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Mining, generell topic
12:24 08.10.2014

August - the first decrease in 14 years.

Mr Hamilton says Chinese mills are cutting production heavily because demand is weak and they cannot sell more to a saturated export market. "In that environment they will want to hold less iron ore, particularly as steel prices are falling quicker than iron ore prices at the current time," he says. The futures price of reinforcing bar, a steel product used in building, has hit a record low.

The low prices of iron ore were the "new status quo", the president of Baoshan Iron & Steel, China's second biggest steelmaker, told the conference.

Tim Murray of J Capital Research says a property market correction is under way in China, with new starts in construction negative for five consecutive months. "We will see a 20 per cent reduction in steel demand from construction over the next 12 months."

Beyond shorter-term demand problems is a broader concern that China's appetite for steel - and hence iron ore - will peak, although CRU, a consultancy, reckons that "peak steel" will not occur for at least another five years as the country continues to experience absolute growth in construction activity.

Miners identify longer-term growth prospects in other regions, such as India or Africa. But while they may eventually follow China's trajectory, they may not do so with such concerted vigour.

Large iron ore miners are not consumed by panic yet. According to UBS analysts, Rio and BHP can break even by delivering ore from Australia to China at prices as low as $45 and $50 respectively. "Even at $80 iron ore is really good business," says Chris LaFemina, an analyst at Jefferies.

But if the miners have misjudged, and iron ore prices are driven further down, the shakeout could hurt shareholders. Liberum, a UK broker, thinks that at current iron ore prices neither Rio nor BHP can deliver promised capital returns next year while holding to their targets for net debt, although other analysts are more confident miners can stick to their plans.

At Anglo American, there is no talk of Minas-Rio's once-anticipated second phase - rather satisfaction that the miner's other output, from diamonds to copper, offers some protection from the battle raging in iron ore. "I have nine other commodities that have a different prognosis," says Mr Cutifani. "We will wait for the iron ore market to fall back into reasonable equilibrium."

Market index: In search of a more realistic pricing system

What determines the iron ore price? As with most commodities the obvious answer is supply and demand but the market is not quite the clear arbiter that economic theory would suggest.

The mining and steelmaking industry used to set the price of iron ore through annual contracts. But as China overtook Japan as the biggest consumer of internationally traded "seaborne" iron ore, the system began to break down. Like oil, aluminium and coal before it, the iron ore industry ditched annual contacts in 2010 and moved to the new system, using a spot market index - usually the Platts Iron Ore Index - to set the price of quarterly contracts. The market has evolved further since then with a big move towards short-term contracts that are more reflective of market prices.

Critics of the index pricing system say it has increased volatility and reduced the visibility of earnings for big miners. Others say the spot market is not yet liquid enough to provide accurate price formation.

"Ten per cent or less of the world's seaborne iron ore is traded on the spot market - and that sets the index price," says one market participant. "We find a lot of the participants in the spot market are high-cost, low-grade suppliers or struggling steel mills, which may have difficulty obtaining letters of credit from Chinese banks to buy ore."

He says the solution is for big producers to tip more ore into the spot market, which they are reluctant to do.

Endret 08.10.2014 12:25 av OldNick
12:24 08.10.2014

The benchmark price only partly reflects what a miner can expect to earn. Ore is sold in many forms and grades, with iron content of 62 per cent being the benchmark. Large miners and traders blend output. Some think China will increasingly want higher-grade ore to make steel, meaning this ore will attract a premium price.

As with many commodities, miners' best protection against falling prices is to produce as cheaply as possible. They need precise knowledge of where they and rivals lie on the "cost curve". If new competitive supply comes on line the price at which demand is met should fall. Mines further up the cost curve become uncompetitive and should cease output.

Additional reporting by Jamie Smyth


Bloomberg-artikkelen som refererte Goldman's analyse av jernmalmindustrien for 1 måned siden.

Goldman Calls End to Iron Age After 'Dramatic' Drop in Ore Price

By Jasmine Ng, Bloomberg
Sept. 10, 2014

Endret 08.10.2014 12:25 av OldNick
17:58 11.11.2014

Og majors fortsetter aa poese jernmalm inn i et overfylt marked, med fortsatt priskollaps som resultat.

Her skal mange hoy-kost gruver stenges ned.

Iron Ore Seen by Citigroup Below $60 as 2015 Forecast Cut

Jasmine Ng, Juan Pablo Spinetto, Bloomberg
Nov. 11, 2014

Iron ore prices will plummet to less than $60 a metric ton next year as global supply increases and demand remains weak, according to Citigroup Inc., which slashed its quarterly forecasts for 2015 by as much as 23 percent.

The raw material will average $72 a ton in the first three months of 2015, down from an earlier forecast of $82, Ivan Szpakowski, an analyst in Hong Kong, wrote in a report dated today. The second-quarter forecast was cut to $65 from $80, while the third was reduced to $60 from $78 and the figure for the final three months was put at $62 from $78, he wrote.

Iron ore lost 44 percent this year as surging supplies from BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group in Australia and Brazil's Vale SA created a glut just as China's economy slowed. The surplus will more than double next year, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., which yesterday cut price forecasts through 2017. Falling ore prices are having a direct impact on Australia's budget, Treasurer Joe Hockey said today.

"We expect renewed supply growth to once again drive the market lower in 2015, combined with further demand weakness," Szpakowski wrote in the report, predicting the price will dip into the $50s a ton in the third quarter. "We still have a long way to go" in the bear market, he said in a phone interview.

Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao fell to $75.80 a dry ton yesterday, extending the biggest weekly drop since May, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd. The commodity slumped to $75.38 on Nov. 6, the lowest since September 2009.

Stocks Slump

Iron ore's collapse this year prompted Macquarie Group Ltd. to say in a September report that the global market is in the midst of a transition without precedent in recent commodity history as supply jumps and higher-cost mines shut. The same month, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. declared the "end of the Iron Age" as a Chinese-led demand surge over the past decade that had brought record profits for producers came to an end.

In China, "we expect many mines that shut over the winter to simply not restart," said Szpakowski, who also reduced price forecasts for 2016 and 2017 while keeping the 2018 outlook at $80. "But the scope of such cuts is likely to be insufficient. As a result, prices will need to fall further."

Direct Impact

Iron ore prices are 30 percent to 40 percent lower than in May, when Australia's budget forecasts were made, Hockey said in an Adelaide radio interview today. That has a direct impact on the budget bottom line, he said.

"Obviously we have to respond to the circumstances that we find ourselves in," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in an interview in Beijing yesterday when asked if falling ore prices made it harder to cut the budget deficit. "I don't think we should assume that the iron ore price is stuck at $75."

While 2015 was seen as another weak year for the iron ore market as supply rises and Chinese steel consumption remains flat, prices may be $80 to $90 a ton, according to Wood Mackenzie Ltd. The market will improve in 2016 and by 2020 prices will be significantly higher than today, Paul Gray, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in an interview yesterday.

"The Brazilian production is growing, the Australian production is growing, China is not having such big demand anymore," said Kleber Silva, head of iron ore at ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker. "This supports prices of between $75 and $90," Silva said in an interview at an industry conference in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

Endret 11.11.2014 17:58 av OldNick
12:59 03.12.2014

Pga. av kollapsen i jernmalmprisene (has falt under $70/tonn), begynner det å gå surt for flere av gigantene.

Det er nok sterkt medvirkende til at majors som BHP og VALE lufter ideen om å selge ut deler av sine basemetall-operasjoner/divisjoner for å skaffe cash og bedre lønnsomheten.

BHP roadshow for $10bn spin-off

Bridget Carter, Gretchen Friemann, The Australian
Nov. 28, 2014

BHP Billiton will launch an investor roadshow for its planned $10 billion-plus spin-off vehicle in February as large-scale fund managers start to assess how much money to allocate to the soon-to-be-divided mining behemoth.

The differing investor strategies, with some institutions targeting larger slices of BHP's core assets rather than the new diversified commodity company, is expected to result in a bookbuild at the time of the demerger.

According to sources, this move would follow the pro-rata distribution of NewCo shares to all BHP shareholders, enabling fund managers to recalibrate their weightings.

A number of large-scale investors are expected to insist the mining giant conducts an auction ahead of the split, which is scheduled for the middle of next year. However, such a move is likely to prove complex given NewCo would also be listed in South Africa, meaning the trade would span three territories.

Project River, as the demerger has been dubbed, also stirred up deep-seated investor frustrations. Earlier this year management was forced to abandon any plans to exit the London stock exchange after a string of one-on-one negotiations with fund managers.

Much of the discontent stems from the perceived mistiming on acquisitions. One large fund manager claimed the company had consistently purchased assets at the peak of the cycle, and characterised their M&A track record as "disastrous".

BHP's decision to concentrate on its major products, such as iron ore and oil, opened the door long ago to criticism that the restructure is a back-to-the-future move, with the company left holding the same asset mix it had prior to the Billiton merger.

But the demerger, which must be voted on by shareholders, has also won broad investors support.

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Brazil's Vale says mulling spinoff of base metals unit stake

Lucas Iberico Lozada, Reuters
Dec. 2, 2014

Brazil's Vale SA said on Thursday it is considering the sale of a minority stake in its base metals unit in an initial public offering, as it looks to raise funds for key projects in the midst of sliding commodity prices.

Chief Executive Murilo Ferreira told investors in New York that Vale is considering selling 30 percent to 40 percent of the division, which some analysts have valued at between $28 billion and $35 billion.

Ferreira said the company was in discussions with investors and that if the IPO went ahead it would likely first be listed in Toronto, confirming a Reuters story published late Monday.

Ferreira said the IPO would only happen if market conditions were "satisfied," and would not be sold at "any price." Vale will decide whether to go ahead with the IPO by August 2015.

The world's largest mining companies are shedding non-core assets in order to weather an era of lower prices caused by a glut in supply and slowing demand growth in key consumer China.

Vale's profit margins have suffered with the price of iron ore, which tends to account for over 80 percent of the miner's profits, down by half this year to $69.70 per tonne.

UBS estimates that it costs Vale $67 to produce a tonne of iron ore and get it to China, a tight squeeze as the company looks to complete its $20 billion Brazilian iron ore project known as S11D.

mer på link

Endret 03.12.2014 13:03 av OldNick
10:35 23.03.2015

Og jernmalm-prisene fortsetter å falle, og nå passeres snart den "magiske grensen" - $50 per tonn (på vei nedover).

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., the world's fourth-largest exporter, is planning further cost cuts, Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said in Hong Kong on Monday.

Iron Ore Will Breach $50 on China Demand, Citigroup Says

Jasmine Ng, Bloomberg
Mar. 23, 2015

Iron ore will slump below $50 a metric ton as steel demand in China, the world's largest producer of the alloy, remains fundamentally weak and mining companies' costs extend declines, according to Citigroup Inc.

Chinese steel demand shrank in January and February from a year earlier, the bank said in an e-mailed report on Monday that repeated its forecast for a breach of the $50 level, from $54.66 on Friday. Weaker currencies, lower energy prices and reduced freight rates will cut miners' costs further, Citigroup said.

Iron ore is headed for a record quarterly loss as slowing demand in China coupled with increased supply from Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA spur a widening global glut. Citigroup has been among the most bearish forecasters for the steel-making commodity, correctly predicting last November that the price would drop below $60 a ton in 2015. Tougher environmental regulations in China were also hurting the outlook for steel output, Citigroup said in the report.

"We remain bearish iron ore and reiterate our expectation that prices will fall below $50," analysts including Ivan Szpakowski wrote in the nine-page report. "Real steel demand -- based on production, net exports, and changes in mill and trader inventories -- suggest significantly negative year-on-year growth for January-February."

Ore with 62 percent content at Qingdao sank on March 20 to the lowest since at least May 2008, according to daily and weekly figures from Metal Bulletin Ltd. Prices lost 23 percent this year, heading for a fifth quarterly retreat. Citigroup's full-year forecast remains at $58 a ton, Szpakowski said.

Growth Target

China set an economic growth target of 7 percent for this year, the least in more than 15 years, and flagged increasing headwinds that include a property slump. Premier Li Keqiang this month vowed tougher measures to combat pollution, saying that controls so far had fallen short of people's expectations.

"Perhaps the hottest topic in the Chinese market is increasing environmental pressure," Szpakowski wrote. "The revised environmental law that came into effect at the beginning of 2015 significantly strengthened enforcement mechanisms, including greatly increasing maximum fines."

Depreciating currencies and sinking energy prices helped producers to cut their costs, bolstering profit margins even as iron ore collapsed. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., the world's fourth-largest exporter, is planning further cost cuts, Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said in Hong Kong on Monday.

"We'll continue to drive our costs down and position ourselves very strongly on the cost curve," Power said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. "It's a matter of how long before demand overtakes supply and absorbs that supply, and then we'll see a recovery in the price."

Endret 23.03.2015 10:37 av OldNick
17:06 13.04.2015

Og bearmarkedet for jernmalm, metaller og mineraler fortsetter bare dypere...

Citigroup sees iron ore falling below $40 on supply, demand pressure

Apr. 13, 2015

Iron ore will fall to $36 a tonne in the third quarter and stay below $40 for the rest of the year as big miners boost supply even further and China's demand declines, Citigroup said on Monday.

Spot iron ore has lost 60 percent over the past 12 months, dropping below $50 a tonne this month for the first time since a key index pricing began in 2008, amid a glut as mega miners Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton expanded production.

"We forecast incremental export production growth of over 110 million tonnes in 2015 of which 68 million tonnes alone should come from Rio Tinto," Citigroup said in its second-quarter commodities outlook.

"New Chinese mines are still coming online as well, with over 60 million tonnes in the pipeline."

Iron ore will drop to $36 a tonne in the third quarter from a projected $44 in April-June and should stand at $38 in the last quarter of the year, Citigroup said.

For the year, the steelmaking commodity will average at $45 a tonne, less than half of the 2014 average of $97, the bank said. It sees iron ore at $40 next year, $39 in 2017 and $40 in 2018.

"Iron ore demand in China is declining with steel production down year-on-year and domestic demand even worse," it said.

"Prices need to fall significantly below cash costs for a prolonged period to induce curtailments. Supply should become increasingly resilient as it becomes concentrated in large and integrated producers."

Iron ore prices for future delivery have slid 30 percent in the space of a month, and the outlook for the commodity is now more bearish than oil and more dire than ever for miners struggling to just stay in business.

Australian miner Atlas Iron Ltd became the latest casualty in a strategy by bigger iron ore producers to flood the market, saying on Friday that it will progressively suspend mining this month due to low prices.
19:13 27.05.2015

Mer om jernmalm, her er de siste analysene fra meglergigantene...

Selv om jernmalmprisene har løftet seg en del fra bunnen i begynnelsen av April, så er de langsiktige utsiktene elendige iflg. bl.a. Citi og Goldman.

Iron Ore Forecast Cut 32% by Citigroup as Goldman Predicts Peak

Phoebe Sedgman, Jasmine Ng, Bloomberg
May 27, 2015

Global iron ore demand will contract over the 2020s as steel consumption growth in China peaks, according to Citigroup Inc., which reduced its long-run price forecast for the raw material by 32 percent.

The long-run estimate was cut to $55 a metric ton from $81 as the world's major mining companies added more cheap supply, analysts including Ivan Szpakowski wrote in a report on Wednesday. From 2016 to 2018, prices may average $40, it said.

"The next decade is shaping up to be a complete reversal of the past decade," Citigroup said. After a period of rapid demand growth, the entry of new miners and rising costs, the years ahead will see lower demand, marginal producers forced out and major miners dominating supply growth, it said.

Iron ore lost 36 percent in the past year as Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd. in Australia and Brazil's Vale SA expanded low-cost output to boost supply and cut costs, spurring a glut as China slowed. Major miners remain intent on expansions and a battle for market share is under way as they try to reduce costs faster than prices are dropping, according to Credit Suisse Group AG. Global seaborne demand will probably peak in 2016, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report on Wednesday.

"Competition in the iron ore market can only intensify," Goldman analyst Christian Lelong said in the report. "We expect the war of attrition will continue while prices gradually decline toward our $40 a ton" forecast by 2017, he wrote.

Greatest Challenge

Demand for seaborne ore in China will slump to 982 million tons in 2025 from 1.18 billion tons in 2020, Citigroup forecast. Global demand for seaborne ore will drop to 1.57 billion tons from 1.68 billion over the period, it said.

"Perhaps the greatest structural challenge facing the iron ore market is the rolling over of Chinese iron ore demand, driven by declining domestic steel demand and rising scrap availability,' the bank said. ''As a result, despite growth from other emerging markets, we forecast a decline in global iron ore demand over the 2020s.''

Ore with 62 percent content at Qingdao, which bottomed at $47.08 a dry ton on April 2, rose 0.5 percent to $63.10 on Wednesday, Metal Bulletin Ltd. data showed. Prices rebounded 34 percent from this year's low, paring 2015's loss to 11 percent. They peaked in 2011 at $191.70 a ton.

Combined Production

The two lowest-cost producers, Rio Tinto and BHP, have a pipeline of extremely low-cost projects that should see combined production exceed 900 million tons by 2025, accounting for about 70 percent of global import demand, Citigroup said.

As Australia's bigger miners become even larger, smaller higher-cost rivals will shrink, it said. Operations at risk include capacity at Mount Gibson Iron Ltd. and BC Iron Ltd., while Atlas Iron Ltd.'s operations may close again, it said.

"We're bearish about iron ore prices in the medium-to-long term," BHP Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie said in an interview this month. Growth in demand is lagging behind the addition of low-cost supply, he said.

Citigroup's revised long-run price forecast is in line with the norm over the past century or more, according to the bank, which said that when adjusted for inflation, iron ore had averaged about $55 a ton since 1900 in 2014 dollars.

Endret 27.05.2015 19:13 av OldNick
19:13 27.05.2015

"We thus expect iron ore prices in the longer term to remain low relative to prices of the past decade," it said, describing the rates of more than $100 a ton seen in recent years as an aberration.

Iron-Ore Supply Cuts by Majors Just Won't Work, Says Goldman

Juan Pablo SPinetto, Jasmine Ng, Bloomberg
May 27, 2015

The world's biggest iron ore miners are right to press on with expansions into an oversupplied market as reining in supply growth would hurt efficiency and be hard to coordinate, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

"Efforts to support prices via voluntary production cuts would be counter-productive," analyst Christian Lelong wrote in a report on Wednesday. While such cutbacks are appealing in theory, any such proposal is misguided, according to Lelong.

This year's drop in prices to a decade-low spurred by the expansion of low-cost supply from BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Group and Vale SA prompted criticism from rivals including Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., as well as political leaders. Glencore Plc Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg said this month that oversupplying markets regardless of demand was damaging the industry's credibility. The critique has been rejected by BHP Billiton and Rio.

"First, production cuts would go against the prevailing trend of improving efficiency," Lelong wrote. "Second, the required coordination among dominant producers with different incentives would be more difficult to achieve among three companies; successful cartels in oil and potash have featured only one or two dominant producers."

As so-called tier 2 iron ore producers have as much as 100 million metric tons of capacity to commission in the next couple of years, the majors would have to stomach further supply cuts to support prices over the medium term, Goldman said.

'Zero-Sum Game'

"Seaborne demand is likely to peak in 2016 and the iron ore market is becoming a zero-sum game," said Lelong. "We expect the war of attrition will continue while prices gradually decline toward our $40 a ton" forecast by 2017, he wrote.

Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao rose 0.5 percent to $63.10 a dry metric ton on Wednesday, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd. While the price jumped 34 percent since reaching a decade-low of $47.08 on April 2, it remains 67 percent below a record set in 2011.

BHP rejected the idea of holding back output this month. The company's performance is dependent on being the most efficient producer, not on restraining supply, Vice President of Iron Ore Marketing Alan Chirgwin told a conference in Singapore, saying that BHP is operating in an economically rational way.

Among critics is Colin Barnett, the premier of Western Australia, where BHP and Rio operate mines in the ore-rich Pilbara. The biggest miners should slow their expansions as the signal there will be ever-increasing amounts of ore available even at lower prices is wrong, Barnett told Bloomberg in April.

Whether or not big producers shut capacity is the industry's top debate right now, said Luis Nepomuceno, a partner at Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based consulting firm LCN Mining and Metals.

"The smaller producers already shut their doors," he said by telephone. "Vale and the Australian producers take prices from the market. Nobody is supporting this situation."
00:28 30.06.2015

Råvarebehovet flater ut da Bejing prøver å transformere China til en mer service-orientert økonomi.

Det burde jo generere mange nye jobber når kineserne "skal begynne å klippe håret til hverandre"...

China's steel, iron, coal industry growth collapsing

Frik Els, Mining.com
June 12, 2015

A new report shows China's move away from industrialization and construction to consumption and services is happening much quicker than previously thought

China's economic growth is expected to slow to 7% in 2015 and may even slip below that - the slowest pace since 1990.

While slower overall growth has long been expected, the transformation of China from an investment-led to a consumption driven economy appears to be happening much quicker that previously thought.

After the years of breakneck infrastructure investment, urbanization and industrialization that created the supercycle in commodity demand, Beijing is now shifting focus of policy to the services-orientated sectors of the economy.

A chart from oil giant BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2014 report shows how the energy intensive sectors of the Chinese economy "virtually collapsed".

This strategy of curbing the once red-hot property sector and placing restrictions on heavy industry also ties in with the government's fight against pollution after years of devastating environmental damage.

And much of the country's so-called war on pollution is centred on coal where the change in direction is just as startling.

Spencer Dale, BP's chief economist, commented that China's rapid urbanization and industrialization turned coal into the fastest growing fossil fuel over the first decade or so of this century.

"And it was equally true in 2014 as Chinese demand braked sharply and coal became the slowest growing fossil fuel," says Dale.

Global coal consumption grew by just 0.4% (15 million tonnes oil equivalent or Mtoe) - its slowest rate since the Asian crisis in 1998 - while production fell by 0.7% or 28 Mtoe.

Dale says "perhaps the single most striking number in the whole of this year's Stats Review is China's coal consumption, which is estimated to have essentially stalled in 2014."

China, which burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined, saw only a 0.1% (1 Mtoe) increase, compared to an average growth rate of almost 6% over the past 10 years. Chinese coal production was even weaker, falling by 2.6% or 49 Mtoe.

The world's top mining firms have already started to adjust their strategies to the new reality.

Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, told a conference in Beijing in June last year he expects rising Chinese demand for materials with more consumer uses, such as copper, while greater food consumption could lead to more demand for the soil nutrient potash:

"We see a Chinese economy gradually shifting from construction to consumption, and so, we will transition," said Mackenzie adding that "We imagine we will continue to creep our exports of steelmaking materials like metallurgical coal and iron ore, but we're much more likely to make major investments in what we feel are the next phase of China's growth in energy and in food."

Despite the moderating growth it's worth remembering that China would still be adding some $700 billion to gross domestic product (and that's excluding Hong Kong) this year.

That's greater than the size of mainland China's entire economy in 1994 when growth rates peaked at a stunning 30% year-on-year. $700 billion is also bigger than Switzerland's economy and worth almost 2 South Africas and 4 New Zealands.

It may be a different beast, but China's growth story is not over.
20:22 07.07.2015

Tungt for jernmalm og stål i China.

Samme story som tidligere, frykt for svekket vekst.

Iron ore price getting crushed again

Frik Els, Mining.com
July 6, 2015

The price of iron ore gapped down again on Monday as declines in fixed investment and steel prices in top consumer China cloud the outlook for the steelmaking raw material.

The benchmark 62% Fe import price including freight and insurance at the Chinese port of Tianjin lost $2.10 or 3.9% to $52.00 a tonne according to data provided by The SteelIndex, the lowest since April 21.

Benchmark spot prices are now barely more than $5 above record lows hit the beginning of April and down 14% in one short week.

The rally in iron ore was fuelled by declining stockpiles in China where steelmakers consume more than 70% of the 1.3 billion tonne seaborne trade.

But after falling for 10 weeks in a row, port stocks climbed again last week to just below 82 million tonnes.

While declining stockpiles seemed to indicate stronger demand, the disconnect between steel and iron ore prices pointed to underlying weakness in the market.

Steel prices continued to fall on Monday with the most-traded October rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closing at a record low of 2,027 yuan ($326) per tonne on Monday, down a whopping 5% in a single session.

Steel prices have been hurt by a combination of a government crackdown on the country's most polluting industries and declining fixed investment.

So far Beijing's economic stimulus measures have had little effect and a rout on Chinese stock markets is also damaging investor confidence.

And it could get worse before it gets better.

Reuters quotes Bernstein analyst Paul Gait as saying "we've not necessarily seen the lows (for the year) and short-term momentum is clearly negative, but sooner or later . probably by the fourth quarter . demand for steel will recover because of Chinese policy.

Led by Vale (NYSE:VALE) with a 4.5% fall shares in the big three producers all declined in New York trade on Monday wiping billions from their combined market value of some $230 billion.

American depository receipts of BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) lost 4% and 2.2% respectively bringing year to date market worth declines at the Anglo-Australian giants to double digits.

Hardest hit has been Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) which dropped 5.8% in value on the Sydney Stock Exchange on Monday. The world's number four producer is down nearly 40% so far this year.


Shanghai rebar tumbles 5 pct to record low, drags down iron ore

Ruby Lian, David Stanway, Reuters
July 6, 2015

* Rebar, iron ore futures hit daily downward limit
* Big fall in billet surprises market, further hitting sentiment
* Spot iron ore falls to lowest level since April 21

SHANGHAI/LONDON - Chinese rebar futures slumped 5 percent to hit a record low on Monday on expectations that demand in the world's top producer is weakening further, prompting mills to cut output and reduce consumption of raw material iron ore.

The most traded October rebar futures contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed at 2,027 yuan ($326.54) a tonne, the lowest since the contract launched in 2009, hitting its daily downside limit.

A sluggish economy and a property downturn in China has hit steel demand and prices, with steel mills suffering growing losses and curtailing output.

"The market fundamentals are too weak. Mills are making losses while traders don't want to stock," said Li Wenjing, an
18:37 12.08.2015

an analyst at Industrial Futures in Shanghai. "An increase in iron ore port inventories last Friday and a big decline in billet prices have dampened the market today."

Iron ore stocks at 42 Chinese ports rose to 81.97 million tonnes on Friday, up 1.7 percent from the previous Friday, data from industry consultancy Umetal showed.

mer på link

Som for Al, så øker også kinesiske stålprodusenter eksporten pga. en fallende innenlandsk ståletterspørsel.

En indikator for krympende etterspørsel innen indistri- og eiendoms-sektorene?

China Steel Flood Deepens, Cutting Earnings, Fanning Trade Rows

Martin Ritchie, Jasmine Ng, Bloomberg
Aug. 9, 2015

China is shipping ever more steel into world markets as its economy slows, leading to lower prices, reduced earnings at global producers and more trade disputes.

Mills in the country that produces half the world's steel are maintaining output as domestic demand falters, exporting the surplus. Overseas sales surged 9.5 percent to 9.73 million metric tons in July, the highest level in six months, customs data released on Saturday showed. Exports expanded 27 percent to 62.13 million tons in the first seven months, the highest ever for the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

China's shipments are about the same as output in Japan, the world's second-biggest producer, World Steel Association data show, and Credit Suisse Group AG says they that have reached extraordinary levels. Citigroup Inc. raised its forecast for net steel shipments from China to 100 million tons this year from 79 million in 2014, according to a report on Monday.

"It's because of weakness in domestic steel demand, which has led mills to push their excess out into the international market," said Ivan Szpakowski, commodities strategist at Citigroup. "That's something which is not going to change."

Chinese mills face declining domestic demand for the first time in a generation amid a property slump. Steel demand will drop this year and next to extend the first annual contraction since 1995, the World Steel Association said in April.

China Parade

Chinese mills are extending maintenance programs in light of the weak demand, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said in a commodities report on Monday. In addition, some mills around Beijing may be ordered to shut capacity to clean up the air for a parade in Beijing in early September, it said.

The steel shipments were a bright spot in the country's trade data, as China's overall exports in fell 8.3 percent last month from a year earlier in dollar terms. That was below the estimate for a 1.5 percent decline in a Bloomberg survey and compared with an increase of 2.8 percent in June.

Chinese imports of iron ore climbed 15 percent in July to 86.1 million tons, the highest level since December, as mills in the world's largest buyer replenished inventories that had fallen to the lowest level in 19 months. Purchases were little changed at 539 million tons in the first seven months.

Global steelmakers are battling lower earnings as prices slump. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. forecast the first drop in full-year earnings in three years last month, while U.S. Steel Corp. posted a quarterly loss. South Korea's Posco reported a profit slump and announced plans to cut staff.

Prices are retreating. The average U.S. rate of hot-rolled coil, used in buildings and automobiles, fell 33 percent to $456 a ton in the second quarter, according to The Steel Index. In China, rebar sank to the lowest level since 2003 last month.

The slump may eventually push Chinese producers to cut back on production and exports. The collapse in Chinese prices is set to push already stretched local steel mills even further into the red, curtailing production and exports, Lakshmi Mittal, chief executive officer of

Endret 12.08.2015 18:46 av OldNick
18:20 02.09.2015

Presset på high-cost produsentene av jernmalm fortsetter med uforminsket styrke.

Ser ut som om gigantene prøver å produsere hverandre inn i konkurs, og noe må til slutt gi.

Kanskje markedet (les: etterspørselen) vil hjelpe til på balansen etterhvert?
Superbillig jernmalm og stål bør jo gi stimulanse?

Citi says Vale will open big cost gap on Fortescue Metals

Sydney Morning Herald

Despite Fortescue Metals Group's race to crunch its production costs, the miner will inevitably become the marginal producer of the large iron ore players once Brazil's Vale brings its new mega expansion project online, Citigroup says.

Both Vale and Fortescue need a benchmark price of about $US40 a tonne to break even while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto require about $US25 a tonne, Citigroup analyst Alexander Hacking said. Those break evens - the price at which the miners are not making or losing cash - have been calculated on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation basis (EBITDA).

Within three years, after Vale's mega expansion in the Amazon called S11D comes online, the Brazilian giant should narrow that gap per tonne to about $US10 with Rio and BHP, while "opening up a clear $US5 to $US10 a tonne advantage over Fortescue," he said.

Vale's $US16.5 billion ($23.2 billion) S11D project is set to come online next year. Vale is also retiring high-cost supply and replacing it with production that will lower its average production cost.

Market theory suggests that, should the market drift further into oversupply, the highest-cost major will ultimately set the floor price for iron ore.

It is a close contest to avoid being the highest-cost major in iron ore.

However, Fortescue chief executive Nev Power has told The Australian Financial Review that it is "complete nonsense" that the miner is battling Vale to avoid becoming the marginal large producer.

The Fortescue boss said the miner is "way off" becoming the swing producer and there is a 400 million or 500 million tonne "buffer" of high-cost production to protect it, in a conversation with the Financial Review in July.

Iron ore has recovered slightly to trade at about $US55 a tonne, after hitting 10-year lows of about $US44 a tonne in July.

Sizeable gap to open

Mr Hacking was confident that Vale would open a sizeable gap with Fortescue because the Brazilian real continues to devalue more than than the Australian dollar and Vale continues to add to its low cost capacity.

"Vale appears to be executing an operational turnaround in iron ore and valuation is approaching floor levels on a company that will survive in any price environment."

In the six months ended June 30, Vale narrowed the gap with Rio and BHP but Citi's Mr Hacking said "the bad news is that Vale is still about $US15 a tonne less profitable than the two Australian majors, mostly due to higher freight costs to Asia, and neck-and-neck with Fortescue, which has made similar improvements".

Fortescue says it's all-in landed cost to China is $US39 a tonne, slightly ahead of Vale, which is about $US41.50.

Analysts and investors say despite Fortescue's race to cut costs, the price will simply chase it down if it becomes the highest-cost of the large producers, which include Vale, Rio and BHP, and newcomers Roy Hill and Anglo American.

UBS mining analyst Glyn Lawcock has told the Financial Review that "the concern the market has, is that the all-in cash delivered price that FMG needs to be cash-neutral is ultimately going to be the dictator of where the long-term price settles."

But Mr Power said; "it is completely irrelevant whether we are $US1 tonne more expensive, or lower cost, than Vale.

"There is about 400 million tonnes of higher-cost [than Fortescue] supply still being produced and supplied into the market, so how do we

Endret 02.09.2015 18:20 av OldNick
13:36 15.01.2016

Jernmalm er som "kanarifuglen i gruven", indikatoren for gruvebransjen.

Nå har de "3 (+ 1) store" (BHP, RIO, VALE og FMG.AX) agert som OPEC prøver i oljemarkedet, å overprodusere og presse prisene så lavt at de aller svakeste eksport-gruvene i andre deler av verden vil legge ned.

Og det ser vi går på stumpene løs nå.

Jernmalprisen vaker nå under US$40/tonn, og det spås snitt-priser rundt US$35-38 de neste 3 årene, og med dipp ned på $20-tallet.

Iron ore bear case puts price at $US28 a tonne, says Citigroup

Jasmine Ng, Bloomberg
Jan. 15, 2016

After oil sank into the $US20s this week, will iron ore follow suit?

"There's a strong possibility that iron ore falls below $US30 in 2016," Citigroup head of Asia commodity research Ivan Szpakowski said in an interview on Thursday after the bank cut price forecasts through to 2018 in a report. In the first half, "the biggest pressure is actually from the demand side. It's actually going to come from weak steel demand in China", said Szpakowski.

The raw material is seen at $US36 this year, 12 per cent lower than previously forecast, and $US35 in 2017 and 2018, down from $US39 and $US40, analysts including Szpakowski wrote in the January 14 report. The base-case forecast over a three-year horizon was cut to $US35 from $US40, while the bear-case was put at $US28.

Iron ore has been routed as the world's largest miners including Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton in Australia and Brazil's Vale expanded low-cost output while demand growth stalled in China. Lower costs including freight and energy and weakening currencies in producer nations are enabling suppliers to reduce their break-even rates and withstand lower prices. Costs had fallen more than expected, the bank said.

"Given the market's need for further curtailments, we see the evolution of costs as one of the two most important factors for the iron ore market, alongside Chinese policy decisions affecting steel demand," the bank said in the report. "We see challenges for iron ore ahead."

Ore with 62 per cent content delivered to Qingdao rose 1.8 per cent to $US40.22 a dry ton on Thursday after slumping 4.1 per cent to $US39.51 a day earlier, according to Metal Bulletin. The steel-making commodity bottomed at $US38.30 on December 11, a record in daily prices dating back to May 2009.

Steel output in China will probably shrink 2.6 per cent this year as local consumption weakens and mills encounter stiffer opposition to exports, Szpakowski estimated. Supply fell 2.2 per cent to 738.38 million tons in the first 11 months of last year, according to official data. China, which makes about half the world's steel, is set to report full-year output on January 19.

"Under our bear case, we believe medium-term prices would need to fall to around $US28 a ton, primarily due to assumptions of weaker oil and export-country currencies," Citigroup said in the report, with the bull case for iron ore at $US45. "These mid- term forecasts represent average levels, with prices expected to fluctuate below and above these levels."

Rio shares fell 1.8 per cent to $38.85 in Sydney, the lowest close since 2009, as BHP climbed 0.7 per cent to snap three days of losses. In Brazil, biggest supplier Vale has sunk 31 per cent this year after a 47 per cent loss in 2015.

Capital Economics raised the possibility of sub-$US30 iron ore this year in a forecast made at the end of 2015, saying that the commodity may slump into the $US20s in the first half as supplies rise, followed by a rally.

Endret 15.01.2016 13:36 av OldNick
17:42 02.02.2016

Goldman argumenterer med at gruvebransjen (kanskje noen sektorer?) vil ta mye lenger tid å rebalansere enn energi/olje-sektoren, hovedsaklig pga. to forhold:

- Olje er flytede og trenger (hovedsaklig) tette tanker for å kunne lagres. Malm, konsentrater og metaller kan lagres nesten hvor som helst.

- Innen noen sektorer innenfor gruvebransjen kan gruver få en negativ verdi pga. stadig strengere miljø-krav, med medfølgende høyere kostnader med å stenge ned en gruve. Hvis ikke dette er satt av i balansen (mange land krever avsetninger), kan netto-verdien bli negativ.

Goldman: Here's Why Miners Have It Worse Than Oil Producers

Tracy Alloway, Bloomberg
Feb. 1, 2016

Mining companies seem to have taken those lyrics to heart, opting to maintain production as long as their cash reserves allow and in effect delay a long-awaited resolution in the supply-and-demand balance of dry commodities, according to a new note from Goldman Sachs & Co.

The nature of the metals and mining business-legal considerations combined with an ability to store excess supply for the long haul-means the industry faces a longer shakeout than in the energy sector.

"Many of the [mining] structures are no longer assets but rather liabilities due to environmental regulations," write Goldman analysts led by Head of Commodities Research Jeffrey Currie. "This suggests that, in order to delay the environmental costs of mine rehabilitation, the penalties associated with employee layoff and non-performance of commercial obligations, owners will operate the facilities until they run out of cash and are obliged to suspend operations."

The trend is particularly true of U.S. coal miners, according to the analysts, and underscored by recent failed auctions of mining assets.

"[Last] week we saw Alpha Natural Resources cancel an auction of 35 coal mines at the last minute due to a lack of interest, illustrating the fact that some mining assets burdened with outstanding liabilities and negative margins are left without any residual value," Goldman notes.

Fundamental differences between metals and energy businesses have resulted in lower volatility for prices of gold, aluminum, and similar dry commodities compared with energy-related products such as natural gas, electricity, and crude, the Goldman analysts say.

"Theoretically, once an energy market breaches storage capacity, prices need to collapse below cash costs to immediately re-balance supply with demand. In practice, however, operational stress in energy is a local, not global concept as breaching storage capacity happens most likely in landlocked locations, but it does whittle away at the global supply overhang," the analysts write. "In contrast, metals can be 'piled high' in low-cost locations almost anywhere in the world with far greater density, i.e. dollar per square foot, than energy."

To illustrate the point, Goldman calculates that $1 billion worth of gold would, at current spot prices, fit into a generously sized bedroom closet, while $1 billion worth of oil would take up 17 very large crude carriers, each with a capacity of more than a quarter of a million deadweight metric tons.

With an estimated 12 months of cash reserves left for some U.S. coal miners, financial stress needs to deepen before the supply-demand balance even begins to resolve itself.

"This leads us to forecast that oil prices will outperform the base and bulk commodities once the current inflection phase has run its course, likely at some point in the second-half of 2016," Goldman concludes. "On a macro basis this also suggests that some of the slowdown in global manufacturing maybe more permanent, as high cost producers of capex commodities shutter facilities on a more permanent basis, particularly in the west

Endret 02.02.2016 17:42 av OldNick
15:11 26.04.2016

Råvareprisene har løftet seg også utenom olje/energi de siste ukene/månedene, hovedsaklig pga. positive signaler fra China, men spekulativ handel i futureskontrakter sies å ha bidratt, noe Goldman Sachs bekymrer seg for kan skape bobler (er det en boble de ikke er ansvarlig for å har kunne gjøre profitt på?).

Goldman Says China's Iron Speculation 'Concerns Us the Most'

Jasmine Ng, Bloomberg
April 26, 2016

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has expressed its concern about the surge in speculative trading in iron ore futures in China, saying that daily volumes are now so large that they sometimes exceed annual imports.

The increase in futures trading in the world's largest importer was among factors that have lifted prices, according to a report from analysts Matthew Ross and Jie Ma received on Tuesday. Iron ore volumes traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange are up more than 400 percent from a year ago, they said.

"While increased fixed-asset investment in China, a bring-forward of steel production (ahead of a government curtailment) and mining disruptions help to explain the strong rally in the iron ore price, the one driver that concerns us the most is the increased speculation in the Chinese iron ore futures market," they wrote.

Iron ore has rallied in 2016, buttressed by the explosion in speculative trading in China's commodity futures markets as mills boosted monthly output to a record. The spike in raw materials trading in China has stunned global markets, according to Morgan Stanley, which cited the jump in local activity in iron ore as well as steel. The increase has prompted exchange authorities in Asia's top economy including Dalian to tighten rules on the trading of some contracts.

'Greater Than'

"There have been two days in the past month where futures volumes have been greater than the total amount of iron ore that China actually imported for the whole of 2015 (950 million tons)," the Goldman analysts wrote. To slow trading activity, the Dalian exchange has announced it would be increasing margin requirements and transaction costs on iron ore futures, they said.

Iron ore futures have rallied 40 percent on the Dalian exchange this year after gaining 16 percent last week. The most-active contract dropped as much as 4.4 percent on Tuesday after the exchange doubled trading fees. The benchmark spot price for ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao fell 5 percent to $62.78 a dry ton on Tuesday, up 44 percent this year, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd.

Other raw materials in China were also in retreat on Tuesday. Coking coal futures, which trade in Dalian, reversed early gains to lose as much as 5 percent to 777.5 yuan ($120) a ton. After bottoming in November, prices are still 38 percent higher so far this year.

The higher fees are part of an expanded effort to curb excessive speculation, the Dalian exchange said on Monday, adding that it has increased supervision and doesn't rule out taking more stringent measures if needed. The moves follow its decision last week to raise minimum margin rates.

Goldman has said it's bearish on iron ore as it expects a return to global oversupply on increased output from mines. The current rally is unsustainable, the New York-based bank said last week in an interview and a report, forecasting prices will probably slump to $35 a ton by the end of 2016.

10:05 17.08.2016

Toppsjefen for verdens største gruveselskap, BHP Billiton, sa på en pressekonferanse tirsdag at han nå trodde fallet i råvareprisene er over for nå. Jernmalmprisen har falt fra 190 dollar i 2011 via 40 dollar i vår før den har stabilisert seg på 60 dollar i sommer. Meglerhuset Morgan Stanley tror imidlertid at jernmalmprisen kan bli nesten halvert i fjerde kvartal. (Kilde: FA/Xi)
01:27 02.12.2016

For kinesiske småinvestorer, som er villige til å ta en høy risiko, har råvaremarkedet blitt en ny favoritt. Prisen på jernmalm har i løpet av et knapt år steget fra nesten 50 dollar for et tonn til over 80 dollar på mandag.

De siste døgnet har imidlertid prisene på jernmalm, stål, kopper, sink og aluminium falt kraftig.

Årsaken er Kina. Dalian Commodity Exchange har nemlig økt egenkapitalkravene ved marginhandel for kinesiske råvareinvestorer som investerer i råvarer - for å unngå nye bobler. (Kilde: DN/Xi)
16:51 15.12.2016

NHO har nok bedt NGU "resirkulere" rapporten de gav ut for 4 par år siden (se OldNick #13820 lenger tilbake i denne topic).

Boyd m.fl.: Mineral- og metallressurser i Norge: "In situ" verdi av metallforekomster av nasjonal betydning (pdf), NGU-rapport nr. 2012.048

Og så gi den et politiks korrekt "grønnskjær". Det skulle øke apetitten blant politikere og andre "opinionsdannere" slik tiden er nå i Norge.

Oljefondet er verdt 7.380 milliarder kroner - norsk stein verdt 8.000 milliarder

En rapport NHO presenterer, viser at den norske steinrøysa har verdier som kan gi 8.000 milliarder kroner i inntekter

Bjørn Haugan, E24.no

Norges geologiske undersøkelse (NGU) har laget rapporten «Mineraler for det grønne skiftet» i forbindelse med NHOs årskonferanse på nyåret.

Den viser at påviste og antatte ressurser i bakken representerer verdier for 2.500 milliarder kroner.

Lenger ned i saken kan du se på kart om det er gull eller gråstein i ditt nabolag.

Det er veldig spennende, fordi det i stor grad er mineraler som kan brukes i mobiler, elbiler, fly og vindmøller, som kan bidra til det grønne skiftet vi er nødt til å få til, hvis vi skal nå våre klimamål, sier NHO-sjef Kristin Skogen Lund.

8.000 milliarder

Bearbeidingsverdien er mye høyere.

Jeg skal ikke si at den norske gråsteinen er den nye oljen - det skal jeg ikke. Men bearbeidingsverdien av mineraler for 2.500 milliarder kroner, er anslått til om lag 8.000 milliarder, sier hun.

Oljefondet er i dag på 7.380 milliarder kroner.

Den norske steinrøysa er undervurdert?

Ja, vi snakker lattermildt om av vi skal tilbake til steinalderen. Men det kan faktisk ta oss inn i en grønn fremtid: Den fornybare revolusjonen gjennom blant annet elbiler, solceller og vindkraft forutsetter at det skaffes materialer som kan brukes. Oversikten vi presenterer i dag, viser at Norge har en fantastisk mulighet til å utvikle industribedrifter og arbeidsplasser for å utvikle mineraler det er stor etterspørsel etter, sier hun og går gjennom noen av de mange prosjektene (Se kartet).

Det kan bli støy

Ved siden av å kunne bidra til miljøvennlig produkter, har de fleste av disse prosjektene noe annet til felles: De ligger i distriktene. Det er en historisk mulighet til å motvirke fraflytting og å skape arbeidsplasser lokalt.

Mange er omstridt fordi det ikke bare kommer arbeidsplasser, men også gir sår i naturen og omstridte deponier av slam?

Miljøaspektene er åpenbare og det kan bli støy av dette, men det får vi ta. Vi vet at utvinning ofte bidrar til innhugg i naturen og behov for deponi. Vi opplever at mange av stedene med stort potensial ligger på mindre steder, og at det er lett å si nei til ofte usikre investeringer, av hensyn til naturen, sier Skogen Lund.

Åpner for penger til kommunene

Men vi mener det er viktig å ta den debatten, fordi det dreier seg om så store uutnyttede ressurser som kan bidra både til arbeidsplasser i distriktene og til et grønt skifte.

Hvor store CO₂-kutt kan det gi?

Det er ikke så lett å beregne, fordi det i stor grad er materialer som vil bli eksportert til produsenter som utvikler miljøvennlige produkter.

Er ikke erfaringen at det ofte er internasjonale storselskaper som kommer inn og graver ut inntekter, uten at det skaper veldig store verdier i Norge?

Ja, det er en viktig debatt. Det skapes uansett lokale jobber, men vi mener i tillegg det må...

Endret 15.12.2016 16:52 av OldNick
17:18 15.12.2016

vurderes om det er riktig at noe av for eksempel selskapsskatten kan bli igjen lokalt, noe som vil gi kommunene direkte inntekter.

Du kommer ikke utenom at gruvedrift skaper lokal motstand?

Nei, men vi trenger å ta en nasjonal debatt, fordi det er så mange muligheter. Deponi, for eksempel, dreier seg i all hovedsak om stein. Den kunnskapen vi har i dag, viser at man snakker om små eller ingen skader på lang sikt. Dette er som sagt ikke vår nye olje, men det kan bidra til å tette igjen verdiskapingsgapet etter oljen og gassen.

Grus og gull

Hun trekker frem et annet miljøelement:

Transport av grus og pukk står for 20 prosent av all tungtransport på norske veier: Å organisere kjøringen, slik at pukk hentes mest mulig lokalt, er et meget viktig miljøtiltak.

Og selv om det svært sjelden er gull i noe som glimrer, er det flere gullforekomster i Norge, som har potensial til utnyttelse.

Rapporten forteller at en mobiltelefon inneholder 0,02 gram gull. Hvis ett års Iphone-salg skulle tas ut i en gruve, ville det utgjort et hull tilsvarende en seks kilometer lang biltunnel, sier hun.

Store verdier

Det er store verdier i norske fjell. Mineralene som ligger her gir muligheter for lønnsomme arbeidsplasser og økonomisk vekst, sier næringsminister Monica Mæland (H).

Hun sier regjeringen har lagt til rette for store mineralprosjekter.

Vi sier ja til de store, viktige prosjektene som har ligget på vent lenge. Samtidig er det viktig at veksten i næringen skal være bærekraftig.

Det er stort potensial, men også stor sjanse for mange lokale miljøprotester?

Vi vil fortsette å stille strenge krav og sikre miljøovervåkning. Vi tenker kanskje ikke over det i hverdagen, men mineraler inngår i alt fra sement og papir til medisinske implantater. Tilgang på mineraler er også en viktig forutsetning for å lykkes med det grønne skifte, sier hun.

Av 55 land vil kun Norge og Tyrkia tillate dumping av gruveavfall i sjøen

 Naturvernforbundet mener regjeringen raserer fjordene
 Klimaminsteren mener deponi på land ikke er bedre

Bjørn Haugan, VG.no
12:19 18.12.2016

OldNick #18622

En interessant oversikt det der OldNick

Jeg for min del vil kanskje rette søkelyset på sjeldne jordarter (REE) og feltet i Ulefoss/Telemark og FEN feltet. REE danner grunnlaget for den grønne energirevolusjon (hmm.. er innforstått med dine meninger om den saken).

REE inneholder 17 ulike grunnstoffer men i denne sammenheng og når det gjelder volumbehov, snakker vi om først og fremst om grunnstoffene neodymium og dysprosium som inngår i power magnets Byggestenen som muliggjør kompakte motorer/generatorer da fysiske dimensjoner reduseres. En militær drone ville ikke kunne fly uten power magnets. I en vindmølle av rimelig størrelse, inngår hele 2 tonn neodymium. Knappheten på disse grunnstoffene er allerede fremtredende men med gigantplanene som de store bilprodusentene har mht. el-biler, vil knappheten forsterkes.

Her et innslag fra Telemarksavisa 5. september i år

Her en oversikt over hva som inngår i en moderne miljøvennlig bil (REE)

Endret 18.12.2016 12:29 av Provence
09:46 21.12.2016

re. provence #9466,

Interessant artikkel du la inn.

Ja, det finnes faktisk mye REE-mineral forekomster i Norge, og FEN-feltet er det absolutt største, kjente.

Det har de siste 10-15 årene vært en god del forskning på denne forekomsten, hovedsaklig gjort gjennom Alf Bjørseth's SCATEC sfære (som REETec AS).

Men, REE Minerals AS, som omtales over er en annen gruppe som ser ut til å være lokalt basert i Telemark. Alt dette er i unoterte selskaps-konstellasjoner, slik at man må inn i disse for evt. å investere.

Nå er REE-produksjon i større skala langt unna i Norge, og etter det jeg skjønner, er FEN's mineralene spesielt kompliserte å utvinne, hovedsaklig pga. problematisk geologi. Men, det ser ut REETec AS (Scatec) allerede har salg av REE's, men det er nok i små tonnager.

Det foregår forskning på disse med avanserte metoder, det er jeg kjent med. Foreløpig er jo luften mye gått ut av REE-boom'en som ble støttet av tilbakeholdelse av REE-produkter fra China's monopol for noen år siden. Men, den kan komme tilbake.

Problemet med REE-mineraler er ikke at de er sjeldne, men det er få forekomster hvor de er tilstrekkelig konsentrert til å tillate økonomisk utvinning. I mange gruver finnes de som biprodukter, men i for lave konsentrasjoner og havner i avfalls-strømmer som går til deponi.

I REE Minerals AS finnes vi kjente personer fra gruvemiljøet i rådgivningsgruppen.

De største, globale og "diversifiserte" gruveselskapene ønsker å bli mer lik Glencore, et selskap som er tunge og har kontroll med alle deler av mineral-industriene, fra leting, utvikling, produksjon fra gruve til ferdig raffinert metaller, til markedsføring og salg, samt en stor tradingbusiness hvor de handler, finansierer og har kontrollen med logistikken også.

Glencore in Society - How our products contribute to societies everyday needs

Miners sharpen marketing strategies in hunt for marginal gains

Barbara Lewis, Gavin Maguire, Reuters
Dec. 20, 2016

London/Singapore - The world's big mining groups are sharpening their marketing strategies in a post-crisis scramble for even tiny increases in profit, seeking marginal gains much like cycling teams in the Tour de France or Olympic velodrome.

Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are using varying tactics to boost profitability on commodities such as copper, iron ore and coal, as the traditional model of simply producing more is under strain and the recovery from a deep downturn remains tentative.

The one thing in common is a philosophy championed by cycling coach Dave Brailsford: achieve marginal gains in as many areas as possible and the overall performance of the rider - or in this case the business - will improve significantly.

BHP and Rio Tinto, the biggest miners, have both appointed executives this year to extract the maximum value from every stage of their business process, from the mine to the consumer.

For BHP and Anglo American, the strategies include commodity trading - although on a far smaller scale than their rival Glencore, which began life as a pure trader and says income from this business helped it through the commodity slump.

Overall, the object is to help cushion the mining groups from the kind of extreme price swings that the market has experienced in recent years.

"I am very confident that the culture changes we're building on will allow us to move away from this boom and bust mentality," Arnoud Balhuizen, BHP's new head of marketing and supply, told Reuters.

Endret 21.12.2016 09:46 av OldNick
09:48 21.12.2016

The strategic shift, which began with the price crash that knocked billions off the miners' earnings in 2015, has gained momentum this year despite a revival on commodity markets.

"Prices have lifted, but the world will remain a very competitive place and everybody will still be looking for that extra dollar," one industry source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Even after investors piled back into mining stocks this year, making them the biggest gainers on the London's FTSE index, their prices are still barely back to where they were around the start of 2015.

Chris LaFemina, a managing director of research at Jefferies investment bank, said the new strategies were necessary but they would not transform the miners' fortunes.

"In a bull market, companies would not have been worried about incremental margins through marketing, but now everyone is focused on getting the maximum price and they can get a little bit of extra margin over a lot of tonnes," he said. "Small changes are important at the bottom of the cycle and it still matters, but it's not going to change the investment case."


Balhuizen, who was appointed to his newly-created position in May after more than a decade with BHP, said a traditional focus on selling large volumes through standard contracts may have been good for consumers, but not for producers.

Following zealous cost-cutting over the last two years, the next stage was to assess every stage of the value chain. That led to the conclusion that the best price could be achieved if brokers were cut out, long-term contracts torn up and specific products delivered to specific consumers.

It's an approach that echoes Glencore's use of its network of an estimated 7,000 customers to deliver a tailored service to clients willing to pay a premium over market prices.

Balhuizen offered the example of coal, the price of which has surged this year after steep falls in 2015. "You don't want to sell too much coal to someone who doesn't value it, because he won't pay you for it," he said.

Mining groups have traditionally steered clear of speculative commodity trading as a source of income, reluctant to take on the levels of risk involved. This contrasts to Glencore, which remains an active trader despite becoming a major producer when it merged with mining group Xstrata in 2013.

However, Balhuizen signaled a shift at BHP. The group gives no figures for how many marketing staff it employs, but he said traders - which he defined as "people who buy material on their own account and take risk" - were among them.


Anglo American also does some pure trading. While the group does not disclose volumes, it has said it met a goal set in 2014 that marketing activities should contribute $400 million in core earnings by 2016.

This remains modest compared with Glencore, which expects trading to account for $2.5-$2.7 billion of core earnings for the full year.

Outside trading, Anglo American has also boosted platinum margins by as much as 5 percent. This followed the ending of a deal under which Johnson Matthey sold all its platinum directly to customers. Instead of selling at a discount to the spot market, it now it sells at a slight premium.

Rio Tinto says it does not trade but under its CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques, who took over in July, it has a new division to analyze the group's business and extract value at every opportunity.

Steve McIntosh, who was appointed group executive of growth and innovation in July, told analysts in December the aim was to span "the entire value chain from ore body to market" in pursuit of the extra dollar.

Rio's traditional big earner, accounting for roughly 60 percent of core profit, has been iron ore, a high margin, bulk product.

Big four iron ore miners

Endret 21.12.2016 09:48 av OldNick
09:48 21.12.2016

However, Jacques has put an emphasis on copper. This needs to be processed, and Rio is increasingly blending copper from a variety of sources as the best grade material is used up.

Rio began buying copper from other sources to fill its smelter in the U.S. state of Utah because the quality of its own ores had declined. But the volumes are tiny - a few hundred thousand tonnes - compared with Glencore's copper trade of around 3.1 million tonnes per year.


While the strategies of Glencore and the rest overlap, the big difference is the level of trading risk that the miners are willing to take on.

Glencore has presented its trading business as the opposite of risky in that it was a source of cash and stable earnings even when commodity prices were crashing.

Glencore's business model

Trading does not involve the huge capital expenditure and asset depreciation of mining, but needs credit and can go wrong.

Glencore relies on complex funding arrangements with around 60 banks and sometimes investors are wary, with its shares among the biggest losers during the crash of 2015. But when all goes well, its trading can generate cash even in the deepest slump.

Ultimately, the risk could be for Glencore, as more players scramble for dwindling margins. However, Glencore investors say it would take years for rivals to steal significant market share, and any gains for the others are helpful but only incremental.

"It's extremely difficult to compete with someone who has the key relationships, logistics and infrastructure in place already," David Neuhauser, managing director at Livermore Partners, a Glencore shareholder, said.

"As with any competitive situation, it could potentially erode margins or volume, but I'd be hard pressed to see how they could lose out to the others."
11:33 21.12.2016


Det var ingen tilfeldighet til at jeg kom inn på FEN feltet og REE. Jeg kjenner godt til selskapet REE Minerals AS siden jeg har vært aksjonær der siden 2013. Selskapet har ca. 100 aksjonærer og med basis i lokalområdet.

FEN feltet ligger sentralt til i en historisk utdødd vulkan (600 mill år tilbake i tid). Sannsynligvis er det selve vulkanen som har dannet grunnlaget for REE forekomstene. Det er derfor fylkesgeologen Dahlgren vil ha midler til å bore dypt, 1000 meter. Og siden vi snakker om en utdødd vulkan, strekker forekomsten seg sannsynligvis mange kilometer ned i dypet (størknet magma kollonne)

Hva REE minerals har gjennomført, er 2 borekampanjer. I et område på 800x200x300 meter, har man avdekket 2 mill. tonn REE som gir anslaget for verdiene her. Men som selskapet selv fremfører, området som er undersøkt er open ended i alle retninger. Man kjenner ikke til randsonene og begrensningene. Og det merkeligste av alt, man snakker om kalkstein, en bergart man finner i sedimentære områder. Geologien er faktisk ikke komplisert mtp. utvinning. Selskapet snakker sågar om å kunne bli en lavkostnadsprodusent.

Så har du en rak motsetning til dette, Tasman Metals som har erhvervet seg et område i Norra Kærr i Sverige. Siden man i EU har fokus på kritiske metaller, har EU opprettet en egen komite ERECON og Tasman har benyttet seg av midler fra det organet. Men slik det nå ser ut til, er geologien der temmelig vanskelig å håndtere. For høy kostnad (tror vi snakker om 40 USD/kg i en cocktail hvor alle elementer inngår - de 17 grunnstoffene - basket value)

Forekomsten i Sverige er av type en åre i berggrunnen og man må gjennomføre et finmasket boreprogram for å avdekke denne. Helt forskjellig fra hva som er tilfellet i FEN hvor man snakker om en homogen sone.

Tasman Metals Nora Karr Rare Earth Metals Project Excites Investors

I USA har man selskapet MolyCorp og forekomsten i Mountain Pass/the rockies..). selskapet har gått konkurs og USA som militærmakt er i skikkelig klemme mtp. militære droner og er avhengig av REE fra Kina.

Forhenv. statsminister Gerhardsen fikk til en avtale med USA og utvinning av Niob grunnstoffet i FEN for å bygge kampfly (etter den 2. verdenskrig). Kan bli et nytt moment her.

FEN er et spennende område. Man har hatt gruvevirksomhet her i forhistorisk tid. Og ulikt alle andre områder hvor man finner verdifulle mineraler så ligger disse langt ute i ødemarken. Mtp. utbygging, ligger FEN i nærområdet med all tilgjengelighet til offentlig infrastruktur.
14:12 21.12.2016

Denne videoen fra youtube.com var det som fikk min nysgjerrighet inn i dette.

REE - Rare earth elements.

Videoen gir en innføring i om hva REE er og hva den vestlige verden står overfor når den grønne energirevolusjon griper fatt

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