Advertisement

Natural Resources Research

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 317–327 | Cite as

Projection of Iron Ore Production

  • Steve Mohr
  • Damien Giurco
  • Mohan Yellishetty
  • James Ward
  • Gavin Mudd
Article

Abstract

A comprehensive country-by-country projection of world iron ore production is presented along with alternative scenarios and a sensitivity analysis. The supply-driven modelling approach follows Mohr (Projection of world fossil fuel production with supply and demand interactions, PhD Thesis, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6782, 2010) using an ultimately recoverable resource of 346 Gt of iron ore. Production is estimated to have a choppy plateau starting in 2017 until 2050 after which production rapidly declines. The undulating plateau is due to Chinese iron ore production peaking earlier followed by Australia and Brazil in turn. Alternative scenarios indicate that the model is sensitive to increases in Australian and Brazilian resources, and that African iron ore production can shift the peak date only if the African Ultimately Recoverable Resources (URR) is 5 times larger than the estimate used. Changes to the demand for iron ore driven by substitution or recycling are not modelled. The relatively near-term peak in iron ore supply is likely to create a global challenge to manufacturing and construction and ultimately the world economy.

Keywords

Iron ore Projected production Resource depletion 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Part of this research was undertaken as part of the Minerals Futures Collaboration Cluster, a research initiative comprising the Australian CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation); The University of Queensland; The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS); Curtin University; CQUniversity; and The Australian National University. This research was also supported by the Wealth from Waste Cluster, a collaboration between UTS, The University of Queensland, Swinburne University of Technology, Monash University, Yale University and CSIRO. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of each partner and the CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Fund.

Supplementary material

11053_2014_9256_MOESM1_ESM.zip (40.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (ZIP 41406 kb)

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1908–2012) Year book Australia. Retrieved March 12, 2014. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs.nsf/mf/1301.0.
  2. Bardi, U., & Pagani, M. (2007). Peak minerals. The Oil Drum: Europe. Retrieved March 17, 2014 from http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3086.
  3. Bowles, N. (2012). Swaziland’s Ngwenya mine extracts its ore and exacts its price. Retrieved March 14, 2014 from http://mg.co.za/article/2012-08-31-00-swazilands-ngwenya-mine-extracts-its-ore-and-exacts-its-price.
  4. British Geological Survey (1922–2012). World mineral statistics. Technical report, Minerals UK. Retrieved April 12, 2014 from http://www.bgs.ac.uk/mineralsuk/statistics/worldArchive.html.
  5. Canadian Mineral Industry (1955–2012). Canadian minerals yearbooks. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mining-materials/markets/commodity-reviews/8360.
  6. Deffeyes, K. S. (2002). World’s oil production peak reckoned in near future. Oil and Gas Journal, 100(11), 46–48.Google Scholar
  7. Dominion Bureau of Statistics. (1957). Canadian mineral statistics 1886–1956. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/webarchives/20061104045222/ and http://nrcan.gc.ca/mms/cmy/info-hist_e.htm.
  8. Geoscience Australia. (2013). Australia’s identified mineral resources 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2014 from http://www.ga.gov.au/cedda/publications/1201.
  9. Giurco, D., Mclellan, B., Franks, D. M., Nansai, K., & Prior, T. (2014). Responsible mineral and energy futures: views at the nexus. Journal of Cleaner Production, In Press.Google Scholar
  10. Graedel, T. E., Allwood, J., Birat, J. P., Buchert, M., Hagelüken, C., & Reck, B. K., et al. (2011). Recycling rates of metals, a status report. Technical report, United Nations Environment Programme.Google Scholar
  11. Hatayama, H., Daigo, I., Matsuno, Y., & Adachi, Y. (2010). Outlook of the world steel cycle based on the stock and flow dynamics. Environmental Science and Technology, 44(16), 6457–6463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hurst, L. (2013). West and central african iron ore development and its impact on world prices. Australia Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 57, 521–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Iderkhangai, G. (2012). Metallurgy complex needed immediately. The Mongolian Mining Journal, Retrieved March 14, 2014 from http://en.mongolianminingjournal.com/content/22784.shtml.
  14. Kakela, P. J. (1981). Iron ore: From depletion to abundance. Science, 212(4491), 132–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lankford, W. T. J. (1985). The making, shaping, and treating of steel (10th ed.). Pittsburgh: Association of Iron and Steel Engineers.Google Scholar
  16. Lepinski, J. A., Myers, J. C., & Geiger, G. H. (2001). Kirk–Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology (Vol. 14). New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  17. Mason, L., Prior, T., Mudd, G., & Giurco, D. (2011). Availability, addiction and alternatives: Three criteria for assessing the impact of peak minerals on society. Journal of Cleaner Production, 19(9), 958–966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. May, D., Prior, T., Cordell, D., & Giurco, D. (2012). Peak minerals: Theoretical foundations and practical application. Natural Resources Research, 21(1), 43–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mitchell, B. R. (1981). European Historical Statistics: 1750–1975 (2nd ed.). London: The MacMillan Press.Google Scholar
  20. Mitchell, B. R. (1982). International Historical Statistics: Africa and Asia. New York, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Mitchell, B. R. (1983). International Historical Statistics: The Americas and Australasia. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company.Google Scholar
  22. Mohr, S. (2010). Projection of world fossil fuel production with supply and demand interactions. PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, Australia, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6782.
  23. Mohr, S. (2012). Gers-demo—Or geologic resource supply-demand model. http://cfsites1.uts.edu.au/isf/staff/details.cfm?StaffId=12654.
  24. Mohr, S. H., & Evans, G. M. (2013). Projections of future phosphorus production. Philica (380).Google Scholar
  25. Mohr, S. H., Mudd, G. M., & Giurco, D. (2012). Lithium resources and production: Critical assessment and global projections. Minerals, 2, 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Muwanguzi, A.J.B. (2010). Characterisation of Muko iron ores (Uganda) for the different routes of iron production. Master’s thesis, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, licentiate Thesis.Google Scholar
  27. Natural Resources Canada (1995–2012). Mineral production of canada, by province and territory. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from http://sead.nrcan.gc.ca/prod-prod/ann-ann-eng.aspx.
  28. News, T. N. (2001). Vietnam loses \({\$}\)168 mln to illegal iron ore exports: industry. Retrieved March 14, 2014 from http://www.thanhniennews.com/business/vietnam-loses-168-mln-to-illegal-iron-ore-exports-industry-1998.html.
  29. Northey, S., S, M., Mudd, G. M., Weng, Z., & Giurco, D. (2014). Modelling future copper ore grade decline based on a detailed assessment of copper resources and mining. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 83, 190–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Prior, T., Giurco, D., Mudd, G., Mason, L., & Behrisch, J. (2012). Resource depletion, peak minerals and the implications for sustainable resource management. Global Environmental Change, 22(3), 577–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Roper, L. D. (2014). Iron-ore depletion including recycling. Retrieved August 6, 2014 from http://www.roperld.com/science/minerals/iron.htm.
  32. Rothwell, R. P. (1896–1922). Mineral Industry, its statistics, technology, and trade. Scientific Publishing Company, New York/Engineering Mining Journal.Google Scholar
  33. Sada, M. M. (2012). Investment opportunities in Nigeria’s minerals and metals sector. In: Presentation to the Africa down under international Conference, Perth Western Australia, August 2012.Google Scholar
  34. Sandrea, R. (2006). Global natural gas reserves—A heuristic viewpoint (part 2 of 2). Middle East Economic Survey, 49(12), 32–35.Google Scholar
  35. United Nations. (2001). Mineral resources of Thailand. Bangkok: United Nations Publications.Google Scholar
  36. USGS. (1933–2011). Minerals yearbook. Technical report, United States Geological Survey, formerly Bureau of Mines Minerals Yearbook. www.minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/usbmmyb.html.
  37. USGS. (2012). Iron ore statistics, in kelly, t. d., and matos, g. r., comps., historical statistics for mineral and material commodities in the United States. Technical report, United States Geological Survey, data Series 140.Google Scholar
  38. USGS. (2013a). Mineral Commodity Summaries. Technical report, United States Geological Survey, and previous years. Retrieved September 15, 2013 from http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/.
  39. USGS. (2013b). State minerals statistics and information. Technical report, United States Geological Survey, http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/state/.
  40. Xtracta Pacific Resources. (2011). Mining Projects. Retrieved March 14, 2014 from http://www.xtractapacific.com/index.php?id=13.
  41. Yellishetty, M., Ranjith, P. G., & Tharumarajah, A. (2010). Iron ore and steel production trends and material flows in the world: Is this really sustainable? Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 54, 1084–1094.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yellishetty, M., Mudd, G. M., Ranjith, P. G., & Tharumarajah, A. (2011). Environmental life-cycle comparisons of steel production and recycling: Sustainability issues, problems and prospects. Environmental Science and Policy, 14(6), 650–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Yellishetty, M., Mudd, G., Mason, L., Mohr, S., Prior, T., & Giurco, D. (2012). Iron resources and production: technology, sustainability and future prospects. Tech. rep., CSIRO Minerals Down Under Flagship, prepared by the Department of Civil Engineering (Monash University) and the Institute for Sustainable Futures (University of Technology, Sydney).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geosciences 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Mohr
    • 1
  • Damien Giurco
    • 1
  • Mohan Yellishetty
    • 2
  • James Ward
    • 3
  • Gavin Mudd
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Sustainable FuturesUniversity of Technology, SydneyUltimoAustralia
  2. 2.Division of Mining & Resources Engineering, Department of Civil EngineeringMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.School of Natural & Built EnvironmentsUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Civil EngineeringMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

Personalised recommendations