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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Ukraine war sends iron ore prices soaring for northern mine

Torre de Moncorvo, Portugal,July.4,(Lusa)- Torre de Moncorvo mines concessionaire Aethel Mining acknowledged on Monday that the war in Ukraine had caused demand for iron aggregate mined there to skyrocket, with pre-sales for the next 18 months.
"The demand for our product around the world is huge. We have an excellent product and very good logistics. Due to the desolate situation in Ukraine, which is a major producer of iron ore, demand for the product produced in Torre de Moncorvo has soared and we have pre-sales for the next 18 months," Aethel Mining's official source told Lusa news agency.
The same source said in a written statement that the company continues preparations to move forward with the second phase of the mine and expects to produce the first batch of concentrate in 2024.
Asked by Lusa about a halt in production, the concession holder acknowledged "occasional technical stoppages" due "to equipment maintenance work and for introducing new, more environmentally friendly technologies.
"We have not stopped activity at the company. We are doing normal maintenance and improvement work on our line of equipment to make it more environmentally friendly," he assures.
Guaranteeing that "there is no stoppage of activity", the company explained that, having introduced new equipment, it was currently "reformulating the production process to meet the needs of the order book and improve production, making it cleaner and more environmentally friendly".
According to Aethel Mining, the improvements in the equipment "are scheduled to be completed in 2/3 weeks", so an increase in productivity is expected by the end of the summer."
On the other hand, the president of the Souto da Velha and Felgar Parish Council, Vítor Vieira (PSD), confirmed to Lusa the stops in the ore extraction and assured that he did not know of any dismissals or overdue wages concerning 13 workers that operate in the Mua headland.
The mining project installed at cabeço da Mua in Torre de Moncorvo was resumed on 13 March 2020, 38 years after being abandoned, with an investment of €550 million planned for the next 60 years.
Aethel Mining Limited is a "British company owned exclusively" by Portuguese Ricardo Santos Silva and US-based Aba Schubert, "which received approval from the Directorate-General of Energy and Geology (DGEG) in November 2019 to take control of the Torre de Moncorvo mine", which is touted as a "very significant iron ore deposit in the heart of Europe".
The Torre de Moncorvo iron ore mines were the region's largest employer in the 1950s, with up to 1,500 miners.
Ore mining was suspended in 1983, with the bankruptcy of Ferrominas.

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2022-07-05 11:00:00


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