Timetric’s Mining Intelligence Centre (MIC) has released its global iron ore cost estimates, highlighting the costs per tonne of iron ore operations.
The analysis covers 70 iron ore operations from 30 companies including Rio Tinto and BC Iron, providing estimates of company and country production.
It identified the dominance of the largest iron ore producers Rio Tinto, Vale, and BHP Billiton, not only for holding the largest share of world production, but for also comprising the lowest-cost operations.
As strip ratios often determine the economic feasibility of an iron ore deposit, low strip ratios will ensure most operations have low mining costs per tonne.
BHP’s Yandi is the lowest cost operation, yielding an estimated FOB cost of US$17.65 per tonne last year, followed by Rio’s Messa operations. Both mines are in the WA’s Pilbara region.
Lead analyst at Timetric’s MIC Cliff Smee said, “Timetric is uncovering a lot of mystery about cost curves and enabling all companies within the mining sector to get individual operating costs.”
He added that although producers are often reluctant to provide their individual mining costs, Timetric’s cost estimates can give greater transparency.