Iron ore prices were expected to remain stable in the first half of the year and then soften in the second half, as more supply from large producers came on stream, Norman Mbazima, the chief executive of Kumba Iron Ore, said yesterday. “In the past two weeks prices have been moderating fairly rapidly but we think they have stabilised now and we expect that stability to continue for the first half of the year,” Mbazima said. “After that, I think that the [growing] supply from the majors will start to soften the prices again.” Kumba, a division of Anglo American, also said it expected to secure mining rights over logistics parastatal Transnet’s rail properties, which are important for the expansion of its Sishen mine in the Northern Cape, in the first half of this year. Kumba, the major contributor to Anglo American’s profit, is battling technical constraints, which have curbed production at the Sishen mine. The company aims to expand the mine’s output from 31 million tons last year to 35 million tons this year. – Reuters