Government authorities from China's province of Liaoning have confirmed the discovery of a large iron ore reserve by Fushun Hanking Maogong Mining Co. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Hanking Holdings Limited.
BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, believed the global supply and demand for steel, which zoomed in recent years thanks to China's huge appetite, has reached its zenith. Although demand for iron ore will continue to grow, its growth however will be much slower compared in previous years. As such, the high prices that iron ore recorded in 2011 may not likely happen again.
The discovery essentially expands the iron ore resources base China Hanking Holdings Limited in the Maogong Iron Mine by 35.5 million tonnes.
Based on the approved filing certificate issued by the Liaoning Provincial Mineral Resource Assessment Centre, 5.75 million tonnes are classified as probable reserves, 25.35 million tonnes are classified as indicated resources and 4.40 million tonnes as inferred resources.
Following the discovery, China Hanking Holdings Limited is now planning to expand the scale of mining and processing capacities of Maogong Iron Mine, more so that it has completed a feasibility study on a new processing plant that has an expected annual processing capacity of 3 million tonnes. Relevant approvals from government authorities and entities have likewise been obtained for the development of the plant.
This discovery comes on the heels of China delaying or defaulting on iron ore cargoes on waning steel demand.
Government measures to hasten infrastructure projects amid China's slowing economy are expected to increase iron ore demand. However, this might take time to materialise, with actual increased inventories felt most probably from the fourth quarter of 2012 onwards.
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