The fall of Iron ore prices
As of July 2022, the price of iron ore is at 119.00USD. According to Commonwealth Bank of Australia or ASX:CBA, the iron ore price is expected to fall to 120USD per tonne by the end of September and by the end of 2022, its value will eventually be 100USD per tonne.
This price decrease is mainly caused by the current crisis that we are facing, the Coronavirus or COVID-19. It is still expected to fall in 2023 and it can eventually reach 80USD per tonne.
Back on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. Since it can be transmitted through respiratory droplets and other bodily fluids, protocols were set to limit the transmission. Face masks, social distancing, and frequent sanitizing were all mandatory. Businesses, schools and other institutions were forced to shut down in accordance with the safety health protocols.
All of us were greatly affected, including the mining industry. Production stopped because people were restricted from going outside of their own homes. The COVID-19 outbreak affected our entire population most especially the members of those social groups in the most vulnerable situations. It affected the livelihood and physical and mental health of people from all over the world. It eventually led to a dramatic loss of human life across the globe. This is the main reason why countries have reached depression socially and economically.
After nearly two years, scientists and professionals were able to come up with a vaccine that can provide immunity to the said virus. It is not the cure, but it is better than having a one-on-one battle with COVID-19. It serves as an extra layer of protection, but of course, face masks, frequent sanitizing and social distancing are all still required. Furthermore, ever since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has started, we are getting closer and closer to reaching herd immunity.
While it is the source of primary iron for Earth’s iron and steel industries, Iron is essential in creating a strong industrial base because of its strength, formability, versatility, recyclability, and low cost. It is ideally used for construction, motor vehicle manufacture, bridge building, heavy industry, machinery manufacture, shipbuilding, and engineering applications. Through the decades, the production of iron ore has almost doubled because of the rapid increase of its demand. We may see the iron ore industry as a very simple and less competitive one, but it is actually fiercely competitive. With the advancements in technology that are made day by day, the iron ore industry must keep up in order for it to still be in demand. Urbanization and infrastructure development calls for a big need for steel. From crushing to grinding the ores, these processes definitely give value to the iron that the world produces.
Over 38% of the total production of iron core comes from Australia, 16.7% from Brazil and 14.2% from China. On the other hand, China actually buys most of Australia’s iron ore with the
aim to urbanize their country and make developments on a regular basis. According to the Minerals Council of Australia or MCA, Australia’s iron ore resource base can sustain at least six decades of production. Iron ore is a non-renewable mineral, this simply means that once we run out of it, we wouldn’t be able to reproduce it naturally. It is a very challenging task to replenish this mineral since it takes a good amount of time for it to form.
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How can we sustain supply and demand?
There are many ways to care for Actively Corroding Iron and Stable Iron. With Actively Corroding Iron, you must separate this type of object from the rest of your collection and make sure to store them in conditions with an RH below 35%. Small pieces can actually be stored in closed containers such as Tupperware or even in closed cabinets. You may also use conditioning silca gel. On the other hand, stable iron is easier to maintain. You must keep them away from dust and dirt as much as possible.
Avoid introducing iron-laden dust particles to the area where you store your stable iron. For small objects, avoid using water and detergents that can eventually damage your pieces. Simply brush off dirt or dust with toothbrushes or natural-bristle brushes depending on the size and stiffness that is recommended. Try your best not to chip off any corrosion layers since it may be extremely fragile. Rust can actually be removed from your objects with fine steel wool and light oil. Make sure to use clean and lint-free cloths when trying to wipe off rust slurry. You must also avoid using commercial liquid rust-strippers since these products may actually strip the metal itself. It is important to examine your objects thoroughly before and after you clean them. In this way, you’ll be able to know the next steps that you should take in caring for iron.
With proper care, we can actually help the iron ore industry. These steps can be done at the comfort of your own home with minimal products that can be found in your local hardware. Sustainability should always be our top priority. Our planet has been a great provider for centuries, these small actions may affect the overall outcome of the iron ore industry in the future.
There are three top companies that produce iron ore: Vale production (Brazil) with 315.6m mt, Rio Tinto production (Spain) with 276,6k mt, and BHP production (Australia) with 253.3m mt. However, Vale production has reportedly had a 2.4% decrease in iron ore production last February 2022. With that being said, they have failed to reach their estimated sales that are expected to boost the iron price.
Because of these companies and all the other Iron ore producers in the world, infrastructure and construction development is slowly reviving the economy from the depression that was the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These investment opportunities will also lead to the urbanization of different countries from all over the world.