Archive | Iron Ore

BHP cuts 2018 iron ore forecast, cites rail car upload problems – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – April 18, 2018)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – BHP Billiton Ltd cut its 2018 fiscal year iron ore output guidance on Thursday citing issues in its railroad car unloading system, while also slightly raising its copper output expectations given higher production at the Escondida mine.

The miner cut projections for fiscal 2018 iron ore production by 2 percent to between 272-274 million tonnes of iron ore from 275-280 million tonnes due to “car dumper reliability issues.” A car dumper is a machine that unloads bulk cargoes from rail road cars.

Overall, the outcome of the global miner’s third quarter production was balanced as lower iron ore output and eased guidance should be broadly offset by a slight pick up in third quarter copper production and upgraded guidance, said Sydney-based brokerage Shaw and Partners in a report. Continue Reading →

After setbacks, Anglo American counting on turnaround for Minas-Rio mine – by Alexandra Alper and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.K. – April 17, 2018)

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Two leaks in a month, a 90-day outage and $58 million in fines is not enough to temper Anglo American’s (AAL.L) ambition for its long-delayed, multi-billion dollar Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil.

Purchased at the height of the commodities boom a decade ago for $5.5 billion, Anglo American was once counting on Minas-Rio to produce 26.5 million tons of iron ore by 2016. The mine’s strength is its high-grade iron ore that commands a premium as the world’s biggest commodity consumer China seeks to cut pollution.

Minas-Rio is Anglo American’s biggest development project, and its bet on the future of iron ore, but so far it only accounts for a small percentage of its overall profits as it is still in ramp-up phase. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Development of the Labrador Trough – Position of the Innu of the North Shore (April 13, 2018)

UASHAT MAK MANI-UTENAM, QC, April 13, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – In response to yesterday’s announcement of a new partnership between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador with respect to the development of the Labrador Trough, the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-utenam and the Matimekush-Lac John Council wish to highlight the fact that the Labrador Trough is largely located within the traditional territory (Nitassinan) of the Innu of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and the Innu of Matimekush-Lac John, both of whom assert Aboriginal title and rights to the trough and the minerals found therein.

“Quebec and Newfoundland continue to live in a bygone era, one in which they believe it is still possible to disregard First Nations on their own territories.

Not only was Quebec just recently trying to sideline us from federal environmental assessments, but is now entering into partnership agreements that we are learning about after the fact.” Said Chief Mike McKenzie of the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-utenam. Continue Reading →

Ball, Couillard talk mining, roads – by David Maher (St. John’s Telegram – April 12, 2018)

N.L. and Quebec seek to expand mining in Labrador Trough

Premier Dwight Ball and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard are sending a signal that the Labrador Trough is open for business for the mining industry.

The provinces entered an agreement on Thursday to send a signal that they aim to work together on jurisdictional and geological information. One of the goals is to eliminate jurisdictional squabbles over the Labrador-Quebec border that could delay mining the area.

“Both our jurisdictions are recognized as an attractive place to do business. What we want to do is make sure that we do a better job of sharing information,” Ball said. Continue Reading →

Iron Ore Giant Says Miners Have Shut Gates on New Supply – by Perry Williams and Stephen Engle (April 10, 2018)

Global iron ore miners have turned off the tap on adding new production capacity to feed China’s steel mills as the world’s largest customer is already awash with supplies, according to Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.

“The reality is that most of the producers, ourselves included, are not actually looking to grow supply of iron ore into China,” Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

“The market is very well supplied and the build-up of inventory at the ports is an indication of that. Nobody is looking at adding new supply into the market.” Continue Reading →

Trump Is ‘Saving Us’: Minnesota Mining Country Warms to Tariffs and G.O.P. – by Mitch Smith (New York Times – April 4, 2018)

EVELETH, Minn. — On northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, where evergreen trees stretch on for miles and snowpack lingers into the spring, a political shift is underway.

Generations of residents have gone to work in the mines, endured cycles of booms and layoffs, and mostly voted for Democrats. But President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel are being celebrated as a boost to the local taconite mines, which supply American steel mills, and Republicans are hopeful that they can flip the area’s congressional seat in November.

“President Trump is keeping his promises that he made on the campaign trail,” said Pete Stauber, a retired police officer and former professional hockey player who is running for Congress as a Republican. “He talked about leveling the playing field for the American worker. He did that with the tariffs.” Continue Reading →

Iran Steps In to Invest in Afghanistan Iron Ore Mine (Financial Tribune – April 4, 2018)

Iran wants to invest in Sangan iron ore mine of Herat Province, located in border areas between Afghanistan and Iran, Afghan media reported.

As mineral resources from Sangan iron ore mine on the Iranian side are nearing depletion, Iran is willing to invest in the Afghanistan part of the mine to fulfill its need of raw materials for its factories, Wadsam news agency reported.

The two countries have yet to reach an agreement on where to process the mineral resource. Afghan acting minister of mines, Nargis Nehan, said based on Afghanistan’s policy, extracted mineral resources should be processed inside Afghanistan. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Quebec Iron Ore to Ship First Vessel of High Quality Canadian Iron Ore From Sept-Îles to Asia (March 27, 2018)

MONTRÉAL, March 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Quebec Iron Ore Inc. (“QIO”), a Champion Iron Limited (ASX:CIA) (TSX:CIA) (“Champion” or the “Company”) subsidiary, is pleased to announce that preparation for the first shipment of Bloom Lake Iron Ore Mine (“Bloom Lake”) high quality iron ore is underway following the arrival of the MV Magnus Oldendorff at the Port of Sept-Îles on March 25, 2018.

The first shipment to Asia will comprise up to 200,000 wet metric tonnes of high-grade 66% Fe iron concentrate, part of the tonnage transported by rail to the port over the last month from QIO’s Bloom Lake minelocated near Fermont, Quebec.

The loading of the MV Magnus Oldendorff (pictured) at the Pointe-Noire terminal completes a historic milestone for the Company and the Port of Sept-Îles as it represents the first vessel loading at the brand new terminal and also marks the inauguration of the new conveyor linking the stockyard to the new terminal. Continue Reading →

Indian iron-ore production and imports to rise in current FY – by Ajoy K Das ( – March 26, 2018)

KOLKATA ( – Indian iron-ore production during the current financial year is expected to have grown over the previous year, and imports too are showing tentative signs of a rise.

According to preliminary government data, total iron-ore production is expected to be 210-million tons at the end of March, growth of 9% over the previous financial year, despite disruption in Odisha and the closing down of Goa iron-ore mines from March 15.

While definitive government data on iron-ore imports for the current year is not readily available yet, industry estimates that, since January, an estimated five-million tons have been imported, with international miners like Australia’s Fortescue stepping up shipments. Continue Reading →

China’s shift to high-grade iron ore isn’t set in stone – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – March 22, 2018)

A comfortable consensus is emerging in the iron ore market that China’s vast steel industry has undergone a structural change that has resulted in quality iron ore gaining a permanent advantage over lower grades.

Certainly the common theme of presentations at this week’s Global Iron Ore and Steel Forecast Conference in Perth was that the current premium of ore with a higher iron content is now a defining characteristic of China’s market.

This shift matters as China buys about two-thirds of global seaborne iron ore, with the vast majority of the annual demand of more than 1 billion tonnes coming from Australia and Brazil, with South Africa a distant third. Continue Reading →

Vale seeks new dividend policy as debt falls – by Joe Leahy (Financial Times – March 18, 2018)

A new dividend policy to be announced by Vale should be based on a more sustainable cash flow generation rather than profits or debt, according to the chief executive of the world’s largest iron ore exporter.

“The one who will decide on the new [dividend policy] is the board but my preference is that it be linked in some form to the company’s cash generation, not necessarily the [financial] results,” Fabio Schvartsman told the Financial Times in an interview.

Vale has been struggling with how to deal with an industry cyclical downturn while trying to reduce a massive debt load. Its board is expected to decide on the policy this month as the Brazilian miner aggressively cuts debt, setting the stage for steadier cash returns for shareholders in coming years, analysts say.  Continue Reading →

As Goa shuts its iron ore mines on Supreme Court’s order, an entire industry stares at tough times ( – March 18, 2018)

As ordered by the Supreme Court last month, Goa sealed all its iron ore mines on Friday. The government, however, allowed the lease holders to carry out “safety works” to prevent the mines from caving in. It also told them to ensure security at the sites, presumably to guard the extracted ore, which is now state property.

On February 7, the Supreme Court had quashed the state government’s order to renew leases of mining companies and set March 16 as the deadline to stop all mining activity.

The miners had moved out machinery and personnel on Thursday. In eastern Goa, the centre of the mining, around 2,500 trucks and heavy excavators are lined up outside their owners’ homes, signalling the absence of any mining activity. Continue Reading →

China’s iron ore mountain may only be a molehill – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – March 14, 2018)

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – The relentless climb in China’s port inventories of iron ore may not be as worrying to the market as they appear, more a reflection of a change in dynamics than anything else.

Port stockpiles stood at 158.6 million tonnes of the steelmaking ingredient as of the end of last week, close to the prior week’s record of 159.1 million, according to data from consultancy SteelHome. That’s up from 148 million tonnes at the end of last year, and almost double the 79 million-tonne starting point of the climb in June 2016.

Journalists love comparative superlatives and in recent weeks Reuters has described the inventories as enough to build Australia’s Harbour Bridge almost 1,900 times over or Paris’s Eiffel Tower 19,000 times, even to construct enough cars to reach from Earth to Moon if lined up nose to tail. Continue Reading →

Iron ore grade war boosts Vale as Evy Hambro exits Fortescue – by Peter Ker(Australian Financial Review – February 28, 2018)

Australian iron ore exporters’ geographic advantage over South American rivals has been largely eroded by China’s growing preference for higher grade iron ore, according to the giant Brazilian miner that stands to benefit most from the trend.

Vale’s claim to now be matching the profit margins on each tonne of iron ore sold to China by the likes of Rio Tinto and BHP comes as Evy Hambro’s BlackRock World Mining Trust confirmed that it had exited Fortescue Metals Group’s share register because of the wider price discounts being applied to Fortescue’s iron ore

The average iron content of Vale’s ore has recently risen to 64.3 per cent with the introduction of the high-grade S11D mine in Brazil’s Carajas region, and the arrival of that mine has coincided with Chinese steel mills paying a premium for higher grade iron ore as they seek to improve environmental efficiency. Continue Reading →

Vale CEO eyes first quarter results in line with fourth quarter (Reuters U.S. – February 28, 2018)

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale should achieve results in the first quarter that are similar to those in the final three months of 2017, the chief executive officer of the world’s top iron ore producer said on Wednesday.

In a conference call after the company reported a nearly 50 percent jump in profit in the fourth quarter, Fabio Schvartsman said the similar financial performance would come despite what is usually a weaker January to March period.

“In terms of Vale’s overall performance for the first quarter of 2018, despite the fact that admittedly the first quarter is seasonally weaker, we still expect to deliver results substantially in line with fourth-quarter results last year,” he said. Continue Reading →