Mining stocks rise as iron ore prices climb


The Carajas Open Cast Iron Ore mine is the largest iron mine in the World, estimates say the site can be mined at today's rates for another 400 years. In the Amazonian State of Para in the north of Brazil, it is operated by the State owned Vale mining corporation.
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The Carajas Open Cast Iron Ore mine is the largest iron mine in the World, estimates say the site can be mined at today's rates for another 400 years. In the Amazonian State of Para in the north of Brazil, it is operated by the State owned Vale mining corporation.

Shares of mining companies rose Monday as China-traded iron ore futures soared.

The SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) rose nearly 1.5 percent to its highest since 2014 with Cliff Natural Resources leading gainers with a 6.9 percent rise.

Brazil's Bovespa index rose almost 1.3 percent with shares of miner Vale jumping 9.2 percent. U.S.-listed shares rose 8.4 percent.

China reported Friday that iron ore imports jumped 12 percent in January from the same period last year to their second highest level on record, according to Reuters. In an effort to fight smog, China's Ministry of Environment Protection has also proposed cutting domestic steel capacity in half, starting at the end of the year, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

The move higher in Vale also comes after Reuters reported shareholders at the Brazilian company want CEO Murilo Ferreira to stay at the helm for political reasons. Vale did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Shares of U.S. Steel climbed 5.6 percent.

Shares of Cliff Natural Resources are up 31 percent over the last 30 days and more than 500 percent over the last 12 months.

Cliff Natural Resources shares one-month performance

Vale shares one-month performance

With Monday's gains, U.S.-traded shares of Vale are up nearly 19 percent in the last 30 days and nearly 50 percent higher for the year so far.

— CNBC's Evelyn Cheng and Reuters contributed to this report.