Global iron-ore production decreased by 3% to 2.2-billion tonnes in 2020; and global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% between 2021 to 2025 to 2.66-billion tonnes, says data and analytics company GlobalData.
The key contributors to this growth will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%).
Key upcoming projects expected to start operations include South Flank, in Australia, and Serrote Da Laje, in Brazil, this year, and Gudai-Darri, in Australia, in 2022.
“Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2-million tonnes in 2019 to an estimated 591.1-million tonnes in 2020.
“The reduced output from 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,” says GlobalData associate project manager Vinneth Bajaj.
He notes that miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by Covid-19 owing to effective measures adopted by the government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron-ore output in 2020.
Looking ahead, global iron-ore production is expected to increase by 111.3-million tonnes to 2.3-billion tonnes this year.
Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340-million tonnes of iron-ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245-million to 255-million tonnes. Other companies are expected to produce more than 600-million tonnes of iron-ore.