Archive | Iron Ore

Vale’s Gongo Soco mine dam has up to 15% chance of bursting: Brazil official (Reuters U.S. – May 20, 2019)

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale’s tailings dam in the town of Barao de Cocais in Minas Gerais has up to a 15% chance of breaking, the state’s environment secretary said on Monday.

The dam at Vale’s Gongo Soco mine is about 40 miles (64 km)from Brumadinho, where a tailings dam collapse unleashed a torrent of toxic mud in late January, killing more than 240 people.

Environment Secretary Germano Vieira disclosed the estimate after discussing the matter with prosecutors and the company itself. Continue Reading →

Vale warns Brazil prosecutors another dam at risk of collapse – by Marta Nogueira (Reuters U.S. – May 16, 2019)

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA told prosecutors in the state of Minas Gerais that a dam is at risk of rupturing at its Gongo Soco mine, about 40 miles from where its Brumadinho dam collapsed, killing more than 230 people.

According to a document published on Thursday, prosecutors said Vale is predicting the dam in the city of Barao de Cocais may collapse next week if the current rate of movement in the embankment of the mine pit close to the dam is maintained.

The warning underlines ongoing concern about the stability of dams in Brazil’s mining heartland of Minas Gerais in the aftermath of the Brumadinho accident, which itself came less than four years after another deadly dam collapse at a joint venture between Vale and BHP Group. Continue Reading →

Vale exploring dry stacking/magnetic separation to eradicate tailings dams – Posted by Daniel Gleeson (International Mining – May 13, 2019)

International Mining

Vale has confirmed a Reuters news report from last week stating that it would spend an additional BRL11 billion ($2.5 billion) on dry iron ore processing over the next five years.

The company said it has invested nearly BRL66 billion installing and expanding the use of dry processing, using natural moisture, in iron ore production in its operations in Brazil over the last 10 years and it would carry on this trend.

“By not using water in the process, no tailings are generated and, therefore, there is no need for dams,” the company said, added that about 60% of Vale’s production today is dry, and the goal is to reach 70% in the next five years. Continue Reading →

Column: Iron ore tugged between Brazilian supply shock, Trump’s trade war – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – May 7, 2019)

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Iron ore prices look increasingly caught between the bullish reality of lower supply from Brazil and the bearish possibility of weaker demand if President Donald Trump carries out his threat to ramp up his tariff war against China.

The price action in the wake of Trump’s Twitter threat on Sunday to ramp up tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China to 25 percent was indicative of iron ore’s dilemma.

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the most liquid market for the steel-making ingredient, dropped in early trade as investors fretted that the trade talks between the United States and China had been effectively derailed. Continue Reading →

BHP faces $5 billion claim over 2015 Brazil dam failure – by Kirstin Ridley and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – May 7, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP is facing a landmark, $5.0 billion damages claim in England for being “woefully negligent” in the run-up to a 2015 dam failure that led to Brazil’s worst environmental disaster, a lawsuit alleges.

The claim, which will be largest group action to be heard in England, was served on the miner on Tuesday on behalf of 235,000 Brazilian individuals and organizations, including municipal governments, utility companies, indigenous tribes and the Catholic Church, according to law firm SPG Law.

BHP spokesman Neil Burrows said the miner intended to defend itself against the proceedings, brought in the north western English city of Liverpool. Continue Reading →

Vale’s latest legal blow boosts iron ore stocks – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – May 7, 2019)

Australia’s booming iron ore stocks are tipped to stay higher for longer in the wake of the latest blow to Brazilian producer Vale’s plan to reopen mines that were shuttered in the wake of the tragic Brumadinho tailings dam collapse.

Vale was forced to suspend work at its 30 million tonne-a-year Brucutu mine on Monday after a Brazilian court overturned an earlier ruling that it could reopen.

The ruling from the higher court came as Vale said it expected sales of iron ore and pellets to be at the low to mid-end of previous guidance of 307 million tonnes to 332 million tonnes in 2019. Continue Reading →

Villagers in south Goa’s Costi reminisce about better days as hopes for revival of banned mining industry fade – by Sruthi Mallya (First – May 02, 2019)

Costi is around 65 kilometres from the Goa capital Panaji. The village and its roads, previously full of lorries and trucks transporting the ore when mining was in full swing, now wear a forlorn look.

Curchorem: There’s bleakness in the warm afternoon air in south Goa’s Costi village; because there’s a big question mark on the future of mining operations in the area, which was heavily dependent on the nearby Chowgule iron ore mine.

For 26 years, Rama Naik, a resident of the village, worked at that iron ore processing plant and earned enough to run his household. Now, he is barely scraping by. “I used to earn Rs 30,000 a month by working on beneficiation at the plant when mining was on.

Now, I do odd jobs and don’t even get Rs 3,000 every month. The past three-four years have been tough; when mining came to a complete standstill, I quit. I have no hope it will ever resume,” Naik said. Continue Reading →

Nfld. & Labrador: New mine on time, on budget as Tacora prepares to restart iron ore production – by Ariana Kelland (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – April 25, 2019)

Labrador West has been injected with confidence, with iron ore extraction set to begin at the former Scully mine in June. Heavy machinery could be seen clearing land at the site Thursday, as Liberal leader Dwight Ball and Graham Letto, who is seeking re-election in the district, toured the mine.

“Things were kind of not stable in all the mining industry in the area, and today we are in the brink of reproduction,” said Letto.

The day after Graham Letto was sworn in as MHA for Labrador West, the pension plan was terminated. In 2014, an estimated 400 people working at the mine and concentrator in Wabush were notified by Cliffs Natural Resources that its operations would be shutting down. Continue Reading →

Mick Davis Moves Closer to Iron Ore Mining With Liberian Deal – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – April 18, 2019)

Mining dealmaker Mick Davis has won permission to export iron ore from a planned mine in West Africa, adding momentum to the industry veteran’s comeback.

Davis, through his new Niron Metals vehicle, has signed an agreement with Liberia that will allow him to use a rail and port to export iron ore from the mine that he’s seeking to build in neighboring Guinea, according to a statement.

The Zogota project, where mining giant Vale SA has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars, could be brought on quickly and relatively cheaply. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Liberia, Guinean iron venture sign outline export deal – by Barbara Lewis and Saliou Samb (Reuters Africa – April 18, 2019)

LONDON/CONAKRY, April 18 (Reuters) – Liberia has signed an outline deal with a new venture set up to mine iron ore in Guinea to be shipped via Liberia, an export route the Guinean government has vetoed for the much larger Simandou project.

The Zogota iron ore project in Guinea is being developed by former Xstrata boss Mick Davis through his Niron Metals venture and marks a relaunch of his mining career.

Following a pledge on economic cooperation by the presidents of Guinea and Liberia at the start of the month in Dakar, an announcement on Thursday in London said the Liberian government and Niron Metals had signed a memorandum of understanding on the passage through Liberia of iron ore from the Zogota deposit. Continue Reading →

Iron ore shortage after Vale disaster hurting Brazil steelmakers: report (Reuters U.S. – April 15, 2019)

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A decision by Brazilian mining company Vale SA to halt production at ten sites in Minas Gerais state following a deadly dam disaster has affected deliveries of iron ore pellets to clients, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Monday, citing industry sources.

Vale is trying to resolve the problem by bringing iron ore pellets produced in the northeastern state of Maranhão to clients in the southeast. The longer distances involved are adding to transportation costs, Valor said.

Vale did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Valor report. Continue Reading →

BHP to cut over 700 jobs, including in Singapore: Report (Strait Times – April 8, 2019)

Mining giant plans to axe white-collar jobs as early as next week to streamline operations

MELBOURNE – The world’s biggest miner, BHP Group, is poised to cut over 700 white-collar jobs, The Australian newspaper reported, adding that the process could start as early as next week.

Last week, BHP chief financial officer Peter Beaven revealed plans of cuts of up to 20 per cent to his 900-strong finance team at an internal town hall meeting, the newspaper said.

BHP’s technology group will also face cuts in workforce as part of a restructuring that could see up to 30 per cent of its 2,000-strong Australian and Singapore workforce leave the group, the report said. Continue Reading →

As Goldman Backs Off, Citi Says Chase Iron Ore Rally to $100 – by Krystal Chia and Yvonne Man (Bloomberg News – April 8, 2019)

Iron ore’s poised to hit $100 a ton, according to Citigroup Inc., which highlighted “very, very low” seaborne cargoes just as data from China may show a pick-up in demand. That view follows advice from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that investors should be closing bullish bets after recent gains.

“Iron ore is not a demand story, it’s a supply story,” Citigroup Inc. Global Head of Commodities Research Ed Morse said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Monday, reiterating the bank’s three-figure forecast.

In a separate note on Sunday, the bank said investors “should ‘chase’ this year’s rally, not sell into it,” referring to iron ore, as well as copper. Continue Reading →

Ethical investors ask miners to publish tailings dam details (Reuters U.S. – April 5, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Ethical investors working on a global standard for tailings dams have written to 683 listed resource companies, including major miners, asking for information to be made public within 45 days about every facility they control.

The safety of dams used to store mining waste, known as tailings, has gain prominence after the collapse of a Vale tailings dam in Brazil in January killed an estimated 300 people.

The International Council on Mining and Minerals (ICMM) industry group said in March it was working with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) to develop new standards. Continue Reading →

Church of England scheme gives ultimatum to mining companies – by Stephanie Hawthorne (Pensions Expert – April 5, 2019)

On the go: In the wake of the collapse of the tailings dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, which killed at least 84 people and left hundreds missing, 96 institutional investors have been stirred into action.

In an urgent letter, investors, led by the Church of England Pensions Board, have given mining companies 45 days to provide full disclosure on tailings storage facilities under their control. It requests that companies publish the disclosure on their websites within 45 days and ensure that the disclosure is signed by the company’s chief executive or board chair.

The letter, sent on April 5 to 683 listed extractives companies by the CofE Pensions Board and the Swedish Council on Ethics for the AP Funds, is supported by 96 investors with $10.3tn (£7.9tn) in assets under management, including Aegon, Aviva and Hermes. The engagement is also supported by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. Continue Reading →