Archive | Iron Ore

Seven Inuit communities create non-profit to lobby mining industry in Baffin region – by Beth Brown (CBC News North – January 11, 2021)

A new Inuit led non-profit in Nunavut’s northern Qikiqtaaluk region is hoping to make sure its seven member-communities benefit from industry in the region, including in aviation, fisheries and mining.

The North Baffin Association, or Qikiqtaaluk Uangnangani Katujjiqatigiit in Inuktut, was formed at the end of 2020 “after years of coordination,” it said in a Jan. 7 news release.

“We are very happy and proud to announce to our members that an organization that reflects their needs has been created to represent them,” executive director Neeko Inuarak said. To do this, the association says it will create its own separate business arm. Continue Reading →

Beny Steinmetz: Mining tycoon in Swiss trial over Guinea deal (BBC News – January 11, 2021)

A billionaire French-Israeli diamond magnate, Beny Steinmetz, has appeared in court in Switzerland to face trial over alleged corruption linked to a major mining deal in Guinea.

He has always denied his company, BSGR, paid multi-million dollar bribes to obtain iron ore mining exploration permits in southern Guinea in 2008.

He travelled to Geneva from Israel for the two-week trial. If convicted he could face up to 10 years in prison. Steinmetz, 64, was previously sentenced in absentia to five years in prison by a court in Romania for money laundering. Continue Reading →

Junior miners bring abandoned iron ore projects back to life – by Jamie Smyth and Neil Hume (Financial Times – January 5, 2021)

Six years after a once-in-a-generation commodities crash forced Noble Group to close the Frances Creek iron ore mine in remote northern Australia, its new owners are restarting it.

Darwin-based NT Bullion is among a host of junior miners from Australia to Canada that are resuscitating operations abandoned by larger producers of the steelmaking ingredient.

Their bets made at the bottom of the mining cycle could prove lucrative. The price of iron ore surged 65 per cent last year to a nine-year high of $166 a tonne on the back of sustained strong demand in China and supply constraints in Brazil, the world’s second-biggest producer. Continue Reading →

Rio Should Make Restitution to Juukan Land Owners, Report Finds – by James Thornhill (Bloomberg News – December 9, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Rio Tinto Group should to agree a restitution package with traditional landowners over mine blasts this year that badly damaged two ancient Aboriginal heritage sites, Australian legislators recommended in a sweeping report after four months of hearings into the incident.

The inquiry’s interim report called on Rio, and all other mining companies operating in Western Australia, to put on hold any applications under a controversial section of the state’s indigenous heritage law that gives companies with mining rights permission to damage a site.

It also advised that the state government replace the law with stronger protections. “Rio Tinto’s role in this tragedy is inexcusable,” the report said. “Rio knew the value of what they were destroying but blew it up anyway.” Continue Reading →

Iron Ore Is This Year’s Hottest Commodity on China-Fueled Surge – by Annie Lee and Krystal Chia (Bloomberg News – December 10. 2020)

(Bloomberg) — A surge in demand in China, the world’s key growth engine, risks a shortage of iron ore that’s pushed prices past $150 a ton and crowned it this year’s best-performing major commodity.

Futures in Singapore have surged almost 70% this year, hitting their highest since trading started in 2013, as China’s stimulus-led rebound fuels steel output and consumption.

The rally received an added boost from Vale SA’s cut to annual production guidance last week, while the first quarter is likely to bring elevated risks of weather disruptions for southern hemisphere producers. Continue Reading →

Chinese Junk Could Sink The Profits Of Big Iron Ore Miners – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – December 2, 2020)

Scrap steel in China is emerging as a significant threat to the future profits of the world’s biggest mining companies.

BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Vale and Fortescue Metals rely heavily on Chinese demand for steel made mainly from iron ore shipped from mines in Australia, Brazil and South Africa.

Locally mined material is also an important source of iron ore in China but another source, scrap steel, has played a lesser role than in other countries with big steel industries, such as Japan. Continue Reading →

An all-out trade war with China would cost Australia 6% of GDP – by Rod Tyers and Yixiao Zhou (The Conversation – November 30, 2020)

China accounts for more than a third of export dollars earned by Australia. The figures, for the 12 months to October, cover the period of coronavirus disruptions and disputes over trade.

They apply to physical exports rather than harder to measure services, and are dominated by record high Chinese takings of Australian iron ore. But they mightn’t last.

China is changing, transitioning from growth driven by the iron-ore hungry expansion of cities and manufacturing to growth driven more by the supply of services. Continue Reading →

New hope for Kami iron ore project, with Labrador MHA cautiously optimistic – by Terry Roberts (CBC News Newfoundland-Labrador – November 18, 2020)

An agreement that will see the Kami proposed mining site in Labrador sold to a company with an operational mine across the border could see raw ore head to Quebec for processing, says MHA Jordan Brown.

Brown, a New Democrat who represents Labrador West in the House of Assembly, said he is cautiously optimistic but worried that economic benefits from what mining experts call a world class iron ore project may not stay in the region.

“This close proximity does bring some concern that some benefits will not come back to the people of Labrador, and may potentially benefit Quebec workers over Labrador workers,” Brown said. Continue Reading →

Australian mining magnate plans global green energy drive – by Dominic Ellis (Mining Global – November 12, 2020)

Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest has outlined ambitious plans to build a renewable energy business, aiming to compete with oil giants to provide low-cost green energy globally.

The billionaire owner of Fortescue Metals Group – the world’s fourth-biggest iron ore miner – says Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has signed preliminary deals in countries like Papua New Guinea, as well as in African countries, and a team of executives is looking for other partners.

“We are building a portfolio of renewable assets, energy producing assets around the world,” Forrest, Fortescue’s chairman, told the company’s annual meeting via video link from Paraguay, according to a Reuters report. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Vale to avoid driving down global iron ore market – by Dominic Ellis (Mining Global – November 11, 2020)

Brazilian miner Vale SA will place caution before capacity as it seeks to avoid driving down the iron ore market and presses forward with its recovery from a deadly dam break in 2019.

Speaking at an interview during the Reuters Commodity Trading Summit, Luciano Siani, chief financial officer for Vale, says that the miner is prepared to raise its capacity using safer and less polluting methods to 450 million tonnes in about five years – almost 50 percent more than forecast production for 2020.

“We are going to be responsible and we are not going to overflow the markets with iron ore,” he adds, asserting that the miner would not use full capacity if an expected surge in manufacturing-driven Asian demand does not materialise. Continue Reading →

UK court blocks lawsuit against BHP over Brazil dam burst – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 9, 2020)

The High Court of Manchester, northwestern England, blocked on Monday a £5 billion ($6.6bn) lawsuit against BHP over a devastating dam collapse at an iron ore mine in Brazil in 2015, which killed 19 people and became the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history.

The suit, filed last year by 235,000 Brazilian people and groups including indigenous tribes and the Catholic Church, claims the world’s no. 1 miner was “woefully negligent” in the run-up to the Samarco dam failure.

The claimants were seeking compensation for physical and psychological injury, property damage, moving costs, loss of earnings, loss of water supply and lost fishing income. Continue Reading →

2020 has been transformational year for Iron Range mining – by Jerry Burnes (Minneapolis Star Tribune – November 9, 2020)

Associated Press – VIRGINIA, Minn. — When Lourenco Goncalves took the helm as CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources in 2014, he inherited a ore boat’s load of a mess: billions in debt, a declining reputation and a rumblings that the century-plus-old company would go belly up in bankruptcy.

Check that. He didn’t inherit the mess. He took it over — in a hostile fashion — to willingly enact his vision for the company, spending millions of his money to, in his words during a 2018 interview, “put my money where my mouth is.”

In the six years since, Cleveland-Cliffs (the company reverted back to its original name in 2017) has shed those billions of dollars owed, helped lead the Iron Range out of a massive industry downturn in 2015 and is ready to open the company’s first hot-briquetted iron facility in Toledo, Ohio. Continue Reading →

Asia Today: Court upholds state border closings in Australia (Lethbridge News Now – November 5, 2020)

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s highest court on Friday upheld a state’s border closure and dismissed billionaire businessman Clive Palmer’s argument that the pandemic measure was unconstitutional.

The seven High Court judges ruled that Western Australia’s state border closure to non-essential travel applied during “a hazard in the nature of a plague or epidemic” complied with the constitution.

All Australian states and territories have used border restrictions to curb infections and a court ruling against Western Australia could have impacted their pandemic responses. Continue Reading →

Clyde River mayor braces for legal action over iron mine expansion – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – November 4, 2020)

Front Page

Jerry Natanine prevailed in a high-profile 2017 Supreme Court case to prevent offshore seismic testing, and he says he’s prepared to use the legal system again, if necessary, to stop Baffinland Iron Mines from building a railway.

“Absolutely, I’m prepared to go to court,” Natanine says. “They’re just walking all over us.”

The mayor’s primary concern is for wildlife, particularly caribou, in relation to the proposed 110-km railroad that would stretch from the Mary River mine to Milne Inlet. Continue Reading →

Gina Rinehart’s wealth soars as Hancock Prospecting reports $4b profit – by Nick Toscano (Brisbane Times – November 4, 2020)

Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart has added to her wealth after her mining company Hancock Prospecting reported a 50 per cent surge in profit on the back of soaring prices for iron ore.

Days after Mrs Rinehart topped The Australian Financial Review’s 2020 Rich List with an estimated $29 billion fortune, financial accounts reveal her private company’s after-tax profit rose from $2.6 billion to $4 billion in the past financial year.

While many of Australia’s top export commodities such as coal and liquefied natural gas have faced sharp falls due to various impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, iron ore has soared and remains above $US110 a tonne, providing a windfall to mining giants such as Fortescue, BHP, Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting’s majority-owned Roy Hill. Continue Reading →