May 17, 2020

Iron ore prices surge for the third day in a row

Iron ore
Nell Walker
1 min
Iron ore prices surge for the third day in a row
As of last Wednesday, the price of iron ore has risen to $59.90 per dry metric tonne. It was the third day in a row that the price rose, with Northern C...

As of last Wednesday, the price of iron ore has risen to $59.90 per dry metric tonne. It was the third day in a row that the price rose, with Northern China’s import price adding 2.4 percent to the cost. This is according to information from The Steel Index.

Iron ore is now the best-performing commodity for 2016, having enjoyed a 39.6 percent rise year to date, and a 62 percent surge from the record lows at the end of 2015.

Nearly half of the world’s steel is produced by China, and the pan-Asian import of hot rolled steel is up 45 percent since February.

In December 2015, imports reached 96 million tonnes, and cargos for that year set a record of 952.7 million tonnes. Considering the successes of Q1, 2016 could prove to be an even better year.

Chinese steelmakers now rely on iron ore imports, since China itself produces low grades of the substance at a high cost; four fifths are now imports. Port Hedland supplied China with 32.6 million tonnes of iron ore in March.

However, stockpiles of imports languishing at Chinese ports signify that end-user demand is down, and new supplies from Australian mines threaten to flood the market further.


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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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