While iron ore prices have risen slightly after last month dropping below $US100 ($138) per tonne, it’s not been enough to save two more mines from suspending operations.
After falling to $US92 per tonne during the third week of September, the price for 62 per cent iron ore has risen above $US110 per tonne to start October.
This is still well below prices reached in mid-July this year, when they topped $US200 per tonne.
The Ridges iron ore mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia has been placed into care and maintenance this week, while Mount Gibson Iron has enacted a staged suspension of its Shine iron ore project in Western Australia’s mid-west.
Indus Mining said the Ridges mine, operated by the company as part of a joint venture between Habrok Mining and Ridges Iron Ore, has been deemed economically unviable due to both the recent fall in prices along with continued high shipping costs.
Ridges was restarted in mid-2020 after previously being placed into care and maintenance twice in five years.
In a statement, Mount Gibson said “given recent adverse movements in iron ore prices, product discounting and shipping freight rates, the company will implement a staged suspension of operations at the Shine mine site”.
Mount Gibson said it was scaling back Shine to reduce expenditure and preserve the value of the deposit, as well as to provide time to assess the outlook for the market.
Mount Gibson commenced development on its Shine project in late 2020 before bringing the operation into production this year.
It comes after similarly lowly prices claimed Venture Minerals in mid-September, forcing the company to suspend operations at its Riley mine in Tasmania.
A week later, GWR Group was also forced to suspend operations at its C4 mine in Wiluna, Western Australia, as a result of the prices.