August 7th (Steel Guru) – BNamericas reported that Australia’s Strike Resources along with Apurímac Ferrum and two other Peruvian partners are planning to launch a 20 million tonnes per annum iron ore mine in Peru in mid 2012.

A recent pre feasibility study on the project in south central Peru’s Apurímac department laid out a USD 2.6 billion CAPEX, 15 year mine life and 20 million tonnes per annum production, making it the largest iron ore mine in Peru.

But before a positive final feasibility study can be carried out for the mine, it must increase the roughly 172 million tonnes of inferred resources grading 62.3% iron ore to at least 300 million tonnes and upgrade the category of mineralization.

Mr Federico Schwalb GM of Apurímac Ferrum said that the study contemplates construction of an open pit, processing plant, a port and a roughly 360 kilometers long pipeline to transport the product from the mine to the port. He added that the companies involved are also considering transporting the product by train.

In addition, the project’s partners are involved in a dispute concerning their respective stakes in the property, but which does not impact Apurímac Ferrum and also is not obstructing the advance of the project.

Strike Resources is also involved with Apurímac Ferrum in a project in Cuzco department, which is at a conceptual stage, although exploration is being carried out. Presently Shougang Hierro Perú, which operates in Ica department, is the country’s only iron ore producer. Shougang sold 7.71 million tonnes of iron ore in 2007 and is planning to double capacity to 16 million tonnes per annum by mid 2010.

July 23rd (Reuters) – A strike ended on Wednesday at the iron ore mine of Shougang Hierro Peru (SHP.LM: Quote, Profile, Research), union and company officials said.

The strike had started nine days ago at the mine, owned by Shougang of China, and it was the latest in a string of walkouts workers have held this year at mines across Peru to demand a bigger share of surging corporate profits.

 

“The strike has ended,” said Raul Vera, the mine’s general manager. Union officials said the Labor Ministry asked workers to end the strike at the mine, which produced 5.1 million tons of iron ore last year.

 

Union leaders at several mines have said companies have threatened to fire workers who had participated in a nationwide mining strike this month.

July 22nd (Steel Guru) – Reuters reported that Severstal, Essar, BaoSteel Shougang, Shagang and a Japanese consortium are among the groups that are in the second round of bidding for CSN’s iron ore unit Namisa in Brazil.

As per report, the Japanese consortium is led by a trading house and includes domestic steelmakers. Two sources confirmed that a Japanese group was bidding, but did not identify the companies.

Two separate Chinese consortia are also bidding. One is a steel consortium of Baosteel Group and Shougang Group and the other is top private steelmaker Shagang Group, which could potentially team up with a trading house, smaller steel mills and sovereign wealth fund CIC.

The second round of bids is expected in the next few weeks, although several sources described a somewhat fluid process. One said some potential bidders, such as Anglo American, had yet to commit but could still make a late entry to the bidding.

CSN hired Goldman Sachs earlier this year to sell some or all of it’s Namisa subsidiary, taking advantage of raging demand for iron ore. Goldman had put a USD 10 billion price tag on the asset, the top end of analysts’ range of values, although several investment bankers mentioned a value of USD 7 billion to USD 8 billion.

CSN has plans to boost Namisa’s annual production capacity from 7.5 million tonnes this year to 42 million tonnes. That aspiration, combined with an enterprise value of USD 250 per tonne of iron ore, could justify a price of USD 10 billion or more.

July 12th (Reuters) – Workers plan to go on strike Monday at iron ore miner Shougang Hierro Peru (SHP.LM: Quote, Profile, Research), a union leader said Friday.

Workers were on strike at the mine last week as part of a nationwide mining walkout, and say they have unresolved complaints the Chinese company should address.

 

Julio Ortiz, a union leader, told Reuters the strike would start Monday morning at 8:00 local time (1300 GMT).

 

“It is for solution of the miners’ demands,” Ortiz said about the walkout, which is over benefits and wages.

 

Miners at Shougang lifted their strike last week after the government declared the nationwide walkout illegal, paving the way for companies to fire miners who did not return to work.

 

Dozens of protests have been held this year as Peruvians demand a bigger slice of the country’s six-year economic boom. Peru’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, though the poverty rate remains near 40 percent.

July 9th (Steel Guru) – It is reported that Shougang Group’s Dashihe strip mine recently gets deep mining approval on its Xingshan mining district by China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

As per report, the deep mining project at Xingshan mining district is planning to yield 3.2 million tonnes of crude ore annually which after concentration will filter out 1.056 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate with grade of 66%.

The project not only can prolong mine life for Xingshan mining district, but also can strengthen Shougang Group by enlarging iron ore self supply.

July 3rd (Guardian) – Workers at Peru’s third-largest copper pit threw their weight behind a nationwide strike that entered its third day on Wednesday, as miners in hard hats marched through Lima to demand a bigger slice of corporate profits.

Global copper prices rose to a two-month high on worries the strike would crimp supplies from the world’s No. 2 supplier. Meanwhile, stock prices of mining companies sank as strikers pressed Congress to pass a bill that would force companies to share more of their record profits with workers.
The walkout is the latest sign that President Alan Garcia faces growing calls to spread the wealth to workers and the poor, or risk losing support for his free-market policies at a time when left-wing parties are eyeing elections in 2011.
“The profits belong to us,” said Eliza Guerra, 28, who runs heavy machinery at the Antamina mine. “The price of copper is at the highest its ever been and we generate that wealth.” Workers at Freeport-McMoRan’s Cerro Verde copper pit, Peru’s third-biggest, approved plans to go on strike in a final round of voting, the union said. Freeport’s shares fell nearly 7 percent to $107.57.
“On Saturday, we will go on strike, no matter what,” Leoncio Amudio, the union head at Cerro Verde, told Reuters. Workers at Newmont’s gold mine Yanacocha were still deciding if they would strike, while laborers at Volcan’s Cerro de Pasco zinc mine chose to stay at work in a first-round vote, but another round of voting remains, union leaders said. Newmont’s shares lost 4.5 percent to $50.99.
Laborers were off the job at Doe Run Peru’s small copper mine Cobriza, but its La Oroya smelter was operating normally, a company official said. The strike hit the Cuajone mine and Ilo smelter of Southern Copper, though the company said output was largely unaffected. Its shares dropped more than 5 percent to $101.54.
Garcia’s approval rating is hovering near 30 percent and his chief of staff has asked the permanent commission of Congress to vote on the labor bill soon, while most legislators are away on recess.
As the government pushed Congress to approve the bill, it also declared the strike illegal, a ruling it normally makes during walkouts to persuade workers to return to work. If workers fail to return to their jobs within a week or two, the companies could fire them.
Failure to pass the bill could lead to more walkouts, and Peru’s largest labor confederation is planning a general strike for July 9.
MINES ON STRIKE
Since the strike started on Monday, walkouts have hit some key mines but affected production only at a couple as some companies called in temporary workers. Though share prices of key miners appeared to be affected by the strike, Peru’s five-year credit default swaps were flat at roughly 129 basis points, as the walkout had yet to create serious worries among investors about the Andean country’s economic health.
The mine suffering the most was the Uchucchacua silver mine of Peruvian miner Buenaventura, which said the pit was halted. Miners at Peru’s largest copper-zinc pit, Antamina, owned by BHP Billiton, were also on strike and its shares fell more than 4 percent. But a company official said its effect on production was minimal.
Shougang Hierro Peru, an iron ore miner, and the Pierina mine of Canada’s Barrick Gold were also hit by walkouts, according to union officials. Barrick’s larger Lagunas Norte mine, which relies on temporary workers, was not affected, and the company said Pierina was operating. Workers were also on strike at Volcan’s Andaychagua silver-zinc mine, though workers at its other mines have not yet joined the protest.
Miners were on strike at Peruvian producer Minsur’s San Rafael mine, one of the largest tin mines in the world, a union member said, along with staff at its smelter. Milpo, a zinc, lead and copper miner, said none of its mines was affected by the strike.

June 21st (Steel Guru) – Interfax China quoted China’s Ministry of Commerce in an announcement said that Shougang Hierro Peru SAA, a Peru based Shougang subsidiary will begin development of new mining zones at Marcona in Peru to double its annual iron ore production which will require investment of USD 1 billion.

According to the released, Shougang Hierro plans to construct an ore processing plant and a 3 million tonne pellet plant at the mine which would in turn double its annual capacity of iron ore.

Mr Wu Bin president of Shougang Hierro said the company intends to first increase iron ore production by 8 million tonnes and then reach final annual production capacity of 20 million tonnes within four years.

Shougang officials were not available for comment when reached by Interfax today.