Iron ore project review 2017

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Report summary

This year has seen 120Mt of capacity added to the iron ore market, the most since 2013. Vale's Carajas Serra Sul (S11D) project with capacity of 90Mtpa accounted for the majority of the new capacity. However, for the next three years there are very few projects expected to come on-line reflecting the lack of approvals and weaker prices in the iron ore market. Our project pipeline covers 40 projects with an estimated 641 million tonnes of potential capacity. Only 9 of these projects are classified as highly probable, as the pipeline of advanced projects is drying up. Capital intensity has halved since 2014 to US$109/tonne of capacity. Lower steel and energy costs, favourable exchange rate movements, changing project scopes, and abandoning capital intensive projects have contributed to the capex decline.

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Project pipeline dominated by sustaining developments
  • Project cancellations and deferrals
  • Project completions
  • Capital costs continue to decline

Tables and charts

This report includes 6 images and tables including:


  • Proposed capacity and capital expenditure
  • Project incentive prices
  • Capacity additions
  • Project capital intensity
  • Average capital intensity


  • Projects with capex changes

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