Archive | Iron Ore

FMG profits surge, Andrew Forrest books $445m in dividends as iron ore bounces back – by Graeme Powell (Australian Broadcasting Corportation – August 20, 2017)

http://www.abc.net.au/

Mining entrepreneur Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest has pocketed a $445 million dividend cheque after his company Fortescue Metals Group posted a more than 100 per cent net profit jump on the back of stronger than expected iron ore prices.

Australia’s third-largest iron ore producer released its full year figures to the market this morning and reported a net profit of $US2.1 billion ($2.6 billion) — up 112 per cent on last year. The Perth-based company also reported a 19 per cent rise in revenue after shipping 170 million tonnes of iron ore for the year.

Fortescue chief executive Nev Power said the strong results reflected higher iron ore prices and a relentless drive to lower production costs. Continue Reading →

As Good as It Gets: Iron Ore Risks a Reversal as China Cools – by Jasmine Ng (Bloomberg News – August 15, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Iron ore in the $70s a ton may be as good as it gets for some time. After rallying hard in June and July, the commodity may see its gains unravel over the second half as steel production in China eases back from a record pace just as global miners pump up volumes.

The robust demand that’s supported gains may fade as steelmakers start to dial back output, according to Capital Economics Ltd., which came out first among forecasters in the second quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Others expecting a drop include Citigroup Inc., Sucden Financial Ltd., Axiom Capital Management Inc. and hedge fund Academia Capital.

“There was some fundamental support for iron ore’s rally, namely strong growth in China’s steel output,” Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, said by email. “Stocks at China’s ports are now stubbornly high and if, as seems likely, steel production and demand eases back later in the year, then we see iron ore prices coming under renewed pressure.” Continue Reading →

Price of iron ore, crude oil and other commodities to take a hit if North Korea crisis escalates: Citibank – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – August 11, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

As nuclear rhetoric between North Korea and the United States heats up, Citibank analysts are anxiously watching commodity prices due to the importance of the North Asian market.

Global commodity markets have so far not priced in geopolitical risks even as North Korea threatened to launch ballistic missiles into waters near the American territory of Guam. President Donald Trump warned there would be “fire and fury” against the North if it continued to threaten the U.S.

The VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped 25.2 per cent, the biggest increase since May on Thursday. The price of gold, considered a safe haven investment, rose more that $12 to US$1,285.40 an ounce by midday against the backdrop of heightened political uncertainty. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Port stocks the growing elephant in the room for iron ore prices – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – August 7, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Chinese steel and iron ore prices continue to rise in lock-step. In Shanghai today the most active steel rebar contract went limit-up, surging 7 percent to 4,013 yuan per ($597) per tonne, its highest level since April 2013. Where Shanghai steel leads, Dalian iron ore follows.

The most-traded contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange jumped as much as 7.3 percent to 587.50 yuan per tonne at one stage, its highest level since March 21. And where Dalian leads, the rest of the iron ore world follows. On the Singapore Exchange the cash contract has just punched up through the $77-per tonne level, also for the first time since March.

There is much speculative froth in this mix. Market open interest on both Shanghai steel and Dalian iron ore hit record highs last month and is still at historically elevated levels. However, this is not just irrational exuberance. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Iron ore may eventually have to leave China’s steel party – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – August 1, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Aug 1 (Reuters) – China’s surging steel sector is pulling iron ore along for the ride, but the strong gain in prices raises the risk that marginal supply of the raw material will start to flow into what is already a well-supplied market.

Steel prices in Shanghai received another boost on Monday on the back of an increase in China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the sector, which climbed to 54.9 in July from 54.1 in June, marking the third consecutive month that the indicator was above the 50-level that demarcates expansion from contraction.

The steel PMI was also at its highest in 14 months, which helped boost benchmark Shanghai steel rebar futures to a close of 3,663 yuan ($545) a tonne, taking the year-to-date increase to almost 38 percent. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto doubles first-half profit, offers record dividend – by James Regan and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.K. – August 2, 2017)

http://uk.reuters.com/

SYDNEY/LONDON (Reuters) – Global miner Rio Tinto more than doubled its first-half profit buoyed by Chinese iron ore demand and rewarded shareholders with a record interim dividend and $1 billion in share buybacks.

Underlying earnings for the six months to June 30 of $3.94 billion missed forecasts for $4.19 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, but were well above last year’s $1.56 billion following a recovery in iron ore and other commodity prices.

Rio Tinto declared a record-high half-year dividend of $1.10 a share, equivalent to $2 billion, up from 45 cents a share a year ago. The latest buyback comes on top of a $500 million program announced in February. Continue Reading →

Nunavut economy to grow 6.4 per cent in 2017: study – by Beth Brown (Nunatsiaq News – August 2, 2017)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

New mines expected to generate new wealth in the future

Nunavut’s economy will grow by 6.4 per cent in 2017—due to mining and construction. With four mines expected to reach operation by 2020, the Conference Board of Canada forecasts a steady expansion in Nunavut’s gross domestic product, or GDP, which has been rebounding since a drop in 2014.

“Metal mining is the single largest contributor to economic growth, and all operating mines are planning increases in production,” said an Aug. 1 report from the conference board on all three territorial economies. This year, mining output will grow by 23.7 per cent, following the opening of TMAC Resources Inc.’s Doris North mine in the Kitikmeot and increased production at Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.‘s’s Mary River mine and Agnico Eagle Ltd.’s Meadowbank.

That output will increase by 27 per cent by 2019 when Agnico Eagle brings its Meliadine and Amaruq projects into production, the biannual report said. Since dwindling reserves at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank site mean operations there will soon wind down, the territory should see a 0.2 per cent decline in total GDP in 2018, said the report. Continue Reading →

Minnesota Grand Rapids ore will make pig iron in Ohio – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – August 1, 2017)

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

Iron ore concentrate from Minnesota will go to make pig iron in Lorain, Ohio under a deal reached between fledgling ERP Iron Ore and Republic Steel.

Under the agreement ERP will produce concentrated ore at its recently acquired Magnetation operations outside Grand Rapids, move it by rail to its Reynolds, Ind. plant to be baked into pellets and then ship those pellets to Ohio to be made into pig iron.

The two companies will be joint owners of the new pig-iron plant to be built on the site of a now-shuttered Republic blast furnace mill. Continue Reading →

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer: Why I’m pushing to preserve mining in northern Minnesota – by Tom Emmer (Minneapolis Star Tribune – August 1, 2017)

http://www.startribune.com/

Tom Emmer, a Republican, represents Minnesota’s Sixth District in the U.S. House.

Minnesota is an amazing state with an abundance of natural resources and one of the best-educated and -motivated workforces in the world. We Minnesotans not only work hard, we play hard. In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, we make the most of everything our state has to offer.

For many Minnesotans, mining has been a way of life since the early 1800s. Although the way we mine has changed dramatically over the years, mining is even more important today to the future of our state and our country.  In fact, one of the largest precious-metals deposits in the world has been discovered in Minnesota. This is why it is imperative that we preserve and celebrate mining in our state, not eliminate its future. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always a shared priority with the Obama administration.

When the Superior National Forest was established in 1909 — and later when the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was established in 1978 — there was an express agreement between the federal government and the state of Minnesota that certain activities like mining and logging could continue in the Superior National Forest. Continue Reading →

Goldman turns bullish on iron ore – for the moment – by Jasmine Ng (Australian Financial Review/Bloomberg – July 28, 2017)

http://www.afr.com/

Goldman Sachs boosted its iron ore forecasts after better-than-expected demand in China raised prices, but warned that it remains bearish on next year amid prospects for plentiful mine supplies and a worldwide glut.

The three-month forecast was raised to $US70 a tonne from $US55, and the year-end target increased by $US5 to $US60, according to a report from analysts including Yubin Fu and Max Layton received on Thursday. Next year, prices are still expected to drop, it said.

Iron ore has surged in recent weeks to top $US70 a tonne on sustained demand from China, the largest user. Steel mills in the country have benefited from rising product prices and strong profit margins after the government shuttered some capacity, and remaining producers are making record volumes. Continue Reading →

Millions of Orchids Are Blooming in an Abandoned Iron Mine – by Michelle Z. Donahue (National Geographic – May 12, 2016)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/

The plants are thriving in a wetland that sprang up after the mine was shuttered in the 1970s.

A vacationer heading to Lake Placid on State Route 3 could be forgiven for barely glancing at a group of dilapidated buildings on the way through Star Lake, New York. Those structures are all that remain of what was once the world’s largest open-pit iron mine.

But hidden in a wooded marsh directly across the street, curious road trippers would find an even more startling deposit: Millions of orchids have been thriving for over 60 years on the blighted industrial waste site.

The colorful flowers are growing atop a wetland that formed at the base of a pile of tailings—crushed rock left over when iron ore is extracted from its surroundings. As part of her research, graduate student Grete Bader tallied up the plants within 20 predefined plots, and her work suggests wildflowers now cover the hundred-acre wetland. Continue Reading →

UK Serious Fraud Office launches probe into Rio Tinto over Simandou – by Frik Els (Mining.com – July 24, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

The UK’s anti-fraud investigating body said Monday it is probing Rio Tinto’s dealings in Guinea involving the giant Simandou iron ore project.

“The Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into suspected corruption in the conduct of business in the Republic of Guinea by the Rio Tinto group, its employees and others associated with it,” the SFO said in a statement on Monday.

In November last year Melbourne-based Rio fired two executives involved in the project after an internal investigation uncovered a $10.5m payment in 2011 to a French national acting as a go-between with the West African nation’s government. Continue Reading →

Minnesota mining’s place in American history: Soudan state park showcases mining’s impact on country – by Lisa Kaczke Duluth News Tribune – July 22, 2017)

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

SOUDAN — Imagine walking three-quarters of a mile through a mine tunnel in complete darkness to find iron ore, park interpreter James Juip tells the tour group. The lights click off to help people imagine that scenario and the 20 people stand in darkness at level 27 of the Soudan Underground Mine, unable to see each other or Juip at 2,341 feet below the surface of the Earth.

Standing on the last level to be mined before Minnesota’s first iron ore mine closed in 1962, Juip lights a candle in the darkness. Its flame only extends to a few faces near him, leaving the rest of the group still in the dark. He places the candle and sconce on his hard hat, similar to how miners would have placed a candle on their soft leather cap before electricity, freeing their hands to mine the ore.

“By the light of one candle, it would be the job of a crew of three men to find the iron that’s hidden here in the wall, drill it, blast it and get it out of here,” Juip told the tour group on July 13. Continue Reading →

‘Proof is in the pudding’ and the iron ore is there, says Tacora on Wabush Mines – by Stephanie Tobin (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – July 20, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/

First employees getting hired, company will be in Lab West to prep for business by next summer

The company that purchased the Scully Mine in Wabush says it has a five-year deal with the world’s largest iron ore trader and hopes to have the operation back up and running by this time next year.

Tacora Resources is currently going through the Companies’ Creditors Agreement Act (CCAA) purchase process for the site, since the mine has been locked in creditor protection since being shuttered by Cliffs Natural Resources in 2014.

Matt Lehtinen, Tacora CEO and president, says his company has been looking at Wabush Mines since January 2016 and working hard these past eight months to buy and reopen the operation. “I really thought that we had found a diamond in the rough,” he said. “We saw a lot of potential.” Continue Reading →

Traditional owners win native title fight with Fortescue – by Darren Gray (Sydney Morning Herald – July 20, 2017)

http://www.smh.com.au/

Native title holders in the Pilbara will seek compensation after winning their long-running battle with iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group. In a judgment on Thursday, the Federal Court awarded the Yindjibarndi people exclusive rights over a section of Pilbara land where Fortescue operates the Solomon mine.

Shortly after the judgment was handed down, senior Yindjibarndi lawman Michael Woodley vowed to launch a compensation claim against the iron ore miner.

“We believe strongly they are liable for what they’ve been doing for the last eight years on our country, mining without our … prior and informed consent,” Mr Woodley told the ABC. In his decision, Justice Steven Rares pointed to the presence of the Yindjibarndi in the area well before European settlement and the fact there were important cultural sites near the Fortescue mine. Continue Reading →