2 Oct 2009 15:14

Ukrainian iron ore mines reduce output in 9 mths

KYIV. Oct 2 (Interfax) - Most Ukrainian mining companies reduced iron ore production significantly in January-September.

Poltava Mining, the core asset of the London-listed Ferrexpo plc, cut commercial pellet production from its own feedstock tentatively 5.9% year-on-year to 6.371 million tonnes, Ferrexpo said in a press release.

This included 3.251 million tonnes of pellets with Fe-content of 62%, down 14% year-on-year; and 3.121 million tonnes of Fe-65%, up 4.3% year-on-year.

Poltava Mining produced 45,800 tonnes of 62%-pellets from purchased or external feedstock on a tolling basis, down 86.2% year-on-year.

Overall pellet production in the nine months fell 9.6% year-on-year to 6.417 million tonnes.

September pellet production from internal feedstock came to 750,300 tonnes, and production from external feedstock to 10,000 tonnes.

Iron ore concentrate production fell 5.5% year-on-year in the nine months to 7.765 million tonnes, including 937,100 tonnes in September.

Crude iron ore production fell 3.3% year-on-year to 20.8875 million tonnes in the nine months, including 2.352 million tonnes in September.

Ferrexpo exported all but 663,100 tonnes of the pellets it produced in the nine months. Its main consumers are located in Austria, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, other European countries and China.

Poltava Mining said it had been working at full capacity since March, and cut output in January-February due to the weather conditions.

The Metinvest holding's Northern Mining and Beneficiation Plant, from Kryviy Rih, told Interfax that it reduced commercial pellet production 23.3% year-on-year in January-September to 6.637 million tonnes. Iron ore concentrate output fell 8.4% to 9.96 million tonnes.

Metinvest's Central Mining, also from Kryviy Rih, cut commercial pellet production 2.6% year-on-year to 1.629 million tonnes and concentrate production plummeted by 29.1% to 3.458 million tonnes.

Metinvest also runs Inhulets Mining, which saw iron ore concentrate output plummet 29.0% year-on-year in January-September to 8.171 million tonnes.

Metinvest sells iron ore to its own steel mills and to other steel plants in Ukraine and Europe, as well as Asia.

Southern Mining, from Kryviy Rih, reduced iron ore concentrate production 23.8% year-on-year in January-September to 5.003 million tonnes. It produced just 827,000 tonnes of sinter ore, down 76.9% year-on-year. It was reported at the end of 2007 that Ukraine's Privat group sold up to 50% of Southern Mining to Lanebrook Ltd, which owns Russia's Evraz Group. The Smart Group said it intended to keep control of around 50% of Southern Mining, via affiliates.

Evraz acquired almost all the shares in another Ukrainian ore producer, Suha Balka, at the end of 2007.

Ukrainian iron ore production in January-September 2009, by company:

Company Jan-Sept 2009, tonnes % change y-o-y (+/-) Sept 2009, tonnes
Iron ore pellets 6,417,000 -9.6 760,300
Iron ore concentrate 7,765,000 -5.5 937,100
Iron ore pellets 6,637,000 -23.3 956,700
Iron ore concentrate 9,960,000 -8.4 1,230,000
Commercial pellets 1,629,000 -2.6 127,000
Iron ore concentrate 3,458,000 -29.1 484,100
Commercial iron ore concentrate 8,171,000 -29.0 1,245,000
Sinter ore 827,000 -76.9 147,000
Iron ore concentrate 5,003,000 -23.8 743,000
Iron ore 1,102,000 -49.3 190,000
Commercial iron ore 3,265,000 -3.0 276,000
Commercial iron ore 2,448,000 -53.6 428,000

Source: companies