Archive for October, 2014


Tuesday, October 28th, 2014


RioTintoAlcan red sign image 



Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) has mined & shipped bauxite from Weipa since 1963. Their Weipa mines currently employ over 1,000 people & each year RTA pay $150m in salary/wages. Their local workforce increased by 54 staff last year.The RTA Weipa operation operates two continuous mines – East Weipa & Andoom – with two plants, 19km of railway to Weipa’s port, two stockpiles & two ship loaders.

RTA exported 26m tonnes of bauxite last year, a 14% increase on 2012.


Australia is the largest producer of bauxite in the world. In addition, Australia is the second largest bauxite resource in the world, after Guinea in Africa.

There are 5 active bauxite mines & 6 refineries across Australia, & Weipa – given the quality of its bauxite plus its prime port location so close to Asia – is the largest operation in the country.

World-wide demand for high quality bauxite is rising & particularly in Asia.

Chinese demand remains strong. Bauxite consumption is projected to increase by 6% to 7% per annum in coming decades.


Henry Sapiecha

Investment mining in Kazakhstan to reach $30billion by the year 2017

Friday, October 24th, 2014












Kazakhstan, the second largest energy producer in the ex-Soviet Union after Russia, is seeking to spur growth by drawing in overseas investors to its resources sector.

The country, in the midst of fine-tuning details of a new mining law that will make it easier for foreigners to tap the nation’s riches, plans to award 50 to 100 exploration licenses beginning next year

The country, in the midst of fine-tuning details of a new mining law that will make it easier for foreigners to tap the nation’s riches, plans to award 50 to 100 exploration licenses beginning next year, Bloomberg reported.

Growth, shows a study by Business Monitor published last month, will be led by the coal, gold and copper sectors, which together account for the majority of the value of the Central Asian nation’s mining industry, expected to reach close to $30 billion by 2017.

Despite the slump in prices, coal remains one of the core industries for Kazakhstan, employing around 40,000 people only in the mineral-rich province of Karaganda.

Kazakhstan, the world’s largest landlocked country by land area, is also said to rank in the top ten for iron ore, and gold, it’s a well-known diamonds exporter and holds the 11th largest proven reserves of both petroleum and natural gas.

Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Australia, Brazil to control 90% of global iron ore trade by 2020

australia-brazil-to-control-90-of-global-iron-ore-trade-by-2020 image www.www-globalcommodities.comDespite iron ore prices touching rock bottom, the top three producers have no plans to slowdown production. Quite the contrary.

Australia and Brazil, the two largest iron ore producing countries, are forecast to increase their combined share of global seaborne supply to 90% by 2020 as mining giants VALE (NYSE:VALE) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) continue to boost output and push higher-cost miners out of the market, research shows.

The two countries are expected to rise their joint share from 73% last year to 79% in 2015, Macquarie Group Ltd. notes in a commodities report sent out Wednesday.


Oversupply, together with a slowdown in demand from top consumer China, has caused prices to plummet by almost 40% this year below $80 per ton


Oversupply, together with a slowdown in demand from top consumer China, has caused prices to plummet by almost 40% this year below $80 per ton, their lowest level since 2009. And the top three iron miners have no plans to slowdown their plans to boost production.

Delivering its third quarter results today, Rio Tinto —the world’s second-largest producer of the steel-making ingredient— said iron-ore output increased 5% in the period. The miner added it aims to keep hiking production in order to win a greater share of the iron-ore export market.

“Our strategy of focussing on long-life, low-cost assets means we will continue to generate strong cash flows despite a lower price environment, resulting in materially increased and consistent cash returns to shareholders,” CEO Sam Walsh said in a statement.

He added the size of its operations in the remote northeast of Australia allows it to produce ore at a significantly lower cost than its competitors.


Walsh also reiterated expectations that Rio would produce 295 million tons of iron ore globally this year, including output from its Canadian operations. In addition, he said the miner intends to sell around 5 million tons of extra ore from its own stockpiles.

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), the world’s largest mining company, said last week it will to lift its iron ore capacity by almost 30% without building any new mines and vowed to overtake Rio as the world’s most profitable producer of the steelmaking commodity.

And Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore mining company, has said it plans to boost output to 450 million tons by 2018 from 306 million last year.

If everything goes according to plan, global surplus of seaborne will more than triple to 163 million tons next year from 52 million this year, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The bank projects an expansion to 245 million tons in 2016, 295 million tons in 2017 and 334 million tons in 2018.

Henry Sapiecha

India poised to overtake China as world’s largest coal consumer

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Indian workers load coal onto trucks at a coal depot on the outskirts of Jammu August 2012.image

India is set to overtake China as the world’s largest importer of coal used in power plants, as the country battles chronic power shortages that are crippling its growth while domestic sources of natural gas are being depleted at an alarming rate.

That was the main outcome of the Financial Times’ inaugural Commodities Retreat in Singapore held last week, the newspaper reports (subs. required).

Miners and traders gathered at the convention agree that the country, alongside Korea, is emerging as one of the few bright spots in the 1bn tonne a year seaborne thermal coal industry, FT reports.

India, currently the world’s third-largest consumer of coal, behind China and Japan, has imported 43% more coal than it did a year ago, as demand from power stations and steelmakers increases, data from the World Coal Association shows.

In the year ended March 2013, India imported 20% of its total coal requirements, a number that is expected to grow to 23% by 2017, according to a BP Plc. (NYSE:BP) report.

The demand for power station fuel is estimated to rise 43% to 730 million tons by 2017, while the supply from domestic sources is expected to jump 38% in the same period.

In China instead the future looks more and more like a coal-free one. While the nation remains the biggest user of coal, Beijing is struggling with high pollution levels brought on by an excessive use of thermal power plants, and has been taking drastic measures to reduce its reliance on coal and shift to cleaner sources like natural gas for its energy needs.




Henry Sapiecha