BHP Billiton: Iron ore rallies on Aussie strike threat

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Iron ore rose from a 20-month low yesterday as BHP Billiton warned that a possible port strike in Australia would affect mining operations. Ore with 62 percent content delivered to the Chinese port of Tianjin advanced 1 percent to $98.50 (R1 025) a dry ton, data compiled by The Steel Index showed. Prices fell on Tuesday to the lowest level since September 2012. Mining operations might start winding down after two days of strike action because stocks at Port Hedland were reasonably high, BHP Billiton’s iron ore president, Jimmy Wilson, said. Industrial action may slow iron ore exports by companies including Fortescue Metals and BHP Billiton, which said the port should stay open and estimated that disruption might cost users about $94 million a day. The Maritime Union of Australia, which represents tugboat deckhands at the port, approved unlimited work stoppages of 24 hours, 48 hours and seven days on May 12. – Bloomberg


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