Iron Ore Top Stories

All these Australian mines are reopening thanks to the rally in coal prices

Glencore has already restarted its Collinsville mine in Queensland and…

Iron ore price explodes higher

Iron ore price tops $60 a tonne after 5% jump…

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$304 million in mining royalties in 2010-2011: Quebec has collected in a single year more than it did in the 10 previous years

Montréal, September 15, 2011 – “The new mining royalty regime enables us to attain the objectives that we set, i.e. to obtain from mining companies fair compensation for our natural resources without discouraging investment,” Minister of Finance and Minister of Revenue Raymond Bachand said today at a technical information session held jointly with Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord Clément Gignac. Minister Bachand indicated that the mining royalties the government collected reached $304 million in 2010-2011, more than double the $133 million originally forecast in the 2011-2012 Budget.

Rio Tinto puts $833m, further expands in Pilbara

Rio Tinto is to invest US$833 million (Rio Tinto share US$706 million) in major power and fuel supply projects as part of its drive to substantially increase iron ore production capacity in Western Australia. Rio Tinto's integrated Pilbara power and gas network will be upgraded with a US$520 million investment and a further US$313 million will be allocated to fuel infrastructure facilities.

Indian firms eye $6 billion Afghan iron ore contract

As the United States and its allies look back on a weekend of memorials and tributes to the nearly 3,000 victims of 9/11, the country that was struck in retaliation for the 2001 attack on America could become a hotbed of mining. The National reports that Indian firms are bidding billions of dollars for a contract to mine iron ore in a central district of Afghanistan: "A consortium led by the state-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) could invest up to US$6 billion (Dh22bn) in the mine, railroads and a steel plant in a race with China to lock in raw materials for two of the world's fastest-growing economies."

Rio Tinto has a problem with crabs

The Australian quotes a Rio Tinto spokesman on Wednesday saying the discovery of a species of freshwater crab and a never before recorded shrimp near its Weipa mine would not be threatened by a planned bauxite expansion, but environmental protesters could still scupper the $900 million project. Rio Tinto, the world's number two miner, found a total of six species of crustacean including the new crab, which is about the size of a quarter, as part of its environmental impact study. It is now up to Australia state and federal governments to assess the findings.

Antimony tops metals and minerals risk list, China controls 50% of 52 critical chemicals

The British Geological Survey (BGS) on Wednesday published the latest list of the 52 elements, minerals and metals most at risk of supply disruption because global production is concentrated in a few countries, many with unstable governments. Surprisingly rare earths used in green technology and defence do not top the list but comes in at number five. Antimony, extracted mainly from stibnite (pictured), widely used for fireproofing is most at risk. The platinum group metals (auto catalysts) hold the second spot while niobium used in touch screens and scanners and tungsten for cutting tools are also at risk of supply disruption as a result of increased competition among the world's growing economies, political instability, resource nationalism, along with events such as strikes and accidents. China is the number one producer of 50% of the 52 chemicals on the list and produces 75% of the world's antimony.

Vale’s borrowing costs hit record high as Brazil doubles mine royalties

The cost of borrowing for Brazil's Vale has risen to record highs relative to competitors BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as the Brazilian government looks to reap more in mining taxes amid surging metals prices, Bloomberg is reporting: The world’s largest iron-ore mining company’s dollar bonds due in 2019 yielded 4.22 percent, a record 152 basis points more than similar-maturity bonds from higher-rated BHP. The yield gap has swelled 61 basis points, or 0.61 percentage point, this year. The spread over Rio Tinto Group bonds reached 84 basis points yesterday after averaging 51 points in the first seven months of 2011.