Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Razor's edge

Game theory

Some news to put the rebound in Australia's index of commodity prices on the back foot.

With Gina Rinehart's (Hancock Prospecting) Roy Hill project now hitting its straps, there was record monthly throughput again at Port Hedland in August of 43.5Mt (+9 per cent from a year ago).

And record iron ore cargo was shipped again in August of 42.875Mt (also +9 per cent year-on-year) as China continues to import unprecedented volumes of red dirt.

35.4Mt of that iron ore cargo was bound for China in August, the highest monthly volume to date.

The Port of Port Hedland has seen 461.2Mt of iron ore shipped over the past year - also a record, of course.

The Port of Dampier achieved monthly throughput of 14.8Mt, for a +10 per cent year-on-year increase.

Extraordinary figures across the board.

MOAR ore

The Pilbara deposit is one of those phenomena that pretty charts don't really do justice to - the sheer scale of operations has to be seen to be believed.

I was actually working in the mining industry when I first visited the region, but the scale of the place comfortably dwarfed anything I could have imagined.

After all it's more or less impossible to imagine a million tonnes of anything, let alone 460 times that amount.

It was thought in 2011 that by the end of the decade total production in the Pilbara could reach 1,000 million tonnes per year, largely accounted for by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Fortescue Metals Group.

To put that in perspective when Britain was still the workshop of the world its total annual coal production peaked at 287 million tonnes.

The wrap

More record iron ore production from the low-cost miners.

If these figures don't force iron ore prices lower by the end of the year as stockpiles swell, nothing will!