Iron ore: Apocalypse now?


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Scandinavian iron ore miner Northland Resources SE has filed for bankruptcy with more than $650 million in debt. Kumba, whose Sishen mine in South Africa is the continent’s largest iron ore operation, will reduce stay-in-business capital expenditure 20 percent and a further 10 percent in 2015 and 2016.

Canada iron ore miner Alderon to cut jobs, defer payments to save cash. 90 per cent of iron ore mines in Shandong province have production costs higher than the current market price for iron ore, sparking fear of wides-spread closures. Australia‘s Atlas Iron and Mt Gibson Iron on Friday were forced to lay off workers and introduce austerity measures in an attempt to ride out a sharp slide in iron ore prices.

Iron ore has tumbled almost 50 percent this year and fell below $70 a metric ton on Nov. 25 for the first time since June 2009. The market needs to absorb a surplus of about 110 million metric tons next year, almost double the 60 million tons in 2014, Goldman Sachs estimates. Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao, China, rose 0.3 percent to $69.37 a dry metric ton yesterday, data compiled by Metal Bulletin Ltd. showed. Prices slumped to $68.49 on Nov. 26, the lowest level in more than five years.

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