Argentina Sierra Grande to export first 2017 iron ore cargo


Argentina’s sole iron ore producer, MCC Sierra Grande, is loading the first cargo of 2017 and expects to ship it in the coming days, the miner said.

The company, owned by Metallurgical Corp. of China, is loading around 30,000 mt of wet iron ore, or 28,000 mt of dry iron ore, it said. Neither destination nor prices were disclosed. The loading is occurring in the Punta Colorada port.

Besides the shipment, the company has another 30,000 mt in its inventories.

The last export happened during December, when the company exported around 30,000 mt of iron ore to Australia. During 2016, the company exported 169,849 mt of iron ore fines, down 45.3% from 2015, when 310,355 mt of fines were exported.

The average export price for the period was $44/mt FOB, while in 2015 it was $35/mt FOB. Australia received 89,251 mt during 2016, while the US received 80,598 mt.

MCC announced in January it would stop operations for the first half of 2017. Around 220 workers out of a total workforce of 260 were laid off. The company said it would keep 40 workers on board for maintenance until international iron ore prices increase.

The governor of the Rio Negro province, Alberto Weretilneck, is currently in China negotiating the resumption of the miner with Metallurgical Corp. of China.

The goal is to resume operations in the next two months.

Argentina’s sole iron ore miner is MCC Sierra Grande, owned by Metallurgical Corp. of China. The mine has an extraction capacity of about 2.8 million mt/year of iron ore, which is processed into 1.3 million mt/year of concentrate averaging 68.55% Fe.

Source: Platts 

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