for engineering a mammoth pillar blast in the Helen Mine in 1955 and he was a pillar of his community

Some men gain recognition for building their communities. Some get notoriety from destroying things. Attilio Berdusco got to do both; in the best possible way. Attilio (or Tillio as he was often called), was born in the Sault in 1929 to Reno and Pauline Berdusco and was the oldest of eight children.

The family lived at the Parkhill Mine until 1939. When the gold mines closed, Tillio’s father then sought work at the Sinter Plant in Wawa while his mother ran a general store at the corner of Broadway and Laurier in Wawa. Attilio’s name appears in the Sault Star regularly in childhood as he excelled at both sports and academics.

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Vale to Turn Amazon Mining Waste Into High-Grade Iron Ore to Feed Steelmaking – by Mariana Durao (Bloomberg News – March 2, 2023)

Bloomberg) — Metals producer Vale SA is turning 37 years worth of mining waste at an iron ore complex in the Amazon into high-quality material to be used in steel production.

The company has started extracting scrap that had been dumped at a tailings dam at Carajas in northern Brazil since 1985 as part of a project at its largest iron ore operation.

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Commodity markets brace for return of China environmental crackdowns – by Alex Gluyas (Australian Financial Review – February 28, 2023)

Signs that China is re-focusing its attention on environmental regulation have injected fresh volatility into commodity markets, as traders position for the potential return of intermittent crackdowns amid the economy’s reopening.

Ore-processing operations in China’s top lithium production hub, Yichun, were ordered to halt output as investigators probed alleged environmental infringements at lithium mines, Bloomberg reported.

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Iron ore remains the Pilbara’s sturdy trunk, but greener roots are starting to emerge – by Mark Foreman (Australian Broadcasting Corp. – February 18, 2023)

Iron ore looks set to continue its surge in 2023 but the rise of green energy is creating massive opportunities for the Pilbara. Rare earth minerals, lithium, wind and solar are just some of the emerging commodities setting the pace in one of WA’s most productive regions.

Pilbara Development Commission chief executive Terry Hill said the changing landscape was exciting for the region. “One of the really significant changes in the region of the last few years is the diversification in the range of exploration and mineral projects,” Mr Hill said. “One of the ones that is going to come through really strongly this year, and will be at the forefront of growth for the next few years is green energy.”

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Why a Swedish town is on the move – one building at a time – by Jennifer Rankin (The Guardian – February 5, 2023)

In the far north of Sweden, 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, sits the church of Kiruna, once voted the most beautiful old building in the country. The cosy terracotta-coloured church, with its fairytale rooftop points, is designed to resemble a hut of the indigenous Sami people.

It opened in 1912, with almost no religious symbols, and is described by the vicar, Lena Tjärnberg, as “the living room of the community”. But if Kiruna church is to stay the same, it must go.

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Chile Rejects $2.5 Billion Mine Project on Environmental Risks in Snub to Business – by Matthew Malinowski (Bloomberg News – January 18, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — Chile’s government rejected a $2.5 billion iron-ore project near a nature reserve in the north of the country on concern it would endanger local species, a victory for President Gabriel Boric’s green agenda that has business groups fuming.

A committee of government ministers on Wednesday voted unanimously against Andes Iron’s Dominga project, Environment Minister Maisa Rojas told a press conference, citing the “unique ecological value” of the area. Andes Iron, owned by the local Delano and Garces families, said it would appeal the decision in environmental tribunals.

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COMMENTARY: Hope for the Iron Range economy, but we must put the past behind us – by Aaron Brown (Minnesota Reformer – January 9, 2023)


At the hunting shack this year, my grandfather Ward Brown, Jr., told how a high school friend saved him from getting beat up by a Chisholm gang back around 1952. Not long after, this friend lay dead in the wreck of his restored ’32 Chevy on the road between Side Lake and Hibbing.

No “Leave It To Beaver” utopia here; the 1950s were wild on northern Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, wild because it seemed like it was all coming to an end. This happened more than 70 years ago. But it’s not just grandpa’s friend who’s gone, it’s also the road where he died.

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China looks to Guinea’s vast Simandou iron ore mine to secure supply – by Jevans Nyabiage (South China Morning Post – January 8, 2023)

China is making a bigger bet on the huge Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea, which it sees as crucial as it tries to reduce reliance on Australian ore amid geopolitical tensions.

The mine – located in the Simandou mountain range of southern Guinea’s Nzérékoré region – is said to have the world’s largest untapped iron ore reserve of high quality, with an estimated 2.4 billion tonnes. The deposits have drawn Chinese multinationals including China Baowu Steel Group, the country’s largest iron and steel producer.

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$18b cash pile lets Rinehart play both sides of energy transition – by James Thomson (Australian Financial Review – December 5, 2022)

The iron ore queen’s kingdom is getting broader by the day, spanning fossil fuels as well as future-facing commodities.

Buried within the bidder’s statement lodged by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting as part of its tilt at Perth Basin gas group Warrego Energy is a remarkable indication of her financial firepower.

The deal, Hancock Prospecting says, will be funded by existing cash reserves. At June 30, cash and cash equivalents sat at a remarkable $17.755 billion – even after paying $4.6 billion of dividends from 2021-22’s $5.8 billion profit.

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Ottawa sends clear message on environment and Indigenous rights by rejecting Baffinland’s iron ore expansion plans in Arctic – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 17, 2022)

The federal government has blocked Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s plans for a massive production increase in Nunavut, sending a strong message to the mining industry that any future large resource development in the Far North must be offset by sufficient environmental damage mitigation and proper consultation with the Inuit.

Baffinland, based in Oakville, Ont., had hoped to double its production of iron ore at its Baffin Island mine in Nunavut to 12 million tonnes a year, from six million tonnes.

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