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Global iron ore cost summary

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06 December 2018

Global iron ore cost summary

Report summary

2018 has been another good year for iron ore producers. Prices for 62% Fe fines have traded in a narrow range between US$63/tonne and US$78/tonne (CFR China) and will average US$69/tonne for the year. Average seaborne cash costs increased 3.6% in 2018 to US$35.8/tonne (CFR China). The higher cost was caused by an average US$2/tonne increase in ocean freight costs and a small rise in royalty costs on the back of higher iron ore prices. C1 costs (ie, costs excluding royalties and ocean freight) for seaborne suppliers actually fell 5% compared with 2017. Higher fuel costs were offset by improved productivity and weaker currencies. We expect further cost increases in coming years, mostly owing to rising ocean freight costs. C1 costs are expected to remain fairly stable as rising diesel prices and higher strip ratios will be largely offset by ongoing productivity gains especially from automation.  

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • Vale
    • BHP Billiton
    • Fortescue
  • Reserves and resources
  • Production
  • Quality
    • Operating costs
    • Capital costs
      • Capital expenditure by project category (nominal to 2018 and real thereafter)
  • Margins
    • Russia

Tables and charts

This report includes 26 images and tables including:

  • Attributable marketable production by key company
  • 2018 split of attributable marketable production
  • 2018 Global operating margin curve (US$/tonne)
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • 2018 Global total cash cost curve (US$/tonne) FOB / ex mine
  • Costs: Image 2
  • Delivered contestable iron ore cash costs, CFR North China 2018 US$/dmt 62% Fe fines equivalent
  • China
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Liberia
  • Mauritania
  • Peru
  • Republic of Congo
  • Fiscal terms: Table 14
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Ukraine
  • United States
  • Costs: Image 4

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Global iron ore cost summary

    PDF 883.73 KB

  • Document

    Global iron ore cost summary

    ZIP 1.41 MB

  • Document

    Iron ore global supply summary fiscal data 2018.xls

    XLS 138.50 KB

  • Document

    2018 Global Iron Ore Summary upload.xls

    XLS 2.35 MB

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