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The iron ore shipping hub Port Hedland escaped the brunt of a powerful cyclone that swept across the northwest Australian coastline on Thursday, with emergency officials lifting evacuation alerts as the storm veered east.
A powerful cyclone headed for Australia's Port Hedland, which handles a fifth of the world's seaborne-traded iron ore, stalled off the coast but was set to make landfall later on Wednesday.
Australia's Fortescue Metals Group, the world's No. 4 iron ore producer, reported a 40 percent fall in first-half profit as the price of the steel-making ingredient fell sharply and costs rose.
Global miner BHP Billiton appointed the head of its non-ferrous business as its new chief executive on Wednesday to replace Marius Kloppers.
Asian stocks were mostly lower on Monday in holiday-thinned trade with many of the region's markets shut for the Lunar New Year holidays.
Rio Tinto said on Monday an Australian regulator has ruled that the firm's key iron ore rail lines do not have to be opened to rivals, reinforcing the miner's grip on the global market.
Asian shares edged up on Friday after China's trade data for January beat forecasts to underscore a recovery trend, but prices were capped by investors seeking to book profits before next week's Chinese New Year holidays.
Asian shares wiped earlier gains on Friday as a tepid Chinese manufacturing report dented sentiment, leaving investors on tenterhooks ahead of U.S. nonfarm payroll data due later in the day.
Fortescue Metals Group, the world's fourth largest iron ore miner, lifted shipments by 32 percent in the December quarter from a year ago, nearly all bound for Chinese steel mills.
BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, boosted its iron ore output by 3 percent in the December quarter, as it races to supply more of the raw material to Chinese steelmakers despite signs of a softening market.
Australia's Port Hedland, which handles about a fifth of the world's seaborne-traded iron ore, will reopen on Wednesday after being spared the brunt of a cyclone that has also shut other major ports in Western Australia.
Mining firms including BHP Billiton and Anglo American are likely to follow Rio Tinto's lead in writing down underperforming assets by as much as $10 billion, as low prices and rising costs eat into valuations.
Iron ore prices have nearly doubled over the past four months, delighting producers, yet the surge is hindering expansion of iron ore mines in Western Australia, the site of the world's largest known deposit.
Global miner Rio Tinto has announced the surprise resignation of its chief executive after taking a $14 billion charge in connection with Tom Albanese's two most significant acquisitions, Mozambican coal and aluminium.
China's harshest winter in nearly three decades has hit iron ore output and driven up prices just as demand from steel mills revives in a resurgent economy. Imports are at record levels.
A cyclone approaching Australia's northwest coast that forced miners to shut down key iron ore export terminals and offshore oilfields has intensified into a category four storm, the second-highest level, and will strengthen over the weekend.
Australia's first cyclone of the storm season is intensifying off the country's northwest and is expected to start affecting coastal areas in mining powerhouse Western Australia state as soon as Friday, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.
Asian shares ended mostly lower on Friday, tracking overnight weakness in global equities after several Fed officials expressed concerns about continuing to expand stimulative bond buying. But, Japanese stocks surged as the market played catch-up with the region on its first trading day of 2013.
Asian stock markets edged higher on Thursday on hopes of a steady economic revival in China although gains were marginal compared to the previous session's strong gains as investors took some money off the table and braced for more U.S. budget battles.
Asian stocks rose nearly two percent to hit a five-month high as both houses of Congress passed a bill to end the "fiscal cliff" crisis that threatened a U.S. recession and roiled world financial markets.