Archive | Iron Ore

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 →

Guinea iron ore prospectors set sights on ArcelorMittal rail – by Barbara Lewis and Saliou Samb (Reuters U.S. – June 5, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON/CONAKRY (Reuters) – The race to mine Guinea’s iron ore has started although the focus is not on its giant Simandou deposits but on smaller finds whose output could be transported via Liberia if ArcelorMittal shares its railway, banking and industry sources said.

Guinea’s aspirations to develop Simandou, the world’s largest known untapped iron ore deposit, have foundered because of the cost of infrastructure and protracted legal disputes.

Guinea says it is still trying to reach a deal with China to build the roughly 650 km (406 miles) of railway needed to transport the iron ore through Guinea. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Slow landslide at Vale’s Gongo Soco reduces risk to dam – by Gram Slattery (Reuters U.S. – May 31, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 31 (Reuters) – A closely watched embankment at a Brazilian iron ore mine run by Vale SA has begun to slide slowly into the bottom of a mining pit, the company said on Friday, reducing concerns that a sudden landslide would trigger a dangerous dam collapse.

Authorities had initially feared that a landslide at Vale’s Gongo Soco mine could destabilize the nearby Sul Superior dam, wreaking havoc on a nearby town. However, the dam remains intact, Vale said.

An environmental official for the state of Minas Gerais had previously estimated a 10-15% chance of the Sul Superior dam losing integrity due to tremors from the expected landslide. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s iron ore industry misery, a boom for Australian big miners (Merco Press – May 29, 2019)

https://en.mercopress.com/

Iron ore prices look set to be stronger for longer, potentially delivering windfall profits for West Australia’s big miners for the next two years.

As the iron ore price hit a five-year high of US$107.50/t this week, analysts have begun scrambling to revise their estimates as they start to digest the impact of supply disruptions out of Brazil and how long the outages could linger.

Iron ore giant Vale has been forced to close mines in Brazil, representing about 90 million tons of annual product, after a tailing dam disaster in January which killed hundreds. The company is facing another dam failure at one of its inactive mines and its 30mtpa Brucutu mine remains closed with lingering uncertainty as to when it can reopen. Continue Reading →

China’s iron ore extends red-hot rally on supply worries – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – May 26, 2019)

https://in.reuters.com/

MANILA, May 27 (Reuters) – China’s iron ore futures hit a new high since 2013 on Monday, extending last week’s record-breaking rally, as stocks of the steelmaking ingredient at ports continued to drop while worries lingered about another Brazil mine dam at risk of collapsing.

Iron ore inventory at Chinese ports SH-TOT-IRONINV has shrank further to the lowest in more than two years, latest data compiled by SteelHome consultancy showed.

Concerns about supply have also intensified after Vale recently told prosecutors in Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais that a dam is at risk of rupturing at its Gongo Soco mine. Continue Reading →

Analysis: Fallout from dam disaster piles up against Vale – by Bryan Harris, Andres Schipani and Neil Hume (Australian Financial Review – May 27, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Brumadinho/London | Shortly after employees broke for lunch on January 25, a dam at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil ruptured and collapsed, unleashing a tidal wave of sludge that devoured everything in a 5 kilometre path.

When the thick, brown discharge finally abated, almost 300 people were missing. Many drowned, buried alive in the industrial waste. Others were killed by the force of the impact, their bodies broken into pieces, and some suffocated while submerged in their vehicles. Investigators would later find scratch marks on the windows, where they had tried desperately to escape.

“This was murder,” says Andresa Rodrigues, whose 26-year-old son, Bruno, an engineer at the facility, was among the 231 people killed. More than 40 are still missing. Continue Reading →

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

https://www.reuters.com/

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)

https://www.reuters.com/

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)

https://uk.reuters.com/

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 →