Fortescue Metals Group Reveals Huge Increase in Iron Ore Deposit in Pilbara
Fortescue Metals Group – the Perth-based company and world’s fourth biggest iron ore miner – has announced a dramatic increase in the amount of iron ore it had previously estimated at the Greater Solomon deposit in the Pilbara region.
The new discoveries include “bedded mineralization in Brockman and Marra Mamba Iron Formations, Channel Iron Deposits and Detrital Iron Deposits.”
The reported addition boosts the mineral resource 77 percent – 1.6 billion tons – to a total of 2.66 billion tons. Specifically, the Firetail mine, Kings Valley mine and other places of resource for the company’s Solomon hub have grown to more than 4.5 billion tons. The mineral resource at the Eliwana-Flying Fish Project, another of Fortescue’s, has also been increased by 116 million tons, to a total of 740 million tons.
These discovery successes can be largely attributed to the exploration program that Fortescue founded in 2003. Another drilling program is set to be conducted around the nearby Chichester Range in June and July of this year.
Shares in the current gloomy market leapt 3.4 percent on Tuesday, leading experts to believe that investors may once again be attracted to the stock.
Just a day ago, the company’s shares dropped 4.6 percent to an 8-month low; Fortescue’s share price has fallen 20 percent this year. News that the iron ore price fell below the “psychological floor” of $100 per ton for the first time in two years has driven the dive in prices. The two-year low is attributed to the uncertainty of the Chinese steel output and an increase in supply.
Fortescue will need to look towards the potential strike by tugboat workers at Port Hedland in the coming days. The strike could cut 10 million tons from the miner’s shipments this year, further affecting their stock.
BHP, Rio Tinto & Vale launch Charge On Innovation Challenge
Mining giants BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the 'Charge On' Innovation Challenge to solve one of the biggest challenges the industry faces today - decarbonising mining operations.
'Charge On' Innovation Challenge
In partnership with Austmine, Australia's leading mining equipment, technology and services industry association, founding patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the competition to encourage technology innovators to develop new concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems. The main goal is cutting emissions from surface mining operations.
“The mining industry needs to be at the forefront of tackling the climate challenge. The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry and mobile equipment manufacturers to decarbonise mining fleets,” the trio said in a media statement.
“In addition to providing a zero-carbon energy source, the conversion of mobile mining equipment to battery-electric can potentially unlock value, as electric motors have fewer moving parts when compared to standard equipment.”
A number of non-traditional mining sector vendors are actively developing technologies that can assist in mine electrification. By submitting a Challenge to the market, the Patrons of Charge On expect to:
- Demonstrate there is an emerging market for charging solutions in mining
- Accelerate commercialization of solutions
- Indicate to suppliers, the mining industry seeks interoperable solutions
- Maintain multiple actors and competition in the supply chain
- Integrate innovations from other sectors into the mining sector
"We expect some solutions identified in the Challenge could provide propulsion to existing diesel-electric trucks. This may present a pathway to early implementation for dynamic charging solutions," the trio said.
Found patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto are pledging their commitment to fighting climate change:
"The mining industry has an important role to reduce emissions and do our part to achieve the Paris Agreement goals to limit the impacts of climate change."
The Charge On Innovation Challenge asks vendors to present interoperable solutions that can safely deliver electricity to large battery-electric off-road haul trucks in a way that maintains or improves current productivity levels. Specifically, mechanisms capable of delivering in the order of 400kWh of electricity to each truck within a haul cycle (ie load, travel, dump, return, queue). The delivered electricity is to charge a battery, and if applicable directly propel the truck.
Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs Stewart commented: “We expect the Challenge will attract companies from a broad range of sectors including mining, automotive, aerospace, agriculture, and defence to deliver selected charging concepts to create a standard product that can interface with all trucks."
More information about the challenge will be released on May 18.
The competition echoes growing efforts being made across the industry to tackle emmissions and promote electrification. In march this year, the Electric Mine Consortium was launched. It's founding members include Gold Fields, Dassualt Systemes and Sandvik who pledged their commitment to decarbonising mining operations.