Archive | Iron Ore

COLUMN-Iron ore defies coronavirus gloom with bullish supply, demand narrative – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – May 26, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 26 (Reuters) – Iron ore is continuing to defy the global economic gloom, with both futures in China and the spot price surging to the highest this year, showing how the steel-making ingredient is benefiting from a cocktail of supply concerns and demand hopes.

The Dalian Commodity Exchange’s most-active contract , for September delivery, ended at 723 yuan ($101.40) a tonne on May 22, up 25.2% since the start of the year in local currency terms.

The spot price for benchmark 62% iron ore delivered to China MT-IO-QIN62=ARG, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, ended at $97.30 a tonne on May 22, down slightly from the previous day’s close of $97.85, which was the highest price in eight months. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Coronavirus Crisis Disrupts Iron-Ore Market; Prices Surge – by Joe Wallace (Wall Street Journal – May 20, 2020)

https://www.wsj.com/

Brazil’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has disrupted global supplies of iron ore just as demand from China is revving up, pushing the price of the steel ingredient to a seven-month high.

Iron ore is one of the most heavily traded commodities and can influence the price of materials used in everything from buildings to cars. Front-month futures for ore with 62% iron content jumped 10% to nearly ¥759 ($107) a metric ton Wednesday on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange. That is their highest closing price since October 2019.

Prices have risen 20% since early April, driven by squeezed supplies from Brazil, which dominates the iron-ore mining industry along with Australia. The rally is also an indication that China’s economy is gathering momentum, after a downturn at the start of the year when swaths of the country went into lockdown to stop the coronavirus spreading. Continue Reading →

Column: China targets Australian barley, but what matters is coal, LNG, iron ore – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – May 19, 2020)

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LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – If China was looking to send a political message to Australia by effectively banning the import of a commodity, then barley fits the bill almost perfectly.

China on Monday imposed what it termed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5% on Australian barley imports from May 19, a move likely to end trade that has been worth between $980 million and $1.3 billion in recent years.

Australia’s official reaction has so far been muted, with Agriculture Minister David Littleproud saying the government will consider approaching the World Trade Organization for a ruling on China’s action. Continue Reading →

Vale after NYC real estate moguls for Simandou compensation – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 19, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Brazil’s Vale (NYSE: VALE), the world’s no. 1 iron ore miner, has launched a legal action in New York to determine whether funds paid to BSG Resources within the framework of their former Simandou partnership in Guinea were used for property investments in the United States.

The Rio de Janeiro-based mining giant alleges that BSGR, diamond tycoon Beny Steinmetz’s mining arm, fraudulently funneled $500 million into Manhattan real estate’s magnates Aby Rosen and René Benko, Africa Intelligence reported.

The case is the latest in a series of efforts Vale has made to have BSGR pay a $1.2 billion arbitration award. The amount was granted to the Brazilian miner on the grounds of “fraud and breaches of warranty” when included in the Simandou iron ore joint venture. Continue Reading →

How China could stoke iron ore prices – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – May 18, 2020)

https://www.afr.com/

Surging iron ore prices have kick-started the Australian economy’s exit from coronavirus lockdowns amid hopes the Chinese government could further stoke prices by unleashing stimulus spending at its annual congress meeting later this week.

A 13 per cent rally in iron ore prices since April 30 has pushed shares in Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group to record highs. The rally appears to have further to run with futures prices more than 5 per cent higher in Monday’s trading session.

Strong Chinese demand for steel has coincided with weak iron ore supply from rival exporter Brazil, where the rapid spread of the coronavirus has added to the ongoing disruption caused by last year’s catastrophic Brumadinho dam collapse. Continue Reading →

Cliffs CEO optimistic demand for steel will return as automakers restart production – by Jimmy Lovrien (Duluth News Tribune – May 12, 2020)

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

The “Big Three” automakers are preparing to restart manufacturing next week, and Cleveland Cliffs, a major producer of iron ore pellets on the Iron Range, is hopeful demand for steel will return with it.

Cliffs idled its Northshore Mining iron mine and pellet plant in Babbitt and Silver Bay in April until at least August, laying off 470 of its 570 employees, as steel demand plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and U.S. automakers Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler shuttered plants to help curb the spread of the virus.

With its recent purchase of steelmaker AK Steel, Cliffs is now supplying steel to “virtually all” U.S. automakers, Cliffs President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves said. He said auto plants are reopening sooner than some expected. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Iron ore, coking coal divorce over China’s coronavirus recovery – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – May 11, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 11 (Reuters) – There is an increasing disconnect between the two key ingredients for making steel, with iron ore safely within China’s economic bubble and coking coal more exposed to the rest of the coronavirus-riddled world.

The main difference is that while China imports the bulk of the iron ore with which it feeds its 1 billion-tonne-a-year steel industry, it has a large domestic coking coal industry and imports only about 10% of its needs.

Benchmark spot 62% iron ore for delivery to China MT-IO-QIN62=ARG, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, ended last week at $88.30 a tonne. Continue Reading →

Iron ore wars: the fall of Vale and the rise of Rio Tinto – by JP Casey (Mining-Technology – May 5, 2020)

https://www.mining-technology.com/

In the wake of the Brumadinho dam tragedy, Vale has lost its position as the world’s top iron ore producer. We consider what contributed to its decline, and how Rio Tinto has taken advantage of its struggles to become the industry’s new iron ore leader.

Vale has finally lost its position as the world’s largest iron miner. The Brazilian mining giant saw its production crater in 2019, as the tragic impacts of a collapsed tailings dam at its Brumadinho operation were felt across the iron ore sector. 300 people were killed or left missing by the disaster, sparking internal investigations and external outrage as Vale’s reputation crumbled.

While the human cost of the disaster is the most significant impact, there have been a number of financial and operational effects for Vale, and few of them positive. The miner’s total iron ore output was 301,972 million tonnes in 2019, 21.5% lower than in 2018, with a decline of 55.2% at its Southern System projects leading the way. Continue Reading →

Greenland wants its say in huge Canadian Arctic mining project – by Marc Montgomery (Radio Canada International – April 22, 2020)

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High up in the Canadian Arctic a giant open pit mine is extracting millions of tonnes of iron ore which is then shipped to destinations in Europe and Asia.

The Baffinland company’s Mary River site on Baffin Island, originally began extracting 4.2 million tonnes in 2015, increased to 6mt by 2018. Phase 2 of the project seeks to double that to 12mt. with some reports saying they plan to seek approval for 18mt.

In 2018 there were 71 giant cargo ship voyages to and from the site and Phase 2 seeks to increase that to 176 trips from July to mid-November. Continue Reading →

Nunavut Mining: From pickups to bulldozers and haul trucks, Ola Arnaquq has learned to operate massive vehicles – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – March 30, 2020)

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Sometimes at 5:30 a.m. sometimes at 5:30 p.m., Ola Arnaquq climbs up into giant bulldozers to begin her 12-hour shift at the Mary River iron mine, 160 km south of Pond Inlet. She’s also capable of operating massive rock trucks and haul trucks.

“I was in awe of (these vehicles) and knew as soon as I saw one on site that I’d love to learn to run them,” says Arnaquq, who has been working at the mine for six years. “(It’s) different getting into the seat of one for sure, a bit tense to start but it got easier. Seat time is what helps confidence with operating equipment. Remembering how that feels definitely helps coaching newcomers.”

Prior to starting work with Baffinland Iron Mines, the largest vehicle Arnaquq had ever driven was a pickup truck. Beyond size, the biggest difference between driving a pickup and operating a bulldozer or a haul truck is the elaborate safety precautions for the latter, she says. Continue Reading →

Column: Collapsing auto sector a body blow for industrial metals – by Andy Home – Reuters U.K. – March 27, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – France’s Recylex has just announced the temporary closure of both its German lead smelter and two battery-recycling plants, one in Germany and one in France.

The decision is due to a “strong drop in demand, especially in the automotive sector, in a context of sharply lower metal prices,” the company said. It will surely not be the last lead producer to mothball its production facilities.

Lead is umbilically tied to the automotive sector. Lead-acid batteries account for around 80% of global usage of the metal. And carmakers just about everywhere have halted their own production lines due to the spread of the coronavirus and the lockdowns on activity that have followed in its wake. Continue Reading →

Iron ore futures in China, Singapore fall on doubts over stimulus – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – March 30, 2020)

https://in.reuters.com/

MANILA, March 30 (Reuters) – Iron ore futures in China and Singapore fell on Monday on renewed doubts whether the massive stimulus measures introduced across the world are adequate to buttress a global economy hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Worries about demand for metals also hit steel futures in China, which accounts for more than half of the world’s steel output and the top exporter of steel products.

The Dalian Commodity Exchange’s most-active May contract for steelmaking ingredient, iron ore, dropped as much as 3% to 640.50 yuan ($90.26) a tonne, before ending the morning session down 2.8%. Iron ore’s front-month April contract on the Singapore Exchange shed as much as 2.3%. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-China iron ore erases 2020 losses on supply concerns, stimulus – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – March 25, 2020)

https://in.reuters.com/

MANILA, March 25 (Reuters) – Chinese iron ore futures rose more than 5% on Wednesday, the most since July last year, on worries over supply as more countries including top producers of the steelmaking raw material ordered lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Hopes for global stimulus and a revival in steel demand also buoyed overall sentiment, with U.S. lawmakers moving closer to passing a $2 trillion aid package and the Group of 20 major economies looking to advance a coordinated response to the pandemic.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended 5.1% higher at 665 yuan ($93.97) a tonne, wiping out its losses for this year. Futures on the Singapore Exchange rose 2.5% in afternoon trade. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Are resilient iron ore, steel and coking coal having a Wile E. Coyote moment? – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – March 19, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, March 19 (Reuters) – China’s iron ore and steel markets appear to be taking a risky bet that Beijing’s yet-to-be-announced stimulus measures will be enough to offset a looming global recession as the coronavirus spreads across the world.

But there is an increasing risk that they may be having a Wile E. Coyote moment, the one where the hapless Road Runner-chasing cartoon coyote goes over the edge of a cliff and hangs in midair until he realises he is about to plummet into a deep canyon.

Iron ore, Shanghai steel futures and Australian coking coal have up until now been sharing something that is increasingly at odds with virtually every other commodity, namely that their prices have held up in the face of mounting economic gloom. Continue Reading →

Nunavut’s Baffinland gears up its crisis management plan for COVID-19 – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – March 16, 2020)

https://nunatsiaq.com/

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has clamped down on travel to and from its Mary River iron mine site in an effort to stave off the spread of the new coronavirus. To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, the company said today.

“However, given the possible risk of infection throughout the North and more specifically, our neighboring communities with whom we share the closest relationship, we are making arrangements to limit the potential exposure of our Nunavummiut (Inuit and non-Inuit in Nunavut) employees to the coronavirus,” said the company.

To do this, Baffinland said it is temporarily instructing all Nunavummiut to not report for work and to remain in their home communities.  “Nunavummiut currently at site will return home during the coming week,” Baffinland said in its release. Continue Reading →