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Iron Ore News

Australian state says BHP can disturb 40 sacred sites in mine expansion

By: Reuters     11th June 2020 Western Australia approved BHP Group's application to disturb 40 culturally significant Aboriginal sites as part of a mine expansion, the state government said on Thursday, days after Rio Tinto blew up sacred rock caves in the same area. State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said in a... 

ICMM members record 287 fatalities in 2019

By: Martin Creamer     11th June 2020 The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) on Thursday released the 2019 safety data of its company members, who reported 287 occupational fatalities, a marked increase from the 50 fatalities recorded in 2018 and 51 fatalities recorded in 2017. ICMM said in a media release to Mining... 

ICMM members record 287 fatalities in 2019
ICMM CEO Tom Butler

Top 40 miners ‘in a strong, resilient position’ to weather the Covid-19 storm, says PwC

By: Simone Liedtke     11th June 2020 The global Top 40 mining companies are so far weathering the Covid-19 crisis, but consultancy PwC has advised miners to take advantage of the relative stability to adopt strategies to mitigate against further economic and social risks. With the global economy in uncertain times following the... 

Top 40 miners ‘in a strong, resilient position’ to weather the Covid-19 storm, says PwC

Global mining forum IGF puts forward sweeping employment reforms 

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2020 The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining Minerals Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) on Wednesday put forward sweeping mining employment reforms in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has, it states, exposed weak points in the global labour market. IGF emerged from the 2002 World Summit... 

Global mining forum IGF puts forward sweeping employment reforms
Photo by Bloomberg
Sweeping mining reforms advocated in response to Covid-19.

Gung-ho Brazil prosecutors become unlikely commodity influencers

By: Bloomberg     10th June 2020 Add trigger-happy Brazilian prosecutors to the list of probable drivers of commodity markets in the coming months. As the pandemic strains supplies, judges in Brazil have granted prosecutors’ requests to shut major mining and meat operations in recent weeks. That contrasts with the US where... 

Gung-ho Brazil prosecutors become unlikely commodity influencers

Europe’s steel industry rips into EU revamp of import controls

By: Bloomberg     9th June 2020 The European Union steel industry lashed out at the EU’s trade authority for failing to slash import quotas in a planned revamp of them, saying producers in the bloc risk going bust. The European Steel Association and chief executive officers of EU-based manufacturers took aim at the bloc’s... 

Judge orders Vale to close three mines because of virus

By: Bloomberg     8th June 2020 Vale was ordered by a Brazilian labor court to close three iron-ore mines at its Itabira complex in Minas Gerais state after an outbreak of Covid-19 among workers. The decision restores a ban on operations at the Conceicao, Caue and Periquito pits after Vale last week fended off an attempt by... 

Judge orders Vale to close three mines because of virus
The Conceicao mine, in Minas Gerais.

Guinea approves SMB-Winning deal for Simandou iron mine project 

By: Reuters     5th June 2020 Guinea's government approved on Thursday a basic agreement for the development of its giant Simandou iron ore project by a consortium representing Chinese, French and Singaporean interests, the mines minister told Reuters. The consortium - which includes Société Minière de Boké (SMB) and... 

Well positioned to weather storm – Standard Bank

By: Martin Creamer     4th June 2020 The Standard Bank is well positioned to weather the Covid-19 storm and remains determined to emerge from this crisis as a stronger Africa-focused financial services group, Standard Bank Group FD Dr Arno Daehnke said on Thursday. The capital and liquidity levels of Africa’s biggest lender by... 

Well positioned to weather storm – Standard Bank
Standard Bank building.

Mozambique streaks ahead with new e-government cadastre advance 

By: Martin Creamer     3rd June 2020 While South Africa is still trundling along laboriously with a minerals cadastre system fraught with shortcomings, Mozambique has rocketed to the highest firmament of e-government licence processing, Mining Weekly can report. Mozambique first led the pack 17 years ago when, ironically, it latched... 

Mozambique streaks ahead with new e-government cadastre advance
Mozambique mining cadastre portal.

Latin America virus surge puts world’s biggest mines at risk

By: Bloomberg     2nd June 2020 The decision to keep Chinese factories shut after the Lunar New Year sent shudders through the massive mines of Brazil and Chile that feed them. Now, with China getting back to work and Latin America the new virus hot spot, concern is shifting from demand to supply. Iron-ore shipper Vale had a... 

Latin America virus surge puts world’s biggest mines at risk

New solution for monitoring tailings dams 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd June 2020 The tragic tailings dam breach in Brazil that killed more than 270 people has focused the world of mining on making tailings dams safe. Earlier this year, and environmental organisation Grid-Arendal launched the world’s first publicly accessible global database of mine tailings storage facilities... 

New solution for monitoring tailings dams
Photo by Creamer Media
Tailings dam.

Monadelphous secures contracts worth $150m

By: Simone Liedtke     1st June 2020 Engineering company Monadelphous Group has secured a number of construction and maintenance contracts in the resources and energy sectors with a combined value of about $150-million. In the iron-ore market in the Pilbara region, the ASX-listed company has secured a contract under its existing BHP... 

Rio Tinto vows to review heritage approach after it blasts sacred site

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st June 2020 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has apologised after it detonated explosives near a 46 000-year-old sacred indigenous site, in Juukan Gorge, Australia. The Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP) group of traditional [land] owners say the denotation of explosives 11 m away from ancient rock... 

Rio Tinto vows to review heritage approach after it blasts sacred site
The Pilbara region, in Western Australia, contains various cultural heritage sites

EU to revamp steel-import controls as virus-hit economy recovers

By: Bloomberg     1st June 2020 The European Union plans to revamp its steel-import restrictions to guard against major market distortions as the bloc’s economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic. The proposed changes apply to EU import curbs introduced two years ago to prevent a controversial 25% US levy on foreign... 

EU to revamp steel-import controls as virus-hit economy recovers

In northern Brazil, iron-ore keeps flowing as Vale miners battle coronavirus

By: Reuters     1st June 2020 In late April, Evaldo Fidelis, a 35-year-old tractor operator at Vale's massive iron-ore mine in northern Brazil, came down with a dry cough. Soon, he said, six others in his crew of about 40 workers fell ill with classic symptoms of Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel... 

Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday urged mines to test for Covid-19 to the full extent without fearing mine closure. The Minister was responding to a media question on the steps the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) was taking to end the backlog of... 

Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Gwede Mantashe

Iron-ore powers past $100 as supply woes meet robust demand

By: Bloomberg     29th May 2020 Iron-ore surged past $100/t as supply woes in Brazil coincide with sustained, robust demand in top steel producer China. Benchmark spot prices climbed to $101.05 on Friday as Brazil, the world’s second-largest exporter, saw a surge in coronavirus infections, stoking worries that the pandemic may... 

Iron-ore powers past $100 as supply woes meet robust demand

Fortescue facing compensation claims after High Court ruling

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th May 2020 Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals on Friday moved to assure shareholders that a decision by the High Court of Australia to deny the company leave to appeal an earlier ruling on a native title determination would not affect the current or future mining operations at the Solomon Hub, in the... 

Fortescue facing compensation claims after High Court ruling

Concept study shows potential to lower capital cost at Zanaga project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th May 2020 A concept study on the viability of a floating dewatering, storage and offloading port facility (FDSO) at Aim-listed Zanaga Iron Ore Company's (ZIOC's) Zanaga project, in Congo-Brazzaville, has demonstrated the potential for a $184-million reduction in capital costs. There is no change expected... 

Conversation on getting economy back on track post-Covid has begun   

By: Martin Creamer     28th May 2020 The conversation has begun on getting the South African economy back on track with the necessary structural reforms post-Covid, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said on Wednesday. Speaking at question time during a virtual media conference following the council’s annual general... 

Conversation on getting economy back on track post-Covid has begun
Minerals Council’s virtual media conference covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Vale ordered to set aside $1.48bn for Brumadinho dam damages

By: Reuters     27th May 2020 A judge in Brazil's Minas Gerais state partially granted an injunction sought by prosecutors ordering iron-ore miner Vale to deposit 7.9-billion reais ($1.48-billion) for payment of potential fines related to a dam disaster last year. Vale faces multiple legal battles after a tailings dam it... 

Mining production to fall 8% to 10% this year, says Minerals Council

By: Reuters     26th May 2020 South Africa's mining production is likely to fall between 8% and 10% this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the CEO of industry body the Minerals Council said on Tuesday during a virtual panel discussion. Mines across South Africa, the world's biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a... 

Australia's Downer EDI secures $295.7m Eliwana mine contract from Fortescue

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th May 2020 Australia's Downer EDI has secured a A$450-million ($295.70-million) contract from Fortescue Metals Group for early mining and maintenance services at Eliwana iron-ore mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the engineering contractor said on Tuesday. Fortescue, the world's No. 4... 

CRU warns most commodities have further to fall

By: Mariaan Webb     25th May 2020 As the economic fallout of governments’ responses to the Covid-19 pandemic is starting to be counted, commodity market analyst CRU has warned that the repercussions will be significant and that most commodities prices have not yet reached the bottom. The coronavirus crisis has affected all... 

CRU warns most commodities have further to fall
The steelmaking value chain continues to favour iron-ore miners as prices remain elevated.

China steel body, producers call for domestic iron-ore output boost

By: Reuters     25th May 2020 China's steel association and major steelmakers have called for an increase in domestic iron ore production as well as greater investment in exploration overseas to ensure supplies. He Wenbo, chairman of the China Iron & Steel Industry Association (CISA), recommended at the Chinese People's... 

Mining billionaire gets help from ex-spies in bitter legal fight

By: Bloomberg     25th May 2020 Black Cube, the private intelligence agency run by former Israeli spies, spent months setting up companies around the world. Offices, websites and employees were painstakingly put in place -- all part of a sting targeting former executives at Brazilian mining giant Vale. The Black Cube... 

Mining billionaire gets help from ex-spies in bitter legal fight
The Simandou project, in Guinea.

Full reopening of mining from June 1 – President Ramaphosa

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2020 Subject to strict Covid-19 protocols, mining will be allowed to reopen fully from June 1, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday. In his address on South Africa’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the President announced that South Africa would advance to level 3 from June 1, with an... 

Full reopening of mining from June 1 – President Ramaphosa
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Trident raises funds to execute opportunities

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd May 2020 Diversified miner Trident Resources has successfully placed 80-million new ordinary shares, at a price of 20p per ordinary share, raising gross proceeds of about £16-million, or about $20-million. The placing was led by Tamesis Partners, Ashanti Capital and Azure Capital and received strong... 

Leon lists measures to attract mining investment in these challenging times  

By: Martin Creamer     22nd May 2020 South Africa should consider appointing an independent minerals regulator to speed up minerals licensing, Herbert Smith Freehills Africa co-chair Peter Leon said during a webinar this week. Responding to Patrick Leyden, who moderated the webinar entitled re-imagining the sub-Saharan mining... 

Leon lists measures to attract mining investment in these challenging times
Herbert Smith Freehills Africa Co-Chair Peter Leon spoke at a webinar covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Basto to run BHP’s Australian mines

By: Mariaan Webb     22nd May 2020 Edgar Basto has been promoted to president of mining major BHP’s entire suite of Australian operations, including iron-ore, coal, nickel and copper, with effect from July 1. The Colombia-born executive previously headed BHP’s Western Australia iron-ore business and is filling the position left... 

Basto to run BHP’s Australian mines
Edgar Basto will head BHP's Australian operations.

Afrimat says all its mines will be at full operating capacity in June  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st May 2020 JSE-listed openpit miner Afrimat says it entered the Covid-19 lockdown with a strong balance sheet that will help it weather the uncertain and volatile business climate that is expected to prevail in the immediate future. The company points out that the partial reopening of the Demaneng... 

Afrimat says all its mines will be at full operating capacity in June
Afrimat CEO Andries van Heerden

Iron-ore ends higher as coronavirus crisis hampers Brazil supply

By: Reuters     21st May 2020 Dalian iron-ore futures surged past $100/t on Thursday, recovering lost ground as concerns about tightening supply of the steelmaking commodity from coronavirus-hit Brazil prevailed over a bleak outlook for global steel demand. After Brazilian iron-ore miner Vale cut its 2020 production outlook... 

Mining becoming significant corporate buyer of renewable energy ­– ICMM 

By: Martin Creamer     21st May 2020 The mining industry has started to become a significant corporate buyer of renewable energy in regions where these technologies have become reliable and cost-competitive compared with fossil fuel-based electricity, says the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). These regions include... 

Mining becoming significant corporate buyer of renewable energy ­– ICMM
Wind turbines at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in Western Australia.

China's mine development in sub-Saharan Africa likely to slow

By: Simone Liedtke     20th May 2020 The development of mines in sub-Saharan Africa by Chinese firms will slow in the coming quarters, before picking up again in 2021, says industry research company Fitch Solutions. In addition to logistical challenges being faced by miners as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the company... 

Gazetted Covid guideline restates much of what mining has already adopted 

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2020 The newly gazetted guideline to prevent, mitigate and manage the Covid-19 pandemic on mines is largely a restatement of what has already been adopted by the mining industry. Most of the requirements of the code of practice (COP) mandated in the gazette already form part of the standard operating... 

Gazetted Covid guideline restates much of what mining has already adopted
ENSafrica executive consultant Willem le Roux

Covid prevention a must at mines – gazette 

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2020 Covid-19 prevention, mitigation and management programmes must be established at mines using the guideline gazetted by Chief Inspector of Mines David Msiza on Tuesday. The gazette notice states that this guideline provides minimum requirements for the compilation of a code of practice to prevent... 

Covid prevention a must at mines – gazette
Photo by Creamer Media
Chief Inspector of Mines David Msiza

Brazil mining sector will quickly bounce back after Covid-19 disruption – Ibram

By: Reuters     20th May 2020 Brazil's mining sector is likely to be the first to rebound from the economic shock of the coronavirus outbreak due to large iron-ore capacity and already-growing demand from China, the president of industry association Ibram told Reuters. Nonetheless, Flávio Penido said there could be a... 

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