Kumba's profit has fallen. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Cape Town - The chief executive of South Africa's Kumba Iron Ore expects iron ore prices to remain stable in the first half of 2014 and then soften in the second half, as more supply from large producers comes on stream, he said on Tuesday.

“In the last 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,” chief executive Norman Mbazima told Reuters in an interview.

“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 expects to secure mining rights over logistics group Transnet's rail properties, which are important for the expansion of its large Sishen mine in Northern Cape province, in the first half of this year.

Kumba, the major contributor to Anglo American's profit, is battling technical constraints which curbed production at Sishen mine and is aiming to expand its output from 31 million tonnes in 2013 to 35 million in 2014. - Reuters