Mining: The Foundation of U.S. Manufacturing
A recent National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Industry Week survey of manufacturing executives reveals that 88.5 percent of manufacturers are optimistic about their company’s outlook in 2015.
Taking a look at manufacturing’s sales, investment and employment rates, NAM’s chief economist, Chad Moutray, finds that “the current model is very encouraging and suggests that manufacturing production should continue to accelerate, growing 3.0% over the next two quarters.”
Despite this positive outlook, Moutray takes a deeper look into business operations and finds several concerning challenges that affect manufacturers across the country. This is of no surprise, as these findings are underscored by NMA’ s own survey nbsp;of manufacturing executives, which shows that a majority of respondents believe minerals and metals demand will only increase in the next 10 years and manufacturers are seriously concerned about their ability to access the minerals and metals they need when they need them due to an outdated and duplicative permitting process.
In fact, 95 percent of executives surveyed expressed concern about the length of the U.S. mine permitting process—which can take seven to 10 years—and its impact on the competiveness of the United States. And nearly 90 percent of leaders in the manufacturing industry also support streamlining the mine permitting process to less than three years—in line with Canada, Australia and other developed countries with similarly demanding environmental regulations—to strengthen access to the minerals and metals vital to their operations.
For a better, more sustainable and resilient U.S. economy, we must seek public policies that provide a streamlined permitting process. Both of these surveys are further evidence that Congress must act on this important issue in 2015.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”