Archive | Iron Ore

Fortescue’s Aboriginal programme hits A$2bn mark – by Simone Liedtke ( – February 18, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Iron-ore major Fortescue Minerals’ ‘billion opportunities programme’ has reached the A$2-billion-mark, with 250 contracts and sub-contracts having been awarded to 110 Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures in the seven years since its inception.

CEO Nev Power said on Friday that the programme formed a critical element of the company’s approach to ensuring economic opportunity and participation, which were the focus of the native title agreements.

“Through the programme, we have encouraged and assisted the development of capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses to supply a significant portion of the goods and services we need in our business,” Power added. Continue Reading →

Supreme Court order cancelling mining leases in Goa shows scant regard for mining economy – by T K Arun (Economic Times [India] – February 14, 2018)

With the cancellation of iron ore mining leases in Goa, the judiciary has once again stepped into the space vacated by executive failure and legislative lethargy. But the courts cannot compensate for the lack of sound policy and its effective implementation.

The Supreme Court order cancelling mining leases in Goa with effect from mid-March shows scant regard for the mining economy or the people who earn their livelihood from it, focusing only on what the court terms the avarice of the miners and, implicitly, of the colluding politicians who renewed extant leases instead of holding fresh auctions.

That mining should be environmentally sustainable is not in question. That state and society should gain from the mineral wealth of the land is not in question. That mining rights should be allocated not on the basis of legacy Portuguese privilege but on the basis of auctions is not in question. Continue Reading →

Copper, iron ore price jump sparks rally in mining stocks – by Frik Els ( – February 14, 2018)

Mining and metals investors were piling into the sector’s big names on Wednesday as gold jumped, base metals prices surged and iron ore continued to rally on optimism about global demand for raw materials ahead of a holiday week in top consumer China.

Gold enjoyed its best trading since the Brexit vote in June 2016 on Wednesday. Copper bounced to above the $7,000 a tonne ($3.24 per pound) level bringing the bellwether metal’s gains just this week to more than 6%. Nickel surged 4.8% to $14,100 a tonne, the highest since May 2015, while zinc ended nearly 3% higher to exchange hands for $3,567, a near decade high.

The iron ore price which has been defying expectations of a pullback for months gained on Wednesday with benchmark Northern China import prices rising to a five-week best of $78.25 a tonne. Continue Reading →

Iranian Iron Ore Exporters to Benefit From Goa Mining Halt (Financial Tribune – February 14, 2018)

A recent Supreme Court of India’s decision to cancel all iron ore mining leases in an ore-rich state can open the way for Iranian ore miners to increase their share in the Chinese market.

In its Feb. 7 verdict, the Supreme Court canceled the second renewal of all the 88 iron ore mining leases renewed by the state government in Goa. No mining activities will continue in the state after March 15, the top court decided, ordering the government to grant the leases afresh through auctions.

The verdict came on a plea filed by non-government organization Goa Foundation, with the petitioners claiming that mining undertaken through theses leases was illegal, Bloomberg reported. The court order will impact the annual 20-million-ton capacity. Continue Reading →

Expansion would secure Mary River’s future, Baffinland boss says – by Jim Bell (Naunatsiaq News – February 5, 2018)

“We will be insulated from the iron ore price”

OTTAWA—If Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is permitted to build its proposed Milne Inlet railway and expand production to 12 million tonnes of iron ore each year, the company will never again have to worry about plummeting ore prices, Baffinland boss Brian Penney said last week.

“We will be insulated from the iron ore price,” Penney, the company’s CEO, told delegates at a mining industry panel held during the Northern Lights trade show in Ottawa.

That’s because the Mary River ore body, where a range of hills hold massive quantities of ore that are around 65 per cent pure iron, the greatest degree of purity that the laws of chemistry will allow, might be the richest iron ore deposit on the face of the earth, Penney said. Continue Reading →

Wood Mackenzie cuts iron ore price outlook as markets fall again – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – Januray 30, 2018)

Despite beginning the year in good shape, the global iron ore industry is starting to experience a fresh drop in prices that has analysts trying to decide whether this is the start of a deeper downtrend or a pull-back.

According to the Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines slipped Tuesday below $73 per tonne, down $1.36 per tonne month-to-date average.

Chinese iron ore futures ticked higher, but kept near one-month lows on Tuesday, as ample supply of the steelmaking raw material countered transport disruptions caused by heavy snow in the country. Continue Reading →

Cliffs CEO promises continued growth in 2018 – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – January 25, 2018)

Cleveland-Cliffs had a good year mining and selling Minnesota and Michigan iron ore in 2017, the company reported Thursday, and should have an even better year in 2018.

Cliffs nearly doubled net revenue, hitting $371 million in 2017. That’s up from $199 million in 2016 as the company and industry continue to rise out of the global iron ore doldrums of 2015.

The nation’s largest producer of taconite iron ore pellets, used to make steel, had full-year 2017 consolidated revenues of $2.3 billion, compared to the prior year’s revenues of $2.1 billion, although revenue in the fourth quarter was actually down from 2016. Continue Reading →

Commerce secretary gives Trump options to fight steel and aluminum dumping, including higher tariffs – by Lori Ann LaRocco (CNBC – January 22, 2018)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has recommended to President Donald Trump a wide range of options to deal with aluminum and steel dumping in the U.S., including potentially higher tariffs, sources told CNBC.

The options also include specifically targeting “bad actors” in other countries that are active in imports of the metals. Trump and his administration announced the Section 232 investigation into steel and aluminum in April 2017. The investigation was to determine whether the imports posed a threat to the country’s national security.

Trump has 90 days to review the so-called 232 report’s findings and recommendations. The president would then decide on what course of action to take. Continue Reading →

Clarke ready to move Mesabi Metallics forward – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – January 22, 2018)

NASHWAUK — Tom Clarke leaned forward in a squeaky office chair in a drafty construction-site trailer, pulled out his phone and touched an app that exposed a countdown clock that flashed 171 days, 6 hours, 36 minutes and 28 seconds.

“That’s how much time we have to get this moving. I show it to everyone who is working on this project,” Clarke said earlier this month. “But we’re going to get there before that date.”

The zero hour on that clock is the June 30 deadline for Clarke’s Chippewa Capital Partners to have money in the bank, contractors on site and construction advancing full-speed on the Mesabi Metallics combined taconite mine, processing center and iron plant. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Iron ore defies bearish factors as China imports hold up – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – January 23, 2018)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Spot iron ore prices in Asia appear to be poised on the precipice of a steep decline as a myriad of factors suggest an imminent correction. Except for one factor, which is probably enough to hold them up, at least for a little longer.

On the bearish side, port inventories SH-TOT-INV in top importer China are at a record high of 154.3 million tonnes, steel prices are starting to weaken as China’s vast property sector shows signs of easing growth, and supply from major exporters Australia and Brazil is expected to increase.

In theory these factors should be more than enough to start a slide in spot prices, but so far this hasn’t happened. Iron ore futures traded on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), which are based on the spot price for China cargoes, ended at $76.46 a tonne on Monday, up 7.3 percent since the end of last year and 31 percent since the 2017 low of $58.53 on Nov. 1. Continue Reading →

India Seeks Steel Ministry Control of Iron Ore, Coal – by Archana Chaudhary and Swansy Afonso (Bloomberg News – January 19, 2018)

India is considering a plan to hand over control of iron ore and coking coal mining to the steel ministry to boost supplies of the key steelmaking materials as the country is poised to become the world’s second-biggest producer, according to a person with knowledge of the plan.

The proposal to shift the regulatory authority from the current mines and coal ministries is under discussion and needs approval from the prime minister’s office and the ministries, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the matter is not yet public.

The integration would allow the steel ministry to make better trade policies, speed up approval of mining licenses and make it easier for foreign steelmakers to set up operations in India, the person said. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Price swings the new normal for seaborne iron ore – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – January 16, 2018)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Imagine for a moment that iron ore was still priced the way it was for decades, in closed-door meetings between miners and steel makers, and then try to visualise what the current level would be.

Whatever number you may have come up with, it’s unlikely to be anything close to the $76.57 a tonne iron ore futures traded in Singapore fetched at the close on Monday.

It’s likely that it would be a far lower figure, given the current seaborne market dynamics of ample, and growing supply, and reasonable, but no longer, surging demand growth. Continue Reading →

Great Iron Ore Wave Set to Peter Out as Shippers Hold Steady – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – January 15, 2018)

Rio Tinto Group forecasts its iron ore shipments will remain flat this year or rise by 3 percent at most, reinforcing market sentiment that a wave of new supply is turning into a trickle.

The world’s second-largest exporter expects shipments from Western Australia of between 330 million metric tons and 340 million tons in 2018, the company said Tuesday, confirming guidance published last month. That compares with 330.1 million metric tons recorded last year.

Top exporters “clearly haven’t pushed the envelope too hard” and are showing restraint over additions to supply, Daniel Hynes, a Sydney-based analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said Tuesday in a Bloomberg Television interview. Continue Reading →

Baffinland railway may be “dead,” Pond Inlet group declares – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – January 8, 2018)

Committee alleges QIA is in a conflict of interest

The controversial 110-kilometre railway that Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. wants to build between the Mary River iron mine and its port at Milne Inlet “may be dead in its tracks,” says a Pond Inlet hamlet committee.

In a statement released near the end of December, when Nunatsiaq News had shut down for the holiday period, the committee, which represents the Hamlet of Pond Inlet and the Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Organization, said they have “mounted a challenge” to Baffinland’s railway proposal.

“The Pond Inlet Hamlet Council, together with hunters and trappers organizations from several communities, have written letters, passed resolutions and submitted technical documents opposing the proposed railway,” the Pond Inlet statement said. Continue Reading →

Australia forecasts 20 percent iron ore price drop in 2018 as China demand eases – by James Regan (Reuters U.S. – January 7, 2018)

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia on Monday said it expects iron ore prices to average $51.50 a tonne this year, down 20 percent from 2017, because of rising global supply and moderating demand from top importer China as its steel sector shrinks.

The government projection is out of step with some private forecasts, with UBS and Citi calling for iron ore prices to average around $64 a tonne in 2018 – flat on 2017’s $64.30 – with the market proving surprisingly resilient.

Spot iron ore, currently around $75 a tonne, last traded below $52 in June 2017, but Department of Industry, Innovation and Science resource and energy analyst David Thurtell pointed to an expected contraction in China’s steel industry. “We’re still comfortable with where our forecast sits,” he said. Continue Reading →