Commodity company IRC (controlled by Petropavlovsk) on Wednesday said it was considering restarting its 1.1-million tonnes a year iron-ore mine in the far east of Russia, the latest sign of revival in a sector shaking a years-long downturn, miningweekly.com noted.
“Following the positive price movements in 2017 and the recent stabilisation in the bulk commodity market, the board is considering restarting Kuranakh, including options of potential cooperation with other parties,” the Hong Kong-listed company said in a statement.
The Kuranakh mine, in Russia’s Amur region, was producing about 1.1-million tonnes of iron-ore concentrate each year before it was placed under care and maintenance in early 2016. It was also churning out about 200 000 t/y of ilmenite, a titanium ore.
Iron-ore prices have surged 30% and ilmenite by 150% since the mine was suspended, the company said.
However, the statement comes at a time when futures prices in China have toppled off record highs hit in recent months, dampened by concerns about a slowdown in demand in the world’s top importing nation and a growing glut as stockpiles.
The most-active Chinese iron-ore futures have fallen by about 30% since hitting record highs of 650.5 yuan ($94.49) per tonne in February.
Rocketing prices prompted some Chinese producers to reopen mines after suffering years of tepid demand.by