MGT related press stories

MGT related press stories

MGT specific

WA mining veteran and former Rio Tinto executive Mal Randall believes WA’s iron ore sector could be set for a shake-out because of China’s growing demand for high-quality ore and diminishing grades across the State’s remaining deposits.

Just as there are clean, sweet crude oils and dirty, sulphurous, polluting crude oils, there are high quality, low emission iron ores and low quality, difficult to process, high emission iron ores.

Given this, Criterion’s shell-likes pricked up when Gordon Toll explained his plans to build the world’s fifth-biggest iron ore producer — and the biggest magnetite miner with mooted output of 100 million tonnes — in South Australia.

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It's all about High Grade & Low Impurity

A crackdown on pollution in China has prompted authorities to shut vast chunks of China’s steel industry. That has led the remaining mills to prioritise high-grade iron ores to maximise output, spurring a wider discount.

China is serious about cracking down on polluting steel mills and this could mean the wider discount on iron ore sticks around for longer, according to Chris Ellison.

This creates the incentive for importing higher grade iron ore to operate at the remaining operating plants, and for boosting productivity when restrictions are lifted during the seven or so months outside winter.

So long as the sun is shining in Beijing, the world's best-quality iron ore will feel its glow.

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Rio Tinto will prioritise higher iron ore grades over lower costs as it responds to what it believes could be a “structural” shift in the way iron ore is priced.

“China’s getting rid of the older-style mills and going to the super mills,” said Lennox. “They’re taking high-quality iron ore and they’re taking the same quantities -- the actual appetite for iron ore has not changed.”

The looming season of weaker iron ore demand from China will only further entrench the wide discount between high-grade and low-grade materials, Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Chris Salisbury has said.

“Demand for higher-grade ore will continue as long as the steel margins support their purchase of higher grade,”

The quality issue will not change quickly, and might even become critical for some miners, because the Chinese government is enforcing stricter pollution laws and that means steel mills must use high-quality feedstock to limit production runs for the required amount of steel.

"It is tough to get a market for the low grade ore.The steel manufacturing mills are focusing more on the higher grade ore to increase productivity," said mine owner and industry expert Haresh Melvani.

"The only way you can reduce the coke is by having less impurities going into the blast furnace, so in other words, high grade,"

China's steel mills hunt for high-grade iron ore to boost output


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