Archive | Iron Ore

Rio Tinto to take iron ore crown as Vale struggles – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – July 23, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Rio Tinto is on track to become the world’s biggest iron ore exporter in 2019 after trouble-prone Brazilian miner Vale revealed weaker-than-expected exports over the past three months.

The surprisingly weak performance from Vale came as African iron ore miner Kumba joined the industry trend for reduced export targets, and as Vale reiterated that it could be three years before it resumed shipping at full speed.

Vale was always expected to ship less iron ore this year after the catastrophic dam failures in January that killed hundreds of people and forced the company to halt about 90 million tonnes of annual production capacity. Continue Reading →

BHP makes $400 million climate-change emissions pledge – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – July 23, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Leading resources company BHP (BHP.AX)(BHPB.L) will invest $400 million over five years to reduce emissions, it said on Tuesday, becoming the first miner to pledge to tackle pollution caused when customers use its products.

BHP is the world’s biggest listed miner and biggest coking coal producer. Combined with iron ore, also mined by BHP, coking coal is used to make steel, producing millions of tonnes of CO2.

CEO Andrew Mackenzie said BHP would develop technology to curb emissions both inside and outside the company. From next year it will set a medium-term, science-based decarbonisation target, he said in a speech at an event organised by the Financial Times. Continue Reading →

[Ontario Mining History] The noise, the glow, the rush of sparks – by Susanna McLeod (Kingston Whig Standard – July 19, 2019)

https://www.thewhig.com/

An ocean away, discussions about iron mining and processing in Upper Canada progressed. Kingston’s Royal Naval Dockyards needed a local supply of iron to augment security after the War of 1812. Initial negotiations with a local merchant in 1816 fell through, but Charles Hayes in Ireland was interested.

Before Hayes came to Ontario, he had been in touch with Maj. George Hillier, civil secretary to governor general Peregrine Maitland. Delaying his voyage until a determination on timber duties was reached, Hayes and his wife sailed for North America in autumn 1820.

“Upon his arrival he went to York [Toronto] to petition the governor for land on which to establish his works,” wrote Rita Michael in “Ironworking in Upper Canada: Charles Hayes and the Marmora Works” (Report to Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1982). Continue Reading →

BHP Eyes 11 New Iron Ore Mines Over the Next 50 to 100 Years – by Rebecca Keenan (Bloomberg News – July 11, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

BHP Group, the world’s largest mining company, says it could build up to 11 more iron ore mines over the next 50 to 100 years in the mineral-rich Pilbara region of northern Australia.

The Melbourne-based miner has signed an agreement with Western Australia’s government to streamline environmental approvals for its long-term iron ore plan. Approval time frames for new mines could be cut by up to 50%.

BHP and rivals are benefiting from a booming iron ore market amid strong Chinese demand and supply disruptions from Brazil to Australia. Prices have skyrocketed 65 percent this year, hitting the highest level in more than five years. Benchmark spot ore prices last traded at $119.50, according to Mysteel Global. Continue Reading →

Brazil Judge Orders Mining Company To Pay For Damage From Dam Disaster – by Merrit Kennedy (National Public Radio – July 10, 2019)

https://www.npr.org/

A Brazilian judge has ordered mining giant Vale S.A. to pay for all damage caused by a ruptured dam that unleashed a torrent of mine waste and killed at least 247 people in January.

The disaster in the small city of Brumadinho was one of Brazil’s worst-ever industrial accidents. Twenty-three people are still missing from the rupture that engulfed many of the company’s workers and nearby residents in the muddy waste.

Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira ruled that Vale should be held responsible for the cost of repairing all damage caused by the incident. The judge did not give a dollar figure for how much the company should pay, saying the tragedy’s consequences cannot be quantified only by technical-scientific criteria, according to a statement on the court’s website. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Iron ore price peak may be near as Australia, Brazil exports recover – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – July 4, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 4 (Reuters) – There are tentative signs that the supply crunch that has driven iron ore prices to their highest in more than five years is starting to ease, although the market is still some way from returning to balance.

Shipments from the two major exporters, Australia and Brazil, show a recovery in June, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

For the whole of June, Australia exported 76.8 million tonnes, down slightly from May’s 77.9 million. But measured by daily average, June’s exports of 2.56 million tonnes were actually above the 2.51 million achieved in May. Continue Reading →

Vale CFO Should Face Criminal Indictment for Dam, Panel Says – by Maria Luiza Rabello, Sabrina Valle and Vinicius Andrade (Bloomberg News – July 2, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A Brazilian Senate committee is expected to recommend that 12 current and former executives of Vale SA, including Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani and ex-Chief Executive Officer Fabio Schvartsman, face criminal indictments for a fatal dam disaster in January.

The rapporteur of the committee proposed the indictments Tuesday after a 2-1/2-month congressional inquiry into the causes of the dam break that left at least 246 people dead and unleashed a sea of mud over the city of Brumadinho, where Vale had an inactive iron ore mine. His report says the company was negligent and its risk and compliance controls were flawed.

If approved, as expected, the report will be sent to several Brazilian authorities, including federal and state police and prosecutors, as well as the governor of Minas Gerais and the ministries of energy and environment. Continue Reading →

A Mammoth Commitement to the Iron Range – by Lee Bloomquist (Mesabi Daily News – June 2019)

https://www.virginiamn.com/

MOUNTAIN IRON — Sit in the cab of United States Steel Corporation’s brand new electric shovel at Minntac Mine and you’ll know why it’s such a big deal.

A refrigerator. Microwave. A Pioneer sound system that will rattle the windows. Full climate control. USB ports. LED lighting. Panoramic glass in front of you and at your feet. And an operator’s chair with comfort settings that make it feel like a king’s throne. But it’s more than creature comforts that make the $20 million-plus shovel the real deal.

The 2,390,000 pound custom-painted AC-Drive P&H 2800XPC shovel is a sign of U.S. Steel’s confidence in the future of iron ore pellet production at Minntac Mine. It’s also a long-term commitment by U.S. Steel to its Minntac employees and to Iron Range communities founded on mining. Continue Reading →

Soaring iron ore and gold prices boost WA’s economic outlook – by Frances Bell (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – June 24, 2019)

https://www.abc.net.au/

A predicted “mini gold rush” in Western Australia, combined with skyrocketing iron ore prices, is renewing optimism about the state’s long-subdued economy.

The price of gold in Australian dollars has reached a record high, hitting $2,000 an ounce for the first time last week. The precious metal also broke through $US1,400 ($2,014) an ounce for the first time in almost six years.

“Psychologically it’s a very important level to have broken through,” Katana Asset Management portfolio manager Romano Sala Tenna said. He said the price increase was fuelled by demand from central banks, which were buying gold as a store of value, as countries such as the US and China diluted their currencies. Continue Reading →

The Winners and Losers From Surging Iron Ore Prices – by Michael Msika (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – June 21, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — In the world of metals and mining, sometimes it’s better to sell the raw product rather than the finished one.

This seems to be a lesson for investors who chose to hold shares in ArcelorMittal rather than Rio Tinto Group this year. Despite nagging trade tensions and fears about global growth, Rio is up 30% in 2019, while the world’s biggest steelmaker has dropped 16%.

Global diversified miners have rewarded investors with record payouts and benefited from soaring iron-ore prices due to the supply concerns that followed Vale SA’s dam disaster in January. At the same time, Chinese mills have continued to set new production records, consuming more of the steelmaking ingredient. Continue Reading →

Baffinland’s expanded shipping proposal raises concerns at Iqaluit meeting – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – June 19, 2019)

https://nunatsiaq.com/

To help protect the area’s fish, birds, marine mammals and people, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. should meet a “gold standard” when shipping from its north Baffin iron mine, delegates said during the second day of the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s three-day technical meeting on the company’s $900-million proposal to expand its Mary River mine.

After sessions looking at the use of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and cumulative effects assessments on Monday, attention on Tuesday turned largely to ice-breaking and shipping.

Baffinland plans to ship out 12 million tonnes of ore annually, increasing that amount later to 30 million tonnes. Several of the Inuit representatives around the table in Iqaluit’s Cadet Hall told how Baffinland’s shipping is already having an impact. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-China’s iron ore, steel prices diverge as trade war vies with supply woes – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – June 18, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 18 (Reuters) – China’s iron ore and steel prices have decoupled somewhat in recent weeks, with the raw material still making fresh highs while the finished product trends lower.

While there are solid supply-driven reasons for iron ore’s relative outperformance, the question remains: how is the current divergence likely to be resolved?

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 769.5 yuan ($111.20) a tonne on Monday, down slightly from their record close of 787.5 yuan on June 14. Continue Reading →

China’s iron ore sizzles in record-setting rally – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – June 14, 2019)

https://in.reuters.com/

MANILA (Reuters) – Dalian iron ore futures surged to a record peak on Friday and posted their biggest weekly gain since February, buoyed by expectations of sustained tightness in supply and brisk demand amid China’s renewed drive to support its slowing economy.

The most-actively traded September iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose as much as 4% to 797.5 yuan ($115.20) a tonne, the highest since Dalian iron ore futures started trading in 2013.

It ended the session 2.2% higher at 783.5 yuan, posting a weekly gain of 11.4%. It has risen around 80% this year. “Chinese ore demand has been robust and is likely to remain so for the near term,” said Westpac Banking Corp. Continue Reading →

Vale says hopes to reach dam burst global settlements by year-end – by Marta Nogueira (Reuters U.S. – June 13, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vale said on Thursday that it expects to reach global settlements covering economic and environmental damages from the January collapse of its Brumadinho tailings dam by late this year or in 2020.

Vale is scrambling to deal with the fallout from the disaster, which killed at least 246 people, triggered the replacement of its CEO and an overhaul of its board, and has forced it to set aside billions for compensation and cleanup costs.

Investors have been closely watching its ongoing talks with prosecutors and regulators on the terms of a global settlement to see how much higher the price tag from the disaster will be. Continue Reading →

Mine tailings failures are the shame of the mining industry – by Len Gillis (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – June 2019)

http://www.sudburyminingsolutions.com/

Mining engineer Paul Rantala of Sudbury is hoping more people in his industry will take a fresh look at the issue of tailings dams safety. He is not alone.

Rantala was commenting on the disastrous failure of the tailings dam at the Córrego de Feijão mine, near the community of Brumadinho in Brazil on January 25, 2019. It is believed that more than 400 persons died when millions of litres of mud and tailings swept through a low-lying area for several kilometres.

The tailings failure occurred at the mine owned by Vale S.A., an international mining company based in Brazil, which also has several operations in Sudbury. Continue Reading →