Archive | Iron Ore

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 →

China $570 billion stimulus raises hopes for copper, iron ore price – by Frik Els (Mining.com – March 11, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Copper and iron ore prices have held up surprisingly well as markets in the West belatedly come to grips with the coronavirus pandemic and China shifts focus from containment to rebuilding its economy following more than two months of inactivity.

On Wednesday BMO Capital Markets held a conference call with PRC Macro, a consulting firm focused on China’s political economy, about the prospects for 2020 GDP growth in the country.

PRC Macro anticipates spending by Beijing of as much as $570 billion primarily focused on infrastructure. PRC Macro says “in order to declare an economic victory, a 5% growth rate is the absolute minimum that will be acceptable”: Continue Reading →

Review board grants Baffinland’s request to extend its production limit – by Emma Tranter (Nunatsiaq News – March 11, 2020)

https://nunatsiaq.com/

Mining company can continue producing six million tonnes per year until end of 2021

The Nunavut Impact Review Board has granted Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s request to temporarily extend its production limit at the Mary River mine.

In a March 5 news release, Kaviq Kaluraq, the chair of the NIRB, said the mining company’s request to extend its production limit from four to six million tonnes of iron ore is granted until Dec. 31, 2021. Baffinland had requested only a one-year extension, until the end of 2020, in its letter to the NIRB, dated Dec. 19, 2019.

But in its release, NIRB said a one-year extension “would have the effect of imposing undue limits on the timelines and manner in which the board’s assessment of the phase two development proposal proceeds.” Continue Reading →

China to Approve Developing Guinea’s Giant Simandou Iron Ore Mine (Bloomberg News – March 5, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg)-China is close to giving the go-ahead for some of its biggest state-owned companies to develop the giant Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea, potentially paving the way for the project to be built after years of legal wrangling.

China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, which oversees the biggest government-owned enterprises, is actively pushing forward with the project, the world’s biggest untapped iron ore deposit, according to people familiar with the plans who asked not to be identified as the talks are private.

For years, it seemed the super-rich ore under a jungle-covered mountain range might never be dug up. Simandou was practically forgotten by the wider mining industry as owners including Rio Tinto Group, Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and authorities in the West African nation fought over rights to develop it. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Iron ore soars as China port stocks dip, stimulus hopes grow – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – March 2, 2020)

https://in.reuters.com/

MANILA, March 2 (Reuters) – China’s iron ore futures hit the upside limit on Monday as declining stockpiles at ports indicated steel mills’ improving appetite for the raw material, while expectations grew Beijing will roll out further support for its paralysed economy.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended up 5.8% at 653 yuan ($93.70) a tonne, after hitting the daily limit of 6% shortly before the close. Futures on the Singapore Exchange climbed as much as 5.6%.

Factory operations and construction activities in China are gradually resuming after a prolonged Lunar New Year holiday, work stoppages and travel restrictions aimed at containing a coronavirus outbreak. Continue Reading →

Internal probe confirms Vale knew Brumadinho dam was unsafe – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – February 21, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale (NYSE: VALE) has published the results of an independent report into the Córrego do Feijão mine’s tailings dam collapse that killed 270 people last year, which reveals the company knew about the facility’s fragile condition since 2003.

According to the document, prepared by a committee formed by Vale last year, concerns about how unstable the main B1 dam was were raised at various points over the course of 16 years, but the miner failed to appropriately deal with them.

Last month, state prosecutors charged Fabio Schvartsman, the chief executive at the time of the burst, and 15 other people with homicide. Schvartsman left his position at the company in March 2019. Continue Reading →

Top Indian Iron Ore Miner Targets 50% Output Jump Next Year – by Swansy Afonso (Financial Post/Bloomberg News – February 12, 2020)

https://business.financialpost.com/

(Bloomberg) — India’s biggest iron ore miner plans to raise production by as much as 50%, potentially boosting supplies and alleviating concerns of shortages of the key raw material.

State-run NMDC Ltd. is targeting production of 48 million tons in the year starting April, and will surpass 32 million tons this year, Amitava Mukherjee, director of finance, said.

The growth in supplies will come mainly from its mines in Chhattisgarh and includes 7 million tons of iron ore from the Donimalai mine in Karnataka state that is currently closed. Continue Reading →

‘Transformation’ is in the air at Vale – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 12, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Electric vehicle market, carbon neutral plans, environmental safeguards part of Sudbury miner’s current and future operations

The thrust of Dino Otranto’s presentation was on the transformational challenges ahead for base metal mining giant Vale to create a business that’s sustainable in the Sudbury basin for generations to come.

But the opening image he flashed to a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunchtime crowd on Feb. 11 was of the Brumadinho tailings dam break at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in Brazil on Jan. 25, 2019. It was the company’s second major dam breach in that country in four years.

The man-made environmental catastrophe at Brumadinho produced a toxic mudflow that swept away the company’s offices, and houses, farms and roads in a nearby village, and contaminated a major river system. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Vale loses spot as world’s top iron ore producer to Rio Tinto – by Gram Slattery (Reuters U.S. – February 11, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vale SA on Tuesday posted a sharp output decline and $671 million in net additional provisions stemming from a deadly dam burst about a year ago, underlining the enduring effects of the incident on the iron ore giant.

In a statement, the company reported a 22.4% fall in fourth-quarter iron ore production from the same period last year and a 9.6% drop in quarterly terms. With that, Vale officially lost its position in 2019 as the world’s top iron ore producer to Rio Tinto.

In late January 2019, a Vale-owned tailings dam in the town of Brumadinho burst, killing some 270 people. The incident led to serious production stoppages, pledges by Vale to reconstruct or decommission many of its other dams and the firing of a number of executives. Continue Reading →

The Race Is On for Iron Ore Riches Buried Under an African Jungle – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – February 4, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — For years, the massive iron deposits under Guinea’s mountainous jungle were practically forgotten by the mining industry. Caught up in wrangles between owners and authorities in the West African nation, it seemed the super-rich ore might never be dug up.

That all changed last year, as investors from billionaire promoter Robert Friedland to legendary dealmaker Mick Davis converged on the country in a modern day resource rush. For the first time in years, projects like Simandou—Guinea’s crown jewel deposit—might finally be developed.

That would have huge implications for both Guinea, which is facing political upheaval as President Alpha Conde pushes for a third term, and the global iron ore industry. The new tons threaten to arrive just as steel demand is cooling, and the high-quality iron ore buried in Guinea will pile pressure on existing miners. Continue Reading →